The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!

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September 17, 2002

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

Issue #59 of BarterNews magazine is now available. Our "Focus On Excellence" section looks at Stephen Webster's Alliance Barter. Check it out! For the latest news on the barter industry order your copy today!

ITEX Unveils New Franchise Initiative

Lewis "Spike" Humer, ITEX Corporation's President and CEO, has announced the launch of a new franchise effort to build the company's existing network of over 100 independent brokers and regional offices.

"Franchising is the next step in our evolution in becoming a premier provider of business services to the small to midsize business market," Humer disclosed. He believes the shifting landscape of business and the world economy dictates constant change and continuous improvements.

"As we advance our business model, we are committed to building and expanding our broker, franchisee, and member support system to serve as a model for our industry and the business services community as a whole."

ITEX (OTCBB:ITEX) is a member of the International Franchise Association, and will exhibit at the International Franchise Expo to be held in Washington (DC)...April 11-13, 2003. For more information: www.itex.com.

Bartercard Australia Franchising System receives Accolades

The Franchising Council of Australia has awarded Bartercard Australia (BCA) two of their seven annual awards from over 700 countrywide franchisor systems.

BCA took both the Franchise System Export Award and the Franchise System of the Year (with entry capital between $50,000 and $200,000) award.

The Bartercard franchisor system was created and first delivered in 1992 by the founders of Bartercard: Wayne Sharpe, Andrew Federowsky and Brian Hall. BCA now has a total of 46 franchised and company owned operations in Australia. For more information: www.bartercard.com.

Editor's Note: The ITEX and Bartercard franchising stories reinforce the "Momentum Gaining Trends" featured in the Editor's Note of the recent BarterNews issue. (You can order your copy online.)

In fact, according to a survey by informational web site Franchise Opportunities.com, approximately 25% to 30% of new franchise owners are investors coming from Wall Street. That compares to 12% to 18% of owners in 1996-97 when the stock market was still heading up.

Steven White's Response To September 10th Tuesday Report

I was impressed by your very insightful comments on the success stories of air miles and Visa in last week's Tuesday Report. You might remember the President's Address I delivered at the San Diego NATE convention in May of 1998. I discussed the Visa model and how the barter industry, with hundreds of "protected" currencies, should utilize one common card. The BANC was the first step.

The fact is, in 1958 Bank of America (B of A) started marketing its card as "the first bank charge-card." (Diners Club was first the charge card starting in 1954). A few years later B of A realized that in order to get the charge card concept more widely accepted, they needed to align themselves with other banks (competitors) to create liquidity for the card...realizing they could not do it alone.

Your article articulates the Visa success, created by opening the system and centralizing data. In short, fiefdoms didn't work in the Middle Ages and they don't work today, as evidenced by Diners Club (first mover advantage) losing out big time to Visa (open system).

Regarding your article on the $500 billion frequent-flier mile currency...I believe a big part of the air miles success story is the low cost perception, i.e. the consumer receives the miles for "nothing." All they did was acquire something at a particular store or bought an airline ticket.

Now, over twenty-five TRILLION miles are in circulation! Most miles are earned "free" by the consumer. Barter has held fast to the "same value as a dollar" concept, which creates a world of problems (we all know them quite well). I think if barter was more fun and not such a serious transaction more (trade) dollars couldbe put in circulation and more (trade) dollars would be used -- creating velocity, which in turn becomes income to the

Steven White

B&Bs. . .Recession Proof Business

Robert Mandelbaum of Atlanta's PKF Consulting says the bed-and-breakfast business is almost recession-proof, in that they don't depend as much on business travelers as do hotels and motels. Furthermore, owners can always cut back on staff and do more of the work themselves, or economize by serving a little less food to their guests.

Such security and flexibility is very appealing to the thirty-something refugees from recent corporate upheavals who want more control over their lives. And so young innkeepers are taking over B&Bs in record numbers. Twenty-five percent of inns are now run by under-40 owners. (Up from 9% in 1997.)

There are now 30,000 B&Bs in America and the industry has been steadily growing for decades. Consult with your local barter company for availabilities.

Your "Personal Touch" Still The Most Important Marketing Tool

According to Thomas Register, the world's most comprehensive information resource for supply-chain purchasing, over one-half of industrial buyers identify personal interaction as the most powerful marketing tool.

The July survey was conducted randomly among Thomas Register's pool of 760,000 opt-in online users. Respondents from manufacturing, wholesale trade, distribution, and government buyers participated in the survey which asked them to choose the marketing activity that has yielded the largest return on investment (ROI) during the past year.

Results were as follows: direct sales 32%; networking/referrals 21%; homepage/online outreach 15%; trade shows 11%; advertising 9%; other 7%; and direct mail 5%.

Bottomline: The personal touch remains a vital component of doing business. Although buyers want real-time access to products and information, they continue to value relationships and individual contact.

The trading of one's unique assets (your background, influence or knowledge) have been bartered for astounding success! On page 20 of the FastStart Barter Program the story begins, listing four examples of incredible success. To get the most from your barter efforts you should have the FastStart Barter Program as a part of your business library.

Looking Back: Tuesday Report A Year Ago...September 11, 2002

The coming slowdown in the economy was predicted, price compression loomed for hoteliers, and changes in media ownership was noted.

How many back issues of BarterNews have you read? Did you know that the cover of every issue ever published is found on our "Issues Page?" Click Here

Here And There. . .
  • Warren Buffett, the 72-year-old billionaire guru of Omaha (NE), is the world's second richest man and probably the most successful investor the 20th Century. He contends that stocks are still overvalued, "it's (only) a good time to buy stocks when the total value of all publicly traded securities is 80% or less of the gross national product." The current level is around 130%...in 1999 and 2000 it approached 200%!

  • Traffic Pulse Networks and Weather Central are partnering to create a new TV graphics package. TPN's national advertising sales force will represent and barter the weather services to TV stations for air time. For information: www.weathercentral.tv and TPN at www.mobilitytechnologies.com

  • BXI Exchange has added John Cooper, an MBA-Finance graduate from Columbia University, to its management team as Executive Consultant. In addition to an extensive financial career, he has owned and operated manufacturing facilities, and provided financial, management, and sales consulting to a range of small and midsize businesses. He is a former naval fighter pilot.

  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of our Home Page (right hand corner) to sign up!

  • One of the most desired clients within a trade exchange is a restaurant. The September issue of The Competitive Edge shows why restaurateurs in your community need the services of a trade exchange. (This issue could be worth thousands to you!)

    The article includes pie charts showing costs for full service and limited service restaurants...powerful material for your sales efforts. So, check out the hottest marketing tool in the industry by clicking here!

  • A news report by Vivendi Environment reported selling an $8 billion purchase for $620 million! That's right! Last week they sold the waterworks-distribution division of U.S. Filter for $620 million as a move to help reduce debt at the French utility company. (Vivendi acquired U.S. Filter in 1999 for $8 billion.)

  • The U.S. stock market two years ago was red hot...today the real estate market has taken its place. However, mortgage delinquency rates are climbing due to very aggressive and creative financing, with the first sign of trouble--delinquency of at least 30 days on home loans--appearing.

    The record level for delinquency is 6.0% in 1985, today it's 4.7% and increasing. Elsewhere we see consumer debt at an all time high, and commercial and industrial loan and lease delinquency rates at their highest levels in eight years...stay tuned.

This Issue's Glossary of Terms:

A property whose income is insufficient to pay operating expenses and debt service. Also known as an alligator.

A publisher's ruling on whether a client can advertise using trade (dollars) in a publication, or if they are deemed a cash customer either past, present or future.

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.