How to Start a Food Truck Business

Once you are able to buy a food truck, this means that you are ready to start a business. However a food truck business is not always a bed of roses. You can expect the best outcomes from having this business but you must also anticipate the worst. The worst being, the possibilities of the truck breaking down in the middle of your route. If this happens you will lose a lot of money and will leave hungry customers. In this business you must be able to find a very good and efficient truck and you must maintain its good condition.

Here is a guideline that you can take if you want to buy a food truck:


Identify the amount that you are willing to spend for your business. Once you have made a rough estimate on how much you are willing to spend devise a business strategy and a plan that you think will work best for you. You must also be certain on your decision on what type of truck you will be using. Choose whether you want to invest on a used truck or a brand new truck.

How to Start a Food Truck Business

Know the importance of asking the food vending business essentials from people who used to own food trucks. Ask them where they bought their trucks and ask them which companies are the most reliable. Knowing these in formation will help you save a lot of time and money.

If you decide on buying a used truck, it is important for you to have a mechanic that you can bring along when you would like to inspect the truck. There may be defects that cannot be determined by a layman's eye and that only an expert can decipher. The mechanic can help you examine whether the used truck you wish to buy is still in good condition. If you cannot bring a mechanic along, ask the seller to give you time to have the food truck you intend to buy be examined by a mechanic. Bring the food truck to a mechanic and have the food truck subjected to a general inspection before deciding to buy the unit.

On the other hand, if you think that it would be a wiser move and a more practical decision to buy a new truck, make sure that the truck you buy is warrantied and find out the extent and the coverage of the warranty that comes with the truck. Ask all the necessary questions that you need to ask before paying for the unit.

Take the food truck for a test drive. This will let you know determine whether you can comfortably maneuver the truck. Make sure that all the parts of the truck and you can easily see the back view from its mirrors. This is a safety precaution for you. If you think that the truck is different to maneuver, ask for a different unit. You must take note that although the truck is in good condition, if it is something that is difficult to maneuver then it is not good for your business.

Once you have decided which truck to buy, ask your seller for a good deal on the price. Most sellers would cut the truck's original price twenty percent less. Take advantage of this. Learn the art of haggling but do not haggle too much. Just like you, these food truck sellers are also in the business and need to profit.

How to Start a Food Truck Business

Now that you understand the basics you will want to check out the hot dog blog at You will get free information on how best to run a hot dog business. Training, videos, and catch phrases to name some of what is covered on that blog.

For a free mini-course on running your hot dog business visit right now.

How to Define a Business

Businesses are everywhere. They are the units that perform most of the economic activity in our economy. Most businesses exist to generate a profit. There are some businesses that exist to perform a function other than profit, such as cooperatives and non-profit organisations. The traditional definition of a business is an entity that brings together time, effort and capital in order to produce a profit.

There are many different ways of classifying businesses but here are the main types:


Businesses can either be privately owned or publicly owned by the government. Government usually regulates business for a variety of purposes. This will include collecting corporate taxes. Also certain business pose a risk to the public and so must be regulated. Some businesses, especially extraction and manufacturing but also others, have a significant impact on the environment. If they were left unregulated, they could, while carrying out their functions for profit, do irreparable harm to the environment. Others, such as drug companies and pharmaceuticals must be regulated so that safety and health standards can be maintained. Drugs must be monitored so that any that begin to cause serious side effects are quickly taken off the market.

How to Define a Business

Most people hold the view that it would not be successful to have businesses regulate themselves when it comes to vital areas of the public interest.

How to Define a Business

Joseph Kenny is the webmaster of the loan information site At the Personal Loan Store you can find some of the latest personal loans explained in detail.

Attributes of Business Success

Cultivate Inner Networks

Entrepreneurs practicing the art of business success know the power of networks. They take the time to identify and build relationships with key peers, mentors, and advisors. This inner network provides support, direction, and an increased number of people to assist.


Customer Centric

Attributes of Business Success

Business success requires an unwavering commitment to the customer. This commitment encompasses a mindset of understanding the customers' world. Understanding the customer's wants and needs provides the business with a greater opportunity to earn a loyal customer base. Focus away from business and profits, and toward what you can do to improve the life of your customers.

Humble Honesty

Business success requires the ability to know your strengths and weaknesses. Being open and honest about yourself and your business creates growth as an individual and as a company. Don't spend time developing weaknesses. Find help for weak areas, enabling you to focus on strengths. Building our strengths instead of fixing our weakness is the path to mastery and success. Take the time to know yourself and business.


Business success requires the ability to adapt to changing situations. Nothing ever goes as planned. The world of business is full of surprises and unforeseen events. Using the habit of adaptability allows business owners to respond to circumstances with the ability to change course and act without complete information. Being flexible allows us to respond to changes without being paralysed with fear and uncertainty.

Opportunity Focused

Problems are a regular part of business life. Staff issues, customer misunderstandings, - the list is endless. To achieve business success, look at both sides of the coin. Every problem has an opportunity. Being opportunity focused makes the game of business fun and energising.

Finding A Better Way

Productivity is the cornerstone of business success. Formulate the habit of finding a better way to make your business more productive. This will create more time to focus on the critical issues that drive sales and profit. Productivity can be enhanced by technology, automation, outsourcing, and improving business processes.

Balanced Lifestyle Management

A business can consume your time and energy. It's easy to allow the business to take control of your life. Business success requires the attribute of balancing all aspects of your life. Separating time for daily business tasks, profit driven tasks, and free time is a attribute that will make your business and life more enjoyable. Take the time to plan each week.

Learning and instilling new ways in your daily business life can have a dramatic effect on your level of success. Review each of the attributes. Choose one to focus on for a month or until you achieve mastery. Gradually incorporate each of the attributes of business success into your life and attain your business dreams.

