7 Tips You Should Know Before Starting a Food Business

tips for starting a food business
tips for starting a food business

Starting a food business is challenging. This is because many would-be entrepreneurs who want to enter this field don’t know how to start, what the requirements are, the costs associated with setting up the business, and so forth. Studies indicate that many food businesses fail within the first year of being on the market. To prevent that from happening to you, it is better to know some tips before starting a food business.

Tips for Starting a Food Business

1. Define the concept

Worldwide, there are several food businesses focused on different sectors. For example, one of the most popular in recent years is fast food, thanks to the variety of dishes that it offers (chicken, burger, French fries etc.) Decide what type of food you want to offer.

how to start a food business

You do not have to limit yourself to a single dish. If you love Italian food, you can offer the main dish (pizza for example), but you can also make available to the customer other options such as spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna, fettuccini, etc.

2. Investigate the market

As in any business, you must investigate the market before opening a restaurant or anything related to food. This means trying to know what are the preferences and tastes of consumers, and making sure that there is enough demand for the product.

One way to do this is to survey people who frequent the area where you intend to open the food business. Determine their preferences, if they would go to a new food establishment or restaurant such as the one you are planning to put up, and how much they would be willing to spend on each visit.

3. Determine your target market

Another important point is to clearly define who your target market will be. This way, you can analyze and decide which strategies to use for this type of customers. For example, you must determine whether people are in a hurry to eat or if they enjoy taking their time, if they are willing to travel a certain distance to go to a good restaurant, if they are willing to pay a good price for a good dish, etc.

4. Consider starting small

You should opt to test your idea before you go all out with a pop-up location. It will provide you with an opportunity to run through your concept without all of the risks involved. Many people started their food business in the comfort of their own homes. They immersed themselves in something they enjoy and made a living or a career out of it. Once they outgrew the space, they moved on to a larger area.

Starting a business after meticulous planning is a big step, but remember starting small is always a good idea. You can try to have your own food cart or rent a food truck for a few months just to see how the business will go. If this becomes successful, then you can consider moving to a permanent location and scale up.

5. Find a good location

A determining factor in the success of your food business is its location, which is why you should take your time when choosing where to set up your food stall or restaurant. You can choose a central place where you will have the advantage of being seen by a greater number of customers. However, you may have to deal with higher rent costs and fierce competition.

restaurant

On the other hand, if you choose a less than ideal place, the rent will be lower and there will be less competition. The obvious disadvantage is that fewer people will be able to see you. One way to address this is by advertising or promoting your food business and making sure you have a great product. Also, when choosing a location for a restaurant or food establishment, make sure that it has enough parking for the number of customers you estimate will come in their own vehicles.

6. Set costs

One thing that you should know is how much does it cost to open a food business or a restaurant. In the case of restaurants, there are usually many hidden costs in setting up your business. It includes the cost of registration, licenses, permits, taxes, food handling certificates, food supplies, appliances, equipment, furniture, and workers compensation. When computing your investment budget, take your time and consider all costs (including rent), and if possible, try to reserve a small budget in case you end up lacking money.

7. Food safety and crew training

This is one important element of any food business. There are food safety guidelines that you must follow in order to protect your employees, your business and most especially your customers. If you follow food laws and regulations, this will help your business grow and earn a positive reputation. Training your employees is also essential so they can provide good quality products and services as well as observe total workplace hygiene in all areas of your business.

Conclusion

Starting a food business and managing it is not a simple task. It requires patience, dedication, perseverance to overcome difficulties that may arise, and discipline to cope with all the work involved in managing a food business. To become successful, you must be a good leader and work with your team closely. Hopefully, after you’ve read these tips, you can achieve success in this challenging (yet rewarding) field.

9 Signs Your Resume is Selling You Short

Don’t let your resume hold you back from all the opportunities out there!

Unlike a college test or job project, you’ll rarely receive feedback on your resume; potential employers just don’t have the time to send a personalized critique outlining your mistakes.

