Franchise Business Consultant in Central Texas, West Texas and Rio Grande Valley

All posts by FranNet Texas

FranNet Consultant Merri Cronk Helps Retired Pilot Find a Second Career

Franchise Consultant Merri Cronk was excited to recently help a retired Air Force pilot find a second career with the franchise, Lawn Doctor.  Rich and his wife Patsy had looked into a fast food restaurant but when that fell through, the couple contacted Merri, who showed them four quality franchises that would achieved their personal goals in addition to their financial goals. The model has worked well for the couple. Today, the business model has allowed them to enjoy a semi-retired lifestyle while still enjoying the financial rewards of business ownership. To learn more about their journey, read this inspirational story.

Click here to read the story.


Border Business Report Interviews FranNet Consultant Claudia Lardizabal

If you’re wondering how FranNet helps people in a career change or those considering business ownership, check out this recent podcast featuring our very own franchise consultant, Claudia Lardizabal.


Finding the Best Franchise: Are You Missing the Gold?

“I wouldn’t want to own a cleaning service,” said one potential franchise owner. “That’s a dirty job.”

This is one example of a comment franchise consultants at FranNet hear about business such as cleaning, trash and home repair services. But the reality is that there are many seemingly unappealing and unknown franchises available that are hidden gems. They are highly profitable and many of them have a significantly lower up-front investment than the more popular and highly-visible franchise industries such as restaurants and retail chains.

“Many people are missing the gold because their perspective is limited,” explained franchise consultant, Kyle DeHaas. “When it comes to businesses like cleaning or home repair services, many people hesitate because they have a tendency to see themselves in the business’s technician role as a house keeper, trash man, etc. It’s a consumer-oriented viewpoint of business rather than a business-owner viewpoint.”

DeHaas said that in many cases this consumer-oriented thinking where the owner tries to do the technician-level work actually limits the success of the business.

“Expertise and involvement at the technician level often hurts business owners because they get too involved in the technical details and fail to sell enough or manage the business well,” said DeHaas. “What they really need to be is a good manager and sales person.”

DeHaas said the key to higher levels of success is a perspective change. They have to make the shift to a business-owner mentality where the business owner doesn’t do the technical work but rather focuses on business growth.

According to DeHaas, another perspective problem that keeps people from considering the most profitable franchise opportunities is their limited knowledge of what a franchise is and the kind of opportunities available.

“Many people think of a franchise as just a store-front operation like a Subway restaurant or an auto repair shop,” said DeHaas. “But there are many franchises available that are far more lucrative and take less investment up front.”

Some of these franchises include delivery, lawn care, party, beauty and business services.

So how do you find out which franchises have the best potential for success? DeHaas recommends starting with a good franchise consultant. While there are a number of franchise consultants available, not all offer the same in-depth consulting services.

“What sets us apart from other consultants is that we take the time to help potential franchise owners understand the scope of what’s available and think about which business model makes the most sense to achieve their personal goals,” said DeHaas. “And, the best news is that we offer this service for free through FranNet.”

To learn more about franchise consultants and how they can help you, check out FranNet Texas Southwest’s recent blog post, What is a Franchise Consultant & How Can They Help?

To sign up for a no-cost consulting session with Kyle DeHaas or another FranNet consultant in your area, fill out the form to the right.


How to Identify the Most Profitable Franchises in Austin, Texas

If you’re looking for the most profitable franchises in Austin, you’ve landed on the right page to learn more.

While you can do research to find a list of franchises available, finding out how profitable they are is a different story. There is a limited amount of information franchises can release legally. Plus, many variables can impact a franchise’s ability to be profitable regardless of how well others have done.

“Austin and Texas in general are great places to start a franchise, but finding the most profitable franchises starts with assessing which ones are a good fit for you and doing due diligence,” says Merri Cronk, owner of FranNet Central Texas, West Texas & the Rio Grande Valley. “It’s also very important to understand the market where you are considering locating your franchise.”

Cronk advises people to go beyond internet research, which has limited information, and seek out personal counsel from seasoned experts. She says the best information is found directly from the franchisors. However, you need to know the right questions to ask, and what to look for in a franchise disclosure document. That’s where personal consulting can be very advantageous.

“You can find many lists of franchises available in Austin but what you can’t find online is personal advice about how to choose the most profitable franchise that’s best for you,” said Cronk. “When you speak directly to a franchise, they may just tell you what they want you to know, and it’s hard to know which ones are trustworthy. But, if you know the right questions to ask and the details to research, you will be able to make a much better choice.”

Because of this, Cronk and her team offer no-cost franchise consulting services for those interested in investing in a franchise.  In addition to helping you find a trustworthy franchise, FranNet consultants can help you assess your readiness to invest in a franchise financially and emotionally. If a match is made, they can help you walk through the entire process including the contract details. To learn more about how it works, click here.