Attributes of Business Success

James Chapman is an international consultant and speaker, who has advised many of the world’s leading firms.

He has had the privilege over the past 16 years to provide motivational speeches to many international organisations.

James Chapman lives with his wife and son in the Algarve, Portugal.

Telephone: 00351 96 7114086


Website: []


Business - What Is a Conflict of Interest?

In business, particularly in a small town or city, a conflict of interest will often come about due mainly to lack of choice. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case where multinational companies are concerned along with their well-paid executives. A conflict of interest is one where a person or a business owes allegiance of one kind or another, to two masters.

When the law was first introduced in England back in the 15th century, it was recognized then that a man could not serve two masters equally well. So what does a conflict of interest look like today?


What constitutes today's conflict of interest?

Business - What Is a Conflict of Interest?

In today's business world, the governing boards of many companies and corporations, is comprised of a group of people known as company directors. Many of these company directors are also on the boards of other corporations or companies and for each board of directors that they sit on, they are paid a fee. These fees vary from board to board and many of them are substantial.

Some bigger corporations only have well-known people on their board of directors because they are the most likely to add credibility and bankability to the business. Many ex-politicians accept board of director appointments to supplement their income or for any number of other likely reasons.

The value these people bring to the board of directors appointment is in their reputations and the network of other business contacts they have accumulated over the years. The reputation of a board director is virtually what they are trading on along with their network of contacts.

If they are on the board of one business and that business wants to amalgamate, take-over or buy-out another business whose board of directors they are also sitting on; and there is financial gain to be had by the outcome, then any director who finds themselves in this position where he or she will gain financially from the outcome, is known to have a conflict of interest.

The outcome will be financial gain either way for them but how can a person in that position get the best deal possible for either company? In business negotiations, there is always someone who gets a bit (or a lot) less than the other. So anyone who has to accept, approve or refuse a business offer and will gain a benefit from the outcome either way can't be impartial about an outcome. They have conflicting interests.

Conflict of Interest and the Legal Profession:

The legal profession in a small town especially where there are very few lawyers, will often be charged with having a conflict of interest simply because they could well be the only lawyers in the town. However, in these circumstances, the law takes a very dim view of any lawyer who does not immediately declare he or she is conflicted. Then the Judge must Judge that case before a case can be heard.

How can this Conundrum be Resolved?

The only resolution today in the case of a Company director is for them to resign their position, declare it and/or stand aside for the duration of the negotiations. Either way, it is illegal and against corporation law in most countries for any person to disregard this clause of corporation law.

A less-legal conflict of interest:

A more obvious conflict of business interests can often be found in sports sponsorships. Any alcohol rehabilitation programme sponsored by a beer brewing company to wean players off extreme 'alcohol' abuse is obviously conflicted. Or years ago perhaps when Tobacco Companies sponsored sporting events was another prime example of a business conflict.

The sad thing for the average citizen in most countries today is that too many of these business conflicts exist and go unpunished. Even the ones that do get reported often are never investigated fully due to lack of legal funding to pursue the issue. That is no excuse for the practice because it is immoral as well as illegal under corporation law in many countries.

Business - What Is a Conflict of Interest?

A Business conflict of interest is illegal under most countries corporation laws.

Why Various Internet Business Opportunities Are Being Grabbed By Many

Ever since the web came, so many things in life have changed. The way money is earned is one of them. All sorts of internet business opportunities are being grabbed by a lot of people due to the many benefits they offer.

You simply have to sit before a computer, particularly if all the processes can be done via the net. While challenging, having an online venture can be enriching. Aside from being the owner, it's not unlikely for the individual to carry out many other roles as well. Some include being a marketing executive, accountant, sales representative and secretary.


How long you have to use a computer will vary from one case to the other. Some people do it on the side while keeping their regular jobs, letting them have two separate income sources. Making money in cyberspace is very flexible when it comes to scheduling, so this setup is a possibility. The venture may be taken care of before or after the usual work hours.

Why Various Internet Business Opportunities Are Being Grabbed By Many

There are also those who have completely abandoned their jobs and preferred to go full time with their money-making projects. As the boss, there are numerous perks to enjoy. For instance, all the money being generated goes straight to your pocket. But even though many have taken their enterprises into great heights, there are also those who failed to soar.

Customers may pay the website a visit 24/7, except when a downtime is encountered. It's due to this fact why profitability need not stop after business hours. Also, you don't have to be online always just to rake in sales.It is this ability to make money when you are not there that makes internet business opportunities so attractive.

Due to the flexibility when it comes to schedule, an online entrepreneur finds it easier to balance his or her personal and professional life. Those who regularly go to work often complain that they are not left with plenty of time for other things. But those who take advantage of the web to make a living have no trouble finding time for activities they love to do.This is why internet business opportunities are currently the rage.

Your venture is part of an international market. Because a website is accessible anywhere on the planet where internet access is possible, customers may come from different locations. On the other hand, a land-based store caters to local consumers only. Your goods or services can reach a lot more people, locally and internationally, thanks to the web.This gives internet business opportunities a strong edge.

Another thing that makes internet business opportunities irresistible is the small investment necessary. You don't have to allocate a huge amount of capital to get started. Taking that risk is easier as a large sum of money isn't involved.

Why Various Internet Business Opportunities Are Being Grabbed By Many

To discover one of the exciting internet business opportunities that you can take advantage of immediately, as well as get more information about other excellent money making opportunities, click the highlighted links!.

Home Business Marketing

As more online home businesses are set up and the competition gets more intense, you have to find ways to distinguish yourself from other business especially if these online businesses are promoting the same products to the same people in your market or niche.

The key for your business, whether it is online or offline, is to differentiate it from your competition so that people are drawn to buy from you rather than one of your competitors.


Create Your Own Authority Website.

