Global Venture Capital: Ernst & Young Reports on Important Trend

"The convergence of globalization, Web 2.0, media and innovations in IT and life sciences are further indications that the venture capital industry is operating in a new environment" states a report issued by Ernst & Young that examines the rapidly occurring changes in this market, and the impact that these changes have had on investors.

Global venture investments were the "hotbeds" for venture capitalists last year, with China and India topping the list of global activity. The emerging markets there have created several waves of IPO's, venture-backed business startups, and planned investments by Intel, Cisco, and Microsoft.

With the $4 billion in US funds that were invested in these markets last year, it would seem that global venture capital has saturated the market, but apparently it has only just begun. China and India lead the way, and are still in the early stages of market development for both the economies and consumer-oriented services.

In the areas of technology, these emerging global markets present tremendous opportunity and growth. The market potential, fast-growing economies and advantages in either cost of technology make these global venture investment opportunities extremely attractive to U.S. backed venture capital funding.

While much is being said about the opportunities that lie in these emerging global markets, venture capitalists must remain aware of the potential pitfalls. Some of the most important and difficult challenges that remain to be addressed are the regulations surrounding intellectual property, the lack of local NASDAQ-like exchanges for exit strategies, and the lack of a comprehensive venture capital law in many of these developing and emerging markets.

Death Penalty Is Preferable to Life Imprisonment

Kane, Gregory Current Controversies: Capital Punishment Mary E. Williams Greenhaven Press 2005

Viewpoint

Frederick Anthony Romano remembers the night. More than 15 years later, he remembers it as if it happened within the last week.

It was Sunday night, Nov. 1, 1987. Seventeen-year-old Romano had gone to bed. His mother, Betty Romano, was in the house with him and his father, Frederick Joseph Romano. Soon the father received a call from his son-in-law Keith Garvin, a Navy petty officer who had returned to his base in Oceana, [Virginia]. Garvin had called his wife, Dawn Garvin, to let her know he had arrived back safely. But there was no answer.

After two calls to his daughter's house, Frederick J. Romano headed to the newlywed couple's White Marsh apartment. He found his daughter beaten, tortured, mutilated and dead.

Frederick A. Romano remembers his mother's panic-filled voice as she talked to his father, of himself grabbing the phone only to hear his father tell him that his older sister had been hurt.

"But he knew she was dead," Frederick A. Romano said.... Yes, Frederick A. Romano-who prefers to be called just "Fred"-remembers it all. He remembers the man who murdered his sister and two other women-Patricia Antoinette Hirt and Lori Elizabeth Ward-and how he has waited for 15 years for one Steven Howard Oken to, in the younger Romano's words, "meet his maker."

The Pain of Victims' Relatives

"It's caused a lot of emotional problems for me and my mom and dad," Fred said. "They're on so many drugs to keep themselves calm, it's unbelievable."

That is a suffering death penalty opponents can't or won't understand. The pain of homicide victims' relatives never ends. It chips away at their souls and psyches year after depressing year. So what's the appropriate punishment for that?

Death penalty opponents would have us believe that squirreling Oken away in a cell-where Frederick A. and Frederick J. Romano, Betty Romano and Keith Garvin would be among the taxpayers footing the bill for his housing and meals-is punishment enough. If the correctional system offered any college courses, the Romanos and Garvin would pay part of the cost if Oken wanted to take them. Dawn Garvin never got to finish her education at Harford Community College.

Justice but No Closure

Capital punishment foes figure that's justice. Here's what death penalty advocates feel is justice. Execute Oken the week of March 17, [2003], as a Baltimore County judge ordered.... After Oken is dead, death penalty advocates can then defy death penalty opponents to show us why and in what ways Oken's execution was not justice.

That's what it's about for Fred Romano. He doesn't buy into the closure argument some death penalty advocatesmake. (It's just as well. Death penalty opponents, ever noble with grief not their own, dismiss the notion of closure, too.)

"It won't bring closure," Fred Romano said. "Dawn will never be back. I'm not looking for closure. That's a bad misconception on the part of some people. I want Oken to die for the murder of Dawn, Patricia Hurt and Lori Ward."

Not About Revenge

This isn't even about revenge, another rallying cry of the anti-capital punishment crowd, who chide death penalty advocates for seeking vengeance.

"It's justice," Fred Romano said. "It's not revenge."

His wife, Vicki Romano, agreed, then elaborated.

"Revenge would be going out and killing one of [the murderer's] family members," Vicki Romano said. "The death penalty isn't revenge. It's the law."

Fred Romano believes the man who's supposed to uphold that law, Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, has inserted himself squarely in the path of Oken's execution. [Early in 2003], Curran called for abolishing Maryland's death penalty....

Fred Romano called Curran after the announcement, to give the attorney general a piece of his mind. Curran, to his credit, called Fred Romano back and heard him out.

Curran, Fred Romano said, asked him if he had a problem with a sentence of life without parole as opposed to the death penalty. His response was what you might expect from a guy who organized the Maryland Coalition for State Executions [in 2002] and who's had the group's Web site (www.mc4se.org) up for [several] months.

"My problem with it is that 10 years from now some other idiot will come along and say life without parole is too harsh," Fred Romano said. "Then they'll pass a bill granting them parole and then we'll have a bunch of murderers walking the streets."

In Maryland's bleeding-heart liberal legislature, that's exactly what would happen.

Understanding Screen Printing

Anytime that you are in an industry you find that you learn a lot about it that others outside of the industry are for the most part unaware.  This information may not be life altering and sometimes many, even those who rely on the industry, care to live a life of ignorance and bliss they assume will come with it.  The educated buyer on the other hand wants to know at least a little bit about the activities that the companies do business with.  I myself am a screen printer, and I have found that many people do not understand how the screen printing process work and as such are often overwhelmed or even irritated about things they do not understand.  IAnytime that you are in an industry you find that you learn a lot about it that others outside of the industry are for the most part unaware.  This information may not be life altering and sometimes many, even those who rely on the industry, care to live a life of ignorance and bliss they assume will come with it.  The educated buyer on the other hand wants to know at least a little bit about the activities that the companies do business with.  I myself am a screen printer, and I have found that many people do not understand how the screen printing process work and as such are often overwhelmed or even irritated about things they do not understand.  I hope to leave you with a basic understanding of how the process works, how the cost structure of most firms work, and why these things are the way they are.  Hopefully you will have a better understanding of the process, which will make you feel more confident if you purchase t-shirts, and if nothing else.

Screen printing is a process by which a layer of ink or paint is run over a screen with a fine mesh.  Portions of the screen are blocked off to prevent the ink from passing thru that area.  Where the ink does pass, an image is left upon the t-shirts.  This process can be repeated for the number of different colors desired.  In most cases a particular area will require a max of four screens.  “Four color process” as it is called takes the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and black to generate any color in the visible electromagnetic spectrum.  So for any one picture and size, four screens can more than suffice.  More screens would be required only if you started to put multiple images on the same t-shirts.

There is a prodigious variety of machines (presses) that allow this process to happen.  The simplest is a manual press which requires that every screen is run over by hand.  This is best used for small orders with a single image and color.  The other large category I will discuss is automatic or auto presses.  These presses run over multiple screens and t-shirts at the same time.  This is excellent for large orders with many screens.  Both of these presses will produce a product which is indistinguishable in its final state.  Finally, the last part of the procedure uses an industrial dryer to set the ink in place permanently.

Now having knowledge of how the t-shirts are produced it is now possible to understand how the cost structure works.  Screen printers charge per screen.  This is because setting up a screen is a tedious process requires accuracy to ensure the image comes out as desired.  Many companies may claim not charge for screen, but it must be incorporated somewhere, whether in higher run costs or higher costs for the prescreened t-shirts.  More screens mean a higher cost and can lead some designs to be impractical.  For example, making three shirts with a four color process means that the cost of every screen gets spread out over three shirts, and that translates into very expensive t-shirts.  This is why you will often find that screen printers have a minimum order.  Screen printing does not become economically viable until you produce around twenty shirts.  This allows economies of scale to take over and greatly drive down the average cost.  In addition, the ability to use the auto press means that a person doesn’t have to run every screen; rather they must only watch and load the machine.  This means it is can go by quicker and this is another reason that larger orders cost less per shirt.

The other reason that the average cost goes down has to do with the textile manufacturers.  Screen printers rely on other companies to actually make the un-inked shirt.  These manufacturers bring down their average cost as the quantity goes up.  This is passed on to the screen printers and then on to their customers.  In a nutshell, more screens make the cost go up, and more t-shirts bring the average cost down.

Hopefully this article was informative as far as enlightening you about the process of screen printing.  When searching for a company to do your screen printing, you can take this information with you and decrease the information asymmetry that gives screen printers an advantage.  Now you will know why the costs appreciate or depreciate with the individual order.  Take this information and help yourself.  In my opinion a good printing company should tell you all this should you want to know.

Screen printing is a process by which a layer of ink or paint is run over a screen with a fine mesh.  Portions of the screen are blocked off to prevent the ink from passing thru that area.  Where the ink does pass, an image is left upon the t-shirts.  This process can be repeated for the number of different colors desired.  In most cases a particular area will require a max of four screens.  “Four color process” as it is called takes the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and black to generate any color in the visible electromagnetic spectrum.  So for any one picture and size, four screens can more than suffice.  More screens would be required only if you started to put multiple images on the same t-shirts.

There is a prodigious variety of machines (presses) that allow this process to happen.  The simplest is a manual press which requires that every screen is run over by hand.  This is best used for small orders with a single image and color.  The other large category I will discuss is automatic or auto presses.  These presses run over multiple screens and t-shirts at the same time.  This is excellent for large orders with many screens.  Both of these presses will produce a product which is indistinguishable in its final state.  Finally, the last part of the procedure uses an industrial dryer to set the ink in place permanently.

