Six Ways To Save Yourself From Financial Ruin

Financial Ruin

Financial Ruin

As we all know, life can be unpredictable and no one knows what may happen next year, next month, or even tomorrow. Financial crises, poor investment decisions, or an overly extravagant lifestyle may undermine your financial situation. These six tips will help safeguard you from financial ruin and let you create a cushion against hardship.

1. Don’t overextend yourself financially.

It’s always best practice to manage your debt rather than allowing it to manage you. If you notice yourself in situations where your spending habits outweigh what you’re able to pay off, or just having a difficult time paying your month to month bills, then consider curbing your spending patterns down to a level that is more manageable for you financially. Think, maybe you spend too much on things you don’t need? Perhaps, there is a decent alternative to expensive things and services? Extravagant spending patterns are potentially red flags to upcoming financial problems.

2. Utilize employment benefits to the max.

Many employers offer benefit plans that, when properly taken advantage of, can be worth their weight in gold. Medical and dental insurance and even profit sharing are becoming more commonplace practices among larger companies as a way to retain loyalty, reduce turnover, and increase productivity. Be sure to utilize these benefits as they can substantially reduce out-of-pocket expenses in addition to lowering future tax liabilities. If you’re currently stuck in a lower paying position offering little or no benefits, consider the help of a job placement or resume writing service to kickstart the process of moving up the corporate ladder.

3. Consider getting health insurance.

Insurance no doubt will increase your expenses even more. Then how can it save from financial problems? It’s simple, if any trouble happens to you, instead of paying hospital bills from your own pocket, an insurance company will pay them for you. Of course no one wants to think about bad things happening to them, but we’re not immune to diseases and accidents. In countries where there’s no free medicine, health insurance will save you from potential hefty debts. It’s great if insurance is provided by your work, but if not, then it’s better to pay a little every month rather than risk being broke.

4. Choose Your Bank Wisely.

Many people don’t give it much thought, but bank fees bite off a significant portion of the family budget every month, especially if you happen to have a loan. Before signing a bank agreement, you should carefully study all the details, specifically what’s written in fine print. There may be hidden fees or sky-high fines if you don’t pay on time. If you don’t have the best credit history, most banks automatically offer more expensive loan rates. In this case, it makes sense to opt for second chance banking with reasonable rates despite previously having a less than perfect financial history.

5. Save money for a rainy day.

Everyone understands that saving money is a good idea, but not every person sees the right opportunities. Meanwhile, there are countless ways to put aside some money each month for those “just in case” situations. For example, you can open a savings account and automatically deposit into it with each paycheck. The most important thing is that this money is not too easy to access so that you don’t have the temptation to spend it.

6. Don’t trust questionable ventures.

Quick enrichment with minimal effort — isn’t that what each of us dreams of? Unfortunately, more often than not it’s just a pipe dream. If you’ve fantasized of riches from the internet, or a friend has pitched to you “the secret” for making easy money, take this information with a grain of salt. Because it’s more likely than not, it’s just another shady financial pyramid / get-rich-quick scheme. Is the opportunity to earn a few dollars worth the risk of losing everything? If you wish to invest some spare money, it’s better to contact a reputable broker or purchase government bonds. Profits may not be big, but the risks are going to be way less.

Continue Reading

Knowing Your Rights When Working for a Home Based Business

Working for a home based business can be a great experience. You get to be a part of a small company and can build camaraderie within the company that turns into lifelong friendships. You also get to learn how to multitask and do many jobs that are outside of your skill sets. So you get a great chance to learn new skills.

But sometimes these companies are run much looser than a company that is set up in an office and you as the worker must make sure that you pay close attention and protect yourself. Here are some tips to make sure that your working experience at a home business is the best one.

One That Acts Within the Law

When you choose to work for a home based business, it is vital that you select a company that abides by all of the laws for business that are applicable. This means making sure that they are legally registered and that they provide you all of the benefits as a worker required by law. This includes insurance, a minimum wage, and set working hours.

