July 19, 2019

The Plasmabed and Other Recent Advancements in Mattress Technology

It was not too many years ago that the only type of mattress available on the market was an innerspring mattress. Then, it just was a matter of how high-end of an innerspring mattress your budget could afford. After a period of time, the mattress would begin to have wear patterns from sleeping where the mattress would begin to sag. This did not help people have a restful sleep.

Memory Foam Origins

According to NASA, Charles Yost and the Ames Research Center developed a highly-cushioned material to provide pilots and astronauts more protection from impacts and g-forces. This type of foam works so well because it is slow to spring back from touch. For this reason, it was first called “slow spring back foam” or “temperature foam.” The amazing thing about this foam product is that it supports the contours of your body while you are pressed against it, but then slowly returns to shape. It has the ability to provide superior cushioning as well as support. 

Better Than Polyurethane

Memory foam, as developed by NASA is not to be confused with polyurethane foam. In fact, according to Polyurethane.org, the latter was developed and in widespread use well before NASA invented memory foam. Polyurethane foam has been a common mattress product for many years. It is not a new innovation. 

As a Mattress Product

Companies, like Plasmabed began to experiment with this foam as a mattress product. Generic versions of this material are now known in the mattress world as memory foam or visco-elastic foam. It outshines polyurethane foam because it is intentionally made to be a dense product that can provide more support and absorb more pressure. Companies use layers of memory foam molds in order to create the most supportive mattress for different types of sleepers. According to Science X, memory foam mattresses now account for a third of the mattress market in the U.S.

Why is it Superior?

Memory foam has the quality of making the sleeper feel like they are floating yet being firmly supported as well. It is hard to describe, and one needs to actually try a memory foam mattress to fully comprehend why most people who have tried memory foam as a mattress material are true believers. 

The following are the main advantages of memory foam mattresses that can help better describe the experience: 

Floatation –As described above, you don’t sink into a memory foam mattress, you feel you are floating on it. This makes it superior to polyurethane foam mattresses, air or waterbed mattresses and older innerspring mattresses. You sink into all of the latter and do not feel supported. The heavier portion of your body will sink lower in the mattress. This sinking of heavier body parts is not the case with memory foam. 

Support –Because this is a high-density foam, your whole body is supported. This allows better sleep posture and spinal alignment throughout the night, which will reduce the strain on your back and can help to relieve the aches and pains associated with poor sleeping positions that the other types of mattress materials tend to cause. 

Lack of Motion –Since the material has very little motion-transfer, memory foam mattresses do not jiggle or spring as much as other types of mattresses. When your partner gets out of bed, the bed won’t move around. This helps couples sleep better and deeper at night as each needs to get up and visit the bathroom. 

Durability –Memory foam mattresses tend to last longer than innerspring mattresses because they don’t have springs that tend to lose their support over time. Springs tend to break down and sag creating deep dips and ridges in the bed that can damage your back. All innerspring mattresses have free-floating surface material that can migrate and shift unevenly to develop uncomfortable lumps and creases. 

Advancements to the Memory Foam Mattress

The first memory foam mattresses came out around the turn of this century. In the past two decades, memory foam manufacturers, like Plasmabed, have been working on innovations that support different types of sleepers. For example, Plasmabeds are made of a proprietary formula which is a plasma material that has a true Phase-change™ and is more flexible and feels more fluid than original memory foam. 

Also, Plasmabeds can be ordered in a number of molding configurations that target different types of sleepers. For example, the Anti-Gravity bed was designed to take pressure off of the neck and hips. The Cocoon bed helps those with poor circulation by adding another Plasma-GL layer to the original bed. The Dream bed has the CoolFlowtechnology used by the better memory foam mattress manufacturers because of its qualities of dissipating heat and moisture and promoting more air flow around the sleeper. 

Another key innovation that Plasmabed offers is that their bed has low VOC or commonly reffered to as “off-gassing”. There have been some complaints about memory foam beds off-gassing. The Plasmabed mattresses have been tested by an independent lab to be low-VOC and are not made with formaldehyde, fire retardants or other ozone-depleting substances. 

