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

#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 Get Funding from Angel Investors – Small Business #sba #loan #programs


#small business investors

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How to Get Funding from Angel Investors

Tips

  • Angel investors can be an option for start-ups with the potential to earn high profits.
  • Expect close scrutiny. Many angels are former entrepreneurs and like to be involved and give business advice.
  • Angel investors tend to specialize, so look into their investing history to ensure there’s a good match.
  • Related How-Tos

    Feedback

    Small businesses looking for financial help from an angel often turn to individuals willing to invest in promising, start-up opportunities. Angel investors can be a good funding source to consider after you ve tapped your friends and relatives. But angels usually don t write blank checks. They ll want to see progress and a way to exit the deal down the line with meaningful profits. So expect angel investors to do a lot of research and careful investigation into your business plan.

    Be thoughtful in approaching potential investors. Biotech investors, for example, don t want to hear about a clothing manufacturer. A scattershot approach is likely to turn them off. Industry associations, local trade groups or, in some states, business-incubator centers can help point to potential angels.

    Angel investors often invest through groups or networks. These provide due diligence, extra research, access to potential deals and shared expertise that one person operating alone generally doesn t have. For instance, one member of an angel group might have background in a particular industry or the know-how to set up deal terms, sharing that knowledge with the other investors.

    Angel investors are usually thorough, so don t expect to get your money quickly. It could take several months to meet with different individuals or groups and answer all of their questions. (There are exceptions, including the case of Google, which got funding from an angel before its cofounders finished their presentation to him.)

    Because they ll own a part of your company, they ll likely want a say in major decisions, and they ll watch to see whether you listen to them. Don t expect them to write a check and walk away. Many angel investors are former business owners who want to help people like themselves. They may be able to provide good advice based on their previous experiences.

    Getting funding from angel investors isn t easy, but it can be done if you take the right approach and are a good match with their interests. And the benefits can beyond the money for your business, but their expertise in both in business operations and your industry niche.

    Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:

    Online Tools:

    • Bplans’ Free Sample Business Plans — Dozens of example business plans from Palo Alto Software, a seller of business-planning software.
    • Finance Primer: A Guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty Programs — An online training course on financing for a small business and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency.

Additional Resources:

  • Angel Capital Foundation’s Listing of Angel Groups — Links to dozens of angel networks, capital databases and matching services, and other resources, from an organization founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a promoter of entrepreneurship.
  • National Business Incubator Association — A directory of business incubators.

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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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The High Yield Bond Market Has Never Been This Decoupled From Reality #small #business

#bond market news

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The High Yield Bond Market Has Never Been This Decoupled From Reality

Recovery rates in 2016 are extremely low.. for high-yield bonds, the recovery rate YTD is 10.3% (10.5% senior secured and 0.5% senior subordinate), which is well below the 25-year annual average of 41.4%. Final recovery rates in 2015 for high-yield bonds were 25.2%, compared with recoveries of 48.1%, 52.7%, 53.2%, 48.6%, and 41.0% in full-years 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. Notably, average recoveries for Energy and Metals/Mining bonds were 18.3% and 20.0%, respectively, which weighed down overall high-yield recovery rates. Excluding the troubled commodity sectors, high-yield recoveries were a more respectable 46.1% (32.1% Ex-Energy only ). As for loans, recovery rates for first-lien loans thus far in 2016 are 24.5%, compared with their 18-year annual average of 67.2%. Final 2015 1st lien recoveries were 48.2%, while average recoveries for Energy and Metals/Mining 1st lien loans were 44.1% and 38.4%, respectively.

The record collapse in recovery rates is shown below.

It is not just JPM who points out what we first noticed in January: in an interview with Goldman s Allison Nathan, credit guru Edward Altman reiterates that same warning, although he focuses on the 2015 recovery rate which already is more than two times higher than that seen in 2016 defaults:

Allison Nathan: What is your view on recovery rates?

Edward Altman: Our approach to recovery rates is not centered on sectors. What we ve looked at carefully over 25 years is the correlation between default rates and recovery rates. As you would expect, when the former rise to high or above-average levels, you always observe the latter dropping to below-average levels. This strong inverse relationship is as much a function of supply and demand as it is of company fundamentals. So if we are expecting a higher default rate in 2016 and even 2017, then we would expect a lower recovery rate. Already in 2015, the recovery rate dropped dramatically relative to 2014 even though the default rate was below average; we saw a 33-34% recovery rate versus the historical average of 45%, measured as the price just after default. This is primarily due to the heavy concentration of energy companies whose recovery rates depend on their ability to liquidate their assets at reasonable prices, which in turn depends on the price of oil. Low oil prices have pushed recovery rates in the energy sector below 25% and even into the single digits for some companies. And that s going to continue. So this year I expect recovery rates much below average, producing a double-whammy of high default rates and low recovery rates for credit investors.

