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5 key metrics to running a profitable restaurant

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-06-19 15:45
The data you must track — and how to act on it

What Harley-Davidson Can Teach Small Businesses About Targeting New Customers

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-06-19 15:30

Harley-Davidson is an iconic American brand. But it still faces its share of troubles. Slowing profits in recent years have led the brand to take on a new, lofty goal — building the next generation of riders.

Matthew Levatich, CEO of Harley-Davidson, recently shared some of the objectives under this broader goal. Those include growing the company’s customer base in the U.S., launching some new features to appeal to international customers, focusing on disciplined investments and making sure that the company remains environmentally responsible.

All of these objectives are aimed at helping the company grow and appeal to new groups who haven’t traditionally been attracted to the Harley-Davidson brand or motorcycling in general. That means creating products and marketing materials that appeal to women, young people, minorities and anyone who doesn’t fit into the typical older white male customer base to which the company has traditionally appealed.

Only 2.8 percent of U.S. adults ride motorcycles, according to Levatich. So it’s not as if Harley-Davidson is going to be able to get every American on a bike in the next year. But if the company can keep the current number of riders steady by trying to appeal to those who haven’t even considered motorcycles in the past, then it could be a big win for the brand.

Targeting New Customers is an Ongoing Process

For small businesses, having a specific target customer in mind is usually a good strategy. But as your company grows and trends change, it can sometimes be necessary to widen your target audience a bit. You can introduce new product lines, marketing campaigns or other initiatives aimed at widening your business’s appeal, as long as you’re able to still appeal to that main target audience that helped your business achieve success in the first place.

Harley Davidson Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "What Harley-Davidson Can Teach Small Businesses About Targeting New Customers" was first published on Small Business Trends

GM cuts shift at Kansas car plant

AutoNews - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:59
GM, for the fifth time this year, is cutting a production shift at one of its U.S. assembly plants in response to slowing industry sales.
Categories: Latest News

12 Restaurant Apps That Get You Free Food

Topix - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:38

Your phone is more than a mere piece of machinery for making calls, sending texts and watching videos of baby farm animals on YouTube. When used strategically, your mobile device can also be a handy tool for summoning free food .

Categories: Today's Food News

Flavor of the Week: Arugula adds peppery bite

Nation's Restaurant News - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:37
The leafy green is a familiar sight on many restaurant menus

How to avoid disputes in the franchisor-franchisee partnership

FastCasual.com - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:33
Attorney Brian Schnell of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP offers up advice and tips on how potential franchise operators and franchisors can sidestep common disputes before the arguments move toward a court setting. Good communication and clear expectations are key.

Interactive customer technology: How to achieve employee buy-in

FastCasual.com - Mon, 2017-06-19 14:24
Achieving employee buy-in needs to be part of the project from the beginning when introducing customer interactive technology.

Capitol Gains

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-06-19 13:38
AH&LA, AAHOA Continue To Drive Progress For Industry On Legislative Front

Ranking Democrat Calls for Relief from Tax Burden on Small Business

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-06-19 13:30

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), ranking member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recently issued a statement calling for removing the burdens the U.S. tax code imposes on small businesses.

The statement by Sen. Shaheen was made June 14 at a Senate hearing examining the impact of the current tax structure on American small businesses. It was made as part of Shaheen’s opening statement in favor of proposed tax code reforms and the removal of barriers to small business growth.

This statement, coming from a senior Democrat, hints at the potential for bi-partisan support for tax reform proposed by the Trump Administration as a way to stimulate business growth.

Democrats Call for Small Business Tax Relief

“Our tax code is in desperate need of reform. It’s too long, too complex, and it creates a burden on middle class families and small businesses across America,” Sen. Shaheen said in the statement. “Today’s hearing is an opportunity to discuss relieving some of these tax burdens on small businesses so they can focus on what they do best: creating jobs and growing our economy.”

Shaheen cited the National Taxpayer Advocate Service finding indicating small businesses spend 2.5 billion hours complying with IRS rules each year. “For entrepreneurs, time is one of their most valuable resources,” she stressed. “Every hour spent filling out forms or navigating confusing tax rules is an hour they don’t spend marketing their products or thinking about how to grow their business.”

Republicans have made tax reform a major policy priority since taking control of the government. And small businesses will welcome the move by a ranking democrat in the committee joining in the call for small business tax relief. It’s important discussion on this issue does not spiral into bipartisan squabbling and stays focused on how to make things a bit easier for U.S. small business owners.

Image: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

This article, "Ranking Democrat Calls for Relief from Tax Burden on Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

Retail Roundup—Nike tries incubator approach; could Stitch Fix CFO spell IPO?

Store Front Talk Back - Mon, 2017-06-19 12:10
Nike has identified 12 incubator cities to test products, Stitch Fix has hired CFO Paul Yee, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.

Twitter Introduces a New Look, But Will It Revive Anemic Traffic?

