Does a Driving Record Affect a Person’s Ability to Rent a Car?

People who do not rent cars often from rental car companies are not always aware of how their driving record will affect their ability to rent a car, or if it will matter at all. When renting a car, it is a good idea to check with the rental car company to inquire about any disclosures or specific rules they may have about your ability to rent a car and your driving record. Some rental car companies will check with the Motor Vehicle Department to ask for a copy of your driving record. In order for them to do this, you often must submit a written form of permission for them to gain access to this information.

Rental car companies each have their own regulations and requirements that must be met in order for a person to rent a car. Some rental car companies will check a person’s driving record the first time a person rents a car from them. After the first time, if the car is returned in good condition and there were no collisions or fender benders in which the car renter was responsible, the driving record is generally not checked again by the same company unless a significant amount of time has passed before the next time the person rents a car from the company.

If you have a less than stable and perfect driving record, it is possible that you may be charged a higher fee for renting a car. Some car rental companies specialize in renting cars to drivers who have had accidents and speeding tickets in the past. Drinking and driving offenses are not always overlooked by car rental companies; and depending on the offense and how long it has been since it occurred, this could prevent you from being able to rent a car, even if you do have a valid driver’s license.

You may also face the possibility of not being given the option for insurance on the rental car and will be required to pay for the rental car insurance if your record of driving has been an unstable one. Speeding tickets, drinking and driving, collisions, reckless driving tickets, and fender benders all put a negative smear on your driving record. While these tickets and offenses may not necessarily prevent you from being able to rent a car, it can make it more expensive to do so.

Taking a driving class will help to put positive marks on your driving record and this can make all future car rentals and auto insurance prices more affordable for you. Researching several different auto rental companies and making price comparisons for high risk drivers can help you to find the best deals. You may simply need to put down a larger deposit than someone who has a good driving record. These deposits are refundable if there are no accidents while you rented the vehicle and if you return the vehicle in the same condition that it was rented.

Six Obstacles to Networking and How to Overcome Them

Networking is like so many things in our lives – exercise, eating more fiber and less fat, quitting cigarettes, saving money, writing goals – that we know are not only good for us, but are the keys to success. We know because we've often done them enough to see and feel results, but we did not keep up with it. Or we've seen our friends doing these things and enjoying great health. Or we've seen the news articles about the studies that prove these things are beneficial. We've even read the books by the experts and celebrities who clearly spell out these actions and habits as the reason for their wealth, health, and happiness.

We know all this, and we know that networking is a vital business development activity and an important life skill, so why do not we do it? Because there are obstacles in the way of our success, some obvious and some so subtitle that we do not know they are there. Of the six major OBSTACLES to networking, nearly all of them are created inside our own minds. Therefore, it is simple (but although not easy) to change our thinking and to remove them.

The six reasons why we do not network are:

· Misconceptions
· Dislike
· Having no purpose
· Not Knowing How
· No time
· Shyness

Misconceptions
Are you holding onto false beliefs about networking that are mostly negative? Do you think it's just schmoozing, or that it's all about selling, or it's only for outgoing people? Did you try it once and when you did not get results, or did not feel comfortable, you decided it was not for you?

The basis of any of these fallacies is that you believe it does not work or that it will not work for you. This error in thinking that is very easy to disprove. Simply look at the millions of business people who are successful because of the relationships they built through networking. Read books by Dale Carnegie, Harvey Mackay, Andrea Nierenberg, and Keith Ferazzi to be convinced of the value and the principles of networking.

Dislike
Do you dislike networking because you do not feel like selling or being sold to? Do you avoid it because of other people and their poor networking skills? Have you had negative experiences that caused you to have misconceptions about networking?

If you avoid networking because you do not like the way other people do it, you need to radically shift your thinking from annoyance and dislike of these people, to compassion and seeing an opportunity to help them change bad habits. And just like daily life outside of networking, we need to simply deal with those few who do not have good skills and keep searching for the right people to build relationships with. If you've had negative experiences with networking, you need to research your organizations much more thoroughly. We do not eat raw food for the rest of our life because we burned our hand on the stove once. Avoiding networking because of other people is cutting our noses off to spite our faces.

Having No Purpose
Do you see networking as an endless series of pointless cocktail parties full of vapid conversations? Is your contact database not growing or even shrinking as people move away? Do you only network when it's time to change jobs or when business is slow?

