Essential Cash Advance Ideas You Ought To Stick to

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In today’s world of quick speaking salesclerks and cons, you should be a well informed customer, conscious of the important points. If you realise yourself inside a monetary pinch, and looking for a quick payday loan, continue reading. The next report will give you suggestions, and suggestions you need to know.

Opt for your references wisely. Some payday advance businesses require you to label two, or about three references. These are the basic men and women that they can phone, if you have a problem so you can not be reached. Make certain your recommendations can be achieved. Furthermore, make certain you notify your recommendations, that you are currently using them. This will assist them to anticipate any phone calls.

Your credit history history is important when it comes to pay day loans. You may nonetheless can get that loan, nevertheless it will probably cost dearly using a atmosphere-substantial rate of interest. In case you have excellent credit score, payday loan providers will prize you with better interest levels and unique repayment courses.

Contact the payday advance organization if, there is a downside to the repayment schedule. What you may do, don’t disappear. These firms have fairly aggressive selections divisions, and can be difficult to cope with. Well before they take into account you delinquent in settlement, just give them a call, and tell them what is happening.

When you are considering a cash advance, take into account getting a advance loan on your own bank card alternatively. Even if your curiosity on your bank card is higher above 25Per cent it can be nonetheless less expensive than the interest on payday loan. With a cost of 15Per cent on a two-few days loan, which can be rather standard, the twelve-monthly interest tops 400%.

Most pay day loans usually do not require a credit rating verify, as a result leading them to be extremely attractive to equally students and those that are afflicted by poor credit. While it is very straightforward to acquire a payday loan, this particular bank loan will not likely improve credit rating. These creditors tend not to generally record for the credit bureaus, except when the cash advance will not be compensated.

Constantly read the small print to get a payday loan. Some organizations fee service fees or perhaps a punishment should you pay the financial loan again early on. Other folks impose a fee if you need to roll the financing up to your following spend period. These are the basic most popular, however they might charge other invisible costs or perhaps increase the rate of interest if you do not spend by the due date.

Do not turn out to be influenced by pay day loans, as appealing as it could get. They ought to be viewed as an unexpected emergency-only source of information rather than an extension of your respective regular salary. Phrases will get tricky and costs run higher rely on them intelligently and also as a transmission that you simply probably should get your fiscal property so as in the near future.

These seeking to get a payday loan could be best if you benefit from the competing market that exists among lenders. There are plenty of various loan companies available that some will try to give you far better bargains to be able to get more enterprise. Try to get these gives out.

Take note of your payment because of days. Once you obtain the payday advance, you should shell out it back again, or at least come up with a repayment. Even if you neglect every time a transaction date is, the organization will attempt to withdrawal the amount from the banking account. Documenting the days can help you recall, so that you have no problems with your bank.

Rather than wandering into a retail store-front payday loan center, search online. In the event you get into a loan retailer, you may have not one other charges to compare and contrast against, and the men and women, there will probably do anything whatsoever they could, not to enable you to leave right up until they sign you up for a mortgage loan. Log on to the net and do the needed investigation to get the most affordable interest rate lending options prior to walk in. There are also online suppliers that will complement you with pay day creditors in your area..

The simplest way to take care of payday loans is not to have to consider them. Do the best to conserve just a little cash per week, allowing you to have a something to drop back again on in desperate situations. When you can conserve the funds for the crisis, you may remove the need for utilizing a payday advance service.

A cash advance can assist you during a hard time. You need to simply ensure you study all of the tiny printing and have the information you need to make well informed options. Utilize the tips for your personal payday advance practical experience, and you will see that the method goes much more smoothly for you.


Strong Assistance With Borrowing By means of Online Payday Loans

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Payday cash loans are often very tough to know, particularly if have by no means taken one particular out well before. Nevertheless, acquiring a cash advance is easier for people who have eliminated on-line, done the appropriate investigation and acquired precisely what these financial loans include. Under, a list of crucial guidance for cash advance customers shows up.

In case you are in the process of securing a payday loan, make sure you see the contract cautiously, trying to find any hidden charges or significant shell out-back again information. Usually do not indication the deal until you completely understand every little thing. Look for warning signs, including sizeable costs in the event you go each day or higher across the loan’s because of date. You might wind up paying far more than the very first amount borrowed.

In order to prevent extreme fees, shop around prior to taking out a pay day loan. There can be numerous companies in your area that provide payday cash loans, and some of those companies may possibly offer you better rates of interest than the others. By examining around, you could possibly reduce costs after it is a chance to pay off the borrowed funds.

Make certain you go through every one of the small print, before applying for the payday advance. Many individuals get burned by cash advance businesses, mainly because they did not study each of the details before you sign. Unless you comprehend every one of the terms, ask someone you care about who is aware of the fabric to help you.