One important issue regarding working at a home business is how the company has listed you as a worker. Home businesses often try and save costs and open way to do this is to list their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. This allows them to save money on insurance and taxes. For you the employee, you will lose out on valuable benefits that you are due when you work for a company. In addition, if the government finds out that you have an inaccurate working status you can be legally viable and ordered to pay penalties.  

There are specific guidelines for an independent contractor but you can tell that you are an employee essentially if the company treats you like one meaning they provide specific orders to you regarding your job, you work in their premises, and you are not on a contract. Making sure of your proper status can keep you legal. If you suspect that you have an inaccurate employment status you need to contact a reputable worker misclassification lawyer like the Sattiraju Law Firm. They will help you to understand your rights and how to take action.

One That Values Your Contributions

You should receive specific guidelines and a set of objectives from your employer and when you meet or exceed these you should be in line for a promotion or a bonus of some sort. Companies today must realize that good employees are valuable and should be rewarded. If your company does not realize this and act accordingly you should consider leaving.

One that Pays You on Time

One of the challenges in working for a home based business is that small companies often have cash flow issues. This can lead to the owners asking you to take less money or to allow to not be paid on time. You should never allow a company this accommodation. When you work you should expect to be paid and on time. If your place of employment has cash flow issues this might be an indication that they are not going to be around long. It is definitely time for you to look for employment elsewhere.

Knowing what you can expect as an employee at a home based business helps you to understand your rights and what you should anticipate.

Continue Reading

Key Elements of Success For Small Businesses

There has been no more difficult time than the present to start a home based business. The competition is stiff and things are moving at top speed within industries anywhere in the world. With this in mind small companies must do all they can to keep up with competition and to gain an edge. There are some proven business approaches that any small business can adhere to that will greatly improve their chances for success.

Hiring the Right Employees

When you have a small business each employee you hire is important. Large companies can have the luxury of having employees who are not engaged or skilled. But your business needs people who want to see you succeed and are willing to do what it takes to get you there. When you hire you must get the best talent possible and if they agree to work with you, you have to treat them well and share any financial success you have at your company. Small businesses too often function as feeder companies for large businesses where employees will get trained by you and then leave for a large company to make money. So you have to pay them well and also make them comfortable at your business. In some cases small businesses give their key employees equity in the business and this is definitely an idea to be considered.

Managing Their Money

Small businesses typically go out of business because of money matters. They will raise too little capital, manage the money improperly or not generate enough money to fulfill their business plan and keep things going. For this reason money matters must be a primary focus for a small business. The business must bring on key money management tools like the free small business budgeting template from The Business Backer. This valuable weapon helps business owners keep their spending accounted for and to make smarter business decisions. Using tools like this can go a long way to adding to the good health and bottom line of a business.

Treating Customers Well

Small business owners must understand that their main job is to keep customers happy about them, their products and services. This means making their entire organization customer focused and always being available and ready to meet any customer needs. Today for a small business this also means having a robust online and digital marketing presence that interacts with customers and prospective ones on an up to the second basis. Companies must be responsible and ready to assist with any questions or complaints. They can also use these channels to offer discounts and rebates to those loyal customers or as incentives to get more loyal customers. In the end focusing on the customer gets a business positioned right and able to hold on to them as the competition heats up.

Companies today have the greatest challenges but they also have the most opportunity for business success, provided they do all of the right things

Continue Reading

Why Freight Factoring Has Become So Popular

If you are the owner of a trucking company, you need to make sure that every vehicle in your fleet is well-maintained, and that all of your drivers are paid. This is why cash flow is so critical to both truckers and trucking companies, as it not only keeps the business in operation, but it allows for growth opportunities as well.

This is why so many companies in the trucking industry rely on freight factoring to stay in the black month after month. Factoring continues to be one of the best options for truck drivers to collect money faster — because it generates the funds you need when you need them. Factoring freight invoices allows trucking companies of every size to receive immediate funding in the form of advances on unpaid invoices from a third-party factoring company.

