Top Companies Started During a Recession

by admin 26. September 2011 06:14

The economy is barely growing right now, however owning a business is still a dream shared by a lot of people. Is a recession actually a good time to launch a company? From General Electric to Microsoft, some of the biggest names in business were started during tough times. 

Here's a look at some of the more well-known survival stories from past recessions: 

·         General Electric: 1890

·         IBM: 1896

·         General Motors: 1908

·         Disney: 1923

·         Tollhouse Cookies: 1933

·         Burger King: 1953

·         Microsoft: 1975

·         CNN: 1980

·         Apple: 2001


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business management

New Credit Card Scam to Watch Out For

by admin 12. April 2011 10:08

We just received the following message from one friend and decided to share it with friends here.


Just a heads up for everyone regarding the latest in Visa fraud. Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in southern Alberta right now and moving.

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want..

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.

This information is worth reading By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'MasterCard'.

The scam works like this:

Person calling says - 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona ?'  When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?' You say 'yes'.

The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?'

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works - The caller then says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'.  He'll ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card.  The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card  Do you have any other questions?'

After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do', and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back. Within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we were glad we did!  The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number.. 
What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to
 them.  Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation..

The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit; however, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a 'Jason Richardson of MasterCard' with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA Scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up!  We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain , and so on through the above routine..

It appears that this Is a very active scam, and evidently quite successful.


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business management

10 Mistakes That Start-Up Entrepreneurs Make

by admin 15. September 2010 01:46

10 Mistakes That Start-Up Entrepreneurs Make

by Rosalind Resnick

Here, in my experience, are the top 10 mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting a company:

1. Going it alone. It's difficult to build a scalable business if you're the only person involved. True, a solo public relations, web design or consulting firm may require little capital to start, and the price of hiring even one administrative assistant, sales representative or entry-level employee can eat up a big chunk of your profits. The solution: Make sure there's enough margin in your pricing to enable you to bring in other people. Clients generally don't mind outsourcing as long as they can still get face time with you, the skilled professional who's managing the project.

2. Asking too many people for advice. It's always good to get input from experts, especially experienced entrepreneurs who've built and sold successful companies in your industry. But getting too many people's opinions can delay your decision so long that your company never gets out of the starting gate. The answer: Assemble a solid advisory board that you can tap on a regular basis but run the day-to-day yourself. Says Elyissia Wassung, chief executive of 2 Chicks With Chocolate Inc., a Matawan, N.J., chocolate company, "Pull in your [advisory] team for bi-weekly or, at the very least, monthly conference calls. You'll wish you did it sooner!"

3. Spending too much time on product development, not enough on sales. While it's hard to build a great company without a great product, entrepreneurs who spend too much time tinkering may lose customers to a competitor with a stronger sales organization. "I call [this misstep] the 'Field of Dreams' of entrepreneurship. If you build it, they will buy it," says Sanjyot Dunung, CEO of Atma Global, Inc., a New York software publisher, who has made this mistake in her own business. "If you don't keep one eye firmly focused on sales, you'll likely run out of money and energy before you can successfully get your product to market."

4. Targeting too small a market. It's tempting to try to corner a niche, but your company's growth will quickly hit a wall if the market you're targeting is too tiny. Think about all the high school basketball stars who dream of playing in the NBA. Because there are only 30 teams and each team employs only a handful of players, the chances that your son will become the next Michael Jordan are pretty slim. The solution: Pick a bigger market that gives you the chance to grab a slice of the pie even if your company remains a smaller player.

5. Entering a market with no distribution partner. It's easier to break into a market if there's already a network of agents, brokers, manufacturers' reps and other third-party resellers ready, willing and able to sell your product into existing distribution channels. Fashion, food, media and other major industries work this way; others are not so lucky. That's why service businesses like public relations firms, yoga studios and pet-grooming companies often struggle to survive, alternating between feast and famine. The solution: Make a list of potential referral sources before you start your business and ask them if they'd be willing to send business your way.

6. Overpaying for customers. Spending big on advertising may bring in lots of customers, but it's a money-losing strategy if your company can't turn those dollars into lifetime customer value. A magazine or website that spends $500 worth of advertising to acquire a customer who pays $20 a month and cancels his or her subscription at the end of the year is simply pouring money down the drain. The solution: Test, measure, then test again. Once you've done enough testing to figure out how to make more money selling products and services to your customers than you spend acquiring those customers in the first place, roll out a major marketing campaign.

7. Raising too little capital. Many start-ups assume that all they need is enough money to rent space, buy equipment, stock inventory and drive customers through the door. What they often forget is that they also need capital to pay for salaries, utilities, insurance and other overhead expenses until their company starts turning a profit. Unless you're running the kind of business where everybody's working for sweat equity and deferring compensation, you'll need to raise enough money to tide you over until your revenues can cover your expenses and generate positive cash flow. The solution: Calculate your start-up costs before you open your doors, not afterwards.

