SBA Loans and Working Capital Loans – When to Fire Your Banker

Most of us would like to view our banker as one of the family, and for most small business owners, the idea of “when to fire your banker” has probably never occurred to them. The average business owner is happy to have one less decision to make, so thoughts of firing their banker rarely become a top priority in the realm of working capital financing and SBA loans.Banks are just not what they used to be (as most of us have by now realized). It seems like almost overnight banks have lost most of our confidence in a way that is similar to many automobile manufacturers that are now a shriveled and tarnished version of what they once were. In this shifting reality, business owners are now forced to adapt quickly to a changing environment for small business loans. Candidly speaking, even if their commercial banker is their best friend, small business owners are increasingly realizing that they must look out for their own best interests because it is unlikely that their business banker is up to the task anymore.While this assessment might seem cold and harsh, it is nevertheless a candid and practical evaluation of current circumstances. Unwinding a long-term relationship with a particular bank or banker is likely to produce some of the same trauma that occurs when any positive relationship suddenly goes sour. In the end, we should try to do the best that we can and then move forward. As in any change-related decision, the decision-maker (in this case, the business owner agonizing over the firing of their banker) should openly evaluate the probable consequences of not changing at all. If they are being truthful to themselves, most business owners will conclude that they should seek a new banker if keeping the old banker is holding the business back, either by bad advice or inadequate small business loans.This discussion is in no way meant to suggest that all banks are now bad or that all bankers are now bad. In today’s complex economy, there are still good banks as well as bad banks. Of course there are similarly both bad bankers and good bankers. When their current banking relationship involves a bad banker working for a bad bank, this is probably the worst-case scenario to confront for most commercial borrowers.We will leave the discussion of good banks and bad banks to another report. Business owners should consider the following remarks when determining if it might be time to find a new banker.Overall we would conclude that if the current situation involves a bad bank and a not so bad banker, the most prudent outcome for a business owner is likely to be firing both the bank and the banker. Simply by working for a bad bank, a good banker can often be transformed into a bad banker. Many banks have suddenly stopped making normal business loans and working capital loans, often without even explaining why. This can force an otherwise good banker to rationalize the actions of the bank in a way meant to keep the business owner as a customer while at the same time asking them to accept sub-par business financing. Just say no.One of the most predictive signs of a bad banker is an increasing frequency of situations in which they are unable to achieve the results which were promised or suggested. This could include lowering a business line of credit after suggesting that it would either be increased or held at the same level. Another common illustration is based on circumstances in which the banker reports that they recommended a commercial loan for approval but the bank loan committee turned it down. Business owners should not be reluctant to hold their banker accountable for producing inadequate results, since results are what count for any business. For prudent commercial borrowers, firing your banker and your bank has become both a more acceptable and necessary solution when your business is not able to obtain sufficient business finance and working capital help.

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How To Make 7 Figures In The Speaking And Training Industry

