Women in Franchising: How the Landscaping is Changing

 

It’s no secret that corporate businesses are dominated by men. A recent CNNMoney analysis indicates that of all S&P 500 CEO jobs, only 5 percent are held by women. A similar study described by Catalyst shows that women made up just 20 percent of board seats of fortune 500 companies. The good news is, this trend is shifting in the world of franchising. Women now either own or co-own 41 percent of all franchises in the United States. The reasons for this are complex, stemming from cultural shifts in traditional gender roles, general consumer experience, and the overall importance of diversity of thought. Women are changing the game.

 

Challenging Traditional Gender Roles

 

Just like other cultural phenomena, gender roles shift naturally over time; they’re affected by politics, environment, and social values. Over the course of the last century, female roles in western society have evolved rapidly. While there have been significant growing pains, women now hold business positions that have historically eluded them. However, work/life balance is still incredibly important to women, as it’s essential for overall well-being. According to Franchise Times, 54 percent of female franchisees say that their overall work-life is balanced or very balanced. When compared with corporate jobs, there is often less mandatory travel time, and hours are more flexible.

 

In fact, franchising is often overall a more dependable career option than, say, starting a business. Franchises have proven track records of success, follow established business models and regulations, and have the general support of the company. This may, at first glance, seem like a relatively risk-averse approach to business; after all, signing on to a stable company model appears to be a safe bet. However, a more appropriate phrasing would be risk mitigation. Compared to men, women are more adept at mitigating risk in favor of larger, potentially more advantageous risks. In a sense, women make inclusive and calculated decisions that support the bigger picture.

 

Women and the Consumer Experience

 

Women make up a significant portion of franchise consumers. Consumer experience gives women intimate knowledge of what products and services they prefer, what marketing strategies are successful, and how business models work for them. Sexism often plays a significant role—business models that are traditionally male dominated, like those in the automotive industry, can deter female consumers and leave them frustrated. If a woman has a poor experience at a franchise that provides a service that is essential to her lifestyle, she has motive to either take her business elsewhere, or become a change agent in the industry.

 

Though more women are getting into franchising than ever before, there are still logistical hurdles. For example, women continue to have difficulty obtaining adequate franchise funding, with female franchisees seeing a loan average of $568,475 compared to $729,093 for men. In terms of research, it’s hard to say whether these numbers reflect sexism in the loan industry, or if they indicate that women have historically pursued business ventures that require less capital than men. Whatever the case may be, this trend is rapidly changing. Loans to female franchisers showed an increase of 22.5 percent between 2013 and 2017, while those for males only increased 5.7 percent

 

One theory is that female franchisees are addressing the lack of family-friendly environments in companies. Brian Scudamore, Founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? reports that, “female-lead franchises are…disproportionately more successful than the men. Part of their strength is that they can relate to our customers—who are primarily women.” When a franchise owner and a customer share a lived experience, the customer is better served. Using their experience as consumers, women are able to accurately provide access to certain services, increasing foot traffic to their business. For example, when consumers who require childcare services have their needs met, they are likely to return. This is not to say that men can’t address the same issues; it’s merely indicative that the traditional female roles of the past can have significant, progressive influence on female roles in the future.

 

What Women Bring to the Table

 

Women bring a diversity of thought to the table. In general, women are more open to sharing ideas and collaboration than their male counterparts, giving way to innovation and new business practices. Women are similarly unafraid to ask questions, an inclusive practice that allows them to bring new voices and expertise to their franchise. According to Courtney Sinelli, Executive Vice President of Which Which Superior Sandwiches, women “look at their business from various angles,” considering “how decisions affect all areas of their business.” Similarly, Shelly Sun from the International Franchising Association believes that women “tend to be better managers, leaders, and inspirers of talent,” making their employees “feel cared for.” This wholistic approach is paving the way for women to change the landscape of franchising, making it more diverse and accessible to consumers.

