Welcome Guest | Register | Login


Restaurant chains seem like a uniquely American idea, even though they've spread all over the world. Once upon a time, though, the very idea of a restaurant chain was laughable.


As times changed, though, these chains became dominant - and each of the three chains below helped shape that industry.

 

Pizza HutPhoto: http://visitoxfordms.com

 

Why Pizza Hut? It's certainly not the only pizza chain in the US, and it's arguably not even among the best. It is, however, the first - and that means quite a bit. Not only did Pizza Hut lead to a chain or other imitators and competitors, but it importantly brought pizza to most of the US. The way Americans eat was forever changed by this chain.

 

Pizza Hut can be thanked for doing a number of other things to change how chains work. It is responsible for improving, if not outright inventing, concepts like the assembly line pizza kitchen. Pizza Hut made delivery a major factor outside of major cities, and it arguably even helped to popularize the buffalo wing outside of the Northeast. The company may not provide gourmet pizza, but it certainly popularized America's love affair with the food.

 

McDonald'sPhoto: Twitter

 

If you live in a city in the United States, there's a very good chance that you're within driving distance of a McDonald's. These ubiquitous restaurants are fixtures of the American landscape, and they've moved across the world.

 

While the country's relationship with the chain has certainly changed over the last fifty years, there's absolutely no doubt that it's the single most influential American dining establishment. It's not the food that makes it special, but rather the consistency - when it comes to McDonald's, you always know what you are going to get. Whether you eat in New York or California, McDonald's is the go-to example for how a fast-food chain works.

 

What's special about McDonald's, perhaps, is that it is always evolving. While it has weathered many fads over the years, something about the chain has always been dependably of the moment. If you see something succeed in another chain, there's a good chance that McDonald's has already tried it out. It's a special bit of Americana, something that might throw on a new identity in the same way a homeowner might try a bit of kitchen cabinet refacing, but nothing fundamentally changes with the concept. For good or ill, McDonald's is here to stay.

 

Olive GardenPhoto: Yelp

 

Olive Garden is, at least at its heart, nothing particularly special. It is neither the first Italian chain in the United States, nor was it the first casual dining chain the country. You can get almost anything on the menu somewhere else and most fans of Italian food will tell you that it barely qualifies as ethnic cuisine. Despite all that, though, Olive Garden was truly one of the first casual dining locations in the United States to become a dining destination, forever changing the way that restaurant chains in the US would advertise themselves.

 

Olive Garden's focus on family and a fine-dining atmosphere made it stand out among its competitors. While the inside of the restaurant is about as fancy as a good couch cleaning, its unified theme and quasi-Tuscan architecture make it stand out regardless of where in the country it is located. Olive Garden took ethnic dining and made it a special experience, not confined to strip malls or ethnic enclaves. It is the predecessor not just of the popularity of fast Italian food in the US, but arguably helped pave the way for other casual-dining ethnic restaurants across the country.

 

The three restaurant defining chains helped to popularize certain types of food, change the way that chains work, and even define the cuisine of an entire nation. Without these restaurants, it's hard to say what dining would look like in the United States - or even around the world. While the impact of each chain might be waning today, they are all still very historically important.

 

Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales.  He's had the opportunity to manage his own startup businesses and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.

 

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com

 

 

Pizza Hut photo: visitoxfordms.com

McDonald's: Twitter 

Olive Garden photo: Yelp.com



Removing debt involves removing the causes of going into debt. We go into debt because we demand immediate gratification of our human desires. Debt empowers us to get something we want now, rather than later. Finance: How To Steer Clear of Debt

 

However, it puts us in slavery to the person or organization we are indebted to. Many Americans go through life enslaved to debt. They accept it as a fact of life, and do not have the financial freedom they could.

 

Your decision to be set free from debt requires identifying your underlying desires that are contributing to it. An example might be a car loan. You borrow $30,000 because you have to look good and be comfortable in your daily commute. Is this really necessary? All that you really need is to go from point A to point B. Is it really worth borrowing year's worth of money to brush up your ego a little for 1 hour a day?

