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May 4, 2017

When raising quail there are a lot of variables that have to come together to keep your quail healthy. Most quail breeders first think about getting their eggs to hatch and then being able to keep the quail, disease free. These are very important factors when raising quail and do require a significant amount of knowledge and proper management.

But there is also another very dangerous problem that can occur when raising quail that is often overlooked. This problem is cannibalism, also known as picking. It can cause injury or even death when raising quail.

It may start out as simple picking of the toes and beak area of your quail. this type of cannibalism usually occurs with quail chicks. If not addressed at this point it will keep progressing as the quail age. You will also lose quite a few quail along the way. As your quail age the picking will progress more to the back and vent area of your quail. Once you have raised your quail to production age, you certainly don’t want to lose them to this problem. You have a lot of time and money invested in them.

The most common causes for cannibalism when raising quail are overcrowding, not enough food, not enough water, to much heat or not enough heat. As with disease the best solution is prevention.

When your quail chicks are in their brooding stage, use colored lights for heat. Blue comes highly recommended, but red will also work. It is not a bad idea to just give the quail chicks enough light to find their food and water. Make sure they have enough room and you follow proper temperature guides.

Provide more than enough food and water for your quail. No matter if you are raising quail as a hobby or to make money, you don’t want to lose them for the small cost of a few extra feeders or waterers.

Always provide enough space, no matter what stage of life your quail are in. This point cannot be overlooked when raising quail. This can and usually will cause cannibalism and can also cause many more problems. This is just an unnecessary mistake that should not be made.

Try to keep only uniform sized birds together. Your quail can be as mean as humans can in this respect, if they look at little different, are a little smaller or something that makes them stand out. There is a good chance they will get picked on.

Check your quail several times a day, remove any dead or injured birds immediately. Nurse your injured birds back to health before attempting to add them back to the flock. When adding the quail back to the flock, keep a close eye on the quail to make sure it is being accepted. If not you will have to remove it again. You may have to wait until cooler weather or breeding season is over before trying again.

Give your quail places to hide, make them some little brush piles out of twigs or small houses. You can also provide them with something to peck on, other than each other. Put a small tightly bound bail of hay, ripe apples, tomatoes or green corn stalks in the quails cage. I have also had someone give me a very unique idea that he said worked well for him. He took an old CD, put it on a string and dangled it down in front of them and the quail picked on that.

The other option is debeaking, I would only use this as a last resort. But if nothing else works, you are raising quail for a reason and that reason is not to have them peck each other to death. If you do have to resort to this method of stopping cannibalism, remember you have to catch the birds to do this. Catching your quail is a danger in it self.

You can use a scissors, nail clippers or there is a special device made especially for this process. This device will burn the beak back to the desired length, usually removing about one third of the upper part of the beak. I don’t like debeaking nor do I recommend it, but when all else fails. You do what you have to do.

Source by Gary Ortlieb

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Over 20 years, legal protection for software has increased rapidly around the world, the technology and scope of enforcement of software protection continues to increase in varies methods significantly.

The ultimate software protection is the hardware based software protection dongle, or we can call hardware key, dongle-based protection, software copy protection dongle, etc. This kind of protection might be the best, and it can maximum the software vendors’ revenue.

The advantages of USB software protection dongles.

~ Hardware-based protection with the USB dongle secures sales and profits by preventing software piracy and license infringements.

~ Provides flexible variable licensing methods such, subscription, leasing, pay-per-use, by period, etc.

~ A single USB dongle can protect several applications. An entire network can be protected with only one hardware key.

~ Remote Update provides conveniences of distribution, updates and follow-up of sales.

~ Every copy of the software is registered and prohibits the illegal usage.

~ USB security dongle offers two levels of protection: envelope and the API. The envelope contains the decryption engine plus several pre-canned defenses to defeat reverse engineering. API allows embedding calls to the hardware key in code and performs custom checks to defeat reverse engineering attackers.

Differentiate dongles by port:

~ Serial port: It seems the serial port dongle is a history for now.

~ Parallel port: with the increasing USB port in all types of computers the parallel port dongles are vanishing from the marketing.

~ USB dongles: USB port dongles are the absolutely mainstream and take up all the positions in every district.

Differentiate dongles by driver

~ The dongle with driver: customers have to install the driver before insert the dongle, actually most the dongle problem are caused by the driver.

~ The driverless dongle: end users do not have to install the driver, just insert the dongle to the USB port, it works perfectly. This saves loads of work of technical support team.

Differentiate dongles by cases

~ Water-Proofed dongles: these dongles are waterproofed as the case is plastic injection molded to resist water filter into the dongle body, it perfectly fit the use of oceanic software.

~ Non Water-Proofed: the case is buttoned up, it is with possibility of water leakage into the dongle body.

Differentiate dongles by real time clock.

~ Dongles that with a real time clock inside is called real time dongle. Real Time is specially designed for software vendors who needs to control and manage the software’s rental and selling in subscription or maintenance, it allows to pay per use, in this way software vendor can completely control the sales by charging the end users timely and periodically. This function is based on a real time clock deposited in the dongle indicating the specific time (hour, minute, second) and date (day, month, year).

~ Non-real time dongle- There is no real time clock inside the dongle, vendors can set the time by virtual clock, but the time can be changed with the system time changing.

Differentiate dongles by storage.

~ Normally the USB dongles has only small storage from a few bytes to maximum of 64k for storing credentials. Currently this is the mainstream of USB dongles.

~ Dongles with mass storage and the data inside can be encrypted on key, this is a technology newly introduced by UniKey Drive. It is ideal for distributing software on-key, stored in on-key storage.

Key Features of the mass storage with data encrypted on-key

~ Smaller size, less oxygen

The hardware keys go with dimension of 30 * 2mm, extremely thin package. Up to 1GB flash memory and a smartcard dongle are assemble in such cute case.

~ Smartcard technology

It is based on advanced smart card technologies, the proven most secure technology. Such processor controls the software licenses and flash storage inside memory.

~ 1GB on-key flash storage

It includes a 1GB flash storage on-key. This is for storing user’s data, such like software, digital credentials. This storage is versatile, can be partitioned to several virtual drives.

~ Virtual CD-ROM with auto run

A virtual CD-ROM can be created in the hardware key. Software might utilize the auto-run function to deploy the software with ease.

~ Password protected flash drive

The virtual flash drive can be password-protected. None authorized users cannot access the data on the protected flash drive.

~ Encrypted and hidden flash drive

The encrypted/hidden drive function gives software vendors an ideal secure storage for storing huge amount of data. Such drive is invisible for end-users, so there is no means to copy the data on such drive.

With the increasing of software piracy, not only does software piracy reduce revenues, it also results in less R&D, and in less investment in marketing and channel development, the new technologies of software protection are keeping to be introduced by hard work of software protection providers.

