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Video: Recipe for a Great Presentation

Presentations normally scare us even though they are the doorway leading to business, career and leadership opportunities. Get your recipe for confidence and success

Speaker, author and presentation expert Fred Miller is as delicious in his speaking delivery as the cake he discusses and shows you at the opening of his presentation. He packs a wealth of valuable ideas and practices into this brief topic on creating a repeatable, successful presentation every time you speak. In it, he addresses the importance of:

  • Compelling your audience to be open, charmed and curious within the first minutes
  • Crafting your title and slides using images and text effectively
  • Impacting your audience immediately with an introduction that speaks to the needs and desires of your audience and gets their attention
  • Using questions to make a strong bid for audience participation and engagement
  • Providing valuable points and reinforcing them with powerful and humorous stories to make you irresistible to your target market
  • Using your presentation slides as a support tool without them being a crutch
  • Demonstrating cohesiveness in your message through a solid construction of your topic
  • Managing audience questions strategically with timing and composition of your invitation
  • Ending on a positive, memorable and engaging note so your audience remembers what’s best about you and your services.

Fred E. Miller is an entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking speaker, author, and presentation coach. His website iswww.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com and you can contact him at Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

Hottest Graphic Design Programs

So you've decided to start a graphic design project. Great! But how do you get from your initial idea to a finished, printed product?

So you've decided to start a graphic design project. Great! But how do you get from your initial idea to a finished, printed product? If you decide to forgo the recommendation of seeking professional graphic design help, you are probably in the market for some software. It doesn't matter if you are trying to create a logo, banner, sign, or brochure, it can be difficult getting from the project's conception to the final product if you lack the proper tools.

SEO and website development expert Will Hanke speaks from experience and provides valuable information outlining today’s hottest graphic design programs, some known and some more obscure.

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite is probably the most known graphic design package, and it contains a lot of different software programs including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. If you buy the entire suite, it will set you back a pretty penny. You do, however, have the option of buying individual components of the package. The following are some of the more popular components to help you with your project.

Adobe InDesign is great for making flyers and posters. It even has tools to help guide you in making your own brochure. The tools allow you to do a little bit of image editing, and help you layout your brochure and put text on top of an image.

Adobe Illustrator, on the other hand, is simply a program allowing you to create or edit your own image files. It is essentially a blank canvas and provides you with tools to sketch, paint, erase, and scale a picture. If you are a talented digital artist, then this is a must have for your graphic design projects.

Lastly, I imagine everyone knows about Photoshop. The popularity of this program is so immense it has become a verb in the English language! Still, this photo manipulation software is considered an industry standard by many, and can help you touch up photos before you send them to be printed.

Corel Software

Corel is a software company and a competitor to Adobe products. Corel Draw even has handy brochure templates, and can really save you time. Some people prefer Adobe over Corel or vice versa, but the important thing to remember about Corel products is they are comparable software products and provide almost the exact same features at a fraction of the price.

GIMP

GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is part of the open source GNU project and a great piece of software. Software under the GNU license is free to use, copy, distribute and you could even change the source code. It's incredible because it competes with top image manipulation and graphic design programs, yet is still completely free! However, unless you already know how to use similar tools, you are going to need to learn a lot before you can use this program very well. Its learning curve is relatively steep.

These known and not-so-well known programs are great aids for many graphic design projects. Fair warning: they have a tough learning curve to them and some have a hefty price tag, so if you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed creating your own logo or design, seek the help of acustom printing company. On the other hand, if you absolutely need to do the design portion yourself, these programs will aid you in making your idea a reality!

SEO expert Will Hanke is a Jack-of-all-trades and understands a spectrum of tools available to do a variety of tasks, including those related to graphic design. He informs readers by describing the relative strengths and weaknesses of each product outlined. For SEO and website development tips, subscribe to his newsletter or check out his blog.

Video: Clone Your Hard Drive

In this short but helpful video, marketing expert Steve Smart offers reasons why, when and how to clone your hard drive.

In this short but highly useful video, marketing expert Steve Smart offers compelling reasons why to clone your hard drive. He reminds us that while we back up our business files, we don’t consider the cost of a irretrievable hard drive. Reasons to clone your drive include:

  • We lose our programs
  • We lose our operating system
  • We lose our preferences
  • We lose special features we’ve downloaded
  • We lose our data and
  • We spend too much downtime replacing what we’ve lost

Steve Smart is helpful and believes in high customer satisfaction. He’s an expert at marketing. Need help with your marketing efforts? Reach out to Steve Smart at srsmart@2qsolutions.net.

The Top Ten Questions When Considering Accounts Receivable Factoring

A business owner is considering Accounts Receivables Factoring to grow his business. Here are his top ten questions. An experienced factor supplies the answers.

What are ten of the most common questions of a business owner considering Accounts Receivable Factoring? An actual business owner has supplied this list of questions.

