5 Points To Remember When Operating A Franchise Restaurant

Investing in a franchise can alleviate much of the risk of starting a new business, but success may be far from certain for many franchise operations. Proper planning, careful decision making and understanding the efforts involved in restaurant operation can all be essential for ensuring success as a franchise owner. Business owners who know what to expect and those who remember the following points when operating their franchise may be able to avoid or even eliminate many of the most serious obstacles and missteps which can threaten their business.

1. Choosing the Right Franchise 

Owners who fail to choose a franchise that fits their interests and individual strengths could be making a disastrous mistake. Management styles, available resources and long-term business goals are all concerns that need to be taken into account before selecting a franchise to invest in. Prospective owners who fail to make this decision with due care and consideration may be placing themselves in a very tricky situation.

2. Consulting with an Attorney 

Franchise agreements that are overly strict can bind the hands of business owners who may require a little flexibility in order to better manage their operation or situation. Speaking with a lawyer before agreeing to a franchise agreement is always a smart move. Owners may be able to find more gray area and room to operate within a franchise contract than they might have expected.

3. Always Consider the Needs of the Customers 

While regional and even national franchises offer the benefit of being a known commodity, even minor differences among customer populations can make a difference. The needs, tastes and habits of their customers and how they may differ from the expected norm are something that all franchise owners need to take into account. Even the most established franchise may be unable to succeed should restaurant owners loose sight of their customer’s needs.

4. Selecting the Right Location 

The wrong location can doom a restaurant to failure before it ever opens its doors. A little research and additional planning can go a long way towards ensuring that future owners are able to identify and select the sites that will be most suitable for their franchise operation. Basing a business in the wrong area or part of town could result in far more significant problems than many owners might imagine.

5. Addressing Future Issues as They Arise 

No contract agreement, standing policies or operational guidelines can account for every eventuality. Being able to adapt to changing circumstances or to better utilize evolving customer trends are points that should never be overlooked when operating a franchise restaurant. Ensuring that any long-term concerns or ongoing issues are able to be effectively addressed or managed can be a critical step in ensuring the future success of a franchise restaurant.

5 Tips for Dealing with Angry Employees

Angry employees can quickly sink the work ship, filtering negativity, hostility, bad attitudes, unproductive behaviors, and unfair workloads to other employees and possibly taking out their anger directly on customers, coworkers, and supervisors. As disastrous as having an angry employee is all around, work environments are often inevitably Petri dishes for growing anger and frustration due to the high demand and stresses of most jobs today. From nurses and sandwich artisans to cosmetologists and salespeople, no one seems to be immune from becoming an angry employee.

The demands and stresses may not necessarily be amendable, but employers can take measures to deescalate and diffuse angry employee situations so that the work ship can be righted. Let’s look at five tips to productively handle angry employees.

1. Managers Can’t Get Sucked Into The Vortex Of Negativity 

Mangers, supervisors, and HR are the first responders when it comes to angry employees. As such they must approach the situation with a healing mindset and skill set. An article by Forbes offers some key manger skills to keep in mind:

• Listen & Understand – an employee may have a legitimate or misunderstood reason for their anger that can be solved if it’s heard and understood by supervisors. In any case, the situation will never be solved by ignoring or dismissing a problem.

• Give Feedback – frustration often arises when an employee doesn’t know what they’re doing wrong. From their perspective, they’re doing what’s been asked and not getting satisfactory results. Constructive criticism and clear feedback can eliminate such miscommunications.

• Document – whether it be as a record of a problem employee for termination purposes or to examine patterns that may be causing employee discontent, document incidences.

• Be Consistent- say what you mean and mean what you say, and don’t selectively apply rules.

• Set Concrete Consequences – outline what’s expected, in what timeframe, and what the results will be if the goal isn’t met. Employees must believe and understand that negative behavior begets negative results.

• Go By Company Policy – ensure every action, whether that be issuing a certain number of warnings or pulling the trigger on immediate termination, is inline with company policy.

• Remain Professional – don’t escalate the situation by talking about the employee with other employees, engaging in screaming matches, or otherwise stepping out of a professional role.

• Don’t Contaminate Your Mindset – mentally degrading the employee skews neutrality in giving the employee a place to be heard and receive objective feedback.

2. Hit The Pause Button To Gather Facts

To gain perspective on the employee’s behavior, it’s helpful to just observe. Look at how they interact with others, performance, attitude, and so forth throughout each work application. Some tips:

• Remember to focus on the behaviors, not the person.