That’s understandable — but tough, especially when your inbox sits stagnant after a round of job applications. How are you supposed to know what you’re doing wrong? Before you totally lose your mind, take a few minutes to review these nine ways your resume could be selling you short.

1. Your resume bleeds onto two pages

If you’re a recent college graduate and have less than seven years of relevant experience in the workforce, stick to a one-page resume. Yes, even the most accomplished college graduates should only have a one-pager.

Why? Recruiters don’t want to shuffle through two pages of career details, especially when your career has barely started. That extra page will be seen as unnecessary fluff — and it likely is.

2. You went all out with your resume design

A resume should appeal to the eye, but there’s no need for colorful borders, intricate graphics, or a headshot (unless your career calls for one, like acting or modeling). This distracts the reader from what’s important: the text.

Also, many large companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is software that analyzes resumes and weeds out the least-qualified candidates based on algorithms. So if this ATS software scans graphics that it can’t decipher, your resume might get an automatic “no.”

3. You start with all the wrong information

Way back when, job applicants physically mailed their cover letters and resumes to a company. But times have changed, and your resume needs to reflect that.

There’s no need to take up two lines in your header to list your street address. If anything, including it could hurt your chances of securing a job. For example, if you live across the country but another candidate lives down the block and is almost as qualified as you, then why not just hire that person instead?

Replace your street address with something more digitally friendly, like your LinkedIn profile URL or your online portfolio. Recruiters and hiring managers are going to scour the internet for you anyway, so you might as well make it easier on them.

Oh, and while you’re updating your online profiles, take a peek at your email address. If it’s not a variation of your name, then consider making a new one. You can easily snag a free email address through Gmail or Outlook to create a new, professional email address.

4. You open with an objective

Now that your header is polished, it’s time to launch into the meat of your resume. If your eye scans down to an objective statement, press pause.

Objective statements tend to be generic and don’t offer an employer any additional information to help them understand who you are or your career goals. Replace your objective statement with a professional summary, instead. This is your elevator pitch — it should explain in three to five sentences your qualifications and immediate career goals. Don’t solely focus on yourself; tailor this summary to each job and employer so it feels personalized.

5. You include high school activities

Once you graduate college, you should wipe all mentions of high school off your resume. Focus instead on your college activities and internships. Then, once you’re a few years into your career, you can start shedding those college accolades, too.

6. You lack consistency

Consistency is key, and there are a few areas you’ll want to check for consistency on your resume.

First, start with the formatting. If your first header is underlined, bolded, and centered, make sure your second header is formatted the same way.

Second, make sure your details are presented consistently. If your city and state details are presented as “Denver, CO,” for example, don’t list the next one as “Denver, Colorado.” Check your dates as well. If you list a position as “May 2016 to December 2016,” don’t list your next position as “January 2017–June 2017.” It’s little details like this that can turn an employer off.

Finally, check your verb tenses. All your past experience should be listed in the past tense, while your current position(s) should be written in the present tense; keep that consistent.

7. Your descriptions “tell” when they should “show”

Did you ever have an English teacher encourage you to “show, don’t tell!” Well, that rule of thumb applies to your resume, too.

Comb through your job and activity descriptions. How much are you showing, and how much are you telling? Your points will be stronger if you can show how you resolved a workflow issue rather than simply stating it.

Additionally, see if you can quantify your accomplishments. For example, if, as an intern, you wrote five blog posts a week on top of other responsibilities, that’s pretty impressive. You’re showing the potential employer you’re a hard worker by backing up your statement with cold, hard facts.

On a related note, take a look at your “skills” section. It’s fine to include this section, especially if you’re in a more technical field. Maybe you want potential employers to know you can handle the intricacies of Python and Java. Or maybe you’re bilingual, which will help you in a customer service position.

Don’t, however, use a skills section to list implied skills like “effective written and verbal communication skills,” “organization,” or “conflict resolution.” Your past experience listed on your resume should already show this, so there’s no need to waste space.

8. You list references

It’s great you’ve recruited some solid references to join you on your job search; however, their assistance won’t be needed until later on in the job search.