Now having knowledge of how the t-shirts are produced it is now possible to understand how the cost structure works.  Screen printers charge per screen.  This is because setting up a screen is a tedious process requires accuracy to ensure the image comes out as desired.  Many companies may claim not charge for screen, but it must be incorporated somewhere, whether in higher run costs or higher costs for the prescreened t-shirts.  More screens mean a higher cost and can lead some designs to be impractical.  For example, making three shirts with a four color process means that the cost of every screen gets spread out over three shirts, and that translates into very expensive t-shirts.  This is why you will often find that screen printers have a minimum order.  Screen printing does not become economically viable until you produce around twenty shirts.  This allows economies of scale to take over and greatly drive down the average cost.  In addition, the ability to use the auto press means that a person doesn’t have to run every screen; rather they must only watch and load the machine.  This means it is can go by quicker and this is another reason that larger orders cost less per shirt.

The other reason that the average cost goes down has to do with the textile manufacturers.  Screen printers rely on other companies to actually make the un-inked shirt.  These manufacturers bring down their average cost as the quantity goes up.  This is passed on to the screen printers and then on to their customers.  In a nutshell, more screens make the cost go up, and more t-shirts bring the average cost down.

Hopefully this article was informative as far as enlightening you about the process of screen printing.  When searching for a company to do your screen printing, you can take this information with you and decrease the information asymmetry that gives screen printers an advantage.  Now you will know why the costs appreciate or depreciate with the individual order.  Take this information and help yourself.  In my opinion a good printing company should tell you all this should you want to know.

Internet Marketer Gets $87 Million in Google Pay-Per-Click Ads FREE!

Internet Marketer Gets $87 Million in

Google Pay-Per-Click Ads FREE! ... And

Makes Over $314 Million as a Result! ...

And Now He's Going to Give You This

Same Secret for Next to Nothing!"

“Everyday Google sells several $10 million’s in pay-per-clicks. But

I get all mine absolutely FREE – and now I am going to show you

how to get yours FREE also!”

That’s right – Start Sharing in the *Incredible* Secret So Few Others Know About that Allow Them to Actually Get All Their Pay-Per-Click Advertising Absolutely FREE!

Fast facts about this amazing NEW SECRET!...

This is an incredible system developed by none other than Dr Jon Cohen, MD (retired) who found a little-known “twist” in how to use the pay-per-click (PPC) and paid-for targeted advertising programs at Google™ and the other search engines.

Dr Jon has personally used this to:

Eliminate over $87 million in otherwise paid-for and PPC ads at Google™ and other search engines over the course of about 9 years now!

Generate over $314 million in product sales as a result of this incredible savings!

Acquire a personal wealth of more than $68 million! (Net)

Start and develop 16 online ventures of his own.

Has coached “live” where he taught others this same amazing formula - including 198 executives from major Fortune 500 and FortuneSM 1000 companies, 14 representatives of publicly-traded companies on the New York Stock ExchangeSM (NYSE), 82 more on the NASDAQ, 5 members of investment houses on the American Stock ExchangeSM (AMEX), as well as at least one former US Congressman (now retired also) who now stays at home and runs a home-based online family business, among countless others.

This system has nothing to do with Google “vouchers” or “AdWords™ credits.”

Also, it has nothing to do with adding any special magical “code” or “script” to your website that will bar Google and other search engines from being able to bill you.

Instead, Dr Jon’s system is very unique to say the least, and allows for the elimination of advertisers having to suffer the burden of costs of their Google and otherwise paid-for search engine advertising expenses!

It can even create many additional streams of income flooding money directly into your pocket very quickly!

Above all, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen!...

Wednesday, 9:35 a.m.

Dear Friend,

I hope you hate spending money on all your Google™ pay-per-click advertising, because if you do you’re in luck!

Finally, after many years of getting ALL my PPCs at Google, Yahoo, MSN and literally 100’s of other TOP Search Engines for FREE, I’m finally ready to let YOU in on “MY” most closely-guarded secret!

The FACT is: I’ve been advertising on Google (the world’s TOP search engine!) as well as on Yahoo, MSN and literally 100’s of others WITHOUT spending any money!

>>  I’ve literally enjoyed over $12 million a

year in Google advertising alone (but all

absolutely FREE!)

And BEST of all, I’m NOT lying (I really do get literally $millions$ in FREE advertising each & every year at ALL the TOP Search Engines!)

And *MY* secret has made me very, very, AMAZINGLY RICH!

But the ironic thing is: It wouldn’t surprise me

if you’ve never even heard of me!

… and I don’t really care either.

I’m not one of the more popular well-known Internet gurus who loves rubbing his name in your face over and over again! (I mean, who cares who they are, or who I am? -- We are all just people regardless of how well-known or rich we become, right?)

I have personally owned and operated 16 different Web-Businesses over the last 9 years (since the mid-1990’s) and have sold EVERYTHING you can imagine!

Yes, I’ve even done the whole “eBay” thing!

I’ve now built well over a dozen Internet-based firms that specialize in selling everything from women’s cosmetics, men & women’s clothing, electronic publishing (i.e., ebooks), hardcopy publishing (real “tangible” books), special industrial machinery, building supplies, pet food & pet supplies/toys, children & adult games, DVDs/CDs, Subscriptions, all the way to Memberships Sites (with recurring billing!)

Plus a lot of other things too!

And in selling all these things with all these Web-businesses I’ve owned, I’ve NEVER paid for any advertising whatsoever!

>>  I learned an amazing secret very early on

that allows me to advertise on TOP Search

Engines, but WITHOUT spending any money on

pay-per-clicks!

You see, the BEST part of having my secret in YOUR possession is this: You NEVER have to worry how expensive all your PPC-advertising is because quite simply, IT DOESN’T MATTER!

http://www.autohitsmachine.biz

Clarify Your Business Presentations with an Editable Map

When you need to put together a professional business presentation that shows illustrations or locations, an editable map can help you pinpoint and clarify your message. Whether you're giving an oral presentation with visual aids or a written presentation, you can customize editable maps to meet your needs.

What is an Editable Map?

An editable map is one that can be edited to meet the demands of your presentation with colors, text, lines, and so forth. These maps can be purchased online and downloaded into a variety of formats. Editable maps are available for different locations around the world. You can buy, download and edit any type of map you need - country map, world map, US map, state map, county map, continent map, illustrator map, or digital map.

Formats for Editable Maps

Editable maps come in a variety of formats including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, and freehand. Vector maps are available in layered, fully editable vector format. These can be edited in Adobe Illustrator or with another vector editing tool. There are also PowerPoint maps, Flash maps (for Web applications), and HTML clickable maps (for interactive online presentations).

PowerPoint maps dazzle everyone when giving marketing and sales presentations. They're also perfect for territory assignments, store locators, and many other applications. Flash maps are great for website presentations or multimedia projects. Clickable HTML maps work well for online store locators and directories. With clickable maps, visitors to your website can quickly click a section within your map to find out where your company's stores, warehouses, plants, or offices are located.

Pinpoint Locations around the World in Your Presentations

With such a variety of editable maps available, you can easily pinpoint a location anywhere in the world. There are maps for the continents, countries, regions or states, and cities. You can generalize or be very specific in your presentation with minimal effort. For instance, you might need to generalize all states or regions on a whole USA map or you might need to focus on only one state within the USA using a state map.

Give Professional Presentations

Editable maps not only make it easier to pinpoint locations, but also add a sense of professionalism to your presentations. The phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" holds true with almost any presentation. Your live audience or readers will better relate to your words when they're able to view an illustrative map. The editable map enables you to turn your words into an illustration with just the click of a mouse - no artistic skills required. A side benefit is that a visual aid can also take the edge off when you're nervous about speaking in front of people.

You can find a variety of editable maps online at affordable prices. Editable maps usually range from $20 to $100 and can be purchased from your own home or office computer. They can also be used to enhance company brochures, newsletters, magazines, bulletins, and a number of other written applications. With editable maps, you can transform your next ordinary presentation into a dynamic one!

7 Signs of an Entrepreneur

(Do you have the right personality type to successfully run your own business? )

It takes an entrepreneurial fire in your belly to (http://www.microsoft.com/india/smallbusiness/-start a business) and make it succeed. Not everyone has it.

How do you know if you have what it takes to start a business? There's really no way to know for sure. But I do find things in common among the emotional and family fabric of people ready to consider an entrepreneurial venture.

You don't have to fit all seven of these categories to be a good candidate for entrepreneurship. But it probably wouldn't hurt. In general, the more you have in common with these characteristics, the closer you probably are to being ready to try going out on your own.

1. You come from a line of people who couldn't work for someone else. I don't mean that in a negative way. People who are successful at establishing their own business tend to have had parents who worked for themselves. It's usually easier to get a job with a company than to start your own business; people who strike out on their own often have the direct example of a parent to look to.

2.You're a lousy employee. No need to sugar-coat this one. People who start their own businesses tend to have been fired from or quit more than one job. I'm not saying you were laid off for lack of work or moved from one job to a better-paying one. You were asked to leave, or you quit before they could fire you. Think of it as the marketplace telling you that the only person who can effectively motivate and manage you is yourself.

3.You see more than one definition of "job security." I am truly envious of the few people I know who have stayed with one employer for 25 or 30 years. They look very secure. But how many people do you know who are able to stay with one company for that long? In a rapidly changing economy, job security can be frighteningly fleeting.

4. You've gone as far as you can go, or you're not going anywhere at all. Sometimes the motivation to start a new venture comes from having reached the top of the pile where you are, looking around, and saying, "(http://www.microsoft.com/india/smallbusiness/howtoguides.mspx-What's next)?" Early success can be wonderful, but early retirement can sometimes drive energetic and motivated people totally crazy.

5. You've done the market research already. Don't even talk to me about your great business idea if you haven't put the time into figuring out if there's a market for your product or service. As the people behind any number of failed Internet ventures will tell you, "cool" doesn't necessarily translate into "profitable." Don't bother building it if you haven't figured out whether there's a good chance the customers will come.

6. You've got the support of your family. (http://www.microsoft.com/india/smallbusiness/partners.mspx-Starting a business) is stressful under the best of circumstances. Trying to do it without the support of your spouse or other significant family members or friends would probably be unbearable.

7. You know you cannot do it alone. You might excel at promoting a business. Maybe you love running the financial end of the enterprise. You could be someone who starts a business because you have unique creative or technical know-how to create a product.

Any of the above is possible, but it's unlikely that you are going to excel at all of these tasks — or at all of the tasks involved in running any business. Forget all that doing it alone stuff. You are going to need some help sometime.