In the last two decades, through research and innovation, these mattresses have taken the industry by storm creating a sleep environment that promotes a more a more restful sleep by self-adjusting to the body’s contours and virtually eliminating pressure points. The weightlessness and pressure relief allow all parts of their body to be supported evenly across the entire mattress improving spinal alignment and posture. The Plasmabed is helping sleepers with back, hip and neck pain allowing sleepers to experience a more rejuvenating sleep with less need to toss and turn.

The post The Plasmabed and Other Recent Advancements in Mattress Technology appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

July 19, 2019

The Average Business Gets 59 Actions from Their Google My Business Listing

Google My Business Insights Study

Before today’s digital ecosystem, local small businesses had a hard time growing their brand. Word of mouth and traditional advertising was the only way to go. And the high cost of advertising meant they did very little of it.

However, a small business can now let everyone (including a global audience) know who and where they are with digital technology. And one of the tools which makes this possible is Google My Business (GMB).

Google My Business Insights Study

So how effective is GMB in allowing small local businesses to increase their presence? According to a new report from BrightLocal, a typical business receives 59 actions from their GMB listing each month. Google identifies an action as a website click, call or direction request from users.

The goal of the research is to help businesses who use GMB understand how their results stack up through Google My Business Insights. And use the outcome of the study to find areas of improvement to get better results from their marketing efforts. This is necessary because as BrightLocal puts it, there is “…little out there to guide local marketers on what Google My Business success looks like.”

Additionally, making sense of the data from Google My Business Insights is also a challenge. Ben Fisher, Google My Business Gold Product Expert and co-founder of Steady Demand, says in the report it is far from perfect.

Fisher adds, “As with any tool, these are merely a benchmark that points you in a direction. GMB Insights, in particular, are not very accurate, and can sometimes suffer from data outages. However, they can give you an indication as to how you are doing.”

The Study

In order to find out how effective GMB is, BRightLocal explored the listing of 45,264 local businesses in 36 industries. It reviewed data from randomly chosen samples of GMB insights between September 2017 and December 2018.

The businesses are located in cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK with the following breakdown: 32,843 businesses in the U.S.; 2,913 in Canada; 3,857 in Australia; and 5,651 in the U.K.

Key Takeaways from Google My Business Insights Study

The average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches. This comes out to 157 direct searches each month, and 852 discovery searches.

Google My Business Insights Study

Direct and discovery search is how customers search for your business. A direct search is a query by a customer who looks up the name and address of your business. A discovery search, on the other hand, is from a category, product, or service you offer, and your listing appears.

When it comes to views 49% of businesses receive more than 1,000 views on search per month. Overall direct searches grew by 38% and website clicks from GMB listing grew 29% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018.

Actions

The overall goal of using GMB is for users to take action. The action will hopefully lead to the user being a customer at your place of business and grow your company.

As mentioned earlier a typical business gets 59 actions from their GMB listing every month. And this translates to 5% of GMB listing views resulting in some sort of action. This comes out to 56% visiting websites, 24% making calls and 20% requesting directions.

Google My Business Insights Study

Conclusion

The BrighLocal report provides some great insight into how Google My Business helps local businesses. As Fisher says it has its challenges, but it is essential to optimize the digital presence of your local business.

Fisher also adds, “Google My Business continues to grow as a transactional layer of the internet for local businesses.” So, you have to include it in your digital toolbox.

You will be doing yourself a service by reading the full report from BrightLocal. You can find it here.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "The Average Business Gets 59 Actions from Their Google My Business Listing" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 19, 2019

Amazing Features to Include in Your eCommerce App

The importance of building an app for your business is undeniable. When businesses are doing everything they can to dominate the search engines, what you can’t afford to do is to refuse to acknowledge the advantages of having a custom app built for your eCommerce store.

It’s currently estimated that 4.1 billion people are using their phones to access the web and that number is still expected to grow. The reality is, it won’t take long before everyone is doing their daily activities using their phones including buying goods and services, selling products or even simple business transactions such as sales tracking and inventory.

