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2 Sure-Fire Ways to Scale Your Business in a Sustainable Way

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There are plenty of people who’ll explain to your that scaling your business means nothing but hard work and more hard work – but if that’s just not possible for you?

Perhaps life doesn’t allow for 18-hour days? Does that mean you can’t grow a business?

We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t – and in actual fact, there are significant places where ‘working hard’ can be replaced with ‘working smart’ – here are two great options:

  1. Exchange your money for time

When you’re in business, especially when you’re a company owner, manager or director, it can be difficult to quantify everything you do, after all, there’s a lot of it.

However, if you don’t know what you’re spending your time on, you never know what would make sense to hand off to someone else.

And it really does make sense to hand some of your stuff off. Here’s a simple example to illustrate:

You’re a web designer – you invoice your time at £50 per hour. During an average day you spend 1 hour handling your book-keeping – meaning that keeping your finances in order costs you somewhere around £12,000-£15,000 each year.

So instead, you pay a virtual assistant £15 per hour to handle that book keeping. That VA costs you around £3,000-£4,500 per year – meaning you’ve just earned somewhere in the region of £10,000 annually by simply being more-smart with your time.

Now, you obviously have to turn that book-keeping time into design time – otherwise you’re simply losing the money that your VA cost – but assuming you’ve got the work ethic to do so, it’s a very simple time/money exchange.

How to do it

If you want to change anything you first need to understand your current situation – and the only way you’re going to do that is by logging your time.

This might be mildly irritating – but it doesn’t last forever and is well worth it in the long run.

Set your phone, watch or an app timer to sound a single tone every 15-minutes. Each time it chimes, make a note of what you were doing during that quarter hour. Be honest here – if it’s browsing social media, talking to customers, going to the toilet or anything else then note it as such – paint an accurate picture of what your day looks like.

When you’ve done this, you can start looking at how much EVERYTHING costs you. See some stuff there that shouldn’t be costing that much money? Outsource it – or, if it’s browsing social media for fun, put an end to it!

You’ll find you actually spend a lot less time doing your core activities than you might think.

What will it offer?

Very simply, you’ll be buying more time – and it’s time that can be spent on the most lucrative parts of your business.

Perhaps you could take on another client? Perhaps it’ll save you bringing additional staff onboard? Maybe it’ll bump your income up another level? There’s a lot to be said for hundreds of extra hours in the year…

  1. Increase your prices

When there are only so many hours in the day you simply have to charge the right amount of money in exchange for that time.

There’s a balance to be struck here of course, work to an equivalent of £5 per hour and you’ll have more customers than you could possibly imagine – but you’re severely undervaluing your product and time.

On the other hand, if you price your product or service such as pool cleaning similar willshapools.com in a way that means you can take £100 an hour for your work – you’re probably going to struggling to find the customers you need. This depends on your professional or discipline of course – your own industry figures are going to be needed here – but I’m sure you can see the point we’re making.

So, work out what’s a sensible balance between the number of hours you have available and the industry standard rates – then set your pricing according to the scale you’d like to achieve.

Increasing your pricing doesn’t necessarily mean money in your pocket of course – an increase in charge for your product or service might actually mean you can take an additional person on to support your business – or even heed our first point and subcontract some of the tasks that don’t bring back the maximum monetary yield.

How to do it?

You’ve got some options when it comes to scaling on price – but whatever you choose will require a conversation with current customers. Here’s some options:

Explain your plans: Customers understand that a marketplace changes – so you could explain your plans and why you need to up your pricing accordingly. If they value you and your product they’ll stick around.

Offer an option at your current price: If you feel like your customers are at their limit price-wise, you might just need to reduce the product they receive. For example, if a customer loves your coffee beans but can’t afford an increase in price – would they be happy with the same quality beans – just in a slightly smaller quantity?

Bump up the service: If your product or service increases in quality prior to a price increase, you might find that your customers are more than happy when the price moves – especially if it means you’ll keep up with this new wonderful service.

