This great question came from a site I write articles for Single Edition.
Q: I would like to invest in opening a fashion franchise boutique in my city. I know the store that I want to bring to the area and have a general idea of a prime location, but there is a big glitch: I need finances! I have been considering opening a boutique for years, but have let my fears get in the way. I’ve finally come to the realization that there is no better time than the present, so I am now driven to fight the financial fears, but I am not exactly sure where to begin. Can you please give me some direction to whom I might turn or tips of which I ought to be educated? – jess Indiana
A: This is a great time to start a business and there are opportunities out there. Rents are lower and while people are not spending as much – they are still spending some money. If you want to move forward, you might consider approaching a business that is already existing and ask if you can do a special promotion with them (i.e. Special product promotion), or rent a part of their store for a period of time. Stores are looking for additional revenue and it might be a great way to get your feet wet without committing too many resources. You can also approach a store that wants to get out of their lease and take over their lease for a shorter period of time. This lets you start your dream but not commit to a long-term lease. Regardless of your decision, be sure to create a forecast of your finances. If you aren’t sure how to do that, sign up for a business plan class at your local continuing education center or networking group.
The one caveat of this economy is that it might be harder to borrow money as the banks are not lending as much. However, if your credit is good and your FICO score is about 700, there is money for you! One place to check is The Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov/). If your credit is not as good as you would like, focus on raising your credit score. There are two easy ways to do raise your score. One is by paying your bills on time, as late payments remain for 7 years. If you have paid late, call your creditor. The other is keeping your debt to available credit ratio as low as possible (ideally less than 50%).