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To make money in the restaurant business, restaurant owners have to have a competitive advantage. If hard work alone would do it, most restaurant owners would already be rich.

There are only two real and sustainable competitive advantages anyone can have in the restaurant business.

Restaurant owners can not have the best chef or the best location or the best menu or the cheapest prices – at least, not for very long. Chef's can get a better offer, road construction, building projects and population shifts turn great locations into so-so locations. Great recipes can be swiped and even improved upon. And of course, trying to have the lowest prices is not the way to go.

The only two real and lasting competitive advantages any restaurant owner can have are – Innovation and Marketing.

Ray Kroc knew the importance of innovation when he said, "McDonald's can innovate faster than the competition can copy.

Peter Drucker (the greatest management author and guru of all times) said, "Innovation is the only lasting competitive advantage anyone can ever have in any business."
E's right – "Marketing" is just a sub-part of "Innovation."

Applying unique marketing techniques is a major part of innovation because –

Marketing is the only thing that generates profit for a restaurant. Everything else is an expense.

Marketing (when done right) is the best investment any restaurant owner can ever make. In the stock market or in real estate someone may hope for a 5% or maybe even a 20% return on their investment. But in marketing, a $ 100 investment in promotion (ads, direct mail, press releases, etc.) could bring in $ 1,000 in profit and sometimes much more.

For example, changing only a few words in a headline can bring in two to 10 times more profit from the same ad. And the only cost to make the change would be the time it took the restaurant owner to learn how to write headlines. What kind of return on investment is that?

The average restaurant owner thinks his job is to "run his restaurant." He does not have time to market his restaurant – or even to learn how to market a restaurant. Maybe that's why he's average.

A restaurant owner can not make $ 100,000 a year doing $ 10 and hour work. A restaurant owner's job should be to market, innovate and promote his / her restaurant.

The restaurant marketing plan for many restaurants is based on whatever the latest ad salesperson was promoting. When it comes to marketing, many restaurant owners just copy what the big boys are doing. That could spell disaster for almost any independent restaurant.

Most restaurant owners work long hours, but it does not take long hours to market, innovate and promote a restaurant.

Look at it this way. A restaurant owner who masters innovation and marketing could swap restaurants with any restaurant owner in town. Let him have the location, the menu, the chef and staff and a year from now …

Liability insurance is very important and most state auto insurance laws require that an individual maintain at least liability insurance on their automobile. What it does is protect you against costs that are associated with the damage and injury of another in an automobile accident in which you may be deemed at fault.

There are two parts to the policy. There is property damage liability and bodily injury liability. It is pretty easy to guess that property damage liability is going to protect you against any cost and damage that is associated with damaging another person’s physical property and that bodily injury liability is going to protect you against the personal injury inflicted on someone else as a result of the accident.

Usually, there are some numbers that a person may see on their policy. These numbers usually look like this: 50/100/25. Now what this means is that the policy is split up into three different amounts each policy can be different depending on what the individual chose when they opened the policy. In this case, 50/100/25 means that the insurance will pay for the bodily injury of an individual in an amount up to $50,000, will pay for the bodily injury costs on everyone in a vehicle in an amount up to $100,000, and will pay property damage costs up to $25,000.

Every vehicle requires its own level of liability insurance depending on what state you are located in. It is important to know what your state’s auto insurance requirements are so that you have an idea of what you would have to pay in your insurance premium.

The cost

Liability insurance is cheaper than full coverage insurance that also includes damages from theft, natural disaster, and vandalism. Liability only covers costs associated with an accident so that you do not lose your hard earned assets in a lawsuit. There are have been cases in which a person has been sued for more that what they have in coverage, but the liability insurance does lessen the blow. However, a person can pay for different levels of liability insurance to ensure that they will not be “taken for everything they’ve got.” Not having enough insurance can still have a heavy impact on a person’s life when an accident occurs.

No one intends on hurting another and they usually do not purposely engage in an auto accident because there is so much trouble involved, including the possible loss of the vehicle. That is why it is important to carefully assess how much car insurance you think you will need. Liability insurance is rather affordable. Some states have a minimum requirement of 20/40/10, but you could carry something such as a 50/100/50 if you think you need it. The cost is still not going to be much.

