Sunday, June 19, 2011

OIL & VINEGAR - A Franchise for the Food Enthusiast

Enjoy this video created by our HQ in the Netherlands to inspire the food enthusiast and highlight our retail concept.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WHERE PASSION MEANS PROFITS

At Oil & Vinegar we often speak about the formula to business success being rooted in the owners’ passion for the brand concept and products, plus the burning desire to share that passion with their customers.

Some suggest that passion alone is enough. Maybe this is true in some cases, but generally other “hard” business skills, and solid financial backing, are necessary to make a business a success in the today’s market environment. With that said, I still believe strongly that without the underlying passion for what you are doing day in and day out as your “work”, the ultimate success of the business and your personal satisfaction will not be realized.

I was prompted to write this blog post from an article written by Lisa Girard for Entrepreneur magazine and have included excerpts from the article which address the question of how to determine what business is right for you.

FIVE CREATIVITY EXERCISES TO FIND YOUR PASSION

For today's aspiring entrepreneur exploring avenues of creativity to find your passion is likely the quickest route to increase your chances of launching a successful business. Where to start? Here, five exercises to help you uncover your passion.

Exercise 1 - Revisit your childhood. What did you love to do?
"It's amazing how disconnected we become to the things that brought us the most joy in favor of what's practical," says Rob Levit, an Annapolis, Md.-based creativity expert, speaker and business consultant.

"Research shows that there is much to be discovered in play, even as adults," Levit says.

Revisit some of the positive activities, foods and events of childhood. Levit suggests asking yourself these questions to get started: What can be translated and added into your life now? How can those past experiences shape your career choices now?

Exercise 2 - Make a "creativity board."
Start by taking a large poster board, put the words "New Business" in the center and create a collage of images, sayings, articles, poems and other inspirations, suggests Michael Michalko, a creativity expert .

"The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of your intention -- who you want to become or what you want to create -- your awareness and passion will grow," Michalko says.

Exercise 3 - Make a list of people who are where you want to be.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Study people who have been successful in the area you want to pursue.

For example, during the recession, many people shied away from the real estate market because they thought it was a dead end. Levit believes that's the perfect time to jump in -- when most others are bailing out -- because no matter the business, there are people who are successful in it. Study them, figure out how and why they are able to remain successful when everyone else is folding and then set up structures to emulate them.

"If you want to be creative, create a rigorous and formal plan," Levit says. "It's not the plan that is creative; it's the process that you go through that opens up so many possibilities."

Exercise 4 - Start doing what you love, even without a business plan
A lot of people wait until they have an extensive business plan written down, along with angel investors wanting to throw cash at them -- and their ideas never see the light of day, according to Cath Duncan, a Calgary, Canada-based creativity expert and life coach who works with entrepreneurs and other professionals.

She recommends doing what you enjoy -- even if you haven't yet figured out how to monetize it. Test what it might be like to work in an area you're passionate about, build your business network and ask for feedback that will help you develop and refine a business plan.

Exercise 5 - Take a break from business thinking.
While it might feel uncomfortable to step outside of business mode, the mind sometimes needs a rest from such bottom-line thinking, says Levit, who has recently taken up Japanese haiku, a form of poetry. Maybe for you, it will be creative writing, painting, running or even gardening.

After you take a mental vacation indulging in something you're passionate about, Levit suggests coming back to a journal and writing down any business ideas that come to mind.

"You'll be amazed at how refreshed your ideas are," he says. "Looking at beautiful things - art and nature - creates connections that we often neglect to notice. Notice them capture, them in writing and use them."

OK, so the bottom line is the first step is to hone in on what you are truly passionate about to develop your business around. If the passion is not there, then it is just another job and a lot of hours away from family and friends – assuming you are not in business with family and friends. The trick is to find that balance between doing something you are passionate about and running a business that can be profitable for you as an owner.

At Oil & Vinegar, we believe we have the perfect model for the Passionate Foodie!