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5 Tips to Maximize your Short-Term Savings

Small-Business-Owner

Being a small business owner rarely means having to budget millions of dollars and having to make decisions that please a bunch of stockholders. Yet, what unites a fair number of small business owners is that they are dealing with another kind of very stressful responsibility: building up their own retirement savings. Although this is a long-term goal, it has to be kept in mind throughout the process of building and running a small business. Achieving it inevitably calls for an incremental approach which seeks the maximization of short-term savings. Here are five tips just to do that.

1. Pay off debt faster

Small business owners, no matter their field of activity, generally have to get loans in order to start off (and sometimes to improve) their business. These loans can be small or big, depending on many factors. Since paying off debt can take a long time, the interests that a small business owner pays to the institution which financed the project can add up to a huge amount of money in the long run. For that reason, paying off debt faster than what was initially planned could result in substantial savings by the time a given small business owner retires.

2. Improve the areas that cost you too much

Small business owners have many items of expenditure: rents, employee pay checks, energy bills, furnishings, office supplies, etc. After one’s small business has been running for a while, it becomes easy to notice where some money could be saved on a monthly basis. If saving money entails spending some… a business owner should not hesitate to do it. For instance, if buying a new software could be improve the overall effectiveness of one’s company and help reduce the number of working hours that have to be paid each month, buying the software with short-term savings ought to be considered. Same thing if a new printer could reduce the cost of every copy: the upfront cost may be intimidating, but the long-term gains will easily offset it.

3. Pay a subcontractor

Sometimes, a small business owner can spend too much time working on some things just because he or she is not an expert in the field. This can be the case for accounting, for instance. If such obligations keep a small business owner from better investing his or her time more efficiently in another crucial area of the business, then he or she should consider hiring a subcontractor to carry out those overwhelming tasks that divert his or her attention from other things. Subcontractors are experts in their field; they work effectively and – generally speaking – at a reasonable cost. This could maximize the time the owner spends working and, in turn, minimize the costs of running the business.

4. Put some money aside

Short-term savings do not necessarily have to be spent! In effect, stocking them in order to benefit from an emergency fund when it is needed could be very useful. Planning for year-end tax payments also is essential and can be done through good management of short-term savings. Moreover, putting money aside as part of a long-term business strategy that seeks to eventually make a big, well-planned investment also is another logical way to deal with short-term gains. 

5. Think carefully before undertaking a new business venture

Sometimes, when money is coming in at a good pace, it is easy to get carried away and to become overly optimistic. In those moments, short-term savings can become a justification to constantly try to expand the scope of one’s business. Yet, good times eventually come to an end… Therefore, it is important to properly plan the expansion of one’s small business: short-term savings, if they are not meticulously invested, could turn out to be long-term losses.

About the author:

Alexandre Duval is a blogger for Standard Life, a company which offers many quality financial products and services.

 

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Smarter Ways Of Working

cold-calling-skills1Rising fuel prices, leaves on the line, crowded carriages and traffic jams – just a few of the things which can make the commute into work every day a complete nightmare. That’s even forgetting the added complications of flooding and the way the road network grinds to a halt when it snows. Most of us see a lengthy journey into work as a necessary evil and it’s hard to see any way of making the commute easier or cheaper. But there are some things which can be considered to make life better.

Working at Home

Not all employers are happy with the idea of staff working at home instead of in the office, so whether or not this will be appropriate will depend very much on what market sector your employer operates in. If you are primarily dealing with customers on the phone or by email and can just as easily work from the spare room or dining table as you can from the office, then there is no harm in asking your employer whether you can work at home for part of the week. Being at home will save you in terms of both time and money.

Flexible Working

If working at home isn’t an option, perhaps your employer would consider flexible working. Many employers are happy to allow employees to work their 37.5 hours a week over 4 days rather than 5, or to arrive early and leave early to beat the traffic. If you are thinking about approaching your employer about working flexibly, make sure you gather all the evidence to support your claim that you will be able to work as efficiently and get the work done in exactly the same way.

Season Tickets

If you have a regular commute by train into work, it is far cheaper to buy a season ticket than it is to pay the standard fare each day. Finding the money for a six month or year-long ticket is the main obstacle to doing this and many employers offer unsecured loans to help their staff meet the cost. Even if your employer does not offer this scheme, it can be worth approaching another lender for an unsecured loan as even with interest payments taken into account, you are still quid’s in.

Car sharing

One great way of cutting the cost of getting to work as well as lessening your carbon footprint is to share a lift with someone else travelling the same route. Many companies help put employees in touch with each other, and there are also several independent websites which will help arrange lifts too. The arrangements are generally left up to the individuals concerned, but a common arrangement is to pay the driver a set amount per mile, or to take it in turns to drive. Some forward thinking companies will even give drivers who car share a preferential parking space or other perks.

Cycling

Again it’s not for everyone, but if your commute into work is relatively short, going by bike could save you a fortune, be just as quick and could also help keep you fit too. Many employers are encouraging their employees to get on their bikes by offering cheap finance or unsecured loans to buy a bike, and by providing facilities such as lockers and showers on site. Buying a new bike doesn’t have to mean a huge investment, but when taking out an unsecured loan ensure that you factor in other expenses such as lights, a helmet and reflective clothing too. Given the levels of traffic on many city roads, cyclists often find that their commute is far quicker than colleagues who drive too.

