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Opinion: NYC bill would allow collection of "pseudo-dues" by labor unions

SmartBrief - Mon, 2017-05-22 14:18
Proposed legislation in New York City would allow workers at quickservice restaurants to direct their employers to deduct mon -More
Categories: Latest News

NLRB general counsel could stall push to overturn Obama-era decisions

SmartBrief - Mon, 2017-05-22 14:18
Richard Griffin, general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, could potentially stall efforts to change Obama-era  -More
Categories: Latest News

Fast-food chains like McDonald's gain on fast-casual as affordability becomes more important

Topix - Mon, 2017-05-22 14:02

"Quality ingredients" are still a top driver for customer visits, but RBC and its partner Mission Measurement found that price, such as the value tiers at fast-food restaurants, have also become more important. "[C]onsumers are now increasingly prioritizing affordability and taste after a previous rise in the importance of healthiness," the report said.

Categories: Today's Food News

81 Percent Of Small Business Owners Say Entrepreneurship Makes Them Happy

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-05-22 13:30

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you are probably happy to be one, a new study indicates.

Are Entrepreneurs Happy?

According to the 2017 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, the answer is, “Yes”. In fact, 81 percent of business owners say their happiness is due somewhat or entirely to being an entrepreneur. What’s more, 94 percent of entrepreneurs say they are happy with their lives.

Optimism High Among Business Owners

It’s probably because of their optimism that business owners are feeling more secure about their future. The study shows fewer entrepreneurs are worried about their ability to save for retirement (45 percent, down from 53 percent in 2016).

On average, entrepreneurs believe they will need 1,182,000, up slightly from the $1,170,000 they thought they needed last year.

Small Businesses Have Big Plans

“In this economy, there’s a clear correlation between business owner optimism and plans for growth,” says Susan Sobbott, President, Global Commercial Payments, American Express (NYSE:AXP).

Data supports her assertion as it’s revealed entrepreneurs are planning to increase capital investments, hire staff and increase usage of low cost methods like social media to attract new customers.

Hiring is High on Agenda, But Remains a Challenge

In specific numbers, 74 percent say they need to hire to handle their growing business or to help increase business volume (72 percent).

To meet their staffing needs, the greatest number of small businesses (17 percent) will hire a combination of full and part time employees. Sixteen percent say they will hire only part timers while 12 percent will hire only full timers.

Finding the right people, however, continues to be the biggest challenge (26 percent, up from 19 percent last year) for businesses.

The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, conducted since 2002, is based on a nationally representative sample of 700 U.S. small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees. The anonymous survey was conducted via telephone by Ebiquity between March 29 and April 21, 2017.

Happy Business People Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "81 Percent Of Small Business Owners Say Entrepreneurship Makes Them Happy" was first published on Small Business Trends

How To Approach A New Hotel Website

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-05-22 12:04
Functionality Needs To Be Top Consideration For Hoteliers

10 Tips for Creating and Selling Online Courses

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-05-22 12:00

Creating courses to sell online is a great way to funnel your expertise into a rewarding and profitable channel. If you’re an expert, specialist or highly knowledgeable in a certain area, why not share your knowledge to a global audience and earn some money as you do so?

Of course, successfully creating and selling online courses takes time, knowledge and commitment. To shed some light on how to effectively create and sell courses online, Small Business Trends spoke to David Siteman Garland, the creator of The Rise To The Top  and Create Awesome Online Courses. David helps people create and sell online courses, and has assisted more than 3,500 students in over 100 countries to create successful courses, on everything from baby sleep training to clarinet lessons for adults.

Take a look at David Siteman Garland’s ten tips for creating and selling online courses.

Tips for Creating and Selling Online Courses Get Your Customers Results Quickly

Rule number one of online course creation and selling, is to get your customers (students) results as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.

That’s why they are investing in your course! They want your advice to get them to their goal and you are the shortcut.

Create Courses with Tangible Results

The most successful courses have a tangible result or transformation. Period.