The first step of the freight factoring process is quite simple, and as a trucking company owner you’re already doing it — you deliver your load normally. The second step is to submit a copy of the freight bill and other supporting documentation to your factoring company. This can be done digitally and instantaneously.

As a carrier, you will then be given an advance typically between 90% to 95% of the value of the invoice. A top-tier factoring company such as Accutrac Capital will advance carriers up to 97% of the value. The remaining 3% is kept in reserve and is remitted to the carrier once the customer pays on the original invoice.

You can see why this is such a popular financing option. Not only do trucking companies have access to a generous advance, but the actual job of collecting on the invoice now shifts to the factoring company, freeing up trucking company owners to do what they do best — track down leads and generate new contracts.

Freight factoring is so appealing because it offers a great deal of advantages that other financial solutions simply can’t. Factoring your freight bills is a great option because:

  1. It’s easy to receive your funding when you need it. Traditional loans from banks and other lenders are often very difficult to secure. If you don’t have the best credit in the world, or you’re a startup without a considerable amount of collateral, factoring invoices is going to be easier than securing a loan.
  1. Factoring speeds up your cash flow. Anyone in trucking knows that carriers need to be paid, and if they have to wait 30 to 90 days to receive their payment, it will detrimentally affect their bottom line — sometimes even to the point of bankruptcy.

Rather than waiting 90 days to receive payment for a service you’ve already rendered, freight factoring allows you to turn your accounts receivable — which would otherwise be sitting uselessly by — into the funding you need when you need it. With all the work you do as a trucking company owner, there is no reason why there should be a waiting period standing between you and the money you’ve already earned.

  1. Factoring gives you money to spend on growing your trucking business. When you are routinely stuck waiting for payment, it can become more and more difficult to take on jobs because cash flow is tight and you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for your drivers or maintain your fleet. Freight factoring alleviates this issue because you can receive payment upfront for invoices often within a day, allowing you to move seamlessly onto the next job.
  1. Factoring is not debt. Because you are essentially selling something you already own at a discount in the form of an unpaid invoice, factoring is not a loan and therefore there are no interest rates or hidden fees. Carriers simply pay a small one-time factoring fee when they receive their advance.

In order to stay afloat in the choppy waters of the trucking industry, consider freight factoring as an option for your business. Whether you have a fleet of four or four hundred, factoring can help you manage your cash flow, so you can keep your head above water.

Continue Reading

How Easy Is It to Achieve Funding for Your Home Business?

home business

home business

Many people dream of starting their own business and becoming their own boss but are being held back by a lack of funding. When you have a viable business idea that you know is going to make you a lot of money, not having the available capital to get started can put you in a very frustrating situation. No matter how unique or ground-breaking your business idea is it’s difficult to get it off the ground without the right funding. The good news is that getting business funding for your home business is much easier than you may realize. Let’s take a closer look.

Use a Business Credit Card

Business credit cards are one of the most efficient options to fund a startup, and it’s worth considering for any new business owner. Usually, obtaining a business credit card is a much easier process than applying for a business loan from the bank, and you have the option of only using it when you really need to, allowing you to have more control over how much you’re borrowing. And, many business credit cards come with relatively low rates; many even offer 0% interest promotions, making them a very cost-effective option of financing your startup.

A Small Business Loan

When it comes to applying for a bank loan, small, new startup ideas are facing an increasing amount of rejection. However, the good news is that there are now more small business lenders who’ll be willing to help provide your new company with the funding that it needs. Lending Express, for example, helps rejected SME applicants find the funding that they need to realize their business dreams by connecting them to viable funding solutions using algorithms and technology. When you apply, they will optimize existing funding and use the information that you provide to match you with a suitable lender.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become more and more popular, particularly when it comes to raising money for charity. However, it could also be a great way for your new home business to get the capital that it needs to get off the ground. It’s based on raising small amounts of money from a large number of people and can be done on popular crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter. Basically, anybody who believes in your business idea can donate as little as a few dollars to help you get started. Once you’re successful, you can reward your supporters.

