Final Fantasy XV Has an Early Release Date, Ending Streamed on YouTube

Final Fantasy XV Has an Early Release Date, Ending Streamed on YouTube

Final Fantasy XV Has an Early Release Date, Ending Streamed on YouTube
HIGHLIGHTS
Final Fantasy XV is available in regions such as South America
The game’s official release date is November 29
Its ending has been posted on YouTube
The release date of Final Fantasy XV is November 29. And like nearly every big console game we’ve seen this year, the game has found it on the shelves in a host of regions prior to that. A little more than a week prior to the day, gamers in Peru, Argentina, and the UAE are already playing it. Unconfirmed reports have suggested those in the USA have got it early as well.

(Also see: Final Fantasy XV Day One Patch Details Revealed; Suggests Game on Disc Is Incomplete)

And while the game has a reportedly long playthrough time, it seems that eager fans have already finished it. Going as far as to streaming its ending on YouTube only for publisher Square Enix to take it down.

For a game that’s been in development for close to a decade, you’d think Square Enix would take more care to prevent early leaks like this. However this doesn’t seem to be case.
ffxv street date break UAE ffxv

We won’t be surprised to see the game available early in other markets soon enough. So much so that countries like India where role-playing games (RPGs) aren’t as popular as they are in the West, should see the game available well ahead of release.

Earlier in the year, Final Fantasy XV game director Hajime Tabata suggested that the game would come to PC.
(Also see: Final Fantasy XV Release Date Delayed. Here’s Why.)

“I’m quite positive about the idea of developing a PC version, but I would like to make a very different project if possible,” Tabata told French video gaming site JeuxVideo, which was translated by Nova Crystallis. “The reason I’m interested is that a PC version would propel the game to another technical level.”

“I have in mind a version of Final Fantasy XV that is more technically developed. This version could incorporate things that we were forced to abandon because of the limitations of home consoles. With the PC, this would be an opportunity to release a version far superior in terms of quality and tech.”

(Also see: Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo Left Us Surprised)

While PC fans of Final Fantasy will be glad to hear they haven’t been forgotten by Square Enix, Tabata said it would take a while as they aren’t interested in doing a “simple port”.

“That said, if we choose to develop this project, the development will start from scratch by doing research of what would be the best technology to use. It might not be a simple port of the console version,” he added.

Tags: FFXV, FF15, Final Fantasy 15, FFXV street date break, FF15 street date break, Ps4, Xbox One

[“source-ndtv”]

How an Old School Business Discovered the Internet and Grew 350 Percent

toronto 3

What do you do when you’ve been in business for years, and have a crisis of confidence?

One day something happens that forces you to confront some cold hard facts:

  • The world has changed.
  • Your business hasn’t changed with it.
  • And now your business is in jeopardy.

That’s exactly what happened to Brian Young, owner of Home Painters Toronto.

He discovered that his customers had changed their buying habits. They were going online to find a house painter. Yet his business was literally nowhere to be found online.

Many times, a story like that would have a bad ending. Some small businesses would succumb to the odds, and become the next failure statistic. But that’s not the case for Young’s business. In his case, he managed a stunning turnaround.

And this is the story of how he did it.

Cold Calling Made His Business Hot

Young started the business 25 years ago, while he was still a student in college. Back then, when Student Painters came to campus offering its franchise-style model, he jumped at the opportunity.

“It had always been my dream to run a business since I was a kid growing up watching my dad. Student Painters was recruiting on campus, and my friend did it and recruited me into it. I thought, ‘this is my shot at running my own business,’ so I was really excited about that. It was my dream come true,” recalls Young.

That was in 1987.

He discovered he was good at growing a painting business — mainly because he was good at cold calling.

“I learned how to do cold calling really well,” he said. “At the time I was young so I had all this energy. And cold calling didn’t take much time. You just had to go knock on doors and give them quotes on the spot. It’s more of a heart thing. Just go out and be as aggressive as you can. That was the way of marketing back then.”

toronto 1

Young, at age 19, cold calling for Student Painters.

Upon graduation in 1991 Young went off on his own as an independent business owner.

Business was good. “I think our first year I was doing about $100,000 to $150,000 in revenue, in that range. It was pretty good back then,” he added.

Year after year, sales continued to climb.

His cold-calling marketing approach worked well for about a decade. Up through the late 1990s, “cold calling was the way to go,” he said.

The Internet Changes Everything

By the year 2000, though, the Internet had started gaining ground in the painting industry. Young began to notice consumers were going online to find painters.

Young’s world had irrevocably altered. He just wasn’t ready to admit it.

“I saw what was happening but I didn’t want to change. I’m like, ‘you know what, I’m a cold caller.’ I just kept knocking on doors,” recalled Young.

