The Educated Franchisee Insider Newsletter

The Educated Franchisee
The How-To Book for Choosing a Winning Franchise March 2010
Author ImageGreetings!

Those of you who have followed this newsletter for a while know that I am not in the habit of promoting any one business.  The purpose of this newsletter has been to share relevant information in an unbiased format.  This month I am going to break my rule. 
Several months ago my computer hard drive crashed.  I thought we had it fixed; unfortunately, it crashed again last week.  At risk was two decades worth of business information related to franchising.  Contracts, data, correspondence, articles, emails, contact information, analysis, even children's photos.  Everything is in the computer and on that hard disk. 
Fortunately, upon a friend's recommendation, I have been using Carbonite.  Carbonite is an automatic, off site backup program.  It backs everything up on a continuous basis.  Every time a document is created or changed Carbonite automatically backs it up.  It works invisibly in the background, has strong customer support and costs $58 per year.  That is about $5 per month.  I cannot stress how important it was to me to have a backup program that I could trust when my hard disc crashed.  It literally saved my business.
Lesson is - back your data up.  Use Carbonite if you wish.  Use some other program if you prefer.  Just make sure your data is protected.  $5 per month and you will sleep better at night.
Enjoy this month's articles.

Best Wishes,
Apple Image
Rick Bisio
Link ImageYou May Want To Begin Tax Planning Early This Year.
Tax planning typically is a year-end activity. But in light of the very uncertain tax law climate, the first quarter of 2010 may be a good time for individuals and business owners to consider four tax and financial issues: marginal federal tax rate increases, state and local tax nexus, the upcoming one-year expiration of the estate tax, and goodwill impairment for financial accounting. 

Some historical comparisons:
   From 1930 until World War II the highest marginal tax rates on income ranged from 60 percent to 80 percent;
   From 1941 through the Kennedy tax cuts in the early 1960s, the top bracket was 90 percent;
   From 1963 to 1982 (until the Reagan tax cuts) the maximum marginal rate on unearned income (i.e. from investments) stayed at 70 percent;
Today the maximum rates on ordinary income are below 40 percent and as low as 15 percent on capital gains. Only the ridiculously optimistic should refuse to plan for coming tax hikes. Any methods available to accelerate income into 2010 should be considered because the rates may never be this low again. 

Go To Franchising World, Click Here
Link ImageRetirement Strategies for Middle-Age Business Owners.
Saving for retirement is an individual process. But there are certain questions most middle-aged business owners should be asking themselves. Here are four we asked wealth management professionals.

What is the first step for owners trying to build up retirement savings at age 49?

Business owner or not, old or young, people planning for retirement need to find out what kind of expenses they'll need to cover when they quit working. To discover what yours will be, work up a budget of where your money is going now. "From that initial budget you'll be able to extrapolate what your expenses will be going forward," says Carlo Panaccione, the co-founder of the Navigation Group, a wealth advisory firm in Redwood Shores, Calif. He suggests considering potential expenses such as helping pay for a child's wedding, as well as other income, such as Social Security payments.

Go to Wall Street Journal, Click Here
Link ImageCredit Unions Fill The Lending Gap Left by Banks
"Credit unions by their nature are designed to serve the underserved," said Frank Amantia, president of Mid-Atlantic Financial. Banks, he said, "have not stepped up to the plate and filled that need" of local businesses seeking loans.

Credit unions, historically focused on consumer lending, increasingly are making loans to businesses, too. But the industry's potential role in fueling an economic recovery, and its opportunity to seize market share from struggling banks, is limited by federal limits on the share of a credit union's resources that can be devoted to business lending.

Apple ImageIndependant vs. Franchise, From Someone Who Knows Both.

There are entrepreneurs. And there are franchisees. And they aren't necessarily the same thing.

The most obvious difference: People who buy into a franchise play by somebody else's rules to reduce their risks and boost the chances of success. But entrepreneurs often thrive on risk and want to chart their own course to success or failure.

These days, of course, franchising no doubt looks alluring to entrepreneurs who like the idea of reducing their risks by following a path others have already forged. But do they know what they are getting into? Are they prepared to deal with the restrictions of a franchise?

The Book
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There is a reality in life.  Greater knowledge drives better decisions and better decisions reduce business risk.  Franchising is all about risk reduction but not all franchises are low risk.  The Educated Franchisee is designed to empower you.  By following the advice and guidance presented in this book you will recognize high quality franchises and confidently pass over those that are not.

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Author - Rick Bisio