Archive for February, 2012

Feb 24 2012

Obama To Give Startups Tax Breaks & Easier IPOs

Published by under Business & Marketing,News

Boosting the morale of entrepreneurs, the Obama Administration is making funding easy for business start-ups by introducing various Tax breaks and also making it easier for IPOs.

The idea behind the proposal is to make funding small businesses with start-up capital more attractive. By doing away with taxes on capital gains on investments this will happen easily. In addition, it would also increase the amount of money that will not need to be routed through SEC registration from $5 million a year to $50 million. This proposal is going to be part of Obama’s 2013 budget plan.

A few other highlights of the proposal

  • Tax reduction on startup expenses
  • A policy that will allow businesses to deduct cost of equipment and software
  • Grow the Government small business investment program by $1 billion

Addressing The Associated Press, director of the White House National Economic Council, Gene Sperling said that the Obama administration is aware of how much small and new businesses drive job growth in the national economy; leveraging on these new business starters by certain federal supports like tax breaks is the most logical aspect that is being practiced.

Sperling further informed the AP, “Our small business agenda has a specific focus on removing the barriers that have for too long blocked startups and entrepreneurs from getting the financing they need to accelerate their growth and hiring.” While some welcomed the policy, some think making public funding by relaxing regulations would be prone to fraud.

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Feb 23 2012

Berkshire Hathaway—A Billionaire’s Reality

Published by under Business & Marketing

The conglomerate that was once rated as the eighth largest company in the world by the Forbes Group is the brainchild of the smartest man on Wall Street. A sagacious investor by nature, Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, built his empire through strategic investment, which was came intrinsically to him. He first filed his income tax in 1944 and at the age of 11 he first bought stocks of Cities Service.

The empire of Berkshire Hathaway spreads across pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, media, insurance, to financial services, food, construction, and many more. Apart from this, Berkshire Hathaway owns several companies in diverse industrial sectors, making it almost a $ 50 billion company in terms of equity valuation.

In 1962 Buffet started investing in a textile manufacturing firm in Berkshire Hathaway and in 1965 Buffet’s partnership started buying Berkshire shares very aggressively. In 1988 Buffet bought shares up to 7% for $1.20 billion of Coca Cola Company. Buffet became a billionaire when Berkshire Hathaway started selling class-A shares in 1990. During a sub-prime phase Berkshire’s earnings dropped 77% in the third quarter of 2008. Buffet helped Dow Chemicals with $ 18.8 billion takeover of Rohm and Haas and became the single largest shareholder in the enlarged group with his Berkshire Hathaway.

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Feb 16 2012

Should The U.S. Extend Its Helping Hand To The World

Published by under News

The ongoing economic threat has pushed America to reconsider its worldwide financial aid when things at home front are looking bleak. Many believe that the Federal Government should take cognizance of the fact that economic hardships are growing for Americans and home issues should top the priority list for any policy formulation. However, looking at history, it was never in the American spirit to ignore things even at the darkest hour, even in times like the Great Depression or economic struggle that would otherwise affect general life. The American spirit of courage, sacrifice, and passion to bring a change has always won and survived the onslaught of economic turmoil.

Fact is that you can help others when you yourself are strong enough to survive. Is US fit to help others? With an unemployment-rate of 9.2 percent in June 2011, and the Great Recession in 2008 unemployment is still a massive problem. The Federal Government’s unemployment benefit schemes are just a Band-Aid and no lasting solution to the problem. The ever-growing trade deficit is a perennial concern along with the surging Chinese economy. Moreover, the valuation of Chinese currency (kept artificially low) is further affecting the American Dollar. With all this going on, critics believe America should hold back its humanitarian aid to the world.

It is worth mentioning that even with the global economic crisis, an average American still has a better lifestyle than his counterpart anywhere else in the world. People in third world countries and in Africa still don’t have access to basic amenities like pure drinking water, proper education and still fighting with diseases that have a cure. The counter-argument is that helping others is not all about resources. All it takes is courage, sacrifice, and a solemn obligation towards building a bigger community. The American dream is characterized by equality, freedom of living, and upliftment of communities worldwide.

However, there is another school of thought—one that believes the world is no longer taken in by American philanthropy and there are countries which don’t like America meddling in their internal affairs. This faction says that instead of trying to help others, America should focus on its own affairs.

These debates are never-ending. We just wait and watch—how much of these donations will affect the home economy and will the US economy improve with the immediate suspension of these aids?

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Feb 10 2012

The Progressive Evolution That Made Promotional Items Effective Marketing Tools

Giving away promotional products to loyal customers, recognizing an employee’s effort or expressing gratitude to someone you really care about, as a subtle way of marketing, is something that has become the norm for businesses universally.

However, this marketing methodology has its roots back in the golden pages of history. During the inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the U.S. on April 30, 1789, promotional items were used to good advantage back then just as they are today to promote an idea, a cause, an individual or a group of people.

 

This idea was further boosted during the latter part of 1800 when business enterprises realized the benefits that could be garnered by distributing promotional products—like shot glasses given away to customers. Eventually their business grew both in revenue and volume.

Initially promo items like fans, bags, and calendars were used. However, the exponential growth of industry competition made people bring in some innovative ideas like imprinting company logos, taglines on these items and it was observed that their business gained better market visibility. Thereafter, promotional giveaways like corporate gift items have emerged as reliable and measurable methods of marketing that promises a better brand recall.

So if you are still biting your nails, then we would recommend you go with this marketing strategy and give your brand a new lease of life. Check out this study conducted by ASI just to understand how promotional items are received in the market and by the end-users.

Here it goes:

  • 85% respondents could recall from whom they have received promotional gifts—better Brand Recall.
  • 24% are ready to do business with the advertiser they received the items from—better Business Prospect
  • 62% already had done business with the advertisers they received gifts from—measurable ROI from Promotional Items

So if you would like to propel your business to a new dimension, consider promotional items as your perfect marketing tools.

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Feb 08 2012

Super Bowl 2012—lights, camera and commercials

Millions of eyes were geared up to capture every single minute of the action that would be broadcast during the grandiose Super Bowl XLVI held at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday, February 5, 212.

As per the market observers, irrespective of which team won the trophy, the real time game winner would be promotional companies, which printed more than 25,000 T-shirts overnight. Report released by the ASI suggests that hundreds of promotional companies worked during the wee hours of Sunday to get those much-awaited promotional items out there–T-shirts, jackets, and other logoed items.

According to Timothy M. Andrews, president and CEO of ASI, the $18.5 billion promotional industry churns out huge sales during such national events, most of which comes from promotional t-shirts which are a favorite with football fans. Leading sports stores were seen running back and forth in the wee hours of the morning to ensure their promotional apparel was ready in time for the event.

Apart from the promotional industry, other businesses also scored quite well in successfully running their own campaigns during the big event. The auto sector giant GM won a standing ovation from the audience for their commercial. The ad showed a Chevy Silverado surviving the Armageddon which was based on 2012 apocalypse of the Mayan calendar. While some outperformed their competitors, the latter went home with gloomy faces. Giants like Coca Cola stuck to their old themes and failed to win over 100 million estimated spectators, the largest TV audience of super bowl 2012, in the US.

Though several brands stayed out of the limelight, they made an impression on their audiences by sheer brand power that they command in the market. Even so, promotional industry stole the show—as it does each year because people love freebies.

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