Angel Investors

Generally, angel investors are those who are wealthy and prominent in the business world. An angel investor who believes in your mission will help with funding in return for an agreed percentage of your profits. And, some of the biggest businesses in the world today, such as Google and Yahoo, were helped out by angel investors during their early days. So, it’s definitely worth looking into, particularly if you want business support as well.

Today, there are several great options to choose from when it comes to funding your home business. Even if the bank rejects you, getting the funds that you need is easier than you think!

Continue Reading

3 Training Courses That Every Entrepreneur Can Benefit From

Starting and running a business can be incredibly rewarding in more ways than one, but it also places a lot of demands on an entrepreneur. That’s why everyone who starts a business must be prepared to work longer and harder than ever before if they want it to succeed. A successful entrepreneur also has to be multi-skilled and to be aware of where their weaknesses lie so that they can take positive action to improve in those areas. Thankfully, training courses allow you to learn new skills or hone existing ones, so here are three training courses that can be especially useful.

1. Sales Training

It’s great to have a high-quality product or service on offer, but that won’t get you anywhere unless you achieve good sales figures. That’s why every great business owner has to be a great salesperson too, and even if you have a dedicated sales team, it’s an essential skill for every entrepreneur. There are plenty of training options in this sector, so you’ll be able to find sales training that’s right for your level of experience and your budget. Course search portals like findcourses.com allow you to compare options from multiple providers to help find the right course for yourself or your business. By signing up for a sales training course, you’ll be able to find the theory behind different selling techniques and put them into practice, whether you sell face to face or online.

2. Management Training

Many entrepreneurs start their business as a one-person concern, but as it expands and grows, there comes a time when staff will have to be recruited. This brings with it a host of new opportunities, but to make the most of these opportunities, it’s essential that the business owner possesses excellent management skills. This isn’t something that comes naturally to all people, but management training can bring vast improvements in how you manage people and get the best out of them. A management training course will teach you different types of management and the theories behind them, allowing you to select the one which is most suited to you and your company.

3. Communication Training

One of the secrets to being a good salesperson and manager is to be an excellent communicator, but this has a vital skillset of its very own. Most people think they can communicate well, but in business, it’s as important to be able to listen well as it is to be able to speak well. Communication training will teach you how to communicate face to face, via a telephone, and online. In today’s fast-changing technology driven world, this last skill is becoming ever more important. When you can communicate effectively, you can inspire your workforce, negotiate with potential clients, and create customer loyalty, so taking training in this area can bring rich rewards.

A good entrepreneur must always be looking for ways to grow themselves and their business, which is why they should always be prepared to undertake personal training programs that can help them become an even better business leader. Training courses can also be a perfect way to improve the skills that staff possess and training existing staff can be much more cost-effective than hiring new employees.

Continue Reading

Keeping One Eye Open: These 8 Red Flags Will Help You Spot Fraudulent Transactions

While e-commerce has greatly grown within recent years, the threat of fraudulent transactions is also unfortunately higher. In fact, according to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a survey of 700 finance and treasury professionals found that a whopping 78 percent of organizations received at least one fraudulent transaction.

As one can imagine, fraudulent transactions can cause immense losses for business big and small. Although you can never be so safe, there are fortunately ways you as the merchant can spot fraudulent transactions before they occur:

1. Faster shipping requested for high-value items

Especially when purchasing valuable items, fraudsters will want the items as quickly as possible. That said, they may pay for the fastest method of shipping. This ensures that the products ship out and get in their hands before the cardholder even realizes there’s a suspicious transaction on their card and has it removed.

2. Abnormally large orders

While it’s possible a large order is genuine, sometimes this is may be a result of a fraudulent transaction. From a fraudster’s perspective, they’ll want to purchase as much as they possibly can within a short period of time they may have.

3. Several small orders

As an alternative to placing a suspiciously large order, fraudsters might instead place several smaller orders. However, some credit cards will automatically shut off if there are several items purchased within a slim time frame. Of course, not all cards have this level of security.

