Business communication is so much more than words

Effective communication is an absolute requirement for successfully starting a business, but it doesn’t come naturally to many entrepreneurs. Communication is considered a social skill, and inventors and engineers, for example, are not known to be social butterflies.

Founders have to communicate their ideas and products to investors, business partners, and the rest of the team. Then, hopefully, come customers, distribution channels, and going public or merging with an attractive buy-out candidate. Communication is not just talking, but also writing, body language, and “actions speak louder than words.”

John Spence, in his book “Awesomely Simple” says that the single biggest problem he has to deal with in client companies worldwide is the lack of open, honest, robust, and courageous communication. He narrows down the problem to the following aspects of communication, and I agree:

  1. Honesty. This element is without question the most important in building strong communication in a startup. The implementation is simple – just tell the truth all the time, every time. It’s a lot easier than trying to remember what you said the last time, and people notice quickly. Build a culture of truth, and others will follow your lead.
  2. Empathy. It is one thing to be honest; it is another thing to be brutally honest. Tell the truth in a frank and direct, yet respectful and empathetic, way. Shoot straight with people, but don’t shoot them between the eyes. Body language and sincerity are important here.
  3. Courage. You need the courage to put even the most difficult and challenging subjects on the table and lead the discussion. Don’t wait until tomorrow, hoping the problem will go away. Courageous means that team members have the nerve and confidence to question authority, rather than dutifully fall in line behind a bad direction.
  4. Safety. If you want people to tell the truth, you have to make it safe for them. Here is where your actions speak louder than your words, and louder than any written policies. If you obliterate someone for telling you the truth, you will never hear the truth again. If you are caught in a lie once, you will never be believed again.
  5. Intellectual rigor. Although people should be safe, ideas should not be. In an intellectually rigorous culture, theories are tested, and people welcome, even encourage, critical examination of ideas and information, regardless of the source. The goal is for only the strongest ideas to survive.
  6. Transparency. The hallmark of great leaders and organizations is that they share as much information with all of their stakeholders as often as they possibly can, in multiple contexts. Yet many leaders will tell me that they are continually amazed to hear the common complaint “why didn’t anybody tell me this was happening”.

Spence says that the best way to improve your organizational communication levels is to improve your own interpersonal communication skills. Luckily, these are skills that can be taught and learned. It takes practice and hard work, but with time, it is possible to greatly improve.

The key skills for superior interpersonal communications are effective use of body language, focused listening, expert questioning, using multiple sensory modes, providing both logical and emotional arguments, and listening for ambiguous or emotionally loaded words. But these are subjects for another day.

If you are one of those entrepreneurs who struggles with every email you write, take heed of the importance of the basic principles above, and take inspiration from the fact that you can and will improve your skills, if you are willing to work at it. But make no mistake about it, being an entrepreneur who does not communicate is not an option. Start today, and do it every day.

Markets denied from the highs

In the previous article, I mentioned that there’s a possibility for these all-time-high markets to have a correction. There it is! This past week, the DJIA had lost around 400 points from its highs at 16,450 level. While the 16,000 level is a big support level, I believe the markets will head lower maybe to 15,600 to 15,700 level in the coming week.

We started off with a weak China export data on Monday; it caused the world stocks, copper, and oil all dipped during the trading session. On Tuesday, J.C. Penney got an upgrade. Additionally, Men’s Wearhouse paid $65 per share to buy Jos. A. Bank (finally). On Wednesday, Federal Trade Commission opened inquiry into Herbalife; Herbalife dropped more than 7% on the same day. On Thursday, stocks fell sharply – more than 200 point – because of the Ukraine worries. Moreover, Amazon raised the price of Prime membership to $99 per year – that’s a 25% increase since nine years ago when the Prime first introduced to the public. More news from Thursday: U.S. budget deficit narrows in first five months of fiscal year; Number of U.S. millionaires hits new high; U.S. environmental agency drops ban on federal contracts with BP; Shell cuts spending in U.S. to lower shale exposure. On Friday, the FDIC sued large banks for their alleged role in manipulating a global benchmark used t o determine interest rates on everything from home loans to corporate debt. More news from Friday: Treasuries posted largest weekly gain in two years; GoDaddy eyed initial public offering; Wall Street ended lower on jitters over upcoming Crimea vote on Sunday; Chinese social media company Weibo plans US debut.