Be sure to seek advice from the higher Organization Bureau before taking any type of pay day loan. If you do this, it is simple to find out the standing of the corporation, and when some other debtors have experienced issues. When you notice that there are plenty of issues, no matter how very good the offer you might seem, refrain!

There are plenty of payday advance firms readily available, that it may be considered a bit frustrating when you find yourself trying to figure out who to do business with. Read through on-line evaluations just before making a decision. In this manner you realize whether, or perhaps not the company you are interested in is reputable, and never to rob you.

When studying the suggested terms of a cash advance offer you, make sure you see whether there are any penalty charges evaluated for prepayment from the bank loan stability. By doing this, it can be possible to steer clear of paying unnecessary attention in case the resources required to repay the borrowed funds are, obtained sooner than in the beginning awaited.

When you may need a payday advance, you might like to look at reevaluating your budget or economic routines. Although a cash advance can actually become a daily life-range, you should not be depending on them as well typically. You need to learn how to manage cash wisely, and in ways that brings about monetary durability, and not ongoing hardship.

Make an effort to reduce your utilization of payday advance services to individuals totally recommended for you by an individual actually. Attending a complete stranger for money can actually leave you prone, so question buddies who they could consider and furthermore, discuss reliable information you possess with other individuals to keep them on your path at the same time.

If you are thinking about obtaining a payday loan, make sure that you have got a plan to obtain it paid back right away. The financing organization will give you to “assist you to” and expand your loan, when you can’t pay it back right away. This extension charges you a charge, plus further curiosity, therefore it does practically nothing good for yourself. Even so, it makes the money business a great revenue.

Be sure you are able to attain an individual in the payday loan company you need to opt for. Some companies with this variety are sprouting up on the net, so it might seem how the one you are looking at is a good a single. Nonetheless, if you fail to achieve a person very easily, which can be a red flag plus a indicator anything is wrong with this company.

If you are possessing a difficult experience deciding if you should make use of a pay day loan, phone a client credit history counselor. These professionals normally help non-earnings companies that offer free of charge credit history and financial aid to consumers. These individuals will help you find the right paycheck lender, or it could be help you rework your money in order that you do not require the financing.

As mentioned at the beginning in the write-up, people have been receiving payday loans far more, and more nowadays to survive. If you are searching for getting one, it is vital that you know the ins, and out from them. This article has offered you some crucial pay day loan guidance.


The 7 Deadly Sins of Networking

The 7 Deadly Sins of Networking

The 7 Deadly Sins of Networking

Don’t commit these “seven deadly sins” of professional networking. / Credit: Shutterstock

“Your network is your net worth.” It’s an oft-uttered piece of business advice that holds true in virtually every career path and industry. As many highly qualified candidates who have lost out on a job have learned, it’s more often who you know rather than what you know that gets you where you need to go.

Networking is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. Whether it’s online through social media sites or offline at industry events, there’s a good chance that anyone you connect with can either help you directly or put you in touch with someone else who can. Your professional network can be invaluable to the success of your business, providing new perspectives and ideas, advice and even financial resources, so it’s crucial to learn good relationship management skills to make the most out of each new connection.

Mike Muhney, CEO of mobile relationship management purveyor vipOrbit, warned that while social media is incredibly powerful and useful in networking, it can also hurt your ability to create professional and personal connections if you don’t utilize it well.

“We are all so caught up in technology and digital self-expression that we have lost touch from a person-to-person standpoint and allow ourselves to think in terms of mass breadth, i.e. how many friends, followers or viewers we have,”Muhney told BusinessNewsDaily. “Meaningful business always has, and always will, come from meaningful relationships. The best and most enduring ones are personal and individual, not mass, based and thus sustainable.”

Following the model of the classic seven deadly sins, Muhney outlined seven mistakes that can be detrimental to your networking success:


If you don’t believe in you, who will? Self-promotion requires tact. Toot your horn too often or too loudly, and all you can expect is a wave of unreturned messages and deleted connections. People are attracted to authenticity. Crafting a false image is a turnoff to all. Share your accomplishments and the spotlight with those who contributed to your success. You might even score bonus exposure by reaching beyond your network.


If your personal concerns are your only concerns, why should others care about you? When you seek to meet others’ needs and do a great job, they’re more inclined to reciprocate. Focus your messages and offerings on the interests and needs of your audience, not what you’re looking to promote.


If you’re too eager or lusting after the attention of others, your otherwise professional efforts can lead to a very unprofessional reputation. Nobody invites crossing the line of acceptable and professional efforts with that of becoming a pest revealing personal cravings over that of the other’s needs. You can’t force someone to reciprocate. Do what you said you’d do or send what you promised and let the rest happen naturally.


