Friday, January 29, 2010

Why is Business Planning So Critical to Business Success?

If you don't know where you are going (i.e. have a roadmap), then how do you expect to get there? Running, expanding or starting a business without a business plan is like trying to drive from New York to Chicago for the first time without a roadmap or MapQuest!

Planning gives you a path to follow, otherwise, you are just guessing. In running or starting a business, the learning curve is short before you run out of resources and are forced to close.

Therefore, a business plan helps you set up a sound framework, model and system ahead of time, as well as, address potential problems and threats, so that you can capably run a business.

If you don't have a system in place to deal with problems and you don't have a sound strategic plan in place, you will find yourself needlessly sidetracked by working "in" the business instead of "on" the business.

A Business Plan will save you a lot of time and money. Careful planning ahead of time will help you wisely budget your resources and significantly minimize the time you spend assessing threats, problems, obstacles and opportunities.

A business plan actually creates the future you want it to be. It gives you the process to develop the future business you want, whether it is to successfully start, expand, acquire or build.

Granted, a business planning process can't predict everything and markets change very quickly; yet, a business plan puts a solid process model in place to deal with such unpredictability.

Otherwise, you will become even more lost in the unpredictable nature of future market changes without a system in place to deal with and predict these changes.

A business plan is an actual guide to starting, acquiring, expanding, building and managing a business. It is a step by step process that will guide you through the complexities and intricacies of building a successful company.

Business school will teach you something about business planning, an MBA will teach you a little more, but most good business planning experience comes from doing and learning from others who have gone before you. Find a good business plan mentor!

If you need to raise funds for your business venture or project, a well thought out business plan is the very best tool available to achieve the mix and amount of funds your business requires.

A good business planning process will actually determine and design financial structures which specifically address your funding requirements. Utilize a planning process to develop and design a financial structure customized to your particular company's requirements.

When times are tough in your business, industry or lending market, a good funding plan will give you a fighting chance of obtaining the badly needed funding.

A business plan is a fantastic communication tool. It establishes a system so that you can effectively communicate with your executives, managers, employees, shareholders, investors, lenders, customers, potential customers, markets, suppliers, on down the line.

So many companies fail because effective communication was significantly hampered by assets and people doing contrary things.

Effective strategic planning within the business planning process establishes strong communication ties, links and systems so that all the fore mentioned human variables can come together in a directional, well coordinated strategy for success.

Nothing stays the same from one day to the next in this global, fast tracked business world. Because of this constant change, your business will quickly fall behind and suffer without having a good business plan in place.

A plan puts a system in place to identify and address changes in the market place so you can proactively seize and turn them into opportunities.

Without a forward thinking system in place, changes in your market place can quickly become insurmountable problems and obstacles. A business plan empowers you to convert these changes into opportunities and increased profitability.

Operating a company without a well developed business plan is just like operating a car blindfolded, driving down an expressway in LA. You wouldn't blindfold yourself and drive down a busy expressway would you? Why would you do that with your business, future and money?

By : Frank_Goley

Cost Reduction For Business - How to Best Manage Your Costs

Companies have to use various forms of financial studies - estimates, budgets, forecasts, analyses, and evaluations - to report and control their costs.

Brainstorm Methods to Cutting Costs and Create a Plan

You must develop a solid cost reduction plan that will allow you to control your costs. In your cost reduction plan, you will establish your goals and explain your forecasts.

This plan will help you manage your expectations and, similar to a business turnaround plan, is flexible should the circumstances warrant some alteration.

Once you have come up with a strategy, you must figure out ways to reduce costs, increase market share, and gain an edge against your competitors.

Expense Reductions are Unavoidable

Good cost reduction requires you to do three things. First, you must increase your revenue faster than your expenses go up. Second, you must decrease your expenses while sustaining revenue. Finally, you company must improve its productivity.

You should review your vendor contracts and look at their competition in order to find potential savings with a new group. It is also wise to assess your equipment and look for other savings opportunities.

A good business owner seeking optimal cost reduction will figure out how to reduce utilities expenses, telephone charges, waste programs, office supply expenses, and copying costs.

As the company owner, you are the facilitator of cost reduction initiatives that will reduce your business' expenses, and you must look at the benefits and costs of such potential reductions and more.

Companies sometimes use layoffs as a cost reduction measure; however, this strategy is often reactionary and flawed. When businesses have financial problems, they often scrutinize their finances closely and look to quickly cutting costs.

Instead of laboring over one's company's finances and figuring out where the excess really lies, businesses all too often require job cuts in order to stabilize their finances.

The fact is, layoffs have many consequences that can cause extraordinary long-term complications. Thus, it is best for a company to explore other expense reductions first.

Utilize Technology to Grow Competitive

Effective cost reduction requires you to look at your business globally and flush out the financial issues that are draining your company of extra income.

Even if your company is growing rapidly, you must not ignore excess expense issues; rather, you must adhere to your cost reduction plan even when times are good because the situation can change rapidly.

Due to the nature of the globalized world, businesses cannot afford to ignore the advances and necessities that technology affords. Amazingly enough, not all businesses utilize email, electronic transactions, and other features of the Internet and electronic communications.

In doing so, they are cutting themselves short and restricting their own potential. A good cost reduction system will have a business owner take full advantage of the Internet and its time and cost savings resources.

A web presence is also a cost-effective way to increase visibility with customers and convert more leads into sales. Online marketing is one way to help a business remain competitive and financially stable.

By : Thayne_Carper

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Starting a Business? Why You Need to Know Technology

Of all the fundamentals that entrepreneurs need to know to succeed, technology provides the most new opportunity and the most constant change. Computer literacy is not an option, it's an absolute necessity.

Every business needs a website in the same way every business needed to be listed in the Yellow Pages 25 years ago. The marketing opportunities on the world wide web must be understood and evaluated to ensure the best decisions for your venture.

The technological tools and capabilities available to small business are expanding every day, and only those entrepreneurs savvy enough to keep up are going to survive and thrive in the new economy.

You Need a Computer

The ability to use a computer is pretty much a given these days, though there is the rare entrepreneur who is still uncomfortable with the idea. The advent of the internet makes most things much easier, from conducting industry and competitor research to keeping in touch with your customer base.

Excellent accounting system and contact management software decrease the time spent on these non-core competencies while simultaneously making related data more accessible and useful than the old ledger books and rolodexes ever could. Email is the preferred form of communication for many, from vendors to customers, so current business owners need to be prepared.

