Understanding Risk Management

Everything we do involves a degree of risk, but, without taking on those risks, we would never achieve anything. This is where risk management comes in. It’s a process of analyzing a situation to determine the risks of taking on a particular project. In some cases, those risks may be minimized, so the chances of success are made more likely. This process of managing risks helps us to move forward more efficiently, so we can evolve as a society.

A Deeper Look at Risk Management

The larger the project you’re undertaking, the more in-depth your risk analysis must be. For instance, a corporation taking on a new project will have to look into how the risks will affect the entire organization. A failure may affect every department within the organization, so it’s important to understand and prepare for these risks. ERM, or enterprise risk management, is a system that analyzes the risks for every department within the organization. This type of risk management process will even explore what risks the organization’s outlets will face.

In doing their jobs, risk management professionals must also determine ways for minimizing risks. This may involve recommending more insurance for the business, which will allow the business to continue operating. Risk managers may also have to consider how the health and safety of the business’ employees will be affected by the venture. Everything from ensuring the continued management of the company to addressing the possible financial fallout must be considered.

Businesses aren’t left to try to analyze these risks on their own. Today, there are many organizations that create and publish risk management standards. These companies will come out to audit your business or help you analyze how a proposed project will affect your company. These standards are often followed uniformly by many businesses within a given industry to ensure every company is following similar guidelines. This helps keep risks somewhat level among every business, which may make the playing field more even. Adhering to a set list of standards helps organizations better understand the risks of operating in a highly competitive environment.

While every endeavor includes some degree of risk, it’s important to separate good risk from unnecessary risk. This process of analysis can help you achieve success more often by limiting your exposure to bad risk. Regardless of what type of project you’re pursuing, thorough risk management can help you develop a more successful strategy.

3 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Lower their Stress Levels

 

 

Being an entrepreneur can be extremely stressful. Just like everyone else, entrepreneurs still have bills to pay and in some cases even a family to support. As their business grows, more and more people become dependent on them for their livelihood as well. This can place an incredible amount of pressure on entrepreneurs. The higher your stress rises, however, the less capable you are of making calm, rational decisions which can actually jeopardize your business. For both business and health reasons, it is important to keep stress levels in check. Here are three ways entrepreneurs can lower their stress levels.

 

  1. Unplug

 

It is vitally important for entrepreneurs to take some time every day and every week to simply let the world run without them for a while. While this can in and of itself be stressful for an entrepreneur, it is important. If you don’t, you will eventually burn out. Vacation is also critical, so don’t put it off “until you get your business up and running.” Without taking time for self-care, you won’t make it that far.

 

  1. Delegate

 

For an entrepreneur, delegation is similar to a new parent hiring a babysitter. It is just as nerve-wracking and just as important. While your business may be “your baby” it’s going to take a village to make it a viable proposition – just like raising a child.

 

  1. Take good care of your health

 

Exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting a good night’s sleep might be some of the hardest challenges for busy entrepreneurs, but they are also the most important. Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. If you put managing your own health on a back burner while you are building your business, there is a good chance you won’t be around to enjoy it once it is viable – if it ever even makes it that far. In addition, all three of these activities work together to help you reduce stress. 30 minutes of brisk exercise can help burn off adrenaline and even help you get a better night’s sleep. A good, healthy diet can give you energy to make it through the long days and even get a good workout in at the end.

Understanding the Latest Passport Changes

Passports are a requirement for international and domestic travel. Increased threshold of threats to security, especially terrorism, are prompting most countries across the globe to revolutionize their passport regulations and requirements. The US and other European countries have been on the forefront as far as the introduction of the new passport changes and requirements are concerned. Here is an overview of what has changed or is expected to change in the near future regarding how you apply and use your passport.

 

  1. Passport Makeovers

 

To enhance the speed of processing of passengers in airports, passports are being incorporated with microchips designed to hold passengers’ data. The machine-readable microchip will make it possible for instant changes to be affected across all airports and countries. For instance, the microchip can be instantly updated across all airports, thereby affecting travel restrictions more effectively at the touch of a button.

 

  1. Improved Security Features

 

To make passports more tamper-proof, new security features are expected to be incorporated in order to decrease the prospects of criminals defrauding customs agencies and personnel. The data chip will be virtually impossible to replicate, thereby eliminating prospects of forgery and other forms of malicious tampering.

 

  1. Strict Application Rules

 

In order to curb the increased threat to national security, governments, led by the United States, have revised rules and regulations for applying for passports. For instance, if a passport photograph does not meet a certain requirement of clarity and size, the application will be turned down. Other aspects include the restriction on the use of eyeglasses on passport photographs and the requirement to produce proof of US citizenship, including birth certificates among other requirements which make the application process watertight.

