Auto Repair

Why Did They Die so Soon?

Why Did They Die so Soon?

First it was my brother, Bobby, the boy who never met a stranger. Bobby was much like Daddy in that he always tried to make everybody laugh. Everybody liked Bobby. We grew up poor, but Bobby always had people buying him stuff because they liked him. He was just that sort of person. But, just like Daddy, Bobby’s flaw was that he was an alcoholic. Bobby was incarcerated for not paying on his fines for DUI and also possession of marijuana. He had been trying to get his life together. He was enrolled in a program at a technical college where he was taking auto body repair. He said he felt different there at school–that he really applied himself and that others didn’t even act like they cared. He finally had hope. But one trip back with his old friends in his old hometown was enough to get him back into one of his old patterns and he decided to get some marijuana. He was stopped by the police and found to be in possession. The day he went before the judge was a strange day–an almost mystical day. I was there with a letter from one of the directors of the school stating that he was enrolled in the program. But this was not enough for the Judge. When Bobby’s lawyer asked if they were sure that it was marijuana, the Judge said he didn’t know many people who would carry around a little bag of turnip greens. The Judge wanted him to stay in the same town and not be allowed to return to his out-of-state school. He said he thought the same thing might happen there. He wanted him to be with my mother at her home. The problem was that my mother had two children with my step-father and the burden would have been heavy on her. So, when they asked her if he could be released to her, she hesitated. She said, “well, oh, well my husband, uh–” I didn’t hear anything else. So, Bobby stayed in jail. It was a strange day, a very strange day. This one day, in my opinion, was the turning point of his life–he started dieing that day. You just never know. When I went to visit him there at the jail and bring him a few things, I asked him if they ever got ice cream. He said, are you crazy–they’d kill for ice cream here. Anyway, after a few weeks, Bobby was released and was on his way to live with me again when he was hit by a train. They said he was intoxicated. I remember my sister and brothers and I going downtown to get clothes for him to wear. We wanted him to have jeans, because he always wore jeans and then he had to have underwear. Why did he have to have them? There was a big discussion over this, so we finally made the decision that he was going to have underwear. The person who was helping us said that they came three to a package; someone said what are we going to do with the other two pairs? The assistant there at the store, seeing the situation said that he could get boxer shorts. But, we said he never wore boxer shorts. She said, ok–I’ll just take one pair out of the package. We were half there and half somewhere else. An open-casket was more than I could take. I remember thinking to myself–where were all these people when he was alive. One woman said, “doesn’t he look good?” I remember saying to her “the only way he would look good would be if he were alive.” My mother really loved Bobby because he was the only one who could make her laugh. She hasn’t really laughed much since he died. That was about 20 years ago.

Then there was Randy. Randy was a sweet, gentle man who never hurt anybody intentionally–except himself. When he was only 10, he had an accident which damaged his voice box; he was driving a gocart and ran into a chain length fence. He pressed the gas instead of the brakes. But, still he didn’t let that keep him from utilizing his voice as a way to make his living. With his graveldy voice, he worked at McDonalds and took orders thru the drive in. Many people asked him if he had a cold. Then later he worked for a major electronics firm where he worked in customer service. His last major goal was to receive his RN degree; but even though he graduated with a 4.0 average, he never got to use it. Just a few days after graduation, he was diagnosed with full blown AIDS. He could probably have lived longer if he had taken his anti retro viral drugs, but he said they made him sick, so he flushed them down the toilet. AIDS did not take him quickly. He suffered, so when he died at the hospital, I knew in my heart he would be better off with the Lord. He did try for a while. Randy never hurt anybody except himself, so why did he leave this earth premature? Randy joked about having AIDS and that Oprah ought to have him and Clay on her show because he felt it was probably strange for two brothers to have AIDS.

Randy and Clay both had gone to Los Angeles where they felt they were more accepted and able to live and not be judged because of their sexual preference. Clay was the strongest and was a fighter. Clay could really get angry. He was more of an in your face person. But when it came to AIDS, he was actually featured as one of the persons with full-blown AIDS who had lived the longest. This was many years ago, when everyone who got AIDS was expected to die from complications associated with AIDS. He said all of his friends were gone, including his partner whom he loved. But he fought and kept a positive attitude. He told me that at one time his T-cells were so few that he had them named.

So, why am I telling you about this? Why am I releasing painful information to you? It is not to make you sad. If you’ve read this whole article, you are definitely an unusual person who is not afraid to explore truth. Most people would have quit when after reading about Bobby. It is my opinion that most people don’t want to face reality when it comes to death and AIDS. That is why people don’t talk about it or why a cure has not been found.

I remember how people’s remarks hurt me so. My pastor at church stated in one of his sermons that “in the beginning, God created Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve.“ I went up after the service and told him how this made me feel. After that, I left my church. My brothers had a relationship with God; none of us are perfect. We are told not to judge. But, people often put down and criticize something they are afraid of or don’t understand. We must all strive to understand each other. We must all love one another. We must all know that AIDS or alcoholism or any type of disease can happen to any of us or a person we love.


Auto Repair

Truth – Just How Does One Know?

Truth – Just How Does One Know?

It breaks my heart to see people seeking the truth in man and not having that one on one relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, bless His heart and soul. The great thing about receiving the truth from the Blessed Trinity is that you experience it and see it. With man, all you might gain is some knowledge provided whom you are receiving it from knows truth. How can one discern what’s truth and what’s untruth? John 14:15-17 tells us that Jesus will ask God on our behalf to give us the spirit of truth provided we are ready. We can only be ready when we can keep those two commandments.

It’s not an overnight trip with Jesus Christ, it’s a long and narrow road and a very laborous one also. 1John and the writtings of Paul have an account of this journey. You’ll never learn what this journey is all about unless you travel that road which Jesus has mapped out especially for you. The hard part is getting started. It’s all up to you, your desire, your willingness and how much suffering are you willing to go through to take this journey. One is going to need to be fearless, which means no doubts or worries, just 100% faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Most people want to take the easy way, the highway to perdition.

Most people think they know truth because they went to church, bible studies, read books and received information from sources other than straight from Jesus Christ. To know Jesus is to have walked with Him. To know God’s word is to know Jesus Christ and to have suffered as He has suffered. People have this crazy idea that when Jesus died for the sins of the world that, we don’t have to do anything but accept the fact that He is our Savior and He died on the cross and was resurrected. We have to work for our salvation, it’s not free.