As you can see, many of these news are negative. Next week, we want to see if the DJIA can maintain above the 16,000 level – the key level. If it cannot maintain that level, then the market will drop lower straight to the 15,600 to 15,700 level.

Defense contract awarded to Source One Tactical

Source One Tactical, a military and tactical gear supplier founded in 2003, located in Wellington, Florida, has been awarded a $10 billion contract from the Defense Logistics Agency. According to the Defense Logistics Agency, 20 companies bid for the overall contract and the other companies receiving similar contracts were: Tactical & Survival Specialties of Harrisonburg, Virginia, W.S. Darley & Co. of Itasca, Illinois, ADS, Inc., of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Federal Resources Supply Co. of Stevensville, Maryland, and Quantico Tactical of Aberdeen, North Carolina.

The Defense Logistics Agency is the Department of Defense’s largest logistics combat support agency, providing worldwide logistics support in both peacetime and wartime, to the military service as well as several civilian agencies and foreign countries.

Mark Llano, a Marine veteran, is the founder and chief executive officer of Source One Tactical. The company provides tactical gear, weapons and other supplies primarily to the military and law enforcement. Mr. Llano categorized the contract as, “Critical to the health of the company. It will position Source One Tactical for additional military and government contracts. I wanted to support the men and women fighting in the field for the United States. I found a niche for tactical gear and saw an opportunity to set up a company that offered value, not just in pricing but in quality customer service. ”

The revenue of the company fell by more than 30 percent from year end 2012 to year in 2013, due in large part to the sequestration and government furloughs. This contract is a welcomed gain for the Source One Tactical, an employer of 34 people with the recent addition of three new sales positions all filled by military veterans.

In addition providing service to the military and law enforcement, the client list of Source One Tactical includes, but is not limited to, Wackenhut, L-3, BAE Systems, LC Industries, Blackwater and General Dynamics.

In 2007, Mr. Llano received the Sun-Sentinel “Excalibur Award” for Small Business leader in Palm Beach County.

Disposable Cups – A New Trend in Serving Customers

Disposable cups whether made of plastic or paper have become an essential part of the party scene in many countries, especially during match night when people gather in bars to cheer on their teams as they drink their favorite beer. Catering to huge crowds during such nights can be very difficult. Accidents are bound to happen when a hundred odd people are confined in a room. To avoid accidents and to serve customers at a faster pace bars have started using Plastic Beer Cups. The advantage of using cups made from plastic is that you simply use them and dispose them off so that they can be recycled.

Plastic cups are a good way to advertise your brand. In fact many manufactures of edible liquid products such as soft drinks, beer and preserved juice usually supply cups with their logo printed on them to caterers for events such as fund-raisers, fun fairs, eating competitions as well corporate events. Suppliers of filtered water to give cups to their customers every time they come to change the water barrel in the office.

Event organizers too can help you find the best quality cups for personal parties such as weddings, birthdays, graduations and may such gatherings at reasonable rates. To add more charm to your event you can co-ordinate with the organizers and ask them to get cups, plates, table mats and serviette custom-made to match the theme of the event. The bride and groom can have their initials printed on all the above items and match the color with the brides outfit, wedding invitation car or even the flowers on the cake.

As the demand of plastic products increases so do the prices and you need to make sure that you do your research before you buy anything. Whether thru shops or online retail outlets you need to check the prices and compare them so that you can get the best deal. Also find out the rates for getting your logo printed on the cups.

