Overcoming Franchise Funding Fears
Contributed by Franchise Financing Partner Guidant Financial Group.
You want to dip your toe into the waters of business ownership and have decided to jump into a franchise. Maybe you’ve zeroed in on which franchise is right for you or perhaps you’re still exploring the options. Whatever you decide, you’ll need a way to finance the venture, and that can be intimidating. Getting a business loan can be tricky… even as the economy begins to heal. If you’ve got money, banks and credit unions will line up to loan you even more. If you don’t have money? Well, take heart—here are some alternative funding options that can put you at the helm of your own franchise:
- 401(k) Rollover, or ROBS (Rollover as Business Startup) If you have a retirement account, there’s a way to use it to finance your entrepreneurial dreams. Here’s how it works: You form a C-Corp that will operate your new business. You create a new 401(k) into which you rollover your existing retirement account. Then the new 401(k) buys stock in the C-Corp, and you’re in business. The caveat is it needs to be set up meticulously to avoid tax and penalties. Our partners at Guidant Financial are the dream team for this sort of financing.
- Portfolio Stock Loans - Tapping the value of fully-paid stock can be a way to secure cash for your business. Investors are basically pledging the value of their stock portfolio as collateral for a loan. In the best case scenario, your stock’s value will increase over the loan period enough to cover the interest. If your money is tied up in your stock portfolio and you need cash to get your business off the ground, this is a viable option.
- Unsecured Credit It’s called “unsecured” because the debtor does not provide any collateral. If you don’t want—or are unable to—put property or equity in property up as collateral and your personal credit is very good, an unsecured line of business credit can be a good way to get your hands on start-up capital. For a new business your application will most likely include a business plan and up to three years of earnings projections.
If you’ve got ambition and drive, but lack the liquid funds to purchase your slice of the American Dream, one of these alternative funding options may be the right choice for you. Remember to investigate business opportunities and financing options diligently.
What Industry Should I Explore In 2020?
It’s already a month into the new year and 2020 new year resolutions aside, it is a good time to take a look at your business plans for the year, whether you’re looking to start a new business or buy a franchise. Many budding entrepreneurs still have the big question of which industry has the most potential for them to dive into looming over their heads. If you are one of them, fret not - take a look at some of these insightful trends we have discovered.
Why I Have an Issue with the Forbes Franchise Rankings
The 5-Year Growth Rate and 5-Year Franchise Continuity are both great independent metrics of how a franchise is doing on average. As a potential franchisee both of these statistics are vital for selecting a franchise - you want to select a franchise that will provide you with a high return on investment and which will survive in the long run. I think these are, as FRANdata and Forbes suggested, two of the biggest (if not the two biggest) and most obvious metrics for whether or not a franchise is a “good” opportunity for a franchisee. But how do you use these to determine which franchise is BEST? This is the fundamental difficulty in coming up with a ranking system - it isn’t the difficulty in separating the good from the meh from the bad - it’s separating the great from the good and the best from the great. In the case of these rankings I found it to be pretty difficult to comprehend how they differentiated between the top ranked franchises. For instance, if you look at the difference between Discover Map (Forbes #4), Just Between Friends (Forbes #5), & Seniors Helping Seniors (Forbes #6) they all have extremely close continuity ratings and substantially different growth rates. In fact, in the case of these three, the overall rankings are opposite the growth rate rankings. Seniors Helping Seniors is ranked at the bottom of these three franchises despite having a growth rate that is 31 percentage points higher than Discovery Map and a continuity that is only 2 percentage points lower. This suggested to me that continuity was viewed as the dominant factor. But that logic didn’t hold for the rest on the “Economy Class” Top 10, as BrightStar Care (Forbes #7) had the same growth rate as Pop-a-Lock (Forbes #8) but a continuity rate that was 12 percentage points lower. These comparisons show that these were not the only two factors that went into the rankings, which is understandable, but no other factors that are explicitly listed in their results seem to be major factors.
Franchise Mergers and Acquisitions
There are several reasons for franchises to consider acquiring another franchise. It could give them the opportunity to add new products without the risk or cost of developing these offerings internally. It could help the buyer add new markets, geographically or demographically speaking, with an already strong existing brand. Acquiring a franchise supplier or distributor could build efficiency through vertical integration. Acquisitions can also help a franchise develop sufficient scale to compete with a larger rival more effectively.