The willingness to get that help — having employees, partners or consultants for those areas in which you are not an expert — is one indicator of likely future success. "No successful entrepreneur has ever succeeded alone," development consultant Ernesto Sirolli writes in "Ripples From the Zambezi." "The person who is most capable of enlisting the support of others is the most likely to succeed."

Advertise Your Car

Whenever someone needs to sell a car, it can be a very stressful experience. It can be difficult to know how to go about trying to sell your car and the whole process can seem quite overwhelming. Advertising your car is the most crucial first step in selling any car. Without advertising, no one will even know that your car is even for sale. When advertising your car, two of the most common places to turn are the Autotrader magazine or by online car advertising.

By advertising your car in Autotrader, you will get an advertisement that will run for two weeks. This advertisement includes one small photo of the car as well as two hundred characters of text. There are many regional editions of the Autotrader and the owner of the car can choose which region they would like their advertisement to run in. Advertising in the Autotrader is fairly expensive though.

Although there are many advantages to advertising your car in the Autotrader, there are some disadvantages. The first being that you have limited circulation and a limited shelf life; you also only have two hundred characters to describe the car. This is not a lot and will cause you to have to cram as much information as you can into a very small space. Also, because you only get one picture, you need to make sure that you capture the total essence of your car in that one photo. This is most often impossible to do.

For these reasons, many people prefer to advertise their car online. There are many advantages to advertising your car this way. One of the biggest advantages in advertising your car online is that it’s significantly cheaper than advertising in print. This is because bandwidth and disk space are much cheaper than paper, ink, and magazine distribution. This makes for big savings that can be passed on to the seller.

The other advantage to advertising your car online is that there can be much more information included in the advertisement. Also when advertising your car online, you are usually allowed more than one picture in your advertisement. This can make a true portrayal of your car and can interest more buyers.  Also, on many sites you can advertise your car until sold for far less than you can advertise it for two weeks in a car magazine.

Advertising your car online allows for many more potential buyers to look at your ad. Because it’s online, anybody with an Internet connection will have access to the advertisement. This will mean that not only are more people looking at the ad but there will be potential for many more bids among interested buyers. This could mean getting a much better price for your car.

Another advantage to advertising your car online is that your ad will be up and running much more quickly than submitting it to a print magazine. The turnaround time between submitting an ad and seeing it run is generally much shorter. This means that it will be available for the public to view much more quickly as well. This could help get your car sold more quickly.

Is Sales Really a Numbers Game?

"And they are making sales. Ari, if the numbers game leads to sales, why should I change? Deep down, the old numbers game just feels wrong somehow... can you give me some insights so I can unlock myself from having to follow everyone else’s path?"

Interestingly enough, I had just gotten off the phone that morning with Harold Cameron and Ann Thurman, who have both been using the Unlock The Game Mastery Program. They shared with me how the idea of the numbers game has taken on a whole new meaning since they started using their new Mindset.

And they gave me actual, specific before-and-after numbers detailing the changes in their selling results. But they aren’t numbers in the way you think -- "more calls equal more sales."

In a minute, I'll let them tell you about their experiences in their own words, but first I want to say a little more about the mystique of the old "numbers game" and why most people who sell still think it’s the only way to go.

The whole idea of the old numbers game is that if you spend enough time "dialing for dollars" you're bound to make the occasional sale.

Then, when you do make a sale, you believe even more that the number of calls you make is the secret of success -- the more you call, the more sales you'll make. Everybody assumes that because the old numbers game works once in a while, it's the way to go.

In fact, almost every sales manager in corporate America uses the numbers game to measure their salespeople's success.

So if you're a sales manager or work for a sales manager, this article may come as a real shock.

The wakeup call here is that it isn't about how many sales you're making with the numbers game, but how many you're losing. Think about it.

When you're operating out of the old numbers game paradigm, how many leads do you burn through with every call you make? And how much time do you spend chasing and following up with prospects who will probably never buy?

From the Unlock The Game perspective, the old numbers game creates a dialing "rat race." You're trapped, making huge numbers of calls to reach that tiny percentage of prospects who will buy from you.

Well, here's what Ann and Harold have to say about the numbers game. And though they're in very different business environments, they've had similar experiences since they adopted the Mastery Program

Ann's Story

Ann Thurman recruits real estate agents for a residential real estate firm in the Seattle area. She had been dialing literally hundreds of prospects a day -- the essence of the old numbers game: "I was making 200 to 300 calls a day. It was taking 6 or 7 hours, and I was lucky to get 10 seconds of my script in before agents would hang up on me."

She said that in the first month that she began applying the Mindset, her call volume dropped by 80 percent. "But I was having actual dialogues with 50 to 60 people a day -- real conversations that would last several minutes," she said.

"And I didn't have one hang-up in my first 100 calls. Now I get very few hang-ups, and they aren't rude -- a lot of the time, people ask me to call them back. And when I do, we usually a conversation."

Ann said she used to set one appointment every 2 weeks. When she began using the Mindset, that increased to about 4 appointments a week, and she signed 2 agents in less than 3 weeks. She has also had more people call her back after initial conversations because they decided they wanted to talk about making a change.

"So I'm doing fewer calls, but my results are better," she said. "I'm finding that the Mindset language like 'That's not a problem' is really important because it lets the other person feel I’m not trying to control the conversation."

She concluded, "The Unlock The Game approach is definitely a more rational use of my time. The old approach is to pursue everyone because everyone's a potential buyer. So if you do this many calls, this many appointments, this many bookings, it'll turn into this many sales.

"And when it came to chasing and following up, I used to really try to pressure people. Now, if I know we aren't a good fit, I don't have to pursue them. I know when to walk away without feeling guilty. The old way was the 'quick kill' method versus the Mindset way of building a long-term relationship."

Harold's Story

Harold Cameron sells printing services for a long-established family-owned printing business in Pennsylvania. He told me, "My challenge is that most companies I call already have a printer they're very loyal to."

He said that since working with the Mastery Program, he too has been making fewer calls, but more quality calls. His ratio of being asked to send quotes has improved, too: "Before, out of every 100 calls, I probably would end up actually talking seriously to 20 people, and of those 2 or 3 would ask for quotes.

"Now, out of every 100 calls, I'm talking seriously with 60 to 70 people, and being asked for maybe 10 or 12 quotes."

The Mindset has also helped Harold to eliminate the old numbers game problem of "burning through leads."

For example, the vice president of a major computer manufacturer not only returned his call but also referred him to the person responsible for overseeing the corporation's print services.

So the Mindset is helping Harold to create long-term relationships.

Numbers Game vs. the New Mindset

Here are some of the ways that the Unlock The Game Mindset solves the problems caused by the old numbers game:

Old Numbers Game Vs New Selling Mindset

1. "Burning through calls" involves huge investments of time and energy to achieve a few "successes."

Vs

When you focus on quality rather than quantity, every call is a chance to learn your prospect’s truth. So your calls are more thoughtful and efficient.

2. Numbers-game scripts "talk at" prospects and lead to rejection in all but a tiny percentage of calls.

Vs

Starting calls with a focused problem statement makes it easy to create two-way dialogue.

3. Prospects know that they’re just a phone number to you and that you’re not interested in engaging them on a human level.

Vs

Your attentiveness to your prospects’ concerns makes a real human connection possible.

4. The only goal is to move the sale forward, or to get a quick no so you can move on to the next call.

Vs

The goal is to learn the truth and explore there’s a fit between your solution and your prospect’s problem or concern.

5. The numbers game can leave you feeling dissatisfied, frustrated, and rejected.

Vs

When you’ve learned the truth, whether the answer is a yes or a no, rejection is impossible.

The mystique of the old numbers game is that you're bound to "hit" once in a while. But people who sell the old way never ask themselves how many opportunities they've lost in a day because they haven't gotten to the truth with their prospects.

If you're feeling guilty that you should be playing the old numbers game because your colleagues are making sales from it, consider this: All you’re seeing from them is how many sales they are making -- not how many sales they’re losing.

And consider that by refocusing your attention on the quality of each call versus the quantity of calls, you can experience new sales success you may never have thought possible.

And that’s where the opportunity lies for you.

The Mastery Program helps you find these opportunities by teaching you:

* Language that creates trust and truthful conversations

* How to eliminate pitches and other traditional "sales tactics"

* Ways to diffuse sales pressure and continue conversations

The Unlock The Game Mastery Program shows you how to debunk many other outdated sales myths that you may be unaware of -- but are losing you sales.

Crazy Like a Fox, Persuasive Like a Weasel

In earlier articles we wrote about the power of using hidden commands in normal conversation to increase sales, convince others to do something or to accept your ideas.  This is often done by separating out a simple command or suggestion by pausing, stating the command in a different tone of voice, then resuming normal conversation.

For example, when selling a car you might say, “This car gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway, which you’ll notice when you (pause) take it for a test drive.  You’ll also notice that ….

Another way to insert a command into conversation is to use what are called Weasel Words.  These phrases are based on the one of the techniques used by  Milton Erickson, who was one of the foremost hypnotists of the last century.   Erickson had a way of talking people into trance without giving any direct commands to close their eyes or relax.  Instead he would just sort of talk around the idea of going into trance and people would naturally do it.

These Ericksonian Phrases are also known as Weasel Words because they allow  you to weasel in a command without it being so direct or authoritarian.    For example, you might say to someone, “Consider why you want to do this.”

With some people, giving a command can create a great deal of resistance.  A percentage of them just do not like to take orders so they won’t respond to direct suggestion.

But what if your were to say, “I’m not entirely sure how well you can consider why you want to do this.”  Here, you’re not trying to force them to consider why.  You’re just asking them how well they might be able to consider why.

Now, in considering and interpreting that statement the mind has to actually consider why they want to do this, to some degree.  When you use Weasel Words  the listener does not have something to object to. In order to employ these phrases you first determine your outcome.

In a hypnosis setting, one outcome would be for the client to relax.  You might say, “A friend once told me, you know, it’s entirely possible to just get relaxed.”  You’re not telling the client to relax.  You’re just repeating what a friend once said.