Source by Rachel Liew

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Utrecht University, Netherlands is ranked at 86th position by education advisory Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, 2017. Apart from being affordable, the campus is an abode for students all around the world.

Phil Baty, World University Ranking Editor at Times Higher Education, said that cities such as Utrecht, Cape Town of Africa and Daejeon of South Korea have varsities in the Top 100 and this shows about the options students have. Though the rankings are topped by the US and UK but there are countries from Asia and Europe on the list also.

The Asian and European countries include Universities from Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Finland. The University of Hong Kong is ranked at 43th position, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea is at 89th position and University of Cape Town in South Africa at 148th position among the top 150 universities on the list.

RSS Mani, Vice President of Institutional Development at the ITM Group of Institutions, said that environmental location of the university should not matter much. Rather students shall be more concerned about whether the university is reliable, the courses it offers, whether the country is immune to political issues and whether the students can adapt properly or not.

According to Education Consultants, the courses in Sweden are very well-planned and faculty is also of good quality.

Sweden has five globally acclaimed universities with a huge strength of foreign students. Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is ranked 28th by Times Higher Education ranking. It has ample scope for research, English courses and many students across the world.

According to a consultancy service, if a student wants to learn subjects like Genetics, Molecular Biology or Agricultural Engineering, Finland is a place to be. It offers an eighteen month work permit after completion of the course, trouble-free immigration policies and a better shared culture. The University of Helsinki, Finland is ranked at 91th position on the Times Higher Education list.

Chris Parr, Digital and Communities Editor at Times Higher Education World University Rankings stated that Hong Kong has six of the universities in the top 500 Times Higher Education ranking list and most of the university courses are taught in English and the universities have well-built associations with the employers which makes getting a job easy after completion of the degree.

According to an online counseling firm, China provides good job prospects to foreign students in Multinational Companies (MNCs).

For students who are interested in making a career in the field of photography or graphic design, Poland is the ultimate destination. The courses are taught by well-acclaimed professionals around the globe and the courses are affordable also

South Korea is the place for IT courses and jobs. Though the cost of tuition may be relatively low and the scholarship programmes are easy to avail but cost of living is expensive in some of the European countries. Looking for low-cost lodging in Stockholm takes time.

The Times Higher Education Editor highlighted the fact that most of the universities are still in the run of etablishing their status globally. Employers are thoughtful to a degree from a renowned institution in a country which is known for its high- quality education like the US or UK than they would do to a degree from a university that possibly they might have not heard of earlier.

Experts say that because of smaller Indian student communities in the unusual countries, one might feel like a stranger especially if English is not their first language. Initially understanding new culture is difficult but gradually one gets adapted to it.

Source by Anjana Krishnan

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Just as a living organism has to monitor its interface with its environment to survive, a successful company must adapt and sometimes even reinvent itself to make its products and services relevant to the ever-changing marketplace. This adaption is no easy matter as it can be expensive to retool, introduce a new product and upgrade services. Consumer demand can change rapidly especially if there is entry of a new product or services that are technologically superior. In a global market where competitors eventually will appear despite the most challenging of barriers to entry, companies find themselves having to invest in their people, technology and sales practices to stay competitive and to thrive.

Like an organism a company’s departments, employees, stakeholders and service providers must all work in synergy to the whole and there is a customary focus to make these department structures and processes more effective by applying continuous business improvement strategies. It is a Darwinian view of business to survive in an ever-changing global economy with emerging competitors, but it is logical that successful companies must continuously study the competitive landscape and learn to adapt its practices to survive.

Growth is required for a company to thrive and to demonstrate value to its employees and owners. When a company is not functioning well by showing shrinking profits or revenues, its weaknesses are exposed and like an organism it must change its organizational shape and size to revive itself and become stronger. Diagnosing the reasons for its weakness or dysfunction may indicate serious internal issues rather than just external environmental conditions. Unlike an organism with limited survival instincts, the poorly functioning firms have many options to turnaround its deteriorating situation: It may change it leadership, organizational structure and seek other radical solutions by using a host of expert consultants to improve.

The metaphor of the IT e-mail system operating similar to a nervous system of a living organism is one approach to understanding the organizational elements and structure of a company. IT responsibilities have expanded significantly over the decades and IT is often touted as a means to turnaround a weakening firm. IT now manages both telecommunications and the data network along with offering special applications and robust integrated enterprise based systems to control and manage the company’s primary business output. IT also has become the second or third most expensive cost center compared to staffing and real estate costs due to the criticality of improving productivity. New technologies also offer a means to fix problems, inefficiencies and improve operations but as many firms also discover that the IT conversion is sometimes disruptive and costly if not managed carefully.

The analogy of a corporate organism would place the Board of Directors, the CEO and his C-Suite team including the CIO as the brain providing leadership and strategic direction to the IT department and to the firm as a whole. A company brain is not limited to only five senses as it can create sophisticated reports on the environment, the internal workings of the firm and the relative competencies of its various departments as it metrics measure how each is functioning. However, even with research and a host of reports any company like an organism can suffer unexpected shocks, malaise, fear, and even disease. At its core a company is a group of human beings with different skills, attitudes and even goals. The competitive drive of the individual has to be harnessed to align with company united goals and strategies. Even a company with a long history of success will face catastrophe if its leadership or brain is not able to identify and adapt to changing conditions. The effective C-Suite leads the company in certain directions and to make its products and services in demand even in changing conditions by deploying new pricing and marketing strategies.

Expanding our metaphor, the employee staff operates like various cells organized into several vital organs which have to operate in sync with each other departments for the corporation to thrive. Recent business failures show a tendency for companies to respond too slowly to change and there is the common malady of departments becoming silos without appropriate communication of critical information.

In the case of Kodak’s demise, for example, the failure or terminal disease was a combination of poor planning, timid corporate leadership and a bit of arrogance regarding their business. Thinking that the business model that worked to perfection in film processing could be duplicated in a digital format was a serious misjudgment of how quickly a new technology could be adopted especially when the cost and ease of use was so dramatically improved. New technologies such as the smart phone offered the consumer a revolutionary approach to photography. When the competitor had the power and global reach of Apple, the impact to Kodak was terminal.

Another case of business failures due to inability to adapt includes many financial firms who relied on the subprime loan as a means to increase their loan volume and profits with apparently minimal risk due to secondary markets to sell mortgages. The inability to foresee the decline in housing values and an increase in loan defaults as new loans were no longer available led to the destruction of several major financial firms such as Bear-Sterns, Countrywide Financial, Lehman Bros. and multiple banks and mortgage lenders.