Your Business Needs a Website

A website for your business is an absolute necessity. Whether a simple 3 to 5 page business card site or a full-blown ecommerce store, having a web presence is no longer a luxury, it's a must. What you need depends on your industry and business model, but failing to represent your business online is likely to become a fatal mistake.

However, simply posting a website is not enough. Doing so without performing the appropriate SEO (search engine optimization) is pointless. It is akin to placing a billboard on Mars -- if nobody sees it, it might as well not exist. Effective SEO tactics are not particularly complicated, but they take some time and research to ensure you are making the best use of your time.

Get Involved with Social Networking

Social networking is the new frontier for marketing a business. It's hard to say whether that will continue or if and when consumers will become immune to the constant barrage of messages, but for now it is essential to exploit the opportunities available on these social websites.

The contacts you gather through your activity on social sites and from opt-in mailing lists from your own site provide excellent direct marketing opportunities. Email newsletters and promotions are extremely effective, and cost you only a bit of time and effort.

Email blasts to your customer base keep your company in mind. Even if they don't open all of them, they are repeatedly exposed to the business name, a psychologically important outcome!

Consider a Smart Phone

In addition to basic computer operations and internet opportunities, the newest technologies can help entrepreneurs stay organized and manage their time more effectively. Smart phones are not just for twenty-somethings - every entrepreneur should consider investing in one.

They can be used to keep up with email and phone calls, sure, but they can also supply your accounting, inventory, employee schedule, and other obligations at your fingertips. They have internet access, GPS systems, cameras, and thousands of applications available to fulfill just about any need for entrepreneurs.

They are a bit more expensive than a standard cell phone and much more than a landline, but if used effectively they are worth every penny in the time and stress they can relieve.

Use Technology to Your Benefit

No matter what type of business you are launching, the available technology will play an important role in the success of your venture. It is important for every entrepreneur to be more than familiar with the tools that are out there and how they can support and promote your business.

The constantly changing face of technology notwithstanding, the success of small business is intricately tied to an entrepreneur's ability to use what is available now and to stay abreast of the opportunities in technology as they come along.

By : K._MacKillop

Starting a Business? Why You Need to Know Customer Management

Getting customers in the door is the first obstacle to building a new business. Historically, entrepreneurs were primarily concerned with the customers in front of them at the moment and seeking out new ones, but they did little to court their established customer base.

As evidenced by the frequent shopper cards we now collect everywhere from Subway to the grocery store, big business has finally realized the error of their ways.

In small business, managing your customer base is even more important. Consumers who are already familiar with your company and product benefit the business in multiple ways.

Targeted Marketing and Repeat Business

First, they are excellent candidates for targeted marketing. If the business is set up to collect information such as what they usually buy, when they usually shop, and even personal details like their birthday, anniversary, and other hobbies, you can use that information to encourage further sales from current clients.

Every visit from a potential customer is an opportunity to gather data that will help you cater your marketing efforts to your customer base. It is estimated that the cost of sales for standing customers is a fraction, perhaps 10%, of the cost of finding new customers. Why not take advantage?


Referrals are also a strong opportunity with your current customers. Offer a premium or discount to those who refer your company, and be sure to thank anyone who does. People like to be in the know, and if you offer a good product or service, people will be happy to refer long as they think of it. Sending targeted emails or postcards to your current client list encouraging referrals can be very effective, especially if there is something in it for them.

Gather and Manage Customer Data

The key to successfully managing your customer base is in gathering useful data. Every website should include a way to capture leads, such as an opt-in form where interested individuals can submit at least their email address to join your mailing list.

Many brick-and-mortar stores request a street address from each customer as well. You can create a birthday club or frequent shopper promotion to collect relevant data as well. The trick is to ask for data that will actually help the marketing plan. If you won't be calling anyone on the phone, don't ask for phone numbers.

Email addresses are a given, because sending out newsletters or promotions via email is extremely cost-effective. Mailing addresses are good, too, if you might send coupons or other promotional materials out.

Respect Customer Privacy

Personal information is a bit more tricky -- people are sensitive about their privacy. But, if you have a legitimate reason for collecting the data, such as a freebie on a birthday or the like, most people are happy to give it up.

Also consider developing a survey or hosting a contest or sweepstakes to collect additional information. Gyms often do this, then offer a three-day pass to everyone who not only gets potential clients in the door but gets them motivated to join up!

Collect data every chance you get -- signup sheets at shows, business cards at networking events, website opt-ins, and follow up those leads with interesting newsletters or promotions. Always tell your customers how their data will be used, and whether you will share your mailing list with others.

The world of social networking has opened up even more customer management opportunities. The more of your customer base that is your friend or fan on Facebook or following you on Twitter, the more they are reminded that your business exists.

It takes time to keep after your clients, yes, but they are the reason you are in business at all. Managing your customer base is an essential portion of marketing, and can be the difference between struggle and prosperity.

By : K._MacKillop

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

10 Tips to Make Planning a Corporate Outing Easy

If you're planning a corporate outing to reward your staff, then perhaps you've got everything under control, and are just counting down the days, until your big day out. Alternatively, you might not have any idea as to what sort of event your staff and colleagues will enjoy, and what will be most appreciated and worthwhile.

Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your corporate outing.

1. You'll want to choose something that will appeal everyone, no matter what their interests. Just because you do or don't like a certain sport, or location, doesn't mean that the rest of your colleagues and staff won't appreciate it.

2. You'll need to decide what sort of event to choose, and then choose the time of year to hold your corporate outing. You might have chosen a specific sporting even, such as a cup final, or international cricket match, or tennis tournament, and so won't be flexible on dates. Or you might have chosen a date and want to find something to do on that date.

3. Plan in advance so that there is plenty of time to get everything organised, and that colleagues can prepare themselves. Work may schedules and meetings might need to be changed, and this shouldn't be done at the last minute.

4. Make sure that you send out proper invitations. Rather than word of mouth, or a vague email, wouldn't it be nicer to receive a proper invitation outlining the day's events to your colleagues?

5. Don't forget to mention the dress code and whether staff need to bring anything else. Perhaps you'll do something during the day, and then go for a meal afterwards. Will you expect people to wear the same clothes, or will they need to bring a change of clothes? Will you expect staff to dress casually or formally?

6. If you've planned your corporate outing for during work hours, then will it be compulsory to attend? It might be that you're event won't be in your town or city, and won't get back until late, which can be awkward for some staff and their families. Would it be easier to arrange something for a weekend instead?

7. You and your colleagues will want to see that the corporate day out is time and money well spent. You don't want staff to think that they could have been more productive cold calling, or it would have been more beneficial to ensure that the company accounts are up to date.

