Monthly Archives: March 2017

Think About Obtaining An International Business Degree

Think About Obtaining An International Business Degree

The growing international market of companies have become very competitive not only in the business world but in the international business profession as well. More and more professionals are moving towards achieving success in the ever changing and fast paced career opportunities of international jobs.

International careers are in one way or another very rewarding and lucrative, however, the challenge lies behind how one can fully vie for the jobs and prove themselves an asset to the organization they are about to join. This is the reason why most professionals advance themselves with studies and an international business degree.

An international business degree can be a valuable asset to an individual highly focused on achieving success in the career arena. Logically, a person having an international business degree will get the job in an international company rather than a person who just has a business degree. Although in the same area, business, a specialty degree in a chosen field such as international business is always an advantage over the other. In the same was that a masters degree will be more advantageous than just the degree.

Schools of business have over the years become more competitive too, offering the best studies in the line of business and international business. Producing successful degree students have been a goal to these schools and have contributed to the increasing demand of more effective and efficient professionals. Here are some of the well known schools that offer international business degrees:

University of Phoenix
This school is the largest private university in the U.S. that offer degrees in business such as bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in global management, technology management, information systems, accounting, finance, e-business, and administration.

Walden University
This university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers masters and bachelors degrees in management and doctoral and masters in psychology. They offer business programs that include: E-Business Entrepreneurship, MBA, Accounting, Healthcare Mgt., Management, Marketing, MIS/Tech Mgt., Human resources, and International Business.

Keiser College
This school offers associate degrees in 18-24 months and bachelors degree in as little as 41 months. Business programs included are: Bachelors in Marketing, Bachelors in HR, International Business, Human resources, Marketing, and MIS/Tech Mgt.

Argosy University
This university offers thirteen metropolitan campus locations throughout the US and offers MA, BA, PhD and post graduate certificates in the fields of Management and Marketing, Business Administration, Information Systems, leadership, Health Management, and International Business.

Florida Metropolitan University (FMU)
This university has locations throughout Florida and offers career fields in business, computers, criminal justice, design, health care, legal and management and marketing. They offer business programs such as: MBA, bachelors in Business, Associates in Business, Associates in Accounting, Accounting, Management, Marketing, and International Business.

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The Issues and Techniques of Franchising a Business

The Issues and Techniques of Franchising a Business

More and more firms are quite rightly enthusiastic about the possibilities and advantages given by franchising when planning their long term expansion. Indeed, any firm which operates through branches must at least think about franchising as one of the potential techniques for advancement.

However, the program for turning a brand into a franchise begins long before the first advertisements are placed for potential franchisees. The people who run the brand, whether they are main board directors of a Plc, or are virtually a one-man band, must first gain a full understanding of how to franchise, including its advantages and disadvantages, and its likely effect on their existing operation.

Only when fully armed with all the relevant information should a firm make the decision to become a franchisor. This information includes hard elements, such as the financial aspects, and the softer, personal elements of the unique franchisor/franchisee relationship.

It is necessary to look very closely at the more personal elements because there is much more to building a successful franchise than the cold legal agreement and financial projections. Whilst advice on these matters from properly qualified franchise advisors is, of course, essential it must be considered in tandem with issues concerning human resources and personal development. Make no mistake, if a firm becomes a franchisor, personal development is the name of the game.

Whatever it is you do now, whether you are a restaurateur, printer, carpet cleaner, car tuner, fashion retailer, or deliverer of parcels, your business enterprise will change when you become a franchisor. It will then be all about recruiting, training, monitoring and motivating people who want to run a business under your name, using your system and operated to your standards.

They will be expecting leadership and direction; guidance when they want to expand, or when they meet the inevitable problems; on-going training and marketing support; and the product or service development to keep their concept at the forefront of its marketplace. They will also expect you to create and maintain standards, both in your own firm and throughout the network.

As this is what you will have promised them when they were considering joining you as a franchisee, you had better deliver it. Whatever happened, you may ask, to running a restaurant, printing, cleaning carpets, tuning cars, and so on?

If you are ready for this fundamental change, let us look at how we decide whether a business enterprise is franchiseable. We will look into firstly the mechanics and then the cultural implications.

Five-star franchising

Just about any type of concept that operates as a branch network has been already franchised somewhere in the world.

In the U.S. for example, you can be born in a franchised maternity hospital, buy just about every product and service you will need in your lifetime from franchised outlets, then be seen off by a franchised undertaker, and finally buried in a franchised cemetery. However, not every company that has tried to franchise has been successful, and this is due to a number of reasons. To create a successful franchised network certain key elements need to be present. These are:-

·A network with a clearly defined image and system of operation, both at branch and head office levels.

·A network with a proven and successful format suitable for franchising and with a product or service that has stood, or will stand, the test of time.