• Keep the observations professional and supportive, not judgmental.

• Don’t assume malicious intent. Sometimes, employee anger can come from confusion, fear, or personal problems infiltrating work hours.

3. Make A Plan 

Develop a plan based on the facts observed. What behaviors merit guidance, redirection, training, discipline, or termination for the employee? Are there any policies and procedures that really are flawed and creating a merited employee grievance?

4. Implement The Plan With A Meeting 

LinkedIn suggests immediately scheduling an employee meeting to prevent angry employee problems from escalating and infecting other employees. Here are some key points to keep in mind when calling a meeting with a disgruntled employee:

• Collect facts and immediately set up an employee meeting.

• Do it privately, preferably a one-on-one environment.

• Open by asking the employee to explain what has them upset.

• Stick to the facts and don’t get distracted by irrelevant data.

• Encourage other employees to continue their own tasks as management works to find a solution.

5. Follow Through & Follow Up 

It’s crucial to follow through with any objectives or promises made during the initial meeting with an angry employee. If, for example, the employee had a valid complaint about a work process and supervisors said they’d look into it, then they should and schedule a follow-up meeting to explain their findings to the employee and what will be expected from that point forward. Likewise, follow up meetings should involve following through with any consequences for behaviors not rectified.

6 Things Every Truck Driver Should Know About DOT Violations

The DOT-Department of transportation carries out inspections on trucks weighing 10,001 pounds. This is to ensure that the truck parts and the vehicles are in excellent condition. Truck drivers also undergo an examination.

Truck drivers with a tendency to perform pre-trip inspections regularly avoid many DOT violations due to compliance with the investigation.

Also, use of electronic logging devices makes investigations efficient to DOT inspectors as well as the truck driver.

1. Preparation

Perform a pre-inspection on your own. Note of the things that might cause a violation on your inspection report. Organize yourself by keeping all needed documents in an accessible place.

Listen to what the inspector tells you and follow the instructions. Ask for clarification if you can’t understand politely. Be orderly too.

2. The DOT inspection

Contrary to the popular opinion that the DOT is in charge of determining the inspection stages, the government partners with the trucking industry to set inspection standards.

Stage 1: inspection involves truck inspection, documentation and the driver at the station.

Stage 2: involves checking of the paperwork and ensuring that they concur with the reflection on the truck.

Stage 3: inspectors check on your electronic log as well as onboard credentials.

Stage 4: the inspectors seek to collect information supporting the latter study. It’s often done mechanically for the violations indicated during the inspection.

Stage 5: inspection is done as a review of compliance. However, it can be done depending on a request from a company.

Stage 6: inspection is only performed for truck drivers that handle radioactive substances. A special permit is required.

3. Paperwork

As a truck driver, various documents will be required depending on the goods you transport. They include Truck and trailer registration, driver’s license, electronic log, IFTA card, permits, US DOT hazard permit, special permit, written route plan, MSDS, oversize load permit, FMCSR regulations copy, landing bills.

4. Violations

Falsification of logs, out of date electronic records are the commonly detected violations. Others include oil leakages, brake problems, tires and load security, for hazmat substances: expired permits and improper placards.

5. Outcomes

In case of violations, there are out of service and non-out of service warrants by the inspector. The non-out of service may warrant tickets to truck drivers or forgiveness at times.

The out of service is whereby you acquire a card even though you are a truck owner. In most cases, the inspection officers, take you to the nearest town and leave you frustrated.

6. Caution

Be courteous at all times as a driver since you never know what might happen. Hope for the best.

Adhere to rules and regulations to avoid DOT violations that could land you in trouble as a truck driver.

5 Tips for Finding an Accounting Firm for Your Small Business

The right accountant for your small business will go a long way in saving you time and money. Besides, a good accountant will help you grow your small business over the years. Every coin counts; hence, every small business owner needs to understand where their business stands on a monthly basis and at the end of the year too. While you might be considering investing in do-it-yourself accounting software, the benefits of hiring accountants extend beyond balancing accounts and preparing financial reports. However, not everyone who poses as an accountant is the right professional to steer your small business to its growth. Therefore, you need to choose a good accountant by getting referrals or paying attention to specific essential tips to help you get a good accountant.

Find an accountant who understands your needs 
Communication is vital in every relationship, and your relationship with your accountant is not an exemption. It is paramount that your accountant understands your accounting needs or the tasks that they will be required to perform before you sign a contract with them. Also, let the accountant set clear goals based on their responsibilities. You need to choose an accountant who is eager and willing to work with your business and deliver within the stipulated time.