The real estate and facilities department provides the basic skeleton for the company creating a workspace plus the respiratory systems to allow the staff to work in a safe and secure interior environment. Customer facing locations designed to function efficiently and provide a positive brand experience are additional interfaces to the demand side of the environment. Some companies like Amazon took innovative solutions to their structure by avoiding brick and mortar costs and linking directly to consumers through the Internet channel. Every company develops its own unique structure and geographic footprint seeking some competitive advantage.

Sales sustain a company like food provides energy to the organism. Without effective sales performance a company is doomed so it is no wonder that companies are so focused on its sales practices and its results. Sales activity penetrates to the outside environment through various channels and the use of advertising, sales calls, meetings and customer relationship building new clients and fostering their existing customers.

The challenges to a living organism sometimes are strikingly similar to a company. A sudden environmental change such as a flood, fire or earthquake can bring the unprepared company to its knees. The earthquake and tsunami tragedy in Japan and the floods in Thailand demonstrate how the physical environment is still critical to managing business as many companies have learned to build elaborate supply chains. Managing business continuity and establishing disaster plans is a common business practice, but few firms seem to manage risk effectively.

Atrophy in its operations from poorly coordinated service providers and inadequate risk management procedures can also wreak havoc to a company’s reputation as evidenced by BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s instant communication to the public of a serious problem whether an oil spill, car safety issues or tainted food or drug has to be managed quickly by the executive leadership team or the impact can be devastating. Leadership has to respond quickly and professionally to mitigate the reputation damage of a product recall or event with potential liability.

The analogy of a company acting as a living organism provides a framework for understanding how companies are organized to manage risk and how they can manage its changing the competitive environment. At the core of any successful business is its vigilance to manage risk. A little bit of paranoia is probably a necessary and positive attribute in the C-Suite. Nothing is more dangerous than arrogance, complacency or acceptance of a culture than avoids dissent and innovation. As change continues to accelerate in the 21st century, the successful firms will embrace it and create new tools to measure and manage it.

Failure or success of any business is unpredictable. The rapidly changing dynamics of the global markets and the new technologies makes survival challenges in the 21st century difficult to forecast. The ability of new competitors to emerge is why the strategic advantages of a company can deteriorate so rapidly. The noted economist, Joseph Schumpeter, would call business failures examples of “creative destruction” as the weakening firms were absorbed by stronger competitors or dissolved through bankruptcy or simple closure. Such events are the darker side of capitalism but a necessity for a free enterprise system. It rewards those firms with financial strength, productivity and economic innovation. Those firms that cannot compete are eliminated from the marketplace and just like a living organism will perish.

The difference of how business operates from biology is the fact that even the most ill and dying organizations can resurrect themselves through bankruptcy protection and the intervention of another firm to salvage it. The fascinating nature of business is that it does mirror life in so many ways especially in its instinct to survive. Considering that all companies are composed and directed by people, it is not surprising that business does reflect the basic characteristics of life.

Source by John R Shehorn

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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On January 27th, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13769, an order aimed at protecting the nation against foreign acts of terrorism. Among the order’s many provisions, it initially suspended the United States’ refugee program for 120 days, meaning no refugees would be admitted into the country during the 120 days it would be in effect. In addition, the order’s other main provisions included restricting admission of citizens from seven countries for a period of 90 days, and suspending the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely (Jackson, Kiely, Robertson, and Farley).

Initially, the executive order was met with strong criticism by Congress and various members and outlets of the media. Only a day after the order was signed, Senator Elizabeth Warren protested the executive order’s harsh stance on immigration, claiming, “It is illegal. It is unconstitutional. It will be overturned. An attack on anyone for their religious beliefs is an attack on the very foundation of democracy”. Other members of Congress had similar viewpoints about the executive order, including Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, who stated, “This reported executive action is contrary to our values and our security… This reported executive action appears to be driven by politics and discrimination, not by recommendations from national security professionals”. With strong concerns about the executive order from members of Congress, and members of the media and general public, the executive order was challenged by several courts in states around the country. With the weaknesses of the order clearly evident, the order was eventually revoked and replaced on March 6th, 2017, and softened restrictions on immigration from several countries, including Iraq, and made a case-by-case waiver process available for refugees who were still making an attempt to enter the country.

While the executive order was criticized for its harsh stance on immigration, very few officials and members of the public considered how the “immigration ban” would ultimately affect the economy and the way the United States does business around the globe. From a more general standpoint, immigration is viewed as an important component to any country which is viewed as having a “healthy” economy. Immigrants are typically brought in with a specific set of skills, knowledge, and experience that equip them to perform jobs and services which are necessary for our economy to thrive. Without immigration, the labor supply for certain jobs which require many years of schooling and education, such as engineers, doctors, and scientists, would likely see a strong decrease, which could have a negative impact on the economy (“The Effects of Immigration on the United States’ Economy”).

As Commander-In-Chief, one of the main issues which President Trump built his campaign around was the issue of immigration and bringing back more jobs to the United States labor force. However, by as a byproduct of the immigration ban, he could ultimately be hurting sectors of the economy which ultimately rely on immigrants as a significant supply of labor.

For example, technology companies largely came out in strong opposition to Executive Order 13769. Within the Fortune 500, over 200 companies were started by immigrants, or children of immigrants. In addition, nearly all of the top tech companies in the world have a large percentage of their employees who were from all over the world, and not just within the U.S. As a result, 97 large companies signed a 20-page amicus brief which stated their opposition against President Trump’s executive order and ban on immigration (Drange). Most of the companies were from Silicon Valley and involved in the technology industry, such as Google, Uber, Microsoft, and Netflix, among others. The opposition from the technology industry likely results not from the executive order itself, but rather the principle behind the order. While many of the companies included in the brief do not have strong ties to the countries included in the executive order, such as war-torn Syria and Yemen, they still rely on immigrant labor from all around the globe in order to sustain their business and remain successful. From their perspective, the potential threat of the United States being able to block access to immigrant labor from countries which they need access to is real, and standing up to the executive order is a means of ensuring that they won’t have to deal with this reality.

It’s clear that President Trump’s executive order was not viewed favorably by a large portion of Congress and the members of the public, however, as an unintended effect of the order, many large technology companies were upset by the news as well. As a result, we could see many of these companies expand to other locations for their operations outside of the U.S. in order to maintain relations with a strong talent network. If this were to come to fruition, we would the effect would be the exact opposite of one of President Trump’s main promises – more jobs in the United States. Instead, we could see companies continue to move overseas, ultimately leaving less jobs behind than before.

Drange, Matt. “Nearly 100 Tech Companies Join Forces In Court To Oppose Donald Trump’s Immigration Ban.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 06 Feb. 2017. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

“The Effects of Immigration on the United States’ Economy.” Penn Wharton Budget Model. University of Pennsylvania, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Jackson, Brooks, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson, and Robert Farley. “Facts on Trump’s Immigration Order.” FactCheck.org. FactCheck.org, 06 Mar. 2017. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Source by Bryce J Cleveland

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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In today’s digitally-driven world, organizations are putting their best foot forward to better comprehend, tote up, and respond to their customer-base with a clear intent to proliferate their brand presence and augment their sales stream. For this, they have started using the science of speech analytics to gain quick insight into customer interactions, technical glitches, fraudulent calls, and even to identify behavioral trends.