Yet, deep down, Young knew things were changing. “It was tough because I could feel my market going down, shrinking more and more and more.”

He soldiered on for another decade, watching sales gradually decline even though he was working harder than ever.

It All Came to a Head – Literally – in 2011

“I was canvassing a neighborhood and a potential client was upset that I’d interrupted his dinner. He came out and punched me in the face,” remembers Young with a rueful smile.

Young ended up with a black eye and the incident made him reevaluate his company’s marketing.

“It hurt me emotionally even more than physically. I am really passionate about my business. But it also knocked some sense into me. I realized, ‘Brian, I have to change or else my business is going to die.’”

“I call it the million dollar punch,” he added.

Playing Online Catch Up

Young took stock of his business’s situation and it wasn’t pretty.

Up to that point, in 2011, his business was nowhere to be found online. Yet, that’s where his market was.

“My business was offline, totally. I didn’t have a smartphone. I didn’t believe in email. I didn’t believe in websites. When it came to technology, we were bare bones. I mean, I had a Blackberry that I could type short messages on and that was it,” he recalls.

“So, I hired a consultant who helped me get my business online almost overnight. We worked ninja style. I was like, ‘What do we need now? And what do we need next?’ So we got a website. We joined some review sites. We implemented email marketing. One by one, we just kept nailing them,” said Young.

A major milestone for Young and his Home Painters Toronto business came just a month or so into the online transformation.

One of his first steps was to advertise using Google AdWords. “We had to do it because we were nowhere to be found in Google search results at that time,” he pointed out.

Advertising with AdWords required a huge leap. It meant spending more money than he had ever spent on marketing.

Prior to that time, his marketing budget was just $500 a year. “I’d do my lawn signs, and I would buy business cards. That was it. I was really cheap,” he laughs.

But almost immediately he saw the benefits of marketing online.

“For the first time in my life I didn’t have to cold call a house. That was significant. I was getting leads coming in – they’re called inbound leads — and that pretty much was the start of how things worked out. As more people found us online, things really started taking off.”

The Online Strategy to Refresh a Home Painting Business

Starting in Spring 2012, sales exploded.

“We started 2012 at $375,000 in revenue. Now after 2014 we’re at $1.3 million,” said Young. By his calculations, that amounts to a 350 percent increase in just three years’ time.

“I’ve been working like a madman ever since trying to keep up with the growth,” he added.

“Our goal now is to grow 20 to 30 percent a year. At the same time, I want to get my customer satisfaction ratings higher. We’re at 98.5 percent. We’re going to shoot for 99 percent customer satisfaction and encourage more online reviews. That’s how you have to market a business like this, is through reviews, “ he added.

“Before, in my business, you could upset someone, and then you could just not work on that street for the next five years and they’d forget. But now online, everything is exposed and you’re vulnerable that way. So you have to be impeccable about making sure every customer is taken of, no matter what. It raises the game of the business owner, and gives the customer more protection.”

In addition to advertising with AdWords, developing high customer satisfaction rates and encouraging positive reviews, there are a few other arrows in Young’s marketing quiver.

The company also pursues content marketing and search engine optimization as part of its strategy. ”For a year solid I’ve blogged two or three times a week,” points out Young.

Articles such as “What Causes Paint to Bubble, Crack and Peel?” and “Bringing Warmth to a Room with Ceiling Paint” give consumers the sort of relevant information they are looking for when researching painters, Young says. Content marketing also has helped the company’s website rank well for Toronto painter searches.

Even though his company was playing catch up, Young soon discovered that most of the painting industry was “still way behind.”

“Now they copy what we do. But they can’t keep up. Not that I’m trying to put the competition down — just saying that’s what is happening. My business has become the pacesetter,” asserts Young.

Growth Brings Another Set of Challenges

Another important element of the success story is how the company implemented Infusionsoft marketing automation software.

It wasn’t long before Home Painters Toronto became the victim of its own fast growth.

The more client leads the company got, the harder it became to manage them and keep track of what stage they were in.

“We had all these lead sources, and needed a way to organize them,” said Young.

In fact, Young insists that without automation there’s no way his company could function.

“Today, we quote anywhere from 200 to 300 leads a month. Trying to follow up manually with that many leads is nearly impossible. Automating our follow-up sequences saves us hours and hours each week,” he added.

He also needed to be able to hire and train people to help him. His vision was to create a platform to run the business off of, so he could duplicate his system and grow without increasing his personal working hours. That’s another thing Infusionsoft gave them, he said.

toronto 2

Young, of Home Painters Toronto, channeling Rocky Balboa, with partner Jill Littlejohn.

But implementing Infusionsoft wasn’t smooth sailing at first.

