Tag: Blog

How to write a perfect professional email in English in 5 steps – Global

#business emails

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How to write a perfect professional email in English in 5 steps

For most of us, email is the most common form of business communication so it s important to get it right. Although emails usually aren t as formal as letters, they still need to be professional to present a good image of you and your company.

How to write a formal email

Follow these five simple steps to make sure your English emails are perfectly professional.

  1. Begin with a greeting
  2. Thank the recipient
  3. State your purpose
  4. Add your closing remarks
  5. End with a closing

Download our free ebook: Everyday English Vocabulary 38 pages which points useful words and English phrases to help you have a better understanding of what’s going on around you.

Begin with a greeting

Always open your email with a greeting, such as Dear Lillian . If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (eg. Dear Mrs. Price ). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, Hi Kelly . If you don t know the name of the person you are writing to, use: To whom it may concern or Dear Sir/Madam .

  • Thank the recipient

    If you are replying to a client s inquiry, you should begin with a line of thanks. For example, if someone has a question about your company, you can say, Thank you for contacting ABC Company . If someone has replied to one of your emails, be sure to say, Thank you for your prompt reply or Thanks for getting back to me . Thanking the reader puts him or her at ease, and it will make you appear more polite.

  • State your purpose

    If you are starting the email communication, it may be impossible to include a line of thanks. Instead, begin by stating your purpose. For example, I am writing to enquire about … or I am writing in reference to … .

    Make your purpose clear early on in the email, and then move into the main text of your email. Remember, people want to read emails quickly, so keep your sentences short and clear. You ll also need to pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation so that you present a professional image of yourself and your company.

  • Add your closing remarks

    Before you end your email, it s polite to thank your reader one more time and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with Thank you for your patience and cooperation or Thank you for your consideration and then follow up with, If you have any questions or concerns, don t hesitate to let me know and I look forward to hearing from you .

  • End with a closing

    The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. Best regards . Sincerely . and Thank you are all professional. Avoid closings such as Best wishes or Cheers unless you are good friends with the reader. Finally, before you hit the send button, review and spell check your email one more time to make sure it s truly perfect!

  • Aren t you an EF English Live student yet? See the general and business English course in action by requesting a one month for only one dollar* trial. Find more information about essential professional English tips here .

    Wil is a writer, teacher, learning technologist and keen language learner. He’s taught English in classrooms and online for nearly 10 years, trained teachers in using classroom and web technology, and written e-learning materials for several major websites. He speaks four languages and is currently looking for another one to start learning.

    Wil


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    Catering Beginner? Three Tips to Get You Started! The Burkett Blog – From Burkett

    #catering business

    #

    Thinking about starting your own catering business? The wedding and events industry can be very lucrative, but before you start handing out your business cards or promoting your business online, we’ve listed the top three aspects that new caterers should never miss.

    There is no better way to learn, than actually doing the task. If you’re interested in catering, you need the practical, real-world experience to successfully launch and maintain your business. Catering is no joke – it requires passion and stamina to work the long hours and big events. Getting some hands on experience will prepare you with the tools you need to move forward. You’ll also get insight on market trends and other major catering firms, allowing you to build your business to meet the needs of your customers.

    What are the most important items to get you up and running? First you need to apply for and obtain a business license. Secondly, you’ll need approval from the department of health, certifying your facility. If you plan to start out of your home, contact your local health department. There are various zoning requirements and safety codes that are specific to each state. Also keep in mind that some states do not consider a home as a foodservice facility. Do your homework and be prepared to make some costly renovations.

    Once the business end is covered, you’ll need to invest in professional catering equipment. That’s where Burkett Restaurant Equipment comes in! Commercial restaurant equipment and catering supplies streamline your operations and make every event flow smoothly. From serving utensils to storage pans, we carry all of the essentials for your new business.

    A little Business 101: In order to have a successful start-up, you’ll need a strong customer base to boost profitability. Social media is a great way to get your name out there and to have real-time interaction with potential customers. Sign up for twitter, set up a Facebook page, and monitor sites like Yelp for customer reviews. Every business owner can set up a free account on Yelp to post photos and message your customers. Don’t forget print advertising if it’s in your budget. You might consider flyers and advertisements in your local paper and magazines.

    Finally, develop valuable relationships with other event industry vendors such as florists, bands, event planners and organizers. This network of businesses can help refer customers to your catering business, and vice versa.