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-06-19 12:00

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) just unveiled its latest redesign with a new interface, which is mostly cosmetic. The company is refreshing the brand as it looks to increase its user base by, “making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use.”

Behind the 2017 Twitter Redesign

As Grace Kim, vice president of user research and design at Twitter, pointed out on the company blog, the changes were made after feedback from users. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter specifically asked for this in 2016.

Kim wrote the new user interface will roll out on twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, TweetDeck, and Twitter Lite in the coming days and weeks. The changes will deliver a more uniform look across all platforms.

Functional Changes

The most functional feature small businesses using Twitter will appreciate is instant updates. Posts for ‘like’, ‘reply’, and ‘retweet’ counts are now updated in real time. This will let you engage with your customers right away as they respond to marketing campaigns or new products and services.

More links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app. This means being able to access accounts on websites you’re already signed into.

The User Interface

The rest of the changes were made to improve the user experience by cleaning up the clutter of the UI.

A side navigation menu will have the profile, additional accounts, settings and privacy. This will lower the number of tabs on the bottom of the app, which was introduced to Android last year. It is now available on iOS.

The typography has also been improved to make it easier to see, and icons are more user-friendly to avoid confusion.

Last but not least is the change getting the biggest buzz, the rounding of profile pictures and icons. This might seem trivial, but is obviously striking a chord with users.

Impact of the Redesign

Unlike the changes Twitter made last year, the impact this time around is going to be minimal. It will improve the usability of the app, but Dorsey and company are going to have to come up with more innovations to grow the stagnant number of users seemingly stuck between 300 and 350 million.

Images: Twitter

This article, "Twitter Introduces a New Look, But Will It Revive Anemic Traffic?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Jet.com to phase out Costco products

Store Front Talk Back - Mon, 2017-06-19 11:16
Nine months after its acquisition by Walmart, Jet.com announced it will phase out the sale of Costco’s Kirkland Signature branded products.

NRA applauds Trump's apprenticeship order, while critics say it's full of holes

FastCasual.com - Mon, 2017-06-19 11:00
The National Restaurant Association and its educational foundation have been pushing for more love from the feds for apprenticeships and this week they got their wishes.

El Paso Marriott Sold By Publicly Traded REIT

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-06-19 10:33
EL PASO, TX—Hunter Hotel Advisors announced today that they represented a large publicly traded REIT in the saleof the Courtyard El ...

New Google Backup and Sync Tool Gives Small Businesses More Cloud Power

Small Business Trends - Mon, 2017-06-19 10:30

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) just released a new app that could help businesses backup and sync files more efficiently. Backup and Sync is the aptly named application that will essentially replace parts of the existing Google Drive desktop apps for Mac and PC.

 A Peek at Google Backup and Sync

With the Google Backup and Sync app, you can back up files and photos that aren’t already saved in Google Drive. Just select a folder on your computer or device and you can sync those files to the app. Theoretically, you can use this app to back up your entire computer to the cloud.

The new app isn’t without drawbacks though. The free Drive storage space is capped at 15GB. Once you’ve reached that cap, which probably wont take long if you’re using it to back up all of your files, you’ll need to pay for extended storage.

Still, the move could be a beneficial one for businesses. Whether you’re worried about losing access to important data or just being able to access it from any device, having a simple way to save your files to the cloud is a must for modern businesses. And for businesses that are already familiar with Google Drive and similar offerings, taking advantage of this new app should be relatively simple.

The app launches on June 28 and will support any settings you already have saved on Google Drive for Mac or PC.

Google Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "New Google Backup and Sync Tool Gives Small Businesses More Cloud Power" was first published on Small Business Trends

RCI Welcomes Palace Resorts' Moon Palace Jamaica To Vacation Exchange Network

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-06-19 10:28
PARSIPPANY, NJ—RCI, worldwide leader in the vacation exchange industry, is celebrating the addition of Moon Palace Jamaica to its exchange network. ...

Goodbye traditional grocery; Amazon bought Whole Foods

Store Front Talk Back - Mon, 2017-06-19 10:26
Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last week is no surprise to those in retail. The marriage gives Amazon another footprint in brick-and-mortar and Whole Foods a much needed boost in e-commerce.

Shaner Breaks Ground On 120-Room Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisburg, PA

Hotel Interactive - Mon, 2017-06-19 10:20
HARRISBURG, PA—Officials of Shaner Hotels, an award winning, international hotel owner, operator and developer, today announced the groundbreaking of the 120-room ...

Chick-fil-A is launching a new bun for a group of customers ignored by most fast-food chains

Topix - Mon, 2017-06-19 10:08

According to a study done by JAMA Internal Medicine in 2016, one in five people in the US have eliminated gluten from their diets. Only 1 percent of the population actually has been diagnosed with a celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that prevents people from eating gluten.

Categories: Today's Food News