Tag : steps:

10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up –

#car wash business

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10 Steps For Starting a Car Wash From The Ground Up

As a 40 year veteran car wash equipment manufacturer and site developer, we’ve seen it all. We know what a daunting and potentially confusing process starting a new car wash can be. What comes first? Prospecting site locations? Securing financing? Assessing your market? How soon should you begin marketing? How long will the process take?

While we certainly can’t cover everything you need to know to start a car wash in a single post, we can take a few words to cover what we feel are the 10 most important steps to launching your own car wash business.

1) Location is Everything Go Scouting

Car washes aren’t automatically successful. Great care must be taken when selecting the location on which you want to build. Our Site Model Pages have in-depth descriptions of location criteria to consider (including population, competition, street types, car counts, and more) and our site development services can help you select and approve the best locations available in your area.

Start by driving around your target area, paying close attention to the relative traffic, types of local businesses, and anything that looks for sale. Get a feel for your potential market. You should also visit a commercial real estate MLS like Loopnet.com or many others. Be sure to take your time and never rush into a purchase.

2) Review the Competition

Try to get a feel for the local car washes in the area. How many customers do they have and how aggressively are they marketing? What will they do when you open your wash? Can they afford a multi-million dollar renovation to bring their wash in line with yours? Are they debt free and can they cut prices to outcompete you (with your interest payments) in the short term? Are their customers frequent users and very loyal—or are they waiting for something better?

Entrenched local competition can be dangerous, even for Totally Tommy buildings, and selecting a location with some elbow room between you and competitors is important. But don’t worry too much about single stall automatic car washes or local fundraisers—you’ll be working in a completely different weight class.

3) Do the Paperwork

Find out what local city or county department handles business licenses and request an application, as well as information on local utility usage codes, insurance requirements, tax rates, and other requirements for opening a business. You will also need a Taxpayer Identification Number and you should use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to check your brand then register to claim it.

Each area and city has different rules, so make sure you take the time to understand everything and keep your business in line. If you can, also get information on local sanitary sewers (for your waste water), utility prices, water usage limits, and other regulations.

4) Planning and Approval Process

Set up a meeting with the city planner. Show them a rendering of your concept and try to get verbal approval of the design—or a list of probable issues to address. If you have approval you can set up a formal meeting to present your plans and have them voted on at a city council meeting. With luck, your Totally Tommy building with its modern style, efficient design, and great investment potential will blow them away! Try to be friendly, optimistic, and down to earth. If the city gets on board with your project it can make the whole process move along more smoothly.

5) Research Car Washes

Tour as many successful car washes as possible to see what makes them tick—especially if you haven’t been in the business very long. Check out automatic car washes, partially automatic, express, detailing, and other washes to see how they differ from one another. Operations, promotions, pricing, services, demographics… Try to learn as much as you can and develop as deep a background as you can with operations, staffing policies, equipment repair, and customer management (aka, complaints ).

To help out, our team has training available to teach you everything you need to know BEFORE you’re trying to run your wash on hot days with long lines.

6) Operations Decisions

Will you run your car wash independently or will you have a franchise, LLC, or S-corp? There are many models, each with pros and cons. Franchises offer support at the cost of a residual. Solo operations offer total freedom but deprive you of much-needed backup and brand awareness. How much personal involvement are you looking for? If you plan on hiring a manager instead of handling things yourself, make sure he or she has the necessary qualifications and is heavily invested in your future success.

7) Make a Business Plan!

Your car wash business plan (click for outline) should focus on both long term and short term operations. Use a professional service and remember that the more detailed, thorough, and researched your plan is, the better it will look to investors or your bank. Include costs (up front and overhead costs), planning for building to long-term revenue management, and marketing strategies (launch and long-term). Professional proforma companies are ready to help and our team is also standing by with years of experience to back up our advice.

8) Get Financing

This is likely the most challenging step, and your success here will largely depend on how well you’ve researched and prepared your business plan ahead of time. A solid revenue model can help convince investors to put up the capital for your new car wash business, so be prepared to demonstrate that you need enough funding for a truly high quality car wash facility and equipment with great return potential. You will also need a convincing resume with business and/or car wash experience, and a solid marketing plan.

9) Build the Right Wash

Car washes thrive when they capture the attention of the local market and are designed to make turning in, purchasing a wash, and moving through the tunnel as quick and easy as possible. The Totally Tommy building is the best way to do just this, drawing huge numbers of passing customers with a great looking building, perfected layouts, and a full and fast service menu. Proven in scenarios around the country, every component of this facility design has been carefully thought out to create a single, cohesive investment that pays off. From our towers to our pay system, deceleration lanes, glass walls, stainless steel equipment, and clear roof, everything is designed to project sophistication, professionalism, and value. So why waste money reinventing the wheel, and why risk building a second-best wash when a Totally Tommy wash is waiting for you?