    Most importantly, successful caterers have three things as their strongest attributes: Talent, Flexibility and Organization. Focus on the food. Be a savvy business person. Plan your events down to the last detail, but be ready to accommodate any last minute changes. The rest, including your customers, will follow.

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    Merchant Cash Advance vs Business Loan – Small Business Blog #loans #for #business


    #business cash advance

    #

    Merchant Cash Advance vs Business Loan

    When things are going great, businesses have the cash flow they need for success and growth. During lean times or tight transitions, though, your company may need to find a cash advance loan to keep the doors open or to successfully expand. Though a myriad of funding options exists, merchant cash advances and platform lending like that offered here at Kabbage.com are two of the most popular and advantageous options.

    The trick is understanding the difference between the two. Each has its own unique characteristics, and is more or less appropriate for a specific business need.

    Let’s start with definitions.

    What is a Merchant Cash Advance?

    A merchant cash advance gives a business up-front cash, and takes payments from the credit card receipts on a regular (often daily) basis according to an agreed-upon amount. If you’ve been in business for more than a year, you’ve almost certainly received at least one phone call offering you merchant advance funding.

    What is a Business Loan?

    A business loan also provides up-front cash, but is paid back in monthly installments. These are usually withdrawn directly from your operations account, but terms are flexible if another method works better for your business.

    For example, let’s say your company needed $1,000 for an advertising blitz in the month prior to your peak season. With that advertising in place, you would be positioned to lead the pack in your region for your industry. Without it, your competition would get the lion’s share of the business and the lost business would amount to far more than the $1,000 you would invest. But it’s been a year since the last peak season, and you don’t have the cash on hand. You need the cash, and like any smart business person you look at the two cash advance options for your business in detail.

    Merchant Cash Advance vs Business Loan

    Though it comes from the newer platform lending model. a Kabbage business loan is still legally a loan. This means it’s scrutinized by federal authorities and subject to limitations and enforcement. Merchant cash advances aren’t technically a loan because of how the payments are structured. This means they aren’t as regulated or carefully watched. This doesn’t automatically mean that merchant advance funding comes with abusive interest rates and contracts, but it does mean you should read and understand that contract as completely as possible.

    Merchant cash advance loans approve any business that shows a history of credit card receipts sufficient to pay the money back. This makes them attractive to companies with new or bruised credit histories. Kabbage loans look at data from a variety of sources, including social sharing indicators, your cash flow reports, traditional credit reporting and industry metrics. Armed with that information, Kabbage can grant credit to struggling companies (at a higher interest rate to justify the risk), but can give lower rates to those who have earned them.

    In this category, both means of lending are about equivalent. Kabbage loans deliver funds within 24 hours of approval. Most merchant cash advances work at the same speed – but not always. Ask about this if you go with merchant advance funding and need the money quickly.

    Merchant cash advances take a percentage of credit card sales until the loan is paid. Kabbage loans take 1/6 th of the loan plus interest each month for six months. If your company needs flexibility that matches performance, a merchant advance might be the better option. If you want reliable, predictable costs for the borrowed money, Kabbage loans serve those goals more effectively.

    For the first two months of a Kabbage loan, the interest rate is between 1 and 13 percent of the principal, based on the metrics gathered during the approval phase of the application. The rate then falls to 1 percent for the remaining six months of the loan. Merchant cash advance operations do not typically publish their interest rates. Independent analysis of a variety of merchant advance funding offers puts the average APR at more than 38 percent.

    Merchant cash advances often include set-up fees, processing fees and even payment fees that can as much as double the actual cost of the loan. Kabbage loans include no extra fees. They cost as much as the “price tag” says.

    Which is the better option? As with all business decisions, there’s no single good answer. Platform lending like Kabbage serves one set of business needs, while cash advance loans serve a different set. While we can’t give you a definite answer, we hope this has helped you identify the best questions. If not, watch this two minute video on Merchant Cash Advances vs Kabbage Business Loans for more information.

    If you have experience with merchant cash advances versus business loans, tell us a bit about it in the comments below. Help the Kabbage community benefit from your experiences.

    Jason Brick speaks internationally to small businesses after a fifteen-year career in managing companies for himself and others. His books include the best-selling Mastering the Business of Writing and upcoming Ownership Evolution. When not writing or speaking he enjoys martial arts, board games, cooking, travel and spoiling his wife and sons. He usually lives in Oregon, but is spending the year in Malaysia.

    Latest posts by Jason Brick (see all )

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  • How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 5 Easy Steps #loan #for

    #online business ideas

    #

    How To Start A Blog And Make Money

    Blogging has opened up a whole new world to online marketing, if you want to know how to start a blog and make money online then follow this step by step guide.