If you’re looking to stand out and beat your competitors, it is worthy to include these features in your eCommerce app:

●     Speed and responsiveness

Before a user even has the chance to notice your top-quality content and amazing design, they will be offered a choice as your eCommerce app loads: should I stay, or should I go?

If your content and images don’t load after 10 seconds, chances are, your customers will leave the app before they make any purchase, which is something you wouldn’t like to happen.

Make sure that it’s easy to navigate within the app and that clickable features are performing the functions they were designed for. Your goal is to provide shoppers a smooth and seamless shopping experience, every time – don’t let slow loading speeds, broken links, or other unnecessary elements get in the way.

●     Simpler registration process

Customers often hesitate to create an online account because of the forms they have to fill in. Responding to this need, most apps and websites these days require users to sign up using either their email or Facebook accounts.

For your eCommerce app, make the registration process as simple as possible but never underinvest in good security measures – that’s all a part of the value.

When customers feel that it’s unsafe to provide their information, even if they are ready to purchase from you, they’re likely to abandon the items they would have otherwise purchased.

A way to get around this issue is through One Time Pins (OTPs), which can be used to confirm purchases before charging customers’ credit cards or processing orders. OTPs provide a sense of security that helps develop your customers’ trust for your business.

●     Social Media Integration

As a business owner, you want to meet your clients half-way, right? Do so by creating a marketing strategy that will compel your customers to integrate their social media accounts with your app.

Social media integration will not only help you gather data about your customers’ preferences, but will also enable you to send them personalized messages and ads that will entice them to come back to your app and make a purchase whenever they are browsing other social media platforms. It also allows them to share your products with their friends instantly.

Good social signals also help build your shop’s reputation.

●     Visible search bars with Automatic suggestions

Over 83% of customers say that product search is extremely important to them when they are shopping. This means that you should make product search your priority by adding features such as automatic suggestions, voice-activated search or product search using QR codes.

Based on the customer’s past shopping behavior, you can create personalized search results to enhance their shopping experience. It makes customers feel extra special when they are presented with products that are related to what they want to purchase even without them searching for the entire product specifications or descriptions. Just like how AI is transforming a lot of industries currently, you can leverage AI and machine learning to automatically tag and organize content by labeling features of images or videos.

Just like how retail stores can trigger impulse buying, search bars with automatic suggestions can entice buyers to check out and purchase other items even though they didn’t have those products in mind initially.

●     Implement touch gesture for photos

One of the biggest challenges that customers face when buying things online is not knowing the quality of the product and whether it is suited to their needs and wants. The expectation vs reality phenomenon is real, and you can help your customers assess whether the product is right for them by implementing touch gestures that allow them to zoom in and examine a product up close.

If possible, include a slideshow of other close-up photos of your products within the app. If there’s any angle that need to be highlighted, make sure your photos reflects that angle, so customers know what to expect.

●     Add save for later buttons

In the event that customers don’t proceed to check out right away, this feature will help them resume shopping later on. For instance, you’re selling a fitness tracker, but they weren’t really looking to buy one at the time they’re browsing your shop. By adding save for later buttons, you’re providing them a way to save the product so they don’t have to look for it again when they’re ready to buy. You are actually saving them time because they don’t need to individually look for items they’re interested in.

●     Multiple payment options

Nothing is more annoying than having to search for products only to discover that the store isn’t offering your preferred payment option. This is the surest way to drive buyers away for good. You have to make sure that your app can accept all types of payment methods using a built-in wallet. Fortunately, these options are easily integrated.

While these are top-level issues in building a custom eCommerce application, there are tons of other great features to consider, such as multi-currency support, tax calculators, status bars that adjust to cart value based on spending threshold, and AR. Just be sure to eliminate any unnecessary features as soon as possible, as each built feature affects the overall cost and coding time that goes into your app.

