Tips Successful Karaoke Business

Try to buy an existing karaoke business or become a part of a franchise, instead of opting for a start-up. This will not only give you an established customer base but will also be far less riskier than a start-up.
If you can sing, are an extrovert, and can entertain others, you will surely make a good karaoke business owner. However, this business will prove to be a disaster for introverted and shy individuals as they will have to deal with many people every day. It is recommended that you work for a karaoke business before plunging in it yourself. This will give you hands-on experience, and you will be able to network and market your business in a better way. If you do not have the funds for investing in a rental or permanent space, karaoke business is ideal for you. You can conduct this business by hosting shows at bars, cafés, restaurants, private parties, etc. However, remember that you will need to source some investment capital for buying all the equipment and paying your employees, if any. It is advisable to buy a digital karaoke system as it will save you a lot of money, effort, and storage space. If you want to know about a few more essential tips to start a karaoke business, read further.

You will require a good karaoke digital system for your business where the files will be played from a laptop and the words will be displayed on the screen. If you think that you do not have the amount to invest in one, you can get CD+G discs which can be connected to a CD+G player, television, monitor, or screen for playing music and displaying words. You can buy karaoke CDs or download music from online websites. You can also buy karaoke music books or make them on your own. However, you need to make copies of these books so that people will select their songs and write them on the slips provided by you. Whatever you do, ensure that you will be able to play your customer’s choice of song in absolutely no time. You will also need good quality speakers, mixers, cables, extension cords, microphone stands, RF converter, and amplifiers. You will also need three wireless microphones. It is advisable that you get one extra as backup. Getting a wireless microphone is recommended because people tend to step on the cables and spoil them. It’s essential that you also carry spare cables, duct tapes, and a tool kit for a quick fix.

Before jumping in this business, there are certain things which you should know. For example, you will need to know how many competitors you have, how much to charge your clients, which songs to play, dealing with difficult clients, etc. It is advisable that you speak to someone from the same business who operates from a different area. You need to keep abreast with the latest chartbuster songs as well as the classic ‘must-haves’ of a karaoke. Ensure that you have music which caters to all genres as people will like to sing different songs. You will need to have a business plan in place to organize the overheads and income of this venture. Ensure that you find a business mentor who will be able to guide you to go about setting this business.

Before you start this business, know about the prevalent rates for karaoke gigs in your area. If you are a new player, you may have to charge lesser to survive the competition. Many bar owners may not pay you well even if your show is a crowd-puller. Hence, decide and mention your payment terms in the contract itself. Also, ensure that it is mentioned in the contract about show cancellation or refund policies. Also, predetermine the amount of payment, time of the show, etc., during a private party. If you are to play a special dedication to a bride or a song while a person is proposing to his girlfriend, you can definitely go ahead and charge more fees. Ensure you include your travel and logistics charges in your final figure.

If you do not want to own a karaoke bar of your own, you can always request hotels, cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, etc., to allow you to host a karaoke night every week. You can also ask them to host open Mic sessions that will rake in business for both the parties. Other than this, you should also network with wedding and event planners who can recommend you for karaoke nights. This is one business that will prosper through word-of-mouth publicity. Host theme nights which will play a particular type of music; this will give you a lot of customers. Ensure that you have many satisfied customers who will recommend your business to their family and friends. Slowly, your schedule will be packed with offers for karaoke gigs.

If you have to travel to some other venue, like a bar, café, bachelor or hen parties, birthday parties, etc., make sure you interact with the audience keeping in mind what they anticipate from this show. Wear clean and striking clothes; however, remember that you are only there to host the show. So, do not keep speaking, and encourage the other people to take over the Mic. Avoid passing negative comments about the singers as not all of them will sing with the finesse of the professionals. Have a professional attitude, and ensure that people are enjoying their karaoke time. If there is a ‘once more’ for a song, go ahead and play it again. If they request you for having a recording of their song, burn the CD of their performance and hand it to them. You can charge separately for this. If there is a time limitation for the show, ensure that you stop on time.