Think about this… if your ideal student took your course and did everything you said… what would be the result? The transformation? Did they learn how to do a backflip? Teach their dog 20 new tricks? Complete writing their book?

Create a Step-by-Step System with Your Online Course

What people are buying from you is a system to do something. Anyone can research random YouTube videos or Google 1,000 blog posts. What you are doing is creating a step-by-step system.

Be Specific about Niche and Target Audience

There are riches in niches. Be specific in terms of topic and who you are selling to. A huge mistake I see all the time are courses that are way too broad. You have to be specific in terms of topic, audience or both.

Don’t Price Your Courses Too Cheaply

Don’t compete in the bargain basement. Resist the urge to price your course at the bottom of your industry. Focus instead on the right students who not only want to pay a premium price but will actually take action. Staying at the premium end of the industry will bring in happy customers who are invested and ready to put your system to good use.

Price Courses on Value

The length of your course has nothing to do with pricing. Pricing is based on VALUE (the result). Length has nothing to do with it. Remember rule number one, people are going to buy your course because you are the SHORTCUT.

Create Anticipation

Build anticipation for your first launch. Never just “release and pray” people will enroll. Think about a movie… what happens before it comes out? (you guessed it…previews!) Same concept for an online course. Build anticipation for your first launch by creating a free video series that inspires, educates and gets folks pumped to enroll the day you open up for business.

Do a Course Launch

Speaking of launches…. remember to do a launch. A bad idea is just to create your course and send out an email saying …. it’s open! The best thing to do is what I call a VIP launch.  It lays out specific dates, bonuses and other aspects that build up anticipation and MOTIVATES people to enroll NOW.

Get Your Name Out There

Don’t worry about those overhyped launches you see all over the internet, where people brag about the zillions of dollars they made with their launch.

The launch is just the kickoff party. It puts your name out there and gets your first few (or more than a few) customers in. One of my students, Renae Christine did $3,000 on her first launch and was ecstatic.

Promote Your Course After Launch

The launch is just the beginning…not the end. Now Renae has done over seven figures in sales in the past 12 months – just a couple of years after that first $3,000 launch. The most successful courses and course creators stick with it after the first launch. There are all kinds of ways to market and promote your course so you are rolling in sales (and happy customers) 24/7.

If you have any tips or advice about creating and selling courses online, we’d love to hear our readers’ stories and experiences about their internet course endeavors.

Chalkboard Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Tips for Creating and Selling Online Courses" was first published on Small Business Trends

U.S. Performance Hospitality Management Appoints VP, Business Development

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-05-22 11:58
National hospitality organization, Performance Hospitality Management (PHM), announced the appointment of Noam Gafni as Vice President of Business Development. With an ...

How HigherMe helped this Freddy's franchise scale their hiring - Mon, 2017-05-22 11:25
HigherMe worked with Joby Management to set up their 20 locations with the Full Suite Hiring Platform to find, assess and hire the right candidates across the different positions.

HREC Arranges Sale Of Comfort Suites Lakewood, CO

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-05-22 11:14
DENVER–-HREC Investment Advisors is pleased to announce it has arranged the sale of the 71-room Comfort Suites located in the thriving ...

Homewood Suites By Hilton New Orleans French Quarter Celebrates Grand Opening

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-05-22 11:10
NEW ORLEANS-–The new Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans French Quarter, located at 317 North Rampart Street, hosted its grand opening ...

Leaders of Fazoli's, Saladworks, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Grimaldi's, Focus Brands: 'Change is coming' - Mon, 2017-05-22 11:10
The sands are shifting almost daily and almost on every front: That's the verdict from five restaurant industry leaders who shared their views Monday on the state of the industry at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago Saturday.

20 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-05-22 10:30

It’s a great time to be a female entrepreneur. There are plenty of trailblazers making their mark on a variety of different industries. If you’re looking for some inspiration or any female entrepreneurs to look up to, take a look at the successful women entrepreneurs listed below and learn how they’re changing the world with their businesses.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs Rebecca Minkoff

The millennial fashion designer has built her own clothing and accessory empire by targeting young women and actually connecting with them on a personal level, mainly using social media and influencer marketing.

