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Welsh brewer Brains hands pubs to Marston’s, saving 1,300 jobs

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Welsh brewer Brains

Family-claimed Welsh brewer SA Brain and Co has given over the running of its 156 bars to Marston’s, saving 1,300 positions, after the Covid pandemic compromised their conclusion.

Minds, whose bars are mostly situated in south and west Wales, said it had come “under critical monetary weight” during the pandemic, as limitations mean bars should stay shut aside from takeaway and conveyance.

The organization shut its whole bar home on 4 December after the declaration of a prohibition on liquor deals and authorized 6pm shutting across Wales to attempt to contain a deteriorating Covid-19 flare-up. Staying open under those limitations was “not a suitable choice”, Brains said.

SA Brain and Co was set up in 1882 in Cardiff, and turned into Wales’ greatest brewer and bars organization while staying under family possession. John Rhys, the organization executive who administered the arrangement, is the extraordinary grandson of author Samuel Arthur Brain.

Before the pandemic, the bars remembered for the arrangement made £14m per year in center income. Marston’s will assume control over the bars in February, generally under 25-year leases from Brains. The yearly lease on the bars was £5.5m.

The bars will be run under the Brains brand, and will keep on selling its lager, which is prepared at an office in Cardiff Bay that was opened in March 2019. Before that Brains was made in distilleries in Cardiff’s downtown area.

Rhys stated: “We know and trust Marston’s to be astounding overseers of our bars and, while this isn’t a choice we have trifled with, we are sure that our bars and our bars groups will flourish under their stewardship.

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“Moreover, this exchange empowers Brains to recapitalise its asset report and proceed with its long legacy as an autonomous substance, saving this incredible Welsh business for a long time into the future.”

Marston’s, in the past known as Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries until a 2007 rebrand, runs around 1,400 bars across the UK, incorporating 106 in Wales. The 1,300 representatives in Brains bars will move to Marston’s, which utilizes a further 14,000 individuals across the UK.

Ralph Findlay, the Marston’s CEO, said the arrangement would be commonly advantageous and that it “fortifies our portrayal in south and west Wales, while securing the legacy and freedom of a notable Welsh business”.

Business

5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

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Entrepreneur

Your Product Should Fill a Need

Perhaps the number one rule of business is that your product or service should fill an existing need. And it should solve a problem in a better way than any existing product currently on the market. Do your research so you know what your competition is, and forge ahead.

42% of product launches don’t succeed because there is no need for the product or service. Can you think of examples of such failures?

  • New Coke – Original Coke didn’t need to be improved so customers boycotted this new version.
  • The Zune – Microsoft tried to compete with Apple iPod and failed to create a product better than what already existed.
  • Google+ – Google attempted its own social media network, but became another example of a service that couldn’t outdo what was already available.
  • Bic for Her – Women don’t need pens specifically designed for them, so this pen flopped.
  • Hammacher Schlemmer’s Night Vision Camcorder – marketed toward children, this product doesn’t solve a practical problem; why do kids need to record things in the dark?

Sometimes a novelty product takes off because, although it’s impractical, it strikes a chord with customers. However, you may not want to take that risk! Your product or service should stand the test of time, and not just end up the gag gift at the next Holiday office party.

Start Early

As soon as you have your idea, get started!

Research your brand or business name the right way to see if they’re already trademarked. Even if it will be a while before you launch, apply for the necessary permits and licenses now. Doing so will give you peace of mind while you secure funding or save your own money, develop a business plan, and work on your brand’s mission statement, slogan, and marketing strategy.

Keep it Simple

Your mission statement should be clear and concise. Everyone in your business should know what they’re working toward, and how to achieve it.

Examples of Mission Statements

A mission statement tells your employees and customers what your brand is all about. It should concisely share your brand values, your company’s actions, and your company’s objectives. It is not what you hope your company will become but, rather, what your company currently is. When drafting your mission statement, start by answering the following questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Why?

Mission statements are usually about three sentences long, and provide direction to your brand and its employees. Keep in mind that your mission statement should include attainable goals for your company, i.e. objectives you’re already working toward. Be sure to include inspirational messaging and personality without being cliche; avoid popular slang that may date your brand or phrases that don’t provide clear direction.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some examples of mission statements that get the point across.

