There is currently a Great Opportunity in international real estate. Two major markets have opened their doors and wallets for international investors and in one of those markets prices have gone through the roof.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Taking your Restuarant on Auto Pilot

There is magic in the sauce. When certain things happen even better than expected you know there is  that special fragrance in the air. Something magical is happening! Its like watching your favorite team win the Super Bowl, or the birth of your first born, its a new beginning of sorts and having your business flower before your eyes is like magic.

So looking back and how far we have come, its time to soak it in and move forward. And for a serial entrepreneur that is setting you baby on auto pilot and moving to the next project. As you may have guessed, automating a restaurant can be difficult. There are a few elements that must be present otherwise you attempt will fail. Here are few things to consider:

1) Revenues: Your revenues and profits have to be high enough to be able to pay a good manager. Often, mom and pop shops have a hard time grossing enough.
2) Structure: you must have the right structure in place already. This means that every element to your restaurant has to have a process behind it, a sound training, and it has to follow a formula. This makes everyone at any level easily replaceable.
3) Hierarchy: In restaurants have a proper hierarchy allows for absentee ownership. If your GM quits its easy to have one of the managers step in when needed.
4) Not Just a Manager: You have to hire the right GM and the right managers. The right GM is not merely a good manager, he also has to be a good leader. The ability to lead is vital as business are always changing and he will have to make decisions that take you restaurant into the future.
5) Integrity: Its often joked that every restaurant has employees that steal and this may be true, so it counts for double points that they are the type that steal least. Have the correct measures in place, hire honest employees, and help keep the honest honest (make it difficult to steal).

Auto pilot is key for the serial entrepreneur. It allows for growth and expansion, for new adventures, and more expression.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Superstar's Guide to Making your Restaurant a Hot Spot

Most restaurants never get much acclaim. Like everything else in life, they have a birth, a maturation and eventually a decline. It is quite rare for a restaurant to become a household name that extends beyond your market. However, that is exactly what we set out to do! To create a brand name, an experience, an opportunity for new market domination.

So how to dominate, how to become a brand name, what is the process and how can we possible do what takes years in month?

The Keys and the Senses:

1. Hearing: We needed as many people as possible to hear about Salut in the shortest amount of time. This lead to a heavy focus on Press and Articles. In an 11 month period we have been featured in over 50 magazine articles, blogs, newspaper articles, airport magazines, food digests, etc. Chances are if your a foodie that lives in Phoenix area you have heard of us.

2. Seeing: We knew TV was important. After all if it wasn't, would the big fast food restaurants spend so much on TV ads? There is something magical about seeing food on TV, especially when you are hungry. However, TV spots are expensive and there is a better way. Get on the News and Cooking Shows, and be there often. This is an important credibility and relationship builder with your community. Its a must. See below how we did.

3. Experiencing: the experience, food, ambiance, staff has to exceed expectations. Its better to have low expectation that are surpassed than high expectations that are not met. So, media buzz will foster higher expectations that you have to shatter! Doing all of the above will make you into a hot spot, a destination restaurants that is moments in time from expansion and quick profit.

BONUS: We had a guest celebrity bartender in Hank Baskett!

Salut On the News & Cooking Shows

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Giving First: The New way to Marketing and Advertising Glory

Believe it or not, Giving first is the one the best ways to receive! In the end, even your business is not about you. It's about the value you and the business provide to the community around you! So, in this spirit we proceeded to give first, donative proceeds to the Pat Tillman foundation, a soldier and former Arizona Cardinal. Giving first shows you care, it shows that you understand that it's not about you, and it inspires your community in reciprocating. So, in the bit picture of things, your ability to give will directly be correlated to your ability to receive.

Here are a few more FREE Salut Kitchen Bar Marketing Gems:

1) Start Early: We started our marketing more than 3 months before our grand opening. This is a must!

2) Free Food: instead of spending $2500 on a newspaper advert, give away the same money in food. We did just this, going from office building to office building giving away free appetizers. This lead to 4,000 new visitors to our restaurant, and numerous regulars.

3) Social Media: get followers, increase you visibility all for free -well kind off. The key here is post engaging constant that brings value to your followers. Constant about new menu items, specials, events, special deals just for them, etc.

4) Free Customers by the Dozen: Get as many Meetup groups as possible. We used this approach to both look very busy and instantly increase sales. We had wine groups, foodie groups, dating groups all visit us at Salut. Best of all, they spend money, come in packs, and often return. All of this, for Free!

5) Share: Don't be shy with your menu or recipes. See how we found a way to share them with our community! Remember, sharing is caring.

This was just the beginning! What happened next is that we turned into a HOT Spot. In 11 months, the restaurant went from an idea to being one of the top destination restaurants in Arizona. See how we did it!

More Ways to Give: 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Grand Grand Opening, Salut Style

Picture the perfect grand opening, the restaurant is packed, things are hectic yet underneath it, there is a calm in the midst of the storm. Throw in a few well placed celebrities and community leaders and you have the making of an impeccable event.

So, how did we do? We nailed it! A perfect home run and we almost even got the celebrity.
Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell

Now, believe it or not, it's not that difficult to have the perfect grand opening. As you well know, everything must be in order first (right team, right theme, right location, good employees, great training, etc) and you are only 3-4 weeks for practice away from an epic event.

