Brian Ferdinand, Business Guru, Describes Pros and Cons of Furnished Apartments

Imagine being able to travel anywhere in the country or the world for business and then being able to return to your bed every night. Unfortunately, this isn’t physically possible, according to a recently published article on work travel. However, a furnished apartment can get you as close to that level of comfort as possible every night when you’re on the road, according to business expert Brian Ferdinand. Here’s a rundown on the pros and cons of furnished apartments for traveling professionals, according to Ferdinand.

The Pros of Furnished Apartments

One of the top reasons to choose a furnished apartment when you’re on the road for business? It comes with a full kitchen rather than a scaled-down, motel-style kitchenette. This means you can expect to find storage containers, serving utensils, glassware, silverware, pans, pots, and tableware in your apartment. As a result, you can purchase food from the grocery store—just like you would at home—which will be a lot more wallet friendly versus constantly eating out.

Furnished apartments also come with couches, coffee tables, and chairs. In addition, you can generally find side tables, lamps, and alarm clocks, as well as relatively comfortable comforters, pillows, and blankets for getting a good night’s sleep—just as you would on your own bedroom mattress. Dryer and washer access is also generally available to make you feel as at home as possible. This access may be available in your apartment or in a communal laundry facility for the apartment building.

The Cons of Furnished Apartments

A noteworthy drawback of furnished apartments is that they may not include amenities such as Internet and cable, although they might already be set up. As a result, you would have to contact local service providers to turn these services on. In addition, you will likely have to pay the owner of the property directly for your utilities, as the utilities will likely be in his or her name. This utility cost will be above and beyond your rent price.

All things considered, furnished apartments are a good option for people who are traveling for work and need temporary places to stay. However, it is important you consider all of their disadvantages before signing up for one, according to Brian Ferdinand. As long as you understand what you’re getting into, you can have a positive furnished apartment rental experience from one city and trip to the next.

Brian Ferdinand, Business Leader, Explains the Appeal of San Francisco among Business Owners

The United States has long stood out for its ingenuity, spanning from the time of the steel- and iron-fueled Industrial Revolution to the current Internet Age. However, California in particular has been on a pedestal in years past for its unparalleled innovation. Today, one California city—San Francisco—remains a top place for aspiring entrepreneurs to put down roots, according to business expert Brian Ferdinand in a recently published article.

Silicon Valley in San Francisco

The California Gold Rush ended up being the United States’ biggest mass migration. More than 150 years later, California continues to draw a large number of people, but the “gold” drawing them today is not necessarily a mineral but rather the golden opportunity to make it big in business. That’s because San Francisco, or the City by the Bay, is the globe’s technology and innovation capital, offering many opportunities for startups to thrive.

In fact, San Francisco’s Silicon Valley is deemed one of the most intelligent, innovative, and enterprising cities worldwide, according to Ferdinand. The reason why Silicon Valley offers the fertile ground that profit-seeking startups need is because three entities have come together to make this happen: the government, the private sector, and academia. Both the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University are in the valley, so a brand new flow of savvy techies and entrepreneurs are introduced to the landscape every year.

However, Silicon Valley also boasts a large number of funding institutions and wealthy investors—the perfect combination for driving startup success. This area also offers excellent access to attractive amenities, such as hotels that are world class, five-star restaurants, and exciting entertainment options. These amenities are invaluable for entrepreneurs, as they can use them to draw potential clients and investors to them.

Other Reasons to Choose San Francisco as a Business Location

In addition to being called the City by the Bay, San Francisco is considered to be a city that, like Las Vegas, never sleeps. That’s because the city remains alive with activity 24-7. This, along with the city’s temperate climate and fair weather, is a major draw for entrepreneurs, as it makes it easier for busy business people to achieve a nice work-life balance.

All in all, San Francisco continues to boast a vibrant business climate like no other, according to Brian Ferdinand. And it is expected that no other location will be able to duplicate its benefits—especially weather wise and technology wise—in the years and decades ahead.