Up until relatively off late, for many – technology (computers) appositely comprehending the customers’ sentiments was an ‘out-of-the-box’ philosophy. The journey began with the automated menus that asserted callers’ to press the selected keys, and every so often ends up with – sorry, this input is not valid, please try it again. A sigh of relief for most as this haphazard and irksome practice has plunged into a “more refined” notion. And the good news is, it is bestowed with an array of newer capabilities that can easily replicate what we human beings can do. Typically, a speech analytics software encompasses an acoustic model, grammars, a language model and recognition algorithms.

Not to mention, by combining big data techniques with voice analysis, companies can promptly analyze the huge amount of call data to learn about their strengths and weaknesses. In this light, call center service providers equipped with speech analytics capability cannot only fathom, translate speech into text but also can gauge customer stress and appeasement levels.

This article attempts to highlight the significance of speech analytics software in today’s business landscape:

Opening/Closing Scripts: It enables to determine the preeminent ways that call center agents should adhere to and report if the set protocols are not being satiated at the agent’s end. In addition to this, it suggests the words and phrases that agents should not say while interacting with the customer.

Customer Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction: Here comes the power of speech analytics, which allows organizations to track customer satisfaction level. The role of data scientists shares the frame who apply their intelligence and specify word and phrases that express customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction level.

Agent Performance: Are your agents giving their 100% to address your customer queries/feedbacks? Maybe? Not Sure? Don’t panic! Again, this is one of the incredible attributes, which speech analytics software are ingrained with. It allows you to keep a check on your agents’ performance and analyze what they are up to. This, in turn, will help you to make a better strategy that complements your customers’ satisfaction criteria in a coherent manner.

Note: The benefits of a speech analytics platform do not end here. However, I will elucidate the other beneficial aspects in my next post. Keep reading!

The Bottom-line – Speech analytics can help enhance the efficiency of call centers by providing quick insights, which, in turn, reduces average call handling time, boosts first call resolution, ensures customer satisfaction, and curtails customer churn by predicting at-risk customers.

Don’t let your competitors outmaneuver your business, be the first to adopt an intuitive analytics platform and stay ahead of the innovation.

Source by Taiba Fatima

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Financial experts express conflicting options as to the correct way in which the cost of capital can be measured. Irrespective of the measurement problems, it is a concept of vital important in the financial decision making. It is useful as a standard for:

• evaluating investment decisions,

• designing a firms debt policy,

• Appraising the financial performance of top management.

Investment evaluation

The primary purpose of measuring the opportunity cost is its use as a financial standard for evaluating the investment projects. In the net present value method, an investment project is accepted if it has a positive net present value. The projects net present value is calculated by discounting its cash flows by the cost of capital.

Designing debt policy

The debt policy of a firm is significantly influence by the cost consideration. In designing the financing policy, that is, the proportion of debt and equity in the capital structure, the firm aims at maximizing the overall cost. The cost of capital can also be useful in deciding about the methods of financing at a point of time.

Performance appraisal

The cost framework can be used to evaluate the financial performance of top management. Such an evaluation will involve a comparison of actual profitability of the investment projects undertaken by the firm with the projected overall cost of capital, and the appraisal of the actual costs incurred by management in raising the required funds. The capital cost also plays a useful role in dividend decision and investment in current assets.

The Concept of the Opportunity Cost

Decision making is a process of choosing among alternatives. In the investment decisions, an individual or a manager encounter innumerable competing investment opportunities to choose from. For example, you may invest your savings of 1000$ either in 7% 3 year postal certificates or in 6.5% 3 year fixed deposit in a nationalized bank. In both the cases, government assures the payment; so the investment opportunities reflect equivalent risk. You decide to deposit your savings in the bank. By this action, you have foregone the opportunity of investing in the postal certificates. You have, thus, incurred an opportunity cost equal to the return on the foregone investment opportunity. It is 7% in case of your investment. The opportunity cost is the rate of return foregone on the next best alternative investment opportunity of comparable risk. Thus, the required rate of return on an investment project is an opportunity cost.

Source by Randika Lalith Abeysinghe

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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A game concept statement, or premise, is a short, direct description of the situation of a game. It describes the player’s goal, the opposition to that goal, and the means through which that goal will be accomplished. When dealing solely with the narrative portion of the script, the game concept statement reads like a screenplay pitch. Realistically, game play is described because it effects some elements of the storytelling. A short example might read as follows:

“In Trick or Treat the player characters have been trapped in the labyrinth of an ancient haunted house. They must escape by destroying adversarial monsters, avoiding traps, and solving the maze. Trick or Treat is a third person perspective action game.”

The goal of this writing is to give the reader a sense for the game. It should answer these basic questions:

  • What is the goal of the game?
  • How is the goal of the game accomplished?
  • What are the challenges to the game?
  • Where does the game take place?

Most people want to add marketing jargon and implementation specifics. This is simply a mistake. Reporting that is it is the best game ever, or that it will be available for the PS10 in 2020 just does not strengthen a concept. To put it bluntly, ths statement is about the concept. Concepts are general, high level notions. The concept of a car, for example, did not begin with the use of carbon fiber at the Indianapolis 500.

Do not include the following elements in a your writing:

  • Game platform (e.g. for the NES because I’m retro-chic)
  • Game rating (e.g. “M” for mature)
  • Game play specifics (e.g. controls)
  • Game programming details (e.g. uses recursive algorithms for speed)
  • Marketing (e.g. “more exciting than a ride on a roller coaster”)

There are exceptions to every rule. There are times when it is important to add implementation details. These are exceptionally rare situations, such as a game designed solely to exploit a new type of controller or for use on a non-standard game platform. In these cases, it makes sense to touch upon the distinguishing detail.

Source by Lindsay Grace

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Advancements in technology, valiant journeys, and important people of the Age of Exploration created an impressive step toward the modern era. Improved technologies, such as the compass, which helped sailors along their journey to reach their destination, were promoted during this age. The brave journeys by many men were incredible, like Gil Eanes’ short, but significant voyage across the Green Sea of Darkness. In the Age of Exploration, many important people decided to move beyond their ability, for example Ferdinand Magellan, who circumnavigated the Earth.

Many of the significant improvements of the technology were made during the Age of Exploration. First, the caravel’s smooth hull, lateen sail and two rudders were improved by Prince Henry’s designers for the trips that the sailors had to make. The compass, that is crucial part of any type of journey, which was used for looking at the direction one was going, was promoted throughout this age. Prince Henry’s plan for sailing needed the astrolabe, which determined latitude to prepare for their voyage. Improved maps were part of the technology’s improvements during the Age of Exploration and were used to find their destination.

