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  1. These are some business tycoons who started with nothing and climbed their way to dizzying heights of success: Howard Schultz of Starbucks Ralph Lauren of POLO Do Won Chang of Forever 21 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal Daymond John of FUBU Sam Walton of Walmart Kevin Plank of Under Armour Sara Blakely of Spanx Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic Read their stories at:
  2. Everybody knows the challenges and risks of starting your own business. As tempting and promising as it may seem in our imagination, there is always a lingering hesitation we find at the back of our heads whether we would be able to succeed. Everyone has to start somewhere, and many of the most successful entrepreneurs came from very humble beginnings. These entrepreneurs started small but grew their companies to worldwide brands. They started with nothing and still hit dizzying heights of business success. You might be sitting there today wondering how you can make your idea take off. Successful entrepreneurs started with tiny, humble beginnings and grinded their way to successful, widely known businesses through persistence and hard work. If you need some inspiration, we got you. Because what could be more inspiring than the life story of successful entrepreneurs and the story of how they made it to the top. Howard Schultz Howard Schultz is known for building the world-renowned brand Starbucks, but he started as an employee. He joined the Seattle-based company in 1982 as the director of retail operations and marketing. In 1983, Schultz took a trip to Italy and discovered there were 1,500 coffeehouses in Milan. He imagined starting a local coffee chain in the U.S. and quit Starbucks to start his own company. In 1987, Schultz bought the original Starbucks and began growing the global empire we know today. Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren graduated high school in the Bronx, New York, but later dropped out of college to join the US Army. He worked as a sales assistant at Brooks Brothers when an idea struck him to build his own clothing company. He wondered if men would be interested in exploring more colorful, bolder ties and incorporating them into their daily fashion. Lauren launched his business selling ties in 1967 and grossed $500,000 in sales in the maiden year. The next year, he launched Polo and built his company into the successful global empire that we know today. The Ralph Lauren Corporation is now a global multibillion-dollar enterprise and Lauren is a household name, counting A-list models and actors as close friends. As of 2018, Forbes estimates his wealth to be $7.2 billion, making Ralph Lauren the 91st richest person in America. “You have to create something from nothing,” and “The world is open to us, and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves.” Do Won Chang Who doesn’t know the fashion chain, Forever 21? With 794 chains worldwide and an annual net worth f $3.2 billion, one would find it hard to believe that its founder, Do Won Chang started as a janitor, at a gas station, and in a coffee shop when he first moved to America from South Korea before launching the retail empire in 1984. The first store he opened with his wife was 900 square feet in LA. He opened with only $11,000 in savings and dove all-in into the business. At first, the shop’s original name was Fashion 21 and most of the customers came from the Korean-American community. Not long after, the customer base expanded the name changed to Forever 21, which is now an international household name. His top tip? Never forget where you come from. Speaking to the LA Times, Won Chang said: “Forever 21 gives hope and inspiration to people who come here with almost nothing… The fact that immigrants coming to America, much like I did, can come into a Forever 21 and know that all of this was started by a simple Korean immigrant with a dream.” Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak The Apple Empire story started in a humble garage in Los Altos, California. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had just dropped out from their respective college courses and began developing consumer computer devices in Jobs’ parent’s garage in California. Before this, Steve worked an assortment of low-income jobs. After developing a couple of different models with Wozniak, it became clear that the pair would need more financing. So Jobs looked for a guarantor to get a bank loan for $250,000. When he died in 2011, he was said to be worth $10.2 billion. He’d built this up over time. He had a million dollars to his name in 1978, when he was just 23. As for his legacy? Well, it’s in our pockets, on our screens, at the cinema in the 2015 film Steve Jobs, and all around us. His advice for you? “Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” Sophia Amoruso Inspiration to many female entrepreneurs and fashion-followers, Sophia Amoruso is the founder of Nasty Gal. She began her empire by scouring the racks at second-hand stores and selling her vintage finds on eBay. She used the money from her sales to move her stock into a warehouse, and She utilized her network on the social media site MySpace to promote her online store. In 2016, her net worth was $280 million. But life wasn’t always an entrepreneurial journey. Amoruso lived a nomadic lifestyle as a young adult, hitchhiking on the West Coast and grabbing food from bins to survive. Although Amoruso admits she had no real strategy, she grabbed every chance she could get chance to pursue something she was passionate about. More recently, Amaroso has lost half of her fortune but her star is still rising. She continues to evolve her brand, focusing on a best-selling memoir, a coffee table book, and a binge-worthy Netflix series about her past, Girlboss. Her advice? “Everyone has a different personality in the workplace,” Amoruso said “By bringing your best self and not letting the small things sway you, that will allow you to keep rolling ahead in work and in life.” Daymond John Daymond John is mainly known as one of the investors of thefamous American TV show, Shark Tank, but he’s also the founder of the contemporary sportswear brand, FUBU. He started his clothing line using sewing machines at his mother’s house in Queens, New York. Today, FUBU flourished into a global brand, and John went on to invest in dozens of other successful companies. He’s also the author of four books and owns a co-working space in Manhattan. Sam Walton Founder of the American superstore, Walmart, Sam Walton had just returned to private life after serving in the US Army during World War II, when he opened his first retail store in 1945. He started with nothing to his name, and he had to borrow $25,000 from his father-in-law, which he used to purchase his first store. Walton ran the business with his younger brother and expanded the franchise to own 15 different stores. But the company that managed the franchise chain was not willing to expand