- Front Page
- Biz Tools
The Franchise Owner's most trusted news source
South Devon men are clueless about the calories contained in their favourite snacks and takeaways, and many believe they are allowed to eat double the recommended amount, according to a new study. One in six blokes in Britain believe they are allowed to eat between 3,000 and 5,000 calories a day - considerably more than the recommended 2,500.
Both say McDonald's recent decision to transition to "cage free" eggs for its McMuffins and other menu items was a tipping point in the $9 billion egg industry, which still produces 96 percent of its eggs in barns full of stacked wire cages. It will be increasingly hard to ignore a buyer of 2 billion eggs, especially given that McDonald's joined a flock of companies that already made similar supply-line switches - including the top three cafeteria service companies, and fast-food competitors Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks.
A highly adored and highly controversial fast food chain satisfied cravings and ruffled a few feathers Saturday with the grand opening of its first official Manhattan outpost. Chick-Fil-A, the massively popular Southern staple owned by a conservative Christian family known for their anti-gay marriage views, hatched a 5,000-square-foot store in Herald Square to mixed reviews from fervent devotees and activists.
October is Hispanic Heritage Month and Small Business Trends is partnering with Biz2Credit to bring you The Changing Face of Small Business Ownership; Latino Entrepreneurs on the Rise.
The free webinar features Small Business Trends’ own Anita Campbell as moderator, joined by other small business advocates to lead the discussion. Topics include the explosive growth of Latino-owned companies, keys to lasing success, different types of funding options, and more.
Also available this week — if you’ll be in the New York City area — is Relate Live by Zendesk.
Customer engagement is important to any small business and Relate Live offers keynotes, training sessions and breakouts discussing techniques to improve your customer’s experience.
To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.Featured Events, Contests and Awards
Webinar: The Changing Face of Small Business Ownership; Latino Entrepreneurs on the Rise
October 7, 2015, Online
Small businesses run by minorities account for over 15 percent of the 28 million small businesses in the U.S. Some of them are recent arrivals while others are longtime American citizens, but part of historically underserved groups. As part of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), Biz2Credit will host a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, with several leading small business advocates – including our very own CEO, Anita Campbell. Discussion topics includes the explosive growth of Latino-owned companies, tips for overcoming obstacles to growth, keys to lasting success, tips for making financing, marketing, and personnel decisions, challenges facing entrepreneurs searching for startup capital and other funding – and much more.
Relate Live by Zendesk
October 7, 2015, New York, New York
A conference designed to help you better understand your customers
Small Business Influencer Awards: Nominations Open
October 15, 2015, Online
The 2015 Small Business Influencer Awards is produced by Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology and honors companies, organizations, vendors, apps and people who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market. Who has influenced your business positively? Or have you created an app that’s influenced small business? Who is your business mentor – have they made a positive impact on your business? Nominate those that have influenced your business today!
Global Small Business Forum
October 23, 2015, Chicago, Illinois
The Global Small Business Forum 2015 held in Chicago will help entrepreneurs and small business owners export successfully and network with their peers. It will answer such questions as: What’s the best way to ship goods? How will I get paid? Do I need a license? Should I sell direct or indirect? Does my business have what it takes to sell in China?
October 28, 2015, Online
Bizapalooza is an online event that begins on October 28, 2015, and brings together the “rock stars” of small business success, entrepreneurial expertise and marketing wisdom, sharing their sought-after insights during this virtual festival — 3 days of Peace, Planning and Profits. Discover the best business building techniques from the world’s leading experts. You’ll rub shoulders with the biggest names and brands in small business marketing, soak up countless tips and new strategies and enjoy extensive networking opportunities all from the comfort of your home, office or local coffee shop. This is a unique opportunity for you to connect face-to-face with the top small business experts while networking with like-minded peers from around the globe.
November 9, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada
UnGagged is a gathering of the smartest, most forward thinking and most courageous SEOs and digital marketers on the planet. For 3 days they get together under one roof, sharing the latest proven techniques. This is an event for technopreneurs, online publishers and SEO professionals. Hear from those who know what they are talking about. No recordings. No pitches. Just pure SEO insights you won’t get anywhere else!
World Business Forum New York 2015
November 12, 2015, New York, New York
In 2015 the World Business Forum will present two days of powerful stories; of individuals who face shocks – both personal and organizational – and who use those shocks to achieve the extraordinary. Speakers include Sir Richard Branson, Jim Collins, a former faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Walter Isaacson, once the 14th editor of TIME magazine in 1996 and named Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, Adam Grant, author of the New York Times bestseller Give and Take and Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD.
