It’s time for business debt to hit the canvas

You’ve given debt a left hook, a right jab and finished it off with a cheeky punt in the knackers – but still, like a zombie rising from the dead, it returns to hound you all the more.

Once your business is on the ropes, no number of southpaws will fix it. The only real way to knock it on the canvas for good is to clean up your business act and get organised.

So it’s time to enact our very own Rocky training montage. But instead of punching a slab of meat and going jogging while wearing an outfit that looks like you should be in prison, we’re going to be training up your organisational skills.

Without the right structure in every section of your operation, your company’s finances will stop looking punch drunk and, instead, be fighting fit. So let’s train you up with these bite-sized tips.

Round one: effective payroll

A one-two punch against any business plan, paying your staff is, as you’re probably aware, a vital part of owning a company, and constitutes one of the largest overheads for every enterprise.

For a small company, the payroll can dominate the time and expertise of HR professionals, meaning you have to hire other staff to cover their more important tasks.

But none of this is necessary if you invest in payroll online, a Cloud-based service that automates the payroll every month, leaving your HR team with plenty more time to help fix your finances. It’s nothing more than a quick sucker-punch to the jaw, but it can make a substantive difference to your financial health.

Round two: chop out the fat

You’ll never see an overweight boxer, at least not one with any kind of future ahead of them. And the same could be said of a company. Your business should be ready to chop out any fat and weed out the weak links.

This can be a brutal process, but it’s a guaranteed way to enjoy a boost in your cash flow. Fire anyone who is wasting your company’s money and you’ll be in a much fitter state.

Round three: buddy up

They don’t do tag team matches in boxing, which is a pity, but having someone else in your corner can be the difference between winning and losing.

To pull yourself from destitution, find a business partner who is in a financially stable position and let them give you a hand. This doesn’t necessarily mean handing over the reins of your company. It can even be something a simple as a short-term loan.

Have you got any tips that could spell KO for business debt? Then let us know in the comments below.

New Business Growth Fuels The Economy

Though small businesses don’t necessarily generate the type of revenue that larger corporations can, they are a crucial part of helping to build local economies. For every small business that is established, there are a plethora of benefits that the local community can take advantage of. This includes new funding for the community, new employment opportunities, and more. Let’s take a closer look at just how necessary small businesses are.

Employment Opportunities

One way small businesses help the economy is through employment opportunities. According to reports from the Washington Post, the U.S. Small Business Administration states that small businesses account for approximately 99.7 percent of all employment opportunities. For the last 20 years, small businesses have accounted for more than half of all new jobs and paid more than 40 percent of the US private payroll.

Tax Contributions

Another way in which small businesses contribute to the local economy is through tax contributions. When consumers support local small businesses, this increases the company’s overall revenue. The more money a company makes, the more they have to contribute to both local and federal taxes. This money is then used to fund schools, compensate for local government employee salaries, and aid with other programs within the community.

Starting Your Own Business

As you can see, small businesses are constantly improving the local economy. The more successful small businesses that are developed, the better it is for the community. If you were thinking of starting a small business to help support the local economy (or simply to ditch your day job), there are a few things you’ll need to secure. Relying on proven online referral companies like www.xrefer.com can greatly simplify the processes below.

Legalities

Before you can legally call yourself a business, there are a few things you’ll need to do. This includes registering the business name, obtaining any necessary licenses or permits to run the business, and securing an employer identification number.

Technology/Equipment

Now you need to invest in certain technology and business tools. In this ever changing digital age it will be important for you to have the necessary technology to accommodate the needs of your target consumers. Certain technology to invest in might include:

  • Computers, laptops, mobile devices
  • Software for accounting, marketing, customer service, etc.
  • Internet services
  • Telephone system

As you’re investing in technology for your small business, don’t forget to protect your company data. Virus protection software, for instance, would ensure that your company information is safe from potential hackers.

Location

Whether you intend to open a pizzeria or an office building, you’ll need to pick the prime location. If you don’t have very much capital to work with, you may want to start out working in your home or renting a property for a low monthly rate.

Website

No business is fully established these days without a well-designed website. Though most of your consumer base is local, digital marketing is presumably the way you’ll go about spreading the word. Website creation is a lot easier than you may have thought. There are plenty of web hosting companies that offer user friendly templates and guides to walk you through the process.

Marketing Strategy

Now your business is pretty much established. All that’s left to do is get the word out about your business and start generating revenue. This is going to require a great deal of marketing. The good news is that since digital marketing is the newest trend for reaching the masses, you won’t have to invest much money right away. You can start by utilizing social media platforms and so forth to reach your target audience. Since you’re a local business, however, you’ll also want to consider traditional forms of marketing, including handing out flyers and advertising within the community.

Being a small business owner is a rewarding experience. Not only does it give you the freedom to do what you love on the daily basis, but it is a surefire way to give back to the community. If you’re thinking about starting a small business in the near future, remember the above mentioned tips and lists of things you’ll need to have to get started.