If you do not have a strategy and a long-term outlook, you will network based on short-term need, such as losing a job. This can be very unsatisfying because desperation is unattractive. Experienced networkers will avoid your "help me now and I'll forget you later" approach. Harvey Mackay calls it "digging your well before you are thirsty." Your purpose in networking is to build a vibrant, growing, and responsive assortment of relationships you can count on, and who can count on you. The development of mutually beneficial relationships will make every conversation important and purposeful, there will be no more pointless chitchat. Instead, you'll see each time you make contact or converse with someone as another vital but small contribution to the networking structure we are building

Not Knowing How
Do you feel okay with meeting people, but wonder what to do next? Or you are building your contacts, but do not see results from it. Are you unsure what kind of conversation is appropriate if you're not going to sell?

If you lack technique or are unsure how to take networking from the early stages of meeting someone to a defect relationship that is going to create value for both parties, then you may create in your own mind the perception that networking does not work. Or that it's okay for other people who do not have money for advertising, but that it's not necessary for you.

Networking begins with basic social skills such as having conversations that are other-centered. We may feel comfortable in purely social settings like soccer games or birthday parties where we can talk about our children or the happy occasion, but we believe that business networking occasions should be all business. Remember that businesses are run by people, and those people have families, interests, and personal needs. Getting to know someone first is not only perfectly acceptable in the business world, but is the basis of building mutually beneficial relationships.

Once you're comfortable with learning about people for themselves and not as a prospect or sales target, the next step in knowing how to advance the relationship. The most effective and easy way to do this is to give first. Send them information, an invitation or even a referral for business. They will gladly work with you in return.

We sometimes think that we should automatically know how to network just by virtue of being in business, but this is the one topic where there is a gaping hole in our education and training. Financial planning companies are notorious for bringing in their new associates, giving them detailed Financial training, no networking training, and then sending them out to network one of the most difficult industries there is. The range of skills that are needed in networking include conversation skills, the ability to perceive and fill other people's needs, organization, and a clear process for creating a return on the investment of time. This range of techniques requires study and application, like any complex skill.

No Time to Network
Are you ready to network, but you find you just do not have the time? Do you pencil in networking events, but then have too much work to do and can not leave the office?

There are only two reasons you do not have the time to network. Your life may really be so complicated with jobs, second jobs, childcare, or elder care that you typically work 16-hour days every single day of the week. But, if you watch one single hour of mindless television a day, you are just making excuses to not network. You do not lack the time; You just do not want to make the time.

Any busy person who discovered a new passion or a fun new hobby has found that it is possible to find the time when you really want to do something. Suddenly, your schedule opens up, you find new efficiencies, or you are able to reprioritize. If you're not able to do that with networking, revisit your beliefs and your purpose. The time will almost magically appear if you are clearly focused on the value of networking.

There are also ways to be much more efficient and effective with the time you spend networking. Instead of very general events with a random group of people, take time to research exactly whom you need to add to your network and target your networking time accordingly. A leads group is also a time-efficient way to network because it is focused on giving and receiving referrals. You may even want to create your own networking events and activities. This would be a larger investment of time, but the return is much greater when you are the organizer and host.

If you have a short-term perspective, you will feel that the time invested is not paying off. If you think you're wasting time, you will not spend it. But if it is a long-term project that will compound, it is much easier to find the time to invest. We so often have to deal with the urgent tasks that are not important, instead of networking, which is not urgent but very important.

Shyness
Do you feel like you can not be a good networking because you are an introvert? Or do feelings of shyness hold you back from networking? A majority of people in the population report feeling some shyness at different times. These feelings contribute to the misconception that only outgoing people are good at networking. Having no clear purpose and need to work on our social skills can compound feelings of shyness, which are basically a lack of self-confidence. Preparation and planning can create confidence, which causes us to be successful which make us more confident.

There are also networking events that are better suited for a more introverted person. Large, non-agenda mixer meetings can be difficult for anyone if you are unfamiliar with the group. Use the buddy system and focus on smaller, more personal events to build your confidence.

Conclusion
Think carefully about your excuses for avoiding networking in relation to these six common obstacles. Nearly every one of them is founded in the way we think. Once we've removed these obstacles that come between ourselves and our goal of effective networking, our success is assured. Apply diplomacy to make sure you're not allowing bad thinking habits and doubt to creep back in. From now on, it's simply a matter of time and consistent effort.

Living in the Philippines – Best "Passive" Businesses to Start

For those OFW’s and foreigners wishing to start a business, but not wishing to involve themselves with the stress of a business involving day-to-day operations, employees, landlords, inventory, and so forth, there are several available opportunities for foreigners living in the Philippines. Buy fixer upper properties, improve them, then rent or sell them.