If you read an email with unintended sarcasm or interpret a short missive as an angry one, you might be tempted to reciprocate in kind. The power of a smile and laughter can produce priceless and ever-expanding opportunities, but the consequences of discourtesy are immediately and potentially irreversibly destructive. Consider communication carefully. Responding in anger can destroy your reputation and your relationships.


If you’re sending mass emails or group texts in an effort to save yourself time but at the expense of oversharing information, you risk losing the right to be taken seriously. By default, “mass” is mutually exclusive of “personal.” Balance group messages for general announcements by inviting personal responses of interest.


If you’re building yourself up by putting others down, your need for the spotlight will backfire. Don’t focus on what others have or the connections others have made. Set your own relationship goals based on what you have to offer your network, not what you seek to gain from them.


If your efforts to connect or stay in touch border on the apathetic, you need to shape up, perhaps in more ways than one. A lack of drive and determination to exercise meaningful connections will only result in relationship atrophy.  Scheduling regular communication may be drudgery, but positive results will prove worth the time and effort.

“Generally speaking, the complete antidote to the seven deadly networking sins is nothing more than simply being nice to all people all the time,” Muhney said. “In fact, some relationship experts estimate that simply being nice can result in a 30 to 40 percent increase in success. Who ever thought that simply being nice could in fact be the very thing that completely sets you apart and distinct from everyone else, and helps pave your road to success?”


The Creativity Around Me Inspired Me to Become a College Entrepreneur

The Creativity Around Me Inspired Me to Become a College Entrepreneur

The Creativity Around Me Inspired Me to Become a College Entrepreneur Credit: Chloe Suberville

Some might say, “Don’t start a business in college, you’ll lack money and you’ll lack sleep.”

To that we say, “Duh! We’re college students. We’re lacking sleep anyway.”

When I got to Emerson College three years ago, I quickly became aware of how much creativity surrounded me. My Orientation Leader Sara and I decided to showcase Emerson’s diversity and started the “Humans of Emerson” page.  We photographed students around campus in Boston, collected their stories and later expanded to Emerson’s Netherland and Los Angeles campuses.

To my amazement, the creativity didn’t stop at Emerson; it was flowing throughout Boston! Though I am not the most musical person myself, I was infatuated by the live music scene and found myself connecting to Berklee College of Music students, which set up some amazing opportunities. I started shooting their press kits, and the referrals lead to more freelance work. Next thing I knew I was getting paid to go to awesome concerts, hang out with inspiring people, and gain more experience doing what I loved.

Meanwhile, I learned that many of my friends and classmates were not having the same feeling about the work they were doing. They felt pigeonholed to various odd jobs in retail or the restaurant industry. Though a lot of them were extremely creative and had immense artistic talent, they struggled to align their creativity and passions with paying opportunities to do those things.

This made me wonder how I was able to find meaningful and educational paying gigs, while others were feeling trapped “in the box” of traditional and unfulfilling labor-type work that most college students take to get by. I wanted to find a way for college students to think outside the box, break these stereotypes and get paid for something they enjoyed, and to prove that all of this was possible before entering “the real world,” after graduation.

Being raised between the Middle East, Europe and both coasts of the U.S. has led me to always take a fresh perspective when looking at problems or complex situations. By breaking down barriers and moving past preconceived notions, I use creative thinking not only to understand change, but also to make it work for me.

Upon realizing there was no platform to bridge the gap between creative college freelancers and employers seeking flexible talent, bistara was born. Our mission – to empower college students to be their own boss through creative means and freelancing, while connecting them to employers in their field. With our help, students would now be able to expand their network, build a portfolio and get paid experience before graduation.

Now that I’ve graduated, I look back and smile at my sleepless nights. The resources in college are endless: Free access to otherwise expensive software (Adobe creative suite, anyone?), unlimited access to coaches, teachers and mentors, free meeting rooms and office space, and perhaps even free funding. The list goes on.

Being a college student also gives you a wealth of personal benefits. You’re in a time in your life where you can take risks and pursue your dreams, with little to no consequences if it doesn’t quite pan out. You’ve still got your whole life ahead of you, and the learning and growth you’ll experience makes it a win no matter what.

Through building bistara, I’ve learned an infinite amount about myself and the life I want to lead. Since graduating, I’ve been working, traveling (competed in BDL Accelerate in Beirut, mentored a student retreat in Costa Rica, worked with schools in Los Angeles., etc.) and still fangirling at my friends’ shows.