You read and study the scriptures but by not working them is nothing more than vain knowledge. How can you prove the word of God is the truth without works? Let me give you an example: If I were to take an auto repair manual and read it, does that qualify me enough to go work on that car? Unless I have someone show me what tools and parts I need and shows me how to fix it properly, I shouldn’t work on that car because I don’t know what I’m doing. Now if someone who knows what they’re doing shows me the right way to do it then I will be working what it says to do in the manual. Would you have a plumber teach you how to work on a air conditioner? Do they have stock brokers teach medicine? So why don’t we have Jesus teach us how to make it home to God?

Many people book vacations with travel agents because they trust them enough to give them a care-free vacation. But sometimes they don’t get what they expected, they wind up at a dump for a hotel or it’s located in a bad part of town, etc., etc. Same thing happens when man trust man with their spiritual guidance, only problem is thougC:Program FilesArticle Submittertemp_article.htmh when you go on this trip there’s no coming back. Who’s your travel agent? May God BlessYou Dearly.

I received the following in an e-mail. I hope you find it enlightening. Please pass it on.


Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! Make a personal reflection about this. Very interesting, read until the end…..

It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7): “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sow, that shall he also reap.

Here are some men and women who mocked God : John Lennon (Singer): Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:”Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain.

Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him” (1966)… Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil ): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro ), while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: “God, that’s for you.”
He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic: After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: “Not even God can sink it”. The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.

Marilyn Monroe (Actress): She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: “I don’t need your Jesus”. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment.

Bon Scott (Singer): The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: “Don’t stop me; I’m going down all the way, down the highway to hell”.

On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas (IN 2005): In Campinas , Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend….. The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: “My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.” She responded: “Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here…..It’s Already Full “. Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken.

Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer): said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written. In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus. Many have died, but only Jesusdied and rose again, and he is still alive. “Jesus”

Jesus said, “If you are embarrassed about me, I will also be embarrassedabout you before my father.”

“Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Auto Repair

Bankruptcy Help – 5 Things You Can Do After Bankrupcy

Bankruptcy Help – 5 Things You Can Do After Bankrupcy

One of the issues that people considering bankruptcy often worry about is that they will never get credit after filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. That, or the fact that the bankruptcy will stay in their credit report for 10 years from the filing, which fact would serve as warning to future creditors that you might turn out to be a bad risk. But neither is true, however. While a bankruptcy will indeed stay in your credit report for ten years, it does not necessarily mean that you can no longer get new credit.

Furthermore, only a Chapter 7 bankrupcy will stay in your credit report within 10 years. If you filed under Chapter 13, the period is shorter – about five to seven years. Worst case scenario: You can get a new loan but with high interest rates or fees. Now, that’s not so bad, is it? Especially after considering that even people with good credit can get bad loan deals. The fact remains that no matter how bad or good your credit line, it is not a guarantee that you are going to get approved for a loan or get low interest rates. In other words, a bankruptcy may damage your credit but only to an extent. It does not necessarily mean that you will never qualify for a new credit. What damage there is, you can always rebuild. And that is what you should be focusing on, instead of wallowing in the pits of Credit Doom.

#1 CAN DO: Keep a Credit Card out of the Bankruptcy

When filing for bankruptcy, the rule is that you have to make a schedule. A schedule is a list of all assets and liabilities that you are required under the law to disclose before a bankruptcy case could commence. If you owe money on a credit card at the time you file for bankruptcy, you have to include that in the schedule. Otherwise, you may be sued for perjury and penalized under federal law. What’s worse, if you fail to disclose unpaid credits like this, you may be denied discharge of all your debts.

The rule, however, only applies to unpaid credits. So if you do not owe any money on your credit card, then you can go ahead and keep that one out of the bankruptcy. You are not obliged to inform the credit card company of the bankrupcy case. Note, however, that your credit card company may still find out about it through other means and cancel your card as a precaution. If your credit card company gives you notice of cancellation of your credit card, don’t give up yet. Many credit card companies allow their credit card holders who are filing for bankruptcy to keep their credit card on condition that they agree to reaffirm the balance on the card and enter into a new agreement. Try to re-negotiate the terms with your credit card company and see if you can settle for a situation that is beneficial for both you and the company. While the decision is up to the creditors, keep in mind that what they want is to avoid the loss incurred when the debt is discharged and to have your future business.

#2 Get New Credit after Bankruptcy

If there is one thing you can count on in today’s competitive lending environment, it is that credit is always available, even to the recently bankrupt. The catch? Credit may be more expensive than before and available with lower limits. But all that is secondary only to the fact that credit does exist and you can get it. One of the easiest credits available to the recently bankrupt is a secured credit card. As opposed to an unsecured credit card, in a secured card, you must make a deposit of a certain amount of money in exchange for a card that you can use just like a regular credit card. Your credit limit is equivalent to the cash deposit you made. Now, the good thing about a secured credit card is that it is usually available post bankruptcy at lower rates than unsecured cards.

What’s more, the fact that these credit cards are secured are not often indicated in your credit report so creditors have no way of knowing whether your credit card is secured or not. All they will see is that you have been approved for a credit card, which ups your credit score a bit and puts you back in the game fairly quickly. Note, however, that credit experts are not quite in agreement concerning the impact of secured credit cards on your credit rating. So if you do decide to open a secured credit card post bankruptcy, be sure to do it slow.? While your rush at rebuilding your credit is understandable, making mistakes that could significantly affect your credit score like this is not worth it.

Rebuilding your credit worthiness after bankruptcy is a matter of getting a toe-hold in the world of credit. The balance is often precarious and needs delicate treatment. Use credit cautiously and pay on time.

#3 Buy a House after Bankruptcy

Absolutely. In fact, there are many studies that show bankruptcy debtors can qualify for a home loan on the same terms as if they had not filed bankruptcy within 18 to 24 months after a bankruptcy discharge. You see, what the creditors are concerned here is not your past financial troubles but your current financial status – e.g., your down payment, the stability of your income and the relationship between the loan payments and your monthly income. That said, take note of the following things that you might want to do in preparation for your first house purchase post bankrupcy:

• When purchasing a home after bankruptcy, the key is the discharge date, since there is usually a waiting period. If your loan was an FHA loan, you usually have a 2-year waiting period for that. For other conventional loans, the waiting period is four years. Now, during the waiting period, you need to do two things: re-establish at least 4 lines of credit (auto loans or credit cards, for example) and maintain an excellent payment history.

