How To Take Your Own Business To Another Level

Market data shows that 80% of all businesses fail within the first 18 months. This might be a rather disheartening fact for you if you’ve hit a rut with your own business and wondering how you can take it to the next level. Even if things are going well, at some point, you will have to take a step back to evaluate whether you are heading the right way and if you will be able to reach your long-term goals.

Will you wind up in the 20% that make it? That answer lies in how you plan ahead and what your next steps are. Here are 2 strategies to consider in attempting to get your business to the next level and give it a real chance for success.

Adjust to meet changes in the market
Progressions in technology are changing the way how people do business every day. While it is counterproductive and probably impossible to keep abreast with every trend, you should be aware of significant shifts in consumer behaviour and be willing to make the relevant changes in your own business. For example, many people are doing business straight from their mobile devices; you may have to set up a responsive mobile version of your current website to make it easier for mobile users to do business with you.

Find ways to eliminate waste and improve efficiency
Inefficient business processes and wasteful practices can bleed your business dry, regardless of how big your profit margins are, so you should find a way to reduce these as much as possible. One area where some businesses often waste money is payment processing. A reputable payment processor facilitates debit and credit card transactions between the business and customers and choosing the right one is very important. To choose a payment processor that is right for your business, you should look at their fees, the countries they can do business in, whether they support recurring billing and if they allow mobile payments.

While there is no panic for quick success in business, you need to plan ahead and strategise in order to give your firm the best chance of making it. The strategies above and others may prove disruptive but will be worth it.

What To Look Out For When Choosing A Short Term Loan

Short term loans can serve a genuine and viable purpose, as long as you are sensible with how you use them and ensure that you repay them on time. For students, a short term loan can be used to bridge the financial gap until your next student grant check or student loan check is paid, enabling you to meet necessary bills, buy books, or cover any unforeseen expenses. However, there are some factors to consider when choosing a short-term loan.

Look Beyond The APR

Loan companies, including those offering short-term loans, are required to advertise the APR associated with a loan. However, these short-term loans are designed to be used over a short time frame, and even a small fee can attract a huge APR because it is calculated over the space of a year. If you need the money, have the means to repay it, and can stick to the agreement, then borrowing money in this way can prove less expensive than missing payments or failing to have the money you need.

Interest Caps

APR does not take interest caps into account either. A few companies have now set an interest cap on the loan, which means that you will never have to pay more than this amount, even if you run into financial difficulties and are unable to make the repayment as expected.

Most online lenders have to offer a 100% interest cap, although Smart Pig has a much lower 50% cap. This means that, if you do run into trouble, you will never have to repay more than half the money you borrowed.

Check For Hidden Costs

Whichever loan company you use, and whatever type of loan or credit you take out, you need to pay attention to hidden costs. For example, if you want to repay a loan early, you may find that there are fees for doing so. Late payment fees, extension fees, administration fees for sending out debt chasing letters, and various other fees may be levied by some lenders. Even £20 fees can add significant sums to a small loan of £250, and you should ensure that you are aware of any potential costs and hidden costs before taking out the loan. Read the small print, ask for confirmation, and look elsewhere if you are unsure of the responses you receive.

Ensure You Will Have The Money To Repay

Short term loans and student short term loans are designed as a means of borrowing money for a short period of time, typically up to a month from the date that you receive the money. They are best used for emergencies, and should only be used when you know that you will have the money to meet the required repayment.

Here Is What You Should Know Before Delving In the World of Online Trading Using the Different Platforms

Here Is What You Should Know Before Delving In the World of Online Trading Using the Different Platforms

Over the past few months, online day trading has become very popular and common among expert investors or even those looking to make some quick money. The reason behind this popularity is that literally anyone can become their own online money manager, while the ease and convenience that an online trading platform, such as Trader Pro or MT4, provides to even beginner level investors, is also an attractive feature.

After all, the only thing that is required when it comes to online trading is to have some spare cash and the desire to invest that amount. This being said, the world of online trading is not free from some disadvantages, even though the process is fairly simple and open for everyone. This is why, before trying your hand at online day trading using any platform, it’s important to know the good points as well as the bad ones, related to online trading.

The Disadvantages of Online Trading:
* For first time users of any trading platform, it’s very easy to forget that they are using real money and not just tinkering with the technology involved.

* Some trading platforms don’t provide a support center to online trading account holders, which means investors are left to make their own choices.

* Beginners in particular, can make mistakes that can cost dearly, if they don’t know the ins and outs of a particular trading platform.

The Advantages of Online Trading:
* An increased ability to manage stock portfolios.