3 Keys to Buying Your Next Business

Are you in the mood for buying a business?

If the answer is yes any thoughts to what kind of business to buy? Any ideas on the financing that will be needed to pull it off? Will you hire employees or be the only one?

Those are but some of the questions you will need to answer before moving forth with a business plan.

So, is it time for you to get your next business?

What to Look for When Taking on a Business

In your quest to buy a company and be the next small business owner, here are three keys to focus on:

1. What the cost will be – What a business will cost you to start up or one you buy already running is key. Do you have the financial infrastructure in place to take on a business? The thing you want to avoid is getting in over your head. This is why it is so important to sit down and go over the projected costs. From what money you have available to projections on what you can expect to make in the first year, cover it all. This will give you a better idea in fact if you will be able to take on a business and make a go of it.

2. What kind of business to buy – The type of business you buy is of course also quite important. Do you have a passion for certain types of business? Is there a business line or two you have experience in? Do your research online and talking to those you know owning small businesses. The feedback you get can be invaluable. So, whether you research info on why buy a SaaS business or other kinds of companies, know what you are getting into. The last thing you want to do is dive blindly into a business venture.

3. Will you be the only employee? – Last, are you planning on hiring help to assist you in running your new business venture? Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may or may not need help with it. If you are going to be working out of your home and mostly online, the need for employees may be mute. One option you may decide on is having some customer service or tech folks work remote for you. If you will be renting out or buying office space and will have traffic, the need for employees will be more likely. In hiring folks, take your time to get the right people in the right positions the first time around. Not doing so can create headaches for you. Also be sure that you let prospective employees know what you are expecting of them. Having everyone on the same page is critical to the success of any company.

In buying your next business, think about all the potential the company and you have.

The sky is the limit when it comes to doing something you like and can make you some money in the process.

Startups Costs That You Have To Anticipate

The moment when you start a brand new business can be very exhilarating. Even so, most first-time entrepreneurs fail. Oftentimes, the reason behind the failure is improper planning. This is exactly the case with costs that are not anticipated.

Way too many financial advisors focus on the costs that appear after the business is started. They talk about simple things like taxes and complex things like fees associated with an ETH to BTC converter. What is rarely covered is what startup costs have to be anticipated before the business is launched. This is what we will focus on in the following paragraphs.

Research Expenses

Before the startup is launched, it is really important to conduct a very strong market research. You want to learn as much as possible about the prospective industry. In many situations, this step is neglected. As a result, the business owner cannot execute ideas and is not ready. Avoid this by first hiring an experienced market research firm. It can help you during the entire assessment process. Obviously, this includes money since you have to pay the experts to get the job done.

Equipment

It is surprising to see that many entrepreneurs do not properly understand how much money equipment can cost them. When you launch the business, you immediately need equipment. As a very simple example, after you launch the moving company, at least a good truck is mandatory. When the restaurant is opened, it needs stoves together with other equipment.

Based on the industry you operate in the needed equipment can be really costly. This is especially the case if you have to hire multiple employees.

Fees

While many focus on taxes, the fees that have to be paid when you open a business have to be considered. As an example, when incorporating the company, it becomes a legal entity of its own. You have to file incorporation articles with the state where you operate. You cannot do this for free.

Sometimes, federal licensing is mandatory, as in the aviation and agriculture industries. Professional licenses might be needed when you are a dentist or a hairdresser. All of these add up.

Office Space

Most entrepreneurs drastically underestimate the costs associated with office space. Remember that buying or renting a business location is almost always expensive. This is why so many small businesses actually operate from the home of the owner when they are launched. Whenever you are low on funds, you cannot really rent a large office space.

You should also understand that in many cases, the office space you rent is only offered after you sign a long-term lease. In addition, you have to think about utilities and many other costly operational costs.

Conclusions

Planning is a huge part of business success. This always includes being aware of what money you need before the startup opens its doors. Unfortunately, many aspiring entrepreneurs underestimate how much money they need to start a business. Do not make this mistake and always know all the costs that have to be taken into account, including what was presented above and more.

