Category Archives: Business

Container ship

Choosing Marine Policy Providers: Why Being Deliberate Matters

Container ship

Ask anyone that has been in the marine industry for a long time, and they will tell you that you can never adequately prepare for most of the maritime disputes. On the other hand, you can learn from weather forecasts when and where typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes are likely to hit. For that, you can reschedule plans to or reroute your ships.

Either way, your shipping business is always at risk of financial loss. Moreover, following up claims can be costlier even than the claims. So, what’s the solution here? Marine policies.

But, where and from whom do you get the right maritime policy to cover these risks, or better yet, an all-risks marine policy? You will require looking further than your local listings to find a marine policy provider that will best cover your shipping investment. More importantly, if you are hiring shipping vessels, it is best if your policy provider offers a charterers’ liability cover. So, where should you be looking? Here is a concise guide of three of the top qualities to check:

Reach of the company

Shipping is hardly a regional industry. Typically, that is because your ships and cargo might require crossing different territorial seas before they reach their destination. Also, world events such as natural catastrophes, political tussles, economic instability, and military coups, can affect your shipping services. So, considering the reach of your shipping business, it is best that you choose an international marine policy provider. With that, you are confident that each of their policies covers global as well as local and regional marine issues.

Reputable

How reputable is the company from which you plan to take your marine policies? How well do they rate in timeliness and professionalism? You want a marine policy provider that is always available to address any issue with your shipping business. Any wasted minute could mean a lost client or business opportunity or a forfeited claim. It is imperative that your policy provider handles every concern that you raise with the highest degree of professionalism. That should include, following industry requirements and understanding your needs.

Dedicated

Men standing on dock

You can tell whether or not you are dealing with a dedicated policy provider from how they commit to offering quality services. They avail detailed information about the different policies for both shipowners and charterers. That also includes the liability that each policy covers. Moreover, they invest in follow-ups to ensure that you follow the right procedures not to forfeit your policies. It is never about them but how best your shipping business can be a success.

Additionally, they are more than willing to have you engaging them so that they can tailor their services and packages to your needs. And, they have a well-trained team with vast experience to nib all sorts of unforeseeable maritime insurance issues before they arise.

It is not enough to get a maritime insurance cover. You want a surety that you will get full compensation from any risk that your marine business will face. Choosing the right marine policy provider can make a whole lot of difference in how much you get from these claims. So, be deliberate!

Catering food service

Four Basic Catering Equipment That Can Ensure Your Success

Catering food service

So you have finally decided to pursue your passion for cooking. While it sounds like a great idea, you will soon realise just how much effort you need to put into it to ensure that your catering business will be a success. On top of the pieces of equipment you need to invest in, you also need to consider the maintenance and repairs of your catering equipment.

Before you dive into the unknown, here are some of the things that you will likely need as soon as you start your business.

1. Basic Kitchen Tools

Before you even begin to canvass a few larger pieces of equipment, you first need to learn and understand the necessary tools in catering. For example, depending on the kind of dishes that you will be cooking, you need variations of knives to prepare each meal.

Also, you need to have a complete selection of other utensils within your reach. It is best to prepare all the knives, roasting pans and other pieces of equipment that you might need for cooking.

2. Table Settings

If you are planning to start from the basics, you will need to have bread, salad and dinner plates for a full-course meal. But if you are serving other dishes such as soup, then it is best to prepare a few soup bowls as well. You should also prepare a few wine glasses.

Also, it is an eyesore if you will place everything on a bare table. So do not forget to decorate it with beautiful tablecloths, napkins and centrepieces to complete the look. Meanwhile, do not forget to include a few basic condiments such as salt and pepper and place them in beautiful containers.

3. Buffet Equipment

Buffet catering equipments

You will need to have the same serving equipment if you are serving a buffet. However, you need to have decent extra pairs of hands to accommodate the long line of the hungry crowd. Moreover, a buffet setting has higher chances of things accidentally breaking, which can affect your revenue.

