Celebrating Independence:

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant

A New Beginning for Those Who Serve and Protect

July is my favorite month of the year for a variety of reasons.  One reason is my birthday falls in July enough said. Another reason is it officially “feels” like summer and the barbecues, fireworks, and parades soon follow.  Lastly, the most important reason I love July is the 4th –the day that we celebrate America’s independence.   Independence is a value that we hold near and dear in this country, and an important way that you can establish your independence is pursuing entrepreneurship.

One of the fastest growing segments of entrepreneurs is our military veterans.  The end of their military service means a new beginning ahead. And for many of our veterans this new beginning opens the door for opportunities in business ownership.  In the July 2011 edition of Entrepreneur magazine it stated, “According to the SBA, about a quarter of the country’s 23.5 million veterans are interested in starting or buying their own business.”

My father, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, told me first hand that veterans make great business owners. In the military, you are taught how to work effectively in a proven system.  It’s all about working as a cohesive unit.  There are existing processes in place to help you be successful-much like a franchise.  In the military, you recognize the importance of collaboration and shared success. When one person wins, everyone wins-you are as strong as your weakest link.  However, if one unit fails, then everyone is affected in some way-similar to a franchise. The same discipline and structure needed to be successful in the military, is what you will need to successfully run a business.

There are several franchises that grant special incentives and discounts to veterans. In fact, one franchise called Action Coach launched a free franchise program that will award $7.6 million in franchises to 100 eligible veterans from the U.S Armed Forces in select U.S. states.  For more details on this program, visit: www.actioncoachfranchise.com/franchisefortheforces.

Here are other franchises I personally work with that provide significant military discounts:

Sports Clips(www.rmcfranchiseconnect.com/Hairstyling/Sport-Clips),

Mr. Handyman(http://www.rmcfranchiseconnect.com/Repair%20&%20Restoration/Mr-Handyman)

Molly Maid (http://www.rmcfranchiseconnect.com/Maid%20Service%20&%20Cleaning/Molly-Maid)

There are a number of support services that provide veterans direction on how to start a franchise (Veterans’ Business Outreach Center) or secure funds (SBA’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiatives). I am proud to be a part of an industry that provides support to veterans who express interestin entrepreneurship. It’s only appropriate that after protecting our American rights overseas and domestically, that we provide them with opportunities to achieve their American Dream of business ownership.

Golf Networking Night!

Join me and other business professionals from around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky at “TGI Friday’s Golf Networking Nights” presented by BNI.

Franchise growth sizzling nationwide

 Tom Demeropolis Cincinnati Business Courier

Premium content from Business Courier – by Tom Demeropolis, Courier Staff Reporter

Date: Friday, March 11, 2011, 6:00am EST

Read more: Franchise growth sizzling nationwide in recession’s wake | Business Courier

Ray Wiley knows the challenges of being both a franchisee and a franchisor. The longtime Subway franchisee launched his own Mexican fast-casual restaurant concept in Dayton back in 2007. Now, Hot Head Burritos is one of the fastest-growing franchise concepts in the region.

And in the wake of the Great Recession, Hot Head Burritos could have as many as 100 locations in some stage of development before the end of the year.

Wiley is far from alone, as franchise businesses across the country are gearing up for growth.

Coming out of recessions, franchises historically have grown at a faster clip. Matt Haller, director of communications for the International Franchise Association, said franchises perform better in down economies because of the nature of franchising. Franchises are easier to operate and easier to expand because franchisees can draw from experience in the franchise system and support from the franchisor.

Many who lost their jobs during the recession don’t want to be dependent on someone else for their income. Franchising offers a way to be independent without starting from the ground up.

Don Boroian, founder and chairman of Chicago-based Francorp International, said franchising offers entrepreneurs an easier way to own a business.

“Ninety-five percent of people who try to start a business from scratch fail,” Boroian said.

Franchising is the fastest and strongest way to scale a business to create new jobs and expand a business, Haller said.