Just remember…

Don’t forget that if you set your limits too low you could be setting yourself up for financial disaster even though you have insurance. This is to be considered carefully. It is easy …

The company where I was working was taken over by a British multinational company in the mid 1990s. The newly appointed Managing Director from UK, during one of his visits to the plant, inquired how Gujarati people eat food at home. Having heard the response, he decided to sit down on the floor and have Gujarati food, along with all the senior colleagues of the plant.

What was the Managing Director trying to do? He was trying to appreciate the cultural norms of the new place and show his willingness to embrace. Such a behavior by the Managing Director obviously helped the local management open up more during subsequent discussions.

In the last 2 decades, cross-cultural challenges in the international business management have become prominent as the companies have started expanding across the territorial boundaries. Even leading management schools in India have started incorporating cross-cultural challenges as part of the curriculum of the international business management.

“Culture” being one of my interest areas, I recently had accepted an invitation to educate the students of a Diploma program on the International Business Management, on the topic of cross-cultural challenges. For my preparations, I browsed through many books on the subject. My knowledge-base got enriched substantially as the treasure of information contained in these books, was invaluable and highly relevant.

This article is an effort to present, some of the relevant issues related to the cross-cultural challenges in the International Business Management.

What is “Culture”?

Culture is the “acquired knowledge that people use to anticipate events and interpret experiences for generating acceptable social & professional behaviors. This knowledge forms values, creates attitudes and influences behaviors”. Culture is learned through experiences and shared by a large number of people in the society. Further, culture is transferred from one generation to another.

What are the core components of “Culture”?

  • Power distribution – Whether the members of the society follow the hierarchical approach or the egalitarian ideology?
  • Social relationships – Are people more individualistic or they believe in collectivism?
  • Environmental relationships – Do people exploit the environment for their socioeconomic purposes or do they strive to live in harmony with the surroundings?
  • Work patterns – Do people perform one task at a time or they take up multiple tasks at a time?
  • Uncertainty & social control – Whether the members of the society like to avoid uncertainty and be rule-bound or whether the members of the society are more relationship-based and like to deal with the uncertainties as & when they arise?

What are the critical issues that generally surface in cross-cultural teams?

  • Inadequate trust – For example, on one hand a Chinese manager wonders why his Indian teammates speak in Hindi in the office and on the other hand, his teammates argue that when the manager is not around, why they can’t speak in English?
  • Perception – For instance, people from advanced countries consider people from less-developed countries inferior or vice-versa.
  • Inaccurate biases – For example, “Japanese people make decisions in the group” or

Make Six Figures as a Personal Trainer and Have a Life

How much do top-of-the-line personal trainers make? Well, when I compare what I make as a personal trainer to the millions so many people on the Internet claim to be earning in the fitness industry, it feels like chump change. For example, I got a hard-sell automated e-mail message from a fitness marketer a while back, in which he claimed he’s a millionaire and that one of his friends is earning more than 150k–a month. I don’t make much more than that a year as a personal trainer so I know that such “success stories” can make you feel as though you’re heading down the wrong career path. So why pursue top-level training? Why should someone want to be a personal trainer and earn just 100K? Well the answer has nothing to do with money.

Don’t get me wrong; income’s important, but there are other things to consider, such as:

– What’s your take-home pay?

– How many hours do you work?

– Do you enjoy your job?

– Where are you headed, professionally?

– Are you the kind of person you want to be?

– Does your work fulfill or bore you?

These are the factors to weigh when deciding how much importance to place on how much you earn because they’re what being a top-level trainer is about. It has nothing to do with the income, because when you take all the factors into account, what this profession offers you is way more than just what the 100K represents.

Not that anything’s wrong with earning six-figures…After all, a $100,000 income has a certain cache and significance in America.

It signifies membership into the consumer society. You can now participate in and enjoy what people call the American dream and way of life. When you stop to think about it, our entire consumer society and marketing is devoted to these six figure earners. For example:

– You can afford payments on a Mercedes Benz.

– You can save enough to buy a home.

– You can afford to build a high-fashion wardrobe.

– You can take vacations to places to domestic resorts and abroad.

– You can afford to put away about 10% of your income each year.

