Author Archives: Michael Crane

Is A Franchise Right For You?

is a franchise right for youAre you thinking about buying a franchise? There could be very good reasons why a franchise is right for you. But there could also be reasons why you should NOT buy a franchise. So before you start choosing a franchise model, ask yourself: is a franchise right for you!

The fact is, it really depends on what you expect from a franchise and how it fits with your personality. So how do you find out whether a franchise is the right solution for you… or not?

Is a franchise right for you? How to find out

Here’s what a franchise actually is…

For each franchise, there’s a franchisor who created a company, and who gives you the opportunity to own a piece of their company. As a franchisee, you’ll get to use the same branding. In addition, the operations manual has been designed to allow you to be successful.

The key is that you are running a business with the same name of the franchisor’s business. As a result, your customers expect to encounter the same products and/or services they would get from the original company.

To be successful as a franchisee, you have to follow the rules. If that’s not your strong suit, you should take a deeper look at your motives. This will help you decide whether a franchise really is the right option for you.

Do you want to call the shots or can you stick to the rules?

As a franchisee, you would have to stick to the “rules” of the franchisor. There’s really little room for experimentation and new additions. You’ve committed to staying faithful to THEIR business model.

If you prefer to call the shots, being a franchisee is not your ideal solution. You won’t enjoy it, and chances are you’re not going to be successful. You may even lose your franchise license.

Imagine a McDonalds franchisee who would prefer to run a vegetarian restaurant. He would not last long. He made a commitment to run McDonalds according to the McDonald’s operations manual and their extensive training. Major deviations that run counter to McDonalds’ philosophy would not be tolerated.

If you bristle at the thought of being restricted by rules in this way, a franchise is not going to be right for you. That is, unless you find a franchise that fits your own philosophy 100%.

So if you’re an entrepreneur with a strong independent streak, be sure to ask yourself if a franchise is right for you before you jump in. Are you someone who likes to experiment and call all the shots? Do you like to make changes every time you come up with a new idea? Then a franchise is not the right solution for you. Instead, you should start up your own business… from scratch.

What if you really want a J-O-B?

On the other side of the equation, a franchise is also not the right solution for you if you really want a job. That means you expect to show up for work, do your thing, and then get paid a salary. If you do, you’ll find being a franchisee very disappointing.

A franchise involves risk. It involves a commitment to owning the business and doing whatever it takes to make it successful.  Of course you’ll need to stick to the operation manual’s rules.

As for getting paid… remember that a franchise is a business. Your revenues and profits will depend on your (successful) efforts. Sure, you’ll get lots of help and support from the franchisor.

Still, depending on the franchise you choose, it can take some time until your new business becomes profitable. This means that you’ll have to be prepared to fund your basic living expenses yourself until you can take payouts from your franchise.

If you expect a steady paycheck, find a job instead of buying a franchise. You’ll also save the cost of the initial investment!

If you STILL want a franchise, consider buying one you can work on part-time, while also still continuing with your job, at least until your franchise fully supports you. It could keep you very busy, but if you’re committed, it could work for you – and allow you to have it both ways.

Is a franchise right for you? How to be sure.

The answer is yes if you love the idea of stepping into a ready-made business. You love benefitting from the hard work the franchisor has done. This includes branding, business operation, setting up systems, and more.  If all that’s the case, a franchise may be perfect for you.

Are you ready to make the initial investment, learn the system, and follow the rules? If so, and you are also a team player, you’ll likely be a happy franchisee.

It also helps to have a successful business and/or management background. Add a possible background in sales, and your chances of being successful as a franchisee are excellent.

Of course, once you’ve decided you want a franchise, choosing the right one is your next step. But before you choose, you should really be sure that a franchise is what you really want, and that you’re ready to commit to making yours successful!

And if you decide to choose our Crane Business Solutions Franchise, we’ll provide all the support and training you need to help your new business thrive.

 

The Right Office Fans For A Comfortable Workplace

 

office fansIt’s summer, and time to choose the right office fans for a comfortable workplace. You may not need them every day in the UK, which is why most offices don’t have air conditioning. But when it gets hot and steamy, you’ll be glad you have them…

Last weekend, we got a preview of what’s to come! With temperatures in the very high 20s and up, now is the season for time on the beach. And I will definitely be enjoying some beach time myself… whenever the weather cooperates… cooling off with a swim and enjoying the breeze…

But what to do when Monday rolls around? Clearly, we can’t bring the ocean (or the pool) to the office. But we CAN bring the breeze… That’s when it’s time to bring out the office fans!

How to choose the right office fans

Check the fans you still have from last year, make sure they’re in good working order, set them up and turn them on. You’ll have a chance to put them to the test on Monday! Do they have enough cooling power, or will you have to supplement?