Additionally, the valiant journeys of many important figures were all very astonishing. Gil Eanes’ voyage across the Green Sea of Darkness was short, but he was the captain of the first successful voyage across the ocean. The well-known journey of Columbus was an exciting journey that led to the Native Americans and discovering of America, which he did not know was America. Journeys of Vasco De Gama were significant because he was the man that began to go on a tough and a lengthy journey. Magellan’s circumnavigation is one of the most respected voyages of all time because it was not a very high chance of success and some of his crew made it.

Finally, the remarkable figures of this time decided to go beyond their skills. Prince Henry, the navigator, was the man that destined some people and some technology to become an important part of history. Gil Eanes, the valiant sailor of Portuguese is a respectable person of this time because he was the man the broke the fear of the Green Sea of Darkness. The two people, Columbus and Vasco De Gama, are both gigantic people that made some tough and long trips that impacted the history immensely. Lastly, the remarkably momentous man of this generation would be Magellan with his unrealistic circumnavigation that surpassed various abilities in his time.

To sum up, many significant achievements were accomplished during this time. Old technologies were modified for the substantial figures that made successful journeys in their lifetime. Respectable people of all time represented this time period showing consummation during the voyages and improvements. The time period of exploration was an immense accomplishment for the venerated people of the time.

Source by Paul Kennard

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Have you ever realized that the brain and a computer have nearly similar functions? For example, if you download something to your computer, it is just the same as the brain downloading new information during lessons in class. The same thing goes with uploading a file or an image from the computer to the internet; your brain does the same thing by uploading something you learned in class and projecting it onto a piece of paper. For example, your brain downloads an image when you see something, and then uploads it by you drawing a picture of something you have seen. Of course even the world’s most powerful supercomputer cannot rival a human brain, but these are some examples of the similarities between man and machine that can be identified. Probably in the future, where humans have developed some high technology will they be able to create near-human computers.

Here are some other similarities between the computer and the brain:

Functions and Purpose

Both are used for storage of information, to process information and to run tasks.

Functions: Both are used for mathematical calculations, carrying out complex algorithms and to storing of crucial information.

Role in society

Both play extremely important roles in society, commerce, entertainment and science

Every single living creature survives by quick thinking and reflexes, that includes us. The computer today plays the most important roles from specialized systems controlling entire production factories to little “fuzzy logic” chips in washing machines that intelligently monitor the washing process.

Combining components

Both work by combining the processes of several components and parts to perform their tasks.

A computer consists of many parts, including a motherboard (which is also made of several components), the disk drives, the processor, graphic cards and many more… all of which has its own roles in the computer’s processes.

Like a computer, the brain is formed out of parts. Besides having the left and right brain, there are also parts of the brain that take care of emotions, mathematical calculations, body co-ordinations and many other tasks needed for our daily activities.

Electrical signals

Both work by transmitting “logic signals” to each of their parts. Signals are both electrical

i.e. A computer works by using binary (“on”/”off” logical signals known as “bits”, put together as “bytes” to represent data.) To communicate internally between components, represent information and store data.

In a way, neurons in the brain are either “on” or “off” by either firing an action potential or not firing an action potential.

Memory capacity

Both can increase their memory storage capacity.

Computer memory grows by adding computer chips/external hard drives/ pre-installed hard drives. Memories in the brain grow by stronger synaptic connections.

Self-maintenance

Both computers and brain have repair and “backup” systems.

The brain has “built-in back up systems” in some cases. If one pathway in the brain is damaged, there is often another pathway that will take over this function of the damaged pathway.Similar to a computer, where backup files can be stored in the computer.

Degrading with time

Both can degrade. Computers break down and brain cells deteriorate

Like all machines, computers break down with time. Brain cells deteriorate with age, losing their functions and slowing down because of lower counts of chemicals and hormones in the body.

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Source by Yousef Sabqi

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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Restaurants are a favorite commercial property for many investors because:

  1. Tenants often sign a very long term, e.g. 20 years absolute triple net (NNN) leases. This means, besides the rent, tenants also pay for property taxes, insurance and all maintenance expenses. The only thing the investor has to pay is the mortgage, which in turn offers very predictable cash flow. There are either no or few landlord responsibilities because the tenant is responsible for maintenance. This allows the investor more time to do important thing in life, e.g. retire. All you do is take the rent check to the bank. This is one of the key benefits in investing in a restaurant or single-tenant property.
  2. Whether rich or poor, people need to eat. Americans are eating out more often as they are too busy to cook and cleanup the pots & pans afterwards which often is the worst part! According to the National Restaurant Association, the nation’s restaurant industry currently involves 937,000 restaurants and is expected to reach $537 billion in sales in 2007, compared to just $322 billion in 1997 and $200 billion in 1987 (in current dollars). In 2006, for every dollar Americans spend on foods, 48 cents were spent in restaurants. As long as there is civilization on earth, there will be restaurants and the investor will feel comfortable that the property is always in high demand.
  3. You know your tenants will take very good care of your property because it’s in their best interest to do so. Few customers, if any, want to go to a restaurant that has a filthy bathroom and/or trash in the parking lot.

However, restaurants are not created equal, from an investment viewpoint.

Franchised versus Independent

One often hears that 9 out of 10 new restaurants will fail in the first year; however, this is just an urban myth as there are no conclusive studies on this. There is only a study by Associate Professor of Hospitality, Dr. H.G. Parsa of Ohio State University who tracked new restaurants located in the city Columbus, Ohio during the period from 1996 to 1999 (Note: you should not draw the conclusion that the results are the same everywhere else in the US or during any other time periods.) Dr. Parsa observed that seafood restaurants were the safest ventures and that Mexican restaurants experience the highest rate of failure in Columbus, OH. His study also found 26% of new restaurants closed in the first year in Columbus, OH during 1996 to 1999. Besides economic failure, the reasons for restaurants closing include divorce, poor health, and unwillingness to commit immense time toward operation of the business. Based on this study, it may be safe to predict that the longer the restaurant has been in business, the more likely it will be operating the following year so that the landlord will continue to receive the rent.