Since then recovery rates have dropped even further. BUT high-yield bond prices have surged on the back of ECB, BOE buying and the knock-on effects of $200 billion per month of experimentation by the world s central-planners.

Simply put, the revelation of a default event exposes the vast gap between real asset values (upon liquidation or bankruptcy) and the artificially supported prices seen in bond markets .

In the 30 year life of the so-called junk bond market, the chasm between reality and central-planner-created markets has never been wider.


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How finance companies differ from credit cards, banks #good #business #names


#finance companies

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How finance companies differ from credit cards, banks

Whether it’s buying a car, paying medical bills or purchasing furniture, if you’ve had to finance one of life’s big-ticket items, you’ve probably been offered the chance to take out a loan from a finance company.

They’re the less-regulated alternative to getting a loan from your bank or putting the charge on your credit card. Usually, a finance company offers a secured or unsecured personal loan. Before signing on the dotted line with a finance company, understand exactly what you are getting into.

What finance company loans are (and aren’t)
Sometimes these products are marketed as credit cards, when they really aren’t.

Medical credit cards, in particular, can be very loosey-goosey about the term, says Linda Sherry, spokeswoman for Consumer Action, which in 2014 released a survey of medical cards.

Such products are not subject to the same regulations as credit cards.

Borrowing money from a finance company isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but you should first learn what these companies are, how they operate, who regulates them, and what protections you have if you run into problems.

What are consumer finance companies?
Unlike a bank or credit union, finance companies do not accept deposits. They just loan money, sometimes with fixed terms and sometimes not. Some offer a big range of products, some specialize, says Chris Kukla, senior counsel for government affairs with the Center for Responsible Lending.

The most well-known issuers of these products are automobile finance companies, such as Toyota Financial Services or Ford Credit. These are owned by auto manufacturers and make loans to consumers purchasing vehicles from those particular brands.

If you have strong credit, you have a good chance of getting a low-interest auto loan through an auto finance company.

If your credit is not stellar, an auto finance company that specializes in the subprime market may offer you a loan, but at a much higher interest rate.

CarePayment of Lake Oswego, Oregon — which works with health care providers nationwide and provides a way for people to pay medical bills — is another example of a finance company. It offers consumers a revolving line of credit at a 0 percent annual percentage rate.

Furniture and appliance stores, such as Seffner, Florida-based Rooms to Go, also offer consumers a line of credit through a finance company.

Who regulates finance companies?
Consumer finance companies are licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate. Depending on the size of the company, it may be licensed in one state or dozens of states, says Danielle Fagre Arlowe, senior vice president of the American Financial Services Association, a trade association for the consumer credit industry that represents traditional installment lenders, such as the big auto finance companies.

That is different from credit card issuers, which generally are regulated by federal authorities. The Office of the Comptroller and the Currency (OCC), a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, regulates national banks that issue credit cards, while the National Credit Union Administration supervises federal credit unions.

Meanwhile, state banking regulators oversee state-chartered banks or credit unions.

Finance companies have to adhere to the laws in the states in which they are licensed, Kukla says

That means a finance company can do things that are not expressly prohibited by law in the state in which it operates, Kukla says: It may be abusive, but if it’s not prohibited by law, there’s nothing the state can do.

Because of variations in state laws, a finance company may have different loan terms in different states, Arlowe says. So a consumer in Georgia may be charged a different interest rate or have a different loan payoff schedule than a consumer in Texas.

One big segment of finance companies has a new regulator. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — which supervises and enforces federal consumer financial protection laws, including those surrounding credit cards — is taking over the supervision of major auto finance companies.

Under a rule issued June 10, 2015, the CFPB will have authority over companies that make, acquire or refinance at least 10,000 auto loans or leases per year. The bureau estimates that 34 auto finance companies would fall under that regulation, and these account for about 90 percent of all auto loans and leases not made by banks. Together, these companies provided auto financing to nearly 7 million consumers in 2013.

The rules mean auto finance companies will be not be allowed to use deceptive practices to market loans or leases, or mislead consumers about the loan benefits or terms. The companies also must provide accurate information to credit bureaus.

Auto finance companies also will be prohibited from discriminating against consumers when lending based on factors such as someone’s race, gender, and age, or based on whether the person receives public assistance. Illegal debt collection practices are banned, and the CFPB will review automobile repossession processes.