Consider the qualifications 
You need to look beyond the accountant’s resume to ensure that you hire a good accountant. You need to pay attention to other essential traits such as communication and honesty. Besides, the accountant will have to work with other employees in your business, which requires effective communication. Also, ensure that the accountant has the necessary traits for the type of business accounting that your business needs.

Understand what you require 
One of the essential tips you require is to understand your accounting needs before you hire an accountant. You need to distinguish between accounting needs such as filing taxes, payroll preparation, preparing financial statements, and processing invoices and accounts payable. You should create a list of the accounting services required in your business so that you get the right accountant for the tasks.

Certified accountant
Every state has professional bodies that regulate accountants. Therefore, you need to choose a chartered or certified accountant to be sure that they meet the qualifications and that they maintain high professional standards. You can be sure that a certified accountant will add value to your small business, which impacts positively on its growth.

Hire an accountant who does financial analysis 
A qualified accountant will not only complete accounting tasks but also review the financial health of your small business. Ideally, the professional will get essential health indicators such as net profit on a daily basis. It goes a long way in keeping you informed about your financial health, which is critical in making informed business decisions.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit

You should always be actively improving your nonprofit organization. Whether you are a charity, I trade association, a church, or any other nonprofit, there are several ways for you to make improvements.

Update Your Logo
Your logo is a part of your brand. The colors, shapes, and designs will impact how people view your organization. It is important to consider what your logo says and how it will make people feel. When you want to increase your membership or increase awareness about what your organization does inside your community, your logo needs to speak for itself.

Expand Your Board of Directors
The Board of Directors for your nonprofit is responsible for making key decisions. If you have the same people on your board you’re after year, there may be a significant amount of stagnancy. You should look at expanding your board to include new members of the community. This new blood may be exactly what your board needs in order to develop new thoughts and create new ideas. It may be what’s needed to take your organization to the next level.

You may also want to consider updating your bylaws to minimize the number of years a person can serve on the board or within a particular position.

Utilize Direct Marketing
There are all sorts of ways for you to fundraiser for your nonprofit. Fundraising is what will often give you the money to build awareness and do good for the community.

Direct marketing allows you to cut out the middleman and go directly to consumers. It is often more affordable. Particularly with a nonprofit, it also allows you to share your message with the people who would be providing you with the funds. You can take a more personal approach, which is more likely to get people to connect with the message so that they will donate.

Get Connected with Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are a great way to get the word out about your nonprofit. People can’t support you if they don’t know about you. Profiles are free to create. You can then share information about what is going on, such as a special event or an upcoming fundraiser.

Build on Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement may be outdated or not cohesive enough for people to know what you are all about. Consider revising it so that people can read it and instantly know what your goals are.

Your nonprofit is there to do good. Now, you have to look at incorporating a few ideas to ensure everyone else knows that it’s there to do good, too. Tell people how they can help and you may be surprised by how many choose to get involved.

4 Safety Issues to Consider When Designing a Laboratory Setup

It is essential for all developing countries to promote a safety culture by all means. The best thing that they should do is to understand the chemical cycle in the laboratory from their manufacture until their disposal. The following are some of the safety issues that should be considered when designing a laboratory setup.

 

Management of hazardous waste

 

All laboratory technicians should fully comprehend and be aware of several things that involve the chemical life cycle within the facility such as how they are delivered after being purchased, stored, converted into waste, used, packaged, treated and disposed of.

 

When the technicians can understand the above things, safety will be promoted inside and outside the laboratory. This way, the lives of the residents nearby will not be put at risk. Also, complying with the measures will aid in cost containment.

 

Regulations and codes

 

The renovation and construction of laboratories are regulated by local and state laws that incorporate acceptable standard practices that are set out unvarying codes. These regulations are administered at a county, municipal or a regional level.

 

Some of these codes requirements affecting many laboratory construction projects include the following

 

• Control of dangerous/hazardous gases

 

• Building heights that are interdependent on the chemical usage

 

• Emergency power supply to maintain crucial life-safety systems, e.g., fire detection

 

• Ventilation and fire prevention

 

Any project that is set up must comply fully with fire, building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical codes.

 

Chemical vapor emission control

 

Large laboratories are bound to emitting immense amounts of gases some of which are known as HAPs (hazardous air pollutants.) Many of these vapors are dangerous and harmful to people’s health and the environment. For this reason, before setting up a laboratory, it is crucial to design an appropriate means of dealing with vapor emissions.

