Keep Barking to a Limit

Friday, October 15, 2010

By Sarah Grace V. Villaflor

Sometimes it is pitiful to see your dog being annoyed by your neighbor specifically when they approach to suggest you something regarding to keep your doggie away. And since your pet dog is your best friend, you would not allow to happen no matter what it takes.

I have listed several things you may try to help your dog refrain from excessive barking and hopes this article may also help you to please your circle of neighborhood.

1. Buying a kennel for your dog will be more of a help. However, keeping him inside more than 10 hours will be a depressive time for him, especially for puppies. This is best done only when you are away from your house and no one could take care of your dog. Additionally, if ever he would bark incessantly without you, no one would dare to hurt him out of irritation. You should be sure that whenever you would do this to him, he is comfortably enough to move around the kennel.

2. Sometimes dogs bark because they are not familiar with the things they see in their environment. Try to put him away strangers so he will not be scared.

3. If you feel that your neighbors are already having problems with the excessive barking of your dog, make the first move to talk with them. Make them understand why your dog barks. You can also ask them the definite time of the incessant barking of your dog so you can establish a plan in teaching your dog the right way of barking.

4. Bringing him along with your family activities can stop his barking problems. Sometimes the cause of it is his loneliness. Help your dog to organize his habit like you're going to knock on the door when you get home or cuddling him so tight before you go to bed.

5. Give your dog a stuff that will erase his boredom. Other owners pour their dogs with toys of different colors and shapes that look appealing to dogs. Other than toys, you can also offer him foods or anything that will make his spare time fruitful for him.

6. As the dog owner, you should know why your dog barks - what stimulates him to do so, when and where he often barks. Monitor him so you could identify the very problem you are dealing with your dog.

7. Do not shout at your dog. It is better to talk with him in a gentler manner. It is possible for to him to imitate your way of speaking and bark loud back at you. You can teach him the words "whisper", "sit", or even "sshh".

8. Hand signals can be taught to your dog. A dog can averagely memorize a new trick through repetition by 30 - 60 times. You can ask your children to teach this technique to add their bonding moments with your dog, instead of inviting him to bark loudly.

9. You should avoid your pet by always being too excited. Even people when too enlivened express their feeling through outcry or shouting. It will more likely to be his habit if you would tolerate his usual excitement.

10. Now, if you feel you have tried all the possible attempts to stop your from excessive barking yet still those aren't working, put away your away your mercy for once and confine him away from the reach of your neighbors.

These are the things I have learned through observation when I was finding solutions to my dog's barking problems. This has truly helped me a lot and it will be a great assistance for you and your dog, too. Just take time and lengthen your patience. You can do it.

Find out more about managing your dog barking problems, click on the following links:

Prevent Dog Barking

How To Stop Dog Barking


Lessons Learned in Starting a Business

By Joe J Griffith

When I talk to people about why they got started with their first business I get all sorts of answers like: I want to be my own boss, I want more freedom with my time or I want to make more money. And sometimes I hear stories like my own, a story where a business is born out of desperation and fear.

The whole thing started while I was completing course upgrades for college programs around 1992. I had this glamorous part-time job repairing water beds and it just wasn't paying the rent. One morning I woke up looked in the fridge and saw there was nothing to eat. I checked my bank account and discovered that I had less than $600, which meant I had to choose between paying the rent or eating.

I did what most scared and desperate people do...I threw my hands in the air and said, "I give up!" Then an amazing thing happened! All the stress and fear fell away because nothing mattered anymore. I found by just letting go of these feelings some kind of inner voice or consciousness took over and started guiding me (no I wasn't smoking marijuana!).