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise ConsultantDarian Richardson, president of Cincinnati-based RMC Franchise Consulting, works with clients interested in buying a franchise.

For the first quarter of the year, activity is up 10 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, Richardson said. He’s seeing increased interest from two different segments: those who have lost their jobs during the recession and those who are looking to franchises to supplement their existing income.

For those making a career change, Richardson helps them investigate the type of franchise business that fits them best.

“If you’re considering starting a business, perform a self-assessment first. Figure out what’s important to you,” Richardson said.

And franchising goes far beyond restaurants. That way, you don’t have to come home smelling like hamburgers if you don’t want to, he said.

Franchise segments that are seeing continued expansion are senior care, personal care, such as hair salons, and business related to pets, Richardson said. There are more than 300 business format lines that operate as franchises, Haller said.

The biggest obstacle facing both franchisees and franchisors is access to credit. Banks have tightened restrictions on lending, in turn making it more difficult for franchisees to get money to start up their own business.

“We’re making the argument now that we can turn this economic recovery into a jobs recovery if we can get the banks lending again,” Haller said.

For every $1 million loaned to franchises, 34 jobs are generated, Haller said.

Credit has been a hindrance for potential franchisees in the past, but a growing number of franchisors are acting as banks for their franchisees. Haller said this is a trend across the board for franchises.

“Franchises are looking for creative solutions to grow their systems,” Haller said.

Toledo-based Marco’s Pizza, for example, has several programs aimed at helping franchisees open stores, including providing them financing or guaranteeing their loans with banks. The 225-unit company has roughly 60 stores in development.

ServiceMaster Clean is offering qualified prospects up to 80 percent financing to start their cleaning business.

Another franchise offering lease finance options is Hoodz Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning, Richardson said.

Franchises of all shapes and sizes have targeted 2011 as a growth year.

Locally, LaRosa’s is looking to expand through multi-unit franchise operators in cities such as Nashville, Louisville and Columbus.

Dunkin’ Donuts experienced a 50 percent increase in development deals last year, crediting existing franchisees and incentives. The chain opened 206 new locations in the U.S.

In some markets, the Canton, Mass.-based franchise offered reduced royalty fees for three years and an extra $10,000 in local store marketing.

After more than 35 years in the franchise business, Boroian said there is always room for another franchise, as long as it’s well-run.

“The naysayers in 1970 said there was no room for another burger operation. We’ve seen burger operation after burger operation go on to flourish,” he said. “There’s always room for one more.”
Read more: Franchise growth sizzling nationwide in recession’s wake | Business Courier

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2011?

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2011? I know what it could be…

Can you believe it’s already the exciting holiday season? Turkey day has passed, and now we get to look forward to Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and whatever other holidays you and yours celebrate.  And after the holiday shopping is done, the holiday parties are over, and quality time with the family and love ones are complete…what next? For many people, planning for the new year begins. Many of us take this time to look back at the previous year and ask the question, “What did I really accomplish in the previous year?”  The next part of this self- analysis is to look into the future and develop a new set of goals we call New Year’s resolutions.  Some of the more “popular” and “traditional” New Year’s resolutions come in all forms:  a) Lose weight   b) Stop smoking c) Stop drinking d) Start a new relationship or e) Find a new job.

And what about starting a business? It might not be in your top 5, but it should be! Ask yourself the question, “What is my American Dream?” If your answer is, to building wealth, have more work/life balance, or be your own boss, then your New Year’s resolution is clear – starting a business is the answer.  And there is no time like the present.  According to a recent Economic Outlook Symposium in Chicago on December 3rd, the overwhelming forecast is that the nation’s economic growth is expected to increase at a solid pace in 2011. There is also positive news for business going into 2011 in terms of overall growth.  The November 15, 2010 specialist publication Fresh Business Thinking reports that 57% of companies are predicting revenue growth in 2011; 40% of businesses expect an increase in projects in the New Year, with over 30% anticipating growth in headcount.