 

During designing of laboratories, developing strategies to treat vapors emitted from fume chambers has become a daunting task. Therefore, this is an issue that should be dealt with at the early stages before even starting the laboratory construction. Designers should ensure that there is a space left that will adequately accommodate emission control technology in future.

 

Liquid effluent control

 

It is easier to deal with fluid effluent compared to gaseous emissions. However, this does not mean that liquid effluent control measures should be taken lightly. During laboratory designing, designers should note that sinks are not used anymore for hazardous laboratory waste disposal. Instead, the liquid effluent should pass inside a system made to neutralize acids to adjust their pH thus controlling environmental pollution.

 

The above safety issues should be adhered to when designing a laboratory setup. By so doing, the technicians will prevent having trouble with the local government, and most importantly, peoples’ safety will be upheld.

5 Things to Understand Before Giving Your First Business Presentation

Presentations are very important in the world of business. If you get your objectives succeed, you can open new doors for a promotion, a new job, or funding for your new business enterprise. On the contrary, you could leave with a lost reputation or a damaged opportunity if you fail. For you to go on stage and wing it, the stakes are often too high.

Most people or professionals, unfortunately, don’t understand how to prepare for a powerful presentation. They often lay much focus on the colorful PowerPoint slides, or memorize some facts to scare the audience rather than looking at the environment you will be carrying out the presentation. Before you commence your presentation outline, ask yourself about the following five questions.

1. Know your Audience
Never assume you have the answer to this fact as it is important. Pretend you are an entrepreneur with a new product, and a fried wants it presented to his company. While you may meet your friend and few company workers, you may end up meeting the company president. Each situation requires a unique approach with different formality levels.

2. Understand how Big the Audience may be

Knowing this will help you prepare effectively even if it is about the actual presentation than the documentation. You will need to be direct and concise with large audiences. Always keep their attention with eye contact and minimal interruptions. You will pace your presentation slowly with a small audience. A range is suitable if you don’t know the number of people you expect to meet.

3. The Presentation Location
This action will assist you to prepare well enough before the presentation day. Imagine you own a small prototype that you want the company to know. If you meet on a table, you can carry it for presentation. You will need a visually accessible medium if you are presenting it to a large audience. Knowing the location will allow you prepare your voice and understand the acoustics of the room.

4. The Materials Available for you
This is the basic part of the presentation process. If you have the presentation in PowerPoint, consider the use of a laptop or a flash disk. Will they have a microphone or will you need to project your voice? These are the questions that you will use to understand what is necessary and how to prepare for the presentation.

5. The Duration of your Speech
This is a problem that many people overlook. Don’t assume how long you need to speak. You could be the audience if you extend the duration of speech longer than expected. You may also look unprepared if you spend less time. Preparation is paramount.

When you are better prepared for your audience, you have high chances of performing better.

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4 Team Building Exercises to Bring a Diverse Workforce Together

Teamwork and camaraderie are important components of any thriving organization. Research suggests that promoting diversity and a team-oriented culture can drive innovation, spark creativity, reduce turnover, and improve employee morale.

However, engaging a diverse workforce can be harder than it looks. Everyone comes from a variety of backgrounds and interests, and finding common ground can be difficult. Here are four team building exercises that will challenge your diverse workforce to come together and learn from one another:

Personality Assessments
There are a ton of personality assessments available on the market. These products can be a fun tool for self-exploration, but can also be eye-opening when it comes to communication in the workplace. Participants will learn how to communicate more effectively and may discover new ways of interacting with their counterparts. Consider hiring a facilitator to complete this exercise with your group. The result is likely to surprise you.

Create Job Shadowing Opportunity
Often, employees will stay in their work bubble and fail to learn about other aspects of the organization. This can hinder progress and harm an employee’s ability to interact with other members of the organization. As a leader, consider sponsoring “job shadowing” days where employees can pair with another member of the organization and learn more about their work demands and habits. This exercise fosters respect which leads to an increase in the company’s overall view of “team”.

Design a Charity Challenge
Philanthropy is a huge part of most organizational goals, so why not use this as a platform for team building? You can sponsor a donation drive and ask employees to work in assigned teams to donate a set amount of items. You can make it a goal-oriented drive, or a competition between departments. Either way, this idea drives excitement and team building and also demonstrates a commitment to helping others.