Here are the 5 keys to holding a great event:

1) Practice, Practice, Practice: 2-3 weeks before your grand opening, have a soft opening and pack the place. Put your employees to test, put them to the fire and see how well they handle adversity. After this practice run, evaluate and improve. Over next few weeks continue sharpening the saw.

2) Soft Openings are key: This is a way to begin developing a relationship with your community and receive much needed feedback. This will help steer the ship. In the end, the customers are the decisions makers. If they love your menu or your decor or you drinks they will vote with their dollars.

3) Hot, Trendy, and Busy go hand in hand. To be the it spot, you have to look and dress the part. Make sure your all of your openings are as busy as possible. Sell the vision and it will come to fruition.

4) The Eye of the Storm: Be quick but don't rush should be a way of life in the kitchen. You are now in the eye of the storm, there is a calm in the mist of action, and in such and environment great businesses happen.

5) WoW Factor: For your event to really go to the next level you will need a wow factor. This could be a celebrity, or a community leader. In our case, the Mayor of Tempe, helped kick off a kick ass event.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Latest Projects

Currently we are working on three major projects. Follow the making, growth, development, and automation of each. For more info, click on the images below.

Salut Kitchen Bar: Opening March 2013.


Redan Global Consulting and Asset Management Company


Coming Soon. This Project Involves sensitive proprietary information, as a result no additional information may be disclosed at this time; however, soon we will share the Making of Ufficient.

Our Businesses

Currently, our team is involved in a number of business, nearly 10 and counting. Here bellow is a little snippet about each and the story behind how they were created. For more information look under our topics section.

With a budget of $300, a little drive and a lot of passions I started the Cash for Gold Store. My timing was great, as this was a booming industry. In fact, picking out such an industry is vital. In any case, my first location was a small 200x200 office in Phoenix where I would meet with clients by appointment. About 6 month later, I opened up a walk in brick and mortar location in Glendale AZ and a year later I had locations in 5 States. Looking back, I can attest to some degree of beginners luck, further I can now see why some things worked and others not so much. Shortly after getting my brick and mortar store I looked to fully capitalize on the location and convenience by proving additional related services so I created a Cash for Cars program which was an instant hit, a Pawn program, and a Loans program. But how to express all of this in one logo? This is where Sub Branding came into play, I simply created 3 sub brands, no matter what logo my store had on it at the time, it was sure to bring customers in.

The Oliveos Brand is very well known and recognized in the Tempe AZ area. Did you know that there is a magic number of customers you need to get in an area so the rest of the residence become your customers as well? Well Oliveos has done just that! They hit that magic number, and by now I am sure you are wonder what it is. The number is 17%! If you get 17% of the population is a certain area to buy your products and services before you know it, you customer base will explode  So what do you do when you have a brand that is so popular? Simply sub brand and expand into different niches and so here we are.

Salut is an extension of the Oliveos brand name. When you have over 50,000 customers in a given area why not add to the products and services your can provide them. Currently we are in the building stages of Salut. Follow us step by step as we turn Salut into one of the premier destinations in Arizona.

If there ever was a type of business every entrepreneur should have, it would be a investment management consulting company. Redan Global is that company for us. Not only does Redan Mange certain assets and provide consulting it also attracts investors. With a good track record, investors from all of the world are lining up in order to get involved in our latest projects.

And there are more...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Million Dollar Ideas

Million Dollar Ideas

Depending on who you
ask, ideas are worth somewhere between zero and infinity. Often times aspiring entrepreneurs wonder how they can come up with a million dollar business idea. They imagine that this alone is what separates them from riches that they so desperately deserve, however ideas are just the begging and often times an accessory.

Ideas vs Ideas

When it comes to million dollar ideas, they are unnecessary. You do not need to have a great idea or moment of genius to think of a million dollar idea. In fact, you do not need to think at all! All you need to do is walk 50 yards in any direction in your local metro area and you are sure to see many many million dollar ideas in action! Million dollar business ideas are common, they are everywhere, and they do not require much ingenuity.

The big ideas, the ones that really count are billion dollar ideas. On this front, creation and ideation is used and in some big or small way the world is slightly altered or downright changed! When it comes to such ideas, their power for force and impact is proportional to the industry that they are in. For instance, a profound and groundbreaking idea in Information Technology is far more powerful in its ability to quickly change the world -and your pocket book- than a similarly brilliant idea in construction. 

What is More Valuable Than a Great Idea?

Implementation! Without the ability to peal the union and go deeply into the idea, surround it with a great execution plan and render it, it is nearly a waste -nearly because you are sure to learn in the process. This is where good planning and strategy come into play, and the art of selling. 

Where to Look

When it comes to this sort of thing, I encourage that you look at trends. For instance, if you began investing in Convenience Stores (something that could be easily spotted in any metro area) in the 1980's your chances of being a multimillionaire today are very high. Look at today's changes in your local landscape, in demographics, and in the types of businesses and industries that are seeing massive growth. 

So, in the end, what is the real value of a great idea? Well, it really depends on you and your ability to execute it. 