10) Market your New Business

Customers don’t know what they don’t know, so don’t just expect them to line up without any effort on your part. Make sure to let the community know about your wash ahead of the grand opening with onsite advertising as well as print, radio, local web, and possibly TV advertisements. You’ll begin to build a curious customer base who will drop buy and tell their friends and family afterwards. $15,000 or $1 / car for initial marketing including billboards, mailings to 5 mile radius, promotional washes, and radio commercials is a good place to start at your launch and $.10 / car is a standard ballpark long-term rate for the future. One or two day Social media campaigns (incentivize customers with free washes for best results) can also be highly successful. Be prepared to collect feedback and adapt your marketing program for the greatest possible effectiveness moving forwards.

Launching any business, and especially a brick and mortar car wash filled with high-end technology, is a complex and daunting prospect. But don’t worry. The team at Tommy Car Wash Systems has hundreds of washes behind us with thousands of installations and developments. We know the steps you’ll need to take to get your wash planed, approved, built, and operational, and we’ll help you turn a fantastic business opportunity into an even better reality.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

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How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps: Starting a

#dog walking business

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How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps

With recent figures showing that Brits spent more than £4bn on their beloved pets in 2015, you’d be barking mad to think the recession has impacted on the UK’s pet spend.

Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

Marking a 10% increase on pooch spending from 2010, it’s not only large retailers benefitting, with many entrepreneurs realising there’s opportunities to be had in the pet industry.

The average dog walker now earns 20% more than the average UK salary. so it’s clearly a viable and potentially profitable business opportunity.

Of course you’ll need to have a genuine interest in dogs as well as a good knowledge of the various rules and regulations surrounding the industry – and it’s a fairly business marketplace.

However, with plenty of doting pet owners out there, finding a good niche can still present great opportunities.

Sound interesting? Then read our four simple steps to help you become top dog in the industry.

1. Experience is essential

While it’s not imperative to have a career background with animals, you should at least be confident around dogs and at the very least have experience in walking a family or friend’s pet.

The Kennel Club’s guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs” for anyone wishing to pursue a career with man’s best friend.

If you’re in need of experience in handling dogs, you might want to consider volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre. They’ll often house a good range of dogs of various sizes, age and temperament, so you’ll be fit to face whatever comes your way.

Consider attending courses in animal first aid, pet medication or even animal psychology as gaining a diploma or certificate in any of these would showcase your commitment to the dog’s welfare and impress clients.

2. Remember, it’s a business

While any animal lover might feel like they’ve died and gone to doggy heaven, remind yourself that your dog walking business is just that – a business. As such, you’ll need to possess all the regular entrepreneurial skills required for founding and running a successful company.

Having a basic understanding of bookkeeping is important as you’ll need to be able to balance your own books and fill in your self-assessment tax return. Remember that this is your livelihood and not a hobby, your income should reflect this.

Similarly, a good understanding of marketing and self-promotion will be needed to get your business off the ground.

Finally, an ability to network and negotiate with both your customers and local animal industry is key. Never underestimate the potential for clients to try and negotiate price or you could find yourself working for substantially less than you might have hoped.

3. Be aware of the rules and regulations

Although there are relatively few regulations specifically targeted at dog walkers, businesses providing a service must get public liability insurance.

If this is the start-up business idea for you, be aware you may have to deal with dogs injuring other dogs or people while in your charge.

It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise.

They can help provide you with support and advice on dog walkers insurance and training, plus your membership will give your clients confidence.

To ensure you abide by key regulations, Narps suggest you should:

  • Meet owners prior to the first booking
  • Restrict the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time
  • Keep records of all work undertaken
  • Protect clients’ personal information

All dogs in public must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to clean up its faeces.

While not the most exciting element of running your own business, it’s crucial you keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of others or the reputation of your business.

4. Find a niche in the market

Given the popularity of setting up a dog walking business, it’s very probable you’ll have to find a niche to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Above all else, carry out market research and see if there’s actually room in your area for another dog walker.

A simple google search or contacting NarpsUK will help a lot in this regard.

Consider offering pet sitting as well as dog walking. Much like babysitting, you’ll mind your client’s pets at their home while they are away, as well as feeding them and attending to any medical needs such as medication or fulfilling dietary requirements.

Having a diploma in pet medication would be advantageous in this instance as it would allow you to cater to a specific group of dogs.

Provided you are properly trained, you could also offer grooming services such as hair cutting or washing.

Offering one-to-one intense sessions with larger dogs could also widen your appeal.

Some dogs simply won’t be satisfied by a trip around the block and will require a more strenuous workout.

For more information on starting a dog walking business, take a look atour in-depth guide to help you prepare for the launch of your start-up.