Is all this superficial? Yeah, but if you can’t have or do these things, you’re going to feel left out, as though you’re one of the un-cool kids that can’t get into the party. But, consider the price of admission to that party. We get to feeling it’ll take millions of dollars to live a comfortable and appealing lifestyle. So, we wind up working for years

on end and sacrificing the best years of over lives and countless other things to get the kind of lives we want but wind up squandering much of them in that pursuit. We fail to realize is that just a simple plan to six figures in earnings would have got us there! I remember …

When starting your own small business one of the most important aspects to think about is the accounting process and how you choose to account all of your financial information. It is important to understand that the accounting of your business’s financial information needs to be accurate or else your business may not be as successful as intended. Even if you don’t like accounting or numbers, there is no way to avoid accounting for a business. The purpose of accounting for a business is to have a record of the receipts and expenditures of it’s daily activities. Also, accounting makes it available for the business owners to assess and analyze the business’s performance. This will help the owner to decide what improvements they need to make, or what practices to keep doing in order to keep the company at it’s successful place.

In order to file for tax returns, apply for a loan to expand your business, or for certain legal purposes, accounting is necessary. Accounting for your small business is also important so you are able to assess your financial performance. The financial statements such as the balance sheet and cash flow statement show financial information that is important in the success of your business. The balance sheet shows how much your business is worth and what your assets are. The cash flow statement shows where the future cash needs of your business are. Without any of these financial statements your business would not be able to account for the revenues and profits made from day to day, which results in mistakes and inaccurate records.

In the tough economic times we are facing today, having accurate accounting is necessary. There are so many firms that can assist you in accounting for your small business. So many small business owners believe that they need to be able to do their own finances and take the accounting in their own manners. However, that surely is not the case. It is much better to hire a firm that is respectable and can help assist your company in the accounting department. That way, while the firm is handling your accounting necessities, you can be improving your business by putting your name out there to draw in more clients, keep a strong relationship with existing clients, and encourage your employees constantly so that they, too, are putting their best efforts towards your company. This will definitely improve your business and help you as the small business owner to feel more confident and less stressed, knowing that your finances are safe with a trusted accounting firm. There are too many instances where small business owners have tried to take accounting into their own hands, and unfortunately have not succeeded in the process. If you want to have a successful business, you have to learn to keep the accounting out of your job task. In addition to hiring an accountant, as the business owner it is important to purchase accounting software, such as QuickBooks. This type …

Just about anyone would love to start their own business. The thought of being able to call the shots and work on your own really sounds great on the surface, but becoming an electrician is a far more difficult task than most people think. It takes years of dedication and learning to become licensed and to become a credible business is a whole other struggle.

Here are the Pros of why you should start you own electrician business:

• Potential Income – Electricians can make anywhere from $40 – $100 dollars an hour and the electrician business is one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States. For you this means there is going to be plenty of money to make if you can become licensed and insured.

• Self Employed – The great thing about become an electrician is the fact you can run your own business with your own rules. You can work from your home or office as long as you have all the materials needed to perform services.

• Tax Benefits – There are a lot of tax benefits of running your own business. The government will literally give you money for start-up costs. The schooling you need will be costly and the government will help out with a portion of that as well.

Here are the Cons of why you shouldn’t start you own electrician business:

• Apprenticeship – It takes years of being an apprentice to a licensed electrician to be able to become one of your own. Some people just don’t have the drive to make it through the years of schooling and apprenticeship that it takes to become licensed in this business.

• Dangerous – Electricians have the possibility of being electrocuted and killed if the right voltage is discharged. There are stories all over the internet about electricians accidentally getting hurt or even worse, killed on jobs where something went wrong. This is a very dangerous job that has high risks of injury. Keep this in mind if you have children or people that rely on you on a regular basis.

• Competition – The competition is this field is high but if you are licensed and insured, you will set yourself apart from a high percentage of the electricians marketing themselves online or on Craigslist. Most of the electricians that you will find on Craigslist, might say they are licensed but they really aren’t. I suggest that when you get your license, you display it on your ads and website, so people know that you are licensed and insured right away.