The new rule is scheduled to take effect in August 2015.

What are typical finance company practices?
Unlike credit card companies, finance companies are not required to give consumers the same payment due date each month. While many require you to pay your bill by the same date, in other cases it is a moving target. So your bill may be due on the 22nd one month and the 21st the following month.

If you don’t pay on the proper date, you might be charged a late fee or required to pay a higher interest rate, Kukla says.

There also might be other risks. For example, imagine you are shopping at an appliance store offering 0 percent financing for 24 months. It may sound like a good deal, but if you read the fine print, you may see that it is a deferred interest deal. If you miss a payment or fail to pay the loan off in 24 months, you could end up paying a steep interest rate, and have interest added in from the time you took out the loan, Kukla says.

Many finance companies report your payment record to the three main credit bureaus, helping you build a credit history, Arlowe says. However, they are not required to report such payments.

Complaints are the only real way to tell what kind of lender they are.


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What is business continuity management (BCM)? Definition from #stock #market #quotes


#business continuity

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business continuity management (BCM)

Business continuity management (BCM) is a framework for identifying an organization’s risk of exposure to internal and external threats.

The goal of BCM is to provide the organization with the ability to effectively respond to threats such as natural disasters or data breaches and protect the business interests of the organization. BCM includes disaster recovery. business recovery, crisis management, incident management, emergency management and contingency planning .

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You also agree that your personal information may be transferred and processed in the United States, and that you have read and agree to the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy .

According to ISO 22301. a business continuity management system emphasizes the importance of:

  • Understanding continuity and preparedness needs, as well as the necessity for establishing business continuity management policy and objectives.
  • Implementing and operating controls and measures for managing an organization’s overall continuity risks.
  • Monitoring and reviewing the performance and effectiveness of the business continuity management system.
  • Continual improvement based on objective measurements.

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Personalized Gifts from Things Remembered #business #startup #loans


#business card holders

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Personalized Gifts That Inspire

California Supply Chains Act

The company takes no action in engaging in verification of product supply chains to evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery. The company takes no action in conducting audits of suppliers to evaluate supplier compliance with company standards for trafficking and slavery in supply chains. The company takes no action requiring direct suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into the product comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they are doing business. The company takes no action maintaining internal accountability standards and procedures for employees or contractors failing to meet company standards regarding slavery and trafficking. The company takes no action providing company employees and management, who have direct responsibility for supply chain management, training on human trafficking and slavery, particularly with respect to mitigating risks within the supply chains of products.

Site Map Things Remembered 2016. All rights reserved.

Buy One, Get One 50% Off

Buy one item, and get one item of equal or lesser value at 50% off. Offer is valid on merchandise purchases thru August 22, 2016 only at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Fossil�, Bulova� watches, Seiko�, Howard Miller� and Willow Tree� products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. $14.99 Shadow Box Frames with purchase are excluded from the offer. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

$14.99 Shadow Box With Any Purchase

Get select Shadow Box Frame(s) for $14.99 (regularly $25) with any purchase at Things Remembered retail locations and ThingsRemembered.com for a limited time. Mix-and-match Shadow Box Frame styles, no limit. Shadow Box Frame with purchase is subject to availability. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Personalization, taxes, and shipping and handling are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Discount taken at checkout. Offer cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

$20 Off Wedding Essentials & $10 Off Wedding Gifts

Get $20 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Essential item when personalized, and $10 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Gift item when personalized, August 5 through August 7, 2016, 11:59 p.m. EST at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Discount(s) is on total transaction and not individual items or personalization. Personalization, taxes, and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the discount. Willow Tree�, Fossil�, Bulova� watches, Seiko� and Howard Miller� branded products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Discount may not be combined with other offers, coupons or discounts, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Things Remembered 2016.

Flash Sale Buy One, Get One Free When Personalized Men’s Women’s Leather

Buy one item, and get one men’s or women’s leather item of equal or lesser value free when items are personalized. Offer is valid on select merchandise purchases made August 17, 2016 at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Exclusions may apply. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

Flash Sale Buy One, Get One Free When Personalized Women’s Gifts

Buy one item, and get one women’s gift item of equal or lesser value free when items are personalized. Offer is valid on select merchandise purchases made August 18, 2016 at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Fossil�, Bulova� watches, Seiko�, Howard Miller� and Willow Tree� products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

Flash Sale Buy One, Get One Free When Personalized Frames

Buy one item, and get one frame of equal or lesser value free when items are personalized. Offer is valid on select frame purchases made August 19, 2016 at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Exclusions may apply. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

$20 Off Wedding Essentials when personalized + $10 Off Wedding Gifts when personalized

Get $20 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Essential item when personalized, and $10 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Gift item when personalized, July 22 through July 24, 2016 11:59 p.m. EST at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Discount(s) is on total transaction and not individual items or personalization. Personalization, taxes, and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the discount(s). Willow Tree . Fossil . Bulova watches, Seiko and Howard Miller branded products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Discount may not be combined with other offers, coupons or discounts, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Things Remembered 2016.

