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What a Tour Broker Is and How to Become One

A person who operates a tour company is a broker. A broker is a middleman. Brokers buy or arrange items or services and sells these items or services to the end buyer. Some examples of brokers are:

Independent insurance agents. These agents do not provide insurance; they arrange insurance for you from an insurance company. Insurance agents usually get a commission from an insurance company.

Stock brokers. Like insurance agents, stock brokers help you buy and sell stock. They don’t own the stock. These brokers also receive a commission based on the amount sold.

Real estate broker. Again, these brokers do not own the properties they sell and they get a commission based on the value of what they sell.

There are also tour brokers. Tour brokers serve a variety of customers. This article is about what a tour brokerage is and the basics of this business.

Here is a good description if what a tour is: A trip with visits to various places of interest for business, pleasure, or instruction.

Here travel is defined: To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey.

A tour, then, is not only travel but it is travel with the purpose being pleasure or interest. You may think of a tour as extended travel with the object being to see and experience an area. Travel, on the other hand, is usually only about moving from one place to another.

A tour broker works with people on a continuous basis. If you are going to get involved in this type of business you should like working with people – you have to be a people person.

Tour brokers are not travel agents. Travel agents arrange for the travel needs of their customers. Usually a travel agent will only work with individuals or small groups (families, for example). Travel agents also always buy something that is already in place (air travel, car rentals, hotels, etc.), they do not originate anything.

Tour brokers originate – they arrange tours, they arrange the transportation, they arrange the lodging, they arrange the meals, and they arrange other services for their clients. A tour broker plans on what kind of tour he/she wants to operate.

Next, the tour broker makes arrangements for the various components of the tour – transportation, food, lodging, attractions, etc.

There are many types of tour companies. Some offer guided tours of a local area – tours of a city or an attraction, for example. Some offer tours in a natural setting – guided tours through the Grand Canyon fall into this category. Some offer tours to various national and state parks. Some offer tours through a large area, a multi-state tour is a good example.

IF YOU LIKE TO TRAVEL – FOR FREE – THIS IS A GREAT BUSINESS TO BE IN

You may have to do inspections of the hotels and attractions that you will be making a part of your tour. If you have been taught correctly you will know …

20 Pieces Of Equipment For Your Cake Business

If you have decided that starting a cake business from home is perfect for you, then you may have some initial questions. Overall, a cake business is reliably straightforward but chocked full of options when it comes to equipment and supplies. Let's go over some of the general products you may need for your cake business and some of the extra specialty items you may enjoy having.

1. Heavy Duty Mixer – most people own a mixer but you may want to upgrade if you are planning on starting a cake business from home.

2. Pans – As you know, these come in all shapes and sizes. Your three basic include your circular, versatile or character shaped. Tip: Do not skimp on good quality cake pans, it does make a difference!

3. Large, heavy duty cooling racks.

4. Turntables for decorating. Make sure they are sturdy!

5. Good, quality separators for multi-layered cakes.

6. A camera to take beautiful pictures of your cakes so future clients can see your work.

7. An air brusher is definitely an item that is not necessary. But, as your business grows and your cake decorating art develops, you may want to invest in one.

8. A projector for the more serious cake business entrepreneurs. This will help you intensify the designs that go onto your specialty cakes. Again, this is not a necessity but definitely a luxury for those who want it.

9. Bowls and spatulas for mixing!

10. Food colors for painting!

11. Obviously an oven for baking the cakes themselves.

12. Icing tubes, icing bags and accessories.

13. Rolling pins, non-stick boards and mats.

14. Brushes for painting if you are into that sort of decorating for your cake business.
15. Thermometers.

16. Dummy Cakes.

17. Knives and Cake Levelers.

18. Flower making accessories are a great investment to help add a little style to your cakes.

19. Books on cake businesses and cake decorating for new ideas and tips.

20. A couple of great web resources such as sites or forums where you can talk to other cake decorators, ask questions and share your knowledge with others!

Now, if you did not before, you have a great list to start from. Some of these items are less necessary than others. It is up to you how much you can invest in the start-up of your business. If you just want to begin making one-layered birthday cakes then you may not need everything on this list. But who knows, hopefully your business will boom from the beginning and then you will need every item on this list and more! …

MLM Vs Cooperative Marketing – Which is the Best Home Business Opportunity?