A recruiter or hiring manager will likely contact your references after a phone screening and interview with you, so there’s no need to include those upfront on your resume. For that reason, cut your list of references. There’s also no need to state that references are “available upon request” — that should go without saying.

9. You didn’t recruit a proofreader

No matter how many times you read your resume, you’ll likely miss something so obvious. That’s just how the brain works — it starts auto-filling words to meet expectations.

In order to break the sequence, get someone else to read over your resume. Send it to your parents, a close friend, or your significant other —  anyone who has an eye for grammar and typos. The more sets of eyes, the better.

There are also professional options where you can submit your resume for a review to check for all of the above mistakes that people make on their resume.

Now that you’ve fixed up your resume, go ahead and click “submit” with confidence because your resume is no longer selling you short!

Author: Carson Kohler is a contributor to TopResume, the largest resume-writing service in the world. Not sure if your resume is selling you short and stopping you from getting the interviews you deserve? You can check with a free resume review from TopResume today!

Deciding What Your Next Job Should Be

career path
career path

Recently, I was coaching a client that was really struggling with her next career move. She had decided that she didn’t want to continue in her current job and industry but couldn’t figure out how to take a next step.

She had talked to friends, scoured the internet but hadn’t come to any conclusions. You may find yourself in a similar situation.

I need a change but I don’t know what I want!

It’s important to know what you’re good at, so take the aptitude test. It will provide you interesting data but it’s not the WHOLE story. In order to find that next best thing, it’s critical to investigate what you like, love and want. This might sound mushy but it’s not.

Back to my client. Let’s call her Charlotte. As Charlotte spoke about trying to solve the mystery of what to do next, her face showed her concern. Brows furrowed. Eyes searching. She looked lost.

So, we refocused the conversation to what she knows, rather than what she doesn’t.

• What does she like about her current role?
• What are her favorite things to do in her current role?
• If she were designing a new role, what characteristics would be important to her?
• In general, what does she love to do; that time disappears when she does it?
• What does she value in life?

This conversation provided a wealth of information about what she needs to consider in her next role.

• She likes being in a position to help others achieve their goals.
• She likes to be challenged. She likes goals and drives to achieve them.
• She likes to be active and finds time disappears when she’s physically active.
• She values developing close relationships.
• She loves to be creative.
• She’s highly motivated by learning.
• She wants to maintain financial stability.

She can use this information to ask the right questions in job interviews to understand whether the role will be something she likes in addition to something she will be good at.

BUT we discovered more. Charlotte’s been tinkering around with candle-making and lotion recipes. You should have seen her face change as she talked about what’s she’s been up to. She was a different person. Her face exuded energy. She smiled. She talked more quickly.

This hobby also “ticked” a lot of the things we discovered she wanted in a future role: helping others, challenges, goals, learning, creativity, relationships. But, exploring it was scary because she couldn’t see how this would provide financial stability right now.

This is what we discovered:

• Charlotte’s job would feel more tolerable if she were pursuing candle-making on the side, so we wouldn’t feel so desperate about escaping it.
• She doesn’t have to have all the answers right now. She can “baby-step” her way to the future.
• She doesn’t have to risk stability to explore something new.

So, Charlotte left the session with a new checklist of things to look for in new roles and some assignments related to her future candle-making empire.

• Create a concrete goal related to candle-making
• Do one thing every day to future her candle-making empire
• Find an accountability partner that will help her stay accountable for her goals

If you would like to figure out your next step:

• Take the aptitude test
• Order and complete the Guide to Knowingness Workbook
• Schedule a coaching session

How to Become a Meteorologist

How to Become a Meteorologist
How to Become a Meteorologist

If you’re interested in weather, you may want to consider having a career in meteorology. Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere, focusing on weather processes and forecasting. The first requirement is passion and enthusiasm. After that, it gets harder. When you want to look at how to become a meteorologist, there are a few things you need to decide right from the start to enable you to study the correct courses and so forth.