Fear and desperation can be great motivators

I woke up the next morning with a great plan. In fact it was so brilliant, I was certain I couldn't have come up with it! I decided to use the bookkeeping skills I had acquired through my college courses to get contract work as a bookkeeper. I knew that I didn't have time to look for a job. I needed money NOW not in 3 or 4 weeks. Out of fear and desperation, I mustered up enough courage to visit local businesses and ask for work. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done -

I spent 4 days calling on business owners

Day One: I talked to 25 businesses owners only to be rejected by them all. I went home feeling disappointed and concerned my *great* plan was a failure. I ate popcorn for supper.

Day Two: I barely slept the night before, I felt sick. I needed money. I went back to town early in the morning and stepped up my game plan. This time I talked to more than 35 business owners only to be told they wouldn't hand their books over to someone who just walked in off the street. At 6pm, I called it a night and just went to bed.

Day Three: I finally slept, probably just because I was feeling exhausted and stressed out! But today will be the day! Today I'm going to find just one business owner who will take me on as a bookkeeper. I headed back to town excited that today will be the 8pm, I went home feeling tired and certain my plan was stupid.

Day Four: I woke up thinking that this plan just has to work. It's a numbers game. As long as I talk to enough people, surely someone will hire me. I went back to town again and really stepped up my efforts. I talked with over 50 business owners only to be told that they won't deal with me because they have never heard of me and don't know anything about me.

Creative thinking wins the day

On day five the cool inner voice came to the rescue again with another plan. I had heard "we can't do business with you because we don't know who you are" so often, that I knew I had to overcome that objection.

I used $500 of my $600 life savings and took an advertisement out in the local paper. I created a company name, JP Financial Services and along with a big picture of me, the advertisement said, "JP Financial Services is proud to introduce Joe Griffith, please welcome Joe to our community."

The following week, I took a copy of the paper with me and revisited several of the businesses from the previous week...only this time when they said they couldn't do business with me because they didn't know who I was, I held up my paper and said "I'm Joe Griffith, and see, it says right here that you should welcome me to the community."

I managed to collect more than $1200 in prepayments that week. So, I not only managed to pay the rent, but I got to eat too! It was a week of gratitude.

Lessons learned in starting a business:

1. When you just have to get started now, take inventory of what you already have. What skills do you already posses that are marketable? I had just added bookkeeping to my repertoire and felt confident I could market this skill.

2. Create a simple action plan. The simpler it is the more likely it will be that you will actually to do it. My plan was easy, talk to enough people and eventually I'd find my right people. Social media makes this faster and easier then 1992.

3. Persistence is valuable. But it's not everything. Like the old saying, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If what you're doing isn't working, it's worth looking into to see if changes are required. Obviously, after 4 days of talking to people and getting no results, I had to reevaluate.

4. Be creative when problem solving. The main objection I received is that "the business owners didn't know who I was." So to overcome this objection, I ran the newspaper advertisement. It reassured them that I was who I said I was and that I had a legitimate business with a real Company name.

Joe Griffith

It is my mission to guide business builders into action through education and empowerment. learn more about how I can get your business rolling, visit me


Lessons Learned in Starting a Business

I Can't Find Funding. Is My Idea Dead? No, Consider a Campaign to License!

Geoff Ficke

Most inexperienced entrepreneurs are unaware of the many options and alternative strategies available to push a new idea or invention to market. The most common approach they seek to implement is a classic funding round. When this avenue fails, and with overwhelming frequency it does, the idea often is dropped.

Driven inventors attend invention trade fairs, venture capital conferences, small business incubators, and network at every possible opportunity in search of funding and working capital for their invention. It is commendable and a tribute to the pursuit of the American dream that such efforts are expended in this daunting effort. However, virtually all will come to a disappointing end with no funding and disappointment.

In 2005 over 500,000 new business incorporations were organized in the United States. This does not include the hundreds of thousands of sole proprietorships, partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances formed. From this sea on creative, new opportunities only about 1000 were funded by traditional venture capital sources. The odds are so long against a successful funding round: the wonder is that so many entrepreneurs, with so much creativity to offer, are chasing so few sources of funds.

