Innovation will Drive Sales

Residential Lighting has until now been driven by housing sales. With the latest numbers about U.S. home sales, products will have to find new drivers and new incentives for consumers to step up. I think that driver will be Innovation.

Lighting, like home furnishings and accessories, wont find business as usual a sustainable direction. Fewer home sales means fewer customers in the market to buy and price alone will not pry that credit card from customer wallets. Makers and sellers alike will be challenged to attract discretionary dollars with new products that offer new, better, more interesting and more –cant live with out- innovation to turn shoppers to buyers.

Wall Sconces Lighting companies have since WWII relied on huge product assortments to attract dealer interest and customer sales. Expanding the range of shapes, finish and styles worked for a long time as makers and retailers continued to expand assortments as the way to entice customers to spend. The world has changed and so has our reality and after a period of over half a century of growth housing sales the market is contracting and so will our model unless we drive demand with innovation. The simple truth is you can’t only take air in.

We are focused on sustainable growth, no small challenge given the state of China’s supply issues and our market condition. We are focused on relevance, innovation and value and not bloating our product offerings to drive the business. I believe that innovation will be the key factor in driving demand. You can expect to see us applying our knowledge, our insight and our design skills toward precise objectives in new ways as our strategy for growth manifests in products born from innovation.

-Relevant design through Innovation- is our mission.-

Footwear Trend- High Heel Shoes

Footwear Industry is boomed with the demand among womens for the High Heel Shoes. This increase in the demand for high heels is all because of the fashion trends emerging randomly. Earlier the trend was for flat shoes but as time passes demand for it declines and increases for High heels. In this modern era, competition for looking more gorgeous and sexy is going on. So among the womens community too, even if the doctors denied them to wear the high heel shoes and take care of their foots, they don’t care about it and believe on their own style of wearing shoes.

High Heel shoes comes in different sizes varying from 2-5 inches, it depends upon the adaptability and the extend up to which it can be handled carefully. These shoes are of immense use for the womens of short height. High heel shoes make them look taller, actually it makes the legs to look long and foot small. The other benefit of wearing high heels is that it makes the carves to appear as it in the slim shape and thus bifurcate the difference in look before and after wearing high heels.

These High Heel shoes make the gait very steady yet it reduces the stride length. It completely changes the look of a woman and makes her to look more seductive and sexy. These shoes seem to be very highly appealing for sex and seduction. The women who wear them feel confident since confidence emerges from the physical appearance too.

There is no particular occasion for it to wear. It is often worn but it enhances the beauty especially in parties, ramps etc. Similarly there is no particular dress combination for it, but it fits well with mini-skirts and jeans. It really gives a seductive look to the women wearing it. These high heels appear to be a means to attract peoples and make them to act on their finger tip.

Now, when moving towards the shopping of high heel it seems to be very confusing or else the state of dilemma exists because there are many types of high heel shoes available like stiletto, court ,straps, peep toe, ankle strap, lace up leg, fetish etc which are very attractive and each is unique in its features. So, options are many but it depends upon the choice and budget.

Really the footwear trend has changed completely or we can say that it has reshaped from the beginning and appears to be very appealing section for womens. Especially the high heels have completely changed the look of women by creating a sense of illusion on the view of public. Whatever it may be but many varieties with innovative ideas are being introduced in the market and are highly adapted by the people and the High Heels are the one among them.

Franchising Vs. Licensing A Business

FRANCHISE VS. LICENSE

What’s the difference between franchising vs. licensing a business? Is a license business model really different from a franchise business model? Whether you’re a franchise attorney or not, the starting point in any analysis is to consider the legal aspects, then the business aspects. This article focuses on the legal aspects. A franchise always includes a license of the brand and operating methods, along with assistance (training, an operations manual, etc.) or support (providing advice, quality control, inspections, etc.). A license that is supposedly “not a franchise” but contains these elements, is a disguised, illegal franchise with significant legal ramifications and risk.

REGULATORY BACKDROP

In considering the legal aspects, begin with the following premise that applies to both options:
If you put someone into business (or allow them to use your business brand/mark) this transaction will normally be a regulated activity, subject to substantial penalties for noncompliance. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck. This guiding legal principle (and common sense), coupled with the business aspects of selling a franchise vs. a license (discussed below) will answer most questions.

FRANCHISE & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY LAWS

Why does regulation exist? Arising from the ashes of documented past abuses, where tens of thousands of individuals lost all of their worth by investing in nonexistent or worthless business endeavors, the government has devised two principal consumer protection mechanisms:

(1) franchise disclosure-registration laws; and
(2) business opportunity laws.

The thrust of these laws is to require sellers to give potential buyers enough pre-sale information so informed investment decisions can be made before money changes hands, contracts are signed and sizable financial commitments are undertaken. It doesn’t matter what terms are used by the parties in contracts or other documents to describe their relationship. For example, the contract may call the relationship a license, a distributorship, a joint venture, a dealership, independent contractors, consulting, etc., or the parties may form a limited partnership or a corporation. This is entirely irrelevant in the eyes of governmental regulators,. Their focus is not on semantics, but whether a small number of defining elements are present or not. Today sellers are subject to a complex web of regulations that differ from the federal level to the state level and even differ widely from state to state. Murphy advises through Franchise my business.

