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Top 7 reasons why you should plan for your financial future today

November 22, 2016 by Planning No Comments

Whether you are sailing along mid-career or on the verge of retirement, it’s important to plan for your future. Financial planning works towards a goal and helps you protect your financial life. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. This famous quote applies best for those planning for retirement but I strongly feel that even those who feel too young should consider it. Investing in your future today may turn out to be a better retirement tomorrow. Here are some reasons why you need to plan for future finances today.

I.                    To manage change in your goals

A good financial plan gives you the flexibility to alter your financial strategies in order to meet your new objectives. For effectiveness, you should weigh several factors like cash flows and the potential for taking a risk based on the goals. Reviewing your financial plan regularly is important since it allows you to make informed decisions regarding opportunities that arise in the future.

II.                 For financial freedom

Financial freedom should be an achievement in your life. You may be planning to quit your job tomorrow so having your financial plan will help you a lot. There are many benefits of having a sound financial plan like stability and flexibility. You are able to choose the right types of investments to fit your needs and personality.

III.               For protection in bad times

Life is not always a bed of roses. Balancing between various types of insurance such as life, medical and home can be a challenge. It’s important to have an emergency fund as an integral part of any financial plan. Having a good financial plan helps you identify how much insurance you need to protect yourself and future family. Planning the right way when things are good and with a balanced portfolio, you will be able to get through tough times just fine. Coordinating your cash reserve goal with your insurances will help you maintain your financial security.

IV.               For marital happiness

Maintaining a good budget and financial stability will help you big time. Everyone want to avoid roadblocks that come with past due payments and poor budgeting. Financial strength without focus can never lead to a healthy future. Many people have a healthy income but they inevitably spend more than they earn thus leading a miserable life. With a good financial plan, you are able to spend just enough and save more thus a happy future.

V.                 You become a planner, not a saver

Successful people set goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Those people who plan for their future end up with more wealth. Being a good planner makes you a goal oriented person and you are able to take control of your life. Taking control of your life is an important step towards improving your financial independence and security. Planning for your future finances helps you achieve a lot more than you had planned for yourself.

VI.               To free up your time

Once you have a financial plan in place it will be easy to know your financial strength and weaknesses. This will be easy if you are meeting your goals. It will very easily to find out if there something else you need to know when your finances are well managed. Stop worrying about money just ensures your finances are fine and focus on enhancing your lifestyle.

VII.            To achieve your goals

A financial plan is a road map to your future since it tells you where you are and the steps to take to get where you would like to be. Your financial plan needs to be regularly monitored to ensure you remain on track. Having a financial plan helps you to know how long you need to save to obtain what you want. Financial planning is the most important step anyone can take towards achieving

Conclusion

If you understand your priorities then achieving a financially independent life is easy. Always set achievable goals and take the right path toward achieving them. Look at yourself as a financial asset. Always remember that investing in yourself will pay off in the future. Improving your career can have a bigger impact on your financial security so it’s important to always make smart career choices.

car-rental

Top 7 things not to do when renting a car

November 15, 2016 by BusinessMisc No Comments

Renting a car gives you a huge advantage over waiting for public transportation or paying for a taxi. When renting a rude it’s important you grasp the full details regarding the rental agreement. You should definitely do your research and ask plenty of questions so that you know exactly what you are paying for in your rental car. You should know the outs of renting a car to avoid the hidden fees often charged by rental agencies.

1)     Failing to check for a place to refuel on your way back

Immediately after you pick the car you should find a place to refuel it. As you drive away from the rental agencies you should take not note of the local gas stations and make a plan to return to the cheapest at the end of your rental. A new environment can be confusing and unfamiliar so you should do your search when you not pressed for time.

2)     Ignoring potential offers for upgrades

Reserving a low-priced car is recommended since it easier for you to inquire about upgrades at the rental desk. It works best during busy seasons when the garage is running low of cheapest vehicles. They may offer you a very affordable upgrade to a larger car class due to inventory management issues. If the desk agent asks you if you interested in a larger tell them it depends on the price. They might give you a bigger car and a minimal additional cost. This will make your trip more exciting and memorable since big cars tend to do well even in the most horrible weather roads.

3)     Failing to inspect the car

Before signing the rental contract you should inspect the car thoroughly. This will prevent you from being held accountable for existing damage. If you spot any dent or scratch you should have an employee sign off on them. Many people ignore the signing of inspection form offered by rental companies claiming to be in a hurry. It’s important to take this step seriously since it saves you from an extra fee charged.