Ask where they see value: Don’t be afraid to ask your customers what they want in return for a price increase. They might want quicker turn-arounds, more product, better support – or many other things. If they’re just paying additional for something they’ve requested, you’ll find they’re often happy to pay more.

What will it offer?

More money into the bank account means one of two things. Firstly, you can ease off the number of working hours and invest that time in new projects that’ll help you push the business forward – or; secondly, you can keep the time commitment up and reap the financial reward – either personally, or by reinvesting in the business.

Whichever route you choose, the additional money is going to give you a flexibility that you previously didn’t have…

 

 

Top Tips When Choosing A Life Insurance Policy

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Hitting your early 30s and thinking it’s time to start planning your financial future? Let us guess, you are being given unsolicited advice left, right and centre and now you are confused on where to begin?

Do not worry, we all have been in the same boat as you and have felt as we are drowning. The good news is we are here to offer you a life jacket filled with tips and ideas on how to kickstart your fiscal planning. One vital element of any effective financial strategy is to select an optimal life insurance policy that will aid your family in your absence.

Essentially, a life insurance policy is a written agreement you will hold with an insurance service provider whom you will pay monthly premium instalments. When the policy holder has passed on, the insurance company will dish out a lump-sum amount to the designated beneficiary. It will help lift your beloved ones’ economic status and save them the hassle of facing any possible fiscal troubles. When choosing a life insurance policy, there are several factors to take into account.

Since there is a plethora of information out there, the process of life insurance selection can get confusing and complicated.  That is why we reached out to these life insurance lawyers in Houston to share a few clarifications and to make the whole procedure a little bit easier.

Don’t Get Lost

The variety of life insurance products available may appear overwhelming. Remember that you do not want to get lost in the marketing or technical jargon thrown at you and you want to truly comprehend the intricacies of the policies you are considering. It will be easy to confuse one kind of insurance policy for the other but remember that true life insurance portfolios differ from others in the category. For instance, mortgage term insurance compensates your property debt and is not meant to leave any additional income for your family.

Know Your Needs

As stated, there is a whole world out there of insurance brands. It is imperative that you conduct an internal analysis to identify your needs and verify what your requirements are. Once armed with this knowledge, selecting an insurance product will become a clearer and rapid process. For instance, you could go with level term insurance as it is simple and direct in its approach. It pays out a certain amount given that you pass away in the time period assigned to your contract.

Be Transparent

Hey, it’s the age of the internet where all kinds of information are available and it is not really possible to hide any facts. Hence, be honest and don’t worry if you slipped your hand in the cookie jar. What we mean is that if you had any kind of illness before or any form of surgery, make sure you disclose it to the insurance salesman. Be an open book about your medical history. Sure, you may be delegated a slightly higher monthly premium but you will not endanger your future payment (upon expiration) as you were transparent from the beginning.

Go Single

Yes, we all love our spouses but we do not mean to be single in that aspect (We are invested in the idea of happy families!). When you are buying an insurance policy, avoid taking out a joint one. This option may lure you in as it is a cost effective one compared to paying two separate monthly premiums. However, the policy will be terminated once the first person passes away. This implies that your partner will have to procure another one and start from scratch. If she or he is older at that stage, the life insurance premium will be quite expensive.

Know Your Coverage

A general rule to follow is to request the financial cover to be approximately ten times your yearly income. Usually, this is applicable up to the time your children have completed their education, whether college or high school. If the former, you may contemplate a higher volume of coverage. Have a think and consider what kind of debts or expenses you may have, and then quote a figure.

Quit Smoking

If your wallet is dearer to you than that pack of cigarettes, then you may want to give it up. Think of it as a double whammy: you save a few extra pounds by not buying cigarettes and you pay a lower premium on your insurance policy. If you consume any form of tobacco, your monthly payments will be much higher compared to those who do not use tobacco. So, go nicotine free for a year and enjoy not only healthier lungs but also lower expenses.

