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Top Reasons to Hire a Franchise Attorney

Top Reasons To Hire A Franchise Attorney

There are many reasons why someone will need to hire a franchise attorney. While some of the reasons may seem obvious, not all of them are. Here are some of the top reasons as decided by experts as to why you will need a franchise attorney.

1. Every franchise attorney knows what matters. As a rule of law, every person interested in buying a franchise must be given the Franchise Disclosure Document. This is a document which the FTC feels is essential to delivering all of the information that the franchisee will need to make an informed decision. An experienced attorney such as suzanne cummings will already know this and will be prepared to help you all along the way.

2. An experienced attorney will be able to help guide your decision in regards as to what kind of company you should form. Some people may be better off forming an LLC while other people may need a C-Corporation to help their business matters. The attorney will be able to explain everything in clear English and in non-technical legalese language that may only serve to confuse the franchisee.

3. As much as nobody wants to admit it, sometimes things don’t work out for the business in question. In times such as this, you will be able to get expert advice on the proper and legal way to shut the business down while inflicting the least amount of pain on yourself. The attorney can make sure that any loose ends are tied up and that there will be no hecticness when the time comes to close the business.

As you can see, there are a great many reasons why a franchise attorney is the best way to handle the current business situation of buying a franchise.

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Busting The Myths Of Marketing And Making It Beneficial To Your Business

Marketing is essentially an important aspect of your business. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, how much people may benefit from the service you provide, or whether or not you can keep up with trade to trade dealings, without good marketing, you are likely to not be attractive to potential customers and clients. It’s a fact! We all respond to advertising in some way. So how do we ensure that we can get this strategy right within the business? Here’s are some of the things that you can consider.

The old methods are still viable

Years ago, the only method of advertising was the billboards you saw whilst stuck in traffic, the press ads you read while enjoying your Sunday paper and the leaflet that got pushed through the letterbox during the week. These days a lot is done online, but businesses are still seeing the power in some of these older methods. This can cork exceptionally well when wanting to focus on the potential customer base within your local community. Customers are now wanting to support small businesses and people who are local so this can be a great way to capitalize on that.

Ensuring you don’t waste marketing budgets

No business has a never-ending marketing budget to play with, so it is up to you to find out what works for your business, what benefits you the most, and to ensure that the people that you are prospecting are viable sources and are not spam. Sometimes taking extra precautions can work in your favor, such as phone carrier lookup. This is when you will be able to ensure that numbers that you are prospecting or sending information to are viable prospects and not spam numbers generated. Marketing budgets can also be analyzed by working out what areas attracted the most revenue in terms of turning a prospect into a sale.

Prospecting customers

Cold calling is often something that businesses like to avoid these days as people are becoming less inclined to take a call when they least expect it. It can infuriate them which means they are less likely to want to use your business in the future. However, prospecting can be done thought people who have given their contact details to you and would be considered as a hot prospect as they have already shown interest. Do you make the most of these in your business?

Influencer marketing

Social media has really taken force recently and so has the rise of influencer marketing. This is somebody who has an engaged audience, that you can then use to advertise your product or service. It is more specific and it can give off great results. There are many businesses who are looking to use influencers online these days, and it can be extremely appealing to the customer.

Humanizing your social media

On the subject of social media, it is also important that you developed the right strategy for your output. Marketing can be extremely beneficial using social media and there are many platforms that you can utilize. The specific ones tend to be the best such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The way you can humanize your business profiles a little more is to consider how you reposed. Making sure that you engage with your audience and also respond to message directly or through the comments. Last of all make sure that the content that you share isn’t always just about your business and sales opportunities. The art of getting an engaged audience is to ensure that you keep them interested in you and your business. This means that you could share things to do with your industry, information, and tips, as well as sales, focused posts.

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Having a marketing strategy in place for physical advertising

Social media may be an essential part of marketing these days, but it isn’t your only option that you should consider. Physical advertising is a still an important player in your marketing strategy, and these include things such as press advertising and leaflets. This can be extremely targeted, to your local area or on a more national level, depending on your budget and the reach you are wanting to achieve. A good mix of traditional forms of advertising mixed with new options can be a great way to really entice customers in from all directions. There will be people out there that still don’t use social media as actively as you may assume.

