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April 8, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...04/08/2008

Former New Zealand Exchange Owner Amazed With Industry’s Progress

Wes Davis, former owner of a New Zealand trade exchange in the mid-1990s, recently called our offices. He and his wife are now living in Northern California. Davis expressed his amazement when hearing the far-reaching changes that have taken place in the worldwide barter industry.

Barter Your Skills

Do you have a skill that you want to swap in exchange for a skill that someone else can provide? If so, there is a great web site for individuals who possess a skill—artistic, musical, engineer, plumber, electrician, or just about any type of skill imaginable. Whatever you’re looking for can likely be found at Swap-A-Skill (www.swapaskill.com) at one time or another.

Basic membership is free, but there are some costs associated with membership upgrades. Be sure to read the membership agreement, before signing up.

Love Baking? Check This Site Out...

If you are a person who loves baking fresh cookies, cakes and pies, then Bake Space (www.bakespace.com) is the perfect place to be, because its members swap cooking and baking recipes as well as share ideas. Membership is free and required.

Economy & Fuel Will Affect Your Airline Ticket Price

The slowing U.S. economy and surging jet-fuel prices have forced an international trade group to lower its outlook on airline profits for the second time in four months. Domestic carriers are expected to take the biggest earnings hit.

The International Air Transport Association on Tuesday said it expects profits for (both) domestic and foreign carriers to fall to $4.5 billion this year from $5.6 billion in 2007. Several months earlier IATA had lowered its forecast to $5 billion, from a previous estimate of $7.8 billion, due to higher oil prices and credit-market turmoil.

U.S. airlines’ profits are anticipated to fall to $1.8 billion from an estimated $2.8 billion last year. “This could easily turn into a net loss should the current economic environment deteriorate further,” reported IATA.

Continually Cutting Interest Rates Bad Idea

One of the leading economists in the U.S., Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors, now says the government’s monetary policy is partly to blame for the ongoing malaise in the financial sector.

Non-stop interest rate cuts over the past few months may have created a perverse incentive for businesses to postpone activity, according to Wesbury. (He says that aggressive rate cutting has been ineffective.)

Without liquidity and capital, financial institutions and trading vehicles are in trouble.

Current U.S. Listing Information... 

OrangeBee Private Monetary System
14832 US Hwy 19, #2
Hudson, FL 34667
Ph: (727) 868-5646
Fax: (727) 495-0743
E-mail: orangebee@orangebee.com
www.orangebee.com

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at http://www.barternews-ezine.com.


IMS Reports Record Year Of Achievement & Growth

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) recently filed its 2007 annual report on Form 10-KSB.

In October 2006, IMS acquired National Trade Association and its subsidiary Illinois Trade Association, America's largest independent barter network. Then in February 2007 it procured Alliance Barter, with offices in Rochester (NY) and Toronto, Canada. Both acquisitions have had a significant impact on 2007 operations, resulting in increased trade volume, gross revenue, new-client enrollments and operating profit, or EBITDA.

The increased revenue enabled IMS to invest in an infrastructure that supported and implemented critical Best Practices to create future organic growth:

·         In 2006 and 2007 IMS invested more than $700,000 in new computers, monitors, printers, servers, and other equipment to enhance the efficiency of its trade brokering and sales staffs.

·         In 2007 the company invested more than $250,000 to acquire the source code for TradeWorks, its proprietary trade dollar clearing system, and to migrate the entire database from the original RPG format into a more current .net technology.

·         The IMSbarter.com web site is undergoing a facelift, toward the goal of creating a fully interactive, web-based online marketplace. More than $200,000 has been spent on this project, with expected completion in spring of 2008.

·         The company hired additional technicians and programmers to integrate the new hardware, to convert the clearing system software and to develop the website. The IT department has been expanded to four full-time employees.

·         IMS hired a full-time national sales trainer and a full-time national broker trainer to implement Best Practices for the Sales and Trade Brokering departments.

·         The company doubled the size of its Columbus (OH) office to expand its telemarketing and tele-sales staff. As a result IMS enrolled more than 3,500 new members during 2007.

·         In 2007 a full-time marketing and public relations director was hired. She is working with the IT staff to develop critical IT/Marketing efforts and streamline the online experience for members and prospective members. She is also developing a campaign to strengthen the IMS brand in the marketplace.

·         In October the company hosted the IMS Academy, the organization’s first national convention/seminar, which was attended by 118 employees.

·         Throughout the year, IMS hired additional sales staff to expand the base of National Trade Association, its corporate barter division, resulting in the enrollment of a number of high-profile businesses.

In spite of these expenditures, many of which will not recur in 2008, IMS produced positive cash flow of nearly $1 million, and operating profit (EBITDA) of over $1.3 million in 2007. However, the company experienced a net loss of $414,290, comparable to that in 2006.

During 2007 IMS processed more than $114 million in trade transactions, compared to $72 million in 2006, an increase of 58% (reporting just one side of each transaction). This generated gross revenue of $14,772,045 for the year, compared to $8,782,666 in 2006, an increase of 68%.

Total expenses increased from $8,857,798 in 2006 to $14,945,745 for the year ended December 31, 2007, a 68% increase (comparable to the increase in sales).

