Jim Judy

Jim Judy

Franchise Business Consultant

Category Archives: Franchising Blog

start a new business

If your resolution is to start a new business, don’t wait until the new year

Want to get in better shape in 2019? There should be some great deals on gym memberships in January. Just want to lose some weight? Definitely wait until you’re past the holiday season to get cracking on that one.


These and most other resolutions are just fine being put on hold until we get closer to the new year. However, if you’re thinking that 2019 is the right time for you to start your new life as a franchise owner, the time to get cracking is right now.

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second chapter

Ready for a Second Chapter? Try Franchising!

Sometimes, you just need to turn the page.


Writing a second chapter of your professional life is no longer the exception, it’s the norm. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average baby boomer will hold 11.7 jobs from age 18 to age 48. For many people, that’s only Chapter One.

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boutique fitness studio

Why now is the best time to consider opening a boutique fitness franchise

If you’re like the thousands of Americans warming up to the idea of owning one of the hot up-and-coming boutique fitness franchises, the time to move is now.


That’s because the industry is booming, and areas are filling up. Even emerging brands with less than 100 units open are turning franchise candidates away in major markets because areas are being devoured by franchise owners.

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finance a franchise

Four Ways to Finance a Franchise

Franchise business ownership is an exciting way to live your life goals and dreams, but too often, aspiring franchisees fail to even make that first phone call because of one major concern:


How can I afford my own franchise business?


It’s no surprise that money is usually at the top of people’s lists of reasons not to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. What is surprising is how often people assume they don’t have the means to launch their own franchise without knowing all of their options.


With the help of my friend Steve Nilssen at Guidant Financial, we put together a list of some of the most popular ways that franchise candidates can finance a franchise.


Rollover for Business Startup – This is the most popular way for people to finance a franchise. Instead of taking out a loan, they finance the franchise themselves using money they’ve saved in their 401(k). Essentially, a new business is established as a C Corporation. That C Corp creates a new 401(k) plan that can purchase private stock. Funds from the candidate’s 401(k) are “rolled” into the new 401(k) plan without triggering a taxable distribution. The 401(k) plan can then purchase stock in the C Corp, otherwise known as your new franchise. The funds used to purchase the stock are used to acquire or start your new cash-rich and debt-free business!


This works not only with a 401(k), but also a traditional IRA, 403(b), Keogh, SEP or TSP. Just be sure to use a professional to set up a Rollover for Business Startup so as not to miss a step and trigger a taxable distribution that could cost you thousands of dollars!


Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans – While these used to be far more labor intensive to secure, the SBA has recently taken steps to make it much easier for franchise candidates to acquire funds in order to purchase a franchise. Effective January 1, 2018, franchise businesses can become pre-approved for financing from the SBA. That means a franchise candidate no longer has to prove the viability of the franchise business they are hoping to purchase if the franchise is on the pre-approved list. It doesn’t relieve the burden of the candidate to personally show worthiness for the loan, but no longer needing to prove the worthiness of the business as well drastically reduces the burden on the candidate.


Nilssen reports that 45 percent of their clients use a combination of an SBA loan and Rollover to Business Startup in order to finance their franchise businesses, so there’s a good chance that those two methods of financing will help you launch your small business. However, there are a few other ways to secure financing worth mentioning.


Portfolio Loans – This allows candidates to borrow up to 80 percent of the value of their stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Unlike traditional loans, this type of loan is brokered out as an interest-only loan, currently set around 4 percent. There are no upfront costs and loans like this generally close within 10 days. Just keep in mind that the loan broker has collateralized your portfolio, so you can’t withdraw the funds or fall below the 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.


Cash-out Refinance – This is a way to collateralize the value of your home by refinancing your mortgage for more than the current outstanding balance, then keeping the difference between the old and new loans. For example, let’s say you owned a home valued at $300,000 but still owed $100,000. If you needed $100,000 to launch your franchise business, you could refinance your mortgage at $200,000 and use the extra $100,000 for your business. This model is a great way to improve your debt profile and secure a more stable rate, but the cash-out rate will likely be a bit higher.


If you’d like to know more about your financing options, please give me a call at 919.846.7111 or jjudy@franchoice.com.


seeking new opportunities

Unemployed? Seeking New Opportunities? You should Try Franchising

The current economic boom has seen unemployment rates plummet to levels not seen in decades, but that doesn’t mean those currently unemployed should only focus on finding a new job. Unemployment is scary, but when considering a new life as an entrepreneur, it can also be exciting.

Not sure which path you want to take? You may be right for a franchise.

Here’s why. Continue reading

franchise opportunities

Why spring is a great time to revisit franchise opportunities

Spring has arrived in many parts of the country and is coming quickly to others. It’s the annual period of renewal, making it an exceptional time to jettison the old and usher in the new. For people considering saying goodbye to life as an employee and hello to a new chapter as a small-business owner, now is a great time to consider a franchise business.

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Report: Franchise Sector Expected to Outpace Broad Economy…Again

The annual International Franchise Association (IFA) Convention recently concluded in Phoenix, Arizona. The city, the venue and the attendees were different than they were in years past, but the outlook for the franchising world remains the same.

It’s going to be another very good year.

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Jim Judy Forbes Coaches Council

Jim Judy, Franchise Business Consultant, accepted into Forbes Coaches Council

Forbes Coaches Council Is an Invitation-Only Community for Leading Business and Career Coaches

[Raleigh, NC (February 1)] — Jim Judy, one of the country’s leading experts in franchise businesses, has been accepted into the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches.

Jim Judy joins other Forbes Coaches Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com. Continue reading

Franchises Less Risky Than Startups

Are Franchises Less Risky Than Startups?

As a franchise consultant, I get this question regularly from candidates trying to decide if they should explore entrepreneurship through franchising or try opening an independent business. Traditionally, franchises have been considered safer bets than startups because franchise businesses offer unmatched levels of support along with proven business models of success.


However, do a search of success rates for franchise business vs. independent startups and you’ll get a wide range of answers, none of which can be considered conclusive. However, a recent study posted on entrepreneur.com revealing why small businesses generally fail confirms what I’ve believed all along:

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Do you have a 10 year plan?

Do you know where will you be in 10 years? Here’s a hint…

Take a good look at your life right now. Odds are, it’s going to look very different in a decade. Change will come for everyone, but preparing for change is what separates those who create the life they want and those who exist in whatever life creates for them.

Which person will you be?

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