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7 Steps To Selling Your Small Business #business #game


#selling a business

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7 Steps To Selling Your Small Business

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Selling a small business is a complex venture that involves several considerations. It can require that you enlist a broker. accountant and an attorney as you proceed. Whether you profit will depend on the reason for the sale, the timing of the sale, the strength of the business’s operation and its structure. The business sale will also require much of your time and, once the business is sold, you’ll need to determine some smart ways to handle the profit. Reviewing these seven considerations can help you build a solid plan and make negotiations a success.

1.Reasons for the Sale
You’ve decided to sell your business. Why? That’s one of the first questions a potential buyer will ask. Owners commonly sell their businesses for any of the following reasons:

  • Retirement
  • Partnership disputes
  • Illness and death
  • Becoming overworked
  • Boredom

Some owners consider selling the business when it is not profitable, but this can make it harder to attract buyers. Consider the business’s ability to sell, its readiness and your timing. There are many attributes that can make your business appear more attractive, including:

  • Increasing profits
  • Consistent income figures
  • A strong customer base
  • A major contract that spans several years

2.Timing of the Sale
Prepare for the sale as early as possible, preferably a year or two ahead of time. The preparation will help you to improve your financial records, business structure and customer base to make the business more profitable. These improvements will also ease the transition for the buyer and keep the business running smoothly. (Make sure the business you built continues to thrive long after you’ve left the helm by reading How To Create A Business Succession Plan .)

3.Business Valuation
Next, you’ll want to determine the worth of your business to make sure you don’t price it too high or too low. Locate a business appraiser to get a valuation. The appraiser will draw up a detailed explanation of the business’s worth. The document will bring credibility to the asking price and can serve as a gauge for your listing price.

4.Selling on Your Own vs. Using a Broker
Selling the business yourself allows you to save money and avoid paying a broker’s commission. It’s also the best route when the sale is to a trusted family member or current employee. In other circumstances, a broker can help free up time for you to keep the business up and running, keep the sale quiet and get the highest price (because the broker will want to maximize his or her commission). Discuss expectations and advertisements with the broker and maintain constant communication. (For more insight, read Do Your Need A Real Estate Agent? )

5.Preparing Documents
Gather your financial statements and tax returns dating back three to four years and review them with an accountant. In addition, develop a list of equipment that’s being sold with the business. Also, create a list of contacts related to sales transactions and supplies, and dig up any relevant paperwork such as your current lease. Create copies of these documents to distribute to financially qualified potential buyers.

Your information packet should also provide a summary describing how the business is conducted and/or an up-to-date operating manual. You’ll also want to make sure the business is presentable. Any areas of the business or equipment that are broken or run down should be fixed or replaced prior to the sale. (For related reading, see Prepare To Sell Your Business .)

6.Finding a Buyer
A business sale may take between six months and two years according to SCORE, a nonprofit association for entrepreneurs and partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Finding the right buyer can be a challenge. Try not to limit your advertising, and you’ll attract more potential buyers. (To learn more, read Finding The Best Buyer For Your Small Business .)

Once you have prospective buyers, keep the process moving along:

  • Get two to three potential buyers just in case the initial deal falters.
  • Stay in contact with the potential buyers.
  • Find out whether the potential buyer prequalifies for financing before giving out information about your business. If you plan to finance the sale, work out the details with an accountant or lawyer so you can reach an agreement with the buyer.
  • Allow some room to negotiate, but stand firm on the price that is reasonable and considers the company’s future worth.
  • Put any agreements in writing. The potential buyers should sign a nondisclosure/confidentiality agreement to protect your information.
  • Try to get the signed purchase agreement into escrow. (For related reading, check out Understanding The Escrow Process .)

You may encounter the following documents after the sale:

In addition, the buyer may have you sign a noncompete agreement, in which you would agree to not start a new, competing business and woo away customers.

7.Handling the Profits
Take some time, at least few months, before spending the profits from the sale. Create a plan outlining your financial goals, and learn about any tax consequences associated with the sudden wealth. Speak with a financial professional to determine how you want to invest the money and focus on long-term benefits, such as getting out of debt and saving for retirement. (There are several areas you should research when seeking professional financial help. Learn more in Advice For Finding The Best Advisor .)

Conclusion
Selling a business is time-consuming and for many, an emotional venture. A good reason to sell or the existence of a “hot” market can ease the burden, as can the help of professionals. It may also be possible to receive free counseling from organizations such as SCORE, and your local chamber of commerce may offer relevant seminars and workshops. When all is said and done, the large sum of money in your bank account and your newfound free time will make the grueling process seem worthwhile.



Follow These 10 Steps to Starting a Business #business #loans #bad #credit


#how to start a business

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Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Register your business name with your state government.

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

Contact your local SBA office to learn more about how SBA can help.