Conclusion

These features will surely help you acquire more paying customers and enhance their customer experience. Just know that your eCommerce site needs to be designed in a way that will showcase your company’s personality or brand. Great design and features will ensure that you’re light years ahead of your competitors.

Share the strategies that help you stay ahead of your competitors in the comments!

The post Amazing Features to Include in Your eCommerce App appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

July 19, 2019

Being a Rockstar in Your Industry is a Matter of Mastering These Interpersonal Skills

10 Important Interpersonal Skills at Work

When it comes to developing your professional skillset, technical skills usually get all the limelight — but what about interpersonal skills at work?

Interpersonal skills like empathy and honesty are critical to professional success.

Pairing high-quality interpersonal skills and with superb technical skills is a recipe for a unicorn professional.

But where can you find a list of important interpersonal skills at work to focus on?

Important Interpersonal Skills at Work

Discover 10 interpersonal skills that everyone should strive for!

1. Empathy

Being able to consider other people’s situations and feelings while making decisions is a golden quality if ever there was one.

Demonstrating empathy will make you a better coworker, boss or employee — when people think of a supportive colleague, you’ll come to mind.

Also, when you show empathy, others will be more likely to show it back to you.

2. Consistency

Consistency is the most fundamental and most important form of discipline.

Talent paired with consistency is a unicorn combination.

3. Mindfulness

Mindfulness means being intentionally aware of the present moment and the current situation, whatever it is.

By practicing mindfulness, you can have better focus, objectivity and clarity.

A key part of mindfulness is keeping your concentration on what you can control, and not wasting valuable mental energy on the things you cannot control.

4. Good Listening

Whether it’s following instructions or better understanding your customers, the ability to listen is an incredibly powerful skill.

It’s the kind of skill that makes you a good friend, caring partner and valuable professional.

Good listeners also usually no when to say less and take in more, rather than talking over others and getting combative.

Listening can also be practice in humility, especially when it pertains to taking criticism and negative feedback.

5. Delegating and Prioritizing

There are only so many hours in a day.

You can’t take on every project and every request, so it’s key to be able to know what to prioritize, what to delegate and what to decline.

6. Good Time Management

Being able to deftly manage your time and projects is a great skill to have.

Avoid procrastination, deal with small tasks quickly, and break down larger tasks into a series of managable smaller tasks.

7. Humility

The ability to ask for help when you need it is a sign of strength, not weakness.

It’s an act of humility to acknowledge that you need help and reach out for it.

8. Positivity

Being able to stay motivated isn’t just about chasing goals, but also staying positive.

Maintaining a positive spirit — even when things aren’t sunshine and roses — is an all-star quality that will help your entire team weather a storm.

9. Assertiveness

Learning to speak up can be difficult at first, especially if you tend to be passive or shy.

But speaking up and making yourself is a way to contribute to the conversation, lean in and lead.

10. Honesty

Last but certainly not least on our list of stellar interpersonal skills is honesty.

Honesty is key for every area of life, including the workplace.

Being honest and trustworthy makes you an asset to your company, boss and team.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Being a Rockstar in Your Industry is a Matter of Mastering These Interpersonal Skills" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 19, 2019

What is a Side Hustle?

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is essentially a way of making money outside of a regular job or running your own business. They allow you to earn an additional income with the freedom and flexibility to be your own boss and pursue your passions.

Embarking on one can also be a good way for small business owners to generate additional cashflow and earn an income on top of operating their own business.

Small business owners can also use one to develop additional skills and experiences they can use to improve the productivity and even profitability of their own ‘primary’ business.

The Rise of Side Hustles

Today, there are more Americans working a side hustle than during any point in the last two decades.

Research shows that generating additional cash is the main motivator for doing so.

Paying off debt and building up savings are also among the key motivators for taking one on as a second business or as another job.

Other leading reasons people have a side hustle is to learn new skills and to start a business of their own.

Younger generations are particularly prone to work a side hustle. Data from Bankrate shows that one in four millennials, those aged between 18 and 26, are working on their own with a side hustle to generate an additional income.