4)     Failing to return on time

Bringing your car back ahead of time or later than agreed upon it may cost you additional fees. It’s important to ask for the company policy if you anticipate a change in drop-off time. You shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to avoid regrets.

5)     Leaving final inspection to chance

With technology advancing each day the procedure of returning cars now resembles checking out of a hotel. With hotels, you normally leave your keycard on the night table and leave with only a wave to the front desk. Most car rental agencies have taken a similar path. You only follow signs leading you to the back of a row with recently returned cars, take off your staff, leave the key in the car and walk away without talking to anyone. This feels unsettling since anything can happen for leaving the car without any checking. It’s advisable to take a photo or a video of a slow walk around the car to avoid incurring any extra fees after the car is inspected.

6)     Including additional names in the contract

If you need someone else to drive during your trip, you’ve got to pay more. You will need to include the additional name on your rental contract thus increasing the cost. When choosing the driver age is the main factor since drivers aged 21-25 years tend to be expensive. The important thing to do is to minimize the number of drivers so as to avoid extra fees.

7)     Failing to review your car insurance

Rental car insurance doesn’t safeguard rented vehicles in the event an accident happens. Consult your agent before you accept the insurance option offered by the rental agent. If you already have the coverage on your personal car there are high chances that it transfers to any rental cars thus avoiding much hustle.

Conclusion

Bring your own accessories and save big. If you need a child seat or a GPS system you should pack them together with your traveling extras. Many rental companies are offering new car refueling option. Unless you running out of time or you completely sure you will return the tank empty you shouldn’t opt for this one. Their cost of refueling your car is always higher the cost of doing it yourself. You manage your time well in order to do everything before your next appointment or flight.

Finance

Why you should seek professional advice before starting a business

November 8, 2016 by Business Hub No Comments

Seeking professional advice from your business adviser, mentor or financial adviser can really help you to set up a business and minimize your financial problems. A good business adviser has a lot of expertise and they can explain any regulations that may apply to your business. When choosing your adviser it’s advisable to ask for their fee upfront since this varies. A higher-ticket adviser has a lot of experience and he can save you from making costly mistakes. Having the correct information when starting a business is essential. Here are the key points why it’s important to seek professional advice before starting a business.

To have a second opinion before making the big decision

The most reasonable thing to do when making a big decision is to seek advice from various sources. We all make big decisions throughout our lives that are as important as starting a business. Picking the right site for your job and choosing the sole source of finance are big decisions that require independent business advice for support. You can use your business adviser or financial advisers to give you a second opinion since its boosts your confidence thus making the big decision without having sleepless nights over it.

To get the answers to the most important questions

Independent business advice has moved on a long way in the intermediation of business. Business advisers answer the most important questions about business choice and set up. They help young entrepreneurs define their goals and then put the finances in place to support their goals. Seeking professional advice helps any entrepreneur to make a sensible decision about reaching their main goal in life.

To get integrated with financial schemes

Getting financial advice from a licensed financial adviser will positively benefit you. He will consider your personal situation and recommend a suitable product for you and you guaranteed of protection in case anything goes wrong. In a case of any complaint about the advice you receive is easy to settle since you have recourse to an independent complaint scheme. You can also refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you are not satisfied with the outcomes from your adviser. This helps a lot in the safety of your business and its independent growth.

They help you create a business plan

Seeking professional advice assists you in creating a well-structured business plan that will help your business become a success .A business plan is an essential thing for your business. A well-detailed business plan sets the direction of the business and also keeps you on track once it’s up and running. Business advisers also help you in writing a business plan for securing your business finances. They tell you the importance of regularly reviewing your business plan to keep it up to date.

Conclusion

A professional business adviser helps you in setting up a market plan with realistic and measurable objectives. It helps your customers understand why your service is different from your competitors. A professional advice is significant even when you changing your financial positions since it helps you achieve your long and short-term goals.

entrepreneurship-challenges

Top six decisions every entrepreneur must face

October 30, 2016 by Business Hub No Comments

Once you choose to become an entrepreneur you should have your mind set to deal with any situation. You should accept that you have to make some really tough decision down the road. These decisions can cause you sleepless nights but its all part of being a company owner. Many of these decisions will have a small impact on your business success. But some can have an enormous impact so it’s good to consider these decisions ahead of time to at least prepare yourself mentally to handle them when they arise in your company. Here are six decisions every entrepreneur should be prepared to face.

