Review of ‘Turn High Grass Into Cold Cash’ by Kevin Whiteside

This is a review of the Turn High Grass into Cold Cash guide on how to start the ultimate lawn business by Kevin Whiteside. I’ll start off with the good points and finish up talking about the only negative point that I found.

The report starts off with the basics, some facts about the lawn care industry and information about business names, branding and licenses.

Whiteside then launches into a very comprehensive run down of all the equipment that you will need to run a professional operation and puts forward clear recommendations and extensive information about acquiring, using and maintaining the equipment. Finding this kind of specialist information would be tough without a guide like this and I was surprised by how much I learned.

Next, Whiteside goes into detail about the work of a lawn care business operator and offers solid advice on getting the various tasks done efficiently.

His section on the marketing side of the business is great. He talks in depth about how to price or estimate a prospective customers lawn, how to up-sell them on additional services and how to create a relationship with them and close the deal. He also writes extensively about the advertising methods that work in lawn care, both conventional and his own unconventional ideas. With a BA in sales & marketing Kevin Whiteside obviously knows his stuff.

Other topics covered within the guide include customer services (the referrals side of the business), bidding on commercial accounts, hiring employees, financing, money management and lawn care business software.

The guide includes numerous checklists that you can use and an action plan at the end for getting started.

I also thought that the list of equipment manufacturers and other useful resources at the end of the report added value too.

And the bad points? Well there were none really except maybe that the guide is quite short with just 57 pages. Whiteside does make up for this though by getting straight to the point in well structured paragraphs with only a few pictures and diagrams where necessary.

Overall I would highly recommend that you read the book if you are serious about entering the lawn care business.

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Professional Speakers – How to Write Your Booking Contract

The speaking world is full of forms and contracts – the two most important are the contract you’ll fax to the meeting planner who’s agreed to hire you and the preprogram questionnaire that you’ll send out to the planner before the event.

Your credibility is on the line with each one of these documents – they need to be highly professional.

Here is a sample booking contract:

Booking Contract

____________________________________________ (ABC

Corporation) has agreed to hire ________________(Ms. Speaker)

to speak at the convention held at ______________(time)

_____________________________ (location) on

_______________(date.

Deposit and Cancellations Policy:

o An advance retainer of 50% is required with the return of signed agreement.

o In the event of program cancellation, Ms. Speaker will rebook the program on

o a mutually convenient date with no penalty. Due to potential loss of income to the speaker, cancellation of this date less than 30 days prior to the event carries a penalty of the deposit being non-refundable.

Travel and Accommodation:

o All fees are as quoted, plus travel expenses. Ms. Speaker will book full coach airfare and expenses will be invoiced after the program has been completed. Airfare is always prorated when the itinerary involves multiple clients.

o Speaker’s accommodation, meals and ground transportation will be billed direct to your organization.

Support Materials:

o Please note that speaker’s materials, written, oral or visual, are copyrighted and may not be used or reproduced without the written consent of the speaker.

o Participants’ handouts are billed separately.

Audio/Visual

o No recording, audio or visual, may be made without the

prior written permission of the speaker.

o The speaker reserves the right to make available books

and A/V materials for sale or viewing purposes to the participants with client approval.

While it is standard practice for the client to cover travel and accommodation expenses, some speakers charge a flat fee to cover expenses where travel is involved. It makes for less paperwork and is something that the client can work into the budget ahead of time.

I recommend having a flat fee policy since it means that payment for expenses will be included in the final check you receive on the day of your speaking engagement.

Another benefit of having a flat fee policy means that there are no

unpleasant surprises for the client long after the event is over and they receive

a whopping bill for expenses.

However you decide to handle expenses, it’s important to let clients know up front and to be consistent with each client.

Once hired, you should send the client a pre-program questionnaire to help you customize your speech to the needs of this particular group. This questionnaire should cover such things as confirming time, date and location of your speech, Agenda of program, whether other speakers are on before or after your speech, Theme of the conference, expected number of attendees and any other information that will help you do a better job on the stage.

Professional contracts will make your work much easier and make you look highly professional – which of course you are!

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How To Be A Great MC- Multiple Speaking Intelligences Part One

What are the secrets of being a great MC?

Being asked to MC an event can happen anytime. At a social setting, at work or for more formal occasions.

Because of my business as a professional speaker, I’m often called on to be a professional MC.

Take for example my recent experiences hosting the Real Estate Institute of WA’s (REIWA) formal annual dinner, and the presentation of the Kevin Sullivan memorial Award, the Institute’s highest accolade.