8. Raising too much capital. Believe it or not, raising too much money can be a problem, too. Over-funded companies tend to get big and bloated, hiring too many people too soon and wasting valuable resources on trade show booths, parties, image ads and other frills. When the money runs out and investors lose patience (which is what happened 10 years ago when the dot-com market melted down), start-ups that frittered away their cash will have to close their doors. No matter how much money you raise at the outset, remember to bank some for a rainy day.

9. Not having a business plan. While not every company needs a formal business plan, a start-up that requires significant capital to grow and more than a year to turn a profit should map out how much time and money it's going to take to get to its destination. This means thinking through the key metrics that make your business tick and building a model to spin off three years of sales, profits and cash-flow projections. "I wasted 10 years [fooling around] thinking like an artist and not a business person," says Louis Piscione, president of Avanti Media Group, a New Jersey company that produces videos for corporate and private events. "I learned that you have to put some of your creative genius toward a business plan that forecasts and sets goals for growth and success."

10. Over-thinking your business plan. While many entrepreneurs I've met engage in seat-of-the-pants decision-making and fail to do their homework, other entrepreneurs are afraid to pull the trigger until they're 100% certain that their plan will succeed. One lawyer I worked with several years ago was so skittish about leaving his six-figure job to launch his business that he never met with a single bank or investor who might have funded his company. The truth is that a business plan is not a crystal ball that can predict the future. At a certain point, you have to close your eyes and take the leap of faith.

Despite the many books and articles that have been written about entrepreneurship, it's just not possible to start a company without making a few mistakes along the way. Just try to avoid making any mistake so large that your company can't get back on its feet to fight another day.



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business management

how to cut business cost

by admin 29. June 2010 03:17

U.S. economy is still in the recession -- unemployment rate is still high, the value of the home is continuing to slide in some area and consumers are continuing to temper their spending habits. This downturn could be longer and deeper than we anticipated. Most small businesses experience ups and downs. Any reduction in expenses is always welcome and could be result in increasing your profits. A penny saved is more than ever a penny earned.

Here are a few relative painless ways to cut cost and make your business more robust. 

Use Free Services

Why pay for something you don't have to? There are a lot of free stuffs on the internet. Web sites, e-mail addresses, fax numbers and conference call services are all among the options business owners can use for little or no charge at all.

Just enter "free phone service" or "free xxxx" in Google, you will be amazed at what come up, from free check paper, free check printing software to free web hosting service. (check the video on "How to print check at $0 cost").

Do It Yourself

How much you pay your accountant each month? $200? With less than $100 priced easy-to-use payroll software like ezPaycheck from, you can handle the payroll job easily yourself. Most payroll software can be downloaded from the website and try free for 30 days. Just pay the software after you feel comfortable.

And do you hire a professional to create to e-letters or flyers? With software like Microsoft Office Publisher, you can select from pre-built templates to quickly and easily create professional-looking e-letters or print the flyers advertising a sale in house with a color printer. Outsourcing

Outsourcing does not always mean sending your business oversea. This is an idea to find talented people not limited in your local geography. From, or other websites, you can find web master, bookkeeper and other people that work for you on a subcontract basis.

Marketing Efficiently

If you mail a printed newsletter or coupon to customers, would it be more cost-effective to send out an e-mail? You can save not only printing and paper cost, but also postage.

Instead of buy advertisement from traditional news paper, you can also market online. If you have money, you can use pay-per-click program from Google, Yahoo or other companies. But do not forget there are still a lot of free and effective ways to marketing your company online, such as blog, bookmark, article-marketing, directory-marketing, press release, email-marketing and so on.

If you sell digital products such as software, TrialPay is also an effective and free way to promote your products. 

Cut Transportation Cost

The gas price is still high now. Here are some questions to ask: - Do all your sales or services calls need to be in person? Can you help your customers with internet-based technologies such as web conferencing and tools?

- Can your company allow full-time employee to telecommute? It will cut your rent expense, travel and fuel costs. And some studies have shown the employee work from home have increased output and enthusiasm.

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business management

10 Ways to Deny the Recession

by admin 25. June 2010 02:59

Strategies to grow your company in spite of tough times

By Paul Spiegelman   |   June 23, 2010

  1. Become Indispensable
  2. Invest in the Future
  3. Seek Out Referrals
  4. Buy Weaker Companies
  5. Strengthen Your ROI Pricing Offers
  6. Be Loyal and Focus on Retention
  7. Maintain a Fun Environment
  8. Celebrate Being Small
  9. Don't Leave Room for Doubt
  10. Fight the Urge to Give Things Away

       Bonus Tip: Drop Unprofitable Customers

Read full article at:




business management

Google Voice Now Available to Everyone in U.S

by admin 23. June 2010 04:23

Google Voice is now available for everyone (provided you have a U.S. phone number). Mid and small business may benefit from this cost-effective tool.

Explore some of the most popular features of Google Voice by watching these videos:


View Google Voice on YouTube


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