Startup Resources

There are a number of available programs to assist startups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged groups. The following resources provide information to help specialized audiences start their own businesses.



How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps Tutorial

#business pages

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How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [Tutorial]

It’s no longer a “good idea” for most businesses to be on Facebook. With 829 million people actively using Facebook every day, it’s become a go-to component of almost any inbound marketing strategy.

Thing is, as more and more Facebook features change, so does the process of setting up a Page.

Don’t waste another day poking around aimlessly on Facebook, trying to figure out what the heck to do to get your Facebook Page up and running like a social networking pro.

The following presentation provides a visual tutorial to help you get your Page up in no time (you can also read the transcription below). Over 600,000 have found this tutorial helpful, hopefully it proves beneficial for you or a marketer you know, too.

How To Create a Facebook Business Page

Step 1: Choose a Classification.

To begin, navigate to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php . This page will showcase six different classifications to choose from:

  1. Local Business or Place
  2. Company, Organization, or Institution
  3. Brand or Product
  4. Artist, Band, or Public Figure
  5. Entertainment
  6. Cause or Community

Each of these classifications provides more relevant fields for your desired Page.

For this tutorial, we’ll select the second option: company, organization, or institution. After selecting our desired classification, we’ll be asked for an official name for our Business Page. I recommend carefully selecting your name. Although Facebook allows you to change your name and URL once. it’s a difficult and tedious process.

Step 2: Complete Basic Information.

Facebook should automatically walk you through the following four basic sections to complete the fundamental aspects of your Page.

Finish “About” Section

The “about” section will serve as the main 2-3 sentence description for your company. It will be on your main page, so make it descriptive but succinct. Be sure to include a link to your company website as well. Also ensure that this information differentiates your brand, making your page even more appealing to potential followers.

This is also where you can select your unique domain (that, as mentioned above, can only be changed once). For example, the Sidekick by HubSpot Facebook Page employs the URL facebook.com/getsidekick.

Upload Profile Picture

Next you’ll be asked to upload a picture. This will serve as the main visual icon of your page, appearing in search results and alongside any comments you publish. While any perfectly square image will work, the recommended size is 180 x 180 pixels.

Add to Favorites

Every individual Facebook user has a vertical navigation bar to the left of their News Feed. You can add your Business Page as a “Favorite” item here — similar to bookmarking a web page in your web browser — for easy access.

Reach More People

Facebook will prompt you to create an advertisement to draw attention to your Page. Whether employing paid tactics is a part of your strategy or not, I recommend avoiding starting any ads at this stage — there’s no compelling content on the Page yet that would convince them to ultimately “Like” your page.

Step 3: Understand the Admin Panel.

The basic skeleton of your Business Page is now live. Facebook will ask if you’d like to “Like” your Page. Again, I recommend avoid doing so at the moment. This activity will appear in News Feeds of those you’re connected to personally to on Facebook. Without any content on the Page, we want to save that organic Timeline story for when you’re really ready for people to view the Page.

In the top navigation, you’ll see an option for “Settings.” Click that. Along the left side, a vertical navigation bar with different sections should appear. We’ll focus on three core ones now:

  • Page Info: This is where you can add additional details about your business. This section will also unveil different fields based on the classification you chose in Step 1.
  • Notifications. This section allows you to customize when and how you’d like to receive Page alerts. Set a frequency that fits your social media marketing schedule.
  • Page Roles. Whether or not you’ll be the main manager of the Page, there may be others at your organization who need access to your Facebook Page. Here, you can invite other colleagues to make changes to your Pages. Some common use cases here include:
    • A public relations manager who needs to respond to any delicate questions.
    • A support representative who can assist those asking technical questions.
    • A designer tasked with uploading new photo creative to the Page.

Step 4: Populate Page With Content.

Now it’s time to actually publish content to your Page and then invite users to be a part of your growing community. Let’s start with the basic content needed to get your Page kicking.

Posts

The rest of your Page will populate over time as you publish more updates. Facebook currently provides six different posting options:

  1. Plain text status
  2. Photo with caption
  3. Link with caption
  4. Video with caption
  5. Event page
  6. Location check-in

When posting on your page, just be sure to use a variety of content. What images would your audience like to see? What stats would they like to read? What links would they like to click? You can also click the little grey arrow in the top-right corner of each post and then click “Pin to Top” to move one of your posts to the top of your Page’s Timeline for seven days. Use this feature for product announcements, business anniversaries, and other major events pertinent to your brand.

If you want to dive deeper into Facebook posting best practices, check out this blog post.

Cover Photo

This is the large, horizontal image that spans the top of your Facebook Page. Typically, this is a branded image to help attract people to your Page. The official photo dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels. To help you create these cover photos, we have free PowerPoint templates here pre-sized for the right dimensions.