·A network that is easily duplicated and easily learned

·A firm that generates enough profits to support both the franchisor and the network of franchisees.

·A business which has, or can adapt to, a culture of mutual respect and support, and in which it is clear who is responsible for what, and how often, and how well, they will perform their obligations.

Becoming a franchisor

Franchising is about supporting franchisees in order that they can operate a proven system, and that support must be available to the very first franchisee who joins the network. It may not then be necessary to add to the initial support staff until there are 15 – 20 franchisees, but they all need to be there at the start. If the early franchisees are not supported, they will not succeed and it will then become increasingly difficult to sign up others.

Similarly, the operations manual and legal agreement must also be in place at the start, as must the systems for monitoring and managing the performance of franchisees. Franchising, therefore, requires considerable up-front investment by the franchisor before there is any income stream.

Agreement and manual

The agreement and manual are the documents which lay down the ground rules which govern the relationship. They are linked together through clauses in the agreement, and both need to be professionally prepared by recognised franchising experts.

There is a substantial cost to be met in preparing these documents, but over the life of the network this will appear negligible, and will usually be amortised from the fees of the first few franchisees. Both documents must be properly prepared. Cutting costs here will create problems down the line which will prove far more expensive than taking proper advice at the start.

Support staff

Having agreed that franchising has its particular skills, the staff involved in the franchise operation should either have, or quickly acquire, those skills. Basically there are two choices, either recruit experienced franchise managers from outside, or have your own staff trained in franchise management.

Formal training is obtainable from the Franchise Training Centre via a series of modules covering marketing the franchise, recruiting franchisees, monitoring franchisee performance and motivating franchisees. Delegates who complete all modules can choose to go on to prepare a dissertation showing how what has been learned has been successfully transferred to the workplace. That results in the award of the diploma in franchise management, which in turn has been accredited by Middlesex University and provides academic credits towards an MA work based learning studies (franchising). Details are available at

Prospective franchisees may soon be asking for proof of such qualifications being held by the staff of the franchisor they are planning to join, and perhaps choosing to go with a different network which has more proof of such a professional procedure.

Whether there is just one manager doing it all, or a separate one for each of the support functions, staff need to be proficient at recruiting, training, monitoring and motivating franchisees, with all the technology, knowledge and inter-personal skills called for by such responsibilities.

Recruiting franchisees

A franchisor has two marketing responsibilities – one for continuing to market the product or service; the other for marketing the business opportunity and recruiting franchisees. These are not the same, and require different approaches. Presumably, if he has established the brand, the franchisor already knows how to market his product or service.

The feasibility study and franchise plan will have established how many franchisees are needed and where they should be located. The manual will make it clear what is required of the franchisee in terms of duties, responsibilities, knowledge, skills and attitude.

The franchise marketing plan brings the two together, and the franchisor needs to choose people, or perhaps companies, who fit a pre-determined profile and have the ability to succeed. It usually proves disastrous to simply appoint anyone who has the money to buy the franchise and to locate them wherever there is a blank space on the map.

There are any number of ways of reaching potential franchisees, but no way that is right for every franchisor. Having established a clear idea of what a prospective franchisee looks like, it becomes less difficult to decide where to look for them.

Professional advice will help to ensure that the meaning is properly targeted, leads are handled effectively, and procedures are implemented to accept or reject applicants. The skills required by franchisee recruitment personnel include marketing, selling, network awareness, negotiation, and legal and financial understanding.

Company plans

Subject to the usual lending criteria, all the banks are keen to lend to franchisees of a properly-structured and proven franchise. Most franchisors present their opportunity to the franchise sections of the banks to clear the way for later applications by their prospects.

Naturally, the franchisee needs his own business plan, based on the experiences of other franchisees in the system and franchisors, or their approved third parties, can help with the preparation of these plans.

Agreeing brand plans (both action plans and financial projections) with franchisees allows more sensible discussion of progress once the outlet is up and running, and most franchisors will insist on franchisees using a particular system of accounting. This can even be overseen by a professional adviser who monitors the performance of the entire network, rather than leaving it to in-house staff.

Once agreement to go ahead has been reached, the franchisor will commence his set-up and support procedure. This will differ in accordance with the type of company and may include help with locating and acquiring a suitable site; converting and equipping premises or vehicles; preparing a marketing launch package; and providing initial stock.

Whatever the brand, it will include training for the franchisee, and probably his staff, in every aspect of the brand. This may be carried out either in classroom style, or hands-on at an existing unit, or in a mixture of the two.

Training is the very essence of franchising. It is how the franchisor passes on the proven format which he has developed and in which the franchisee has decided to invest. Having successfully completed initial training, franchisees should be able, or indeed required, to attend further training on a continuous basis.