Related Articles:

Monday, February 25, 2013

How To Raise Money

Money makes the world go round, or so we are told. Moreover, if you want to make money, you have to spend money. All of this has truth, however the issue of initial funding is not black and white. In fact, many business can be started for little or no cash and grown to their optimal state. Now, there are those types of business which have an inevitable cost. Business that require equipment or specialized expertise, outside of the owner's knowledge, fall into this category. This being said, it is advisable that you start with where you are. If you have little resources, there are options, however proving your mantle, makes raising funds that much easier. And as the famous saying goes, 'money gets the experts and experts get the money', so do your best to develop a great track record and the money will find you. With no further ado, here are the best 8 ways to raise funds quickly:

How To Raise Money: 3 Essential First Steps

1. Idea: Putting together a great idea is a very deep proposal. Most often, people peal the first layer of the union and think they have a great idea. No sir, this is just the beginning. Your idea has to peal every layer of the union, you have to explore the depths of it and know it inside and out. You have to know where you will get your customers, how you will get your customers, how much it will cost, how long it will take, and why they will chose you, what is the revenue model and more! Stay very very far away from from assumptions like, 'we should be able to get 1% of the US population which means $x'. Investors hate hearing that.

2. Team: Put together a great team of professionals that can help you cary out your idea. Industry experience and a great track record go a very long way. It is in your favor to have at least one industry expert, one visionary, and someone who is good at marketing and accounting. Most of all, your team has to be noble, trustworthy, genuine and A+ quality.

3. Execution: This is the nitty gritty. Great ideas don't always make it, however greatly executed good ideas do. Your team should have the ability to execute to perfection and a plan of action in doing so. Think, business plan. Also, there are many local business resources such as the Chamber of Commerce, which can help you.

Where to Raise Money: 8 Funding Sources

1. Group: Put together all 'affordable loss monies' from team members. Other investors would like to see that you have skin in the game.

2. Inner Circle: Friends and family are clearly the best and easiest options. Every little bit counts and you can structure it in a way to protect them. Further, take as little as needed and do not take more than they can afford. Apply the same principal of affordable loss to others as well.

3. Outer Circle: This is distant acquaintances and business connections. Let them know what you are doing and ask them if you can practice your investment pitch. If they like it, they will invest. Worst case, you get both feedback and practice.

4. Local Business Community: By now, you have already met with other local business people via local events and business networks, such as the Chamber of Commerce. Network with the local business community, and stir up some interest and excitement. Make friends first, plan seeds, and when the time is right strike.

5. Incubators: There are different incubators for just about every industry. With some incubators, it is as easy as sharing your idea and getting a yea or nay. Often times, incubators will give you some money for a small share of your company, help you develop your product and pitch it infront of venture capitalists.

6. Angels: If your idea has substantial growth potential in a hot industry, Angels might find it very appealing. You can find local Angels online, via Law Firms, and through local events. An example of an idea that could get funded is mobile technology app oppose to a quick serve restaurant -far less likely. Angels generally invest their own funds, starting from the $250K -$1Million range, and expect to receive 5%-15% of your company or more. They are ideal for the start up phase.

7. Venture Capitalist: Venture Capitalist use other people's money and generally invest $1million plus in business for about a 15%-35%+ equity stake. Series A, the first round of funding,  is designed for business that show great potential and are past the start up phase.

8. Crowd Funding: This is one of the most popular options today. Via the internet, the crowd can fund you! Share your idea, business plan, etc on a crowd funding site which focuses on your industry and people all over the world can help 'donate' a little to help you get started. There are a few different models, the 'donation model', 'the equity model' and 'the rewards model'.

Related Links: 
How to Find and Line Up Investors
Links to Angles, Crowd-funding, & More
Business Fundamentals
Putting Together the Perfect Team

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Hire Bartenders & Waitresses

So you are opening up the new hot spot in town and even before the paint dries you have to begin the hiring process. There are different employment strategies, some companies make the employees take a test, others prefer strong recommendations and work experience, while some actually prefer no experience. No matter which direction you go in, hiring is considered one of the most difficult aspects of the job and in the restaurant business this particularly challenging.

So what is one to do? Depending on the location of your establishment, the demographics, and your future customers the bellow may apply beautifully. None the less, here is are a few suggestions to help your grand opening become the hit that it needs to be and how to have a clientele following even before you open your doors.

  1. Following: These are experienced industry employees who have worked at a number of establishments and have a slew of regulars. Ideally, your bar/restaurant's location is not far from where their regulars reside.

  2. Connected: Hiring employees who know important people or are related to important people can open doors. If your product and management is good, certain opportunities may arise at a later date.

  3. Popular: This is where hiring the head of a sorority or fraternity can be genius -especially if you are in a college town. Simply, if you cater to that demographic, the head of the sorority will insure that her groupies visit her at work. With the proper supervision, you can insure that no freebies go around. Model like sorority girls also tend to attract a slew of hopeful bachelors which will in the end increase her tips and your bottom line.

  4. Quality Job Lovers: Employees with a following are usually quality, however if you can not find such a gem, hire high quality staff that love their job. People who love their job, are far less likely to quite.

Mix and match the above. You may or may not be able to get each category, however know the usefulness of each. Each one of the above can increase your establishment's exposure, attract and retain clientele, and impact your bottom line. In a paradoxical twist, a popular attractive sorority waitress who is awful at her job can impact the bottom line more than a great employee. After all, that is what Hooters is all about. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Business Décor

Business Decor 

Great subtleties play on the subconscious. Decor goes a long long way into setting the right atmosphere. Everything from your colors, lighting fixtures, furniture, and art set a stage and communicate to your customers on a very primal level. Simply, through interior design you can establish credibility, increase sales, and most of all, have repeat clientele.

