The franchising industry is the doorway to a world of opportunity. Thousands of franchises offer countless concepts, all with varying startup costs. And while many require a storefront and overhead expenses, a large number of them – ranging from pest control to dance fitness lessons to deck and lighting companies and repair services – can be operated right from home. Home-based franchises are becoming viable options for business ownership, enabling many new franchisors to grow their businesses more effectively Franchise Finder Find the right franchise for you! Explore our directory of over 800 franchise opportunties.

The popularity of home-based businesses has been growing for a while now. Home-based entrepreneurship has become so common, in fact, that those running businesses from home have earned their own title, “homepreneurs,” and have become significant pillars in the economy. According to a recent survey conducted by Small Business Success Index and analyzed by Emergent Research, there are currently about 6.6 million home businesses nationwide that generate at least 50 percent of the owner’s household income. These businesses employ over 13 million people; 35 percent of them generate more than $125,000 in revenue, and 8 percent generate more than $500,000.

So what’s driving this trend? There are many factors, one of which is the struggling economy. “Home-based franchising is alive and well and, in this down economy, thriving,” explains Harold Kestenbaum, a franchise attorney who has worked with more than 100 franchise concepts. “More franchise companies have gone to the home-based model, when possible, since the tightness of the credit market has made selling the big-box franchises very difficult. The home-based model opens up the opportunities for prospects with lower budgets, which is a good thing.”

Additionally, as technology becomes more sophisticated, it’s easier than ever to operate a business from home and still portray a professional image. “As technology continues to offer more and more communications abilities, such as Web conferencing and seamless communication systems, home-based franchising will continue to be a viable option for many companies looking for qualified buyers and for buyers who wish to have the flexibility of working at a home base,” says Alisa Harrison, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the International Franchise Association.

Finally, the once somewhat negative stigma associated with working from home is dissipating as the entire image of the traditional workplace is undergoing a metamorphosis. According to data released in January from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people who worked at home increased from about 9.5 million in 1999 to about 11.3 million in 2005. Furthermore, nearly half of these home-based workers had college degrees, and nearly half of them earned $75,000 a year or more. As the whole concept of working from home becomes more common, so does the idea of running a franchise from home.

The flexibility and freedom of running a business from home helps franchisees realize their dream of starting a business, but it also enables franchisors to introduce new concepts and grow their businesses. With home-based franchising becoming more widespread, those searching for a franchise may not have to roam too far from home to find – and start – a business of their own. (Sara Wilson)

When Scott Anderson was looking for a way to grow his business, and leverage his existing customer base, he opted to pursue a franchise opportunity.  On January 11, 2010, Scott inquired about an Outdoor Living Brands franchise opportunity.  Scott and his father, Keith, had worked hard to build a successful business in the Augusta, Georgia area.  

Scott and Keith began the process of investigating a franchise opportunity in mid January, 2010.  Keith attended a Confirmation Day in early February, the Franchise Agreement was executed on February 18th and the business was launched in March, 2010. 

Below is Scott’s story in his own words.

“My name is Scott Anderson, I purchased the Mosquito Squad franchise in Augusta, Georgia in February.  My father and I currently own a Landscape Design/Build and Management firm.  We felt like Mosquito Squad would be a great complimentary business for a few different reasons.   

1.  It is a great way to sale additional services.   

2.  It offers a great service to our customers.  Our customers spend large money on projects in their yard so they can enjoy the yard.  Pests such as Mosquitoes can make for undesirable evenings in a back yard.  We felt like Mosquito Squad was a nice solution to our customer’s problems. 

Though we have not started spraying as of yet, I recently finished my training and I am working on my marketing strategy and I am very optimistic.  Mosquito Squad has given me the tools to start this new business.  I feel that it will be a great success.” 

When business owners have worked diligently to grow their customer base, build a referral network, and have provided excellent customer service and begin looking for a way to leverage their experience, franchising can be the best way to achieve their growth objectives.  Utilizing a proven system allows you the opportunity to add a service with a team of professionals assisting with getting up the learning curve while you focus on your business.

Getting customers to plunk down cash or credit cards remains a painfully slow process in this struggling economy. And that’s precisely why it’s important–and always will be–to lure potential buyers with promotions. In fact, coming up with attractive promotions has become a bigger deal than ever.