 

In the car example above, how could you get a ride that you enjoy without borrowing immensely for it? The key word is prioritization. What do you actually have to have in a car? Something that gets you from point A to point B reasonably safe. Try not to add much more than that besides cup-holders. You then have your pick of cheap and used vehicles that are fairly efficient to choose from. Your friends might laugh, but they are still in debt, and you are not.

 

Avoid Scarcity Prejudices

Eliminating debt requires eliminating scarcity prejudices that are guiding your actions. Prejudices like, "I have to do what my friends are doing." Another might be, "I have to get exactly what I want exactly when I want it." These prejudices are irrational, and they are hurting you in the long run. The toddler that screams for 10 cookies immediately becomes fat and sickly. The toddler that spreads their 10 cookies out over a month is healthy and happy. You have to learn patience and discipline if you want to be free of debt.

 

A lot of people do not like to hear direct warnings about their personal issues. They find it insulting. Refusing to learn, however, has drastic consequences. The fat man who keeps borrowing money on his credit card to buy potato chips is dooming himself to a lifestyle of a bloated waistline and a bloated credit line. It is easy to see the problems that other people have, but examining our own issues is very important.

 

Small business bookkeeping methods can help you and your organization or your family. Set up a piece of paper. Have a column for debts, or income. Have a column for credits, or expenses. You should be balancing both columns.

 

Be Honest With Yourself

Use the SWOT method. Examine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This tool used by strategy specialists can help you uncover your blind spots that are putting you in unnecessary financial dilemmas. Using the SWOT method requires honesty. Some people are afraid to see what scares them. Be brave, and figure out what is going wrong. It can transform your life.

 

Enlisting professionals can help you as well. There are many competent people out there who have gone through this journey before you. Many are willing to guide you in areas where you feel concerned.

 

Another thing to do is to budget your expenses. What will you absolutely need to be buying? Have some extra money for fun activities. Do not twist your budget to make it do what you want. Abide by your budget. Budget planning can make you a more focused person who is more careful.

 

Another great tip for eliminating debt is getting accountable. Compete with your spouse or friends to eliminate debt. Set targets for your group to meet. You will find that being on a team encourages debt elimination. You can all buy pizza with cash when you are done, grinning at the credit card fanatics next in line.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com



All life on earth depends on water and most of the water sits in our oceans. They’re big. They’re vital. And, we’re killing them. It’s not just ocean fishing taking most of the good stuff like fish out. We dump tons of toxic stuff into them every year, too.

Some of that comes in the form of point-source pollution, things like waste oil, that we know how to regulate. Unfortunately, a lot of crud enters the oceans as non-source-point pollution, hard-to-regulate things like greenhouse gases, plastic bottles, and even minor-seeming things like cigarette butts kill the fish, too. Short of successfully enforcing some sort of global climate change treaty, which our politicians frankly seem too gutless to do, some individual activism might still be in order.

Threats to the Marine Environment Because of Humans

Why Care?

Well, other than that pesky all-life-on-earth thingy, maybe you actually like eating shrimp and other fish and you’d like to keep on eating them for the rest of your life. Trouble is the greenhouse gases we release every day don’t just pollute the air. Basic chemistry says that those gases dissolve in the water and make it acidic.

No, not like Aliens. It’s just acidic enough that most of the fish we like to eat can’t tolerate it. Scientists are already warning of unusual blooms in one thing that can, jellyfish. The Chinese will happily tell you that jellyfish have medicinal value, but even they don’t much like eating them. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a bit like fishy, gummy bear, spaghetti. It’s gross, but if you like seafood, you may be getting used to it.

As Jelle Bijma of the EuroCLIMATE programme said, you’d have to go back 35 million years to find the equivalent partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the oceans that we have already. For perspective, in the 1950s, the effects of greenhouse gas emissions were noticeable, but weren’t yet significant. We’ve done almost all of this damage in a few decades. That’s 300 times as far back as the Stone Age. Thirty-five million years is 12,000 times that. The reefs are already struggling to cope with the acid and the fish aren’t far behind.