A quarter of millennials say their efforts earn them $500 or more a month.

Most Common Types

When considering a side hustle, the world is literally your oyster. What’s great is, no matter what small business you currently operate, you can start a side hustle that isn’t relevant to your primary business but is rather akin to your passions and hobbies.

Some of the most common side hustles include:

  • Driving (for example for Uber or Lyft)
  • Delivering Food
  • Renting Your Car
  • Renting Vacation Properties
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • YouTube Posting
  • Ecommerce Reselling
  • Virtual Assistant Service
  • Bookkeeping
  • Preparing Taxes
  • Business Consulting
  • Copywriting
  • Social Media Managing
  • Photographing Events
  • Catering
  • Operating a Food Truck
  • Event Planning
  • Personal Training
  • Teaching Online Courses

Planning for a Side Hustle

Running your own business is naturally time consuming, so the thought of running two businesses side-by-side can be daunting.

However, if you’re determined to give a side hustle a go, like starting any business venture, planning is the key to success.

Firstly, think about what it’s to be. More often than not, if it’s something you enjoy and are passionate about, the more likely you are to succeed.

You should ideally devote a regular time slot to work on your side hustle. Work out how much time you can realistically devote to without it impinging too much on your current business.

If, for example, a day a week is too much time to spend away from your principle business, make it one morning or afternoon a week instead.

The more realistic amount of time you set yourself to work on your new business venture, the more sustainable it is likely to be and the more success it is likely to generate.

Seasonal Side Hustles

If you don’t feel ready to commit to a full-time side hustle, you could always choose one that comes and goes with certain seasons.

For example, making and selling cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations or chocolates at Easter, can be an enjoyable way to fulfill your arty passion and earn some more money during festive times of the year, whilst working on your main business for the rest of the year.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What is a Side Hustle?" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 19, 2019

Amazing Features to Include in Your eCommerce App

The importance of building an app for your business is undeniable. When businesses are doing everything they can to dominate the search engines, what you can’t afford to do is to refuse to acknowledge the advantages of having a custom app built for your eCommerce store.

It’s currently estimated that 4.1 billion people are using their phones to access the web and that number is still expected to grow. The reality is, it won’t take long before everyone is doing their daily activities using their phones including buying goods and services, selling products or even simple business transactions such as sales tracking and inventory.

If you’re looking to stand out and beat your competitors, it is worthy to include these features in your eCommerce app:

●     Speed and responsiveness

Before a user even has the chance to notice your top-quality content and amazing design, they will be offered a choice as your eCommerce app loads: should I stay, or should I go?

If your content and images don’t load after 10 seconds, chances are, your customers will leave the app before they make any purchase, which is something you wouldn’t like to happen.

Make sure that it’s easy to navigate within the app and that clickable features are performing the functions they were designed for. Your goal is to provide shoppers a smooth and seamless shopping experience, every time – don’t let slow loading speeds, broken links, or other unnecessary elements get in the way.

●     Simpler registration process

Customers often hesitate to create an online account because of the forms they have to fill in. Responding to this need, most apps and websites these days require users to sign up using either their email or Facebook accounts.

For your eCommerce app, make the registration process as simple as possible but never underinvest in good security measures – that’s all a part of the value.

When customers feel that it’s unsafe to provide their information, even if they are ready to purchase from you, they’re likely to abandon the items they would have otherwise purchased.

A way to get around this issue is through One Time Pins (OTPs), which can be used to confirm purchases before charging customers’ credit cards or processing orders. OTPs provide a sense of security that helps develop your customers’ trust for your business.

●     Social Media Integration

As a business owner, you want to meet your clients half-way, right? Do so by creating a marketing strategy that will compel your customers to integrate their social media accounts with your app.

Social media integration will not only help you gather data about your customers’ preferences, but will also enable you to send them personalized messages and ads that will entice them to come back to your app and make a purchase whenever they are browsing other social media platforms. It also allows them to share your products with their friends instantly.

Good social signals also help build your shop’s reputation.