A professional MC can make or break an event.

What do people remember?

It’s not the children’s choir, the corporate video or the music. It’s not even the venue or the food.

The secret to a great event is the person who brings all of these diverse elements together and then delivers them with personality, humour and charm.

Your choice of Master of Ceremonies will have a big impact on the success of your event.

And the fact is, high profile does not equal success. I’ve heard famous name MCs tell inappropriate jokes and get guests, organisers and sponsors immediately offside.

The MC (also known as Emcee) has a very unique role to play at an event. There are many duties to perform and not everyone can be organised and entertaining at the same time. It’s a special skill.

But the good thing is, it is a learned skill.

Here is the first part of a series of articles on what I call the multiple speaking intelligences every aspiring or experienced leader needs.

In this first part, here are 10 Tips on how to be a great MC for every occasion.

1. Get A Good Briefing

Clarify with the event organiser beforehand what their expectations are and what they want exactly.

2. Work To A Running Sheet

There is a lot to remember and do as an MC. Make sure your event organiser provides a running sheet so you know what happens and when.

3. Run On Time

The major role of a good MC is to keep the event running on time. It is your role to make this happen. No one likes an event that runs over time.

You need to be firm on time. This is one element that is non-negotiable.

4. Be The Glue That Holds The Event Together

Your role as MC is to be the glue or cement that holds the event together.

You have to link, segue and make a transition directly from one section or theme to another during the entire event.

The best MCs do this seemlessly and effortlessly.

5. Focus On The Speakers and Performers

Remember the speakers or performers you are introducing are the stars of the show not the MC.

Don’t grandstand, big note or let your ego get in the way.

Let the event elements, be they speakers, performers or award winners shine.

6. Rehearse

Spend time at the venue before hand getting used to the stage, lighting and sound system.

Practice your lines out loud. Warm up your voice. Get in the moment.

7. Research

Research the speakers or performers you are introducing.

As an absolute minimum do a Google search on them. Always request a formal introduction from speakers.

Most professional speakers will provide a prepared introduction.

8. Provide a Mix of Entertainment and Information

The key to a good MC is light and shade.

9. Let Your Personality Come Through and Be Yourself

Don’t be overly wooden or scripted. Let your personality shine through.

10. Have Fun

If you are having fun so are the others speakers and the audience.

Relax and enjoy the moment.

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How to Pass the 3:33 Rule and Add Longevity to Your B2B Direct Marketing Campaigns

Here’s a snippet from Pat Friesen writing for Target Marketing Magazine in November 2007

The 3:33 Rule

Are you familiar with direct mail’s three minute and 33 second (3:33) rule? It’s important when you talk about “openability”.

The 3:33 rule suggests you have three seconds or less to stand out in the mail and stay out of the trash, then 30 seconds to engage the reader enough to get opened and make the “short stack” for later reading. After the first 33 seconds-if you actually get the reader inside your mail piece-she spends an additional three minutes or less reading it and deciding whether or not to respond.

B2B Direct Marketing and the Importance of the Mailing Pack – the first 3 seconds

Business to Business Direct marketing can be a huge waste of money unless you get it right – so you need to get it right first time. You need a promotional marketing piece that will have a big attention-grabbing quality and you need to send it out in a pack that will be easily spotted in the stack of mail on your customer’s desk.

Far too many B2B Direct Marketing campaigns go straight to the bin, often before the envelope has even been opened and therein lays the first problem – envelopes. A flat, plain white envelope with a frank or a PPI holds absolutely no mystery whatsoever. Send your B2B Direct Mail out in a plain white envelope and your campaign is already well on the way to generating a high level of indifference. With that thought firmly in mind, you should give very strong consideration to the type of carrier to use.

The saying goes that you get only one chance to make a first impression and the first impression that your customer has of your promotional mailer is the appearance of the mailing pack. I suggest that your mailer should have a degree of bulk and should be made to look like some sort of gift or “freebie”. This way, the mailer will be opened with eager anticipation rather than total indifference. The argument against this is that the postage costs will increase but believe me, paying postage to send an item that is thrown straight into the bin makes a whole lot less sense.