Each industry has its own caveats. In the restaurant business, having a great theme can be the difference between having a destination restaurant and being pass-ay. For Grocery stores, layout is the difference between big sales and closing shop, and for professional offices, having the right look and feel can garner higher hourly rates, more prestigious clientele and demonstrate status. Ironically, most subtleties are never consciously notices by the clients, they simply convey and cajole.

Business Layouts and Decors: 3 Quick Examples

  1. Bars & Restaurants Decor: 
    Great restaurants have a number of common features. Their themes are excellent, their décor outstanding, and usually a hint of spazazz or outright gaudiness. Everything from the elements to the colors, sent, lighting, creates a unified ensemble like a great work of art. The best bars not only have a great theme, but a focal point. This brings the energy to one place, the interactions to one location, and the money follows. For a Bar Atmosphere is everything.
  2. Grocery Stores Layout: 
    Visit your local grocery store enough times and you are sure to notice a pattern. Generally grocery stores have the following patterns in common: 1) Interior is made up for ready made foods, caned foods, and the like and can be seen directly in front upon entrance; 2) On the left or right side of the entrance -depending on demographics- there are a few possible departments:  alcohol, pharmacy, fresh produce, meat; 3) In the back of the store, you may have frozen meat and milk products and a possible bakery nearby; 4)When in the check out line, every type of candy is there, within reach, slowing tempting you.
    Grocery stores are like casinos, in the way that they are designed. You are taken though a journey, in which you will see the most expensive and profitable items first and their arrangement is such that they are unavoidable; like those treats at the end. There is a whole science behind how a customer walks through the store, what they see, when they see it and how they interact with the product(s). For a Grocery store product placement is everything.
  3. Retail Layout and Decor: 
    Retail is a great way to see the difference between high end designers and mass retailers. The difference between a Ross and a Gucci is exponential. For one, really high end designers only hang select apparel. Most often, apparel is neatly folded! Fancy, I know. Further, the majority of space is décor, its art, its design, its fashion; not clothes. Walking through the very store is aesthetically pleasing and aromatically invigorating. Their service is equally top notch, as the customer gets a personal concierge helping them pick the perfect garment. On the other side of the spectrum, it is simply rack after rack. The store layout is completely utilitarian and there is little room for the aesthetics. Both concepts work for their intended purposes and communicate the right message, so for retail the focus can depend on which end of the spectrum your in.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Restaurant Build Out

Building a Restaurant

This falls into the tedious category of what needs to be done when opening your first business. Most all business are regulated by city licensing and depending on the type of business certain permits and codes will come to play. In there restaurant business this is especially true. The city must inspect, multiple times, to ensure that you meet code in every aspect. Even something as simple as turning a door into a garage door can be the difference between a yea or a nay.

Importance of Turnkey

Not only do turnkey restaurants have the added advantage of fixtures and equipment, thus making them far cheaper to turn into a viable restaurant, but they also have a track record with the city. Unlike an empty shell, a turnkey has already passed all of the zoning, permit and code requirements at one time. It's highly likely that many of these regulations have changed, however getting a turnkey opened for business if far easier and quicker than an empty shell.

Occupancy limitations

Once your floor plan and blue prints are ready, they must be inspected by city officials and approved. As you may expect, even occupancy and parking will be taken into account and if your restaurant has something like a garage door leading to a patio -thus increasing your occupancy- your application maybe denied. Make sure that the architects know city code and all viable inspections are passed. You do not want to have an issue later on, when in construction mode.

Hiring contractors

There are two great focal points here: price and quality. Its best advised that you deal with quality, and get quotes from a number of highly qualified contractors. To save money, have them give you parted out quotes. In this way, you may find out that one contractor is cheaper for the floors while the other is cheaper for demolition, and so on. Now, you can further negotiate or hire one contractor to do one aspect and the other to do the other aspect.

Time Frame

Time is money literally! In the popular show, Bar Rescue, the team turns a bar concept in a 24-48 hour window. What you don't know is that all of the ground work -floor plans, permits, decor, etc- have already been chosen. Depending on the gravity of the project, you could have a new theme as soon 2-8 weeks depending on your team and city licensing.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Business Themes

Business Themes

Remember this and remember it well, the trend is your friend. One of the best restaurant entrepreneurs I know, takes the copy and past approach to heart. He often travels the world, visiting exotic and modern locals, and takes the best from each. In one restaurant he may love one element and in another another. And so he moves forward. In restaurants - like the garment industry- designs, themes, and concepts are really fashion trends.

Modern concepts can really be defined by a few key components. A theme will have a mix of elements, lighting, colors, textures, fixtures, all coming together at a focal point. Currently, the modern day trend is having an urban industrial theme along with softer natural elements. The colors themes will reflect the energy and the intent the establishment wishes to convey. Blues often suppress the appetite while reds and yellows excite the senses. The downside with reds and yellows is that they are too active, which lends them perfectly for fast food. Go restaurant hopping and you are sure to notice the difference in décor of a 4-5 star restaurant and that of a fast food restaurant. Fast food has bright colors, bright lighting, designed to invigorate your appetite and get in you in and out while higher end establishments will have more natural elements such as wood, plants, and colors designed to make you hungry and relaxed. 

The most important aspect of any theme is lighting. Lighting can bring an establishment to life or kill the perfect design. Lighting is everything, well almost. Most great establishments also have a central focal point. A point where all of the energy converges. The most common and strategically best focal point is the bar. Make sure your bar pops and it will be busy.