into rural areas. This urged Walton to start his own business. By the mid-1970s, Walmart was valued at more than $176 million. Today, it has more than 11,000 stores worldwide and has an operating income of more than $21 billion in 2019. One of his key principles is to follow your path, not the path followed by others. “Ignore the conventional wisdom,” he says here. “If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.” Kevin Plank Kevin Plank started Under Armour using his savings and five different credit cards to afford his first store. In the first year of the company, he was broke and drowning in credit card debt. His big success came when he sold his clothing to Georgia Tech for $17,000.This purchase marked the take-off of his product and was used by NFL teams and picked up by major retailers. Today, Under Armour is a billion-dollar brand known across the world. Sara Blakely Sara Blakely was selling fax machines door-to-door when she started today’s largest collection of slimming intimates, Spanx. She used $5,000 of her savings as capital to start and climbed her way to success. To this day, she’s never taken on any funding and owns 100% of the company. She advises new entrepreneurs not to look to friends and family to validate their business idea, saying this “can stop a lot of multi-million dollar ideas in their tracks in the beginning.” Richard Branson Richard Branson is a British businessman whose name may be often associated with entrepreneurial success. But he came from a humble beginning, at one point believing he was “the dumbest person at school.” His first attempt at business was by founding Student Magazine that he launched in 1966. The youth magazines during that time were too “boring”, and his ideas for the magazine were considered “too revolutionary”. So he created a space that will allow fresh and new content that will interest the student audience. The magazine was a success, and this became a significant stepping stone for his future success. He’s now the founder of brands including Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money and his latest venture, Virgin Galactic — which he believes will be the world’s first space tourism company. “We didn’t need lots of money to start our first business, and that’s even truer today than it was back then,” he said as he encourages modern entrepreneurs to utilize the internet as much as they can to give their business a big break. His personality and unconventional business style garnered him awards, global fame, and fortune; he is now worth $4.2 billion. Lessons to Learn From Successful Entrepreneurs Who Started Small As these inspiring stories show, your background doesn’t define your future. Some of the people featured in this article were born into poverty, raised by single parents, or were even drowning in debts. And yet none of them let these “disadvantages” and “setbacks” hold them back in later life. Successful entrepreneurs know this clearly: Action is the only way to learn and move forward truly. The lack of wealth, in many cases, became the motivator for those who desire to build a better future. So don’t let your own life’s setbacks hold you back. Use them as fuel to power you forward on your entrepreneurial journey, too.
  3. The Point of Sale (POS) refers to the particular area in your store where customers pay for their purchases. The term is most often used to describe systems that keep tabs on financial transactions. Your POS could either be a cash register or a program integrated into your computer system that records and keeps track of the data that involves a business transaction to sell goods or services. This system is beneficial to manage retail stores as it is the most reliable tool for a store owner to manage and evaluate the overall business performance. POS varies in types and some offer simple features that can be seamlessly integrated on any PC or online-based system. At the same time, some offer a fully integrated system with mobile capabilities. Read the full blog here:
  4. Having an efficient Point of Sale system can go a long way, so you can rest assured that all your operations are centralized and work simultaneously. Retailers that invest the time and resources to administer such a system will reap the benefits. Here are some of the key features you should look for in a quality POS system for your retail store: Sales Process Sales Data Inventory Management Customer Relationship and Experience Loyalty Programs Employee Management Reporting Integrations Multi-store Inventory Management Full blog here:
  5. Running a retail store requires an array of skills in administration, management, and marketing. From ensuring that your inventory is stocked up to putting together monthly sales reports and summaries, these skills are necessary for your store to run smoothly. Having an efficient Point of Sale system can go a long way, so you can rest assured that all your operations are centralized and work simultaneously. What is a POS And How Does It Work in Retail? The Point of Sale (POS) refers to the particular area in your store where customers pay for their purchases. The term is most often used to describe systems that keep tabs on financial transactions. Your POS could either be a cash register or a program integrated into your computer system that records and keeps track of the data that involves a business transaction to sell goods or services. This system is beneficial to manage retail stores as it is the most reliable tool for a store owner to manage and evaluate the overall business performance. POS varies in types and some offer simple features that can be seamlessly integrated on any PC or online-based system. At the same time, some offer a fully integrated system with mobile capabilities. Retailers that invest the time and resources to administer such a system will reap the benefits. Key features of an effective POS System for retail stores Here are some of the key features you should look for in a quality POS system for your retail store: Sales Process The most crucial factor of a retail store is how fast it can provide service to the customers, most especially when it comes to paying for their purchases. Retails avoid jams and lines in your store. Barcode scanning is a key feature offered by POS that will make the payment process a lot quicker and more efficient. This feature will also help retailers categorize items and products. With just one scan of the barcode, the data can be keyed in as an accomplished sale. Sales Data One of the key features of an effective POS system is generating accurate real-time reporting for you on your sales results. It should do daily, hourly and real-time reporting. Today's POS system allows you to assess your sales performance in a yearly and dayparts. It should automatically analyze sales trends and provide you a business forecast based on those. Inventory Management In retail, cash is king. And the enormous ditch in retail cash performance is a fumbled inventory. A well-managed inventory system