 

 

Haley is from Gilbert, Arizona. She loves reading and writing just about anything under the sun. In her spare time, you can find her exploring outdoors or sippin’ on a craft brew.  

 

 

5 Questions To Ask Before Opening A Savings Accounts

5 Questions To Ask Before Opening A Savings Accounts

Many people save money through websites like Simply Switch which allows them to search for lower energy bills, but they don’t actually put that money away in a saving account. A lot of people also have limited knowledge of saving accounts. Did you know that all savings accounts are not the same? Among the variables that affect an account’s profitability are the financial institution, the mode of operation, and online product accessibility. Apart from these factors, you also have the interest rates and fees to consider..

Opening a savings account is one of the most low risk investments that the average person can make, with many asking how to open a tax free savings account so they can get started on their investments. Often times, you won’t have to pay much and you will start to see a return in just 30 days. However, to develop the financial skills to handle big investments, you need the financial skills to handle small investments.

In this article, you will learn 5 questions you should be asking before opening up an account. Although we will cover it in terms of a savings account, these questions scope way further and are often at the core of being a financially savvy person.

What Type Of Financial Institution Should I Bank With?

One of the most critical factors you need to consider before committing to a savings account is the type of financial institutions that will offer you the savings account.

You can either open your savings account at the bank or credit union. Irrespective of where you open your account, you will enjoy a similar but different experience.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is in charge of the insurance of all the savings accounts at the US banks. On the other hand, the National Credit Union Administration insures all the savings account at the credit unions. As a result of this, there is a slight difference in the mode of operation of the two institutions.

What is The Difference Between a Bank and Credit Union?

Another thing you need to consider when opening an account is your convenience. It does not matter whether you want to operate your account online or plan not to visit a bank. What matters is for you to be able to visit the bank conveniently.

You’re probably wondering what is the closest bank or credit union near me? Before you pick one, understand the difference. Banks tend to be national with plenty of locations while credit unions tend to be local with less locations.

Research shows that you tend to save more time and money when your bank/credit union is closer to you. You will be free from unnecessary traveling or stress.

Aside from that, banks are for profit organizations that tend to have higher fees but higher payout rates for their premium accounts. They also have a greater diversity of financial products. Credit unions on the other hand are local, have less locations, are non-profit, have less products, less fees and tend to pay out more on their normal accounts.

Lastly, you should also know if the bank has a live chat or telephone support.

Your convenience is your priority. Do not open an account in a financial institution that is far from you.

What Are The Interest Rates?

Saving accounts do not pay high interest rates. The essence of having a saving account is to keep some money in case of emergency. Despite this, financial institutions compensate their customers with interests for having money in their saving accounts.

However, one main reason why people choose one saving account over the rest is of the interest rate. You too can do your research. Compare the interest rates available and go for your choice. With a wide range of savings accounts available, you might want to check here to see if you can find the best plan for your needs.

The interest rate, although small in payment is valuable. At the moment, many common currencies are depreciating – that means keeping $1,000 under your mattress will be losing you money over time. The small interest rates help combat inflation and keep your money in the green.

What Are The Fees And Prices?

Take your time to inquire about the fees and prices payable on the account. Saving accounts should not cost you much.

Know when the financial institution might charge you a fee. For example, some institution levy a fee for too many withdrawals within a month. Some charges a fee for not having a particular amount in an account within 6 months.

Whichever way, do not go for an account that will charge you so much that you will end up paying more than you receive from them as interest.

Are The Bonuses Actually Traps?

Many institutions offer mouthwatering offers to lure customers into opening a savings account with them. Most of the time, these offers disappear within three months or at most a year.

While opening an account, you should be sure that the bonus they offer are not short term. You should also try to consider the account without the bonus.

Ask yourself how good the account will be without the mouthwatering offers. If you are satisfied with it, you can go for it.

Having a good knowledge of a saving account before opening it will save you from getting stuck with a bank that does not serve your purpose.