If you’re selling computers, you might say something like, “I wonder if now is the time that you might buy this computer.  There are hundreds of Ericksonian Phrases that can be used for just about any outcome.  Here are a few below.  You can probably come up with your many of your own.

WEASEL WORDS

After you come to … After you’ve … As a whole new way of thinking opens up … All that really matters … All that’s really important … Allowing yourself to just naturally … And as that occurs, you really can’t help but notice … And I’d like to have you discover … And then, now you’ll discover … And you can be pleased …. And you can really use it … And you can wonder … And you will be surprised at … Give yourself the opportunity to see if … I wonder if you’ll be pleased to notice … I wonder if you’ll be reminded … I wonder if you’ll be surprised to discover that … In all probability … If you could … It is easy, isn’t it … Perhaps you wouldn’t mind noticing … So now’s the time …

Are You Unique?

There is something that I have talked about on several occasions here on this site, as well as in the Doba newsletter. In fact, it was one of the very first things I talked about shortly after joining Doba a couple of years ago.

Even though I've discussed this before, it's always worth bringing up again.

I want you to ask yourself a question regarding your business. Are you unique? And what is unique about you or your business?

If somebody were to ask me that same question in regards to Doba, I would say that we offer access to more products and more suppliers than any other drop shipping service.

This unique thing about your business is what marketers refer to as your unique selling proposition, or USP (I covered this in part in the June 2004 issue of our newsletter, and referred to it as the unique selling point in the October 2004 issue).

Your unique selling proposal is how you separate yourself—in the eyes of your customers—from your competition. In essence, it's the reason you give your customers to buy from you rather than the competition.

So what is your unique selling proposition? If you haven't given it any thought before, what would you like it to be? If you said, "To have the absolute lowest price," you should do some more thinking. That is one of the worst USP's you could possibly have.

Having the lowest price simply means you make less money, and that cut in profit affects more than just your bottom line. It affects all aspects of your business, such as the inability to provide good customer support (because you can't afford it), develop new and innovative tools for your site, conduct usability tests, and so forth. Your business will begin to appear more and more like a fly-by-night store rather than a legitimate company that can instill trust in its customers.

There's no way around it. Running a business costs money. Running a business well costs even more money. Don't let your business go under trying to be the low price leader. Instead, find a unique selling proposition for your business and do that one thing better than anybody else, or better yet be the only person that actually does it!

Here's a personal example of a unique selling proposition I came up with when I ran a retail computer business. My USP was to offer home delivery and setup of newly purchased computers. Furthermore, I would offer on-site tech support.

I never did it because it simply cost too much. The solution was to charge for it. But I never did that because I didn't think that anybody would pay for it. In a world where every computer reseller offered free support over the phone, why would anybody be willing to pay for on-site support?

Well, have you ever heard of Geek Squad? The founders of Geek Squad had the same idea I had. The difference is they actually implemented their idea. Now they are running a successful and thriving business. And a big reason for their success is they found a unique selling proposition that would elevate them above the competition.

The lesson here: don't be afraid to be unique! Embrace your uniqueness and watch your business grow.

Read some great examples of companies that have successfully marketed their USP.

What’s In Your Sex Toy Box!

There is a vast range of sex toys today. Its available for both the sexes i.e. male & female with significant multiplicity in its type.

The Purpose Of Sex Toys

Sex toys can help you get an erection or, if you are a female, arouse your genitals or just help in elevate your pleasure during the act.   They can also help you enjoy sex with different variations thus never letting you get bored of it. The best thing about them is they can help people having difficulty enjoying sex.

Its not only about the variety they provide to the act its about the zing they add to your relationships which you should look at.

The usual expectation is that a sex toy provides direct stimulation of the

genitals in foreplay and/or during sexual intercourse or as a means to

obtain orgasm through only the stimulation provided by the sex toy.

Sex toys - Kinds

Vibrating Sex Toys

The most common of the lot is the vibrating sex toys which provide arousal of the genitals through vibration. They can either be used to arouse the clitoris or the male genitalia.

Most of them are in the shape of a fatter pencil and are battery operated. But some of them come with an adaptor attached to them with a wire. They have a small motor inside them which when rotates provides the vibration. It has no rocket science involved with it but talking about its use, it comes very handy.

some of them have a controller which controls the power of the vibration. The strength of vibration depends on your personal taste and mood. There is no optimum strength which you should switch to. At various stage of your sexual experience, you may feel like changing the strength. It also depends on which piece of your body part you are arousing.

The recent vibrators are more interesting to look at. They provide a range of control for you starting from the speed/strength control of the vibration to surges & power pulses. The Effectiveness of these vibrators is without doubt

Butterfly stimulator's & vibrating penis rings are some of the other types of vibrators available in the market.

Other Powered Sex Toys

The ways to provide stimulation can be many. There are some kinds which change shapes or moves back and forth by use of an electric motor. Mostly it's the air pumps that motorize the back & forth movements. The various types of movements may be interesting to look at. Some of them are mechanical licking tongues, vibrators that 'penetrate' the vagina and mouth simulators to give a man a 'blow job'.

Have you heard of the expensive sex toys such as the thrusting & vibrating dildos? They do exist but on larger an much expensive scale.

Combination Sex Toys

Whatever we have discussed above is also available in one sex toy in a combination.

The commonest of them all is the rabbit style which uses movement & thrusting motion to arouse the clitoris or the vagina.

Adding textures to the surface of a sex toy for that extra pleasure is not uncommon at all. Some of them have spikes while others have ridges on the surface to elevate pleasure

Sensation Change Sex Toys

There again exists a completely different kind of sex toys which provide a different sensual experience while having sex rather than stimulation.

There are a range of sleeves which you can put on the penis for different feelings during intercourse.

Some of them are ring kind of thing that squeeze the bottom of the penis or constrict the scrotum to provide erection and increase sensations.

You can also extend your penis or make them thick using some kind of sex toys which may assist you in giving your female partner extra sensation during sex.

The assortment of lubricants available in the market aiding sex is worth mentioning. Also there are PVC & Polyurethane bed sheets that are oil proof & water proof for greasy or messy sex.

Why Use A Sex Toy?

Are the fingers, penis mouth, tongue, clitoris, vagina etc. not sufficient to have a pleasurable sex? If yes, then why should one use sex toys?

Good question, but sex toys provide help you drive your imagination wild and most importantly give you variety in your sex life and that extra stimulation which is not possible in normal sex. And, we have still not talked about the therapeutic use like assistance in erection for people having difficulty in enjoying sex.

Where To Start?

For ice breakers you can try the simple vibrators and go on further with combination sex toys. If you enjoy the experience then move on to the more sophisticated ones.With time you will know what suits you more than others. Oh yes! Don't forget…Sex is sex when you enjoy it, so go on satisfy yourself with that forbidden pleasure.

Why a Turn Key, Automated Home Based Business?

A turn key home business helps you eliminate many of these start-up costs and some of the hassles while realizing your home business dream. You'll still have some responsibilities, of course, but nowhere near as many. Why? A turn key home business is a ready-made business that has already been tested and proven time and time again for your benefit. By the time you join the opportunity, the company has likely already tested to see what works... and what brings sales!

You can enter a turn key, automated home based business with the backing of highly trained professionals who know how to guide you every step of the way. This eliminates part of the waiting and testing period for new business start-ups. You can make money from home in less amount of time while leaving the legwork to the experts.

Custom T-shirts and What Kind to Purchase

Deciding on what kind of shirts to print on is sometimes the most important part of getting custom t-shirts done correctly.  However most people are the least informed on this part of the process.  So I thought I would try to educate people about this part of the decision making process.

There are many different bands, fabrics, weights, finishes, styles to consider.   T-shirts are as ubiquitous as any advertising forum available today.  Brand loyalty is great but from my experience most people can’t really tell the difference if two similar shirts are juxtaposed.

I will try to inform you the factors that you should consider.   When choosing a shirt I would ask the following questions.  What kind of apparel do I want to get printed? 100% cotton, 50/50 blend, ringer tee, raglan tees, jerseys style, tank top, sweatshirts etc.  Next is what color of garment?  Not all colors are available to you depending on the style of shirts you pick, so be flexible.  When deciding on color you are faced with pigment-dyed, tie dyed, whites, lights, & darks.  As a rule of thumb whites are the cheapest, then lights, darks, and finally the especially colors get more expensive.

This is just the beginning.  Now here is a list of options to which ever type you have chosen.  Sleeve length, ј, Ѕ, ѕ or long sleeve.  Color style: regular color, scope neck, v-neck. Tank tops: spegheggeti strap or regular tanks.  Also inquire as to the size of the arm holes.  They vary significantly from brand to brand.   Consider your audience when deciding on the cut.  You can choose between classic which most of fit into this category but also available are fitted and youth cut for children.  Even more you can find most regular cut t-shirts up to 6xl but not in all colors.  Lastly tall’s are also available to you.  The more you deviate from the norm the higher  the prices become.   This is basic supply and demand.  Most every manufacturer makes a white 100% cotton t-shirt so they fight harder for your business with price.  If you choose 3xl, navy, tall, long sleeve with pocket the number of manufacturers making this product is reduced so the prices are higher.  Simple economics 101!

Now if you have selected sweatshirts to print.  Here some extra choices to make.  Hooded or crewneck, heavy weight or light weight, ј zip, full zip just to mention a few.

All this being said remember my earlier comment about not being able to see much a difference when two like products are juxtaposed.  Brand loyalty is great but for my money if I need buy a large quantity of t-shirts to print.  I go with the brand that has the best price.  Don’t substitute a 50/50 5.6 ounce for a 100% cotton heavy weight to save a nickel but if you are purchasing 100 shirts and you can get brand “A” for 1.99 and Brand “B” is 2.49, buy wisely.    Lastly if you really don’t know what to pick look in your own closest and find the t-shirt that has been the best for you and chances are you can order the same brand.  Good luck on all your custom apparel purchases.

Brisbane Sales Training and Sales Training in Brisbane

Looking for Sales training in Brisbane with a reputable company that provides successful outcomes? It can be hard task to find that business that has years of sales experience, delivers that latest learning’s, has public sales training classes in Brisbane and private sales training classes in Brisbane also.