What else? Oh, well, how about mercury poisoning? If you don’t already know that there are calculators on the web telling us how much fish of various kinds are safe to eat, you should. Right now they would warn you against eating swordfish (basically never) or tuna more than once per week. And, that assumes that your liver, kidneys, and lungs are still healthy enough to clear mercury from your body.

 

What to Do?

Some things are obvious. For example, you can calculate the safe mercury threshold and rein in the types and amount of seafood you eat. That’s depressing, but at least you know what to do. Also, you can organize to fight against what the EPA says is the main source of mercury pollution, coal fired power plants.

You can also use either organic fertilizers or apply chemical fertilizers sparingly enough to make sure that they end up in the veggies rather than running off into the oceans where they create coastal dead zones. Go ahead. Look those up. NOAA keeps track of the coastal dead zones from our annual agricultural runoff. You can see it from space. Also seen from space … those giant whirlpools of trash floating in the oceans. They kill, too, so reuse and recycle. And, of course, drive less. Walk or ride a bike more. Use Energy Star appliances. Shut off the lights. And so on.

 

You’ve Heard Those Before so, What Else?

One thing you may not have thought about or even heard yet concerns the growing movement to stop cigarette butts from getting to the water. For example, see the Cigarette Butt Pollution Project to see exactly how bad this is for the ocean. Non-biodegradable, cigarette butts are also loaded with poisons including things like arsenic, acetone, ammonia, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, lead, and toluene. 

  • As they say, some things on the legal horizon for dealing with the problem include:
  • Increasing fines and penalties for littering butts
  • Monetary deposits on filters
  • Increasing availability of butt receptacles
  • Expanded public education
  • Outright bans on the sale of filtered cigarettes

 

Of course, they leave out the obvious. Why produce cigarette butts at all when you can use e cig juice? That might be the only remaining choice soon enough anyway. As a study by Elli Slaughter at San Diego State University showed, a single cigarette butt with a bit of leftover tobacco stuck to it per liter of water kills half of the fish swimming in it. Technological solutions are easy, and they’re not all bad.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

Register NOW with Philly2Philly!

 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

Any ideas or submissions, just send them to info@philly2philly.com



 One of the biggest industries that seems to have the ability to weather any kind of change in the economy is consulting. The market for operations consulting was as big as $71.2 billion in 2016. Human resources consulting was as large as $30.9 billion in the same time frame.

However, despite the fact that consulting has been a constant in the economy, trends can change fast. With this in mind, here are some of the top trends to watch in regards to starting a consulting business.Top Trends to Watch When Starting a Consulting Business

 

Crowdsourced Consulting

One new trend that has appeared in the market is crowdsourced consulting. We typically think of crowdsourcing in terms of funding projects on platforms like KickStarter. However, Wikistrat and other companies that provide a platform for crowdsourcing consulting services are now available as well. Crowdsourcing can refer to any business in which the resources or talent of a large group is pooled. This is certainly possible with consultancy.

 

In the traditional model of consultancy people are generally used to, analysts work in-house to do things like draft reports and make predictions for clients. However, crowd consulting takes this a bit further. A “crowd” of hundreds of analysts may work together to create simulations to provide similar services. Wikistrat employs 850 academics, consultants, journalists and ex-military personnel to act as their consulting crowd. While this is a significant shift from the traditional consulting business model, it is one that is growing and has potential to grow even more in the coming years.

 

Compliance Consulting

Another area that has seen significant growth is compliance consulting. This area of consultancy deals with the regulatory frameworks that dictate how businesses can legally operate in countries. In the United States, there are plenty of regulations in almost every industry conceivable. Factories, for example, must follow regulations regarding environmental impact as well as worker safety. Doctors and hospitals must follow healthcare regulations, including those recently enacted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 

While regulations will likely be repealed under the Trump administration, there’s sure to still be hundreds of thousands of regulations that companies both large and small will have to worry about following to maintain their legality. It’s not something likely to go away anytime soon. Compliance consultancy is the perfect career choice for professionals who have had experience working to conform to the regulatory frameworks in different industries. Even carpet cleaner companies must conform to rules and regulations.