    Starting a blog has never been easier. I have created and managed dozens of blogs over the past few years and I have gathered quite a lot of experience in that time. There are lots of ways to make money blogging but I ll cover what I have found to be the best ones right here, but first I am going to run through how to set up your own blog today. You can actually follow along and do it right now!

    If you want your own online business you are going to need a blog or site! Creating a blog is really easy and there is no need for any complicated coding, HTML. CSS skills or anything technical.

    Step 1 Decide on a blogging platform

    There are lots of different platforms which you can build your blog on. But the most popular by far is WordPress. I have used WordPress for years and it does everything you could possibly want. Some of the leading websites in the world are built on WordPress including this blog!

    The last I heard, WordPress has been downloaded over 72 Million times, so that in itself should be enough to tell you that it is the best platform to use.

    The advantages of WordPress are:

    • There are thousands of free themes and layouts to choose from
    • WordPress uses plugins, there is a plugin for almost everything, so no need for coding
    • Easily add images and multimedia
    • Simple to install (takes 2 minutes)

    With WordPress you can create what is called a self hosted blog , and this is what we are going to be doing. This means that we can use our own hosting and most importantly, our own domain name. If you use the free blogging platform on blogger.com or Tumbler.com you will be given a subdomain, which will look something like this (startablog.tumblr.com). This also restricts you to many of the features of hosting your own blog.

    It also gives your blog more credit if it is self hosted on your own domain, and you have full ownership of it. For this reason I ALWAYS self host my blogs.

    Step 2 Choosing A Domain Name And Host

    You want to put a bit of thought into selecting your domain name. You can choose to use your business name, your own name or a domain that contains keywords related to the type of site you are building. My advice is to choose something that is brand-able and easy to remember, keep it short if possible.

    There are lots of Domain registrar s where you can check and register a domain, here are a few that I have used:

    Where To Host My Blog

    There are hundreds of hosting companies out there, I ve tried many of them and encountered bad experiences with almost all of them at some point. I then came across BlueHost. Since I started using their hosting I have never had any problems. Their support is fantastic, their servers are fast and reliable and best of all, they are cheap.

    I think it s around $4.95 per month. which is great value. Having a reliable host is the foundation for your whole online business, so don t get it wrong.

    You can register a BlueHost account right now. and continue following my step by step guide.

    Almost forgot; you can host as many sites as you want on just 1 BlueHost account.

    Step 3 How To Install WordPress In Less Than 2 Minutes

    This is the part where a lot of people are afraid of. It can seem daunting, the thought of installing WP and setting everything up correctly! Luckily BlueHost have a quick 1 click installation.

    Simply login to your BlueHost account:

    You should have set up a domain when you opened the account

    Scroll to the wordPress Installation Tab

    Now Click The install Button

    Now simply select your domain where you want to install WordPress and fill in the remaining

    The application will install WordPress and all of the files and database in just a few seconds.

    Here is a video to show you the process:

    Step 4 My Installation Is Complete. Now What?

    Congratulations, you now have your very own blog hosted on your own domain. Now if you have never used WordPress before you are going to have to learn how it all works.

    There is far too much to explain in this post, so I have found a few links which will take you through the process of setting up your new blog:

    Step 5 How to make money from your blog

    Making money from your blog can be a difficult task. It took me a long time before I started making any money from blogs, mainly because I was inexperienced and didn t really know what I was doing at the time. Luckily I gained a lot of experience from my failures and now I can pass that experience on to you.

    There are tons of ways to monetize your blog to make money, some of them include things like,

    • Adsense Get paid when people click on ads
    • selling a product
    • Selling other peoples products as affiliates
    • selling a service
    • blog advertising,
    • Drop Shipping Selling physical products that you don t actually own

    These are the main areas to focus on and I have used all of these myself to make money on my blogs.

    The first thing you need to determine is what your blog is all about . If for example you are writing a blog that provides a lot of information, similar to this blog, then you may want to think about using Google Adsense or selling advertising space on your blog.

    Drop Shipping For Success

    If you are thinking of basing your blog around certain products (something like a blog about PC s and Tablets) then you would benefit from selling products. For this you would need to use Drop Shipping.

    Here is the best Drop Shipping Wholesale directory that I have used – SaleHoo

    Ever wondered how people make a fortune on Ebay? Here is the answer They use Drop shipping. I have done it myself with Ebay and Amazon .

