Master Bakers: How to Run a Top-Tier Bakery in Your Community

If you love to bake and all your friends and family rave about your creations, then you might want to think about opening a bakery. Before you sell your 1,000th product, there are lots of different decisions that you will need to make. Here is some helpful guidance on opening your own bakery.

Decide on the Type of Bakery

There are several different types of bakeries that you may want to consider. You may choose to open a retail location where you sell your products directly to customers or a wholesale location where you sell your products to restaurants and other locations in your neighborhood. If you choose to open a retail location, then you may want to think about creating delightful breakfast pastries, wedding cakes or breads. Making this choice now will help you in making other important decisions.

Find Your Suppliers and Products

Do some snooping to determine what will sell well in your area. You may even want to work in conjunction with an established business to give potential customers a chance to sample your products and see their reactions. Once you have narrowed down the list of products that you will be selling, then consider what products you need to make those delicious items and find your vendors based on price and reliability.

Decide on a Location

If you will not be operating strictly out of your home kitchen, then make sure to find the right location. Some people find it advantageous to start their business in a startup location where there are mentors and angel investors to help them along the way. You may even find government programs to help you open a bakery. Others choose to open a location in their own neighborhood opting to strike out on their own. You will need a location large enough to hold commercial equipment like mixers available from arrowmixingproducts.com. You may also discover that mixer accessories makes your life much easier when cooking in volume.

Market

You will need to market your business. Taking care of each customer is a great way to build word-of-mouth advertising. Think about advertising on social media as well. You may also want to buy advertising on a radio station or participate in trade shows.

Many people open bakeries and make a lot of money. Following these guidelines is a great place to start. Listen to each customer and learn from the feedback that they give you, and you will be very successful.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Keeping Remote Employees Happy And Productive

Keeping your online team happy, engaged, and productive doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, two-thirds of managers say their employees actually become more productive once they go remote, SurePayroll reveals. Being in control of their own schedule — and eliminating the daily commute — gives remote employees more time and flexibility, which increases motivation and productivity. However, remote teams still require conscientious management. You want them to feel valued and part of the team even though they’re not on-site. With the following tips, you can cultivate a happy, engaged, and successful online team.

Communicate effectively

Communication is key in every aspect of business — and online teams are no exception. In fact, poor communication is one of the prime reasons employees get frustrated in their jobs. It also leads to feelings of isolation which means employees are less likely to contribute to the team. The solution? Effective communication channels. Let your team know which situations require video chats or phone calls and which situations can be dealt with via online chat. Email is still useful, but not always ideal as messages can be missed. With online chat, team members can instantly ask questions and get answers if they need guidance. This is great for productivity since they’re able to continue with their work right away rather than having to hang around for an email response.  

Define expectations and goals

Although they’re not in the same building as you, remote employees need the same amount of guidance and direction as you give you regular ones. In order to encourage your online team to work efficiently and independently, you need to be clear on the specifics of their working arrangement. Defining the expectations you have for your remote team — preferably with them being mutually agreed upon — will help your employees stay on track with their work. This also includes explaining your mission and goals for the company. Your remote team will therefore feel included in the company culture, but be comfortable and efficient working elsewhere.

Recognize great work

If your remote team does great work, make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed! Failing to give positive feedback where due can leave employees feeling undervalued and even increase your turnover risk. Appreciating exceptional work can motivate your team to maintain that standard. You can also use bonuses or raises as an incentive. It can help to make the recognition public on company-wide channels, so your other employees are informed about the valuable work the remote team does each day. Your online team will then continue confident their hard work is going noticed and appreciated.

A productive online team can be a huge asset to your business, so make sure you take the steps to make yours the best it can be. While creating an engaged and motivated group of remote employees can be a challenge, once you put the above appropriate systems into place, it’s more than possible to achieve. Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll soon have a motivated, engaged, and high-functioning remote team.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

3 Reasons Your Company Will Need Legal Assistance

Whether you’re just starting out in the business world or you’ve been running a successful company for a while; there is never a bad time to converse with an expert legal team and make sure you have them waiting in the wings. All entrepreneurs will need specialist legal assistance at some point during their careers. It is sensible to make all the arrangements ahead of time, so you don’t face any delays when it comes to getting the help you require in emergencies. If the lawyers already know the ins and outs of your operation; they will swing into action much faster than they otherwise would have done.

