|Small Business Information|
We Know Who THEY Are
Am I the only one that does not have an "A" button on my computer? I have looked on the keyboard, monitor and hard drive I can not find that darn thing anywhere. Nobody will tell me where it is.
You know the one I am talking about, right? No, not the one between the Caps Lock and "S" key.
Let me explain. You can go up to some people and tell them that you are a skip tracer. If you are like me you then have to explain exactly what that means. You tell them that you use the telephone and computer to locate people that owe money. The usual response I get at this point is, "yeah, you can get on the Internet and hit "A" button and- poof! - you can find anybody." Sound familiar?
Is it really that easy? If so, I have been doing it the hard way for years. Or, is it just some people think they know how to do our job better than we do? I like to refer to this group of people as "they".
I think that there are a few things that "they" do not understand. "They" don't realize that we have only 4 tools- the telephone, the computer, our minds and each other. We then take these tools and use them in various combinations much like a surgeon to dissect mountains of information until we find our debtor.
"They" don't understand the multitude of laws such as the FDCPA, FCRA, GLB and others that guide our searches because of the fear of what we could do with this gained knowledge.
"They" do not understand that we can take social security number and just by looking at it we can determine that any SSN that begins with 000 or ends with 0000 is not real, or that the first three numbers indicate the state that it was issued in. We also know that previous to 1972 SSN's were issued when the individual got their first job, after 1972 the SSN was issued at birth. Should we tell them that until recently SSN's were issued in numeric sequence starting in the New England states then going down the east coast, then the mid west and finally the west coast. Only now additional numbers are being added to the list.
We also know that if the debtor has hunting or fishing license that document is a public record. We can obtain address and phone information from it. And when it comes to public records there is a ton of information that we can obtain. These include, UCC, if the debtor has a Lien, or if the debtor is a Notary, or if the debtor is deceased or if the debtor has been sued, divorced or won a judgment.
"They" do not understand that if we have a debtors name that we can go to www.bop.gov and determine if that debtor is or was in a federal prison. Should we tell them that if we have a possible name, address or telephone number that we can go to www.argali.com or www.pretrieve.com and find all kinds of useful information? "They" didn't know that with just a possible address we can go to www.netronline.com and find out who owns that property such as the debtor or their landlord.
Do "they" know that if we go to the Secretary of State Page for any state we can determine who owns a corporation, who the officers are and possible even see documents filed by the corporation. I am sure that "they" are unaware of the fact that we can go to www.vinelink.com or www.publicrecords.com and find almost every public record available about the debtor so that we can lead our investigation in various directions.
There are so many more things that we do that "they" do not understand. But, let them think what "they" want. We know the truth. We know our benefit to the overall corporate process. We know that if we were not able to do our jobs that prices would have to go up due to the loss for the inability to collect from those you can't find.
It is time that we bring our resources, experience and skills together creating a place to exchange techniques and updates so that WE can control the future of our industry.
It is time that "they" know just how valuable we are. "We" are interested in your thoughts.
As always, happy hunting.
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Self Serve Car Washes in the United States
In the 2003 Auto Laundry News Survey it was determined that only 10% of the Coin-op Car Washes had a web site. So if you are doing lots of individual research on car washes that are self serve, do not expect to find a lot of data on the Internet. Owners of coin-op car washes say that only 76% have internet access. The average population is 64% in the US. Not much better, so this low tech sector of the Industry seems to remain un Tech. Only 15% of coin-ops surveyed took credit cards for tokens, machines or even concession machines. Of which 17% only claimed to have concession machines, which most feel are 1/3 of their income if they had them. Only 4% had drinking water fountains. 13% had added an in bay automatic in the last five years. 51% had more than one location.
The Inside-Out Business Plan? -- Your Small Business Plan in 10 Easy Questions
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Concrete Cleaning Discussed at World of Concrete Expo 03
If you are in the pressure washing business and are serious about what you clean on the ground floor, I suggest you attend the WOC. The WOC is the World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas, which is held once per year. Each year it grows and is now one of the largest trade shows in Las Vegas. We spent two days walking the halls, meeting vendors, potential customers and learning about new materials, cleaners and equipment.
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Gather round while I tell you the story of Kennebec Ice. It's a story full of valuable business lessons even though it happened long ago.
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There is significant competition in auto detailing and car washing. Even more between types of cleaning businesses, as each company attempts to expand into other services which are the mainstay of similar business models. Many times the line blurs between a car wash, oil change business, truck repair, auto accessories business, electronics installers and auto detailing. What can you do? Well first let's talk about what you should not do. You should not start a war against all your competition. Instead you should maintain good relations with them, even if you find them to be somewhat unethical by nature.
You Dont Yet Know What You Dont Know
Someone new to business ownership recently told me, "Before I opened my business, I thought I was pretty well prepared. I knew how to produce and deliver our product. I worked through the numbers with my accountant and banker. I talked to many others in the same business. I was optimistic that my first year would go well."
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
Tell Me The Reasons Why I Should Believe You?
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Many job applicants want a job but often do not have the prerequisite experience, experience that they can only have by getting a job. Managers who take the chance and hire them may have to spend considerable time and effort training them, only to find the new recruits unsuitable or unhappy with the jobs and looking for employment elsewhere. One way around this problem for many organizations is an internship program. For professionals in career transition as well as students and recent graduates, such programs provide working experience that otherwise would never be supplied to someone interested in a specific field.
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