The business of take-out

Too lazy to cook or just don’t have to ingredients in the fridge. It’s raining outside too. Never have the stars aligned to such perfection to convince you to order take-out delivery. 20 years ago, you would have had to get in your car and pick It up or else pick one of the few places that did delivery. Now things have changed, and this problem doesn’t exist anymore.

Taking a look at the Australian market, it is packed with delivery companies happy to pick up and deliver your pizza, Chinese, Indian or whatever is on the menu that night. UberEats, Menulog and Deliveroo are all competing for space in the market so what sets them apart?

All three companies have taken up position in the major cities throughout Australia although UberEats seems to have the widest reach in Sydney servicing the eastern suburbs and CBD all the way to some of the most western suburbs.

Ubereats, launched by ride sharing company Uber, entered the market late which allowed them to capitalise on other competitor’s mistakes. Complaints about cold deliveries as well as extra hidden charges for time taken in delivering the food, convinced UberEats to stick to a flat $5 delivery fee. While the app restricts delivery within a certain radius to ensure the food will arrive on time and can work out economically.

Deliveroo, launched in London in 2013, growing quickly to deliver in 84 cities by 2016, the company has had success as an early entrant to the market. They have also created a delivery only kitchen in Melbourne. Chef’s from several different restaurants work in this Deliveroo kitchen and instead of handing the dish to a waiter it goes out to the delivery driving immediately. With similar shops in London and Singapore, revenue jumped by more than five times for the company.

Menulog, founded in 2006 and the oldest of the three competitors, has over 4,000 restaurants in its database and has had steady growth in the past 8 years. Unlike UberEats and Deliveroo, Menulog does not provide delivery with its own drivers.

With an industry worth over $600 million, Menulog is said to be leading the chasing pack. With an expectation of industry growth to be $2.4 billion by 2025 there is plenty of money to be fought for between the three big players. And in a relatively new market, much more to come by the way of inventions and development.

The business of basketball

The NBA finals are currently taking place between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The showpiece final of the National Basketball Association sees the two sides battle it out for the fourth year running. Not only is at a battle of cities but also of players. LeBron James, leading the Cavs versus Stef Curry, the three-point king spearheading the Warriors’ attack. Played out to the best of seven games, the series is the main event of the basketball season but how much money is involved from sponsorship down to salaries? We’ll take a look below.

  1. Salaries

Leaving aside the two heavyweights for a second and examining the top 20 earners in the NBA, there is just one other entrant, at 15th highest. Earning $25 million over a 2-year contract, Kevin Durant, the GSW forward is more than earning his keep. Now towards the end of his career, Durant took a shorter contract for more money, catapulting him into the top 20 earners. While at number 1 and 2 are Curry and James respectively. LeBron, having played 15 seasons has made more than a healthy living and earns $99 million over three years. Curry on the other hand, has only just recently a new bumper contract of $201 million over 5 years. Small change

  1. Ticket prices

Tickets for any game of the finals is extortionate so you should make sure you have more than a passing interest in the sport before forking over money for them. In 2017, tickets for game 6 resold at an average of $650 while for the final game in Oakland, the home of GSW, the average resale value was $1,600, a hefty investment.

  1. Sponsorship

In 2015, the average cost of an ad spot during the final was over $500,000, slightly lower than the $1 million being asked for advertising spots at the super bowl. ABC, the network with exclusive rights to the games, raised $160 million for the series and are hoping for a close match up this year too to maximise their revenue.

Golden State are the heavy favourites so it doesn’t look like the television networks will get their way. Winning two out of the three previous encounters, Curry and co will look to add a third to that total but with his $201 million dollar contract, he’ll be going home the winner regardless of what happens over the series.

Tell me about yourself

Tell me about yourself. One of the most difficult questions to answer. So open, yet because of this, nothing comes to mind. Which is silly. How can you not conjure up a sentence that adequately answers this question? Whether on a first date or a first interview, the question is being asked like this on purpose. The answer will say a lot about you. If you start talking about your work experience on your first date, you’re clearly nuts, same goes if you talk about your family in a job interview. So, what can you do to answer the question properly when interviewing for a job?