Types of Meteorologists

There are various types of meteorologists. The meteorologists who forecast the weather are known as operational meteorologists while climatologists look at seasonal changes over long periods of time. A synoptic meteorologist works on tools and software as well as mathematical models for weather forecasting purposes while a physical meteorologist researches the physical properties of the atmosphere and weather.

An environmental meteorologist focuses on environmental issues such as pollution that have an impact on the Earth’s atmosphere and may also influence weather conditions. Once you know what type of meteorologist you want to become, you can move on to the next step.

How to Become a Meteorologist

High School Studies

During the high school phase, you should take science and mathematics courses. If possible, try and take AP courses that can transfer into credits for college. Subjects such as physics, earth science, chemistry, and calculus will help towards this career.

It is also important that you focus on your English writing skills as well as your communication skills. This will help you with your research writing, presenting your papers or being able to communicate effectively should you become a radio or television meteorologist. It is also important that you spend time honing your computer skills as well as staying up to date on the latest technology in the field. If you can get hold of meteorological software to practice on, this will also help you with your career goals.

Tertiary Education

After high school, the next step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in science. The BA required is one in atmospheric sciences or meteorology. Classes will include physics, calculus, synoptics, dynamics, computer programming, and other science and mathematics classes. You can look at combining the meteorology degree with other sciences such as oceanography, chemistry, statistics, physics, and geology.

Computer science is another useful field of study for a career as a meteorologist. For those students who aim to do meteorology on air, classes in speech, journalism or media may also be a good option to include. Those who want to work for the government after graduation should check the specific course guidelines laid out before they decide on the classes to study.

Further Tertiary Education

For some meteorologists, it may be important to obtain a graduate degree. This will also be important for fields in which you hope to advance at a later stage. For those students who wish to eventually work in research, you will need to obtain a Ph.D. You can look at doing a dual master’s degree in various related sciences and include mathematics or computer science as well. There are many different graduate programs for meteorology and it is important to look at the aspects you wish to pursue in your career goals before deciding on the programs that best suit your agenda.

Obtain Your Certification

The American Meteorological Society does specialized programs related to different fields of meteorology such as consulting and broadcasting. These certificates require you to have a bachelor’s degree and you would need to pass an examination as well as submit samples of your work to be accepted into the programs. These certificates can be added to your credentials when applying for positions.

Get Work Experience

If possible, try and get an internship while you are studying, whether at high school or during your tertiary education. Working as an intern affords you valuable insights as well as allowing you to indicate some experience on your CV when looking for employment.

Career Training on Site

Certain organizations will require you to undergo specific training before taking up a position. The National Weather Service, for example, requires 200 hours of on-the-job training per annum for the first two years. The government also requires completion of your degree as per their specifications and thereafter to work as an intern in various positions to learn all the aspects required. Thereafter you would be assigned to a duty station once your internship has been completed. Other organizations will have their own requirements and you should make a point of finding out what these are before taking up a position.

Conclusion

So now you know how to become a meteorologist based on the studies required, but there is more to it than that. This is not an easy career and will require hard work, excellent communication skills, and even having to work in harsh environments and adverse weather conditions. Meteorologists working for broadcasters may find themselves reporting on blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes and other hazardous weather phenomena, and this can be quite dangerous as well. You need to ensure that you are flexible and willing to work long hours if you plan to follow a rewarding career in the field of meteorology.

How to Be a Flight Attendant

How to Be a Flight Attendant
How to Be a Flight Attendant

Being a flight attendant means you need to be flexible and good at multitasking. You will be traveling around the world or locally, depending on your airline and may do double shifts fairly often if required. The hours on long haul flights can be extensive, and you would need to be able to endure being on your feet for long periods of time. So, you want to know how to be a flight attendant?

What Is a Flight Attendant?

A flight attendant (also referred to as cabin crew) is a person who is employed by an airline specifically to attend to the needs and safety of passengers during flight. They usually prepare the interior of the plane prior to the arrival of passengers, greet passengers, and assist with them coming on board and getting settled.