Now that there’s content on the Page, we can start strategically inviting users to Like it. I recommend inviting users in the following cadence:

  • First, invite colleagues to Like your page and its content to build some initial activity.
  • Second, invite supporters in your network. Encourage them to engage.
  • Third, invite customers. With some activity now on the Page, they’ll be more interested.

With content published and users invited, you can go to the “Activity” tab in your Page’s top navigation to monitor how people are engaging with your Page and content.

Step 5: Measure Your Growth.

Finally, we need to measure our efforts to ensure we’re making valuable marketing decisions on Facebook. Fortunately, Facebook has embedded in some decently helpful metrics for us to take advantage of. Simply click the “Insights” option in the top navigation to see the following:

  • Overview. This tab shows a 7-day snapshot of your metrics such as Page Likes, post reach, and overall engagement.
  • Likes. This tab shows your overall fan growth and losses. If you’re employing paid efforts, you’ll be able to see the breakdown of paid versus organic growth.
  • Reach. This tab highlights the raw number of people your Page is reaching every day. If you notice spikes on a specific day, try cross-checking what you posted that day to see if you can replicate that reach.
  • Visits. This tab indicates where on Facebook your viewers are coming from. You can see the difference in visits on Facebook Timelines, your information tab, reviews, and others.

And if you really want to spend time perfecting your Facebook content strategy, watch this brief tutorial on how to analyze exactly that .

And voila! You have a Facebook business page. Now go post interesting content and amass a loyal base of fans!

Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here .

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2010, and it’s since been completely updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.



How to Start a Catering Business: 12 Steps (with Pictures) #business #emails


#catering business

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How to Start a Catering Business

If you host dinner parties for your family and friends every chance you get, you’re up on food trends and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting a catering business. You have the advantage of starting small with relatively low overhead and building your business as you gain more clients. Read on for information on how to find your niche, launch your business and spread the word.

Steps Edit

Part One of Three:
Finding Your Catering Niche Edit

Think about what food you love to make. Catering, like any other business, should be rooted in a genuine interest and passion. Consider the following types of food you could focus on as you develop your catering business:

  • Lunch or brunch-style food. If you enjoy making sandwiches, quiches, tarts, salads, and other food that is generally served during the day, you might want to model your business around lunchtime service. You could cater business luncheons, daytime awards ceremonies, school functions, and so on.
  • Wedding reception or special event meals. Wedding caterers typically offer a variety of appetizers and finger foods along with several hearty entrees and a few desserts.
  • Desserts only. If you love baking and have a flair for making cookies and cakes, consider desserts-only catering. This may limit the types of clients who hire you, but you’ll also have less equipment to buy.
  • Appetizers and cocktails. Clients are increasingly hiring caterers to create a trendy, festive atmosphere by serving only appetizers, sometimes accompanied by caterer-prepared specialty cocktails.

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Create a menu. By doing this first, you can figure out how much kitchen space you’ll need, what appliances you should install and how much you can expect to bring in financially.

  • Try to have a variety of items to suit different tastes. Even if you specialize in one cuisine or type of meal, make sure your menu appeals to a lot of tastes. For example, if you want to offer a lot of spicy food, have non-spicy options as well.
  • Consider offering vegetarian and vegan options for clients who don’t eat meat and other animal products.
  • Keep your menu to a manageable size, with food you’re comfortable cooking made with ingredients you know you can source.

Test your dishes. Once you’ve settled on a menu, have a party to test out your dishes on family and friends. Ask them for honest feedback about the entire experience – both the food and the service.

  • Tweak your dishes until you’re convinced they’re delicious and crowd friendly.
  • Practice makes perfect. Make sure you’ve got the techniques, cooking times, and presentation down before you launch your business.

Part Two of Three:
Securing Your Space and Supplies Edit

Find a space to rent. Even if your starting small, most local laws prohibit people from operating catering businesses from a home kitchen. Look into your jurisdiction’s health codes to find out what type of space you’ll need to rent.

  • Consider operating from a commercial kitchen. Some kitchens allow people to rent the space for a day or a few hours at a time. This situation could be the right one for you if you cater only on the weekends or a few times a month.
  • If catering is going to be your full-time business, you’ll probably need a more permanent storage and cooking facility. Find a place with adequate plumbing so you’ll be able to set up your cooking and catering equipment. Check with your landlord and your local zoning office to make sure you can install the proper equipment like ventilation hoods and grease traps.
  • If you plan to host tastings or sell food directly from your kitchen, look for a place with a storefront that’s separate from the kitchen, and provide tables and seating for customers.

Set up your kitchen. Catering work requires industrial equipment that is usually more expensive than equipment you would use in your home kitchen. Create a budget and figure out exactly what you’ll need to run your business efficiently.