* When it comes to the type of transaction chosen to be conducted, you will have far more control and flexibility in the matter.

* The commission costs for trading while using online platforms are significantly less as compared to the services of professional brokers.

* Greater access to lower fee mutual fund investments

* Online trading platforms and programs offer investors a wide range of tools and additional services that can prove to be really helpful.

* Investors can trade using the platforms and programs 24/7.

* All you need to manage your investments is a device with an internet connection and you are all set to go. Many popular online trading brokerages provide free access to research reports of the highest quality to their clients, created by none other than the best financial players in the market, i.e. the Standard and Poor, as well as other predominate ones.

* Trading using online platforms such as Trader Pro, Binary Options, or the MT4 has been made easy and convenient for investors, whether they are in the beginning stages or have been in this business for years. This doesn’t mean that you, as an investor, shouldn’t do some research and planning before diving into this world. This will only give you an additional advantage when it comes to trading using online platforms and programs.

The First Stages To Effective Investment

Most people understand that saving and investing are important. Whether you have just stepped out of university, or you have a decade of earning behind you, it is never too early to consider your financial future, and rather than putting every spare pound you have in a savings account, there are alternatives. You can invest in stocks, in funds, bonds, currency, and even in gold and real estate, but before you start putting all of your money into a stock that your inexperienced eye has spotted, ensure you know exactly what you are doing and that you are in the best possible position to benefit.


Before you start to consider investing, you should pay off any debts you have, especially credit cards, personal loans, and other high interest debts. There are exceptions to this, but most debts cost you much more than you can make through saving or investing the same amount. Mortgages and student loans typically have low interest rates and can require a lot of capital to repay, while the opportunity to invest in a pension fund that includes generous employer contributions are exceptions.

Your retirement may seem a long way off when you’re 20, or even when you’re 30, but the sooner you start investing, the longer your money has to grow and multiply. Even if you can only squirrel away a relatively small amount, it will become a much larger amount by the time you are ready to retire.

Seek Advice

Regardless of your investing experience, you should consider getting professional guidance and help to ensure the best possible results. Companies will listen to your goals, work according to your personal circumstances, and can help you invest your money how you want to; whether you want to take minimal risk, or adopt a riskier approach to your investment strategy.

Outline Your Goals

Even before you approach a wealth management company, however, you should have an idea of what your goals are. Do you want to become debt free and then start putting away a little for the future? Do you want to save enough for the deposit on a property? Are you looking to protect your wealth so that your children and family are cared for when you go? Do you want to retire early, travel the world, and own numerous properties when you do? These are all reasonable investment goals according to personal circumstances.


You should also consider forms of wealth protection like insurance, because this can protect you from losing your greatest money making asset – you. Ensure that you have the right insurance policies for your needs, that you have appropriate coverage levels, and that you will be able to access ay settlements relatively quickly and easily if they are needed later.


The financial aspect of the shipping industry

The shipping industry is an important industry, though not one that is necessarily easy to make money in. In fact, some experts have said that the shipping industry may have to shed assets if it is to survive. The recent financial crisis has hit the shipping industry hard, and after investing heavily during the good years, many people are now left with large debts. The industry has also failed to capitalize on the fall in oil prices. Many goods are transported by ship, and currently there are roughly 6,000 liner ships carrying mountains of goods around the world. These huge ships can be up to 1,300 feet long, and they are able to carry large containers to permit easy movement of goods between ships, trains, and trucks.

It might seem that large tankers would benefit from being able to move such vast amounts of goods, but in recent years, the price of moving raw materials by sea has fallen to an all-time low. Containers have also become increasingly cheaper, which is good for end users but not so good for the carriers. Many companies have been struggling, with 2014 seeing a number of companies, including the Danish shipping company Copenship, filing for bankruptcy. Demand is slowly recovering, but demand can be very variable from route to route and from year to year. Investment is down in the shipping industry, and many shipping companies will have to shed assets to stay in business. Cutting back to their core activities could help them stay afloat in these difficult times. Many are shedding port assets and trying to become more efficient in their data management.

A shipping agency can handle the shipments and cargos in the ports and harbors, leaving the shipping company free to concentrate on its core business. A shipping agent that is able to reduce the time spent in port will save a shipping company money. Maersk is one of the few shipping companies to heavily invest in new ships. There may be too much shipping capacity in the industry as a whole, but large container ships make sense if the company can fill them. New technologies can also help. Improving hull and propeller design can reduce fuel usage as well as environmental impact.

