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Gumball vending machines are the best known of all vending machines. Why?

Gumball Vending Machines A Great Way To Break Into The Vending Business

Gumball Vending Machines  A Great Way To Break Into The Vending BusinessGumball vending machines are the best known of all vending machines. They are the basis of every vending business because most people get started in this business with one or more gumball machines. This is because they are the cheapest of the machines and they do generate a lot of profit. You can sell giant bubblegum, candy and fun prizes from gumball vending machines. Even as more and more vending machines come on the market, the "gumball vending machines" have remained. They come in a wide variety of styles and designs, such as the classic globe shaped gumball machine or the spiral shaped models. When you contact a business, gumball machine owners find that these are the easiest machines to place. Business owners know that both children and adults like to use them and they can even spur along the sales by offering prizes for a certain colored gumball. This makes using them more fun. Gumball machines usually take a quarter so the product is not costly for the customer. You can have single gumball vending machines or models with two or three machines in one. Experts on the vending machine business will tell you that you should not have more than three different products or three machines selling gumballs and candy in one location. The small number of choices helps to increase the sales of gumballs for your business. Gumball machines are also very colourful which makes them very noticeable, along with the colourful gumballs inside. Along with selling gumballs, you can sell many products for fun. Gumball machines can be used to sell bouncy balls, toy capsules or even small souvenir mugs. As long as the products can fit through the dispenser in the gumball vending machines you can use them in the machines. You will also have to adjust the price to reflect the product because some products are more expensive than others. You do have to price the products to sell, but also be able to make a profit in your business. Gumball machines are so popular because they are the most profitable of all vending machines. The spiral gumball vending machines seem to work best in a vending machine business. This is because these machines are very attractive to children, who love to watch the gumball spin around the spiral in the machine. Parents dont mind spending the quarter for the gumball and quite often they will end up spending more than one in the fun gumball machines. Business owners dont mind having them on their premises either because they get a commission based on the amount of money that comes out of each machine. If you are thinking of getting started in the vending machine business, you will enjoy great success with gumball vending machines.

Unsecured Start Up Loans For Small Business Is It A Good Idea?

Unsecured Start Up Loans For Small Business  Is It A Good Idea?

First-time small business owners usually are chary of unsecured start up loans. This is because the time frame for making a profit is not definite whether or not there is a properly thought out and lucrative business plan in place for the future business. When profits or revenues do not materialize per plans, as in most cases, there is danger of default on loan repayment. When this happens credit rating of the person involved gets degraded as unsecured loans are granted on the basis of credit and borrowing history of the business owner. And if there is bad credit history behind, he/she can very well forget that small business loan. Lets discuss some more aspects of unsecured small business start up loans.Some FactsIf the credit history of to be small business owner is good, unsecured start-up business loans are easier to avail as compared to other business loans. But it is better to go for secured loans against property or equipment affiliated with the business. Secured loan not only keeps personal credit rating intact but poses lesser risks for the business owners, because they can use the hypothecated equipment to generate a profit for the business. As a result the loan can be paid back on time. Not just that, secured loans are for longer tenure and come with lesser interest rate burden, thereby lowering the cost of loan.But if you have decided to apply for unsecured small business start-up loans, you should be careful about the requested amount. Remember, the more you owe on the loan (including interest), the more will be the money which you have to repay. If you are not exactly sure how well the business will do in the first year and want to keep your credit rating good, it is best to request a small amount for your unsecured start-up business loan. This will make sure that repayment installments are small and if you are punctual in repaying, you can always ask for more, which will be gladly given.Some AdviceBefore you apply for an unsecured business start-up loan, there are several things that you should keep in mind. First of all, you will need to convince the lender that it is a good decision to issue the loan to you. Since unsecured loans are based on your credit and repayment history, you will have to convince lenders that you can handle your personal finances in an organized fashion. Good credit record will put lenders at ease since they will be able to see your repayment history on your credit report. Since lenders will be looking at your credit report, you should maintain a positive report as far as possible. If you know that you owe certain lenders, you should try to settle these debts or set up a payment plan with your creditors. This will be visible on your report.Before you make any final decisions about unsecured start-up loans for business, be sure to speak to an accountant or a representative from your local bank. This will make sure that you are applying for the right loans which would help your business to develop quickly and steadily. You must not take a decision unless you are convinced.