●     Visible search bars with Automatic suggestions

Over 83% of customers say that product search is extremely important to them when they are shopping. This means that you should make product search your priority by adding features such as automatic suggestions, voice-activated search or product search using QR codes.

Based on the customer’s past shopping behavior, you can create personalized search results to enhance their shopping experience. It makes customers feel extra special when they are presented with products that are related to what they want to purchase even without them searching for the entire product specifications or descriptions. Just like how AI is transforming a lot of industries currently, you can leverage AI and machine learning to automatically tag and organize content by labeling features of images or videos.

Just like how retail stores can trigger impulse buying, search bars with automatic suggestions can entice buyers to check out and purchase other items even though they didn’t have those products in mind initially.

●     Implement touch gesture for photos

One of the biggest challenges that customers face when buying things online is not knowing the quality of the product and whether it is suited to their needs and wants. The expectation vs reality phenomenon is real, and you can help your customers assess whether the product is right for them by implementing touch gestures that allow them to zoom in and examine a product up close.

If possible, include a slideshow of other close-up photos of your products within the app. If there’s any angle that need to be highlighted, make sure your photos reflects that angle, so customers know what to expect.

●     Add save for later buttons

In the event that customers don’t proceed to check out right away, this feature will help them resume shopping later on. For instance, you’re selling a fitness tracker, but they weren’t really looking to buy one at the time they’re browsing your shop. By adding save for later buttons, you’re providing them a way to save the product so they don’t have to look for it again when they’re ready to buy. You are actually saving them time because they don’t need to individually look for items they’re interested in.

●     Multiple payment options

Nothing is more annoying than having to search for products only to discover that the store isn’t offering your preferred payment option. This is the surest way to drive buyers away for good. You have to make sure that your app can accept all types of payment methods using a built-in wallet. Fortunately, these options are easily integrated.

While these are top-level issues in building a custom eCommerce application, there are tons of other great features to consider, such as multi-currency support, tax calculators, status bars that adjust to cart value based on spending threshold, and AR. Just be sure to eliminate any unnecessary features as soon as possible, as each built feature affects the overall cost and coding time that goes into your app.

Conclusion

These features will surely help you acquire more paying customers and enhance their customer experience. Just know that your eCommerce site needs to be designed in a way that will showcase your company’s personality or brand. Great design and features will ensure that you’re light years ahead of your competitors.

Share the strategies that help you stay ahead of your competitors in the comments!

The post Amazing Features to Include in Your eCommerce App appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

July 19, 2019

The 10 Most Profitable Types of Restaurants for Entrepreneurs to Consider

The 10 Most Profitable Types of Restaurants in the US Right Now

Restaurants aren’t known for having especially high profit margins. In fact, the average profit margin in the industry fall between 2 and 6 percent. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t earn a solid living by opening a restaurant — you just need to choose one of the more profitable types of restaurants.

There’s a lot that goes into determining restaurant profitability. Every restaurant will have different expenses based on their particular location, style and menu choices. But there are a few general concepts that tend to be more profitable than others. Here are ten of the most profitable types of restaurants for you to consider.

Most Profitable Types of Restaurants

Bars

Alcohol has one of the highest markups of any restaurant item. So bar and grille, pub or restaurant that focuses mainly on alcohol sales could do fairly well, profit wise. Though exact costs and earnings vary by location and style of business, it’s estimated that bars can earn about $300,000 a year. Of course, you need to factor in startup costs and ongoing expenses. But many bar owners are able to recoup those costs and become profitable in just a few years.

Diners

Breakfast foods have some of the most affordable ingredients around. And traffic at breakfast restaurants has increased over the past several years. This means that opening a restaurant that focuses primarily on breakfast food can be very profitable. Of course, you’ll bring in less money overall if you’re only open during breakfast hours. But some diners stay open for extended hours and continue to offer staples like eggs and pancakes all day.