Don’t take the risk with a one man business, you need world class skills, content and experience. You need a team to ensure the delivery of a professional and successful sales training engagement.

Ziglar Australia operates through established offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane providing training through both public and private training classes. Specialising in sales training and management we utilise small classes to ensure all participants receive the attention needed to address their individual needs and be able to build their learning into usable content for immediate use in the work environment.

People often ask us why Ziglar is so different from other performance enhancement or “sales training” companies. Beyond the more than 50 years of worldwide experience our founder, Zig Ziglar, brought to the thinking and design of our programs, we believe our programs are a dynamic blend of heart, inspiration and cutting-edge personal development technology.

Through years of development and refinement Ziglar has evolved into a world renowned performance enhancement company serving a myriad of disciplines guided by the belief that you build better companies by building better people.

Some programs take a piece-meal approach to performance improvement. Here at Ziglar, we look at an organisation as a whole and then work to incrementally improve all the working parts of that whole. The end result is each person in an organisation produces at a “True Performance” level that catapults the entire organisation beyond its goals. Beginning at the individual level and improving performance from the inside out brings your business phenomenal results.

Ziglar is here to improve your company’s performance by maximising internal productivity and performance for customers through proprietary programs and work force development. All of our programs, including Ziglar VIP, our revolutionary new web-based program designed to bridge the gap between skill building and performance, are designed specifically to improve profitability.

Zig Ziglar’s internationally recognised personal development techniques combined with Ziglar’s expanded tailored performance enhancement solutions is a winning combination that has resulted in Ziglar working with a diverse client base including Fortune 500 corporations, Government agencies, small - and mid-sized businesses, schools and non-profit agencies.

The Ziglar organisation is uniquely equipped to work with organisations to assess needs, identify strengths, and design curricula that serves each client’s unique circumstance. Our approach works in tandem to maintain brand equity and uphold the ideals and vision each company embraces. With many available program designs, Ziglar has a performance enhancement solution for virtually every need.

Build Your Home Business with Networking

Marketing a home business can be tiresome as you spend endless hours creating, implementing and testing marketing techniques. That's what makes networking so effective. You can network with other business owners or those thinking of starting their own home business to share in the promotions and the profits. If you're not sure how networking can work for your business, read the tips below.

Find a Product

Before you can begin networking, you must get focused on what products and services you will offer. There are so many business opportunities to choose from that you could spend hours searching for the right one. Narrow your search to products or services that you are familiar with or that interest you.

For example, if you are interested in medical herbs you can start a business focusing on many different types of herbs and related health products or you can focus on one particular product such as the new breakthrough herb called Touchdown Booster. This product and many others provide an amazing income opportunity because the products are unique and useful - and there's always a huge demand for innovative products.

Why Products like Touchdown Booster are Unique

Touchdown Booster is a Chinese medical herb with a main ingredient called Schisandra chinensis. This ingredient is known for its ability to give energy, strengthen the immune system, to provide healthy liver support, fight stress, increase sexual stimulation, and much more. While this is only one of the many thousands of products on the market, some people have created an entire business around Touchdown Booster and then networking with others to create a powerful sales team.

If it's variety you like, you can join many different marketing groups and offer lots of products. If you want to keep your business simple, you can offer only one product such as Touchdown Booster. It depends on how much time you are able to spend on your business and how creative you are with marketing.

Find a Partner

Networking is nothing more than finding a partner or a few partners with the same business goals in mind. Maybe you all have an interest in certain types of products such as health and fitness or herbs. Maybe you're a mom who wants to work at home. You can find other moms who want the same even if you don't have the same business interests. Working with one or more partners will do two things: keep new ideas flowing and provide support for all participants in the network.

Affiliate Yourself with Local Business Groups

In your local town there might be business owners who meet as a group weekly or monthly for meals to discuss their businesses and get to know others in the community. This is a great way to network your business and to meet others with home business interests.

Another way to affiliate yourself with other home business owners is to join the local Chamber of Commerce in your town. At Chamber meetings or events, you can meet many different people.

Find Networking Partners Online

You can also contact other home business owners online to create an effective online marketing campaign. There are millions of people online who are either getting started with a business or thinking about it.

One way to contact people online is to ask for a link exchange, and use this as an open door for conversation by email. Another way is to contact someone and ask if you can showcase their products at your website with reviews about each. Then, you can casually mention the types of products you offer as well.

You can also write articles or hire someone to write articles about subjects related to your products. You can submit the articles to others selling related products to get exposure for your website. Find someone who publishes a related newsletter for the best results.

After finding some partners or associates, don't be afraid to ask for referrals. Referrals are one of the most powerful selling tools you can use to find new, interested customers.

Use these networking tips to create a strong team of marketers for your products. Your home business will grow as you help others achieve their goals.

Overview of party poker calculator

Party poker calculator is add-on program along with some comprehensive features, which simplifies a player’s play as well as sharpen the skills related to Texas Hold’em. It chiefly watches all the moves while a player gets engaged in this game and also provides you with real time guidance in every single betting round. Instead, you can also activate the mode of bet and let the Party Tool play on till four different tables by itself. This party poker calculator tool is the finest option available for gaming enthusiasts who play poker game with real money. This tool is valuable and assists in teaching those people who want to learn basic strategies of Poker game. You can easily use this party tool at fixed-limit and no-limit tables however bot mode is basically designed for using with the fixed-limit poker as well as Texas Holdem. The time it comes towards the stakes real money stipulates works paramount at less limits and then it depends on a player to create hi limit profiles.

Some of the features of this party poker calculator in order to provide benefits to the gaming enthusiasts include:

This Partypoker calculator act as advisor and shows recommended actions that are required in all the betting rounds.

This tool comprises multiple tables and can handle at least four tables on the same point of time.

Turn on the option of auto play is the finest option for a player if you desire the party tool in order to fold over bad preflop hands for a player as well as help you in playing strong.

When the party poker calculator tool is at auto play mode and also folding bad preflops hands, it will usually play an action sound if a player finally gets decent hand.

Also, this Partypoker calculator encompass full automatic bot mode by itself.

There is another feature of this party tool calculator known as expected value button that shows an estimate average profit whenever a player continue plating towards showdown.

Hotkeys is another feature of this Partypoker calculator tool that chiefly use the keyboards the time player plays poker and finally one can realize mouse as well as lean back.

This Partypoker calculator also comprises customizable profiles that help in adjusting payable Postflop respect and Preflop hands in diverse profiles.

This Partypoker calculator tool is very simple and easy to use as well as helps in finding the files included in it.

This poker party calculator is basically created through complex algorithm’s set that compute the probability of wining the game based on earlier computations along with the odds, which this unique card combination can arise while playing the game. There are many advantages one can obtain from party poker calculator and the first advantage is that a player can play in aggressive manner without thinking anything. Another major advantage is that you will never be on the tilt again if you are not confident, you can take a look at the party tool. The bot mode of party calculator literally sucks out the money from tables having low-limits. For more information on party poker calculator, visit www.PartyTool.net

Micromanufacturing Opportunities Grow

The demand and application of micron and sub-micron manufacturing requirements is growing, which offers unique challenges and immense opportunities to a wide group of tool shops and production parts manufacturers in the United States. The term micromachining loosely refers to part details and holes smaller than the human hair that are measured only in microns-or one thousandth of a millimeter.

This focus on micromachining has captured the imagination of nearly every industrial segment. According to several market studies, micromanufacturing was a $3.9 billion industry in 2001. The market is expected to reach $9.6 billion by 2006.

Technical and application engineers at Makino, a global provider of advanced machining technology, say that such industries as biomedical, medical appliance, personal electronics, fluid transfer, optics and fiber optics, RF electronics, communications, military, aerospace products, and the automotive world are focused on micromanufacturing. They all see the potential in new and exciting consumer and industrial products emerging daily.

These smaller, lighter parts with higher degrees of functionality have set new demands on original equipment manufacturers to reevaluate the design and concepts of various machining systems and technologies. You may have already experienced a number of emerging uses in micromachined parts in your computer, heart monitor or pacemaker, automobile, cell phone, and many more applications.

The capability to produce parts with such high accuracy and surface quality on a variety of newer materials, including metal alloys and ceramic, is in very high demand. Unique new machines can produce holes as tiny as 0.00078 inches in diameter, 100 times smaller than many previous machining operations.

The application of micromanufacturing represents a "business reality" to machine manufacturers and suppliers. Learning to apply these high-tech designs, concepts and machine tools will permit U.S. manufacturers to offer a broader understanding and service capability to combat foreign manufacturing competition.

Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due

What is credit?  Do you really know and understand that credit is a business, and that if you are not a good business risk, you will not able to get credit?  If you have ever had credit, then you  understand that getting it and maintaining it are essential to your financial success.

Credit, by  definition, is the extension of financial resources to you by a third party, under a contract, that dictates that you will repay the amount of the credit you use (with interest).  Credit can be acquired with security or without (on your good name).  Acquiring credit of itself does not create the debt.  You become indebted when you actually use the credit.  For example, when an investor extends credit to you in the amount of $10,000.00 (the amount is insignificant) and you use all $10,000.00, you have created a debt position with the investor for the $10,000.00.  However, if you only use $1.00, you only pay back $1.00.

There are various types of credit for different purposes.  The lending agreement sets the amount of credit to be extended and the terms for repayment.  It is fundamental that you comprehensively understand the terms and conditions of every contract you agree to whether it's for credit, or for some other legal matter.  This is probably one of the greatest areas of misunderstanding for consumers and corporations alike.

On the other hand, you can use credit to prove yourself financially trustworthy.  Credit is an industry unto itself, and you have to realize that if you manage credit well, you will get more of it.  The more you demonstrate that you are able to adhere to and execute the terms of the contract, the more exposure the investor will be willing to take with you.  Essentially, it's comparable to gambling.  The investor basically stakes (based on certain calculated risk factors) how much you will be able repay.  To the investor, this "gamble" is considered an investment.  Why?  Because the amount of the original advance will be repaid with interest.  Investors loan you money and you pay them to do it.

A very simple definition for interest is this:  Interest is money made by the lender on money they loaned to you.  For example, if you borrow $100,000.00 and have to pay back $110,000.00 according to the terms of the contract, you are paying $10,000.00 in interest.  The investor, whether private party, corporation or bank, made $10,000.00 on that deal.

