Tips To Start Your Small Business

Many individuals have a dream of starting their own business. I wanted to put together a list of tips for those of you who want to pursue this route to success. I am not an expert by any means but I do own my own small business so I have learned a few things along the way that could help guide you.

Set up

To start a business you first need to file the proper paperwork. You will need to register a Business name. In addition, there are various paperwork requirements depending on the legal structure you chose to operate as (i.e. partnership, LLC, corporation, etc.). A tax ID number will need to be obtained as well.

Structure

To be clear on your goals and how your business will operate, it is important to set up and create a business plan and brand. By coming up with this, it is a clear path for which you want your business to take. It is easier to be successful when you have a roadmap for which you are to follow. It helps you make business decisions along the way.

It is also important to come up with processes and procedures on how you want things done. The key to a successful business is organization and efficiency.

Staff

I can not stress enough how important it is to have the proper staff for your business. You can not do this alone. Your business will fail if you do not have the right people. From the start, it is important to look at your business as a whole and realize the parts and responsibilities that you can not handle and need help with. Every person who starts a business is good at one thing but can not be good at everything. A person who is good with computers and wants to start up a computer repair business may not be a good salesperson. A contractor who is good at building may not be a good accountant. There are various parts of a business that need to be covered so it is key to outsource!

Support

It is comforting to know that you are not alone. There are many small businesses out there and a lot of people willing to mentor and help.

There is a lot of help out there, including free resources to help you run your small business. These include Government websites , advice sites such as Startups.co.uk and Entrepreneur.com to name a few; and then there are people such as Trevor McClintock who writes great blog posts that offer people in the workplace environment some guidance. Blogs like this provide you with key advice on such topics as how to manage your employees and how to be an excellent leader.

Hopefully these quick tips encourage you to begin the process of taking the leap to starting your own small business.

How to Prepare Your House for the Renting Market

With the opportunity of becoming a landlord just a click away, it seems that most home owners find a rather consistent revenue stream in the renting market. We already have successful business models such as AirBnB which work great with short-term rentals, and that’s not all. We all thought young families and couples, singles and millennials prefer to rent rather than to own a place. However, real estate trends in 2016 showed that rents were stagnating in less popular cities, while going up in startup-nest cities such as San Francisco, where a two-bedroom apartment would go up to $5000/month. This had a double impact: on one hand, it made buying houses more attractive to the young generation in the big cities; on the other hand, it really reminded millennials that they aren’t limited to a certain location and can very well move to places where payment is high and rent is low. This motivated the young landlords to rent their homes at an affordable price, enough to cover the mortgage costs. Below is a series of factors that motivated people to buy a house in 2016, top 3 being credit history improvement, promotion/raise and saving for a down payment.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Property

Stella Settlements, an Australian leader in real estate settlements proposes 13 steps into buying a new property:

  • Offer and Acceptance;
  • Deposits;
  • Appointment to Act;
  • Financial approval;
  • Signing of Mortgage papers;
  • Transfer of Land;
  • Stamps (Stamp duty in some cases);
  • Special Conditions (to be met);
  • Insurance;
  • Financial Inspection;
  • Arranging Settlement;
  • Effective of Settlement;
  • Keys (access) to the new property.

Once all the steps are completed and the new landlord acquires ownership of the new home, they can proceed with the legal documentation to rent short-term or long-term.

Preparing Your House for Renting

Just like with every new acquisition, a house needs improvement and is considered a lifelong investment. Every new buyer wants to add a touch of their personality and preferences in terms of interior and exterior design. Home owners usually do not make improvements if the house is either a historical heritage property or the landlord never plans on living there, so renovation costs aren’t fully justified. The downside of not investing any money in your purchased property is you could never ask for a fair rent price. The more benefits and home improvements a house has, the better for nailing down a decent price on the renting market.

Adding a Pool to Your Yard

Everybody loves being near water. Even when it’s not possible to have a nearby lake or small spring, if you are lucky enough to get a house with a generous yard, the best immediate addition would be an outdoor pool. This can raise the rent prices by a few thousand USD per year with just a one-time investment. Riverina Pools presents an impressive portfolio of pool projects with carbon fiber, using the latest technologies, as well as measurements in size, length, width and depth. You can play with light effects for a quiet evening experience or for pool parties. Outdoor pools usually have water filtering systems that make it easy to clean the water or keep the pool covered during cold season.