First things first, talk about your work experience. They might not be asking about it but just go with it. Talk about your last job and you’re in safe territory. Talk about how personal interests and pastimes and you could be ruining your chances getting a second question never mind a second interview.

You’re nervous, but that’s no excuse to ramble. Confidently answer that you did X, Y and Z in your last position and your experiences learned will help you in this role. If they are waiting for you to say more, take a second to think and bring in W all the while linking it to the position you’re interviewing for. It’s not rocket science but stay on point.

If a couple of unimpressed faces are staring back at you, it’s time to change tact a little. They told you to talk about yourself so mention the parts of your personality that will make you the perfect recruit. Hard-working, easy to work with etc. Those unimpressed frowns have softened slightly. You are feeling a little bit better about your answer now.

Suddenly you can feel temptation creeping in. You are so close to mentioning you love a few drinks on the weekend and playing Fortnite over the internet. Don’t do it. Call it a day with that answer and see what they say.

And then they speak, “and tell me what you like to do in your spare time…”

Bingo. You gauged it correctly. Now is the time to let them know the real you. “I like quiet nights in, and I am a sensible human at the weekend who likes a glass of wine or two”. The perfect answer, you’ve nailed this interview and with that is how to answer one of the hardest questions known to man.

No sitting in the workplace

We all know it but sitting at your desk is an unhealthy to spend over two thirds of your week. So, what can you do to change it up and what difference can it make to your daily work life?

Step 1

Ask for a movable standing desk. This will change everything. Take one hour standing and one hour sitting. It will give you a break from the monotony of sitting staring at your screen. If you feel like standing for longer, you can but remember it’s not that healthy. Standing still or sitting for long hours are said to be just as bad for your health so try to mix it up and bring some difference into your working life.

Step 2

Every hour on the hour, it’s time for a walk. Five minutes is all, best to get some fresh air but if you have to stay inside the building that’s fine. Don’t fall into the trap of standing or sitting still in this 5 minutes. The break is there to reinvigorate your body and mind and to get the blood in your legs moving. If you’re feeling especially brave and are stripped of all of your insecurities start stretching. Lower or upper body, it doesn’t matter but anything that loosens your tight muscles is good for you.

Step 3

Do some exercise. Whether that means you do it at the start, middle or end of the day make sure you do something. Some people will tell you they just don’t have the time to exercise, family life gets in the way along with a long commute and work piling up. Exercise can be done anywhere, at home while kids are doing their homework, on the way to work or in a spare room in the office where you can do 10 minutes of stretching before you sit down at your desk.

These are three easy steps to follow, and the benefits will be felt to you and your business. Your productivity should increase. People who exercise find concentrating at work easier, they are less likely to suffer from sleeping problems and find it easier to prioritise other tasks to work around their schedule. Exercise has plenty of physiological and mental benefits while sitting at a desk all day doesn’t. If you want to progress in your job maybe the thing holding you back is taking things sitting down all day.

Doing business in the tourist sector

The travel and tourism industry is one of the largest industries worldwide. In 2016, it was said to account for $7.6 trillion globally from money generated by accommodation, transport, leisure and entertainment. Accounting for so much money it’s not hard to see why more and more people are going into business in the tourism industry either.

Travel anywhere in the world and there will be business purely running on tourism, beachside restaurants, streets salesmen or hotels. In developing countries especially, whole communities are dependent on the tourist sector, without it, there would be nothing. Locals have developed the industry, but now more and more foreigners are moving in to set up business, drawn by the easy lifestyle, money to be made and beautiful weather, it seems like a simple decision. Rules can be laxer in these countries so barriers to entry aren’t as high either. What can be the drawbacks of setting up shop in these countries though?