The shipping industry needs investment, and traditionally it is an industry that needs large cash flows to operate. In the past, this money came from the banking sector, but with the financial crisis, alternative forms of finance were useful to those who had no other options. Bank financing was attractive because there were few strings attached, but new partnerships were being forged between shipping people and financially interested partners. In recent years, it has not been the big European banks that have provided the finance for the shipping industry; European banks were too concerned with the existing loans and bad debts. It was funding from countries in the East, such as China, that provided the finance. Private equity firms may also be a good source of finance for some shipping companies.

What to Avoid When Choosing an Investment Broker

What to Avoid When Choosing an Investment Broker
There are various aspects to consider when you decide to start trading on any market. Choosing whether to trade stocks, forex, futures or anything else and how much you want to invest are both the starting decisions. The most important is picking an investment broker to work with though.
There are many options available with numerous stock broking companies offering their services. It’s essential you choose one appropriate to all your investment needs. There are various mistakes people often make when choosing an investment broker which you should avoid to make the most of your new passion.
Opting for Discount
Of course everyone wants to save as much money as possible when paying for an investment broker but this can leave you short changed. Always go for a full-service broker, especially when starting out, to help you build confidence and knowledge of the markets.
It’s not worth the risk saving money on a stockbroker at first if you’re a novice, as there’s a larger chance of losing out through inexperience. The rates between brokers can vary massively and going for the cheapest option means they often provide limited services or have terms which mean what you want to trade is restricted.
Being Unsure
Make sure you know exactly what you want to invest in and how much before even approaching any brokers. Find a broker tailored to your needs who offer a range of different services to get you up and running.
Set a goal, as trading with little purpose can lead to you continuing until all your money is gone. It is a risky, cutthroat business with little room for those unable to make a decision. Be sure about everything and that you’re happy with your chosen broker before proceeding.
Going All In
Research the broker in great detail. Do plenty of reading but also check their website during trading hours to make sure it’s a reliable service and doesn’t crash easily. When it comes to it take baby steps at first, even if you’re confident in the broker, as any problems could see you lose out massively.
Ask other investors for advice on good brokers to use and they will help you pick a reliable option. Always have back-up finances and a plan in the event of the worst case scenario. Be vigilant and thorough when choosing an investment broker as at the end of the day it’s your finances on the line and you don’t want to be losing.

Filing For Bankruptcy? These Tips Can Help

Are you so far in debt that you may have to file for bankruptcy? If so, you have come to the right place. On the Internet lives plenty of information on how you can avoid bankruptcy. Check out the advice from this article to see what you can do so you do not have to file for bankruptcy.

Do not even think about paying your taxes with credit and petitioning for bankruptcy right after. Generally speaking, taxes are not a dischargeable debt. The delays caused by this sort of tactic could leave you owing the IRS a great deal in interest and penalties. Transferring the debt to another medium (e.g. a credit card) won’t magically make a tax debt discharagable, either. Just because your credit card could be discharged in bankruptcy does not mean you should use it.

When it soaks in that filing for personal bankruptcy, don’t use all of your retirement funds, or all of your savings to resolve insolvency or pay creditors. Retirement accounts should never be touched if it can be helped. Though you may have to break into your savings, keep some available for difficult times. You will be glad you did.

Be aware that getting unsecured credit is going to be tough once you’ve gone through bankruptcy. A great way to rebuild your credit is to apply for a prepaid credit card. Having a credit card of any type will allow creditors to realize that you’re attempting to work in the right direction to repair your credit. After some time passes they may be willing to offer you unsecured credit.

Try to find a bankruptcy attorney who is personally recommended, rather than off the Internet, or out of the yellow pages. Some companies just want to take advantage of you, so it is important that you have help from someone you trust.

You may end up losing more than you bargained for when you file a bankruptcy claim, so be sure that you know just which assets may be taken before filing. You can find a listing of the asset types that are excluded from bankruptcy in the Bankruptcy Code. Make sure that you review this list before you decide to file, to see if you can hang on to your most important possessions. This will ensure that you do not have any surprises once you have filed bankruptcy.

Don’t try to hide anything if you are filing for bankruptcy, as this will hurt you in the long run. The professional that helps you file for bankruptcy has to have a complete and accurate picture of your financial condition. Lay everything out on the table so that you and your lawyer can devise a plan to get you out of this mess.

Planning right can help you make the right decision. Just try and buy yourself a little time and see if you can get your finances back in order. Just be sure that you are doing your best to avoid filing. So put pen to paper and come up with a plan that will put your future back on track.