8. Value for money is important, but you shouldn't choose a location or an event on cost alone. You won't want staff to think that you're stingy, or moan that they had to pay for their meal, drinks or transport themselves. If you're serious about organising a corporate outing fro your staff, then do it properly.

9. You'll want to make sure that your staff have fun, and can relax during the day. Now isn't the time to talk shop, so concentrate on the event itself, and leave the office talk for the office.

10. The perfect corporate outing will leave your staff and colleagues feeling valued and willing to work harder. It should be seen as a reward, and something to look forward to. It shouldn't be seen as a chore, and something that will be boring and that people will try and avoid.

By : M_James

The Top 5 Networking Tips

In this age of technology many have turned to the internet and social networking sites. These sites may help you reach out to people all over the country.

However, you can still be very effective networking in person by joining various organizations.

By networking in person you will build lasting relationships that help you market your business or find employment. Here are some tips to be successful in your networking.

1. Choose to join or attend as many organizations or associations that you have interest in. You will find that each group will have a different focus.

Some may be centered around building business relationships while others may be focused on volunteering. You should determine what you hope to gain from joining the association.

This will help you decide if a particular organization will help you accomplish your goals.

2. Be mindful that networking is about building relationships and being yourself. Networking gives you the opportunity to help others.

An excellent way to be successful at networking is to volunteer within the organization. When you become part of the organization you will stay visible to the others within the organization - and it is also a great way to give back to an organization that has helped you.

3. During your networking meeting you should practice asking others open-ended questions.

This means to ask who, what, when and where. Asking questions that require more than a yes or a no will help spark conversation as well as show the person you are interested in what they have to say.

4. Be articulate. Being able to communicate well about what you do and who you do it for will help you get others to refer customers to you.

Additionally, being articulate when asking someone for their assistance or when they ask how they can help you is very important.

Know exactly what you need and why it is of importance to your business.

5. Follow up quickly with any referrals that have been sent to you. When someone gives you a referral it is also a reflection on them and you do not want to disappoint your networking connection.

Additionally, you should thank your networking colleague for the referral regardless of whether business is obtained from it as they will be apt to send you more if you acknowledge their referral.

By : Tony_Jacowski

Friday, January 22, 2010

Small Business Finance - Finding the Right Mix of Debt and Equity

Financing a small business can be most time consuming activity for a business owner. It can be the most important part of growing a business, but one must be careful not to allow it to consume the business. Finance is the relationship between cash, risk and value. Manage each well and you will have healthy finance mix for your business.

Develop a business plan and loan package that has a well developed strategic plan, which in turn relates to realistic and believable financials. Before you can finance a business, a project, an expansion or an acquisition, you must develop precisely what your finance needs are.

Finance your business from a position of strength. As a business owner you show your confidence in the business by investing up to ten percent of your finance needs from your own coffers.

The remaining twenty to thirty percent of your cash needs can come from private investors or venture capital. Remember, sweat equity is expected, but it is not a replacement for cash.

Depending on the valuation of your business and the risk involved, the private equity component will want on average a thirty to forty percent equity stake in your company for three to five years.

Giving up this equity position in your company, yet maintaining clear majority ownership, will give you leverage in the remaining sixty percent of your finance needs.

The remaining finance can come in the form of long term debt, short term working capital, equipment finance and inventory finance. By having a strong cash position in your company, a variety of lenders will be available to you.

It is advisable to hire an experienced commercial loan broker to do the finance "shopping" for you and present you with a variety of options.

It is important at this juncture that you obtain finance that fits your business needs and structures, instead of trying to force your structure into a financial instrument not ideally suited for your operations.

Having a strong cash position in your company, the additional debt financing will not put an undue strain on your cash flow. Sixty percent debt is a healthy. Debt finance can come in the form of unsecured finance, such as short-term debt, line of credit financing and long term debt.

Unsecured debt is typically called cash flow finance and requires credit worthiness. Debt finance can also come in the form of secured or asset based finance, which can include accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, real estate, personal assets, letter of credit, and government guaranteed finance.

A customized mix of unsecured and secured debt, designed specifically around your company's financial needs, is the advantage of having a strong cash position.

The cash flow statement is an important financial in tracking the effects of certain types of finance. It is critical to have a firm handle on your monthly cash flow, along with the control and planning structure of a financial budget, to successfully plan and monitor your company's finance.

Your finance plan is a result and part of your strategic planning process. You need to be careful in matching your cash needs with your cash goals. Using short term capital for long term growth and vice versa is a no-no.

Violating the matching rule can bring about high risk levels in the interest rate, re-finance possibilities and operational independence. Some deviation from this age old rule is permissible.

For instance, if you have a long term need for working capital, then a permanent capital need may be warranted. Another good finance strategy is having contingency capital on hand for freeing up your working capital needs and providing maximum flexibility.

For example, you can use a line of credit to get into an opportunity that quickly arises and then arrange for cheaper, better suited, long term finance subsequently, planning all of this upfront with a lender.

Unfortunately finance is not typically addressed until a company is in crisis. Plan ahead with an effective business plan and loan package. Equity finance does not stress cash flow as debt can and gives lenders confidence to do business with your company.

Good financial structuring reduces the costs of capital and the finance risks. Consider using a business consultant, finance professional or loan broker to help you with your finance plan.

By : Frank_Goley

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Networking - How to Start a Local Business Network With No Budget

If you are just getting started in business, you need all the help that you can get. In fact, the odds of your success are automatically stacked against you.

By joining a network, you can flip those odds back in your favor by surrounding yourself with experts. Read on to find out how you can create a local network on a small budget.

Before you start a network, you will need to scout out a venue for a meeting place. Although most of the activity of the group will take place over email and through the phone, you will need to periodically get together to swap war stories, get advice, and help each other.

Not to mention that this is also a great place to swap leads and referrals with other members. Look for a venue that is free to use. Many times this will be a place like a church basement, a library conference room, the local chamber of commerce, or even someone's home.

Once you have secured a location, you are in the position of hand-picking members so that you can benefit from the cream of the crop. Look for local business owners that you would like to maintain a long-term relationship with.

Look for complimentary services, but never direct competitors. Networks are a place to tell all, so if you share your secrets with someone that can use them against you, this is never good.

You can post notices, send out emails, call, or canvass that local owners that you want to join. Start with a small group of people around 5-10 when you are just getting started.

As the group grows, you will need to have officers in order to keep everything straight and to maintain a standard of quality from the members as well.