That is why you need to be smart enough when handling your buffet equipment. Prepare the tongs and large spoons for serving a few of your meals. Meanwhile, get a cutting board ready for meats that require cutting, like turkey, roast beef or lamb.

4. Beverage Station

Another must-have in most catering services is the coffee or beverage station. Depending on what you are serving, you need to prepare a few dozens of cups or glasses near the beverage station. You can also place a few selections of teas and cocoa to give them options. To keep everything in order, set up a wastebasket near your guests or toss the little trash immediately to make the cleanup a lot easier.

Running a catering business is not a walk in the park. You need to be prepared for everything that might happen, including a few unexpected repairs now and then. You should always find a supplier who can help you source new catering equipment at an affordable rate.

Salad Dish

Must-Do’s When Putting Up a Salad Restaurant

Salad Restaurant

Want to open a salad restaurant? That would be a good idea, considering that more people are becoming health-conscious these days. You may opt to put up your own place or go for a food franchise — either way, your business has a great potential to be a hit.

What are the things that you should consider when putting up a salad restaurant, or really, any health food franchise?

Know Your Market

As you know, not all people like salads. And not all salad lovers may want to consume what you offer. For this, you need to be in the know of specific products that cater to the needs of specific consumers. Want to make salads to be sold in food trucks? How about those that are perfect for customers on weight loss programs?

Keep Up With Your Competition

The competition is tough in almost every industry. For this, it is important to check your competitors and make sure to keep up with them. Do your research and make a list of important comparisons; for instance, why your products are better than theirs or why some of their products are doing great in the market.

Go for Menu Diversity

restaurant

Sure, you need to have a theme. But it is likewise important to offer other types of food like wraps, sandwiches, and other dishes. By doing this, you draw the attention of more potential customers. One customer may come to your restaurants for salads, but his friends and family may enjoy other dishes that you offer.

Make Food Safety Your Top Priority

You may have the best marketing strategies, but none of them will be enough if you fail to maintain your food’s safety. As a responsible restaurant owner, make sure to educate yourself and your staff regarding food safety. Publish sanitation guidelines and always look for updated information on product safety concerns.

Choose the Right Location

Check your potential areas during day and night to know how many customers might enter your store on specific time and days. Doing so contributes a lot to attract prospective customers. Once you have chosen an area, check if it is eligible for preparing and serving food.

Choose the Best Supplier

Look for reputable fresh produce suppliers and pick the one whose products and services match your needs. You may also want to opt for multiple produce wholesalers, for doing so will help you prevent supply chain disruptions.

Buy the Right Service Pieces

Putting up a salad restaurant requires enough knowledge of various service pieces. Know the right ones for each type of salad and make sure to stock your restaurant with lots of them. This also applies to every service accessory that you plan to use.

There you have it — the things you should know and do when putting up a salad restaurant. You’ve got a lot of tasks to accomplish, so you better start making your list and getting things done. With enough knowledge and the right people to help you, your business will surely succeed.

Businessmen handshake

Easiest Franchises If You Want a Low-Maintenance Business

Businessmen handshake

Starting a business is often intimidating with the big capital requirement, the pressures of building a brand, and managing it at the same time. This makes franchising the perfect entry-point for entrepreneurs. If you want low-cost and low-maintenance franchise ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

Own a laundry shop

One of the easiest businesses to operate is a laundromat. Simply make sure that there’s power, all the pieces of equipment are working, there are laundry supplies like soap, and you’re good to go. Since your equipment is self-service, you don’t really need full-time staff to constantly assist the customers. One staff to man the cashier and assist the customers from time to time is usually enough. Plus, people regularly need clean clothes, so there’s a strong potential to get repeat customers. Just make sure that your customer service is stellar.

You should also think of ways to stand out from your competitors. Maybe you can offer babysitting services while parents do the laundry? Or maybe you can add an automatic folding machine to make their lives even easier. Think out of the box ideas of how to further help your target market.