If you would like more information on how much money you can make as a franchise owner, read our blog article, “How much money can you make by buying a franchise.”

FranNet Central Texas, West Texas & the Rio Grande Valley provides no-cost consulting services in the Austin area and throughout central and south Texas to help people find the best franchises for their situation. To set up a free consultation with Merri Cronk or one of the other consultants serving the in the Austin area, fill out the form to the right.






How to Fund a Franchise Purchase

If you’ve decided that you want to buy a franchise, one of the first questions you may ask is how to fund it. Ideally, you have enough cash saved up for the total investment outright but in many cases, additional funding is needed.

When seeking a franchise to buy and how to fund it, the first step is remind yourself that buying a franchise is really an investment. You’re really not getting into it to just own it but rather to invest in something that will deliver cash flow and ROI over the long term. Gaining clarity about that will help you better decide how much money you want to invest up front, which franchise type is best for you and which funding method will be most successful.

How To Decide the Best Way to Fund a Franchise Investment

According to franchise expert Merri Cronk, “There is not one best answer for how to fund investing in a business, because every franchise varies.”  Merri, who owns FranNet Central TX and West Texas/Rio Grande Valley says that getting funding depends on many factors. “Your personal financial situation, the amount of money you need, the franchise investment and how much risk you are willing to take on should all be considered prior to making a decision.”

The best way to figure out the option that will be most successful for you is to start with a thorough review of your current situation. First, assess your net worth and liquidity to see if you have the reserves necessary. Next, spend some time thinking about your priorities, assets you want to protect and your personal comfort factor with the potential risk of various funding methods.

Next, begin reviewing the pros and cons of each option.

Here are six ways to fund a franchise courtesy of Benetrends Financial:

  1. Self-funding – Personal savings/Use of retirement funds/ Credit card
    1. Personal savings – The easiest option to fund a franchise is using your personal savings. There are no strings attached so you will have more freedom to make your own decisions. However, if you end up draining your accounts and more cash is needed, you may not have the assets needed to get a loan.
    2. Retirement Funds – If you choose the self-funding method but you don’t have enough cash readily available, the IRA/401k rollover method offered by Benetrends is a great option because it allows the money to be used for your business growth, while maintaining your retirement funds and eliminating all the fees and taxes associated with cashing out an IRA/401k. The downside is that if your business ends up struggling, your retirement funds could be at risk. If you decide to use this option, be sure to use an organization like Benetrends to make sure it’s set up and maintained properly.
    3. Credit Card – Another option is to use the available balance on your credit cards. While this is an easy way to go, it many times ends up being one of the most expensive due to high interest rates. Maxing out credit cards can also leave you in a situation where you can’t obtain additional funding.
  2. Family and friends – Many times relatives and friends are willing to invest in your business for a percentage of the profits or regular loan payments with interest. As long as business is going well and you can pay back the money, this can be a great option. However, if the business is not making profits as fast as projected and you end up not being able to pay on time, this can lead to unhappy family dynamics at the Thanksgiving dinner table. One way to lessen the burden on family is to use a crowdfunding site that allows you to collect funds from friends and small investors in addition to relatives.
  3. Franchisor loans – In some cases, franchisors will finance all or part of the loan for you to invest in their franchise. One advantage of this system is that it’s easier to get approved than outside loans and the franchisor will guarantee the loan in many cases. However, the terms vary greatly among franchises so it’s best to review other options as well before working out the details with the specific franchise you are purchasing. Also, very few franchises offer this as an option.
  4. Bank Loans – Traditional bank loans can be challenging to get because the failure rate of businesses is so high. However, the likelihood of getting approved is much higher if your loan is backed by a personal asset such as your home or property. A home equity loan can serve this purpose but you could lose your home if your business struggles.
  5. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans – While these government-backed loans are actually made by traditional banks, the good news is they are easier to get because the SBA backs a portion of the loan. There are several types of SBA loans available. To learn more about them and determine which one is best for you, visit the SBA website.
  6. Micro Loans – These loans are usually between $35,000 and $50,000 and are often provided by non-profit community organizations. The pros of these types of loans are that the lending organization usually provides assistance and training for the business owner to maximize their ability to succeed. A con is that many micro lenders require you to personally guarantee the loan so it can be risky if the business isn’t successful.

As you can see, there are many great options to get the funding you need to invest in a franchise business.

If you would like more details and personal guidance on the best funding options for your specific situation, we welcome you to contact one of our FranNet consultants. They know the market inside and out and have a great track-record of assisting individuals on their path to entrepreneurship. The best news is that they provide this guidance free of charge. To find a consultant in the Central, West Texas or Rio Grande Valley, click here.