Build Your Business on a Budget

Money closeup of american hundred dollar billsStarting a new business is an expense on many levels. In some cases people are not only trying to produce a brand new income stream from scratch, but they also have to devote themselves full time to doing it, which means they also have to give up a steady income stream in the process. But it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to build a new business. Here are 4 ways to build a business on a budget.

1. Freelance

Before you leave your full-time job, you can start building up a clientele list by freelancing on the side. Be careful, however, that you are not taking business away from the company you work for full time. If you are planning on starting a new business in the same industry, this could cause you problems down the road.

If, however, your full-time job has nothing to do with the industry you plan on starting a business in, you should not only be in the clear but may even be able to get some clients from the people you come into contact with in your full time job. Eventually, the goal is to be able to get enough freelance work that you can diminish your “stable job” hours to part time before eventually being able to go into full-time business for yourself.

2. Build up equity

Some businesses require a great deal of equipment, while others need more startup capital. Whichever you need, you can start saving before you open your own business and start buying any equipment you need. There are many ways to jump start this process as well.

If you need start up capital, there are a great number of ways to raise it besides going to the bank for a business loan. You can approach friends, family and relatives to invest in your business for a percentage of ownership or start a crowd funding campaign, or even sell some of your own personal belongings. You can even have friends and family donate items for a large garage sale or if you own your own car there are even car title loans available.

3. Barter for services

You don’t always have to pay for everything you need – bartering is a great way to get what you need and save some money in the process. If you are a tattoo artist, you might barter with a web designer and offer a tattoo for a website or barter with a graphic artist for a logo or business cards. If you are a chef or baker, you can exchange food for services, or if you are a bookkeeper or accountant, you may even be able to exchange your services for office space or for needed equipment.

4. Use social media

There is possibly no more powerful advertising tool than social media and the best part of all is, it’s free! Social media for business offers a number of targeted ad programs that will reach exactly your target audience. Whether you have a web based business and can work for clients all over the world, or if you are a local business that needs local clientele, you can easily set up and design ad campaigns that will target an exact segment of users for as little as $50. If you don’t know anyone you can barter with for graphic design services or other media, you can use a web service like Fiverr to get just what you need.

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U.S. President Barack Obama Warns About Brexit Effect on Foreign Trade


As expected, the recent G20 summit in China brought together the leaders of the most powerful economies in the world, many of whom are still trying to absorb the decision by the people of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.


British Prime Minister Theresa May was the world leader who drew the most attention during at the summit. The Prime Minister explained that the “Leave” vote delivered by the British people was prompted by opposition to globalization and dominance by the wealthy and the elitist class. Prime Minister May promised that her government will crack down on those major corporations that use every trick in the book to avoid taxation, and she also mentioned that something needs to be done to the excessive pay granted to some corporate executives. While these comments were welcomed by the G20 leaders, they also pressed her about the future of global trade in the post-Brexit era.


United States President Barack Obama was one of the first to go on record with his thoughts on Brexit, which he thinks may be very difficult for future business relations between British and American corporations.


The Brexit Blues


Even before the G20 summit, President Obama had already hinted towards animosity building up against the new Brexit status quo. According to a mid-September report published by financial news outlet Bloomberg, the top trade negotiator at the White House has explained that the UK is no longer a business priority for the U.S.


Trade Representative Mike Froman is not happy with the UK’s decision to seek immediate trade negotiations with economic regions outside of the European Union. Until Brexit, the UK was a launching pad for the U.S. to access the European markets. What the White House would like to see is more of an effort by the UK to normalize trade relations with the UK, but this is not currently happening.


The UK is currently too busy trying to figure out how to manage debt and other internal issues; it has not yet gotten around to negotiating trade deals with the EU and the U.S., and this is not what President Obama had in mind when he learned about the outcome of the Brexit referendum. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a major Brexit supporter, has criticized President Obama’s position.


What Could Happen to American – British Trade Relations


By placing British companies at the back of the line, President Obama is risking a similar reaction from the UK.


It is important to note that the UK represents more than just the EU market to American companies. Being able to export goods that could be purchased by British consumers is also a major part of trade negotiations. With the current sentiment, UK leaders could actually influence British companies to slow down on doing business with their American counterparts.


The UK is no longer among the top five economies of the world; the country lost that distinction shortly after the Brexit votes were tallied; however, this does not mean that they are ready to stop doing business with the U.S. In fact, it could be safely assumed that the UK free trade agreements with the U.S. should come first.


While it is true that Brexit is bad for business, the U.S. should not be making things worse by snubbing the UK at this time.