November 16, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevavda
SleeterCon is the accounting solutions conference for professionals to learn and differentiate their practices, with in-depth education to prepare for the future.
This article, "Webinar for Latino-Owned Businesses, Other Events Crowd Calendar" was first published on Small Business Trends
An Bord Pleanala have given the green light to fast food giant McDonalds to open an outlet near three schools in Greystones, despite vocal opposition from the community. Councillors and residents in Greystones, as well as the Greystones Municipal District, all lodged appeals against planning permission granted to the business to open a new branch in the town.
Running a business today is much different than it was just a few years ago. There are so many new platforms and strategies to keep up with, and even new groups to market to. With all of those changes, some tips from the small business community may come in handy.
Read on for this week’s list of tips in the Small Business Trends community news and information roundup.Consider These Live Streaming Platforms
Live streaming video content has really taken off in recent months. With so many different platforms to choose from, it can be difficult for those new to the process to choose which is best for their businesses. Taylor Redick outlines some of the different live streaming platforms like Periscope and Meerkat to help you choose the one that’s a good fit for your business.Learn How to Effectively Market to Teens
If your business is one that relies on young customers, then you need to know how and where to best reach that demographic. Bart Caylor shares some tips for marketing to teens for the education industry. But the concepts can span a variety of different industries.Consider This Business Advice from a Pro
Sometimes entrepreneurs just have to learn lessons the hard way. But often when you listen to those who have been there before you, running a business can get a bit easier. Dagmar Recklies shares the four best pieces of business advice she ever got. And BizSugar members weighed in on the subject.Set Your Holiday Email Priorities
Believe it or not, the holiday shopping season is basically here. So it’s time for your business to really plan for your holiday marketing efforts, including email. DiTesco includes some tips and an infographic about setting your holiday email priorities.Write for People, Not Search Engines
(Resonance Content Marketing)
SEO is important to the success of any website. But that alone won’t make your online content a success. To really get the most from your content, you need to keep your actual readers in mind, rather than just search engines, according to Rachel Parker. You can see further discussion about the post on BizSugar.Create a Call to Action that Sells
A good call to action is essential for any website or marketing materials. But what some businesses think are acceptable calls to action may actually be repelling customers. Lisa Furgison includes some examples of calls to action that really sell to customers, along with a few that don’t.Make Better Profits with These Top eCommerce Strategies
The competition among ecommerce sites is fierce. So you’ll need to make a really good impression on shoppers if yours is going to stand out. Nikole Haiar shares some tips for making a good impression on ecommerce shoppers and thus increasing your overall profits.Use These Content Curation Tools to Amp Up Your Strategy
Content curation can be an effective and timesaving part of any content plan. But you need to have the right tools in place in order to get the job done. Lucinda Watrous includes some top content curation tools that may improve your overall strategy. And BizSugar members also discussed the post.Make a Dry Spell Work in Your Favor
Dry spells will occur from time to time for pretty much any business. But you don’t have to just sit around and wait for customers to rediscover what you have to offer. You can use that time to better your business for the future, according to Anna Eschenburg.Develop Your Leadership Skills
(Startup Professionals Musings)
Being a leader comes naturally to some. But even the naturals need to learn a thing or two to really hone their skills along the way. Martin Zwilling shares some key principles that most strong leaders share. And BizSugar members shared their input as well.
Mobile Video Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "Business Tips on Live Streaming, Marketing to Teens and More" was first published on Small Business Trends
Working from the comfort of your own home may sound like a dream. But if you don’t have all the right elements for your home office, it can have a detrimental effect on your productivity and even your health and happiness.
