America for Rent Franchise Plants the IPO Seed

America for Rent Franchise Plants the IPO Seed

[ Recap and setup: please READ”America for Rent Franchise Plants the IPO Seed – CEO Reveals ARF’s Mission to Save America.” ]

“God, I love the smell of FOX in the morning….”

The Mission

“Yes, a noble mission: Saving America…Yet, tight schedules, with no commitments, driven by high need: what a conundrum. Help! Now what?”

The Vision

“Well, God didn’t create that Netflix business model just for movies! Let’s rent something.”

“Although that something must be real and meet our needs, it can’t require too much of our precious time and attention. It can’t require commitment.”

“You understand, all of you, it has to fit into our essential schedule of things without requiring a real commitment. Be real in meeting our needs, yes, but not so real as to require anything long-term from us.”

“We’ve field tested women, but that just does not offer a cost-effective or time-efficient solution. Too, our risk assessment outcomes on that one have not met the minimal, reasonable and acceptable safety threshold. And some women, in fact 73% according to our survey rapid feedback form, object to being field tested.”

“No, another kind of fury pet, with wagging tail, is what we crave. We need to find a pet. But just for a little while. You know in these times of instant gratification and immediate feedback, with no strings attached, we can still handle a leash.”

“Just trot down the street, looking all debonair, like we just stepped out of a gentleman’s club. Spin off into a green space somewhere for a little romp. And then, before we lose our breath, just take doggy back for the next humanized metrosexual to share. No dogging a good thing.”

“And a dog would be the only way to go. Can’t do cats. They’re too independent and finicky – almost as disorienting to personal space and time as a woman. No ‘relationship’ for us – maybe some dating, certainly some romance – but no committed relationships. Yeah, dogs will do.”

“Once we get the hang of this – or maybe start getting a little bored with its predictability and reliability, we might even want to take this “Spot” thing and diversify a little. If it works for one-night stands, trial marriages, and pre-nuptials, why not other niches of human personal and familial need?”

“Rent-a-kid sounds like an idea with potential. Like something you’d hear about on “Good Morning, America” or read that Oprah was starting up in Africa somewhere. You could rent a kid from different stages of maturation or development.”

“In our temporary, just a moment in time, throw away society, who has time for a baby? Wow, what a responsibility! And commitment? Even a woman doesn’t really expect eighteen years of commitment. (And that’s such a relief – can you imagine eighteen years with one woman. So tedious…)”

“So sure, have a rent-an-infant and rent-a-toddler, preschooler, kindergartner, maybe a third grader. Then, the top of the grand faux parenting mountain would be rent a middle schooler and (gasp) a frosh brat.”

“The caveat here is teens can be problematic, even traumatic. So only someone with lots of experience with younger, short-termer kids should try it with a teen. You know, like maybe three weeks experience trial parenting.”

“And then there’s the other end of the aging spectrum to maximize. Rent-a-grandma sounds viable. With the rising number of seniors and the declining number of two-parent families, why those two are as inviting as steaming cinnamon buns and icy cold milk. But let’s start with the kids. Grandma’s can be difficult to manage. Easy to recruit, but difficult to manage.”

The Marketing Plan

“Any way and all ways, once this “rent something” goes big time, think global. The possibilities for offshore out-sourcing and global markets are huge.”

“Think of all the people in India or China who don’t have time for anything – except to stay out of each other’s way. They would climb over one another to get to the chance to hold off on getting kids of their own.”

“And France would be appropriĆ©. All those young French girls running around, loose, with no where to go. They’d be naturals. Just line them up and offer every tourist getting off at DeGaulle a really good deal for a few hours love. So de rigueur, yet in a genteel way. An amour au naturel, if you will.”

“The UK might have to be brought in later. Those English either want to give it away or buy three of them – especially if it’s here in America.”

“The possibilities are endless. Disregarding differences in the cultures and peoples of the world, this rent-a-whatever is made for globalization.”

“Of course, we’ll have to have it all organized and stuff. We will have ARF’s global corporate headquarters here in the USA. We’re negotiating with the European Union for a regional hub there, maybe in Bern. And we’re exploring the possibilities of an Asiaian hub. Tokyo probably will get the nod over Shanghi or Singapore.”

Security and Identification

“The Japanese are really big on caring for dogs. Of course, with the population of dogs in Japan increasing and the fertility rate of Japanese decreasing, that might be a shot-term market. Too, in some parts of Asia, dogs are common fare for dinner, so the screening process of renters would have to require valid identification.”


“I don’t know about passports. They seem pretty tenuous and unreliable sometimes. Maybe some kind of special, global identification could be worked out.”

“You know, like a number on your forehead of something. And the U.N. could be in charge of marking sure everything went according to plan.”