Home Business Marketing

The first thing is for you to have your own website for your online home business where you can establish yourself as an authority in your market. In other words, people want to buy something from people that they can trust and from somebody who knows about the product that they are selling, ie, an expert in their field. For example, you would not buy fresh vegetables from your plumber or if your car mechanic tried to sell you double glazing you would not be inclined to buy because that is not his profession or speciality.

You must create your own advertisements that make people want to buy from you.

If your potential customers see the same ad for the same product but all sold by different people, why should they buy from your online home business? Your advertisement should be all about the benefits of your product and why they should buy from you. Your primarily purpose is to attract or encourage people to click and read your ads and be curious enough to click through your website.

Unique Products.

Create a product or service that is unique to you and only available through your website. Once you have your website going, it is important to have some products or services that your customers can't find with other online home business websites. You want your customers to keep coming to your website and the best way to do that is to have something on your site that they cannot find on others.

Build a relationship with your customers.

It is important to build a strong relationship with people who have already purchased something from you. You will have a greater chance of selling something else to an existing customer (if they had a good buying experience from you) than trying to sell something to a new customer.

You have to believe in your product and actually use it. You can share with your potential customers what a great experience you have had with the product, and this can make them interested enough to buy the product. Would you buy something from somebody who had no clue whether it really did what the product was supposed to do?

You may also be able to provide ongoing support if necessary or you may provide a confident tutorial or steps on how to use the product based on your personal experience.

Don't sell everything.

Don't try to market everything. It is easy to become overwhelmed and try to market everything that is available in your market or niche. It is better to focus on one market and market products that they would want.

The rise of online entrepreneurs with their own online home business is definitely here to stay and it can become a great way to earn extra or even part-time income. However, it won't happen overnight and, like any real business, it does involve effort, time and resources.

Home Business Marketing

Setting up and earning from your own online home business can be a tricky and complicated process. To learn how you can quickly and easily get started earning money online from a fast growing profitable market without, any previous training, knowledge or even your own products to sell go to

Landing A Small Business Loan In This Environment

Banks are not currently and probably will not be lending to small, growing businesses anytime soon. They view these small firms as too risky and banks are just not taking on any risk (any risk at all).

But, that does not mean that your business cannot get the money its needs to start or grow. You just might have to go about it in a different manner which, in the long-run, may be a benefit to you and your business.


For most small business, banks are not lending as they don't want any loans with any risk on their books. While they do want your deposits and other account business, they are just unwilling to let money walk out the door.

Landing A Small Business Loan In This Environment

They blame these small businesses for items like poor credit, inadequate cash flow or undervalued collateral but in truth, many of these banks are just not in a position to lend to what is deemed risky businesses. And, if your business does not really need a loan, then it is deemed risky.

What Can Your Small Business Do?

For established small businesses, if your banker is refusing to take your call (and most are) then you should be looking at some of the alternatives methods of financing that have been around for decades or that have recently cropped up to fill the lending gaps left behind by the banks.

Know that banks are not nor have always been the only and best options for small businesses. Banks tend to look at your overall business's profits before making a business loan decision. Alternative financing options tend to look more at the need of the business and its ability to covert financial assets to cash.

1) Look to factoring. If you have customers in the wings but lack the working capital to get these jobs started, factor those job orders for 100% of the cash you need to complete those jobs. Or, if you are sitting on a bunch of unpaid invoices, look to use them to get the working capital your business needs to meet immediate expenses or start that next order.

2) Look to SBA loans. While these types of government guaranteed loans still have to go through banks - the SBA's 504 program is leading the way in helping many local small businesses acquire and finance property and equipment. With the SBA's 504 program, your local community development corporation will work with the SBA and your bank to finance hard assets. As they all spread and share the risk, your chances of getting funded increase dramatically.

3) Let your business finance its own growing needs. There are a lot of growing businesses that tend to have a lot of sales but are still losing money (more cash out then in). This is not a reflection of the economy or any market but that of how the business is managed.

Look for ways to reduce costs while maintaining your current level of sales or if that is not possible then look for ways to increase prices. You should always be looking for ways to reduce costs - even if your business is highly profitable.

Keep shopping around for lower cost suppliers and vendors. Look to technology to improve processes or for ways to reduce staff expenses. And, constantly review your service providers - no sense in over paying for services like phone, internet, etc. If you can get your costs down and bring your profits up, you might not need outside financing at all. The best business loan is not having to get one in the first place.

Business is not easy and is getting harder the longer our economy remains stagnate. However, people and businesses still need products and services to get through their days. They look for products that either make their life easier or save them time and money. And, while many are being more selective in what they spend their money on, they are still spending - good news for your business.

Getting and keeping customers (letting them know who you are and what your business offers as well as keeping your business on the top of their minds) is always a challenge. But, successful businesses get out there and find creative ways to meet and overcome those challenges. The same is true in financing your small business.

If you need capital to either get your business off the ground or to finance your current growth, you might as well just forget about the banks and get creative. Banks are just not ready to take chances.

If you can't demonstrate (sell) your business's potential to the many different financing options out there (some that really want to work with your business) then you might start thinking about another career.

Finding new ways to capitalize your business is just one of the many challenges that all businesses face in their development. But, the good news is that it is not the most daunting challenge you will face. If you need a business loan to start or grow your company, then get out there and get one!

Landing A Small Business Loan In This Environment

Joseph Lizio holds a MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship, is the founder of Business Money Today, has a strong commercial lending background and is regarded as an expert in business and finance - specifically Small Business Loans and Working Capital.

10 Common Characteristics Of Successful Business People From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

It seems that some business people always seem to be prosperous and successful and are able to easily attract clients and more revenue? While other business people seem to struggle constantly and despite their hard work and sincere efforts, they do not prosper and are not successful. Did you ever wonder about why this is true? Could it be an attitude or mindset? Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach recalls from several past books, seminars and workshops that the attitude or mindset one has toward his or her business plays a very critical role in the level of success in that business.