How to Make a Living as a Ski Bum

How to Make a Living as a Ski Bum

So your favorite thing to do is ski, and your least favorite thing to do is go to work. And of course you are under the impression that there is no possible way to combine both and make a decent living. Sure, you can become a ski lift operator and live in a small apartment with 3 other roommates eating top ramen every night. But I have found a way to be self employed, hit the slopes by 10:00 am and conduct business from the chair lifts. I hope this doesnt come off like bragging, I just want to let people know that there is a better life out there. Personally, I havent had this much fun since college.With that being said I bought a home near the slopes of a major ski resort in Colorado, and converted it into a bed & breakfast. It is the most entertaining job I have ever had. You basically make breakfast every morning and ski the rest of the day. Sure you need to clean rooms every few days, but guests normally dont want anyone in their room during their stay. They just want to be pampered during breakfast, hit the slopes all day, go out to dinner, come back to their room and pass out from exhaustion. Looking at the following schedule you might say that I work 7am to 5pm everyday, with a six-hour lunch break.Here is the average Saturday for me:- 6:30 am Shower, drink coffee, check emails and the weather forecast.- 7:00 am Start guest coffee, prepare breakfast and set the table.- 8:00 am Guests start coming to the breakfast table. I give them a big plate of food and make sure their orange juice and coffee never run empty. During this time we talk about skiing and the resort. They always want to know the weather forecast, if I am skiing that day, and how many times I have gone during the season. It is always an enjoyable conversation, since they are on vacation and couldnt be happier.- 9:00 am I generally need to run a credit card payment for someone, or check out a movie from the library (I will discuss this later). Guests are also heading to the resort during this time, so I let them know how to get there, the best places to eat and my favorite runs. I also start doing dishes so I can hit the slopes (be sure to see friends in my tips section).- 9:30 am The last guest has eaten and I finish cleaning. But, before I head out I need to shovel snow and check the hot tub to make sure no one turned the heat down the night before.- 10:00 am Hit the slopes.- 11:00 am Normally by this time I have already received a phone reservation. People get excited when I tell them I am on the chair lift, because they know that they will be there soon enough. Guests who reach me while I am on the slopes are always more likely to make a reservation. With a cell phone I can feel the vibration of a call and store numbers for a return call later that day.- 4:00 pm - The lifts close and I head for home.- 4:30 pm I make a quick walk through of the bed and breakfast to find out how much fun my guests had and check in any new arrivals. Then I return phone calls and check emails.- 5:00 pm By this time all my guests have made it back from the slopes, so I check out movies and make recommendations for dinner.After that I am done for the day, with the exception of a few miscellaneous reservations. I clean rooms on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but can still make it to the slopes since I dont have a lot of guests to tend to.Of course there are a lot more things to think about before starting up a "bed and breakfast" , but these are the things that cant be found in most of the books:- Get a good cell phone. You need a phone that gets good reception everywhere on the mountain. Every resort has a tower, just find out which phone company owns it.- Most people plan their vacation over the internet, so you must have an easy to find & informative website. Here is mine http://www.slopeview.com/. A lot of the things in this list can be seen in more detail on my site.- Location is everything. Make sure people can get to the slopes easy, whether it be by shuttle bus or walking. They dont want to drive, and you dont want to offer transportation, because it will seriously cut into your ski day.- You need a hot tub. If you dont have one, you might as well sell the beds and let your guests sleep on the floor.- Rooms have to be unique. People like interesting rooms that are unlike any room in their home. I have gone with a Five Great Things To Love About Colorado theme.- Offer it as a vacation rental. This will allow you to take a few days off and get first tracks in the morning, or go out of town.- Your friends are the cheapest employees you will ever have. If you have a place for them to sleep, and give them leftover breakfast, they will help you get to the slopes faster. Most of my friends that live in Denver have season passes, and I never have to shovel snow.These are just a few recommendations, but not necessary:- People like having their own bathroom! Not every room will have one, but they will have useless closets that you can convert.- Set up a coffee & snack bar, and let guests make coffee whenever they want. Flavored coffee syrups and microwave popcorn are cheap, but offer a little perk for your guests.- Everyone loves movies. I have set up DVD players in every room and have a library of 270 movies (it was a hobby before I started the b & b). You can buy used movies at video stores and ask friends to loan you theirs. Unique movies are great, because it is nice to recommend good movies that people havent seen.- Waffle makers rock! If you take instant waffle mix and mix in fresh berries or nuts, you are going to have some happy customers.People may tell you that running a bed and breakfast is hard work, but these people must think they have an obligation to clean rooms everyday and prepare a 5-course breakfast that takes hours make. I have never had a complaint, and many of my guests are repeat customers, that just like to ski. In fact I feel that the more time I spend at the resort, the better I am as a concierge.Not only is it a good business venture, but the property around ski resorts will always go up value more so than anywhere else. You can also sell an established business for twice as much as a residential home.So knock down the walls of your cubicle, grab your skis and prepare for a lifestyle change that will result in you becoming a bum a ski bum.

