Viability and Transparency Are Key

Jay Elliot is the president of ADMATS/ADMENUS, a company he founded after the housing bubble burst and his main source of advertising revenues began to falter.  His story is an inspiration to anyone who wants to start a business and make the most of an already existing skillset.

Jay, tell us a bit about how Admats/Admenus came to be…

I was in the specialty advertising business for over 16 years.  A large portion of those years was spent selling advertising for publications that mostly relied on the real estate and mortgage industries for as much as 80% of their revenue and profits.  When the housing bubble burst, I knew I needed to come up with a product that was still within my field of expertise, but that did not rely upon any particular industry to be successful.

Admats/Admenus was developed from an existing idea that dates back to the 1970s.  I knew the concept of inexpensive advertising on restaurant placemats and take-out menus was a great one.  However, the problem that I noticed when I was researching other companies who were in this type of business was that they weren’t producing anything colorful or of any real quality.  We took a simple idea that already existed and―within a few short years―evolved it into “The Nicest, Free Restaurant Placemats and Take-Out Menus in the Industry.”

Any advice for someone who is looking to start their own home-based or other small business/franchise?

If you are someone who is looking to purchase a home-based or other small business opportunity or franchise like Admats/Admenus, my biggest advice to you is to look for viability and transparency.

When it comes to viability, ask yourself these key questions:

  • Does the product or service make sense?
  • Would you purchase the product or service yourself?
  • Do you see the product or service being used by other people as you go about your everyday life?

As for transparency, consider the following:

  • Is the franchisor or business opportunity owner willing to talk with you over the phone?
  • Are they willing to provide you with a list of other franchise or business opportunity owners that you can speak with as references?
  • Do they expect you to simply “take their word for it” that you will be successful owning a business of your own marketing their product or service?

Words of inspiration for budding entrepreneurs?  A favorite motto perhaps?

My favorite motto in business is, “The Cream Will Rise to the Top!”  I like it because it refers to so many things in business―and in life, for that matter.  It implies that the “best” and “real” business opportunities will expose themselves as you do your research.  It also implies the same for clients and relationships in business.  And finally, when it comes to closing a sale, it also implies that you―if you work hard and smart―can and will become the very best at whatever it is you choose to do.

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