Whether to expand or keep the status quo

Keeping a small business feels manageable since you are able to oversee most of the day-to-day operations. Sometimes the temptation for business expansion can be very strong due to the potential of something new and exciting. The strategic decision to expand your business is one of the biggest decisions most entrepreneur faces and should not be taken lightly. If you decide to expand your business you should have the proper systems and processes in place to successfully manage the growth.

Product or service pricing

How you price your products will position you against certain competitors in the marketplace. This makes it really difficult for entrepreneurs to determine their “sweet spot” in terms of pricing. Always understand what you can afford to charge and what your target market is willing to pay to avoid losses. These hard decisions come with a certain amount of risks so entrepreneur should take their decision-making process very serious.

How to deal with difficult employees

Employees always cause problems in the workplace. The first time any problem occurs in a company it can be very hard to deal with it but your resolve it by talking with the offender or taking minor action. If either of this fails to work you may terminate the employee which is not an easy decision to make. Once you fire an employee you need to understand that some of his responsibilities in the company will be on you as the owner. This is not fun at all.

Whether to say goodbye to unprofessional clients

Is it really worth the headache of working with rude or unprofessional clients? There are many businesses that are very strict when a client violates their policy they cease working with them. It’s very hard to voluntarily say goodbye to a client who has been investing a lot into your small business. You should always consider what it will cost your business if you keep a difficult or rude client for the long run.

Whether to turn your idea into reality

The enormous decision upon which all other decisions rest is whether to start your business. This may mean scaling back at work to pursue your dream. You may sacrifice your dependable full-time income for you to achieve your big goal. It’s difficult for any entrepreneur to decide on which idea is being turned into a business. All entrepreneurs should always take any decision- making the process very serious.

Whether to give up

Thoughts of giving up cross every entrepreneur’s mind more than once. Life is not a bed of roses meaning there are times when giving up are your best option. Persistence is the greatest point for you to gather more courage to keep going. If you strong not give up you may find your big success is right around the corner.

Conclusion

It’s important to maintain unwavering faith for you to prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties. Being an entrepreneur always means making hard decisions as your business grows. Each decision made comes with a certain amount of risk but entrepreneurs do not let it impede their growth.

Row of hands

Top six reasons why you should consult a lawyer for your small business

October 22, 2016 by Business Hub, Planning No Comments

Every business needs an attorney to provide vital assistance on lawsuits, business incorporation, and liability. A small business may not afford a full-time attorney but it needs access to a lawyer who understands you and your business. A business lawyer will help you handle issues whenever they arise. Here are a few reasons why you need to consult an attorney for your small business.

When dealing with employees issues

If you are work with independent contractors, create an agreement that stipulates any arrangements you have concurred on.  Your attorney could draft it for you or review the draft you have to make sure that it’s in your best interest. A business attorney will help you stay out of trouble with IRS when hiring employees. It’s advisable to consult your attorney before firing any employee to avoid being at risk of discriminatory lawsuits.

Negotiating a contract

Whenever you are in business you have to get into one or several contracts. A good business attorney will help you by ensuring you do not sign a contract that will jeopardize your business. In the case of a breached contract, an attorney will spell out any options you have and make sure you do nothing you shouldn’t. They are experts in rooting problems clauses thus helping you escape any lawsuit.

To structure your business easily

The first thing to do as a small-business owner is to decide the structure for your business. There are many options which include: corporation, nonprofit, and partnership. Your business structure you choose will affect your tax obligations and your exposure to personal liabilities. It may also affect how you acquire funding. A good business lawyer will give you the guidance you need to make the right decision for your business.

Taxes and licenses

An attorney will help you register your business for state tax identification numbers. He may also help you understand the tax consequences and basic transactions your business will engage. This helps you understand all your rights as a person and an entrepreneur.

Environmental issues influence your business

In the case of any environmental issue involving your firm, you should consult your attorney. These may arise from production or waste emissions thus affecting your business even if you are not directly involved. In this case, you’ll definitely need an attorney to let the law take its cause.

If you negotiating a business sale

When selling a business an attorney will help you get maximum value from it. He will make sure the stock transfer is done correctly and also help with negotiations. A business attorney is a small-business owner’s close friend in various situations. You should think to find an attorney if you own a small business so that you can have someone to call when there’s need to!

Conclusion

A good business attorney will help you in case any government entity files a suit against your business. He is able to plan a course of action to deal with the issues in the best way possible. Establish good relations with a good business lawyer and your business will run smoothly without complaints about more incurred cost and losses.

aarp

4 Major Advantages Of AARP for Small Business

May 19, 2014 by BusinessMisc No Comments

There are hundreds of advantages of AARP. In fact, I get more benefits from belonging to this club than from any other. Below are some of my favorite AARP advantages.