“I was excited by our growth, but Infusionsoft was driving me crazy because I just wasn’t ‘getting it’.”

He knew from his father’s role model (his father also is a small business owner) that perseverance and hard work would pay off.

“Even if I had to stay up for 24 hours, I was willing to do anything because I saw in the first two or three months what the Internet could do for my business. This was my dream shot at turning this thing into something big. I couldn’t sleep. I was like ‘there has to be an answer to this, and if answers aren’t apparent, then we’ll find them’,” he added.

While on a retreat to Puerto Vallarta, Young coincidentally met Kelsey Bratcher of Hired Gun Solutions, an Infusionsoft expert. Eventually Young hired Bratcher as an outsourced member of his marketing team.

According to Bratcher, “small wins lead to big wins.” So, he focused on helping Young break things down into small pieces so they could quickly achieve some successes. The first thing they did was break down the Home Painter Toronto sales process into 12 stages and automated some of the stages.

Almost immediately, Young got his first “win” through Infusionsoft. The company sent out a reminder sequence about an upcoming appointment. “For the first time,” Young recalls, “I actually got a confirmation email from the client saying ‘we’re good to go tomorrow for 7:30’ without me having to call.”

“A light bulb went off. Previously I’d have to make multiple calls and leave voice mails. It got me thinking in terms of automation — versus of me doing all the work in my business. I realized it would free me to focus on strategy,” Young added.

toronto home painters 6

Young, with Kelsey Bratcher of Hired Gun Solutions, after accepting the 2015 ICON Award.

What It Takes to Transform an Old-School Business’s Marketing

The transformation of this once tech-phobic painting business is so dramatic that Young and Home Painters Toronto won the 2015 ICON Award. The Award is presented by Infusionsoft to small businesses demonstrating outstanding marketing success.

According to Marketing Coordinator Jill Littlejohn who was on hand at the 2015 ICON Conference (dressed in painter’s clothes just like her boss), under Young’s leadership they have embraced marketing automation completely. The Infusionsoft marketing automation software has been woven into the company’s processes so deeply that it is now “essential,” she said.

Today, Young sounds like a marketing tech whiz. But according to Bratcher, at first he was anything but. “I had to explain how the technology worked.”

But what Young had going for him was his drive. “He listens, and he goes with it. We’ve made some mistakes over the years and made some people angry with emails. But he doesn’t have this fear component. He just moves ahead — not recklessly, but he doesn’t spend much time worrying about his decisions,” added Bratcher.

That drive has caused Young’s business to be recognized as one of the top home painters in Toronto. The business has even been featured on several home decorating and makeover TV shows.

Young had some final advice for other small business owners — of any industry. “No matter how bad things are going, no matter how long it’s been going, there has to be a solution. Someone in the world has succeeded and overcome that problem. If they can overcome it, you can. You’ve just got to pay the price. If that means working a little harder, you have to work a little harder. Or work a little smarter. Or learn a new technology.”

“I watched the movie “Rocky” growing up. I’ve watched it so many times I know almost every line. I could almost recite it. I look for that movie whenever I’m having a tough time because this guy came from nowhere. He got a shot at the title and he just gave it his all, and he was standing at the end of that first movie. Motivation like that gives me the pigheaded determination to overcome anything no matter what,” he added.

And what about that $10,000 check that Young received as part of the ICON award? “I donated half of it to an entrepreneur cause — and am thrilled to help other entrepreneurs make their businesses a success.”

Image credits: Small Business Trends, Home Painters Toronto

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

This Startup is Using Salt to Create an Alternative to Nuclear Energy

transatomic

Creating alternative energy sources is certainly an important task. But it’s not necessarily one that’s going to be popular with investors, given the experimental nature and length of time such a project is likely to take.

Transatomic Power is one company that’s working to create cleaner sources of energy. Co-founders Dr. Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie have designed a technology that uses a hot salt mixture to dissolve uranium.

This process could potentially eliminate the toxic waste that is created with the nuclear power we use today. It could also eliminate much of the risk for steam explosions.

The potential for this new technology is great. But it couldn’t be fully realized without some funding behind it. So, the company has spent the past year raising $6 million in funding for the project.

Much of the money came from Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund, which was a perfect fit since the organization has the ability to be patient with its investments. And Transatomic Power’s technology is likely at least 10 years away from being able to show any sort of return on investment. Dewan told Fast Company:

“They were one of the early investors in SpaceX, so when we talked with them about our time line, they said, ‘Oh that’s kind of in line with how much time it took to get the Falcon 9 off the ground.’”

The investment should enable the team at Transatomic Power to get their technology past the experimental stage and to the point where it can actually be put into action.