Job-seeking Tips And Tricks Anyone Can Use

Job seeking is neither fun nor easy. It can sometimes be hard to hear the word “no” time and time again. But there are a lot of ways to improve your skills so that you will be hired at your next interview. Use the tips presented in this article and you will find your dream job.

Do not neglect your current job if you are seeking a better position. If you don’t do what you are supposed to, your employers may be unhappy with your performance. How would this look to a prospective employer? If you wish to do well, working hard is the only way to do so.

You need to know the salaries of people in your position so that you can properly negotiate your own pay rate. People will often ask for a lower salary than they should because they feel employers won’t agree to something higher. It may be somewhat true, but it could also make you appear desperate for work.

Dress for success when you interview, no matter the job you’re applying for. Even if the position only requires casual dress, you will make more of an initial impression if you look professional during the interview process.

It is important to show up for work a little bit before your scheduled shift starts. If you experience delays, you should still arrive on time. Establishing yourself as a timely individual will only help you in the long run.

If you are looking for a job, it’s a good idea to go to a lot of job fairs. You can learn quite a bit from the fairs that can help you find the right job. You can also meet people here that can refer you to a job.

When you write your resume, be sure to include your social media contacts. Social media has been known to land people jobs, so take advantage of this current trend.

While many people simply put their home phone number on their resume and job apps, it’s a good idea to include your cell number as well. This way, you won’t miss an important phone call asking you to an interview when you’re at the grocery store or walking around the block. You ought to bring your cell phone everywhere, even when you go to your bathroom or garden.

Make sure your workplace knows your set work hours. Many employers want to have a consistent worker. As a result, their trust in you will increase. You’ll want to be firm with the hours you provide. If you must make some changes, make sure that your manager knows about it as soon as possible.

Do some research on the company you’re about to do an interview with. Take advantage of the web resources that are available to you. That way, asking smart questions and mentioning specifics about the place will be something you can do. This simple research can truly impress and interviewer.

You should always practice interviews before actually going to them. Using a friend can be a lot of help and fun too. When you role play, you can practice how to answer those interview questions on the spot. Your partner in role playing can give you feedback on whether or not you carried yourself in the appropriate body language and attitude.

Understanding the right way to handle interviews requires you to visit in advance. What is the parking like? Where is the office located within the building? Do you know exactly where the office is located? You should never be late for your interview, so be prepared and arrive ten minutes early.

Do not include lies on a resume, even if you think you cannot be caught. You are allowed to omit things, however. The truth is always found out sooner or later.

Research the company and where it is headed at the moment. You might floor your new boss into hiring you. This can help you stand out from other candidates. As such, you will be more likely to get the job than other candidates.

Mature women seeking employment should be very careful not to wear an outdated hairstyle. Be sure to make sure your hair style has been updated in the past several years. You can find something new you like in magazines, online or even television. Decide on a hair style that’s modern, but also professional looking.

Don’t do things on your work computer that your boss shouldn’t see. Your employer owns that computer, and you have no right to privacy on it. Socialize and shop online in your spare time to avoid any issues.

Any experience can land you a job. Resumes need to include any seasonal work, internships and volunteering. You might even want to put in relevant clubs or organizations that you belong to.

Try to thank your interviewer as your time together has ended. Not only is it etiquette, but it shows a sincere interest. You can use thank you notes to address any concerns you have.

Your cover letter and resume should include current information. You could easily find yourself not receiving any job offers long after the fact! If you are getting ready to move, you can include two different addresses on your resume so that their mail will certainly reach you.

Anytime you write or email an employer, make sure that you know how to spell their name. The company name should be spelled correctly as well. Check it out online if you need to. Don’t risk offending your potential employer by calling him or her by the wrong name in an email.

Even if you are just getting an application, dress professionally. It’s possible that the hiring manager might be available to interview you right then and there. And many front-line employees have a lot to say about hiring. Be sure that you impress them with your positive attitude, too!

Now that you are aware of excellent advice, you can turn things around for the better. These tips can help you stand out from the crowd of job seekers. This ensures you’ll find a great job.


How To Find The Best Deal Possible On A New Home

It is a concern of many people searching for a home that their house will not gain value or retain its current value. Use this advice as a guide.

Make sure any home you are interested in purchasing is large enough for your growing family, whether you already have children, or intend to have them while living in the residence. Look into the home’s safety as well. This is particularly true if the home that you’re considering has steep stairs or a large swimming pool. Houses that have been home to children will ensure that it is safe for future families to enjoy as well.

Be sure to find a partner you can trust to work together with, when buying expensive and large commercial property. It gives you someone to consult with, and also will increase your standing when applying for a mortgage. A partner can help with the down payment and the credit that is needed to get qualified for a commercial loan.