Sponsor a Party
Another great way to encourage team building and camaraderie is through a fun party day at work. Employees appreciate the opportunity to mingle with their co-workers in a non-work environment. It helps them see the more playful side of their co-workers who may normally be business-oriented all day during work hours. It also shows appreciation for their hard work. Parties can range anywhere from a simple happy hour to more extravagant options like an on-site carnival or themed show.

These are just a few of the many ways you can foster teamwork and camaraderie with a diverse workforce. Team building takes time and planning, but the reward is well worth the effort.

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4 Ways to Close A Business Deal Through Negotiating

A lot of people want to be able to handle business deals properly. The problem with many individuals is that their people skills are poor. Closing business deals requires being good at people skills. In order to determine the people in your organization who are good at closing business deals requires a simple psychological test.

1. Know The Negotiating Personalities
There are some brains who have a knack for sales. There are many brains who are poor at it. The people who are great at closing business deals are extroverts. That means they have an outward push toward their environment, rather than letting their environment act on them. Introverts tend to let their environment act on them. The personalities that are excellent at closing business deals include the ENTP, ENFJ, ESFJ, and ESTP. All of these have a knack for people and they are excellent communicators. ENTP’s make great politicians. ENFJ’s are wise and kind kings who attract a big audience. ESFJ’s are friendly waiters who serve others tirelessly. ESTP’s are energetic adventurers who encourage people. Brains terrible at negotiating include the INTJ, ENTJ, INFP, ISTJ, ESTJ, ISTP, and ISFP.

2. How To Close The Deal
The most powerful tool for selling anything is listening. Most people want an audience to talk to. This is because most people are social extroverts. Being the person who listens makes you far more effective. The second most powerful tool for closing a business deal is compassion and compromise. Taking on the needs of others as your own is what makes your business far more interesting to the customer.

3. Have A Useful Product Or Service
Painting a trash can gold does not change the fact that it is a trash can. Customers are interested in your business if it is selling gold quality products and services. The more ignorant may still buy gold trash cans. However, practicing this activity is unethical and it hurts people immensely.

4. Reach Untapped Markets
Trying to be the last duck to the pond makes the pond crowded. The smart ducks look for new ponds. One way to find new ponds is to figure out what your competitors are afraid of. Try some of their fears, and you will see many new opportunities appearing.

Business negotiation is based on character and ethics. Properly following your customers makes them want to follow you. Refusing to follow your customers makes them unlikely to follow you. Your company will benefit as group listening skills and compassion for people increase.

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4 Qualities to Consider When Purchasing a Briefcase

Briefcases are a staple in the business community. They have been the preferred method for carrying important documents and materials for decades. With so many briefcase options however, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are countless different styles, materials and price ranges. To help simplify this process, here are four qualities to consider when purchasing a briefcase.

1. Price

When searching for briefcases, many will realize the vast range of prices. More affordable briefcases can begin around $100 while more expensive ones exceed $1,000. The price of a briefcase is one of the first qualities to consider. Generally, it is recommended that those purchasing their first briefcase begin on the cheaper end of the spectrum. This ensures that nobody makes a significant purchase on a briefcase that they don’t end up using. Fortunately, a majority of the higher pricing is simply due to the exclusivity of upscale brands. Solid and stylish briefcases can still be purchased for an affordable price.

2. Durability

Whether someone invests in an expensive briefcase or not, durability is always an important factor to consider. No one wishes to have a briefcase fall apart after only a few months of use. In fact, briefcases should be able to last at least a few years of heavy use. The material from which the product is made will be one of the greatest determining factors of durability. Generally, leather is regarded as a strong and durable material. For those who do not want to use leather however, there are several other options as well.

3. Look

The look of a briefcase is one of the more superficial qualities to consider when making a purchase. However, when considered as a part of an individual’s overall presentation, the look of a briefcase becomes critical. Much of the trust and engagement generated in business relies heavily upon appearance. People may be more willing to work with an individual who takes care of their appearance. When considering a specific look for a briefcase, it is important to consider what kind of image a person wants to convey. It would behoove an individual to purchase a briefcase that most closely resembles that image.

4. Ergonomics

The most practical quality to consider when purchasing a briefcase is ergonomics. This term simply refers to the products design for efficiency. While price, durability and style are all valuable qualities to consider, the actual functionality of a briefcase is all that truly matters. Every buyer must consider their intended use for a briefcase and determine what design will fulfill their needs. For example, businessmen who require organization of many documents may require more individual pockets. This is the most pragmatic solution for purchasing the perfect briefcase.