No two home offices are the same. But regardless of the size and layout of your space, there are some elements that can help make it a more productive space. Here are some of the most important elements.Good Lighting
The light in your office is essential, not only for your ability to clearly see your work, but also for the entire mood and atmosphere. If possible, set up your office in a room that has a lot of windows so your workspace will be full of natural light. If that isn’t possible, ensure that your artificial lighting is sufficient and warm — not just a single fluorescent bulb in the corner.Adjustable Desk
Sitting at a desk all day long, even if it’s in your own home, can be draining and even detrimental to your health. But if you have a desk that adjusts to different heights, you can switch from sitting to standing whenever you’d like throughout the day. Adjustable desks are available at home and office supply stores, or you can even make your own.Comfortable Chair
When you do choose to sit, it’s important to be comfortable. So choose a chair that offers ergonomic support and adjustable features.Some Personalized Decorations
Your home office is your own personal space, so it should make you comfortable and happy. Fill it with artwork, desk toys, and even some creative or personalized office accessories to really make it your own.Plants
Plants are another way to add some visual interest to your office space. But they can also have other benefits like air purification and creating separation between different parts of a room.Good Computer
The computer you choose for your home office has the potential to make a huge impact on your productivity and success. So choose one that’s completely customized to your needs. If you tend to work from different parts of your office, a laptop might be best. If you stay put at your desk and work on multiple projects at once, a desktop with multiple monitors is likely a better choice. Make sure the model, hardware and software are what’s best suited to your individual working habits.High-speed Internet
A good Internet connection keeps you just a click away from your online accounts, other team members and a whole host of other tools that can help you run your business from home. Whether you use a desktop, laptop or multiple devices, you’ll need to ensure that your Internet provider is fast and reliable enough to keep you on top of things.Good Printer
Depending on your business needs, a good printer, scanner, or all-in-one device can be a good investment. If you need or want to keep hard copies of documents, then an actual printer is likely a necessity. But if you tend to stick with digital copies and just occasionally need to send a copy of a tangible document, a simple scanner might be enough. You’ll need to examine your own needs to really decide which type is best for you.Communications System
To best communicate with your team, clients or anyone else, a reliable communications system is a must. You might consider getting a separate phone line specifically for business calls. But online and VoIP services like Nextiva and Skype for Business can also be good options.Surge Protectors
When you’ve invested a lot of money into electrical devices and equipment to run your business from home, the last thing you want is to see that equipment ruined. Surge protectors offer a really simple and easy solution to protect your devices from damaging electrical surges.Exercise Equipment
Getting some physical activity in throughout the day is essential to a healthy work-at-home lifestyle. Depending on your preferences, you might consider adding a treadmill, stationary bike or some free weights to your space. Some people even use stability balls in place of chairs to build core strength. Or, if you’re really into multitasking, there’s always the treadmill desk.Calendar
Staying organized is just as important when you work from home as it is in a traditional office. Keep a calendar or planner in a prominent location in your office so you don’t lose track of important appointments or deadlines.Filing System
You’ll also need a place to store and organize your important documents and files. A traditional filing cabinet usually does the trick. But if you’re more of a minimalist, you can opt for a smaller file folder and then just scan the rest of your documents to keep digital copies.Safe
For those items that are really important or sensitive, a safe may also be necessary. Find one that’s large enough for some important documents and any expensive equipment you might have that you want to keep safe either on a daily basis or just when you leave for lengthy periods.Office Supply Cache
Don’t let yourself get sidetracked from important tasks just because you’re running low on printer ink or can’t find a pen. Constantly keep your office stocked full of all the supplies you use regularly so that you’ll never need to make an office supply run in the middle of the day.Radio, Media Player
Music can be a great way to drown out any background noise that may be happening around your home and keep you focused on the task at hand. Choose a radio or streaming station with some instrumental music if you tend to get distracted by lyrics. And try to avoid stations with ads if at all possible.Healthy Snacks
You’ll need fuel to power through any productive work day. Keep some healthy snacks in or near your office so that you won’t have to leave on a fast food run or settle for food that will have you feeling less-than-stellar later.Coffee, Tea
Caffeine can also be a powerful productivity booster, in moderation of course. Keep a coffee pot or some tea in or around your office so you always have quick access whenever you need a coffee break.Temperature Controls
You likely already have the ability to control the basic temperature of your home. But if your office is in an area, like a basement or top floor, that tends to be hotter or colder than the rest of your home, you’ll still need to stay comfortable. Try a space heater or fan if you find that the temperature is a bit off in one way or another.Alarm Clock, Timer
Keeping a regular work schedule is essential to a productive work-from-home life. Use an alarm to wake up at the same time every day, just as you would when working at a regular office. You can even use an alarm or timer to signal the end of your work day or the end of a specific task you need to spend time on.Door
One of the most important factors of a successful home office is its ability to be separated from the rest of your home. If you simply work from your bed or couch, the day can really get away from you and you’ll find yourself either getting distracted from work by non-work demands around you.
If you absolutely can’t have a door or some kind of physical barrier separating you from the rest of your home, try staging the space so it’s clearly designated as your office. And only spend time working from that one space, rather than migrating to your couch or kitchen table. But if you’ve already included all the elements above, who would want to work anywhere else?