If you are considering starting any new business venture, or getting into MLM/Network Marketing in particular, you owe it to yourself to read this article — particularly if you are a newbie.

These days, most people are familiar with MLM/Network Marketing. However, most have never heard of Cooperative Marketing. Those that aren’t may find the content herein to be shocking and amazing, if not revelatory and potentially life-changing.

Cooperative Marketing has been around for a long time in the mainstream business world, but it is relatively new to the “home-based business” world. The term can mean many things, but in general it means that the retailer is receiving marketing assistance from the manufacturer, supplier or other large-scale enterprise. Such advertising “co-ops” are common in many brick-and-mortar industries, including the grocery, insurance and publishing businesses.

In the case of a home based business, it means the company you are working with is taking on a major burden that normally would fall to you: the marketing of the product. In fact, the better Cooperative Marketing companies do much more than this, including actual selling, distribution and customer service. To date, only a relative handful of companies use this business model (compared to the hundreds of MLMs out there).

More’s the pity, because a growing number of “work at home” authorities consider it the far superior business model — both for the companies in question and for their individual representatives. Though the two business models have many similarities, they are more clearly defined by their differences, which are explored in this article.

MLM (MULTILEVEL MARKETING)/NETWORK MARKETING

As you probably know, the MLM/Network Marketing business is a huge industry. Many household names (Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Herbalife, Shaklee, etc.) have had tremendous success using this business model, and many thousands of representatives (also called associates or distributors) have built profitable businesses in the industry. A smaller but still sizable number have built successful enough businesses to live very, very well indeed.

The MLM/Network Marketing business is based on the idea that reps are responsible for just about everything in their business, other than producing the product and handling commissions and bonuses. The company does these last chores, while the representative must undertake tasks which many find difficult and even onerous.

First, reps must find their own customers. Second, they must find new people to join their businesses with them. This is known as building a downline, and great success in the industry is predicated on having a large and thriving one. Specific business plans vary from company to company, but generally speaking you will not reach the top of the leader boards by selling alone. Third, reps may be required to order certain minimal levels of product every month, warehouse those products, distribute them, handle returns, etc.

While it is true many people have had great success in MLM/Network Marketing, it is also true that a far greater number have had little or no success. The plain truth is, not everyone is cut out …

Vending Machine Business Record Keeping Basics

Keeping good records of the status of each of your vending machines when you service them is both a critical and very easy practice. Even for those who strongly dislike record keeping and struggle with the practice, the process is not overly taxing. The benefits, after all, far outweigh the small inconvenience that it presents. After all, by keeping records, you will be able to see how you are doing over time so you will know exactly which machines are offering the best performance, how many of what product is being sold, and what profits you can anticipate in the weeks and months to come.

As a business owner, this is information that you need. With even the most basic record keeping, you will have a much more thorough understanding of your business and how it is doing from one machine to the next. This allows you to continue what you are doing right with some machines, and consider the relocation of other machines that just aren’t performing as they should be.

That being said, you will also greatly appreciate your efforts to keep accurate records when tax time comes around. Nothing is more painful than trying to scrounge together exact numbers from records that are either sketchy or non-existent.

The two kinds of records that you will want to consistently maintain within your vending machine business are a basic ledger and a report of all of the locations on your route. The basic ledger is essentially your general bookkeeping. It should document all of the income and expenses totaled from all of the locations on your route. You can do this on paper, but it is much easier and faster if you use a simple bookkeeping program on your computer. If you save all of your receipts and keep a good route report, you will be able to update your ledger quickly and easily each time you complete a service route.

While on your service route, you should keep a record of the status of all of your machines at each location. Each machine should have its own page where you take notes from each servicing. This way, you will be able to flip to the page for any given machine to observe its performance including expenses, income, the placement of products, and the popularity of each of the products.

When your business is still small enough for you to do all of the routes yourself, you will be responsible for all of the record keeping for both the ledger and the route. However, once your business gets large enough that you need to hire someone to run some or all of your routes for you, you will need to make sure that that individual is also keeping the detailed, accurate records that you need to make all the difference in understanding the success of your business.