 

Dividend Growth Stocks for the Win

Without getting too deep into the actual statics of how much of the broad stock market return is based on dividends and dividend reinvestment there are some much more subjective reasons why I like consistent dividend paying stocks, and in particular dividend growth stocks.

Buying a Share of Stock Makes You a Part Owner of that Business and I want to be Treated as Such

It is easy to lose sight of the fact that when you purchase a share of stock you are buying a tiny (albeit a very tiny) fraction of a business.  Well if you were to buy any part of any private (i.e. not publicly traded) business wouldn’t you ask how are you going to share in the profits of the business? If you bought a piece of a diner, would you just accept that you’ll see your real pay day when someone buys it from you years and years later? Obviously, there is something very different from owning a diner and owning T-Rowe Price with regards to liquidity, but none the less I want to be paid for deploying my capital.

Further, I want current management to know that their predecessors have paid a portion of their profits to the owners (shareholders) of the business for decades, and decades, prior.  To not do so should be taken very seriously.

One Day I’d Like to Live off an Income Stream without Eating into Principal

Every month, I screen for undervalued dividend growth stocks and the very first part of that screen is to highlight those stock that have increased their dividend payment to owners every year for the past 20+ years.  Right now, there are 150+ stocks that have paid an increasing dividend each and every year for two decades! To put that into persepective that I can remember (I am 34):

  • Shit show that was the housing bubble
  • 9/11
  • Dot Com bubble
  • Perpetual wars that seem like we are never getting out of

A handful have even been doing it for 50+ years! These companies make it possible (obviously nothing is guaranteed) for regular investors to build their own stream of income that will at least grow with inflation (obviously could out pace or lag inflation depending on the dividend growth of the particular stocks you buy).

A Long History of Increasing Dividends Means That it is Less Likely the Dividend will be Cut in the Future

Everyone has seen the statement, “past performance is no guarantee of future results” and the sentiment of that statement can’t be reiterated enough.  Notwithstanding, if you were on the board of a publicly traded company that has increased their dividend payment since President Clinton was arguing what exactly “sexual relations” means, are you going to be the one that pushes the “don’t increase” vote?  Probably not.  Historical evidence agrees, as a study from Dividend.com states,

While most dividend-paying companies will always claim that they have no plans to reduce their dividends, the results can be quite different. The historical numbers, however, don’t lie. Simply put, companies that have a history of dividend cuts are more likely to make cuts in the future. The same holds true for companies with a history of increasing their dividends.

Stagnant dividend payouts is also unattractive to dividend-minded investors. In general, investors should look for stocks with industry-leading (but sustainable) dividend yields, with a solid history of increasing their dividends.

All this May be Moot if You Invest in ETFs and Mutual Funds

Individual stock purchases are not for everyone, they obviously come with risk not born by large basket type purchases like ETFs and Mutual Funds.

Four Simple Tricks That Can Make Forex Trading a Cakewalk for You

Looking at all those charts, numbers, ratios and graphs, you may feel at times that Forex trading is not your speed. However, if you can practice FX trading regularly and be self-disciplined, you can easily do a self-analysis to know what factors drive the FX trading market and also learn how to keep your emotions out of the equation. Here are four tips or tricks that you can easily use to home your Forex trading skills.

Choosing a trading style

Before you start trading foreign currencies, you need to set a clear and definable goal and also plan a roadmap for reaching there. Based on your specific trading goals, you can pick up a trading method that suits you and your strategy. Understand that each trading method or style has its own set of risks and each one of them requires a very different approach. For example, if you have enough funds that are likely to benefit from anticipated appreciation of a particular trade, position trading is your type of trading. However, you should also determine what kind of trading personality you are.

Choose a trading platform or a broker which you feel comfortable with

You must choose a broker or a trading platform that lets you do the complete analysis of the economic data. Choosing a good broker is the first step, and it is also the most important step in the process. You need to know about the trading policies of different brokers to find more about their market outlook. For example, FX trading in the spot market has little similarity with FX trading in markets that are solely exchange driven. Knowing your broker’s policies would help in a big way since you can know the possible outcomes in advance. However, a reputable broker with a poor platform or a great platform with a worthless broker is equally terrible. Choose a great broker, and then a good platform.

Choose a Forex trading method

Most FX traders have a hard time taking the right decisions for executing their trades. So what information do you exactly need for executing the trades? Successful traders usually look at the underlying principles of an economy or a company and then put everything into data charts for determining the best time for executing the trade. Many others use technical analysis hence use a lot of charts and graphs for executing trades. Where is the main difference between these two methods? While underlying fundamentals need to be analysed for long-term trading, chart patterns actually help in short-term trading.

Direction analysis is important

The contrasting information presented through weekly charts and intraday charts often give rise to much confusion among the traders. You need to wait for the daily chart’s data to sync with the weekly chart data. For this reason only, you need to sync your trading timings.

There is no set rule for Forex trading. The biggest secret sauce of success in FX trading is continuous practice and you should keep this in mind.