Is Your Business Plan Working?

When you run a business no matter the size of it, making sure things work well is critical.

With that in mind, are you seeing your business plan come together and work for you?

In the event it is not, now would be a good time to start reworking things.

Working for All You’ve Invested in

In reviewing your business plan, here are a few areas to set your sights on:

1. Protecting what you have worked for – One of the priorities is protecting all you have worked for. This means you have insurance coverage of different kinds should things go south for you. For example, if you are a dentist, having dentist disability insurance is a smart thing. Such insurance allows you to earn an income when you are not able to work. This can be due to a serious illness or injury. When you can’t work, you need to be sure you have access to funds. Without funds, not only is your business in danger of going under but you may not recover financially. Make sure you have a layer of protection in place to protect you against a worst-case scenario.

2. Hiring the best and brightest – It is also key to make sure you are hiring the best and brightest individuals. Those you hire are a reflection of you to some degree. As such, making the right hires says what kind of leader you are. You want to do all you can to bring in the right people and put them in the right positions to succeed. Remember, the last thing you want is a revolving door at your company. Having to continually replace people costs time and money.

3. Marketing to the public – How good of a job are you doing when it comes to marketing your business to the public? Marketing is critical so that you stand out from your competitors. Without good marketing skills, you can end up missing out on potential sales and revenue. Make sure you are doing all you can to reach out to consumers. This means via your website, social media pages and an app if you have one. Speaking of an app, now would be a good time to add one if you do not have it. A business app allows you to connect with consumers 24/7. As such, there are always possibilities to sell to people with that kind of connection.

4. Handling money the right way – Finally, do you do a good job of balancing your business expenses? From finding deals for equipment for the office to keeping debt low, make sure you handle money well. Not doing so can lead to financial headaches that you do not need at the end of the day.

Running a business can be both exciting and challenging at the same time.

As a result, it is important for you to do everything within your power to have a business plan that works.

So, how well is your plan working out?

Giant Companies in the Video Game Industry

The video game industry is one of the fast flourishing sectors in technology. The highest part of the income comes from software. The industry has more room for growth and competition. To monitor the growth of a company’s stock in the market, earnings reports are utilized by investors. The marketbeat.com earnings calendar values the industry at $97 billion. Just to have the facts at hand, here is a list of giant companies in the video game industry that have made their names well-known.

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE)

Founded in Tokyo on the 16th of November, 1993, SCE is a subsidiary of the tech giant Sony. SCE’s brand name game, PlayStation, was built around the success of Sony. This section of the Sony Company is outstanding after recording $20.8 billion in revenue during the 2018 fiscal year. The record by SCE was the highest of all the segments in the Sony Corporation. Other than PlayStation, their other products include the Uncharted series and the God of War games. SCE is definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to video gaming. 

Nintendo

Nintendo must be the oldest company as far as games are concerned. Formed in 1889, about 130 years ago, as Nintendo Karuta Co., it aimed to create hand-illustrated playing cards. The hand-illustrated playing cards are Japanese playing cards with pictures rather than numbers and suits. Nintendo then branched into various ventures from a taxi company, to an instant rice company, a remote control vacuum cleaning company, to a toy company. Eventually, Nintendo moved from a toy company and utilized gun technology into video games. Its revenue was estimated at $5.59 billion in 2018. Despite the low income, the company has outstanding longevity, popularity, and legacy with its character Mario wooing fans.

Electronic Art (EA)

Initially founded in 1982 and commonly abbreviated as EA. The software company has withstood the test of time and remained successful in business. EA’s popularity is attributed to its yearly games for FIFA, NBA, and NFL sports representation. Currently, EA owns the Swedish game company DICE. Following a business deal with Disney, EA is the sole distributor of the Star Wars games. The total net worth of the Electronic Art Company is $22.90 billion. EA’s revenue in 2018 was $5.1 billion, which is close to Nintendo’s.