Hiring a great designer and architect is key. When bringing a new trendy concept to life, make sure to hire the right pros. A little money upfront will help you make a lot more money on the back end. Atmosphere is key and without it, success will be very hard to sustain.

Related Articles:

Business Decor

Restaurant Build Out

How To Raise Money

How To Lease a Retail Location

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How To Lease a Retail Location

How to Lease a Retail Location

So you have found the perfect location, now what? This is a pivotal point in your life, if you get it right, life is good; however, if you get it wrong you could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unlike a residential lease, a commercial lease is fully enforceable! If you sign a 5 year lease and your business does not make it past year 3, you could be on the hook for 2 years of rental payments. This represents a huge liability and I believe it is one of the most dangerous elements of opening a business. If you get it wrong, it could hurt for many many years!

So what to do? There is the old saying, 'I will let you have any price you want, just let me control the terms' for good reason. Negotiating the right price is important, however having the right terms is crucial. The right terms will do two things for you, one they will give you the protection incase business does not go as planned, and two they will give you protection incase business does go as planned. After all, you do not want your landlord not renewing the lease after you have already established your business. 

Here are the major points of any lease. Make sure they are in you favorable or that your liability is limited in some way:

  1.  Price: Leases are often quoted as $/ft/yr. So, $30/ft on a 1,000 ft space means that your total yearly liability will be $30,000 or $2500 per month.
  2. Triple Net Lease: The NNN in a lease make the tenant solely responsibility for all cost associated with the asset in addition to the rent. So you will be responsible for the space's taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc... This cost is built into the lease and is quoted as NNN $5/ft and is added to the rent.  
  3. Term: In a bad economy or undesirable locations, landlords may be willing to go month to month or year to year. Usually they require a 3-5 year lease term and some may require a multi year term, 10-15 years. 
  4. Personal Guarantee: Most require a personal guarantee. Do everything in your power to limit this! I have signed leases under LLC companies with no personal guarantees and for other leases I had 'buy out options'. If the business does not succeed, a buy out option allows you to pay a fixed dollar amount and be released from the lease. This can be a good thing for a landlord as they may not want to sue you and try to recoup funds in this way, on the other hand it may negatively influence the valuation of their property. Further, many states have laws that only allow the landlord to recoup funds for dead months. In other words, if your landlord sues you for 3 years worth of rent -for breaking your lease- but gets a tenant after one year, he is only entitled to one year of losses. Lastly, he must demonstrate that he is trying to the find a tenant. 
  5. Options: You also want to have as many options to extend as possible. If you signed a 3 year lease, you may want to follow that up with three 5year options to extend. After the initial 3 years are up, you have the option to go five more and so on. If you can not build in protection via 'buy out clause' than protect yourself with the initial term length by minimizing it.
  6. Inflation: Another aspect that is often in leases is yearly price increases. The reality is that none of use know what tomorrow holds and that includes the potential power of inflation. Usually a lease will have 2-4% rental increase each year and a cleaver landlord will try to set up renegotiation when lease expires, even if there is an option to extend. Some landlords are great, other may do everything in their power to maximize profits by substantial increasing your rent when the initial term expires, however some states have laws against this. Renting in a bad economy can be very advantageous and as the economy improves rental rates will increase. It is important to keep the extension option's price(s) predetermined so a rebound in the economy or inflation will not send your rental costs to the moon.

Two Tips on Negotiating the Price

1) Management Companies vs Landlords: It is generally much easier to deal directly with a  landlord and often here you will find much greater flexibility. Management companies work on commission and they do everything in their power to maximize every element of the deal. Even though it may be worth it for a landlord to rent a unit on a six month or yearly basis, such an arrangement is rarely beneficial to a management company.

2) How to Negotiate the Price: Rental roles help determine the value of a property. At times a landlord may want to get you in for a bargain price however is afraid that the valuation of his asset may decrease due to price point. So what to do? Simply ask for a few month of free rent! This allows the landlord to show a contract with higher monthly rates thus increasing the value of his property while also giving you the overall price you needed.

3) Capital Improvements: Often times landlords can credit the tenants money for capital improvements. After all, these improvements stay with the property. 

Last Bit of Advice, what do you do if the Broker Goes Cold? If you agree to the principle's of the deal, that is the price and term length, simply respond via email or mail that you agree to the principle's of the deal. In doing so, you are accepting the gross terms of the lease which will prevent the broker from negotiating with anyone else -even if they have a higher offer on the table. This may differ from state to state, however once they offer you a deal and you respond with such a letter they have to stop all other negotiations and move forward with you.

Related Articles:

Business Decor

Restaurant Build Out

How To Raise Money

How to Find and Line Up Investors

Selecting the Perfect Location

Monday, February 11, 2013

Small Buisness

Why Being Wrong Can Be So Right: Lessons in Online Marketing 

Some of you may be asking themselves, why is the title spelled incorrectly? Welcome to online marketing 101. Sometimes, being incorrect, being off, eccentric and just plain wrong pays off. In business, as well as most facets of life, we must deal with life as it is, not as we wish it to be and in the real world people misspell.

So what does this mean for your online marketing?

1. Being Right is Great but Being Rich is Better: take advantage of these mistakes. Once upon a time, long before the first dictionaries were written, the intelectual elites had to decide wether english would be spelled phonetically (like Spanish) or artistically (like French) and so they went with the eccentric.