The most important thing you can do for yourself in order to build and maintain an excellent credit record is to learn what investor's look for in potential "investments".  Lenders do not look at you as a human being.  When you consider purchasing anything on credit, including houses and cars, you have to understand that your life is literally reduced to numbers.  This is the sad truth about how the credit reporting system works.  The system is not designed to serve you as the person needing the loan.  The system is designed to protect the investors who lend the money.  It is a business and the business has nothing to do with you.  It is not subjective which is human nature, it is relentlessly objective.  Every dollar of credit extended has to be paid back with interest in order the business to make sense.  In order to master the system, it is necessary that you educate yourself what lenders (investors) look for, and become strong in those areas.  Credit is not personal, it's business.

Do not ever let anyone judge you as a person based  on your credit report.  You are not defined by your credit.  Credit is a financial tool, not a relationship-building tool.  If you intentionally abuse the credit system, that's one thing.  But, if you simply do not understand the system or, have just had various circumstances beyond your control knock you out of the game, don't be discouraged.  Educate yourself, master the system, and get back in the game.

7 Ways to Cut Loose from Old Sales Thinking

Regardless of what product or service you’re selling, you should be able to relate to her dilemma.

Outdated sales skills fail to address the core issue of how we think about selling and unless we get to that core and change it once and for all, we’ll go on struggling with the same counterproductive sales behaviors.

And we’ll continue believing that we’re always just one new sales technique away from the breakthrough we’re looking for.

New Thinking = New Results

Maybe it’s time to take a different approach. Maybe we need to analyze our thinking and identify why we’re not making more sales.

Take a look at the table below and think about your current selling mindset.

How would your selling behaviors change if you changed your sales thinking?

Old Sales Mindset Vs New Sales Mindset

1. Always start out with a strong sales pitch Vs Stop the sales pitch. Start a conversation.

2. Your goal is always to close the sale Vs Your goal is always to discover whether you and your prospect are a good fit.

3. When you lose a sale, it's usually at the end of the sales process. Vs When you lose a sale, it's usually at the beginning of the sales process.

4. Rejection is a normal part of selling, so get used to it. Vs Hidden sales pressure causes rejection. Eliminate sales pressure, and you’ll never experience rejection.

5. Keep chasing prospects until you get a yes or no. Vs Never chase prospects. Instead, get to the truth of whether there’s a fit or not.

6. When prospects offer objections, challenge and/or counter them. Vs When prospects offer objections, validate them and reopen the conversation.

7. If prospects challenge the value of your product or service, defend yourself and explain its value. Vs Never defend yourself or what you have to offer. This only creates more sales pressure.

Let's take a closer look at these concepts so you can begin to open up your current sales thinking and become more effective in your selling efforts.

1. Stop the sales pitch. Start a conversation.

When you call someone, never start out with a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer.

Instead, start with a conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves. For example, you might say, "I'm just calling to see if you are open to some different ideas related to preventng downtime accross your computer network?"

Notice that you are not pitching your solution with this opening phrase. Instead, you're addressing a problem that, based on your experience in your field, you believe they might be having. (If you don't know what problems your product or service solves, do a little research by asking your current customers why they purchased your solution.)

2. Your goal is always to discover whether you and your prospect are a good fit.

If you let go of trying to close the sale or get the appointment, you’ll discover that you don't have to take responsibility for moving the sales process forward.

By simply focusing your conversation on problems that you can help prospects solve, and by not jumping the gun by trying to move the sales process forward, you’ll discover that prospects will give you the direction you need.

3. When you lose a sale, it's usually at the beginning of the sales process.

If you think you’re losing sales due to mistakes you make at the end of the process, review how you began the relationship. Did you start with a pitch?

Did you use traditional sales language ("We have a solution that you really need" or "Others in your industry have bought our solution, you should consider it as well")?

Traditional sales language leads prospects to label you with the negative stereotype of "salesperson." This makes it almost impossible for them to relate to you with trust or to have an honest, open conversation about problems they're trying to solve and how you might be able to help them.

4. Hidden sales pressure causes rejection. Eliminate sales pressure, and you’ll never experience rejection.

Prospects don’t trigger rejection. You do -- when something you say, and it could be very subtle, triggers a defensive reaction from your prospect.

Yes, something you say.

You can eliminate rejection forever simply by giving up the hidden agenda of hoping to make a sale. Instead, be sure that everything you say and do stems from the basic mindset that you’re there to help prospects identify and solve their issues.

5. Never chase prospects. Instead, get to the truth of whether there’s a fit or not.

Chasing prospects has always been considered normal and necessary, but it’s rooted in the macho selling image that "If you don’t keep chasing, you’re giving up, which means you’re a failure." This is dead wrong.

Instead, ask your prospects if they’d be open to connecting again at a certain time and date so you can both avoid the phone tag game.

6. When prospects offer objections, validate them and reopen the conversation.

Most traditional sales programs spend a lot of time focusing on "overcoming" objections, but these tactics only create more sales pressure.

They also keep you from exploring or learning the truth behind what your prospects are saying.

You know that "We don't have the budget," "Send me information," or "Call me back in a few months," are polite evasions designed to get you off the phone. Stop trying to counter objections. Instead, shift to uncovering the truth by replying, "That's not a problem." No matter what the objection, use gentle, dignified language that invites prospects to tell you the truth about their situation without feeling you’ll use it to press for a sale.

7. Never defend yourself or what you have to offer. This only creates more sales pressure.

When prospects say, "Why should I choose you over your competition?," your instinctive reaction is to defend your product or service because you believe that you are the best choice, and you want to convince them of that. But what goes through their minds at that point?

Something like, "This ‘salesperson’ is trying to sell me, and I hate feeling as if I'm being sold."

Stop defending yourself. In fact, come right out and tell them that you aren’t going to try to convince them of anything because that only creates sales pressure. Instead, ask them again about key problems they’re trying to solve.

Then explore how your product or service might solve those problems. Give up trying to persuade. Let prospects feel they can choose you without feeling sold.

The sooner you can let go of the traditional sales beliefs that we’ve all been exposed to, the more quickly you’ll feel good about selling again, and start seeing better results.

Issues in Real Estate

When we speak of the real estate economy, we use national statistics but speak locally. On the other hand the stock market is based on the national or even the world economy. The real estate markets are based on local or even micro-local economy. What is happening in LA may not directly affect what is happening in Toledo.

What affects all real estate markets together are the interest rates. There is no single barometer to measure the entire housing industry in US.

So, while statistics calculations and economic factors are relevant, equally important is using one’s common sense. We must keep our eyes wide open and take a look around and see what is happening. Talking to real estate agents, investors and lenders in a particular area can be a big help to access a market.

These are certain issues one must consider while dealing in real estate.

One major issue facing corporate real estate managers is how to effectively manage the real estate assets in the current market environment.

Secondly, real estate agents provide information about utilities, zoning, schools etc. But two common issues a buyer faces while buying are-

i. Will the property provide the right environment we want for a home?

ii. Will the property have a good resale value when we are ready to sell?

Another important issue that any buyer/investor faces is the legal issue. Real estate laws vary from state to state. One must consult an attorney licensed to practice law in the state in which the property is located.

At times, the property a buyer is seeking is available but not properly advertised. It may take you some time and effort to search for and locate the right property.

The important issue of finance. We must know our financial reserves plus our borrowing capacity. If we know about our current savings, income and debt, then we can take help from lenders; banks and mortgage companies, which offer some choices according to your financial capability.

In America, some real estate association and commissions have sponsored regulation that require all real estate brokers to provide a minimum level of services which forces sellers to buy services they do not want or need.

There is the issue of rebates on transaction fees. Some states in America allow rebates of commissions or fees on real estate transactions but some states have legislated regulations which prohibit rebates.

Next is the issue of consumer participation. The consumer federation of America released a study that real estate boards and commissions are dominated by real estate practitioners and they recommended greater participation by consumers; which is opposed by practitioners – this works against the interest of ordinary buyers and sellers.

Last but not the least, a lot of hoopla has been floating around in the news media about the ‘bubble’ theory of real estate and that the real estate market is going to burst – this may have a psychological impact on the potential buyer or seller.

Tips for Finding a Legitimate Business from Home

Today, there are seemingly tens of thousands of home business opportunities on the Internet. While they all initially sound spectacular, upon closer inspection many Internet business opportunities promise the moon and the stars - and don't deliver. How, then, do you find a legitimate business opportunity that will truly allow you to succeed? Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.

Expect to Work

Legitimate business opportunities require work to succeed. If a home business opportunity promises that you simply have to open your virtual doors with your own URL in order for the money to start rolling in, don't believe it. Any type of true financial success requires work.

That's not to say, however, that you have to work 40, 50, or even 60 hours a week. Legitimate business models can harness the power of the Internet so that you can make an executive-level salary working four or five hours a day. If you choose to work longer hours, your earning potential certainly increases. But the bottom line is that you do need to work.

Find Mentoring and Support

Unfortunately, too many Internet business opportunities sign you up and cut you loose. They may have a bare bones virtual back office and they might even have a webinar or two, but all too often they give you little direction or guidance. A legitimate business opportunity will provide you with training and mentoring, as well as ongoing support - ideally from people who have already achieved their financial goals from the same business model.

So, when you're considering an Internet-based home business, look for transparency. This means that the website should have a phone number, and that you should be able to speak directly to someone in a position of authority within the company. It should also have an email address for an individual, rather than for a general department, such as "sales" or "support."

Expect to Invest in Your Business

Fly-by-night Internet business opportunities might promise that you won't have to lay out any money, but don't believe it. Ask any entrepreneur, and he or she will tell you that start-up money is required. A legitimate business opportunity will tell you this up front.

However, keep in mind that Internet-based home businesses do have two start-up advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. First, you don't have to rent an office or storefront, hire staff, or invest in a tremendous amount of overhead. Second, you should be able to recoup your start-up investment very quickly - often in a matter of days.

Examine the Compensation Model

Most Internet business opportunities are based on network marketing and sales. This isn't a bad thing, but you do need to review the compensation model for each business you consider. Legitimate business opportunities provide for immediate cash flow to cover your initial expenses, as well as ongoing compensation so that you can consistently see a profit that is aligned with the time and effort you put into your business.