Offer cleaning services

Maybe you’re in an area where there are a lot of working moms or two-working-parent households. These families often lack time to clean their homes, making cleaning services their only option. The thing about cleaning service companies is that you have to earn their trust first before they let you into their homes. That’s why buying a franchise from a well-established brand that people already know is easier than starting your own.

A big trend in this industry is the demand for eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Homeowners are now becoming more concerned with the environment and the effects of chemical cleaners on the health of their children, so make sure to take this into consideration. You can do the cleaning yourself while you’re still starting and gradually bring more people into your team.

Buy a hot dog franchise

Hot dogs

Theme parks, malls, parks—they all have one thing in common. Hot dog stands are a mainstay in any fun-filled places where kids are supposed to go to enjoy. A hot dog franchise is very simple to operate. You just have to make sure that there is fresh hot dog supply every day and that there are enough oil and gas. It’s not that hard to make, either. You literally just have to cook some hot dogs to earn money!

What’s great about hot dog franchise opportunities is that they’re pretty easy to operate. You won’t have to be physically there to earn. You can hire full-time staff to man your stall. One or two is enough depending on how big it is.

These three franchise options present you an amazing opportunity to own and run a business the easiest way possible. Research the market and industry first. Once you’ve decided on the business you want, it’s time to look for a franchise. Make sure to find one that gives adequate support to franchisees to help them run their new business and earn a profit.

Different flavors of ice cream

4 Ways to Help You Run a Successful Ice Cream Store

Different flavors of ice cream

Running a business demands hard work and perseverance. You need to ensure that you will stand out among the rest of your competitors in every aspect. While there is no secret formula for achieving success, there are specific qualities that can help you meet it. Hence, before you head on and build an ice cream franchise business, here are a few tips to help you run your business and ensure its success:

Create unique artisan ice cream

People are becoming adventurous when it comes to food that they are now looking for a one-of-a-kind ice cream flavor. Artisan ice cream is becoming a hit to most diners because of its decadent appeal. Creating artisan ice cream is often visible with independently-run ice cream stores. However, you can create your flavor by using your creative juices to surprise your customers with a new experience.

Mix taste with science

One of the most common innovations nowadays is using science to create a new pallet experience. QSR Magazine says that restaurants are now utilizing nitrogen as part of their ice cream presentation. What most companies usually do these days is letting diners see how they create ice cream from scratch until they serve it. Not only is it a great educational experience for kids, but it also gives them an idea of how science helps create their most favorite dessert.

Choose the right location

We can’t deny the power that a location holds in every business. Bear in mind that diners see ice cream as more than a treat, but a purchase that they do on impulse. That’s why finding the right location is a necessity to ensure its success. You need to choose an area that has high foot traffic to ensure that more customers will be able to see your products.

On the other hand, if your store location doesn’t have enough foot traffic, you need to create brilliant ideas that will lead customers to your door. One way of doing so is through flyers and social media.

Get the right connection

Business meeting

Most experts believe that businesses should think outside the box when trying to win new customers. Having the right connection within the community is a great way to get your name out into the market. You can try working with a few charity works or even a few community outreach programs to help reinforce your brand to your target market. Bear in mind that ice cream is an affordable luxury. Use these reasons to your advantage and try transforming regular streets into a buzzing local center. If you’re unsure about it, you can connect with the provincial departments of commerce and with your neighborhood’s charities to get ideas.

No one becomes successful at any business without putting effort. That is why it is always best to read books to help you run your ice cream parlor and see if you can get any ideas from it. Ice cream is a sellable product that almost everyone cannot resist. Capitalize on it and use it to create marketing strategies that will help increase your revenue.

judge and lawyer in court

Why You Should Become a Bail Bondsman

judge and lawyer in courtIf you look at LinkedIn’s report about the most in-demand jobs in 2018, you will notice that most of it are related to software development both on PC and mobile. Other in-demand jobs that are not programming-related include statistical analytics, digital marketing, and electronic engineering.

But considering the requirements these jobs have, it seems that knowing how to become a bail bondsman is a better option for the following reasons:

You don’t have to go through rigorous education

What do engineering, digital marketing, statistical analysis have in common? An educational background that specializes in these fields. Sure, anyone can be a digital marketer these days, but you still need to be knowledgeable of certain subjects, such as content writing and sometimes, graphic designing.

