Thursday, April 30, 2015

[VIDEO] Balance Sheet Land Mines. I tell the story that the Income Statement doesn't in this cautionary tale of a business buyer.

I tell the story of some Chinese immigrants who hired me to take a look at a business they were thinking of buying.  The income statement looked good but there was something fishy going on that was only revealed by the balance sheet.

I discuss why it's important to look at all the financial statements when analyzing an opportunity and how the balance sheet can be used to manipulate the income statement.



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Small Business Credit Card Strategies

Today I wanted to share an excerpt from my book Credit Card Advantage.  It's easily the least-popular of my books but it holds a lot of real value for those of you who own small businesses.

The section I'm sharing today is the strategy section, just a couple of pages out of the whole book. 

These strategies and the contents of the book could have a huge impact on your small business. Get your copy of Credit Card Advantage here: http://gumroad.com/l/jgfa




Excerpt from Credit Card Advantage (c) 2014 David C. Barnett

Maximize owner’s lifestyle perks

This is the easiest strategy to see and it was probably suggested to you by your banker at some point.  If you put business expenses on a credit card and collect points that you use for vacation travel you’re doing this now.  Let me ask you some questions though: do you know what your return on spend is?  What are points worth to you? What is the potential opportunity for you if you were to strategically maximize your card usage?  We will explore this in further sections.
Most nations require their citizens to report the value of any point usage when they redeem for something of value on their personal tax return.  Most business owners, however, forget to do this.
You may want to use this strategy if your company:
·         Is very mature with little growth opportunity
·         You are getting older and want to accumulate points for travel in retirement

Reduce expenses

If you want to increase company profits you can use credit card points to reduce expenses.  I’ve heard of companies using points to fly sales staff or pay for hotel rooms.  I know of companies using points to get gift cards for employee bonuses.  This is certainly one strategy which won’t get you into trouble with the taxman since it will increase your net-income and increase your tax burden.  One factor that will enhance any of your goals is that using credit cards instead of cheques will reduce cheque printing costs, bank fees, postage expense and stationery spending.  Not to mention the cost of handling all that paper.
You may want to use this strategy if your company:
·         Is in a highly competitive market where there is constant pressure on prices
·         You don’t see the opportunity for much growth
·         You are trying to service and pay down long-term debts in the business

Expand operating capital

If you can delay paying suppliers and hang on to your cash longer, you can create a one-time change in operating capital.  I once ran a company with long payables and short receivables.  I actually had none of my own money tied up in operating capital.  Charge card products are a strategic way to extend days payable outstanding.  DPO is the average length of time you hold onto your suppliers money before you give it to them.
You can also expand operating capital by accepting credit cards.  This shortens the days sales outstanding or DSO.
I’m going to teach you all about how to calculate the cost of money on a daily basis so you can see if certain strategies make sense for you or not.
You may want to use this strategy if your company:
·         Is growing quickly and is always looking for money to finance operations
·         Has the opportunity to grow but customers demand long payment terms
·         You have all your net-worth tied up in the business and you’re looking for ways to extract capital in order to diversify your own investment portfolio.

Grow your business

“Enter to win an iPad with every purchase” screams the banner over the store doorway.  If you could constantly offer promotions like this would it help your business?  What about a free vacation for every distributor who shows a 20% growth in orders this year?  Do you think these companies pay for these incentives?  Many of these incentives and giveaways are purchased with points at no cost to the company and help to boost sales.  Would this work for you?
You may want to use this strategy if your company:
·         Has an opportunity for growth
·         Is in a highly competitive industry or market
·         You are trying to prepare a business for sale and want to make it look as good as possible for potential buyers
·         You’re just starting out

Enhance the company’s public image

If you wouldn’t benefit from offering incentive prizes to customers, how about offering great raffle prizes to community groups? Imagine the local boys & girls club selling raffle tickets on a fancy $1000 home espresso machine… sponsored by your company.  You can help groups in your community turn desirable items that you got for free into hard cash for their group all while enhancing public opinion about your firm.
You may want to use this strategy if your company:
·         Is in a highly competitive industry or market
·         You are involved in activities that may create ill-will in the community such as clear cutting or you create a lot of air pollution
·         You suspect a larger and stronger competitor may be on its way to your market





Monday, April 27, 2015

US Student Loan Debtors should look to New Brunswick, Canada

Years ago, when I lived in Saint John, New Brunswick, I met someone who became a great friend.