    The great thing about Drop shipping is I DONT HAVE TO BUY THE ITEMS until the customer buys them!!

    So you can open an online store with absolutely no stock, and then when a customer purchases an Item, you simply order it from the drop shipper and have it delivered straight to the customer!

    Summary

    I hope this guide has provided you with some good information to get you started. You should now have your WordPress blog set up and you now have the knowledge to know how to start a blog and make money anytime you like. So the next step in the process is to take action. Taking action is the best piece of advise I was given. It s no good reading posts like this if you don t take action. If you haven t already done so, get your Bluehost account and start building your blog!

    I’m an internet Marketer with a love for online business. Get in touch if you need a helping hand with Internet marketing, SEO or Business

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    23 Inspiring Quotes for Growing Your Business in 2016 – Salesforce Blog #small #business

    #business quotes

    #

    23 Inspiring Quotes for Growing Your Business in 2016

    If there’s one thing we know about small businesses, it’s that they’re focused on growth. When we surveyed entrepreneurs and small-business leaders earlier this year, the majority told us they expected to grow significantly in the coming year. (Click here to see the full results of our research .)

    So, as 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to give small businesses a little inspiration. Here are 23 of our favorite quotes to help you jumpstart business growth in 2016.

    Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.

    — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

    “Play by the rules, but be ferocious.

    — Phil Knight, founder, Nike

    “The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

    — Mark Zuckerberg, founder, Facebook

    “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”

    ― Sigmund Freud, neurologist

    “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation.”

    — Clayton Christensen, economist and Harvard professor

    “Every problem is a gift — without problems we would not grow.”

    ― Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker and writer

    “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

    — John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America

    Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

    — Napoleon Hill, author

    “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

    ― Andy Rooney, journalist

    “Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom.”

    ― William George Jordan, writer/editor

    “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”

    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer/statesman

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

    ― Anaïs Nin, writer

    No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.

    — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

    “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

    — T.S. Eliot, author

    “The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.

    — Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google

    If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.

    — Dhirubhai Ambani, founder, Reliance Industries

    I do not know the word ‘quit.’ Either I never did, or I have abolished it.

    — Susan Butcher, sled dog racer

    To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.

    — Thomas Watson, Sr. former CEO, IBM

    “It’s very easy to be different but very difficult to be better.”

    — Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer, Apple

    “Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying in space.”

    — Chris Hadfield, astronaut

    “Happy employees lead to happy customers, which leads to more profits.”

    — Vaughn Aust. EVP of Integrated Solutions, MarketStar

    Employees want to feel inspired by their leaders. hire individuals who will lead by example.

    — Jody Kohner. VP of Employee Marketing Engagement, Salesforce

    “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.”

    — William Durant, co-founder, General Motors


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

    #car wash business

    #

    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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    Catering Beginner? Three Tips to Get You Started! The Burkett Blog – From Burkett

    #catering business

    #

    Thinking about starting your own catering business? The wedding and events industry can be very lucrative, but before you start handing out your business cards or promoting your business online, we’ve listed the top three aspects that new caterers should never miss.

    There is no better way to learn, than actually doing the task. If you’re interested in catering, you need the practical, real-world experience to successfully launch and maintain your business. Catering is no joke – it requires passion and stamina to work the long hours and big events. Getting some hands on experience will prepare you with the tools you need to move forward. You’ll also get insight on market trends and other major catering firms, allowing you to build your business to meet the needs of your customers.

    What are the most important items to get you up and running? First you need to apply for and obtain a business license. Secondly, you’ll need approval from the department of health, certifying your facility. If you plan to start out of your home, contact your local health department. There are various zoning requirements and safety codes that are specific to each state. Also keep in mind that some states do not consider a home as a foodservice facility. Do your homework and be prepared to make some costly renovations.

    Once the business end is covered, you’ll need to invest in professional catering equipment. That’s where Burkett Restaurant Equipment comes in! Commercial restaurant equipment and catering supplies streamline your operations and make every event flow smoothly. From serving utensils to storage pans, we carry all of the essentials for your new business.

    A little Business 101: In order to have a successful start-up, you’ll need a strong customer base to boost profitability. Social media is a great way to get your name out there and to have real-time interaction with potential customers. Sign up for twitter, set up a Facebook page, and monitor sites like Yelp for customer reviews. Every business owner can set up a free account on Yelp to post photos and message your customers. Don’t forget print advertising if it’s in your budget. You might consider flyers and advertisements in your local paper and magazines.