• Make sure that there aren’t any delinquencies on your credit report that should have been cleared off with the bankruptcy. If you find any, contact your creditors immediately. Include a copy of your “Schedule of Creditors” in your letter so that your creditors can indicate the debt was included in the bankruptcy and update your credit report.

• The more money you have in your savings or checking account, the better and stronger your file is going to look to a lender when you apply for a home loan. Remember that your ability to make a down payment bears great significance in your approval rating. If you have money in your savings account, your creditors will naturally conclude that you have the money to make a down payment.

#4 Get New Wheels after Bankruptcy

A common misconception people have after a bankruptcy is that getting new credit like a car loan is virtually impossible. Well, note that the word used is “virtually.” That is not the same as saying that you are certainly never going to qualify for a new car loan. Because the truth is you can and you should, if you need to. If you can get a house after bankruptcy, then there is all the more reason for you to be able to get a car. In fact, you can even start going through some dealerships as soon as your discharge papers are in. Just remember that the interest rates are not going to be cheap. Here are some tips to help you deal with that one tiny tangle:

• Check with the Special Financing Department
Most car dealerships have this special financing department that handles would-be car purchasers who are going through some financial trouble. Since these buyers would not be able to qualify for a conventional auto loan, some dealerships are willing to offer you a different deal to help you get that car you want and at the same time overcome the hurdle of credit after bankruptcy.

• Credit Unions
If you are a member of the credit union at your workplace, contact them and see if you can get a car loan through them. Often, credit unions offer lower interest rates than banks, which in addition to charging you higher interest rates, may also require you to deposit your paycheck directly with them. If your workplace does not have a credit union, your neighborhood may have one. Some are available to people based on organization or church affiliation, or even residence in a certain community.

• Charities
Not many people are aware of this but charities are actually a good place to look for inexpensive cars. You may have heard of charities that ask you to donate your working or non-working cars to them. In order to raise money, they repair these cars and sell them for a price that is significantly lower. Try those charities found in your neighborhood and see if they sell cars that are more along your price range.

#5 Have a 700+ Credit Score Two Years after Discharge

You might find this statement suspect, which is understandable really when you consider the many stories of how one bankruptcy can thoroughly damage the credit rating you’ve been building up for years. Expert after expert has said that new credit is near impossible to get after filing for a bankruptcy. However, in almost the same breath, the experts likewise say that it is not impossible to rebuild your credit worthiness after bankruptcy. And this is bolstered by the fact that you had good reason for the bankruptcy, such as unemployment, medical, business failure, etc, and that you immediately took steps re-establishing credit after receiving the discharge.

So why then, despite complying with these two requirements, your credit score remains way below average? The answer lies in your credit report. Your credit report contains everything about your finances. All of the information contained in your credit report, when added up, result in your three-digit credit score. Hence, any errors in your credit report, such as a fraudulent credit line or a debt that remains even though it was supposed to be discharged after bankruptcy, can aversely affect your credit score.

Common sense tells you that if you correct these errors and mistakes, you can improve your credit score. Also, some creditors make various inquiries into your credit report. This act could lower your credit score. What’s more, after a discharge, they are allowed to make only one inquiry into your credit report. After that, you are entitled to ask for $1,000 every time they look into your credit report. Make certain that your creditors are not making any more inquiries into your credit report. Write them a letter explaining that the debt has already been discharged. Include a copy of the discharge order as well as a copy of the ‘Schedule of Creditors’ from your bankruptcy papers as proof that the debts have already been discharged.

Auto Repair

10 Must Haves for A Successful E-Newsletter

10 Must Haves for A Successful E-Newsletter

E-Newsletters, commonly called ‘E-Zines’, are a must have for any business in today’s aggressive economy. E-Newsletters, done correctly, are a creative, non-aggressive method of reaching your current clients and building your prospect base at little or no cost. They not only provide useful information to subscribers on a consistent basis but they are a valuable marketing tool that allows you to enter their lives regularly, to get your name, and products or services, in front of them without the heavy sell.

The following pages contain a list of ‘must haves’ from the beginning to the end of your newsletter, and everything in between.

First and foremost, your E-Newsletter must have a:


Your newsletter’s headline, otherwise known as the subject of the e-mail, is responsible for 50-75% of its success. Other than whom the e-mail is from, it is what your reader sees first. Without a successful headline, your e-mail is destined for the trash can and you’ve missed a golden opportunity to reach clients and prospects with your message.

Writing a good headline is tricky and something people spend years learning and practicing. That being said, there are a few keys to a successful headline that I’d like to share with you.

● Appeal to your reader’s self interest.
Provide a benefit to your reader and make it personal to your audience of clients and prospects. Example: “10 Ways To Increase Your Portfolio Earnings Overnight.” This type of headline might work for a financial investment firm, or an accountant. A headline can be tailored to any industry and what your readers are interested in.

● Make it Newsworthy
Headlines using the words ‘new’, ‘now’, ‘finally’, ‘announcing’, and ‘latest’ give the reader a sense of newsworthiness. “New Soil Conditioner Increases Plant Life By 10%.” This headline is both newsworthy and it appeals to the reader’s self interest-assuming that the newsletter is going to clients of a nursery, florist and the like and not to an automotive repair shop!

● Appeal to the reader’s emotions.
Fear, Pride, Insecurity, Curiosity, Love, Happiness, Boredom, Laziness, and
Altruism are among many of the emotions that you can use to motivate your reader to open your newsletter. “How To Ask Your Boss For A Raise,” would be good headline for a staffing company. It appeals to the reader’s curiosity. Another curiosity driven headline might be “10 Questions You Should Never Ask A Prospective Client.”

One last thing to remember about Headlines: make them believable. Nothing gets deleted faster than an outrageous and unbelievable headline.


It may seem obvious, but one thing that is consistently overlooked in E-Newsletter publication is the volume number and date. Every newsletter that you send should have a volume number and a date to be consistent. Consistency is key to establishing yourself and your company as a reliable and credible source of information and the kind of company that your customers will return to time and again.

Additionally, by providing a consistent publication date, and volume, you give your readers a method to archive and/or search when they’re hunting through old issues for the amazing content that you’ve supplied them.

By organizing your newsletters by volume and date, you also make it easier to track each issue’s effectiveness.


Each newsletter that you put out to the world should have a consistent theme running throughout. Regardless if you have one article or ten, they should be linked with your theme-and your theme should be referenced in the headline.

A doctor’s office might run an issue with the theme of fighting the flu just before flu season. The newsletter might contain articles pertaining to it like diet, supplementation, and inoculations etc. Similarly, they could offer a theme on allergies in early spring.