 

Big Data Consulting

Third, big data is making a big wave in consulting. Big data may seem like a hard to define buzzword. However, it’s quite simple. A company collects a lot of information regarding its daily operations, sales, customer interactions, vendors, suppliers, machinery and more. That information is then analyzed to help develop competitive advantages and increase efficiency within the organization.

 

However, collecting millions or even billions of bytes of data is one thing. Knowing how to use that data to improve a company and its business prospects is another thing entirely. This is where the services of a consultant may come in. For example, a big data consulting firm can show cabinet painter companies what data to record with software. Then they can use the data to forecast trends. It can show those companies how to expand their business logically based on the data. It can also show them how to paint cabinets in a more efficient manner to improve productivity and cost savings. Overall, big data is a big tool to leverage if you know how to use it. The use of consultants can certainly get the most out of this information.

Consulting is a form of business that has been around for thousands of years. While it’s certain to exist for thousands more, it will probably not remain the same for long. If you wish to start a consultancy business, make sure to follow trends in consulting as they develop.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com



 Small businesses need to get help anywhere they can. If you have a website, one tool that can certainly help you keep your small business in the black is Google Analytics. According to estimates, anywhere from 30 to 50 million website owners use Google Analytics. Google Analytics is the most used analytics service on the internet for a reason. It’s easy to use and can provide you with plenty of valuable intelligence that can help you plot the course forward for your company.

 

With that in mind, here are some tips that can really help you harness the power of Google Analytics.Google Analytics: A Straightforward Guide for Small Business

 

1. Session Duration

 

One thing you want to check when using Google Analytics is average session duration. This is the amount of time on average that visitors spend on your company’s website. Obviously, a longer duration is better. It means the user is engaging more with the content on the website. That user would then be more likely to purchase your products or services. If the duration is less than a minute, you may have a problem.

 

2. Bounce Rate

 

The bounce rate is an important data point that tells you how many visitors are leaving your site from the same page that was used to enter it. Having a high bounce rate is certainly an issue. Those people will never be converted into paying customers.

 

There could be a number of reasons why your bounce rate is high. They may have clicked on an ad leading to your website on accident. Alternatively, they may be frustrated with the confusing layout or navigation on the page. According to Rocket Fuel, you should be aiming for a bounce rate of 26 to 40 percent.

 

3. Exit Pages

 

Examining the exit pages in Google Analytics can also give you valuable intel. Exit pages are the pages that a visitor views before leaving the website entirely. Each exit page in Google Analytics has an exit rate that tells you how often users leave from that page. If the exit pages with the highest exit rates are the confirmation pages for making purchases, you’re in good shape. If they are some other page that users should not be leaving from so frequently, you could have an issue.

 

4. Historical Visitor Data

 

One of the things you will first see when loading Google Analytics is the date ranges for activity on your website. This can be valuable information to have. It is especially useful for making comparisons between different time periods. For example, you may find that your business website gets far more traffic in August than it does earlier in the summer.

 

5. Location

 

You should also keep track of the location of visitors. Where they are coming from can tell you a lot about your customers and what demographics are most interested in your products and services. It is information you need to know for marketing purposes.

 

For example, you may discover that many of your visitors have IP addresses originating from Mexico. If that’s the case, you may want to offer Spanish translations on your site as well as spanish captioning for any videos you have. It will help make it easier for those users to navigate through your website and hopefully make a purchase.

 

6. Segments

 

Another useful option in Google Analytics is to view and analyze your visitors as “segments.” Placing users into groups can allow you to contrast and compare to figure out how those groups act differently when using your website. There are a number of different segments you could compare. For example, you could contrast how mobile users use your website versus what desktop users do.