Indoor Functionality: Elevators and Residential Lifts

People need to simplify their lives as much as possible, because the stress of everyday life will eventually weigh down on them. In this regard, architects have found the answer. Bringing technology into homes, will not only increase the value of the interior, but also bring more comfort. Experts at Grant Elevators believe that residential lifts are the future of mobility and space-saving. People want to have their most dependable belongings close to their hearts, and this might even include cars. We know that it might sound a little outrageous, but in the next few years, cars will also become an essential part of home design. And not only cars: imagine keeping your lovely motorcycle in the living room – a prized possession that friends dropping by will constantly admire. And why not go further by clicking a button and in a couple of seconds, the lift brings your motorcycle from the living room to the front porch of your building? Take it for a ride, go to the office or just take it for a spin. With everything within reach, the modern man will no longer have to worry about house chores or exhausting earthly tasks.

Architects anticipate an alleviation of menial problems which will lead to a better concentration on career and a more relaxed lifestyle.

Luxury Sells… and Rents Easily

If your aim is not long-term, but rather short-term rentals, think big. We already see offers to rent homes for the holidays, so there is an active market. Nomads are looking to get a mix of comfort and unique in terms of rent experiences. The best way to justify higher prices is either to provide a genuine local experience or a deep-dive into luxury for the time being. Pools and residential lifts can add to the luxury experience, as well as garden and interior designs. For inspiration on how to design your property and rent it as a luxury holiday home, you can check out Private Properties’s Instagram or Facebook feeds. They offer luxury short-stay rentals in Australia, but their tips and designs can be adapted to every house independent of location.

With these aspects in mind, what are your plans for financial prosperity in the housing market? Will you buy a house in 2017 and keep it or rent it?

 

When to Hold ‘Em, When to Fold ‘Em: Practical Investing Tips from a Poker Champion

While competitive poker and investing might be completely different worlds at first glance, one woman is on a mission to bridge the gap between the blinding lights of casino fervor and financial viability.

Annie Duke, a former professional poker player and one-time World Series of Poker champion, frequently shares the strategic and psychological parallels between winning poker players and successful investors at industry events for financial planners and advisors.  If her resumé as a master of the felt-topped table is not convincing enough for such a role, rest assured that Duke is no one trick pony.  She also spent time as a Ph.D. student in psychology at the esteemed University of Pennsylvania.

According to Duke, both poker and sound investing require the participant to make present-day decisions in anticipation of future outcomes.  Although the exact market dynamics and returns of years to come are always an unknown, developing a poker player mentality by learning common moves and patterns of play can be a great benefit to the investor.

Fortunately, it is easy to find help when staking out your financial future.  Professional financial advisors have local offices just a phone call or short drive away.  There are also a wealth of financial tools available online, ranging from monthly budget calculators to electronic stock trading platforms.

Not every poker hand is a winner, and neither is every investment.  Duke cites a concept in the poker world known as “tilt”-the tendency of a player to become frustrated and overly reactive when using a less than optimal strategy-as a condition for savvy investors to avoid.

Too often, investors develop emotional connections to an investment and unnecessarily cling to losing positions, or they fear reversing course on a previously made decision.  It is typically in investors’ best interest to cut their losses and regroup when an investment goes south without a clear path to recovery.

A professional financial advisor should be your first line of defense to identify and fix any underperforming investments in your portfolio.

Displaying the type of gutsy determination that made her a pioneer in women’s poker, a game that has seen a surge of resources encouraging female participation, Duke encourages investors to take calculated risks that maximize the value of their positions.

While some degree of risk is inherent in every investment, people tend to manage volatility by gunning for only small wins, and conversely, limit themselves to only small losses.  The psychology behind this method instills a false sense of success in the investor by shifting the focus from financial gains to mere “win” collecting.  Duke points out that optimizing returns on investments needs be the goal of investors, and a sensible, ironclad strategy should follow.

Duke may offer a number of tips and tricks on how to succeed in poker and investing, but she cannot account for every possible scenario.  No one can.  Great investors are those who understand probability, and who make timely, corrective adjustments when the markets behave unexpectedly.  Just beneath the surface of every stock plunge, market mishap, or untimely sell-off lies lessons learned and improvement opportunities for the investor who dares to seek.