I believe in doing what you love. Don’t waste time doing something that doesn’t make you feel fulfilled. Entrepreneurship is not just on a professional level. Entrepreneurship is taking ownership of your life and standing up for what you believe will make an impact in your life and the lives of others.

About the author: Maya Rafie is the founder of bistara, the marketplace to hire creative college freelancers. She’s 21, Lebanese and was raised between Paris and San Francisco. Follow bistara on Facebook and Instagram.


How to Start a Restaurant

How to Start a Restaurant

How to Start a Restaurant

If you’ve ever dreamed of opening a restaurant, take a few tips from these restaurant pros. / Credit: Restaurant image via Shutterstock

For those with a passion for food, opening a restaurant is the ultimate entrepreneurial dream. Perhaps you’ve already envisioned it: You start off in a tiny space with a couple of tables and a small kitchen. Before you know it, your eatery has become a beloved local dining establishment with a line out the door every weekend.

Running a restaurant is certainly rewarding, but it’s no easy task. Like any startup venture, restaurant ownership takes a lot of hard work, unwavering dedication and a willingness to overcome the obstacles you’re sure to come up against along the way. Six industry veterans shared their tips for navigating the business and launching a successful restaurant.

In any industry, doing your due diligence before starting up is critical for success. This is especially true for the restaurant business, where simply knowing good food isn’t enough. Even if you have worked in a restaurant, there are still many legal, managerial and marketing lessons to be learned.

One area that many would-be restaurateurs overlook is local licensing and health-department regulations. Michele Stumpe, a Georgia-based attorney specializing in alcohol licensing and hospitality litigation, stressed the importance of knowing the legal policies in your restaurant’s location, especially since state (and even county) laws can vary. Aspiring restaurateurs planning a launch should factor in the time various permitting and inspection processes will take, Stumpe advised. Costanzo Astarita ran into this issue when opening his Atlanta restaurant Baraonda in December 2000.

“The first couple of months were hard,” Astarita said. “We didn’t have a liquor license, and opening when everyone was busy for the holidays proved very challenging. We scraped through until Valentine’s Day, when we received our license and got a review published in the local paper. We had a great weekend, and the restaurant finally took off.”

You might have an incredible concept, a well-trained staff and the best menu, but without a good location, your restaurant is doomed to fail. In the 30 years she’s been in business, Paola Bottero moved her Manhattan eatery three times before settling on her current location. Marco Pipolo, owner and executive chef of Marcony Ristorante in New York City has learned valuable lessons from each of the five restaurants he’s owned, but one of the most important is that location can make or break your business.

Daniel Shemtob, owner of Los Angeles-based TLT Food, got his start in the industry with his mobile restaurant called The Lime Truck. While lower inventory costs and the ability to move around mean a much lower risk when starting a food truck, location can still present an issue.

“On our first day, [my co-founder and I] were in the middle of nowhere — we didn’t have propane to cook, and the truck wouldn’t start,” said Shemtob, who recalled having to hotwire the truck and wait for someone to come help them. “Then, there are other factors, like traffic,” he added.

Getting your bearings in the restaurant industry as a first-timer can be difficult. If you don’t have any previous experience in the business yourself, it’s important to partner with or hire someone who does.

When Astarita started his restaurant, he and his partner had worked on both the food preparation and management sides of the industry, but he didn’t know much about commercial leases.

“I wish I had understood how to negotiate them when I started,” he said. “I think that any new restaurateur who is unfamiliar with commercial leases should hire a lawyer who specializes in that field.”

Tony Doyle, owner of HK Hospitality Group, has worked in restaurants since age 12 and has opened several successful restaurants, but he still had a lot to learn when he opened his first establishment.

“There were a lot of things I’d never dealt with before — employees, payroll, taxes, bank-account management, etc.,” Doyle said. “You need to get a general knowledge of the working of the business before you start. There are a lot of issues that people don’t see.”

While being consistent in food quality and service is important for success, the restaurant business is far from static.

“I have found over the years that you constantly need to be updating, renovating and evolving with the ever-changing taste of the public to be successful,” Pipolo said.

Shemtob agreed, noting that his menu is constantly changing to allow for newer, more innovative dishes. When you come up with your concept and menu, it should be flexible enough to adapt when your customers ask for something new.

According to a recent Ohio State University study, more than half of all restaurants fail within the first three years. If your venture does fail, assess what went wrong and try again, keeping those things in mind. When Highlands Restaurant Group co-owner Donal Brophy and his business partners founded their most recent restaurant, Whitehall Bar + Kitchen (New York City), they used the lessons they learned when one of their restaurants was forced to close in 2011.