Keeping things organic online

Your online presence is important, there is no denying that. But at the same time, there is a huge temptation these days to take shortcuts online when building your profile and platform. These days you can use software to helps with likes and follows. You can use bots to help increase your following and you can even buy followers. On the surface, it looks great, but as people delve in it also looks suspicious. It can also be deceiving to people as they follow and unfollow game is rife these days, and this can actually paint your business in a bad light rather than something positive. It is always going to be best to keep things organic. Building your following with an engaged audience and being active within your profile. It may take longer, but in the long term, you as a business will benefit more.

What works for your business?

Have you figured out what works for your business? Sometimes it is worth taking the time to do reports and look at ways to ensure that you actively spend marketing budgets in the right way. Could you say what brings in the most customers when it comes to your advertising?

Making customer service a priority on the back of good marketing

Finally, customer service is an important element, and on the back of obtaining that customer thought good marketing ventures, you now need to ensure that you keep the customer happy and involved through the customer service side of things. Good customer service will help you to generate word of mouth of advertising through recommendations, which is something a marketing budget cannot buy.

Let’s hope these myths help you to make marketing beneficial to your business.

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How to Make a Brick-and-Mortar Shop a Success

If you are looking to get into business, chances are that you will need to make the most out of your opportunities. Most people will advise you against starting a traditional shop, and tell you that you might be much better off if you built your eCommerce empire. There are, however, a couple of benefits of building long term assets and being able to communicate with your clients in person. Find out more below.

Financial Planning

If you really want to have a physical shop, you will need to make sure that you can afford it. You don’t just have to pay for rent, but also all the services, the staff, and the equipment and store fixtures. You will definitely need a larger budget for starting off, but you will probably spend less long term on marketing, provided that you are doing your research and are choosing the right place and the right type of shop.

Location and Demographic Research

Before you sign the dotted line on the lease document, you will need to do your research and ensure that you are choosing the right location that has enough foot traffic. It will be hard to get people to your shop if there is no parking or no other reason why they should visit the area. You will also have to ensure that the people living nearby can afford your prices and are interested in what you are selling.

Directory Registration

Once you have chosen your location, you will also have to ensure that people get to know about your shop. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is getting your business registered in different directories, such as Google My Business, Yahoo, Yell, and Yelp. This will make it easy for your potential clients to find you, leave a review, and provide information to locals about what you have to offer.

Social Media Campaigns

If you have opened for a while, and registered with directories, and your business still doesn’t grow, you might want to give social media a try. You will need to be hanging out where your audience is asking questions and looking for recommendations. You can use social media sites for branding and marketing, as well as creating awareness of your offers. If you don’t have time or skills to manage your own campaigns, you can find some affordable social media management packages that will help you grow your business.

Finding Your Ideal Niche to Target

Image via Celesteh.com

One of the reasons why the majority of stores fail to make an impact locally is that the owner doesn’t choose the right market and doesn’t know who the ideal clients of the store are. This is why you will have to pay attention to the latest trends, check out the local competition, and find a way to stand out.

Opening a physical store might seem like a crazy idea for many, but it can work well if you invest time and money into planning.

 

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

More people than ever before are starting their own business. Even though global companies like Amazon dominate a wide range of market places, it seems like almost everyone is starting a brick and mortar or e-commerce store. Those that aren’t are starting businesses as freelancers, consultants, influencers, photographers or dog walkers. You probably know at least a few people that have given up their jobs to go it alone, and you might be eager to do the same.

But, many of these businesses fail. Many small business owners and sole traders rush in. They see everyone else doing it and they long to follow. They want to make money for themselves, building a business, doing it their own way and making money for themselves. They fail to plan and prepare, and even if the launch goes well, many of them struggle to grow and make enough money. They stagnate, and after a short time, they have to give up to cut their losses.

If you want to turn your idea or talent into a business that grows and develops over time, it’s worth taking your time to ask yourself these questions first.