Putting it in perspectiveThe first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the speaking and training industry is to think about the huge annual seminars, conferences, and conventions usually conducted by industry associations, societies and professional bodies. Added to this are the corporate training by elite universities, polytechnics, colleges, giant consulting firms, and the like. Not far left behind are the global motivational speaking giants and celebrity speakers such as Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Darren Hardy, Jack Canfield, Victor Mark Hansen, Les Brown, Brian Tracy and hundreds and hundreds of other giants. Then you have super-celebrity business moguls such as Donald Trump and Richard Branson that get paid up to $100,000 per appearance. These business moguls are in a class of their own. Some books have spawned global movements such as Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and Guerilla Marketing by Conrad Levinson, to mention a few. So it’s a huge market out there.How big is the industry?Training estimated the global market for training expenditures in 2011 was about $287bn. They expected the market to grow to about $292bn by 2012. Market Data Enterprise estimated the Motivational ”Self-Improvement” market to be about $10.4bn. In my opinion these are extremely under-reported figures as they may reflect at best market of OECD countries. Putting all countries in the picture may result in figures three times bigger, so it’s a huge industry, that clearly overlaps with other industries such as ICT, and education, where formal education, certification and the like take place.Who are the key players?The key players as we mentioned at the beginning include corporate training arms of almost all universities, with elites such as Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, and MIT taking global lead. Then you have global leadership institutes such as INSEAD in France, IMD in Switzerland, and Cranfield in England. Then you have global consulting giants such as McKinsey, Accenture, PWC, KPMG, that don’t only consult and audit, but also train their clients in best practices. In the speaking segment the global leaders are Toastmasters International, National Speakers Association (NSA), and International Federation of Professional Speakers.How can you belong?A whole book can be written about how you can become a trainer or speaker. The best place to start is to visit your local library or neighborhood bookshop and look up books on the training and speaking sections. To help you jumpstart, the best place to begin is to decide which niche you wish to serve. While you may play in different niches, the biggest earners are niche players who have developed expertise in their niches to the point of becoming celebrities. To become a trainer, the best place to start is to become an expert or at least, a knowledgeable professional in the area you wish to train on, for example, sales, leadership, and communication. To really gun for the seven figures, seek out the experts, submit to their mentorship and coaching, then join their networks. The best mentors will open up their networks for you.What can you sell as a trainer and/ or speaker?The training and speaking industries have overlapped so much so that sometimes it is difficult to say these days where one ends and where the other begins. For all intents and purposes, the two industries are tending in one direction and are coalescing into one huge information industry. For the purposes of this article, however, we will keep the two industries separate, at least for now. To be a trainer, the most lucrative segment to focus on is corporate training. Most quoted companies dedicate huge sums to their annual training budgets, sometimes as high as 10% of their profit before tax, so there is huge money to be made there. As I said earlier, the more focused you are, the better. In the speaking or motivational segment or niche, while you also sell expertise as a trainer, unlike the corporate trainer, you’ll be selling directly to individuals most of the time. So to really succeed in the speaking industry, you need to develop your unique spin of what you want to sell to your target audience. As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun. If you look back far into how the industry developed from the days of Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, Bryan Tracy to modern day icons such as Tony Robbins, Darren Hardy, Marcia Weider, and Brendon Burchard, the one thing that sets the most successful speakers apart was and remains the ability to develop a unique style that gets you on the radar.How to make 7 figures Thanks to technology and the proliferation of media, the training and speaking industries are merging into one huge industry that people now refer to as information marketing industry. When you are selling corporate training, what exactly are you selling? If you look at it closely, you are selling information and ideas. Maybe, how to carry out certain tasks better, how to hone a particular skill, or how to direct a change in attitude or behavior in a more desirable direction. The same applies to the motivational speaking. The outcome you desire is the same, you are conveying ideas and information that your audience can use to better their lives in various areas, such as health, wealth, self confidence, time management and other dimensions. While in the past, an average speaker if he or she was lucky could get ten or twenty people into a hall to listen to what he or she had to say, today you have a global audience, thanks to the internet. So the first step towards your 7-figure earning is to leverage the power of the internet and the associated technologies to your advantage. According to Janet Switzer, there are more than 50 information products you can market. Assuming you have 20 products, and you are able to sell to just 10,000 monthly at the rate of just $20 per person, you can make about $4,000,000 per month. Not bad for a start, but it will not happen overnight. You have to keep at it, and be willing to pay the price. I know celebrities that are making more than that figure per month, so jump in, the water is warmer than you think.

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What are Discount Health Plans?