4. Orders placed to different addresses from the same card

Because it looks suspicious to place a very large order or multiple small orders, fraudsters might think they’ll get away with their fraudulent act if they send orders to various addresses. Be wary of this.

5. Delivery to an office building or P.O. box

To avoid having their personal address on file, thus making if harder to track down them down, fraudsters might have their order delivered to an office or P.O. box instead. Especially if they are placing a large order, having their items sent to an office building might initially look less suspicious as it might merely seem like they would resell the items to the public legally.

6. In-store pickup

There are two reasons a scammer might opt for in-store pickup after placing an order: 1) to get the items they purchased before the cardholder cancels the transaction, and 2) to ensure there isn’t an address tied to their purchase.

7. Mismatched billing and shipping addresses

If a customer’s billing and shipping addresses don’t match up, this is one sign that the transaction is suspicious. Additionally, multiple orders to multiple addresses may share the same billing address or incorrect zip codes.

8. Inability to confirm customer information

If you cannot confirm a customer’s information, or they intentionally fail to provide it, you might also have a fraudster on your hands. Non-scammers should have no problem sharing general shipping and payment information.

While businesses can’t truly eliminate the risks of potentially fraudulent transactions, they can still do everything in their power to avoid such. Fortunately, Netverify offers a total solution to know and trust your customers.

Conclusion

Although at times, fraudulent transactions can be inevitable, one of the best things you can do as a merchant is keeping your eyes peeled for any suspicious orders. By spotting and reporting fraud, you can save your business, and potentially others’ businesses, from dealing with heavy financial losses.

Continue Reading

Top tips to run a remote team

Remote working is a growing trend within UK businesses, with more companies allowing employees the option to work away from the traditional office environment. This can bring many benefits to both the employer and employee, which can increase overall productivity within the business. To run a successful remote team, a lot of planning and skill is required, from hiring the right team, using the best tools available and creating good processes within your company.

Find the right candidates

When looking to hire an employee for your remote team, you are no longer restricted to finding someone local to the area and you can search globally for the right person for the job. The ideal candidate will need to be self-motivated and disciplined to ensure that work is completed and deadlines are met. Conduct a range of interviews by email, phone and Skype and set the candidate a small task that will reflect the work they would be doing if they were hired.

Use effective management processes

Remote workers need to know what exactly is required of them, for example, if they’re expected to be online at certain times of the day or if they have to reply to emails promptly. By establishing clear guidelines and giving your employees instructions, this will ensure the productivity levels are kept high. Access to training opportunities is vital and you can provide relevant eLearning courses through places like EssentialSkillz, in order to ensure employees are able to perform their roles in a safe and effective manner.

Provide workers with the best tools

Having the best tools available is vital to ensure your employees can be as productive as possible. Google Hangouts is a great way to communicate with colleagues and clients as you can message and video call anyone in your contact list who is online. A great tool for project planning is Pivotal Tracker as you can easily manage team projects and stick to deadlines. Another tool that is useful is Google Drive, as this allows colleagues to share and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets at the same time.

The benefits of remote working

Remote working is beneficial to the employer and employee. Without having to commute to an office every day, the employee has more free time meaning they can spend time with family and friends, go to the gym or take on a side project. This leads to improvement in their health, wellbeing and stress levels.

A company can save a significant amount in costs by operating from a smaller office, saving in heating, maintenance and electricity bills. Productivity would increase as remote workers are generally more productive than employees who work in an office and are less likely to take sick days. Remote workers are proven to be hard working and loyal to their employer.

Continue Reading

7 Essential Tools for Business Success Today

Starting a business is one thing. Growing the business is another, while keeping operations from becoming unwieldy is a different ballgame.

Business owners must build systems and explore how to operate them more efficiently. There are tools to help budding businesses focus on what matters most. We look at a few here, which we use in our own operations at HomeBusinessWiz.

  1. Organisation

A business can easily become overwhelmed with meetings and deadlines. Google Calendar makes it easy to schedule meetings and share events. It is excellent for internal and external appointments. It also provides a way to monitor your people, so booking team meetings doesn’t get to be a hassle.