1. Buy Fixer Upper Properties, Improve Them, Then Rent or Sell Them. This is a great business for those of you who have experience in your home country in buying, fixing up and renting or selling properties. Over the past 10 years, a lot of people got involved in this kind of business in their homeland.

With the overall economic problems in the world the past couple of years, the Philippines has not been immune, and there are a lot of properties in a state of disrepair, as well as lot of distressed and foreclosed properties.

2. Build An Apartelle. An Apartelle is an apartment building where all but one of the units are rented out long term, and you are left to operate on a nightly or weekly basis, like a hotel – hence the combined name of apartelle. These are common in the Philippines.

This business will require a heavier capital investment, yet with the right property and by focusing in the more rural areas or smaller cities, you can construct a small 4 unit apartment building for Peso 3,000,000 – not counting cost of the land.

You would want to rent out 3 units on a long term rental basis, and keep one for short term rentals – for the many traveling salesmen that frequent the countryside. They like booking into such short term apartelle units rather than the much more expensive hotels in the area.

3. Condotels. I have not given this business my “thumbs up” in all instances. Condotels have been heavily touted and promoted the past several years and there have been many, many new condominiums built in Manila, and now even in Cebu and starting in Davao.

The problem is that although the developers offer great down payment terms (usually around 30% down financed over 3 years) and in some cases carry back the mortgage and finance for perhaps 10 years, the interest rates are incredibly high, and the split of rentals with the management team runs around 50%/50%. There is also always a nominal monthly maintenance fee.

What looks like “cheap” entry point and cash flow out each month, in many cases simply becomes a bet on long term property appreciation – finding someone willing to pay you more for it than you paid for it.

This is because with all the inventory on hand, there is a surplus of condos which have been into hotel type rental pools, but not enough visitors to rent them all.

Consequently, what an investor thought would be a good positive cash cow, turns out to be a continuous negative cash flow – not what a new retiree to the Philippines is looking for to supplement his pension or annuity! This type investment will only drain you pension.

However, having written all this, I HAVE FOUND the past several month two exceptional condotel investments which DO meet my criteria of creating good ongoing rental income.

4. Farming. The likely cessation of the Agrarian Land Reform Program (CARP) will give the rural sector renewed confidence to invest in agricultural production capacity. CARP has held back investment in both production capacity as well as farm acquisition. An end to CARP will mean higher land prices since land will be valued for its higher income producing potential.

However, higher land prices are simply a “serendipity”, an added value, to the type of farming business I am writing about. I have found an extremely unique business opportunity, which will generate a great ROI (return on investment) and is completely passive. It has been structured by the developers (all foreigners) to be a one turnkey investment price. The price includes cost of the land, plus all

Clearing, planting, cultivation and harvesting for the first 5 years.

The business has been priced to fit the capital investment budget of the average foreigner retiree, and all landowners will be members of a cooperative which will share the farming equipment (tractors, equipment shed, and others). The farm will be “farmed” by the developer’s management team

The hottest trend now is in organic farming, and yet it is only in its infancy stage in the Philippines. There is one export product in particular which has caught my attention – the pili nut. The Philippines is the ONLY country with which produces and processes this nut in commercial quantity.

The current status of the pili is equivalent to that of the macadamia some 30 years ago. It has huge potential to develop into a major industry. They are in demand not only in Hong Kong and Taiwan but also in Singapore, Korea and Austria.

Restaurants Kinds and Characteristics

Broadly speaking, restaurants can be categorized into a number of categories:
1. Chain or independent (indy) and franchise restaurants. McDonald's, Union Square Cafe, or KFC
2. Quick service (QSR), sandwich. Burger, chicken, and so on; Convenience store, noodle, pizza
3. Fast casual. Panera Bread, Atlanta Bread Company, Au Bon Pain, and so on
Family. Bob Evans, Perkins, Friendly's, Steak 'n Shake, Waffle House
5. Casual. Applebee's, Hard Rock Caf'e, Chili's, TGI Friday's
6. Fine dining. Charlie Trotter's, Morton's Steakhouse, Flemming's, The Palm, Four Seasons
7. Other. Steakhouses, seafood, ethnic, dinner houses, celebrity, and so on. Of course, some restaurants fall into more than one category. For example, an Italian restaurant could be casual and ethnic. Leading restaurant concepts in terms of sales have been tracked for years by the magazine Restaurants and
Institutions.