is a top feature your POS should be able to provide. It should be able to quantify inventory turnovers, sell-through rates, and even fill-in orders. A quality POS system will notify you when you are low on stocks and flag inventory that is not moving in your store. Your POS should also track down markdowns on certain inventories. A retail store should be able to perform an inventory count from time to time. Your POS solution should have a feature to conduct inventory count. Customer Relationship and Experience Many of the most successful retail stores have explicit knowledge of who their customer is, what they like and do not. Knowing your customers can give you a better idea of the kind of POS you should get for your business. POS systems store customer data and purchase history. This is a key feature that can improve your customer retention because it helps personalize the customer's experience. When you are setting up plans for advertisement and marketing, the collected data will help you select the exact customers interested in your sale. For example, in a fashion retail boutique, it would be a waste of money to send a sale flyer for a markdown on oversize T-shirts to a customer who wears a size 2. POS data on customer profiles can't help you avoid this kind of mistake. Loyalty Programs One of the best ways to optimize customer retention and entice recurring engagements to your retail store is an effective loyalty program. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to spend more money on retails with a solid loyalty program. Your POS system should be able to monitor these engagements for you. You may want to use the traditional punch cards to track their previous purchases, but it will be a whole lot better if your POS system can automatically track this for you so you can give the loyal customers their loyalty incentives. Employee Management Do you have the right staffing and staff performance to boost your sales? Do you have the right software to help you organize efficient staff scheduling, monitor their performance, including clock in, and clock out? One of the critical components of a POS system is an employee management system. It should track employee hours and sales performance as well. To help you track the sales performance and determine how productive your employees are, you can look at the metrics of each employee, indicating the number of sales made per hour. Imagine having four employees in your retail store all working the same time slots; how will you know which one is making the most profit. Reporting The POS system's ability to be able to generate customer reports for you is a crucial feature. Your system will have a set of predefined reports that you can run and monitor. Still, you have to make sure that your system provides you the ability to customize and tailor the information to your analysis. Look for a POS system that will show you weekly reports without you having to run it. Your sales report should also show your cost of goods sold, gross profit, margins, and tax, so you can better understand how much money is going back to your business. The report is a key feature because it is a great way to give you a platform to analyze your sales performance. It gives you forecasts based on your sales data, helps you make decisions for improvements, and also gives you a chance to celebrate if you have reached your goal. Integrations Add-ons and integrations can extend the capabilities of a cloud-based POS system. This means you can link your POS to another platform, such as accounting software, e-commerce platforms, and payment processors, so that data flows seamlessly from one system to another. For instance, if you integrate a payment gateway to your POS system, it should sync well and talk to each other. If you sync your system to, let's say, an online shopping cart, these two systems should be able to sync in your sales and inventory data so you can manage your stocks on both sales channels. Seamless integration allows you to make the most out of your POS system and helps you get a better grip on your overall business performance. Multi-store Inventory Management Multi-store Inventory Management is a critical feature if you're running more than one retail store or if you have plans of expanding to more branches in the future. You want your POS and inventory management system to give you centralized stock control capabilities to have the ease of managing products from multiple stores and monitor sales performance in different locations from one platform. A great feature of a quality POS solution is that it should be able to transfer stocks from one location to the next and generate reports for each store. This feature will save you the hassle of managing your stores from separate systems. So if you have plans of expanding your retail in the future, make sure you get a POS that can do everything from a single platform.
  6. There is no easy solution to the challenges faced by the retail world; however, understanding consumer behavior is a great place to start. It is best to have a good insight into consumer, retailer, and marketing trends to cope up with the changing times. Once you understand changing consumer behavior, it will be easier for you to adapt better in order to provide the customer service that will keep your business thriving. The secret is to adapt and stay competitive with the help of technology. Intelligent business owners utilize inventory management systems, POS, and other functional business tools to improve items management in their warehouses and stores and optimize the overall customer experience. It is also best to utilize both the online and offline platforms for your shop. You may keep your brick-and-mortar store up and running while having an extension in an e-commerce site or marketplace offering your products and services. This way you can have several platforms for customers to continue to reach your brand at their convenience. Read more here:
  7. Yes, retail apocalypse is real and it is currently happening around the world. Between 2010 and 2013, mall visits decreased by 50%, and the trend continued until the present. Even more, when pandemic struck in 2020, driving all physical retail stores shut. This occurrence has been happening in Southeast Asia for several years, but very few realize that this is the retail apocalypse. Retail apocalypse is an event where retail stores and retail business all over the world have shut due to changes in consumer behavior. Other cause and factors that drive retail apocalypse are the following: Rapid Growth in E-commerce Too many malls Poor retail management To learn more about the retail apocalypse and how cope with it, read this blog:
  8. Between 2010 and 2013, mall visits decreased by 50%, and the trend continued until the present. Even more, when pandemic struck in 2020, driving all physical retail stores shut. This occurrence has been happening in Southeast Asia for several years, but very few realize that this is the retail apocalypse. Despite growing optimism about the end of the pandemic, research has predicted that about 10,000 stores could close in the U.S. alone this year. This number will set a record high for a new trend in the retail world across the globe. The whole world was surprised when retail tycoons such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, and J.C. Penney closed down at the beginning of the year. Many call this phenomenon the “Retail Apocalypse.” This is a critical juncture for the retail industry. While many retailers are under severe pressure to survive, those privileged to make it through the pandemic are left with an opportunity to optimize a much stronger and more sustainable relationship with their customers. Giant retailers and multi-branch businesses collapse one after another, and many long-time running firms have eventually closed their outlets. Some people suspect that this occurs because the retail industry grew too fast over the years. The growth rate of shopping malls was almost twice the population’s growth. Other people point their fingers at the incredible rise of e-commerce. The change in consumer habits over the years towards online shopping is the impending doom for physical stores. There are already victims of the retail apocalypse in the United States and Europe. What are the causes of the retail apocalypse? There are four leading causes of the retail apocalypse worldwide and made many retailers out of business. Here are the details: Rapid Growth in E-commerce People blame the rise of e-commerce as the main culprit of the retail apocalypse. E-commerce changes people’s shopping habits from shopping in malls and other physical outlets to shopping from the comforts of their homes. Not only that, e-commerce can be very competitive in terms of price and promotions. E-commerce data proved that it experienced an increase in sales up to 11% – 20% during the holidays compared to retail stores,, which only experienced a rise of 1.6%. There are even several department stores that experienced a decline in sales. Although everyone looks forward to the new normal, it won’t be the same as the old normal. The pandemic has driven permanent shifts in consumer behavior. It has tipped many digital laggards over the brink — retailers unable to respond to customers’ moves online face a very challenging future. Too many malls The data states that the growth rate of malls in the United States exceeded the growth rate of the population. Despite the construction of new malls, mall visits declined by half and kept falling as time went by. Mall visits decline also aggravated by the change in consumer behavior. Recently, mall visitors prefer to spend their money on restaurants in a mall, rather than buying shoes or new clothes. This phenomenon is called the “restaurant renaissance.” The death of middle-class customers Sadly, many giant retailers whose target customers are middle-class customers cannot compete with larger chain stores that can sell at lower margins. With this, middle-class people prefer spending their money on cheaper stores. Eventually, independent retailers lost their customers and ended up closing their businesses. Poor retail management The final culprit that drove the retail apocalypse is poor retail management. Lousy inventory management can easily make merchandise out of stock. This makes customers prefer to shop online, which has better stock availability. The condition is made worse by the poor shopping experience. When we shop at a retail store, it lacks a unique customer experience usually offered by the convenience of online shopping. Surviving the retail apocalypse Not every physical retail store ends up closing its business during the retail apocalypse. Retail companies such as IKEA or Walmart have adapted and emerged as survivors in the retail industry. Not only that, but these two retail firms also managed to increase their sales in recent years. The secret is to adapt and stay competitive with the help of technology. Intelligent business owners utilize inventory management systems, POS, and other functional business tools to improve items management in their warehouses and stores and optimize the overall customer experience. Integrating an inventory management system with the Point of Sales (POS) system is a great way to make a better shopping experience. Not also facilitates the payment process, POS also helps retail stores in managing running promotions and customer loyalty. With the aid of technology in running your business, it is also best to utilize both the online and offline platforms for your shop. You may keep your brick-and-mortar store up and running while having an extension in an e-commerce site or marketplace offering your products and services. This way you can have several platforms for customers to continue to reach your brand at their convenience. There is no easy solution to the challenges faced by the retail world; however, understanding consumer behavior is a great place to start. It is best to have a good insight into consumer, retailer, and marketing trends to cope up with the changing times. Once you understand changing consumer behavior, it will be easier for you to adapt better in order to provide the customer service that will keep your business thriving.
  9. If you have started spreading the word that you want to dive right into the coffee shop business, you've most likely gotten some raised eyebrows from dubious friends and family. So if you need a little more push or encouragement, read on! Opening a coffee shop can be highly profitable if you do it right. Come to think of it, most specialty coffee shops are likely to be full of customers any time of the day enjoying coffee, espresso, lattes, teas, desserts, and an exciting variety of pastries. Wi-Fi and other work-friendly features have become unique factors why coffee shops have rose to popularity as favorite meeting hubs. When you start a coffee shop business, you get the best of both worlds by getting profit from something you are passionate about, and sharing your love for the legendary drink with other coffee lovers in the community. Not to mention, coffee is a drink for all seasons. Therefore the demand for coffee all year round should be at the least of your worries. Reasons why people go to coffee shops Quality Coffee Coffee has been around for hundreds of years. Originating in Arabia, it has since been cultivated across the world and is enjoyed in countless varieties. Now more than ever, people are ditching quick and easy coffee in search of great flavors and unique ideas. A Relaxed Social Space One of the main reasons we have seen an increase in the popularity of coffee shops over the last decade is their relaxed ambiance. This feeling is especially notable with coffee shops compared to other locations, such as restaurants, pubs, and fast-food chains. People come back to coffee shops because it offers a uniquely calm atmosphere, paired up with a soothing aroma of coffee that makes gatherings of family and friends more appealing. People