Own A Franchise Financial Conversations To Have With Your Family Before Choosing A Franchise

Guest Blogger: Ray Moore, CFE, Vice President of Development, BrightStar

The successful franchisee will first and foremost find the right fit. The right fit may be the one that best fits his or her financial resources and goals. The potential franchisee should sit down with their spouse and family and ask some hard questions. Together they will have to decide what outcomes they need to realize to consider this venture a success. They will have to separate out the must have or non-negotiable outcomes before shopping for a franchise opportunity.

The couple/family should agree to the following each family will have to fill in the blanks according to their own circumstances. Its a good idea to consult an accountant:

1.We will not invest more than $_____ of our cash/liquid capital.
2.We will not borrow more than $______ in additional funds to capitalize the business.

With any start up, business owners need to have enough money, either set aside or in other income, to cover household bills and run the business for 12 to 18 months. The following questions will help determine how much is needed:

3.To make sure we can still live comfortably while growing the business, we will cut our household budget to $ ____ per month for at least ____ months and be sure to never exceed that budget.
4.We will only buy a franchise that we have confidence can get big enough to feed itself, i.e., income (cash flow) will cover monthly business expenses (fixed and variable costs), no later than ___ months after signing the agreement.

With many new business start ups, the owner will not be able to take a salary for 1-2 years. The family needs to know that household expenses will be covered during that time.

5.We will only seek a franchise for sale that we have confidence will be able to pay me a discretionary salary (enough to cover some or all of household expenses) without harming the business no later than ___ months after signing the agreement.
6.We will generate other income of $___ (amount needed to make up for loss of other income and savings budget) from ___ (spousal income, other household income or investments) independent of the new franchise business.
7.We will only pursue a franchise business opportunity that will allow us to have our initial investment back, i.e., pay off the start up loan from business income, in ____ months/years.

These are just some of the items that typically come up, or should come up, during the conversations leading up to buying a franchise. Asking the right questions will get you the answers you need. Ask them of yourself, your spouse, your family, the franchisor and other franchisees so you can get the full picture of what your life will be like while building your business, and what it can be like once you have established your new franchise.

Ray Moore, CFE, BrightStar

California Victim of Financial Elder Abuse Says Bank Did Not Question Withdrawals

A recent victim of financial elder abuse claims that Bank of America did not question transactions when she withdrew money. The senior citizen victim was allegedly scammed out of approximately $35,000. Police are searching for a black woman in her 40’s who disappeared with the money. California financial elder abuse attorneys warn seniors to be wary when people they do not know well as them to withdraw money from their accounts.

According to authorities in this case, the suspect told the senior citizen victim that the president of Bank of America had contacted her and told her that he need the victim to pull money out of the bank. The suspect promised the victim $572,000 in return for doing so. The victim then withdrew $12,000 from a Bank of America in Redlands, California, and another $23,000 from another Bank of America branch in San Bernadino, California. California financial elder abuse attorneys warn seniors that bank officials will not ask them to withdraw money from their accounts.

Bank of America officials say that there are security efforts in place to protect senior citizen customers from financial elder abuse. Bank of America has stated that bankers and tellers receive extensive training to identify banking transactions that are out of the ordinary. Bank of America officials also stated that they follow applicable state laws which may include contacting Adult Protective Services or local law enforcement. California financial elder abuse attorneys remind the public to be vigilant regarding financial elder abuse.

In this case, the suspect befriended the stranger in a grocery store parking lot. After the money was removed from the accounts, the suspect told the victim that the bank president wanted them to put the money in the victim’s trunk and return to the other Bank of America branch to fill out paperwork. The suspect then went to use the bathroom and disappeared with the money.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at

Beware of Make Money at Home Scams

Almost everyone is looking for ways that they can earn extra money. Who couldn’t use some additional cash? Many individuals are turning to the internet as a way to make that money and, unfortunately, many end up losing money instead.

The internet can and is a great way to make money, but you have to be careful. People are quickly discovering that while you can make money on the internet, there are thousands and thousands of online scams. Therefore, if you plan to look at any opportunity, you should keep a number of things in mind.

If a company is asking you to give them money, but are unwilling to explain in detail exactly what they are selling, and how it works, beware. Many companies online are not even based in the US or in North America, for that matter. They may take your money and send you nothing. Sadly, because these firms are not even on the same continent, you will have no recourses to get your money back.

Check into any company carefully. There are many new companies online that are legitimate, but many are “fly by night” operations. Once they have reached a certain number of people they simply close down, and you will never be able to locate them again.