Patent and trademark disputes

It is vital that all entrepreneurs apply for suitable legal cover if they plan to launch a new brand and bring original product designs to the market. If you don’t have trademarks in place for your terms and patents for your concepts; there is a chance another company with more cash could come along and blow you out of the marketplace and cost you a fortune. With that in mind, even with the right protections in place; you could still face issues, and that is why you need a lawyer. If you discover another business infringes on your patents; you’ll want to put an end to that straight away.

Employee dismissal claims

If you employ other workers; there will come a time when you have a dispute with them that you cannot resolve. Perhaps the person was late for work over and over again, and so you decided to fire them. Like it or not, employees have rights, and you can’t always take away their source of income on a whim. So, that person might end up dragging your business through the courts in the hope of reinstating their position or making a compensation claim. If you do not have legal assistance; your operation will stagnate because you will have to take your eyes off the ball.

Road traffic accidents

As a business owner, you never know when you will get a call from a semi truck accident lawyer or someone else in that industry letting you know they plan to make a claim against your firm. You become especially vulnerable to issues like that if your company makes deliveries to customers. If you have drivers on the road all day long, it is only a matter of time before one of them makes a mistake and ends up causing a smash. Without the right legal representatives in your corner, there is a chance you will end up getting a raw deal in the courtroom.

Now you know why it’s so critical to find the right legal specialists to assist your company; it is time to search online, ask associates for recommendations, and sort the wheat from the chaff. Look for law firms that specialize in the business world, and try to select a firm that has lots of other clients in similar positions to you. If you do that; you shouldn’t have too many problems when it comes to making sure you don’t get ripped off in the courtroom.

3 Types of Utilities You Want to Schedule Regular Maintenance on for Your Business

Maintaining your business property requires regular attention throughout the year. While you may take numerous and regular steps to avoid serious repair issues and to promote the quality of your workplace, you may be overlooking the importance of utility maintenance. Your business likely relies heavily on access to electricity, water, and even gas, and these utilities require periodic maintenance in order to keep them functioning well in the years to come. A closer look reveals why these maintenance services are essential.

Electricity Service

If you do not think about calling an electrician unless an issue arises, you are not alone. However, electrical system maintenance should not be overlooked. This type of maintenance work may involve testing the existing system and identifying problem areas that require attention. Through electrical work, serious repair issues may be thwarted. Keep in mind that these issues may otherwise result in accessibility issues or even electrical fires in some instances when they are not identified and repaired as soon as possible.

Water Service

Regardless of the type of business that you run, the ability to access fresh water and to dispose of wastewater efficiently is essential. Any water service issues may result in water damage, sewer damage, an interruption of business activities and more. This type of maintenance service may include looking for small and hidden leaks, repairing minor issues that may be easy to overlook, clearing drains and pipes and completing other similar tasks.

Gas Service

While some commercial properties do not use gas, many properties do have a gas line running through the ground and leading into the structure. Gas lines may run through the building’s walls to a heating system, a water heater, a commercial kitchen, and other areas. Gas maintenance service usually includes an inspection of the main gas line and other gas pipes as well as all connections to identify leaks. Even a minor gas leak can have dangerous consequences and should be fixed immediately.

Some issues with utilities may be easy to identify, but others may remain hidden from the property owner or tenant for weeks or months. Many issues with utilities may result in significant property damage and even physical harm to you, your employees and your customers. If you have not serviced your utilities recently, now is the ideal time to schedule maintenance. Remember to add this type of property maintenance to your annual schedule so that you do not overlook it in the future.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Want To Maintain A Special Relationship With Your Customers? Use These Tried And True Strategies

What makes your business great? Well, a big part of it’s you. Aww, don’t go blushing on me now. Seriously, it’s your spark of inspiration, your drive and your passion that built your business up from nothing. Your employees look up to you and you take your role as their leader very seriously. Speaking of your employees, they’re no slouches either. They’ve taken your ideas and run with them, using their initiative, their imagination and their work ethic to take your ideas and combine them with their own to take your enterprise to a whole new level. You’ve rewarded them in kind by training, developing and promoting them and ensuring that they’re fairly remunerated for their efforts. Then of course there’s the outsourced help that allowed you to get the specialist provision you needed without the staffing overheads. But there’s one vital component without which it would all be for nought… That’s right. Your customers!

You value your customers and acknowledge that they are the lifeblood of your business. You appreciate their loyalty and want to ensure that you retain their harmonious relationship with your business. But you’re not sure how to maintain this relationship or where to divert your efforts and resources. Here are some strategies to help you to do exactly that…

Your blog

Your blog is arguably your greatest asset when it comes to retaining your customers and improving your enterprise’s SEO. Keep customers coming back for regular, engaging and well written content and not only will you earn their loyalty, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field with insights, thoughts and opinions well worth heeding. Just don’t besmirch your blog with low quality content sourced by cheap overseas content farms.