So how can we describe this mindset, which is an intangible thing? Perhaps, if we think about some positive characteristics we see in those we consider to be prosperous and successful, we can develop a mental picture of the attitude or mindset of successful people. Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach offers the following list of ten (10) characteristics that are common among successful business people.


Successful business people:

10 Common Characteristics Of Successful Business People From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

+ recognize and accept the value of their business and themselves

+ define and trust what they believe is their purpose in business and life

+ visualize and focus on positive outcomes in their business and their life

+ maintain a work and personal life balance

+ develop and maintain a support system of people with similar mindsets

+ maintain a level of self-confidence about their business and personal plans and actions

+ maintain a keen awareness of their vision, mission and goals for their business and their life

+ seek outside advice

+ recognize and admit their limitations

+ exhibit their passion in what they do in their business and personal lives

10 Common Characteristics Of Successful Business People From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach encourages you to strive to acquire and demonstrate these characteristics in your business and personal lives. If you would like to learn more about how a strategic thinking business coach can facilitate and guide you in that endeavor, please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his website at or by email at

Glenn Ebersole, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of business coaching, marketing, public relations, management, strategic planning and engineering. Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of two Lancaster, PA based consulting practices: The Renaissance Group, a creative marketing, public relations, strategic planning and business development consulting firm and J. G. Ebersole Associates, an independent professional engineering, marketing, and management consulting firm. He is a Certified Facilitator and serves as a business coach and a strategic planning facilitator and consultant to a diverse list of clients. Glenn is also the author of a monthly newsletter, "Glenn's Guiding Lines - Thoughts From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach" and has published more than 325 articles on business.

To find out more about the benefits & rewards of effectively working with a strategic thinking business coach, please contact Glenn Ebersole through his web site at or

Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives: Why and How to be SMART

We all know that nothing runs without a plan, and a plan cannot run without having its objectives set.

That applies to any kind of plan, whether we're talking business or personal finances, university degrees or NGO programs, website promotion or weight loss.


Setting objectives and milestones is of crucial importance for any planning activity and is the core of its success, or failure.
Knowing how to set objectives is not exactly rocket science in terms of complexity, but any strategist should know the basic rules of how to formulate and propose objectives. We will see in this article why objectives play such a major role within a company's planning and strategic activities, how they influence all business processes, and we will review some guidelines of setting objectives.

Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives: Why and How to be SMART

The Importance of Setting Objectives

One might wonder why we need to establish objectives in the first place, why not let the company or a specific activity just run smoothly into the future and see where it gets. That would be the case only if we really do not care whether the activity in discussion will be successful or not: but then, to use a popular saying, "if something deserves to be performed, then it deserves to be performed well". In other words, if we don't care for the results, we should not proceed with the action at all.

Setting objectives before taking any action is the only right thing to do, for several reasons:

- it gives a target to aim to, therefore all actions and efforts will be focused on attaining the objective instead of being inefficiently used;

- gives participants a sense of direction, a glimpse of where they're going to;

- motivates the leaders and their teams, since it is quite the custom of establishing some sort of reward once the team successfully completed a project;

- offers the support in evaluating the success of an action or project.

The 5 Rules of Setting Objectives: Be SMART!

I am sure most managers and leaders know what SMART stands for, well, at least when it comes of establishing objectives. However, I have seen some of them who cannot fully explain the five characteristics of a good-established objective - things are somehow blurry and confused in their minds. Since they can't explain in details what SMART objectives really are, it is highly doubtful that they will always be able to formulate such objectives.

It is still unclear from where the confusion comes: perhaps there are too many sources of information, each of them with a slightly different approach upon what a SMART objective really is; or perhaps most people only briefly "heard" about it and they never get to reach the substance behind the packaging.

Either way, let us try to uncover the meaning of the SMART acronym and see how we can formulate efficient objectives.
SMART illustrates the 5 characteristics of an efficient objective; it stands for Specific - Measurable - Attainable - Relevant - Timely.


When it comes of business planning, "specific" illustrates a situation that is easily identified and understood. It is usually linked to some mathematical determinant that imprints a specific character to a given action: most common determinants are numbers, ratios and fractions, percentages, frequencies. In this case, being "specific" means being "precise".

Example: when you tell your team "I need this report in several copies", you did not provide the team with a specific instruction. It is unclear what the determinant "several" means: for some it can be three, for some can be a hundred. A much better instruction would sound like "I need this report in 5 copies" - your team will know exactly what you expect and will have less chances to fail in delivering the desired result.


When we say that an objective, a goal, must be measurable, we mean there is a stringent need to have the possibility to measure, to track the action(s) associated with the given objective.

We must set up a distinct system or establish clear procedures of how the actions will be monitored, measured and recorded. If an objective and the actions pertaining to it cannot be quantified, it is most likely that the objective is wrongly formulated and we should reconsider it.

Example: "our business must grow" is an obscure, non-measurable objective. What exactly should we measure in order to find out if the objective was met? But if we change it to "our business must grow in sales volume with 20%", we've got one measurable objective: the measure being the percentage sales rise from present moment to the given moment in the future. We can calculate this very easy, based on the recorded sales figures.


Some use the term "achievable" instead of "attainable", which you will see it is merely a synonym and we should not get stuck in analyzing which one is correct. Both are.

It is understood that each leader will want his company / unit to give outstanding performances; this is the spirit of competition and such thinking is much needed. However, when setting objectives, one should deeply analyze first the factors determining the success or failure of these objectives. Think of your team, of your capacities, of motivation: are they sufficient in order for the objectives to be met? Do you have the means and capabilities to achieve them?