 

  1. Passport Renewal Regulations

 

Governments across the globe have enforced a 6-month validity rule requiring all passport holders to have their passports’ expiry date not less than 6 months from the time of entry to a country. This implies that you will have to renew your passport way in advance before the 6 months travel restriction period. Individuals having passports expiring within 6 months will be denied entry. The entire passport renewal process has been made much simpler in most countries as one can renew online at the click of a button.

Top Three Franchises for 2019

When you think of a franchise, you think of food — Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds. Both of these companies have strong brands and bring in a great deal of money. We even see ads looking for people to become franchisees. What exactly is a franchise? And why do people buy into them? When you (the franchisee) buy a part of a business from the owner (franchisor), you are getting the rights to sell the company’s products and/or services as well as use its brand, processes, business model and equipment. Although you pay the franchisor an initial fee and royalties pertaining to the business, you do get support and use of the trademark. It’s important to note that the franchisor retains the license to the business whereas the franchisee can only use it. The franchisor grows his business through the franchises. It is not the same as growing a business by increasing its locations (e.g. Starbucks).

People are quick to buy a franchise because they are essentially cash cows. They also want to learn how to manage a business. That said, let’s take a look at some franchises that will be popular this year.

  1. McDonald’s — This will always be a popular franchise. The company started out as a small hamburger shop and became a multi-million dollar corporation. Brothers Maurice (Mac) and Richard McDonald opened their restaurant in 1948 in San Bernardino, California. Restaurant equipment salesman Ray Kroc saw how the brothers sold their food cheaply with a self-serve counter and came up with the idea of franchising the restaurant. The first franchise opened in 1954 in Des Plaines, Illinois. McDonalds continues to grow based on its brand, quality of food and reinvention (e.g. renovated restaurants).
  2. Dunkin Donuts — The fast food chain is now called Dunkin (or DD). The franchise decided last year to drop the “Donuts” and focus on beverages. Like McDonalds, the chain has grown due to its brand, products and convenience. It was started by William Rosenberg in 1948 and was originally called Open Kettle. The mission was to sell donuts and coffee quickly. However, after meeting with consultants, it was changed to “make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores.” The name was changed to Dunkin Donuts in 1950 and the first franchise opened in 1955. The mission holds true today with numerous franchises across the nation.
  3. The UPS Store — Originally called Mail Boxes Etc., this postal services company grew and embraced technology. It created the “business services category” with its digital capabilities for small businesses. In 2001, UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc. and became the world’s “largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal, printing, and business services centers.” In 2003, the UPS Store Brand was introduced. In 2012, the Mail Boxes Etc. was absorbed into the UPS Store. Last year, the UPS Store was ranked #1 by Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual “Franchise 500.” There is no doubt this franchise will continue to be popular.

Themed Hotels Are Gaining Popularity

When going on vacation, you plan the activities around yourself or your family. If you have children, you include fun things to do, such as theme parks or beaches. For adults, you would go to the regions known for its wine, beer or cuisine, aside from the scenery. In the past ten years, there have been vacations designed around a theme, and hotels have not only have taken part in these themes, but some have their own individual theme. Why would a hotel create its own theme? There have always been themed hotel rooms (e.g. the Honeymoon Suite), but aside from theme-park resorts, themed hotels have been few until recently. What sparked my curiosity is the number of themes. And each state has its own claim to themed hotels, from ones that are underwater to the ones in trees.

The popularity of themed hotels began in the past decade, with the increase of boutique hotels. More than receiving customer feedback that guests would like more fitness equipment in the hotel gym or even creating a hotel gym, these hotels decided to make themselves stand apart from their competition (e.g. hotel chains) and create their own guest experience. There are many hotels themes that are based off of pop culture (including movies and TV shows), such as The Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada, where everything is clowns. This will create smiles or cringes, since clowns have been made to be evil in some movies (e.g. It). Another theme is animals. The Dog Bark Park Inn is built to look like a huge dog. Located in Cottonwood, Indiana, the beagle-shaped hotel offers a low-tech stay with old-fashioned games instead of the latest TV in rooms. And there are themes based on nostalgia. The Legoland Hotel offers nostalgia for parents (LEGO is 86 years old) and plenty of fun for kids. The brightly-colored hotel located in Winter Haven, Florida, is an alternative to the beach hotels. It not only has themed rooms, but the entire resort is one big LEGO set.

Staying a themed hotel is not cheap, though. You can expect to pay hundreds of dollars a night. However, the experience is worth it, especially if it’s on a person’s bucket list. These hotels make every stay memorable without the guests paying for the activities in the town they are located in. They are easy to find since people post their experiences, which the hotel owners encourage since it’s free publicity. The number of themed hotels increases each year, and you can count on unique themes.