Alexa von Tobel

This entrepreneur actually dropped out of Harvard Business School before starting her business, LearnVest. Her goal with the business is to bring financial knowledge to the masses to help them make better decisions.

Weili Dai

Weili Dai is the co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, a company that makes semiconductors. The tech entrepreneur has won numerous awards and recognition for her ability to succeed in a male dominated industry.

Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim is an author, teacher and business expert. She provides coaching and consulting services to other entrepreneurs looking to boost their bottom line.

Leslie Blodgett

An accomplished entrepreneur, Leslie Blodgett has stood at the helm of multiple beauty brands, including Bare Escentuals and Shiseido.

Tory Burch

This popular fashion designer has built a worldwide brand of shoes, handbags, clothing and more. She is also a philanthropist and has won several awards for her designs and business acumen.

Cher Wang

Cher Wang is the co-founder and chairperson of HTC. And her success is magnified by the fact that she does it all in the tech industry, a sector that has traditionally been dominated mainly by male entrepreneurs.

Angie Hicks

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a website that helps connect consumers with local service providers. She started the business back in 1995 and has since grown it into one of the most recognizable sources for finding service providers.

Shelia Lirio Marcelo

This female entrepreneur founded an innovative online startup to help people find child care, pet sitters and house sitters. is now one of the top sources for finding child care providers online.

Cynthia Ndubuisi

Cynthia Ndubuisi is the entrepreneur behind EverGlow, a company that makes biodegradable dish soap that’s derived from plants. She created the product because of some challenges faced by people in her native country of Nigeria. And she used the help of a mentor to build it into a recognizable brand.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington founded the Huffington Post, one of the most notable news publications online. Since then, AOL acquired the publication. But Huffington remains involved in business endeavors and has another startup in the works called Thrive Global.

Erica Nicole

This entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of YFS Magazine. The news site focuses on providing informative content to young self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs.

Rashmi Sinha

This female entrepreneur created an online presentation tool that’s popular with a lot of small businesses — SlideShare. She’s been named as one of the most powerful female entrepreneurs in the world.

Sara Blakely

The founder of SPANX dealt with plenty of failure in the professional world before starting the wildly successful shapewear business. Now, it’s a globally recognized brand. And Blakely’s net worth has been estimated at about $1 billion.

Yang Lan

This entrepreneur is the founder of Sun Media, a Chinese media group. Her empire includes TV, newspapers, magazines and more. And she’s been named as one of the most powerful entrepreneurs in China.

Sophia Amoruso

Although her original entrepreneurial venture, Nasty Gal, folded earlier this year, Amoruso remains involved in the business world. She has a successful book, Netflix show and other projects in the works.

Debbi Fields

Debbi Fields is the female entrepreneur behind Mrs. Fields cookies. She started the business with just a small personal investment and built it into a large, nationwide brand.

Gisele Bundchen

Though Gisele Bundchen might be more well known for her modeling career, she is also an accomplished entrepreneur. Her skin care business, Sejaa Skincare, brings in millions each year.

Corri McFadden

If you think ecommerce reselling is just a hobby, think again. Corri McFadden has built a very successful business based on that concept. Her business is called eDrop-Off. And she and her team collect gently used luxury goods and resell them on eBay.

Mei Pak

Though she actually has a degree in mathematics, Mei Pak decided to go the entrepreneurial route instead and started Tiny Hands, a company that sells unique and handmade jewelry pieces.

MinkoffBurch, HuffingtonUnited Photos via Shutterstock

This article, "20 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World" was first published on Small Business Trends

25 Travel Accessories for Men

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-05-22 09:30

If you’re in the market for some masculine travel accessories, you’re in luck. There are plenty of different products out there that work great for male business travelers. Here are 25 of them.