Plastic Cups Canada comes in a variety of size and are available and without a lid. Plastic cups with frosted straw slot lids are ideal for cold drinks while Styrofoam cups with dome and lock back lids are best to keep your coffee hot for a longer time. Plastic vine cups are also available in a range of colors and sizes for corporate parties and other events.

The Big Bang Theory taps Wil Wheaton in ‘The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary’

For once, “The Big Bang Theory” has a guest star to milk over. “Star Trek” alumni Wil Wheaton stars as himself in the episode ‘The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary.’

That’s the good news. The bad news is that not only is Wil Wheaton’s talent wasted, his presence actually brings down the episode. First of all, playing a fictional version of himself is fine, but playing a jerky version of himself is not all that funny. With few lines and none that are actually funny, the storyline feels dampened by the extreme waste of talent.

The upside is the new coupling on the show. With Raj and Sheldon spending more time together, Penny and Leonard must deal with Howard’s incessant demands, including being set up with one of Penny’s friends.

Somehow, ‘The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary’ is by far the weakest episode of the season so far. “The Big Bang Theory” is a top-notch sitcom, but this is not in its prime. Sorry Wheaton; I still like you in “The Guild.”

New York managed futures cta expo 2014

CTA EXPO in New York City is designed to provide a venue where CTAs can interface with capital sources that consider CTA managers a source of alpha.

CTA EXPO New York is a one day conference consisting of speakers and panels combined with a concurrent schedule of presentations by individual traders and industry workshops. This year will include a special half day event on business guidelines for emerging managers the day before the expo.

The expo is designed with significant networking time for participants and sessions with topics that will benefit capital sources and managers.

Topics and Speakers Include:

The Alternative Industry…Where we Are…Where Are we Going?
Moderator: Nancy Davis (Quadratic Capital)
Panelist: Daniel J. Barnett (Revere Capital Advisors, LLC)
Bob Swarup (Camdor Global)

Emerging Managers and Their Role in a Diversified Portfolio
Robert Teeter (Silvercrest Asset Management Group, LLC)

Public Relations & Marketing for the Emerging Manager
Moderator: John Conolly (CME Group)
Panelist: Douglas Ashburn (John Lothian & Co.)
Ginger Szala (Ginger Szala Ink)
Brenna Hardman (Buy Side Design)
Andrea Cosentino (Horizon Cash Management LLC)

3rd Party Marketing and its Role in an Effective Business Plan
Laurie Whetstone (E4 Strategic Ventures)

Meet the Authors: An informal discussion by three prominent authors who have written books on the Alternative Industry.
Moderator: Christopher Hurd (Jefferies)
Panelist: Bob Swarup (Camdor Global) – Money Mania
Stephanie Hammer (Eurex) – Architects of Electronic Trading
William Ziemba (Alpha Z Futures Fund) – Investing in the Modern Age

Trading Traps…Too Many to Count
Peter Borish (Quad Capital)

Emerging Manager Selection…A Consultants Perspective
Kevin Hall (R.J. O’Brien)

Platforms…Their Selection and Use for Managers and Investors
Jon Stein (Astor Janssen Holdings)

Macro Economics Impact on Foreign Exchange
Michael Woolfolk Ph.D (BNY Mellon)

Regulatory Challenges for Investors and Managers in 2014
Moderator: Marc Nagel (Marc Nagel Consulting)
Panelist: Claire Cummings (Cummings Law)
Mark Ruddy (Ruddy Law Office PLLC)

Date: Wed April 30, 2014, (Half day event Tuesday April 29, 2014)

Venue: New York Stock Exchange, 2 Broad Street, NY, NY,

Time: 8am to 4:30pm. Cocktail reception immediately following event

A Summary About The Progress Of Ecommerce Last Year

Starting 2014, we’ve seen the newest developments from 2013 and the growth of the latest mobile platforms for E-commerce. A new form of proliferation was developed through the incorporation of social networking, mobile phone applications as well as general upgrade of technological innovation.