Once you have your members you will need to decide how often to meet, whether you are going to have rules and bylaws, and if you are going to charge dues to belong to the group (to cover overhead). Meeting every other week or monthly will be plenty.

By creating a network, you are giving your business access to people that have been there and done that already. They've made the mistakes that you have yet to make and through their wisdom, you may never make them.

With a network you get out what you put in. It is critical that you help all of the other members to the best of your ability as well. If you show that you are willing to give, when you need help other people will come to your rescue.

By : Joshua_Black

Following Up on the Referrals You Give is Good Business

Following up on the referrals you give to others is essential in building your close contact network. This is so rarely done, and it is so vital to successful networking. Here are a few of the many reasons you must do this.

First, you are meeting new people every day. And as you meet new people and hear their needs, you'll begin to work on solutions to their problems.

Since you know a lot of people and since you know how to connect them to the benefit of all, you will be sharing many leads and referrals.

Following up with those you give leads and referrals to ensures that you keep in touch with the new people you meet. It gives you a logical reason to reconnect.

Reconnecting is rarely done in networking today. This is why so many people have a big stack of business cards from people they barely remember on their desk.

They intend to reconnect but rarely do. When you reconnect with others you will show them you are interested in them, their success, and in helping them solve their problems. Chances are they'll find interest in you since you've found interest in them.

Second, you need to know if the person to whom you are referring people is converting them because you may be sending the wrong kind of referral.

Most people cannot effectively communicate to others what a marginally good client looks like, much less an ideal client. We are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day. It is highly likely that you won't be giving perfect referrals every time.

To truly understand the needs and business of someone else, you'll need to spend more time with him. If your networking partner can't convert the referrals you send him because they're the wrong kind, you're wasting time, your networking partner's time, and the time of the referred individual.

Third, if your networking partner is not following up, you need to find a new networking partner. Many times we begin to bring a new individual into our close contact network, only to discover that he doesn't follow through on the leads and referrals we give him. Do not invest your valuable time and reputation in someone who will not follow up.

Finally, following up shows your networking partner that you are worthy of referrals. While you can expect that others will refer you if you refer them, following up on the referrals you give provides evidence that you will follow up on the referrals you receive as well. This means more referrals for you.

By : Glen_Gould

Friday, January 15, 2010

Online Training For Small Businesses

One of the most challenging jobs in the hospitality industry as an employer is retaining your employees, high staff retention rates mean not only can you provide a consistent and high standard of service but also has financial implications, continually recruiting new employees and the associated training costs can soon mount up.

How often has it happened that you have gone through the time, effort and expense of training a new employee only for them to leave within weeks leaving you to go through the recruitment process again. There are a number of different ways this can be reduced and this is the basis for online training.

How to source FREE online training for small businesses

The key difference about specific websites among the many others offering online training is that the best are free of charge, this has numerous benefits for your business, it reduces your expenditure in the initial stages of a persons employment while still investing in the development of your employees and it also lets you to allocate a larger part your training budget to members of your team who have been employed for longer periods of time and provide continual investment.

Some of the online training courses available are Food Safety, Health & Safety and Alcohol & the Law

Online training in itself also has benefits, rather than having to allow the larger part of your workforce to attend formal classroom based sessions you can rota employees on an individual basis to complete training over a period of time allowing the business needs to come first while investing into the development of your team.

By : Aidan_Gibson

Online Shopping Vs the High Street - What Would You Choose?

When you maintain a house or building, there are many different aspects to bear in mind. Security is a large one; properties must be safe against accident or burglary.

Furniture and fittings are another important point; these must be in working order and safe to use. Lighting is also something we don't want to be without; it's amazing how we wouldn't miss it until it had gone, but miss it we would!

With all these areas to take into account, we all try to find ways of making life easy on ourselves. Whether that means paying someone else to maintain equipment for us, or simply trying to save money by shopping around, we all do our best to make things as simple and quick as possible, especially in the middle of a 'Credit Crunch'.

Actually, the recession that has hit Britain recently has taught us all a few things about trying to save money where possible. For one, it is often cheaper to buy items online than it is to drive to a shop and buy in-store.

Online retailers tend to offer discounts, especially for bulk orders, and occasionally delivery discounts as well. For example, it is often cheaper to buy light bulbs online, especially if they have specialist fittings and/or wattages.

Dedicated retailers of items such as light bulbs are also found online; their website may also offer fitting guides for your reference. To buy light bulbs online may seem initially quite a trivial saving, but if you buy light bulbs on the high street and spend more than you would have online, it may be worth looking online to find a cheaper retailer.

Other items that we seem to deem necessary for our homes can also be purchased online. Items such as carpets, tools, beds and soft furnishings can all be ought on the Internet, as well as smaller things like rugs, electricals, games consoles and even pet toys and bedding. All of these can be found on various websites for different prices, so it is important that you browse around before buying.

Whatever you may be looking at buying, it is important to know exactly what specification it needs to be. You may end up looking to buy light bulbs or other items as great prices, but then find they are not going to be right for the building, so this is an important aspect to bear in mind.

Another thing to consider is whether or not to buy from a specialist online retailer; a dedicated light bulb supplier, for example, will be more likely to have a wider range for you to buy light bulbs from, and will be able to give more comprehensive advice if needed. Most online retailers offer a landline and email support service, so this aids the buying process.

Online versus the high street will always have some divide in opinion; for some, nothing beats browsing the shelves for a bargain whereas others prefer to shop in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Whatever your personal preference, ensure you make a thorough and researched decision before buying, to get the best deal for your money.

By : Charles_Barnett

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Executive Leadership Training - Resolving Destructive Team Conflict

When you are building teams, it is inevitable that team conflict is going to occur. Team conflict can be good and it can be destructive.

As part of your executive leadership training, you want to learn how to know the difference between good and destructive team conflict and how to resolve conflict that is destructive.

Team conflict is good when there is a diversity of thoughts and ideas. This usually leads to better solutions and outcomes. However, there is team conflict that is destructive to the productivity and effectiveness of the team.

This destructive team conflict occurs when the conflict is interfering with the team reaching its goals. Left unaddressed, destructive conflict could escalate to the point where it has a major negative impact on the team. So the question becomes, what is the best course of action you can take when destructive team conflict occurs?

It is natural to adopt the philosophy of relying on the conflicting parties to work the problem out among themselves. After all, we're all adults, right? The problem with that approach is that while it sounds good in theory, in practice it simply doesn't work out that easily.

The fact that the conflict has escalated to the point of impeding team progress shows that the parties lack the capacity to work it out without intervention or training and development on how to resolve the conflict.