Is Your Idea Any Good?

One massive problem many people have is that they assume that because they are good at something, other people will want to pay for it. This, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. If it were, we’d all be making money from our hobbies and interests. Businesses that do well are often less glamorous. Cleaners, dog walkers, window cleaners and other people that offer a service that other people don’t like doing, often make money consistently.

Whether you want to offer a product or service, take the time to do some market research. Look at who else provides the same thing, and ask yourself if your business would be better, different or cheaper? If not, can you expect to do well?

How Will You Fund Your Business?

There are many businesses that you can start with very little cash. But, whatever your startup costs, you also need to budget for things like marketing, website development, staffing, and any loss of income you face while you get going. Do you plan to use your savings? Do you need investment? Will deals like semi truck financing help? The key to understanding what funding you need is a financial forecast and business plan. Without these, it’s almost impossible to know what you need.

Are You Committed?

You might think that if everyone is doing it, it must be easy. You might look forward to setting your own hours and working around your family. But, starting a business is tough. If you want to make it work you need to put in the hours, and the commitment. You need to be prepared to give up your evenings and weekends and give your business your all. To do well, it helps to have a strong support network and an understanding family. Ask yourself if you are willing to give your all and if you’ve got people around to help.

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Finding The Best Talent For Your Firm

While some careers can often hire straight from graduation or someone with good experience in whatever field, some businesses need extremely qualified talent to try and gain the ranks they need. If you fail to do this, you can experience a true brain drain in your firm, and that’s particularly true if you’ve recently encountered a brain drain due to some aggressive head-hunting from a competitor.

While it’s always important to train the staff in your firm and provide a path upward, it’s also essential to fill out certain ranks immediately that you can’t afford to wait for. The good news is that it is possible to find talent and hire them in a timely manner. But it must be conducted in a way that’s cohesive, hopeful, and extremely clear. You must also ensure you are up to the task of offering an excellent workplace for said people because high skilled employees are often quite discerning on where they work and the lifestyle they lead. This is even truer if you expect them to move to attend your premises.

Let us consider what that all might look like:

Understand Your Needs

While top talent can often be self-justifying in terms of why you’d want them at your firm, if you hire them and apply them to jobs they aren’t specialized in, they’re likely not going to stick around for some time. This is why it’s often absolutely essential to understand your needs and exactly what you hope to bring to the table. With this in mind, you will be more confident with who you choose, how you market yourselves towards them, and how you tailor a package to best help their decision.

Use An Employee Referrals Program

Employee referrals not only allow for the most tailored employees to visit your firm and consider working there, but voices that you trust can also recommend employees to your ranks. This dual approach can help you not only find those who might wish to work for your firm, but to tailor the package to their liking as far as you are able, and potentially give a more detailed recruitment listing to those interested.

Innovate

Sometimes, the only method of bringing the best talent to your firm is to ensure that you’re at the cutting edge of your product development, or that you wish to make more of a name for yourself in the industry. Setting lofty goals can often bring in people who love a challenge and wish to be part of something much more interesting than their previous workplace.

Keep Trying

Top talent doesn’t fall in your lap. In some countries and industries, there can be a real lack of highly skilled specialists. This is why it’s essential to keep trying and to keep positive. Using methods such as tailoring a presentation why someone might wish to jump to your firm, prepping headhunters and keeping a lookout for the inside industry scoop can also help you know where to begin.

With these tips, your firm is sure to be staffed appropriately.

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It’s Not The Dog; It’s You

How many times have you heard pet owners scold their dog in an angry voice?

“Bad dog, what have you done?”

Most often than not, the dog, taking its cue from the tone of the voice, manages to look guilty. Dogs are great in this; they do look like they’re genuinely sorry for the mayhem they’ve caused. However, back to the topic of bad dogs. What is really a bad dog?

