Found Three Interesting Businesses – Chose One for Myself!

They say everything comes in threes, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that I  found myself  interested in three businesses recently…

We’d just returned from an awesome six week trip to the States and I was focused on finding an ideal business, either for me to purchase or to showcase to you.  But I hadn’t expected to find three interesting opportunities around the same time… especially when none of them accurately fitted my personal hit list!

My Mentor had wisely suggested that when looking for a business for myself, I should write down all the things I wanted from it, so that I’d find it easier to ‘tick or flick’ when I looking at all the opportunities currently available.

I decided that an online business (or three) was going to be the most suitable for me.  As I see it there are three key benefits :

  1. I could work from home, from a coffee shop, or anywhere in the world!
  2. I wouldn’t have the overheads of a commercial premises.
  3. I could use online contractors rather than manage employees.

Plus, one of the exciting things about online businesses is that you would normally pay no more than 1 x EBITDA (basically the annual net profit), whereas for a normal ‘offline’ business you would pay 2 or 3 x EBITDA.

My first surprise ….

Electric multimeterI found a very well run, local business with great financials and a meticulous, honest and ethical vendor. He and his wife run the business but it seemed to me that it was still a viable business if it were to be run under management and still give me close to a six figure income.  It didn’t comply with my ‘no employees’ or ‘no commercial lease’ criteria, but my partner could have run the workshop if necessary, and the  lease was month to month at a very low cost.  The business also involved some interstate travel – that’s always good!

My second surprise …

Make money onlineI stumbled on a well established online business with a great niche.  This one also shows good income and has been running for about 8 years.  The couple who set up the business have done very well out of it, and enjoyed some overseas tax deductible travel too.  Although it was his wife’s passion and she set it up initially, the husband is now working in it while the wife takes care of their small children.  Hubby gave up his own business to run this one,  but as it involves female clothing, it’s really not his core passion and he wants to get back to his usual line of more masculine work.  With a double garage for stock-holding, this business could be run from anyone’s home rather than needing to rent premises.  One owner working full time could operate the business … but again this one is viable with an employee too it seems.

My third surprise…

IMG_0905I walked into a shop that I’d never noticed before, about 10 minutes from home.  It’s a Retro / Vintage recycled clothing store with two employees and a commercial lease commitment of almost 2 years plus a further 5 year option.  The financials were not very exciting.  The size of the store is good and the location is quite good too, although it’s not on the main street.  No interstate or overseas travel potential here.

So, can you guess which one I chose to purchase?

No prizes this time, but just FYI it was the 3rd business!

Why? There’s a number of reasons but you could just call it ‘serendipity’ … in fact the business is called,  House of Serendipity!  It’s a great store – with lots of surprises and it’s located at Shop 4/4 Partridge St. Glenelg, South Australia.

I’m enjoying learning more about the fashion business and having fun with staff and customers – so if you’re ever in the area, please drop by and say ‘Hi’ 🙂

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Franchise vs License

Franchise vs. Licensing: Which is the Better Option?

What’s the difference between a franchise and a license?

At first glance, it may seem there’s little to distinguish between these two business arrangements, but the legal and commercial differences are more substantial than you may think.

What is a franchise?

In order to establish whether an agreement or arrangement is in fact a franchise, four elements need to be carefully considered:

  1. Trusted brand stampThe existence of an agreement, written or oral.
  2. The use of a trademark or brand names owned by the franchisor.
  3. Payment of a fee for the right to conduct the business which may include training fees, a capital investment fee or royalty, and license fees.
  4. Provision of a marketing plan substantially determined or controlled by the franchisor.

If a business model contains these four elements, it will be judged by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) as a franchise.

Benefits of Franchising

Franchisers offer exclusive rights to a geographical territory while licensing companies do not offer such protection. In addition, franchisers typically provide ongoing training, the use of a trademark and/or well-known brand name, a marketing plan, and ongoing support. In other words, franchises tend to encompass a wider range of elements, offer more to the franchisee, and expect more in return than licensing.

What is a license?

Licensing is simply a business structure and method of distributing goods and services. In most cases, the licensee does not retain rights to use the company’s trademark or receive territorial rights. In addition, licensees don’t usually receive much in the way of training or ongoing support.