Consider where you see yourself in the future when shopping for a home. For instance, ask yourself if you want to have children. If you do, look for a home located in a good school district.

Keep an open mind about your options. You may have to sacrifice some of your expectations in order to live in the neighborhood of your choosing, or vice versa. If you can’t find a home in the area you want, shop for one in a similar area.

A good tip to use when shopping for a home is to request an itemized checklist from your Realtor. Realtors often have a home-buyer’s checklist that includes everything you need to do or consider when buying home, from figuring out what you want in a house to finalizing a mortgage. Such a document is a great way to ensure that all details of the transaction are addressed.

To get the best deal on real estate, do some repair and remodeling work. You’ll have a rapid return on investment, thanks to a little elbow grease. Often you will make quite a bit more than the cost of the repairs.

This is the best time to start investing in real estate. The market crashed, and prices as well as interest rates are extremely low right now. Apartment-dwellers should head over to the real estate agent’s office, and see about buying a new home. The downward trend is an aberration when you look at house prices over the long term. Therefore, you will probably make money on your investment after ten years.

Have an inspector look at the home you plan to purchase. Buying a house that requires renovations is a decision that can cost you a lot of money if you don’t know what you are getting into. Not only will this cost a lot, you might need to change your living situation until it’s fixed.

When people look at those house buying shows on TV, they generally don’t suspect that the real-world process will be a byzantine labyrinth of forms and other red tape. Make sure you apply these tips if you are considering buying real estate.

Lending Markets Respond to Diverse Influences

Lending markets are influenced by a number of factors, so it can be difficult to isolate the precise individual elements driving credit trends. But the stakes are high, so analysts and economists are quick to interpret financial data in hopes of predicting future market outcomes. Unfortunately, market volatility steps in to negate even the most informed forecasting, leaving observers to reconcile influences beyond their control.

The run-up to the general election, for example, recently played havoc with prognosticators, interfering with their ability to predict economic futures. And this is only one example of the way social culture and world events play roles in shaping financial outcomes. For proof of varied influences, one needs to look no further than the ever-changing mortgage market, which continues to surprise analysts with its irregular patterns.

Observers See Erratic Lending Markets

The mortgage lending industry has paved an irregular path since the recent recession. At times, takeaways are encouraging, prompting observers to point to healthy indications of sustained recovery. At other times during the past few years, however, shaky conditions have looked more like an industry still in search of stability.

The number of loans issued to assist home purchases was just over 40,000 during the month of February. The number represents a decline of 1.5 per cent and is sixteen per cent below activity logged during the same month in 2014. Lenders, government agencies and a host of interested observers are committed to explaining shifts, evaluating data to determine what is behind the drop and what it means for future economic conditions.
Seasonal Factors – Like other commercial markets, real estate operates on a regular seasonal cycle. As a result, some of the current mortgage lending patterns can be attributed to standard seasonal deviations. February is traditionally not the most popular month for buyers to close property transactions, so low numbers are consistent with historical patterns. When comparing same-month data, however, one must consider additional causes for the double-digit differences seen from one year to the next.

Consumer Confidence – Regardless of what the mortgage industry does to balance credit opportunities, a healthy financial industry needs a steady flow of borrowers to feed healthy returns. And people are more likely to spend money making major purchases when they have a positive general economic outlook. When consumer confidence is low, on the other hand, purse strings tighten and fewer families step-up to buy homes.
General Election – In addition to financial cycles that repeat on a regular basis, markets are subject to shifts based-on rare events. Elections and other important milestones, for instance, are capable of clouding economic conditions. The uncertainty sparked by this year’s general election may be accountable, in part, for slowed activity among potential home-buyers. Now that the polls are in, buyers may grow more confident wading-in to the lending market.

Credit Availability – Access to credit is another important driver in the lending industry. Restrictions making it harder for applicants to qualify for financing have left some observers calling for higher levels of credit availability. Small business loans, for example have lagged recently, so measures are being pursued to increase access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses. Business lending is of particular interest to economists, because borrowed money is typically used to buy assets, hire employees and expand operations – all desirable features for sustaining economic health.

Now that the election has passed, analysts hope to see an upward trajectory in lending markets. Home sales should rise as the winter slowdown yields to springtime buyers, and continued access to low rates should move more buyers to the closing table. And if the push for more businesses lending gains momentum, entrepreneurs and expanding numbers of commercial borrowers could also help buoy lending industry outcomes. Combined with reasonable levels of consumer confidence, the boost to lending could be sustained.

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