Have you seen that whenever you are getting offered adverts by Facebook as well as Google, they have an inclination to hit points that you are searching for? How did this come about? Last 2013, we saw much better personalization in advertisements and ecommerce. Numerous e-commerce sites are currently including social media in their marketing tactics. Those corporations who recognized the way to help make the most out of this system has been through substantial advancements. There are several social media websites that are popular these days. A lot of the social media sites are compiling demographic info. These data include things like age, geographic location, travel practices, buying practices, and perhaps your social status and many more. These are then collected into one major data source that they are using to focus what they are featuring to shoppers.

For example, when you order from amazon, they’ll be keeping tabs on all the books which you have purchased through a personalized record. Though personalization is not new, it is the rise in mobile computing and access to ecommerce modern technology that has made 2013 the year of personalization. 2013 found the adjustment of individuals to mobile computing, with most mobile phones now running Android and also IOS making the online world more open to everybody.

Last year, there was even a prominent surge in mobile banking since many banking institutions have formulated their very own mobile apps to allow their clients to access their internet site from their phone. Shoppers have never envisioned the apps to be geo-specific which means not only do they use GPS to locate you and supply you with the most effective offers they also have language distinct platforms for promising sectors like China. Additionally we begin to see the regular retail outlet on main street start off to branch out in to the online world, primarily motivated by the single handed access to a lot of e-commerce systems.

Numerous classic corporations have ventured out into the net in an effort to set up their existence. This is achieved by the development of cross channel marketing and making sure of seamless sales to customer service experience. Using your phone and the mobile apps, you can now ask, obtain, speak and also report disputes. Gone are the days of spread shot promotional, individuals are overpowered by junk e-mail and overabundance of choice. In 2013 it was not the amount but right away it’s the quality. The ones that don’t focus on their customers effectively are way behind the firms which understand the way to properly detect and target their consumers.

Ecommerce websites during the last year was also focused on client preservation and faithfulness. Many have provided better client help and support by supplying more effective internet based chat services. In addition, in order to retain and maintain the loyalty of their consumers, increasingly more e-commerce businesses are presenting customer rewards along with other incentives. With this, their shoppers continue to be loyal to their brand. Also, they are drawing back their previous customers into choosing their brand or company again by featuring them with wonderful deals and various other bonuses.

You will find essentially 4 organizations dominating ecommerce which are Google, Amazon, Apple and also Facebook. What was once looked as a service that lost to Facebook, Google made numerous good options during the past year and are right now succeeding. Youtube and also Android are also extremely popular as the former is getting footing and the latter is dominating the cell phone market. You can essentially obtain everything on Amazon. In terms of social networking, Facebook has always been over the lists. The ecommerce industry has also been covered with Apple.

In 2013, the development of online business was really outstanding. The necessity of building a web based existence is right now being recognized by several traditional suppliers. For that reason, people are now furnished with innumerable selections online. It is advisable to comprehend how this market have grown this past year. In order to enhance your own e-commerce endeavor, knowing the improvements that had taken place in the past years will assist you to detect key elements of a successful e-commerce internet site. You should be attentive constantly considering that that is one of your key tasks if you’re exploring in the e-commerce industry.

The rules of the game – business guidelines for emerging managers

CTA Expo LLC Presents:

The Rules of the Game – Business Guidelines for Emerging Mangers

A ½ day special program for new managers. Attendance is limited and restricted to managers registered for CTA Expo New York 2014. Preregistration is required. This pre-conference event will provide an overview of the basics of marketing, product packaging and due diligence. This seminar will be in a boardroom setting and attendance will be limited.