  1. Laws

You’ve been on holiday to South-East Asia several times and you love it. You’ve spotted a gap in the market and decided to move over and set up your business. What’s stopping you? Local laws for a start. Many countries in this part of the world maintain the need for a national to be involved in setting up and running the business. This all sounds great as they can speak the language and know the local market, until they take advantage of this and take over the business leaving you with nothing.

  1. Culture

Different cultures can be a significant barrier to success no matter what country you are working in. Time frames in which you want to have something done might not mean so much to local suppliers who move at their own more relaxed pace. Dealing with holidays can also be difficult as countries close for a business for a long period during times unfamiliar to you.

  1. Seasons

You start up your business in the summer months and it’s booming. Thousands of tourists flock from Europe and America. You think you’ve hit the jackpot, making more money that you originally thought possible. Then the slower months hit, and you’re left sitting staring at the ceiling for most of the day while your only source of revenue dries up.

A popular tourist destination may seem like the perfect place to set up a business but be careful what you wish for. You may just have more time to sunbathe than you originally wanted.

Give me a job

It’s time you got a job or, so everyone is telling you. At whichever juncture in life, whether just finished university or travelling, in between jobs or having finally left the job you hated, you can’t take a moments rest before society, or your mum, is telling you to get out of the house and find a job. We all like to do things, things cost money and working is the best way to guarantee money so what is the best way to get back on the wagon and get that job you love?

  1. Job Boards

All over the internet, some spanning multiple countries, others that are just local, job boards are the best way to see all available positions in your chosen industry. Most ads will give you an indication into seniority level, experience and money expected in the role. You can read a company and job description while convincing yourself that this is your big break and the job you’ve always wanted.

  1. Recommendations

Probably the easiest way to find employment is to go through a recommendation from a friend or former colleague. Any way to get your foot in the door, even if you’ve never met them before, don’t be shy and apply. You should get an interview at the very least, plus you’ll have someone who can tell you what its really like to work there.

  1. Company websites

Sometimes there’s no better way than just going to the main source. If you are unsure of the industry you want to work in, this may not work, but if you are, contact as many companies as possible to see if they are hiring either now or in the near future. Creating a relationship with the hiring manager could make all the difference when a position does become available. You could be the first person they think of.

  1. Recruiters

This should be a last resort. You’ve exhausted all other options and so now you contact a recruiter to help you find a job. Best case scenario, you got a job right away that you love, worst case and most likely, you are sent job after job that doesn’t match what you want. Be prepared to be spoken down to and told what’s good for you too. A pleasant experience.

The days are turning into weeks of unemployment but keep your head and whatever you do try not to dance with the devil, you’ll regret it.

Kakao domination

South Korea, one half of the Korean peninsula, with a population of 50 million people has always been a trailblazer in technology, spearheaded by companies such as LG, Samsung, Kia and Hyundai. With the advent and subsequent popularity of the smartphone industry, Korea’s answer to a free messaging app came from within.

Historically insular with the products they use, Korean consumers use of Kakao Talk is extraordinary. Launched in 2010, as smartphones were becoming more and more popular, Kakao were able to gain a considerable foothold in the market ahead of Line, a similar app created by Naver. With 49 million users worldwide compared to Line’s 218 million, Kakao is far from the worldwide powerhouse. However, with 41 million users in Korea alone, it has a stranglehold of the market that it doesn’t look like loosening.

As mentioned before this can partly put down to Korean’s love of using products that are Korean. These products are locally produced and can meet the exact needs of the Korean market. Naver, a Korean search engine, is another that dominates the market, battling with Kakao’s parent company Daum, they control the market, with google accounting for only 2% of usage. In a month, Koreans are estimated to spend over 800 minutes using Kakao while just 28 minutes using Facebook messenger.

While worldwide, YouTube lead the industry in live broadcasting, not so in Korea. Afreeca TV has the largest market share in an industry that is still at the early stages in other countries but in which 80% Korean internet users interact with.

So, what does Kakao offer that WhatsApp or other messaging apps don’t?