    Finally, develop valuable relationships with other event industry vendors such as florists, bands, event planners and organizers. This network of businesses can help refer customers to your catering business, and vice versa.

    Most importantly, successful caterers have three things as their strongest attributes: Talent, Flexibility and Organization. Focus on the food. Be a savvy business person. Plan your events down to the last detail, but be ready to accommodate any last minute changes. The rest, including your customers, will follow.

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

    #car wash business

    #

    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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    Catering Beginner? Three Tips to Get You Started! The Burkett Blog – From Burkett

    #catering business

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    Thinking about starting your own catering business? The wedding and events industry can be very lucrative, but before you start handing out your business cards or promoting your business online, we’ve listed the top three aspects that new caterers should never miss.

    There is no better way to learn, than actually doing the task. If you’re interested in catering, you need the practical, real-world experience to successfully launch and maintain your business. Catering is no joke – it requires passion and stamina to work the long hours and big events. Getting some hands on experience will prepare you with the tools you need to move forward. You’ll also get insight on market trends and other major catering firms, allowing you to build your business to meet the needs of your customers.

    What are the most important items to get you up and running? First you need to apply for and obtain a business license. Secondly, you’ll need approval from the department of health, certifying your facility. If you plan to start out of your home, contact your local health department. There are various zoning requirements and safety codes that are specific to each state. Also keep in mind that some states do not consider a home as a foodservice facility. Do your homework and be prepared to make some costly renovations.

    Once the business end is covered, you’ll need to invest in professional catering equipment. That’s where Burkett Restaurant Equipment comes in! Commercial restaurant equipment and catering supplies streamline your operations and make every event flow smoothly. From serving utensils to storage pans, we carry all of the essentials for your new business.

    A little Business 101: In order to have a successful start-up, you’ll need a strong customer base to boost profitability. Social media is a great way to get your name out there and to have real-time interaction with potential customers. Sign up for twitter, set up a Facebook page, and monitor sites like Yelp for customer reviews. Every business owner can set up a free account on Yelp to post photos and message your customers. Don’t forget print advertising if it’s in your budget. You might consider flyers and advertisements in your local paper and magazines.

    Finally, develop valuable relationships with other event industry vendors such as florists, bands, event planners and organizers. This network of businesses can help refer customers to your catering business, and vice versa.

    Most importantly, successful caterers have three things as their strongest attributes: Talent, Flexibility and Organization. Focus on the food. Be a savvy business person. Plan your events down to the last detail, but be ready to accommodate any last minute changes. The rest, including your customers, will follow.

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    23 Inspiring Quotes for Growing Your Business in 2016 – Salesforce Blog #online #business

    #business quotes

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    23 Inspiring Quotes for Growing Your Business in 2016

    If there’s one thing we know about small businesses, it’s that they’re focused on growth. When we surveyed entrepreneurs and small-business leaders earlier this year, the majority told us they expected to grow significantly in the coming year. (Click here to see the full results of our research .)

    So, as 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to give small businesses a little inspiration. Here are 23 of our favorite quotes to help you jumpstart business growth in 2016.

    Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.

    — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

    “Play by the rules, but be ferocious.

    — Phil Knight, founder, Nike

    “The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

    — Mark Zuckerberg, founder, Facebook

    “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”

    ― Sigmund Freud, neurologist

    “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation.”

    — Clayton Christensen, economist and Harvard professor

    “Every problem is a gift — without problems we would not grow.”

    ― Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker and writer

    “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

    — John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America

    Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

    — Napoleon Hill, author

    “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

    ― Andy Rooney, journalist

    “Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom.”

    ― William George Jordan, writer/editor

    “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”

    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer/statesman

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

    ― Anaïs Nin, writer

    No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.

    — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

    “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

    — T.S. Eliot, author

    “The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.

    — Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google

    If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.

    — Dhirubhai Ambani, founder, Reliance Industries

    I do not know the word ‘quit.’ Either I never did, or I have abolished it.

    — Susan Butcher, sled dog racer

    To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.

    — Thomas Watson, Sr. former CEO, IBM

    “It’s very easy to be different but very difficult to be better.”

    — Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer, Apple

    “Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying in space.”

    — Chris Hadfield, astronaut

    “Happy employees lead to happy customers, which leads to more profits.”

    — Vaughn Aust. EVP of Integrated Solutions, MarketStar

    Employees want to feel inspired by their leaders. hire individuals who will lead by example.

    — Jody Kohner. VP of Employee Marketing Engagement, Salesforce

    “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.”

    — William Durant, co-founder, General Motors


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