Benefits of Licensing

License opportunities are generally less expensive than franchises in both upfront investment and ongoing fees. After the initial purchase of a licensing agreement, the licensee normally has no financial obligations to the licensing company other than purchasing products. On the other hand, franchises require royalty payments on all future sales. Licensing also allows more freedom and flexibility of ownership.

What does this mean for you?

Deciding which option is best for you will depend on several factors including your individual situation and goals.Which way pic

It is critical you understand the differences between a franchise and licenses. Franchising typically means a higher degree of commitment – far more than a licensing agreement.

If you don’t want to build a brand yourself or spend the time, effort, and expense of developing your own marketing plan, then perhaps a franchise can provide the structure and guidance necessary for you to succeed.

Perhaps you do not have the several thousands of dollars required to purchase a franchise or do not want to share a percentage of your ongoing revenue or pay ongoing fees. If you have business experience in starting and operating your own business and do not need or want the detailed support or tight controls often required by a franchise, licensing may be a better option.

Whichever path you choose, research the company and review disclosure documents carefully before making this important decision.

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A Career that Makes You Feel Good by Doing Good

FINDING A CAREER / JOBSWhen it comes to job satisfaction, some careers are better than others. As might be expected, income and growth potential play a large role in contentment. However, before you seek out the fattest paycheck you can find, studies also show that careers boasting the highest number of happy workers aren’t necessarily the best paying. Instead, what truly makes workers feel satisfied is getting to help others and utilizing specialized technical expertise.

At the end of the day, I think we all would like to make a living doing something we truly enjoy while adding value to the lives of others. Since we spend a large percentage of our life working, it makes sense to do something we love. If we’re also financially rewarded for our work, our quality of life will improve even more.

It’s no surprise that many people searching for a lucrative and rewarding career are drawn to business coaching. While teaching, guiding, mentoring, motivating, and encouraging their clients, business coaches feel a sense of satisfaction helping other people make a positive difference in their life. Imagine, getting paid to help other people achieve success!

If this idea appeals to you, the real question is how do you get started?

Unfortunately, many expensive programs and franchises promise unrealistic results and fail to deliver a real world solution. The typical “system” often includes a coaching manual, a motivational training program, and some client acquisition strategies. People come back from the franchise training program all pumped up, but then reality sets in and they discover it’s really hard to get clients. And when they finally do get one, they don’t have the right solutions to help them.

I personally looked at quite a few business coaching models, franchises, and licenses. Most I found were very expensive – some wanted more than $100,000 upfront – and didn’t have a good solution for building up clientele. Then I discovered The Business Hive, a business model that integrates coaching with networking. I spent some time talking to Keith Henry, one of the directors of the Business Hive, about this opportunity – what they do, what makes them different, how it works, benefits for the customers, and what’s in it for you if you were to be a buyer – and thought he was very upfront and helpful.

Keith Henry -  Business Hive (BAB)

Keith has been in business pretty much all of his adult life. Despite a near fatal surfing accident in the 1980s, he continued his quest to use his entrepreneurial skills to help people. Owner of a number of successful businesses, Keith has a passion to help businesses grow and become successful. He is one of those lucky people that have an exhilarating and enjoyable career helping people achieve their dreams.

The Business Hive has an unbelievably low upfront cost to purchase a license!  Plus it helps you launch your own network in about six weeks and you can start earning money within about two months. They developed and packaged coaching products for you to use at monthly networking meetings and with coaching clients. This includes a 30-minute professionally recorded coaching program along with workbooks and implementation strategies designed by Australia’s top business coaches…it looks like an ideal and easy start up business.

Ideally, you can watch and listen to the program, read all the notes and workshop information, and learn and develop your own unique coaching style and approach …all the while getting paid.

Don’t let all the hyped-up promises of Internet get-rich schemes stop you from searching for a legitimate way to get paid for doing something enjoyable and worthwhile.

To learn more about the Business Hive, including the rewards, risks, suggestions, and financial potential available through this coaching and networking opportunity, you can download the recording of my interview with Keith Henry.

Proceed to Business Hive SELLER SPOTLIGHT

To Fun and Fortune!

– Rachel Barnes

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12 Xmas Cracker Website Tips for Small Business (part 6)

12 Valuable Web Tips for Small Business …

Missed the previous tips?  No worries …Click here to access them too.