DON’T FALL FOR TODAY’S SUCKER PLAY

The internet is filled with statements like “Compare high cost franchising to low cost licensing.” Firms or individuals that say calling it a “license” dispenses with legal regulations are delusional and wrong for at least three reasons:

(1) Common Sense – if it was really that easy, everyone would be doing it that way. The 3,000-plus companies that are franchising are not stupid. Many can afford the very best legal talent available. It’s not a coincidence they’re all franchising and not licensing;

(2) Even if the relationship can be structured so it doesn’t fall within the definition of a “franchise,” the backup regulatory protection mechanism – business opportunity laws (discussed below) – will certainly apply. And complying with these is a lot more expensive than going the franchise route; and

(3) Any analysis must include federal law (franchise and business opportunity) as well as applicable state laws covering the same dual prongs (franchise and business opportunity).

This all reminds me of some financial planners who still advise their U.S. clients that filing U.S. income tax returns is not required under their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. It just doesn’t work that way. Actually it does work, but only until the IRS catches up.

The “licensing avoids franchise regulations” spin (which, not surprisingly, is not accepted in the legal community) also only works until the company gets caught. The logic (not) goes something like this: licensing arises under contract law, not franchise law and therefore franchise law doesn’t apply. Sound’s just like the “you don’t have to file a tax return because tax laws don’t apply” argument.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES

A license attorney prepared a dealer license agreement and ignored the FTC Franchise Rule disclosure requirements (“licensing arises under contract law, not franchise law”). The dealers became disgruntled and hired a litigation attorney who sued the company for, not surprisingly, selling disguised illegal franchises. It cost the company $750,000 to go to trial in federal court to answer the question “Is our license contract an illegal franchise?”

“Is our license really a disguised, illegal franchise?” is always a very expensive question to answer. Unless spending $750,000 is your idea of a good investment. Trying an end run around the franchise disclosure laws by calling it a “license” or a “dealership” may be a cheaper way to go initially. But it’s only a question of when (not if) you will be caught. Be prepared to spend mind-boggling amounts down the road when the disguised illegal franchise is challenged for what it really is.

In a 2008 case, Otto Dental Supply, Inc. v. Kerr Corp., 2008 WL 410630 (E.D. Ark. 2/13/08) another disguised franchise vs. a license was at issue. The company claimed it sold just a license, not a franchise and the franchise laws simply didn’t apply. It made a motion for summary judgment to have the case thrown out of court.

The federal Eastern District Court ruled against the company and ordered the case forward. It said whether or not the license was really a franchise was up to a jury to decide. Jurors are like most of us, and apply common sense to the simple defining elements of a franchise. They are not swayed by semantic arguments like “licensing arises under contract law, not franchise law and therefore franchise law doesn’t apply.” Another very expensive franchise vs. license learning lesson.

And here’s a final example. In Current Technology Concepts Inc. v. Irie Enterprises Inc. the Minnesota Supreme Court concluded a licensing arrangement was a franchise and held the franchise company liable for damages in the amount of $1.3 million for violating the Minnesota Franchise Law.

Hearing “after the fact” that the arrangement was an accidental, illegal franchise and you’re liable for $1.3 million was the last thing that company ever wanted to hear. Perhaps they got themselves into this mess by listening to statements found on the internet that franchising is expensive and licensing inexpensive. Again, if something sound’s too good to be true, it usually is and this should be a big flashing red light.

ROOTS OF LICENSING

It is important to remember the roots of licensing: artwork and character licensing – where the owner (licensor) grants permission to copy and distribute copyrighted works, such as allowing Mickey Mouse to appear on t-shirts and coffee mugs.

The most recent explosion in license law is the licensing of software on personal computers. Or, the owner of a trademark allows another a license to use its mark as a way of settling a trademark infringement suit. These are common and accepted forms of licensing. However, the attempt to use licensing as an end-run around the franchise laws is a corrupted use licensing was never intended for.

This is not to say licensing a business may be a viable option in foreign (out of U.S.) transactions where U.S. laws don’t apply – but these are a very small minority. Most transactions and contracts cover U.S. activities and residents, so the franchise vs. license question is usually an easy one to answer.

IPL – T20 Innovation or Invasion

Traditionally, innovation is seen as capacity for something new or different
introduced, but in the world of sport, especially in the context of
IPL, the term innovation has to be rather more liberal, accepting in its
sheathe more than just the new or original thought. In other words,
recent innovations in T20 cricket vis-a-vis IPL borrowing and adopting
ideas from other popular sporting leagues like National Basketball
Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL) tend to lean on
imitation, yet irrelevant of its broad acceptance; imitation can never
be equated to innovation. From terms like private franchises, player
auctions and cheerleaders to buzzwords like strategic timeouts &
dug-out that are conventional to a NBA or a NFL follower are now
familiar with cricket followers courtesy IPL. Watts Humphrey rightly
said “Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and
marketable form”, with its tremendous success, IPL serves as a standing
testimony to his words, boasting a billion dollar revenue generating
business that is largely targeted to benefit the investors/franchise
owners and partly the players.