A restaurant might highlight specific ingredients, time saving tips in the kitchen, or upcoming seasons and holidays. The articles could reference menu items or recipes that they use as a marketing tie in.

An Auto repair shop might address tune ups in one issue and preparing for summer vacations in the next. They could talk about braking-how to brake, different types of brakes, when to replace brakes, common problems with brakes etc…

You’re getting the picture. CPA firms, printers, transportation companies, every industry has a specific client population with specific needs and interests. If you have a new product, how that product integrates into your customer’s lives could be a theme-say a commercial construction company provides installation of a new type of roofing–there’s the theme for the newsletter. Themes are easy to come by; the trick is sticking to them.


Your newsletter must contain useful information. Content Is Key! Even if your newsletter contains an editorial piece, you need to give your readers something valuable.

We’re a nation hungry for information. Non-fiction consistently outsells fiction in the bookstores and ease of information is in high demand. As far as information goes—Nothing Is Better Than Free, Helpful Information Delivered To You On A Consistent Basis!

According to an article recently published by the Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Association —“Publishers need high-value content to reach readers and advertisers. ……editorial quality is just as important for a free newsletter as it is for a subscription newsletter. ……advises publishers to talk with their user base at all times, survey readers and know their needs.

This quotation ties in to the next E-Newsletter necessity:

5. An Option for Reader Feedback

An option for reader feedback in a newsletter is a good way to build your community and to add content to the publication. It not only lets you know what the readers are responding to in your newsletter but it encourages reader participation and people, whether they admit it or not, like to see their name in print.

A simple feedback form occasionally included in the newsletter or a more consistent ‘Dear Abby’ type column where readers ask questions and you (as the expert) answer them, is the easiest way to include this feature into your publication.


Besides endearing your clients and prospects to you and your company, the main purpose of an E-Newsletter is to build your business or in other words, SELL.

Don’t let a single issue go by without some kind of offer; a click through to your web site, a coupon, a new product for sale in your store or on your website, an inside sale.

Tie the offer in to your theme and with a good headline, you have a sure hit! Let’s go back to our very first headline “10 Ways To Increase Your Portfolio Overnight.” Let’s assume that the newsletter is from a team of financial advisors.

The broad theme is increasing your portfolio; let’s assume that one of the methods of increasing it is to invest in pharmaceuticals. The offer might be a seminar/webinar/teleseminar on investing in pharmaceuticals. The options are endless to present this product.

Basic clicks through to your website for more information, a ‘click here to register’ type of option, or a registration form right in the newsletter are just some of the possibilities.


Again, the reason for your newsletter is to sell your product or service. If you don’t have at least one link to your website then you’re not giving the newsletter the chance to do its job.

If you don’t have a website-GET ONE!

No matter what your business, a web presence is a necessity for your business to grow and a courtesy to your clients. From basic business information like hours and staff information to newsletter archives and products, a website gives your customers a place to go when they’re not with you. To put it simply, a web presence expands and embraces your customer community and it provides one more way to build your current client base.

Links to your website in your newsletter provide not only a tool to sell but they’re also great tools for realizing the effectiveness of your website. They’re measurable.


Viral marketing is a term used by marketing specialists which simply means encouraging current customers and prospects to share your message with their colleagues and friends.

Viral Marketing is FREE FOR YOU. A simple message consistently included in each and every newsletter, preferably in the same place each time, that encourages recipients to forward your newsletter to friends, family, and colleagues is all you need. The bonus is that there is an implied endorsement of your services to recipients of your forwarded newsletter.


While an E-Newsletter is a great source for building your opt-in database, you MUST provide your recipients an option to opt-out. No one likes to be trapped into receiving an unwanted e-mail.

A simple “Click here to unsubscribe” will suffice.

Be sure to make good on all opt-out requests to avoid angering and alienating clients and prospects.


An E-Newsletter signature isn’t your signed name at the bottom of each publication, though it can be. In direct mail, a signature is your company information and a possible disclaimer listed at the bottom of the page. Think ‘footer’, if you’re familiar with word processing. A signature could look something like this:

All material on this site is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. 1800-555-1212 or e-mail us at

Or for a more personal touch

Annette Elton

It is important to have a signature for several reasons:

1. Consistency
2. Ease of use. If the reader prints out the newsletter then your contact information is readily available.
3. Professional appearance.
4. Another opportunity for your client/prospect to contact you by clicking on your web link or e-mail link.
5. Possible legal protection.

There are an abundance of tips to improve the effectiveness of your E-Newsletter but the 10 basics I’ve highlighted are vital to produce an effective, quality, marketing E-Newsletter that your readers will value and enjoy and your business will prosper from.

If you have any questions regarding E-Newsletters, please feel free to contact me.

Happy Writing and Selling!
Annette Elton
AMBCreative, LLC

Sign up for my free monthly newsletter “Business Marketing Update-Information for Better Marketing Communication” you can subscribe by sending me an e-mail or by visiting my website

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8 Simple Misconceptions Of Credit Explained

8 Simple Misconceptions Of Credit Explained

There are a lot of erroneous information over Credit realted matter out there.

So the problem is how do is sift through the right informative material, that is the question.

Well we hope the following can add some clarity to many misconceptions over credit:

1. Payment of my debts will make my credit report Crystal clear instantly .

No not Exactly.They have to be in the timely matter agreed upon signing of Credit obligation.

A credit report is a history of your payments, not just a snapshot of where you are at the moment, says Maxine Sweet, vice president of public affairs for Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.

As the author of the popular Web column “Ask Max,” she continuously reminds people that you can’t change the past. Credit counseling always destroys my credit score.

Attending a credit counselor’s debt management program is not considered negative in the scoring models.

However, if the credit counselor negotiates a lesser contractual obligation, the lender decides how it wants to report that.

So if your $500 monthly payment is refigured for $300, the creditor may either legally report that as $200 in arrears every month or reward you for not filing bankruptcy by reporting the account as up to date.

Although credit counseling does not by itself influence your credit score, it is apparent on the report that you’ve been through, or are currently in, counseling — and that is something individual lenders may not like. Or they might never know.

Too many Open accounts spells available, potential debt, so better to close them, runs the legend.

But experts agree that most creditors want to see at least two or three pieces of active credit to prove you can manage debt responsibly.

And, Watts chimes in, those unused cards lying in your jewelry box aren’t wreaking havoc with your score.