Results = People often misspell and it can be difficult that we have competitions.

2. Number #1 on Google: As you can imagine, the competition for misspelled key word phrases is not nearly as high as correctly spelled phrases and as result it is much easier to rank on the first page of google.

3. Downside: Of course there is a downside, for one Google auto-corrects misspelled words which will then lead the search to a different -correctly spelled- results when the user follows the link. Further  it can hurt your credibility.

So, you have found the prefect misspelled keyword phrase, its low in competition, and you want to take full advantage of it however, you do not want to lose credibility. So, what do you do? Simply, address the issue of the misspelled word via an article and offer education and entertainment and/or only place the keyword phrase in the meta data. In the end, at least it is nothing like a mispelled tattoo!

Related Articles:   Marketing
Gift of Giving
How To Brand Like A Pro
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How I tested the Market for $300

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What the Fastest Growing Industries can Tell us About the Future

When opportunity comes knocking will your recognize it? It has been argued for years that the economy goes through cycles. There are the 4-6 year cycles of expansion and contraction and there are the big cycles, 20+ years. As mention by Marc Faber and Jim Rogers, among others, we are fully entrenched in a commodities cycle. So what does this mean and how can one take full advantage of the opportunities presented herein?

How The Cycles Work

The two big cycles are commodities cycles and equities cycles. For the past 20+ years, since the early 1980's the economy entered into a equities cycle. At this period in the time, equities (Stocks, Dow Jones, etc) were severely underpriced and underperforming. Much of the money, and capital went into commodities (raw materials) and gold hit an all-time high of $850/ozt ($2300-$2400 in 2013 USD) and a 1:1 ratio with the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

Then the pendulum swung the other way. Investors, saw the stock market as a great opportunity and  began pouring their dollars in the stocks of the future. The Stock market had its biggest gains, year after year and in 2000 the Dow Jones grew to a 44:1 ratio with gold. The money had gone from commodities to equities and for a while everyone was giddy.

Now, lacking funds and investment for many years, and seen a wasteland, very few dollars were invested in commodities leading to shortages. These shortages began to quickly drive up the price for commodities and in turn attract investors. These shortages also negatively impacted the bottom line of many companies as it was now more expensive to purchase those same commodities to make the same products. And here we are, in the midst of a commodities cycles that has seen gold go from a 44:1 ratio with the Dow to a 6.7:1 ratio in a few short years. The fastest growing industries are mining, manufacturing, and agriculture. 

What This means For You

Did you know that the average American Farmer is in his 60's? Further, inventories are the lowest they have been in years. Another good drought, as we saw in the summer of 2012, and we will see prices triple once again.

In recent interviews, Jim Rogers has been very vocal about the upcoming opportunities in agriculture  According to Rogers, the pendulum will swing fully, and once again farming will be a viable way of earning a great income while Wall St becomes a wasteland. He goes on to say that students will be getting degrees in agriculture and forgoing MBA's. Talent follows the money, and the money will be in farming!

More Opportunities

In the event that you do not want to become a farmer, and local organic farming is a booming industry,  there are other investments you can make. You can invest directly in commodities index's that track the price of agricultural products. The best thing about index's is that they do not incur the same fees as Mutual Funds, while giving you a similar exposure. Another option is investing in gold and silver. Historically, gold has had an average ratio of 4:1 with the Dow Jones and this goes back to the inception of the market (Historical gold silver ration is 16:1). The wisdom here is to buy gold and silver until these commodities are overpriced and begin trading them for the underpriced Dow Jones Industrial. That is precisely once gold and the Dow are at a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio, as it has happened many times before, begin investing in the Dow. 

How 1ozt of Gold in 1920 could be Worth $10,000,000 Today

In the 1920's, 1ozt of gold had a price of roughly $20. Had you played this game of 'big cycles'  and traded 1ozt of gold for the Dow when the Gold/Dow ratio was roughly even and then traded your Dow for gold when the Dow was overpriced, then that 1ozt of gold would have turned into roughly $10,000,000 today!

Related Articles: Financial Trends
The World Beneath Out Feet
Booming Restaurant Business
Marc Faber Interview
Jim Rogers on Emerging Trends

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Secret to Marketing: The Gift of Giving

The Secret to Marketing: The Gift of Giving

Once upon a time, it was all about mass marketing; getting your products and services on TV, Radio and in print media. Today, it’s all about niche marketing, communities, and relationships. Ironically, the social media and information technology age has both made us more isolated from one another and connected to each other. In today’s world of marketing and advertising you have to answer one question. Can you create a community around your brand?
Raving fans and products that service the few is the new trend of our times. Before via TV, Radio and Print companies did everything in their power to mass market. Today, mass marketing is dying a slow death and the new emerging media is all about niche markets and servicing the few.

Greatest Marketing Trick of All Time

If you had an advertising budget of $2,000 how would you spend it? Would it be on TV, Radio, Newspaper, Flyers or Online? What would you do? If you chose any of the above, you would be missing out on the best Marketing Trick of All Time. 
By far the best way to get loyal customers, create raving fans and word of mouth going is to Give First! This is the marketing genius of the 21st century. Give away $2,000 of your product/service and see what happens. 
Give first and if your product/service is great, you will receive later. Think about all of the great things that are already free: information, mobile apps, technology and of course this blog. Give and you shall receive.