Depending on how your office is set up, you may need several types of fans – large fans designed for keeping entire rooms at a comfortable temperature, and smaller fans to provide some additional cooling power for teammates who need an extra breeze to feel comfortable.

Large office fans for a comfortable workplace

When it comes to large fans, you have several options, depending on the layout of your office. First there are floor fans! They’re efficient, effective, and you can move them around to focus the breeze where it’s most needed.

Their only drawback is that they take up valuable floor space. If that’s the case, you can also opt for ceiling fans, wall-mounted fans, and tower fans. Tower fans work much like floor fans, but they take up a lot less space while keeping the office well ventilated.

Personal office fans

In addition, having smaller fans available that can be placed where they’re most needed, including on individual desks, will be much appreciated.

Branded fans help you reach prospects and clients

Want to take advantage of the heat to reach your prospects and clients? Branded fans, especially personal ones, are ideal for putting your name front and center right on your prospects’ desks… and making them think of you fondly. We have several types of branded fans, some fairly inexpensive, and some quite spectacular. Check them out here:

http://www.cranepromotionalitems.co.uk/index.php?go=products&k=fans&km=a

For promotional fans that really stand out, take a look at this one:

http://www.cranepromotionalitems.co.uk/product/Desk_Fans_445979

Other ways to stay cool

In addition to fans, access to plenty of cold water and other beverages will help everyone stay cool. Run a quick check to make sure your ice maker is in good working condition, and you have lots of water, either in a special water cooler or in bottles. And those bottles should be kept cold… Take stock to make sure you have enough space in the fridge or in coolers.

Helping everyone in your office stay cool and comfortable will not only keep your staff happy but also ensure that productivity stays high even as temperatures go up.

You’ll find more information about fans and how to choose the right ones for your office in my article here:

http://www.officesuppliesexpert.co.uk/comfort-and-productivity-staying-cool-in-summer/

And if you’d like some help with selecting the best fans for your office, just give us a call on 0800 007 5566, or contact us on our Live Chat! We’re always happy to assist you!

Crane Franchise Benefits: Choosing the Right Franchise

crane franchise benefitsToday, I’m going to share more details about our new franchise, how both franchisees and their customers as well as our regular customers can tap into our Crane Franchise Benefits.

As I mentioned before, we have created really great back office systems and processes. Those benefit our current customers and allow us to deliver outstanding customer service. They also benefit our franchisees – and THEIR new customers, so more and more business owners and customers will benefit from our systems.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting questions about our new venture, and I’d like to answer some of them right here:

Who is an ideal candidate for a franchise?

If you’ve always wanted to start your own business but you’re not quite ready to strike out completely on your own, franchising may be ideal. It offers you a tested business model, ongoing help and support, and greater access to finance.

What makes our products ideal for a franchise?

We sell products that businesses need on a daily basis. If you take a look around your office, you’ll likely see several (or even dozens) of the kinds of items we sell. Paper, pens, ink, staplers, business cards, stationery, envelopes, promotional gift items (yes, including pens), calendars, desk organisers, and many more. This means that our (potential) customers are just about everywhere.

Crane Franchise Benefits From The Perfect Combination

When I first started, one of my mentors told me to focus on consumable items – and I’m glad I followed his advice! Almost all of the products we sell are used up quickly, so our customers need to get more on a regular basis.

If you look at franchises around you, you’ll probably see McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, and many other food-related brands. They all offer consumable items. Unfortunately, their items are also perishable, which causes certain challenges.

Our Crane franchise offers the best of both worlds – our products “run out” and need to be replenished, but we don’t have to worry about them actually going bad and having to be thrown out!

Could you run a Crane franchise as a part-time business?

Since we’re doing most of the back office work for you, and you can hire a sales person or three to help you grow your customer base, you could indeed run your new Crane franchise on a part-time basis! Depending on the size of your customers’ businesses, you may be able to break even with as few as 30 accounts. That’s very achievable! Anything beyond that takes you straight into profit!

How Crane Franchise Benefits You

If you’d like to know how you can tap into the Crane Franchise Benefits, why not request more information and a prospectus. Just click here:

http://CraneFranchise.co.uk

And watch our video here!

 

Secure Document Storage Service London

secure document storage service LondonWe recently started offering our new secure document storage service London and archival service, and I’ve been getting quite a few questions about how it works. So here are some answers along with more details.

Basically, our storage solution is designed for sensitive information you can’t shred just yet. There are government requirements that you store certain documents for up to six years and be able to retrieve and produce them for inspection on short notice.