  • Base your equipment purchases on your menu. For example, if many of your items are baked, install at least two ovens. If you have a lot of fried foods, opting for more than one fryer might be a good idea.
  • You may want to install multiple sinks to make your prep work more efficient, especially if you plan on hiring people.
  • Plan ahead for food storage, too. Multiple refrigerators and a walk-in freezer might be necessary to store dishes you prepare ahead of time. Heated and non-heated holding areas are important for holding temperature and storing prepared items.
  • Obtain all the pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment you need to make the items on your menu.

Purchase the catering equipment that you will use on-site. The equipment you choose will depend on the type of service you want to provide, but at minimum you will need serving platters and serving utensils.

  • Many catering businesses provide plates, silverware, glassware, or disposable plates and utensils.
  • You may want to offer special display trays and tiered food platters to help make the catered event more festive.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment to keep the food either cold or hot, such as chafing dishes with liquid fuel burners.
  • Consider buying linens, napkins, table decorations and centerpieces. Some catering businesses also offer tent canopies for outdoor events.


3 Steps to Find a Business Mentor for Free #names #for #businesses


#find a business

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As a newly single person, I get excited when someone asks me out to dinner. Then I hear, “I’m treating!”

“Wow, that’s promising. Someone really likes me!”

But, my enthusiasm is dampened when I hear this…

“I’m treating because I want to pick your brain .”

Now, at my age, I’m thrilled that anyone wants to pick a piece of my body, but my least favorite part to give away for free is my brain. Isn’t that called intellectual prostitution? I’m whoring my brain away for a filet of salmon.

Therapists get this all the time. Someone, under the guise of friendship wants you to solve their problems over a cobb salad. Isn’t that why you have an office?

I understand why I get approached this way. After all, I’m a former standup comic turned speaker and one of the few people who actually gets paid to do what I love — to stand in front of others to entertain and inspire. Most people who consult with me on improving their presentation skills want to learn the necessary steps so they can quit their day job and get paid to speak.

I know that the comic or speaker who asks me out for a date has good intent, but there’s a better approach to get information than to offer a meal. It’s not like I have a sign on my door that says, “Will consult for food.”

After all I’m sure you, just like I, have spent a lot of money filling your brain with marketable skills and professional know-how. We’ve gone to college, attended meetings, got CPU credits, not to mention years of therapy to correct a dysfunctional childhood so we can go days without Xanax.

And you want me to tell you how to get paid to speak for a slice of pizza?

Now, I do give stuff away. But, it’s usually when someone approaches me with a message that I believe in. Then I don’t even care about the meal. I WANT to help because the person has ENROLLED me in their message. They get a “piece of my mind” and a boatload of my talent when they offer me to be a part of something I believe in.

I have donated speeches to cancer, children, veterans as well as assisting with writing TED talks for discounted fees because I believe in the message. That’s what happened when Muslim scholar, Dalia Mogahed asked me to write her TED talk, which resulted in over 1.5 million views. I’m proud to be a part of that.

So, when you need help that you can’t afford, think about how you approach someone. Rather that paying them with a Falafel, know how to enroll someone in your message.

Here are three steps to enroll a business mentor:

1. Forget “I” “My” “Me”

Describe your business without using “I” “My” or “Me.” Rather, describe what you do in terms of the RESULTS you create for OTHERS.

2. Identify the problems your business solves.

When Dalia Mogahed came to me, rather than telling me all about herself and the TED talk she wanted to do, she told me of her concerns about the stereotyping and discrimination of Muslims. Although I’m not a Muslim myself, I got fully onboard as I wanted to join her in making a difference.

3. Clearly state what you want fixed.

Create a simple statement that contains the problem you want fixed, the audience your business addresses, your credentials to fix the problem and the results you can create.

Master these simple 3 steps and you will not only enroll a business mentor, but interns, followers and especially customers. The secret to being a successful entrepreneur is that your message is NOT about you and how great it would be to promote your services, while you get paid to speak!

For tips on how to make a living from speaking go to https://TheMessageOfYou.com



How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps: Starting a

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How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps

With recent figures showing that Brits spent more than £4bn on their beloved pets in 2015, you’d be barking mad to think the recession has impacted on the UK’s pet spend.

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Marking a 10% increase on pooch spending from 2010, it’s not only large retailers benefitting, with many entrepreneurs realising there’s opportunities to be had in the pet industry.

The average dog walker now earns 20% more than the average UK salary. so it’s clearly a viable and potentially profitable business opportunity.

Of course you’ll need to have a genuine interest in dogs as well as a good knowledge of the various rules and regulations surrounding the industry – and it’s a fairly business marketplace.

However, with plenty of doting pet owners out there, finding a good niche can still present great opportunities.

Sound interesting? Then read our four simple steps to help you become top dog in the industry.