Becoming an electrician is not an easy task but if you stay motivated, finish your schooling and apprenticeship, and get licensed and insured, it is very likely that you can become successful in this business.…

Trimming down and maintaining your ideal weight can be hideously difficult. From eating the right food to choosing the right exercise and everything in between, one may invariably forget one pertinent detail or make a mistake regarding their diet and end up 10 pounds overweight or with bulging biceps when all you really wanted was to tone your muscles.

While the fee that a personal trainer may charge may make your knees bulk, wait till you read and learn about the benefits of hiring one.

Accurate Fitness Evaluation. Let’s face it; a lot of us tend to over- or under-estimate our physical abilities and therefore end up with strained muscles and joints (which can lead to health problems) or a lax exercise regime (which lengthens the time enabling us to reach our fitness goals). However, with a personal trainer, your physical fitness will be accurately evaluated and you can be quite sure that whatever fitness program you end up with is the ideal one for you.

Motivation. It really is easier to exercise with someone around and a personal trainer is just the right person to have on your side if you have a fitness goal you’re sweating to attain. A personal trainer will know exactly when he has to act as a tough general, a great source of encouragement and inspiration or simply as a friend to talk to and listen to your personal health woes.

Customized Fitness Program. Contrary to popular opinion, there’s no such thing as an exercise or diet program that fits all. In short, what may work for others may not work for you and what may take others weeks to achieve may mean one year’s worth of effort in your part. But how will you be able to determine what fitness program is best for you unless you consult an expert?

Safety.A lot of accidents can happen during unsupervised exercises so having a personal trainer will ensure that you are using health club equipment the right way. Not only does this prevent serious physical injuries, it ensures that you get the most out of your exercise routines.

The Need for Change. Perhaps one of the things that hits even the most health-conscious individual is boredom! Sometimes, all that one needs is a little change in one’s exercise routine and with a personal trainer beside you, he or she can can come up with different exercise programs, all geared towards keeping you active and interested in going to the gym.

What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

So are you convinced now that a personal trainer is what you have been needing all this time? If so, following are some of the items you should look for in a personal trainer.

oEducation. Remember, you are relying on this individual to guide you in your fitness goals. As such, it is important that he or she is certified by reputable fitness organization such as ACSM or NSCA.

oExperience. It builds one’s trust and confidence …

Ethics is important not only in business but in all aspects of life because it is the vital part and the foundation on which the society is build. A business/society that lacks ethical principles is bound to fail sooner or later. According to International Ethical Business Registry, “there has been a dramatic increase in the ethical expectation of businesses and professionals over the past 10 years. Increasingly, customers, clients and employees are deliberately seeking out those who define the basic ground, rules of their operations on a day today….”

Ethics refers to a code of conduct that guides an individual in dealing with others. Business Ethics is a form of the art of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in business environment. It deals with issues regarding the moral and ethical rights, duties and corporate governance between a company and its shareholders, employees, customers, media, government, suppliers and dealers. Henry Ford said, “Business that makes noting but money is a poor kind of business”.

Ethics is related to all disciplines of management like accounting information, human resource management, sales and marketing, production, intellectual property knowledge and skill, international business and economic system. As said by Joe Paterno once that success without honor is an unseasoned dish. It will satisfy your hunger, but won’t taste good. In business world the organization’s culture sets standards for determining the difference between good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair.

“It is perfectly possible to make a decent living without compromising the integrity of the company or the individual, wrote business executive R. Holland, “Quite apart from the issues of rightness and wrongness, the fact is that ethical behavior in business serves the individual and the enterprise much better in long run.”, he added.

Some management guru stressed that ethical companies have an advantage over their competitors. Said Cohen and Greenfield, “Consumers are used to buying products despite how they feel about the company that sells them. But a valued company earned a kind of customer loyalty most corporations only dream of because it appeals to its customers more than a product”.

The ethical issues in business have become more complicated because of the global and diversified nature of many large corporation and because of the complexity of economic, social, global, natural, political, legal and government regulations and environment, hence the company must decide whether to adhere to constant ethical principles or to adjust to domestic standards and culture.