CHAIN ​​OR INDEPENDENT
The impression that a few huge quick-service chains completely dominate the restaurant business is misleading. Chain restaurants have some advantages and some disadvantages over independent restaurants. The advantages include:

1. Recognition in the marketplace
2. Greater advertising clout
3. Sophisticated systems development
4. Discounted procurement

When franchising, various kinds of assistance are available. Independent restaurants are reliably easy to open. All you need is a few thousand dollars, a knowledge of restaurant operations, and a strong desire to
Succeeded. The advantage for independent restaurateurs is that they can 'do their own thing' in terms of concept development, menus, decor, and so on. Without our habits and taste change drastically, there is plenty of room for independent restaurants in certain locations. Restaurants come and go. Some independent restaurants will grow into small chains, and larger companies will buy out small chains.

Once small chains display growth and popularity, they are likely to be bought out by a larger company or will be able to acquire financing for expansion. A temptation for the beginning restaurateur is to observe large restaurants in big cities and to believe that their success can be duplicated in secondary cities. Reading the restaurant reviews in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, or San Francisco may give the impression that unusual restaurants can be replicated in Des Moines, Kansas City, or Main Town, USA. Because of demographics, these high-style or ethnic restaurants will not click in small cities and towns.

5. Will go for training from the bottom up and cover all areas of the restaurant's operation Franchising involves the least financial risk in that restaurant format, including building design, menu, and marketing plans, already have been tested in the marketplace. Franchise restaurants are less likely to go belly up than independent restaurants. The reason is that the concept is proven and the operating procedures are established with all (or most) of the kinks worked out. Training is provided, and marketing and management support are available. The increased likelihood of success does not come cheap, however.

There is a franchising fee, a royalty fee, advertising royalty, and requirements of personal personal net worth. For those lacking substantive restaurant experience, franchising may be a way to get into the restaurant business-providing they are prepared to start at the bottom and take a crash training course. Restaurant franchisees are entrepreneurs who prefer to own, operate, develop, and extend an existing business concept through a form of contractual business arrangement called franchising.1 Several franchises have ended up with multiple stores and made the big time. Naturally, most aspiring restaurateurs want to do their own thing-they have a concept in mind and can not wait to go for it.

Here are examples of the costs involved in franchising:

1. A Miami Subs traditional restaurant has a $ 30,000 fee, a royalty of 4.5 percent, and requires at least five years' experience as a multi-unit operator, a personal / business equity of $ 1 million, and a personal / business
Net worth of $ 5 million.

2. Chili's requires a monthly fee based on the restaurant's sales performance (currently a service fee of 4 percent of monthly sales) plus the greater of (a) monthly base rent or (b) percentage rent that is at least 8.5 percent of monthly sales .

3. McDonald's requires $ 200,000 of nonborrowed personal resources and an initial fee of $ 45,000, plus a monthly service fee based on the restaurant's sales performance (about 4 percent) and rent, which is a
Monthly base rent or a percentage of monthly sales. Equipment and preopening costs range from $ 461,000 to $ 788,500.

4. Pizza Factory Express Units (200 to 999 square feet) require a $ 5,000 franchise fee, a royalty of 5 percent, and an advertising fee of 2 percent. Equipment costs range from $ 25,000 to $ 90,000, with miscellaneous costs of $ 3,200 to $ 9,000 and opening inventory of $ 6,000.

5. Earl of Sandwich has options for one unit with a net worth requirement of $ 750,000 and liquidity of $ 300,000; For 5 units, a net worth of $ 1 million and liquidity of $ 500,000 is required; For 10 units, net worth
Of $ 2 million and liquidity of $ 800,000. The franchise fee is $ 25,000 per location, and the royalty is 6 percent.

What do you get for all this money? Franchisors will provide:

1. Help with site selection and a review of any proposed sites
2. Assistance with the design and building preparation
3. Help with preparation for opening
Training of managers and staff
5. Planning and implementation of pre-opening marketing strategies
6. Unit visits and ongoing operating advice

There are hundreds of restaurant franchise concepts, and they are not without risks. The restaurant owned or leased by a franchisee may fail even though it is part of a well-known chain that is highly successful. Franchisers also fail. A case in point is the highly touted Boston Market, which was based in Golden, Colorado. In 1993, when the company's stock was first offered to the public at $ 20 per share, it was eager bought, increasing the price to a high of $ 50 a share. In 1999, after the company declared bankruptcy, the share price sank to 75 cents. The contents of many of its stores were auctioned off at
A fraction of their cost.7 Fortunes were made and lost. One group that did not lose was the investment bankers who put together and sold the stock offering and received a sizable fee for services.