Food Trucks

In a recent survey, more than half of independent food truck owners said they bring in more than $150,000 a year. It may not be the highest number. But food trucks tend to have low costs since there’s no rent and usually limited staff and menu costs. If you’re able to effectively manage food costs and sell at high traffic events, you can earn a significant profit.

Delivery-Only Restaurants

Virtual restaurants, or those that only offer delivery rather than dine-in or carry-out options, have increased in popularity in recent years, mainly in large cities. Still a relatively new concept, there’s not a ton of data available about earnings. But you can save significant money by skipping the storefront. You don’t need to spend extra rent on a location in a heavy traffic area. You’ll likely need less space, and you don’t need all the extra furniture and equipment that go into creating a customer-friendly space.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants

Farm-to-table restaurants are those that only use fresh ingredients directly from local farms. It’s become a popular concept in cities around the country, due mainly to the sustainability and flavor benefits of using locally sourced food. However, these ingredients can be more expensive. So the business model is most viable in large cities and upscale markets where people are willing to pay extra for those benefits.

Vegetarian Restaurants

About 37 percent of the population eats vegetarian meals at least some of the time when eating out. Plant based meals provide numerous health and environmental benefits, which can be very appealing to a wide array of consumers. In addition, skipping the meat can save restaurants money on food costs, depending on the specific ingredients you choose.

Pizzerias

Independent pizza restaurants earn nearly $450,000 in sales each year. Depending on the size and location of your restaurant, there can also be significant costs involved, including rent and equipment. However, many of the basic ingredients used in making pizza are fairly affordable.

Pasta Restaurants

Italian restaurants or any eateries that serve a lot of pasta tend to make a fair amount of profit due to food markups. Restaurants only pay a nominal amount for the pasta in each dish. And in high end eateries, pasta dishes can go for between $25 and $30 depending on the other ingredients included.

Quick Service Restaurants

Quick service restaurants brought in a total of $256 billion in 2018. So cost conscious consumers are continuing to flock to these convenient counter service locations for meals. With this type of restaurant, you probably won’t make a ton of profit off of each sale. But instead, you’d rely on a high volume of orders. So you do need to choose a location with a lot of foot traffic to keep people moving in and out at a good pace.

Buffet Restaurants

It might not seem like an especially profitable idea to let customers take all the food they can eat. But buffets keep costs low by minimizing labor with few servers, choosing inexpensive bulk ingredients and charging extra for drinks.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "The 10 Most Profitable Types of Restaurants for Entrepreneurs to Consider" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 18, 2019

Consumers Set to Spend $40 More This Year on Back to School Shopping

2019 Back to School Statistics

There are several shopping days on the calendar businesses should be aware of. While Black Friday and the holiday season are a no brainer, back to school should also be on that list.

2019 Back to School Statistics

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), total spending on K-12 schools and college is projected at $80.7B in 2019. The data from the NRF collaborates a new infographic from RetailMeNot which says consumers will spend $40 more this year.

Overall parents will spend an average of $507 in 2019, compared to $465 in 2018. And they will spend more across the board for clothes, electronics, and shoes.

Not surprisingly price is the biggest determining factor when parents purchase an item for back-to-school. This was the case for 69% of the respondents from the RetailMeNot survey. And an almost equal number or 71% say they will wait to make a purchase until they find a deal.

Parents are going to spend $212 on clothes, $209 on electronics and $104 on shoes. This doesn’t include incidentals throughout the year which are also part of the school expense. And all of this expenditure is stressing parents.

The survey says 48% of parents are stressed about how much they have to spend, an 8% increase from last year. And moms feel financial stress (54%) more than dads (41%). This might explain why 50% of parents say they spend some of their back-to-school budget on themselves. After all, shopping is a stress reliever.

The NRF is Expecting Record Spending in 2019

The NRF has been conducting an annual back-to-school survey since 2003. The survey covers k-12 and college students across the country. This year’s survey was carried out from July 1-8, 2019 with the participation of 7,660 consumers.

For K-12 students, the NRF says families will spend an average of $696.70, which is up from the $684.79 of 2018. But overall spending is going to go down because the survey says there are fewer families with kids in K-12. This is going to bring down the total to $26.2B, which is down $1.3B from the $27.5 billion of 2018.