Currently, about 19 percent of the electricity in the U.S. is generated using nuclear power. So this cleaner version has the potential to make a huge impact. It just takes some forward thinking scientists and investors who believe in their mission.

Dewan said:

 “Basically, we’re all working together in opposition to fossil fuels. That’s the real fight.”

Image: Transatomic Power

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

7 Ways to Get Inspired as an Entrepreneur

7 Sources of Entrepreneur Inspiration

Yes, entrepreneurship is naturally exciting. Most of us get involved because we’re thrilled at the notion of getting to build our own enterprise, and the thought of building wealth keeps us going through a lot of challenges — but some days are harder than others, and inevitably, you’ll hit a wall when all that motivation and passion seems to slip away from you. It may not happen often, and it may not consume you completely, but it will compromise the energy and creativity you pour into your business. Furthermore, if you aren’t careful, it could escalate to become a real problem.

So when you hit these walls, on these bad days and in these tough circumstances, what can you do to get your inspiration back?

7 Sources of Entrepreneur Inspiration

Get inspired with one or more of these seven empowering strategies:

1. Read Real Motivational Stories

You could start by reading some motivational stories of entrepreneurs who have already overcome the challenges you’re facing, or who are going through them currently. Blogs like Revel Up Your Dream exist to provide these entrepreneurial, inspirational stories to other business owners, so take them for all they’re worth. You can take solace in the fact that you aren’t on this journey alone, or remind yourself that success could be just around the corner. You might even learn a new coping strategy or a way to reimagine your business.

2. Hit Some Motivational Quotes

In a similar vein to reading entrepreneurial stories, you can search for motivational quotes to keep you going. Look up quotes and interviews of major leaders in the entrepreneurial community. Most of these will probably register as white noise to you, but if you keep looking, chances are you’ll find at least one quote that really resonates with you on a personal level — enough to re-establish your personal motivation to keep going.

3. Remember Why You Got Started

Take a minute to step back and remember why you got started with entrepreneurship in the first place — it can be easy to lose this in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership. Did you want to lead a team? Are you after unlimited income potential? Realign your focus here, and you’ll get to see your business through fresher, younger eyes.

4. Take Some Time Off

This is an obvious method that too many entrepreneurs ignore. It doesn’t matter if the business isn’t in perfect shape. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot to do. You need to prioritize your own mental health and take a break every once in awhile. Take a few days off, or get away on a vacation. When you come back, you’ll find your inspiration is renewed. No matter how passionate you are about something, when you deal with it every day without a break, you’re going to get tired of it.

5. Talk to a Mentor

You can also talk to one of your mentors about what you’re facing, or find a new mentor to help guide you in the entrepreneurial world. These are people who have far more experience than you, and more perspective on the relatively small challenges and obstacles you’re facing. They’ll be able to give you some practical advice, or at least some coping strategies to rekindle your inner fire.

6. Exchange Ideas with Your Peers

You may find yourself revitalized simply by talking about your business and the nature of business development with other entrepreneurs in your area. These are people who share your passion, possibly to an even higher level, and passion is contagious. Surround yourself with these people, and you’ll find yourself naturally more inspired.

7. Get Creative

You can also engage in a creative activity to decompress your mind, break free from some of the stress you’re facing, and simultaneously exercise the parts of your brain responsible for coming up with unique solutions to problems. You could study art in a museum, play some of your favorite music, write poetry, paint or do anything else that keeps your mind active and relieves stress. It’s up to you.

Do Something

All of these strategies may appeal to you, or none of them might. You might try one and immediately feel better, or you might try a few and end up back where you started. There are no guarantees here, but there’s one thing you absolutely cannot do: nothing. If you feel your passion and your motivation slipping away, you have to do something — take an action — or else those stagnant feelings will only grow worse, and you’ll end up burning out. Something is always better than nothing, so if one tactic doesn’t work, you simply have to move on to the next one.

Inspiration Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Has an Early Release Date in the UK

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Has an Early Release Date in the UK

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Has an Early Release Date in the UK

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare is already on sale
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s official release date is November 4
  • This hasn’t stopped copies from being sold early

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is out on November 4. Unless of course you’re in the UK. Retailer CEX – which specialises in used gadgets and games, has wrangled early copies for sale. Albeit for a princely sum of around Rs. 7,337.

“ Perks of working in CEX! 3 days early who wants to im selling for £90! Brand new! No codes used! Just opens seal!” exclaimed a description on an image posted on Instagram by user verace_ridz.

The picture is that of the Legacy Edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare which includes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered – an HD re-release of 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

This isn’t the first time CEX has had a game available for sale ahead of its official release. Earlier in the year, Uncharted 4 could be purchased two weeks ahead of time. Later Sony stated the copies for sale were stolen.