During this downturn, more and more new businesses will be created.  Many people who have fell victim to being downsized, taken a buyout, or just unhappy at work have decided to start a business and 2011 should see much of the same.  There are risks associated with being an employee just as there are risks with starting a business. Those who have taken the opportunity to explore business ownership view it as a calculated risk. Tax benefits, earning potential, flexibility, great deals on real estate and lease agreements, and more access than ever before to (a) highly skilled talent pool (for less expense). Vanessa Reece, author of Top 10 Entrepreneur Business Trends for 2010/2011 says, “The downturn has also meant that many new business start-ups are looking for ways to build their business on a minimum budget. This could simply mean getting special deals from companies to buy products or services for their business.”

I am not suggesting that the economy will magically return to normal in 2011. The process will be slow but steady.  Though many economists are optimistic the recovery will take place in the New Year, it is still wise to temper your expectations.  But even if the economy moves a little slower than projected, that’s not an excuse to sit back and wait for things to improve.  The only sure way to change your situations is to initiate some form of action. If your resolution is to lose weight – get a gym membership and use it! , look for love – get back on the dating scene or try E-Harmony. And if you want take control of your future and be your own boss, then start a business.  Whatever your New Year’s resolution is, make this the year you actually do it!

Darian Richardson, owner of RMC Franchise Connect. RMC Franchise Connect helps you achieve the “American Dream” of business ownership. We provide free consultative services that connect you to hundreds of franchise opportunities. We will help you find the best business opportunity that meets your personal, professional, and financial goals….make the connection!

Visit www.rmcfranchiseconnect.com for more information.

Darian and RMC in the news again!

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise ConsultantLocally launched RMC Franchise links franchises, business owners

Soapbox, 9/21/2010.
There’s more than one route to entrepreneurship, and a Michigan transplant to Cincinnati has started his own business by helping others launch theirs.

Darian Richardson opened RMC Franchise Connect last fall. Richardson helps others find a franchise that best suits their financial and life goals and matches their personal interests. Located downtown, RMC offers a variety of free services for those looking to go in business for themselves, but wanting to work with an established brand to help them along.

“I like to say with a franchise you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” Richardson said.

He decided to start RMC after working for a company that produced marketing pieces for large corporations. Richardson worked with franchises, which got him interested in the business. His former company Valassis, transferred him from Michigan to Cincinnati to work on a new venture,  Promotion Execution Partners (PEP), a promotional management company.

He’d long had an itch to start his own franchise-related business and after several years at PEP decided to go out on his own. He has one other employee, a marketing director.

“A lot of people asked me why I wanted to start a business in this economy, but I said it was the perfect time to start a business. A lot of people are looking for their next opportunity,” Richardson said.

Among services he offers are profile analyses that best match an individual with a franchise. RMC can also access a person’s skill set, and matches his or her with a compactable franchise opportunity, Richardson said. He can also help people through the franchise process.

“Everyone has their own goals and needs. We do the leg work and provide them with options,” he said. “It really cuts down on the time and money they would need to do it by themselves.

Richardson is paid a commission by the franchise once he helps someone become an owner.

Though most people think of getting into the restaurant business through franchise, the world has opened way beyond food, he said. Among businesses franchisees can get into are health and beauty, home care, lodging, retail, pet care, sports, decorating, coffee shops and even urgent care.

RMC will be launching his Franchise Connect Spotlight series 6:30 p.m., Oct. 13 at his office (The McAlpin Building, 15 West 4th Street) for people who want to find out more about buying their own business. A representative from Liberty Tax, a fast-growing tax preparation company, is among the planned speakers. The cost is $10. RSVP to info@rmcfranchiseconnect.com by October 10.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Darian Richardson, founder RMC Franchise Connect

You’re never too young to start a business

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant
Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant

There was a time when the toughest decision for a college graduate was which one of five job offers they would accept upon graduation. Today’s graduates are entering a much different world and not so optimistic marketplace. Students have seen the constant restructuring and downsizing of top companies directly impact their career possibilities.  With the increase in the number of qualified professionals seeking entry-level positions, the landscape for graduates is much more competitive.  As a result, many graduates have limited options; either a) stay in school to pursue a graduate degree because there are no jobs or b) take the first job offer you get, and run!