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Samsung Is Selling Its Printer Business To Hewlett Packard


Hewlett Packard is a great company that has been making printers and other imaging devices for a long time, and that means that their company is always looking for ways to make their market share bigger. Samsung has been making printers for a while, but they are no longer willing to spend so much time and money on it. They are selling it to HP because they know that the business will be in good hand, and that also means that the company will be able to expand.


Samsung has their own problems with their line of phones, and they want to pass their printers on to a company that already seems to have the market cornered. They are very good at what they do, and there is no reason to think that there will be anything other than a smooth transition from one company to another. They are both very strong companies that will be able to help each other, and that is why Samsung is willing to sell to their competition in the printing market. They are getting out of it altogether, and they are giving up a lot of technology to HP when they are selling.


There are a lot of people who are going to be able to get new printers with better technology that was made by Samsung, and they will also be able to be more productive because they are working with a company that can help them do some of the things that they have not been able to do because they were competing with Samsung. It is very important for everyone in the deal to remember that they can get better printers, and it will change the way that people are making their products, and it will help them get a lot of work done in their offices without any problem.


There are many ways for the two companies to make a partnership that works for them, and they are also trying to figure out how they can make sure that they make the most use of this technology. There are many who are trying to get better results just from one printer, and there is also copying technology out there that will be helpful because of the way that the two companies are coming together. They are very good companies, but now HP can adapt all the things that they have seen Samsung do into their own printers. They are a very strong company that is now able to get results that other people would not have been able to get. They can create new printers that are useful to everyone, and they want to be sure that they see something that changes the way that they approach printing.


People can make their own documents on these nice printers, and everything will look a lot better than it would. They can make anything, and they will get with this new combination of Samsung and the HP technology that is now all under one umbrella.

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Signs You Need a New Business Plan

Companies use business plans to help to identify ways that their business can both identify opportunities and to respond to risks in the market. Business plans can be vague or detailed, depending on the preferences of the business owners and can serve as a regular resource to help hone the company’s view of the industry and their place in the market.


When Should a Company Develop a Business Plan?

Many companies will develop a business plan when the company is first formed but not update the plan for the remainder of their existence. It is of course essential to formulate a business plan before your company is started so you can understand what the focus of your business is and how your company will go about attacking the market.

It is a best practice to update your business plan whenever one of the follow events occur:

– There are significant changes in the industry that you operate

– The business environment for your company changes

– Your business undergoes a significant expansion or contraction in business

– Your business has a significant turnover in management or ownership

– Large competitor enters or exits your industry

– A notable or significant technology is introduced into your industry

Most of the aforementioned items are self-explanatory in nature and have a significant and obvious impact on your business. These significant changes will necessitate that your business model will potentially change and that your business plan should be looked at for possible modification to update with the new business realities that your business is facing. This does not mean that there must be a change to your business model and plan, but rather that your business plan should be examined to see if there is need of modification.


Who should be involved in updating the business plan?

Modifying your business plan can a significant endeavor depending on how much you rely on your business plan for your business. It is essential to involve the appropriate people when doing so. Start by having a business owner who will be in charge of the business plan and who will contact the appropriate parties document the requested changes, and have strategic vision for the business plan. In addition, identify someone individually or as a group who will ultimately approve the changes being made to the business plan.

In certain instances it may make sense to bring in a third party consultant to handle the process of developing an updated business plan. When doing so they can help to bring in the best practices common in a business plan, can help to provide an outside view of the company’s failures and successes, and provide their insight in dealing with similar past experiences with similarly sized companies.


Communication is the Key Challenge

Developing a business plan can be challenging and updating that business plan can be just a difficult. Once a business plan is developed this is not the end of the process. In many ways it is close to the start. The company will have to communicate the business plan with the various business stakeholders and review the implementation of the plan to make sure that it is being adhered to and followed or whether changes are needed to either the business plan itself or to the adoption of the business plan. Communication with employees in the company as well as your customers and other stakeholders can go a long way towards the successful implementation of a new business plan.

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Why Troubled Employees Can Ruin Your Business


The Difficult and Troubled Employee

It is good to know what the signs oar of a difficult and a troubled employee. These are the types of employees that do have the ability to ruin your business. This is the type of employee that can tarnish the reputation of any good business. Your business might have an employee that is difficult or very troubled. If you notice the followings signs then you might have hired an employee who is trouble with a capital “T.” These signs include the following:

* the employee is very convincing. This employee may even convince their own selves that they are smarter than most of their co-workers

* the troubled employee does not seem to take “no” for an answer

* the employee tends to make many excuses because nothing is their fault. This is more than a lack of responsibility on their part. This employee can easily find a reason for their own errors. It will never be their fault, typically it is their co-worker’s fault

* this employee engages in chronic gossip

* this employee tends to erupt quickly or they seem to be on the verge of exploding

These are just the beginning of the signs of a troubled or difficult employee who has the ability to ruin you business if not addressed properly. There are many more signs that a troubled employee will display.