We'll call him John.  John was a debt-refugee from British Columbia, or 'BC' as Canadians like to refer to it.  He had taken on a student loan to attend a program offered by a shady private college and got a certificate which really had no value.  He had no employment prospects as a result.

Since John was unable to earn money from his studies, he was forced into the service industry where he waited on tables.  His creditors eventually caught up with him and moved to have his wages garnished.  John couldn't afford this so he had two choices: declare bankruptcy to have the debt wiped away or move to New Brunswick.

Why New Brunswick? It's one of the few jurisdictions where creditors cannot have wages garnished.  Only The Family Court can garnish wages in New Brunswick for unpaid child support.  Everyone else has to resort to collections calls at suppertime.  Moving to New Brunswick is even a tactic promoted by Canadian bankruptcy trustees. [Look here]

Recently I've been hearing more and more stories in the US press about the 'Student Loan Bubble' and about how these debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  It's creating a new class of life-long debt serfs who must toil under the weight of a foolish decision when they were young to invest borrowed money in a degree program which may not offer many employment opportunities.

Image result for new brunswick canada

Well rejoice! Newly graduated people with university educations would rank high in Canada's immigration points scoring system.  Come visit New Brunswick and check it out.  We're only a 9 hour drive from New York City.

New Brunswick is located between Quebec and Nova Scotia, just east of Maine.  We have the warmest salt-water beaches north of Virginia because of the shallow Northumberland Straight.

There is lots of natural beauty here and low crime rates.  The perfect place to settle down, start a family and ignore the fact that you were enticed to borrow a ridiculous amount of money for a worthless degree.

Learn more about immigrating to New Brunswick here.

Cheers.




Friday, April 24, 2015

Small Business Sales Tips from my years selling to businesses.

Wow! Yesterday's video about your attitude while doing sales created a great deal of engagement.  Lots of 'likes, shares, and a few subscribes' across the various social platforms that I'm on.

I wanted to follow up with a few basic sales tips that have worked well for me over the years.

Image result for sales

1. Don't talk about what you do, state the problems you solve.
Your audience doesn't really care about you. They care about how they're going to hit their targets and numbers.  They want to know how they will succeed.  If your solution will help them, tell them what problems you solve. People buy solutions.

2. Summarize what you do into one short line, even shorter than an elevator speech.
People may ask you what you do for a living but they don't have time for a seminar.  You need to be able to summarize what you and your company do in one line.  When I was a business broker I used to tell people that 'I help business owners confidentially transition to the next chapter of their life.'

3. Make sure your prospect can afford your solution.
There's nothing wrong with qualifying prospects.  Your time is valuable and you don't want to waste it on people who can't afford you.  Make statements along with questions such as, 'our solution generally helps companies with sales in excess of $2 million.  Would you be in that category?'  People will be far more likely to answer yes or no to this question than if you asked them what their annual sales figure was in the first meeting.

4. You really can't 'sell' someone in a B2B environment, you just present opportunities.
I learned long ago that individuals may make an impulsive buying decision but businesses rarely do.  You can try all the sales tactics and strategies you want but when it comes to B2B sales, your job is to present opportunities to the prospect.  It's their job to decide if they will participate or not.

Cheers and have a great weekend.







Thursday, April 23, 2015

[VIDEO] Do you have a sales attitude problem? Are you delivering value or asking for a favour?

I tell the story of a recent pep-talk regarding the attitude you need to have when making the sale and stating the price.  Are you a value driven problem solver or are your customers doing you a favour? The mindset determines how successful you'll be in getting what you're worth.


