Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Basic Aspects of Freight Forwarding Services

Freight forwarding is a multi-billion dollar global business. From documents to large parcels, parcel forwarding companies have the networks to deliver packages to almost any part of the world. Parcels may range from personal packages to industrial raw materials.
Freight forwarderr are companies or individuals that arrange and organize the forwarding and delivery of parcels. They serve as third-party service providers or agents that liaison between clients and cargo carriers. They also ensure that all the legal requirements such as tariffs and custom duties are paid. They provide the tracking system and may also provide insurance coverage.
Many private forwarding companies operate on a small-scale basis. Their common clients are individuals who may send personal documents and parcels. These may include post cards, greeting cards, gift items and personal properties such as clothes and gadgets. On the other hand, some freight logistics companies operate on large-scale basis. These companies may exclusively serve manufacturers and suppliers. They usually accept parcels in bulk.
Some of these companies have their own carriers, which may include airplanes and cargo ships. They are primarily concerned with trade and commerce-related parcels. The shipments include raw materials and finished products. From metal ores to cars, from sugarcanes to chocolate bars, many forwarding companies may focus on specific market sectors.
Most freight forwarding businesses simply provide non-asset-based logistic services. This means that they merely manage the shipment of parcels and ensure their efficient and safe delivery. Ensuring efficiency involves speed of delivery and cost-effectiveness of delivery.
Freight forwarders are the ones who contact the various carriers and warehouses. It is made sure that the shortest route will be taken at the shortest possible time and at the lowest costs. In many cases, it takes several carriers for the parcels to be delivered. This is especially true for international shipments. From its point of origin, a parcel might be shipped via trucks, airplanes, cargo ships, small boats and even motor bikes.
Aside from the physical aspects of warehousing, securing and transporting parcels, corporate forwarders are also concerned about the documentation aspect. This is actually the most crucial aspect of the business. Without documentation, parcels can easily be lost. They can be delivered to the wrong addresses or they might be mislabeled and confused with other parcels.
The documentation aspect includes the encoding of the shipment details such as the names of the senders and receivers, the respective addresses, and the type of items. It also involves legal documentation. Virtually all forwarding companies have specialized computer systems that store data related to the parcels and track the shipment of the parcels in real time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bangladesh Economy to Bounce Back

Inflation in Bangladesh fell by 3 percent in 2011 to 9 percent. The currency has also somewhat stabilized. Thus Bangladesh is moving from a stormy situation to a much calmer one it seems. Along with these progresses, Bangladesh has also secured a loan from International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth $987 million. This loan is to be utilized to overcome its macroeconomic pressures and create a reserve buffer.
Iraj Ispahani of Ispahani Advisory pointed out some of the reasons for investors to return to Bangladesh. The main reasons would be - emergence of a substantial and entrepreneurial middle class and high employment with strong participation of women. He also said that the Myanmar effect would bring benefit to Bangladesh as people will realized that Bangladesh being a neighboring country to Myanmar has a better investment framework and macro environment.
A recent FTfm report noted that at the end of 2010, Bangladesh did what frontier market investors feared. The rally against sharp fall in the stock prices and violent protest by garments workers demanding the wages set by the government dashed away the hopes that fortune changes would be short lived. Even though the stock market remained volatile, the country's GDP grew at 6.0 percent, while IMF predicts it to grow at 5.9 percent in 2012. Bangladesh is one of the 30 largest economies in the world with a large informal economy that has a lot of potential. Furthermore, during the global economic crisis that troubled several countries to cope with, Bangladesh coped with it much better than many countries in the region with minimum impact mainly due to the cheap labour.
Women in particular have continued to play a vital role and have been the driver of growth for many years. The readymade garment industry that account for 80 percent of the country's exports and a significant number of women are employed in this sector. Women in the rural areas have benefited from the microcredit offered by BRAC and Grameen Bank. The microcredit has also let Bangladesh experience emerging middle class entrepreneurs.
The ongoing diversification into engineering, shipbuilding and pharmaceuticals industries are expected to increase the living standards and deepen the stock market. There are opportunities for foreign investors to play a role in the development in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is unable to finance certain infrastructure projects that are planned for. This is a lucrative sector where foreign firms could concentrate on and seek investment opportunities.
Currently about 65 percent of the corporate houses including Amzad Hossain led Pran Group, Azharul Islam led Aftab Group, Salman F Rahman led Beximco, Hashem led Partex Group are not listed. However, there is a tendency that many companies are now thinking of offering an IPO. The appetite for risk capital is growing and this is expected to benefit Bangladesh.
One vital barrier that Bangladesh has to overcome is when it will have to hold a legitimate, fair and free general election. Even with that, foreign investment is expected to grow along with domestic investments.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How To Create A "Client Getting" Direct Response Business Card

