Friday, October 28, 2005

Is Your Company Ready To Go Global?

The world is hungry for American products and services, and small-business owners by the thousands are eagerly feeding foreign markets everything from bagels to tires. With U.S. markets shrinking, many small companies are looking overseas to expand markets and bottom lines. Is your company ready to go global?
Check out the following story from Matt Berkley. It is full of expert advice on how to get your company started with international sales.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Leasing Office Furniture

In addition to outright purchase, rental or leasing programs are often overlooked as many people do not really understand why to use them.
Renting helps you achieve fast solutions to short-term and urgent office furniture needs by helping conserve capital and giving you more flexibility.
Deron Mann of Westport Office Furniture offers the following benefits of leasing office furniture:
Leasing works for any type of business—Every imaginable type of business and/or organization throughout the world leases equipment or furniture. Over 80% of American businesses lease some of their equipment and nearly 90% say they would choose to lease again.
Make better use of capital—Conventional bank loans usually require more money upfront than leasing and often have restrictive covenants. Banks usually will require a 10%-20% down payment. Leasing generally requires only one or two payments upfront, which are applied to future payments.
Finance 100% of costs—In most cases, the full amount of the equipment or furniture, as well as the shipping and installation and maintenance costs can be included in the lease. This spreads the payments out evenly over the term of the lease and frees up working capital for other areas.
Tailor a solution to meet needs—Leasing is flexible. Customize the length of time and the amount of the monthly payments to meet desired business needs.
Tax advantages—Depending on the structure of the lease, the entire monthly payment including interest may be written off as a deduction for the whole term.
Protect credit lines—Bank credit lines remain intact for other needs.

Monday, October 24, 2005

10 Commandments Of Networking

If the thought of “Networking” at business functions turns your stomach in knots—then you’re not alone!
Networking doesn’t have to be traumatic, according to Scott Simon executive director of the St. Louis chapter of Business Network International (BNI). With the right approach, you can use it to build a wealth of resources and opportunities.
Simon offers the following Ten Commandments of Networking:
1. Have tools to network with you—business cards, nametag and brochures.
2. Set a goal for the number of people you’ll meet—don’t leave until you’ve met your goal.
3. Act like a host not a guest—volunteer to greet people or act as a conduit.
4. Listen and ask questions—a good networker has two ears and one mouth, use them proportionally.
5. Don’t try to close a deal—networking is about developing relationships, meeting people at events is the beginning of the process, not the end.
6. Give leads or referrals wherever possible—giver’s gain!
7. Exchange business cards—ask for two, one to keep and one to share.
8. Manage your time effectively—spend 10 minutes maximum with each person you meet, practice your get-away phrases, and don’t linger with associates and friends.
9. Write notes on the backs of business cards collected—record interesting things that will help you remember them.
10. Follow up—you can do the first nine perfectly, but without effective follow through, you will have wasted your time.