As a pet owner, you need to know that you’re responsible for your pet’s behavior. It’s fair to say that you can’t control everything they do, but more often than not there is a causality link between a good dog and a skilled pet owner. Indeed, next time you are scolding your pet for chewing your shoes or breaking furniture you need to ask yourself what you should have done to prevent it in the first place. Yep, the truth is that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

Your dog bites someone

The golden rule that every pet owner needs to remember is that whatever your dog does, you are responsible. For instance, if you take your dog to a friend’s house and your pet accidentally breaks something, your friend might expect you to pay for the damage. Similarly, if your dog attacks someone, you will be the first in line to face the law – and it’s crucial that you work with experts on this instance. Indeed, if you’re involved in a dog-related incident, you should let this firm solve your legal problems. Similarly, if your dog is the one facing charges, finding an expert who can talk and negotiate with the legal representant of the victim can not only help to manage expenses but also potentially save your dog’s life.  

Lyme disease is a real risk

You might have heard of Lyme disease as an infectious disease caused by ticks which can lead to fever, headache, chronic tiredness, and even facial nerve paralysis. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the most common tick-related disease. Ticks, unfortunately, are everywhere. It’s not uncommon to get bitten while you were taking a stroll in the woodland. But, it’s precise because they know ticks are present in nature that most people use preventative sprays to deter bugs. But don’t forget that ticks can also jump on your dog and then affect you in your home when you’re at your most vulnerable. Don’t blame it on the dog, though! It’s your role to keep the fleas off the back of your furry friend, using shampoos and consistent grooming. Ultimately, flea control protects both your dog and your family from Lyme disease!

The dog ate my favorite shoes

Puppies are just as sweet as they are destructive. They can leave an expensive path of damages behind them! For first-time pet owners, it’s a harsh wake-up call. Indeed, the adorable ball of fluff they’ve chosen to adopt is a heartless shoe-chewer. And it was your favorite and most expensive pair! What is wrong with the dog? Nothing is wrong with your puppy. Some dogs like to keep your smell close by when you leave them alone during the day. Others might have developed bad habits from a young age – and it’s your fault! You need to train your dog not to eat your belongings. The first rule is not to offer your dog an old shoe to play with; he won’t be able to tell the difference between your expensive Italian leather pumps and the old sneaker you gave him. Additionally, you need the patience to train him out of a bad habit, using positive rewards only!

Train the dog to chew his toys

Your dog barks to communicate, so listen

Bad dog, will you stop barking?

No, he won’t. So you need to understand what your dog is trying to tell you instead of scolding him. Dogs need to communicate, and barking is one of their favorite methods. It’s their language, and while you only hear an irritating noise, you have to imagine that your dog is using words to talk to you. The problem is that you haven’t learned how to speak dog. Therefore, you need to unravel the mystery to help him: Why does he bark? Some dogs bark because they want something from you, others are anxious about a situation, and others are just excited. Decypher the emotion through the context to react accordingly and stop scolding your pet.

More often than not, pet owners who fail to take responsibility for their pet can face a lot of issues, from legal complications is the dog becomes aggressive to expensive damages at home. The better you understand and train your pet, the easier it is to transform your bad dog into a good boy that everybody loves!

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Top Tips For Creating an E-Commerce Business

In recent years the world of e-commerce and selling things online has come a long way, and as a result, and because of the growing internet world, there is more competition than ever. It can be a good way to generate an income and create a business of your own, though, as it means that startups costs are less as there is no need for a brick and mortar store. But if that sounds like something that you want to get into, what are the ins and outs of it all? Here are some things to think about if you want to get into selling things as a business online.

Choose Your Strategy

To sell online and to do it well, one thing that you need to decide and figure out is what will your selling strategy be? Once you know, you need to stick to it so that people know what to expect from you. But those things could include the channels that you will use to sell, for example, just on a website of your own. Or would you decide to go down the route of an FBA business and sell on other sites, as well as perhaps your own? You need to make a plan on the kinds of products that you will be looking to sell as well. Will it just be one or two things that you will specialize in, or perhaps a whole range of products?

Customer Service

The common thing that connects all successful businesses is that they are committed to provide some stellar customer service. They realize that their customers are the backbone to their business, so they will take steps to make sure that the customers are taken care of. Providing good customer service is more than just being nice to people on the phone, though. It is all about meeting their needs and making sure that the customer really does come first in the business. Good customer service will mean that you are likely to get loyal customers when people are happy with their experience.

