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September 10, 2013

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/10/2013

Small Business Debt Hits Six Year High

Small U.S. businesses took on more debt in the latest month study (July) pushing an index of borrowing (The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index) to a six-year high. More borrowing could signal more hiring ahead.

Historically, PayNet’s lending index has correlated to overall economic growth one or two quarters in the future.
 

ITEX Holiday Fair Announced

The date for this year’s ITEX Holiday Fair, the largest in Southern California, is Sunday, November 24.

For more information, call 909-592-7727.
 

Retirement Insecurity Has Worsened For Most Americans

The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, says the 401(k) system has been a dud for the vast majority of Americans — with women, young people and minorities among the broad groups whose financial well-being is at risk because they’re not saving enough.

For middle-income earners, the median balance in 401(k) plans as of 2010 was a lowly $23,000. Not surprisingly, 401(k) savings are clustered among the ranks of the affluent, with 72% of total savings held by the top 20% income group.
 

Less Than One Percent Of Restaurants Barter Thru An Exchange

The independent restaurant owner is under siege in our country. The way to help them survive is in your hands (trade exchanges). BarterNews extensively interviewed five restaurant owners, and reported their answers in our special report “Why & How Savvy Restaurateurs Trade.”

The restaurant owners answered these questions:

1.    What percentage of your gross sales is barter?

2.    Where does your barter business come from?

3.    Does your restaurant issue scrip?

4.    What’s your number one want from a trade exchange?

5.    Why aren’t more of your peers using a trade exchange?

6.    What could exchanges do to better serve you?

7.    What is the maximum amount of business you can handle in trade?

These seven questions are just a small portion of the questions we asked the five restaurant owners. It was the most insightful report ever published and would be invaluable for your street sales staff, inside brokers, and anyone else interested in building their restaurant inventory. For the first time ever this report will be available, while supplies last, to trade exchange owners at a substantial discount.
 

Further details will be forthcoming.

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. . .)



BarterNews.com — World’s Largest Depository Of Barter Information

Hundreds of valuable articles, techniques, and strategies are found in the following various barter categories:

Ø  Entrepreneur’s Corner,

Ø  Travel,

Ø  Media,

Ø  Trade Exchange,

Ø  Corporate Barter,

Ø  Offset & Countertrade,

Ø  Secondary Capital,

Ø  Real Estate,

Ø  Community Barter, and

Ø  Restaurant & Entertainment

(The Barter Categories are found on the horizontal bar at the top — 3rd button from right.)


Etiquette Tips For Busy Executives!

An etiquette specialist in Santa Barbara (CA) offers these tips for business dining:

  • Make your business meal deals over breakfast or lunch ... save dinner for special occasions or out-of-town guests.
     

  • If you’re hosting, be sure the bill never comes to the table.
     

  • Order the same number of courses that your host orders, so you’re both being served and eating at the same times.
     

  • Never order the most expensive item on the menu.
     

  • Stay away from difficult to eat foods like crispy bacon, muffins that crumble, or pizza with stringy cheese.
     

  • Wine is fine, but do not overindulge.
     

  • Keep your solid food to the left and liquids to the right.
     

  • Once you’ve used a utensil, never let it touch the table again.
     

  • Wait for the host to place his or her napkin in their lap before doing so.
     

  • Place your napkin on your chair when you get up.
     

  • Don’t answer your cell phone during the meal. Keep it on vibrate, or better yet in the car.
     

  • Cards are not to be given our during the meal — only before or after.
     

  • Exchange business cards selectively and privately among the individuals in the group.
     

  • Gradually include business talk as the meal progresses, it should not be discussed on an empty stomach. Place both briefcases and purses under the table.
     

  • Always write a follow-up letter and thank-you note to the client or host.

Add these skills to your arsenal, and you’ll become more comfortable when facing social dining out functions.


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.


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

We have packages of back issues still in print, approximately 30 issues in all.
To order: Click here


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 a planning and budgeting season. 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 resulting in 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, though 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 (either requires additional resources or can be absorbed by existing staff)
  • Organizational impact (high, medium or low)

Step 3 >

Determine which projects are dependent 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

These are 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

Theses are small- to medium-size projects that make a measurable impact with dependencies that can be influenced 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

These are 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 to 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 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.


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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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