For franchised restaurants, a franchisee has to have a certain minimal amount of non-borrowed cash/capital, e.g. $300,000 for McDonald’s, to qualify. The franchisee has to pay a one-time franchisee fee about $30,000 to $50,000. In addition, the franchisee has contribute royalty and advertising fees equal to about 4% and 3% of sales revenue, respectively. In turn, the franchisee receives training on how to set up and operate a proven and successful business without worrying about the marketing part. As a result, a franchised restaurant gets customers as soon as the open sign is put up. Should the franchisee fail to run the business at the location, the franchise may replace the current franchisee with a new one. The king of franchised hamburger restaurants is the fast-food chain McDonald’s with over 32000 locations in 118 countries (about 14,000 in the US) as of 2010. It has $34.2B in sales in 2011 with an average of $2.4M in revenue per US location. McDonald’s currently captures over 50% market share of the $64 billion US hamburger restaurant market. Its sales are up 26% in the last 5 years. Distant behind is Wendy’s (average sales of $1.5M) with $8.5B in sales and 5904 stores. Burger King ranks third (average sales of $1.2M) with $8.4B in sale, 7264 stores and 13% of the hamburger restaurant market share (among all restaurant chains, Subway is ranked number two with $11.4B in sales, 23,850 stores, and Starbucks number 3 with $9.8B in sales and 11,158 stores). McDonald’s success apparently is not the result of how delicious its Big Mac tastes but something else more complex. Per a survey of 28,000 online subscribers of Consumer Report magazine, McDonald’s hamburgers rank last among 18 national and regional fast food chains. It received a score of 5.6 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, behind Jack In the Box (6.3), Burger King (6.3), Wendy’s (6.6), Sonic Drive In (6.6), Carl’s Jr (6.9), Back Yard Burgers (7.6), Five Guys Burgers (7.9), and In-N-Out Burgers (7.9).

Fast-food chains tend to detect new trends faster. For example, they are open as early as 5AM as Americans are increasingly buying their breakfasts earlier. They are also selling more cafe; latte; fruit smoothies to compete with Starbucks and Jumba Juice. You also see more salads on the menu. This gives customers more reasons to stop by at fast-food restaurants and make them more appealing to different customers.

With independent restaurants, it often takes a while to for customers to come around and try the food. These establishments are especially tough in the first 12 months of opening, especially with owners of minimal or no proven track record. So in general, “mom and pop” restaurants are risky investment due to initial weak revenue. If you choose to invest in a non-brand name restaurant, make sure the return is proportional to the risks that you will be taking.

Sometimes it is not easy for you to tell if a restaurant is a brand name or non-brand name. Some restaurant chains only operate, or are popular in a certain region. For example, WhatABurger restaurant chain with over 700 locations in 10 states is a very popular fast-food restaurant chain in Texas and Georgia. However, it is still unknown on the West Coast as of 2012. Brand name chains tend to have a website listing all the locations plus other information. So if you can find a restaurant website from Google or Yahoo you can quickly discern if an unfamiliar name is a brand name or not. You can also obtain basic consumer information about almost any chain restaurants in the US on Wikipedia.

The Ten Fastest-Growing Chains in 2011 with Sales Over $200 Million

According to Technomic, the following is the 10 fastest growing restaurant chains in terms of revenue change from 2010 to 2011:

  1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries with $921M in sales and 32.8% change.
  2. Chipotle Mexican Grill with $2.261B in sales and 23.4% change.
  3. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop with $895M in sales and 21.8% change.
  4. Yard House with $262M in sales and 21.5% change.
  5. Firehouse Subs with $285M in sales and 21.1% change.
  6. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse with $621M in sales and 20.9% change.
  7. Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar with $2.045B in sales and 20.1% change.
  8. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers with $206M in sales and 18.2% change.
  9. Noodles & Company with $300M in sales and 14.9% change from.
  10. Wingstop with $382M in sales and 22.1% change.

Lease & Rent Guaranty

The tenants often sign a long term absolute triple net (NNN) lease. This means, besides the base rent, they also pay for all operating expenses: property taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses. For investors, the risk of maintenance expenses uncertainty is eliminated and their cash flow is predictable. The tenants may also guarantee the rent with their own or corporate assets. Therefore, in case they have to close down the business, they will continue paying rent for the life of the lease. Below are a few things that you need to know about the lease guaranty:

  1. In general, the stronger the guaranty the lower the return of your investment. The guaranty by McDonald’s Corporation with a strong “A” S&P corporate rating of a public company is much better than a small corporation owned by a franchisee with a few restaurants. Consequently, a restaurant with a McDonald’s corporate lease normally offers low 4.5-5% cap (return of investment in the 1st year of ownership) while McDonald’s with a franchisee guaranty (over 75% of McDonalds restaurants are owned by franchisees) may offer 5-6% cap. So figure out the amount of risks you are willing to take as you won’t get both low risks and high returns in an investment.
  2. Sometimes a multi-location franchise will form a parent company to own all the restaurants. Each restaurant in turn is owned by a single-entity Limited Liabilities Company (LLC) to shield the parent company from liabilities. So the rent guaranty by the single-entity LLC does not mean much since it does not have much assets.
  3. A good, long guaranty does not make a lemon a good car. Similarly, a strong guaranty does not make a lousy restaurant a good investment. It only means the tenant will make every effort to pay you the rent. So don’t judge a property primarily on the guaranty.
  4. The guaranty is good until the corporation that guarantees it declares bankruptcy. At that time, the corporation reorganizes its operations by closing locations with low revenue and keeping the good locations, (i.e. ones with strong sales). So it’s more critical for you to choose a property at a good location. If it happens to have a weak guaranty, (e.g. from a small, private company), you will get double benefits: on time rent payment and high return.
  5. If you happen to invest in a “mom & pop” restaurant, make sure all the principals, e.g. both mom and pop, guarantee the lease with their assets. The guaranty should be reviewed by an attorney to make sure you are well protected.

Location, Location, Location

A lousy restaurant may do well at a good location while those with a good menu may fail at a bad location. A good location will generate strong revenue for the operator and is primarily important to you as an investor. It should have these characteristics:

  1. High traffic volume: this will draw more customers to the restaurant and as a result high revenue. So a restaurant at the entrance to a regional mall or Disney World, a major shopping mall, or colleges is always desirable.
  2. Good visibility & signage: high traffic volume must be accompanied by good visibility from the street. This will minimize advertising expenses and is a constant reminder for diners to come in.
  3. Ease of ingress and egress: a restaurant located on a one-way service road running parallel to a freeway will get a lot of traffic and has great visibility but is not at a great location. It’s hard for potential customers to get back if they miss the entrance. In addition, it’s not possible to make a left turn. On the other hand, the restaurant just off freeway exit is more convenient for customers.
  4. Excellent demographics: a restaurant should do well in an area with a large, growing population and high incomes as it has more people with money to spend. Its business should generate more and more income to pay for increasing higher rents.
  5. Lots of parking spaces: most chained restaurants have their own parking lot to accommodate customers at peak hours. If customer cannot find a parking space within a few minutes, there is a good chance they will skip it and/or won’t come back as often. A typical fast food restaurant will need about 10 to 20 parking spaces per 1000 square feet of space. Fast food restaurants, e.g. McDonald’s will need more parking spaces than sit down restaurants, e.g. Olive Garden.
  6. High sales revenue: the annual gross revenue alone does not tell you much since larger–in term of square footage–restaurant tends to have higher revenue. So the rent to revenue ratio is a better gauge of success. Please refer to rent to revenue ratio in the due diligence section for further discussion.
  7. High barriers to entry: this simply means that it’s not easy to replicate this location nearby for various reasons: the area simply does not have any more developable land, or the master plan does not allow any more construction of commercial properties, or it’s more expensive to build a similar property due to high cost of land and construction materials. For these reasons, the tenant is likely to renew the lease if the business is profitable.