Friday, February 8, 2013

How to Brand like a Pro

Branding is key and we live in a world of branding. If you think about it, what separates Coke from generic cola? The ingredients are almost the same and many people cannot tell the difference in taste tests. 

So why does Coke dominate the competition? It’s all simply because of branding. Branding provides uniqueness, it helps define your produce and it helps retain customers. In the end, the brand is an experience all on its own.

Have you seen all of the happy go lucky 'soda-pop' commercials or the fun 'fast food' commercials? In today’s marketing world, fortune 500 companies are literally buying 'mind estate'. That is, all of the commercials you watch day after day with time become strongly associated with certain feelings and experiences. 

The narrative of the commercial can go as far as giving its viewer a quasi-memory and to an extent, you too become part of the short story. The identification can also be so strong as to bring people to tears through a powerful story – I am sure you have seen people cry during a movie. 

The pseudo memories in turn create a network of neurons which associate a certain experience and emotion -usually the one portrayed in a commercial- with the brand. They are literally buying a part of your mind!

So, in ultra-competitive industries such as the beverage industry where most products are impulsive purchases, mind estate is key. In that split second, the customer impulsively decides to purchase a coke, a small snack and some gum. These purchases would not happen without the proper product placement and the correct advertising.

So, how can you take advantage of this? You do not have millions of dollars to spend on TV commercial nor the funds to conduct market research and so on. So how is the little guy to compete?

Killer Branding in 5 Steps

1. Solve an Industry Problem: 

Every industry has its 'black eye'; find yours and address the issue. In the beverage industry, it’s health; so how are beverage companies addressing that issue? Recently, a small new company named Hint solved this issue by making healthy, fruity, unsweetened beverages and is now making a killing.

2. Uniqueness in your Brand: 

Make your brand, company or product unique. There is a strong correlation between uniqueness and memory.

3. Quality Control: 

In today's world of instant opinions and reviews, your product better be good!

4. Impress: 

There should be an element that stands out, perks the curiosity and intrigues the imagination. In our Salut concept, this was the word 'Kitchen' and the tagline is 'Kitchen Bar'. It is unique; it stands out and is very different while the meaning is the same. You will not believe how many conversations we have had with our future customers about that one word 'Kitchen'.

5. Experience: 

Now we are entering the world of Mind Estate. With almost any business, you are assured that customers have a memorable experience. You want that customer thinking about how great it was to be there, when they will return next and just generally thinking about you. You can accomplish this by creating a great atmosphere, hiring personable and charismatic staff and by working in the business of creating memories.

Related Posts: Salut Restaurant Series       

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The World Beneath Our Feet

The World Beneath Out Feet

The world beneath our feet is changing. The change has been so rapid, so revolutionary, yet few have noticed! Why, you may ask? Simply, because of the 9-5. The day to day montage and the ongoing cultural lag have left us seeing the 21st century through the lens of the 20th

So, what has changed? The preverbal age old wisdom of geting a degree, a job, and a safe retirement is  slowly fading and becoming entirely obsolete. We have gone from a world dominated by the left brain, that of analysis, logic, reason, rigidity to a world dominated by the right brain, creativity, spontaneity, and thinking outside the box. This is self evident in that for much of the 20th century a great contract lawyer was invaluable, a great accountant indispose-able. Today, one can easily download a contract or use an accounting software. In today's world, the ingenuity, creativity, and inventiveness separate those that are in high demand from those who are not.

Related Articles:
What the Fastest Growing Industries Tell Us About the Future
Max Keiser on China and Japan
Booming Restaurant Business

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to Find and Line Up Investors

There is an art to lining up investors. The first thing to note is that there are different types of investors. For most businesses, its funding is provided by the founder and perhaps this is its biggest weakness. When the Census Bureau does their demographical research there is a clear consensus as to why most businesses fail within the first 3-5 years, and do you know what the number one reason is? In one word, funding. 

The founder ran out of cash and ended up closing shop. What is even worse is that the founders then end up going through a financial tsunami as creditors soon go after them. In short, a founder can go from opening his/her door with all of the excitement and enthusiasm in the world to closing shop and filling for bankruptcy 3 years later. 

So, how can you avoid this potential and devastating pitfall from the beginning? Simply, insure that you have the proper funding in place. Here are a few great places to start:

3 Sources of Funding:

1. Inside Circle: There are people in your current social circle which includes friends and family. You know them well and they know you well. Most funding happens on this level as friend and family chip in to help one of their own move forward in life.

2. Outside Circle: These people are removed from you by 1-6 degrees of separation. They may be a friend of a friend or a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, well you get the idea. Bringing important members from your outside circle in can be very valuable in helping you move forward. 

3. No Circle: These are people you do not know or have any connection with you. They may include investors, angels, venture capitalists and so on. One of the most powerful things a businessman should do is increase the number and quality of people they know. 

3 Keys to Funding

1. Relationship: This applies to all of the above. Each of the 3 sources of funding is far more likely to fund you if you have a great relationship. So building relationships is the key and these are not just business relationship but personal relationships.

2. Reputation: If you have a good reputation, it can be more valuable than money! It is often said that 'for the first 20 years you work to build a great reputation and the last 20 years your reputation works for you'.

3. Talent & Experience: No one wants to throw their money away and never see a return on investment. Talent and potential go a very long way to an extent, that that alone can attract funds. And experience, well as the famous saying goes, 'experience gets the money and money gets the experience'. 