Think it through and be honest and realistic to yourself: are you really capable of attaining the goals you've set or are you most likely headed to disappointment? Always set objectives that have a fair chance to be met: of course, they don't need to be "easily" attained, you're entitled to set difficult ones as long as they're realistic and not futile.

Example: you own a newborn movers company and you set the objective of "becoming no. 1 movers within the state". The problem is you only have 3 trucks available, while all your competitors have 10 and up. Your goal is not attainable; try instead a more realistic one, such as "reaching the Top 5 fastest growing movers company in the state".


This notion is a little more difficult to be perceived in its full meaning; therefore we will start explaining it by using an example in the first place.

Imagine yourself going to the IT department and telling them they need to increase the profit to revenue ratio by 5%. They will probably look at you in astonishment and mumble something undistinguished about managers and the way they mess up with people's minds.

Can you tell what is wrong with the objective above? Of course! The IT department has no idea what you were talking about and there's nothing they can do about it - their job is to develop and maintain your computerized infrastructure, not to understand your economic speech. What you can do it setting an objective that the IT department can have an impact upon, and which will eventually lead to the increase you wanted in the first place. What about asking them to reduce expenditures for hardware and software by 10% monthly and be more cautious with the consumables within their department by not exceeding the allocated budget? They will surely understand what they need to do because the objective is relevant for their group.

Therefore, the quality of an objective to be "relevant" refers to setting appropriate objectives for a given individual or team: you need to think if they can truly do something about it or is it irrelevant for the job they perform.


No much to discuss about this aspect, since it is probably the easiest to be understood and applied.

Any usable and performable objective must have a clear timeframe of when it should start and/or when it should end. Without having a timeframe specified, it is practically impossible to say if the objective is met or not.

For example, if you just say "we need to raise profit by 500000 units", you will never be able to tell if the objective was achieved or not, one can always say "well, we'll do it next year". Instead, if you say "we need to raise profit by 500000 units within 6 months from now", anyone can see in 6 months if the goal was attained or not. Without a clear, distinct timeframe, no objective is any good.

Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives: Why and How to be SMART

Otilia is a young certified professional with expertise in eMarketing and eBusiness, currently working as independent consultant and ePublisher. She developed and teach her own online course in "Principles of eMarketing" and is also a volunteer Economics teacher. You can contact her via her Marketing resources portal at

Univera MLM Business - Opportunity Or Scam?

Univera Life Sciences is a network marketing company that provides a variety of nutritional supplements and services. They have established themselves as a leading network marketing company, and are quickly becoming known for their business opportunity.

However, there have been some concerns about the Univera business opportunity. In this article, we will go through and give an unbiased review of the pros and cons of promoting a Univera business, and see if Univera is truly a great business opportunity...or a great scam.


1. Univera - The Good

Univera was founded in 1998 by YunHo Lee, a Korean businessman that had long-suffered poor health. As the story goes, Mr. Lee tried all the tonics of conventional medicine with no results. One day, a friend gave him some juice from an Aloe vera plant, and made a "miraculous recovery".

In fact, Univera is one part of the ECONET conglomerate, which consist of

  • Univera
  • Unigen
  • Aloecorp / Russia Biomass
  • NatureTech

The flagship product for Univera is their AgelessXtra nutritional supplement. They are also have a well-structured compensation plan for their associates. As a network marketing business, you earn up to 15% on direct signups, and up to 5% on your downline, depending on what rank you achieve. They also have a 2% profit sharing program for distributors that reach a certain rank. They also have a BMW car program that allows their reps to bank an additional ,600 per month toward the payment of a BMW. Not too shabby.

2. Univera - The Bad

The Univera business opportunity looks really good at first sight; however, flags start to appear when we see their marketing plan. Like many network marketing businesses, Univera recommends that you grow your business with "relationship" marketing, i.e. selling product to friends, family members, and others that you know. Their program focuses on leveraging your "warm market" to grow your business which worked really well...50 years ago.

We live in a very different society today than we did in the 1950's, when network marketing first got started. These days, most people do not have large warm markets, and even if they are large, most people do not like to be sold items from their friends and family members.

3. Univera - The Ugly

Another issue is the concept of marketing the business first, the product second. Like many compensation plans, Univera gives out the most generous bonuses for the recruitment of other associates, so form a distributors standpoint, they are compensated for finding distributors first, product-users second.

The problem comes when a new distributor (who is not making any money yet) approaches their warm market with a business opportunity to make money. There is a credibility issue that arises when someone who is making no money is telling other people how they can make a whole lot of money. Many network marketing companies try and resolve this issue with "3-way calling", where the distributor calls their upline (who is supposedly making money) to talk to their prospect. Unfortunately, this only positions the distributor as a gopher instead of a legitimate business builder.

Growing a Univera business can be a great opportunity. They appear to have some good products, but there are plenty of companies that have great products, and many people that market great products never make a dime. There are also plenty of terrible products that generate millions of dollars in revenue (anyone remember the pet rock?) The difference is the marketer, and their ability to target their market effectively.

In closing, I would say that starting and developing a Univera business is lucrative if you know how to use the telephone, the Internet, and other effective marketing tools to grow your business. It is not a scam, but like any business, success will be determined by the skill-set of the marketer. Univera is definitely not a lottery ticket or a stock option - meaning, you do not just buy in and wait for a payout.

If someone does not have the first clue on how to market effectively, then I would suggest they either learn how to be an effective marketer, or else just use the Univera products as way increase personal health.

This article can be freely published on a website as long as it is not modified in any way including the author bylines and active hyperlinks.

Univera MLM Business - Opportunity Or Scam?