Net cash flow from operations totaled $945,111 in 2007, compared to $871,631 in 2006. Operating profit or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) totaled $1,375,839 an increase of nearly 23 % over the EBITDA of $1,120,993 recorded in 2006.

The company also has an option to purchase New York Commerce Group in 2008, and with that exception, there are no other purchase obligations. However, the firm will continue to seek opportunities to acquire quality exchanges.

For more information visit http://www.internationalmonetary.com.

Solution Selling Key To Industry’s Expansion 

By Doug Dagenais

When BarterCorp was sold in 1999 to Intagio, Doug Dagenais became the new National Sales Manager handling their retail and national accounts. He also took over management of the Chicago Corporate owned location.

 

In 2003 he left to build the barter division of Shell Vacations Club. There, he coordinated $1 million annually in room-night trades with many exchange groups as well as direct vendor transactions.

 

Contacted by Steve White in 2007 to compliment the organic growth of ITEX, he was brought onboard as National Sales Manager. Subsequently, new nationwide account registrations for the company have exceeded 30% over the past year.

For most of the history of selling, one could present their product or service to the prospect and they either bought it or didn’t. By seeing enough prospects you could make a profit. But with our present competitive world, and messaging that bombards our every waking moment, this is no longer sufficient.

There’s a major paradigm shift that should be recognized and addressed if one is to stay on top of the curve and win customers for the long term. It’s Solution Selling.

I’m certainly not suggesting that this is new. Many organizations have been shifting to this format for some time. It is increasingly becoming not only the norm, but necessary. Major corporations of both products and services are finding the way of the future in defining each prospects’ needs, and then tailoring their product/service to meet those needs. Find the niche and fill it!

Sound familiar? This has been a particular application used in the barter world, as our true function is to improve business for our clients. Solve their problems and you’ll have a long time relationship. Throw them into a network and expect things to happen….and some things will happen. But neither we, nor our client, will realize the full potential of participating in a barter network. We’ll all leave money on the table.

Although application of this theory should extend throughout our client relationship, it really begins in the selling process. Are we presenting our program to anyone who will listen, or are we finding out what issues the prospect is challenged with and then solving the issues? Are we knocking on doors that every other B2B marketing effort is messaging, or are we approaching a prospect that we will have a “transactional” or “relational” basis with?

If we take the approach of solution selling, a number of elements take place that have ancillary benefits:

1. Targeting the prospect is significantly easier. It’s not the whole world, it is someone we have a specific issue with that needs to be addressed.

2. Getting the prospect to respond to the initial contact will tend to be immediate, as we are approaching someone that we have business for or that we can solve a problem for. This touches the very essence of why people make buying decisions…to either make a gain, or prevent a loss. Present the option of a new customer (with a specific order) or conservation of cash on a specific purchase, and you have a reason to meet.

3. The prospect is more willing to spend time in understanding our program. It will have immediate impact on his business.

4. The decision process is shortened and “I’ll think about it” isn’t an option.

5. Because transactions occur quickly, there is instant gratification for both parties. It not only creates transaction fees for the barter company, but gets the client engaged as well. This is essential toward improving the “business life cycle” of a client.

So-o-o-o, how do we apply this? By focusing on a specific approach to a specific prospect. And where do these come from? Our current clients. We work for our clients. Whether your base is one client, 100 clients or 1,000 clients, our clients’ needs direct us. Thus, we become “partners” with our clients. We work together toward the goal.

Carry out this philosophy as a core business strategy and you’ll never run out of prospects, transactions, or satisfied customers.

Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews


Newspaper Ad Revenue Sees Biggest Drop Ever!

According to new data released by the Newspaper Association of America, total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006 — the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950.

Such a drop-off points to an economic slowdown on top of the secular challenges faced by the industry. The second worst decline in advertising revenue occurred in 2001 when it fell 9.0%. Total advertising revenue in 2007 — including online revenue — decreased 7.9% to $45.3 billion compared to the prior year.

There are signs that online revenue is beginning to slow as well. Internet ad revenue in 2007 grew 18.8% to $3.2 billion. In comparison, 2006 online ad revenue had soared 31.4% to $2.6 billion. In 2005, it jumped 31.4% to $2 billion.

As newspaper web sites generate more advertising revenue, the growth rate naturally slows. The NAA reported that 2007 online revenue represents 7.5% of total newspaper ad revenue, compared to 5.7% in 2006.

That growth could not stave off the losses in the print, however. National print advertising revenue dropped 6.7% to $7 billion last year. Retail slipped 5% to $21 billion. Classified plunged 16.5% to $14.1 billion.

“Even with the near-term challenges posed to print media by a more fragmented information environment and the economic headwinds facing all advertising media, newspaper publishers are continuing to drive strong revenue growth from their increasingly robust web platforms,” John Sturm, president and CEO of the NAA, said in a statement.


Hotel General Managers

Work With Audio/Visual Vendor On Barter

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor’s cash agreement for AV services, here’s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of trade dollars.)

Your hotel’s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: bmeyer@barternews.com.

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.


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At the top right of the page, just under where you sign up for the Tuesday Report you will see a little Google box. It is where you can (1) type in the name of a subject, company, or person. Then (2) click the button www.barternews.com to search the site, followed by (3) hitting the search button.


The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.” Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.

Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


Every barter company in the world is listed on our web site, click through to our Global List of Barter Companies.


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