Becoming a bail bondsman requires none of that. In fact, you don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree to be one. A high school diploma or anything equivalent is enough for you to be qualified. Provided, of course, that you have a clean record and pass the licensure examination.

You get plenty of time

If you’re a programmer or a software engineer, you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of your computer doing plenty of coding tasks. When you’re a bail bondsman, you have plenty of free time. You get to set your own schedule—choosing the number of hours you work per day and the number of days per week. If you have a full-time job, being a bail bondsman is a career you can do part-time, without leaving you sleepless.

You don’t have to worry about your paycheck

money and gavelYes, programmers rake in a lot of money annually, but oftentimes, their paycheck is fixed.

It’s not the case with being a bondsman. Because you can work as much as you like, you have great income potential. According to experts, a bail bond agent can earn as much as $90,000 annually. Not bad for a flexible work schedule, right?

You don’t have to worry about recession

Aside from getting a handsome paycheck, you also don’t need to worry when the economy tanks. In fact, bail bond agents are in greater demand during a recession because people don’t have the financial means to pay the bail. Programming career, however, may be jeopardized when the economy is weak as software development may stall.

You can be your own boss

Being a bail bond agent also gives you the freedom to start your own agency as long as you have enough experience and funds. Going solo as a programmer, however, is no picnic because first of all, designing applications may require more than one person. There are at least the programmer and the tester.

If you are looking for a high-paying job with lots of free time, become a bail bondsman. It offers several benefits that even the most in-demand job now won’t be able to provide. Should you decide to be one, be sure to train with agencies with a proven track record of success in producing competitive and skilled bail bondsmen.

Jeweler holding a ring

Are You Ready to Start a Home-Based Jewelry Cleaning Business?

Jeweler holding a ring

Owning or running a small business is a dream for many people. However, it can be a challenge to come up with a unique idea for a business, considering that there’s intense competition in services and products on the market today. Coming up with enough capital to cover expenses for business space, employees, materials, and so on is another obstacle. If you are a first-time entrepreneur who is looking for small franchise opportunities, you may want to consider getting into the jewelry cleaning niche.

Why You Should Start a Home-Based Jewelry Cleaning Business

Venturing into a jewelry cleaning business will give you the opportunity to be truly creative. Individuals who love to see jewelry in good condition can start a jewelry cleaning business at home. This may be considered risky by those who are currently employed; however, by taking a courageous leap from the corporate world, you can start living out your dream of owning a business and doing what you love the most. Having the opportunity to look after your loved ones is an extra bonus. This is the perfect arrangement for parents with kids or people who want to spend more time with their family.

What You Should Expect on a Home-Based Jewelry Cleaning Business

As with any startup business, expect long hours and non-stop work when the peak season for orders arrives. Working at home can be challenging because of the hard work and commitment that your business requires. Your family must understand that the survival of the business depends on how much work you put into it. Nonetheless, assure them that this is just a temporary arrangement. Once the dust settles, you’ll have more freedom and time as a business owner.

How You Can Start Your Home-Based Jewelry Cleaning Business

Before getting down to the nitty gritty of jewelry cleaning, set up a small office or studio at home first. Let your kids know that this is your private work area. When you’re there, you should not be interrupted. This will create boundaries and help you do your work efficiently. Your workplace can be part of the house – a renovated room, an open space at your garage, or any small area that can hold everything that is related to your jewelry cleaning business. Once your work for the day is finished, leave your workplace and don’t bring your jewelry cleaning supplies to other areas of the house.

Why You Should Get into Franchising

Business meeting

You should take advantage of franchise opportunities rather than set up a shop on your own. A franchise usually covers the products, business model, staff training, research, development, business location options, and more. It also covers advertising and marketing to help new business owners transition smoothly into their business.

The main advantage of having a franchise is that it already has a good reputation in the industry. In addition, customers naturally follow a brand that they recognize and trust.