Epic Games

It was founded by Tim Sweeney in 1991 while he was still a student at the University of Maryland. Epic MegaGames was initially Potomac Computer Systems and changed due to efforts to make a single person studio seem more significant. They developed the first-person shooter, Unreal, in 1998, followed by the first iteration of the Unreal Engine. They later dropped Mega and became Epic Games. The worth of Epic Games was estimated at $15 billion in March of 2019 with 250 million players. 

Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games was born in 1999 when BMG games were taken over by Take-Two Interactive. Most known for its Grand Theft Auto series in 2014, the company managed a shipment of 250 million copies of their games. The following year, the number of game shipments was replicated with 250 million copies of Grand Theft Auto series being shipped alone. The legendary Grand Theft Auto has sold more than any other game in the series in the history of the company. When asked about their choice of games, Rockstar’s VP, Dan Houser, responded that it is in their DNA to avoid doing what other companies are doing. The container company for Rockstar, Take-Two Interactive Software, recorded annual revenue of $2.66 billion in 2019, a 48% increase from 2018.

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard is a double-headed monster in the video gaming industry. Both Activation and Blizzard are responsible for popular games like the Tony Hawk Franchise and the ubiquitous Call of Duty First-Person Shooter franchise, respectively. The two companies merged in 2007, creating Activision Blizzard and developing more popular games like Overwatch and Destiny. In 2018, the company generated $7.5 billion in the growth of revenue.

One common trend with these video game software companies is their humble beginnings, except for SCE. However, over time, these companies have grown into multibillion-dollar companies in annual revenue.

Victor Restis and the Fully Automated Commercial Shipping Vessel

Planes, trains, and automobiles are largely automated to some extent or another. Cars are parallel parking without humans; commercial aircraft can fly and land without humans; trains are enabled to operate without humans. What about commercial shipping vessels? I’m talking about the big boys like the one that saved Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Victor Restis, a Greek shipping magnate, touches on the subject of commercial shipping automation in a recently published article, “COVID-19 Turning the Tides on the Maritime Shipping Industry.” He explains that today’s commercial shipping vessels are loaded with the latest communication technologies, IoT technologies, and other aspects that provide substantial cost savings efficiencies. From what the article states, automation in shipping vessels is highly unlikely, so I did a little more digging into this topic.

According to the Maritime Executive – an industry publication – we will never see fully autonomous transoceanic commercial cargo ships – at least for not a long time. It goes on to say that autonomous vessels are likely to operate in only minimal capacities. The reasoning is that the industry states there are too many vulnerabilities and intricate mechanical components to trust automation to control the vessel completely. Upon reading this, my mind brings up a video I saw of Elon Musk celebrating the accomplishment of launching a full-scale rocket into the atmosphere, have it reach inner space, then return to earth and land in the same spot that it started from – all automated. Is the shipping industry saying that their method of transportation is more complicated than space travel? I don’t know enough about either to choose a side, but it is fascinating to think about and explore. So I did.

I found an article that states, “In 2017, SEA CHARGER, a small solar-powered and crewless home-built boat completed a trip from California to Hawaii using GPS and a satellite modem for guidance and connectivity. And companies in the shipping industry are already using technologies that could eventually be used to automate larger vessels. The newest vessel of the Red and White Fleet, a San Francisco charter boat company, is a hybrid diesel-electric with a 160-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack that provides enough power for the ship to do a one-hour Golden Gate cruise on battery power alone.”

So, it seems possible even if the shipping industry isn’t quite ready for it. It appears that to equip a large cargo ocean liner fully requires an enormous expense and design complexity, something that isn’t a viable option at this point. Perhaps as older ships are retired, and new ships are designed and built, we will start seeing more technological integration toward fully automated commercial shipping vessels.

How to change your blood color in PUBG

In PUBG the color of the blood can be changed from red to blue. The explanation for this is partly because the PUBG Corporation is a subsidiary of the South Korean game development firm Bluehole. In Korea, the government has banned violence in video games, so legally changing the color of the blood to blue is a form of censorship. 