Guerilla Versus Gorilla - Small Companies Can Win

Guerilla Versus Gorilla - Small Companies Can Win

We make our living as guerillas not the bad kind, but more of a freedom fighter. By using the term guerilla I mean EMJ (now a division of SYNNEX) fights for business against big gorillas (other distributors) in the field. Our competitors are almost 100 times our size; EMJ is a Canadian-based, $165 million per year distributor. We have made an operating profit for the past 80 consecutive quarters. So even though we are up against the big gorillas as a distributor, we must be doing something right.If you are in a business where some of the competitors are much larger, you may be able to benefit from using guerilla tactics. The principles of running a guerrilla organization differ from running a gorilla organization. As a guerrilla, we hide from our competitor; we do not try to crush them. I even go so far as to examine what they do well and let them do it. At the same time, I look for under-serviced markets and get to these markets fast.A gorilla takes all competitors head on, trying to crush the competition. Sometimes this takes the form of a price war. Sometimes it takes major prolonged, drawn-out investment. This works as long as you are the same size, or larger than the competition. Even then, such a long battle can sap power and ultimately profits. Companies that die often believe they were gorillas. It is certain death for a business to fight gorillas unless they can withstand the siege. Any time we hire someone with a gorilla-company background, we watch and coach that person to make sure they are indoctrinated with the appropriate tactics. We have to make sure they understand out business model.My 8 favourite guerilla tactics are:1 Act fast. I use my companys size for my advantage. I can act lightning fast. In the computer business, this is a huge asset. Things change so rapidly that moving fast and being first to market is a huge advantage. Larger companies do not react quickly. Develop a reputation for being first it gets the attention of customers. 2 Welcome smaller opportunities. Gorillas tend to say no to manufacturers who dont think they can do significant volume with. But a small opportunity rejected by a gorilla can be a very profitable opportunity for a guerilla. For EMJ, a million dollar per product line is an opportunity big enough to get the attention of my first string. In your business, look for the right-sized opportunity for you. Frequently, it is the smaller opportunity that has the best promise. The gorillas will leave you alone. There is always a right-sized opportunity for a company of any size. Knowing your rightful place in the market can help you to thrive.3 Get focussed. Higher focus means we know more, stock more, and sell more product of fewer manufacturers. The smaller our product listing, the more powerful we become. We know a lot about a little. That means we know the products we sell better than a gorilla, and we become a sales tool for the reseller, not just an order-taker. Could you become more focused and specialized in a business area by giving up on a part of your business?4 Be more flexible. We can adapt more easily to our customers and suppliers. We try not to be ruled by policy. The bigger a company gets, the more likely they are to have policy and some of it is required. As a small distributor, we can be more flexible. Are there areas that your competition is ignoring that by being more entrepreneurial, you can capitalize on?5 Be smarter. This sounds too simple, almost embarrassing to write. Since we are smaller, we can look at the business we do more carefully and make sure it makes good business sense. We dont pick up another manufacturer just to increase the size of our line card. Thats just not good business sense for us. Thats the way we have to think and so should you.6 Lower your overhead. For some reason, most companies seem to choose more expensive offices and furnishings as they grow. This expectation tends to increase costs in all areas of the company that distribution, at current margin levels, can ill afford. At EMJ, we buy quality used furniture. We are on the outskirts of Guelph where the cost of land and taxes is less. Our capital base is even high enough that our cost of capital is less than some of the gorillas. Are there areas that you can be lower overhead than the gorillas in your field? Costs always add up on the bottom line.7 Foster staff loyalty one major advantage guerillas have over gorillas is the ability to attract, motivate, and keep good people. Primarily this is because guerillas can be more flexible, easier to work for and give people more of a sense of accomplishment because what they do contributes more directly the companys bottom line. I have always found there to be great power by being smaller and treating my people with respect and not just as numbers. Gorillas can try to do this but it is tough for them to copy you.8 Just BE a gorilla. We like to enter market areas that we can dominate and specialize in. We may not be the biggest but in certain specific niches, we dominate. As long as we are the biggest in an area, we can act the part. We can under-price and over-service the competition forever. Anyone who enters our markets learns that it is expensive and often impossible to unseat us.9 Be personal. One thing a smaller organization can do is to be more personal. People buy from people. You can foster relationships that will help you sell. Part of the way we are personal is by showing our customers what markets and products ARE profitable. There is nothing that cements a customer relationship better than making them money, because youll be making money for them AND for you!10 Be opportunistic to sum up guerilla strategy is simply to be opportunistic. Take advantage of opportunities that the gorillas cannot do. There are many companies that remain profitable by being opportunistic.In summary, unless you are huge think guerilla. Appropriate guerilla tactics for your size will win any battle.