Working from home in a legitimate business is a wonderful way to achieve your financial dreams. In fact, it can change the course of your life and the lives of your children. Just keep in mind that, like any business owner, you need to invest in and work at your business in order to succeed.

Convert leads into clients and boost your sales

A major part of keeping profitable and growing your business is maintaining a focus on business development. Even when you've got the right mix of work, clients and employees you should be looking for new sales leads. Establish a process that ensures your existing customers don't get neglected while you manage new business opportunities in a cost - and time-effective manner.

1. Generate sales leads. Identify the types of companies you want to work with and a realistic number of companies you want to target over a given period of time. For example: An accountant with experience in the marketing industry might decide to target five opportunities per month focussed on marketing consultancies.

Finding potential clients and identifying new opportunities can be done through networking events, tenders listed in newspapers and industry magazines and headlines in newspapers about new projects and industry seminars. Keep an eye on your industry and stay aware of new developments.

Track the companies you approach in a database (you could use Microsoft Office Excel or Access). Tracking should cover the obvious things — company contact details — as well as details of what was discussed, potential work, actions and more.

2. Qualify the leads. Once you have companies identified, review it to ensure they are realistic opportunities. Some areas to think about include:

Do you have the right contacts to get started?

Do you have the right services to offer them?

How can their website help you understand them better?

Do you have any conflicts of interest in pursuing this company?

Does this client have growth potential or would it be a quick job?

Who makes the decisions? How can you reach them?

3. Raise your business profile. By raising your company profile (no matter how small you are) you'll be able to generate new business with less effort. As a leader in the industry, new business will come to you. There are many ways to raise your profile; you could try sponsoring events, adverts and gaining media coverage. The size, location and target market of your business will dictate the medium to use and the areas to cover.

4. Show them what you're made of. Start to reach your qualified opportunities by showcasing your company's products. Send them a brochure or a copy of any newsletters you produce and invite them to join; show off examples of your work; highlight relevant media articles. However, if you're using e-mail, avoid being overly intrusive or they may regard it as spam.

Develop standard template letters in Word to send to potential clients to accompany your credentials/brochures. Link to your database (Excel, Access or Outlook) when merging the letters and envelopes to ensure you don't have to re-enter details.

There is no specified time for this courting, so be patient. It could be six months before anything comes to fruition.

5. Set a meeting time. So you're in the door. Now you need to sell yourself. Tailor the meeting to suit the way you operate as a business. It could be a formal PowerPoint presentation or a discussion over coffee. You may have no choice for the style of the meeting but make sure you are comfortable and well prepared. During the meeting be sure to demonstrate the knowledge you have developed in the previous stages.

6. Follow up. You've presented your capabilities and ideas. Don't stop there. Follow up is essential. This is a major part of the process and should be taken as seriously as the other steps. You'll probably be able to build on ideas from the meeting, or you might find an interesting/relevant article or statistics you could send to re-open discussion. Even if you don't have anything to send, thank them for the opportunity.

Working With The New Generation

I've heard them called by many names as of late: Generation Y, Gen Y, The Plug-and-Play Generation, The Gotta-Feel-Good Generation. What they're all referring to is the new young generation - our current 20-somethings. Every generation "deals" with the generation who comes after them. Their different views, their different ways of doing things, and so on; this generation is no exception.

Why is everyone talking about this new generation now though? They've been coming along for years. They're in their 20's now, after all! Because now they're starting to impact the workforce and because we couldn't predict their group characteristics until we saw them in action. In some ways they're changing the landscape for the better, in some ways we oldies would say for the worse.

Regardless of the nostalgia we feel for the "old days" this generation is plunging headlong into the workforce and will impact you and your business at some point. There's really no sense fighting it. No generation has ever changed the generation which came after it; not once that generation reached its 20's anyway. These are the kids we raised and we did raise them this way, so let's figure out how to work with them. To work with them we first need to understand them.

What makes this generation tick (or turn off) and what is the impact on businesses looking to hire them?

Problem: They're not called The Plug-and-Play Generation for nothing. This generation grew up on video games and television while their parents were out working and making (what they viewed as) better lives for their families. This led to a whole generation of children, now entering the workforce, who need instant gratification in whatever it is they do. Whether its work or play, the satisfaction must be immediate.

Solution: What this means to the business owner looking to hire qualified workers is that you need to be diligent in assigning tasks to (or rather asking the worker if they'd be happy to do the tasks) that they enjoy doing. You must challenge this generation to the capacity in which they want to be challenged.

Problem: This generation waits for nothing and no one. If they don't like the game, they find a new game to play and new people to play it with - now - not tomorrow or next week. Simple as that. Think pulling the PS2 game out of the player and inserting one they think they may like better.

Solution: This goes back to speed again. They're used to moving at the speed of the internet, not the speed of the horseless carriage. You're going to have to give this generation what it's looking for or prepare to lose them. Regular check-ins individually to gauge their interest and excitement is critical to keeping this generation happy and working for you.

Problem: The Generation Y's demand that they feel good about what they're doing. If they don't feel good about it, they're not going to do it. Again, simple as that and no amount of money will convince them otherwise. Remember: they watched their parents work and work and work to earn a few extra bucks and what did it get them? Absentee parents who were rich. This generation wants quality, not necessarily quantity.

Solution: Sometimes the work just isn't all that gratifying. However, you can combat that by showing your gratitude in the work being done. Often the sheer pleasure of helping someone else and that person being grateful is enough for the worker to receive the gratification they need.

Problem: The generation of ADD. Oh yes, this is where ADD became popular. The Gen Y's are not going to pay attention for long. They want their information fast and to the point.

Solution: Don't waste time with long drawn out memos and information. Just shoot it straight and fast!

Problem: A recent study suggested that the average tenure in a job for Generation Y's is 18 months. Wow, what happened to life, or even a few years? Unfortunately those days are but a memory. As older workers retire and leave the workforce, we're left with the generation we raised and we need to count on them to fill the open positions within our companies. Remember again that this generation watched their parents stick in jobs for life, only to be spat out by the very corporations and unions who claimed they'd protect them - when they were juuuuuusssst about to collect that pension. The Generation Y's aren't going to hang around to let that happen to them.

Solution: There's no changing this generation's stick ability. So as a business owner you have two options: 1) Make the work enjoyable or 2) Prepare in advance for every single worker's eventual departure. If you opt with number 1, you need to figure out what it is that makes each and every one of your workers happy. They must be regarded as the individuals they are and with their own set of needs and instructions. Prepare to meet those needs or move on to number 2: The most crucial thing any business owner can do is to have instructions written for every task that is performed within their company. Put all those instructions in a safe place and hang on to them so you can pass them on to the worker's successor. In staffing, one of the biggest complaints we hear from clients is the need to retrain the next person. I'm sorry - that's the way it is nowadays. We train and we retrain and we need to be ready for it.

Problem: Lack of office etiquette. Check out this recent article on Yahoo! News about modern office etiquette (and lack of it) http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/careerist/40342. Unfortunately, as the article suggests, the new generation may not even know they're breaking the rules! Etiquette in their world is far different than that of other generations.

Solution: As my husband and business partner says, "But wrong is still wrong and right is still right". However, with the internet and a new generation, is this perhaps the new "right". Maybe, maybe not. If most families are dysfunctional, doesn't dysfunction become the new "normal"? Unfortunately I think the new generation has us beat in sheer numbers folks. In this writer's opinion there's not much we can do but learn to deal.

Problem: As another article http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/careerist/38889 on Gen Y's by Penelope Trunk suggests: "They won't play the face-time game." That means they're not going to sit in the office just to make you happy. They know that work can be done from home (or from the beach) just as well as it can be done sitting in the office.

Solution: Let 'em work from home! Why not!? Working from home offers the ultimate in flexibility (something this generation demands) and helps keep this generation of workers happy and working for you.

As a virtual staffing agency, we deal with the same things as you do day in and day out. We're not immune to the caveats of Generation Y. We deal with the unique issues of this generation through increased back end staff which checks in with and coaches our virtual assistants regularly. We also take great pains to make good matches between clients and virtual assistants and quickly offer to change assignments if it doesn't "feel right" for the virtual assistant.

Yes, this (generation's issues) results in a higher turnover of virtual assistants but no higher than what you'd experience in the bricks and mortar world. In many respects we shield our clients from the impacts of turnover by quickly locating new help, interviewing and screening for the right skills and attitude. But even as a virtual staffing agency, we still can't change a generation or their attitudes so we can't stop the turnover - we can help our clients get through the turnover.

Even with a high-turnover generation, companies can still benefit from all of the pluses of virtual assistance and virtual staffing. The cost savings over hourly in-office staff still exist; office politics is still absent; the speed of bringing in additional help is still present; the benefits of not having someone sitting in your office holds ground; start up capitol needed (desks, computers, phone lines) of hiring help is not a concern; and ultimate flexibility still exists.

In many ways, hiring virtually is a great way to deal with the issues businesses must face with this generation. This generation wants flexibility. Working virtually offers the ultimate in flexibility, which helps keep the generation happy. Virtual staffing fits this generation like a glove and is one of the best ways to put them to work for you.

If you'd like more information on how to set up a virtual office, please check our article at http://teamdoubleclick.com/news/free_articles/SetupYourVirtOffice.html.

A Podium is No Place for a Projector

Remember the days when presentations before an audience consisted of boring lectures told from a podium while someone clicked slides or moved transparencies?  The world has changed.  Both in education and business, presentations are now more visual, more interesting, more dynamic.

And the furniture industry has jumped on board.  No longer do you need a second person to run that Power Point projector for you. No more turning around to make sure he/she switched the slides at the right time.  You can do it all yourself with a projector cart—something no university lecture hall, conference center, or meeting room should be without.

