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Intro apr

Corporate gifts and souvenirs are a commonly used tool to show hospitality and appreciation to clients and employees alike.

Often a company will give away freebies at trade shows to people who visit their booth, and employees often receive a free gift at corporate events such as company picnics. When a company is planning an event to attract new clients or to promote the products and services they offer, they often put together a gift package containing souvenirs that relate to the event. Usually, they also commemorate the event with a special graphic or slogan that refers to the event’s intro apr theme. If you’ve been put in charge of purchasing corporate gifts and souvenirs for your company, there are a few things you should consider: Who is the gift for? A lot depends on who will be receiving your corporate gift. The most important distinction is whether the person receiving the gift is an employee of your company or an outsider. Corporate gifts and souvenirs should be chosen based on what they need to accomplish. If you are giving a corporate gift to an employee, it makes sense that the gift should be something useful that relates to the work your company does. If the gift is for a customer, it doesn’t necessarily have to relate to what your company does. It should be something the customer actually wants or needs so that they will keep the gift and remember your company the next time they need the services you provide. Does the corporate gift or souvenir commemorate something? If your corporate gift is a souvenir from a specific event, always make sure your company’s logo appears on the gift. Sometimes it’s also a good idea to include the name of the event and the date. This makes customers more likely to hang onto it, since it is a souvenir from a specific event they attended. How much can you spend? Corporate intro apr gifts and souvenirs can really be anything—lanyard, candy, keychains, hats, t-shirts, pens, Frisbees—literally anything. Your budget is important though. If your company offers a high-end or high-tech service, you don’t want to give your customers something cheesy or low-quality. Make sure the gift or souvenir is something useful, and get the most for your budget. Sometimes, giving away fewer more expensive gifts and souvenirs is more effective than giving away several cheaper ones. Corporate gifts and souvenirs are a very effective tool for promoting any business. Everybody loves to get something free—especially if it’s something they can use. When purchasing gifts and souvenirs, make sure you base your decision on who will receive the gift, what the person receiving it should remember about your event, and how much you can spend.2

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DID YOU KNOW?

One of the first questions people ask when they are purchasing something is, "What does is cost?". There is no exception when it comes to surety bond shopping. Unfortunately, bonds are really considered a form of credit and the same rate does not apply to all applicants. It is not that agents do want to give you a better idea of the costs of a bond, it is that they can not without applications being completed.

Usually, once a principal is told that bonds are really just a form of credit they respond with "My credit score is...What would the rate be for me?". Most surety bond programs are not written exclusively on personal credit. Therefore, a rate can not be given from the owner's personal credit information alone. Rates are typically underwritten based on, but not limited to: business financial statements for the company, personal financial statements for the owner(s), personal credit history of the owner(s) (not only the score), owner's resumes, etc. For an agent to tell the principal the cost of the bond he/she would have to review a good amount of information.

Often, when a principal hears that they can not obtain a quote without completing applications, they want a ballpark figure. While a good agent can get an idea of where an applicant might fall, it is far from being accurate. For instance, a standard market rate for commercial surety bonds are around 1-3% of the amount of the bond. However, there are numerous factors that could put an applicant into a high risk market which is closer to 15% of the amount of the bond. As you can see, agents are hesitant to give a "ballpark figure" when the range is so large.

If you are a principal shopping for a bond let me give you this bit of advice. Do not simply complete applications for every agency you can find. Do some research, as the knowledge of agents varies by a frightening amount. Our industry is small, but still has it's fair share of what I call "paper pushers", rather than agents. An agent will review your file and submit it to a couple of bonding companies where he/she feels you will obtain the best rate for your unique situation. A "paper pusher" will simply submit your application to every surety they are appointed with. You might think that these paper pushers are doing you a service by submitting you to more companies, but they are doing quite the opposite. For one, some sureties will pull credit on a principal whether the agent submitted the application with a credit report or not. This could result in a long list of credit inquiries which could drastically effect the owner's personal credit. Some bonding companies will also turn down principals if they receive the application from more than one agent. The sureties that practice this policy feel that the principals look desperate and do not feel comfortable extending them their surety credit. I am not saying you should only submit to one agent, but be sure to communicate with all agents involved that they are not the only agent. Also, be sure to find out what bonding companies each agent will be submitting to. These simple precautions could save you from tremendous headache down the road.

When looking for a surety bond, know that you will not be able to get a good idea of the cost until the agent is able to review your applications. Some agents may be willing to give you a ballpark figure, but keep in mind the ballpark is quite large in size and your actual quote can vary greatly. If you decide to use more than one agency, be sure you choose them wisely and keep communication as to what bonding companies the agents are submitting to.

It can be tempting to spend $100 or more while making a trip to the local store. Here are some ideas to help you keep control of your shopping:

1. Make a meal plan
By planning your meals ahead of time, you'll know exactly what you need from the store before you go. There will be no guessing and no wasted food.

2. Watch for specials
Many local stores put out newsletters and coupons. Watch for local specials and plan your meals around them.

3. Make a list
Very simple and often forgotten, making a list can be one of your best money saving tips as long as you stick to it! Don't buy anything not on your list or you could be in trouble.

4. Walmart isn't always cheap
While it may seem Walmart has the lowest prices, this is not always true. Check your local grocery stores and compair prices. You may be surprised to find some of the same items lower cost. Don't forget about the new chain of Super Target!

These are just some simple ideas which I hope will help in your next trip to the store. Following a budget and a plan can help cut your costs, but make sure you stick to it!










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