Give To Louisiana

Things Remembered is matching monetary donations made through its retail locations and ThingsRemembered.com, up to a total donation of $5,000. 100% of contributions made through its retail locations and ThingsRemembered.com will be donated to NOLA Pay It Forward Fund, which was set up by the Mayor of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Foundation to provide resources, early relief and rebuilding efforts to the people, families, outside parishes and communities affected by recent floods. You can also make a donation directly to the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund at www.gnof.org/nolapayitforward/.

Our Best Gifts Free With Purchase When Personalized

Buy one personalized item, and get one of our select items (Best Gifts) free when personalized at ThingsRemembered.com and Things Remembered retail locations thru September 5, 2016. Both items must meet minimum personalization requirement (one initial/one monogram/one word for $10, each additional word is $3). Personalization, taxes, shipping and handling fees, and clearance items are excluded from the offer. Fossil . Bulova watches, Seiko . Howard Miller and Willow Tree products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.


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Starting an Open Data Business? Get Help From BusinessUSA #business #icons


#business data

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Data.gov

Starting an Open Data Business? Get Help From BusinessUSA

December 15, 2013 By admin

To strengthen America s competitiveness in the global economy, businesses will need to be equipped with the best tools and information available to support innovation and job growth in the 21st century. BusinessUSA is your front door to all the government has to offer. Help us make sure it continues to evolve and grow to meet your needs. Sign up for email alerts so you can be the first to find out about changes to BusinessUSA, and use feedback features on the website to let us know what you think. BusinessUSA is designed by businesses, for businesses. Take ownership today.

BusinessUSA implements a no wrong door approach for small businesses and exporters by using technology to quickly connect businesses to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency s website, call center, or office they go to for help. Looking forward, the more federal agencies continue to add resources to BusinessUSA to encompass the full range of business programs and services, the more we will be able to reduce the confusing array of websites that exist today.

4 Responses to Starting an Open Data Business? Get Help From BusinessUSA

Sanjit Singh

I m looking for open sources of data about businesses in the USA. Please let me know what open sources I have available to me. Thank you!

JITENDRA KUMAR CHAMPATI

Dear sir,
We have a data center. Which is providing data entry solution to clients.

Jovi Brown

Jeanne Holme:
I am a Data Scientist starting an open data business. As I would like help, please, advise on help available from BusinessUSA.

Sean

I am interested i building a unified database of streets, roads, ave, in the entire USA. If already exists, I d like to know how to access it.

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

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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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Small business: 21 tips from entrepreneurs who are killing it #business #web #hosting


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21 tips from small businesses that are killing it

STARTING a small business is a dream for many Australians, but it can be daunting.

Here, entrepreneurs who are killing it in a range of industries share their best piece of advice for making your company a success.

1. Deliver a consistent customer experience.

Damian Cerini, owner of cycling tour business Tour de Vines, says you need your business to almost run itselfbefore you look at growth. The thing about working for an employer is that the business model is already set, it s about the execution of the idea, whereas a new business is about testing the idea first and developing the systems.

2. Add a personal touch.

Angus Askew, co-director of commercial asset financing company Magnolia Lane Financial Services, says: In our industry like most service industries everyone is essentially selling the same thing, you ve just got to do it better. Our number one goal when dealing with a new client is to establish a relationship and make them feel special. Make sure you are remembered. We make it our priority to see all of our customers face to face. Create a rapport as this is what will result in repeat business and an income stream for life.

3. Leverage social media.

A strong marketing strategy is essential in every industry, says Anthony Kittel, director of manufacturing firm REDARC. That means social networking on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or all of the above. Our brand is everything, so whatever we can do to promote that brand and consumer awareness is critical.

Author and Flying Solo editor Kelly Exeter says a less frantic life made her more productive.

4. Write your own business bible.

Matthew White, whose firm Ergoflex sells memory foam mattresses, says the volume of information available can be overwhelming. He recommends writing ideas and tips in a notebook or tablet as they come up. It has helped me make some major decisions, and also saved me hours of searching for something I ve read somewhere.