As Duke’s brother, also a professional poker star, once advised her: “winners are comfortable admitting to themselves what they do not know.”

Budgeting Advice: Ways to Keep your Finances in Check

There’s the old saying that ‘money makes the world go around’, but in reality, it should be ‘money makes your world go around’ as ultimately this resource is what makes our existence more enjoyable. For many of us it’s also something that can be quite scarce or not as plentiful as we’d like and as such it means we need to manage our money as best we can.

Trying to fit this around your day-to-day schedule can be a challenge though, but fortunately for you there are some simple steps you can take to get your finances in order. What follows are a number of approaches for you to consider:

Review your Expenditure

The first thing you can do is review your expenditure and create a chart or list of everything you need to pay for each month. Use estimations on things like utilities and your food bills and see how much this costs against your typical income on a monthly basis.

Implement Cost-Cutting Strategies

With this list of expenses, you can then look at areas where you could cut costs and make savings. Whether this is through being more efficient with your energy and installing a Smart meter to monitor this, or simply cutting down on how much you spend on groceries and treats, you could hopefully start to see an improvement in your finances.

Budget for Different Things

That’s not to say you shouldn’t cut down on everything enjoyable in your life. Make sure you can still budget for social and leisure time, as you should still treat yourself when you can. Just factor this into your budgeting each month and spend money if you feel there are special purchases you can afford.

Seek Professional Advice

There’s also nothing to stop you from looking to external support with your money. If you feel you’ve already tried a number of approaches to save but they aren’t working, then you could turn to wealth management companies such as Sanlam. These firms can assess your situation and help you create strategies and plans to safeguard the future of your finances.

While not all the above will apply to you and your money, the wise move is to start putting at least a few of these approaches into place now to help improve your situation. Eventually, you should start to see a healthier bank balance at the end of each month and hopefully a happier existence for you and any loved ones.

Easy to Follow Tips to Manage Your Debts

Being free from debts lets you live your life without any worries. You can make your savings grow and allocate the budget you need for the things you want to have, a new house, car, and travel opportunities. Freeing yourself from your debts all comes down to good management. Here are some debt management tips that can help you out:

1. List down your expenses.
Knowing how much you owe is not enough; you have to watch how much you are spending. Keeping track of your expenses lets you know whether you are making progress in reducing your debt or not. If reducing your primary expenses is not feasible, try focusing on your small expenses and see how much they add up to your overall expenses. In most cases, you will find that these expenses are not that important, which make it hard for you to pay up your debts.

2. Avoid impulse buying.
You can be susceptible to impulse buying. A simple visit to your favorite store may end up with an unnecessary expensive purchase. Hence, avoid temptation in the first place. Avoid places where you would usually feel that unreasonable urge to buy something. It can be an electronics store where you would be tempted to buy the latest cool gadgets you probably don’t need or that fashion store that has all the accessories that go with the current trends.

3. Choose a debt payment plan that suits you.
This can help you organize your payments. Some suggest paying off debts with the highest interest since it can help take off the mental pressure while others suggest settling smaller balances mainly for motivation. The choice is yours.

4. Be a bargain hunter.
While paying off your debts, it would help you if you would shop for bargains. It lets you get the items you need at a cheaper price. Also, be on the lookout for discount coupons; establishments usually offer them during peak season. Even though buying foods in bulk helps get discounts, it won’t help you save up money. Since buying in bulk means getting things that you won’t be eating for several days and even a few weeks. Stick to buying food items that you will be eating for the next few days.

5. Prioritize your savings.
It is recommended that you take at least six percent of your income and put it in your savings. Putting your money in your savings account not only prepares you for emergency expenses but also lets you earn money in savings interest. This may seem like a simple tip but only a few people actually do this.

6. Choose cash over the debit card.
Most people prefer to pay with their debit cards simply because you won’t have to go to the bank to withdraw money you will need or write checks. However, paying with debit cards (and also credit cards) make it hard for you to limit your purchase. Imagine yourself enjoying playing online slots and putting all your money in without you being aware of it. Paying with cash, on the other hand, lets you see, first hand, how much money you are letting go. This makes it easy to do some cash limiting and increase your savings.

Keep these tips in mind when managing your debts and expenses. You might want to refer to this guide every now and then to make sure you don’t miss anything. Following these tips will help boost your savings and make it easy for you to gradually get rid of your debts.