For the last 22 years Brandi Zeledon has worked for major firms analyzing market data, interviewing world-class entrepreneurs, and studying global finance. With the massive demand for accurate, potent, and game changing information out there, she decided to start her Bulletproof Financing blog. By combining her passions for finance and writing, she has now found the perfect medium to continue her career.

Three Types Of Insurance Every Entrepreneur Needs

 

Three Types Of Insurance Every Entrepreneur Needs

 

As an entrepreneur, you are probably used to dealing with uncertainty. Starting a new venture in an undefined market with an untested customer base is the epitome of uncertainty. Most may not know it as you do, but that is the very uncertainty that defines life. You may have also figured out as an entrepreneur that you must hedge your bets against potential loss. Picking the right insurance policy is very similar to picking the right venture. It means that you minimize the chances of irreparable loss if the unthinkable happens.

All too often entrepreneurs are dramatically slowed down by “black swan” events. Here, we will discuss the three types of insurance you will need as an entrepreneur to protect your ventures, your family and yourself.

 

 

Life Insurance

 

 

Two things are certain in this life: death and taxes. Now while we can manoeuvre taxes and perhaps hope they get lowered, death is of a permanence we cannot control.

Life insurance is a partial answer to the puzzle of death. As an entrepreneur, your family may depend on you as a breadwinner. As you are not employed formally, you may not have the luxury of company-sponsored insurance schemes. Taking up life insurance is therefore a must.

You may opt for either term life insurance or permanent life insurance. The former, as the name suggests, is for a period. Perhaps 20 years. After the term lapses, you get paid a lump sum. Permanent life insurance is only payable after you die. It is paid to those who survive you. In both cases, the money paid out goes a long way in covering funeral expenses, federal death (estate) taxes and creditors.

Do note one major factor. Depending on your type of entrepreneurship, it might be a smart idea to opt in for AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment insurance). The problem with life insurance is that it only pays out when you die.

Imagine you are in an accident and you survive but are left maimed and unable to work. If you died, your family would be well off – but you did not, so now you are at risk of transforming from the breadwinner to a financial burden. This is where AD&D comes in. According to Meetfabric.com, entrepreneurs who are involved with riskier businesses or hobbies such as extreme sports, driving, construction and a few others are the ones that would benefit most from AD&D.

The chances are you losing an eye-ball to your office stapler are pretty low, so AD&D is not for everyone. But if you are one of the more risk prone people out there, then it is an important option to consider.

In other words, when you walk out of life, your insurance walks in.

 

Auto Insurance

 

 

As an entrepreneur, chances are you own a car. Driving a car without auto insurance is illegal in most states. Therefore if you have no insurance, do not hesitate to visit a website like One Sure Insurance and consider getting a quote. Some states, however, only require third-party auto insurance. This covers only the damage to the other car and any harm to passengers in the other car. However, some states require you have comprehensive auto insurance. This covers both your vehicle and the other vehicle. This also includes occupants of both cars.

For an entrepreneur, this is unavoidable as you probably move around a lot. You also must manage your expenses as a costly accident could cripple your finances. Imagine having to pay for someone else’s car and whatever medical bills that other person concocts.

Auto insurance also applies to commercial vehicles. Again, this could either be third party cover or comprehensive cover. One thing to note is if you have third party auto insurance and your car gets totalled or stolen, the insurance company will not compensate you. That is why comprehensive auto insurance is highly recommended. Finding out what requirements your state has on auto insurance is the first step to getting the right auto insurance cover. It may also be helpful to visit the Auto Finance Online website if you need a financial hand with buying a new vehicle, such as a caravan.

 

Health Insurance

 

 

Finally, health insurance is a must for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a stressful field. There can be crushing amounts of uncertainty and unrelenting pressure as you build your business. In such a scenario, you do not want to fall ill and not have health insurance.

Health insurance allows you to walk into a hospital, receive treatment, and leave without paying a thing. The cover also allows for medical checkups. While most people get health insurance through their employer or their spouse/ partner’s employer, there are policies available for entrepreneurs.

