Why do you want to own your own business? Let’s talk about it…
Sitting behind your desk (perhaps a very nice desk), in a posh office, working for someone else in a crisp white-collar position affords a regular salary, benefits and maybe even an ego-boost, but it isn’t safe. Corporate downsizing is not a thing of the past and neither is the possibility that your comfort as a loyal employee will not end in a security-smashing layoff. You are not safer working for someone else’s company, no matter how high your salary, no matter how they praise your efforts and the reason is simple – it is not yours. The reason you want to own your own business is because the many beads of sweat and hours of driven concentration into your career should be funneled directly into a venture that belongs to you and rewards you directly.
Bob Ylinen, Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International in Northern California, has helped many promising and producing entrepreneurs shake off the shackles of the workforce through both new and existing franchise opportunities. People with different goals and varied needs from hard-working folks with a dream to white-collar professionals with great capital and a vision come to Bob and his colleagues for advice and he is pleased to be able to help them develop the right plan.
On business ownership, Bob shares, “Owning your own business can provide you much more security than working for an employer. As you grow your business and add more staff you are actually creating and climbing your own company ladder with yourself at the top. Working for a company you are starting at the lower rungs of the ladder looking to get to the next rung. Sometimes those rungs are not available. No matter how good a position you have working for someone else, at the end of the day when it is time to retire, nobody is going to buy your job from you. By owning your own business you benefit from your efforts, the equity you have built becomes part of your retirement strategy and a potential buyer will pay a premium for a well-managed and profitable operation.”
There is good reason to collect your things and get out from behind the desk that serves to make someone else’s company quite profitable. Drop the illusion of job-security and look at the facts: A study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas cautions that in the fall of 2015 “employers [had] announced 493,431 planned layoffs for the year” and that’s an increase from the same period the previous year of 36% and 2% more than in all of 2014.
Joe Brenneis, co-owner of Minuteman Press in Norwalk, Connecticut, worked in the printing industry for many years. Despite all of the years of putting in dedicated work, he was forced to deal with the effects of being laid off. Joe decided he wanted to own his own business and put his great expertise into a venture that was his own, finally. He and his business partner, Greg Duffey, are proud and successful captains of their own futures and wouldn’t change that for a “top-paying job” for someone else. Joe shares, “I could never go back and work for someone else. You need a strong will to be your own boss and run your own place – Minuteman Press International as a corporation is great at doing market research, so between what we know and the corporate office, it’s a win. Buying power of corporate cannot be matched by an independent printer. They do the legwork and it’s up to us to continue it and put it into operation.”
Joe and Greg are now experienced, successful franchisees and they are always looking for ways to upgrade their capabilities to match the needs of the business services industry they serve. They also willingly share their knowledge and guidance with fellow franchise owners, and are proud to do so. This element of comradery in select franchise systems is like gold to a new business owner. Joe explains, “We made sure to have digital equipment as well as a new cutter and press. We are constantly upgrading and a lot of that comes from the fact that we spent our lives in the trade. We also help a lot of fellow Minuteman Press owners with technical questions – we are very happy to do that.”
Now that you know why, here are 4 tips on HOW to choose a prime business opportunity:
1. It has to make you bounce out of bed in the morning! What is it that excites your creative and professional drive when you open your eyes each day? Buying and running a business puts a lot on the line, including your time and money, so to fully engage and make it thrive, you must enjoy the prospect of taking command and running the day to day operations as the boss. The employees you will have will be only as passionate as you are each day. Choose a business that incorporates things you love, from the creative to the managerial aspects and your dedication will translate throughout your operation and into your growing customer base – and they will want more.
2. Write your objectives down. When you put something in writing, it tends to take on a legitimacy that can serve a very useful purpose. Write down where you hope your business will take you in terms of lifestyle, money and eventual retirement. If it is organized well, you provide yourself with the gift of clarity, purpose and greater resolve on your trek to owning your own business. This is a great time to seek advice from industry leaders!
3. If you are a franchise hopeful… Gerhard Snyman, owner of Minuteman Press franchise in Hatfield, South Africa, emphasizes, “Keep to the core business of the franchise and do not get distracted with gimmicks that will not give you the much needed cash flow and profitability that is so important especially in the early days. Apply what you learned at training and LISTEN to the advice of the experts from your franchisor.”
4. Be a smart business owner and secure support. You are laying out your time, resources, expertise and hopes on the line, so do not take this task on by yourself. It isn’t necessary and it isn’t smart. Once your business is up and running, you must feverishly network through all channels, from social media to traditional networks such as chambers of commerce and other business clubs. Building a strong group of fellow business owners means gaining support that can yield referrals and advice when needed. Get over to a marketing specialist and have them design and print marketing collateral and advise you on the best strategy for your particular objectives. If you elect to open a franchise, you may have a leg-up on independent business owner counterparts through training and field support on the local level.
Bo Gustafsson, owner of International Minute Press in Scotsdale, Arizona, wouldn’t trade his position as business owner, now that he has tasted its rewards. Loud and clear, Bo states, “Nothing is better than having freedom to control your own destiny and future for yourself and loved ones.”
Owning a business is a viable option for laid off white-collar workers
Neil MacLeod, Regional Vice President in Vancouver, Canada for Minuteman Press International, has noticed a trend in his area towards “white-collar” individuals who possess capital enough to take advantage of higher-volume, existing franchise opportunities or, if they prefer, prime, new locations.
Neil shares, “Many of the people I assist as they make their way into business ownership are middle aged, higher income earners that have been victims of downsizing or layoffs. This has been especially evident in the oil patch areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan where there has been a major downturn in the industry due to the current low price of oil. Many of these people are having a difficult time finding employment that will provide them with the income to maintain the lifestyle they have come accustomed to. They are also competing with younger applicants that are willing to take the positions at much lower salaries. Owning their own business has become a viable option for several reasons. Income opportunity, control of their own destiny, independence and quality of life are some of the main reasons to own a business.”
Build something for yourself
You do want to own your own business and the reasons include the chance to live a lifestyle enhanced with hours that serve you well AND the satisfaction of building something for yourself and/or your predecessors rather than someone else.
Rebekah Allen, owner of International Minute Press in Phoenix, Arizona, offers an optimistic summary, as she shares, “Being your own boss is exhilarating and challenging. Hard work results in joy and pride of a job well done. It gives you the freedom for your own personality and interests to be a part of your day. There is a self-satisfying reward of accomplishment through your decisions and leadership that is unlike anything you get working for others.”
Minuteman Press is the world’s largest design, marketing and printing franchise. We are rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur in 2016, marking 13 times in a row and 24 times overall.
Learn more about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities by calling 1-800-645-3006 (there is no obligation to you) or visit www.minutemanpressfranchise.com.