When done correctly, promotions get customers out of a holding pattern by giving them an incentive to take action before a limited-time offer expires.

1. Target your effort
Promotions can spur purchases by established customers, reel in new customers, draw customers from competitors, get current customers to buy differently, and stimulate business during slow periods. But rarely can one promotion accomplish all of those objectives at once. As a result, you must decide which of the following is most important so that you can target your effort:

  • Do you want customers to purchase more frequently, buy in greater volume, or   be attracted to new or different offerings?
  • Do you want to lure new customers into your business?
  • Do you want lapsed customers to give your business another try?
  • Do you want to boost business during slow hours, weekdays or particular seasons?

After carefully and thoughtfully defining the audience and the change you want your promotion to inspire, ask yourself this question: If you offer a time-limited incentive, is it likely that the customers you’ve targeted will respond? If so, continue to the next step.

2. Plan your incentive
A well-thought-out, properly targeted promotion prompts customers to take action by offering one of these incentives:

  • Price savings, including discounts, coupons or added value offers
  • Samples or trial offers to provide a low-risk way to try new products or services
  • Events or experiences to generate crowds, enthusiasm, sales, publicity

As you decide on your incentive, keep these facts in mind:

Price offers must be strong enough to compel, but reasonable enough to keep your business out of red ink.

Coupons always make a comeback in penny-pincher markets, which means they’re hugely popular these days. Even young consumers and affluent shoppers–groups that traditionally shun coupons–are using them, boosting the typical 1 to 2 percent redemption rate by nearly 20 percent.

Samples work in all lines of business to let customers try before buying. The key is to sample products that are so great they’ll win raves and repeat business.

  • Online-based businesses need to promote free samples prominently in an effort to attract links, visitors, site registrations and publicity.
  • Retailers can turn sampling into promotional events. Think of Costco on weekends.
  • Service businesses would do well to give away mini versions of their offerings. For example, five-minute shoulder massages or one-hour home decorating consultations.

Events and experiences draw customers for celebrations, product launches, special appearances or presentations, and other activities that combine entertainment with brand and product presentations.

3. Know what you want to achieve
Promotions work especially well when consumers are in need of a jolt to take buying action. Just be clear about what you want to achieve.

By knowing the potential bottom-line impact of your promotion, you’ll have the information you need to allocate a promotion budget, dedicate staff time and invest the energy necessary to host a strong promotion that will deliver business-boosting results over the time period it covers.

Typically with most franchise concepts, such as Outdoor Living Brands, the marketing and branding support to create these types of promotions is at your fingertips

 

Home and garden shows showcase a wide array of products and services for consumers.  Frequently scheduled in the spring and summer, local home and garden shows can be significant in helping you build a strong list of prospective clients. 

Outdoor Living Brands works with Franchisees to understand how important these events can be to the overall marketing strategy of their business.  Taking time to properly prepare for these events is crucial.  Consider the audience you are trying to reach and design your area accordingly.

A nice presentation will draw attention to your products or services, and having the right person representing your business is extremely important.  Work with and coach these individuals to make sure they are knowledgeable about your business, and have the professional demeanor you want to portray to potential clients.  You only have one chance to make a first impression.

When utilized properly, your efforts at home and garden shows may result in a number of new leads.  Remember, you have made that first impression, and now the follow-up on those leads must be just as impressive.  If you find yourself overwhelmed with clients, it is a good problem to have.  Reach out to those clients as quickly as possible to let them know how important their business is to you.

Home and garden shows are a great way to promote your business, and with the proper execution and follow up, you will find the marketing investment well spent.  Research the events in your area, and you may find multiple opportunities in the outdoor living arena.

True marketing professionals are creative geniuses.  Recently, my daughter and I came into the office over the weekend to tie up a few loose ends.  Finding office work more than a bit boring, my daughter quickly became dissatisfied waiting for me to complete those dreaded tasks.

As she waited, she picked out a few pens and markers from my desk and began to color.  She was drawing pictures, coloring them, and leaving them for my co-workers as surprises.  As I watched her for a moment, I remembered receiving a notification from Outdoor Living Brands’ award winning marketing team that the Dread Skeeter coloring book was nearing completion.

 A quick search of my computer located a draft version of the piece.  I printed the book and gave it to her.  Her reaction was amazing.  She was so excited to see the character that she had seen in mommy’s office depicted in “a real-life coloring book”.  She sat quietly, which for a five year old is quite a feat, for over an hour, coloring and looking at the pictures.