Google Analytics is a very useful tool for small business owners. It can help give you the information you need to make adjustments to insure that you are getting the most out of your company website. With some work, you should be able to use this kind of data to increase sales, user engagement and other important metrics.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com



Do you have a new or old business that needs online advertising? Do you need to communicate a particular message to your customers? Are you looking to discuss and market a certain product or service? Do you have a promotion that needs a marketing video to support it? Well, all these activities can be accomplished by using online promotional videos. Ensuring Your Promotional Videos Reach Your Target Audience

If you are running a business with a lot of competitors, you need to develop the best marketing strategy to increase your sales. Creating online videos is a simple and cost-effective way to promote your business and increase traffic to your website.

Using video-sharing sites such as YouTube makes it easy to upload your videos and link them to your company’s websites, Facebook page, Twitter page, and your blogs. Online videos allow you to explore various ways to market your product apart from using text on your web page.

The best way to promote your products and services is through creating promotional videos. To effectively use this marketing strategy, you need to understand how it works, how to increase your target audience, and ensure that they reach and view your videos. Read through the article to understand these key aspects.

Understand your target audience

The most efficient approach to make sure that your desired target can access your promotional videos is by understanding who they are and what they love watching. To market your business, you need to understand who are the people watching your videos. By doing these, you can create content that will easily relate to your audience. Understanding your audience helps you evaluate if the demographics you’re reaching match your target audience. If you find out that your demographics are not matching with your target, then you need to change your promotional strategy to appeal to your target.

Video content

Choosing excellent content for your videos is an essential role in the business’s success. Ensure that your promotional video has valuable and updated information to attract more traffic and viewers. Make sure that your video is not too lengthy and covers all the issues intended. It is imperative to use a good camera since good quality videos will attract most potential viewers.

Facebook has changed its algorithm in the sense that videos that don’t contain valuable information will not reach the audience. It is crucial to use proper language to attract more viewers. You can use subtitle services to choose a marketing solution that matches your requirement and budget. If you have planned a small budget, you can use the camera on your phone to shoot your videos.

Consistency

Stay consistent in the manner in which you deliver your videos. Set up a specific time in which you will be posting your videos and stay consistent. If you post videos when your target audience is not online or are sleeping, you won’t get viewers. You, therefore, need to post on specific time slots and schedule your posts. Understand your audience’s interests, social media habits, and their routines to know the right time to post your videos.

Understand what your audience expects from you

One of the challenges that marketers encounter is understanding what your target audience expect from you. It is critical to comprehend what they want to know about your brand so that they can be motivated to view your videos. You will need to place yourself in your audience’s shoes to see the video’s weakness, misunderstanding, and offensive words to the audience. This helps you change your content and work on making the best and interactive video content.

One final aspect you must put into consideration is choosing the best platform to post your videos. You can choose either YouTube or Facebook in relation to what your audience visits most. Follow the above steps to increase your website traffic and sales.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com



Climate change:

 

As change resistors, we tend to think of major influencers as both negative and external to ourselves (ie: something or somebody else causes our problems). However, both show up as biases. With respect to climate change, this usually plays out in headlines such as these: “Top 3 Industries Hurt by Climate Change.”

 

Ambiguity HurtsClimate Change

First off, note the ambiguity in that above statement. Were three industries hurt? Or are we wondering whether three might be hurt? Next, consider what, if anything, we mean by ‘hurt.’ Sometimes, we try to dodge that by asking which businesses will be affected and with what likelihood. Unfortunately, that doesn’t improve our situation much. As an economist should tell you, we live in a competitive system, so every change affects everyone everywhere.

 

Ask Better Questions

Next, someone usually asks (sometimes with a bit of exasperation) “Well, which ones will be affected most, and will the effects be positive or negative?” As questions go, that’s slightly better, but still not great. After all, what do ‘most,’ ‘positive,’ and ‘negative’ mean in this context?

 

For example, people often give winemaking as an example of the ‘negative’ effects of climate change, but is that true? What is true is that the recent lengthening of the warm season made it hard to find products like ice wine, which depends on frost for its sweetness—at least until growers established vineyards in places that still had frost. Meanwhile, total vineyard acreage has been stable at about 18.6 million acres, according to Forbes. Evidently, warming has had no net effect.