These are often termed as self-employed health insurance covers. You can purchase these polices from most insurance companies that offer health insurance. The average cost as per a 2016 Department of Health and Human Services survey was $106 per month after subsidies. This gives a rough indication of how much it would cost you. Factors that will push this figure either up or down include copay arrangements, level of cover, inclusions and exclusions, among others.

While insurance often seems like an unnecessary expense, statistics bear it out: 100% of Americans will die; 100% of Americans will fall sick in their lifetime; 100% of Americans who drive will have at least a 1% risk of having an auto accident in their lifetime. With such statistics, it is easy to see why everyone needs these three types of insurance, and not only entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

For the last 22 years Brandi Zeledon has worked for major firms analyzing market data, interviewing world-class entrepreneurs, and studying global finance. With the massive demand for accurate, potent, and game changing information out there, she decided to start her Bulletproof Financing blog. By combining her passions for finance and writing, she has now found the perfect medium to continue her career.

 

What I Learned Getting Rid Of 465 Of My Belongings

 

What I Learned Getting Rid Of 465 Of My Belongings

 

Last month, I decided to embark on The Minimalists’ 30-day challenge. The idea is this: on the first day, you get rid of one thing, on the second day, you get rid of two things, etc. So on the 30th day, after you’ve gotten rid of 30 things, you’ve purged a total of 465 items from your life.

 

I was already pretty minimal when it came to my clothing and possessions, so I was surprised by my many epiphanies as I continuously pared down to what was absolutely essential. Here’s what I learned.

 

1) Most of my belongings don’t mean that much to me.

 

One of Buddha’s most famous teachings is to feel open to anything but attached to nothing. In the most literal sense, this can apply to physical things.

 

Each day, I would make tick marks in my planner of how many things I’d gotten rid of so far. It was nice to see objects represented so plainly; it reminded me of their superficiality.

 

2) The things that do matter to me matter for a good reason.

 

I have two pairs of jeans (one blue and one black) that I wear all the time. They’re well-made and fit me perfectly, and I didn’t mind that they were an investment because I knew they’d be staples. If I were to part with one of those two pairs, I’d be affected by the change. But for so many other items in my closet, I wouldn’t even notice. That made it easy to say goodbye.

 

On the other hand, I have a shoebox stuffed with meaningful cards and letters. Every now and then I’ll riffle through to remind myself that I am loved by some remarkable people. I wouldn’t part with that box for anything.

 

3) I learned what I don’t need to spend money on in the future.

 

It’s so tempting to grab a tank top that’s on sale for six bucks or four sports bras when they’re buy one get one. But the pretty price tag is often a distraction from the fact that those clothes don’t fit perfectly and I probably don’t even need them. When I was going through my closet, things like that were the first to go.

 

Before I spend money on something, I now think more carefully about it, about the physical space I’ll “spend” as well as the money.

 

4) I started a ‘do without’ list.

 

When I have the urge to spend money on something that isn’t necessary, I jot it down on a running list along with the amount of money I’m saving by not purchasing it. For instance, I was obsessed with those lovely glass boxes that are everywhere right now, the ones with the gold or copper metal framing. I browsed a million websites and even bought one, but when I took it home, I saw that it didn’t really de-clutter my jewelry; it just put my jewelry clutter in a beautiful clear box. I didn’t need it. I returned it and saved myself $25 bucks!

 

This list isn’t about depriving myself of things I need or would put to good use, it just reminds me that not everything I want I need, and it celebrates when I remember that buying stuff won’t make me happy.

5) I found the most meaningful practice I can do with my stuff: give it away.

 

I love crafting things, namely cards and candles. For me, the process of making is therapeutic, but I don’t need all of the finished products. I found that giving these homemade lovelies as gifts brings them new meaning. I got the therapeutic benefit of crafting them, and now I can give someone a thoughtful homemade gift and feel great about it.