Personally,
the bottom line in writing this has nothing to do with IPL’s great
capacity to spring surprises, nothing to do with its much talked about
glorious future. On the other hand, it has to do with what have taken on
the nightmarish dimensions of a dark reality – Cricket will never be
the same. But this is a harsh reality that is not easy to deal with for
the great sport’s many puritans, who often love the game more for
quality than for cheap entertainment. What started out innocuously as a
profitable vision has gained sizable force and substantial magnitude
needed to hold for large-scale and long term expansion. Truly, IPL has
invaded and deeply penetrated in all walks of T20 cricket and you just
have to scratch the surface to see it.

As it turns out, almost
all top class players from all cricket playing nations have been lured
to this wheel of fortune, forced to sign up for the league and for the
huge ransom they sign on, it would not be surprising if IPL dictates
them to put league before nation. For sure, players who once took pride
in playing for the country have succumbed to the pressures of IPL. As a
matter of fact, the very dimension of the sport has changed, making it a
highly demanding and stressful one. Tight schedules and frequent
travels are not expected to help the player’s cause anyways. But then
the real question is what drives them to return fit as a fiddle to play
for the league and not for the nation in its dire needs. The key to this
drive lies elsewhere and any attempt to unravel it would prove a futile
exercise.

IPL
did not seem to spare commentators either, who scream and shout at the
top of their voice making a conscious effort to contrive extraordinary
things out of ordinary stuff just so to breed a sense of drama. And
commentators here are not amateurs taking a shot on the big stage but
are who’s who in this profession brought down to the levels of ordinary
salesmen making a sales pitch to promote their product. For viewers it
definitely is an annoyance to constantly hear brand jargons like DLF
maximum (six runs hit by batsman), Karbonn Kamaal Catch, Citi Moment of
Success (bowler taking a wicket), Maxx Mobile Time-out from reputed
commentators who make a mockery of the sport in the name of
entertainment. Ultimately the greatest entertainment that this sport can
provide has to happen within the playing yards and not through the hype
and hoopla that surround it.

How to Cut Down the Risks in Small Business

You can’t get all that far ahead in business if you haven’t taken risks. Many people in business try their best to avoid big risks, but there are some that are worth taking. Whenever it comes to any risk in life, whether it’s investing company money or asking a girl on a date in high school, we constant exaggerate potential negative outcomes in our minds. Rather than picturing poor outcomes, proper evaluation of the level of risk for the situation will help weigh out the pros and cons. Taking risks that have been properly weighed out in pros and cons is the best way to get ahead in business, especially when that company is smaller and intends on growing much large in the near future.. Overall, it is a chance of exposure to gain or loss for your business that might be undertaken after the advantages and disadvantages are carefully considered. If you have been playing it safe with your business, it might be time to take a risk that will change how you look at decision making. Here are 7 ways to minimize the risk for your company:

1. Analyze Which Risks Make Sense for You Risks are different levels of extremes for everyone, depending on their comfort level with change. For your business, you may want to become more efficient with your processes. For another, the concentration might be on growing their customer base. These two businesses would need completely different and specialized plans for what they wanted to achieve. .

2. Set Your Goals and Brainstorm By knowing your goal and working backwards to see how much time it will take to make the change, you prepare yourself for the process of the change. This step in the process also makes you aware of how many people will need to be involved and when.

3. Evaluate the Risk Level of Each Opportunity When researching and preparing for the possibility of taking a risk, it is important to be unbiased to judge – such as an accountant, insurance agent, or marketing insight – in order to let you know when it would be a bad idea to push forward with business growth in mind.. By getting an outsiders insight on your business, you get a more solid foundation of where your business is and where it could end up.

4. Create a Detailed Plan of Execution With a calculated risk, you have to figure out what your goals are and fill in a roadmap of what will need to be done to make it happen. For example, coming up with a training program to roll out new procedures in your business works best when there is a set plan of exactly what each employee will learn and when. By thoroughly researching the change you are planning to make, you know the consequences and benefits of what you are about to do. Rather than playing it safe or hiding inside the procedures you know work well, you can find more opportunities in business than you ever knew were possible. Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy but when it comes to business, easy tends to rarely be the best option. Instead, trying out something that may or may not work could lead to the big break you were looking for either directly or indirectly by showing you what you would have never learned on your own within your own zone of comfort..

5. Edit and Change the Process As You Go If you get halfway through a process and realize it is not going as planned, don’t be afraid to change it! There is no one size fits all fix. Each company has its own issues and goals that cane be achieved by looking at solutions that are tailor-fit for your own specific needs..

6. Review the Results Whatever the outcome of your plan, use the results to help you adjust future decisions. Maybe you needed more funding or more time to complete the goal – now you are more aware of what to expect in your next endeavor.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail Not all risks go as planned, but it is crucial that you learn from your mistakes. While there is always a chance of failing, we feel as though risks can be very beneficial to everyone involved when they are well thought out and executed properly. Risk is unavoidable, so controlling it with an informed decision is the best approach you can take for your business.