 

Likewise, you could look at a relatively new and small industry like e-cigarettes, note that greenhouse gases degrade the oceans, possibly infer that the eco-conscious will seek to avoid all contributors to ocean destruction—including pollutants like cigarette butts, and conclude that some of them will protect the environment by picking up an electronic cigarette starter kit. If the growing environmental movement to tax cigarette filters (or ban them) outright succeeds, the effect could be enormous.

 

In other words, the one case that everyone talks about the net effect has been zero. In another scenario few people talk about, the effect may be relatively large and significant. By that point, of course, the client’s head explodes.

 

The Business Analyst’s Credo

The first two commandments have always been the most essential. First, thou shalt make assumptions. Second, thou shalt not make client assumptions for them. In saying this, we’re already assuming that climate change doesn’t cause our extinction.

 

The Unknown, Exploratory, New, Adaptable, and Non-Adaptable

Marketing students get ingrained with the idea that questions have many answers, and life comes in grades of adaptability. Within limits, engineers can give some idea of what’s possible with current technology, and finance people can help rule out irrational decisions. All of that comes with assumptions.

 

Change Your Assumptions. Unleash Innovation

Some examples:

 

-Maybe climate change will eventually inundate southern Florida, but what is ‘land’ anyway, but surface area above sea level? Maybe Miami will become a vast, floating metropolis, or sit on pilings to become a sort of New Venice.

 

-Lloyds of London has predicted that climate change will affect the insurance industry. Maybe. On the other hand, people are naturally risk averse, so maybe we will act to decrease our exposure by an offsetting amount, rather than pay higher premiums.

 

-Maybe the climate will warm sufficiently, so that man-made snow will no longer be able to keep up at resorts like Heavenly, outside Lake Tahoe. Or, maybe we’ll be skiing indoors. There are already plans afoot to throw a geodesic dome over Houston, Texas. Among other things, that would protect it from serious weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes. On the other hand, it would also create a climate-controlled environment. No HVAC means fewer coal fired power plants and less greenhouse gas.
 

In many cases, these are already questions. Not of inevitability, but of innovation, marketing, engineering, and financing.

  
Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

 Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com



It’s official! Ridesharing is coming to Philly.

A new law was recently passed that will make UberX and Lyft legal in Philadelphia, and Governor Tom Wolf has said that he intends to sign the bill. Once that happens, ride-sharing companies will be allowed to operate anywhere in Pennsylvania.Photo: ZDNET.com

As a part of the new law, UberX and Lyft are required to share a small portion of their revenue with the Philadelphia school district, so that’s an added bonus. And schools aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the situation. Philadelphia businesses should see some positive results as well.

How, you ask? Well, let’s just take a look:

Transportation for big, corporate events

Philadelphia is host to a lot of major corporate events, like the CIO Executive Leadership Summit that just happened. People traveling to Philadelphia need transportation, and during big events, there is a limited amount available. This new law opens up a wide range of options for those incoming businesspeople, meaning rental cars and taxis won’t be booked solid, months in advance.

Business meetings

Imagine a scenario, if you will: This morning, you drove into work way too early, but you still had to fight traffic on I-676 to get in. People were laying on the horn, dangerously changing lanes at the last second (“Use a blinker, buddy!”), and essentially making traffic an all-around nightmare. But as you pull into your usually-overcrowded parking lot, you see it. Some developer who’s been burning the midnight oil is going home just as you pull into the packed lot, and he pulls out of that coveted parking spot right by the door—you know the one. Suddenly, as you pull into that spot, which fits your car perfectly, the day doesn’t seem quite so grim.

That is, it doesn’t until you walk to your desk and see a reminder up on your screen of that business meeting you have across town. You could go back downstairs and give up your spot only to face the stress of that traffic again… or you could use your smartphone to hail a ride and let someone else worry about it while your car waits for you, nice and cozy in its comfortable spot, right by the door when it’s time to go home for the day.