Travel Accessories for Men Lifewit Men’s Leather Briefcase

If you’re taking short trips and mostly just need to transport your work gear, an over-the-shoulder bag like this leather briefcase might work just fine. This leather bag retails for between $130 and $300.

Renwick Shoulder Bag

This shoulder bag from Renwick offers another classic option for business travelers. It retails for $17.99.

CaseCrown Laptop Bag

This CaseCrown messenger bag offers another option. It’s made specifically for laptops and comes in a few different sizes, starting at $29.99.

Kopak Slim Business Backpack

Or you could opt instead for a backpack to hold a variety of different items. This slim model is made specifically to fit most laptops, but can also hold some other belongings. Price starts at $36.99.

Targus Rolling Bag

You could also go for a rolling bag like this one from Targus. It’s sized to hold laptops and other items. And it retails for $44.95.

HSEOK Laptop Sleeve

While you travel, you’ll need a way to keep your laptop protected. This HSEOK laptop sleeve features a masculine design and starts at $16.99.

Rivacase Tablet Case

Likewise, a tablet case like this one from Rivacase can be essential if you travel with a tablet device. This product starts at $14.90 and comes in a few different sizes.

ProCase Tablet Stand

You might also find it helpful to have a stand for your tablet so you can easily work on the go. This ProCase tablet stand is made for Samsung tablets and retails for $17.99.

RAVpower Portable Charger

This portable charging station will allow you to charge your devices even on the go. The product starts at around $20 and features a sleek, masculine design.

Treblab Connectivity Headphones

If you need to do any video or voice chatting while you travel, some good headphones with a built-in microphone can be a big help. These start at $39.99.

Philips Noise Cancelling Headphones

Or if you just need to drown out the distractions around you, consider some noise cancelling headphones like these from Philips, which retail for $114.95.

Roll Up Electronics Organizer

To store all of your electronics without taking up a ton of space in your suitcase, you could use something like this roll up organizer from Patu, which starts at $12.99.

MLMSY Toiletry Bag

For all of your shaving supplies and other toiletries, consider this hanging toiletry bag from MLMSY. It comes in a more masculine style than many other toiletry bags and costs just under $13.

Squeeze Pod Toiletries

Or if you’d rather just purchase the travel sizes of the toiletry products you need, these squeeze pods offer a simple solution at $12.99.

Travel Bottle Set

You might also find a set of travel size, TSA approved bottles like these helpful. This set is fairly masculine and costs $16.95.

Parker Travel Shave Kit

Or you could go with a dedicated shave kit like this one from Paker that retails for about $100.

AmazonBasics Garment Bag

If you need to travel with a suit or other garments that you need to keep wrinkle-free, a garment bag like this one for $7.99 can be a huge help.

LapGear MyDesk

If you need to get any work done while on a plane or waiting around the airport, a lap desk like this one can be a big help. This LapGear product starts at $16.99.

ProCase Travel Case

You could also use a multi-purpose case like this one to hold toiletries, electronics or any other number of goods. This ProCase organizer starts at $11.99.

Waterproof Travel Pouch

If you plan on doing any hiking or exploring while you travel, having a small case like this one to hold your essentials can be a big benefit. This one starts at $8.99.

Travel Portfolio Bag

A portfolio bag like this one can provide another option for keeping your phone, wallet and other important items easily accessible while traveling. This one ranges from $9.99 to $21.78.

Caseling Travel Storage Case

Or if you need a case that’s really durable, this Caseling product has a hard exterior to protect your breakable goods. It retails for $14.99.

Master Lock Luggage Lock

No matter what types of accessories you choose, you’re going to want to make sure they’re all secure in your bags. So you might want to purchase a TSA approved lock like this one from Master Lock, starting at $6.98.

Accuweight Luggage Scale

You’ll also want to make sure that your bags don’t exceed any airline weight limits. And this Accuweight luggage scale, priced at $6.99, can help.

Travelmate Neck Pillow

This memory foam neck pillow can help you make your travels more comfortable as well. It retails for $13.65.