B2B Direct Marketing & the Importance of Holding Customer’s Attention – the next 30 secs

Once the mailing pack has done its first job in attracting the reader’s attention it then has to entice the reader to open it. I believe that the pack has to be designed in a way that is not too hard to open and leads to the main promotional piece without too much trouble. I say this as the promotional piece itself will take care of the next few minutes – no problem! A B2B promotional mailer needs to capture the imagination of your customer and automatic pop-up products are an obvious choice to do this. The pop-up action carries with it the elements of surprise, fun, interaction and curiosity. A rubber-band-powered automatic pop-up product like a pop-up cube or a pop-up box will easily pass the 30 second test and will usually account for the next few minutes during which time your promotional message has been well and truly digested.

B2B Direct Marketing & the Importance of Extending Your Marketing Campaign’s Life Span

There are direct marketing professionals who would be absolutely delighted for their campaign to have ticked the boxes discussed thus far but why stop there? What is there to say that the promotional piece should stop working after it has created such a big impact? To achieve this you don’t need to do much more than to add a few holes in the top surface on the pop-up cube or pop-up box. By doing this you can turn your promotional mailer into a promotional pen holder – a product that will stay on your customer’s desk top for months and months. Not only will the pop-up mailer fulfil its original obligation by capturing your customer’s attention, it then goes on to be a permanent promotion for your company right there on your customer’s desk top.

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Understanding the Importance of Your Restaurant Menu

If you run a restaurant, you need to make sure that you have the best menu that you can afford. Of course, “best” does not mean expensive. It means effective. Indeed, your menu is one of your marketing and sales tools. You have to make sure that when your customer sees it, it will influence them to buy. It should be design to entice customers. This is to ensure maximum profits for you and your restaurant. If you really want to sell everything in your menu, you have to make sure that your menu present every product favorably and enticingly.

Your Restaurant’s Menu and Your Profits

The first thing that you have to understand is this – every item on your restaurant menu is distinct in its saleability, so do not expect Product A to sell like Product B. If Product A is selling like pancakes, wouldn’t it be wise to emphasize the product? If Product A is selling for $20 dollars and Product B is selling for $10, wouldn’t you earn more if more people buy Product A? As you can see, placing emphasis on a product that you would like to sell can make a lot of difference on your profit.

Of course, you can draw your customers’ attention to Product A, if you would use your menu well. This is why your menu plays a very crucial role in selling your items. It also pays if your staff understands this as well. This way they can encourage customers to avail of Product A, if a customer seeks for their opinion.

Creating a Wonderful Restaurant Menu

They say, do not judge a book by its cover. Perhaps, that is true – for books. This is not the case, however, when it comes to menu. People will judge your products by your menu and its cover. You have to make sure that your graphics and images can entice your customers to buy. Your menu should get your customers to think, “Oh, this looks delicious!”

If you have to spend a significant amount of money on your menu, then do so. Your menu is an investment. It speaks to your customers and tells them whether or not a particular dish is worth ordering or not. You have to plan your menu carefully. You have to devote time on choosing the right colors, images, materials and designs. Do not take your menu for granted and never commit the mistake of presenting a haphazardly created restaurant menu.

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Accounting Records the IRS Require for Network Marketing/MLM and Other Stay At Home Business Owners

Two questions frequently asked by Network Marketers are “What kind of business records do I have to keep for the IRS?”, and “What’s kind of record-keeping system should I use in my business?”

Operating a business without paying attention to record-keeping is a recipe for disaster. You may be thinking “who cares-I hate bookkeeping and tax details, and if my business takes in enough money, it won’t matter anyway… I’ll just pay someone else to clean up my record-keeping later!”

Not so fast, my friend! A good record-keeping system is crucial for preparing your tax returns. And if you don’t prepare your tax returns with care, you’ll not only pay too much in taxes, but also increase the risk of a dreaded IRS audit. If an auditor finds insufficient records or significant mistakes in your books, it can disallow deductions, plus impose hefty fines and penalties, possibly forcing you out of business and wiping out your life savings as well.

The good news is that the IRS doesn’t prescribe one particular system of keeping records that must be used. No two businesses are alike, so there’s not one uniform fashion when it comes to record-keeping. Any system is okay, just as long as it paints a true picture of your income and expenses.

You can keep your records either manually, or with a computer.

The manual system works fine for smaller home businesses and cost only $10 to $20 a year for a ledger book and some manila file folders. I recommend a Weekly Bookkeeping booklet, where you can record your income and expenses on a regular basis, and then update the year to date totals, by expense category, at the end of each week. This way you always have an up to date statement of Income and Expenses, or “Profit and Loss” report, at your fingertips. In addition to the weekly record book, keep a check register, an adding machine, a mileage log,and an accordion file close by for filing receipts. Organize your receipts by category; Advertising, Travel and Entertainment, Cell phone, and so on.