On-going support

Franchisees expect and are entitled to continuing support in operating their business enterprise, whether this be concerned with new products or systems of operation, training, assistance with company development, encouragement during times of difficulty, and help in finding a purchaser for their brand if they want to move on.

The franchisor must learn how to both motivate and monitor franchises – motivate to encourage them to do better, monitor them to ensure that they are maintaining standards, both for their own good and that of the network as a whole. There are numerous techniques to achieve these aims, and professional advisers can explain how to implement them.


A concept can probably be franchised successfully if it is proven and successful in an established format; capable of being easily duplicated and easily learned; likely to be profitable for both franchisor and franchisees; and the management is prepared to accept considerable operational and cultural changes.

Franchising in the UK has come of age, and there is now a wealth of professional guidance available to prospective franchisors. If you are thinking “Should I franchise my business”, to not take advantage of such advice may turn out to be not just remiss, but fatal to the businesses of the franchisor and his franchisees.

If it is operated properly, franchising is a superb way of building a network in which everybody wins – the franchisor, the franchisees, and through the franchisees’ personal commitment to the success of their local outlets, the customers.

Bill Pegram has been in franchsining for over 20 years advising many companies on how to set up and manage franchise systems. He is a Drector of The Franchising Centre, the UK’s leading franchise advisors.

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Small Business Grants: What You Need to Know

Small Business Grants: What You Need to Know

Small business is categorized by its small capital, productivity, manpower and profit. Some of the small business start ups are self financed. But most of them are financed by borrowing of money. In order to prevent higher down payment of interest to banks, the Government of many countries provide the small business grant. The small business grant helps the entrepreneur to receive the principle amount without having to worry about the future repayment of it.

The small business grants help in boosting the growth of small firms since the financial aid received from is a stable and reliable source. Small business grants are mostly obtained from the national Government or from the state or local authorities. Some industrial organizations or established corporations also provide such grants but are not always desirable.

Small business grants provide limited funding. The funding is targeted in specific areas. The main area is principal amount where capital investment is very low or unavailable. Small business grants are also provided for business related to farming, fishery or husbandry. The small business grant is targeted towards funding for hiring of manpower or for purchasing of new machinery and other equipments. If a separate building is required then the small business grant is directed towards purchasing of the land and constructing of the required structure. For more established businesses, the small business grants provide financing for research and development and improvement of technology. Furthermore, small business grants are provided for small businesses with foreign exports to enhance international trade.

In order to avail the small business grant, a well drafted business plan is submitted to the Government or authority providing the grant. Usually the loan provider is the Small Business Administration. The borrower should clearly mention the areas where the grant money will be invested. It is expected that 50-85% of the grant money should be invested into the business. The small business grant is approved subjected to guarantee. Upon approval, the credit analysis is done and the final report is submitted to the business lender. The lender directly disburses the amount to the small business owner. The loan repayment is done on monthly installment basis to the business lender.

In the US, obtaining a small business grant for start up businesses is rare. It is provided only for selected category of businesses, especially those into higher technology. It is a time consuming procedure for the companies to obtain the small business grants. Hence such start up companies approach major corporations that provide the small business grants.

In UK, obtaining small business grants is relatively easier. The best source for small business grant in UK is the Princes Youth Business trust. They provide entrepreneurs aged 18-30 years with grants of £1500-£5000. For start up businesses, the trust provides £250 for marketing and research work. In order to qualify for the small business grant, the individual should prove the non availability of capital and ensure that no other organization has provided the required funding. Also the trust should be satisfied with the business plan that has been submitted by the business owner.

James Copper is a writer for

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Branding Your Own Poducts The Same As Major Corporations

Branding Your Own Poducts The Same As Major Corporations

Corporate branding is where the corporate name is the brand, and here the products tend to be described more in alpha numeric or letter terms, and not have distinctive brand names. Such is the case with BMW. Corporate branding gives each product the strength of the corporate brand values and positioning, and saves a great deal on advertising and promotional spend. It builds up the strength of the corporate brand and its financial value.

Corporate branding is very appropriate to those companies engaged in service industries, as their products are more intangible in nature. When consumers cannot see the product, the company brand name helps give them an assurance of quality, heritage, and authenticity.

Branding, a term used more and more often in the 90s, is more than just the image of a particular product. Branding is defined by Susan Friedmann, the Tradeshow Coach, as a basic marketing concept that is designed to set your products and services apart from the competition. Ward Randall, managing partner of The Brand Consultancy, a company specializing in brand strategy, management, and positioning, takes the definition a step further, saying, “Brands are all about making promises and keeping them.”

In a competitive marketplace, companies brand their products to help differentiate them from the competition. It would be naive to suggest that product branding in general is wrong or should be avoided, but it is fair to say that software branding is too often executed poorly. The goal of software branding is to associate the brand with the style and quality of the product and its experience. Too often, developers attempt to achieve this by drawing attention to the program itself. The result is to distract users instead of delight them.