The same thing goes if you wish to hire a bookkeeper to keep track of all of the income, expenses, and other …

Merits and Demerits of Debt Finance

Debt financing means to borrow funds or to arrange for investments from external sources. Large scale businesses and organizations are not able to run all their affairs from their own capital so it is usual for them to take loans. The most prevalent example of this type of finance is the loans taken from banks. The amount of the loan is to be repaid in agreed installments along with interest at a specified rate.

Merits of Debt Finance:

Following are the merits of debt finance:

(i) Scope for Expansion: Debt financing allows business to expand its operations. New branches can be opened in other cities and countries. New lines of business can be adopted to increase revenues. The easy availability of credit encourages entrepreneur to take new risks and float new products. It also enables businessmen to increase the scale of their operations and to upgrade their products in time.

(ii) Research and Development: Debt financing allows the process of research and development. Loans taken from banks can be used to accelerate R & D activities. Earning potential of the company increases when the research hard products are floated in the market. The new innovation, besides increasing companies reputation, also reduces its cost of production.

(iii) High Profit: Due to expansion of business and use of new techniques the revenues and profits of the business also grow. Huge revenues means that there will be a room for further expansion of the business. Higher profit can also be used to repay the bank loans. Thus increasing the solvency of business.

(iv) Ease of Working Capital: Debt financing helps in maintaining adequate working capital of the business. It also provides a room for making regular payments easily.

(v) Revival of Sick Units: Debt financing may be used to give a breathe to the sick industrial units. The organization’s loans can be rescheduled and new credit can be taken for such units so that they can start their production. Besides providing finance, proper supervision and guidance should also be given. All this will rehabilitate the sick units and can help them to be successful and profitable units.

(v) Saving from Insolvency: Debt financing may be used to save the business from insolvency. In case any essential payment is to be made and there are not enough equity funds then a loan can be taken to make payments and to save the business from insolvency.

(vi) Tax Advantage: As the interest charge is subtracted from net income before applying tax rate, so this leads to lower tax liability.

Demerits of Debt Finance:

Following are the demerits of debt financing:

(i) Interest Payments: Very huge amount out of net profit of the business have to be paid on account of interest on borrowed capital.

(ii) Depression: If a business comes under depression and losses occur, then the payments of interest could become a great problem due to inadequacy of funds.

(iii) Suit Against Business: Creditor can file suits against business if business fails to make …

Check Cashing Business in Florida

Starting a check cashing business in Florida is a process that requires several steps that must be planned before filing for the license, and risking a loss of money and time.

The check cashing business in Florida is profitable but at the same time it is a risky business which must be minimized through the adoption of special measures and procedures.

It is important to obtain proper advice from experienced and qualified professionals to avoid expenses and delays to obtain a check cashing license.

Obtaining a check cashing license in Florida, also known as FT3 license, requires several steps:

The first step is to register with the federal government as a Money Service Business (MSB). This process is done electronically, and in order to file said registration any new applicant must set up an account with the US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, commonly known as FinCEN. The registration is done through form FinCEN 107.

Registration with FinCEN places the company under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) laws and regulations. Those regulations imposes several requirements on the company. One of those requirements is to develop and implement an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program which must contain policies and procedures that the company will implement as part of their check cashing operation. Some companies tend to use AML programs devised for other type of financial services such as money order sales or money transfer services. However those programs are inadequate for check cashing and they do not meet the requirement of the BSA for a check cashing operation. Another requirement is to design a compliance officer. This person is liable to ensure that the AML program is being thoroughly implemented. There are other BSA requirements which must be met, and therefore the compliance officer and employees of the company must be aware of said regulations.

After the FinCEN registration has been confirmed, an application with the Florida Department of Financial Services, Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) must be filed. This application contains several parts, and must be filed electronically. As with the FinCEN registration, the applicant must set up an account with the OFR's Real System for thie purpose. It is extremely important that all information requested will be provided in a complete and accurate manner to avoid delays in the process. In our experience the vast majority of delays in obtaining such a license come from errors in the original application form. Several documents must be attached to the application, among which is the anti-money laundering program which must be previously drafted. Another form that must be submitted is a fingerprint card for each of the individuals included in the application, which will be used for a background verified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Once the license is obtained it is important to keep present that the State of Florida has multiple requirements that must be met by check cashers. Also the check casher is subject to audit examinations to verify that the company is operating with the parameters …

How to Get a Military Personal Loan Up to 20,000 Dollars

Military families, just like traditional families, have needs that are sometimes unmet by the pay that an officer or soldier receives from serving his or her country. If you are serving or have served in the military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Army Reserves, you can qualify for a military personal loan to meet your financial needs now.