A computerized record-keeping system works on the same principles as the manual system, however, the computer automates the process. You can use spreadsheets to record your residual income and bonus checks, and use separate columns to categorize your expenses.

An even quicker way to categorize your expenses is to use a software program such as Quicken or QuickBooks. These programs work like a checkbook register, with each income and expense transaction typed in as you go. A Profit and Loss report can be printed in a snap-assuming you do have some basic accounting knowledge. But beware. A software program is no substitute for a basic understanding of debits and credits. Often the year-end reports that I see produced from accounting software programs is best summarized by the statement “Garbage in-Garbage Out”.

If you’re comfortable at the computer and have basic bookkeeping expertise, good for you! But you don’t need computer software to keep accurate records. At minimum, categorize your receipts (auto, office supplies, advertising, etc) in manila folders or an accordion file, and total them up by category at tax time. Staple the adding machine tape to each folder or stack of receipts. Either system is okay as long as it paints a true and accurate picture of your income and expenses.

Network Marketing business owners should get a copy of IRS Publication 583, “Starting a Business and Keeping Records”, for more details on IRS record-keeping requirements.

Jim Flauaus, President / CEO of Anchor Accounting & Tax, is a Network Marketing / MLM tax specialist. He connects with Home Business owners and Network Marketers across the country and around the world via phone, email, and fax to help them plan and prepare their income tax returns.

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Public Speaking, Effective Speech, Components of Public Speaking

Public speaking is an impressive art of communication with the audience in a structured and deliberate manner. It goes beyond the boundaries of speaking or talking to a group of individuals. It is an art of articulating your ideas and thoughts in order to persuade others, inspire them, engage them, or entertain them.

There are three main components of public speaking – logical component, mechanical component, and emotional component. A good and effective speech should have a merger of all these three components.

Logical component attributes to the content of your speech that encompasses the truth and facts you deliver along with the structure ad length of your speech. The content or the material of your speech should be engaging, entertaining, as well as inspiring.

Mechanical component caters to your tone of voice and your body movements. When you change the tone of your voice or make any unexpected body movements notice how your audience perceives your speech. This perception will define the success or failure of your speech.

The emotional component attributes to the emotions you deliver during your speech and how the audience feels after your speech. These emotions should be strong enough to directly affect the way audience feel and further convince them to put your words into actions.

Apart from these components there are various factors that influence this art of communication. Some of these factors include your level of confidence, facial expressions, catchy titles, rate of speech, usage of visual aids, and the usage of entertaining or captivating stuff like true stories, real life experiences, jokes, or phrases.

Furthermore, you should very well know the content of your speech so that you can make eye contact with the audience and deliver your message in a lively and convincing manner.

Take a deep breath before you start your speech as this will help you gain control over your nerves, your voice, and your words as well. Keep your mind and heart open and feel relaxed. Eye contact is really important in public speaking as it is the best way to express your emotions and impress the audience. Even if you are nervous appear as if things are normal and there is nothing wrong at your end. Pass a smile when you feel tensed as this will ease your mind and keep you in comfort.

You should also have a good sense of humor. Wherever possible tell funny jokes and lighten the mood of people or tell stories from real life or personal experience to add life and energy to your speech. In all possible ways try to engage the audience till the end of your speech by finding different ways to humanize your speech. Last but not the least, there are situations where you make mistakes but there is nothing to worry. Human make mistakes but what is important is how these mistakes are recovered.

It’s fun, energetic, and great to empower this art of public speaking as it has its own set of benefits and advantages. It helps you increase your self-confidence, increase your motivation power, boost your career graph, and even improve your quality of life.

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Techniques To Improve Human Capital

Companies have to learn the ways to improve human capital in order to ensure that their invaluable asset, human capital, is not under-utilized or underestimated. Successful companies are those that understand the importance of managing and organizing the use of its human capital. If the human capital is to function as expected, and to ensure that they are equipped with the skills necessary proper employee training programs have to be enforced. The key is to make each employee feel his service is invaluable to the company, motivating them, make them feel proud to be working for an ethical and reputed company by following strict guidelines and by giving them incentives to give their job their best effort.

Some companies improve their human capital by hiring intelligent students from India and china etc. to prevent this, good education can be given to our kids to ensure a sure fire way to improve human assets. Human capital is judged based on his productivity, knowledge, sociability and the way he uses his skills and all that he has been taught.

