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New cleaning businesses tend to have few financial resources, so many rely on a technique called bootstrapping -- learning to do more with less. This article has 12 techniques that have helped cleaning businesses grow and and become successful.

Finance Your Cleaning Business by Bootstrapping

Finance Your Cleaning Business by BootstrappingCopyright 2006 The Janitorial StoreNew cleaning businesses tend to have few financial resources. Before you sign your first client you need capital for supplies, equipment, basic start-up expenses, and perhaps even payroll. Where do start-up companies get the financing they need to set up shop? Some businesses use savings, some borrow from friends or relatives, and some get a bank loan. But many small start-ups rely on a technique called bootstrapping.Bootstrapping means pinching pennies, cutting corners, and learning to do more with less. Using bootstrapping techniques also means carefully watching where your cash is coming from and where it is going to. Does this technique work for growing your business? You bet! Ernest & Julio Gallo, Domino's Pizza, Hallmark Cards and Black & Decker are examples of businesses that started with $1000 or less and used the art of bootstrapping to grow and become successful.In bootstrapping you not only focus on how revenues come into the business, but where you are going to spend the money that comes in and if there are other ways to obtain those resources.The following are techniques that have helped businesses grow and expand.1) Focus on the right customers. Some customers like to hold onto invoices as long as possible. Finding customers who pay immediately helps keep cash flowing into your cleaning business. Maintaining a good customer relationship will also help to get your customers paying as soon as they get their invoice.2) Be frugal, but not cheap! Distinguish between costs that are necessary and ones you can avoid. Do you need to rent space for your cleaning business or can you begin by running the business out of your home or garage? Can you get by with used equipment? Do you need a cell phone with streaming video or just a basic model to make sure you do not miss any calls? On the same token, don't be shortsighted (and cheap) with suppliers. Develop a good relationship with your suppliers and they will be happy to let you know when there are specials and if a lower priced item works as well as a more expensive one.3) Create a high profile for your cleaning business. By taking on larger cleaning accounts your business projects an image of competency and that it has the skills and resources to handle the job.4) Keep your salary as low as possible. The less cash that go out of your business the better. Cut back on your personal expenses while the business grows. Avoid buying that new car and that holiday cruise until your cleaning business has a good cash flow.5) Get your customers talking about you. Word of mouth is the best advertising around and it doesn't cost you anything. Ask your customers for referrals and tell them to mention your name if they know of anyone who is looking for cleaning services.6) Keep good records and track every dollar. It is difficult to know if there are expenses that you can cut if you don't know where your money is going or where your money is coming from. Keep more income by not giving preferential treatment or discounts to special customers.7) There is power in becoming a partner. Find another business owner to share equipment, office space or even employees.8) Trade for services. Are there individuals or businesses who would be willing to have you clean their offices for part or all of their payment? Large businesses and corporations may not have the flexibility to "swap" services, but your lawyer, graphic designer, accountant or other consultant may be happy to exchange services.9) If you need employees, hire part-time or temporary help. Rather than having a full-time bookkeeper or marketing person think of hiring a virtual assistant that you can pay for just a few hours a month. Another benefit to a virtual assistant is that she will have her own equipment and be responsible for her own employment taxes.10) If you are buying or leasing space and equipment agree to only short-term leases. This helps you control costs and keep your cash flow flexible.11) How much inventory do you need to have on hand? Don't tie up money in supplies and equipment that will just be sitting on a shelf.12) If necessary, work nights and weekends while your business is growing. Many entrepreneurs will keep their full-time job and a part-time job until their own business is financially stable.Using bootstrapping techniques mean that you are looking at more than just where your money is coming from. Earning a dollar in revenue may lead to only 20 cents in profit. But if you save a dollar in cost savings, that goes 100 percent to your bottom line. Being frugal at the start of your business can pay big dividends in the long run. Bootstrapping can be your best friend when it comes to the cash flow of your cleaning the business!

