Criteria we use and you should keep in mind when reviewing a home based business or franchise.
1. Strong Leadership and support.
Find out the experience of the business leadership. Visionary leadership and years of successful experience operating the business is key to your success with a home business or franchise. You need to satisfy yourself that you can work with the leadership, morals or ethics are important to the longevity of the relationship. Do you trust them? Do they inspire you? Importantly, do they support you, their associates or franchisees with training and marketing materials; regular contact and meetings to support your business?
2. A solid track record.
Ask about the history and longevity of the business. Verify the track records of the business. Ask for references for the facts. Read their published financial statements for the past 3 years. A real business has no problem sharing these details with you.
3. Success stories.
Talk to other people within the business and listen to the success stories. Assess the validity of the discussions with facts. Meeting with the people is a great way to hear the pros and challenges of building and operating a business. Ask about the challenges and how they were overcome by the leadership and support systems. Only associate with positive like minded people and the success they have achieved working from home. Make them your mentors if possible.
4. Strong product people really need and want.
This is the business, the market that should excite you, so you naturally are inspired and driven to succeed in the business. If you are excited with the product /service then this will translate to a successful business. So select the product and service that you are very comfortable with first, then put on your research hat and analyse the offering to your potential customers. Is this a service or product that they want or need? Or is it a discretionary? What is the competition in the market? What is your unique proposition to your customers?
5. Affordability and return on investment.
This is business 101, can I first afford to start a business. Do I have the time to commit to run it properly? These are not get rich quick schemes. Like all businesses, traditional or home based you have to put many hours into to start and build your business, no other way will work. But the return on investment should compensate for the hours spent working and building. Do your sums on the numbers. Watch your outlay of capital, be prudent spending capital as not all returns are directly based on capital spent. Time and effort are key with all new start-up businesses, but selecting an established and proven business model will reduce your exposure to risk and increase your ability to succeed. Ever heard of “been there, done that” that is the advantage of a business or franchise that has worked out the bugs and issues prior to you starting.
6. A clear plan for the future.
Setting clear defined goals or targets for each month and year, keeps you on track and you can adjust these if the market changes. A clear plan for the future is what you are looking for from a home business and franchise, there should be a path set for developing the current or new product to meet the needs and wants of the customers. You are looking for added value to services, innovation of product development. This will keep your business fresh to your customers and will inspire you personally with the clear path to the future.