5 Common Restaurant Business Ownership Challenges

Owning a restaurant can be a fantastic experience. As an owner, you are your boss, and you have more independence when it comes to your work and personal life. While there are many benefits to being a restaurant owner, there are also many downsides.

Here are five typical restaurant business ownership challenges to be aware of before jumping into the restaurant business.

First, being your boss can be great. However, it also comes with lots of added responsibilities. As the owner, you often have to pick up the slack for everyone else. This means you will be a jack of all trades! You will likely end up helping with a variety of tasks at one point or another including cooking, cleaning, waiting tables, making phone calls, deliveries, maintenance and more. You will also have to make tough decisions such as hiring and firing employees and dealing with finances.

Restaurant Business Ownership Challenges

You will have an erratic schedule. While it definitely won’t be a boring 9-5 job, it also will not be predictable. You will often work evenings and will likely end up working many late nights and coming in for early mornings to prep. Also, say farewell to your weekends. Weekends are prime time business hours for restaurants, so you will need to be there, especially when you are first starting out. This is a huge time commitment that will likely be very consuming.

As a business owner, you will not receive employee benefits as you would if you worked for someone else. This means you have to pay for your benefits like healthcare, dental, insurance, and retirement funds. Sometimes these can be more expensive since you are buying as an individual instead of with a large group as a company would.

Finances can be unpredictable. Your likelihood will depend on business and profits. If your restaurant suddenly experiences a slow period or season with a significant drop in income, you will be the first to feel it! You will have to pay yourself last, as employees must be compensated first. This may mean you are only able to cover your expenses such as rent without any additional income for your personal accounts or expenditures. Plan ahead and always have a savings fund ready that you can use in case of an emergency. This unstable income can be a deal breaker for many prospective restaurant owners especially if you have a family to support

Lastly, it is a risk. Many complexities can arise when you own a restaurant. First when you are starting it can be difficult to get the ball rolling. You will need to get all necessary licenses in order and meet all state and local regulations. Also, you also risk bad reviews or law suits from customers who get sick or become harmed on your restaurant property.

Clearly, deciding to open a restaurant requires a thorough analysis of the pros and cons. While there are risks and downsides, most restaurant owners agree that the risk is worth the reward if you are passionate about what you do and are willing to put in the time, energy and money needed to succeed. Whether you open a national grocer’s location, a pizza place, or a Thai restaurant, these cons will be factors to consider when thinking about restaurant ownership challenges.

Why Facebook Needs to be More Small Business Friendly

Facebook has been going through a turbulent time of late. During a phase which has seen users turn off in their millions, the scandals of mishandled data and awkward advert placement have served to kick it when it is down. To say that any service which boasts one billion users is at critical risk may seem a bit over dramatic; winning back favor with both consumers and business, though, is a long and complicated process.

Facebook Needs to be More Small Business Friendly

So what has gone wrong for Facebook?

Wind the clocks back a few years and they were flying, the old Kings of Myspace, MSN and Bebo were dead, the young usurper looked untouchable. Nothing lasts forever, though, and it might just be this invincible attitude that has contributed to Facebook’s decline.

Last week, the American firm had to admit that a bug in the system had made public the private contact information of over six million users. The bug allowed anyone is downloading their account histories via the “Download Your Information” tool to access inadvertently those of their friends.

This slip-up happened almost simultaneously with concerns about some of the content on the network. Following a recent backlash against Facebook for allowing sexist and malicious content on individual pages, many brands have pulled their adverts to avoid appearing next to offensive material.

Facebook needs both users and customers, put simply, businesses buy access to the public. They cannot have one without the other, and having both sides of their operation hit like this will hurt. This is all recent news, though, Facebook’s decline has been much more drawn out.

Without being too simplistic, the problem lies in Facebook’s over-commercialization. The poster boy for this is the Edgerank algorithm, which decides what you want to see for you. From the point of view of a business, trying to reach people through a fanpage is more effort than it is worth; for the everyday users, having a feed full of unwanted adverts, determined by Edgerank, and is annoying.

Facebook has taken steps to repair the damage. In response to brands pulling adverts, the worldwide social network unveiled a new review policy to restrict the possibility of branded content appearing alongside anything unpleasant content.

Adverts will be removed from any violent, graphic or offensive pages by the end of this week. To give this policy a future, an automated method of maintaining this distance will be developed. There is an old saying about shutting the stable door, though, which many big brands seem to have taken to heart.

Many of the brands which left Facebook to cover their backs are yet to perform a public U-turn. Nationwide and M&S are continuing their boycotts but claim to be “monitor developments.” The sky is also yet to renew their subscription, and has asked for further measures before they will reconsider.

Facebook has become increasingly frustrating for small business users, many of whom have recently given up the chase. Unable to afford to waste time and resources sending out messages that are gagged by Edgerank, they have migrated to more user friendly, less commercial, platforms.

Previously, this hasn’t been a concern, with big businesses paying good money to get around Edgerank. This kick in the sides will be a wake-up call to Facebook, though, a few years of being unchallenged in the social media world has given it the false sense of security. If they are to survive they need to harbour better relations with business, not continue to racket protection policy they have been using.

Myspace disappeared in a matter of months. If this does not motivate Facebook to change its ways, then maybe the recent repurchase of Bebo by founder Michael Birch will. Joe Errington is a marketing and social media executive for The MITIE Group, which includes online marketing, social media, and archiving in its wide range of business services.