Banks pump billions to calm the markets

Banks pump billions to calm the markets

Fed joins global bid to ease credit crisiswww.xginibriere.comThe Federal Reserve and central banks around the world yesterday took the extraordinary step of pumping more than $100 billion into financial markets riven by a credit crisis, the largest such intervention since the September 11 terrorism attacks.www.xginibriere.com www.xginibriere.comIn a rare public statement, the Fed said it wanted to ensure "financial markets" had enough money to continue operating in an orderly fashion.www.xginibriere.com"In current circumstances," the Fed said, banks "may experience unusual funding needs because of dislocations in money and credit markets."www.xginibriere.comFinancial markets are reacting seemingly overnight to the jarring end of an era of easy money, when higher-risk borrowers enjoyed nearly unfettered access to huge sums at low interest rates. The market for subprime mortgages, to people with less than perfect credit histories, cracked first and remains the most seriously impaired, but other types of credit such as corporate junk bonds and mortgages backing commercial property are also under duress.www.xginibriere.comSo far, the central bankers' strategy of rapid, severe intervention shows signs of working. Earlier yesterday, European stock markets posted losses of as much as 3 percent, and it appeared US markets would follow suit when the Dow Jones industrial average began the day with a 212-point decline. But as the Fed pumped money into the US system through the day, stocks began to rally, and the Dow finished the day down just 31.14 points, at 13,239.54. Despite the tremendous, sudden investor anxiety and wild market gyrations and losses, the Dow actually ended the week up -- just barely -- with a 0.4-percent gain.www.xginibriere.com"Within the "stock market" there has been massive dislocation, and the Fed provided everyone a little room to unwind," said Kevin Cronin, chief investment officer at Putnam Investments in Boston. If lenders had been unable to continue providing credit, he said, then interest rates would have exploded, potentially leading to a widespread reduction in economic activity.www.xginibriere.comThe Fed "wanted to let the air out of the balloon," Cronin said.www.xginibriere.comThe Fed yesterday loaned $38 billion to US banks to help them finance credit and lending operations, on top of a similar $24 billion the US regulator provided Thursday. Earlier yesterday, central bankers in Europe, Japan, Asia, and Canada made similar moves.www.xginibriere.comThe central banks' actions enabled lenders to have enough money available to loan to investors to buy, sell, or hold securities as they would normally. Without such additional funds, a shortage of credit could cause markets to seize and prices to go haywire.www.xginibriere.com"Central bankers did two things," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jeffries & Co. in Boston. "They added much needed liquidity to the market and signaled that they stand at the ready for a system that may or may not need more help."www.xginibriere.comMore problems seem to arrive daily. Yesterday, shares of Countrywide Financial Corp. fell nearly 3 percent one day after the biggest US mortgage lender said credit problems among its own borrowers are worsening, and it anticipated more difficulty funding loans. Separately shares in Washington Mutual Inc., the big savings and loan, were down 2 percent a day after it said it faces risks from lower market liquidity.www.xginibriere.comYesterday's stock swings capped three weeks in which the Dow Jones industrial average often moved at triple-digit levels in each trading session. The turmoil reflects uncertainty about financial markets even though the economy itself appears to remain stable, according to economists and traders.www.xginibriere.com"The fundamentals, underlying inflation, economic growth rates, US employment growth, are still robust," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight of Waltham. "The markets are panicking a little, but it's still a financial story. As long as the central banks succeed in calming markets down, I don't see this spreading to the broader economy."www.xginibriere.comThe volatility still poses longer-term strategy questions for the Fed. One is whether to lower interest rates, even though this week Fed policy makers elected to keep their benchmark lending rate at 5.25 percent, arguing that inflation is a greater risk to the economy than the credit shortage. But by lowering its interest rate, the Fed would make it cheaper to borrow money. That would ease pressures on the real estate sector and other investments by, for example, lowering the overall cost of transactions such as buying a home or refinancing a mortgage.www.xginibriere.comRichard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research in New York, said he suspects the Fed will simply try to hold the line on interest rates. He noted that in its statement to the markets yesterday the Fed made a point of mentioning the current interest rate of 5.25 percent.www.xginibriere.com"They're saying to the markets, 'Listen, we're giving you some breathing room, but we're still sticking to our guns' " on the interest rates, Yamarone said.