Investors and ROI

Our Chinese investors have some sway, but they, like the Saudis, will remain silent partners – at least in the first phase of deployment. The Saudis, in fact, disavow any knowledge of ARF. Riyadh has issued a statement saying that ARF would not be welcome in the Middle East, at this time.

“Then, there’s the Marketing and PR part, per se. Do a point-counterpoint with CNN and Fox, at least. Maybe we could get Wolf Blitzer to try the concept out. And the media princess on Fox – wow, what a market. One dog could be shared among four or five of these news wonder babes – of course, then doggie would have to be retired, for a little while anyway, to revive and get its ‘bark back.'”.


“Now, don’t get me wrong, there nothing wrong with the groups that rescue strays and such, like Rent-A-Pet-Program. And Rent a Pet may be visionary entrepreneurs in marketizing this concept. But, they are so small-scale. And…

(Excuse me, let me take this…”

“Yes, Barack, what is it? … Yes, I remember you’re having dinner with the corporate team tonight. No, no – you’ll be fine. Hilliary won’t be there. Promise. And I’ve already talked to security and they know to let you up. Great! Ciao.”)

“So, to wrap up today’s news conference: next we will try this out in practice, not just do the whiteboard conceptuals and theoreticals. There are bound to be glitches and challenges – maybe even a problem or two. We don’t want our wonderful lives ‘going to the dogs’ – at least, not until we’ve stuffed those accounts in the Caymans, hmmm?

“And then? Well, there may be that ‘last million we need.’ So then we could revisit that “C” thing or commitment. But only with a pre-nup, of course.”

He finished off his Absopure bottled water, leaned comfortably into the lectern, and waited for the first question from the media. The Fox babes on the front row, with their obvious newsworthy assets, had hung on his every word – he would give them first turn.

God, he loved the smell of FOX in the morning…

Why I Use Mint.Com To Monitor My Finances

Monitor My Finances

The website is a free financial management site run by Intuit, which is the company that produces the popular financial software package Quicken. Obviously nothing is really free in life and users should be prepared for the reality that the ulterior motive of any “free” site is to make money and sell products to customers. However, this does not change the fact that is a very useful site for a wide variety of financial functions and monitoring.

Tracking mechanism

One of the primary benefits of this site is the ability to track accounts. Users can input their bank accounts, credit cards, loans, assets, and investments. Not all companies are involved, but most of the major players can be accessed. The site stays connected to these accounts and provides individuals with up-to-date balances. Obviously people have to be comfortable giving out financial information of this kind, but managing finances online is increasingly becoming the standard. The site will also alert users through email or smart phone notification when various transactions are posted or statements are ready. This can be particularly helpful for avoiding fraud and knowing when items clear.

Budgeting tools

Another major function of the site is budgeting. Individuals can pick various categories and set budget limits for the month. The site will track transactions from all input accounts and send alerts to the user if categories are exceeded. Some tweaking is required to put transactions in the right categories, but overall the site does a solid job of identifying where various businesses fall in the budgetary scheme. Obviously the site won’t stop people from spending money, but tracking is often the first step towards greater financial discipline. In addition, users can run various reports and see patterns in their spending.

Extra services

As mentioned, the site is designed to provide people with various financial options. This includes different credit cards, loans, insurance, and investment vehicles. The presence of these options are all over the site, but they are no different than banner ads on various websites, and discerning customers can easily pick and choose what they are actually interested in pursuing. Again, this is an understandable part of a company providing relatively free services.


Online tracking is becoming standard practice and this may be the future of money management as consumers move away from standalone software packages. This site is fairly intuitive and a good way to get a lot of information in a single place. For smart phone users, there is also a app that can used as a companion to the website.

More from this contributor:

Verizon iPhone Review: Why I Am Happy That I Bought the iPhone

The Importance of Financial Management Ethics

How to Use Critical Thinking in the Workplace

Taking Care of Your Finances in the New Year

Finances in the New Year

The New Year is finally here. Out of all the many resolutions floating around finances remain at the top of the list. So, what are some tips you need to remember in order to keep your finances organized and well balanced in the New Year? This article is designed to give you a few pointers.

Taking Care of your Finances in the New Year: Need vs. Want

If we were to comprise a list of the things we “need” we would probably find many things we can do without. This is our first mission, by compiling a list of all of our bills we can eliminate the different “wants” leaving a lot more money to save for the “needs”. Of course, we do all need (once in a while) to spend money frivolously. But it should be planned out and allotted-This will tremendously help your finances and give you that little extra perk.