“We learned so much from the closing of our restaurant, Mary Queen of Scots,” Brophy told BusinessNewsDaily. “The food must be spot-on from the beginning. The layout and flow of the space needs to work during a high-volume atmosphere. Most importantly, we learned how important it is to communicate well amongst the partners. It was such a tough time for all of us, but we made it through and opened Whitehall, which has been a massive success.”

Everyone knows that a successful restaurant needs to serve impeccable food, but there are so many other factors that contribute to the success of your venture. If there’s one thing Bottero wishes she knew when she started out, it’s that creating a loyal following is difficult and takes time, even if your menu is top-notch.

“Customers make the place,” she told BusinessNewsDaily. “You have to earn their trust by making sure they’re taken care of and providing the best service possible. In today’s market, you also can’t succeed without social media. Good food is important, but so is good technology.”


A Passion for Languages Inspired Me to Become a Polyglot and Entrepreneur

A Passion for Languages Inspired Me to Become a Polyglot and Entrepreneur

A Passion for Languages Inspired Me to Become a Polyglot and Entrepreneur

Credit: Day Translations

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but we always had food on the table. My mother did the best she could, and my grandfather always taught me that with hard work and passion, you could achieve anything you wanted to. Well, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew that it had to do with languages.

My neighborhood in Bartow, Florida, had a large Mexican population, and I was fascinated by the way they spoke, the food they ate and the music they listened to. I must have been around eight years old when I bought tapes and started listening to Mexican music.

Because I was passionate about it, learning Spanish wasn’t a chore for me, and I sailed through Spanish classes at school. At college, I continued with Spanish, but I also took Arabic and French. I simply loved the way I could reach out and connect with more and more people without the language barrier. I even went to Morocco and took an Arabic immersion course in Fez. Then I took Hebrew and German courses, and now I’m learning Chinese as well.

In 2007, I finally had a clearer vision of what to do with my passion for languages and how I could turn it into a business. I had worked on and off as a medical interpreter in a local hospital and saw firsthand the difference that languages can make to people.

I knew there was a need to provide translation and interpreting services to people, and I decided to set up Day Translations. I was certain that I could help people and that there was a demand on a global scale.

I took out a personal loan, maxed out my credit cards and started out being a one-man-band. I translated, developed, answered phones and even went out and sold to clients.

Eventually, all that work paid off. We now have a global team of more than 50 full-time employees and a freelance network of around 7,000 translators. I still like to chat with customers and help answer the phones when I can. It keeps me in touch with reality.

One of the key factors of survival for any business is continual improvement. If you aren’t able to face threats and challenges, or respond to changing needs, you’ll go out of business. For a lover of languages, that comes naturally. We’re used to always improving, wanting to speak better, and learn more. And the same is true with my business.

In 10 years, we’ve seen a lot of changes, from simple document translation and person to person interpreting, to over-the-phone interpreting and website localization. We offer round-the-clock customer service and respond to queries in less than 10 minutes. A lot of clients have time-sensitive projects and we make sure we can deliver to meet their deadlines.

The future definitely holds challenges for just about every industry there is, whether it’s the peer-to-peer economy or artificial intelligence. For us, of course, there are major advances in machine translation and neural network translation. But, we’re not worried about getting replaced by robots anytime soon. Machines can’t understand culture in the way that humans do, make judgment calls, or find necessary synonyms and understand context. Only humans can do that.

So, I’m not looking to the future with trepidation, but more with excitement. My vision for our company in the future is to leverage new technologies and become relevant in all industries. The more globalized the world gets, the more demand for languages. There’s so much we can do, from subtitling and interpreting apps to chatbots and working with streaming companies, like Netflix.

As an entrepreneur, I truly believe that if you’re passionate about something, you’ll make it work. Your passion is contagious and I’m so proud and honored to work with a team of smart and ambitious people that help move my dream forward. You don’t have to have it all figured out. But, handling challenges that come my way push me and my company to be better, and we always step up to the plate. Loving what you do makes it feel like you’re not working at all, and I think that’s the key to our increased success.

About the author: Sean Patrick Hopwood is a language polyglot, enthusiast and entrepreneur. His goal in life is to bring world peace through education, tolerance and cultural awareness. He is also the president and CEO at Day Translations, a global translation company.


7 Networking Tips for Job Seekers

7 Networking Tips for Job Seekers

7 Networking Tips for Job Seekers

Networking events can be great opportunities to meet key players in your industry who can potentially help you get a job. / Credit: Networking image via Shutterstock

As many job seekers have often heard, it’s all about who you know. When it comes to finding a job, your industry connections can often prove to be as important as the practical skills and work experience you have, if not more so.