“The myth is that they look ominous to potential lenders,” he says. “Reality is that paying your bills on time and not being overextended is more important than having $5,000 worth of available credit on a card you’re not using.

We continue to evaluate this ‘total credit limits’ statistic, and we simply don’t find it falling into one of those highly predictive areas.”

On the other hand, extremes never look good. Opening one charge account occasionally to take advantage of a 10 percent offer is negligible. Going wild and signing up for five during the holiday season probably would invite a decreased score, he says.

2. Alot of inquiries hurt my score.

Once upon a time, this statement was true. But get with the times — in this millennium, the credit agencies recognize a shopping mind-set when they see one. If a batch of mortgage or car loan inquiries arrives within 30 days, it doesn’t count at all, Watts says.

“Outside that 30-day period, if we locate a mortgage or car inquiry that occurred 180 days ago, and then see more mortgage- or auto-related hits in the accompanying 14-day window, we err on the consumer’s side and still assume she’s shopping for one item,” he says.

“We really feel like we are capturing the true consumer experience and not holding it against them for being an aggressive or smart rate shopper.”

3. Checking my own credit report harms my standing.

The reporting agencies distinguish between soft and hard pulls. When Target calls to check before issuing its line of credit, the agencies chalk that up as a hard pull and it counts against your score. Personal requests and credit counselors — if they do it correctly, so insist on this as part of your agreement terms — fall under soft pulls, which do not reflect negatively on the evaluation.

Using a company that promises credit reports as a perk can turn this myth into a self-fulfilling prophecy, however, McNaughton says.

Because they are merchants in disguise, their freebie costs you. Citizens must go directly to the three bureaus if they want a soft pull. Ditto FICO.

“Pulling your credit scores is quite empowering,” says Watts. “You have a choice: You can either be very aggressive with your credit management and pull your score with some regularity or take a more passive approach once a year to see how all those credit cards are actually doing.”

4. Credit scores are locked in for six months.

Fair Isaac Corp.’s models are dynamic, meaning that your FICO score changes as soon as data on your credit report change.

“When we calculate a score, for all intents and purposes it then goes away and is recalculated the next time someone pulls your file,” says Watts.

5. I don’t need to check my credit report if I pay my bills on time.

It is prudent to monitor your Credit report on a monthly Basis.

When the Consumer Federation of America and the National Credit Reporting Association analyzed credit scores in the summer of 2002, they discovered that 78 percent of the files were missing a revolving account in good standing, while 33 percent of files lacked a mortgage account that had never been late. Twenty-nine percent contained conflicting information on how many times the consumer had been 60 days late on payments.

“There can be a lot of other activity going on that you don’t have any clue about.

Over 85 percent of all credit reports have erroneous information ranging from a wrong birth date to accounts you never applied for.

6. All credit reports are the same.

Way wrong. These days, most creditors across the country do report their information to all three major agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

And, because they are separate companies, the speed in which they update records isn’t necessarily equal.

7. Bad news comes off in seven years.

Some of it does. Chapter 13 (reorganization of debt) disappears seven years from the filing date. But if you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy (exoneration of all debt), the window is 10 years from the filing date.

On the good-news side, accounts in bankruptcy can be deleted seven years after the date of your first missed payment, so those individual pieces may disappear before the word “bankruptcy” on your report. And if you pay off or close an account that had no delinquencies or problems, it, too, remains on the record for 10 years rather than the previous seven, say Experian experts. Again, this means positive information hangs around longer, as a consumer benefit.

8. I can always pay someone to fix or repair my credit.

Yes, you can clear up erroneous information posted to your account, such as a repossessed car that you didn’t purchase in the first place, but if you paid your Sears bill three months late in 1997, that’s a hard fact.

Companies claiming to fix your credit deliver on their promises by generating a flood of dispute letters to the credit reporting agencies, which in turn ask the creditor to verify or document the entry. If they cannot, the listing must come off at that time. But if the creditor later does verify or document it, the agency slaps it right back into the file after 30 days.

Auto Repair

Safeguarding Your Personal Information From Identity Thieves

Safeguarding Your Personal Information From Identity Thieves

An identity thief doesn’t just steal your credit card and personal information to start buying crazily in your name. He gets new cards, opens new loans, and leaves a long trail of unpaid bills in your name. He even uses your identity to commit acts of terrorism or other crimes. What are you to do?

Identity theft occurs more frequently than you would like to believe – and is committed frequently by someone you know. This is what happened to Linda Foley, a magazine writer, who learned that her own employer had swiped her identity to open cell phone and credit card accounts. Now Foley, along with her husband, fight back as the Co-Executive Directors of the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego, California.

Can This Happen to You?

After Bridget J. Thomas learned that her identity was stolen by a bank employee at a branch 300 miles from the one she used, she was shocked. And that was just the beginning of her nightmare! When the thief was caught, she was working at a different bank in a different state. After her arrest, collection agencies continued to hound Ms Thomas.

Setting the Record Straight Might Not Be All That Easy – or Quick!

Setting the record straight is the tip of a nightmarish iceberg that can take months – even years to accomplish – often with undue pain and suffering for the victim. In serious cases victims spend an average of 600 hours and $1,400 in out-of-pocket expenses to repair their credit. Until they can prove their innocence, they are more likely to be:

• charged higher rates for insurance and fees for credit cards,

• rejected for student loans or home mortgages,

• arrested for crimes they did not commit,

• unable to get or keep a job.

A Call From A Collection Agency Or A turndown For A Loan Is Often the Only Tip-off That Your Identity Was Stolen.

A thief needs only one thing to open the doors to his windfall – your Social Security number. Unfortunately it is routinely used by government agencies, health care providers, utility companies, merchants, employers, and financial institutions. Often, your Social Security number is publicly available. That’s how General John M. Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, became a victim. His Social Security number and those of many other military officers were published in the “Congressional Record” and were later posted on the internet. Thieves used their identities to open 273 new credit cards accounts and run up a bill of over $200,000.00 in charges.

Develop a Form of Defense

To stop identity thieves in their steps, there are several things you can do. You can begin by freezing access to your credit file. By doing so, you cause your file to become off-limits to anyone who does not know the secret PIN (Personal Information Number) of your choosing. This sets the wheels in motion to protect you from the bad guys – anyone who attempts to apply for credit in your name. It causes their application to be rejected; although your credit cards won’t be affected. And if you want to apply for new credit or let a bank, store, or agency run a background check on you, you can get a credit thaw. For example, if you decided to shop for a big-ticket item, like a car, you might thaw your history for auto dealers.