With the game due on November 4, it’s unlikely that India will see an early release. Activision’s distributor World Wide CD ROM is known for running a tight ship, particularly for popular titles such as this.

Nonetheless, if you prefer getting it digitally, you can pre-load Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on the PS4 and Xbox One right now. There’s been no announcement of when it will be available for download on the PC, but according to some you can expect to download it from November 1, 10am PST (10:30pm IST) onwards. This is when the Steam store updates globally, and would put it on par with the pre-load of previous COD games.

Tags: CODIW, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Street Date Break, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Preload,Infinite Warfare, Activision, Infinity Ward, Call of Dut
[“source-ndtv”]

7 Ways to Get Inspired as an Entrepreneur

7 Sources of Entrepreneur Inspiration

Yes, entrepreneurship is naturally exciting. Most of us get involved because we’re thrilled at the notion of getting to build our own enterprise, and the thought of building wealth keeps us going through a lot of challenges — but some days are harder than others, and inevitably, you’ll hit a wall when all that motivation and passion seems to slip away from you. It may not happen often, and it may not consume you completely, but it will compromise the energy and creativity you pour into your business. Furthermore, if you aren’t careful, it could escalate to become a real problem.

So when you hit these walls, on these bad days and in these tough circumstances, what can you do to get your inspiration back?

7 Sources of Entrepreneur Inspiration

Get inspired with one or more of these seven empowering strategies:

1. Read Real Motivational Stories

You could start by reading some motivational stories of entrepreneurs who have already overcome the challenges you’re facing, or who are going through them currently. Blogs like Revel Up Your Dream exist to provide these entrepreneurial, inspirational stories to other business owners, so take them for all they’re worth. You can take solace in the fact that you aren’t on this journey alone, or remind yourself that success could be just around the corner. You might even learn a new coping strategy or a way to reimagine your business.

2. Hit Some Motivational Quotes

In a similar vein to reading entrepreneurial stories, you can search for motivational quotes to keep you going. Look up quotes and interviews of major leaders in the entrepreneurial community. Most of these will probably register as white noise to you, but if you keep looking, chances are you’ll find at least one quote that really resonates with you on a personal level — enough to re-establish your personal motivation to keep going.

3. Remember Why You Got Started

Take a minute to step back and remember why you got started with entrepreneurship in the first place — it can be easy to lose this in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership. Did you want to lead a team? Are you after unlimited income potential? Realign your focus here, and you’ll get to see your business through fresher, younger eyes.

4. Take Some Time Off

This is an obvious method that too many entrepreneurs ignore. It doesn’t matter if the business isn’t in perfect shape. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot to do. You need to prioritize your own mental health and take a break every once in awhile. Take a few days off, or get away on a vacation. When you come back, you’ll find your inspiration is renewed. No matter how passionate you are about something, when you deal with it every day without a break, you’re going to get tired of it.

5. Talk to a Mentor

You can also talk to one of your mentors about what you’re facing, or find a new mentor to help guide you in the entrepreneurial world. These are people who have far more experience than you, and more perspective on the relatively small challenges and obstacles you’re facing. They’ll be able to give you some practical advice, or at least some coping strategies to rekindle your inner fire.

6. Exchange Ideas with Your Peers

You may find yourself revitalized simply by talking about your business and the nature of business development with other entrepreneurs in your area. These are people who share your passion, possibly to an even higher level, and passion is contagious. Surround yourself with these people, and you’ll find yourself naturally more inspired.

7. Get Creative

You can also engage in a creative activity to decompress your mind, break free from some of the stress you’re facing, and simultaneously exercise the parts of your brain responsible for coming up with unique solutions to problems. You could study art in a museum, play some of your favorite music, write poetry, paint or do anything else that keeps your mind active and relieves stress. It’s up to you.

Do Something

All of these strategies may appeal to you, or none of them might. You might try one and immediately feel better, or you might try a few and end up back where you started. There are no guarantees here, but there’s one thing you absolutely cannot do: nothing. If you feel your passion and your motivation slipping away, you have to do something — take an action — or else those stagnant feelings will only grow worse, and you’ll end up burning out. Something is always better than nothing, so if one tactic doesn’t work, you simply have to move on to the next one.

Inspiration Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How to Start an Artisan Donut Shop

How to Open a Donut Shop that Sells Artisan Donuts

The donut shop industry in the U.S. is thriving with current annual revenue of $14 billion, reports IBIS World. But it’s not just major chains like Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons serving up plain glazed and jelly-filled treats.

A new breed of artisan shops that offer specialty donuts topped with everything from candied bacon to cereal are making their way into markets across the country.

If you want to build a business that’s a part of this growing trend, you’ll need a few key things to get started. Here’s a quick guide on how to open an artisan donut shop.