As anyone who has had to pay for health insurance recently can tell you, the cost of providing health insurance for a family of 4 has risen tremendously over the past few decades. Many small and medium size industries can no longer continue to provide their workers with expensive health insurance benefits. In recent years, employees have had to pay a larger percentage of their health insurance costs, and many businesses have terminated their health insurance benefits, altogether. Other companies have cut down on the number of full time workers hired, so that they can save the cost of providing health insurance for their employees.Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of working for a company that does not provide health insurance benefits, most likely you will either have to purchase an expensive major medical policy on your own or do without. Because the high cost of major medical insurance can be out of reach for many, some families will choose to go without these important benefits entirely. The cost of health insurance can take a big bite out of a middle income family’s budget. These families are truly caught between. They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and other government assistance programs, but do not earn enough to afford the high cost of health insurance. Even if an individual can afford the high price of health insurance, if a patient suffers from a chronic illness like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, or heart disease, he or she can be denied coverage. People have even been turned down for excess weight and prescription drug use. It seems like the big insurance companies are looking for reasons not to insure people, so those individuals who need it most may find themselves without any benefits.Fortunately, discount health plans offer families a way to save money on their health care costs. But what are discount health plans, and how can they be used to help families and businesses?Discount health plans can be used in several different ways. For those individuals or families that lack dental or health insurance, discount medical plans can be used as stand alone health programs. These discount plans provide needed savings on all medical and dental services. Consumers can even save money on medical costs not normally covered by traditional insurance such as cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, orthodontia, Lasik eye surgery, and even alternative medicine. Unlike traditional insurance there are no limits on visits or services, no waiting periods, no age limits, and ongoing conditions are accepted.Businesses can save money by purchasing a high deductible health savings account or hospital only plan. A discount medical plan is purchased along with the high deductible plan. These supplemental benefits provide savings on routine health expenditures while the catastrophic insurance provides a safety net for lengthy hospitalizations and complex care. By combining a high deductible plan with a discount health plan, companies can save money on their health insurance benefits while providing their valued employees with needed financial security.The discount dental plan is probably the most popular discount health program. Statistics show that seven out of ten Americans do not have a dental plan. Among the 30% that do have dental insurance, most are underinsured. Many dental plans do not provide treatment for ongoing conditions, have expenditure limits, waiting periods, and often don’t provide for even necessary procedures such as orthodontic treatment. Cosmetic dentistry and implants are usually not covered.Discount dental plans provide the consumer with an excellent choice for saving money on dental care. These affordable dental plans are reasonably priced alternatives to expensive dental insurance plans. Savings can range from 25% for specialist treatment to 80% for exams. Most major dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, dentures, crowns and bridges, and orthodontic treatment are available through plan dentists at a 50% to 60% discount–literally cutting a family’s dental bill in half. In addition, patients with pre-existing conditions can qualify for these plans, and there are no limits on visits or services. Often these affordable dental plans offer value added services such as a prescription card, discounts on eyeglasses and contact lenses, and savings on chiropractic treatment.Many discount health programs also offer a basic health plan which provides savings on medical examinations and physician visits. Ancillary services such as laboratory tests, imaging studies (MRIs, CAT scans, mammograms), physical therapy, diabetic supplies, hearing aids, and mental health services are also provided at significant discounts. A 24/7 nurse line and wellness programs may also be included in a good discount health program. Should hospitalization become necessary, the patient will be assigned an advocate who will negotiate the hospital bill and work out a payment plan based on the patient’s ability to pay. Hospital bills have been drastically reduced through these advocacy programs. One company, AmeriPlan┬« USA, has even added a prescription advocacy program. This program takes advantage of patient assistance programs available through major pharmaceutical companies. Individuals with over $90 per month of prescription expenses, who meet income eligibility requirements, may be able to receive all or most of their medications for just the cost of a small monthly service fee.Most discount health plan companies also offer a combined medical and dental discount plan. This program combines dental, vision, prescription, and chiropractic benefits with discounts on physician visits, lab tests, ancillary services, and hospital advocacy.When looking for a discount health plan, here are some things to consider. Look for a company that is a member of both the Consumer Health Alliance and the National Association of Dental Plans. These two organizations set strict standards for discount dental and medical programs and are your assurance of the company’s integrity and reputation. Also look for a plan that offers a good choice of dentists, doctors, and other healthcare providers in your area. The company should also provide an 800 customer service number, a schedule of provider fees and services, and informational booklets and websites.

