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Friday, 24 October 2014 03:12
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Food

Scientists and marketers say that allergy-free peanuts are almost ready for the shelves (and the school cafeteria, and the ballpark, and every where else peanuts are banned.)

Fashion

Even the lowly winter coat is ripe for innovation.

Would you wear a “Suitsy” — a pair of pants, a white shirt and a jacket, all sewn together?

Finance

This financial startup is to solve a financial problem most people don’t even realize they have: 401k mismanagement.

Jobs

There’s a silver lining to the rising wages in China: manufacturing jobs are moving back to the United States.

Service Businesses

If I started an errand service our motto would be: “We drive around and do your stuff so don’t have to.” Alas, one new Chicago errand service chose a similar slogan.

Will Uber single-handedly bring back medical house calls? They’re trying.

Business Ideas in the News is a daily summary of the most interesting business ideas in the news.

 
Thursday, 23 October 2014 17:09
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Why work from home in Raleigh, North Carolina ($5,139 per month) when you can work from home in Chiang Mai, Thailand ($641 per month) with the same internet speed?

NomadList has combined data on internet speed, the cost of rental housing and food, local weather conditions including air quality and other factors to come up with a useful list of the best cities in which to live and work remotely.

The only city in the United States in the top 10? San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Thursday, 23 October 2014 13:22
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Seva is a fast-casual beauty spa franchise with a unique strategy of locating its spas in places that maximize one-stop-shopping. I recently spoke with the founder and COO Vas Maniatis.

My questions are below in bold, and there’s a video of a Seva grand opening at the bottom of the this interview, so be sure to read to the end.


Where did the idea for Seva come from?

A trip to the Little India neighborhood on Chicago’s northside in 1999 to watch my girlfriend (now wife of 14 years) get her eyebrows threaded. I had never heard of threading nor for that matter noticed peoples’ eyebrows but she dragged me along anyway. Our original concept took the threading technique to the masses via Walmart under the name Simply Eyebrows but eventually expanded into Seva, which is the pioneer of the fast-casual spa.

How did you bring it to life?

Strategically and methodically coupled with some electrical diodes hooked up to my temples and a perfectly-timed bolt of lightning. Initially we opened corporate-owned locations and expanded successfully into multiple states. After proving the concept we began franchising across the USA in mid-2010.

Where do you see Seva in five years?

Bringing Beauty to the People (R) across the USA and internationally. I expect we will have at least 1001 studios in five years in all 51 States (Puerto Rico will be granted Statehood by then). Put it into your calendar to touch base with me 5yrs from today to check back in.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Not a thing. Ok, I’d have more money to start with…

What does your typical day look like?

Up early. Read Wall St Journal & Tech Crunch. Work till noon. Exercise mid-day (alternate Run, Swim, Jiu-Jitsu). Go in to office and work some more. Go home and work some more. Sleep. Repeat.

What’s your role?

My role at my company is Strategic Development as the COO and keeping the teams aligned on the initiatives and daily operations.

seva-location

What is one trend that really excites you?

Backyard chickens.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had and what have you learned from it?

Washing dishes at my father’s restaurant after I got into an argument with the Dishwasher who then proceeded to walk out in the midst of a packed Sunday brunch. Ruined the only nice pair of clothes I’ve ever owned. 

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do, too?

Protocol everything. Commoditize the commoditizable.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

My 1st venture after college in the 900# business: 1-900-FOR-RENT AND 1-900-FOR-JOBS. Ameritech pulled the plug on the whole concept mid-stream and left me hanging. Just kept on keeping on.

What is one business idea that you are willing to give away to our readers?

Zambot ™- Picture a large Roomba to resurface the ice at an ice rink instead of the outdated Zamboni.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Put women in charge of everything. I’d start by voting for Hillary.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Dropbox, Skype, Spotify. The 1st two are transformational for business. The latter for my personal enjoyment of music.

What is one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. Tells you how to take advantage of a flattened world and maximize your time, which at the end of the day is the only valuable commodity.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

I don’t use Twitter. I’d suggest taking three selfies instead.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What cause it?

After I answered the above question.

Who is your hero?

My dad. He was the greatest!

Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?

Again I’d say my dad was.

Tell us a secret.

That is a trick question.

What are Seva’s website?

Consumer: http://sevabeauty.com

Franchise: http://www.sevabeautyfranchise.com

Where can people find Seva on social media?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sevabeauty

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SevaBeauty

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today! Here’s that video:

Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:51
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Hi Dane, thanks for the great blog. The redesign looks great! I’m in the middle of deciding between two possible businesses to start, and I’m stuck. On paper, they both seem great. How do I unfreeze and make a decision?

Life is full of choices. Some are permanent, like who to marry. Others will impact you for a long time, like what business to start, or where to live. And others are so transient that it’s almost not worth fretting over, like what to have for lunch.

I long time ago, I read a book that included a letter from Benjamin Franklin to a young man in a similar situation. The young man had written to Franklin and asked his advice on how to decide between two fields of study.

Franklin, always the practical genius, offered his advice on deciding between two options. The system he described has come to be called the Benjamin Franklin close.

I will reprinted his original comment at bottom of this article, but for now, here’s how to make decisions like Benjamin Franklin.

The Process

benjamin-franklin-decision-chart

  1. Setup your page. On a sheet of paper, or in a spreadsheet, down the left side list the factors that might go into your decision.

  2. Weight the factors. To the right of the factors, write a number between 1 and 10. This is the “weight” of this factor. If a factor is very important to you, give it a higher number. If it is less important, a lower one.