Money For Any Purpose

A military personal loan can be used for any purpose. Perhaps you need to make a major purchase, such as furniture, appliances, or home improvement. Or maybe you need to buy a car, truck, SUV or other vehicle, take a vacation, pay for education for you or your children, or many other needs. Whatever reason you have for needing money, the fastest and easiest way to get the cash you need is through the military personal loan, and military personnel of all ranks qualify.

Borrow Up To $20,000

Military personal loans are available in amounts as small as $2,000 and as much as $20,000. Determine the amount that you need to borrow in advance of applying for your military loan, and borrow only the amount that you need. Remember that this is a loan and must be repaid, so never agree to a repayment amount that is more than you can meet with your current budget and other financial obligations. Military personal loans, just like other loans, will report either monthly or quarterly to the three major credit reporting bureaus – Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.

Your military personal loan can be either unsecured or secured. The unsecured military personal loan does not require that you pledge security assets in the form of collateral to secure your cash, although you will be assessed a higher interest rate and usually have to repay your lender sooner. The unsecured version is perfect for the borrower who does not wish to risk their assets, or has nothing to use for collateral. The secured version requires that you pledge collateral, usually your home or automobile, and poses a lesser risk to the lender. Therefore, the secured military personal loan costs less in interest, can be repaid over a longer period of time, and features lower monthly payments.

Bad Credit Welcome

If your credit history is less than ideal, you might want to go for the secured military personal loan to improve your chances of approval. Borrowers with bad credit can also apply for their unsecured military personal loan with the help of a creditworthy cosigner. A cosigner should be someone who has established good credit, is willing to sign with you on your loan application, and agrees to repay the lender on your behalf if you fail to do so.

There are many lenders doing business online that write military personal loans for borrowers with all types of credit histories. These online lenders can typically save you money on both secured and unsecured military personal loans in terms of interest because of the increased level …

The Importance of Good Negotiation Skills to Your Business Success

Having good negotiation skills can be the difference between success and failure in the business world. Those that know how to negotiate tend to rise to the top of whatever industry they are in. At the same time, those that do not know how to negotiate tend to stay where they are or fall backwards.

If you want to be successful in the industry, a study of developing negotiation skills should be at the forefront of your mind. Here are a few things to consider about the importance of good negotiation skills to your business success.

One of the primary benefits of having good negotiation skills is that you will be able to save money. If you represent your business or if you are negotiating for yourself, you will be able to negotiate a cheaper price when buying something. When making large purchases, you need to be able to negotiate with the sales representative and get a better price. If you simply take the price that is being offered to you, it is very possible that will get taken advantage of. Learning how to negotiate will allow you to save substantial amounts of money over a period of time.

Another important reason for developing good negotiation skills is that you will be able to make more money for your business as well. If you are trying to sell a product or secure a contract, you need to be able to negotiate in order to make it happen. By doing this, you will be able to secure a larger selling price and increase your profit margins. Increasing profit margins is one of the biggest objectives for most businesses. If you can learn how to do this, you will be invaluable to your employer and this will be directly related to your business success.

In addition to being a better negotiator, you will also develop several other traits that are essential in business. Many of the same skills that you use in negotiation will translate over to other areas of the business.

For example, when learning good negotiation skills, you will learn how to be an effective listener. In order to be successful in negotiation, you have to be able to listen to the other person to see what they want. This skill will be very valuable to you in other areas of the business. If you are a manager, you will need to be able to listen to your employees to see what motivates them. If you are dealing with customers, you need to be able to listen to what they are telling you so that you can find a product or service that matches their needs.

When you are aiming to achieve business success, developing good negotiation skills should be at the top of your priority list. This is by far one of the most important skills that you can develop as a businessperson. It can easily take you from where you currently are to where you eventually want to …

Can You Make Over $100,000 a Year in the Auto Repossession Business?

