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When looking to buy a new business, one of the most important steps is doing a thorough due diligence. The big question for many: How do you know you’ve done enough? Related: Ready For A New Adventure? Explore New Career Opportunities One thing’s almost certain, if you think you’re done, you’ve probably only just begun. As a franchise coach, we always give our clients a great deal of assistance in this area, suggesting what to read, who to talk to and questions to ask. Ease of research and availability of information is precisely why we often steer folks to a franchise. With a franchise, you can get all the information you need in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which federal law requires all franchise companies make available to prospective new franchisees. With a little digging, you can learn if you’ve got what it takes — from the money, experience and skills — to succeed with this particular purchase. By far the most important part of the process is talking to franchisees to learn how the system works. You can find their contact information in the FDD. You want to find out: Are they making any money? Would they make the purchase again, knowing what they know now? This critical step separates the truly serious would-be entrepreneurs from those only dabbling — because if you can place calls to strangers to learn the ins and outs of a business, you pass the first hurdle toward succeeding with your own business. Using myself as an example, when I was researching the franchise I eventually bought, I called every one of the 42 franchisees then part of the system. Of course, not all of them called me right back — but that’s because they’re a busy bunch.

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If you’re one of the 90% of Americans employed full-time by someone else, chances are you’re not feeling much satisfaction at work. Some of you are stuck with a boss who makes your lives miserable, while others may be merely bored or vastly under appreciated. Maybe you should become your own boss and start a business. Related: 10 Must-Haves For The Budding Entrepreneur Only 30% of Americans are actively engaged in their jobs, according to a recent Gallup report, State of the American Workplace. Not only does being unhappy at work lead to a whole range of obvious complaints, it can also take a toll on your health, the survey reported. One way to improve your situation is to strike out on your own. So, how do you know if you’ve got what it takes to run your own business? Just like most things in life, what separates the whizzes from the rans is preparation. Do your research, write a realistic business plan, raise sufficient capital, and your odds for success go way up. Even before you pinpoint your business, you’ll need to start by asking yourself key questions to determine whether you’re ready to leave a sure paycheck for the chance to take charge of your career for life.

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