Financing Considerations

In general, the interest rate is a bit higher than average for restaurants due to the fact that they are single-tenant properties. To the lenders, there is a perceived risk because if the restaurant is closed down, you could potentially lose 100% of your income from that restaurant. Lenders also prefer national brand name restaurants. In addition, some lenders will not loan to out-of-state investors especially if the restaurants are located in smaller cities. So it may be a good idea for you to invest in a franchised restaurant in major metro areas, e.g. Atlanta, Dallas. In 2009 it’s quite a challenge to get financing for sit-down restaurant acquisitions, especially for mom and pop and regional restaurants due to the tight credit market. However, things seem to have improved a bit in 2010. If you want to get the best rate and terms for the loan, you should stick to national franchised restaurants in major metros.

When the cap rate is higher than the interest rate of the loan, e.g. cap rate is 7.5% while interest rate is 6.5%, then you should consider borrowing as much as possible. You will get 7.5% return on your down payment plus 1% return for the money you borrow. Hence your total return (cash on cash) will be higher than the cap rate. Additionally, since the inflation in the near future is expected to be higher due to rising costs of fuel, the money which you borrow to finance your purchase will be worth less. So it’s even more beneficial to maximize leverage now.

Due Diligence Investigation

You may want to consider these factors before deciding to go forward with the purchase:

  1. Tenant’s financial information: The restaurant business is labor intensive. The average employee generates only about $55,000 in revenue annually. The cost of goods, e.g. foods and supplies should be around 30-35% of revenue; labor and operating expenses 45-50%; rent about 7-12%. So do review the profits and loss (P&L) statements, if available, with your accountant. In the P&L statement, you may see the acronym EBITDAR. It stands for Earnings Before Income Taxes, Depreciation (of equipment), Amortization (of capital improvement), and Rent. If you don’t see royalty fees in P&L of a franchised restaurant or advertising expenses in the P&L of an independent restaurant, you may want to understand the reason why. Of course, we will want to make sure that the restaurant is profitable after paying the rent. Ideally, you would like to see net profits equal to 10-20% of the gross revenue. In the last few years the economy has taken a beating. As a result, restaurants have experienced a decrease in gross revenue of around 3-4%. This seems to have impacted most, if not all, restaurants everywhere. In addition, it may take a new restaurant several years to reach potential revenue target. So don’t expect new locations to be profitable right away even for chained restaurants.
  2. Tenant’s credit history: if the tenant is a private corporation, you may be able to obtain the tenant’s credit history from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). D&B provides Paydex score, the business equivalent of FICO, i.e. personal credit history score. This score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating better payment performance. A Paydex score of 75 is equivalent to FICO score of 700. So if your tenant has a Paydex score of 80, you are likely to receive the rent checks promptly.
  3. Rent to revenue ratio: this is the ratio of base rent over the annual gross sales of the store. It is a quick way to determine if the restaurant is profitable, i.e. the lower the ratio, the better the location. As a rule of thumb you will want to keep this ratio less than 10% which indicates that the location has strong revenue. If the ratio is less than 7%, the operator will very likely make a lot of money after paying the rent. The rent guaranty is probably not important in this case. However, the rent to revenue ratio is not a precise way to determine if the tenant is making a profit or not. It does not take into account the property taxes expense as part of the rent. Property taxes–computed as a percentage of assessed value–vary from states to states. For example, in California it’s about 1.25% of the assessed value, 3% in Texas, and as high as 10% in Illinois. And so a restaurant with rent to income ratio of 8% could be profitable in one state and yet be losing money in another.
  4. Parking spaces: restaurants tend to need a higher number of parking spaces because most diners tend to stop by within a small time window. You will need at least 8 parking spaces per 1000 Square Feet (SF) of restaurant space. Fast food restaurants may need about 15 to 18 spaces per 1000 SF.
  5. Termination Clause: some of the long term leases give the tenant an option to terminate the lease should there be a fire destroying a certain percentage of the property. Of course, this is not desirable to you if that percentage is too low, e.g. 10%. So make sure you read the lease. You also want to make sure the insurance policy also covers rental income loss for 12-24 months in case the property is damaged by fire or natural disasters.
  6. Price per SF: you should pay about $200 to $500 per SF. In California you have to pay a premium, e.g. $1000 per SF for Starbucks restaurants which are normally sold at very high price per SF. If you pay more than $500 per SF for the restaurant, make sure you have justification for doing so.
  7. Rent per SF: ideally you should invest in a property in which the rent per SF is low, e.g. $2 to $3 per SF per month. This gives you room to raise the rent in the future. Besides, the low rent ensures the tenant’s business is profitable, so he will be around to keep paying the rent. Starbucks tend to pay a premium rent $2 to 4 per SF monthly since they are often located at a premium location with lots of traffic and high visibility. If you plan to invest in a restaurant in which the tenant pays more than $4 per SF monthly, make sure you could justify your decision because it’s hard to make a profit in the restaurant business when the tenant is paying higher rent. Some restaurants may have a percentage clause. This means besides the minimum base rent, the operator also pays you a percentage of his revenue when it reaches a certain threshold.
  8. Rent increase: A restaurant landlord will normally receive either a 2% annual rent increase or a 10% increase every 5 years. As an investor you should prefer 2% annual rent increase because 5 years is a long time to wait for a raise. You will also receive more rent with 2% annual increase than 10% increase every 5 years. Besides, as the rent increases every year so does the value of your investment. The value of restaurant is often based on the rent it generates. If the rent is increased while the market cap remains the same, your investment will appreciate in value. So there is no key advantage for investing in a restaurant in a certain area, e.g. California. It’s more important to choose a restaurant at a great location.
  9. Lease term: in general investors favor long term, e.g. 20 year lease so they don’t have to worry about finding new tenants. During a period with low inflation, e.g. 1% to 2%, this is fine. However, when the inflation is high, e.g. 4%, this means you will technically get less rent if the rent increase is only 2%. So don’t rule out properties with a few years left of the lease as there may be strong upside potential. When the lease expires without options, the tenant may have to pay much higher market rent.
  10. Risks versus Investment Returns: as an investor, you like properties that offer very high return, e.g. 8% to 9% cap rate. And so you may be attracted to a brand new franchised restaurant offered for sale by a developer. In this case, the developer builds the restaurants completely with Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FFEs) for the franchisee based on the franchise specifications. The franchisee signs a 20 years absolute NNN lease paying very generous rent per SF, e.g. $4 to $5 per SF monthly. The new franchisee is willing to do so because he does not need to come up with any cash to open a business. Investors are excited about the high return; however, this may be a very risky investment. The one who is guaranteed to make money is the developer. The franchisee may not be willing to hold on during tough times as he does not have any equity in the property. Should the franchisee’s business fails, you may not be able to find a tenant willing to pay such high rent, and you may end up with a vacant restaurant.
  11. Track records of the operator: the restaurant being run by an operator with 1 or 2 recently-open restaurants will probably be a riskier investment. On the other hand, an operator with 20 years in the business and 30 locations may be more likely to be around next year to pay you the rent.
  12. Trade fixtures: some restaurants are sold with trade fixtures so make sure you document in writing what is included in the sale.
  13. Fast-food versus Sit-down: while fast-food restaurants, e.g. McDonalds do well during the downturn, sit-down family restaurants tend to be more sensitive to the recession due to higher prices and high expenses. These restaurants may experience double-digit drop in year-to-year revenue. As a result, many sit-down restaurants were shut down during the recession. If you consider investing in a sit-down restaurant, you should choose one in an area with high income and large population.