There are other opportunities and strategies available for successfully getting a great idea to market. The bar for acquiring venture capital funding is so high, so difficult and so competitive, that it is unfortunate how many inventors quit the pursuit of their goal after receiving no traditional funding commitment. One of several alternatives to venture funding is a license campaign.

Licensing is the assignment of intellectual property or product rights to a licensee for consideration. The consideration may consist of a rights fee, royalty, options, personal service fees, minimum annual sales turnover and more. The licensee agrees to make good faith efforts to commercialize the product or intellectual property and the agreement is memorialized in a License Agreement.

There are many more companies interested in licensing a product or technology than there are conventional funding sources for startups. Having said this, there is really no difference in the requirements for success in either venue. You will just get more swings at the ball when seeking a license for your project.

Entrepreneurs read about Blackrock Capital, Harvard Capital Management or Kohlberb Kravis Roberts funding a new opportunity for $200 million dollars or more. This is exciting, motivating and for most, unrealistic. A fully fundable opportunity is a rare amalgam of huge upside, mitigated risk, unique, potentially disruptive product and REALLY strong, experienced management. Very few entrepreneurs can present such a comprehensive package.

In the world of licensing the product, upside, risk mitigation and disruption features are crucial. Management is irrelevant as the licensee presumably has the management in hand to drive the project to success. The same elements that excite venture capitalists also excite the licensee. They are keen on a strong Unique Selling Proposition detailing the niche the product will claim.

A powerful, well-structured sales model will quantify and support the sales universe available to the product or technology.

There are many successful approach strategies available when seeking to license an exciting new product. The following are some broad elements we have utilized in our consulting firm with success. Remember there is no linear, set in steel index to follow. Innovate, adapt and keep pushing and try everything necessary to get that appointment with the decision-maker.

Create a Working, Production Quality Prototype

Whether you have a new product, a service or a technology, you MUST be able to demonstrate the unique features and benefits of your offering. Some inventors have a facility to create, design and construct the necessary demonstration unit. The great majority of people do not. This is a simple hurdle to overcome.

In every city in America there are job shops, product design and development firms, engineers and software writers capable of providing professional guidance resulting in production of the prototype required.

A key by-product of this process will be the creation of 3-D, Computer Assisted Design art. This art is essential in the assembly of the product for production, in obtaining crucial and totally accurate cost of goods and filing patents.

Patent Filing - Intellectual Property Protection

Very few licensees are interested in investing significant monies in marketing a new product without the guarantee of some patent, copyright and/or trademark protection. See a Patent Attorney. Patent law is exceedingly specific and for this reason it is a legal specialty. A competent patent attorney will conduct a search and, using the results, advise the possibility of successfully receiving a utility patent (highly preferred), design patent (patent on art, easily overcome) or not being artful enough to receive any cover.

If an item has dicey patent prospects we like an alternative strategy. I have been a proponent for several of my clients of a strategy we call "patent pending forever". Our goal is to keep a product in patent pending status for as long as possible by timing addendum to the application and art and filing these in order to keep having the filing reviewed again.

During patent pending a filing is essentially in limbo. The advantage for the inventor is that there is no publication of the details of the art, features and unique benefits of their product. Secrecy is an asset. Once a patent number is received two undesirable things happen: details of the patented product become public knowledge, and the clock starts ticking against the 20-year life of the patent.

For most entrepreneurs seeking a license, we do not push for international patent filing. International filing is very expensive and we let the licensee assume this expense.

Source of Production, Manufacturing

Depending on the product, service or technology offered for license, you MUST source production. The reason is simple: this will set you apart from the dreamer. It reflects your commitment to the opportunity. It reassures that the product can be built (we see a number of projects that are unrealistic from an assembly and economic standpoint).