When it comes to college students, it is following the same trend. The average spend is going to be higher, but overall spend lower.

This year college students are spending an average of $976.78 compared to $942.17 in 2018. And overall it is going down from the record $55.3B of 2018 to $54.5 in 2019.

Small Businesses and Back-to-School Sales

With billions of dollars up for grabs, small businesses have to make a concerted effort to participate in this event. Just like the more popular sale days throughout the year, back-to-school sales also need to be planned.

Here are some tips for making back-to-school a more profitable day for your business.

Start your marketing early and make sure to integrate physical and digital commerce together. Tell your customers about the sale early through your website, social media, and other channels.

Your site has to be easy to navigate. Along with an efficient checkout process, include easy access to information about shipping charges, return policies, sales tax and more.

At the same time make in-store pick up from an online purchase a seamless process. If they have to wait a long time to pick up their item, it defeats the purpose.

Make sure your store is stocked properly to meet the demand. If a customer can’t get an item you have for sale on your site or store, it might be the last time you see them.

Last but not least provide good deals. This is going to drive parents to your store, so make sure you have some price busters to get them in the door.

More 2019 Back to School Statistics

Take a look at the infographic.

2019 Back to School Statistics

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Consumers Set to Spend $40 More This Year on Back to School Shopping" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 18, 2019

12 More Profitable Crops for Small Farms

12 More Profitable Crops for Small Farms

If you’re interested in starting an agricultural business, you need to choose a crop or crops to focus on. There’s a seemingly endless list of choices out there, from small herbs and spices to large trees and landscaping products.

According to the USDA, there are plenty of specialty crops that can be sold at a significant profit. But there are also some basic crops that can be profitable crops for small farms. Recently, we shared 20 of the most profitable crops. Here are 12 more profitable crops for small farms to consider adding to the mix.

Profitable Crops for Small Farms

Microgreens

In most cases, you need a fair amount of space to grow vegetables. And they’re not especially profitable. But microgreens are smaller vegetable plants that have just started to sprout. So you can sell them quicker and they require much less space.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is popular in skin care and medicinal products. It’s grown on a flowering shrub that is very hardy and easy to care for.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a species of flowering trees and shrubs that produces an oil popular in health and body care. You can sell the actual flowering stems with cut flowers or decor. Or you can offer them to producers of essential oils and related products.

Almonds

Almonds are gaining popularity as a healthy snack, as well as an ingredient in things like almond milk and almond butter. They grow on trees. So it may take some time to get up and running. But then you’ll have consistent production to look forward to.

Coconut

Coconuts only grow in tropical areas with high humidity. But if you happen to be in a spot like Florida or Hawaii, you can grow palms that produce coconuts, which can be used in a wide array of products that are highly in demand right now.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are gaining popularity as a healthy starch. They prefer to grow in warm to hot weather. But they don’t necessarily require a huge space.

Onion

Onions are fairly simple to grow and don’t require a ton of space. You can also sell them as little seedlings to those who want to continue growing their own but just want some help getting started.

Wasabi

Wasabi takes some patience, skill and very specific conditions to grow successfully. But if you’re up for a challenge (and have a solid greenhouse), you can sell it for decent prices and continuously replenish your supplies through seeding.

Groundcover

Groundcover is a type of plant that grows over a significant portion of the ground, providing shade and protection to the soil. These plants tend to be fairly hardy and popular with landscaping businesses.

Pine Trees

Pine trees, like those sold at Christmas tree farms, do require a significant space to grow. But they are fairly foolproof and you can sell them for decent prices at the end of the year.

Juniper

Juniper is a specific type of coniferous plant that produces an oil used in medicines and pain relief. You can sell them as full shrubs or use them to produce those smaller products.

Hemp

Hemp is a species of cannabis that is used in products ranging from clothing fibers to health care products.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "12 More Profitable Crops for Small Farms" was first published on Small Business Trends

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