  • To bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons, and consumers in over 140 countries around the world. – Apple
  • Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. – Nike
  • Offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety. – L’Oreal
  • To strengthen our position in the marketplace by developing high-quality relationships with our supplies and customers and earning a reputation of dependability, innovations, and exceptional performance. – M&M’s
  • Creating loving connections through our blankets. – Minky Mamas
  • We deliver the promise of the digital world to our customers. We make their innovative lifestyles possible.  – Verizon

Examples of Slogans

Can you name the brands responsible for these popular slogans (hint: some are listed above)? Chances are the simple phrases stand out in your mind and immediately make you think of the product or service they represent.

  • Think Different
  • Just Do It
  • Because You’re Worth It
  • Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands
  • The Breakfast of Champions
  • Can You Hear Me Now?
  • What’s in Your Wallet?
  • The Happiest Place on Earth
  • They’re Grrrrrrreat!
  • Nothing Runs Like a Deer

Slogans are catchy phrases, short and sweet, that are used in a brand’s advertising. We repeatedly see them on packaging and billboards and hear them on commercials. A lasting slogan can be used out of context and still conjure up thoughts of the brand it represents. You want your slogan to potentially offer a promise as well as make a lasting impression on potential customers.

Market Yourself

Marketing your brand can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? How much do you spend? Customers may stumble upon your product or service with an Internet search, but how can they know your brand is reliable? This is where marketing comes in.

Once you know your mission statement, have a slogan, and a brand aesthetic, you have to get to work. Your message needs to not just reach people, but the right people. Social media makes it easier than ever to target your demographic with paid or sponsored content. It’s a less expensive way to analyze your customers’ behavior and engage with them. Your online presence establishes a connection with potential customers, building trust in your brand. Marketing is more than just selling your product or service; it’s telling your story to your customers. It’s an opportunity to further expand upon your mission statement and let your customers know why you started your business in the first place. Through this storytelling, you can share your passion for your product and build your reputation.

Also, it is important to speak the language of your target audience. Be buyer-centric, not seller-centric. If you are a company, for example, that offers power storage solutions for solar users, don’t drone one about your fancy stuff. Most buyers don’t care about the science behind the solution. Instead, talk about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters or illuminating your home renewably, etc.

Sometimes You’ll Fail

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you’re going to fail. There’s no such thing as an “overnight success” in business, so pull up your bootstraps and know that there’s a lot of work ahead.

Tips for Overcoming Failure

  • Plan for failure – regularly analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to stay one step ahead.
  • Manage cash flow – get a good forecast of your income and expenses so you can plan for the future.
  • Focus on your customers – keep your customers at the forefront of your business so you have support in leaner times.
  • Reframe failure – sometimes you can take a step back and see failure as a setback rather than a stopping point.
  • Invest in your team – don’t go into business alone if you don’t have to.
  • Invest in your business – be sure your IT systems and software help you work smarter and not harder.

With a clear vision, mission statement, and business plan, you can find yourself on a bumpy, but manageable path to success. Remember that it won’t happen overnight, but even the best ideas take time to catch on.

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Don’t Throw Away Your Brass

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Brass

If you’re lucky to have spent brass casings, hang on to them. Ammunition shortages are cyclical, and we’ve reached the point when it’s hard to come by the parts needed to manually reload your ammo, or buy it new from manufacturers.

Buying New vs Reloading Brass

The ammo shortage that began in 2020 is expected to continue well into the next couple of years. In January 2021, a box of 50 9mm rounds cost $22.99, whereas just a few months later in April the cost had risen to $26.99. Manufacturers are facing increased costs that trickle down to consumers, making everything from components to complete ammo itself more expensive.

If you can get your hands on all the components needed to reload your own brass, it is usually less expensive than buying new ones. It will take up a lot of time, though, so it’s important to factor that in as part of the cost.

Reasons to Reload Your Brass

Did you know it’s not only a practical financial choice to reload your ammunition, but it can affect your accuracy as well? Let’s take a look at the reasons why many gun enthusiasts choose to reload their brass.

It Saves Money

Depending on what you carry, the type of ammunition you use, and how frequently your shoot, you can save a lot of money by reloading your brass. Anywhere from a few dollars to 50% of the cost of buying new can add up over time, making it a worthwhile endeavor for many gun owners.