It can also go further to product range branding, where a number of products or services in a broad category are grouped together under one brand name and promoted with one basic identity. An example here would be Intel’s Pentium and Celeron ranges of microprocessors. Whilst generating some economies of scale in advertising and promotion, care must be taken to ensure that the extensions do not step away from the central proposition of the main product brand, and that they do not cannibalise its sales.

The task of product branding is to build intangible values and associations around the tangible product in order to differentiate it from physically identical products that are available. Thus, a Nokia-branded cell phone suggests something different to a buyer and owner than a Samsung-branded cell phone, even if the quality level and feature set of the two phones are identical. Or detergent powder branded Tide vs the same powder branded Wheel signal powerful perceptual differences. Emotional benefits, sensory cues and brand personality leveraged in advertising are powerful ways to add layers of emotional meaning and intangible values to the basic product and differentiate it.

House or endorsement branding uses both ideas, and the corporate name is placed alongside the product brand name, as is the case with Nestle’s Milo. This allows the product brand to assume its own identity and positioning, but draw strength from the values of the corporate brand, and give consumers the assurance, in many cases related to quality, of the corporate brand. There are a variety of ways in which this can be achieved, with the corporate brand in lesser or greater prominence. House branding also gives some economies of scale in A&P, and helps with the introduction of new products, where it can be very difficult to break into mature markets without the endorsement of a strong and credible corporate parental brand name. One possible disadvantage is where the product is not favourably received and causes damage to the parental brand name.

Bearing this in mind, it becomes clear why regularly fine-tuning your branding strategy to better suit the desires of your customers is absolutely crucial. This is especially true if your firm is in a particularly competitive market, up against several rival products or services which claim to do what yours does, and possibly even better, through their own branding. It is specifically your branding that will separate your product from the competitors.

Companies sometimes want to reduce the number of brands that they market. This process is known as “Brand rationalization.” Some companies tend to create more brands and product variations within a brand than economies of scale would indicate. Sometimes, they will create a specific service or product brand for each market that they target. In the case of product branding, this may be to gain retail shelf space (and reduce the amount of shelf space allocated to competing brands). A company may decide to rationalize their portfolio of brands from time to time to gain production and marketing efficiency, or to rationalize a brand portfolio as part of corporate restructuring.

In other companies the product manager creates both the MRDs and the PRDs, while the product marketing manager does outbound tasks like giving product demonstrations in trade shows, creating marketing collateral like hot-sheets, beat-sheets, cheat sheets, data sheets, and white papers. This requires the product marketing manager to be skilled not only in competitor analysis, market research, and technical writing, but also in more business oriented activities like conducting ROI and NPV analyses on technology investments, strategizing how the decision criteria of the prospects or customers can be changed so that they buy the company’s product vis-a-vis the competitor’s product, etc.

In smaller high-tech firms or start-ups, product marketing and product management functions can be blurred, and both tasks may be borne by one individual. However, as the company grows someone needs to focus on creating good requirements documents for the engineering team, whereas someone else needs to focus on how to analyze the market, influence the “analysts”, press, etc.

When such clear demarcation becomes visible, the former falls under the domain of product management, and the latter, under product marketing. In Silicon Valley, in particular, product marketing professionals have considerable domain experience in a particular market or technology or both. Some Silicon Valley firms have titles such as Product Marketing Engineer, who tend to be promoted to managers in due course.

Slogans can be just as difficult as names to create. Saying something powerful and original in a small number of words is a tough part of the branding process. In order to generate ideas for slogans to lead your branding, you should always stay focused on the potential customer. What are they looking for in a product such as yours? What values and aspirations do they expect from a firm producing it? Why should they buy your product in particular? What do the products and slogans of your rivals represent? The slogan you choose should attempt to take into account strong answers to each of these questions.

Marketing is the process by which companies satisfy customer wants and needs. This forms the basis of repeat business. A popular definition of marketing is the Four P’s: product, price, promotion and place (distribution). Decisions in these areas cannot be made without a clear idea of the benefits sought by customers and those offered by the product. Branding is a device that telegraphically communicates those benefits to the customer.

Great product names drive strong brands. A great software product name is memorable and concisely conveys the benefit of the product, providing distinction in a crowded market. Hire a branding professional to help you choose the right product name. In the long term, a well-chosen name is far more important to your branding effort than details like logos, color schemes, and control theming.

Introduction – introduce a quality product with the strategy of using the brand as a platform from which to launch future products. A positive evaluation by the consumer is important.

Todd Ash Is An Entrepreneur and A Master Of Network Marketing.To Find Out More About Succeeding Online Click Here To Visit For Free Information