Clearly, if you store those documents in your office, they will occupy an ever-growing portion of your space. So if your boxes take up too much room or if it’s difficult to lock them up securely, it’s time to look into a secure document storage and archival service.

Why we started our Secure Document Storage Service London

That’s exactly what happened in our office, and since we had quite a bit of extra capacity in our warehouse, I’ve decided to move our archival documents there. It’s really great to have all that space back in the office and be able to put it to better use.

We’ve also decided to offer our secure storage and archival service to our customers in the London area as well as in Kent. Here are the details…

Our secure document storage service provides:

  • Secure storage in our local warehouse
  • Full tracking of your document boxes
  • Secure and fully trackable transportation of your boxes from your office to our warehouse and back, as needed
  • Delivery of your documents back to your office whenever they are needed, i.e., for audits and similar purposes
  • Secure shredding when you decide you no longer need to keep some or all of your documents

Here’s how our secure document storage service works:

First, you number the boxes and create a record of what’s inside each box. Then, we’ll pick them up, take them to our secure warehouse and keep them there until you either want them back permanently or are ready to have their contents securely shredded.

If you need your documents after they’ve been safely locked away in our warehouse, we’ll be happy to bring select (or all) boxes back to your office so you can access your documents. Once you’ve finished with them, we’ll return to pick up your documents and put them back on the shelf in our secure warehouse.

So if you find that you’re getting crowded out of your own office by those boxes of paperwork, you can count on us.  Just call our office on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat to get more details about our Secure Document Storage Service London and make the arrangements to reclaim your space!

Get Your Office Ready For Spring

get your office ready for springA look at the calendar tells you it’s spring even if it doesn’t feel like it quite yet. No matter, the time is right to get your office ready for spring. A fresh new look and more comfortable furniture can really enhance everyone’s mood and productivity.

That’s right! Research has shown that being comfortable not only makes people feel better, but it also reduces time away from work for health reasons and increases their productivity when they are in the office.

Pay attention to functionality and comfort

So take a look around. Check out all the office chairs and make sure they’re still working properly. Sometimes, the mechanism that lets you adjust the height can break. Sometimes, those chairs start to wobble, or maybe the seat back no longer stays in place.

You may also find some rather worn padding where a formerly cushy seat cushion has been flattened into a hard surface. Any of these can make the chairs quite uncomfortable, and a lack of comfort results in distraction and lower productivity. That’s bad news.

If you find that your furniture is still comfortable and looks great, you’re in luck. If not, you may want to consider replacing some or all of the chairs that no longer live up to your standards. But before you run out and get new chairs, consider this…

Get your office ready for spring with the right look

Functionality and comfort are important. However, does your office have a look you can be proud of? Does it look modern and professional? Or do you prefer a classic look? As you consider upgrading your office furniture, why not make sure to upgrade your office to a more consistent appearance too.

In addition, why not add some spring colours? They could be incorporated into your overall decorative scheme, the furniture, or even added in the form of plants on desks and window sills. Flowers lift everyone’s mood, especially yellow ones, like daffodils and tulips and other spring flowers. Adding some will go a long way as you get your office ready for spring.

And when clients visit your office, you want them to be impressed, or at least reassured, by your office’s professional look. And if your uplifting decorations put a smile on their face, so much the better.

How to find the right furniture?

You may be wondering just how you’ll find furniture that looks good AND feels good. You want furniture that keeps your team comfortable while they work. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell whether a chair is comfortable and the right fit when you’re just looking at a catalogue.

Instead, to ensure that you’ll find the right furniture go see it in person. Sit on the chairs, try the sofas for the reception area, and make sure the desks work for you. Bring some of your team members too! And yes, you may also want to see the actual colours as they look in real life.

Should you get ergonomic office furniture

Should you go all the way out and get ergonomic office furniture? You may want to consider it.  It’s a lot more expensive, but it will go a long way to prevent occupational hazards such as back pain, neck pain, hip problems, and more.

What if you want to go part of the way even though you’re not quite ready to go all in? You could explore ergonomic office chairs and find out what makes them special. Then look for similar features in the not-quite ergonomic office chair and furniture options and choose versions that come closest. The key to making chairs ergonomically correct lies in fit and adjustability.

You’ll find many options in our several showrooms around London. Which ones feature the exact kind of furniture that’s best for you? Call us on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat and let us know what you’re looking for.

We’ll be happy to point you to the right showroom(s) where you can find the perfect new chairs, desks, sofas, and other office furniture. Have a cup of coffee or tea on us while you decide which chair and sofa offers the best fit.

Once you find what you like, we’ll make sure you get your new furniture right away, generally within a few days at most. Add some potted plants or even fresh flowers, and get your office ready for spring in no time.