Joshua Fuson is a professional marketer, and has marketed dozens of different products and services. He has participated in the generation of over million dollars of revenue in network marketing in past 4 years alone. To find out how, you can

To learn more about growing a Univera Business, you can get the Univera Success Blueprint

The Benefits Of Business Management Courses

There are many business management courses offered today. Studying business management is a great way to give yourself an edge when it comes to marketing your business, and making sure that you stay afloat. When it comes to business management, it's best to take a series of courses that cover all sorts of things -- not just one aspect of business.

There are several options when it comes to these courses. You can take classes on campus or online. There are even some organizations that offer free courses in the form of podcasts and web videos. This is exciting for many people, but the only downfall is that you usually cannot get a degree from a free course.

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Business courses are useful to people with all types of experience in business. You can use them if you're just starting or a business, or if you have some experience running business, and want to brush up on strategies.

When you choose to take business courses online, you have the ability to watch lecture podcasts at any time of day that you want. You can work a day job, and then you can view videos and complete your homework at night, and on weekends.

It is a good idea to take courses like this even if you are experienced in the business world. Times change constantly, and you want to keep up to date when it comes to changes in the business world, and the marketing industry. For instance, look at how social media dictates business these days. If you don't keep yourself up to date on the changing times, you will be doing yourself a disservice.

When you take standard business management courses, you will find that many subjects are covered. Some management course schedules offer over 70 courses for you to choose from. There is really a wide variety of subjects that you can cover when you choose to study business management.

The Benefits Of Business Management Courses

If you are looking for information to help you choose a Management Course [], Stephen Mayberry can help. He writes extensively on management courses, management training, project management and more. Visit [] to get all of this information for free.

How To Measure Training Effectiveness

To measure training is one of the key components on how a business will succeed. If a training program is proven to be effective, it will definitely yield to positive results, perhaps more than what is desired by the company. However, measuring the effectiveness of training is one of the biggest challenges of firms today. Training in itself is expensive and adding more components to it may not be a good idea in terms of financial capacity.

What may help to reduces cost is to develop several tools which may be classified under business intelligence. These tools will help the company evaluate training and consistently improve its methodologies. This is critical since business needs change. The environment and the type of people who get in the company also change. So how does one person measure the effectiveness of training in a systematic way?

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Once the trainees go live on production on the floor or operations, their performance will significantly impact the overall achievement of the program. Lack of training or poor training methodology always ends up with employees not able to fulfill their jobs. Metrics should be used to see how effective the training was. It will not be wise say that a training curriculum is good simply because the students or trainees passed the exam. What needs to be done is to check the metrics of these employees and see if they are at par with the expectations of the company.

Significantly, an in-depth analysis should be done here. Data per employee should be available and this should not be very difficult to obtain with the kind of technology we have right now. These data will then validate of the training was effective. Findings in the analysis may say that there is a gap in the training system and that there is a need to revamp the process or the curriculum.

Performance will significantly tell a lot about training. This does not only concern product training but also job orientation. Many employees out there do not know how they should perform because they do not know what is expected of them. Many employees break the rules because they are not also aware of them. It is therefore wise to terrain employees about the existing policies of the company so they know what is acceptable and not.

Another thing used to measure the effectiveness of training is a performance alignment program. What is needed here is to set the expectations of each employee in each department how they will be measured. This sets precedence and makes each employee aware why and what the training was for. It is also generally advised to have a weekly or monthly product knowledge check balance. This may also be done through exams to see if the employees retained what they have learned. This may also be done through actual applications and see if what have been taught is still being applied. To measure training is going to be challenging, precisely because we deal with knowledge retention and behavior.

How To Measure Training Effectiveness

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7 Great Small Business Ideas

In recent times and with the economic climate as it is, more and more people are looking for a second income. A small home business can be a great way to bring in some extra cash or a stepping stone to finding freedom from your regular day job. Below are seven great small business ideas that can be ran from home.

1. Laundry services. Believe it or not people don't like to do their own laundry! This includes ironing, washing, stain removal. These are all things that you can do in your home and probably already have all the necessary equipment.

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2. Card making. Somewhat of a cottage industry, card making services are popping up all over the place. Desk top publishing and cheap printing services make it extremely easy to set up your card printing service. You could make birthday, Christmas and special occasion's cards and sell them through an eBay store.

3. Cupcakes. This old favourite has made the cupcake industry extremely competitive and the huge mark ups make this a great business to go into. You should note though that there are certain regulations you must meet before you can set up in any food industry.

4. Sandwiches. Everybody needs to eat right. You could make sandwiches fresh in the morning and travel to the thousands of offices in every town centre. You probably would only get around the first few before you run out of stock.

5. Set up as a web host. The internet is vast and everybody who wants a website will need hosting. It sounds like a technical nightmare but it is actually very easy. Get a reseller account from one of the big hosting companies and start selling chunks of it off for a profit.

6. Grow your own veg. Contrary to popular belief farming is not dead. As we said in a previous idea, everybody needs to eat. You will need to invest some time in growing vegetables. Your profits won't come overnight so you will need to do something else while they grow. Then sell them wherever you can.

7. Classified buy and sell. Most people think that it is difficult to spot a bargain but in fact it is very easy. We are not talking eBay here; we are talking classified adverts in local press, newspapers and magazines. You will soon be able to spot a bargain just by looking at the prices of other similar items and checking the prices on the web.

The trick to coming up with small business ideas is to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does your idea solve a problem?
2. Does your idea have a market, is it in demand?
3. Can you make a profit from your idea?

If all else fails you could spy on other people. If others are being successful then the chances are that you can be successful with a similar idea.

7 Great Small Business Ideas

For great ideas and advice about small business click the link.

Click here now for advice and information about starting, running and financing your small business ideas.

Small Business Ideas - 4 Fresh Untapped Enterprises, All Under $500 Bucks

Are small business ideas starting to swirl around in your head? Especially lately, since the last batch of pink slips were issued out. Remember the looks on your colleagues faces that conveyed the thoughts that were going through their minds? Has this economy has really gotten your attention! Before now seldom if ever would small business ideas even cross your mind. However, realizing that there's no such thing as job security you're now tuned into a different frequency.