So what exactly is a projector cart?  We found an excellently designed projector cart from Versa Tables, called the Projector Fusion Laptop Cart.  Available in two colors and for under $300, the Projector Fusion Laptop Cart provides four distinct surfaces designed to help you keep your presentation organized.  The first is an adjustable, pole-mounted laptop tray with a raised lip and locking mechanism to keep your laptop securely where it should be—at your fingertips!  Adjust the laptop for your most comfortable standing or seated height and control the laptop yourself.  In addition, the cart also offers three more adjustable platforms constructed from high-density wood; ideal for holding a projector, printed handouts, visual aids, and more.  The frame is made of scratch-resistant steel and the entire cart is mounted on liquid-ease rolling casters.  The casters also lock, keeping your cart in place even on uneven surfaces.

Base storage trays and cable management units can be added for a nominal charge giving you even more storage space and easier cable organization.  The carts fit easily into a closet or storage space when not in use.  The platforms can be added or removed as needed and adjust independently, giving the user the option to customize according to the needs of his/her presentation.  The platforms, as well as the laptop tray, also rotate around the core pole, so they're perfect for right-handers or left-handers.

Show the speakers you invite to your venue that you care about their comfort by providing them with everything they need to give a successful presentation.

Podiums are great for debates, but with today's business and education trends leaning toward the visual, a laptop fusion cart is perfect for any speaker.  They're also ideal for trade shows, medical offices, and retail stores.

Several manufacturers of computer furniture are now offering similar products, but Versa Tables' Projector Laptop Fusion Cart carries Versa's no-hassle, lifetime warranty, and ships for absolutely free to any customer in the contiguous United States.  Versa also offers a quantity discount on this product—like all of their products—which is a great bonus for institutions like hotels, conference centers and universities which need to furnish multiple lecture halls or meeting rooms.

Available in Warm Gray or Black River, the colors are pleasing to the eye.  An additional pole-mounted monitor arm can be added for a fee, but the cart is truly functional without it.

Cafeteria Benefits and Your Workforce

Especially if you happen to be one of those unflinchingly ambitious micro-business entrepreneurs, I’ve been reading about everyday in pubs like Crain’s Chicago Business, you’ll eventually find that designing and offering up an attractive employee-benefits package will be an essential component of your future growth. An attractive health plan will do just that – attract – helping you recruit and retain crucial employees (meaning those fought over creative class/knowledge worker types Richard Florida is always yammering about). You’ll also find that a generous group plan will help link your employees' interests to your concern’s.

That said, there are a seemingly unlimited number of group benefits options to consider. One that you’ll want to move to the top of your list is a Cafeteria Plan. The cafeteria brand of benefit plan can add a lot freedom to a employee compensation package, allowing your workforce to choose benefits options ala carte, if you will – selecting only the benefit options they’re most interested in.

Perhaps I should start closer to the beginning … cafeteria plans, also known as the flexible spending account, the choice spending account or the section 125 plan, have become increasingly popular over the last few years because they’re designed to offer employees a truly convenient way to pay medical expenses with pre-tax dollars; relieving them of the burden of federal, and state taxes.

To take advantage of a flexible spending account, eligible employees set aside a pre-designated amount each year, in order to pay for medical expenses aren’t already eligible for coverage. The two most common types of flexible-spending accounts are dependent care reimbursement (also known as DCRAs) and health care reimbursement accounts. Employees pay for non-reimbursed expenses from these accounts. Unfortunately, flexible-spending accounts are "use-it-or-lose-it" accounts; meaning that any funds leftover at the end of the year can’t be “rolled over,” so to speak.

Exceptions To Those Limits Apply to Key Employees

Typically, funds set aside in a cafeteria plan's flexible-spending account are exempt from income, payroll, and unemployment taxes. This exemption generally also applies to payroll and unemployment taxes paid on behalf of employees. (Take a look at IRS Pub. 15-B for exceptions, including treatment of highly compensated employees and certain shareholders of Subchapter S Corporation’s.)

Premiums paid to a group life benefits policy are typically exempt from income and unemployment taxes. In addition, premiums paid for up to $50,000.00 of benefits coverage per employee tend to be exempt from payroll taxes. For additional details, see IRS Publication 15-B.

You see, cafeteria plans offer you some versatility in putting together a benefits plan for your workforce. There are other categories of fringe benefits that you can offer your employees in a cafeteria plan that may be excluded from taxable income under IRS benefit-exclusion rules. Using a flexible-spending account -- namely, establishing a DCRA and HCRA -- may help to jump-start a cafeteria plan for your workforce. If you maintain a cafeteria plan, the IRS requires you to complete IRS Form 5500.

To help you keep track of employment-related costs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a quarterly statistic called the employment cost index. The cost index measures changes in employee-compensation costs, which include salaries, wages, and benefits. In addition to publishing the quarterly cost index, BLS publishes an annual survey of compensation costs.

One last thing … the information above is practically for entertainment purposes and shouldn’t be interpreted as financial advice. For advice specific to your firm’s circumstances, don’t hesitate get advice from a financial, tax or benefits consultant.  You may even want to flat out hire an Interim benefits consultant or a full service benefits consulting firm. There are also a number of good sources of information on the Web you can take advantage of. The Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), and American Benefits Council are independent sources of truly “actionable” employee-benefit plan information.

Why Do Marketers Love The Reverse Funnel System?

Simply because the Reverse Funnel System does exactly what it’s suppose to do.  The Reverse funnel system is an expert system designed by expert internet marketers to automate the building of a highly profitable internet business.

The reverse funnel system allows entrepreneurs and marketers to do nothing other then focus on traffic generation.  That way you don’t have to spend countless money, hours, and time developing offers that can prove to convert at a decent rate.

The reverse funnel system has ALL of that created for you.  That’s why the reverse funnel system is breaking records throughout the internet marketing community.

There has NEVER been a system designed that converts as high as this system does.  The entire system was designed by expert copywriters, for over $25,000 per page.  This system has allowed average people to take advantage of systems, copywriting, and a funnel process that they normally never would have access too.

Because of this, many entrepreneurs from all over the world have created more full time income from home using highly converting systems like this then has ever existed before.  Any one who is truly interested in marketing, needs to focus their attention on marketing a funnel that CONVERTS the highest based on the traffic you run through that funnel.

This simple equation is the key to getting paid the most for what your effort and energy is worth.  If you affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs keep promoting products that have low conversions and low commissions, they will continue to limit the amount they could actually be making for that same marketing effort.

Fuel

$3.39 per gallon I paid for gas today 5-19-07 in Rio Rancho, NM. I heard some stupid citizen/person being interviewed on the news last night say that gas prices are no big deal and that she is getting used to it. Stupid! How many interviews did Albuquerque’s local news team have to do before they found some little girl that is okay with spending mommy and daddy’s money on gasoline? I do believe that if she was spending any of the $5.15 per hour that she is earning, she would then have a problem with the cost of fuel. If we become complacent big business will and is walking all over us just like they do with the UK, which is currently paying $5.64 per gallon of regular gas. We will eventually pay $10.00 per liter before we know it if we don't speak up now. Speak up America write your congress men, write blogs, and post your local gas prices world wide on the web. Everyone in the world is invited to www.zz2p.com to post your local prices. Why is VENEZUELA only paying $0.14 per gallon, what does Venezuela have that the world’s super power doesn’t? They have the foresight to act now to keep fuel prices down. Venezuela has the refineries and plans to develop more by 2012. We "America" have a greedy bunch of Politicians and big business jerks running our country and using conservationists as an excuse not to build refineries. Technology has grown by leaps and bounds we no longer need fossil fuels to the degree we once did, "In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust and ran without gasoline...........Ten years later, these cars were destroyed." (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489037/taglines.) You can see a short video about the electric car and get information about other low or no fuel vehicles at: http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar The big oil companies put a stop to the electric car thing, they knew that they would loose billions to an era of vehicles that needed little maintenance and absolutely no gas. We the people are in control of our country. Don't forget it, we elect and we impeach. The countries biggest mistake is that we have fallen short by letting the government have to much say in our daily lives. The government is over powering the people buy stepping into our lives and dictating whether or not we: buckle up, discipline our children, smoke legal cigarettes, making air travel a living hell by searching everyone but the target profile, Yes there is a target profile but according to the government that would be discrimination or racial profiling. Racial profiling wasn’t a problem when the FBI rounded up all the Arabic looking foreigners working in Santa Fe, NM after 9/11. I had several friends working at jewelry & rug shops that were deported for reasons I don’t pretend to understand. Our current government deals in fear and as long as we are scared of our shadows they are able to do as they please with our country. Another problem that is compounding pour current state of affairs is that our growing welfare population keeps the greedy in office in order to keep their government checks coming in. Kick the government out of our homes so maybe they might have time to see how the American people are being raped by big business. Speak up America your only crazy if you’re Okay with bending over for the man.

Mines Reopen as Coal Takes Lead in Energy

In the mid-1990s, coal was not king, but today, it may be taking back its throne. Back then, natural gas was at center stage as the preferred energy source of environmentally conscious Americans everywhere.

But in 1998, a slight, yet significant, change occurred. According to a U.S. Department of Energy study, "The trend towards reduced levels of consumer coal stocks was reversed." This change coupled with continuing low prices for coal brought it back to the forefront, revitalizing the coal industry to this day.

For example, more than half of America's electricity is now generated from coal. Coal mines that had been shut down in the 1990s are reopening, and former workers are going back to the mines and getting back to work.

America has a lot of coal to be mined. With 274 billion tons of recoverable reserves, coal is 39 times more abundant than natural gas and 54 times more abundant than oil.

Coal is also becoming safer for the environment. Because of efforts by the coal-based electricity industry, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions have dropped.

The most recent study on these emissions shows that between 1980 and 2001, the sulfur dioxide emission rate dropped 38 percent, and the nitrogen oxide emission rate dropped 32 percent.

The largest source of electricity in the United States, electricity from coal is crucial to America's energy present and future. Quest Minerals and Mining Corp. (OTC BB: QMMG.OB), is playing a major role in the future of the coal industry. Quest acquires and reopens properties in the southeastern United States that produce coal in compliance with Clean Air Act requirements.

Quest recently announced that it has signed and closed its acquisition of Gwenco Inc., through which it gains more than 700 acres of coal leases with almost 13 million tons of coal in place in six seams. Quest plans to reopen two of Gwenco's former drift mines and begin commercial coal production. Coal produced at these mines will be sold to public utility companies in Kentucky and Ohio.