1. Experience is essential

While it’s not imperative to have a career background with animals, you should at least be confident around dogs and at the very least have experience in walking a family or friend’s pet.

The Kennel Club’s guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs” for anyone wishing to pursue a career with man’s best friend.

If you’re in need of experience in handling dogs, you might want to consider volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre. They’ll often house a good range of dogs of various sizes, age and temperament, so you’ll be fit to face whatever comes your way.

Consider attending courses in animal first aid, pet medication or even animal psychology as gaining a diploma or certificate in any of these would showcase your commitment to the dog’s welfare and impress clients.

2. Remember, it’s a business

While any animal lover might feel like they’ve died and gone to doggy heaven, remind yourself that your dog walking business is just that – a business. As such, you’ll need to possess all the regular entrepreneurial skills required for founding and running a successful company.

Having a basic understanding of bookkeeping is important as you’ll need to be able to balance your own books and fill in your self-assessment tax return. Remember that this is your livelihood and not a hobby, your income should reflect this.

Similarly, a good understanding of marketing and self-promotion will be needed to get your business off the ground.

Finally, an ability to network and negotiate with both your customers and local animal industry is key. Never underestimate the potential for clients to try and negotiate price or you could find yourself working for substantially less than you might have hoped.

3. Be aware of the rules and regulations

Although there are relatively few regulations specifically targeted at dog walkers, businesses providing a service must get public liability insurance.

If this is the start-up business idea for you, be aware you may have to deal with dogs injuring other dogs or people while in your charge.

It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise.

They can help provide you with support and advice on dog walkers insurance and training, plus your membership will give your clients confidence.

To ensure you abide by key regulations, Narps suggest you should:

  • Meet owners prior to the first booking
  • Restrict the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time
  • Keep records of all work undertaken
  • Protect clients’ personal information

All dogs in public must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to clean up its faeces.

While not the most exciting element of running your own business, it’s crucial you keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of others or the reputation of your business.

4. Find a niche in the market

Given the popularity of setting up a dog walking business, it’s very probable you’ll have to find a niche to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Above all else, carry out market research and see if there’s actually room in your area for another dog walker.

A simple google search or contacting NarpsUK will help a lot in this regard.

Consider offering pet sitting as well as dog walking. Much like babysitting, you’ll mind your client’s pets at their home while they are away, as well as feeding them and attending to any medical needs such as medication or fulfilling dietary requirements.

Having a diploma in pet medication would be advantageous in this instance as it would allow you to cater to a specific group of dogs.

Provided you are properly trained, you could also offer grooming services such as hair cutting or washing.

Offering one-to-one intense sessions with larger dogs could also widen your appeal.

Some dogs simply won’t be satisfied by a trip around the block and will require a more strenuous workout.

For more information on starting a dog walking business, take a look atour in-depth guide to help you prepare for the launch of your start-up.

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How to Write a Business Profile: 10 Steps (with Pictures) #business #process


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How to Write a Business Profile

A business profile is like a résumé for your company. It lists basic company details and gives you a chance to highlight your strengths. Just like a résumé, you should write each business profile with a purpose in mind. Use it as an opportunity to briefly state why potential clients should work with you, but give thorough and precise details.

Steps Edit

Part One of Two:
Getting Down Company Information Edit

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Talk about your company’s ideas. If you have a mission statement, put it here. Otherwise, write out your company vision, guiding ethos, and a little about your history. Telling who you are and what drives you gives your company a human element. It also gives you a chance to do some subtle advertising early on.

  • This is a place you can afford to be a little vague. Mission statements are legally necessary for some businesses, and may need to be specific. For everyone else, try to state what you do without limiting yourself. You don’t want to scare away potential business that thinks you wouldn’t consider expanding into adjacent industries. But it is easy to overdo vague language.
  • A bad example: “XYZ Semantics is a company driven by the pursuit of its dreams. We want to bring you with us on this journey. Our dedication to solutions and innovation make us the leading marketing consultants west of the Mississippi.”
  • A good example: “XYZ Semantics is seasoned and talented team of marketing consultants. Since 1975 we have helped our clients grow their business and profits. Though our methods are complex, our goal is simple: we want to help you sell your product to more customers.”

Find out more specific details. Check with your secretarial or human resource staff to find out up-to-date details in several areas. You may not need to use all these, but having them on hand will make it easier when you sit down to craft the profile. Set up a way to streamline this process in the future, as you will want to update this information in your profile regularly.

  • Number of employees
  • Turnover. Low turnover can indicate stability, but either way it’s a good statistic to have on-hand.
  • List of all business activities. What are all the areas you work in?
  • Unique equipment or specialties. If you are the only company that produces, say, a rare machine part, you need to mention that.
  • Certifications
  • Imports/exports
  • Your methodology and/or what software you use.
  • Volume of output you can handle. Prospective clients need to know if you are prepared to meet their needs.
  • Delivery stats. How many units do you ship in a given period?
  • Major accounts or clients. This is a way to show prospective clients whether or not you are used to doing business with companies like theirs. It’s also another chance for subtle advertising.

