Even the most loyal, highly-paid, white-collar worker needs to realize the crash of security in the workforce and what to do about it.
Building a business enterprise begins with a motivation to break from an antiquated premise; the idea that working for someone else offers security in return for giving that employer loyalty. In the modern era, this a crumbling bargain. As technology intensifies so does the need to expand the definition of professional success. In the first half of the 20th century, the old social contract of “work” dictated that individual freedom in the business world was actually a path away from security and our grandparents were rewarded for being obedient workers, for life. Now, freedom and the ability to build an enterprise is the true pathway toward security, but you need to have a respectable business plan. Too many entrepreneurs strike out on their own with fantastic intentions, only to be dashed against the rocks of reality when their plan looked better on paper than it performed when put into practice.
According to Michael Jutt, Executive Vice-President and Director of Training for the modern version of the printing industry, Minuteman Press International, it takes 3 things to get yourself out of the crumbling bargain of “employment in exchange for security”:
1. First, it takes an opportunity. Minuteman Press International provides an opportunity for business ownership that comes with a quality of life that fits what most of us are after.
2. Second, it takes some God-given talent. You don’t have to be top of the class to make it to the top, though. Minuteman Press International provides the knowledge and experience necessary for fulfilling the dreams of success.
3. Third, it takes a strong desire. The desire and will to succeed is at the very core of any successful man or woman. We, as the franchisor, can’t give you that desire, but we can help you channel your desire forward.
Assuming you are sold on the idea of moving away from the myth of job security, the unpleasant reality of corporate downsizing and the very real chance of being laid off, here are five steps to take in order to make a new bargain with greater chances of financial and personal satisfaction and security:
5 Tips to Building a Business Enterprise
1. Research – You may feel it’s your first duty to know your industry inside and out. Can you explain the nature your business and the general state of your industry? If you can’t speak with fluency about the enterprise you are intending to build, you are making yourself vulnerable to failure if you do not seek out guidance from the experts. Thankfully, the information age makes finding valid, trusted sources of necessary data reasonably easy, but diligence is needed and again, so is the wisdom of expert input from industry leaders because the internet is famous for not-so-valid data. If the great risk of going at it independently seems unwise, there are prime franchise opportunities that you simply must consider. For instance, visit Google News and type in “Minuteman Press” and the latest stories about their franchise owners is there at your fingertips, many of whom would be happy to talk to you about their businesses and their feelings about Minuteman Press International. Think about the burden of uncertainty that can be lightened when you can implement a system of operations that is backed by a lengthy history of success and the promise of continued fine-tuning.
Some of the most gratified workers-turned entrepreneur found their professional happiness through an existing franchise for sale. Sometimes, people jump into the franchise game with little appreciation for how to best put the proven system to work for themselves and they flounder. For example, a community could be rife with local businesses in need of marketing services and a B2B franchise owner who may have had good intentions to start winds up making decisions that deviate from protocol that the franchisor has put decades into perfecting. Next thing you know, his always loyal franchisor assists him with his predicament and a “printing business for sale” advertisement pops up, and you notice it. Do not hesitate to call because many happy beginnings have started with a motivated new business owner assuming command of an underperforming franchise.
2. Motivation – Is the reason for embarking on a new enterprise to “get rich quick” or to avoid having someone else “tell you what to do”? If so, it’s time to lay down that ego and understand that building an enterprise, (whether on your own or through a gem of a franchise opportunity) is hard work and neither getting rich quick nor shunning best practices will be part of the journey towards prosperity in your new venture.
Examining personal motivation from the beginning means an honest self-assessment. Authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton claim to have gathered input from 850,000 business owners and published: What Motivates Me; Put Your Passions to Work. They uncovered that an entrepreneur has several healthy motivations: he truly loves both doing his own thing and being in control of his destiny, he is driven to compete in the marketplace, has the desire to understand the problems of consumers in his industry and provide solutions he believes will more effectively solve those problems than his competition, and, he normally finishes tasks on time and demonstrates high-energy.
So, it’s clear the start of a business enterprise goes nowhere without a determined and action-oriented leader.
3. Financial Considerations – “No pressure, no diamonds.” – (Thomas Carlyle) It’s time to figure your balance sheet. This is a good time to take advantage of the fact that you laid down your ego during your motivation evaluation (above) and seek the wisdom of a trusted expert, especially if you are fortunate enough to be signing a franchise agreement with a top franchisor because you will find the stress of lining up collateral and securing a loan is something they know a lot about. In the meantime, gather personal financial data and tax information as needed for the right loan.
Plan for a realistic growth progression because while you might dream of sales taking off instantaneously, landing you on the cover of Fortune, it’s likely that your growth will follow a slow, but hopefully predicable curve. Leading franchise corporations may provide proprietary software to infuse your early money-management with some sanity-saving order and metrics.
4. Expert support/advice – You are not an expert…yet. One day, you may very well be the source of great assistance to future “newbie” business owners, but not at this time. This is the time to reject the misled idea of storming out into the business world alone with the falsely perceived benefit that you will have “no one to tell you what do”. This very notion is a business blunder of the highest order. Seek, secure, listen and act appropriately on expert advice and if you are lucky enough to connect with such fonts of wisdom, respect and retain the support they provide.
In the arena of support, advice, and training, there is no greater friend than a franchisor, replete with fellow franchise owners who will be happy to mentor you as you encounter challenges and gain momentum.
Erik Schwartz, owner of Minuteman Press in Turnersville, NJ, is a proponent of hard work, but not for someone else. He is part of a more realistic path towards success and security as he conducted a Minuteman Press franchise review and applied his talent and grit to a winning system of operations which has given him just the right balance of independence and support. Erik advises, “Sales is the prime function of a franchise owner, so if you like people, owning a franchise may be for you. A good franchise will have a proven sales system that relies on hard work rather than innovation.”
5. Establish Credibility and Trust – If you’ve secured relationships with industry experts, your reputation is primed to be established as solid. Thanks to the advent of social media, Google News, review sites and blogging (to name a few) it has never been more crucial to guard and maintain the world’s perspective of your name, your brand and your business. Healthy outreach online and personal networking within your community are fantastic ways to build early trust and project a healthy profile of your business. Excellent impressions online and in person will act as an early insurance policy when it comes to reputation management. Be present on major social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, a blog, etc.) with exciting and relevant content that is more likely to be shared. Also, remember that online credibility and trust will be of limited use without personal interaction. If you have yet to meet and shake the hands of those potentially new clients and colleagues, waste no further time and make that happen. There is power through personal association that cannot be duplicated online.
From there, employ ethical principles. Keep your promises. Be genuine. Truly listen with the intent to understand. Implementing these tasks and demonstrating traits of goodwill will breed credibility and trust that will be long lasting and invaluable.
Pro Tip: When it comes to establishing trust in your brand, once again, franchise ownership has the edge over starting a solo business venture.
Final Thoughts: The modern era and the ever-changing nature of the workforce demands greater flexibility than ever before. Striking out and building an enterprise is part of this new age, with a redefined social contract that dissuades the assumption of work for another entity as a path to security. Rather, freedom and the ability to build your own enterprise is the new, truer pathway towards security. And the great news is that you simply do not need to do it completely on your own, thanks to the strength of the franchise model. So, vigorously research your industry, find your healthy motivation, seek and wisely accept the support and advice of industry experts and, while establishing your good name, go forward boldly to construct a successful business enterprise that will be foundationally sound.
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is a business service franchise that is rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 13 years in a row and 24 times overall, including 2016. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores provide a full suite of branding and marketing solutions and produce promotional products, custom apparel, direct mail advertising, large format printing (banners and signs), and much more.