It Can Improve Accuracy

When you reload your spent casings yourself, you can fine-tune how the bullets are seated, and how much gunpower is in each. This can improve accuracy in shooting, and allow you to make other customizations for your firearm.

It’s a Teaching Tool

You can learn a lot about your gun when you load your own ammo. If you’re mechanically inclined and like taking things apart to see how they work, this is a perfect opportunity for you to get to know your firearm better.

It May Allow You to Shoot More

With the cost of ammunition steadily rising, you may be discouraged from stocking up. Not having enough ammo means you’re probably missing out on opportunities to visit the range or participate in matches. If you invest in the components you need to reload, you’ll have them on hand and ready to go the next time you want to enjoy some target practice.

What’s in My Ammunition?

Each standard round of ammunition is comprised of the following:

  • A cartridge
  • Lead (or other metal) bullet
  • Brass or steel casing
  • Gunpowder
  • A primer

Can Unused Ammunition Be Recycled?

Unused ammo can be recycled, but it can be a more complicated process. The spent metal casing can be recycled, and the gunpowder can be repurposed as fertilizer. This often leads people to believe it’s okay to bury ammo since gunpowder can benefit the soil. However, the metal, especially lead, can contaminate the ground and leach into water supplies. Additionally, unused ammo should never be thrown away, as compression in a garbage truck or compacter can lead to unintentional firing.

Ways to Dispose of Unused Ammo

  • Contact local law enforcement
  • Donate it to the gun range
  • Donate to another shooter
  • Contact a hazardous waste center

Used ammo can more readily be recycled since the gunpowder is spent and you’re just left with the brass. Casings can be reused by the manufacturer for new ammo, or you can reuse them yourself.

Ways to Dispose of Used Ammo

  • Hazardous waste drop off
  • Donate to a collector
  • Recycle the metal as scrap
  • Reuse the brass for new ammo

What You Need to Reuse Your Brass

As mentioned, another way to recycle used ammo is to reuse your brass. Rather than leave those casings littered on the ground next time you shoot, gather them up and bring them home. With a few supplies, you can recycle your casings for the next time you’re at the range. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Reloading press
  • Brass casings
  • Primers
  • Bullets
  • Powder

Once you have these supplies, the process for reloading your ammunition is simple but time-consuming.

Prep the Casings

Inspect all your casings to ensure they aren’t cracked or dented. Take a look at the bottom of the casing and see if the primers are in good shape as well.

To clean your casings, all you need is a soft cloth that will fit inside, and a neck or bottle brush. After you’ve cleaned the casings, they need to be lubricated so you can efficiently move them through your sizing die. You can coat a lube pad with lubricant to make it easier to roll casing across it simultaneously and prep them.

Remove the Primers

Using your loading press, remove the fired primers from the bottom of each casing. Lift your press handle up, and press it down to remove the spent primer and resize your casing. To remove your casing, lift the press handle up and repeat the process for the next case.

Place a New Primer

To insert a new primer into your case, raise the handle on your press to its highest point and put a new primer in the primer arm. With a new case in the shell holder, you’ll then push the primer arm into the ram slot to lower the case onto the new primer. Remove the casing to inspect your handiwork, ensuring the primer is flush with the base of the casing, or slightly lower.

Reload the Casing

With the new primer in place, it’s time to reload the casing with gunpowder. You’ll need to weigh out the correct amount of powder for each casing and pour it in using a funnel.

Seat the Bullet

With a seating die, you can push the bullet to the proper depth in the casing. The die also crimps the shell and positions the lock ring on the casing.

As you can see it’s an involved process, but it can become habitual when you do it often enough.

Remember that it’s just as important to be responsible with your ammunition as it is to be responsible with your firearm. Whether you want to save money, get to know your gun better, or simply enjoy the hands-on experience of reusing brass, it can be a good choice to reload vs buying new ammunition.

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Talk of the Town Using the Marketing Machine to Your Advantage

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Marketing Machine

There has likely never been a more dire time for new businesses in America than during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to recent reporting on the economic impact of the coronavirus, a control group shows nearly 300,000 businesses have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with closures happening in greater numbers month-over-month. Of these nearly 300,000 businesses that have closed, 60% are not planning to reopen. Of those that are still open (or that plan on reopening), many have admitted that they likely won’t return to pre-covid conditions for at least six months. 