Other Things You Can Do – Starting NOW!

• Periodically check your credit report for suspicious activities. Americans are now entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

• If you elect to shop online, use a credit card rather than a debit card. With a credit card, you have the extra protection of maximum liability of $50.00 for unauthorized purchased.

• Learn more about “phishing” email scams, and other schemes, frauds, and cons to separate you from your identity and your money.

In the Event You Do Become A Victim

Here are some steps to take:

• Act fast and prepare yourself for an uphill battle uncooperative and unsupportive credit card and law enforcement agencies. For guidance and support, I suggest that you turn to organizations and agencies like ITRC, the Federal Trade Commission, and others.

• Call the fraud dept. of one of the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit reports. (The other two credit bureaus will automatically be notified.) The alert lasts for 90 days and requires creditors to call you before opening new accounts in your name; however, a word of caution is in order here. There are no legal requirements to honor alerts and merchants who are eager to make a sale may ignore them.

• Close your credit card accounts and change the passwords on all your financial and banking accounts.

• File a police report. Although credit bureaus won’t extend a fraud alert without it, be aware that local police departments may be reluctant to provide a report. Many may lack the resources to properly investigate the crime.

• Mail copies of the police report to all three credit bureaus with a cover letter demanding your complete credit file.

• Call every credit where you know a bogus account has been created and have them close your file immediately. Demand copies of all fraudulent applications for credit and billing statements. Creditors don’t want to divulge that information, but they will if you enclose a copy of a police report and forward your request it in writing via certified mail.

Conclusion: Face it, identity theft is a growing problem affecting everyone in some way or another. With the increase popularity of internet usage, it has become easier for cybercriminals to steal our identity. In 2002 alone, the victim total due to identity theft climbed to 10 million, a new high. The cost to the economy was up an astonishing 41 percent to $52.6 billion, according to The Identity Theft Survey Report, available from the Federal Trade Commission at the website ( Each year these totals are climbing with no apparent sign of slowing down.

What are your chances of becoming a victim of some form of identity theft? According to the Federal Trade Commission is one in ten.

“So what am I to do?” you ask. My recommendation is that first you educate yourself with information and resources at your disposal. Next, purchase identity theft insurance.

Auto Repair

Change That Oil

Change That Oil

Carfacts and CHANGING YOUR OIL……….
The first thing you should do is go to your local discount auto store or WalMart and purchase your oil and filter.
I would suggest getting a good synthetic or synthetic blend (I have used Castrol Syntec for many years) most good brands have them. Use a synthetic oil for newer vehicles under 40,000 miles and a blend over 40,000 miles. These oils will help with saving your engine and saving fuel. Also purchase a good oil filter, one with a check valve in it to keep oil from running back into oil pan when engine is shut off. This will also help the life of your engine as there will be oil on critical parts when engine is restarted, Fram, AC and Purolator makes good ones.
With this purchase you have the best you can put in your engines oiling system. A typical engine will take 4-5 quarts of oil on a change, so it will cost you around $15.00-$20.00 depending on synthetic or blend oil. This is about the cost of a regular oil change at the Speedy Marts. They would charge $40.00-$50.00 for the synthetics and best filter. So now you have saved $20.00-$30.00 and you have the best you can put in your engine.
Think of your car as one of your children or grand children you want to keep it for a long time so don’t skimp on putting good products in it, it will pay off in the long run with less major breakdowns.
Engine repair or the new cars can run from $1,500.00 to around $7,000.00 depending on what you drive. From a Geo Metro to a big SUV or Diesel Pick-up.
O.K. now you have your oil and filter, time to get to work. Find a solid spot on the front or side of vehicle undercarriage (frame or engine cradle) put jack under vehicle and raise it up high enough to get your jack stands under it then let car down on stands and remove jack. Always,always be safe and use the jack stands whenever you are working under your car.
Your engine should be warm when changing your oil so that most of old oil will drain out.
Find the drain plug in the deep end of the oil pan,it will probably take a 1/2″ or 9/16″ standard closed end wrench, if metric should be a 13mm or 15mm closed end wrench.
Put your wrench on the plug and turn counter clockwise (make sure your drain pan is close) remove plug and let drain into pan. After all the old oil is drained, put the plug back in and tighten (clockwise) make sure this plug is TIGHT.
Then find your oil filter they are in several different places depending on your vehicle and engine, they are located on either one side of the engine or in the front of the engine (belt area). Most filters are now small so get a small or adjustable filter wrench put it on filter (as close to top as possible) it also turns off counter clockwise after it is loose you can take wrench off and spin it off by hand. Have your drain pan under filter area to catch remaining oil. Make sure the old filter rubber seal comes off with filter if not make sure you reach up and pull it off then wipe filter housing clean this makes for a good seal for the new filter. Then fill new filter with some new oil and put some oil around the rubber seal on new filter and spin it clockwise onto filter housing. Make sure it’s TIGHT.
Raise your car again and take out jack stands and let car back down.
Raise hood and find oil fill, most will be in the valve cover of the engine or a tube with a cap that says “OIL” on it,remove the cap and add remaing oil to engine (should be around 4 & 1/2 quarts, you put aprox. 1/2 quart in filter). After all oil is put into the engine replace the oil cap and start engine, let it run for a couple of minutes while looking under vehicle to make sure you got everything tight and have no leaks. If your satisfied nothings leaking shut off engine and locate oil dipstick, pull it out then wipe it off clean and stick back into dipstick tube all the way in, then pull back out and make sure it’s close to the full mark.
If your oil checks o.k. you are almost done. Make sure you keep a log or put a sticker on windshield when next change is due. Then get an old empty milk jug or something like it and use a funnel and put your old oil in it, seal it tight and take it back to where you bought your oil and they will dispose of it for you.
This sounds like a lot of work but total time if you have never done it before should be less than a half hour. After you do it a few times it will take 10-15 minuets, and you will feel good knowing you actually done this yourself and that you saved money doing it.
More carfacts tips will be available on an on going basis here on the carfacts article pages. Also the carfacts newsletter will have numerous carfacts tips in every publication, and when my new carfacts book is published you will have a wealth of carfacts tips at your fingertips.
I will be adding addtional articles on this and other Automotive subjects, so if you found this interesting and informative go to and click on the Article button bottom left to read more CarFacts and information. While you are at check out the other information there.
Jack Cooper is the owner of where he reveals several Automotive secrets that can save you money and inform you on a variety of Automotive topics.