How to Be a Flight Attendant

They ensure all carry-on luggage is safely stowed away prior to take off and that all passengers are seated and seat belts are on. They also demonstrate safety procedures to all passengers and introduce the flight crew. They may also serve food and drinks and provide other comforts such as blankets and so forth for passengers during flight. They are usually trained in first aid and may also have to deal with problem passengers.

What Is the Training Needed for This Career?

Flight attendants have to be trained in a number of aspects pertaining to this career. These include customer service, boarding and pre-flight procedures, security and safety protocols and procedures, as well as first aid. They will have to know how to deal with problem passengers as well as what to do in case of various emergency situations that could arise.

They may also have to learn different aspects of the various planes that they may be working on. Some of this training may be given after being hired by an airline but there are 8-week training programs that would stand you in good stead for this career. The training can also help you achieve supervision status earlier and help you command better pay. If you want to learn how to be a flight attendant, taking a course prior to applying to an airline would be a good first step.

Do You Need a Certificate to Be a Flight Attendant?

On small aircraft, this may not be necessary, but to work on any aircraft that can hold 20 plus seats, you would need a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is issued when you complete a training program which has been approved by the FAA.

If you are hired and trained through an airline, they will provide this training to enable you to earn the certificate. The training usually centers around safety and handling of emergency situations including fires, evacuation, and even survival skills in the event of a crash landing.

When Can You Apply and How Much Can You Earn?

While some positions require a GED and being over 18, most flight attendants start working after the age of 21 and having done a number of weeks of ground training and simulated flight training. The salaries for flight attendants depend a lot on the airline and level of experience.

A newly qualified flight attendant can earn from $16,500 up to around $28,000 per year, while a flight attendant with years of experience can be earning in excess of $55,000 per year at some airlines. There are added benefits, such as being able to see different parts of the country or the world depending on your assignment. Some airlines also offer free flights as part of the incentives.

What Are the Career Prospects for a Flight Attendant?

Becoming a flight attendant may be difficult at the beginning as there are many people capable of doing the work and not that many positions open each year. So usually, those with some college or training will have an edge on other applicants. You can look at taking extra courses such as studying a foreign language, management skills, customer service training and more to improve your resume.

How to Be a Flight Attendant

The more you can offer the airline, the better your chances of getting a job. Once you have worked and qualified with an airline, you have much better long term prospects. Qualified flight attendants are more in demand and you may eventually be able to choose the airline that can offer you the prospects and incentives you are looking for long term.

Where Can I Learn More About Becoming a Flight Attendant?

Research can be done on the websites of various airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and so forth. You can also gain information from the various unions such as the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. This will also give you some insight in to the daily workings of being a flight attendant and the types of issues you may experience in this type of career.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to be a flight attendant and have some information on the career choice, you need to decide if this is the career for you. There is a lot more to it than the glitz and glamour of flying all around the world, and it requires hard work, dedication and remaining upbeat and smiling even when you’ve had a bad day. This is a customer service oriented position.

9 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business

Things to Consider When Starting a Business
Things to Consider When Starting a Business

For many people, the idea of starting their own business is appealing. You might think it’s easy. But it takes more than just hard work and determination for a business to succeed. You also have to do your own due diligence. Here are a few things to consider before starting your own business.

Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business

1. Do your research.

Before you can start your own business, you need to understand your market, look at the niche that you could fit into, look at the strengths and weaknesses of your competition as well as your own, and the potential to grow and develop your business. A stagnant business that has no growth potential has little chance of surviving in a constantly changing market.

2. Develop a business plan.

Start with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and build from there. Lay out your ideas, categorize your potential market, identify the need in the current market for your service or product, and plan exactly how you will go about running and growing your business.

3. Financial planning.

When starting your own business, you need to first look at how much you need to get started, and where you are going to get your start-up capital from. Your business will also need some cash flow to keep going until you start making some profits. You have to have the buffer in place or a plan to obtain the necessary cash to keep going. As well as being able to pay your monthly bills, you also need to decide on how to invest profits in order to grow your business over time as well.