10 Qualities Of An Effective Business Logo

The purpose of a business logo is to create a strong connection to the brand in people’s minds. Over time, consistent use of one’s business logo in Ads, business correspondence, mailers, and campaigns help cement brand retention. All this, of course, is possible only if the logo design is that memorable.

Qualities Of An Effective Business Logo

Make It Simple And Yet Memorable

Streamline till you achieve simplicity; avoid distractions like LLC, Inc., taglines and so on. You want a logo that people can easily describe, remember for a long time, and also describe it to others. So make it unique, distinct and memorable.

Make Sure It Is Distinctive

You don’t want your logo to look just anyone else’s in your industry, or for that matter, any other industry. The objective here is to stand out and to make sure your customers don’t confuse you with another company.

Make Sure It Is Scalable

Cut your logo down to size and see how it looks. Change the colors to black and white and then see how it looks. When your logo is re-sized, it should not lose any of its clarity, form or expressive imagery. Use vectors while creating it, so ensure maximum scalability.

Keep It Versatile

Aim for a design that you can use in any medium – banners, letterheads, business cards, on the web and so on. A logo that looks good only on certain mediums won’t serve your brand very well.

Keep It Industry-Appropriate

Ask yourself if your logo communicates what your company stands for. Compare your logo alongside the logos of top businesses in your industry. The objective here is to ensure that your logo represents your business, products, and your brand message.

Make it Targeted

Your logo needs to appeal to your target market, so spend some time understanding your audience. For example, if you’re targeting the youth market, your logo must somehow come across as enthusiastic, youthful and spirited.

Aim For Longevity

You cannot change your logo every third day. So hire professional logo designers and aim for longevity; you want your brand identity to live long. Ask yourself if your logo will still be relevant several years from now, or if it will withstand massive changes in the industry.

Watch The Colors

People associate colors with different emotions or elements. Red comes across as assertive and somewhat aggressive, so go for it. An all-black logo can be depressing. Green makes you look environmentally-conscious and so on.

Use The Right Font

Choose your font based on what you represent. For example, cute, curvy fonts are fine for a fashion company or a jewelry brand. Harsh and clunky fonts are fine for a business that sells race cars. The font delivers what you represent and how you want your business to be perceived.

Make Sure It is Original

Pepsi has managed to make its mark in the soft drinks industry while competing with a giant like Coca-Cola. That says a lot about creative marketing in a heavily competitive market. Avoid clip art and stock photos, and create a design that does not look anything like what’s out there.

3 Types of Debt Consolidation

With more and more people finding themselves in debt it has become common place for families to find themselves living on credit. This can become stressful as ultimately a proportion of your disposable income (if not all of it), will be used to pay back what you owe and of this amount, a marginal sum will often consist of interest rates.

There are numerous reasons why people might find themselves in this situation; it could have been as a result of an unexpected, one-off cost such as the car breaking down, a loss of income or simply the rising costs of living which just aren’t adequately covered by their regular wages. Once individuals find themselves trapped in a circle of reliance upon debt, it can seem that there is little or no support to help them to get out and get rid of the credit.

3 Types of Debt Consolidation

There is also a high level of negative stigma associated with money troubles and although in our younger generations this may have diminished somewhat, for the vast majority of the population it is still an incredibly embarrassing subject to approach with other people.

However, taking the first step to dealing with monetary issues is admitting that you have a problem and seeking assistance. A common term which is often used in these types of circumstances is ‘Debt Consolidation’. What this normally refers to is a way in which a person can consolidate their debts by taking out a loan to pay off all of their unsecured lenders.

This allows them to reduce potentially their monthly debt outgoings into one, easy re-payment with only one interest rate to worry about. While this can be a great way for some people to get out of debt, you should remember that you will often be re-paying what you owe over a longer period, which will come as a result of the reduced payment.

A further option for someone looking to get their debts under control would be by taking out a secured loan.

This would only apply to a homeowner who could pledge their house as an asset to act as collateral for the amount borrowed. With a secured loan you would look to borrow enough money to cover the cost of your debts, and because the transaction would be considered to be secure for the lender, the chances are that your interest rates would be far lower than if you were to obtain an unsecured loan.

However, if you were to find yourself in a position that meant you were unable to meet the creditor repayments. There is a risk that you would lose your home and so this option should only be considered by someone who is sure that they will be able to meet the re-payments for the entirety of the loan term.

A further debt solution available is a Debt Management Plan (DMP). This is an informal agreement entered into by both the debtor and the creditors and within which the debtor agrees to pay back the full amount that they owe, over an agree period.

A good debt management company will look into your finances so that they can work out how much disposable income (if any) you have and then decipher how much you can reasonably afford to pay your creditors, without cutting back on your priority outgoings (food and shelter).

Again, this often means that you will be re-paying what you owe for a longer period because the monthly re-payments you are making will be reduced. A debt management company will also negotiate with the creditors on your behalf, during which time they will endeavor to encourage the lenders to freeze and on-going interest and charges that you have been subject to.

There are several other different types of debt consolidation available, so understanding all of the options and solutions is important. Talking to experts to help you to find the right solution for your circumstances can be incredibly helpful. Remember – there are people out there who can help, and if you do talk to an expert they should have the most up to date market and legal information.