Tip #11 of 12…  Should your blog be separate to your website? Find out now…

web-blogIf you’ve decided to use blogging as a part of your internet marketing strategy, you’ll inevitably wonder whether it’s better to keep your blog separate from your website, or combine the two.

Blogging is a powerful tool if you’re committed to posting fresh content regularly. Google loves fresh content, and you want it to love your website too.

By rolling your website and blog into one, you’ll generate more search engine love, and therefore more traffic.

So, if your website and blog are separate (which often occurs because your website is old, or built on the cheap), its time to start planning your new blog-based site.

Click me for more valuable information!

Click me for more valuable information!

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button….

 

Tip #12 of 12…  Three most important copywriting tips for small businesses

copywriting tipsA website’s copy (text-based content) is a powerful tool for engaging potential customers, but very few small businesses take advantage of it.

If you don’t have the budget for a professional copywriter right now, take on board these tips when writing your own copy.

  • You might think that headlines are for newspaper articles and cheesy sales letters. WRONG. Headlines and sub-headings are essential for small business websites. Not only do they grab the attention of potential customers, they help to break up blocks of text, making the page more visually appealing.
  • Avoid run-on sentences and bulky paragraphs. Aim to keep paragraphs to a maximum of 3 lines.
  • Check, double check and have someone else triple check your spelling and grammar. Nothing screams ‘unprofessional’ and ‘sloppy’ quite like a multitude of typo’s.

 

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button above…

Information supplied courtesy of Laura Braithwaite – Southern Xposure

 

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12 Xmas Cracker Website Tips for Small Business (part 5)

12 Valuable Web Tips for Small Business …

Missed the previous tips?  No worries …Click here to access them too.

Tip #9 of 12…  How to make money from a monkey…

money-monkeyMost internet marketers agree that ‘the money is in the list’; In other words, a business’ value and ability to generate revenue, are determined by the size and quality of its database.

But these days, when it comes to the size of your bank balance, the money is not in the list itself… it’s in your relationship with the list.

Regularly communicating with your list (in a way that provides value and a clear call to action) keeps you top of mind, and connected with potential customers.

But how?

One of the best online email marketing tools you can implement is Mailchimp, www.mailchimp.com. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s free.

Use Mailchimp to output a subscription form for your website (to capture the details of potential customers), manage your list and create great looking emails (plus much, much more).

Discover what all the fuss is about. Check Mailchimp out today.

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Click me for more valuable information!

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button….

 

Tip #10 of 12…  The most important question to ask when hiring a website designer…

 

web-designWhen hiring a website designer, you need just that… a website designer. Not a graphic designer. Not an artist. Not your mate’s second cousin who ‘dabbles’ in websites.

After meeting with them, viewing their portfolio and doing your “due diligence”, the number one question to ask is this… Are they business minded?

You’ll know they’re not, if they are overly preoccupied with the look of the website (as opposed to strategy, engagement, user-friendliness and results).

So be warned… Hire a graphic designer, artist or amateur to design your website and you’ll probably be signing up for a wild (and disappointing) ride.

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button above….
For Tips 11 and 12 Click here!

Information supplied courtesy of Laura Braithwaite – Southern Xposure

 

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12 Xmas Cracker Website Tips for Small Business (part 4)

12 Valuable Web Tips for Small Business …

Missed the previous tips?  No worries …Click here to access them too.

Tip #7 of 12…  At last! A free, easy, online tool to get your images ‘website-ready’…

web-photo-resizerWant to add photos to your website, but know they’re far too big, and don’t have access to Photoshop?

Resizing images is now not only easy… it’s free, with the online tool at www.webresizer.com

Have a go. You’ll love it (and save yourself a few dollars, by not having to pay your designer to do it).

Click me for more valuable information!

Click me for more valuable information!

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button….

 

Tip #8 of 12…  3 top tips for designing a user-friendly website…

 

weblayoutWebsite visitors come to your website looking for information. They want it, and they want it now.

To keep them happy and on track to making a purchase, your website needs to be user-friendly. To help you create a user-friendly website, remember these tips:

  • The fewer clicks to access content, the better
  • Give users at least two ways of accessing important information or tools (such as – via a dropdown menu AND a link in a feature box)
  • Make it very clear to the user, on each and every page, what you want them to do next.

 

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button above….
For Tips 9 and 10 Click here!