4. Learn from the best.

It is difficult to work in a vacuum, and when you get stuck, it helps to have someone to talk to for a different perspective and some ideas of how to get back on track. This could be a personal mentor, a partner or even a group of people that you can speak to and discuss ideas with in order to improve your business.

5. What’s in a name?

Do the research so that you do not duplicate an existing name, as this could become a problem later on especially if you plan to build a brand or register the name. Try and stay away from trendy names, as the name may no longer be relevant in a few years if you choose something that relates to the present day only. A timeless name will stand you in better stead, especially when building a brand to last a lifetime.

6. Know the risks.

This is the point which can be the downfall for many start-ups. When starting your own business, you need to also look at what can possibly go wrong and what you are going to do to ensure that the worst case scenario does not destroy all that you have built. Build the risk strategy in to your business plan to alleviate stress should things go belly up at some point.

7. Network.

Your business can only grow if people get to know you and you get to know people. Social media, networking events and meeting with people in your industry will help you grow and improve your business.

8. Never stop learning.

Learn from your mistakes, learn from your mentors, learn from your staff, and learn from your customers. When starting your own business, do not be afraid to ask questions to grow your own knowledge base and hopefully allow you to improve your planning and business strategy.

9. Get going.

Once you have done your homework when it comes to starting your own business, the next step is to get going. Procrastination for an extended period of time may negate all of your hard work to date and you may have to start from scratch. Once you have made your plans and everything is in place, all that remains is for you to get started.

2018 Scholarship Winner

Vanessa Ramsaroop is our 2018 Scholarship winner.

One Word: Passion

We asked Vanessa a couple of questions so our readers could get to know her.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a 24 year old with a heart of an adventurer.  I love and am open and receptive to new adventures and experiences to learn, innovate and grow.  Currently I’m a Customer Representative at a local brewery and I love my Job!  I get to meet people, hear stories and use them as inspiration and learn new perspectives, understand the psychology of people and just have fun.  Plus since I work in service, it helps my intuition as an aspirational author.

What do you plan to do with the $500 prize?

I plan to go on a trip with my best friend for inspiration and some much needed me time…plus donate $50 to church as God is my life.

Read All Entries

Thanks to all of our entrants and congratulations to Venessa!

5 Things to Know if You Want to Become a Real Estate Agent

How to Become a Real Estate Agent
How to Become a Real Estate Agent

A career in real estate can be challenging yet rewarding. Some real estate agents earn a six-figure income per year; others, only a few thousand. It’s important to note that while this career can be exciting, it is not for everyone. To help you decide whether this field suits you, we will discuss five things you should know if you want to become a real estate agent.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

1. Have a cash reserve.

Real estate agents can’t expect successful deals with prospective buyers all the time. Expect slow periods where clients are few or you will not be able to close any sale at all. For this reason, you should set up a cash reserve to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses. It is important to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This way, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you don’t have anything to spend for your basic needs.

2. Put in time and effort.

Some people think that being a real estate professional is an easy job, but in reality, it’s not. Only a fraction can be called successful. In fact, it is estimated that only 20% of new real estate agents will make it in this field. In addition, only a small proportion will get the “lion’s share” of the business.

Those who are not as lucky go back to their previous jobs. So what do you need to become a successful real estate agent? You need perseverance, hard work, dedication, and of course, a little bit of luck. Treat it as a business and put in extra hours if necessary.

3. Take real estate courses, get a license, and find an employing broker

Aspiring agents should take real estate courses so they can know more about the real estate industry. These courses can come in the form of traditional or online classes. Cost vary from $200 to $900, including the learning materials.

After completing the courses, you need to take the state licensure exam and pass it. Requirements may vary from state to state. Inquire with your state’s Department of Real Estate or local Board of Realtors to know the requirements for obtaining a license.

After you pass the licensure exam, you need to find a broker. Real estate agents usually work as independent contractors under a broker’s supervision. Do your own due diligence and look for a broker who will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to help you succeed in this field.