The first step to resolve destructive team conflict is to get to the root cause of the conflict. In most cases conflict has to do with the conflicting sides wanting to be right about something.

Human beings have a fundamental need to be right and sometimes that need to be right can cause the real issues to be blurred. Therefore, you as the leader will need to bring the conflicting factions together to talk through what is the "real" issue.

You will also want to keep the overall team goals as the main focus of the conversation. Conflicting parties can usually agree that they have the same goal in mind just different ways to go about reaching the goal.

Understanding behavioral styles can help prevent destructive feedback. Everyone has a natural behavioral style or a way they like to go about doing things. Behavior styles will conflict with different behavioral styles.

Therefore, if your team recognizes and understands the different behavioral styles of the team members it can go a long way in preventing conflict from being destructive.

Of course the first step is to understand one's own behavioral style. Understanding your own behavioral style helps you to appreciate another's behavioral style. Then it is much easier to see where potential conflict could occur.

There is an old saying "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This saying is very true when it comes to teams working together to achieve goals.

Therefore, it is imperative that when team conflict occurs, there are steps taken to address the conflicting issues and resolve them. Allowing conflicts to go unresolved is literally like a cancer that can destroy a team and eventually an organization.

By : Shari_Roth

Relating Team Building to Life

Team building is an everyday task. There is practicing, tasks to be completed and checked, time restraints which cause time management, customer service, scheduling, and evaluation to state a few.

There is giving the instructions in a way that is understood by the team and by each individual. One of the great attributes of a team is when it becomes consistent in the job that is performed. Something going wrong in a day, even though humans do make mistakes, becomes unusual.

Team building is based on being clear and communication well. It about looking out for and assisting each other. It is about competence and being able to do the job well. Leaders of teams stay in touch with the team making sure each understands the goals.

There is compassion in the team and for the team. Teams need to keep their spirits up even when things get challenging.

Though team members have emotions and that should never be forgotten, when getting the job done praise and encouragement is very important. A team member being down in a big way affects the team and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Then there is the belief that the team will succeed. The leader needs to believe this whole heartedly and each member needs to also believe this.

But what is in it for the individual? Is it only the success of the team? Though that is an integral part of each team there are also individual goals and aspirations of each member of the team that are important.

It tells how well a person works in a team, it shows how much a person cares, and it builds the reputation of the individual. And there may be goals to be on a team to get to the next phase in a career or goal. That's fine.

So as team building is learned and practiced often it seems that this is only used while at work or in a sports game. But these and many others are solid foundations for getting through life. They are amazing parts of any relationship or any family unit.

We are talking about communication, caring, praising, keeping things going when there are challenging times, and keeping mind sets and emotions high. It is also terrific resources in dealing with the time that go wrong and people make mistakes.

It is just a thought that the same resources we have at work or on the playing field can be part of everyday life. We all need to communicate well in all kinds of situations, and to me it is an incredible feeling to celebrate the accomplishments of others.

There are amazing times to help others and perhaps give training in different aspects of team building or even get assistance at times because we really can't get through it all alone. I have found that the more practiced in all areas of life the more natural it becomes to be a leader or a team member.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

8 Secrets to Black Business Networking and Membership Clubs

There are several secrets to networking in a particular field or industry. Networking is literally one of the main keys to spreading the word about your business.

article will focus on Black Business Owners due to black business owners are more likely to fail 5 times more than their counterparts.

In March 2008, a huge campaigned was launched by Lee Green to teach, train, empower and edify black business owners. Online entrepreneurship and marketing training for black business owners was developed through a membership site.

Although there is massive amounts of information within the membership club, this article will discuss 8 secrets to networking and being a member of the largest money attracting and marketing training organization focusing on Black business owners and those who desire to start their very own business.

The reason the below benefits are secrets is mainly because few business owners have the knowledge when it comes to networking online and marketing their business online.

1. Business Directory

Business directories are a great tool when you have a body of individuals whose sole purpose is to provide the best services to their customers and partners.

Members are given the opportunity to showcase their business, gifts, skills, talents and abilities in the form of a directory.

When a member is ready to buy or is in need of a particular service they will look within the membership first to purchase what they want, need and or desire.

2. Business Benefits

The business benefits within the Black Business Builders Club is enormous. A guide on how to make money online, internet marketing training videos, business ebooks and articles, and software programs are just a few of the benefits offered to members. The benefits can be utilized by the entire family and not just business owners.

3. Training

Internet Marketing Training is becoming more and more prevalent as people begin to come online to start a business of some sort. Its imperative that people are taught how to effectively market online, not be scammed and learn how not to spam. Training is offered via webinars, conference calls, video, audio, email, blogs and articles.

4. Discounts

Travel and shopping discounts are also offered to members. Members can be found receiving discounts from major retail stores, car gasoline discounts and travel discounts.

5. Video Communications

Video and audio being used on websites, within articles, on capture pages and on blogs is big business. Email marketing is pretty much the same. The Black Business Builders Club offers video/ audio postcards which have received rave reviews.

Can you imagine receiving an email that is in video form? The video postcards have been known to encourage people to become members because they are so impressed receiving a personalize video/audio postcard.

6. Networking

Networking provides an opportunity to build alliances. Networking and building relationships is completed online. Each member is a member of the National Black Business Trade Association ( The mission of the NBBTA in short is to empower and uplift entrepreneurs.

Weekly trainings are offered where members learn from presenters which is an opportunity for relationships and stronger communication amongst members.

Messaging systems and club chats are available for members to contact each other and for members to get on a group call to discuss pertinent issues or to just strike up general conversations.

Interactive discussions stemmed from blogs and forums keeps the membership community interactive with several topics being discussed and learnd on a daily basis.

7. Earn Income

The key to having more household income coming in than going out is saving and for consumers to find opportunities to earn referral fees on products and services they are already using.

There are many telephone companies who will give their customers a referral fee for telling others about their service. This is the easiest way to keep more household income.

The Black Business Builders Membership Club gives members the opportunity to earn 74% referral fees when they inform other people.

In conclusion, having a business directory is basically free traffic for members and it gives members the opportunity to buy from one another which results in recycling dollars within the membership.

The business benefits are valuable for any business owner or for any person who is interested in building a solid prosperous business online.

Training, discounts and cutting edge technological tools and resources are beneficial for members who want to stay in the fore front of the ever evolving world of changes on the Internet.

8. Opportunity to Learn and Effectively Market Your Business Online

Lastly, the Black Business Builders Membership Club gives members the opportunity to learn while they earn an income. The sky is the limit as far as how much a person would like to earn by way of referral fees.