Switzerland's Cheesy Economy

Switzerland

In a series of referenda in 2003-5, Swiss citizens transformed their country forever, economically aligning it with the European Union and opening it up to work migration. It was an uncharacteristic response to increasingly worrisome times.In March 2003, Switzerland's annual rate of inflation dipped to 1.3 percent. Once a cause for celebration, it is now construed to be a worrisome sign of lurking deflation. Growth has been below trend for years now. Demand is ever-weakening and capacity is idle. Taxes are high, the national debt soaring.Interest rates are vanishingly low, having been chopped by half a percentage point in March 2003. But the Swiss franc, impervious to these monetary gambits, is at a five year high against the dollar. Switzerland depends on exports and tourism - they constitute more than half its gross domestic product. The almighty currency does its trade balance no favors.National economic emblems are crumbling left, right and center. In an interview to the daily Blick, Andre Dose, chief of Swiss International Air Lines, the tottering successor of the bankrupt Swissair, begged for tax exemptions, lower insurance premiums and a waiver of airport charges as well as soft loans and subsidies from both government and banks. The airline lost more than $700 million in 2002.A study recently released by Agrarplattform - a group representing farmers, processors and retailers - disabused the Swiss of their long held conviction that their cherished agricultural sector - notably milk, potatoes and meat - is profitable. Indigenous armaments technology firms - such as the state-owned Ruag group - besieged by anti-war protesters, saw their profits slashed.In 2002-5, Switzerland's leading brand names - Roche (pharmaceuticals), Credit Suisse (banking), Adecco (manpower) and Zurich Financial Services - have announced record losses and job cuts.And then there is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and avian (bird) flu. Switzerland has been struck with ten suspected cases of the former. It tightened inspections at its airports, cancelled flights and allocated funds for research into the new pandemic. Swiss pharmaceutical company, Roche, produced a diagnostic kit by end-2003.No sector is spared the slump. Swiss banks, much-decried over the last few years for their alleged complicity in money laundering, are being pried open by assertive United States regulators and a zealous, mainly European, Financial Action Task Force.In 2002, Swiss banks begun to repatriate to Nigeria more than $670 million looted by late dictator Sani Abacha and deposited with them. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, the government froze $368 million in Iraqi financial assets at Washington's behest, repeating its act in 1990.Mobsters, terrorists, scammers, venal politicians and tax dodgers now look for anonymity and discretion to Lebanon and Cyprus, or even to Austria, the USA, the United Kingdom and Luxemburg . Switzerland's reputation as a safe pecuniary haven is in tatters.This was only the latest in a series of upsets suffered by the ailing banking industry.In August 1998, following intensive public pressure by Jewish organizations - and a thinly-disguised anti-Semitic backlash -Switzerland's two major banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, agreed to set up a $1.25 billion fund to settle claims by holocaust survivors and their relatives. The red-faced Swiss government threw in $210 million. It seems that the banks were in no hurry to find the heirs to the murdered Jewish owners of dormant accounts with billions of dollars in them.A settlement was reached only when legal action was threatened against the Swiss National Bank and both public opinion and lawmakers in the USA turned against Switzerland. It covers owners of dormant accounts, slave laborers, and 24,000 of 110,000 refugees turned back to certain death at the Swiss border - or their heirs.A high level international commission, headed by Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, identified 54,000 accounts opened by holocaust victims - not before it inspected 350,000 accounts at an outlandish cost, borne by the infuriated banks, of $400 million. To compound matters further, the Bergier Commission, set up in 1996 by the Swiss parliament, revealed, in March 2002, that Swiss banks provided the Axis powers with interest free loans.Wall Street dealt Swiss financial intermediaries and their US-based brokerages, another blow. Recently, they settled with US regulators over charges of issuing biased stock analyses and recommendations. But this did not prevent former star investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston, Frank Quattrone, from being charged with obstructing justice and destruction of evidence. Many mid-size and large Swiss firms are exiting the tainted capital markets altogether.In April 2003, according to Swissinfo, the news Web site of Swiss Radio, Jean-Pierre Roth, chairman of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), warned, in its annual meeting, against undue optimism. Deteriorating trading conditions, stagnant consumption and diminished government spending heighten the "risks of a renewed worsening of the situation ... Compared to the previous year, conditions for our companies have worsened."The country is still hobbled by red tape and anti-competitive cartels. Growth in 2003 was lower than the Bank predicted only five months ago, he admitted. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) concurs. In its outlook, it warned that subdued conditions abroad and an inexorably appreciating franc continue to threaten the country's recovery.GDP grew by an imperceptible 0.6 percent in 2003 and 1.9 percent in 2004. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), more upbeat, projected a 0.3 percent uptick in 2003 and 2.4 percent the year after. In 2002 the economy froze at zero growth. Unemployment stood at an unprecedented 3.9 percent in February 2003.Not all is bleak, though. German chipmaker, Infineon, is considering to relocate to Switzerland. In April 2003, San-Diego based Netrom's Tempest Asset Management inaugurated a currency trading center in Zurich "to gain access to the multi-trillion dollar financial markets in Europe". Swiss firms, from gourmet baker Hiestand to computer peripherals manufacturer, Logitech, are showing record sales and surging profits.The UBS Index of Investor Optimism, maintained by Swiss mammoth bank, UBS and the Gallup Organization, climbed 61 points in March 2003 - albeit to reach only one third its size in January 2000. Half the population foresee a recovering economy and two fifths believe in improving employment prospects. Moreover, globalization has coerced Switzerland into abandoning its splendid - and costly - isolation. In March 2002 it voted to join the United Nations - something it has resisted for decades. Swisspeaks, a two month festival promoting Switzerland, took place in April 2003 in New-York. Ten million visitors attended Expo.02 - a national exhibition in Neuchatel. Seven agreements with the European Union came into force in June 2003. Incredibly, Switzerland is poised to join the Schengen agreement, leading to the scrapping of internal borders with the EU. Banking secrecy will be partially lifted in line with Union directives.With 7 million inhabitants (one fifth of which are immigrants) - Switzerland is among the richest polities on Earth. Income per capita is more than $38,000. The economy's openness - its weakness - is also its fount of strength. It endows Switzerland with enviable resilience and flexibility.The country survived intact the first and second world wars, fought on its doorstep. It has reinvented itself, metamorphosing in the process from a backward rustic landlocked domain to a financial cum engineering global empire. It will emerge, as it always does, invigorated and ready for new challenges.