How they Affect and your Business

The troubled and difficult employee has a variety of methods that can and will ruin your entire business.

The following items will be bad for business and will reflect poorly on everyone in the company. These are a few of the ways:

* the gossip that is spread will be very disruptive to the entire business. This will break down trust and credibility

* abusive behavior will lower morale and reduce self-esteem. The business will suffer because motivation and enthusiasm will get very low

* the employee can evoke rage in the customers by provoking them with their troubled behaviors

* opinions of the brand and services may go viral and the business reputation can get lost and smeared

* false information about products or services may spread to the customers when a misinformed employee begins to talk

* the overall customer service may go down due to the unprofessionalism and lack of enthusiasm

* poor images of the entire company may deflect your customers or prospective


* the customers may become neglected due to the overall dysfunction

* the troubled employee may carry themselves poorly and this can offend your customers

* their social media post may have strong and distasteful opinions that reflect poorly on your business

* overall employee performance may become affected within the work environment

These are a sample of ways that a troubled employee can actually ruin your business. This list does become longer. These are the top ways that will negatively impact your business with the difficult or the troubled employee.


Lowered Standards

The troubled employee can greatly lower the standards of your business. Do not underestimate their influence and impact on those around them. One troubled employee can cause much harm to any business. There are also solutions that will prevent the trouble employee from completely ruining your business.

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McDonalds is Testing Garlic Fries


Gilroy Garlic Fries

The Fries At McDonald’s Are Not Your Father’s Fries

These days the menu at McDonald’s fast food places looks a lot different than it did just a few years ago. Now at four of McDonald’s restaurant locations in the San Francisco area are adding an exciting new feature: Gilroy Garlic Fries! This will be a limited time promotion, whether such exotic fries are offered further in time and locations beyond this test phase depends upon how popular they are.

The name ‘Gilroy’ is given to these garlic and herb fries in honor of the town of Gilroy in California which is one of the world’s top producers of garlic. The pungent herb is celebrated the last weekend of July, every year, with the Gilroy Garlic Festival. This is one of McDonald’s new “local features” that could very well end up on their menu nationally. First though, it would be further test marketed in August to about 250 other locations throughout California. This was announced in a press release McDonald’s sent to the Business Insider. Here is the full article.


More Than Just Garlic

The fresh chopped garlic that seasons these new french fries is all grown in nearby Gilroy, CA, known as ‘The Garlic Capital of the World.’ Each order of fries will not be made until an order is put in for them, according to McDonald’s. They also stated that this announcement is the start of a corporate-wide transformation of the fast food chain’s menu. The plan is to feature healthy, fresh ingredients without any preservatives. Here is a complete list of the ingredients with which McDonald’s covers their garlic fries, by hand, and with each order:

  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Parsley
  • Salt

The price of these special, healthier, full-flavored fries is only 59 – 69 cents more than regular flavor fries, so it is likely that everyone who knows they love the taste of garlic will be trying them. Their verdict on McDonald’s actual implementation of garlic fries will determine whether Gilroy Garlic Fries become a regular menu item in many locations, perhaps even outside of California.


Consumer Reviews

McDonald’s USA Manager of Culinary Innovation, Michael Haracz, was enthusiastic about the new offering and had this to say: “We’re proud of the work done by local franchisees and the regional team to create this menu item with locally-sourced garlic and we look forward to introducing Gilroy Garlic Fries to our customers in the Bay Area.”

The company with the golden arches are doing lots of experimentation to find more menu items in several locations. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over 100 McDonald’s locations will test market Johnsonville Brats sausages. In Texas and Ohio, a number of McDonald’s are testing both a larger version of the Big Mac, and a smaller type.


Reviewers that were enthused with the new flavor of french fries include these positive comments:

  1. One video reviewer said he is a fan of Gilroy Garlic and loves the just right combination off garlic and spices on the new fries.
  2. “They are well worth the money and I’ll be getting them again before long. Not something that I would recommend having on a regular basis with a meal, but these are great on their own as a treat. If you hate garlic, you’ll hate these!”
  3. “Impressive combination of flavors! And not too much more pocket change to get.”

Here is an article covering taste tests of Gilroy Garlic Fries.

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