Sale & Lease Back

Sometimes the restaurant operator may sell the real estate part and then lease back the property for a long time, e.g. 20 years. A typical investor would wonder if the operator is in financial trouble so that he has to sell the property to pay for his debts. It may or may not be the case; however, this is a quick and easy way for the restaurant operator to get cash out of the equities for good reason: business expansion. Of course, the operator could refinance the property with cash out but that may not be the best option because:

  1. He cannot maximize the cash out as lenders often lend only 65% of the property value in a refinance situation.
  2. The loan will show as long term debt in the balance sheet which is often not viewed in a positive light.
  3. The interest rates may not be as favorable if the restaurant operator does not have a strong balance sheet.
  4. He may not be able to find any lenders due to the tight credit market.

You will often see 2 different cash out strategies when you look at the rent paid by the restaurant operator:

  1. Conservative market rent: the operator wants to make sure he pays a low rent so his restaurant business has a good chance of being profitable. He also offers conservative cap rate to investors, e.g. 7% cap. As a result, his cash out amount is small to moderate. This may be a low risk investment for an investor because the tenant is more likely to be able to afford the rent.
  2. Significantly higher than market rent: the operator wants to maximize his cash out by pricing the property much higher than its market value, e.g. $2M for a $1M property. Investors are sometimes offered high cap rate, e.g. 10%. The operator may pay $5 of rent per square foot in an area where the rent for comparable properties is $3 per square foot. As a result, the restaurant business at this location may suffer a loss due to higher rents. However, the operator gets as much money as possible. This property could be very risky for you. If the tenant’s business does not make it and he declares bankruptcy, you will have to offer lower rent to another tenant to lease your building.

Ground Lease

Occasionally you see a restaurant on ground lease for sale. The term ground lease may be confusing as it could mean

  1. You buy the building and lease the land owned by another investor on a long-term, e.g. 50 years, ground lease.
  2. You buy the land in which the tenant owns the building. This is the most likely scenario. The tenant builds the restaurant with its own money and then typically signs a 20 years NNN lease to lease the lot. If the tenant does not renew the lease then the building is reverted to the landowner. The cap rate is often 1% lower, e.g. 6 to 7.25 percent, compared to restaurants in which you buy both land and building.

Since the tenant has to invest a substantial amount of money (whether its own or borrowed funds) for the construction of the building, it has to be double sure that this is the right location for its business. In addition, should the tenant fail to make the rent payment or fail to renew the lease, the building with substantial value will revert to you as the landowner. So the tenant will lose a lot more, both business and building, if it does not fulfill its obligation. And thus it thinks twice about not sending in the rent checks. In that sense, this is a bit safer investment than a restaurant which you own both the land and improvements. Besides the lower cap rate, the major drawbacks for ground lease are

  1. There are no tax write-offs as the IRS does not allow you to depreciate its land value. So your tax liabilities are higher. The tenants, on the other hand, can depreciate 100% the value of the buildings and equipments to offset the profits from the business.
  2. If the property is damaged by fire or natural disasters, e.g. tornados, some leases may allow the tenants to collect insurance proceeds and terminate the lease without rebuilding the properties in the last few years of the lease. Unfortunately, this author is not aware of any insurance companies that would sell fire insurance to you since you don’t own the building. So the risk is substantial as you may end up owning a very expensive vacant lot with no income and a huge property taxes bill.
  3. Some of the leases allow the tenants not having to make any structure, e.g. roof, repairs in the last few years of the lease. This may require investors to spend money on deferred maintenance expenses and thus will have negative impact on the cash flow of the property.

Source by David V. Tran

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a graduate degree obtained at a university or college that offers both theoretical and practical training to provide graduates general knowledge about general business management functions. The MBS degree may have a specific focus as: accounting, marketing or finance.

An MBA degree represents a level upward from an undergraduate business course and its achievement places the graduate far above other candidates owning just an undergraduate degree.MBA programs has become to be offered by most universities and colleges during the past two of years. For instance, only in the UK, 116 business schools are currently offering MBA courses and the number of students graduating this form of education has risen from 4,000 in 1990 to over 10,000 in 2000.

In order to be accepted in an MBA program, an applicant must take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) – for the US education system. The GMAT is a standardized test that aims at determining the aptitude of a candidate for an activity in business management studies. It is presently made up of an essay section containing two free-response essays of 10 minutes each; two multiple choice sections, one mathematical section and one verbal skills section.

Apart from the GMAT test, other admission criteria focus on significant work experience, academic transcripts, references and personal interviews. Extra-curricular and community service activities represent an interest for the admission boards.

The MBA degree courses offer students knowledge on economics, organizational behavior, marketing, international business, finance, government policy, accounting and information technology management.

The traditional MBA degree offers students a broad range of general courses in the first year of studies, followed by a specialization in the second year.

Specialization in particular areas as: technology management, accounting, strategy or specialized business, marketing and finance is being offered by many MBA degrees.

There are several ways of attending MBA courses.Nowadays MBA degrees can be accessed through online, distance learning or e-learning as the program offered by the Open University Business School. Due to the large variety of MBA degrees offered worldwide, the elite business schools are being accredited by independent bodies as the Association of MBAs. This association acts as a global network for the MBA community: MBA students, MBA graduates, schools, businesses and employers.

Consequently, the MBA degree represents a leading management qualification that creates highly competent professional managers.

Source by Ispas Marin

May 4, 2017 0 comment
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