1. What will my customers say when they find out I am factoring my receivables?

Receivables-based financing is used by many of the largest corporations in the world to improve cash flow, support growth and increase profits. Many of your clients’ customers may use this service themselves and others have become familiar with it through vendors. The fact your company qualifies for this “credit line” makes a strong, positive statement about your company.

2. Will I lose control of my company?

You actually have more control over receivables when factoring than you would have with other traditional financing such as angel or venture capital as most of these funding resources want you to sell your business in the near future or they might want to replace management if they are not comfortable with the way your business is operated. With Accounts Receivable Factoring, factors keep you abreast of the whole payment cycle. You have visual access to your factoring account and can see open or closed invoices. Combined with purchase order funding, accounts receivable factoring provides you with the cash flow you need without having to give up ownership in your business.

3. How is accounts receivable factoring different from accounts receivable factoring from a bank?

The factoring company focuses on the creditworthiness of your customers while banks focus on your company’s financial history and cash flow. Since accounts receivable factoring is not a loan, it does not appear on your company’s balance sheet. Factors can make a quick funding decision while banks may take weeks or months to approve a loan.

4. You are charging 3% discount on thirty days, isn’t that a 36% interest rate?

This is an advance on receivables, not a loan. Therefore, you cannot calculate your cost that way. If you sell $100,000 in receivables per month and pay 3% per month, your cost is 3% of the total invoice amount or $36,000. You have at your disposal $1,200,000 per year. If you give your customers a 2% discount for paying in 10 days are you paying 72% interest? (2% on 10 days is 6% per month over 12 months = 72%). Can you see the error in this logic?

5. What do I need to qualify for accounts receivable factoring?

You need to be invoicing customers and you need a credit worthy customer. We check the credit of your customer, as this will give us an insight as to how your customer will pay. Incidentally, a good thing happens when your customer finds out you are factoring. These customers tend to pay faster. Why? Because factoring companies report payment trends to the credit bureau. And companies know if they don’t pay on time, their credit drops and this impacts the availability of their future credit. Also most factors want their clients to be registered in the state where they are doing business. You can be a new company, an established company in a growth pattern, or a company that cannot get a loan at this time and still can factor.

6. Can I keep my existing bank line of credit or my SBA loan?

Yes. While factors want to be in first position regarding factored receivables, we complement and work in cooperation with your existing lender to enable you to access even larger amounts of cash to keep your company moving forward. Banks are happy if you factor. You keep your money in their bank and we put more money in your account. They keep you as a customer and then when you want or can qualify for a bank loan, they are right there to help you with that transaction.

7. My payroll is next week; will I have my funding in place to pay my employees on time?

Factoring is quick, easy, and efficient. It has little paperwork. As part of the setting up process, you give a notification letter to your customer to let them know you are now working with us. We supply the form letter. You put it on your letterhead and send it to your customer. Invoice verification is an essential and accepted part of factoring. As soon as your customer signs and returns the notification letter to us, you can start receiving your first advance upon verification of the invoice. Usually it takes about 3-5 days to set up the process. Then advances can be made within hours.

8. How often can I factor?

You can factor as often as you need. Many customers factor several invoices per week, some factor once a month. It depends on your business and the industry you are in. There is no contract regarding length of time to factor. Stop when you wish, or continue as needed.

9. What are some of the other advantages companies enjoy when they factor?

A. They can take advantage of future sales and can execute on a big emergency or unexpected order.

B. They can use vendor discounts to save money.

C. Their credit score increases because they are now paying their bills on time.

D. They can add the factoring fee to their bid. This fee is written off as a business expense. Therefore they are getting immediate cash with little or no debt.

E. They can now focus “on” their company instead of “in” their company and can plan growth more efficiently.

10. What happens if my customer does not pay you?

There are usually two reasons why the customer doesn’t pay. A customer goes bankrupt or insolvent or there is something wrong with the product or service. Factors tell you if their due diligence shows your customer is not financially stable. This is another advantage of factoring. Secondly, factors will not be responsible for anything with the product or service. In any case, we can either take back an exchange invoice to collateralize the advance or we can charge the non-paid invoice back to you through a payment from your reserves.

Conclusion:

Accounts receivable factoring is a great choice for companies, especially those who cannot get traditional funding. While it may cost a little more, many business owners are willing to pay more to have the funding immediately needed to complete present contracts on time and on budget and have funding to go after future business instead of losing business waiting for checks to come in. Factoring is a way of receiving immediate cash with little or no debt and allows the business owner to have the peace of mind and time to work on their business without worrying about late check payments.

To find out more about accounts receivable factoring and to see if it is a financial fit for your company, contact Lexx Funding, Inc. at 636 458 2612 and ask for Joy Ann or email her at joyann@lexxfunding.com.