Encourage More Sales

To make sure that you are able to create a successful online business, then there are some things that you will want to do to take your customer from finding out about you for the first time, to them then enquiring, ordering for the first time, and then having them buy again and again. Many e-commerce businesses, and businesses in general for that matter will only focus on the first order and then they’ll forget about trying to getting a second order from the same person. But really, when someone has ordered something from you in the first instance, then it will be easier to get them to order again. So that is an element that you need to be thinking about.

There are different ways to market this kind of thing, from newsletter sign-ups to discounts off second orders, but it will be a case of trying new things and seeing what works best for your customers to take up.

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Starting Your Business on a Smaller Budget

Some businesses require a significant level of investment to get up and running but it’s certainly possible to start a new business with a smaller budget. In fact, there are plenty of ways to reduce costs so that your new startup venture doesn’t overstretch your budget.

If you’re keen to start a budget-friendly new business, take a look at our top tips and find out how you can reduce your outgoings and save money.

Do the admin yourself

Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you may need complete various registration forms. As well as registering your business, you may need to incorporate a company or establish sole ownership of an LLC, for example.

Often, people rely on specialists and lawyers to complete these tasks for them but there is plenty of information available online. In fact, the IRS issues guides specifically designed to help new business owners meet their obligations.

If you’re setting up a relatively straightforward business, consider doing the admin yourself or using a mentor who can provide the assistance you need at a reduced cost.

Use subcontractors

For all companies, the wage bill will be one of the largest outgoings and it can quickly drain your budget. If you need help to set up the operational aspect of your business, consider using subcontractors instead of employees.

When you use freelancers, you don’t have to employ them on a permanent basis so you aren’t required to pay a salary. Instead, you can arrange payment on a task-basis. Whilst you may not necessarily have access to the constant support provided by employees, freelancers can deliver great work and reduce your expenses considerably.

Buy second-equipment

If you need equipment for the success of your business, consider whether it would be more cost-effective to buy second-hand, rather than new. You may need a computer or laptop, for example, but does it really need to be the latest model? If not, it’s likely that a second-hand model will provide everything you need at a fraction of the cost of a newer model.

Alternatively, see if renting or leasing equipment would be a viable option for your business. This can reduce capital expenditure in the early years, allowing you to invest this money elsewhere. As your revenue begins to grow, you can explore the option of buying the equipment you need outright.

Reduce your personal expenses

Before you start your new venture, save as much money as you can and be prepared to go without luxuries for a while. Often, business owners are the lowest paid employees when they’re starting a new venture and many don’t take a wage from the company at all.

By reducing your own personal costs, you can minimize the amount you’re taking out of the business. As a result, the business has more capital and cash flow, which can make it easier to get off the ground. If you can reduce your mortgage, move to a small property or even move in with family while you launch your business, you could avoid having to take a wage from the company at all and save a considerable amount of money each month.

Find the right office space

Starting a business on a budget doesn’t mean you have to forego the necessities. You’ll need somewhere to work, but you don’t have to commit to a long-term lease. Explore budget-friendly rentals, like Bond Collective – Shared Office Space and Coworking, to see how you can access professional and well-appointed office space without exceeding your budget.

Similarly, if you need a warehouse to store goods or a workshop for production, explore your options before you commit to anything. There are good deals to be had so you don’t necessarily need to take the first industrial unit you’re shown. Instead, spread the word about what you’re looking for and don’t bother paying for space you don’t need.

Starting any type of business can be difficult but working to a tight budget can make things a little more complex for the best of people. However, launching a new business on a smaller budget puts you in a great mindset. By focusing on the financial needs of the business straight away, minimizing outgoings and only spending on essentials, you’ll set yourself up for a lifetime of reducing costs, improving turnover and profit-building. With this in mind, view your budget-friendly startup as the best way to practice the skills you’ll need in order to run a successful and profitable company in the long-term. You can do it!

