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September 6, 2011

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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IMS Launches Franchise Program

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:ITNM), which presently serves more than 23,000 cardholders in fifty-one existing markets, has announced that it is launching a franchise division. The company anticipates this new division will enable it to introduce the IMS barter network to thousands of additional businesses across North America in cities where currently there is no IMS presence.

IMS CEO John Strabley, stated, “Until now, all of our offices have been corporate-owned. Yet in the current economic climate, all progressive companies that have a strong foundation are looking for additional ways to grow. We believe that offering IMS barter opportunities to creative-minded entrepreneurs will add another dimension to our expansion efforts. Furthermore, we have been receiving frequent unsolicited requests to purchase a franchise from business people interested in bringing the IMS business model to their markets.”

Strabley also announced that Richard Harris, the former owner of National Commercial Exchange in St. Louis (MO), will oversee the IMS franchise division.

For more information click here.


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Planning In Uncertain Times: 5 Strategic Steps To Success

By Rob Prinzo

The end of August marks the end of summer vacation and the beginning of planning and budgeting season. One small problem: the economic sluggishness that was supposed to be behind us has reared its ugly head once again. With wild swings in the market, who can’t help but feel a bit skittish.

Nevertheless, you want to move your initiatives forward and you’ll undoubtedly be asked for your plan regardless of funding limitations. But how do you prioritize the list of projects that have accumulated over the last year, and develop a strategy to move forward in this economic environment?

Developing a strategy does not have to be a major event requiring an off-site retreat, consultants, breakout sessions and flip charts. The following is a simple five-step process that can be conducted in one to two sixty-minute sessions. The result will be an effective, prioritized plan for your projects. You may even surprise yourself and find that there are a number of initiatives that you can move forward without additional resources.

Step 1 >

Make a list of all your projects, big and small.

By developing a comprehensive list, you feel more organized (but perhaps temporarily overwhelmed).

Step 2 >

  • Categorize the projects in a spreadsheet using the following criteria:

  • Size (big or small)

  • Function (business process or technology)

  • Type (new project or part of existing operations)

  •  Funding required (yes or no)

  •  Level of effort (high, medium or low)

  • Resources (requires additional resources or can be absorbed by existing staff)

  • Organizational impact (high, medium or low)

Step 3 >

  • Determine which projects are depended on the following factors:

  • Other projects

  • Funding

  • Resources

  •  Business decisions

  • Highlight projects without dependencies and rate the team’s ability to influence the dependencies.

Step 4 >

Prioritize the projects based on the categories and dependencies, according to the following:

  • Low Hanging Fruit — Small projects with few or no dependencies that have an immediate impact and can be achieved with no additional resources. Examples include implementing existing systems functionality requested by end users, cleaning up customer lists, or developing new ways to analyze data to make better decisions.
     

  •  Intermediate Projects — Small- to medium-size projects that make a measurable impact with dependencies that can be influence by team. Consider breaking up long-term initiatives into smaller projects, or breakout the upfront requirements’ definition into separate projects. Examples include rolling out additional system functionality, gathering business requirements, documenting processes, or evaluating vendors in preparation of a larger project that is inevitable but unlikely to happen this budget cycle due to the economy.
     

  • Long Term Initiatives — Medium- to large-size projects that have a significant impact, but have significant dependencies outside the influence of the projects team. Examples include business process transformation projects, new system implementations, or new strategic initiatives.

Step 5 >

Put it all together:

  •  Based on your categorized list, start by developing a plan to knock out the low hanging fruit. Hopefully, this will clear your plate of some nagging initiatives and make room for larger projects when funding is available.
     

  • If you are unable secure funding for inevitable long-term initiatives this year, try to get a head start by working on the intermediate projects that are considered pre-work for the long term initiatives. This strategy will prepare the organization for the larger projects, reduce the overall project timeframe for the bulk of the work, and spread the cost over a longer time period.
     

  •  If you are ready to move forward on the long term-initiatives, make sure that your requirements analysis is complete. Most project failures are attributed to poor upfront requirements analysis.

In reality you can't escape the inevitable, nor can you ignore the economic environment. However, having a realistic strategy developed through methodical planning will help keep your organization moving forward towards its long-term goals.

Rob Prinzo is founder and CEO of The Prinzo Group, an innovative knowledge firm that provides performance management expertise through project assurance solutions for enterprise transformation and technology projects, as well as performance measurement research, publications, workshops and training. His new book, No Wishing Required: The Business Case for Project Assurance, is available at nowishingrequired.com and Amazon.com.


Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company’s listing on BarterNews.com isn’t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the thousands of articles, the weekly “Tuesday Report,” and the “Contacts Section” of our site. They use the latter to find barter companies with which to do business.

Is your barter company’s listing up-to-date?

To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here’s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.


Vacation Rental Income Can Be Tax Free

Need extra cash? Rent out or barter your vacation home. If you do so for no more than 14 days a year you’re eligible for a special tax exemption. Any rental income you collect within that period is tax-free. The income doesn’t even have to be reported on your tax return.

If you rent out your vacation home for more than 14 days a year, all your rental income is subject to tax, including those first two weeks. However, you’ll be eligible to write-off rental-related expenses such as maintenance, utilities and depreciation, up to certain amounts. For specifics, contact your CPA or tax advisor.


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Metro area                               Clean jobs            % of total job]

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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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