How to Open a Donut Shop that Sells Artisan Donuts

Secure Enough Space

Artisan donut shops can take many different forms. You can have a small location where customers order and then take their donuts to go. Or you can design a larger space with plenty of tables and chairs so that people can enjoy their handmade confections at your location. But you’ll likely need at least 500 square feet so that you’ll have enough space to set up all your equipment and a check out and display area.

Choose the Right Location

You’ll also need to find that space in a good location. As with any business, finding a high traffic location can help you bring in customers. But more specifically, artisan donut shops tend to be popular in big cities, college towns or locations with a lot of young, hip consumers. So research the customer base in the location you’re considering and then choose an exact spot accordingly.

Get Your Equipment

For any donut shop, you’ll need fryers and preferably a gas supply to the building. You may also need a commercial oven and some other specialty pieces of equipment. The exact items you’ll need may vary depending on your specialty items.

Develop Your Menu

The whole point of an artisan donut shop is to offer donuts that are different than what you’d find at any old coffee shop. So when you create your menu, think about what items you can offer that will help your business stand out. You might offer some options that have interesting toppings or flavor combinations. But you can also offer a few of the basics just to satisfy less adventurous customers who just want a quality donut.

Find Suppliers

Once you’ve decided on a menu, you’ll need to find suppliers who can provide the ingredients you need to create those items. Shop around and compare prices. And find suppliers who can provide enough ingredients on a regular basis to keep up with demand.

Research the Competition

Artisan donut shops are relatively new in a lot of markets. But you still might run into some competition when starting up. So before committing to a location or a menu, you might want to do some research on other donut shops in the area so you can be sure you’re not just offering something that customers can already find around the corner. Depending on what you discover, it might be beneficial to find a different location or just change up your menu a bit so that you’re offering something different.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Any business that sells food will need to obtain permits and go through health inspections in order to open. The actual process will vary based on your location. So check with your state and local governments to see what is required and then be prepared for multiple inspections and permits throughout the process of starting and running your business.

Train Your Employees

To make sure that all of your artisan donuts are high quality and unique, you need to make sure that all of your employees have a good understanding of what is required. That means you’ll need to put in a little more time training than you would if you were just showing people how to throw some glazed donuts into a bag and collect money from customers. You may even need to hire professional bakers or send your employees to specialized training.

Design Your Store

The look of your store is also important if you want to attract the right customers. Come up with a design concept that fits with your brand and your menu. And make sure it’s something that’s unique enough to stand out to your ideal customers. That could mean coming up with a cool way to display your donuts, creating interesting signage or even just putting up cool artwork around your space.

Market Your Business

Then you just need to market your business to get customers through the door. If you’re marketing to young customers, it may be necessary to set up a presence on social media. Or you could even host some cool events to bring customers through the door.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

This Coimbatore-Based Company Is Crowdfunding an Electric Bike

This Coimbatore-Based Company Is Crowdfunding an Electric Bike

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Spero electric bike has a rechargeable battery and motor
  • There are three models with range from 30km to 100km
  • The base model starts at Rs. 29,900

The Spero electric bike, made by Coimbatore based Milltex Engineers, promises to be a smart alternative for the urban commute, but it doesn’t come cheap with the base model starting at Rs. 29,900 for the first 30 units, after which the price becomes Rs. 33,900 against an MRP of Rs. 55,000. The bike is being crowdfunded, with a target goal of Rs. 30 lakh, and 9 days to go.

The different Spero models go up to Rs. 84,900 (at retail). Despite the relatively high price there is clearly a fair amount of interest in the idea, as it’s nearly raised its crowdfunding goal with 102 backers and over a week left.

So what exactly is the Spero, and why should you be interested? It’s a smartbike concept that can be charged from a regular 5amp socket just like your smartphone, which you can then drive between 30km and 100km on a single charge, depending on the model you buy. And at the same time, it comes with pedals so you can just go to manual mode when the battery runs low.

“Working within the manufacturing has given me the knowledge and expertise with handling machinery and sourcing materials that work best with this e-bike,” says the company’s founder Manikandan. “All these things together has helped me to build a strong and reliable e-bike at affordable prices without having to compromise on quality.”

spero_parts.jpgThe idea behind such a product is simple – a powered bicycle is small and lightweight so it’s quite portable. For many of us, it’s also all that’s really required for the morning commute – and if enought people adopt the technology, it can have a significant impact on pollution, traffic congestion, and maybe even public health by promoting a healthier lifestyle.

That’s the idea anyway. Given Indian conditions, it’s not really clear how practical a bike like this is for most people, but for a growing section of urban corporate executives, it does make sense, and biking as a hobby is also growing in India, if the number of cyclists in expensive protective gear that you can see on the road are any indication.