 

What objects do you surround yourself with that make you feel fufilled? What objects are holding you back?

 

 

 

Ali Weeks is a freelance writer and editor. She specializes in writing about health and wellness, relying on her experience in the industry as a Pilates instructor and professional dancer. She is passionate about helping people share their stories, and would love to do the same for you. Visit tidepoolreverie.com to learn more.

 

It’s Not Early to Think About Your Pension Plan

It’s Not Early to Think About Your Pension Plan

Let’s face it – we live such hectic lives nowadays that even thinking about next year requires some time off in order to consider our options carefully. Retirement? Well, that is light years away! So, we avoid thinking about it. Or we say to ourselves, ’I’ll deal with that later’ and we never do. However, with all the fuss that had become our daily routine, we really can’t afford not to think about our future. Because it is bound to catch up to us and we better be prepared.

Know where you want to be

It is a psychological thing – if you have an idea of what you want your retirement to be like, you will be able to organize yourself early on in order to achieve this. Having a well-defined aim in life has been proven to be beneficial for mental growth. Therefore, creating this aim could be one of your goals in life. Maybe not a predominant one, but a goal nonetheless. So, if your ideal retirement is sipping martinis on a beach, we advise you to start thinking about it as soon as you can and start making arrangements. Even if you have no definite idea, we still advise it, as drinking martinis or spending your time in spas sounds like a solid retirement plan to us. There are also so many different types of retirement plans to look into from traditional ones to Self-directed IRAs. The sooner you look into it, the sooner you can start saving for where you want to be. Even if it is a simple Google search for companies in your local area then that simple “houston tx quest ira” search into IRAs is still a step closer to saving for your future.

Build your habits

It does not come as a surprise that people who think about their pension plan, tend not to spend their money that often. It is understandable to splurge once in a while, but don’t overdo it. While we are not advising you to start saving every cent, we are saying that thinking about your retirement plan can help you live more frugally. It is simple math, the earlier you start thinking about it, more you will have when you actually reach your retirement. Those martinis will not pay for themselves. Jokes aside, if you start thinking about it early on, you will probably manage to save up more. After you get married and have children, you will not be able to save as much as when you are single. It is a good idea to try doing an age pension income test to find out how much you should be setting aside to be able to benefit fully later on.

Avoid upsetting your loved ones

This might not be an example for everyone, but the author of this article has spent several months with an extremely low pension fund and managed to upset half of the family and quite a few friends. “Do you not think about the future?’, ‘What will happen if you can’t work tomorrow?’, etc. It is not just you who thinks about your future. Your loved ones will also worry if they think you are being too reckless and not taking into consideration that a lot of things can happen between now and your retirement. Therefore, reassure them and show them that you are thinking about it and doing everything you can at this stage in life to ensure a comfortable future. If some of them are your age or younger, you can reassure them by letting them know that they will not be the ones you will come to if you need funds.

Later might be too late

While we do think that it is never too late to start planning our pension and saving for it, we never know what the future might bring. This doesn’t mean you should jump into the first plan that comes your way because sometimes promises are made by IRAs but never happen. If this happens to you then you may be able to get compensation for bad pension advice. You should take your time choosing a plana and pick one that’s best for your future. One of the saddest sights you can see is an older person struggling to make ends meet. Do you really want to give up some things in order to have money for the bare essentials? We don’t think so. You should start saving now while you are younger and able to earn more money, and put some aside for when you are older and not so able. Now when you have the energy and opportunity to work more, you can get an additional part-time job to supplement your income. However, if you lack money later on, it will not be so easy to get it.

Shape your future

So, to sum it up – it is never early to think about your pension plan (unless you are a teenager!) for many reasons but the most important of them being – because you can. You cannot change the past but as the future is not written in stone, you can plan it and while at it, why not include pension plans into your consideration as well?

Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger. She feels blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting herself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase her expertise and receiving recognition. She is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog “http://bizzmarkblog.com”.

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