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Is Hard Sell Automotive Marketing Dead?

2008 is the make it or break it year for auto dealers. It’s your choice where you will be. You have to make the decision to take a leap of faith or duck your head in the sand and do nothing. Hide from the reality that you control your destiny. Which path will you take? The “Same is Lame Road” or the path less traveled.Is the Internet the solution?The Internet is a good tool, but that’s all it is – just another medium. It’s no different than the newspaper, radio or TV. You can’t dump your whole operation online. If you do, the consequences could be devastating.The internet has caused great change in the consumer. It has caused them to think different, act different and be educated differently. Today’s customer demands and responds to information-based, value-driven marketing rather than the traditional hard-sell auto advertising tactics we’re used to implementing. So is hard-selling over for good? For those of you who use hard sell marketing – just the thought will make you squirm in your seat but for those of you who have never experienced it – hold on tight.Hard-sell automotive advertising can’t be thrown out the door. It has evolved into a better, more effective, finely tuned machine. So what’s the big change all about? Education. Yes education. Today’s consumer is seeking more facts now than ever before. They want to be well-informed before their emotions kick in.Traditional automotive marketing was all about the dealership, the vehicles and the features. Consumers don’t care about those details. They want to know how you can help them with their situation. What solution can you bring to them? You need to take them by the hand and deliver yourself as the expert that can solve their problems.You must first define what their problem is and then lay out a well-planned solution. Is it financing they can’t obtain? Are they upside down on their current vehicle? What solutions can you offer? Your answers must be clear and easy to follow. You care about their challenges and want to help them. You are the obvious choice.The Challenge:The solution has to be delivered in an easy accessible manner without obligation or commitment. You must give the perception of value first. Today’s competitive market requires you to deliver the value upfront to gain the trust of the customer.”So where is the hard-sell in this”, you might ask.That’s where the evolution of the machine comes in. The hard sell sneaks up on the customer from out of the blue. They never see it coming because they have invited it in. That’s what education based marketing is all about.Cloak and dagger marketing is the kind of marketing that affects people emotionally but sneaks up on them logically. Buying decisions are based on emotion and backed up with logic. The internet has put a new spin on this rule. With the rise of the Internet, people are looking for logic first. Education based marketing gives them what they are looking for and they freely invite the emotional side in. That’s what closes the deal.Sound easy? Don’t be fooled. There are a lot of pitfalls that can lead you off your path.

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Currency Trading Seminars

A seminar is a workshop conducted with an intention of teaching the audience about a subject. Currency trading seminars are basically helps advise the traders or potential traders about the subject. Seminars could address any issue that affects the market.The forex market is an attractive short-term trading option and, because of its low transaction costs and unmatched liquidity, more and more professional traders are turning to it. However, to understand the nitty-gritty of currency trading, one must attend currency trading seminars conducted by renowned companies like Refco Canada.Currency trading USA conducts seminars and online courses for people who are either currency traders or keen on starting. The training sessions are tailored to meet the requirements of the customers, which would help them in understanding the nuances of the trade. For newcomers, they have courses designed that can take them step-by-step through the basics of currency trading, while people with experience are given training on trading strategies with live examples. Most of these courses focus on issues like what influences currency exchange rates, which currencies to trade for profit, essential trading rules, order executions, stop placements and much more.Swiss Net Broker offers one-on-one technical analysis courses for people interested in methods of doing on currency trading. The courses are provided in the seminars organized in Geneva, Switzerland.Currency trading is one of the quickest practices for earning money by investing small amounts, and these seminars aid in understanding the fluctuation of money in a better manner as well as providing the knowledge to reduce the risk associated with the trade.

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