Team-building activities

It’s important for business teams to get to know each other outside of the work environment. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take the team out for an activity to build relationships. It makes work go more smoothly if people have some common ground to build on. Maybe you want to educate your team by taking them to a sales training or seminar; or you want to take everyone to see an IMAX movie at the Franklin Institute; or maybe you’re all going go-karting. No one really ever wants to be the one to drive in a big group like that, and a lot of the team-building takes place on the way to and from the activity. Instead, call in a driver with a van that can fit everyone and focus more on talking and getting to know each other than on the road. (The angry driving can wait until you get to the go-kart track.)

Provide pre-paid transportation for visiting clients

If you’ve got an important client visiting from out of town, you want to be able to impress them. Both ride-sharing services have business options with tools set up so that you can utilize your company’s expense account to pre-pay for their transportation around town. They even have luxury services available for those clients to whom you want to go the extra mile.

This new setup is going to be a good thing for Philadelphia businesses, both for individual workers and for companies as a whole. It might even attract new business. Sure, it won’t be the main reason any company decides to move to Philly, but it’s definitely an added bonus. And with the availability of transportation, it’s definitely an attractive prospect for conferences and other big events.

Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and social media expert. Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com

 

Photo: ZDNET.com



Starting a small business can be the adventure - and opportunity - of a lifetime. Founding a company based on a craft, trade, or academic skill can be genuinely liberating. And yet starting a small business  can also be a daunting task, as the small business owner must acquire an array of skills in addition to their specialization, such as invoicing clients, managing accounts payable and receivable, keeping on top of taxes and - especially important - successfully marketing to current and potential clients.

Marketing, aside from your core specialization, is the heart and lifeline of your business. No matter what kind of business you run, from carpet cleaning companies to direct selling cosmetics businesses, from cabinet refacing companies to craft-based Etsy shops, here are five of the best ways to market your small business.

Five Ways to Market Your Small Business

Utilize Existing Relationships

Your friends, family, and acquaintances should always be your first go-to when you are starting a business. Talk to them about what you do and how your business could help them, and ask them to assist you in getting the word out. Those closest to you will be your biggest cheerleaders, and very often they will be only too happy to help you by recommending you to their friends, sharing your social media posts, or forwarding your marketing emails to those they know.

Make sure they're in tune with what you do, and if they have a need for your product or service, they will usually prove a loyal customer base if you take care of them as you would any other client.

Build Your Social Media Following

This is a fast way to get the word out about your company and keep your audience updated on what you're doing. Best of all, unless you opt for sponsored or boosted posts on the social media platforms you use, it's free. Make sure to invite and follow all your friends, family, and acquaintances - as well as other business owners - on your social media channels. Familiarize yourself with the major platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and pay attention to your analytics, which most platforms provide at no cost. Your analytics will tell you what kind of content is performing best, and at what times of day, to help you better strategize your social media marketing.

Always Carry Business Cards

Whether you're at a trade show or just casually chatting with someone in the street, always part ways after you give them a card. Putting something physical in their hands will help them remember you, and if they're interested in what you do, they'll likely save it for a time where they need or want your product or services. Business cards can be made very cheaply, and they are great investments. When designing your company's print marketing run, ensure that the design can be adapted to business cards to create cohesive branding across all your business print mediums.

Design and Execute a Print Marketing Campaign

While digital marketing is important, print marketing is still critically vital to your company's success. Putting a physical object into someone's hands can make it more likely that they will remember you and your company. Aim to create a visually expressive design for your print marketing items that will simply but beautifully convey your company's mission, product, and service, and provide value to potential customers by creating trade show items such as pens, bags, and other reusable items. If you are not a designer by trade or don't have one in-house, most printing companies will have in-house design services that will work with you to create a memorable print marketing campaign.

Use Email Marketing

Most people read their email every day, which is why email marketing is so remarkably effective. Even if they don't open the email, clients and potential clients will register the title and company name before they delete it. Email marketing platforms provide the most bang for the buck, as many platforms are very inexpensive to use and result in fantastic returns on every dollar invested.