The idea is for business owners to effectively learn how to market their business online, realize the success they are achieving from learning how to effectively market online and earn referral fees while building and sustaining their business.

By : Rhonda_K_Hicks

First, Assemble a Crowd

Business networking communities online are just like any other community, I'm never sure why people think they should behave differently online.

The mistake I see people making, is to head straight for the Classified Ads section and expect people to take notice of them.

You HAVE to engage, you HAVE to involve yourself in the community before people will be interested in you and your business.

Consider this for a second, you arrive at a breakfast meet or other networking event where you don't know anyone. Immediately you stand on a chair and start broadcasting your message and your current special offer.

What do you think people would think of you? Yet people do exactly that here. Have you met the people who do that? What did you think of them?

Aren't they often the people standing in the corner that nobody else wants to speak to? EXACTLY the same happens online, these people fly in, post an ad, and nobody reads it.

Spend some time getting to know the other people in the community. Find out about their businesses, see if you have knowledge or advice that might help.

By doing so, you will also get an understanding of their business, which might help you to pass business their way in the future and will definitely help you to understand how your products and services might help them.

First assemble a crowd of people who know and like you. In fact, why not just do that, business might just start flowing to you without you ever asking for it.

By : Stefan_D_Thomas

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Become a Prominent Networker

Networking is an art as much as a business strategy. It is also a skill that can be learned, and one that you require if you want to be successful in the current business arena.

There are many tricks to networking, however, you don't have to be a magician to learn this valuable ability, you just have to pay attention to several details and be conscious about the way in which you approach people:

1. Adapt your attitude
Networking is about helping others; it is a way of life, and as it comes, it goes. It takes advantage of the laws of the universe, which will always rule it.

2. Evaluate your network
Be sure to know whom you know. Make a list of all the people you know, including your hairdresser, the cashier at the supermarket, your mechanic, your accountant, your dentist, and even your favorite waiter. Important 'titles' mean nothing, you never know who will lead you to someone who can truly help you.

3. Relate to people of all ages and backgrounds who are good professionals
You can learn valuable things from everyone you meet. You can find mentors anywhere and everywhere. Offer to help them from the heart, and ask for help confidently.

4. Form a network before you need something
Attending business networking events, community organizations, or chambers of commerce only when you need them for something is not going to take you anywhere but down. In networking, you don't look out for yourself, instead, as you look out for others, the help you need will come your way.

5. Stay visible
You have to be everywhere and get known. Say yes to every invitation, even if you want to say no, other successful networkers will be there too.

6. Become a matchmaker
Help your contacts meet the people who can help them meet their needs. Only the most powerful people are selfless enough to help others succeed without a personal interest in the match.

7. Keep in touch
Just call or write to say hi and to ask how things are going. Invite people to lunch or coffee, just to have a good time learning more about them, no hidden motives involved

8. Keep people informed
When someone refers you, gives you an idea, or a lead, keep them informed of your progress so that they know to what extent they were useful. It is just simple, but deep, courtesy.

9. Value small talk
If you think small talk is BS talk, excuse me, but you're a snob. The intelligent networker knows that small talk leads to big talk, because this is how we bond.

10. Have manners
The best of the best are always respectful, courteous, and gracious, and they always acknowledge others for their help and support.

11. Reciprocate
Give back your support, help, and advice. In fact, if possible, be the first to give all these to others, and expect nothing in return.

12. Follow up
For effective business networking, you have to stay in the loop as to how your contacts are doing after you helped them, in this way; you ensure they will be there for you when your time comes.

By : Jonathan_Boyd

Master the Art of Asking Questions

The regulars hide every time Martin arrives at a marketing event, leaving the new networkers to their own fate and Martin's dreadful questions.

You see, just like Martin, many people believe that asking endless questions makes people feel comfortable and more willing to open up; when in reality 'questioners' invade your space and are just plain annoying.

Good questions can stimulate a conversation when they encourage intelligent observations and personal experiences; however, cross the line and you will kill any chance of starting a relationship with the other part. 'Questioners' just take information, energy, and time.

The first time Martin attended a marketing event, Phillip approached him to greet him, and started a conversation.

As incredible as it may seem, within five minutes of knowing him, Martin fired a questionnaire at Phillip that left him dumbfounded. He literally drained Phillip and annoyed him to the extent that he wished iPhones had a mute button that worked on people.

Needy people may welcome a 'questioner'. Their need for attention is so big that they can't believe their luck when someone just can't stop asking them questions about themselves, however, serious professionals don't have the time and energy to waste on such insecure people.

Yes, 'questioners' are, in many cases, people who are so insecure about themselves and their capacity that they ask lots of questions to see where they can find a space to fit, or else they think of themselves as so bright and important that they think they deserve answers from everyone and in regards to anything.

There is the caring and flattering curiosity of someone who wants to know how you made it to where you are in order to learn from your experience, and there's the other side, the person who wants to suck your experience out of you as if by asking questions they could seem wiser.

Good questions are asked out of a sincere interest for the person. The best networkers ask questions that make us a part of the dialogue without intruding. They will listen to our answer and make an intelligent and important remark.

The best way to get good in the art of asking questions is by listening to those who already master it. Pay close attention to what they say, how they say it, and what they do, but most importantly, observe how others react to their words.

By : Jonathan_Boyd

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In Business, You Have to Give to Receive

There are countless successful business styles; however, an infallible one is based on the principle of giving in order to receive. Connecting with others and giving from the heart most certainly will bring an abundance of business back to you.

Take Sally Jones, for example. Sally was born a giver. She is a jewelry designer and owned a small jewelry business.

Not very long ago, she moved from a small mid-west town to New York City, only carrying her work materials and equipment, and lots of dreams for her jewelry venture.

One year later, Sally's jewelry pieces were featured in some of the best fashion stores on New York's avenues and had a staff of ten people.

You may be wondering, how did a complete stranger, a shy and innocent girl from a small town made it so big so fast in a city like New York?

Well, as we said before, Sally is a natural giver, and as soon as she arrived to the big apple, she started being herself.

She went out of her way to help everyone however she could, from neighbors, to passersby on the street, to people in need.

On her limited means, she once fed a family of six for a whole month; she volunteered with local sheltering organizations, and every weekend she took a different group of orphans to the movies, the museum, or to the park. In her free time, she designed her jewelry.

Don't even go there... she didn't do all these things with the thought of acquiring business; honestly, would you be able to do just a fraction of all that with the only motive of getting more clients?

