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6/22/2016, Forbes -- Buying a franchise can be a great move for a would-be entrepreneur who doesn’t want to create a new business from scratch. In theory, franchisees acquire a model that already works on every level, from branding to pricing to marketing. A ready clientele eagerly spends on Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and 7-11. The market has tested the best recipes for glazed crullers, Egg McMuffins and the right combo of energy drinks to stock next to the register. But making a go as a successful franchisee can be a lot more complicated than simply finding an appealing brand and plunking down some cash. For a taste of what can go wrong, see Forbes’ piece about the problems at sandwich franchise Quiznos, which paid $206 million to settle a suit brought by franchisees who claimed the chain had oversold its markets and excessively marked up supplies. If you’re thinking of becoming a franchisee, how should you prepare yourself? We asked three professionals with extensive knowledge of the franchising world. Ed Teixeira is both a former franchisor and former franchisee, and the author of two books on franchising, including The Franchise Buyer’s Manual. Josh Brown is a Carmel, Indiana lawyer who specializes in franchising, and Sean…
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6/22/2016, Entrepreneur -- Few marketing vehicles offer the advantages live events do. They provide unmatched opportunities for customers and prospects to touch, demo and otherwise interact with a product. Events facilitate relationship- and community-building with like-minded individuals, and enable brands to create a “brain-washing chamber” where they have complete control over the environment and messaging. Related: Online Marketing Gets All the Buzz But Check Out the ROI for Live Events Plus, live events are custom made for photo-sharing on social networks. It is probably no coincidence, then, that event planning is one of the fastest growing career categories in the United States, projected to grow at three times the average job growth over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are some time-tested professional tips for successfully marketing your brand through live events.   1. Set clear, measurable goals. It’s shocking how often this doesn’t happen, but without articulating event objectives, how will you know if your event was successful? If you’re having trouble with this, consider this perspective: What action(s) do you want people to take post-event? What circumstances or outcomes would lead you to absolutely not want to host the event again? What outcomes would…
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6/23/2016, June 2016 Issue -- In 1987, the Conference Board, a New York-based nonprofit research group conducted a job satisfaction survey. Since then, the survey has become a regular occurrence, the most recent conducted in 2014. In its first year, 61 percent of workers said they liked their jobs. That number fell over the years, reaching an all-time low in 2010 after the Great Recession with only 42.6 percent satisfied with their jobs. The survey went on to cover various elements of a person's job including job security, wages, vacation policies, health and retirement plans and sick leave, among others. All elements pointed to a downward trend, showing that workers were happier in 1987 than they are today.   Mobile Electronics recently sent out a similar survey to try to identify how the industry feels about many such elements. 41 questions were asked with topics that included professional development, career advancement, enthusiasm for work, overall shop attitude, compensation, relationship between management and employees, various benefits and job security, among others. The majority of those surveyed are owners (40 percent) with lead installation technicians coming in second (15 percent) and regular installers (10 percent) coming in third. 131 people were surveyed…
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6/20/2016, Entrepreneur -- It’s one of the most popular questions in interviews, and also one of the most understandable. Why not hear why your future employee is right for the role straight from the horse’s mouth? Why then, does it fill us with so much trepidation? Partly because there’s no way of tricking this question, you’ve just got to believably detail exactly why you’re better than all the other applicants for the job. You’ve got to tell them why what you’ve got is worth having. The one key thing to remember is that the hiring manager is putting their reputation on the line, whoever they hire. Sell yourself into them with confidence and evidence that you’re the best person for the job, and this question can be the key to unlocking that job offer. Work out what they want Your first step, as always, is to do your research. Start by reading the job specification. Then read it again, looking between the lines. It might be that they’re asking for soft skills like flexibility or high emotional intelligence while what they’re really looking for is someone who can adapt to new tasks and be proactive with their work, or someone…
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6/20/2016, Forbes -- Americans will spend more than 8.9 billion hours complying with IRS tax filing requirements in 2016. To put that in context, that works out to 222,500,000 full work weeks (assuming a standard 40 hour work week). You’d have to work 4,278,846 years straight to hit those kinds of numbers. All in all, tax compliance will cost the U.S. economy $409 billion this year. That’s the word out of The Tax Foundation, which recently put together a report estimates the total cost of tax compliance on the U.S. economy using data from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why is it so bad? For one, our Tax Code. In 1955, the Internal Revenue Code was 409,000 words long. Today, it’s about 2.4 million words long (depending on who you ask): almost six times as long as it was in 1955 and almost twice as long as in 1985. That means it’s growing at about 32,639 words per year or 89 words per day. That’s pretty amazing considering that Congress isn’t exactly moving and shaking these days: the House plans to be in session fewer than 111 days in 2016. In addition to tax laws, there…
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From its small beginnings rooted in a now-obsolete product, Voxx International is manufacturing products at every end of the electronics spectrum, giving itself nowhere to go but up. Mobile Electronics, June Issue, Behind The Scenes, 6/16/2016 -- Does anyone remember pocket transistor radios? Probably not, yet this tiny gadget served as the foundation for one of the most formidable consumer electronics companies in the industry today—Voxx International. Back in 1960, John Shalam sold pocket transistor radios for an import company, but when a deal went south that left him saddled with 2,000 car stereos, he unexpectedly had a new game plan and a new company. By 1965 Audiovox was in business and Shalam was selling aftermarket car radios to car dealers. The timing couldn’t have been better since back then approximately 35 percent of the vehicles delivered to a new car dealer came without a car radio. From there, he moved the product to mom-and-pops and then to mass merchants. Today, that gumption is still very much part of the company’s ethos where Shalam remains as chairman of the board. Renamed Voxx International in December 2011, it is now headed by CEO Pat Lavelle who has been in that role…
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