Franchising is a good way for jewelry fans and hobbyists to be in an industry that they love. Cleaning high-class jewelry and eye-catching accessories can be fun for people who have a genuine interest in them. They can start with an online shop or website and run the operations from home or set up an actual brick and mortar store. Either way, they still get to see beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Commercial cleaning service

Why Getting a Commercial Cleaning Franchise is Your Best Entry into a Lucrative Business Arena

Commercial cleaning service

Say, you have made up your mind to be a commercial janitorial service provider. Should you worry about another recession? Do you have to find a huge capital to cover the advanced training of workers before you can open your doors to customers? The answer to both questions is no. If you are open to the idea of putting yourself out there as an entrepreneur through an already established name and business model, a commercial cleaning franchise is a great option.

Serving a stable market

Consider a possible future scenario: Of course, when the economy crashes, you’d be wringing your hands for a while. But, remember that companies managing to stay above water would be needing cleaning services to keep their operations going.

Even when everyone is having a tough time, someone has to ensure trash bins are brought out at the end of the day, the toilets are clean, and glass windows are gleaming. Unless the world ends in fire and brimstone, the janitorial industry serves a stable market.

You can rest assured knowing there is a continuous demand for commercial cleaning services. You don’t need to worry about getting repeat business as long as you provide excellent work to your clients.

No need for a huge overhead

One of the key advantages of a janitorial business is the relatively low overhead. Whether you’re a 30-year-old entrepreneur or corporate executive who wants to do franchising, there is no need to amass millions of dollars before you can join the stable and profitable commercial cleaning industry.

The services you offer are straightforward and require no complicated explanation to anyone. Every office needs cleaning every single day. Everyone knows you are essential to the community. And you can purchase basic supplies and equipment through the franchisor without breaking the bank.

For as long as you are willing to start small and slow, you can find your footing — in a niche cleaning market — and establish your business as a legitimate service provider in a year or two. You’ll be a proud bearer of a familiar name and brand that people relate to on a personal level.

Franchising — the smart and practical choice

Businessmen shaking hands

Have you checked out the listing of top commercial janitorial franchises in your area? This is a good time to think about buying a franchise. Taking care of start-up tasks can be overwhelming. If you opt to buy into a franchise, you only have to decide on your target market, figure out the pros and cons of current franchise offers, and then make the call to a potential business ally.

Every business enterprise deals with challenges each day, and some of these hurdles can be massive in the perspective of someone who lacks experience in dealing with them. If the franchisor’s business model focuses on quality control and operational efficiency, the burden on the new entrepreneur is more manageable. Buying into a franchise could be the best way for you to enter a competitive but lucrative business arena.

Think Through: 3 Questions to Ask to Know If You’re Ready to Start a Business

business startup

It’s the question many aspiring entrepreneurs ask when starting their venture: how do you know when you’re ready for it? If ever you’ve asked this yourself, you’re more or less there already. Starting a business isn’t something you do haphazardly; rather, you do it with serious thought, so if you’re sizing up your knowledge, skills, and personality already at this point, then you’re on the right track to becoming your boss. As you ponder more about this, here are some questions that can help you better gauge your readiness for entrepreneurship:

Are you completely sold on your idea?

A strong belief in your business idea is crucial in a lot of aspects. For one, it would be your driving force in following things through and making sure that the plan would come to life, no matter what. Moreover, it’s the very thing that people catch on. If you’re engrossed with your idea, investors, partners, employees, customers will see it and consider taking a look at it. And that’s what you want: for people to be sold to your idea, too. Now, if you don’t have an idea yet about what exactly to do, an excellent way to start is to look at existing businesses and draw inspirations from them. Better yet, try them out yourself. For instance, you may explore franchise business opportunities. See the track record of big brands today, and for sure you’d be sold on an idea or two.

Are you willing to embrace risks?