4. Undergo continuing education.

To be up to date with the latest development and trends in the industry, real estate agents have to undergo continuing education (professional development). These courses are meant to enhance your knowledge and skills, but more importantly, you need it to keep your license active.

5. Develop a business plan

It is important that you view real estate as a business, not just a job. And one thing successful business people do is to have a business plan.

• Set up goals that are both achievable and measurable.
• Select a segment to specialize in: horizontal (house and lots) or vertical (condominiums). You can also decide to concentrate on a particular geographic area.
• Choose a target market (affordable, middle income, high end) and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
• Set a budget and determine how to achieve it.
• Make plans to promote yourself as a real estate agent. You need to build your network. Join groups, clubs, or organizations in your local community. Who knows, the person you’ll bump into may just be your next client.

Conclusion

The tips mentioned above will help aspiring real estate agents get off to a strong start. If you don’t close your first sale right away, don’t be discouraged. The more interactions you have with leads and clients, the more experienced you’ll become. As they say, experience is the best teacher, and real estate is no exception. If you put in time, effort, and the right approach, chances are, you’ll soon have a place in this industry.

How to Become a Stockbroker

How to Become a Stockbroker
How to Become a Stockbroker

If you know what the featured image in this article symbolizes, chances are, you are familiar with the stock market. It is a dynamic marketplace where people buy and sell stocks in the hope of making money. Trades are especially heavy during a bull market, where optimism prevails and prices of stocks keep going up. A bear market on the other hand, is the exact opposite: the sentiment is pessimistic and prices of stocks keep going down. In this article, we will discuss how to become a stockbroker.

What Is a Stockbroker?

Stockbrokers are licensed professionals who buy and sell stocks for retail (individuals), or institutional (business entities) clients. They have a deep understanding of investments and capital markets. First, stockbrokers communicate with their clients to determine what their financial goals are. Then, they give recommendations what stocks are good to buy that will likely provide a gain in the future. Lastly, they buy or sell stocks on the client’s behalf and handle the transaction.

To help clients make money in the stock market, a stockbroker must be able to analyze the financial reports of companies listed in the stock exchange and provide timely advice. Failure to do so can mean potential losses on the part of the client. Aside from the financial performance of companies, the stock market is affected by such factors as the country’s overall economy, monetary policy, as well as geo-political risks.

The better advice a stockbroker can provide, the more money a client can make. Satisfied clients will mean more trades, and this will subsequently lead to more commissions. Simply put, the more clients and trades, the better. Being a stockbroker can be a fun job, but it can also be stressful, as the job involves other people’s money.

How to Become a Stockbroker

How to Become a Stockbroker

1. Take mandatory exams – There are 2 basic tests you must pass before you can become a stockbroker:

• The Series 7 – The Series 7 or General Securities Registered Representative Examination is given by FINRA or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It usually lasts 6 hours and is probably the most difficult test an aspiring stockbroker will take. If you pass this test, then you will become a “registered representative” or stockbroker. You will have the authority to sell all types of securities and investments, except real estate, commodities futures, and life insurance. At present, the Series 7 test costs $290.

• The Series 63 – This test is about conducting business and the different laws that govern transactions. It is much easier than the Series 7 and only takes about 75 minutes to finish. Currently, the Series 63 test costs $96.

2. Complete the paperwork – After you pass the required exams, you need to complete your registration with FINRA/NFA. You must also register with the Securities Commission of each state that you wish to work in. Here is a rundown of things you must accomplish:

• Pass a background check
• Get a fingerprint card
• Complete paperwork at the state and federal levels

3. Meet quotas – Now that you are a licensed stockbroker, you have to meet the expectations of the firm you are working for. Depending on the company, your employers will probably give you six months to one year to prove to them that you have what it takes to become successful stockbroker, i.e., to get and maintain a large enough number of clients.

4. Take continuing education courses – To keep your license, you need to take continuing education classes and attend seminars. Usually, the brokerage firm you’ll be working for will facilitate this for you.

What Course Should You Take Up in College If You Want to Become a Stockbroker?