Home Office Photo via Shutterstock
, Other Images: Wikipedia
A pair of industrial accidents is forcing KFC customers to take a hard look at how the chicken gets made -- and it's not pretty. Case Farms Processing Inc., a chicken supplier for supermarkets and fast food-chains, including KFC, is facing more than $1.4 million in fines after two employees were maimed at work, reports Buzzfeed .
Chaos is a blessing and a curse to many startup teams.
It occurs in the entrepreneurial environment during the launch years, but it can also hamper strategic decisions and consume valuable time when starting a business. Fortunately there are more books providing guidance to minimize chaos, especially as so many cloud services become available to businesses, be it enterprise or the sophisticated mom-and-pop.
One of the books that should be on your radar is “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” by Gino Wickman.
An entrepreneur who, at age 25, turned around a debt-loaded family-owned business, Wickman is the author of Get A Grip, a business problem-solving fable. Wickman’s experiences led him to create the Entrepreneur Operating System, (EOS), a holistic system that helps leaders run better businesses with better control and better balance while building a healthy, functional and cohesive team.
I had the chance to review a test copy of his latest book “Traction” from BenBella Books, and I have to say it’s a helpful guide for small businesses looking to get ahead.
“Traction” examines six components that, in one way or another, become part of a business: vision, people, data, issue, process and traction.
The first five are aspects of a business operation with labels based on EOS. The purpose of the last aspect, traction, is to be a catalyst based on those first five that lead teams into meaningful action.
Wickman uses each aspect to show practical universal principles of planning so that working with teams and managing resources is easier. Some of the aspects may seem straight-forward on first read. What Wickman provides are the steps to creating each aspect in an integrated system that will help your business execute meaningfully on strategy.
For example, when planning a vision, Wickman suggests about proving your services to potential clients and customers:
“There is a proven way you provide your service or product to your customers. You do it every time and produces the same result…There are typically three to seven major steps in any company’s proven process. Creating a standard proven process to use in selling situations will give you two very powerful advantages. It will increase your potential customer’s confidence and peace of mind in doing business with you….it will make you stand out among the competition….Rather than giving them a sales presentation and inundating them with information, you’re saying ‘let me show you exactly how we are able to accomplish great results for our customers.’”
While I like that non-fiction books reference classics in their topic — in this case, Jim Collins’ “Good to Great“ — I admired Wickman’s choice in “Traction” to not go too far in mimicking its source material. For example, he notes BHAG — Big Hairy Audacious Goals — from Collins for setting 10 year and 25 year objectives, yet he leaves room for adjustment, that “the length of time is up to you.”
Wickman introduces the idea of Quarterly Rocks, 90-day objectives that small business owners should adopt ASAP.
I have long believed that business owners should commit to small objectives in quarterly periods to better organize their results and needs for long term survival. Wickman believes that as well. Here’s what he says about how such an approach can be used:
“Quarterly Rocks creates a 90-day world for your organization, a powerful concept that enables you to gain tremendous traction… Every 90 days, your leadership team comes together to establish its priorities for the next 90 days based on your one year plan. You discuss and ultimately conclude what has to be executed in the next quarter to put you on track for the 1 year plan, which in turn puts you in track for the three-year picture, and so on.”
I also really appreciated Wickman’s sensibility about building a profit. Sales is important but statements like the following are excellent reminders that its the quality of profits that drives a business for longevity.
“Growth for growth sake is normally a mistake. Being a hundred million dollar company is not all that it’s cracked up to be… Would you rather have a 10 million dollar company with 20 percent profit or hundred million dollar company with a 2 percent profit? It’s the same net profit with considerably more work and higher complexity.”
Business owners are well-served with this perspective as a reminder to build businesses of lasting value.
There are tools within the book to help you document your core processes and to guide your team to agreement on vision derived from resources. While this is not an analytics-themed book, much of the material can open a discussion for organized tech needs such as analytic solutions and cloud solutions. Such tech is essential for scaling your organization while reducing unnecessary chaos. (There’s that word again! )
If your startup team is in the midst of maturing, this book can put some traction in your operations. And watch profits trend up as the chaos goes down.
This article, "Need to Get Your Business Going? Then You Need to Get “Traction”" was first published on Small Business Trends
You've spoken. Nominees for "NEO's Best: Fries" are now in. Now it's time to cast your vote to put your favorite in the Fry Finals.