Firstly, it’s Korean. It’s tailored to Koreans, from the emojis of Korean food and drink to the cute characters it has created. Found on other Asian messaging apps, characters and their cuteness is a big draw for users. Both Line and Kakao have created a merchandising line behind these characters and have stores devoted to them throughout Asia.

Secondly, it has been an innovator. It was a leader in voice and video calling introducing it years ahead of WhatsApp. While, Kakao run numerous other apps too, including navigation apps for the subway, buses and taxis as well as a Facebook style platform and food delivery and grocery shopping service.

Kakao has been dominating the Korean market for years but whether it can transfer this success to other markets remains to be seen.

Creating a perfect blog

Online blogging has become more and more popular over the past few years. There are now more than 300 million blogs on the internet as writers aim to earn a living for themselves doing what they love.  In the US, 14% of bloggers earn more than the average household salary showing that being a blogger is a legitimate career path that is both sustainable and enjoyable.

40% of bloggers cover personal development whether that be home or work life, and how they got to where they are. These blogs have teaching and opinions within them so what makes a good personal development blog and how can you improve your blogging business?

  1. Controversy

The most important thing to do is go against popular opinion. Even if you don’t believe it. Opposition to a mainstream idea creates annoyance or anger, especially on the internet. So, think of something that is nearly taken as fact and go about disproving that theory or opinion. You will be hated, but the haters will keep coming back.

  1. Topic

Pick a topic that people actually care about. Nobody wants to read about your niche interest, well not enough people anyway. The topic you choose might have been beaten to death over the internet, by blogger after blogger, but do it anyway. Pick a different viewpoint but you need people to have an initial opinion on the topic.

Show readers how you overcame a challenge and how this challenge relates to their life. Bloggers can seem like a higher being sometimes, who have all the answers and all the followers, but showing the reader that you too have everyday struggles will be sure to improve your brand and followers.

  1. Humour

Make it funny. No matter how serious the topic is, there is always a place for humour. You take what you’re writing about seriously, but you realise there are more important things to life. There is no need to offend anyone when writing, so a joke here or there can show that you’re not in the business of offence but passionate about the topic.

76% of bloggers use WordPress so if the blogging industry is one you want to get into this is the one you need to be part of.  Through this you can measure shares, site visitors and subscribers. Once these numbers start increasing you’ll be a pro in no time, just remember to follow the steps above.

Dog’s world

It’s said there’s always a bitch in the workplace, but really, should dogs be allowed in an office? Some people love them, some hate them, and others are just indifferent. Some want to pet it, and some want to stay well away. You can’t please everyone so let’s see what the pro’s and con’s of having a dog in the office are.

Energy

Dogs are bundles of energy. Most love to run around, whether that’s after a tail or after a ball, their energy can be infectious. Those in the office love it and are in better moods, allowing them to get more done and work better.

Then there are the scared people. They want the dog to have all it’s energy surgically removed and thrown away forever. A dog should be quiet and lying down, it is a professional environment after all, the dog should know this. Sit, good dog!

Break times

Instead of talking your break, walking over to your favourite colleague and distracting them, you can bring the dog outside for a walk. It’s a win-win, you both get out into the fresh air away from the sometimes claustrophobic surroundings of the office.

The dog despisers will be happy with this, the dog is out of the office so this means they can finally take that toilet break they’ve been holding in for the past two hours. It alleviates the threat of the dog pouncing and eating them as an early morning snack.

Smell

Dogs smell. There is no two ways about it. Dog lovers ignore this, while the dog haters sit at their desk, struggling to get the thought of the smell out of their head and the smell out of their nostrils.

It’s not easy being afraid of dogs. Like most fears, it’s completely irrational but most don’t take a job and expect there to be a dog strolling around in between desks. Many argue that they should be able to take their dog to work while others campaign for at least one day in the calendar year where everyone can bring their dog to work.

Colleagues may be allergic while other just plain scared, but to say this is to go against the grain. If you don’t like dogs, you’re crazy. Feeling uncomfortable in work because of a co-worker is terrible, but having those feelings because a four legged creature who doesn’t even work there is present is just annoying.