Email newsletters

It’s a tried and true means of customer retention, but one still worth considering even in 2018. Email newsletters offer customers a sense of exclusivity. You can include special promotions and offers designed exclusively for them and you can give customers the opportunity to peak behind the curtain at new developments within your business. Just check out https://www.palomasoftware.com/postman/email-newsletter-software/ to see why email newsletters are a worthy investment. Just make sure that they are only sent out to customers who opt in, especially if you do business in Europe and don’t want to fall afoul of GDPR legislation.

A rewards scheme that gives customers more of what they want

Different customers will be drawn to your business for different reasons and each will want something subtly different from a rewards scheme… So develop one that’s flexible and gives your customers the opportunity to get more of what matters to them. This is where market research becomes an extremely valuable tool. When you have a rewards scheme that’s tailored to the explicit needs and desires of your clientele, you’ll not only enjoy their loyalty, you’ll enjoy knowing that your business is catering to them as effectively as possible.

Your customers are the best and as such it behooves you to take steps to show them how much you appreciate them!

How To Keep Customer And Client Data Secure

Small business owners will have to collect a lot of client and customer data. If you don’t keep that information secure, there is a chance your company could get into trouble. There is also a chance you might develop an adverse reputation if your brand appears in the newspapers alongside a story about hackers who stole money from consumers bank accounts. So, use the advice from this post.

Use cloud storage services

If you take a moment to check out the infographic at the bottom of this page; you should learn more about data and how you will need to use it in the coming years. Whatever information you collect, make sure you choose the most secure storage solution. That is usually the cloud.

Encrypt all private details

Companies that collect customer names, addresses and bank account details will need to make sure they encrypt all that data the moment they receive it. Failure to do that could mean a hacker breaks into your system and steals everything. That is not something you want to happen.

Hire an IT support specialist

IT support experts know how to test your system for vulnerabilities and then provide some advice designed to counteract the issues. Make sure you hire a professional and use their services if you want to guarantee you’re not missing anything vital.

Use the info from this page to make sure you never fall victim to a hacking attack that will ruin the reputation of your brand. Also, take a look at the infographic to learn more about some of the challenges your business will face in the future.


Graphic by USC Online

How to Find Work and Jobs Abroad

The idea of working abroad and leaving the U.S. is one that appeals to a lot of people. Maybe you’re a new graduate and you’d like to go overseas and utilize your skills, or perhaps you’re further along in your career and you’d like to make a change.

The idea is similar to people who come to the U.S. for work. Many people come to the U.S. on temporary work visas, and then they’re able to send money back to their families using services like Remitly and develop valuable skills in the process.

The following are some ways employees in the U.S. can take a page out of foreign workers’ books and go abroad to work.

Learn the Language

The sooner and the more thoroughly you can work toward learning the language of where you want to work, the more appealing you are going to be to prospective employers. You don’t necessarily have to be fully fluent, but if you are bilingual in both English and the native language of where you’d like to go, it’s going to be much easier to find employment.

Some employees may have the plan to go abroad from the start so they’ll start studying a foreign language while they’re in college. If you didn’t do that, don’t worry. There are plenty of online courses and classes that can help you with your foreign language skills as you’re searching for employment.

Consider U.S.-Based Employers

When you want to work abroad, you might automatically start looking at companies that primarily operate where you’d like to go. That’s fine, but there are also plenty of companies in the U.S. that have a reputation for sending employees abroad for a period of time.

For example, Deloitte is one such company. They have partnerships in countries throughout the world, and while their headquarters is in New York City, they also often send people on international placements. You don’t have to be a top executive, either. They send everyone including interns and entry-level employees abroad if they’re interested.

Another example is HSBC, which has an international management program.

Frequent Travel Jobs

Even if you don’t find employment with a company that will place you overseas for a year or two, there are jobs where it’s all about travel. One example is the Uber Launching Team, and another is Airbnb. These companies are known for having positions that are almost entirely travel-based, and they may even offer travel-based perks and benefits to employees.

Finally, you might explore a working holiday visa as well. A working holiday visa is something that people aged 18 to 30 or sometimes 18 to 35 may be eligible for, depending on the country. These options let people work abroad in different positions around the world as they’re traveling. You will have to show that you have a desirable skillset to get one of these visas, and you may need to show your resume as well.

It’s definitely possible to work abroad in different settings and ways, so if it’s a dream you have, doing some research can help you make it happen.