Profits With Safety In The Small Business

As a small business owner, you are a risk taker. There is excitement and challenge in such a venture, but to succeed you need good management information, an ability to be a good manager of people and the intelligence and inner strength to make the right decisions. From unnecessary risk taking, thousands of workers die each year and many suffer injury or illness from conditions at work. How often does an owner or manager actually see work-related deaths, serious injuries or illnesses in the workplace? In some "small business" es, the answer is rarely. For this reason, many owners or managers do not understand why there is controversy about the government having occupational safety and health agencies with enforceable laws. But others have learned why; unfortunately, they have experienced a loss. These owner/managers will tell you that it is too late to do anything once a serious accident happens. They have learned that prevention is the only real way to avoid this loss and unnecessary risk taking.Reducing losses and risks are goals that you as an owner or manager must set in assuring the safety and well being of all in the business. Small business owners and managers place a high value on the well-being of your employees. Family members and personal acquaintances may be part of the business and even hired employees will become almost like family as time goes by. Investing in safety and health activity now will better enable you to avoid possible losses in the future.Nobody wants accidents to happen in the workplace. A serious fire, a permanent injury, or the death of an employee or owner can cause the loss of profit or even an entire business. To prevent such losses, you dont have to turn your business upside down. You may not have to spend a lot of money, either. You do need to use good business sense and apply safety prevention policies. There are reasons why accidents happen. An accident always has a cause and a reason why. Once you know why an accident happened, it is possible to prevent future incidents.The business needs a plan to prevent accidents. Not all dangers at the workplace depend on an accident to cause harm, of course. Worker exposure to toxic chemicals or harmful levels of noise or even radiation may cause gradual illness over a long period of time. There needs to be a plan that includes prevention of these unseen health hazard exposures. There needs to have a safety and health management system. It is not difficult to develop such a plan. Basically, the plan should address the types of accidents and "health hazard exposures" that could happen in the workplace. Because each workplace is different, the program should address the specific needs and requirements for the business.There are four basic elements to all good safety and health programs. These are as follows:1) The manager needs to lead the way, by setting policy, assigning and supporting responsibility, setting an example and involving employees.2) The workplace needs to be continually analyzed to identify all existing and potential hazards.3) Methods to prevent or control existing or potential hazards are put in place, maintained, and updated.4) Managers, supervisors and employees need to be trained to understand and deal with worksite hazards.Regardless of the size of the business, the plan should use each of these points to prevent workplace accidents and possible injuries and illnesses. Developing a workplace program following these four points is a key step in protecting you and your workers safety and health. If you already have a program, reviewing it in relation to these points should help you improve what you have.Following this four-point approach to safety and health in your business may also improve efficiency. It may help you reduce insurance claims and other costs. The plan will certainly give you a way to express and document your good faith and commitment to protecting your workers health and safety.This approach usually does not involve large costs. Developing a health and safety protection plan does not have to be expensive and generally does not require additional employees, especially in smaller businesses. Safety and health can be integrated into your other business functions with modest effort on your part and will become part of the daily routine.The key to the success of a safety and health plan and program is to see it as a part of the business operation and to see it reflected in the day-to-day operations. Once implemented, the safety program will become second natured to the owner as well as the employees.

Computer Consulting: 3 Questions To Ask Your Clients

From a customer service perspective, you can ask your computer consulting clients three questions that will explode the growth of your company. Question Number One:How Can We Improve the Level of Service That We Provide Your Company?Ask your "computer consulting" clients this question on a regular basis; at least a couple times a year. You will be amazed at the type of suggestions they give you.They will tell you some things youll be able to implement without charging them another nickel or penny more because theyre simple no-brainer kind of things. For example, Could you send us an email reminder the day before youre coming in? Obviously you dont have to charge for something like that.Some of the others may say, It would be great if you could guarantee this kind of response time or It would be great if you could also take over finding someone who can help us with our PBXs. Youre going to get some ideas, some of which are going to make sense for you, some won't. Some of them may require a little more legwork and some of them may be great opportunities for additional revenue. Question Number Two:Is There Anything Else IT-related That Your Company Needs Help With?Question Number Three:Do You Know Anyone Else Such as Business Associates, Friends, Family Members in the Greater Area That Could Use Some Help With Their Computer-related Problems?Help Your Computer Consulting Clients Help YouSpend a minute or two to tell your computer consulting clients what they should look out for. If they happen to be on the phone with a vendor or supplier or family member and theyre complaining and moaning that everythings running slowly or that the LANs down again or emails not working or the server crashed.Get your computer consulting clients trained to listen for those clues and let you know that theres an opportunity out there. If theyre a long-term client of yours and theyre happy with you, they should be more than happy to recommend you. All you need to do is ask and train them to be looking for these clues.Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 101 Blog. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Summary

Gumball vending machines are the best known of all vending machines. Why?