As a matter of fact, the term could be coined as 'job in-security. It's sad it said that, many career employees suddenly find themselves searching for a new direction to secure their retirement. Clearly, implementing small business ideas are one such attractive course of action. Unfortunately, for many people, trying to start a small business is like trying to pull a tooth that's not LOOSE... it's hard as heck! (and it can be painful)

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The Good News is that all small business ideas aren't a monstrous endeavor. In fact some are easy to start and won't cost you your first born. Incredibly, you won't even need to mortgage your home, or rob what's left in your piggy bank.

Read below as we uncover 4 creative ways to make money that is inexpensive and simple to start.

Outsourcing Coordinator:

1. Outsourcing is becoming a household word. Outsourcing is simply, referring jobs that are normally handled internally, now are being handled by an outside company or agency. You can accept bulk jobs from companies and then outsource all or part of the work to others. If done right, you will make a profit without working full-time. The biggest drawback is... you're responsible for the work done by those that you hire. If they flake on an assignment or do a sub-standard job, it's up to you to correct.

Virtual Assistant:

2. Become a Virtual Assistant. If you have great computer and writing skills, this could be an option. A virtual assistant is a secretary that normally works from home or some other remote location. They perform task such as, virtual filing, SEO, copy-writing, ghost-writing, and other computer related services.

Invest in a Small Business:

3. Instead of investing money to start your own business, you can invest in (OPB) Other People's Businesses. How many people do you know that have had great small business ideas but not the motivation, money or desire to take action? By assisting them financially, or partnering with them by providing necessary business skills which they lack, you can earn a percentage of the profits. Of course, if the business flops, you'll be out of the money AND TIME you invested, so there's some risk.

Direct sales and home based businesses:

4. This is another growing trend. Since the advent of the internet, direct sales professionals are earning unprecedented record incomes. Contracting with a direct sales company, is equivalent to owning your own small business within a business. Sort of like owning a franchise, without the astronomical capital investment or ongoing expenses. One of the challenges are finding the right company, products or services that interest you.

Small Business Ideas - 4 Fresh Untapped Enterprises, All Under 0 Bucks

The truth is, direct sales has a brighter side than selling vitamins, juice, lotions and potions. That's direct sales of the 70's. Innovative new companies are offering everything from TV services, security systems, cellphones, even utilities. Small business ideas in this arena can mean big business.

To be honest, these types of opportunities, in the past, were only available to the affluent and other Fortune 500 Companies. Now, today, the little guy can become a major player within these huge industries. For more info it's all spelled out here. Small Business Ideas.

Organizational Structures In Project Management

One aspect of project management that used to receive quite a bit of attention in the 1950s and 1960s was the project organizational structures. A myriad of new organizational structures have appeared on the scene in the last couple of decades but they still lack many of the desirable qualities in the traditional methods. Ultimately, project management directors seek organizational methods that facilitate teamwork, can maximize the use of limited resources, efficiency and quality in the way a project is completed and how goals and objectives are achieved. This article will examine the three main traditional organizational structures for project management. These three structures are functional organization, project organization and matrix organization.

Functional Organization This structure is by far the oldest of the organizational methods but remains one of the most successful. This method performs best when used for routine work functions and the upholding of quality and work standards. Functional Organization structures assign projects in two different ways. One way involves the project being assigned to a specific functional manager who then coordinates with the other departments for them to each contribute. Alternatively, projects can be shuffled around to different departments where each department manager ensures that their parts of the work have been completed.

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This method does not work very effectively when used in facilitating complex projects. One of the major criticisms of this organizational structure is the lack of built-in employee recognition, measurement and reward for project performance. Similarly, there is very little individual accountability for any project management tasks that need to be performed.

Project Organization Project Organization is a structure that is specifically designed for executing projects. It is specifically tailored to meet the demands of complex projects by isolating unique work and maintaining a strong focus on completing the project. Once the project is completed, this structure disbands. This structure is effective in maintaining dedicated resources throughout the life of the project.

The major criticism of this structure is that it is inefficient in transferring technology and the use of resources. Also, by the time the members actually begin acting as a cohesive team, the project is over and the organization dissolves. Since this project has dedicated resources throughout its life, major inefficiency ensues when there are underutilized employees during certain parts of the project.

Matrix Organization Matrix Organization is a project management structure that evolved from the recognition of inherent flaws in the Functional Organization and Project Organization structures. Created in the 1970s, this structure combined the best components of these two structures. This model functions very well when there are multiple projects being coordinated at once. The functional managers oversee the staffing, training, job assignment and evaluation of the project's personnel. The functional specialists are assigned one or more projects and oversee that these individualized projects' achieve their objectives are completed through maximum resource efficiency.

Despite its recognition and avoidance of the flaws involved in other structure, Matrix Organization still does have some problems of its own. Individual employees report to at least two managers which can often lead to ambiguity and conflict. These problems can be avoided through good communication and solid leadership between managers.

This article simply provided an overview of several project management organizational structures. Functional Organization, Project Organization and Matrix Organization are the three most traditional project management structures that are still used today because of their effectiveness. However, do keep in mind that there are plenty of other methods available that may better suit your firm's situation. Nevertheless, the type of organizational structure that should be chosen by your firm depends on the type of project as well as the objectives and goals that it ultimately aims to achieve.

Organizational Structures In Project Management

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Project Management

How to Monitor Employee Performance

Monitoring involves conducting periodic checks to determine an employee's level of performance in relation to established performance standards. Monitoring provides the data by which performance is ultimately evaluated. It is important for the supervisor to monitor the employee's performance, not only to be able to conduct the performance evaluation itself, but also to be able to reinforce good performance or attempt to improve unsatisfactory performance soon after it occurs.