Managers have to remember that leading by example is the first step in fostering a culture of ethical behavior in the companies as rightly said by Robert Noyce, “If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization”, however the other methods can be creating a common interest by favorable corporate culture, setting high standards, norms, framing attitudes for acceptable behavior, making written code of ethics implicable at all levels from top to bottom, deciding the policies for recruiting, selecting, training, …

1) Caution! Don’t Start Online”…”Yet: Everyone wants to sell on the internet as it opens your business up to the entire world. Many people try to immediately start selling online via a website only to find out they make very few sales. Why? No one is finding their site. Selling online is great, but it can take time to get sites set up or traffic to your site. Simply put, starting a website will get you nowhere if you don’t get traffic to see it. There are lots of variables in getting your website noticed by Google but we will save that for a later article. Easier ways to begin selling online are by listing your bows on eBay or Etsy. Both of these sites allow a beginner to showcase their products with ease. If your product is priced competitively and you have good pictures to display, you should be able to start selling right away via these sites.

2) Local Business Marketing: We recommend this as one of the best ways to start selling your hair bows and ribbon products. This is why we listed it as the first “do” item. Many people try to immediately start selling online via a website. Selling online is great, but it can take time to get sites set up or traffic to your site. To get off to a quick start, focus your efforts initially on your local market. Find local boutiques and children’s stores and drop by with examples of your products. Be sure to have an idea of how you both will benefit from working together. You can sell your bows at a wholesale price or work out a commission for the store if they agree to sell your hair bows. Get in touch with the local schools cheer leading and dance teams. Consider creating school fundraisers and doing “hair bow parties”. Hair Salons are also great avenues to sell your bows. Finally, do what we did starting out and sell at some nearby community craft shows or public events where a booth can be purchased.

3) Social Networks: Facebook and Twitter and similar networking sites are the rage these days. Don’t forget to use these sites to market your business. Learn the options of each type of site and focus your efforts on getting followers by posting great relevant posts. Use these sites to show pictures of your creations and post bow ideas to your followers. Announcing promotions and sales are a must on social networks.

4) Blogs: There are lots of Blogging sites you can use. Blogger and Word Press are two popular options where you can easily create a blog for your business. Post pictures and write about your products. Come up with creative designs that will catch the eyes of your readers. Make sure you link your blog to your website which can help drive sales

5) eBay and Etsy: Rather than starting with a website, start generating business online with eBay or Etsy. These …

Managers can rely on the carrot or the stick to reward or punish employees. Unfortunately, most managers don’t give much thought about how they reward or punish. In dozens of management development courses I have delivered, I have asked managers, what they use to motivate their employees. Most say money. When asked to think deeper about employee motivations they often realize that they have not really given much thought about what motivates employees, much less given much thought about how they as managers do it.

Few have given much thought to the fact that the wrong type of reward can in fact have the opposite effect. I always share with them the story of the top sales representative at a large pharmaceutical company where I used to work. He was the best the company had. Not only did they reward him with bonuses, but they also had many award trips that representatives could win on a quarterly, semester and yearly basis. He practically won them all! He was winning trips to exotic locations and exciting cities all over the country. I was working in a sales operations position at the time. I visited with him to learn more about his success. During our visit I was shocked when he told me how unhappy he was with the company and how he was thinking of leaving!

I soon learned why. He had a large territory and was constantly “on the road”. He also had several small children. While he realized that he had to travel to be successful, he did not appreciate the fact that almost every 3 or 4 months the company expected him to go on these fancy trips, which took him away from his family even more. He asked, why couldn’t they just give him the money or award him with prize points, rather than force him away from his family! Management had never considered if the type of rewards we were offering was really motivating those who received them. The same is true, if not more so, when it comes to punishment. When working on case studies dealing with difficult employees, attendees at my leadership development programs usually respond first by saying simply “fire them”. They also talk about putting them on “performance improvement plans” or other types of punishment. Few have given serious thought about the type of punishment or the manner in which they deliver the punishment and whether it has impact on improving behavior in promoting the desired type of organizational conduct in the future.

In a study designed to discover if the way managers deliver punishment has a positive impact on behavior within organizations, Ball, Revino and Sims showed that “punishment can positively influence subordinates’ subsequent behaviors (and prevent negative behaviors) if the punishment is conducted in a particular way” (1994, p. 314). They found that positive results occurred when punishment was perceived by the employee to be just and “matching the infraction” they committed and “consistent with what others have received” for …