Texas Holdem: 4 Betting Structures Explained

Texas Holdem: 4 Betting Structures Explained

Even though the United States have made it illegal to gamble online, poker keeps on gaining popularity through the different tournaments that are shown on television such as the World Series of Poker by ESPN. This created a problematic situation: while players claim that poker is not a game of chance, the US government decided that it is.For a few weeks, panic erupted in the poker world as rumors spread like bushfires that this ban would stop all tournaments. But this proved to be untrue. In fact, because of the online gambling ban, the popularity of tournaments only increased. And in most of these tournaments, the favored game is Texas Holdem.This article focuses on those planning to take what was once their online casino pastime to a poker tournament close by. You will need to follow some basic betting structures, and we describe these for you. Even if they seem difficult to follow, don't worry. Just practice these at home with friends and you will soon learn the flow of these wagering structures.Note: Remember that all the games rely on a basic maximum and minimum wager, and all the betting structures should be understood accordingly. Keep in mind that each game has a set limit that is fixed before the game commences. Once begun, the limit remains unchanged until the end. Note also that the tournament organizers or the casinos are those that decide these limits.1) Structured Wagering Limit:This means that there are two limits you play to. During the first two rounds, you place wagers according to the lower sum, and then you start betting according to the higher amount set. When you find a game called according to two amounts such as 4/8 dollar limit, then, it means that this game will be played according to the structured wager. Another thing to remember when entering such poker games is that you can only place four wagers each round and not one more.2) Spread Limit Wager:Here, you are free to place wagers in a pre-set range and you don't have to place fixed bets. When you find that the limit is within a range then it means that you have found a game that will be played according to the spread limit. Examples are games which can be played between a range of twenty to a hundred dollars. Note that such games do turn out to be expensive because some might bet according to the high limit. Another variation of the spread limit bet is to have a range of four wagers. What this means is that there is a certain amount you can bet for the round before the flop, for the round on the flop, and on the round after the flop and a certain amount for the river.3) Basic Pot Limit Bet:In such Texas Holdem games labeled as being played according to the basic pot limit, what it means is that you can place wagers anywhere between the amount that is the big blind and the total size of the game pot. Here too, take note that games such as these can result in high cash pots.4) No Limit Betting:This is the one version that pulls in the high rollers from all over. Here, there is not limit at all one how much you wager or raise. Note that unless you are a high-roller or unless you have a tremendous amount of experience playing Texas Holdem at tournaments, stay clear of such games.