The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Broke 25 Year old woman starts a business using investors money- From Forbes

I came across this story on the web and it is truly inspiring.  It demonstrates what I've been telling people for years. You can create an attractive opportunity for investors who are starved for reasonable rates of return and get individuals to invest in your business.

This woman shares the story of how she convinced local investors to support her in starting a business even though she had no money of her own.

A related video I did a few weeks ago is located [HERE]


From Forbes.com

How a Broke Student Got Investors For Her Business: 7 Keys to Getting the Money


A Pakistani money dealer counts US dollar note...
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)
Here are a few of the reasons people tell me they’re not ready to start a business: they have no experience. They have no money. They’re in debt. Hello, meet me, at age 25 when I was still in school and living on student loans. That’s exactly where I was when I decided to start my first business. I’d learned how short life can be and I couldn’t wait for all my ducks to line up in a nice, neat row–I had to jump in the water and hope the ducks would swim along behind me.
Did banks fall over themselves to lend me hundreds of thousands of dollars? Um, no. They took one look at me and my negative net worth and quickly ushered me out the door. But I was able to convince a few forward-thinking people to invest in my business, and make my entrepreneurial dreams come true. If you have similar dreams and are wondering what it takes to get people on board with their checkbooks in hand, here’s a few things to consider:
  1. Keep it simple and relatable. If you’ve never started a business before, and if you’re approaching people who’ve never invested in a business before, keep your business model as simple as possible. Are your potential investors really familiar with what you’re selling? Is it a product or service they’ve used before? My first business was a fresh juice and smoothie franchise, so even if the people I was approaching for money had never heard of the franchise, they understood the appeal of blended fruit and yogurt–it’s not a hard sell.
[GO TO COMPLETE ARTICLE]

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

[VIDEO] How are you going to sell something to me by lying?

I tell the story of having to stay up late to watch a 'live' webinar only to discover that it was a recorded presentation.  Why not just post it to YouTube? Do you really think you'll build trust by lying to prospects???



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Monday, April 20, 2015

[AUDIO] When you need to say 'no' to a sale because you're broke. The end result of not having enough operating capital.

I tell the unfortunate story of a business that will have to start turning down work until they can collect some receivables. Growth requires planning.  What most people fail to realize is that growth costs money and you need to have a plan for where this money will come from.



Related post: Growing a Business to Death



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Friday, April 17, 2015

[VIDEO] Set Customer Expectations about payment to collect faster. House and consultation updates.

A quick update about how to do a consultation call with me on the phone or skype.

I also give a quick update on the house.

Recently, the same topic has come up again and again, how to collect faster in companies where your customers usually get time to pay you.  I discuss the problem and give several solutions that can help to increase the speed of pay.



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

[VIDEO] Master Mind Groups Part 3. I talk about the annual retreat and my progress on the quarterly micro-goals.



I discuss my progress on goals for the year and the master mind retreat that my group does.

[CLICK] Learn about SMART goals here.

[CLICK] See Part 2, with links to Part 1


The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Best value for quick consultations has changed. Now just use this simple PayPal button

Clarity, the consulting call management system that I've been using, has a new owner.  I had been using the site for years and I really liked the simple way that they were able to manage scheduling and payment.  The fees were always very reasonable.  I did a Clarity call yesterday and the call quality wasn't the best, also the new owner has changed the fee structure.

As a result, I'm going to simply start using a PayPal 'Buy Now' button for people who want to do a phone consultation.  Most of these calls run 30-45 minutes so I've set up this payment button to allow people to pay for a 60 minute call and I'll simply refund any unused minutes afterwards.






If you want to talk to me about a deal, I'm more than happy to help.

Dave


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

[VIDEO] I share the story of a client who used credit cards to finance the purchase of a small business.