  3. Add your options. To the right of the weight, at the top of the page, write Option #1. Move over two columns to the right and write Option #2. If you have more than two options, skip another column and add Option #3 and so on.

  4. Score each of the options on the various factors. Now in the cell next to weight, and under Option #1, put a number between 1 and 10. This number represents the score that a particular factor has for that option. Do this also for Option #2 and so on.

  5. Compute. Multiply the weight factor by each of the options scores. Add up all of the results for each option and score. The option with the largest total wins.

I know this sounds complex. But it’s not. Here, I made you an Excel spreadsheet.


Franklin’s Original Letter

To Joseph Priestley
London, September 19, 1772
Dear Sir,

In the Affair of so much Importance to you, wherein you ask my Advice, I cannot for want of sufficient Premises, advise you what to determine, but if you please I will tell you how.

When these difficult Cases occur, they are difficult chiefly because while we have them under Consideration all the Reasons pro and con are not present to the Mind at the same time; but sometimes one Set present themselves, and at other times another, the first being out of Sight. Hence the various Purposes or Inclinations that alternately prevail, and the Uncertainty that perplexes us.

To get over this, my Way is, to divide half a Sheet of Paper by a Line into two Columns, writing over the one Pro, and over the other Con. Then during three or four Days Consideration I put down under the different Heads short Hints of the different Motives that at different Times occur to me for or against the Measure. When I have thus got them all together in one View, I endeavour to estimate their respective Weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out: If I find a Reason pro equal to some two Reasons con, I strike out the three. If I judge some two Reasons con equal to some three Reasons pro, I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length where the Ballance lies; and if after a Day or two of farther Consideration nothing new that is of Importance occurs on either side, I come to a Determination accordingly.

And tho’ the Weight of Reasons cannot be taken with the Precision of Algebraic Quantities, yet when each is thus considered separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, I think I can judge better, and am less likely to take a rash Step; and in fact I have found great Advantage from this kind of Equation, in what may be called Moral or Prudential Algebra.

Wishing sincerely that you may determine for the best, I am ever, my dear Friend,
Yours most affectionately
B. Franklin

Source: Mr. Franklin: A Selection from His Personal Letters. Contributors: Whitfield J. Bell Jr., editor, Franklin, author, Leonard W. Labaree, editor. Publisher: Yale University Press: New Haven, CT 1956.

Thursday, 23 October 2014 05:03
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The International Franchise Association’s Educational Foundation (IFAEF) is pleased to announce the launch of the Young Entrepreneurs In Franchising Global Competition, a contest targeting students and young entrepreneurs around the world. The contest will run from Oct. 22 through Dec. 1. It will be hosted on the newly launched NextGen In Franchising website, http://nextgenfranchising.org, and marketed to global youth organizations, business and entrepreneurship professors, and promoted in the media and all major social media platforms.

Participants will submit business and marketing concepts for new franchise businesses or existing franchise brands for the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas, NV to attend IFA’s Annual Convention, Feb. 15 – 18 at MGM Grand Hotel. Contest winners will have opportunities to engage directly with leading franchisor, franchisee and supplier members of IFA and with other young entrepreneurs and students. The convention will also feature a NextGen in Franchising Summit, a two-day educational and networking program for next generation entrepreneurs and students.

“I am so excited about NextGen In Franchising because these young people are the future of our industry and we need to reach out to them to get them involved now, in a meaningful way,” said Melanie Bergeron, chair of the board, Two Men & A Truck, and incoming IFA chairman.

With the average age of the world population being under 30, and with one billion young people entering the workforce, the IFAEF is launching a bold new initiative to introduce young entrepreneurs and students to the world of franchising. Through a comprehensive marketing and educational campaign called NextGen In Franchising, millions will be exposed to the franchise business model as they’ve never seen it before.

NextGen In Franchising will encourage young people to explore opportunities to WORK, BUY or BUILD; essentially, pursue employment in the franchising industry, consider ownership of a franchise business or use the franchise model to start a business or expand an existing one.

“There is a huge talent pool of young entrepreneurs out there that we need to tap into to bring new ideas for new businesses and new thinking into our industry,” said Aziz Hashim, CEO, NRD Holdings and incoming IFA vice chairman.

With global youth employment and entrepreneurship education being touted as one of the most critical challenges to solve on the world stage, IFAEF is stepping forward to present this $840 billion industry, overflowing with entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs at all levels, as a powerful network that can make a serious impact. The new initiative is being funded as part of the IFAEF’s $10 million fundraising campaign called, Shaping the Future of Franchising.

The NextGen program has attracted more than $1.5 million in donations from major corporations, foundations and individuals. Major donors include: The Stewart & Jane Bainum Fund; Stephen P. Joyce Fund; Choice Hotels Foundation; J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements; Charlie Chase, FirstService Brands, Inc.; Aziz Hashim, NRD Holdings; Amit Kleinberger, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt; Joe Bourdow, Valpak; Melanie Bergeron, Two Men & A Truck; Amit Pamecha, FranConnect; and Lawrence “Doc” Cohen, DOC & Associates.

To anchor the campaign, the new dedicated NextGen in Franchising website, http://nextgenfranchising.org, will tell the story of franchising in a fresh new way to attract the attention of young entrepreneurs and invite participation in the Young Entrepreneurs In Franchising Contest.

For information on the NextGen In Franchising campaign, please contact Gionne Jones at gjones@franchise.org or call 202-662-0772. For more information on the Young Entrepreneurs In Franchising Global Competition, please contact Jen Malone at jenm@ysn.com or call 310-822-0261 x703.

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