Is 2012 the right year to start your own business?

2012 is here, and it’s time to get started on making those resolutions a reality.  Our favorite resolution?  Opening your own business in 2012.  It’s time to make your own schedule and control your own financial security. And 2012 is a great year to make that dream a reality.  The economy is on the mend and credit is more available.  (Interested in learning more about getting financing?  Read this article from Inc.com about a great but little-known program to help homeowners access working capital from the SBA.) 

It’s January – a great time of year to start making decisions on your future and franchisors are experienced at helping new owners get everything done on a reasonable timetable.

January:  What type of business is right for you?  Many, if not most, franchise business owners open businesses that have little or nothing to do with their previous careers. Franchising lends itself to entrepreneurs who want to break out of what they did, and do something new.  Find a business model that matches your skill set. After all, this is your resolution!  Find listings for franchise businesses at The Franchise Handbook.

February: Fill out preliminary applications.  Before you spend hours vetting a franchise, find out if you’re qualified to franchise with the organization!  Preliminary franchise applications are usually only a page long and take about a half hour to fill out. You’ll need to have basic personal, employer and financial information available to fill out the form completely.

March:  Now that you know which franchise opportunities you qualify for, it’s time to start the vetting process.  So do some research, read up, and contact the franchisors.  Franchisors get excited about prospective new owners.  They should make it easy for you to get all the information you need, including contact information for current franchisees, so you can get a feel for what it’s really like to run the business. 

April: After choosing the franchise that’s the perfect fit for you, you will have a final application process.  Once the franchisor grants you final approval, it’s time to get up and running!

Every franchise business has a different timetable for going from final approval to opening day.  But no matter what business you choose, once the preliminary agreement is signed the serious work regarding real estate begins. This could be the year for your own business.  Be bold.  Take control of your year. 

What’s your resolution for 2012? Have you gotten started?

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