Now, let's discuss a touchy subject in the current economic climate. I love my country. America is the land of opportunity. However, I am a capitalist and the rules of capitalism are much bigger than any one individual: including you, the entrepreneur. If at all possible I prefer to assemble components, source, and manufacture here in the United States. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to be competitive here in America.

I have clients that are adamant they do not want their project assembled offshore. Do not be a Luddite. You really have two options: you can go with the flow, or you can be drowned by the overflow. In the past decade, we have not found a single project that could be produced in the United States as inexpensively as we could produce offshore, including the cost of freight, customs and duty. Not even close!

We search out four or five factories, or offshore resources, for submission of the 3-D CAD art and a Release Packet. The Release Packet contains all of the hard samples of components that will be parts of the finished product. After this is forwarded, we typically receive quotes in four to six weeks.

This quote should include all line item costs contained in the Bill of Materials for the product, plus outer packaging, costs of display (if any), shipping carton, inserts (directions for assembly, etc.), plus freight to United States port of arrival, customs, duty and inland freight to your warehousing/fulfillment point. This is a dead net cost of goods.

Use of Cost of Goods (COG)

Knowing the cost of goods is crucial! This number proves the viability of the products pricing model, confirms margin assumptions and the ability to construct an exciting sales model. If COG is too high, and there is no capacity to squeeze costs, the future license prospects for the product are not exciting. This number sets the parameters for the potential of your project and indicates to the potential licensee that they are dealing with a thoughtful, serious and skilled licensor.


The licensee with an exciting opportunity on offer will want to know (not guess) everything possible about the market they are about to enter. This will include; customer demographics, size of market, growth of the category, competition, and potential licensors. Cite sources of research and assemble as a portion of the Opportunity to License document you will offer. This is the knowledge that will set you apart from run of the mill tire kickers hoping to make a deal.

Professional Endorsements

Nothing resonates with buyers more than professional endorsements. I am not necessarily talking about celebrity endorsement. They are great for certain products. A pediatrician endorsing a juvenile product, or a professional association giving a positive quote on a service, or an educator endorsing a toy, are simple examples of taking a product and brandishing it with the glow of an expert. This is invaluable and a technique we utilize regularly for our projects. Include these quotes in all collateral materials.

Test Market/Focus Group

If you only have one prototype it can be difficult to assemble a focus group or test market. What we recommend is to show the product to strangers sequentially in the field where the product would typically be used. Recently, with a single prototype of a baby stroller accessory, we spent an afternoon in Central Park in Manhattan, demonstrating the unit to mothers pushing strollers. We walked away with positive quotes for attribution from 26 of 29 mothers that used the prototype. These we included as an exhibit in our product folio.

Opportunity to License Document

With all of the above in hand, you have the data and resources to assemble an approach document. We all have heard stories about the inventor sidling up to a banker in a bar, uninvited, and successfully pitching his idea over a scotch and soda. Good Luck!

You get only one chance to make a great first impression. Do not shortcut on any aspect of the initial approach. With your patent, prototype, possible endorsement, research and costs well in hand, you are ready to assemble the written document that will detail the features and benefits of your project and quantify the opportunity.

As you are not seeking funding, and are not interested in self-marketing, a classic business plan is not required. However, you will need a written synopsis of your project, written along the lines of the business plan. We call this the Opportunity to License.

This document needs to be crisp, exciting and short, eight to 10 pages, plus exhibits. The exhibits should include; patent information, list of contributors to the project, CAD art, bill of materials, cost of goods, research data.

Selling the Opportunity

Successful completion of the above now places the opportunity in position to seriously, and professionally, approach licensee targets. Your research will have identified the obvious candidates. Networking, walking trade shows and scouring appropriate industry trade publications will increase familiarity with added possible homes for placement of the item.

The target list needs to be approached with care and diligence. Large, publicly traded Companies have different, but fairly stringent standards for accepting unsolicited submissions. I find this barrier crazy, as many great opportunities are never viewed for fear of litigation. Mid-size and small companies, the really fast growers, are more open to reviewing unsolicited submissions.