College students, career changers and other newcomers to their chosen field can and should use networking events and job fairs to meet key industry players who could put them on the path to employment. Kevin Roach, a recruiting expert and business professor at Texas A&M University, and Lisa Burton, a career coordinator at the Texas A&M Career Center, offered seven tips for job seekers to make the most of their time at these events.

  1. Do your homework. Networking events may have dozens of company recruiters in attendance. Rather than trying to meet as many recruiters as possible, find out in advance which companies will be represented and pick the five that are most relevant to your career search.

    “Research those companies so that your comments and questions are informed,” Roach said. “You have to be directional. Don’t walk into the room without a plan.”

  2. Find a connection. Keep in mind that these events are social settings, not formal interviews. It’s not just about collecting business cards and handing out résumés; it’s about making conversation with people and finding connections so they remember you later. Find out what you have in common and chat about your lives and backgrounds.
  3. Tell your stories. One great way to brand yourself as a worthy hire during networking events is to tell stories. Pick three good stories from your life, personal or work-related, and share what you learned from the experiences, Roach said. A good story can illustrate multiple positive aspects about you as a person and as a potential employee.

    “When a student is having trouble landing a job, it’s rarely because of their GPA,” Burton added. “It comes down to their ability to make those connections with people, present themselves in the best possible light, and show what makes them special.”

  4. Make it about them. Take the focus of the conversation off you for a while and put it on the recruiters. People like talking about themselves, so when you shift the focus onto them, they’ll walk away with a great impression of you because you allowed them to share their own stories. Ask them what they like most about working for their company, or how they find work-life balance during their company’s busy time of the year.
  5. Don’t linger. There’s no set amount of time for networking encounters, but you don’t want to stay so long that the recruiter is itching to move on. Make the connection, be memorable, and then wrap it up. Tell the recruiter that you’re interested in what the firm has to offer, and ask for a business card and if you can give him or her your résumé.
  6. Take a break. A day of networking can be exhausting, so take breaks in between talks with recruiters. Step away and sit down so you can recharge and go over your notes before you move on to the next one.
  7. Write thank-you notes. Within 24 hours of the event, write a thank-you note to each recruiter you met. Be sure to reference any specific points or connections you made during your conversations with them so they remember who you are.

    “Thank the recruiters for the opportunity to meet them, tell them you enjoyed learning about the company, and that you look forward to learning even more,” Roach said. That’s showing them you’re interested and the ball is in their court.”


Baseball to the Boardroom: What I Learned About Business From My Dugout Days

Baseball to the Boardroom: What I Learned About Business From My Dugout Days

Baseball to the Boardroom: What I Learned About Business From My Dugout Days Credit: Real Property Management

I grew up a shy kid who, in his early days of elementary school, ate lunch in the bathroom – until I decided to join the baseball team. The camaraderie of sport helped break me out of my shell. From that moment on, baseball was special to me, and I made it my life mission to become a pro baseball player.

This dream of playing professional baseball did not seem like a distant dream; deep down I firmly believed it would become a reality. And I wasn’t delusional – from little league to high school I was a standout at each level, and by my senior year, I was one of the top players in our area. However, I had zero scholarship offers and was not on the radar of any pro scouts. I was cut after a brief walk-on stint with the Indiana University baseball team, and scouts showed no interest after several professional try-outs.

I graduated college and began working full-time, but still could not let the dream die. I knew my best odds for making a team would come from pitching, because scouts are always looking for left-handed pitchers. Finding myself even more determined, I recreated myself into a left-handed pitcher, training tirelessly on top of my 50-plus hour work week.

My perseverance paid off. I took a personal day from my day job to attend a private workout for the New York Mets the next day, and flew to Florida for spring training three days later to be a free agent pitcher for the Mets organization.

The qualities and lessons I learned in sports have led me through the rungs of the corporate ladder. Today, I am the CEO of Real Property Management, the leading property management franchise in the nation. And in an industry that is witnessing staggering increases in demand, I am quick to remember the perseverance, confidence and work ethic I learned in the bullpen.

Here are four key takeaways I learned along the way:

My journey to play for the Mets organization was not an easy one. In fact, I faced failure at almost every step of the way.

The same determination is critical for business owners. The journey in building a business is both a challenging and rewarding experience.  Along the way, entrepreneurs will face a wide range of challenges.  The most successful will show their resolve by working through the challenges and finding ways to improve and grow.

Surprisingly, the common thread among athletes who thrive is not just talent, it is their confidence and ability to remain focused. The same can be said for a business owner. Employees and customers who notice a positive, strong leader will respond in ways that support future successes. Additionally, that confidence helps you to be more resilient to the inevitable bumps in the road you will face as a business leader. Being focused on the goals of your business, your team, and most importantly, yourself is critical to long-term success.