Whether you're just getting your small business off the ground or looking to up your marketing game, these five great strategies will assist you.

 Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com



In a way, it seems almost too good to be true. Yet the average company that owns franchises has multiple opportunities each year to increase the amount of technology that their franchisees leverage in order to bring customers in.

Finding the right blend of technology for your customer base and ensuring that it can be used correctly are two areas that can help positively impact products in most companies. Here are some ways that use either approach to take advantage of the shifting relationship between technology and franchise operations:

Killer Application:The Shifting Relationship of Technology and Franchise Operations

One fast food chain in the U.S. decided to use a PayPal application that was developed as a sample application for restaurants to use. They equipped their franchisees with the latest cell phone technology at the cash register, so that they could take advantage of customers that wanted to pay by phone. The largest problem that they have is that with the turnover they experience in staffing, they can't keep people trained on the system at the cash register who understand how to use it. So the in-house developers are working on creating an interface that is easy to use for employees as well.

The upshot is that customers like the application, and they can use it to easily pay their bill and use coupons specific to that restaurant, saving the franchise time and money. It is helpful to remember that the estimated market for mobile payments is close to $600 billion a year.

Cleaning Remains A Hot Market:

It's hard to imagine someone going out and making the cleaning market sexy, yet that is just what one company did by aggregating cleaners online in an Uber-like service. The key for them was to be able to get the most talented people to come and work with them. So they developed a very sophisticated process that ensures that their employees are going to be precisely what homeowners need. They then built that into an online service that is easy to use and includes handyman options like cabinet painters as well. Because the service is available to everyone, businesses that have franchises can order cleaning through this application as a vendor, giving them more flexibility than they might have from other services. With an estimated $15 billion dollars at stake per year in the cleaning market, you can be certain that there will be a demand to clean your locations.

At the same time, each independent contractor that puts bids into the service is in effect a franchisee of the company, giving them power, credibility, and the opportunity to gain as many cleaning contracts as they can online. One of the key dynamics for companies that decide to create virtual franchisees using online technology is that they should try and find a good balance between efficiency and wages. You won't attract the most talented workers if you focus on paying the lowest wages to your workers. At many cleaning companies that are online, customers will state what they want done and then they will get bids that contain hourly labor costs, giving them an opportunity to control what they pay. Generally speaking, however, most contractors tend to note the prevailing wage and use something close to that to bid with. If there is going to be fierce competition, it will probably be over which upholstery cleaner to use.

Moving Your Applications Into The Cloud:

Most companies that have made the changeover to using their applications in the cloud have experienced a great deal of employee satisfaction, because they are no longer tied to the same desk or chair in order to get work done. And whereas security can become more of a question because you have devices and computers everywhere, your back-end security becomes much greater, because you are likely hosting your applications at a data center that has much higher security standards in place than you could ever provide clients with yourself.

So if you are looking at buying a franchise or starting to franchise to others, you should be pleased at the number of opportunities that you have to leverage technology in ways that can cut costs and increase revenue.

 Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

Register NOW with Philly2Philly! 

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com

Philly Buzz

Your Words. Our Stage. Have an opinion? This is YOUR forum to say essentially whatever's on your mind, just keep it clean is all we ask.

If you would like to submit a blog, CLICK HERE

Interested in becoming a regular on Philly Buzz? CLICK HERE to create a profile to create your own articles without going through the submission process.

If you have any comments or suggestions about Philly Buzz, email us at phillybuzz@philly2philly.com

Philly Buzz Links

Preston and Steve
http://www.wmmr.com/shows/preston-and-steve/
Preston and Steve's Official Site from 93.3 WMMR

Preston and Steve Rock
http://prestonandsteverock.com/
Preston and Steve Fan Site

Share The Damn Road Cycling Jersey
http://www.sharethedamnroad.com
Cycling Jerseys That Make A Statement

Group G Direct
http://www.groupgdirect.com/
A Marketing Solutions Company