seek to nurture more personal relationships and create more intimate moments in their lives now that most communications take place online. Coffee outlets offer the most conducive palace thanks to their pleasant atmosphere and accessibility to the local community. A Flexible Work Location In the digital age, people are becoming much more flexible with their working hours and locations. The old-fashioned nine-to-five working week has now been replaced by new routines designed for modern workers primarily in work-from-home setups. This transition is why many people, particularly those with flexible jobs or are self-employed, look towards the relaxed ambiance of coffee shops as the perfect location to conduct business. A good coffee shop will create a warm, cozy feel, yet at the same time provide spaces where people can sit and work in privacy. This balance is why coffee shops are becoming more popular than libraries when freelancing or working out of the office. With the growing number of people pursuing these working arrangements, coffee shops will only continue to become more popular. Coffee shops also make the ideal place for informal meetings and discussions, even for business people and office employees. What Does the Modern Coffee Consumer Want? Modern coffee consumers are becoming increasingly well-informed and aware of the importance of sustainability, especially when it comes to brands they get their daily commodities from. During the COVID-19 pandemic, figures have shown that people are now much more conscious of spending their money, as they start becoming more aware and supportive of smaller, local, ethical businesses. They seek for brand authenticity. They look for shops and brands that share and promote their shared beliefs. Modern consumers are willing to pay more and develop brand loyalty towards businesses with local and quality products. Benefits of the coffee shop business Coffee Never Goes Out of Style Trends may come and go, but the coffee culture will live forever. Plain old coffee has secured its spot as part of people's daily lives in every part of the world. Therefore, starting a coffee shop isn't like other new and trendy foods that might do well initially but die out in a year or two when people shift their attention to the next big thing. In the coffee world, you will never lack a market for your product, and not many b businesses have that as a bragging right. Some have even admitted that it is harder to quit caffeine than cigarettes. So, even though coffee shops are popping up more quickly than ever, demand is growing with it. It Can Be a Great Source of Extra Income The fail rate for coffee shops is only about 10%. Although it may take a while before your coffee shop business can give you significant profit, there's a good chance that you will start getting a respectable profit once you stabilize and get the hang of your market. Of course, this works provided that you work along with a solid business plan. Coffee shops can work both as a side project or as your primary source of income. Just make sure that before you go all in, you have already considered your business goals and objectives to plan accordingly. You Can Make it Your Own The close competition in coffee shops is an opportunity to utilize your ideas and creativity to develop a unique shop. Determine what you can bring to the trade that hasn't been seen before so you can throw in a personal twist on the traditional coffee shop model. You can use stylistic elements by adding amazing and unique food on the menu or having a theme or concept that sets your shop apart. There are cat cafes that allow you to adopt a cat while you sip your coffee, book cafes where customers can sit in silence while reading the books in your shop, and even cafes specifically for playing board games. You're in Control/ Be your own boss! As a coffee shop owner, you have the advantage of having control of how you run your business. You can switch up the menu, hire competent staff, give your social media marketing strategies a boost, whatever you think will do the trick of keeping your business running well. Unlike working for a company, you get to be the one who decides what ideas to implement and what is best for the shop as a whole. You Get to Be a Part of a Coffee-loving Community Coffee shops have become popular hubs for creative people. Whether it be writers, artists, or just residents working on a personal project, a café will never run out of creative energy. By opening up a local café, you can provide people in your neighborhood with a conducive space to work in. Before you know it, you can socialize and develop relationships with your regular customers and with other business owners in the community. There is a whole network out there where you can mingle with others in the coffee circles. There are even interactive events like coffee conferences and competitions to expand your knowledge and get to know even more people in the field. You Can Get As Flexible As You Want You can run your coffee shop depending on how much time and money you have to devote to it – it's totally up to you. If you want a fun side project that generates income, a coffee shop is a good choice. You can delegate many of the more time-consuming tasks to a few trained employees. Eventually, you'll have a self-sufficient shop that a manager runs for you. However, being a hands-on owner and manager is great because you get to see and interact with your employees and customers everyday. If you don't think a full-scale cafe is possible, a kiosk or even a food truck to start with is an excellent option to consider, then gradually expand in the future. It Will Hone Your Managerial Skills The experience of owning a coffee shop will certainly teach you how to be your own boss. It is one of the most secured ways to learn managerial skills, too. Starting business forces you to understand every aspect of the game from scratch and learn everything yourself. In the beginning, you'll have to train yourself to be self-motivated and develop the responsibility to run it during the initial phase. Pretty soon, you'll start negotiating with contacts and partners, and before you know it, you're hiring employees. This learning process allows you to gradually earn diverse business experiences so you can learn as you go. You will develop your skills in organization, communication, resourcefulness, and perhaps most importantly, leadership. It's Fun! If there is one reason people take a plunge into the coffee business, it would be for its coolness factor. Once your café rises to popularity, it can make it easier for you to get involved in the community surrounding your business; everyone will want to know who is responsible for that fabulous new café in the neighborhood! Besides, nothing is more fulfilling than watching your daydream turn into a thriving business. And even when things get a little challenging along the way, you will be more than motivated to get hands-on for your own business than you would for someone else's.