Go Cheap

Yes, policies that may appear “cheaper” to you have the potential to be as effective as their costlier counterparts. Life insurance is actually pretty straightforward: it’s a policy that will dish out money upon one’s expiration. You do not need multiple add-ons and can focus on getting the amount you require in the future.

Eat Right

If you are one of the many people who chose to live life right by eating healthy and working out regularly, then chances are your monthly premiums are much lower. It differs from case to case and person to person, but the healthier you are, the cheaper your premium will be. A 40 year old insurance policy taken out at the age of 35 will be easier to obtain than a similar product at the age of 55. Regardless, you may want to swap those daily French fries for a baked version. You never know when you may want to choose your insurance policy and being prepared in advance will help you go a long way.

Choose Fixed Prices

Reviewable or guaranteed premium? The latter means you dish out the same amount every month in all circumstances for the duration of the policy. If you opt for the reviewable alternative, then the amount you pay on a monthly basis can be revisited at the discretion of your insurance service provider.

Saving While Shopping – How To Shop Smart While Managing Debt

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People get into debt for all kinds of reasons a bad investment, overspending, an emergency that drained their savings, you get the idea. But however, you ended up in the situation the end result is the same, isn’t it?

There really is no sugar coating it if you’re in debt and have applied for an IVA your finances are going to suffer but that doesn’t mean you can just stop buying your essentials does it? Sure, those luxuries should be avoided or left behind for now, but you still need to buy food, toiletries, and other essentials, don’t you?

But managing your weekly shopping while you’re in debt is very tricky and it’s easy to make mistakes or fall into those old habits. So, to help you tackle your shopping trips I’ve outlined some smart shopping tips below. By following these tips you’ll be able to save more and budget better while also reducing your debt.

Get Your Essentials Written Down

The first thing anyone who wants to ensure they shop smart should do is write down a list of all their essential goods. Food, drink, and toiletries are going to appear on everyone’s list but then there are other things to consider.

Pet food, petrol, cleaning supplies (to give just a few examples) are all common essentials that people will need to stock up on every so often. Once you’ve got all your essentials worked out you’ll know what you need to buy has a minimum this will help when it comes to budgeting your weekly shop.

Avoid Impulse Items

Whether it’s a supermarket or a small corner shop they’ll likely be strategically placed impulse items all over the place. And avoiding them isn’t easy sure a chocolate bar or packet of crisp might not seem like a lot, but it will add up and when you’re trying to save money especially if you’re in debt impulse items are things you should avoid in all forms.

Impulse items aren’t just things strategically placed in shops either they can also be things you think you need. Which is why your essentials list from my first tip is so important, think carefully before buying anything that isn’t on that list because if you don’t need it it’s money that could be saved.

Special Offers Aren’t Always What They Appear

Shops rotate their special offers on a regular basis and while it might look like you’re getting a great bargain that’s not always the case. That 6 pint of milk might be on offer but if you don’t need that much, and the 2 pint is still cheaper is there really any point in buying it?

It’s also easy to start buying products that aren’t on your essentials list just because you’ve been enticed by the special offer message. Remember even if it looks like a great deal if it’s not something you actually need ask yourself whether you can afford to buy it first.

Shop Around More

There is no shortage of places to shop is there? And you don’t have to just stick to one place either. If you want to get the best deal on your shopping you shouldn’t be afraid to shop around at different places if you can. You should also try discount chains and shops to help you save more money on your essential goods.

Make A Shopping List

In a world with online shopping, dedicated shopping apps and the ability to pay using your smartphone using a shopping list might seem a little low tech. But they are great tools when it comes shopping on a budget and can really help you save money.

If you’re struggling with debts, then a shopping list can be a huge help because it will help you stick to your essentials. In fact, that list of essentials items from my very first tip can double as your shopping list can’t it?

Swap Out Expensive Brands

Even if you stick to your essentials you can still reduce the costs by moving to cheaper brands. If you like coke-cola, for example, why not switch it out for a cheaper brand? It might take you a while to adjust to taste differences in some cases, but it will also save you a lot of money.

