5 Franchise Problems To Avoid | The Startup Magazine

The US Small Business Administration notes that fast-food franchises make up the most popular business type for new entrepreneurs. Franchises are an easy way to trade on the popularity of an established name. From medspa franchise opportunities to retail businesses, there’s no shortage of supply. However, getting into a franchise relies on understanding what the company expects back from you. There are significant hurdles for new entrepreneurs when negotiating contracts and establishing rules between them and the franchisor. Here, we examine a handful of franchise problems that entrepreneurs should try their best to avoid.

A Terrible Sales Process

Many new franchisees are eager to get people in the door, regardless of how successful those people are likely to be. When you’re selling a franchise, whether it’s fast food or retail, the operator needs to understand how to make it work. While established franchises have massive training programs, these smaller, newer franchises don’t. They’re a lot cheaper to buy into as a result, and the low cost attracts a short of new entrepreneurs. The downside is that these new business owners end up biting off more than they can chew. Restaurant Business Online underlines this problem in their case study of Quiznos’ collapse.

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Smart doorbells ‘easy target for hackers’ study finds | BBC News

Major security flaws in popular smart doorbells are putting consumers at risk of being targeted by hackers inside their homes, according to Which.

The consumer group says devices being sold on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, could easily be hacked or switched off by criminals.

It is asking the government for new legislation to safeguard consumers.

Amazon has removed at least seven product listings in response to the findings.

‘He used our smart doorbell camera to track me’

Ring logs every doorbell press and app action

The watchdog tested 11 devices which were purchased from popular online marketplaces in the UK. Brands included Qihoo, Ctronics and Victure.

It found that among the most common flaws were weak password policies, and a lack of data encryption.

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It’s the Strangest Thanksgiving Ever for Businesses Trying to Put Turkey on Your Table | Inc.com

This year is different. The Chatham Berry Farm sold out of turkeys on November 13, almost two weeks before Thanksgiving, and the phone continues to ring off the hook with orders the farm can’t fulfill. “The staff here now, we’re kind of calloused over from the steady, revolving door of customers coming through,” says Alexia Baker, a greenhouse manager and longtime jack-of-all-trades staffer.”

The Berry Farm isn’t alone in its newfound turkey fame. As Covid-19 infection rates spike across the country, more Americans are eschewing traditional family gatherings and staying home on Thanksgiving. But they’re still cooking, and their need for provisions–albeit on a smaller scale–has escalated, sending the businesses that cater to the holiday scrambling to adjust to rapidly changing levels of food supply and consumer demand. How they’ve adjusted is instructive for any entrepreneur, especially those eyeing upcoming e-commerce bonanzas like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday shopping season.

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Netflix commits $1 billion to make New Mexico home to one of the world’s largest studios | TechCrunch

Netflix is committing $1 billion in production spend at its ABQ Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico, along with plans to expand those studios, the company said.

In an announcement alongside New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, Netflix’s chief executive Ted Sarandos said the company would add 300 acres to its existing space in ABQ Studios, creating one of the largest film production facilities in North America.

That means roughly 1,000 new production jobs in New Mexico over the next 10 years, the company predicted, and an additional 1,467 construction jobs to complete the expansion.

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Google Is Testing End-to-End Encryption in Android Messages | WIRED

GOOGLE HAS BEGUN rolling out end-to-end encryption for Rich Communication Service, the text-messaging standard the industry giant is pushing as an alternative to SMS.

Abbreviated as RCS, Rich Communication Service provides a, well, richer user experience than the ancient SMS standard. Typing indicators, presence information, location sharing, longer messages, and better media support are key selling points. They lead to things like better-quality photos and videos, chat over Wi-Fi, knowing when a message is read, sharing reactions, and better capabilities for group chats. As Ars reviews editor Ron Amadeo noted last year, RCS interest from carriers has been tepid, so Google has been rolling it out with limited support.

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3 Ways You Can Level the Playing Field Against Big Business | Entrepreneur

Too many small businesses are stuck at the bottom of the economic mountain, watching in frustration as larger competitors hog the top, snagging resources and reaping the benefits.

Bigger companies can afford to use quantity discounts to undercut prices. Banks are happy to accept small-business deposits but don’t build strong relationships with credit and loans for their smaller customers.

Even programs marketed for small businesses, such as vendor finance programs and dynamic discounting programs, often benefit the large company that takes the discount. Even government help seems to favor the well-connected. Just see what happened with the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

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8 Essential Tools to Manage A Remote Workforce | Getentrepreneurial.com

Remote work is becoming the new normal for many businesses all over the world. Many managers are now faced with the struggle to manage remote teams for the first time. Managing remote teams is not the same as managing teams in a traditional office setting. The lack of face-to-face interaction may cause communication issues. The need to facilitate collaboration with team members across multiple time zones can get messy. Fortunately, there are tools and resources that help managers stay on top of their telecommuting employees and maximize their production.

To help determine the best tools for your business, we have categorized them by 8 functions.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing allows remote employees to visually interact with each other. Face to face interaction is important to build a stronger connection between coworkers and allows attendees to communicate via visual cues. When communication is restricted to only verbal or written, a portion of the message could be lost because people communicate with visual cues. Managers have the opportunity to see discomfort or hesitation in their team and can address the issue immediately.

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Syncpen 2nd Generation | CoolBusinessIdeas.com

We don’t want to say that the transition to nearly 100% digital functioning has caused us to forget how to literally dot the i’s and cross the t’s, but we have to admit, our handwriting has gotten a bit…sloppy. And although we’re used to typing on keyboards and screens of all sizes, there’s something special about pulling out the pen and paper. That’s why, when they rolled out the SyncPen 2nd Generation Smart Pen and Notebook set, users everywhere were happy to jot down their thoughts the old-school way knowing they could be easily converted into the digital format we have all grown accustomed to.

This pen and pad do it all: Together, they convert handwritten notes, doodles, and sketches into editable digital files, allow capturing 360° angles of notes, enable paperless writing, identify 66 languages, and synchronously record audio with a note. You simply write in the notebook as you would with any notebook. When you’re ready to save or share your notes, you can send them out as a PDF, Word, or JPEG file.

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How this family-run cider business is breaking even during a pandemic | CNN

Just surviving will be a huge success for most small businesses this year.

And few expect to break even given all that’s happened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet Meriwether Cider in Boise, Idaho, is on track to meet that mark, thanks in large part to Covid-related federal assistance, according to Ann Leadbetter, who owns the business with her husband and two daughters.

Also helpful: Meriwether Cider makes money a few ways, so while some lines of revenue took a hit, others went up. Sales are down at its two sit-down venues — a cider house in downtown Boise and a smaller tap room at its bottling facility in nearby Garden City. So are its sales to bars and restaurants. But the company has made more from its distribution to grocery stores and the curbside pickup it now offers customers.

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Apple to pay $113 million in ‘batterygate’ settlement | CNN

Apple has agreed to pay millions of dollars to 34 states over its controversial previous practice of deliberately slowing down older iPhones to extend their battery life.

The company will pay $113 million to settle an investigation by states including California and Arizona over how Apple wasn’t transparent about its iPhone battery problems that led to unexpected device shutdowns. Instead of disclosing the issue to consumers or replacing the batteries, it pushed a software update in December 2016 that impacted the performance of older iPhone models.

News of the practice upset Apple (AAPL) consumers, igniting what some called “batterygate.” Many believed it was an effort to encourage users to buy new iPhones.

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