When she finished coloring, she came over and went through each page telling me what she saw and the story that she felt went along with each picture.  Her enthusiasm and excitement with the coloring book took my attention away from the tasks I was endeavoring to complete.  All of the sudden Dread Skeeter and the Mosquito Squad story were taking center stage.

What creative geniuses the marketing professionals at Outdoor Living Brands are.  By providing a piece of material to a child, they drew the attention of the parent to their product.  These coloring books will be available from the Mosquito Squad Franchisee’s websites.  Their customers can download these coloring books for their children, family members, or visitors.  The Franchisee’s can provide a copy to potential customers at daycare centers, schools, libraries, etc.  True marketing professionals, like the award winning team at Outdoor Living Brands, are truly creative geniuses – My hats off to each of you.

Don Lee from the Los Angeles Times reported “more than 4 million jobs disappeared in 2009.”   “The economy needs to create about 125,000 net jobs a month to keep pace with the growing population and workforce, and economists say it will take growth of at least that many payrolls a month to make an appreciable dent in the unemployment rate.”  Dan Indiviglio from the Atlantic business section stated “one in six Americans can’t find full-time work.” 

Who are these unemployed Americans?  They are good people in an unfortunate situation.  My sister is a prime example of this “part-time” statistic.  When her employer reduced her hours to keep her employed, she quickly began a search for a second part-time job.  While she remained employed as a “part-timer”, many of her co-workers took the attitude “I will take the lay-off, cut back on expenses, draw unemployment, and then I will focus on finding a new job when things get better”. 

My sister began her quest for a second part-time early in 2009.  Immediately, she saw this was going to be a challenge.  Even with many marketable skills, the number of people who were losing their seasonal retail jobs, had already added competition for very few available positions.  She found that her quest to be selective in “finding just the right thing” gave way to “I have to get something soon”.  By August, 2009, she was working four part-time jobs to reach the level of income she required.    Finally, after a year of diligently “pounding the pavement”, she found and accepted full-time employment in December, 2009.

Many of her former co-workers, who made the decision to put off their quest for employment, found themselves in dire financial situations.  When they had exceeded the time limit for eligibility for unemployment, they began utilizing funds they had saved for their future and retirement for living expenses.  Some opted to move in hopes of finding something/anything that would fulfill that need of financial support. 

This story does have a happy ending for my sister, and a couple of her co-workers.  One man opted to start his own business.  At first, he struggled to learn and grasp what it actually means to own your own business.  He invested a great deal of time and a sizeable portion of his savings into this venture.  He worked very hard and his business struggled a bit, but he was finally on his feet, and had just offered a job to one of their former co-workers.  Both men were elated – one because he started a business and was able to help a friend – the other because he “finally found a job”. 

When I visited with my sister over the holidays, I spoke with the man who had started his own business about what he had learned throughout the experience.  One key take away that I wasn’t surprised to hear was “it was harder to do it myself than I thought it would be, but now I don’t have to worry about being laid off or looking for another job.” 

I spoke briefly with him about my role in franchise recruiting with Outdoor Living Brands, and explained how I work with many individuals in similar circumstances to those he faced.  By the end of the conversation, you could see the proverbial light bulb go off – and he stated – “if I had known then what I know now – I would have bought a franchise, and maybe I would have been in a position to hire someone even earlier.”  I was truly inspired that he was looking for ways to be part of the solution to the unemployment problem and not a victim or part of the problem.

As the leader of an outdoor living franchise company, we are always looking for qualified and properly capitalized franchisees to join our franchise systems – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad.

I am delighted to announce a record setting new class of Mosquito Squad franchisees will be starting their initial training in Richmond on December 7, 2009. This is the largest training class ever for Mosquito Squad and Outdoor Living Brands; it completes our efforts to more than double the Mosquito Squad franchise system in 2009. The new franchisees will be preparing to launch their franchise operations in 2010 and will start protecting families from both the annoying bites and the dangers of insect borne diseases next spring. 

MSF 3560 December 2009 Record Training Press Release – Final

I (and our entire team) look forward to supporting these new franchisees to help them to reach their personal, business and lifestyle objectives that led them to invest in and launch their Mosquito Squad franchise businesses!