Many supermarkets also have their own specially designed budget brands as well for all kinds of goods from soap powder to shampoo and much more. So, try searching those out if you want to cut the cost of your weekly shop.

Be Firm With Yourself

This might seem relatively easy after some of the tips I’ve mentioned but in the majority of cases, it is one of the hardest tips to follow through on. Even if you’re struggling with debt and trying to save money it can be very easy to fall back into old habits and end up buying things you don’t need.

So, you need to be firm with yourself and stick to your budget, if you’re really struggling to avoid temptations while you shop then consider shopping with a friend or family member. They’ll be able to help you stay on track. One other trick some people use is to go shopping with just the money they need to buy their essentials.

That way you can avoid buying anything you don’t need because you won’t have the means to pay for it. It’s an extreme method and I wouldn’t advise it every case but if you think it might work for you, by all means, give it a try.

Treats Should Be Earned

I’ve probably made the weekly shop sound like quite the gauntlet, now haven’t I? But you can still have fun and treat yourself even when you’re saving money just make sure it’s not something you do every week.

One good tip to follow is to make treats a reward for having a productive and successful month. For example, if you’ve met your savings goal for the previous month then reward yourself with a little extra purchase like some chocolate of a nice dinner, this way you’ll be more likely to make your savings in the future.

 

Effects of Money Management

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What are the effects of money management? People should have the idea about the effects of managing their resources because it will not only benefit them, it will also create a chain effect later on. As you can see some people are struggling to manage their finances which often results in people needing IVA help and advice from experts, even though they earn twice as you do, some are still struggling to budget their daily or monthly needs; therefore, there must be something wrong with the equation. As the income increase, the lifestyle also increases and that’s what most are certainly doing, which only means no matter how big you earn if you don’t apply the missing piece then you will never be financially stable. So how does managing your money benefit you? The below are some of the effects of money management.

Helps Us Save– Money management is closely related to saving, especially if we have a lot of extra funds. Rather than spending it all on shopping, caprices and other vices, putting it in the bank is one of the best things to do. The positive effects of saving will be highly appreciated in the long run especially when there are emergencies or financial-related problems.

Makes us financially responsible-If we know how to manage our money well, this is just the reflection on how we manage ourselves, our needs over our wants. Being financially literate is very important because it helps us put our hard-earned money in its right place. This also helps us from a danger of losing all our finances because of focusing only on the present and without thinking how to handle the money properly.

Helps Improve Economic Activity – When people know how to manage their money well, the economy will not suffer too. Money coming from loans with economic purposes like wholesaling, manufacturing, services and agriculture should be really utilized in it. This will only happen if loan borrowers prioritized the purpose of the loan. They should realize that doing this will solve the problems along the way and will eventually improve their lives.

Can Create Ripple Effect – If your relatives and friends notice you are successful, they will be curious and ask you how you do it. You can answer simply, “Because of money management.” Then, you can share to them the different tips on how to handle their resources well. You will be more than happy to see them learn from you and eventually improve their lives.

Saves you from a lot of trouble in the future – There are a lot of rich people who end up poor because they do not know how to manage their money. Admittedly, we don’t want to be like that. We don’t want to waste all our financial resources. We want to make the most out of it. We want it to grow and make some significant changes in our lives. Regret is always in the end. Mismanagement of money will surely hurt us. We might only enjoy it in the present, but we can enjoy it ten times better if we know how to manage it.

Develop Discipline

When you have a goal in life, and you are passionate to get it, then there’s one skill that you are about developing, the discipline. Discipline is the key to success, when you develop this skill whatever goal in life you want to reach will definitely be achieved, thus making you a successful person in the future.

To sum it up, we should remember that responsible money management is something that each of us should possess. Financial illiteracy is a great menace to the society that we should get rid of. It will only cause different problems along the way. We should prioritize money management over the stuff we want, over the things we can live about because handling our resources well will offer us a life that is productive and successful.