Follow CMC Markets to get more tips and tricks to become a successful FX trader in a matter of time.

Avoiding Roommates is Hard for Millennials

Roommates, the necessary evil? Nowadays the alternatives aren’t great. You can live a prolonged childhood with Mom or Dad or shack up with someone to share the financial burden with.

In major metropolitan cities such as London and New York, young millennials don’t just have one roommate; some are reported to have upwards of 3 or 4. It’s the high price of living in a city with unlimited options in dining and entertainment.

This infographic from the Real Estate Team at Liberty Village Toronto has some incredible stats on the housing behaviour of millenials.

Some aren’t even opting for roommates and deciding to spend some extra time at home with Mom and Dad.

Do-You-Need-A-Roommate1

 

Graphic Design by Miami Seo Company, Vol & Tier Digital

Why Living on Credit Cards is a Bad Idea

As advancements in technology continue, many people no longer carry cash. Instead, they pull out their trusty debit card for nearly everything they buy. The next time you go to retrieve it from your wallet you may want to consider what you are getting in return. The answer to this question is nothing. Yes, you have the convenience of not having to stop at the bank but it doesn’t offer any other benefits. Many people are catching on to the advantages of using a credit card that offers rewards instead.

Some of the best credit cards offering cash back rewards give you other options as well. Many of the more popular cards have no annual fee and other advantages include 2 to 5x earned points for things such as dining and air travel. Others give you 1.5% back on any sale you make. If you have several of these cards you can use them for your groceries, gas and other frequently purchased items. When you receive the bill pay it in full to save even more.

If used the right way, credit cards give you a way to hold onto your money. If you pay the bill in full within the thirty days you can avoid any interest or penalties. However, if you use cards for daily expenses and large purchases and then only pay a part of the bill you’re going to end up maxing out your cards and falling deeper into debt. Also, by only making a partial payment you’ll end up paying 2 to 3 times more than you would if you paid with cash. Besides, if you exceed your credit limit you’ll add on more fees.

You should only use a credit card for a true emergency or as a convenient way to shop without using your account. Getting in the habit of using it for things you want rather than need can put you into financial ruin in short order. Once you’ve maxed out your cards you’ll apply for new ones and so on. Pretty soon you’re not able to pay all them on time and then you’ll lose even more money.

The key to having a credit card is not to use it as a way to get things you can’t afford. If you keep it on you for emergencies then you’ll have it available should the need arise. It’s better to get yourself on a budget and stick to it. Chances are good that if you are using your credit cards for anything else you need to sit down, sort through your bills and get back on track. You can begin by cutting out non-essentials, such as lunches away from home and dinners out. Also, check your cable bill to see if you can save a few bucks there, too. There are many ways to reduce your expenses and get out of the bad habit of using plastic the wrong way.

A credit card can give you peace of mind during a time of emergency. This can include things such as a temporary loss of wages or unexpected repairs. If this happens, it’s best to try and make more than the scheduled payment. This will not only help to reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay, but it will also help to reduce your debt-to-income ratio, which affects your credit score.

5 Times You’ll Be Glad to Have Paid Using a Credit Card

Owning a credit card is a big responsibly that can sometimes be confusing for those with little experience. There are several situations where credit is a great option, but there are many in which it may hurt you in the long run. Here are some of the best times to use plastic when you want to get the most in return.

Rewards

If you have a rewards card, it may be beneficial to use your credit card even when cash or debit are available options. Using your card when possible will help your reward total add up more quickly. Only use your card responsibly when you are fully capable of paying the charge.

Repairing Credit

If you need to build or repair your credit, using your card at these times is a wise decision. Just like your rewards card, you can choose to do this even when other payment options are at your disposal. Make sure that the benefits of using your card in this way are worth the potential risks.

Large Purchases

Though it may seem risky, buying items such as high-end electronics may best be paid using credit cards. Most credit card companies provide protections that can be advantageous when making large purchases. Such protections may include fraud coverage in addition to the chance to dispute any charges in the event of errors. Many cards may even provide automatic extended warranties on some purchases. For rewards cards, large purchases can also significantly help add to the rewards total.

Travelling

Hotels often require credit cards to hold reservations, and your card may feature travel insurance coverage. If you have a frequent flyer card, the distance you fly will be rewarded to you upon future travels. You may also get cash rewards for any travel-related purchases.

Online Purchases

When shopping on the Internet, using your card makes the process easy, but it may also protect you from fraudulent activity. Many cards protect you in the event your card or information are stolen, and they may provide additional coverage if your items arrive damaged or don’t come at all. Be sure to use your card only on secure sites, and be careful when providing personal information.

There are many situations when using your credit card will bring significant benefits, but remember a few rules before you get too excited. First, check your credit card policies before attempting to use your card in any scenario as not all cards can be used the same way. Also, remember to pay off every charge by the end of the payment period to avoid paying big time for a small forgotten purchase.