Auto Repair

Do Things Right Or Do The Rights Things?

Do Things Right Or Do The Rights Things?

There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right things. Which do you think is most important? Is it more important in your homesbased internet business to make sure you do things right or is it more important to make sure you do the right things? Before answering this question take a few minutes to think through the difference.
Doing things right means dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s, making sure every procedure and function is carefully followed and everything is well organized. As one of my uncles used to say, “if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing right.” Another expression often used is “a place for everything and everything in its proper place.” Make sure you organize, make sure you don’t forget any application, and make sure you follow through diligently.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do things right and totally miss the mark. How so? It’s like the example given by Stephen Covey in his popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey relates a story about a company that was hired to clear a path through a jungle. They prepared well in advance, making sure all the tools were in good repair and even making provision for specialists to accompany the team to keep the blades on the tools sharpened on a regular basis. There were cooks and dieticians to ensure the crew was provided nourishing meals so their strength would not give out. Mathematicians were hired to calculate how much work cold be done each day in order to provide an accurate estimate of the completion date. They were doing things right.
Then someone climbed a tree and looked around and said, WRONG JUNGLE. The lesson? You can have all your ducks in a row and operate a business with absolute precision. You’re doing things right. Problem is you’re doing the wrong things. And if you keep doing the wrong things, accurate and precise as they are, you won’t achieve the desired results.
It’s the same way with every aspect of life, including operating an on-line work-from-home business. Too many people spend all their time organizing their office, creating all kinds of email folders, and following every suggestion they read in precise detail, fully believing that this kind of precision will bring success to their endeavor. They have no time left to analyze their business plan to see if they are doing the right things, selling the right products based on their own skills and interests, or promoting the right services based on what they are passionate about. So they settle for something they’re not really interested in thinking that organizational factors will compensate for their lack of passion and they will still be successful. Not so. You can’t sell any product or any service unless you are fully convinced of its value. You might think you can, but your lack of enthusiasm will be evident in ways you do not even realize.
It’s not that we shouldn’t do our best to do things right, keeping our tools sharpened, but doing the right things is a whole lot more important for realizing effectiveness. It takes a different mind set to understand this. I call it the BIG PICTURE. In an on-line business what is more important – managing, maintaining, sustaining, and carefully organizing your auto-response emails to your potential affiliates and your down line, or making sure your understand the components of your on-line business plan so you can communicate it with the confidence that you really understand it for yourself? You always want to make sure you are in the right jungle. If you are not you may make all kinds of progress in staying organized, but not much when it comes to building an effective down line. Think about it. Which is more important to you, and where do you spend most of your time, doing things right or doing the right things?
I had a son who played basketball in college. His sophomore year he was extremely successful making 3-point field goals. In fact his name is still in the School’s record book as having the highest 3-point field goal percentage in a season. He started every game and shot 49.8 percent for the year. Most people can’t shoot that well from behind the arc when they are warming up and not being guarded. Ryan was successful that year because he was doing the right things, staying within the team system and shooting only when he was open or when coming off a solid screen.
The next season he was so confident he decided it wasn’t necessary for him to work within the system of patiently waiting for the open shot or running the play through to completion until he had a solid screen. Consequently many times he was off balance when he shot or a defender was in his face causing him to alter the trajectory of the shot. He thought he was doing things right because he had a knack for making the long-range shot. Needless to say his 3-point field goal percentage dropped dramatically. I remember watching one game when he was so out of sync and at such a loss of confidence that he didn’t score a single point the entire game. His mistake was that he spent all of his practice time concentrating on perfecting his shot delivery technique (doing things right) while neglecting the BIG PICTURE, which is the fundamentals of disciplined teamwork, playing within the system, and consequently doing the right thing.
So what’s more important to the success of your on-line business, perfecting your techniques or focusing on the components of your business plan so you can always be sure you IN THE RIGHT JUNGLE.

Auto Repair

It Takes Two – How to Cultivate Profitable Alliances

It Takes Two – How to Cultivate Profitable Alliances

“Cross promoting with other businesses can give you a significant advantage over the competition, with many benefits and cost savings.” -Heidi Richards-
More and more competition in the marketplace is making it necessary for companies to find creative ways to connect with customers and prospects, to enhance brand identity and attract top-notch employees. In order to enhance competitiveness in today’s marketplace, more and more companies are forming strategic alliances. Strategic alliances can maximize your position in the marketplace. When you learn how to leverage partnerships you increase your market share. It is also a very smart way to grow a small business. Cross promoting with other businesses can give you a significant advantage over the competition with many benefits and cost savings.
A strategic alliance is based on an arrangement between two companies to combine resource that will help both gain a greater share of the market. They are often formed when one business alone is unable to fill the gap in serving the needs of the marketplace. Forming strategic alliances can save time and boost productivity. It enables companies to be more efficient and concentrate on the core strengths in developing their products and services. These alliances can be formal (partnership agreement is put in writing) or informal (a handshake is all that is necessary to “seal the deal”).
There are several ways you can collaborate with another business or individual to increase revenue, traffic, and even expertise to your business which ultimately will increase the value to the end-user (customer).
Find the Right Partners
Collaborate with a well-known company – Most small businesses benefit from partnerships that add value, prestige and greater credibility to their own endeavors. Associating with a well-known business can give your company instant credibility and exposure. It’s not always about the bottom line.
Collaborate with Your Best Customers – Look at the company or companies who do the most business with yours. Work with them to solidify the relationship by offering them more than just good products and service. Make it nearly impossible for them to consider going anywhere else. Continually asking them why they do business with you and why they stay are the best ways to keep them. Collaborate with the Nonprofit Community – Joining forces with nonprofits can increase your circle of influence and your visibility in the community.
Collaborate with a Former Employer – You offer a product or service the former employer needs and provide it to them. You become a subcontractor or vendor to them. One of my dear friends worked for a fast-food company as their corporate trainer. When she decided to go into business for herself, they hired her to continue to provide training to their employees for several years. As her first major contract, the collaboration they created started her company on the road to success, and she still travels and does work for them.
Collaborate with a Competitor – Believe it or not, competitors can be very good partners. For instance, they may offer a service or product you don’t or don’t wish to and vice-versa. They may also have the ability to handle a larger “job” than your company. Joining forces with another business on a project makes you look good to the customer. You become the hero. In 1999, I had the opportunity to provide all the decorations for a HUGE Floral Fair in Miami, Florida. I knew my small company alone could not handle all the business. So I called several other florists in the community whom I admired and who did similar work. I subcontracted them to do portions of the project and get a piece of the action. Because these were floral importers we were serving, the other florists had the opportunity to network with and find new suppliers of product. It was easy to convince them to participate. It was such a success, that it has been an ongoing project for several of the shops over the years.
Think about the many businesses that are natural partners. In the real estate field, realtors partner with one another when selling a house. Florists partner with caterers, photographers and others in the event industry. Automobile insurance companies often partner with auto repair companies to insure their customers get the best service at a fair price.
In an issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, I read about a coffee company in New Jersey who became the ultimate collaborator. The coffeehouse carries works from a local art gallery, has a reciprocal agreement with a local community theatre to offer significant discounts to their patrons, cross promotes with a local music store, book store, cigar shop, as well as many local nonprofits.
My flower shop has partnered with masseuses, welcome-to-the-neighborhood companies, travel agents, professional organizers, beauty salons, and realtors, and several nonprofits, to name a few. We have collaborated on networking events such as business after hours and open houses. We have promoted one another through door hanger campaigns. We have given each other our coupons to distribute to other companies. We have carried one another’s business cards and brochures to distribute to our respective clients and customers. We have given away one another’s products to our customers. We offer hyperlinks on one another’s websites to further promote each other. The possibilities are endless. Look for opportunities in your community that would be mutually beneficial to your partnership.
The real key to success in cross-promotion, is to collaborate with non-competing businesses that are going after the same client or customer base. Choose businesses and people you trust. The promotion should make sense to both partners. It should be a true win-win for everyone involved. Plan the promotion and evaluate the Alliance on a regular basis. Look for ways to expand your reach without increasing your overhead or debt.
Excerpted from The PMS Principles – Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business by Heidi Richards