Bets are on! Sally didn't have the experience to think of that, she did all those things just because she felt inclined to do them, but believe it or not, her business started to bloom almost immediately.

Sally is a people person, and as such, as soon as she arrived to New York she started making lots of good friends, and these friends became clients who talked to other people, and soon, she had made her jewelry popular among a significant group of people, and as the caring person she is, she thanked them in many ways.

After trying it once with huge success, she made it a habit to invite groups of friends and clients to small gatherings at her jewelry studio.

She would show them how she worked and what her vision was, and would greet them with great food and a special gift.

This was perfect for her business and her style, because it blended the two things she loved the most, her art and pleasing people.

Successful people have a single personality no matter the occasion. Be it business or pleasure, Sally is always her old giving self.

But how exactly did Sally land the huge opportunity to feature her jewelry pieces all over New York City?

Well, one Sunday morning she was strolling along Central Park with a group of ten kids from an orphanage, when a woman who was walking her dog, fell down.

Even though Sally had her hands full with the kids, she ran to help her get up, helped her sit on a bench after making sure she was alright, and ran to call her driver who was waiting for her on the other side of the park.

The woman was already gone when Sally noticed she had lost a beautiful gold and blue gems bracelet when she fell. Sally ran to find her and was able to return the bracelet before the woman left the park.

When the woman offered a reward, Sally kindly rejected it saying that she just didn't want her to lose such a beautiful piece, and that's when the woman noticed the necklace Sally was wearing. It was a beautiful and delicate white gold and pink stone piece. The woman, whose name was Amanda, asked her about it and Sally told her she had designed it.

To make a long story short, it turns out Amanda was a famous fashion executive in charge of selecting the clothes and accessories for a major chain of fashion stores, and within two months of Sally helping her, she got her a really good place at the stores' jewelry section.

By : Jonathan_Boyd

7 Ways to Build Your Business by Networking

Do you love to Network? Do you network? Do you even understand the value of networking? I first learned the value of networking in my early 20's and believe to this day many of my successes can be attributed to my ability to effectively network beginning at a young age.

I remember being invited to an ICSC party in Las Vegas when I was 25 by a retailer I was in the midst of negotiating a deal with and the guest list represented the who's who as far as retailers are concerned.

It was evident to me almost immediately that I was the only broker at a party intended to keep us out (and retailers in).

I even tuned out the few who were gossiping behind my back about the fact that I wasn't on the official invite list and thus shouldn't be there.

Youth was on my side; being naïve at the time I focused on meeting and beginning relationships with as many of these individuals as I could.

And I was genuinely interested in them as people first, what they did for a living second, and lastly how I might be of assistance to them - not the other way around. My Rolodex grew by leaps and bounds that evening.

Little did I know that evening would lay the groundwork for the next several years as I got more deals done then my competition because my calls got returned.

I had developed the emotional equity I needed. I connected to develop relationships and without the open hand most others seem to have.

Attending networking events with a "what's in it for me" attitude is transparent and extremely unattractive. So just how should one approach networking to get the biggest bang for the buck? I am glad you asked, read on...

1. Learn to appreciate relationships: Appreciate one person daily. This can be done with a phone call, email or personal note and only takes minutes. The benefits of this one tiny habit alone will produce a tremendous payoff.

2. Practice networking one day at a time: While in line at Starbucks, the grocery store, even the airport practice striking up a conversation. Eventually you will be able to do this with ease. And, you never know when you'll come across just the person you've been looking for.

3. Join a networking group:
There are so many - Rotary, Kiwanis, The Chamber of Commerce, industry associations, mastermind groups. Join these groups to meet new friends and to help foster the success of their business.

4. Go to industry functions:
ICSC, CCIM, SIOR, NAIOP, CREW (for the ladies in the business), anything! Just go and enjoy the people you came across. Have the intention to seek out one person at each event whom you can help. Become resource rich!

5. Learn to smooze: Practice making people comfortable around you. Learn how to talk on a variety of subjects thereby being able to choose from your conversational arsenal when needed.

6. Make connections:
Approach a group or person, introduce yourself and learn something about each person - be interested. Now, go back to your office and follow-up with each person.

7. Offer help and follow through:
If you're in the position to help someone you meet networking, follow through and do it. The law of reciprocity will pay you back ten-fold.

The bottom line - be sincerely interested in people and cultivate the talent to be of genuine service to others with no expectations in return.

The practice of networking will provide you with many "get out of jail cards" to cash in when you need them!

Who can you reach out to today?

By : Cindy_Saxman_Spivack

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Open Source is Key to Keep Technology Costs Down For Small Businesses

A recent issue of Entrepreneur magazine had articles on starting a blog, virtual workforce, instant messaging, mobile banking, using Skype and a choice of BlackBerry or iPhone. How are you going to do all of that without gearing up with technology?

As a small business, you can leverage technology in one of two ways:

1. Use expensive commercial software.

2. Try free open source software for those areas where it meets your needs.

Luckily, the same issue of Entrepreneur magazine went on to offer tips to revamp small business IT for serious savings. One was to use open source software (OSS). They estimated that a small business could save $18,950 per year by using OSS.

Stars Are Lining Up For SMBs To Use Open Source

In the past, SMBs often have been reluctant to bring in OSS because of a lack of in-house skills. While small businesses still do not have deep OSS expertise, that barrier to adoption is diminishing as OSS is becoming more mature, commercial OSS vendors gear up to support smaller businesses and a growing number of third-party support providers emerge.

While larger enterprises look at OSS for reducing cost and the ability to customize, SMBs in the forefront of this trend, are viewing OSS as an opportunity to bring in latest technologies that earlier were available only through expensive, proprietary applications, analysts say.

With hundreds of millions of downloads and a visible public profile, Linux, Apache, Firefox and OpenOffice provide shining examples for those who are still either unaware or skeptical about OSS.

In addition, we are at a point where you can read in popular print or online magazines successful case studies about larger enterprises using Linux, Apache and other OSS. That eliminates a lot of the concerns that small businesses had about going down an unproven path.

Cost Savings Are Just The Beginning

In our experience, cost savings are just the beginning. CNET Blog Network author and popular OSS columnist Matt Asay puts it more eloquently: "With budgets being cut, now is the time to tap into the innovation and flexibility of open source. Open source isn't solely or even chiefly about reducing costs, but that's a great side effect."

Put On Your Thinking Cap Again

Small businesses are, understandably, gun shy about looking for opportunities to leverage technology to improve their business. Every time they thought of a good idea in the past, the cost of commercial software was so sky high, they not only dropped that idea, but also stopped thinking along those lines. With OSS, that equation has changed dramatically.