Ideally, the nature and frequency of monitoring should be proposed by the employee. In this case, the employee will have ownership of the process. It makes a big difference to the supervisor-employee relationship if the employee proposes that the supervisor simply show up to observe performance (say, in a customer service setting). Then when the supervisor appears, the employee will understand and accept the supervisor's presence.

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However, if the supervisor unilaterally decides to observe the employee's performance without any preliminary discussion, there is a strong possibility that the employee could perceive the supervisor's presence as harassment.

As a result, if there is some reason why the employee should not be involved in determining the monitoring plan, it is still imperative that the supervisor advise the employee.

Monitoring can take several forms, depending upon the nature of the performance that is being appraised. Wherever possible, it makes sense to use existing systems that will not add work steps for either the employee or the supervisor. Some monitoring approaches include:

(1) Reviewing work, either total output or samples.

(2) Observing employee work activities.

(3) Reading reports, charts, time sheets, work records, or logs, etc.

(4) Self-reporting on progress by the employee.

(5) Surveying other units, the public, or clients of the services.

(6) Noting and investigating complaints and commendations.

Some monitoring will be ongoing, designed to detect performance problems in the early stages. This might involve, for example, checking work samples or observing employee activities several times a day or several times a week. Other monitoring may be at more widely spaced intervals, either regular monthly or quarterly reviews, or on an occasional random basis.

Generally, new job or task performance requires more frequent monitoring than recurring work done by an experienced worker, as does follow-up monitoring of less than satisfactory performance.

To allow the supervisor to effectively counsel and appraise the employee, monitoring should be exact and the results should be recorded. However, this monitoring should focus on the performance of the key responsibilities for which performance standards have been established.

Monitoring should be conducted throughout the evaluation period, with the supervisor noting observed employee performance that meets, exceeds, or falls short of the established level for acceptable performance. The supervisor can then review these notations at the end of the evaluation period to make an evaluation of the employee's general performance of each of the key responsibilities.

Supervisors should communicate the purpose and intended frequency of planned monitoring activities to the employees. The emphasis of the monitoring should be on the improvement of an employee's performance, not on trying to "trip up" the employee to show the employee in a bad light. If poor performance is the issue, and counseling and remedial training have not been effective, then the supervisor should initiate progressive discipline rather than maintaining a frequent monitoring review that could be construed as harassment.

How to Monitor Employee Performance

Deborah Spring Laurel has been a trainer and a consultant in the areas of workplace learning and performance improvement for over thirty years. She has twenty years of experience as the President of Laurel and Associates, Ltd,, an international human resource development training and consulting firm that specializes in enhancing interpersonal dynamics within organizations. She has designed and delivered hundreds of different skill-building participant-based and accelerated learning workshops on various topics, all of which have been tailored to meet her clients' needs.

Deborah taught management and supervisory topics for the Executive Management Institute and the Small Business Development Center in the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin- Madison for over thirty years. From 1998-2002, she consulted with the JJ Strossmeyer University in Osijek, Croatia to design the first Eastern European participant-based Masters Degree program in Entrepreneurship.

Deborah is also a Certified Professional Consultant to Management, with over twenty-five years of experience in human resource management, organizational development, executive coaching, and performance consulting. She has her Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. For information about her workshops and consulting services, please visit her website at or contact Deborah directly at (608) 255-2010 or

HR Activities and Objectives

Efficient and effective Human Resource management is a challenge to all HR professionals. Staffing, training and helping to manage people so that the organization is likely to increase the performance level is imperative to work in a productive manner. Normally, human resource functions are tracking data points on each employee. These might include experiences, capabilities, skills, data, personal histories and payroll records. In the most general sense businesses carry out different activities dealing with managing their approaches to employee benefits and compensation, as well as employee records and personnel policies.

Among the core HR activities there are payroll, time and labour management, benefit administration and HR management. These activities correlate with the HR objectives which are largely the responsibility of Human Resources.

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The foremost objectives of Personnel services are an efficient and effective personnel and payroll system responsive to staff needs together with the flexible remuneration system. These objectives can be attained by implementation of different modules, such as budgets and commencements module, applicant tracking module, occupational health and safety module, etc.

None the less important HR objective is the industrial relations services implying establishing effective relationships between the employer and the staff. Complete and comprehensive policy framework should be established for risk management, safety and health issues. Staff should be well informed about safety and health issues in the workplace. What is required to gain this objective is the staff's participation in a wide range of training and awareness programs in the area of safety and health. Staff development objective can be realized through different skills development courses designed to encourage further skills development necessary to carry out their responsibilities.

Some organizations consider equity and diversity services as their objective and provide information about the procedures for sexual harassment, racial harassment and equity grievances, thus making the staff well aware of the policies. The initiatives include awareness programs in relation to equity and diversity. In the long run it leads to an increase in the number of staff who have attended the training sessions and know the issues.

Human Resource services provision is closely connected with strategic policies, planning and coordination of an organization. A wide range of human resource strategies aimed at more flexible planning can include improved links between performance and remuneration, improved performance measurement procedures for all staff, improved recruitment and retention strategies, and encouragement of skills development. One more objective results in consultancy support provided on the basis of improved information about both the employer and HR staff needs and working requirements.

HR objectives stimulate the development of people to be their best in order to meet the needs of an organization. A successful performance management system including department, team and individual business objectives, personal development plans, performance appraisal, career planning, etc., aims at enhancing the personnel's commitment to developing the business long-term and can give challenges which will enhance the staff personal growth. Moreover, if an organization can assess the workforce changes needed by business, implement the necessary optimization and measure the results using up-to-date technology systems, it will get data having a critical role in monitoring and controlling overall performance.

HR Activities and Objectives

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