  1. A comprehensive business plan

Doing business without a plan is akin to going to war without a strategy. You need to pull away from the competition. Your business plan sets the focus and tone of your operations.

It is self-defeating to toy with your operations even if your business is a hobby. Many home-based business owners show this inclination. It is a path to frustration and failure. Get a business plan right away.

  1. Education

You do not need a PhD to run a successful business, but you must be thoroughly versed in your chosen niche. There are numerous online courses available online. You can audit (take for free) many of these.

The insight will help you rethink many aspects of your business and inject ideas that customers will yearn for. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from the world’s top universities are available. The most popular MOOC sites are Coursera, edX, and Udacity. You won’t get a certificate but the content is priceless.

Other avenues for continuous learning include video outlets, Youtube and Vimeo.

  1. Project Management

As a budding business, reliability should be your watchword. Do this enough times and the word goes around. But, how do you manage all the madness in the face of changing project requirements? Use Trello, the famed project management tool.

Trello is adaptable to teams and one-man operations. You can keep track of marketing or promotions using this nifty tool. Everyone on our team, for instance, can log in and check our blog’s progress. They can also tag other staff for their opinion.

Trello does not cost you a penny–it is free with premium pricing plans for teams, but you’ll likely do great with the free option. Find Trello here.

  1. Networking with Social Media

You probably have an account on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. These social media platforms have tools and features to cater to business needs. You can chat with and pitch old acquaintances, join common-interest groups and engage industry thought leaders. If you are active enough, you will grow a large following.

An up-to-date profile is important on social media. Regular post updates or tweets tells your audience what you are up to and has been effective for product launches and press releases.

Social media is also an excellent outlet for repurposed content. The fun aspect of social media remains attractive to millennials, who are likely your target audience.

  1. External and Internal Communication

You typically want to explore every avenue that makes it easy for clients to stay in touch with you. You also want to have robust internal communication systems.

Zoom can be used to engage clients and prospects and has seen plenty of adoption in enterprise and small businesses. It has greater utility than phone calls and email because you are face-to-face with the client or associate. With Zoom, you can share schematics with them without the risk of ambiguity.

Internal communications can also use Zoom, but since many things are on-the-fly, rather than resort to email, the workspace tool, Slack, excels at offering an instant messaging service for teams. File sharing in Slack is a breeze, and there’s room for plenty of fun while at it.

  1. Payment Systems

Doing business online has become the new normal. But how do you receive payments? There are services you can incorporate on your website for low fees per transaction to ensure you get paid even before you deliver the service. Two of the most popular ones are Stripe and PayPal. Many existing banks have their own financial apps to make the payment process easier as well.

This is merely a small round-up of tools you need to get your business running until other tools become essential.

Continue Reading

Getting the Most From Your Digital Marketing Campaigns Means Tracking the Right Metrics

If you are at the helm of a growing business and you feel the pressure to keep growing, you can use that anxiety to propel your company forward. The key here is to track what you have been doing that has caused your success and to continue to do as much of it that continues to work. Also to take things to the higher heights, there are things you will need to start doing that will add to your success.  If you are a small business owner determining those things can be difficult. Should you hire more sales staff. invest in new computers, or rent office in a higher quality  office building? Which one will bring you the greatest return or are all necessary.

Chances are that your company needs to invest more in marketing to keep you ahead of the fast charging competition.

The situation today is that marketing is in a transition and quickly moving from traditional forms like television, billboards and radio to online marketing also called digital marketing channels. The reasons are simple for this change. First. people are spending more of their time online and less time watching traditional TV, listening to radio and in terms of billboards, let’s just say that everyone is too busy looking at their phones to look up at these 100 foot monsters.

Digital marketing also offers companies more control over their marketing strategies with better price controls and data that is richer and much more in depth. As you focus on continued growth, you need to understand how to better utilize digital marketing to win. Here is an infographic by from Campaign Monitor. featuring digital marketing tracking metrics that can be valuable in helping your company to achieve greater success.

 

Continue Reading
1 2 3 16