Another reason is that some players concentrate on the blood around the opponent while shooting to change the shot, so setting a convenient blood color will improve your target ‘s accuracy significantly and boost the overall success level in the PUBG game.

You will need to open the game client to adjust the blood color in PUBG, go to “Settings,” go to the “Game Process” tab and select the “Color Blindness Mode” element. Four options for PUBG blood color are available as of 2020:

Normal (red colour) 

Deuteranopia, (violet). In deuteranopia mode, you can shift the blood to a purplish-red. This color is poorly visible on PUBG maps, and is not recommended for normal vision players.

Tritanopia (violet) 

Tritanopia is PUBG streamers’ choice, the blood is bright purple. This helps you to alter the shooting strategy, since the toxic “purple cloud” is noticeable even when fired from 600 meters, which can help you adjust target fire.

Protanopia (blue)

Activation of the protanopia will make it possible to make blue blood. The visibility of this color is average, not for everybody.

Professional players and streamers quickly realized that this monitor choice suited them, as changing blood color helps to shoot PUBG more effectively. In fact, the zone wave color changes, and the blood itself. So, you can select the most convenient alternative by playing with the blood color settings.

There is also bright green blood in PUBG, it came to us from Chinese servers. In fact, in games, it is in the Celestial Empire that one can not show red blood. So PUBG Corp has invented such a basic “crutch.” But because this green (turquoise) blood is too visible it was modified not too long ago, dimming the light greatly. You can turn the green blood color on by following these steps: 

  • Right-click on the PUBG game launch shortcut, click on “Properties”
  • “General” item, select “Launch options”
  • Enter the parameter in the launch shortcut: “-koreanrating”
  •  Save and run the game client

Although many users think that using a different blood color is equal to cheating, it’s still god to look at this from both sides. The different blood color allows you to play more efficiently and excel your gameplay to a whole new level. And for some people this would be a wonderful esthetic experience. Either way, good luck on the battlefield!

Click here to read more.

Tips to Outline a Top-Notch Business Plan

As you launch your business, your business plan will become your best friend. Not only will it help to guide you through each step of planning, running, and building your company, but it will be critical to bringing in funding or growing your executive team. With that in mind, it’s clear that outlining a top-notch business plan from the start is key to building a successful business. While there’s no “right way” to create your business plan, there are a few aspects that you want to focus on.

Know Your Audience

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Typically, you’ll be faced with two key audiences: the investors or partners you’re aiming to bring into the company and yourself and any other leaders who are on board with the business already. For the former, you need to convince them of not only why they should be a part of this project but why you and your team are the right people to pull this off. You want to summarize your plans as persuasively as possible. It’s equally important, though, to be honest in your descriptions so that, should someone not be the right fit for your company, you don’t waste your time or theirs pretending they are.


And, of course, don’t forget to consider your business plan’s lasting legacy; it will act as your roadmap through not just your company’s first steps, but its lifetime. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes down the line, but having a solid starting point will save you future troubles.

Include the Most Important Details

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Your business plan should be customized to fit you and your business but, even so, there are a few important details that you’ll want to include no matter what:

What are you selling?

It would be pretty difficult to run your business—and convince others to get involved—without a firm understanding of your product or service. Know whatever you’re offering to your customers thoroughly, and be able to explain it clearly and concisely to potential investors, partners, and clients.

Who’s your ideal customer?

Speaking of customers: who are they? Try to avoid vague, wide-ranging descriptors. It might help to create an avatar depicting your ideal customer. To take it even further, how will you help them? Touch upon your intentions for customer service for an even more concrete view of your customer relations. And, beyond even that, what marketing tactics will you employ to make sure they know about you?

How will your business run?

How will you handle inventory management, order fulfillment, and other logistics? Consider the benefits of utilizing a third-party logistics provider, for example, like the flexibility and improved customer experience they can provide. You might not know what you’ll be doing at exactly 2 p.m. every Thursday, but you should have an idea of both the day-to-day and big-picture operations of your business.