In light of all that small businesses have to contend against right now, effective marketing has become more crucial than ever before. Luckily, the audience is there, and in a volume heretofore unseen. One of the strangest instances of societal dissonance is that in a year of mass closures and mounting medical devastation, businesses great and small with a substantial internet presence have posted record gains during the pandemic. Understanding that the internet is the greatest tool for communicating in the history of mankind, those businesses that properly utilize it have the best chance for survival, regardless of the crisis.

Social Media is a Megaphone

While traditional advertising can reach a much larger audience on the internet just by utilizing sidebar and banner ads, or by sending marketing emails to the nearly 4 billion daily email users, social media is the ace-in-the-hole of any small business. Of all the typical marketing tools on the internet, social media offers something that none of the others are capable of doing: engagement. In fact, the ability to interface directly with their clientele means that businesses can bring up important topics concerning their industry and carve out a lucrative corner for themselves, even in a competitive market. If you want to talk with your fans about the pros and cons of weighted blankets for your Minky blanket start-up, and make a killing every FB Live, social media makes it possible. 

This type of control over your industry is a far cry from how the same process was done in the past. In the golden age of printed media, the most effective advertisement capable of capturing the humor, outrage, wonder, or envy of an audience was still at the mercy of an entire interlocking web of businesses and systems working in sync in order to be seen, let alone discussed. 

  1. A writer would come up with a tagline and some copy. 
  2. The art department would bring it to life visually.
  3. The advertising coordinators then buy ad space to be featured in newspapers, magazines, and billboards.
  4. The printers would then copy the master ad.
  5. The distribution department coordinates the sending of these newspapers and magazines to newsstands and paperboys all over the country.
  6. The finished product makes its way to the consumer, and the advertisers pray that they’ve come up with something that would lead the person holding the paper to turn to someone they’re sitting next to and discuss the ad.

With social media providing the tools, the distribution, and the potential audience, a new business can have more confidence in the control they have over the fate of a particular ad. They can instead focus on the all-important task of getting to know better their clients and the market. 

The Growing Relevance of Waning Attention Spans

One important piece of information for every business attempting to curate a presence online: the smartphone has seen attention spans in humans drop drastically. Whereas the average attention span topped out at 12 seconds in the year 2000, now studies show that the average person can only focus on something for 8.25 seconds. That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. This means that a great marketing campaign must be all the catchier, all the more relevant, and all the more succinct if a business hopes to keep a person grounded long enough to sell them something.

One way around this is to invest more in video production. On average a person will watch a video for 2 to 3 minutes before clicking away, and a majority of people would rather watch something than read the same information if they had the chance. As such, the desire for a competent and professional video production team is on the rise

These days, the most competitive production companies offer not only space to film commercials with the latest technology but also handle all the sound mixing and ADR in-house. These businesses pride themselves on being the first to properly interpret your vision for an ad and then making it happen for the rest of your audience.

The Marketing Potential of a Great 3PL

Once the audience is found, the ad is created, the engagement is underway, and the orders are made, the next step in leveraging the internet to your advantage is arguably the most important. All the other (admittedly important) work done thus far is merely a preamble to the most crucial part of keeping a small business alive: fulfillment.

In the year 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon posted record-breaking revenue by both internal and external metrics. In the third quarter alone they had cleared over $96 billion, a 37% increase from the previous year. How was Amazon able to do this? Ultimately, it’s because they have already achieved recognition as the global marketplace, and when people are quarantined and are using less of their income on going out, they end up spending more money online. But the underlying reason for their success and why they are considered the most ubiquitous place to buy anything is because they have mastered the art of fulfillment. 
When thinking about order fulfillment, it’s difficult to determine which link in the supply chain is most important. Therefore, a solution that makes your business good at everything is the logical, albeit difficult, answer. Finding a 3PL partner who can master order fulfillment may be a daunting task for a small business it’s an extra expense, and knowing the right company from another can be hard but being reliable is the best type of marketing a company can do. If a business has the reputation of being quick, accurate, and helpful, word will spread and the people will come.

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