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October 21, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/21/2008

Your Services For Room & Board

Immersion Travel USA by Sheryl Kayne is a book about her travels and experiences. Included in the publication is specifics about where she traded her time and skills for various experiences, as well as room and board. Listings are included for the reader.

The Barter Company Expanding

The Barter Company ( announced the hiring of Randy Wolfe and Basil Bethea III. Both will be developing areas outside of greater Atlanta for the trade exchange. Wolfe will be focusing on Columbia (SC) as well as Charlotte and Greenville. Bethea will be working the Gulf Coast; where, as a lifetime resident of the area, he has worked in his family�s commercial real estate business.

ITEX New England Holiday Trade Fair

ITEX New England�s Trade Fair will be held Sunday, November 9, from 9am to 4pm at the Norwalk Inn, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk (CT).

For more information call 888-294-6393.

BizXchange Expands Barter Finance Services

The Seattle-based barter company is expanding its business-member finance services to those companies where bank financing isn�t available. BizXchange ( will pre-qualify each member applicant for loans and lines of credit.

Criteria for a loan will focus on companies� size, the quality of the product or service they have to offer, and their appeal to other BizXchange members.

 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. . .)

Using Trade Exchange�s Services Keeps You In The Public�s Eye

Use your trade exchange members� services at every opportunity to advertise and market your company. The following suggestions are inexpensive to incorporate. And the services and products suggested can be obtained on barter in most cases.

1. Business cards do double duty: Next time you print your business cards print a special offer on the back. Make it a coupon good for a 10% or 15% discount at your place of business.

2. Gifts: Send your preferred customers inexpensive and thoughtful gifts at the appropriate time. Like cookies frosted with their company logo, as a welcome home (after a cruise) when there is a natural letdown.

3. Printing: Two-color postcards are an inexpensive way to keep your name in front of your customers, by mailing them on a regular on-going basis. Also be sure to put an effort into an attractive company brochure before exhibiting at business conventions.

4. Joint cooperation: Seek out savvy business owners who aren�t competitors but work in related fields�those with which you will have a similar market and philosophy. (Or find another product that compliments yours and promote both products jointly.)

Look into exchanging customer lists so a cold call becomes a referral from a familiar vendor. You can also collaborate on direct mail pieces to cut down on expenses and increase your exposure.

(In such a situation, suggest they pay you half and you�ll spend the effort lining up the work to be done. With their half in cash you increase your cash flow, because you get the job done through the exchange on trade.)

5. Traveling sign: Your company sign can �travel� all around the community if it is a bumper sticker or magnetized sign for the side of your vehicle.

6. Thank-you notes: Getting your money�s worth is easy with inexpensive �thank you� notes. They can come in many forms, from a simple card or note pad, to a letter opener or a packet of �Post-It� notes with your name on them.

7. On-hold: Research by AT&T has found that 60% of business callers are put on hold for an average of 39-50 seconds. Your commercial message played during this time could bring in additional business.

8. Data base: Your business should have a customer data base that can be used for different purposes. But most importantly to stay in touch with those you value the most � your customers! 

IMS Barter 2008 Celebrity Golf Event Raises $60,000 For Charity

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM), a worldwide leader in corporate and consumer barter services, announced its recent sponsorship of the Jimmy Crum �Labor of Love� Charity Golf Outing was held October 6 at The Little Turtle Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. The annual event, which was established in 1991, raises money for several Ohio-based charities � the Ohio Special Olympics, Recreation Unlimited, and Easter Seals.

To date, the Labor of Love event has raised $960,000 for the charities, all of which has been donated in IMS trade dollars. Barb Martin, National Sales Manager for IMS and Event Coordinator, commented: �This is an extraordinary event in the Ohio area. Not only does it provide incredible support to important charities, it shows the wonderful charitable opportunity made possible with trade dollars.�

The charities use their IMS trade dollars for expenditures normally requiring cash, such as T-shirts, housing, pool maintenance, upkeep of camping facilities, printing and more. Dr. Gordon Gee, President of Ohio State University, was the honoree for the event this year. Thus receiving the Labor of Love Award for his philanthropic effort throughout the Columbus community as well as internationally.

