“I’m waiting to see what happens with the economy.”  As a Franchise Recruiter for Outdoor Living Brands, this is a common reason people state for not starting their own business and taking control of their own destiny.  “I would love to be my own boss, but what if . . .” Step back for a moment and ask this question – “Am I looking for excuses or answers?”

Does fortune truly favor the brave?  Entrepreneurs thrive on challenge and seek the positive attributes of any situation.  Consider the businesses that were started during a recession or depression that have thrived . . . Hewlett-Packard, Sports Illustrated, CNN,  GE, IHOP, Microsoft, Burger King, Fed Ex, MTV, Hyatt Corp, the list goes on and on.  New opportunities are born each day, even during tough economic times, but only those “brave” enough to view the economic situation as a positive will make that first step toward owning their own business.

 All businesses face challenges.  One challenge that has caused many companies to fail is the lack of planning.  We hear of companies that were lax in their spending, controls, systems, analysis, and structuring.  With companies having to “tighten their belts” many people are caught in the pinch.  When you start a business or are nurturing it through the infancy stage, your attention to detail and the key systems of your business is exceptionally strong.

Whether you are looking for a job or starting a business, you will face challenges.  Now add the ability to utilize many years of experience in developing, implementing, and monitoring systems to your arsenal.  Perhaps you are thinking “I don’t have many years of experience, and little or no exposure to those things.”  Franchising allows you the ability to have that experience and knowledge at your finger tips.    Put your determination, abilities, and drive to work for you.  Consider franchising as a way to start your own business.

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If you feel the time is right to nourish your entrepreneurial spirit, consider looking at a franchise instead of trying to go it alone.  There are many reasons you may want to consider franchising as an alternative to starting your own business.  Books and articles are being written each day emphasizing why franchising is a good idea.

As a Franchise Recruiter at Outdoor Living Brands, I find many of the same driving factors that have future business owners looking to become involved in a franchised business. 

  • Training – you don’t know what you don’t know.  So allowing a successful franchise organization to guide you through the process of figuring it all out is crucial.
  • Marketing – knowing who your target market is and how to reach them can make all the difference in the beginning of your business and through-out it tenure.
  • Help Getting Started – what do you need to do to start a business?  Sound like a simple enough question to answer, but again, you don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Brand Recognition – if you are starting from scratch with a name no one has seen or heard before, the touch points needed to get your brand recognized increases.
  • Lower failure rate – with a dedicated team of professionals working with you, you avoid making the same mistakes they may have made when starting out, so your ability to succeed is increased.
  • Faster Return on Investment – if you are constantly infusing capital into your business to compensate for rookie or novice mistakes, the amount of time it takes to recoup your investment grows.

Take advantage of the experience of others and investigate the opportunities franchising affords you.  There are many franchise concepts available in multiple arenas and finding the one that works for you may be easier than you think.  Check out the websites of some of the businesses that appeal to you.  Your future endeavors could be a click away.

As Vice President of Branding and Marketing for Outdoor Living Brands, a fun part of my job is speaking with new business entrepreneurs around the world who are considering investing in one of our outdoor living franchise concepts. Last week I had four such telephone conversations (assisted by WebEx technology so they could see my desktop) to discuss marketing opportunities in our available territories for Archadeck (America’s leading builder of decks and custom outdoor living spaces), Mosquito Squad (America’s leading mosquito and tick control franchise) and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (America’s leading architectural and landscape lighting franchise for both residential and commercial clients).

But it’s the third conversation that comes to mind this morning as I write this. While reviewing the Archadeck branding and marketing system to this potential new Archadeck franchise owner in Texas, I noticed that he was especially attentive…and silent. When I asked if he had any questions, his response was “uh…no…I’m just overwhelmed with happiness.”

As a lifelong entrepreneur who has started and operated many successful businesses throughout his illustrious career, he said that our Archadeck marketing system was like a dream come true. “I know how to start and run a success business…but I fall short when it comes to knowing how to market them.”

For anyone interested in becoming a franchise owner within the Outdoor Living Brands family of outdoor living concepts, the good news is that the innovative and thorough marketing system that supports and guides local Archadeck businesses is also true for Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad. Each of our brands has a proven system of marketing and lead generation tools to help new franchisees launch and successfully run their outdoor living business. In addition to continuously updating our catalog of marketing and lead generation artwork templates (for brochures, sales sheets, door hangers, postcards, vehicle signage and much, much more) our in-house marketing team of strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and creative thinkers are always available to support our franchise owners to help bring their marketing vision to life.

For example, with Lyme disease reaching epidemic proportions throughout many areas of the United States, our franchise owners in the Washington DC area, Rhode Island, and Northern Virginia have asked us to help articulate new strategies to communicate how well Mosquito Squad barrier sprays kill dangerous and annoying mosquitoes and ticks. These strategies include conventional media executions in print, broadcast and direct mail, as well as more forward-thinking ones in interactive social online media.

Well, that’s it for today. My blog posting rule is with morning coffee on weekends…and I just finished my second cup. If our paths should cross again during a discovery phone call as you explore an Outdoor Living Brands new business franchise opportunity, I look forward to speaking with in person. All the best.