Licensing Agency: Turning Celebrity into Product Sales

The economy may be stumbling in the dark, but in the gloom, one avenue of commerce shines brightly. That avenue is licensed merchandise, and we don’t mean only sports paraphenalia.  Sales of clothing and other items bearing the logos of professional sports teams and the numbers of star players have plodded along respectably even in lackluster economies.  We’re not talking about the tried and true.  We’re talking about brands driven by the hottest artists in commercial music, performers that often burn as brightly and as ephemerally as Halley’s Comet.

Why, then, do retailers gobble up such merchandise as if it were their last meal?  Why make such risky investments in something that is here today and often gone tomorrow?

Read the rest of Licensing Agency: Turning Celebrity into Product Sales »

Franchising, 101

Caught up in a pervasive economic flux, many of us are exploring new employment opportunities. Franchise ownership represents one such opportunity.   If you are considering the purchase of a franchise, you’ll want to remember the old adage about looking before leaping.  While franchise ownership can be emotionally and financially rewarding, there are a number of factors to explore before signing on the dotted line.

It is essential to make an accurate and dispassionate assessment of your character from a professional point of view.  Are you mentally and physically equipped to devote long hours to a business, manage relationships with vendors as well as a demanding general public, direct staff, and analyze finances?  How do you confront setbacks?  Do you wait for change to occur, or are you prone to craft and launch Plan Bs and even Cs with focus, diligence, and enthusiasm?

If you sense that you are a feasible candidate for franchise ownership, there are other issues to take under consideration.

Read the rest of Franchising, 101 »

Physical Commodities Brokering: The Basics and Potential Pitfalls

Trading in physical commodities may be defined as the exchange of physical goods ranging from grown produce, such as soy or coffee beans, through precious metals to barrels of crude oil with the recipient of such transfers providing shipping from the warehouse, depot, port, or other facility from which the goods are to be collected.

Physical markets for commodities transfers deal in either cash or spot contracts for ready delivery and payment within a defined period of time, usually 11 days, or forward contracts for delivery of goods and/or payment of agreed upon price after that period.  Forward contracts for physical commodities transfers should not be confused with futures agreements.  These party-to-party contracts are fulfilled by seller delivery of the particular commodity as agreed to between the parties.  Often, forward trades stipulate cash settlement with the counterparty paying in cash the difference between the agreed future price and the prevailing market price at the time of settlement.

Read the rest of Physical Commodities Brokering: The Basics and Potential Pitfalls »

Dean Washington: Physical Commodities Broker

Leveraging global contacts accumulated during 20 years of legal practice experience, Dean Washington entered the physical commodities brokerage industry in 2009.  As industry insiders are well aware, successful physical commodities brokering is reliant upon the depth and strength of contacts, the cultivation of an active, knowledgeable partner base, accumulation of product expertise, continuous tracking of industry trends, and negotiation of agreements benefitting both buyers and sellers.

Read the rest of Dean Washington: Physical Commodities Broker »