5. Focus on your specialty.

In the first few years, there can be a lot of pressure to diversify your offering, says Paris Cutler, director of cake decorating company Planet Cake. Stick to what you do best and do it better and with more focus than anyone else.

6. Outsource the things you don t do.

Resist the temptation to chase work outside your offering, and use a specialist to fill in any gaps, says Rhys Roberts from accountancy firm Viridity. I outsource my HR, my IT, much of my marketing and more. The time you free up you can spend doing what you are good at.

7. Aim high and be persistent.

Determination is one of the vital qualities needed when you start on the long road of setting up a small business. Rochelle Miller, co-founder of fashion retailer Another Love, says: Believe in yourself and your strengths. Don t take no for an answer. There will be bumps along the way, but everything has a solution or another option.

Consultant Andrew Griffiths thinks about ways to improve his business each day.

8. Embrace a life less frantic.

Kelly Exeter, author and editor of small business community Flying Solo says it s all about finding the right balance for you. I am learning that I don t just need physical space to thrive, I need mental space too.

9. Follow your own path.

Designer and illustrator Beci Orpin says she s not naturally business-minded, but has always worked really hard and built up a strong folio of work. My business is all about me: my style and what I create, so an important part of developing that was staying true to myself not worrying about what other people were doing.

10. Take time out to think about how to improve.

Use your best hour in the day to consider ways of moving forward, advises Andrew Griffiths, a small business author and consultant. He does this first thing every morning. Then, each Friday, I find a quiet place and ask myself a question: How is my business better this week than it was last week?

11. Harness your keystone habits .

Entrepreneur and blogger James Clear says we should find the one or two habits or routines that make everything else fall into place. Improving your lifestyle and becoming the type of person who has their act together isn t nearly as hard as you might think.

Life coach Kathryn Hocking researches what competitors are doing.

12. Practise mindfulness.

Freelance journalist and editor Jodie Macleod says it increases productivity, reduces stress and improves memory and focus. Mindfulness is when you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, breath and everything occurring in the present moment, without attaching judgment to those observations.

13. Every setback is a stepping stone to success.

Lucinda Lions from branding agency Slogan Creator says it s important to stay positive wherever possible, and see feedback, not failure. I remind myself tomorrow is a brand new day, a new opportunity to think differently and make better choices.

14. Hire from within your networks.

When Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugarbegan feeling overwhelmed with work, she decided to get an assistant. She put a call out to her community, knowing taking someone on would involve sacrifice. Five years later, they still have a successful working relationship. Start out small and then leave the invitation open for expansion.

15. Keep it manageable.

Kate James, start-up coach at Total Balance, says it s important to remember that it s not all about non-stop growth bigger isn t better if you ve stopped enjoying what you do. You need to define your own version of success. Mine is that I need to love my business.

Sarah Wilson says you need to know when to ask for help. Source: Supplied

16. Know when to work for free.

Vanessa Emilio from Legal123, says sometimes working for free is worth it. Free doesn t mean offering an entire job or product for free. It could mean a free initial consultation, free component of a project or complimentary muffin with every coffee.

17. Stay excited and believe in your business.

SEO copywriter and consultant Kate Toon says start-ups should think about clients needs and possible issues and create rational responses to persuade them your business is the solution. Inject warmth, professionalism and even humour, where appropriate. Being human beats boring every time.

18. Learn to say no.

Recognise when a client has unrealistic expectations and nip it in the bud early, or consider referring them on, says author and media commentator Andrew Griffiths.

Try a formal, structured response and keep returning to it. Try, Thank you for the opportunity, but we are so heavily committed we can t give your project the time and attention it needs.

If you re on a tight marketing budget, think about how you can trigger word-of-mouth interest. Warren Harmer of The Business Plan Company mentions a small florist that did this brilliantly by 1) Offering quality; 2) Providing value; 3) Inspiring team members to love their job and clients and 4) Creating a physical environment that excited their market.

20. Turn competition into inspiration.

Life coach Kathryn Hocking suggests you research what competitors are doing to help identify what makes you unique. Your relationship doesn t have to be adversarial: they could be a mentor, partner or friend. Focus on your own purpose and connect with peers that have similar values and who inspire you to greater levels of success.

21. Know when to take a dream detour .

Sometimes it s hard to know whether to grab a fresh opportunity or stick to your path. Business mentor Lynda Bayada says you need to outsmart your head so you can listen to your heart. Give yourself space and trust yourself. And you ll find that s half the battle won.


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