Prepare mailings with care. Be sure to know the exact name and title of the decision-maker at each targeted potential licensee. Personalize each letter and assemble the mailing in a folio. The cover letter should be on top in the right pocket with the Opportunity to License document directly behind. In the left pocket place any public relations, positive user endorsements, etc.

Follow up the mailing with a phone call in 7 to 10 business days. Now the ebb and flow of making a deal begins.


No two deals are alike. This not a cookie cutter, fill in the blanks process. Securing that face to face meeting with Mr. Decision-Maker is crucial, and the opportunity cannot be blown. We seek to maximize every potential income stream for our clients. These include:

Rights Fee

You must receive consideration in the form of a Rights Fee in exchange for turning over all aspects of your project to the licensee. This should be paid on signing the license documents and is not returnable. The licensee should perform all due diligence prior to signing. There are no make goods here. The size of the Rights Fee will be in direct proportion to the size of the opportunity you offer.


This is the vast bulk of income any licensor receives from a successful product placement in a licensing deal. The variables in structuring percentages are never ending. Some royalties are built to sales growth and minimum sales promotion investment. Others are tied to achievement of tiered sales goals. Many contain buyout options that automatically kick in at certain trip points.

The term (length) of the license is crucial. The licensee will want a shorter term. The licensor will want as long as possible to maximize income.

The details of each license are unique and specific to that particular deal.


Another reason we are aggressive about controlling the production sources, and knowing our costs is because this often becomes another income stream for the inventor. For instance, assume a dead net cost of goods of $1.92 per unit. Assuming we can maintain production control in negotiations, and this happens often enough, we will quote the licensor $2.00 per unit COG. The difference of $.08 (4%) goes right to the licensor when peeled from the Letter of Credit that is organized to pay for the offshore inventory production. $.08 might not seem like a lot of income per unit. However, apply this number to potentially hundreds of thousands of units per year, for seven, 10 or 15 years. Do the math!

Several points to make here.

Do not be a hog. Hog's get slaughtered. A good deal is a deal where every party feels fairly treated! This is an area where we see too many deals go south. Every party should profit handsomely, according to their level of participation.

Second, do not attempt to license a product without undertaking the steps detailed above (or some variant of the process). I have mentioned this before. This is just an outline. There are endless variables that apply to different industries, styles and categories of offerings. Do your homework and do not attempt to take shortcuts. You will be wasting your time and resources.

Finally, do not, EVER; utilize the services of an invention mill. These firms typically advertise on late night infomercials and they prey on the inexperienced, naïve and desperate. These firms are little more than boiler rooms with a goal of separating the weak from their cash. Check with your Better Business Bureau and State Attorney General for history on one of these houses. Even then proceed with caution.

Licensing is a real, viable option for inventors having opportunities that offer fresh, definable features and benefits. The Unique Selling Proposition contained in these inventions may have real value to licensees, while venture capital may not be able to overcome one or more shortcomings inherent in the project. Funding sources are often seeking a different deal parameter. Licensees are simply seeking the opportunity to bring in house a product, service or invention that compliments their array of assets. This makes licensing the best choice for entrepreneurs hobbled in one area or another: they simply have a great product to offer.

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

After putting himself through the University of Kentucky (B.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1969) and serving in the United States Marine Corp, Mr. Ficke commenced a career in the cosmetic industry. After rising to National Sales Manager for Vidal Sassoon Hair Care at age 28, he then launched a number of ventures, including Rubigo Cosmetics, Parfums Pierre Wulff Paris, Le Bain Couture and Fashion Fragrance.

Mr. Ficke and his consulting firm, Duquesa Marketing, Inc. ( has assisted businesses large and small, domestic and international, entrepreneurs, inventors and students in new product development, capital formation, licensing, marketing, sales and business plans and successful implementation of his customized strategies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Business School, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.