By deciding what you really need from what you could and should do without, you can save a lot of money. The extra funds can go toward house payments, car payments and credit card debts to improve your credit score. Even if it is only a few extra dollars on top of your minimum payment a month it will significantly improve your Fico. The rest of the money you save should go into a savings account for those emergencies that the new year may hold.

Taking Care of your Finances in the New Year: Emergency Needs

Every year we all face some type of emergency or another. In order to help build our finances in these situations there is something important we can all do. Aflac is a wonderful investment. It has helped my family out tremendously when someone has been injured and could not work. The goal is to keep our finances up and stay out of debt. With a company like this it is easy to build up your bank account when you are physically restricted and unable to earn income.

Other insurances are great to have as well. So, whether it is your home, car, or other expensive purchases you have bought, getting insurance coverage could be a good idea.

Taking Care of your Finances in the New Year: Closing

I hope this first installment has helped in beginning to define basic needs regarding your finances. It is important to always be clear in your choices as to where you spend your money. Because this is a primary concern amongst most families, these guidelines can help you plan out and prepare so that you can find yourself debt free.

Using Facebook to Improve Your Personal Finances

Facebook to Improve Your Personal Finances

While Facebook is a fun place to connect with old friends and network with new ones, used correctly, it a can be a great tool to improve your personal finances. Facebook can save you money in your everyday life and even give you access to free things.

We have a Facebook page for my travel website and blog ( and use it to network and promote the site. But we’ve been using it more and more as part of our almost daily research to ensure we always get the best price, whether it’s at a local restaurant, our neighborhood dry cleaners, or on a new car. All those types of businesses have Facebook pages and “Like”ing their pages (joining their social network) is the key to accessing them.

If you don’t use Facebook here’s how the system basically functions. People have personal Facebook pages and business can have their own Facebook pages as well. Just as you accumulate “Friends” on your personal page to increase your own social network, or group of friends, businesses seek to accumulate “Likes”, which are shown as a number and indicate the number of Facebook users who like the business and basically their popularity. Your local dry cleaners may have 150 Likes, while a big company like Ford cars may have 4 million Likes.

Companies and businesses want and need your Likes. The more Likes they have, the more popular they seem and that encourages even more people to Like them, and so on. Businesses like having many people in their social network because it provides them a free network to advertise to, simply by posting a message. And these people are people who have expressed in interest in the product or service by Like-ing the page in the first place. So a business with 10,000 Likes may be able to generate good sales if only a small percentage act on their message, promotion or post.

They also use the social network properties of Facebook, when they post something to your wall, it will then appear to all your Friends and then Facebook makes it very easy to share information. So if a customer likes a business, they can re-post a message or link on their own wall, which then spreads the message to their entire network. Each person in their network can continue to spread the message to their own individual social networks and that is what’s called “viral marketing”, because the message spreads quickly, like a virus. For all these reasons businesses will offer your incentives to get you to Like their page, and even pay online marketing firms large sums of money, based on the number of Likes they can generate for them.

A great example of how we use Facebook to save money and improve our personal finances happened recently when we wanted to go to a comedy show at the Improv Comedy Club in Los Angeles to see Steve-O perform with our grandson. The tickets were $30 at the door. My son suggested we check Facebook and we searched for the Improv and Liked the Improv Facebook page, giving us access to future discounts and show information. The Improv even offers free tickets to many shows, you just pay a $3.50 service charge per ticket. But there were no discounts for the show we wanted to see. We then went to Steve-O’s page and liked that. He had a link to the comedy show’s event page, called Comedy Juice. Once we Liked that page, we could see a discount code, for Facebook fans only, getting us the tickets for $10 each, instead of the $30 each we would have had to pay at the door. Here are some other businesses where you can get Facebook discounts:

Events and Concerts

Before the event, check for a Facebook page for the artist that is performing. Also check for a page for the actual venue where the performance will take place.


Many restaurants are now on Facebook and offering discounts and access to other special offers and things just for their customers. Especially if you frequent big chain restaurants, they have a lot of good deals on Facebook, both fast food and higher end dining.

Local Businesses

Facebook can provide the most savings for local businesses, who can really use it to bring in customers. Any local business or service you use, check for their (or their competitor’s) page on Facebook and Like it to get any available discounts.

Banks and Financial Firms

Check for Facebook pages for your bank or financial providers and for competitors as well.

Car Dealers and Manufacturers

Both local car dealers and car manufacturers have great Facebook pages. Manufacturers offers news on new models, and local dealers use it for discounts on service.

The number and types of business with a presence on Facebook increases daily. Before you do any business with any local merchant, national retailer, really any type of transaction, check on Facebook to see about potential deals and discounts.

More from this contributor:

“Plans For Tax Refunds”

“It’s Time to Change Your Financial Thinking”

“Differences Between Roth and Traditional IRAs”