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TheStreet Open House

Top Five Tips For A Successful Franchise

OMAHA, Neb., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The current economic climate has many Americans adjusting their career paths, and exploring new opportunities — including starting their own businesses. Since 2001, the number of people who primarily work on their own has increased by 1.3 million to reach 10.6 million, a significant 14 percent, according to a recent Forbes article.

Home Instead Senior Care ®, the leading global provider of non-medical in-home care for seniors, knows what it takes to succeed in sluggish economic conditions. In less than 20 years, the franchise network has grown from one office in Omaha, Neb., to more than 950 franchise offices worldwide. Home Instead wants to share its recipe for success with others, and offers the following advice for those harboring franchise dreams. 

  1. Think demographics. Consider the population composition, nationally, globally and in your community. What are its needs, behaviors and preferences? How do people live their daily lives? You'll want to identify where consumers in your target market spend their money and how they make financial decisions to determine what products and services they'll find worthwhile. Then deliver on one of those products or services.  
  2. Doing what you love pays. Know yourself. Awareness of your preferences and natural strengths, and pursuing your interests is critical. You're most likely to excel and work hard when you find the work meaningful and you are passionate about it. 
  3. Address unmet needs. The most successful businesses meet important yet unmet needs, which allows them to occupy niches with little or no competition. Apple with its iPhone, did just this — bringing together, in a mobile device, information useful to people while on the move.  Home Instead Senior Care also founded its business on the unmet need of a growing senior population and the generation's intention to age in place.
  4. Don't underestimate the power of good timing. Interest rates for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, for example, are at an all-time low. Starting a business when rates are favorable can help lock-in terms that free capital over time and reduce overall business costs. 
  5. Partner for success. Do you have a great business mind, but your spouse is terrific with people? Your talented spouse can balance weaknesses (and vice versa) that could otherwise hinder your success. A husband-wife partnership enables you to bring a robust and well-rounded skill-set to market. Those not quite ready to give a new business idea a try may consider buying into an existing franchise. Catherine and Todd Vaughan, Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners in Novato, California, are an outstanding example of a couple that has reaped significant personal fulfillment through an existing business.   

According to Catherine, "After decades in our respective careers, we began a personal journey of building a business and serving the seniors in our community. When we meet with clients, they are impressed by the fact that a family issue as sensitive as arranging care for a loved one is being personally handled by our husband and wife team. We also recognize our individual skills and divide the business responsibilities accordingly. There is nothing more satisfying than owning your own business and making it a success, with your life partner by your side." 

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