Auto Repair

Low-Cost Franchise Businesses Give Options For Buying The Right Franchise At A Cost You Can Afford

Low-Cost Franchise Businesses Give Options For Buying The Right Franchise At A Cost You Can Afford

Many entrepreneurs exploring the expanding world of franchising may not have significant resources to spend on popular franchises, which can carry a price tag of several hundred thousand dollars. But there is good news for these future franchisees! Increasingly, low-cost franchise opportunities are becoming available, and these opportunities are making the dream of business ownership more accessible than ever before.

The cost of a franchise, including initial setup investment and continual expenses, varies dramatically by industry. It can range anywhere from under $50,000 for franchises including some home-based options such as personal care and business services to $200,000 -$300,000 for some auto repair franchises, up to $1,000,000 for fast food restaurants, up to $3.5 million for full service restaurants, and as high as $4 to $6 million for lodging franchises.

Despite the potential for success of many of these popular business franchises, oftentimes those seeking franchise opportunities simply do not have the money to invest. Yet, few realize that numerous franchises opportunities exist that are well within the reach of even the most modest budget. And with the explosive growth of the franchise industry, those looking to purchase a franchise are not limited by their budget to only a few business interests. recently released its 2007 list of the top 100 low-cost franchise opportunities. In order to make the list, the franchise had to offer entrepreneurs an entry option that would cost less than $50,000. While some franchises only offer “conversion options,” meaning that the potential franchisee needs already to own a business and then that business could be converted into a franchise, the list excluded these from its top 100 list.

Perhaps most surprising about the top 100 is the range of business interests represented. In fact, under-$50,000 franchises businesses are available in each of the following industries:

* Automotive
* Business Services
* Children’s Products & Services
* Financial Services
* Food/Quick Service
* Food/Retail Food Sales
* Food/Full-Service Restaurant
* Health Care
* Home-Improvement Products and Services
* Maintenance
* Person-Care Businesses
* Recreation
* Retail
* Service Businesses
* Tech Businesses
* Training

What are some low-cost franchise opportunities that are out there? Here is just a short listing of some of the many options available, along with a brief description of the product or service provided and the startup cost range.

Made in the Shade Blinds

With a total investment capital requirement of just $9,500 – $14,500, Made in the Shade Blinds is among the most affordable franchises you will find! As part of a $5.3 billion annual industry, Made in the Shade offers a home-based franchise opportunity to interested entrepreneurs. The concept is simply a window covering business, and Made in the Shade provides training, startup inventory, and a training manual to its franchisees.

360 Solutions

Do you love the world of professional business growth and management but want the support that comes with being a franchise owner? 360 Solutions may be the option for you. A unique franchise opportunity, 360 Solutions trains its franchisees to provide business consultation services to small- and medium-size businesses. By working with businesses in the areas of human resources development, customer relations management, and cash flow management, franchisees help small-and medium-size businesses achieve their full growth and profit potential. For a total investment capital of $10,000 to $30,000 360 Solutions offers training that includes “360 University,” marketing action plans, and a coaching and business growth specialists network.

SeaMaster Cruises

Do you love the cruising lifestyle? If so, what could be better than owning and operating your own cruising franchise business? SeaMaster Cruises combines the best of luxury lifestyle with a lucrative business opportunity. Affiliated with the Carlson Travel Network Associates, Inc., a member of the Carlson Companies, SeaMaster Cruises offers a home-based business opportunity in an industry that has experienced an average annual growth rate of 8.4% since 1980. With the incredible income-potential available in this industry, it’s hard to believe the total capital investment for a SeaMaster Cruises franchise is only $9,500. If cruising is your passion, SeaMaster Cruises may be just the way to turn your passion into your vocation.

CD One Price Cleaners

If you want a low-cost franchise that offers a service constantly in demand, then what could be better than a laundry and dry-cleaning franchise? And if you’re looking for a franchise opportunity that you can start for NO COST, then what could be better than CD One Price Cleaners?

This Chicago-area franchise offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own CD One Price Cleaners business at no cost! That’s right. The company provides all of the funding for your startup business by handling site location, store construction, and equipment and inventory purchasing – in essence, investing over $500,000 into your business. Then, CD One Price Cleaners puts you as the franchisee on a “manage-to-own” path. Currently located only in the greater Chicago area, CD One Price Cleaners currently has plans to open additional stores in 2007 and 2008. So if you’re looking for the ultimate in a low no-cost franchise, take a closer look at CD One-Price Cleaners.

As you can see, low-cost franchise opportunities abound in many industries. From home improvement and business services to luxury cruises, the options for purchasing a low-cost business franchise are varied, indeed. With determination and a bit of research, there is no doubt that you can find the low-cost franchise opportunity that is right for you!