Related Posts: Salut Series

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Selecting the Perfect Restaurant Location

Selecting The Perfect Restaurant Location

In today's online world, location is slowing becoming less of a premium where there is no bigger exception that with the restaurant business. In fact, how well your business does boils down to three important elements: Location, Location and Location.

If you get this one part right, you will have the opportunity to be a part of the minority who are successful restaurant entrepreneurs. So how should one pick a location? There are many, many elements as a result of the unique landscapes and cultures which cannot all be covered. However there are certain guiding principles to follow.

Keys to Selecting the Perfect Restaurant Location:

1. TurnKey: 

The location should have been a restaurant recently and preferably a 'once upon a time' hot spot. Turnkey restaurants will already have many of the most important and expensive equipment such as a hood and a grease trap present. This alone can save you $50,000-$100,000 (depending on size). 

Further, the 'once upon a time' hot spot element gives the location validity. Restaurants have 10-15 year life span and unless they change with the times, they will be out of time. So take full advantage of such opportunities.

2. Visibility: 

Street visibility is the key and in some cases, it is absolutely necessary. If you look at where most of the biggest chain restaurants are located like McDonalds, they all have this in common: great street visibility on a busy corner. 

3. Traffic Count: 

This goes hand in hand with visibility. Visibility only has value when there are people there to see it. So look at traffic count maps and chose a location with plenty of traffic. 

4. Demographics: 

The surrounding demographics and how they spend their money is a big influencer. When looking at a location, you can pull the demographics at an instant. The demographics will show you the following: (a) The number of people living in a 1m, 3m and 5m radius, (b) Age & Sex (c) Marital Status & Children (d) Income and (e) Expenditures. 

You will in fact know how much money was spent on restaurants from this group of people in past year. Lastly, take culture and cuisine preferences into account. Some subcultures prefer the 'tried and true' cuisine options while others are up for a new experience. 

5. Competition: 

Competition is a double edged sword. On the best corners, it is unavoidable and depending on the industry it might be preferable. Think clothing stores, food courts and auto dealerships and you get the idea. 

However uniqueness comes into play here. If you have a unique concept or a 'destination', then hopefully the guy two doors down is not doing a similar concept. Again, think food courts where each restaurant has its own unique cuisine. 

6. Price & Terms: 

No corner is worth an infinite price or galvanizing terms, so how do you know what price you should pay? Generally in the restaurant business, your rent should be 10% of your monthly revenue and terms should be flexible. 

7. Other Variables: 

Depending on what city you are in, its layout and the necessity; driving, parking and accessibility can also be an issue. 

Related Posts: Salut Series

Monday, February 4, 2013

Putting Together the Perfect Restaurant Team

Putting Together the Perfect Restaurant Team

In both sports and business, teams win and the restaurant business is no exception. Think of all of the biggest chains and what do they have behind them? They have years of experience, an excellent working process, a good product, funds and an all-star team with them. Most importantly without the team, the other elements disappear. So when looking to create your next restaurant start up, the most important thing you need to do is put together and all-star team.

The first thing to do is to consider the general elements of any business which are marketing, management and finance. The team should have plenty of each of the above and/or member who excel at each particular element. Further a restaurant startup will need additional elements to really make it go. 

Here are the 5 types of members you need to have on your Restaurant Team:

1. Marketer: You need someone who knows how to market a restaurant. Advertising is key and one short cut is to partner up with a local marketing company.
2. Finance: Unless you are going to finance the whole start up by yourself, make sure you have a Power Player on board who has access to funds via his/her network.
3. General Manager: Not only will a general manager help you in day to day operations, but they can also help you at the startup phase from something as simple as which wines to select to what equipment to purchase. 
4. Chef: Having a great product is the key to ensuring repeat clientele. You can find good chefs who are just starting out their careers pretty easily and inexpensively or you can partner up with a reputable Chef who has a following. 
5. Power Player: Finding a Power Player, someone who has great experience and connections will make every element of the startup easier from which contractors to choose, to city licensing and even negotiating a better price with distributors. 

In the end, it’s all about bringing a great team together. This spreads the financial risks and burdens among the members and investors while further increasing the end product through the infusion of creativity and synergy. 

Related Articles: Salut Series

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Restaurant Trends: The New Trendy Look of the Booming Restaurant Business

Restaurant Trends: 

Believe it or not, the restaurant business is booming right now. The National Restaurant Association has released its 2012 projects and expects record sales to hit $632 Billion, up 3.5% from last year. Simply put, restaurants are once again a hot item. So what is different this time around?

Unlike their pre-2008 predecessor, today's hot spots are relying on simplicity of design, the combination of industrial and natural elements and are accomplishing all this for half of the cost. In the old days, while thinking of a restaurant, the words gaudy and extravagant come to mind. These beasts cost hundreds of thousands and often millions to build. Think of the Cheesecake Factory, Grand Lux Cafe and you have the idea. Today's new hot spots all have something in common, a concept of simplicity and earthiness, with a much lower startup costs.

So, what is hot in today’s restaurant designs and how is it different? For one, the materials used are far dissimilar. Instead of using expensive tiles, today's trendy restaurants are opting in for stained concrete, instead of an expensive chandelier they are electing for  unique ceiling fixtures, instead of using marble and granite they are opting for wood and stainless steel. Today's trendy hot spots have a mix of a 21st centenary industrial look infused with heavy earth elements and of course, a few unique items sprinkled throughout that give it a little spazzaz.