Katie Latchford is a freelance writer who is constantly researching the latest financial advances in areas such as unsecured loans, credit cards, family finance and consumer rights. For more information, follow her on Google plus.

 

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How to Take Advantage of a Short Sale

In the real estate business, there are all sorts of specialized terms that can be confusing to the average layperson. With the condition of the economy like it is, we are seeing many different house sale conditions, including auctions, foreclosures and short sales. These are often the result of people not being able to afford their mortgage payments and being forced to move. Whether you’re in that position and needing to sell, or you’re in the market for purchasing a new home, it’s important to understand all the various terms and options available to you. So let’s go over one of them now. What, exactly, is a short sale?

A short sale, put in the simplest of terms, is when a house is selling for less than the balance owed on the mortgage. A short sale has to be agreed to by the mortgage lender. When a person is unable to make the mortgage payments, the lender agrees to a short sale so they can at least get a portion of their loan back. It is often a way to cut their losses and get something out of it. If they allow the property to go into foreclosure, they will potentially get even less. Some banks can save up to 25 or 30 percent by allowing a short sale rather than going to foreclosure.

Should You Purchase a Short Sale Home?

If you want to buy a new home, a short sale can be an attractive option. With a short sale, you are often able to get a lot more house for your money. The house will be priced well below its value, so it is worth considering, especially for people buying their first home or people who are interested in buying an investment property to rent or flip. You should enlist the help of a realtor who is experienced with short sales. A realtor who is knowledgeable about the process will be a valuable asset to you.

On the downside, most short sale homes are being sold “as is,” meaning the sellers aren’t willing to fix it up for you. Many short sale homes are in less than stellar condition. Some need complete and total rehab, other just a few minor repairs. You should have a building inspector come to the home before you purchase it, and you should get repair estimates from contractors. Consider if you’re really willing to put in the time, effort and money it might take to fix up the home. Short sales also require a lot more paperwork and involve more parties, so they are bound to take longer to complete.

Should You Request a Short Sale for Your Home?

On the other hand, if you’re in financial difficulty and can’t keep up with your mortgage payments, you might want to consider requesting a short sale from your mortgage lender. You will need to begin by writing a letter explaining why you’d like a short sale by detailing your hardships. A short sale is a way to avoid foreclosure, but it will still negatively impact your credit score. Your mortgage lender will need to agree to the short sale, and they will be the one to approve any offers made on the home. If you have any liens against the property, the lien holders will need to agree to the short sale also.

Whether you’re considering purchasing or requesting a short sale, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney.

Terry Ford has been writing for many years and loves to provide readers with informational material related to trends impacting our economy. Terry uses Grammarly grammar checker to ensure her readers receive the best possible content.

 

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Green Loans For Your Business

Whether you plan to perform enhancements on the business you have or choose to start a new firm from the ground up, financing will rapidly become a serious issue. A select few possess enough equity to pursue self-funding, and therefore a broad series of other measures must be considered and taken.

Government-generated awards and grants may suit, though the vast majority will also come with a strict need for documented progress and budgetary reporting. Grants will also prove less than useful for any ongoing costs incurred over the long term, which speaks well for a loan. Loans will also be much faster to request and receive, and although they will have to be paid, the amounts accessible may more than cover any change-over period in question. The idea of breathing room for repayment is perhaps the most attractive feature of borrowing from a high-street institution.

Important considerations in forming a business plan that successfully addresses a loan application will be the answers to a series of questions. Does the plan meet an environmental need the loan provider might construe as indirectly or even directly beneficial to its own concerns? This might be the basis for reduction in rates of interest for repayment. Can you provide a clear and coherent list of steps the business will be taking to address becoming sustainably greener, whether through simple recycling or by means of a total production overhaul? The answer to this one will determine the amounts of money the firm can logically lay claim to in the request.

And might waste reduction and higher energy efficiency factor into your plans? If so, that would place the eventual application for a loan among the majority, meaning more readily granted. The funds may then be used to retrofit aging and inefficient equipment, for starters, and this money is available from several reliable sources, from the level of local authority all the way up to national groups like the Carbon Trust. Depending on the nature of the changes and the way in which they support local economy, you will need to match the need to the proper institution. This is, in fact, the most important effort of the process.

Another aspect worth notice is competitiveness, both in the public sector economy and for the actual financial support desired. If one business in the neighborhood has achieved financing, it will pay to observe their process, while also determining whether your venture offers productivity in another area or not. Applying to a different bank, authority, or public-sector source may also be the best course of action. A further mandate for successful action involves doing a significant amount of research on your sources. Some offer interest-free financing, for instance, and others are most likely to invest in energy projects. Others still, you will learn, offer awards or prizes that may accompany a successful loan application.

Get organized, then, on paper and in person, and present your plans for “greening” your business. These may well produce the effect needed.

Written by James AKA Firespin Jay a writer with Business and Eco Interests. Come and say hi @FirespinJay

 

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