Moreover, chances are they will re-open their swindle using a different company name and a different site.

When looking into a company check to find out how you can contact them. Do they have a phone number? Call the number and see if it works. Find out if they have a mailing address as most legit companies will have an actual address.

Another safeguard that you might want to do is to go to different online forums and see if you can discover any complaints against the organization. You should even contact the Better Business Bureau and see if the company you want to learn about has any feedback of a positive or negative nature.

Additionally, you should also try to use a PayPal type service or similar mediator. That way if there is any kind of problem you will have some kind of recourse to getting your money back. However, never give out your credit card information to an online company that you have not thoroughly investigated. There is a chance that if you do, you might get burned.

Finally, beware of the pyramid scam. Although this kind of business is illegal, they are cropping up all over the internet. You can usually detect a pyramid scheme by the fact that the company never really explains what it is that they actually do. They talk about sales, but they do not tell you what it is that they are selling.

With any kind of online business or offer, you have to be cautious. If it sounds too good, or if you are harboring any doubts, do more investigating. Foremost, be safe and beware.

Auto Attendant – Make Your Small Business Sound More Professional

As a small business owner, it is very important to project the best of your business and impress your callers. The auto attendant VoIP phone system can make your small business sound more professional. It has extensive advanced call handling features incorporated into it to manage all your business calls efficiently and make your business look like a Fortune 500 company.

Sphisticated Call Handling Service

Without the support of a live telephone operator, the auto attendant can perform all call handling functions reliably and efficiently. Callers are greeted with professional sounding welcome messages. These messages can be personalized to present your business in a professional manner. Calls are managed through interactive, impressive voice responses as their calls are connected to extension lines.

As an initial interface in call management, it is possible to connect calls to the required extensions using a menu of options including dial by extension, dial by name, dial by department or zero out to live operator. With these professional phone services offered by the virtual receptionist, the callers will feel like they are interacting with an established company.

Useful VoIP Auto Attendant Solutions

The auto attendant offers impressive call management features which include:

Find-me/Follow-me call forwarding If you are traveling or in some distant location, the calls to your office will be efficiently redirected to the given cell numbers, home phones or other personal numbers. Calls to a certain phone extension will be routed through the predefined list one by one, until someone attends the call.
Voicemail to Email If any calls are unattended, they will be automatically directed to the voice mail boxes of these phone systems. These voice messages will be further forwarded to your email account. The call forwarding system of the PBX system offers your workers a lot of independence as they can work from home or any other convenient location.
Music on Transfer You can upload music-on-hold facility to facilitate your callers, when the calls are being transferred to a different extension.
Features and functionalities are not just limited to these. Other functionalities include groups, conference rooms, call queues and much more. The auto attendant phone system to makes your small business sound more professional and credible.

Tips On How To Open A Bpi Bank Account

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is one of the most established banks in the Philippines. Recently, it was awarded by Finance Asia, a prestigious finance publication and magazine in Asia and the Pacific as the best cash management bank in the Philippines. Finance Asia also recognized BPI as the best trade finance bank in the country.

BPI has two subsidiary banks – BPI Family Savings Bank and BPI Direct. BPI Bank deals primarily on corporate accounts like salary account of employees. BPI Family Savings Bank is focused on individual savings accounts or for individual person who may not be an employee. While BPI Direct serves primarily on mobile, telephone and online banking.

In opening a BPI bank account, you can adhere to procedures given below and ready all requirements before going to the bank. It will be fast and easy to open a new bank account when you bring all the needed requirements so do not forget to bring it all.

1. Make sure you have all the requirements for opening a new bank account like two valid ID, billing statements, two 1×1 photo ID, and money for initial deposit.

2. Select the branch you want to open a new account. Choose the branch near your work or house so that it will be very easy and convenient for you to go whenever problem arises regarding your bank account.

3. Upon entering the bank, proceed to New Account Desk. Tell the bank officer you want to open a savings account and then fill-up all forms that will be given to you.

4. Pass all the requirements, application forms and initial deposit for your new bank account. This is the minimum initial deposit for BPI, P3,000 and P10,000 for ATM and passbook account.

5. Get your passbook or ATM card which will be normally available after 4-5 banking days. When you get your ATM card, you can activate it at ATM machines.

When opening a new bank account, prepare first all requirements and ready the money for initial deposit for your new bank account. BPI is one of the best choice in applying for a new bank account. It has numerous branches around the country so it will not be a problem which branch to select.