When you think of a business card, you probably imagine a professional looking glossy card with the standard business details like company logo, persons name, job title and their phone number.
Very bland, very boring, and the only people who will look at it twice, are those who just needed your phone number written down because they'd already been sold on using your services.
I would argue that the whole idea of a "Business Card" is to help get business... yet something has gone wrong along the way. They've turned into "contact cards" that certainly don't work at getting any business.
You'll see these exact same cards being handed out by the dozen at trade shows, seminars and any type of business congregation... with the hope that the receiver will be interested and will contact the giver for more information.
But why would they?
Why would anyone who has no idea who you are contact you because your card says that your name is "John Smith" and you're a "Business Consultant" or whatever?...
Answer... They wouldn't!
Instead of this 'image rich, content poor' business card, create an 'image poor, content rich' one.
You basically want to use all the real estate of the business card to create a "Direct Response" style card.
Here's what it'll need
  1. Plain white background with black text
  2. Big, attention grabbing headline
  3. Explain what you can do for the client
  4. Make an irresistible offer
  5. Create a "call to action"
  6. Use scarcity to create immediate action
Using these basic direct response strategies ensures that you'll get a much higher response than you would with the standard business card layout.
Plus, hardly anybody does this, so your cards will stand out from the crowd. While everyone else is trying to add more colour, fancy fonts and pointless images, your plain looking direct response business card will get the attention.
Don't use images unless they add to the message... and cram as much text in as you need. Don't be afraid to make it small, because if people care about what you're saying, they'll squint to read it if they have to!
TIP: Instead of leaving the back of your business cards blank, spend a little extra and use the back for testimonials. Add at least one, along with photos of each testimonial giver.
Business cards are so cheap to create these days, and if you can have them working as their own sales force, why wouldn't you design yours immediately and start to notice the difference this week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Business Didn't Succeed Because the Economy Sucked - He Said

Not long ago, I was talking to an individual about starting a new business, buying an existing business, or even setting up a new franchise. Although that decision had not been made yet, we did go through the various scenarios, potential opportunities in the area, and some of the challenges that lie ahead. There was one business for sale, through a private party that looked promising with some potential. There were also businesses of similar types within a 30 mile radius through several different business brokers.
The one business that my acquaintance considered potentially viable perhaps had not succeeded up to its full potential, or maybe it had in the past, but its heyday was gone, and therefore, we wondered is it possible to bring it back up to speed and surpass its once strong local market dominance. I asked what had happened, and why the business wasn't doing the level of revenue that perhaps it should. He explained to me that the business had not succeeded because basically the economy sucked after the financial meltdown in 2008.
If you know much about what happened out here in California, Nevada, and Arizona you can understand how the economy played a part in the destruction of so many small businesses. So, obviously I wasn't too surprised with his summation or observation about how come that business wasn't batting 1000 anymore. It is a reality that the economy in that area did suck.
Yes, true enough and yet, as entrepreneurs we are not allowed excuses, and a continued socialist regime in Washington could cause a continued economic downturn one you should be ready for, plus there will be additional costs with labor due to ObamaCare, and your personal taxes will rise with fewer deductions regardless of who gets elected on this go around. As I explained all this to him, he too was sketchy about the future, as are many entrepreneurs going forward.
Even many of the largest corporations are not spending a lot of money right now, and their holding onto huge cash reserves just in case. Can you blame them? After all, they have shareholder's equity and quarterly profits to worry about, and they can't take risks that big with an unknown future economy. Still, I can tell you this; most of the great strides I made in business as an entrepreneur were actually achieved during the worst economic times, and as things started to improve.
There is something to be said for getting in while things are bad, honing your skills, and getting ready for the good times. If you have all your ducks in a row when the market turns and the economy points upward, you are good to go. If we are going to hit a big upswing in the economy, it makes sense to get in on the cheap, and get the best deal possible before things return. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.