But what about answer c) – starting a business? This option has become a trend for many graduates who are looking to take control of their destiny at an early age.  A recent study by The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that 18 to 24-year-olds in the United States are starting businesses at a faster rate than 35 to 44-year-olds.  Many universities are now grooming students for business ownership by focusing on entrepreneurship as a major or concentration.

Locally, Northern Kentucky University’s Entrepreneur Institute has been a very successful program that has prepared students for starting a business or buying a franchise.  For those students who may not have a business plan developed, becoming a franchisee allows them to learn the ins and outs of business ownership while having a support team to help ensure success. What’s better for a young person than real hands-on experience?

A warning for those who wait until later in life to begin an entrepreneurial venture – we all know that sometimes “life happens”, which may include marriage, children or simply deciding to take that first job offer right out of school.  However, any of these factors can easily detour the aspiring graduate’s entrepreneurial goals until they slowly fade away.  Starting a business earlier in life allows you to take risks you wouldn’t normally take as an older individual.

There are many reasons to start a business sooner rather than later. If you are successful in your business venture, great!!  Enjoy the fruits of your labor and hopefully you will reap the professional and financial success you desire. But what if that college graduate fails?  The answer is: SO WHAT!  What is the worst that could happen, money lost?  You can always earn that money back. The real world experience learned by that student is priceless!  It can provide lessons that will be utilized within their next business venture.  Conversely, what employer wouldn’t be impressed with someone who has owned a business, and can now bring that experience to their organization?  And for that student looking to apply to graduate school, that business experience will look very attractive on a college application.
Some parents are helping their children realize their entrepreneurial dreams by forming parent/child teams to purchase a franchise business. This has become a great opportunity to bond with their child and get them moving in the right direction (with a little parental supervision). No matter the age, the longer one waits to start a business, the more reasons they will find not to do it. So when is the best time to start a business or buy a franchise?  Answer: the minute you finish reading this article

Darian Richardson is the owner of RMC Franchise Connect in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.  You can contact Darian at (513) 407-8475 or darian@rmcfranchiseconnect.com or his website

There’s no place like (working from) home!

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant
Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant

Have you ever dreamed of running your own business? If you asked 100 people this question, I would imagine 90% would respond “YES”. Well have you ever dreamed of running your own business from the comfort of your home? That may sound like a distant reality to some, but according to the market research firm Interactive Data Corp, in 2009 over 18 million Americans did just that. And for many people, joining a home-based franchise system has been the answer to accomplishing their dreams of work-life balance, career satisfaction, and financial success.

When you hear the word franchise, many people naturally envision a true brick and mortar concept found on street corners, strip malls, and office buildings. On the contrary, some of the world’s best and most successful franchise businesses can be started from home.  For example, are you thinking of starting your own children’s in-home tutoring business…there’s a home-based franchise for that! Thinking of starting your own business coaching/consulting company, there’s a home-based franchise for that! Thinking of starting your own dog-walking/sitting, commercial cleaning, senior care, home improvement, advertising, financial services, etc… there are home-based-franchises for that too! You get the picture.

There are a number of key benefits that a home-based franchise can bring versus a traditional business. Low overhead for office expenses, flexible work schedule (you set your own hours), and the freedom from “office politics” and that annoying boss. Once you find a strong home-based franchise system that provides the structure you need to achieve your personal and professional goals, you are well on your way to experiencing and enjoying the life you always wanted. So grab some coffee, turn on your home computer, and slide into your comfortable slippers because it’s time to go to work.

For more info visit www.rmcfranchiseconnect.com or email info@rmcfranchiseconnect.com

Darian Richardson makes the Cincinnati Enquirer

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant
Darian Richardson – Owner, RMC Franchise Connect – Cincinnati Franchise Consultant

RMC Franchise Connect helps match potential entrepreneurs, new business opportunities

DOWNTOWN – Darian Richardson is convinced that franchising will continue to be a hot career choice for entrepreneurs.