Traveling Man Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "25 Travel Accessories for Men" was first published on Small Business Trends

Fast food sweet tea, ranked

Topix - Mon, 2017-05-22 09:27

I went through the drive-thru in 18 fast-food restaurants in North Alabama. The rules: The fast-food restaurants have to have locations in at least two major Alabama cities.

Categories: Today's Food News

VW's soccer sponsorship in limbo as automaker cuts costs

AutoNews - Mon, 2017-05-22 09:12
Volkswagen's expensively assembled soccer team, VfL Wolfsburg, faces relegation from Germany's Bundesliga for the first time in 20 years, a move that could lead the automaker to reduce sponsorship as it grapples with its emissions crisis.
Categories: Latest News

Blaze Pizza takes top honors at Fast Casual Top 100 gala - Mon, 2017-05-22 08:40
The annual Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers recognizes brands leading the pack when it comes to growth and innovation.

4 Reasons Why Your Sales Call Will Fail

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-05-22 08:30

Making sales calls is one of the inescapable responsibilities of being a business owner. No matter what you sell or how big your company is or how much success you’ve enjoyed, as the business owner, you still need to stay actively engaged with the art of selling and finding new business for your company. Unfortunately, many business owners are falling short in the role of sales person. Many business owners don’t want to make sales calls, or think that they shouldn’t have to pick up the phone, or are going about sales calls the wrong way.

Sales Call Mistakes

Here are a few telltale signs that your next sales call will fail:

You’re too nervous. Sales calls require confidence. But if you’re sounding anxious and stumbling over your words, you’re going to make your prospect uncomfortable, and they will be less likely to trust you. Rehearse your sales pitch in advance. Practice recording yourself while holding the phone. Get your sales pitch down to the point where it feels comfortable and easy to remember; then you’ll be more likely to deliver it with ease and aplomb.

You’re too eager. The flipside of a nervous cold call is just as bad — being overly eager. If you’re too eager to get the prospect to agree to a sale or agree to a follow-up meeting, you will make the prospect feel pressured and mistrustful. If the prospect feels like you’re trying to pressure them, they will be skeptical of what you’re selling, and might even hang up. So try not to be too eager. Remember: this sales call is not the end-all, be-all of your sales effort, it is just the start of the process. You don’t have to close the deal on the first call, you just need to see if the prospect is interested, and try to get them to agree to a second call, a meeting, a demo, or whatever the next step of your sales process might be.

You don’t know why you’re calling. Every sales call needs to have a specific goal in mind. You need to know why you’re calling and what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, are you asking them to sign up for a product demo? Are you asking them to agree to receive some sales literature for their review? Your sales process should be well organized with several stages to work through; know which stage you’re on and understand the goals for each sales call before you pick up the phone.

You don’t know who you’re talking to. Are you sure that you’re talking to the right person at the company that you’re calling? If not, don’t just launch into your sales script — ask questions to make sure you’re talking to the right decision maker that you actually wanted to reach. Sometimes getting the right person on the phone is a more complex and difficult process than ultimately making the sales call.

You haven’t done your research. B2B sales is all about doing your research and finding prospects that are the right fit for what you sell. Just like the old saying, “measure twice, cut once,” you need to spend a lot more time doing research into your prospects and their organizations before you pick up the phone to call. Make sure this company is really in the right industry, make sure your solution is a good fit, make sure that you’re aligned with each other. Better research leads to better sales calls; without doing your homework, you’re flying blind.

Picking up the phone to make a cold call to a new prospective customer for the first time is not “fun” for most people; it can be frustrating or nerve-wracking. But if you believe in your business, and you want your business to succeed, you need to find a way to keep making sales calls and keep getting better at it by avoiding the four sales call mistakes above.

Sales Call Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "4 Reasons Why Your Sales Call Will Fail" was first published on Small Business Trends

Dream Hotel Group To Triple Existing Portfolio By 2022

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-05-22 07:40
NEW YORK-–Renowned hotel brand and management company Dream Hotel Group, home to its Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and soon-to-launch ...