Entrepreneurship is almost the same as risk-taking. At every turn, you’d encounter a decision that would need a leap of faith, in finding a business partner, relocating your restaurant, or expanding your product line. In fact, at the very start, you’d have to face the tough risk of leaving a job that has a steady paycheck and cashing in your bank savings to fund your life-long dream of becoming a foodpreneur. If you’re not ready yet to take risks, then you might need some warming up first on the area of getting out of your comfort zone. Take baby steps. Take small risks first. For instance, instead of building your restaurant from scratch, you can probably start with a taco fast food franchise first. Or, instead of quitting your job at once, commit to a part-time job. Flex your risk-taking muscles with small steps of getting out of your comfort zone.

Are you comfortable networking?

Happy businessman talking on phone and shouting

Business is all about people. You answer the need of the market when introducing your idea. You seek the help of mentors when deciding on a business dilemma. You partner with employees and suppliers to grow your venture. You’ll be immersed in people, and the quality of your business would depend on the quality of relationships you’ll build in the industry. So, before you jump right into your business, ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the idea of continually talking, relating, negotiating with people. If not, then train yourself further. Maximize the networking opportunities your current job offers you. Volunteer in team projects. Learn the art of small talk and conflict resolution. The bottom line, be comfortable networking.

Are You Ready?

Your readiness in starting a business matters a lot to your success. So, ask yourself the mentioned questions before you take the plunge. From there, make the necessary changes in habits to get yourself ready for battle.

woman in embroidery shop

Stitching Income: How To Make Money From Your Embroidery Hobby

woman in embroidery shop

It’s impossible not to see an embroidery of some sort on our clothes, hats, or bags. Perhaps grandma’s linen, which she has painstakingly hand-stitched fifty-something years ago, is passed on as a family heirloom. Embroidery is as old as time itself, and although methods of embroidering have advanced considerably with the invention of embroidering machines, it still catches the eye.

Or perhaps you are into embroidery, having mastered the different stitches—straight, running, stem—and French and Bullion knots at the foot of a patient mother, aunt, or grandmother. There is something about embroidery that touches the heart. It may be the patience it affords you or the creativity involved in every creation. Whatever it may be, you love it.

You’ll love it even more if you know how to transform your craft into an embroidery business. After all, even a small slice of the pie in a $47-billion dollar industry wouldn’t be so bad.

What is embroidery?

Embroidery is the art or craft of enhancing fabric using a needle and thread and weaving them into beautiful patterns or images onto the fabric, either by hand or machine. Further enhancements may include the use of pearls, beads, quills, sequins, and other decorative materials.

Embroidery in history

It may surprise you that embroidery can be traced back to 30,000 B.C. or the Cro-Magnon days. A recent archaeological dig revealed the fossilized remains of clothing, boots, and hat—all having hand-stitched decorative patterns.

It is to the Orient and Middle East that embroidery in the more modern era is believed to have started. Unearthed sculptures, paintings and vases from different cultures showed people wearing clothing with embroidered patterns.

Where is embroidery used now?

automated embroidery

In our commercially-driven age, embroidery is typically applied onto shirts, caps, jackets, sports shirts, and uniforms. Decoratively-used, they can be seen on dress shirts, dresses, bags, handkerchiefs, and golf shirts. The beauty of embroidery is it comes in a wide range of colors.

Business application of embroidery

One of the fastest ways to turn your hobby into a business venture is to get a franchise. There are many embroidery franchise providers out there. The beauty of buying a franchise is that the business model is already established, and for a relatively small fee, the franchisee can focus on running the business immediately as opposed to worrying about supplies, training people, tapping into a network, and generally setting up the business. Franchise providers will also offer support and access to their business consultants.

Typically, small to medium-sized companies and local schools are the primary clients of an embroidery company, having a need to display their corporate logos and monograms. They provide a steady stream of orders for uniforms, including caps, shirts, and promotional items. Special events such as sponsored golf tournaments will generate orders as well, with their club name prominently displayed on the signs, uniforms, and merchandise.

Embroidery is a multibillion-dollar industry, and it keeps growing. More businesses are starting and more people find the value of embroidery over mere print. This may be the right time for you to turn your hobby into a good source of income.