And that appears to be the market that Milltex Engineering is also looking at with the Spero, whose crowdfunding page makes a point of highlighting the “cool, funky design”, before going on to the technical specifications. Here’s a video of the pitch:

The bike has a top speed of 25kmph, and reaches that in 10s; when the motor is running, it comes with 5-speed gears, and the whole thing is powered by a 48KV lithium-ion battery that comes with a two-year warranty. When your battery is low, you don’t need to bring the whole bike into your home or office to top it up either – the battery is detachable, and Spero claims that it charges from 20 percent to 80 percent in six hours.

The electric motor can also be used for pedal assistance – that means that you’re manually pedalling, but being helped along by the motor – this will save the battery but still not tire you out as much as regular pedalling would. There’s also a regenerative mode that charges up the battery while you pedal, though details of how much of an effect this would have are not given.

At the same time, the bike also uses standard bicycle tyres, cables, and guards, so you can swap the different parts out, repair and replace anything without needing to contact the company.

The bike, which is manufactured in Coimbatore, uses mostly local components, though the tyres are Korean, and so is the battery, which comes from Samsung. The company claims that it will deliver the first 50 bikes within a month of the campaign ending, and the remainder over the next two months, at a capacity of 50 bikes per month.

If you want to back the bike, you have 10 days left. You can choose to back the Spero e30, Spero e60, or Spero e100, which have a range of 30km, 60km, and 100km respectively, for Rs. 29,900, Rs. 36,900, and Rs. 47,900. The e30 and e100 still have some early-bird bikes left, though once those are gone you’ll have to pay Rs. 33,900 and Rs. 50,900 respectively.

Tags: Crowdfunded, Electric Bike, Milltex, Smart bike, Spero
[“source-ndtv”]

Joe Root an Inspiration For Blockers Like Me: Alastair Cook

Joe Root Alastair Cook 2607

Joe Root smashed 254 while Alastair Cook equalled Don Bradman’s record of 29 centuries.

© AFP

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1Alastair Cook scored his 29th Test century
  • 2Joe Root smashed 254, his highest score in Tests
  • 3England defeated Pakistan by 330 runs to level the series 1-1

Alastair Cook said batting with Joe Root encouraged “blockers like me” togo for their shots after England’s senior batsmen dominated Pakistan’s attack in a crushing second Test victory at Old Trafford.

England beat Pakistan by 330 runs on Monday, winning with more than a day to spare as they levelled the four-Test series at 1-1 following the tourists’ 75-run success at Lord’s.

Cook and Root scored 506 runs between them for just twice out at Old Trafford.

After England captain Cook won the toss, they did the bulk of the damage in a huge first-innings total of 589 for eight declared.

Man-of-the-match Root made a Test-best 254, while left-handed opener Cook’s 105 extended his England Test century record to 29.

With vice-captain Root promoted up the order to number three this series, the pair shared a second-wicket partnership of 185.

Then, after Cook decided against enforcing the follow-on, they piled on the runs again in England’s second innings.

Cook made an unbeaten 76, which included a 55-ball fifty — the fastest of his Test career — while Root was 71 not out in a total of 173 for one declared.

“(Joe) is a world-class player, and it was a great innings — one of the best I’ve seen — to really set up the game for us,” said Cook.

“One thing he does very well is keep the scoreboard ticking over, so blockers like me get carried away,” added a self-deprecating Cook.

Cook and Root’s run spree on Monday — they added 75 runs in just nine overs before the declaration — left Pakistan needing a massive 565 for victory.

James Anderson, returning to England duty on his Lancashire home ground after missing the first Test with a shoulder injury, scuppered any slim hopes of a shock win for the tourists by promptly reducing Pakistan to 25 for two.

Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 234, an improvement on their meagre first-innings 198.

Ben Stokes Injury 2607

Ben Stokes is in doubt for the third Test after suffering a calf injury.

© AFP

Stokes doubt

The only downside for England on Monday was when all-rounder Ben Stokes went off midway through his sixth over with a right calf injury that will be scanned on Tuesday.

But Cook said Stokes, returning to England action for the first time since injuring his left knee in the Sri Lanka series opener in May, was a “fairly big doubt” for next week’s third Test at Edgbaston.

In the meantime Cook was delighted by the way England had upped their game after being well below their best at Lord’s.

“It was us showing the standard of cricket we can play,” he said.

“We didn’t do that at Lord’s. We didn’t bowl as well as we could (there), certainly didn’t bat as well as we could, and dropped too many catches.

“We put most of those things right in this game.”

For Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, this was a chastening defeat.

“Our batting was a big disappointment,” said Misbah. “To get 198 and 234 on a good pitch — you can’t take that.”

Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 10 for 141 at Lord’s but only managed figures of one for 266 at Old Trafford.

Misbah, at a loss to explain the discrepancy, said: “It was maybe tiredness, a lot of overs — I don’t know.

“It was a big difference. But he is a strong character, and before the next Test he will analyse what went wrong — and come back.”

Another concern for Pakistan was the form of openers Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood.

Not since 1996 have a Pakistan opening pair recorded a fifty stand in a Test against England in England, with Hafeez and Masood’s best so far this series the 38 they managed in the first innings at Lord’s.

Pakistan have three ‘reserve batsmen’ in their squad in Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan and Sami Aslam.

They will hope to press their case for a Test call-up in a two-day tour game against Worcestershire starting on Friday.

“It’s a chance for us and them at Worcester,” said Misbah.

“Some of them (the current top order) are getting starts but not converting those starts into bigger innings.

“We need to make it big and that’s what we’re missing,” he added.

[“source-ndtv”]

This Coimbatore-Based Company Is Crowdfunding an Electric Bike

This Coimbatore-Based Company Is Crowdfunding an Electric Bike

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Spero electric bike has a rechargeable battery and motor
  • There are three models with range from 30km to 100km
  • The base model starts at Rs. 29,900

The Spero electric bike, made by Coimbatore based Milltex Engineers, promises to be a smart alternative for the urban commute, but it doesn’t come cheap with the base model starting at Rs. 29,900 for the first 30 units, after which the price becomes Rs. 33,900 against an MRP of Rs. 55,000. The bike is being crowdfunded, with a target goal of Rs. 30 lakh, and 9 days to go.

The different Spero models go up to Rs. 84,900 (at retail). Despite the relatively high price there is clearly a fair amount of interest in the idea, as it’s nearly raised its crowdfunding goal with 102 backers and over a week left.

So what exactly is the Spero, and why should you be interested? It’s a smartbike concept that can be charged from a regular 5amp socket just like your smartphone, which you can then drive between 30km and 100km on a single charge, depending on the model you buy. And at the same time, it comes with pedals so you can just go to manual mode when the battery runs low.

“Working within the manufacturing has given me the knowledge and expertise with handling machinery and sourcing materials that work best with this e-bike,” says the company’s founder Manikandan. “All these things together has helped me to build a strong and reliable e-bike at affordable prices without having to compromise on quality.”

spero_parts.jpgThe idea behind such a product is simple – a powered bicycle is small and lightweight so it’s quite portable. For many of us, it’s also all that’s really required for the morning commute – and if enought people adopt the technology, it can have a significant impact on pollution, traffic congestion, and maybe even public health by promoting a healthier lifestyle.

That’s the idea anyway. Given Indian conditions, it’s not really clear how practical a bike like this is for most people, but for a growing section of urban corporate executives, it does make sense, and biking as a hobby is also growing in India, if the number of cyclists in expensive protective gear that you can see on the road are any indication.

And that appears to be the market that Milltex Engineering is also looking at with the Spero, whose crowdfunding page makes a point of highlighting the “cool, funky design”, before going on to the technical specifications. Here’s a video of the pitch:

The bike has a top speed of 25kmph, and reaches that in 10s; when the motor is running, it comes with 5-speed gears, and the whole thing is powered by a 48KV lithium-ion battery that comes with a two-year warranty. When your battery is low, you don’t need to bring the whole bike into your home or office to top it up either – the battery is detachable, and Spero claims that it charges from 20 percent to 80 percent in six hours.

The electric motor can also be used for pedal assistance – that means that you’re manually pedalling, but being helped along by the motor – this will save the battery but still not tire you out as much as regular pedalling would. There’s also a regenerative mode that charges up the battery while you pedal, though details of how much of an effect this would have are not given.

At the same time, the bike also uses standard bicycle tyres, cables, and guards, so you can swap the different parts out, repair and replace anything without needing to contact the company.

The bike, which is manufactured in Coimbatore, uses mostly local components, though the tyres are Korean, and so is the battery, which comes from Samsung. The company claims that it will deliver the first 50 bikes within a month of the campaign ending, and the remainder over the next two months, at a capacity of 50 bikes per month.

If you want to back the bike, you have 10 days left. You can choose to back the Spero e30, Spero e60, or Spero e100, which have a range of 30km, 60km, and 100km respectively, for Rs. 29,900, Rs. 36,900, and Rs. 47,900. The e30 and e100 still have some early-bird bikes left, though once those are gone you’ll have to pay Rs. 33,900 and Rs. 50,900 respectively.

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Tags: Crowdfunded, Electric Bike, Milltex, Smart bike, Spero
[“source-ndtv”]