 

 

Information supplied courtesy of Laura Braithwaite – Southern Xposure

 

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12 Xmas Cracker Website Tips for Small Business (part 3)

12 Valuable Web Tips for Small Business …

Missed the previous tips?  No worries …Click here to access them too.

Tip #5 of 12… Which is better… .com or .com.au?   Find out now…

So, you’re looking to get a domain name for your business, but aren’t sure whether to opt for a .com or .com.au?

domainsThis can be answered by asking one little question… Is your business hoping to attract a local, or an international market?

If local, go for a .com.au.

If international, choose .com.

If both local and international… you may want to register both (or a multitude of country specific domains), to keep cover all bases.

Click me for more valuable information!

Click me for more valuable information!

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button….

 

Tip #6 of 12… Having multiple ‘keyword’ based domain names – is it worth it?  Find out now…

keywordChoosing a domain name that’s keyword rich, e.g. www.bushwalkingboots.com.au can be beneficial in terms of  ‘search engine optimization’ (how well you rank in Google and other search engine search result listings).

But, if you already have a domain (your business name, for example), is it worth getting a keyword rich domain name, and pointing it to your existing site?

The answer is (generally) no. The only way it could be really beneficial is if you set up a whole other website with unique content.

So, you may as well save your money.

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button above….

 

For Tips 7 and 8 Click here!

Information supplied courtesy of Laura Braithwaite – Southern Xposure

 

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12 Xmas Cracker Website Tips for Small Business (part 2)

12 Valuable Web Tips for Small Business …

Missed the previous tips?  No worries …Click here to access them too.

Tip #3 of 12… Not ranking well in Google?

Discover how to look at your website through the eyes of search engines…

woman computer thinkingWhen it comes to ranking well in search engines, having rich text-based content on your website is vital.

But did you know that – due to the way your website was built – there may be large sections of text that search engines are completely unaware of… and that this may be stopping you from ranking as well as you could?

If your website was built using Flash, outdated Javascript or images with “non-selectable” text, you’ve got a problem.

But how will you know that?

Well, in your web browser (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc) there’s a clever little tool, accessible via the menu, which allows you to view the ‘Page Source’ for a webpage. You may need to search for this option, as it’s in different places for each browser (e.g. in Chrome, go to View -> Developer -> View Source).

Look through the page of source code that appears. Most of it will be meaningless to you, but keep an eye out for words following the word ‘meta’ at the top of the page, as well as blocks of content (which should look familiar to you, as these should be the same words as the ones on your website).

As a rule of thumb… If you can’t see and read your page content in amongst the code, it’s probably time to replace your website.

Click me for more valuable information!

Click me for more valuable information!

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button….

 

Tip #4 of 12… The best type of backlinks to boost your Google ranking…

BacklinksBacklinks (links on other websites, pointing back to your site) can be really good for SEO (search engine optimization).

But here’s a tip… the difference between a good backlink and a great one, is the reputation of the website that’s linking to you.

As a rule of thumb, the harder a backlink is to obtain, the more weight it will carry in the search engines.

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button above….

 

For Tips 5 and 6 Click here!

 

 Information supplied courtesy of Laura Braithwaite – Southern Xposure

 

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12 Christmas Cracker Website Tips for Small Business

12 Valuable Web Tips for Small Business …

Tip #1 of 12… Is your web hosting TOO cheap?

Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of “cheap and nasty” hosting.Make money online

We’re all on the lookout for a bargain. But, if you’re leaning towards a web hosting deal that’s only a couple of dollars per month (or less), be very cautious.

Why? Amongst other things, cheap webspace is often hosted on overloaded servers. This means that your website could end up being very slow to load. Nothing frustrates website visitors more than a slow website (and if they’re frustrated, they won’t bother returning).

The answer:

Do your research. Investigate the hosting company, and search for reviews by past and existing hosting clients.

But on the flip side, don’t pay too much, like most small businesses do.

Just be sure to do your homework.

Click me for more valuable information!

Click me for more valuable information!

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button….

 

Tip #2 of 12… What you MUST check before you sign off on a website design…

Developing a website for your business? Stop!

Before you sign off on that visually spectacular website design, be sure to check it against a ‘heatmap’.

A heatmap is a visual tool, developed to help create effective websites. It shows what areas of a webpage users focus their attention most on, using colour coding for ‘hot’, ‘cold’ etc.