DirecWay is Now Called Hugesnet Satellite

Changing the name did not mean changing the excellent service that the customer receives from a satellite provider. Hugesnet satellite just became more improved. Customers receive high-speed broadband connections that surpass dial up and cable. More people are changing to Hugesnet satellite for their Internet and television needs for many reasons. The Internet speed is the most important reason for choosing satellite Internet. The speeds that you connect at are faster than you can find with any cable or dial up Internet service provider. The fastest speed received with Hugesnet is two Mbps, depending on the ISP provider in your area. Even the lowest speed will be faster than dial up. With Hugesnet, you will not wait for an Internet connection, as soon as you click the icon, you will see the Internet. The download times for files, music and pictures is done faster than ever. You have no more time to do other things while waiting for downloads to be completed. High-speed broadband is available everywhere a signal can be found. Remote areas now have another option to TV and the Internet through Direct TV and Hugesnet. If you cannot receive DSL or cable in your area, chances are Direct TV will be the answer to your problem. You will find that Hugesnet satellite has different plans, pricing and installation packages for everyone from a home user to a business office. The high-speed broadband connection is compatible with Macintosh and Windows operating systems. This means everyone can enjoy the faster speeds of the Internet. The Home package will download a four MB audio file in forty-seven seconds, while the Pro downloads the same file in thirty-two seconds. If you have the Pro Plus package, the same download will take twenty-two seconds and dial up will go over five minutes. With Hugesnet satellite, you can run a home or business network from one single Internet connection. You may need some extra equipment depending on what you plan to do. One thing to keep in mind is that Direct TV and Hugesnet are two separate companies that have combined services to provide the consumer with television and broadband in one package. You will receive a separate bill from each one for payment. What this means is if you cancel Hugesnet, you will still have your satellite TV. Some of the features you get with Hugesnet satellite are technical support twenty-four hours a day, up to five email accounts and two gigabytes of storage per email account. Spam and virus defense is another feature that everyone needs with an Internet connection. You will find that the other options that Hugesnet offers for a small fee are not found with cable or dial up services. You can choose advanced hosting, blogging, domain parking, static IP address and Express repair within two business days if you need any repairs, which is rare. Satellite Internet connections are faster and stable compared to other services. You just need a dish and a satellite provider such as Direct TV.

Buying Toys Without Favoritism

As the holidays approach, many people find themselves in the position of buying toys for several children. The one factor that many people find themselves facing is having a strengthened relationship with one child in particular makes it very easy to buy for that child while the other child may not share the same degree of closeness which makes it ever more difficult to buy an appropriate gift. In many cases, this issue really comes down to gender. Gender based relationships can seem to have a certain ease. Many people simply feel more comfortable with a child of one gender versus another. This is much more common than people realize, but in an attempt not to look like they are showing a favorable side to one and ignoring the other, these issues are often left un-discussed.If you are concerned that you are attempting to thwart discomfort around such a difficult issue, its perfectly natural to want to draw away, to get the kids something routine or mundane to avoid the perception of favoritism. The truth is, whether you ever admit or not, you do have a favorite. Use this as a positive instead of a negative. There are many ways to go about this. For the purposes of explaining we will use one boy and one girl, brother and sister, although with family dynamics as they are, you may find yourself struggling with greater numbers and greater influences than just two children.If you already know what you want to get for the child you are more at ease with, then by all means, go ahead. This is now your margin. Gifts dont have to cost the same to be valued the same way. If you spent fifty dollars on one you can still spend thirty dollars on the other without appearing to be playing favorites. The truth is in the value the child places on the gift will determine its worth. However, buying one child a bike and one child a package of underwear makes things a little obvious and cruel.Youre ultimately trying to develop a higher comfort level with the child you are having a difficult time purchasing for. Start, if you can, by spending a little extra time with that child. Notice things about them, even if you dont understand them. Maybe she likes to play dress up and tea parties and house and you are just at a complete loss because you never played like that when you were little. Thats okay. Youre just paying attention to the way she operates. Maybe you notice that she needs new art supplies or her bedroom is in the middle of being redone and she loves the color pink. These simple things can guide you along the way. Youre not necessarily trying to purchase a gift that you think is so cool, but one that she will think is so cool.If you are unable to spend extra time with her, alone, then try talking to the child you have a tighter bond with. If you tell him you dont know what to get his sister for Christmas, he may very well be able to rattle off all kinds of things that youll be able to get for her. Often, brothers are well apprised as to what their parents got his sister for Christmas. Siblings often have a unique insight into each other. They may not always like each other much, but they usually do understand a lot about each other.Parents of the child, assuming that it is not your child, are one of the best resources available to you. Just ask. If they can, they will help you out. Of course, parents also tend to reply with cost effective answers, as parents of children are not usually willing to spend other peoples money on their child. If you have already purchased a gift for one child, tell them this and tell them what it is so that they have an understanding of what youre spending on the kids. This only clarifies communication, it isnt a chance for you to toot your own horn. Often parents will respond directly in correlation to the gift you already purchased for the other child.If youre really at a loss and you cant find a good, healthy way to determine what it is that you are planning on purchasing, try buying numerous smaller gifts. Chances are, by spreading it out a little bit, youre going to nail the horse on the head with something as little and reasonable as finger nail polish, a new dress up set, or anything else that you can think of that would work well in a set. It may initially appear that you are giving more to that child, but chances are the kids arent really counting when theyre both happy.

Summary

New cleaning businesses tend to have few financial resources, so many rely on a technique called bootstrapping -- learning to do more with less. This article has 12 techniques that have helped cleaning businesses grow and and become successful.