You cannot control whether you are the smartest or most talented person in the room. However, you can control how you prepare. I was still pursuing my dream while in the workforce working over 50-hour work weeks, but my workouts were always my first priority after a long workday. This relentless approach paid off in my baseball career and has also served me well in managing my career. In life and in work, Murphy’s law of what can go wrong will go wrong plays out more often than we all would like. Being prepared with contingency plans is an important part of being an agile business that can persevere through setbacks.

Teamwork is an important lesson in sports and in business, because in both cases, you must understand the big picture while also knowing how individual performance contributes to overall success. The understanding of collaboration and humility (playing the designated role that the team needs you to play) that makes good athletes can also help make good business owners.

Although my professional baseball career was ultimately short-lived, the skills I developed as an athlete – like perseverance, confidence and preparation –  have been instrumental in my path to becoming CEO, and can also help business owners in their drive to succeed.

About the author: Lukas Krause is the CEO of national franchise organization Real Property Management. The company has more than 300 offices in North America managing over $14B in assets, and its offices specialize in managing single-family homes, townhomes, condos, multiplexes and small apartment buildings.


Does My Restaurant Need to Offer Mobile Ordering to Get Ahead?

Does My Restaurant Need to Offer Mobile Ordering to Get Ahead?

Does My Restaurant Need to Offer Mobile Ordering to Get Ahead?

Credit: Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

National chains like Starbucks, Five Guys, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell and, most recently, McDonald’s have popularized online ordering, and busy customers appreciate the convenience of skipping the line. But if you’re an independent restaurant owner who doesn’t have the deep pockets of a franchise or chain, does mobile order-ahead make sense for your business?

The expense and technological know-how needed to create and maintain a mobile ordering app may be daunting, but if you’re looking for strategies to give your restaurant a competitive edge, offering mobile order-ahead is worth looking into – and there are several options that are less expensive and easier to implement than a custom app.

In addition to cutting your customers’ wait time and making it convenient for them to quickly pick up their orders, mobile order-ahead can help you attract new customers and gain increased loyalty from your existing clientele. Consider the following:

When selecting menu items on their phone, customers have no fear of receiving a judgmental smirk (whether real or imagined) when ordering large fries with a diet beverage and low-carb entree, or of hearing impatient sighs from customers waiting behind them as they study the menu. As a result, they’re likely to place larger orders. For example, Business Insider reports that Taco Bell’s mobile order tickets are 30 percent higher than its in-store sales.

The National Restaurant Association’s 2016 State of the Industry report shows that 63 percent of smartphone users place takeout or delivery orders using their phones. However, only 37 percent of restaurants offer mobile ordering, with chains and franchises four times more likely to offer mobile order-ahead apps than independently owned establishments. Industry experts expect the demand for mobile order-ahead to rise, estimating a 57 percent increase in these sales over a five-year period, reaching $38 billion by 2020, according to Business Insider. Adopting this technology now sets your business apart as a trendsetter and allows you to cater to customers who don’t want to spend their lunch hour waiting in line.

In addition to craving convenience, consumers want to save money. By offering coupons, promotions or loyalty rewards to your customers through your online ordering app or website, you encourage repeat business.

The NPD Group, a marketing research company, notes that money-saving promotions are effective incentives for mobile order-ahead customers, with 29 percent of all digital orders utilizing coupons. The combination of order-ahead and loyalty programs has been successful for Starbucks, which reported to Forbes a 16 percent year-over-year increase in active app users and 27 percent of its U.S. sales coming from orders placed using its app.

While the benefits of offering mobile order-ahead technology to your customers is enticing, the cost and complexity of creating a custom app can be prohibitive.

“In a smaller merchant’s reality, very few are ready to invest $10,000, let alone $100,000, in an ecommerce website and a mobile ordering application,” said Jean-Francois Noel, CEO of mobile ordering solutions company FANS Entertainment, in an interview with PYMNTS.

However, white-label apps and order-ahead aggregators are lower-cost alternatives that can give you the functionality you need. Here are some options to consider:

Some point-of-sale companies, such as Revel Systems and SalesVu, offer white-label apps that you can customize with your restaurant’s branding and use for mobile orders. The advantage to this solution is that the app is ready to use – it’s already been developed and tested – and integrates seamlessly with your POS system. The drawback is that, if you switch POS systems, you also have to find a new mobile ordering solution.

Order-ahead aggregators, such as Grubhub and Yelp’s Eat24, are mobile app platforms that work with many restaurants, giving customers the ability to find multiple order-ahead and delivery restaurants from a single app. Engadget reports that Amazon is also getting into the order-ahead aggregator space through the new Amazon Pay Places feature on its app, though at this time it’s only available to TGI Fridays restaurants in a few eastern U.S. cities.