Designing your website in conjunction with a heatmap as a reference point, could mean the difference between many leads a day, and none.

Google Heatmap 1How do you get your hands on a heatmap? It’s easy, and free… simply Google images for ‘website design heatmap’.

Using a heatmap, you’ll take the guesswork out of designing your website.

For more tips (and to discover what website designers DON’T want you to know), Click the red button above

 

 

For Tips 3 and 4 Click here!

 

 Information supplied courtesy of Laura Braithwaite – Southern Xposure

 

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Finding the Best Business for your Money with (Very!) Low Cost Entry

What Entrepreneurs Want!

Many entrepreneurs exploring the expanding world of buying a business are looking for something easy to start up or run.  They don’t want to spend hours setting up systems and processes, and they’d love a product or service that’s already proven, as well as in demand.  It’s no wonder many are looking at buying a franchise or a license rather than spending time trying to re-invent the wheel themselves.

Price is a key issue though, as they may not have significant resources behind them to spend on a new business. We all know that some popular franchises can carry a price tag of several hundred thousand dollars. BUT the good news is that low-cost franchise and license opportunities are available, making the dream of business ownership more accessible than ever before.

Low cost entry is the name of the game. In today’s tough economic times, finding the right franchise or license at the right price is the right way to start!  Currently, the average cost of entry to buying a popular, well-known franchise is roughly $250,000. However, it’s a common misconception that you need a lot of capital to start a franchise or buy a business license. So, before you jump on the bandwagon, do your research to ensure you’re getting the most value from your investment and buying into an opportunity that matches your goals, interests, values, and budget.

Do The Numbers!

After doing a bit of research myself, I found that many franchises and licenses are asking ridiculous prices without any potential to make a profit – which is really scary! I found one as an example that wanted up to $130,000 for the franchise and then you would also be under a 10-year commitment for the business, as well as ongoing franchise or license fees, and all that without any guarantees. On top of that you’d have a lease over premises that would be a liability around your neck for 8 years.  Sounded like a prison sentence to me but I realized that with proper and full due diligence, low cost franchise opportunities can be found.

A really good example is one I found that I think is ideal for entrepreneurs who love business, and love people. The Business Hive is a business model that integrates coaching and networking… and I love networking! The network is built around a monthly coaching breakfast which can be fun and helpful for all the business owners who attend and join. The added benefit for a Hive business licence owner (could be you!) is that many of these networking members can be your future coaching clients as they meet with you every month to look for new strategies to expand their business.

Buy This One on a Credit Card…

Best of all, the vendors have made the buy in upfront cost to purchase the license as low as they can go, at an unbelievable price tag of just $3,990! There are no monthly ‘franchise fees’, and no long term commitment.  However they do charge a fixed amount of $1000 a month in exchange for the coaching products supplied – and that’s cheaper than most commercial rents, without the commitment too! The great thing I found too is that the fee is not linked to your revenue, so you can make as much money as you want without having to pay more. On top of that, I was blown away when they even offered a 12-month guarantee, so any new licensee has peace of mind from the outset, which is particularly important for those who may be stepping into their first business.

What About the Return on Your Investment?

Now, if you’re thinking that low cost entry means low income potential, you’d be limiting your thinking! Investing in a low-cost franchise or license doesn’t mean missing out on an opportunity to reap large returns. Yes, the risk is reduced but the reward is magnified if you put in the effort and network!  The way I see it, with such a low cost entry, you can see a much more rapid return on your investment and start earning a profit much sooner…within months! Plus of course, a low start-up cost business is much easier to grow and manage for those with less experience.

You may have already got the impression, and you’d be right, that I love looking into business opportunities.  And when I find something special, I invite the vendor to be interviewed, and I record it all so that I can share their business details with others entrepreneurial minded people.  You’ll find more info about all that at www.buyaustralianbusinesses.com.au

Find Out More

If you’d like to listen and learn more about The Business Hive, including the rewards, risks, processes, systems, suggestions, and financial potential available through this coaching and networking opportunity, you can download the recording of my interview with the owner, Keith Henry, at http://buyaustralianbusinesses.com.au/seller-spot-hive/.

To Fun and Fortune!

Rachel Barnes

Entrepreneur and Property Investor

 

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