Ways to Improve Human Capital:

Education and Training: Some companies provide constant training and sponsor the education of their employees knowing that employees need to keep updating their skills to meet the challenges of new technologies and innovations at work. When the employees are trained, their work efficiency improves, improving productivity thereby benefiting the company as well as improving the human capital.

Monitoring Performance: To conduct periodic tests to determine the ways to improve human capital. You can learn if your human capital heed your advice and take steps suggested by you to improve their work or implement new skills they had recently been trained for.

Hiring Qualified People: When qualified people are hired, the human capital will improve, as they know their job and will perform it without wasting time in learning and understanding what has to be done.

Motivation: When companies offer incentives and other means of recognizing the talents of good employees, by promoting them or offering a salary increase, it will motivate them and make hem perform the best they can.

Never Under-Utilize Human Capital: Never under-estimate or under-utilize your human assets, make them know they are instrumental in your company’s growth and this will help boost morale. If you show that, you care and nourish your human capital; it will surely be reciprocated and can be one of the best ways to improve human capital.

These are just a few ways to improve human capital. There are firms offering services as well as products to help new business run a successful business.

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Affiliate Marketing Board Benefits

It seems like almost everyone in the world is on the Internet, this is because millions of dollars are spent by people every day on the Internet.

Many of these people use the Internet as a way of saving some money and trying to buy all of the things that they love on the limited amount of money that they have.

Since everyone is thinking about saving money when they are shopping through this method, there is a great potential to make money by simply offering products that customers are looking for at a lower price. Keep in mind that every dollar counts, the ability to offer an item at a discount of just one dollar may give you the potential for millions of orders that will give you a very successful venture.

This can be done with marketing where you are connecting with other businesses to offer products to an established base of customers with a affiliate marketing board. Using these board will allow you to connect with businesses that will provide you with a portion of the profits that are made on each sale.

One of the hardest things to do is find a new person that is looking for a product that is already offered. An affiliate marketing board will help you discover businesses that offer products that you can sell to start your own business. If you want to make money on the Internet, you will need to know which businesses will help you generate large profits and a great board can provide you with this.

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Marketing Mix – Top 4 Promotion Mix Tactics

Marketing mix is part of your marketing plan. It defines product, place, price and promotion. The promotion mix targets raising product or brand awareness, communicating the unique value proposition of your product and gaining acceptance of your products. The primary purpose and focus of promotional mix is to get the desired result: the sale of your product. There are more than seven common promotion mix tactics and while most businesses do not use all of these tactics to promote and sell their products, they do use a mix of these tactics.

The Top 4 Promotion Mix Tactics:

  1. Personal selling is one of the most common of the promotion tactics. Most companies will hire people to do the selling: sales representatives, account managers, inside sales representatives, retail sales, sales agents, or telemarketers. Face-to-face selling is one of the most common methods of selling, although sales by phone, and more recently, sales by email, are becoming well used. These are not necessarily as effective, but they are low cost sales tactics.
  2. Advertising is another common promotion tactic. Advertising focuses on brand recognition and identity; not on the product alone. Advertising can be a costly tactic that only the big businesses can invest in; particularly advertising on television which can cost anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million for a national broadcast in prime time (for a 30-second spot!). This cost is in addition to the cost of producing the commercial. Advertising in industry or consumer magazines is less expensive and typically you can target your advertisement to a specific industry or region. Other advertising can include car or bus ‘wraps’, events (such as sports, music, art), and billboards. The Internet is becoming a very popular place to advertise, and on a relative basis, it is more affordable.
  3. In the retail marketplace, consumer promotion is very common. Buy one, get one free. Coupons for discounted or free product. Free trial packages. Cash discounts or refunds. Contests that give back cash, prizes, or products. The commitment by marketers to consumer promotion is that this form of promotion can be designed to be very measurable. Coupons, contests, and packaging can be coded to report redemptions and to report sales increases and/or decreases related to consumer promotion. Additionally, packaging new products as a trial, with a mature or declining product, can often provide an opportunity to up-sell and extend the declining product’s life-cycle.
  4. Public relations (PR) is another common promotion tactic. Public relations includes writing and distributing press releases (to the local newspaper, the national newspapers, to online PR sites, to radio and television, to magazines, and more). The key for effective PR is to identify and understand your target audience, the key message or messages you want to deliver, the credibility of your organization, and the recognition that PR is not a sales tactic but an identity (whether corporate, brand or product) building tactic.

The most effective promotional program is usually one that uses a variety of tactics and techniques. It is important to measure the effectiveness of the program you engage in, and adjust your promotional program to increase effectiveness and outcome (sales).

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