The benefits of working with an aggregator are that it’s less expensive than other options and helps order-ahead customers find you, which is an advantage that even restaurants with custom apps could capitalize on. However, it lumps your restaurant in with your local competitors, and repeat customers may choose to try another local restaurant when presented with multiple options.

Although mobile order-ahead is increasingly popular, especially among quick-service restaurants, developing a custom app is a costly venture that not many independent restaurant owners can afford. However, less expensive options, particularly working with an order-ahead aggregator, are viable solutions that restaurant owners would do well to investigate.


Defying the Odds: From Homeless High School Drop Out to Serial Entrepreneur

Defying the Odds: From Homeless High School Drop Out to Serial Entrepreneur

Defying the Odds: From Homeless High School Drop Out to Serial Entrepreneur Credit: Hammer & Nails Grooming Shop for Guys

I grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia. My home life was difficult – I came from an abusive family that was functionally poor. At 16, I became a ward of the state and found myself moving from youth shelters to boys’ homes.

On my 18th birthday, I was no longer the state’s responsibility. The state’s care, which included food and housing, was over. I needed to start to take care of myself, so I dropped out of high school and started to work. I spent a couple of years floating around Philadelphia, sleeping in friends’ basements, on a bench at 30th Street Train Station, and even on the subway train, until a stranger (one of many real-life angels that have touched my life along the way) gave me a room to rent.

In my twenties, I tried putting on hip-hop concerts to earn extra cash, but didn’t see much success. However, I was determined to beat the statistics bound to homeless teens and make something of myself.

In 1988, I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I created Krush Magazine – the first publication that exclusively covered the emerging hip-hop music and culture scene – and spent my days writing and designing the entire magazine. I finally saw a glimmer of success when the first issue completely sold out. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders, but that feeling was only temporary. After my fourth issue, I ran into financial problems and couldn’t afford to keep the magazine alive; my first entrepreneurial journey came to screeching halt.

I didn’t let my passion for the hip-hop industry stop with the magazine, though. I had $250 in my bank account and burning desire to make something of myself. I convinced several local retailers to help me launch a TV show duplicating the style of the magazine, which turned my $250 into $6,000 in advertising dollars. The Krush Rap TV show aired for thirteen weeks before gaining sponsorship from Coca Cola. I could see my hard work paying off as the show became nationally syndicated across major metropolitan cities. Shortly after, The Source Magazine (considered to be the Rolling Stone of the hip-hop music) sought me out. I accepted a position as the magazine’s Director of Special Projects.

Fast forward 10 years. I was so intrigued by the concept of writing screenplays that I bought a “how to” book on screen writing and rented all of my favorite movies so I could study up. I found success just 13 months later when 20th Century Fox bought my first script for “Brown Sugar,” and then again with the kids film, “Like Mike.” Four screenplays later, my scripts had generated over $118 million at the box office. The downside was I never felt financially secure since I didn’t own any of the content; 20th Century Fox did.

I looked for an original idea that would be seen as “the next big thing.” My “ah-ha” moment came when I found myself at a nail salon getting a pedicure. Every man knows the intimidating and uncomfortable atmosphere that comes along with walking into a women’s salon: You’re in a sea full of women, surrounded by female magazines, bright colors and reality shows on the TVs. I felt as if every woman was staring at me and judging my manhood. I also felt completely out of place, like a fish out of water. It was at this moment I knew God had given me my original idea to put the man back in manicure and create a male spa. The idea of Hammer & Nails Grooming Shop for Guys was built that very day.

For Hammer & Nails, I envisioned a manicure and pedicure shop designed for me. I saw a more male-centric environment for hand and foot grooming and barbering services – a man cave with a low-lit atmosphere, furnished with dark wood and steel, personal Bison leather chairs, complimentary alcoholic beverages, personal televisions and noise-cancelling headphones for each guest. In 2013, I made my idea a reality when I opened my first Hammer & Nails location in Los Angeles.

Six months later, I made an appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The Sharks didn’t buy into the brand and when I turned to exit the stage, I heard Kevin O’Leary say, “That will never work.” That one sentence has been engrained in my mind and fueled my desire to succeed. It became my mission to prove Mr. Wonderful wrong. Since then, Hammer & Nails began franchising in 2015, has awarded licenses for more than 200 shops and is on track to have 250 locations open and operating by 2022.

About the author: Michael Elliot is the founder and CEO of Hammer & Nails Grooming Shop for Guys, a men’s grooming shop that provides hand and foot care, haircuts and shaves in relaxed man cave nirvana.