A common question in the repo industry is, “How much money do repo men make?”

If someone told you that you could make over $100,000 a year in a bad economy without a college degree, you’d think they were crazy.  But some auto repo business owners are not only doing well – they’re making six-figures a year.  When the economy does bad, they do better!

How Much Do Repo Men Make?

If you start your own auto repossession business, you can expect to earn $250 (or more) per repo’ed car.  If you repossess two cars a night, five days a week, that’s $130,000 a year.  It certainly requires hard work and determination, but it’s possible.

Repossession agents make the most money when lenders hire them to track down hard-to-find debtors – which is called “skip-tracing.”  If a debtor voluntarily gives up their car (or if they’re easy to track-down,) an agent may only make $100 for the recovery.

Repo men who work for someone else typically earn 40{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} of the repo fee – or $70 to $100 per recovered vehicle (on average.)

What Are The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Repo Business?

While it’s true repo business owners make the most money, they have to pay for gas and overhead expenses before they get paid.  And, as the motto in the repo industry goes, “no recovery, no pay.” 

Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment to start a repo business.  In fact, you usually don’t need a tow-truck!

That’s because many lenders keep key codes on file for every vehicle they own.  Sometimes they even keep a spare set of keys!  All you have to do is get a key made, find the car and drive it away.

You can invest in a minimal amount of equipment to get started, and reinvest your profits as your business grows.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Repo Man for Someone Else?

Although there are advantages to owning your own business, many repo agents find it easier to get started working with an established repossession company.  That’s because in some states, there are many hoops to jump through to become a licensed repossession business, including:

  1. Getting bonded and insured
  2. Competing a required amount of training (not all states require this)
  3. Familiarizing yourself with repossession, investigation and collection laws
  4. Investing in adequate equipment, computers and software for your business

In fact, many repo businesses owners got their start working for someone else!

While the repo business isn’t for everyone, if you have a tough skin, a hard work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit, it can be lucrative whether you work for someone else or yourself.  The key is getting adequate training before you head out into the field, so you can avoid common (and costly) mistakes!…

‘Mobile Oil Change’ Businesses Have Terrible Profit Margins

The oil change business is hard. I am not going to sugar coat it. I have been in the business for five years and I am telling you from first hand experience. I have done more research on the topic that several people put together. I am an authority. I know what I am talking about. There is no profits, at least one can actually build a business on, in oil changes.

This is coming from someone who is in the business. Whoever, no matter who he is, tells you that you can make a decent profit off oil changes, regardless of what kind, he is lying. He is either purposefully lying to you to make money or really does not know. The profit from oil changes cannot, and I do repeat for emphasis cannot, sustain a viable business. The whole quick lube model is so flawed its almost comical. And the typical mobile quick lube model is even more flawed at its core. I have met only one guy who has what I consider made a real profit from mobile oil changes and his name is Lance Winslow. I have spoken to the guy and he is very smart but in one of his posts he stated that he makes very little from his oil change company. It had just been one of many companies he has started that has allowed him to achieve wealth in this country.

Every quick lube, including Jiffy Lube, makes no money from oil changes. Mobile oil change businesses will quickly realize this. The cost for your typical oil change in the United States, using the cheapest oil you can find, is $15.00 with oil and filter. The going rate for an oil change in the US is $20-$30 per five quart oil oil change. That means that in most states the most one can profit from an oil change is $15.00. And that is being liberal with the numbers and not including fuel. Fifteen dollars per oil change is not going to sustain a viable business. Some vehicles are absolutely terrible to work on like certain Chevrolet Cavaliers and Land Rovers and will take you more than an hour minimum to do one oil change. What do you get for all this trouble? Maybe twenty dollars. Its the biggest joke going.

The only way most quick lube places can make money is buying really pushing add-ons. If you work at any quick lube and do not sell the customer on additional services they may or may not need than you will be terminated very fast. The quick lubes cannot make money any other way. They have to push unnecessary air filter, fuel filters, coolant flushes, transmission flushes, power steering flushes, rear end flushes, cabin air filters, wiper blade replacement, fuel injection cleaners, and many others to even make a meager profit. The mobile oil change businesses have to do this a lot less because they have lower overhead but their profit margin still …