Topics and Speakers:

The Cost Efficient Fund Startup Solution for Emerging Managers – Introducing Nascent
Dermot Butler (Custom House Fund Services (Ireland) Ltd)
(sponsored content)

Marketing and the New Manager
Topics include: working a conference, websites and social media, and capital raising alternatives
Moderator: Bucky Isaacson (CTAExpo LLC)
Panelist: Shane Stiles (Gate 39 Media)
Kristen Fox (Fox Inspires)
John Gallagher (du Pasquier & Co. LLC)

Operational Considerations for CTA’s
Brokerage Firms and Capital Raising, Preparing for an Audit, Establishing an Efficient Back Office
Moderator: Frank Pusateri (CTAExpo LLC)
Panelist: Kate Dressel (Strategic Compliance Solutions, LLC)
Anthony Pecoraro (R.J. O’Brien)
Michael Coglianese (Michael Coglianese, CPA)

Date: Tuesday

Time: 1pm to 4pm

Location: New York City, NY

Free $5 Starbucks gift card through mPoints

Are you a loyal Starbucks customer? Would you like to be able to get your favorite menu items from America’s popular coffee store for free? If so, mPoints is giving away $5 Starbucks gift cards for free!


The rewards program mPoints was created by SessionM. Its website claims it to be the world’s leading mobile loyalty program.

Users of apps endorsed by mPoints get awarded specified amounts of points for performing certain tasks each day. The tasks that give rewards are determined by the app awarding the mPoints. These points can add up rapidly depending upon a user’s regularity.


For example; one of the apps where a user can earn mPoints is the Punchcard app on the Android market. By scanning receipts from stores, users are awarded mPoints after spinning the lottery wheel.

Other mPoints can be earned through Punchard by checking in to certain stores or clicking on the app each day. Whenever mPoints are earned, users can share what they have earned via Twitter, email, or more and receive 30 bonus points once a day.

Other ways to earn

mPoints gives you incentive points for downloading associated apps through their in-app promotion advertisements. You can also earn points for watching sponsored videos, viewing sponsored websites, and completing really short assessments.

With all of the mPoints partner apps I have on my Smartphone, I usually earn around 500 to 2,000 points a day. There have been many occasions where I made over 2,000 points, but much less the next day.

Useful Cargo Baskets for Carrying Bulk Load

Only quality cargo baskets could keep the goods safe. On the other hand a substandard product would only harm the expensive goods. For instance take large steel pipes used in drilling sea bed. These pipes should be properly oiled for smooth functioning.

Cargo baskets ideal for carrying bulk material and oversize products used by oil producing companies should be made up to DNV2.7-1 / EN12079 standard. There are manufacturers that produce quality containers and the good thing that they could deliver customized containers to suit individual needs. Oil company managers need to keep the standard in mind when shopping for metal containers.

Why these metal baskets are important for oil companies? Actually these boxes deliver useful goods at the drilling site located in high seas. The boxes are used for carrying machine parts, large equipments and big tools. The quality of the boxes is that they could keep the belongings safe from shock, moisture and saline sea wind.

Only quality cargo baskets could keep the goods safe. On the other hand a substandard product would only harm the expensive goods. For instance take large steel pipes used in drilling sea bed. These pipes should be properly oiled for smooth functioning. A length of sparkling clean pipe could make a hole on the hard sea bed and reach the oil hidden under earth crust. Rust, dust and grime on the pipe could make it redundant.

Like steel pipes, there are many tools that make drilling convenient. These oversize tools require special boxes that are made for holding oversize products. A customized container would be just perfect for carrying a product that is extraordinarily long or wide. For customized boxes, oil company managers could contact a credible container manufacturer.

Customized cargo baskets of DNV2.7-1 / EN12079 standard would come at a high price but there should be no worries as these quality boxes would give you more value for your money. They would last long and also they won EUR(TM)t require frequent maintenance. Metal boxes with side opening walls and open top would make loading and unloading convenient.

Ideally oil companies should maintain a fleet of metal containers so that they could replace the aging containers with new ones. Like other products, containers also have a fixed life term and a metal basket should be replaced with new one before expiry of its life cycle. It is the responsibility of oil firm managers to keep useful metal baskets and dump aging containers.

When shopping for cargo baskets, the managers should look for standard DNV2.7-1 / EN12079 metal containers. The metal baskets should be made of tough material and not the recycled one. Since there are many manufacturers, shopping around could benefit the oil companies.