After four months wandering through "the deregulation maze," Jim Hill hadn't found accurate information on phone services and costs (Telephone Tag, January, [Article link]).
The nonprofit National Small Business Telecommunication Association (410-788-1515) provides free analyses of members' telephone use and systems. It also provides free telemarketing training and assistance, and its newsletter publishes information on maximizing telecommunications effectiveness. Perhaps the greatest benefit of membership is the group discount on long-distance service. The group's purchasing power saves members as much as 40% on monthly bills. It's made a difference in our bottom line.
Jan W. Feldman
Creative Marketing Solutions
Substitute Sellers The Resource Network trains teachers and often hires them to sell its services. As the company expands into new territories, vice-president Joe Pitts wonders how to find new recruits (Teacher, Teacher, January, [Article link]).
As a substitute teacher I was hired on a part-time basis by Junior Achievement. It screened me through the Fort Wayne community schools' substitute-teachers office. Call similar offices in local school systems or the placement offices at colleges in towns where you want to expand. I enjoy part-time work, and I'm sure other substitute teachers would, too.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
What Is It That You Do? Ronald Delfini wants to hire sales reps for his business, a metal-parts brokerage. Those he's approached are skeptical, since Delfini doesn't actually make anything (Is There a There There? January, [Article link]).
You could place an advertisement explaining your business in Agency Sales and see who responds. The magazine is published by the Manufacturers Agents National Association (P.O. Box 3467, Laguna Hills, CA, 92654, 714-859-4040). It also publishes an $85 member directory and sponsors four seminars each year around the country, including one in Syracuse, N.Y., in May.
Bank Holdup Johnnie Price wants to open up an executive-protection agency, but his 16 years in law enforcement haven't convinced lenders that he can run a company (Adopt-a-Cop, January, [Article link]).
Go to work for a private corporation as a protective officer, if only for a year or so, to add the credibility banks demand and build up referral and client information.
Director of Customer Service
Have you considered financing against receivables? You could receive cash immediately upon invoicing and gain the capital to grow your business. It will cost more than traditional financing methods would, but since your business is similar to a temporary-help provider, and your clients are creditworthy corporations, financing companies should take your request seriously.