I share the story of a business buyer who used a credit card to finance the purchase of a small business.  What other creative stories have you heard of for using credit cards and taking advantage of points?  BTW to learn more about using credit cards effectively in business read Credit Card Advantage. Buy it here: http://gumroad.com/l/jgfa


The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Franchise Warnings makes Amazon.ca Best-Seller's list. Thanks to all my readers.

On Friday my latest book, Franchise Warnings, made the Amazon.ca best-sellers list in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship category.

Thanks to all my readers and if you haven't already bought a copy, its available from Amazon or as a .pdf instant download.



Friday, April 10, 2015

[VIDEO] Local Business Failures, why you need to learn to take your money off the table. All businesses are on the path to obsolescence.

I talk about a string of local business failures and why its critical to understand that no business can last forever.  It's critical to take your chips off the table because all businesses are on the path to obsolescence.  Are you in the buggy whip business?

When I made the video I had mentioned the MIC Pub in Dieppe but later edited it out because it wasn't public knowledge.  They've since closed as well.



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook at www.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Coaching business Expert Marc Mawhinney offers my readers a steep discount on his new online course

Daily coaching podcast host Marc Mawhinney has just completed a new online course offering on UdeMy, the world's largest online education marketplace.

I interviewed Marc in December of 2014 (below) and we discussed how coaching could be a good business opportunity for someone looking to start a business while continuing with a full time job.

Marc's online course expands further into the details of this great opportunity.  Marc was kind enough to offer a coupon code for InvestLocalBook.com readers whereby you can save $25.

Go to the UdeMy course website. [CLICK]

Also, don't forget to check out Marc's daily coaching business podcast, Natural Born Coaches at www.naturalborncoaches.com


The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook atwww.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My first 'offshore' bank account. I cross the border to open a bank account in Houlton, Me.



With the recent change in the exchange rate between USD and CAD and the fees I was being charged for cross-border direct deposits, I decided to open a bank account in Maine.  Also, it was easy to hook up to my existing PayPal account.



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback. Easy follow on FaceBook www.facebook.com/DBarnettMoncton

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy Easter! Glendon explains his 5 financial rules of the self-employed.

One of my favourite small business commentators is Glendon Cameron.  He teaches The Hustler Mindset and is based in Atlanta.  He's had a lot of businesses and gone through successes and failures.

Back when I operated the Sunbelt Business Brokers franchise here in Moncton I went through many cycles of feast and famine.  I totally understand the advice that Glendon gives in this video.  If you are self-employed or are considering business ownership, you should take these rules to heart.

Cheers


Monday, April 6, 2015

[PODCAST INTERVIEW] David gives his expert small business advice with women's business expert Judy Hoberman

What a fun conversation I had with Judy Hoberman from 'Selling in a Skirt' Radio.

Except, of course, for the awkward noises I made when asked about my expert money opinions regarding women!! LOL!  I think it was a great interview though, take a listen... I'm the second guest.



Check Out Women Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Tough Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.  Follow me on FaceBook atwww.FaceBook.com/DBarnettMoncton.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bored this long weekend? Need something to occupy your time? Check out these playlists...

Long weekends are a great chance to relax.  Why not invest some of that time back into your own education.  

The best way to catch up on the last year of this blog is to watch my YouTube playlists.  Literally HOURS of fun investing, finance, and small business information.

Check them out:

Image result for youtube




Have fun and Happy Easter.

Dave

Thursday, April 2, 2015

[VIDEO] Franchise Pizzeria Inferno- I tell the story of one franchisee and what happened after his business burned to the ground.

I tell the story of 'G' who had been a long time pizza franchisee.  The interaction between him and his franchisor after more than a decade of working together is just one of the stories you can find in Franchise Warnings, my book available from Amazon or here: https://gumroad.com/l/VdRG 



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

[VIDEO] Update on my mission to buy a surplus military home from the Canadian Government.

I give an update about financing and the appraisal for the house.



The Invest Local Book blog is all about small business, franchises, local investing, home economics, small business systems and borrowing money for your business. It's full of great content and I look forward to seeing your feedback.