What is Flipping Houses All About?

Flipping houses has become a popular way for families and businessmen to earn extra income. Wikipedia provides a perfect definition of flipping, which is basically residential redevelopment where you buy low and sell high for profit. With the right tools, this method of investing can be quite easy. Basically… you buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood, fix it up, sell your house quickly and make money.

The First Step in Flipping Houses

The first step of flipping is to locate the perfect property. It is best to form a relationship with a good real estate agent that will keep an eye out for you. It is worthwhile to have a good real estate agent because they will already know the best areas and neighborhoods to invest. This will take away some of the research work from you. It is a good idea to invest in areas you are familiar with as well so you are not going in blindly.

Fixing Up a Flip Home

Once you find the right house, you will need to figure out how all of the remodeling work will be completed. You will either need to acquire the perfect contractor, or better yet do it yourself. If you are using a general contractor you will need to be sure they are trustworthy, reliable, good communicators, reasonably priced and talented. If you are handy and can do it yourself than your profits will be greater since you don’t have to use money to pay someone to do the work.

Pick the Right Items to Fix

When doing the renovation, you have to be smart in choosing what areas of the house will yield the greatest return on your investment. You also need to make the turnaround as quick as possible. Time is money. So, in order to sell your house quickly, it is crucial to make improvements to a few central parts of the property.

Kitchens are the biggest selling points of a home. The kitchen is where people spend the most time at home. Therefore it is worthwhile, it is where you will get the most bang for your buck. Home buyers will appreciate the new cabinets, granite countertops, upgraded backsplash, light fixtures and appliances. You can’t go wrong here.

Bathrooms are another area of the home that buyers are looking for upgrades. Next to the kitchen, it is an area of the home that is used often. An outdated bath is an eyesore to a buyer. Updated paint, trim, vanities and showers make a world of a difference.

It is also important for the outside of the home to be manicured. Spending money on new landscaping and outdoor fixtures is crucial. Curb appeal is the first thing people see and can be the first impression that a buyer can’t look past.

Selling the Home

Once the home is sold, all of the hard work will be worth it. Selling your house quickly should be a priority as the longr you are in it the more overhead you will have.

Trump Presidency And The Job Market

President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would run for president nearly 2 years ago. At that time, he promised he would be the best president for jobs that God had ever created. He campaigned on pledges to create more than 500,000 jobs each year, add 25 million jobs over the upcoming decade, and replace our present globalism policy that has moved wealth out of the United States. He said he would instead come up with a policy of Americanism. What does that mean for job hunters looking for VP finance jobs in Chicago or accounting jobs in Los Angeles? Under President-elect Trump’s new American system, will there be more finance jobs in the country, as well as finance jobs with better pay?

New Americanism

President-elect Trump stated that if we can reduce our taxes, get ride of destructive regulations, and tap into the treasure of energy in America, we will see no limit to the jobs that are created and the prosperity that goes around. A Moody’s Analytics’ June 2016 report, however, suggested a different future an American economy under Trump, and we may soon see the report’s predictions coming true. This report described the end of a Trump presidency with the U.S. left with an unemployment rate of 7% and 3.5 million jobs fewer.

Is a Long Recession Coming?

The research branch of Moody’s Analytics went on to say that under the exact scenario Trump laid out for his new America, if all proposed policies become law, our country would suffer from a long recession and our economy would be smaller at the end of his 4 terms than when he took the oath of office. Moody’s argues that Congress would water down Trump’s proposals and the economy wouldn’t suffer as much as it could otherwise, but it would be diminished nonetheless.

Robert Lawrence, Professor at Harvard Kennedy Business School, specializes in international finance and trade, and he says that ending outsourcing to boost America could be an issue under the Trump presidency. He notes Trump’s sports jackets, eyeglass frames, and cufflinks that were made in China. He points to Trump’s shirts that were sourced in Bangladesh. Lawrence wonders whether Trump truly has a plan to keep jobs in the country, and many others are in agreement with Lawrence.

For now, we have the present to work with, and the present scenario in our economy is that finance and accounting jobs are in high demand in the United States. Beacon Resources knows where those jobs are. We will help you find them, and find the good ones that show exceptional promise of long-term career jobs.