LoudounPreneur entrepreneurial newsletter
 Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave
October 2014

5 Reasons to Own a Franchise

Here's how the International Franchise Association sums up the advantages to buying a franchise: "Owning a franchise allows you to go into business for yourself, but not by yourself."


Here are five reasons to buy a franchise instead of starting a business from scratch:


1.  You don't have to invent a new product, service or business. Not everyone is an Eric Major, the cofounder of Loudoun-based K2M, or a Sheila Johnson, the president and CEO of Loudoun's Salamander Resort. They invented new businesses and had to build them by trial-and-error. The beauty of buying a franchise is that it's already a proven business that works. 


2.  You have built-in branding. It can take years to build a brand for your business. A franchise already has years of advertising behind it, and in many cases, a built-in customer base. McDonald's is a classic example.  


3.  There's less risk. According to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 businesses started by entrepreneurs fail within 18 months. Compare that to a statement from the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation, which put the franchise success rate at 90 percent over the seven-to-10-year span of the average franchise agreement. 


4.  You can save money. Franchisees have the advantage of buying supplies and equipment in bulk. You also save by participating in the franchise's national or regional advertising efforts. Of course, there's also a franchising fee, so make sure you do your own financials before signing up.


5.  You have ongoing support. The franchise owner will train you in how to run the business. Sometimes the training and consulting services are offered throughout the life of your franchise agreement. The owners are motivated to help you because it's to their advantage for you to succeed.


Although franchises have higher success rates than startups, some do fail. When thinking of starting a franchise, be careful and do your homework. Some business models work in certain areas better than others that have different (i.e., higher) costs. Also, franchises don't allow for much innovation. Make sure you're happy with the model as it is, without changes.


Be sure to calculate the time and money it will take for your franchise to replace the salary you had while working for an employer. And understand the type of franchise that best fits your talents and interests.


A franchise consultant can help you figure these things out before you make any commitments. Some will work with you at no charge because their funding comes from franchise owners. Look for franchise consultants who are familiar with your market at www.Franchise.org.

The State of Loudoun's Economy

Learn about Loudoun's business environment and network with key executives at this important Chamber of Commerce event. Our director, Buddy Rizer, will discuss the county's strategic plan to attract new companies to Loudoun and retain existing businesses. He'll also address the challenges employers face in recruiting a skilled workforce. Join us on Thursday, October 16 from 8-10 a.m. at the Belmont Country Club in Ashburn.


How Can We Help You?

An important mission of Loudoun Economic Development is to help entrepreneurs start and grow their companies in Loudoun. Whether you're launching a tech business or a farm business, we're here to help you. Our startup checklist is a useful outline of the forms and processes required to run a Loudoun business, and our Loudoun SourceLink website features a database of nonprofit and government organizations that offer resources to small businesses. We cosponsor special networking events that introduce you to potential partners, as well as training events on important business topics. Whatever your business need, from leasing office space to finding a mentor farmer, call us: 703-777-0426.


Events and Training

Hispanic Entrepreneurship Program Networking Event

Guest speaker Filipe Dominguez from Heartland Payment Systems will bring important information about accepting credit cards in your business.

Date:   October 4, 2014

Time:   3-5 p.m.

Place:   Pur Beauty, 6569 Edsall Rd., Springfield

Cost:    Free; contact Adrienne Kay for more information


Competing With the Big Boys: How Independent Retailers Win & Keep the Customer

Retail Consultant Marc Wilson will reveal how to deliver a memorable experience for your customers; choose and position your products, and make your business a shopping destination. Refreshments will be offered.

Date:   October 6, 2014

Time:   10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Place:   Palio Ristorante Italiano, 2 West Market Street, Leesburg

Cost:    $10, register online


Creating an Effective Advisory Board

Successful Culture CEO Marissa Levin will show you how to: select who you need to get your business from where it is now to where you want it to be; leverage your advisors for business and process development; network, and exit advisors when they no longer fit.

Date:   October 16, 2014

Time:   6-8:30 p.m.

Place:   George Washington University, 20101 Academic Way, Ashburn

Cost:    Free; register online


Lessons Learned From Entrepreneurship Front Lines

The Loudoun Tech Startups group will feature a discussion with Jeff White, founder and CEO of Gravy.

Date:   October 21, 2014

Time:   5:30-7 p.m.

Place:   TBD

Cost:    Free, sign up online


Doing Business With Loudoun County

This session will inform you about the county's procurement processes and upcoming contracts.

Date:   October 21, 2014

Time:   10:30-11:30 a.m.

Place:   Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street SE, Leesburg

Cost:    Free; register online


1 Million Cups

Join us for six-minute presentations from Loudoun business owners. Engage in peer mentoring by giving the presenter the benefit of your knowledge and experience in resolving business issues and making companies grow.

Date:     October 8, 15 and 22, 2014

Time:     9-10 a.m.

Place:    Mason Enterprise Center, 202 Church Street SE, Leesburg

Cost:    Free


Start Your Business

Ruth Cope, assistant director of the Loudoun Small Business Development Center, and Arthur Thompson, a principal at Keyser Thompson Insurance Agency, will answer essential questions about successfully starting a small business. Highlights include taxes and licensing, business plan development and sources of funding.

Date:   October 9, 2014

Time:   11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Place:   Loudoun Small Business Development Center, 202 Church Street SE, Leesburg

Cost:    $10 online; $15 at the door


Tech Breakfast

Network and learn as four innovative companies make showcase-style presentations to techies, developers, designers and entrepreneurs.

Date:   November 5, 2014

Time:   8-10 a.m.

Place:   AOL, 22000 AOL Way, Dulles

Cost:    Free; register online

Read It and Reap

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

A New York Times investigative reporter explores the negative and positive sides to habits and routines: how they work, and how we can transform them. Duhigg demonstrates how changing one small aspect of your job affects a pattern that can lead to big dividends. A must-read for anyone who wants to change bad habits, form good habits, and create a better workplace. This book can be checked out for free from the Loudoun County Public Library.

Gut Check From a Guru

"Creating successful organizations isn't just a matter of balancing authority. For an organization to work, leaders must cultivate habits that both create a real and balanced peace and, paradoxically, make it absolutely clear who's in charge." -- Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business"

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Loudoun Economic Development DC's Technology Corridor 
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