Sift through all this information. Since you want to keep the profile short, you can’t include every possible detail. Also, not all of them might be strengths. Pick out what might be relevant to include in your profile in various contexts. Keep the other information on hand for future reference, but put the important stuff in one place for easy access.



How to Start a Catering Business: 12 Steps (with Pictures) #business #name


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How to Start a Catering Business

If you host dinner parties for your family and friends every chance you get, you’re up on food trends and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting a catering business. You have the advantage of starting small with relatively low overhead and building your business as you gain more clients. Read on for information on how to find your niche, launch your business and spread the word.

Steps Edit

Part One of Three:
Finding Your Catering Niche Edit

Think about what food you love to make. Catering, like any other business, should be rooted in a genuine interest and passion. Consider the following types of food you could focus on as you develop your catering business:

  • Lunch or brunch-style food. If you enjoy making sandwiches, quiches, tarts, salads, and other food that is generally served during the day, you might want to model your business around lunchtime service. You could cater business luncheons, daytime awards ceremonies, school functions, and so on.
  • Wedding reception or special event meals. Wedding caterers typically offer a variety of appetizers and finger foods along with several hearty entrees and a few desserts.
  • Desserts only. If you love baking and have a flair for making cookies and cakes, consider desserts-only catering. This may limit the types of clients who hire you, but you’ll also have less equipment to buy.
  • Appetizers and cocktails. Clients are increasingly hiring caterers to create a trendy, festive atmosphere by serving only appetizers, sometimes accompanied by caterer-prepared specialty cocktails.

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Create a menu. By doing this first, you can figure out how much kitchen space you’ll need, what appliances you should install and how much you can expect to bring in financially.

  • Try to have a variety of items to suit different tastes. Even if you specialize in one cuisine or type of meal, make sure your menu appeals to a lot of tastes. For example, if you want to offer a lot of spicy food, have non-spicy options as well.
  • Consider offering vegetarian and vegan options for clients who don’t eat meat and other animal products.
  • Keep your menu to a manageable size, with food you’re comfortable cooking made with ingredients you know you can source.

Test your dishes. Once you’ve settled on a menu, have a party to test out your dishes on family and friends. Ask them for honest feedback about the entire experience – both the food and the service.

  • Tweak your dishes until you’re convinced they’re delicious and crowd friendly.
  • Practice makes perfect. Make sure you’ve got the techniques, cooking times, and presentation down before you launch your business.

Part Two of Three:
Securing Your Space and Supplies Edit

Find a space to rent. Even if your starting small, most local laws prohibit people from operating catering businesses from a home kitchen. Look into your jurisdiction’s health codes to find out what type of space you’ll need to rent.

  • Consider operating from a commercial kitchen. Some kitchens allow people to rent the space for a day or a few hours at a time. This situation could be the right one for you if you cater only on the weekends or a few times a month.
  • If catering is going to be your full-time business, you’ll probably need a more permanent storage and cooking facility. Find a place with adequate plumbing so you’ll be able to set up your cooking and catering equipment. Check with your landlord and your local zoning office to make sure you can install the proper equipment like ventilation hoods and grease traps.
  • If you plan to host tastings or sell food directly from your kitchen, look for a place with a storefront that’s separate from the kitchen, and provide tables and seating for customers.

Set up your kitchen. Catering work requires industrial equipment that is usually more expensive than equipment you would use in your home kitchen. Create a budget and figure out exactly what you’ll need to run your business efficiently.

  • Base your equipment purchases on your menu. For example, if many of your items are baked, install at least two ovens. If you have a lot of fried foods, opting for more than one fryer might be a good idea.
  • You may want to install multiple sinks to make your prep work more efficient, especially if you plan on hiring people.
  • Plan ahead for food storage, too. Multiple refrigerators and a walk-in freezer might be necessary to store dishes you prepare ahead of time. Heated and non-heated holding areas are important for holding temperature and storing prepared items.
  • Obtain all the pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment you need to make the items on your menu.

Purchase the catering equipment that you will use on-site. The equipment you choose will depend on the type of service you want to provide, but at minimum you will need serving platters and serving utensils.

  • Many catering businesses provide plates, silverware, glassware, or disposable plates and utensils.
  • You may want to offer special display trays and tiered food platters to help make the catered event more festive.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment to keep the food either cold or hot, such as chafing dishes with liquid fuel burners.
  • Consider buying linens, napkins, table decorations and centerpieces. Some catering businesses also offer tent canopies for outdoor events.