July 5 , 2005
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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IRTA Europe Chapter Renewed
Representatives of eleven trade exchanges in Europe met outside London on June 21 and 22 to discuss the re-formation of the IRTA Europe chapter.
The result of the two-day meeting was an overwhelming decision in favor of strengthening the chapter. It was hosted and sponsored by Bartercard UK, and held at their corporate offices in Richmond-on-Thames. Bartercard provided two nights of accommodations for attendees in addition to several meals and social events during the event.
Interim leaders chosen by attendees to serve for the next six months were Reiner Huseman from EBB (Germany) as President, Richard Logie from The Business Exchange (Scotland) as VP, Therecia Venema from E-banc (The Netherlands) and Alan Cartledge from Barter Network (England) as co-Secretaries, and Ian Jones from Bartercard UK as Treasurer.
“We have wanted to see a stronger IRTA Chapter in Europe for a long time,” admitted Ian Jones, Director of Bartercard UK. “This meeting, following the one in Istanbul in April, was successful in getting that message across.”
Reiner Husemann agreed. “It is important that we have a commitment to each other. I believe that we have a duty to work together to make a difference for businesses in Europe that want to use reciprocal trade.”
“There is a growing issue in Europe, caused by exchanges opening their doors and quickly closing them without the best intentions for the businesses joining the exchange, which gives our business a bad name,” Therecia Venema disclosed. “IRTA gives us the basic platform as well as a message that’s consistent with what we want to achieve...to brand our members as ethical, professional exchanges required to abide by a code of conduct.”
IRTA’s Executive Director, Krista Vardabash, was enthusiastic. “It is exciting to see this chapter grow with top quality members who will represent IRTA most favorably.”
For more information go to www.irta.com, or call (585) 424-2940.
Every barter company in the world is listed on our web site, click through to our Global List of Barter Companies.
CFO’s Given Advice For Looming Downturn
Bank of America Business Capital’s Joseph Powers delivers three pieces of advice to corporate finance executives in “Fundamental Measures CFOs Can Employ Now To Preempt The Next Downturn.”
Powers succinct advice: 1) establish a liquidity buffer, 2) plan for distress, and 3) get to know your debt holders. He says the next market downturn looms around the corner, namely due to factors such as high energy prices, pockets of weakness in major business sectors (such as supply chain issues in the automotive industry and airlines weighted down by high fuel prices, among other maladies), as well as the unavoidable bursting of the real estate bubble.
However, it’s not too late Powers says to take advantage of a still robust economy, nor is it too late to install sufficient defenses before the next downturn debuts.
These suggestions are interesting, considering that consumer confidence in the U.S. is presently at a three-year high as reported by The Conference Board. Lynn Franco, an economist at The Conference Board, noted, “The improvement in consumers’ mood suggests that business activity and labor-market activity will continue to pick up over the next several months.”
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Distressed Funds Raised For Future Real Estate Acquisitions
Palisades Financial, a New Jersey investment company based in Englewood Cliffs, is raising $200 million for what it calls the “Opportunity Fund for Distressed Debt Buys.” Ira Bergstein, CFO and partner at the firm, says that while some see a gradual decline in the real estate markets, he foresees a much faster drop, followed by relatively quick defaults.
“The dentist who’s long (owns) three properties right now has no business being three properties long. That’s where the trouble will be,” Bergstein asserts. And, he believes, the banks left holding the actual real estate will want it off their balance sheets quickly and will unload it at steep discounts.
Another firm not waiting for the big real estate correction is GE Commercial Finance Real Estate. They’ve just dropped $135 million into a fund run by Denholtz Associates. That fund is looking to buy $600 million worth of “problem” assets over the next two years, according to Steven Denholtz, managing partner for the Rahway, NJ-based development company.
Every Billionaire In The World Used At Least One Of These 9 Strategies
A most fascinating article on the above headline will be published in the September issue of The Competitive Edge newsletter. (See the following article for more information on this valuable newsletter.)
Three of the nine billionaire strategies incorporate, in one way or another, barter. If you are operating a barter business and want to get your clients truly excited and motivated to use the world’s most exciting and profitable business tool it’s time for you to take some action! Learn what the three strategies are and then point them out to everyone in your exchange, as well as all of the prospects you to talk over the next decade!!