What are Bank Foreclosures and Why are they Important

One of the easiest ways to save money on real estate is to buy bank owned foreclosures. These are a unique form of repo homes and are for sale in cities across the country. Homes are repossessed due to the previous owners inability to keep up with their mortgage payments. These houses are available to the public through auctions and usually sell for much less than they would on the open market. The lending bank that repossessed the home will use the sale processed as a means of recouping their losses. Because of this, buyers can often buy homes for up to 50% off market value.

Save Money Buying Repossessed Homes
Whether you are looking for single family homes, apartments, condos, land or commercial seized properties, you can find what you are looking for at an incredible bargain. There are so many different distressed properties since the bank foreclosure process is not unique to any particular type of property. Best of all, these properties can be purchased at discounted prices in any city in the country.

Just as there are many different property types available at auction, there are many types of lenders and mortgage institutions that sell foreclosed properties. Its important to know about them and the different routes available to buying bank homes. One popular way is federal homes which include HUD homes and VA foreclosures. These are houses available from government lenders.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two popular sources for finding houses at a discount. These two institutions are responsible for thousands of mortgages in every state.

There are so many options available when it comes to buying homes repossessed by lenders. To make the best decision for you, research them all to find the best fit for you.

Investing in Foreclosed Properties
There are many websites that provide guidance and assistance in researching bank foreclosures or any other REO property. They teach the ins and outs of buying bank repossessed homes that will allow you to maximize the value of your investment. They can also teach you about tax liens and other hidden costs as well as finding the best deals using a few simple calculations.

Finding Foreclosure Listings

NoblePalmettoWholesale.com com does all of this leg work for you, and we only put properties under contract that would make sense to investors. We know there are many costs involved once a property is purchased before an investor can retail the house or hold it in her portfolio. By negotiating with the sellers so you don’t have to, we can free you to concentrate on the things that are important to you.

Does Your Small Business Really Need A Server The Answer Is No.

As a network computer technician I’ve come to the choice that I don’t think my small business clients that employ between 2-10 people should even bother with installing what we might consider a regular server nowadays. It is overkill, expensive and a major source of problems if something goes wrong. So what do I recommend instead? I would recommend a file server with local and offline backup. What made me come to this decision? A number of real world issues, actually.

Too many computer consultants come from an environment where they were taught and schooled on how to maintain servers. To me this is the old way of doing things. Unless you are hosting your email in-house there isn’t the need for the old server.

Think about this…what services do you really want to provide that are mission critical for your clients? For my clients the most important need is a way to create and access files that are backed up on a regular basis. I have seen too many small businesses shut down for days on end because they put all of their trust in a old server and a tape backup system. Why are these servers and tapes such a problem?

Think about this for a second. If a piece of hardware fails in your server, chance are that you won’t be able to replace that broken or failing part with something you can buy locally. Often times you have to call the server manufacturer and wait patiently for them to ship you a replacement part, all the while your business is at a stand still.

And tapes for backing up data? Unless you have an enormous amount of data, backing up to multiple hard drives is faster. And these hard drives will be able to access that data in other computer while you get your server fixed.

Another solution I recommend is using a service such as Dropbox to backup files. I don’t completely rely on Dropbox, though. I prefer to have a physical backup of the client’s data at the site of their business and then use Dropbox as a way to get a backup off-site. If anything catastrophic were to happen to the small business, such as a fire of a flood, it is easier to get a computer up and running, re-attach it to Dropbox and the data is back and ready to be used.

Diamond Jewelries – A Perfect Investment For Lifetime

Diamond is the best type of investment event amidst the economic recession. Value of jewelries made up of diamond will not get decreased with time. Main reason behind this is the value of diamond does not get affected by bankruptcies, economic fluctuations, etc. Value of diamond remains stable across the globe and you can sell it any location in the world without having a second thought on its price. Jewelries studded with diamonds can be worn on any occasion and these diamonds are loved by anyone ranging from celebrities to young men and women. Diamond jewelries are used in important occasions like wedding ceremonies, engagement functions, etc. It is now easy to buy diamond ornaments directly from the online store and they have different model of rings, ear studs and various other diamond studded ornaments.
Most people think that real estate is one of the best types of investment however you need to pay taxes on a regular basis. When you have diamond jewelry you will not be continually taxed, so it is always considered as one of the wisest type of investments.

If you are planning to invest in diamond the first thing you need to do is to get the advice from a professional gemologist who has years of experience. He will help you to choose the right type of diamond taking into consideration various factors. A professional jeweler or gemologist will easily choose the high quality diamond based upon its weight, size and shape. Diamond must also be certified by reputed organizations to ensure they are of high quality. One need not have a second thought while purchasing the diamonds certified by reputable organizations. Not to mention, certificate for diamond or diamond jewelry given by a popular institute is completely different from appraisal done by professional gemologist.