1. Easy Way To Meet Friendly Business Owners One of the monthly events I look forward to each month is the local chapter AARP meeting. There is always an interesting guest speaker and plenty of time to chat with others while enjoying free refreshments. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to make new friends and see old friends. If you move to a new town where you don’t know anyone, going to the monthly AARP meeting is an easy way to make new friends.

2. Save Money At Participating Restaurants Everyone loves to eat out with friends and family. However, eating out can get expensive, especially if you are on a limited budget. AARP can really help in this department because you can get discounts at many restaurants just by showing your AARP card. For example, you can get 15% off at Denny’s and Outback Steakhouse, 10% off at Landry’s Seafood, and 25% off at Papa Johns. Some restaurants will give you something free like a free donut at Dunkin Donuts when you get a coffee. You can also go online and get all kinds of discounts from local restaurants in your area by entering in your zip code.

3. Good Discounts At Stores AARP members get discounts at many well known stores. For example, I was recently able to spoil the grandkids with some gifts from Toys R Us where I saved $5.00 off my purchase. I was also able to get two for the price of one when I bought bed sheet sets at Macy’s. We got a free coupon book that we can use at several stores at a nearby outlet mall. We saved more than $200 on our last Christmas shopping trip.

4. Travel Discounts While most people know about the hotel discounts you can almost always get, I’m surprised to find that many people don’t realize they can also get deep discounts on car rentals, airline tickets, and cruise packages. In some cases, you can also get free upgrades on your car rentals so you can upgrade to a mid-size car for the price of an economy car or upgrade to a luxury car for the price of a mid-size car. There are many other advantages of AARP like deep discounts on life insurance, car insurance, and home insurance but the advantages listed above are some of my personal favorites. When you join AARP, you continually get good offers in the mail. You should also always check to see if you can get an AARP discount before you make any purchases. Your savings can easily add up to hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars, per year!  Now that they no longer offer a long-term care insurance discount, the savings are less than they used to be, but still good.

ltc

Have a Business? Good. Now Plan for the Long Haul!

May 9, 2014 by Planning No Comments

Starting a business is far from simple: it involves tasks and thinking that may be completely new to you. Once you start your business, though, it becomes an inherent part of your life. For many people, their businesses are like their babies. They have created them, nurtured them, and watched them grow into something successful over time. With all that work under your belt, making sure you don’t lose your hard earned profits from business is important to keeping both you and your company financially afloat.

Planning Long Term 

More and more, older individuals are beginning to branch out and start their own businesses. No longer just young entrepreneurs, start-ups are shifting towards an older population. Boomers who aren’t ready to retire just yet but don’t want to continue their same job are turning to start ups to help fulfill their desire for an exciting and challenging position. Whether you are in your 30s or in your 60s, though, it doesn’t matter. The need to protect your assets is the same.

If you have experienced success in your business, chances are you have made it out pretty well financially. Hopefully you have enough money saved to cover your retirement (or are at least on your way to that goal) and have a basic plan for your golden years laid out. There is one event that can quickly disrupt and disassemble all of your nicely organized plan and bring it to rubble. Long term health care can happen to any one at any time and often involves huge health care bills that most people can’t afford without prior planning.

You might be thinking, “Long term care? That’s just for old people!”. Well, that may have been the case at one point, but that is certainly no longer the case today. In fact, 40% of all individuals receiving long term care are between the ages of 18 and 65. Long term health care isn’t just for the elderly. It involves services for a number of things including bad falls, recovery from illness or surgery, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions that require care and assistance, whether it is for just a few months or several years. Pigeonholing long term care into something only for seniors that isn’t necessary can end up costing you big.

Protect Your Business

Because long term care can happy at any time, it makes sense to plan early. Looking into coverage when you are 20 might not make sense, but when you reach your 40s or 50s, it is the ideal time to begin planning for long term care. Just one year of home health care costs more than $40,000. If you have put all your time and energy into your own business and suddenly suffer a bad fall at work, you may be forced to spend all that hard-earned money from your business on your own care. Not exactly the ideal situation, is it?

Business owners are typically savvy people. They can recognize true risks and understand the need for various protections to help keep their business up and running. Long term care is something that if you research for just a few minutes, you will recognize is a huge risk. Too many people have spent through their retirement savings because they weren’t aware of the risk that long term care posed to their assets, leaving them desolate. Putting hard work into your own company means you need to recognize the value of your hard work and help shield your assets from any risk that might come your way, because many exist.