 

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Care For A Carer

We all dread seeing our parents’ health deteriorate. They’re solid and unshakeable figures in our lives, and we convince ourselves they’re invincible. At some stage, though, the chances are that your parent’s health will start to falter. And, when it does, you’ll probably want to help them keep a decent quality of life. This is a way of giving back for everything they’ve done for you in the past. It’s also a chance to be as involved as possible in what’s happening to them.

IDespite the clear benefits, though, many of us go about care all wrong. We stretch ourselves in all manner of ways. That can harm our health. When that happens, there’s no way of doing our best by our parents. To avoid these common traps, keep reading to find out how you can care for yourself so you can care for your parents,

Remove stress where you can

 

Seeing parental health deteriorate is, in itself, stressful. You can’t do much about that. But, there are some stressors you can reduce to avoid carer burnout. Turning to assisted living care would, by far, be your best bet. That doesn’t mean giving up your part in this care journey. It merely means resting easy that someone else is checking your parents when you can’t. It may even mean that you can keep your visits until after work instead of rushing around each morning. And, let’s be honest; knowing that a professional is keeping an eye on things will help to destress you in itself.

Always research lifts

If your parents begin to struggle with mobility, they may need you to lift them at times. Rushing ahead here will lead to injuries which stop you lifting anything. Instead of making that mistake, always research lifts before you attempt them. If you have a team of carers, ask them to show you what to do. If not, head to sites like YouTube. Video tutorials will show you the best ways to lift someone without injury. You may also find it well worth your while to invest in proper lifting equipment which means that you can keep your loved one safe without ever risking your health.

 

Rest up plenty

This last one is simple, but it’s all too easy to forget. If you’re juggling care with a full-time job, you may neglect to rest up properly yourself. But burning the candle at both ends will never end well. Make sure, then, that you’re taking plenty of time to rest up where you need to. That means getting to sleep at a decent time and making space for yourself during your evenings. Again, a carer could work well here. Or, you may find that talking to your boss allows you to shuffle things around and make more time in your days. Either way, you can’t care for your parents if you’re running on empty all the time. You’ll fall foul to all manner of illnesses before you know, and that won’t help anybody!

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Easy Ways to Try and Keep your Business More Secure

Keeping your business secure should always be your first priority. If your business has security flaws then criminals may try and take advantage, resulting in both loss of data and customer trust.

Know your Data

Not all data is equal. Your customer data, for example, is much more sensitive than your marketing data. If you want to secure your business then you should always try and assess what you have, how it’s being used and even where it’s being stored. The most basic of audits can be done by considering what would happen if a breach actually occurred. When doing your calculations, you need to think about your financial data, customer records, employee files, and even records. When you are able to understand how a breach could affect your business, you then need to deal with the one that is the most high-risk. This will give you a good starting point and it will also make it much easier for you to classify what you have.

Manage your Passwords

Passwords are at the core of every single security policy that you have. You have to make sure that the passwords you have are enforced and that they are secure as well. if you want to encourage everyone to use stronger passwords then put a feature on your site that forces the customer or employee to use upper case letters, numbers and even symbols. If you do this, then your site will be more secure, and your customer data won’t be as likely to be compromised.

Education

It’s so important that everyone in your business understands the concept of security. Consider having a six-month refresher course, as this will give you the chance to bring your existing employees up to speed and it will also help you to inform them of any changes that need to be made. This won’t take long to arrange but education and communication are super important tools when defending your data. Everyone needs to be involved if you want this to be the most effective, so it is important that you keep this in mind.

CCTV

If your business does not have CCTV installed, then this is something that you seriously need to look into. Security camera installation doesn’t take long but it can protect your business against vandalism and theft. It can also act as a deterrent, so you can stop people from even attempting to try and break into your company. By having a CCTV system, you may find that your home insurance drops in price too and this can be very useful when you are running a full operation.

Keeping your business secure will probably only require a few minor changes, but it is so important that you make the effort to implement these properly if you want them to be effective.

The above tips should be more than enough to get you started on the road to having a much more secure and tightly run operation for both now and the future.

 

 

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