That confidence this year prompted Richardson to launch RMC Franchise Connect, a downtown-based firm that provides free consulting services to help individuals identify franchise opportunities.

RMC is paid a finder’s fee by the franchisor once a successful match is made between an individual and the company.

Richardson, 33, was co-owner from 2004 to 2009 of Pep (formerly Promotion Execution Partners), a Cincinnati-based firm that specializes in promotional management and execution services for companies, including handling direct mail and website initiatives.

He sold his stake in that company last year to help open RMC.

WHY DID YOU feel there was a market for your firm?

With the state of the economy due to downsizing, unemployment and job dissatisfaction, more people are re-evaluating their career options. They’re looking for ways to provide stability, financial security and work/life balance for themselves and their families. Statistics show that one in 10 Americans launched their own business in the second quarter of 2009 as a path to economic recovery. And franchising has been at the forefront of that trend.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE choose a franchise as a way to start a business?

Franchises have brand recognition that provides instant credibility to the business. For instance, most people recognize franchise names immediately: Cinnabon, Great Clips, Precision Tune, Ace Hardware and Molly Maid. Not only are you getting established brand identity, but more importantly, a proven business model that has been successful over time.

WHO IS A potential franchisee?

Any individual looking to start a business, a corporate executive in transition or someone looking for a side business to supplement his or her income. Another growing segment is stay-at-home moms.

WHAT ARE THE hottest franchise categories these days?

The first one is senior care, as the baby boomer generation continues to age. They will make up 25 percent of the nation’s population in the next five years, creating greater demand for franchises to service those needs. Another hot area is children services, including child care and in-home tutoring.

WHAT ARE THE biggest challenges to opening a franchise?

The biggest is getting financing to start the business. Other major obstacles include choosing the right franchise that fit your goals and taking the time to do the diligence to make a smart decision.

By Jeff McKinney • jmckinney@enquirer.com • July 3, 2010

Business ownership is on the rise.

Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant
Darian Richardson - Owner, RMC Franchise Connect - Cincinnati Franchise Consultant

Every time you turn on the television or pick up a newspaper, you hear new reports on record unemployment or corporate downsizing.  The economy has impacted almost everyone from high-level corporate executives to middle managers to recent college graduates.  If you are affected, the traditional approach has been to immediately send your resume to multiple employers in hopes of landing your next job.

Instead of hoping for that call from a potential employer, many Americans have made the decision to become business owners.  So you if that’s you, the big question is “Is it really for me?” First ask yourself these questions:  1) Am I self-motivated; 2) Do I enjoy customer service and sales; 3) Am I responsible, organized and persistent and 4) What is my tolerance for risk?

There’s a great feeling of satisfaction generated from starting a business, but it also comes with its share of responsibility and risk.  Many individuals who have taken that leap of faith have enjoyed great financial security, work-life balance and professional success.

A September 2009 USA Today article stated that starting a business from scratch or buying a franchise has been the way to economic recovery for many Americans.  The author writes, “Job seekers who gained employment in the second quarter of 2009, nearly one in 10 — did so by launching their own businesses.”

One popular method of business ownership is purchasing a franchise. There are unique differences between buying a franchise and starting a business from scratch.  Franchise owners receive a proven business model, an established brand name and a built-in support system in exchange for paying the franchise company a monthly royalty.  When starting a business from scratch, those capabilities must be built over time.

Due to the current economic climate people are forced to reevaluate their career. Establishing a franchise has become a popular choice that has allowed people to achieve financial, professional, and personal success.

Banks are beginning to lend again and additional governmental incentives are becoming available.  Whether purchasing an established franchise model or starting your own business, becoming a business owner gives you control over your career, provides personal satisfaction and financial security. 2010 is shaping up to be an exciting time for prospective business owners.  You’ll probably work longer and harder than you ever have before, but you’ll enjoy it more…because it’s yours
by Darian Richardson
RMC Franchise Connect

by Darian Richardson

RMC Franchise Connect