The offering group also did well; They were able to sell their shares while the stocks were high. Quick-service food chains as well-known as Hardee's and Carl's Jr. Have also gone through periods of red ink. Both companies, now under one owner called CKE, experienced periods as long as four years when real incomes, as a company, were negative. (Individual stores, company owned or franchised, however, may have done well during the down periods.) There is no assurance that a franchised chain will prosper.

At one time in the mid-1970s, A & W Restaurants, Inc., of Farmington Hills, Michigan, had 2,400 units. In 1995, the chain numbered a few more than 600. After a buyout that year, the chain expanded by 400 stores. Some of the expansions took place in nontraditional locations, such as kiosks, truck stops, colleges, and convenience stores, where the full-service restaurant experience is not important. A restaurant concept may do well in one region but not in another. The style of operation may be highly compatible with the personality of one operator and not another.

Most franchised operations call for a lot of hard work and long hours, which many people perceive as drudgery. If the franchisee lacks sufficient capital and leases a building or land, there is the risk of paying more for the lease than the business can support. Relations between franchisers and the franchisees are often strained, even in the largest companies. The goals of each usually differ; Franchisers want maximum fees, while franchisees want maximum support in marketing and franchised service such as employee training. At times, franchise chains get involved in litigation with their franchises.

As franchise companies have set up hundreds of franchises across America, some regions are planned: More franchised units were built than the area can support. Current franchise holders complain that adding more franchises serves only to reduce sales of existing stores. Pizza Hut, for example, stopped selling
Franchises except to well-qualified buyers who can take on a number of units. Overseas markets institute a large source of the income of several quick-service chains. As might be expected, McDonald's has been the leader in overseas expansions, with units in 119 countries.

With its roughly 30,000 restaurants serving some 50 million customers daily, about half of the company's profits come from outside the United States. A number of other quick-service chains also have large numbers of franchised units abroad. While the beginning restaurateur quite rightly concentrates on being successful here and now, many bright, ambitious, and energetic restaurateurs think of future possibilities abroad. Once a concept is established, the entrepreneur may sell out to a franchiser or, with a lot of guidance, take the form overseas through the franchise. (It is folly to build or buy in a foreign country without a partner who is financially secure and well versed in the local laws and culture.).

The McDonald's success story in the United States and abroad illustrates the importance of adaptability to local conditions. The company opens units in illegally locations and closes those that do not do well. Abroad, men are tailor to fit local customs. In the Indonesia crisis, for example, french fries that had to be imported were taken off the menu, and rice was substituted. Reading the life stories of big franchise winners may suggest that once a franchise is well established, the way is clear sailing. Thomas Monaghan, founder of Domino Pizza, tells a different story. At one time, the chain had accumulated a debt of $ 500 million. Monaghan, a devout Catholic, said that he changed his life by renouncing his greatest sin, pride, and rededicating his life to '' God, family, and pizza. ''

A meeting with Pope John Paul II had changed his life and his feeling about good and evil as '' personal and abiding. '' Monaghan's case, the rededication worked well. There are 7,096 Domino Pizza outlets worldwide, with sales of about $ 3.78 billion a year. Monaghan sold most of his interest in the company for a reported $ 1 billion and announced that he would use his fortune to further Catholic church causes. In the recent past, most food-service millionaires have been franchisers, yet a large number of would-be restaurateurs, especially those enrolled in university degree courses in hotel and restaurant management, are not very excited about being a quick-service franchisee.

They prefer owning or managing a full-service restaurant. Prospective franchisees should review their food experience and their access to money and decision which franchise would be appropriate for them. If they have little or no food experience, they can consider starting their restaurant career with a less expensive franchise, one that provides start-up training. For those with some experience who want a proven concept, the Friendly's chain, which began franchising in 1999, may be a good choice. The chain has more than 700 units. The restaurants are considered family dining and feature ice cream specialties, sandwiches, soups, and quickservice meals.

Let's emphasize this point again: Work in a restaurant you enjoy and sometimes would like to emulate in your own restaurant. If you have enough experience and money, you can strike out on your own. Better yet, work in a successful restaurant where a partnership or proprietorship may be possible or where the owner is thinking about retiring and, for tax or other reasons, may be willing to take payments over time.
Franchisees are, in effect, entrepreneurs, many of whom create chains within chains.

McDonald's had the highest system-wide sales of a quick-service chain, followed by Burger King. Wendy's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC came next. Subway, as one among hundreds of franchisers, gained total sales of $ 3.9 billion. There is no doubt that 10 years from now, a listing of the companies with the highest sales will be different. Some of the current leaders will experience sales Declines, and some will merge with or be bought out by other companies-some of which may be financial giants not previously engaged in the restaurant business.