Creating Business Alliances Out of Business Rivalries

Business Professionals

Many business owners are aware that it’s not just the company that offers the products or services. Ironically, staying above the competition can be possible if you’re willing to study your competitors a little more closely. Here’s how you can use your findings to your advantage.

Create “Unlikely” Alliances

On September 15, 1976, former rivals ABA and the NBA merged and mutually benefited from each other. The NBA used the ABA’s famed 3-point line and absorbed four of its teams, which created an expansion. In the same way, you and your competitors could make a partnership to further your business endeavors. You could partner with a reputable custom clearance broker so they could handle your import or export documents. You could also find a supposed “rival” company from overseas that’s open to a merging. You can send your products to be processed by your custom clearance broker. You can increase your profits and expand your company’s reach in this way.

“Strong like Mountain, Flexible like Water”

One way or another, you will always aim to win, so you know you need to market yourself well to your clients. You need to keep an eye on your competitors’ movements so they could provide vital information about their operations. Use this information as an advantage since you can learn from your rival’s strengths and weaknesses and then make adjustments accordingly in your own company.

Learn From Example

In reality, both positive and negative aspects are essential in the success of any business. A competitor could serve as a cautionary tale. Learning from a historical standpoint tells you what and what not to do regarding business decisions. But just because a business strategy isn’t effective for a company doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be of use to you in the future. Take note of everything and make the proper execution when necessary.

Corporate rivalries have been around ever since companies have been established. What continually changes though, is the market and its trends. Be willing to take these steps to attain the kind of success you’re trying to achieve.

Three Ways to Improve Your Office Environment

Office Space

The productivity of people in the office is directly tied to their environment. Is your workplace conducive for work? Whether you’re a manager, an operations head, or the owner of a business, ensure that employees can perform in your workspace. Do you want to improve it? Here are some tips:

Make Sure that It’s Clean

Offices have the reputation of being clean on the surface but grimy underneath. From dusty trophies on the company shelf to slimy bathroom tiles, many offices urgently need a good deep clean. In Salt Lake City, cleaning services such as ProKleen can easily make sure that the wall-to-wall carpet is not housing unwanted creatures between each thread. Making sure that the carpet and everything else is clean also addresses significant health concerns. Viruses and allergens can easily thrive in an unkempt office.

Mind the Acoustics

When you take calls from your desk, do you hear the person you’re talking to? Or do you often find the need to take the call outside? Do you usually have to apologize to customers for the noisy background? Many offices suffer from poor acoustics, and productivity is taking a serious hit. It doesn’t matter if you’re not receiving calls for work. Having an office with good acoustics means that people who need to talk can hear each other without disrupting other people. Consult an acoustic specialist and see what changes you can make to improve the way sound travels inside your office.

Keep the Area Well Lit

Poorly lit office space is one of the top dampers of efficiency. When the lighting is off in the workplace, it sets the mood. If you want employees who work at a snail’s pace, install dim lights and partially cover the light sources. If you want employees who are alert and awake, flood the room with natural light and augment it with some overhead lighting.

In the end, these three tips should put you well on your way to creating a workspace that’s fit for overachievers and rock stars. Good luck!

What You Need to Know About The Funeral Rule of the Federal Trade Commission

State law generally governs the funeral industry. But the laws could differ significantly from one state to another, which make state laws complicated and not readily enforceable. There is, however, one rule that all funeral homes should adhere to called the Funeral Rule, which is enforced by the FTC or Federal Trade Commission. It’s crucial that you fully understand this rule because it would help you when shopping around for funeral services and products. Generally speaking, below are your rights according to the FTC’s Funeral Rule:

  • Only purchase funeral services and products that you want. However, you do need to pay the funeral home’s basic service charge. This service charge is non-declinable and covers the funeral home’s overhead, including maintenance costs for the facility, vehicles, etc.
  • Obtain a detailed, written statement before paying anything. This statement must clearly show everything you’re purchasing and how much each item costs after you have made the funeral arrangements.
  • The funeral provider must provide you with itemized prices. In particular, you should receive a comprehensive price list and related disclosures when you’re being offered various funeral services, products, and arrangements, notes an experienced funeral director in Clearfield. Funeral providers are likewise required to provide you written price lists for their offerings and accurate prices when you request them over the phone.
  • You’re legally entitled to get the facts. Aside from requiring that funeral providers disclose all their prices, the Funeral Rule likewise include stipulations to prevent misrepresentations and dishonest practices to help make sure that you get specific facts including:
    • For a cremation, you could opt for an alternative container rather than a typical casket.
    • While state law doesn’t require embalming, it might be necessary for funeral plans that come with viewing. You do need to give your permission for embalming though.
    • Although state law doesn’t require the use of outer burial containers, most cemeteries require them to prevent graves from sinking.

Put simply, the FTC’s Funeral Rule helps you in picking out only the services and products you need to, or want for a funeral, whether you’re doing planning for your funeral or when making arrangements for someone else.

Canggu, Bali: Useful Suggestions for Making a Life There

tropical villa

Imagine breathing fresh sea air to start your day and then sitting on black sand to end it. If this is how you want to live each day of your life, then move to Canggu, a resort village in Bali, Indonesia. Here are some tips for starting a life there:

Where to Live

One of the first things that you need to consider is your living arrangements. The resort village offers many excellent private rooms, apartments, and villas that you can rent for very reasonable prices. Plus, you’ll be able to live comfortably in the village because of the essential amenities, including restaurants, coffee shops, fitness centres, and laundry shops. There’s even an international school that your kids can go to in Canggu.

What to Do for a Living

You need a source of income if you’re staying long-term. Good for you if you already have a steady job that allows telecommuting. Otherwise, you can apply for a position in the village’s hotels and restaurants. Becoming a foreign language teacher or surfing instructor is another option. You can also make use of the co-working spaces there to do freelance work, like writing and web designing.

How to Adjust to Life

Finally, you’ll have some adjusting to do once you start your new life. This is especially true if you’re coming from a very different part of the world. You must get used to the weather, currency, and food. You’ll also probably have to learn basic Balinese to communicate with the locals and ride a motorbike or scooter to get around easily.

Relocating to Canggu can prove to be an excellent move for you, but you have to plan to better prepare yourself for the changes that it can bring.

How to Start a Franchise from Scratch

Couple thinking about a franchise

Starting a business from scratch requires a great amount of preparation and dedication. With a franchise, less effort is needed. But there is an option in between: franchising an existing business. In this article, we look into how to start a franchise. There is no need to think ahead with questions like “How will I grow my franchise?” or “How much capital do I need to survive my second year?” Let us focus first on building it from the ground up.

1. Plan and organize first

It is important that you know how your business operates. Your franchisees will replicate your business model, so they must be provided with everything they need to successfully grow your franchise. Author an operations manual that franchisees will follow. Create a strategic plan as a guide for growth. Also, do not forget to hire a mentor and a lawyer to help you with all the requirements of the franchising process.

2. Choose intelligently

When you choose a location and potential franchisees, be wise. You have to choose areas where more people can see your franchise units, where demand can grow organically for brand recognition, and where competitors are weak or do not exist for competitive advantage. Be strict, too, in choosing franchisees. They must have a good background, a natural business sense, and willingness to help you grow the franchise.

3. Build efficiently

With all your plans, locations, and franchisees in their proper places, begin to build your brand with efficiency of use. Your brand is your franchise’s greatest asset. Market it accordingly. Make sure that it is utilized with the right language, for the right targets, and by the right people. Protect it from misuse. At best, set guidelines for your franchisees to follow. They are bonded to the same purpose, so they must know how to use the brand properly.

Franchising your business is entirely a new business in a sense. But your simple idea of expanding your business as a franchise can become a great success if you prepare well enough to understand how your business works and how your brand will react to the franchise model.