Start right now...use The Competitive Edge—a most valuable marketing tool to build your business in addition to helping your clients build their wealth! Give Bob Meyer a call today for full details (949) 831-0607.
“What we have here is a failure to communicate!”
Years ago, one of the most visible people in the barter industry said the #1 reason why the industry wasn’t farther along in its development was due to a “failure to communicate” by those in the business.
This realization was the genesis of The Competitive Edge newsletter, now into its 18th year of publication. Trade exchange owners who use this powerful marketing and promotional tool are never guilty of “failing to communicate.”
As the owner of a trade exchange you must stay in front of your clients. Informing, educating, and inspiring them, because your clients’ bartering is a relatively small percentage of their overall business. So if you don’t keep their interest and enthusiasm for trade at a high level, you lose.
Your primary aim, like all other businesses, is to get your clients coming back for more. Every extraordinary business (and every trade exchange owner who wants to be extraordinary) knows that the customer you have, is a lot less expensive to sell than the customer you don’t yet have!
Want to take your exchange to a higher level? Use The Competitive Edge newsletter in your operation—it “sells” the many benefits of working through your trade exchange like nothing else!
To learn more about The Competitive Edge newsletter and how it can help build your trade exchange, click here.
From the Past...
BarterNews issue #49
Barter Deals Take Many Forms
Pro Hockey Team Acquired Thru Barter : Peter Pocklington acquired 50% of the Edmonton Oilers from Nelson Skalbania in 1977 in exchange for a Rolls Royce, a 15-carat ring, and a Renoir painting.
The next year he purchased the contract of Wayne Gretzky from Skalbania (who had signed the 17-year-old Gretzky to a seven year deal for a total of $825,000), then of the Indianapolis Racers...making Pocklington a very wealthy man!
Trading Customer Contracts, Equipment & Facilities : Browning-Ferris Industries and Allied Waste Industries signed a letter of intent to swap various customer contracts—equipment and facility—that represent about $120 million in annual revenue to each party.
Airline Gates Exchanged : Continental Airlines traded five terminal gates it had at Los Angeles International to United Airlines for several of their gates at the Newark (NJ) airport.
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- China will start building a strategic oil reserve by the end of the year as part of a new national economic strategy. The government aims to fill the reserve with domestic, rather than internationally purchased, oil and is considering allowing oil companies pay their royalties in kind, i.e. pay in crude for the reserve.
(Editor’s note: in 1999 the U.S. Dept. of Energy acquired $1 billion of oil for the USA Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the same manner, acquiring oil in lieu of royalty payments from offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico.)
International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM) has announced a stock buy-back program, approved by its board of directors. The company said it will repurchase up to one million shares through both public and private channels at prices believed to be both appropriate and in the best interest of its shareholders.
Search engine Google, founded in 1998, has catalogued more than eight billion web pages and 1.3 billion images. Its stated mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt says their mission is a long-term one, in that it will take 300 years to organize all of the world’s information, according to his current estimate.
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Frontier Airlines has opened an Internet site with a store and auction where the currency used will be frequent-flier miles. Travelers will be able to buy items such as $50 gift certificates redeemable at Denver-area restaurants, or use miles to bid on other merchandise. Their goal is to lure more people to travel more frequently on Frontier (now a lost-cost carrier serving 48 destinations in 26 states) and to offer rewards that go beyond free tickets.
Robert J. Coen, a senior vice president and director of forecasting at Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann, has cut his growth estimate for full year ad spending in the U.S.—down to 5.7% from an earlier forecast of 6.4%. Coen says the ad industry is heading into more difficult times because of economic concerns and changing attitudes toward advertising.
(Advertisers are seeking more measurable or less expensive activities. And some marketers feel if they can hold back some of their advertising, they can improve the profit picture.)
Having a big name pays off, as evidenced by celebrities who are “cashing in” in a variety of ways. The latest venture for these stars is making informercials...something that was once shunned by such luminaries. Imagine pitching acne cream for $3 million a pop (four-hour shoot) as P. Diddy Combs did for Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv, a cream that provided roughly half the company’s $1.3 billion in sales last year.