How will money move in and out?

You need to be aware of your budget as you plan your business. Is your 3pl service provider giving you the best results for the best price? Are you considering the cost of business staples (think envelopes, office supplies, and business cards)?. What sort of investment do you need upfront, and what kind of return can be expected? In short, how are you funding your business while making it profitable?

Present Professionally

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When it comes to sharing your business plan, you want it to look like it’s come from the founder of a successful business. Consider a custom foil-stamped tax folder to hold financial documents—and always opt for the “fancy” paper. Even if your company has not yet launched you want to look the part. Pair your CEO-worthy business plan with a smart suit and you’ll be off to a great start.

You can find all templates across the internet for outlining your business plan but remember that there’s no one correct way to create it. If you understand your business—what you have to offer, to whom you’re offering it, how you’ll do it, and how you’ll pay for it—and present it well to both your team and its potential supporters, you’ll have the ideal business plan in no time.

11 Signs You’d Be a Great Entrepreneur

Some say that you’re born to be an entrepreneur—others will say it takes an acquired set of skills to become one. Nothing is certain, but it can’t hurt to try to be one. If you’ve ever dreaded going to work in the early morning or the dead of night, then being an entrepreneur may just be the right line of work for you. These are 11 signs that you’d be a great entrepreneur.

1. You’re always willing to learn new skills.

If you’re always trying or willing to learn a new skill then there’s a chance you might make it as an entrepreneur. Ask the python for finance Nick McCullum; he is a software developer, professional explainer, and the president of Sure Dividend, which is an investment research firm based in Houston, Texas. Nick runs his own website where he keeps a blog and also helps people learn how to code with computers.

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2. You protect your income and investments.

When getting into entrepreneurship, you always want to protect your investments and have something to fall back on if your income begins to dwindle. If you’re currently not capable of working, you can look into getting income protection insurance. Income protection allows you to get up to 75% of your regular income if you are unable to work due to an illness or injury. This can help you with financial obligations as you deal with any problems during entrepreneurship. You can compare income protection insurance with iSelect.

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3. You’re crafty.

If you’ve ever dwelled on how you could make or do something better with a product or company policy, then you’ve already got a great quality most entrepreneurs have, being crafty. This is how many actually had gotten into the business because they became fed-up with something and they took control of the craft.

4. You strive for achievement.

Do you never put the words “good enough” next to each other? Then you should really look into becoming an entrepreneur. A great feature of being a business owner is continually trying to improve success and never getting too comfortable.

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5. You take control.

We are all guilty of wanting control sometimes. That’s something an entrepreneur always is, a take-charge kind of person. If people tend to have an easy time following your ideals and you also have that take-charge mentality then you might be a good fit as an entrepreneur.

6. You like to make your own money.

If you want to be rewarded for your accomplishments directly is a huge sign that becoming an entrepreneur is for you. Many business founders were fed-up with making the next man’s dollar and decided it was in their best interest to do it on their own.

7. You’re fearless.

While most common folks are fearful of running up their credit or leveraging their house and putting it all on the line. A true entrepreneur has no fear when it comes to potentially finding the next big pay off.

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8. Challenge motivates you.

This means you don’t pass off the torch to coworkers when you’re confronted with a problem. This might be you if you look at obstacles directly and try everything in your power to solve those problems.

9. You’re good with money.

Managing money is no joke when it comes to owning a business. If you’re not careful with your expenses you can watch your money squander away in the blink of an eye.

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10. You’re confident.

When starting off as a business owner you will have to raise a lot of money before your idea gets launched off the ground. You’ll need to be able to sell your ideas to your customer base and they will prefer to sell to someone that is confident.

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11. You see the big picture.

Being an entrepreneur means that you don’t let the little things bring you down and that you rise above the rest. You’ll always need to plan 10 steps ahead and always look at the bigger picture of each of your projects. If any of these naturally come to you then you will most likely make it as an entrepreneur.

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