Among the special guests were 20 former Ohio State sports stars including Jim Karasatos, Rick Smith, Obie Stilwell, Tony White, Tim Williams, and Dan Stultz. �But,� Martin added, �everyone knows that the most honored guests are the children from the various charities who attend the lunch.�

Don Mardak, CEO of IMS, reflected, �This is a cherished event that IMS is immensely proud to sponsor and support. Many thanks go to the team in our Columbus marketplace and certainly to the generous members who have donated their time, trade dollars, and their products and services to make the event a success.�

Past Labor of Love honorees include: Wendy�s founder Dave Thomas, the �First Lady of Golf� Barbara Nicklaus, John H. McConnell, Jim Lashey, Jim Luck, Paula Spence, Clark Kellogg, Archie Griffin and other notables.

         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

         Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange isn�t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click here.) 

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Financing The Dream

 By Chet Billingsley, CEO of Mentor Capital, Inc.

 (�Woman�s Voice� Contributing Writer)

Super-mom, even for you, it is impossible to get money from a bank. The SBA is from the government, but not here to help you, and the vulture capitalists are only interested in bigger game. How then can you, and the other eight million American women, who are seriously considering starting their own businesses, finance their dreams?

Well, for starters be cheap. Don�t spend a dollar if you can spend a dime and come close. Set up shop in your bedroom or on the kitchen table, and don�t move on to an office until you are absolutely forced to. Reject the perfectionist impulse to �Do it Right.� This otherwise commendable attitude, inevitably leads to a plan that expands to fill the limits of every penny of savings you have, no family should be exposed to risk in the unexpected case of occasional business reversal.

Rather, target maximum return-on-investment, instead of maximum return. To internalize this concept, reflect on how a 30% return on $15,000 is much better, though less, than a 8% return on $60,000 when both are invested in yourself to start your own business. If you are already at the planning stage, a better approach is to limit your planned expenditures to the absolute minimum you can possibly get by with � then double that number. This attitude and reserve will give you the best chances of surviving that crucial first year.

Even with a properly tight, only if you need it, second-hand desk approach, you�ll still need a shoe box full of twenty dollar bills to go into business for yourself. You�re ready when you can�t get the lid on the box. You probably have something in savings but you need to beef that up.

Banks will not consider you for a true business or SBA loan for your first three years of operation, so I�d suggest not wasting your time in that direction. Surprisingly, although they will not give a secured-by-the-business loan, banks will give a secured-by-nothing loan in the form of one or several credit cards. Especially if you are employed and have reasonably good credit, this is an amazingly easy path to follow to assemble up to $100,000, or so of financing.

Collect credit card applications for a month and apply for twenty or more credit cards at the same time. Also, ask each of your existing card issuers to increase their respective lines for you. You should get five to ten approvals. For any rejections, send off for a copy of your credit bureau reports. Using these techniques, a young California couple just opened their dream of a college town bar in the Midwest, even though all classic financing was denied.

In a similar fashion, banks will readily refinance that paid-in-full Mercedes which is parked in your driveway. This may raise $10,000-$15,000 for you. You can even sell the car to your husband or vice versa to directly finance the purchase and indirectly move bank financing into your family unit.

Lastly, home equity lines, if available, are highly recommend because the interest is tax deductible, but you have probably thought of that already. For all of these bank sources it is important to have a job, so be sure to get the credit and then quit to start your business, not the other way around.

Once you have successfully tapped the banking avenues, your next source is to mine your reputation. Here, the three C�s of credit are Character, Character, and Character. If you have developed a solid track record of hard work and fair dealing you should be able to raise $2,500, $4,000, or even $10,000 (these are good investment amounts) from about half-a-dozen people.

Even with a great history, asking people for money is difficult. You can ease the way by trying these two techniques. Try paying yourself no salary, only a percentage. That way, the investors know you will get something and whenever you get paid, they get paid also. If you need a salary, then that is all you get until the investors get all their money back.

The magic words are �The Investors get an ongoing 25% annual return, or a double on their money in the first year or two, then you can keep 80% of the overage beyond their share,� and they will be happy. You can set up these programs or partnerships by copying other businesses documents, or use do-it-yourself kits when you are small.

When you have significant personal assets or have grown past $1 million in size, it�s time to find a good lawyer. At that point, you will be on the next chapter.

Go for it!

Chet Billingsley is the Chairman & CEO of Mentor Capital (Symbol: MNTR) that invests in hedge funds and smaller companies. The firm has no debt and no exposure to the financial, sub-prime or real estate sectors. Information on the firm may be found at

(Disclosure: Bob Meyer owns stock in Mentor Capital.)

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