  10. Food holds the power to change our mood, our feeling and attitude toward something. It has a healing power – a protective blanket that touches our soul- almost like a therapeutic session. A good hearty meal can influence our perspective. But people sometimes tend to forget the fact that the food cooked in the home tastes different than the one cooked in the restaurant. When we set off to cook a meal, be it for our family or a romantic evening for two, we would often start with a vision in our heads of how we want the outcome to look and taste like. This vision usually bears a close resemblance to what we might find at a restaurant, with elegant plating, perfect flavors, and exact measurements and cooking. Unfortunately, what ends up on the plate in our homes rarely comes near to what you’ll find in a restaurant. And so today in this article we will try to answer the questions, "Why does restaurant food taste better than mine?" But before unravelling secrets, what makes restaurant food so special anyways? What makes restaurant food so special? Eating out can be fun. It can be adventurous, and it can bring people together over a meal that is both hearty and delicious. They say a lot of our best memories with our loved ones are spent over a scrumptious meal or a glass of wine. And although good food can be made at home thanks to cookbooks and the abundance of cooking tutorials on Youtube, people nowadays are busier, so spending time on cooking can be a daunting task and the result may not even be the same as expected. So the easiest and infallible route most would take when it comes to eating tasty food is in a restaurant. Soul food is the kind of food that one needs when in a bad mood- the kind of food that instantly cheers you up when you’re tired or having a bad day. Paired up with an inviting ambiance to set the perfect mood to create good memories, Soul food is the kind of recipe that the best restaurant chains around the world have mastered, enabling them to keep their customers coming back for more through the years. Although soul food mainly originated from home cooking, home cooking with the limited access to the best ingredients and equipment can only do so much when it comes to good and tasty food. Through the years, restaurants have acquired an excellent grasp on the techniques to serve their customers homemade-like hearty food that would fill them up both spiritually and physically. And now, to the main course, it’s time to unravel the secrets on why restaurant food tastes better. Why does restaurant food taste better? Restaurant kitchens run like well-oiled machines. The equipment is heavy-duty, the tools are the perfect ones for the job, and the cooks know every recipe like the back of their hand. Restaurant food has been cooked by people who have made it their sole mission to make tasty things. Home kitchens may look nice, but they’re never well-equipped to create restaurant-quality meals. Restaurants achieve their superb and precise quality through little more than training. There are several crafty ways that professional cooks and chefs manage to step up their food game. One of these factors is the ingredients and equipment. Lack of ingredients or the special type of kitchen equipment can affect the taste of food. As the restaurant has access to all these, home cooking is at a loss here. Time preparation is another factor. In this busy world where most of us are working, cooking food can sometimes be a hassle. Not many have the time to cook so if they normally cook, they choose those meals that require less time. But as patience is a virtue, foods that are cooked slowly and in the proper way, taste richer and tastier than those that are cooked rashly. Here are a few other points that makes restaurant dining experience special: Restaurants have a well-curated ambiance to set the mood that will eventually contribute to the best restaurant dining experience for their customers. Some restaurants will invest on high-quality, cozy and beautiful furniture and interior design, while others would opt to set the vibe of the place with lighting and even aroma. Eating out saves preparation time. All the food that is served and cooked by the restaurant is properly cooked, step by step which makes the food tasty. Ordering out or going out to eat at a restaurant means there are a lot of options to choose from. There are many restaurants that serve various cuisines. One can also order according to their mood. If one wants a salad, they can order that, if one wants junk food, it can also be ordered. The variety of options on the menu does not affect the taste of the food. The method of cooking is much more authentic. The steps in which food should be made may not be known to a home cook but a chef makes it perfectly creating a difference between the taste of food cooked at home and restaurant. One ingredient or cooking tool may change the taste or texture of the food. Restaurants have access to every ingredient, tool and equipment a recipe needs whereas in home cooking it may not happen. That is why taste varies. Presentation We eat with our eyes before our mouths, and restaurants spend a whole lot of time figuring out how a finished dish should look, from what kind of plate to use to which garnish pairs best. Salt In restaurants, cooks are very generous with salt. They season and salt every component of every dish, at every step of the cooking process. Especially when cooking big chunks of meat, like steaks or pork chops, always add a little more salt than you think. Hot Ovens Ovens in restaurants are amped up to 500 degrees or more often at full blast, all night. High heat cooks things faster, develops a nice crust, deep browning, and richness in flavour. Shallots You’d be amazed at the amount of shallots many restaurants use up. Shallots do wonders in just about any savory dish, and have a milder flavor than your regular spices like onions or garlic. They add a great depth of flavor. Stock Many fine restaurants create their own stocks with leftover vegetables, meat, and bones, and it adds a depth of flavor to any dish, especially when reduced. Butter Fat is flavor, as they say, and at restaurants the easiest way to spruce up the flavor is by throwing in lots of butter. That nutty flavor of those roasted vegetables, or the velvety texture of that sauce? That’s all butter.
  11. Great question! Since affiliate marketing program is becoming more and more nowadays, there are just so many affiliate marketing softwares to choose from! It all comes down to a basic understanding of you business' needs and objectives and a good grasp of the basic requirements of a good affiliate software, to help you with your decision. Here are some basic must-have's of a good affiliate marketing software: An interface that is accessible by you and your affiliates At the most basic level, you need a solution that is going to let you manage your affiliates, campaigns, and referral rates – and your affiliates need a place to go where they can monitor their own performance, have access to creatives, and seek assistance if needed. Integrations with the tools you use It’s important that the affiliate platform you use integrates seamlessly with any platforms or tools that you use in order for you to manage your program effectively and keep the process user-friendly for your affiliates. Reports and tracking Data is integral to figure out what’s working and what’s not; therefore, this should be a priority when choosing an affiliate platform. Data should include key performance indicators (or KPIs) like conversion rate, reversal rate, click-through rate, cost per click, lead, sale, incremental sales, revenue, number of sales actions, active affiliate rate, return on ad spend, average order value, and traffic growth. Customizable It’s important that the platform you choose makes it easy to add, edit, and manage any creatives you want to use. Quality support Does the platform you’re assessing have a proven track record of providing effective support to paid customers? This can make a huge difference down the line if you run into any issues that you can’t solve on your own. As with most software sold online, money-back guarantees are especially important because they remove any financial risk you assume when purchasing the product. Here are some of the best affiliate marketing software for small to medium business:
  12. Although yes, it is cheaper to build your own in-house affiliate marketing program that it is to tap into an existing network of affiliates, since a typical affiliate network would usually charge about 30% of your total online revenue, building it comes with about 6 basic steps. 1. Set goals for your program Just like all things in the world of marketing, it is important to start your game plan by determining your affiliate program’s goals and objectives. This clarity allows you to select the right affiliates and define your commission. 2. Setting up a strategy based on your goals and objectives Once your program objectives are defined, you need to set up the strategy that will help to reach them. This strategy may be apportioned into four parts: terms and conditions, setting Pay per Click (PPC) rules, approach to certifying sales, and recruiting the right affiliates. 3. Decide on the right affiliate commission First, decide whether you’ll pay a set amount for each sale, or a percentage of each sale affiliates make. 4. Recruiting the right affiliates There are two ways you can use to help you monitor your affiliate’s performance that will let you enroll affiliates, set up the links, and monitor their progress: You can use either an existing affiliate network or affiliate program software. 5. Train your affiliate team After you’ve recruited affiliates, brief them on your program’s terms and conditions, and have them sign an agreement to abide by these rules. 6. Keep track of how your affiliate program is doing After you’ve started your affiliate program, you’ll need to regularly track its success through your affiliate program software or the affiliate network you’ve signed up for. Learn more about building your own affiliate program here:
  13. Basically how affiliate marketing works is you tap into a network of affiliates to promote your products on their site. The affiliates are then paid a commission based on the amount of traffic, conversions, leads or sales generated by the promotion. By partnering with affiliates, which mostly consists of influencers, bloggers, paid search focused microsites, email lists and large media websites to help you promote your business. Since these are all done digitally, you can save yourself all the struggle dealing with the grueling monotony and daze of traditional marketing which involves physical interactions and passing of physical materials by letting other networks spread the word about your business for you online. It is a popular tactic to drive sales and generate significant online revenue. Here are a few of the advantages: Cost-saving Better understanding of the company products and customer needs Efficient marketing to cater to a fast digital market Total and customizable control of marketing materials Some disadvantages may be: Payment and commissions to your affiliates has to be done promptly and meticulously Reporting, which consists of data may take up some of your time Policing the program may take up some time for your affiliates to work effectively with your business Recruitment of affiliates may also be a grueling task if you do not know the right network or platform to tap Here are some blogs to walk you through a better understanding of affiliate marketing:
  14. An affiliate program is a digital marketing strategy where your business recruits partners, known as affiliates, to place links to your business on their website, blog, or social media page. It is a powerful marketing strategy to drive sales and generate significant online revenue by which a company taps into a network of affiliates to promote their products on their site. You then pay these affiliates a commission every time someone makes a purchase or visits your site via their affiliate link. By partnering with affiliates, which mostly consists of influencers, bloggers, paid search focused microsites, email lists and large media websites to help you promote your business, you will significantly expand your customer reach, provide leverage to your marketing campaigns and eventually boost sales. There are two ways to have an affiliate program: One is through an already existing affiliate network and the other is by using your in-house tracking solution, or by using a affiliate marketing software. Here are some blogs to walk you through a better understanding of affiliate marketing:
  15. Affiliate marketing is a powerful marketing strategy by which a company taps into a network of affiliates to promote their products on their site. The affiliates are then paid a commission based on the amount of traffic, conversions, leads or sales generated by the promotion. By partnering with affiliates, which mostly consists of influencers, bloggers, paid search focused microsites, email lists and large media websites to help you promote your business, you will significantly expand your customer reach, provide leverage to your marketing campaigns and eventually boost sales. It is a popular tactic to drive sales and generate significant online revenue. With this, you can save yourself all the struggle dealing with the grueling monotony and daze of traditional marketing by letting other networks promote your business for you, so you can focus on more important things to run your firm. This is the concept of affiliate marketing. Sounds good, right? But how do you tap into a network of affiliates to begin with? This is where affiliate marketing software comes in. Affiliate marketing software are solutions that offers a proprietary network that connects businesses with affiliates. It allows advertisers to grow, track, and manage affiliate marketing campaigns through the use of automations that can monitor online revenues, engagements, fulfill commissions, and generate reports and summaries through a centralized and customizable dashboard that can be viewed by both the business and the affiliates. Businesses may also use partner management software to optimize relationships with their sales partners, including affiliates. Point to consider when looking for an affiliate marketing software An interface that is accessible by you and your affiliates At the most basic level, you need a solution that is going to let you manage your affiliates, campaigns, and referral rates – and your affiliates need a place to go where they can monitor their own performance, have access to creatives, and seek assistance if needed. Integrations with the tools you use It’s important that the affiliate platform you use integrates seamlessly with any platforms, plugins, eCommerce, membership, or communication tools that you use in order for you to manage your program effectively and keep the process user-friendly for your affiliates. Reports and tracking Data is integral to figure out what’s working and what’s not; therefore, this should be a priority when choosing an affiliate platform. Data should include key performance indicators (or KPIs) like conversion rate, reversal rate, click-through rate, cost per click, lead, sale, incremental sales, revenue, number of sales actions, active affiliate rate, return on ad spend, average order value, and traffic growth. Customizable It’s important that the platform you choose makes it easy to add, edit, and manage any creatives you want to use. Quality support Does the platform you’re assessing have a proven track record of providing effective support to paid customers? This can make a huge difference down the line if you run into