Always ensure that you are personally present for the wrapping up of equipment. Don’t put this duty on your employees as they may not check if everything is in place, before leaving for home late in the night. It is best to make a checklist of all the smallest to largest equipment and load them properly in their boxes before carrying it to your vehicle. Making a checklist will tell you immediately if a certain equipment is missing.

It is important that you take promotion of your business very seriously. Apart from meeting people who can get you more business, you must have a website or blog giving details about your business. This will allow customers to get in touch with you. Don’t forget to add pictures of the karaoke gigs you have hosted where people are enjoying themselves. You will have to get a written permission from your customers to display their images. You will also have to keep updating the latest schedule of your shows on your website so that people who want to visit can join you at the decided venue. Most of the younger crowd will get in touch with you through Internet, so ensure that you have posted ads on the Internet and websites that give information about the gigs, concerts, plays, etc. Get your website keyword optimized for reflecting in the top searches. Do not forget to connect with customers through social

Slowly and steadily, you can recruit and train a good employee to become the host of your karaoke gigs, while you can look after the management of these gigs, collection of money, marketing, networking, and getting new business. Also, keep extra song books as people tend to steal some of them away. Make sure you have a professional approach all the time, and do not give a chance for people to complain. Remember that people may constantly force you to play their favorite songs and keep hogging the limelight. You will also have to learn to say ‘no’. Whatever you do, make sure that the people enjoy their karaoke time thoroughly, if you want to survive in this business.

Tips to Write the Perfect Business

You’ve finished your business plan, and it is good. You now have your life back, and can sit in anguish while you wait to hear from the bank. Except no – they need more stuff from you. Some legal documents, names, resumes, etc. It sounds like you forgot to put together an appendix.

The appendix to your business plan is where you put all the stuff that’s relevant, but not necessarily for everybody to see. You don’t include it with the plan itself, because that thing gets around. You create a separate document for the appendix, mark it as confidential information, and let lenders know that it is available upon request.

And they will request it, because it contains highly pertinent information like:

If they’re contemplating giving you money, they want to know whether you have a history of repayment or default. It makes sense. So include your business’ credit history, as well as your own. If you run a partnership, include your partner’s history as well. The reasoning behind this is that even though your business credit may be great, they want to know that you’ll step up and make the payments if things get tough.
Also, new businesses may have little or no credit at all, so the personal histories of the key players are all there is to go on.

They also like to see letters of reference from relevant interests – recommendations from vendors or others who have extended you credit go over well.

Your appendix should include the resumes of the key people in your management structure, as well as any outside consultants you use (accountant, etc). This is because the lender is considering giving you money based on the soundness of your business and the likelihood that it will make money. They like to see that the people in charge know what they are doing, and have experience and quantifiable results in the field.
To be clear, the resumes don’t have to be directly related to the product as long as they are related to the person’s function within the company. If the resumes are less than stellar, not including them doesn’t get you a free pass. The bank will ask for them if they want them, and your refusal would send up a red flag.

The lender wants to know what it is you’re selling. You should have already convinced them of your product’s place in the market, in the body of your business plan itself, but adding additional information to the appendix really drives the point home. You should believe in your product, so why not show it off? Include pictures, details from your market analysis, press clippings, patent applications, anything and everything that can answer potential questions.
The person reviewing your file should not have to call you for additional information. Lay it all out right there.

Finally, the lender wants to know that your business is legit, and that you have all your ducks in a row. Include copies of your lease, business license, building permits, contracts and incorporation papers. Any legal document that pertains to the structure and operation of your business is fair game. If you’re not sure whether to include something, include it.
If they don’t need it, they’ll overlook it – better that than setting the process of your application back a week while you gather the additional documents they’ve requested.
Altogether, your business plan’s appendix may turn out to be quite a hefty document in its own right – but at least you didn’t have to write it all like you did with the plan. It’s mostly photocopying. If you had a difficult time gathering all the pieces, it’s a sign that you need to get organized – that’s something you can do while you wait for your loan to get approved.