We invite small and medium businesses to start putting on your thinking cap again. Now you can get creative. With such a wide choice of OSS now available, even if you come up with the craziest creative idea, there probably already is an open source application that can be customized to implement it.

By : Ashok_Ramachandran

Window Blinds Business - 7 Reasons to Start Now!

Lets face it with the Country just about out (if not already out) of recession this could be the ideal time to start a window blind business, get started now and you can hit the ground running.

Let's start with the housing market being sluggish, people are staying put now and are replacing their blinds to give their home an instant lift, when the housing market does pick up people will be moving and wanting blinds for their new homes, you are in a win win situation.

There is less competition now as some blind business's have closed down, and a lot of the remaining ones have cut back on their advertising.

Your local media will love, either newspapers, radio or even television you, for bucking the trend and could write your story, giving you free publicity. Send them your story as a press release.

Blinds are available for all types of windows and the average house has over half a dozen windows, there are also conservatories which can take up to a dozen blinds.

You can start part-time and keep your day job, and build up to full time as your business grows.

You can add a blinds business to an existing business if you have one, for example carpets, windows and curtains come readily to mind.

There are a wide range of blinds available, such as vertical, roller, Venetians, Romans & pleated, but just as important is a new product which automatically compliments a window blind business and that is shutters, a product which could well boost and transform the entire blind business.

By : Jim_Forbes

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Client Contracts - Key Ingredients

The other day I was having a casual conversation with a colleague of mine who was wondering if she should be using contracts with her clients. I immediately responded YES!

I had begun using contracts the second I was in business but not on a consistent basis. My lack of inconsistency allowed for a couple of my employees to break a non-compete agreement they had with me and go to work directly for what I thought at the time was my best client. I had neglected to have that client sign a contract with me.

Now, no matter what, I put contracts together for all of my clients, no matter how short or long our engagement is. My contracts spell out the scope of the work and are very specific. I do this so that the client is very clear about the work we provide and their responsibilities in our working arrangement.

Here are some things you will want to include in any contract you put together:

1. What you will do for the client. For example: enter bills, cut checks, collate, prepare bank reconciliations for all cash account, enter credit card transactions and reconcile, record payroll entries, etc.

2. What you won't do for the client. For example a clause I always include is that we are not CPAs and do not prepare financial statements. The reports we prepare are for internal management purposes only.

3. What you will need from the client and when. For example, access to their QuickBooks file, bills and bank statements and other material pertinent to perform the work.

4. When you will provide the services. Whether a project or ongoing services, I always set an expectation of when we will work on the client's books and when the material to work on their books is needed by. I also include a statement giving us the right to terminate our agreement if the material needed is not received when needed.

5. Services outside the scope of this agreement. In every agreement, I include a paragraph titled "Request for Additional Services" which lets the client know that they can request any of our other services to be outlined in a separate engagement letter.

6. Fees. Don't forget to include a discussion of your rates, payment schedule, finance charges, interest, collections and attorney fees applicable if the account goes into collection.

7. Approval Signatures. At the end of each of my contracts I have a place for the client to sign and also for myself. It is important to have the contract signed by an owner or officer of the business.

8. Personal Guarantee Statement. Because we deal with a lot of small businesses, I request that each client sign a personal guarantee statement ensuring they will pay for our services personally in the event there is a problem with the business. If the client is not willing to sign a personal guarantee statement, they may not be the client you want to have.

Having contracts with your clients not only protects you and your company, but it can also help with collection issues as well. Be sure to look at the big picture when it comes to contracts. All new clients start out well, but they do not always stay that way.

By : Laurie_O'Neil

Setting Up a Restaurant Bar - Tips When Planning

The set-up of a restaurant bar depends on a long list of issues. Everything from the size of the building, to the theme, and of course the liquor license can affect the success of your bar.

In some cases, bars are "service only" which mean that customers are unable to order directly, but the serving staff places the order for them. Other restaurant bars offer either full or limited bar menus.

A lot of bars take part in "Happy Hour" which is generally when they get the majority of their business. If you happen to be an already successful restaurant owner and considering adding on a full service bar, keep the following pointers in mind.

1. The level of difficulty is pretty average but this type of project can usually take anywhere from 6-8 weeks depending on your bar's specifications.

2. Before anything else, read through your liquor license agreement. Some licenses allow a bar to hold all the alcohols but some can only carry beer and wine by law. If you have the contract that only covers beers and wines, then you will probably consider building a smaller service bar.

If you plan to serve all the hard liquor however, with the inclusion of wines and beers, you should map out the space accordingly so that you con construct a full service restaurant bar.

3. Before building or tearing down, take precise measurements of the entire interior space. This will help you determine how much space you actually have for your newly added bar.

4. Consider where the best place for your bar is in the building. Keep in mind that a bar usually has double functionality. They often serve as a second waiting staff area as well. For these staff members, a bar in the center of the dining room is the ideal location.

This is especially true considering the dinner rush. For the more intimate setting, placing a restaurant bar at the very back of the building will be helpful in drowning out the hustle and bustle of the streets and the loud kitchen. Be sure to consider the location of your restrooms as well and how your staff operates on a normal basis. Remember, location is everything.

5. Keep your bar stocked with all the necessary equipment. That means multiple coolers and fridges, ice bins and dispensers, glass racks, bar stools, and coasters. Your bar stools and coasters may just match the theme of your entire restaurant and bar. Be sure to invest in all the right décor to set the mood and invite guests.

6. The perfect lighting can really help you set the tone of your bar. It should be very subtle. It shouldn't be so dark that the customers can't read the menus but they shouldn't be so bright they feel like a spot light either.

The perfect lighting situation for a bar includes recessed lighting and track lighting. Both of these come with dimmer switches that assist any staff member to control the intensity of each light bulb.

7. Know that your wine and beer salesperson can supply you with free merchandise whenever possible. This may include decorative mirrors and beer décor, glasses, cubs, and neon lights, everything perfect for a bar. Figure out what you are capable of getting for free in exchange for a little beer advertising and take full advantage.

Your main concern when beginning to design a restaurant bar is definitely your guests. Ask yourself these certain questions before you implement any part of your floor plan. Is the center or is the back the right location for my bar?

Will the guests be more comfortable in these heightened or these cushioned bar stools? Does the décor I chose for my bar complement the theme of my restaurant? When you are ready to renovate and include a full or half service bar in your restaurant, refer to these very useful and practical tips.

By : Autumn_L_Rose