It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. Before a business takes off, entrepreneurs often have to pour in 10-hour workdays, and do the jobs of an entire staff (since they can’t afford to hire just yet). But some entrepeeneurs thrive in this kind of pressure, and manage their stress levels very effectively. What’s their secret? [Read more…]
Buying a franchise can be easier than starting a business from scratch. A franchise has the benefit of having a proven business model. It also has an established brand image, and can attract customers far more quickly than an unknown product or service. (Read more facts on franchising)
This is, of course, assuming that you have found a ‘good’ franchise. But what is the difference between a good and a bad franchise? Here are some ways to gauge the strength of a franchise before investing your money.
Look at the profitability
Carefully examine a Franchise Disclosure Document to see how much money the other franchisees are making. Look at the middle range (or middle third) which will give you the ‘average’ expected amount of profits. Does it suit your financial goals?
Don’t accept any excuses from the franchisors that the franchisees don’t know how to run their businesses. Whether or not the franchisees are at fault is not the issue. It is a red flag that the franchisor does not recruit well, that the name of the brand may have been tarnished by the ‘bad’ franchisees, and that the franchisor does not give adequate support or have proper operating systems.
Look at the brand stability
Avoid franchises that have made several changes to the brand. This may be a sign that they changing business models or strategies because of decreasing profits.
Ask franchisees for feedback
You need to know if the franchisor takes good care of its franchisees: handles concerns well, addresses questions, respects ideas and suggestions, and generally values its relationship with them.
Ask about the franchise’s corporate structure
Is the company run by efficient and competent people, or is the company structure populated by family members? You may also want to do web searches on the names of the key management to find out if they have a good corporate track record and a reputation for ethical and reliable leadership.
Also ask about employee turnover, especially the upper management. If they’ve changed CEOs or Marketing Directors or Finance Directors several times since the company started, then that’s a sign of conflict and unstable structure.
Photo from bensoncheng.wordpress.com
Thinking of starting a business with someone? Or joining forces with another small business owner in order to share resources or expand services?
It seems like a good idea, but forming a business partnership is a lot like getting married. Even if you have complementary services, you have to think twice, or even thrice, before formalizing your business tie-up. Here are some things you need to consider. [Read more…]
All entrepreneurs need to be good negotiators. You deal with clients, business partners, investors, suppliers, distributors—and each time, the success of your business relies squarely on your ability to make the right agreements and secure the most advantageous deals.
Do you have what it takes to be a good negotiator? This article will help identify the traits of smart negotiators and how you can be one, too. [Read more…]
Do you run a food blog? Or do you enjoy sharing pictures of your foodie adventures in your Facebook? Maybe you’re thinking of starting a home-based baking business and would like to upload photos of your creations to your website or Multiply account.
This article can help even amateur photographers take impressive food photos. You don’t need a buy essay online cheap high-tech camera. It’s all in knowing how to frame your shot, and adjust the settings of your camera. Don’t worry, it’s easy! Read on for our simple explanation.
We eat with our eyes first. That’s why, when we take photos of
food, we need to capture the color, texture and presentation. Sometimes, zooming in too close will crop out all the details that could add personality to your photo. For example, the roughness of a clay pot of an authentic curry, or the rough grain of your wooden picnic table are part of the ‘story’ of your dish. But if the dish is already colorful, or has interesting texture, then by all means go up close and crop or blur out any distracting elements around the plate. Experiment with different zoom settings to see what effects you get, and study the food shots in cookbooks and food magazines to see how professional photographers tackle the art of composition.
Let’s say you want to blur the background of the photo. How do you do that? Adjust the aperture or F/stop of your camera. The ideal F/stop is 1.6 to 2.8. And if you can, change your camera mode to Aperture Priority. That means if you set the aperture to its lowest setting, your camera will automatically adjust all the other settings.
Work with the light
You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy lights. Mother Nature still has the best lights – just use it to your advantage. Shoot in what photographers call ‘available light’ or natural light. Bring the food next to the window, or shoot it outdoors on a makeshift table. Most photographers recommend using light-colored table cloth which will add to the sense of brightness.
Play with the background
If you can’t blur the background, consider removing distracting elements or changing your position or the angle of the camera, so you fill the frame with the food and avoid taking pictures of, say, the ugly signage or the people at the next table. Try tilting your camera, or standing up and taking a shoot from the top (if you’re at home, you can try standing on a stable chair).
Experiment with food styling
If you’re shooting your own dishes at home, then you have the freedom to manipulate the food presentation. Will the chocolate cupcakes look better if they’re on a colorful plate? Or maybe you can add steamed vegetables to add some texture and color to your roast chicken. Or you can go thematic. If you’ve prepared a romantic dinner for two, scatter rose petals or position a rosebud near the plates, to help tell the story of the dish.
Photo from businesspundit.com