Most states in the US have partnership plans that help individuals plan for long term care, so looking into the program in your state can help you begin the planning process. Planning for the long haul is crucial to any successful business. You must be prepared for any curveballs that could be thrown your way, and long term care is a very expensive curveball.

Owning your own business is an amazing experience that is unlike anything else. The ability to control every aspect of your own work makes all the hard work worth it. Just don’t risk it all by failing to plan for big health care costs later down the road. If you are looking into starting your own business, please read our previous post on strategies to help you decide whether or not beginning your own company is right for you.

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Starting a Business The Right Way

May 5, 2014 by Business Hub No Comments

With job opportunities being too hard on people nowadays, there is clearly a need for people to think of other ways to earn money other than getting a job. One good tip for those who wants earn some cash is by starting their own business. It doesn’t need to be big and costly because anyone can start a business with only a small capital and apparently, as it succeeds and grows, the business becomes bigger. And for a newcomer in the business industry, you probably have no idea on what to do first and what to expect from your business.

Opening up a business on your own is not as easy as being employed on a job. It requires a lot of preparations as well as a very creative and organized mind. This is why here are some tips for newbies like you who wants to have their own business:

START FROM SCRATCH: Draft everything that you want for your business. Do some brainstorming of ideas with your family or friends so that you have a clear view of the business that you want to have and to what services you can offer to people.

ASK YOURSELF “Why do I want to start a business?” : With this question going through your mind, you have got to know your purpose or goal with regards to why you want to start this business. You also need to have a clear answer for that question in order for you to be ready for running your very own business.

DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS DO YOU WANT TO HAVE: Is it a cake store? Does it have something to do with automotive? Is it a salon? Those are just some business ideas that anyone can start with. You need to be clear of what kind of business that is suitable for you to run because sometimes, it can also be based on your capabilities as the owner of the company.

MAKE A SIMPLE BUSINESS PLAN: This business plan is just a basic one indicating your assumptions as to what will happen to the business, the target sales and everything that you can write as the owner of the business. With those assumptions of yours, you will be a lot more dedicated to reach them together with your team.

DETERMINE YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERS: Where are you planning to place your business? What do those people in your target area need? Is the population more on women or men? All you need to do is to make some extensive research about the area and their needs for your customers to patronize your products and services.

DO THE PERFECT WAY OF PRICING: Of course don’t just think of cheap prices for your customers. As the business owner, you also have to think that you have to gain sale as well so that you can regain whatever you spent with your products and services. Think of a price that is reasonable enough and can really make your customers satisfied.

THINK ABOUT STARTING EVERYTHING SMALL: Of course with only limited capital, you need to be creative and wise enough as to how you will start your small-scale business. You may do it first right at your home and sell it to your neighbours and friends and as you gain more and more profit, you can make the business bigger and even rent out a space in the market. Just be wise enough as the owner in order for you to maximize everything that you have.

THINK OF A SMART PLAN ON HOW TO GAIN CUSTOMERS: Starting your business in a small-scale method really takes a lot of time and patience in order to gain customers. As the owner, it is your duty to think of creative ideas on how you can gain customers without spending that much. You may use the social media in order to promote your products and services or you can stick to the old school way of promoting by means of flyers or brochures. Everything depends on your marketing strategy in order for your business to be a hit and increases your sales as well.

These are just SOME tips when starting a business for your own. Please take note that it depends on your skills and capabilities as a person as to how you will open up your business in order to gain more sales and as well as to attract more customers. A great mind set is really recommended for you to put your goals into action so that you will be successful and you will gain a lot of sale and customers in order for you to make your business bigger and more known by people.

Living into a world where you are the boss and you are running your own business is something to be proud of because first of all, you are the one who is in control of everything. You have your team to help you up with everything that you need with regards to your business. But it is really a different life compared to being employed because clearly, it is happening in opposite ways. If you are employed, you are the one who is working and taking the commands of your boss whereas with your own business, you are the boss, you are making the commands for your workers and you are in control.

With the above tips, it can really help you think about if you are sure about running your own business or you are still fond of being employed. It takes a lot of effort and adjustment at first but as you go through the business process, you will find out for yourself that the experience is quite enjoyable and really a great joy for you as the owner. All you have to do is to work hard and be dedicated to everything that you do in order for your business to develop and grow. Learn to start from scratch because this is your key to being successful.