Diamond is certified based upon various factors including color of the diamond, dimension, its characteristic and many more factors. Certificate will be of great help for the gemologist to find out the real value of the diamond.
No matter the state of economic condition, be it is recession or stable economic condition pirlanta yzk is the best type of investment. Value of diamond rarely gets affected and it also depends and countless factors, so diamond is the best type of investment forever.
Pirlanta is not affected by wear and tear and it can remain stable for years without getting damaged. If you are planning to invest your hard earned money then investing in diamond is the right type of option.

Small Business Blog Tips That Can Make A Big Difference.

Blogs have revolutionized the way that people do business. It seems that all the big companies are making use of blogs to promote themselves and market their products. However, corporate blogs aren’t just for big companies. Blogs can also be utilized by small businesses with great effect.

Setting up a small business blog is easy and has many benefits. They are powerful promotional tools and a great way to communicate with clients.

Here are some tips on using a small business blog:

1. Write Naturally and Honestly

Small business blogs can be more personal than large corporate blogs. It’s best to write in way that feels natural to you. Avoid writing needlessly complex posts filled with technical jargon. Doing so will endear customers and promote conversation, which is what a blog is for, after all.

As with any blog, you must always tell the truth. Blogs should address all issues, be it good or bad. This will ultimately beneficial as it helps builds trust the customers.

2. Post often and Respond to Comments

Remember to post frequently. Provide readers with plenty of content, so that they will keep coming back to your blog.

Comments are a vital part of blogs, providing useful feedback. Respond to reader comments often to build strong ties between them and your company.

3. Promote your business, Promote yourself

A small business blog is an innovative way to promote a business.

A good technique is to document your projects. This is good way to show how capable you are at your profession and to garner trust. This is especially important with small business, where reputations can make a big difference.

Blogs allow for unparalleled interaction with customers. Use this to get closer to clients, and to build bonds of trust. The information gained from readers is invaluable for improving your small business.

4. Be Informed and Informative

Read plenty of other blogs to gain useful information. Post comments and promote your own blog. Be an active part of the blogosphere.

Post links of related information on your blog, and use technology like RSS/Atom feeds to constantly provide your blog with interesting content. This is a great way to promote your business and be informed of everything concerning you industry. Besides informing your readers, it can lead to interaction and possible collaborations with other businesses, all of which will benefit a small business.

5. Search Engines

For those who wish to achieve higher search engine rankings, a blog can be an invaluable asset. The constant updating combined with the right keywords can raise search engine results dramatically.

What Is The Role Of A Trade Union

Most people have heard of trade unions, especially when they appear in the news in connection with teachers’ strikes and such matters, but quite often people do not fully understand the purpose of a trade union, who they represent, and the possible benefits of belonging to a trade union. Do you have to join a trade union? Will you be penalised by your employer if you do? How can a trade union help you? This article seeks to address some of these questions and takes a brief look into the overall role of trade unions.

A trade union is a membership organisation that seeks to help and protect its members in the working environment. Although trade union representatives try to establish and maintain good working relationships with employers – and indeed between their members and those members’ employers – most trade unions are independent of any specific employer.

A trade union will seek to help its members in a whole manner of situations. They may negotiate favourable pay and working conditions for their members and discuss and advice on any big changes taking place in the working environment (such as mass redundancy). They will also talk over with their members any concerns they may have about their working environment and help them to find a solution, accompany them in disciplinary matters and at employment tribunals and provide them with legal and financial advice where needed.

Trade unions may also provide protection and representation for their members outside of the workplace. For example, they may try and place pressure on the government or public bodies to make changes which will benefit their members or may seek to promote their members’ rights and objectives in other ways.

By law, an employer cannot penalise an employee for deciding to join a trade union, deciding not to join a trade union, or deciding to leave a union of which they were previously a member. The decision is entirely up to the employee and they must not be made to feel any pressure about their decision by their employer.

In conclusion, many workers join a trade union because they believe they will be able to negotiate better pay and terms and conditions, they will have access to training for new skills, they feel confident that they will have somebody to turn to – who has their best interests in mind – who will be able to help them with any problems at work. They are also attracted by the prospect of lifelong legal and financial advice that will be made available to them. If you are interested in a joining a trade union you should look for information in your work handbook or contact the TUC for details of your local union.

Copyright (c) 2011 Robert Gray