Although there’s no specific course that students should take to be a stockbroker, some are more advantageous than others. For example, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration is one of the most popular courses for stockbroker hopefuls. This is because this course covers topics that are relevant to companies in particular, and the stock market in general.

Among the things you will learn are how companies raise capital, why they issue shares of stock, and how they pay dividends to shareholders. You will also learn other aspects involved in running a business. Other college courses you can take if you want to become a stockbroker include Accounting, Finance, or Economics.

How Much Is the Salary of a Stockbroker?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for stockbrokers in the US is $63,780 per year (based on 2017 data). But the actual income of a stockbroker is influenced by many factors such as years of experience, what firm they’re working for, and the commission they get from trades.

Conclusion

If you want to be a famous stockbroker on Wall Street, start reading books, find a good mentor, and follow the latest developments on the stock market. After reading this article and knowing how to become a stockbroker, now is a good time as any to take your interest in stocks to a higher level and make a career out of it.

How to Get Your Dream Job

Maybe you’ve just graduated from college or already working a 9 to 5 job but still feel unfulfilled in your current position. Getting your dream job may seem far-fetched, but with motivation and persistence, it can be done. You just need to focus and take notice of the following tips on how to get your dream job.

1. Find a job that matches your interests.

The first step to finding your dream job is to figure out what you’re really interested in. It is easier to learn knowledge and skills when you are doing something that you like. Prospective employers prefer applicants who are passionate about their chosen field because they are motivated and are more likely to perform well.

Let us say you want to apply for a job because it pays well, but you’re not really into it. You got hired. But how long can you force yourself to do a job you have no interest in? Chances are, you’ll get bored and start hating your job sooner or later. Furthermore, if you don’t like that job, you won’t have the motivation to improve.

What are your interests? When you like what you’re doing, it will be easier for you to be better at that job. And the better you are, the more job offers will come along your way, not mention the higher salary that goes along with it.

2. Make your cover letter personal.

When you’re applying for a job, you are competing with others who probably have more skills and experience than you. The importance of a good cover letter can easily be overlooked, but sending one that is poorly written makes it likely that your application will be ignored.

Sometimes, all it takes is to make your applications personal to have the edge over the competition. But how you can do this? The first thing to do is read the job post thoroughly. Pay attention to the details and follow the instructions carefully. Then, do your research. Learn more about the company. After putting all these things into consideration, write a cover letter that explains why you are a good fit for the job.

3. Submit a complete resume.

You can’t blame a hiring manager ignoring your application if you have barely or incomplete information on your resume. How can you earn an employer’s trust if you don’t give them a clear picture of who you are, your skills, and your qualifications? If you want to get your dream job, give employers the information they need so they can make good hiring decisions.

The photo in your resume should be of good resolution. Make sure you are wearing business attire in the photo if you’re applying for a corporate job. Also, it’s not enough to just list down your work experience. To make your resume stand out, enumerate all your accomplishments while holding previous positions or jobs.

4. Make your social media profiles more professional.

Don’t be surprised if employers would want to check your social media profiles. They do this to confirm your identity and to know more about you. Social media can be used to verify what’s on your resume. It also provides a glimpse of your interests, personality, and character.

Make sure that information posted on your social media profiles is consistent with what you indicated in your job application. Additionally, be more careful with what you’re posting on social media, as it can sway the perception of the employer about you one way or another. You wouldn’t want to get cut simply because you posted something “bad” on social media.

5. Be honest.

One top tip: Don’t lie or overrate yourself. If you get caught, it will damage your reputation. Even if you got hired, you would lose that job once the employer finds out that you’ve been dishonest. This may also affect your chances of landing a job in the future.

If you’re a fresh college graduate and lacks work experience, it’s easy to underrate your skills. To counteract this, list your current skills and indicate in your application that you are willing (and eager) to learn new things.

Conclusion

Job applicants can spend lots of time sending resumes without getting a response from an employer let alone land an interview. Getting your dream job requires careful thought, research, and strategy. Take note of the five tips mentioned above to put your career path on the right track.