Promote Your Child Care Business

If you are trained in CPR and first aid, make it your child care’s USP, and highlight this fact in all your promotional materials.
With an increasing number of parents working, looking after babies and toddlers has become difficult. Also, leaving kids under the age of 10 alone at home is not safe. Hence, working parents often choose to avail the help of a child care agency. This increase in demand has resulted in a spurt in the growth of the number of child care agencies over a period of time. Hence, if you want to stand out in the competition and make people notice your business, you will have to undertake strategic promotion. While this may include advertising, participation in events, sponsorship’s, etc., networking will also play a crucial role in promoting your business. Try to network with other child care centers so that they can send over clients to you when they do not have space. You can also reverse this favor when there will be no space at your child care center. Also, if they do not accept children below a certain age group, you can ask them to recommend you. If you want to know some more ways to advertise your business, read the following points.

Print advertising is an excellent medium to reach your target audience. Many magazines, newspapers, and publications offer to design an ad for you. You can even send ad inserts to focused areas through newspapers. This way, you will also save on the cost of hiring a design agency.
You may advertise in:
✦ Parenting magazines
Parenting magazines
✦ Local magazines
✦ Local newspapers
Local newspapers
✦ Community publications
Ensure that your accurate contact details are mentioned in the ad.
Brochures/Leaflets
Business Brochures
When people visit your website or facility for an inquiry, they must get an electronic or hardbound version of your business brochure. It should be designed in such a way that the clients will be left impressed with the offerings.

Needless to say, you must lay emphasis on the safety, health, and hygiene standards in your facility. You can also speak about the activities and learning methods adopted for the overall development of children.

Apart from that, also include:
✦ Unique features of your business
✦ How different it is from your competitors
✦ Special offers and discounts
✦ Photograph of the facility and services provided
✦ The child care policies you follow
✦ Accreditation and awards, if any
✦ Details of your employees
✦ Parents’ testimonials

All this will definitely help your prospective clients get an insight about the offerings of your business.

Word of mouth will work as the best form of promotion for this type of business. Parents like to trust a child care provider who has been referred to them by their friends, family members, colleagues, etc. Hence, you can ask your existing members to recommend your business to other parents as well. Offer them discounts, gifts, or other perks, which will be affordable for you. This will encourage them to spread the word about your business and help you rake in profits.
Posters/Flyers/Business Cards
Business Cards
Design attractive posters, and put them up at strategic locations, which will be frequented by parents. As many new moms prefer to hit the gym to reduce their weight, you can capitalize on this opportunity by putting up a poster on the gym’s bulletin board. You can also tap in health spas, beauty parlors, hair studios, etc. Of course, you will need permission of the owner for this, but getting it done should not be a problem. One more idea is to leave your business cards at the counter so that people can approach you if they need child care services.

You can also put up posters and distribute business cards at:
✦ Offices of pediatricians
✦ Offices of gynecologists
✦ Banks
✦ Grocery stores
✦ Cafés
✦ Commercial malls
✦ Toy shops
✦ Community and church bulletin boards
✦ Beauty salons
✦ Barber shops

You can also send flyers through direct mail to houses in your targeted neighborhood.
Offline and Online Groups
» Try to find out social and support groups for parents, and try to give a presentation about your services. You may also find out about such groups on Internet forums, and connect with them for introducing your services.

» If you can target a working mom’s group, you can explain how you are equipped to take care of their children while they are at work. You will need to incorporate the solutions to the problems that these moms face for accommodating their children during the day in your presentation so that the audience will relate to you.

» Ensure you explain how safe and secure your facility is. This will be an important decision-making factor for parents.
Social Media
Social Media
» In today’s age of Internet, one cannot undermine the power of social media. It acts as a medium for you to reach your right target market. Hence, create pages for your business on all social networking websites.

» Ask your friends and family members to promote them and make them popular. This will help communicate about your business to many others who are looking to hire services like yours.

» You can also pay for Facebook ads to reach the prospective customers at the right time. Tapping into this kind of promotion can help you gain widespread popularity.
Website
Website Design
»You will have to create a website for your business. The design can be simple, yet it should communicate how serious you are about child care.

» Incorporate testimonials from some of your clients. You can also have a walk-through video of your facility to convince the parents to send their children to your child care center.