any issues that you can’t solve on your own. As with most software sold online, money-back guarantees are especially important because they remove any financial risk you assume when purchasing the product. List of Top Affiliate Marketing Software ( for small businesses) PartnerStack If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward customizable set of tools to manage your affiliate program, PartnerStack is one of the best options in the market for you. They built their platform on the emphasis of not only making your business successful but also your partners’. It is the only platform built for SaaS, designed to deliver predictable revenues and optimize growth for eCommerce businesses and their partners. With PartnerStack, businesses can easily create and launch new affiliate programs that are easily customizable based on their goals. They also have a referral solution so your business can fully monitor the activities of your customers and accurately compute the traffic they generate. There is a reward program that incentivizes customers based on referrals. Every affiliate partner on PartnerStack gets access to their own dedicated dashboard that makes it easy to assess their performance, access resources, claim payments, and explore other new programs to be a part of. Post Affiliate Pro Post Affiliate Pro is intuitive, efficient, effective, and infinitely expandable and customizable. It is a software solution that can track the affiliate networks of your online business or eCommerce websites. Its special components include tracking features, campaign automation options, as well as payout management tools so that you can check affiliate performance at ease and make sure that their commissions are paid on time. You will be given access to the Merchant panel and your affiliates to the affiliate panel so that they can see their stats and manage and have easy access to the promotion materials. Starting with a fee of $97.00 per feature per month, this affiliate software runs your entire affiliate program from top to bottom. ClickBank Whether you’re new to performance marketing or an established online business looking to scale, Clickbank will enable you to grow sales while minimizing the work. ClickBank is one of the largest marketing and sales platforms on the web, with thousands of products and companies of different niches in their network. No wonder, the company has been around for more than two decades. It has over 200 million customers worldwide and has garnered a strong reputation with bloggers, entrepreneurs, and digital marketers over the years. It provides merchants with a range of powerful and useful product insight, research, and reporting tools for your e-commerce website that is guaranteed to help give you sales funnels for driving traffic to your product sales pages. Some of their features that are well praised by their worldwide users include their reliability in payments and the ability to set your own payment threshold. Rakuten Marketing Affiliate With over 20 years of experience in affiliate and performance marketing, Rakuten Marketing Affiliate has been on top of its game in connecting consumers with brands and products. They bring together advertisers with valuable audiences and help publishers monetize their content. From affiliate screening to performance monitoring, this platform can easily help you achieve your marketing goals by tracking and managing the performance of your affiliate programs. What’s more, it comes with more advanced tools such as brand protection and program optimization to help you move your campaigns forward. In terms of benefits, this is one of the easiest affiliate networks to use. You can get approved by many affiliate programs once you accomplish their simple sign-up process. There are huge brands that you can promote through Rakuten, and you can also create links and banners with ease. Impact Impact is another well-known partnership automation software that specializes in helping brands scale every type of partnership, including affiliates, influencers, strategic business partners, mobile apps, publishers, and more. It automates every stage of the partnership process from discovery, recruitment, onboarding, engagement, and optimization. Over the years, it became the go-to affiliate solution platform for marketers, affiliate managers, and business development leaders. With their wide network of brands and affiliates, it enables you to search by brand to see who is driving traffic for your competitors. and identify partners by content based on search rankings to ensure a fitting and dynamic collaboration. Everflow Everflow allows businesses to fully benefit from what referral marketing has become today. It is a reliable, cloud-based partner marketing tracking platform designed to help performance marketers conveniently manage affiliates and ad campaigns. It takes pride in its simple, clean experience and powerful affiliate marketing features that enable users to automate, track, manage and analyze their marketing campaigns from a centralized dashboard. Everflow pricing starts at $395.00 based on usage per month for up to 50K clicks. CAKE Cake is a cloud-based affiliate marketing solution designed to help businesses in the performance marketing industry such as advertisers, networks, and publishers to manage partner campaigns using custom targeting, whitelisting, reporting, and data security tools. Their highlight features include campaign management, lead generation, rewards distribution, partner marketing, and contact management. The platform enables businesses to manage, measure and optimize marketing performance in real-time and can measure click and conversion rates based on custom targeting parameters. Fintel Connect Fintel Connect’s affiliates are dedicated to financial services, making it less arduous for brands to find a partner who can promote their services. The network of publishers also benefits by being able to easily find companies that they can work with. With Fintech, brands in financial services can gain access into a network of affiliate marketers who are focused on banking and fintech and find the right partner who can help them broaden their audience reach. All they have to do is sign up and choose the best candidate among the affiliate members. Fintel Connect has a team of experts that assists merchant clients and publishers in ensuring that their needs and requirements are met. So if you’re a business client, you can get help from a team of seasoned marketers to grow your program. TUNE (formerly HasOffers) Tune is one of the industry’s most flexible SaaS platforms for building, managing, and growing partner programs and networks. It is trusted by innovative affiliate marketers, iconic brands, and some of the largest global performance advertising networks, including Shopify, Groupon, Chewy, Credit Sesame, and Grammarly. The TUNE platform was designed to work for any partner across any digital channel, including app, mobile web, and desktop. It provides performance automation tools to help streamline workflows and reduce repetitive manual tasks while giving you protection from fraud as it automatically detects and rejects click fraud. It also has easy-to-use payout rules with customizable pay periods, currencies, and payment processors to increase transparency and trust. Partnerize Hundreds of the world's largest brands use Partnerize real-time technology to manage more than $6B in partner programs and financial exchanges across 214 countries and territories worldwide. They simplify partner management with the use of proprietary AI and machine learning to help you optimize performance. Partnerize allows you to find and convert target audiences at scale with automated, data-driven partner discovery and recruitment and Make data-driven decisions with real-time analytics and actionable insights.

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