» Ensure that you enlist the various licenses required for this business. Lay emphasis on the fact that you aim to provide quality care for children of a certain age group. Get your website search engine optimized for various keywords.
Get Enlisted
» Enlist your business in various online and offline directories and websites. This will help your prospective clients to look up for your services.

» Also, register with your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency to find clients and reap other benefits.

» Register and have your child care business BBB-accredited. Many parents refer to the BBB website for reviews and ratings about child care services. Hence, do this on priority.
Open House
Open House Playing Kids
» Arrange for an open house in your child care facility, and ask your existing clients to recommend the event to others.

» Have some nice snacks and drinks, and don’t forget to arrange games and toys for the kids to play with.

» As parents will take a look around, speak to them and explain the strengths of your child care. This is one opportunity to interact directly with your prospective clients. So, you should not let it go.
Others
Start a blog
» Write articles or advertorials for local publications.

» Participate in the local community health fairs.

» Start a blog on child care to make your business popular.

» Network with pediatricians, school teachers, realtors, etc., to promote your business.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, you can also make a news splash by sending out press releases for all the milestones of your business, like grand opening, branch inauguration, etc. You must undertake learning and playing activities for children while they are under your care. Advertising child care services is easier, provided you have a strategy in place and know exactly what to communicate.

Tips for Doing Business in Germany

Germany, the fourth-largest economy in the world, is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also a member of the European Union. The country primarily relies on export-oriented growth. The present economic situation has caused its exports to shrink. According to the European Commission, Germany’s output is expected to shrink by 5.4%. Unemployment is also on the rise. Hence, seeking employment in Germany can be a daunting task. Rather than taking away jobs from the permanent residents, being self-employed and providing employment to others might be a welcome initiative.

According to The World Bank Group, Germany ranks 25th among 181 countries as far as ‘ease of doing business’ is concerned. The same study ranks Germany at 102 when it comes to starting a business. Clearly, starting a business in Germany is not an easy task.

Doing Business in Germany

Applying for a Residence Permit
Having a residence permit is a precondition for starting any business in Germany. The rules regarding applying for the permit vary, depending on whether or not the person is a citizen of a European Union (EU) member country.

Citizens of an EU Member State
A person from an EU member state is required to inform the registry office before starting any business.

Citizens from Non-EU Countries
In order to obtain a residence permit there should be an economic justification or a social need for the proposed business. It might be easier to obtain a permit in case the business is able to generate at least five jobs and the investment is around €500,000. A person already having a residence permit has to get it re-approved before starting a business.

Types of Business
Any person who intends to start a business and remain self-employed can be classified under one of the following categories: professionals, businessmen, or micro-entrepreneurs.

Professionals
The liberal professions are as follows: medical and non-medical healing professions, legal, tax and other business advisory services, technical and scientific jobs, professions facilitating communication, and linguistics and teaching professions. Any member of a liberal profession needs to prove his skills by taking a test. This is a means of convincing the authorities that his skills are required by the society and they would benefit the economy. The entrepreneur is required to register with the tax office, and pay taxes using the tax number assigned to him. However, there is no trade tax. An English teacher who decides to start a spoken-English coaching class is an example of a self-employed professional.

Businessmen
Generally, all self-employed people who do not belong to any of the liberal professions are classified as business people. The key point is that the business under consideration should aim to provide employment to the entrepreneur and a few others. Preferably five or more people should be employed by the business. An entrepreneur who is interested in starting a catering business is an example of a business person. Business people are required to register with the designated trade office and submit their annual profit & loss statement and balance sheet to the tax office.

Micro-Entrepreneurs
A micro enterprise is intended to provide employment only to the entrepreneur. In this case, the enterprise has to be registered with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or with the Chamber of Crafts. The fees paid and the taxes levied depend on the amount of revenue generated.

Germany, like most countries, is going through a phase of recession. The government is trying to revive the economy by giving a boost to the automobile industry. It is encouraging fuel-efficient and environment-friendly cars. A business related to the automobile industry might be a good option for people desiring to set up a business in Germany.