Posts tagged: returns

The Business Costs Startups Should Never Skimp On

invest in start upsAs a startup owner, chances are that you don’t exactly have a huge and unlimited pool of money at your disposal and it’s only natural, and sensible, that you should try to make savings wherever possible if you want to be in the best possible financial situation 12 months from now, but there are some things that startups just should not even think about skimping on.

Here are some examples of the kinds of things you MUST invest in if you want your business to be a success commercially and financially:

Reliable IT Services

So much of what we all do now is done at a computer, tablet or smartphone, and online is the space that modern businesses really need to conquer. What this means for you as a startup owner, is that you really cannot afford to skimp on reliable IT services. If you cut corners in this department, not only could you lose money when your network goes down, but you could actually risk losing sensitive data, and that could get you into a whole lot of trouble, not to mention cost you a whole lot of cash. It really isn’t worth the risk, especially when you can find great IT services which are moderately priced.

Data Backup

It’s also sensible to invest in a good data backup system, preferably in the cloud, so that should your website be hacked and your data lost, you will be able to instantly recover it. You can backup your data securely for as little as $10 per year, so it really would be foolish not to do so, especially when a loss of data really can cripple a small business.

Great Design

A lot of what determines whether or not a business will be successful, rightly or wrongly, is how attractive its brand is. Think of all the massively successful companies out there; your Google’s, Coca-Cola’s and Nikes and you’ll notice they all; have one thing in common – an instantly recognizable brand. If you want to be in their league someday, you need to invest in great design for your website, logo, business cards and, where applicable. Your products.

High-Quality Web Hosting

A lot of small business owners opt for the cheapest web hosting package they can find available to them. This is understandable, after all, hosting is hosting, right? Wrong! Very wrong! You see, a lot of the cheaper hosts go offline a lot, and when your website is down, that means you are losing money. Not only that, but a poor host could mean a slow website which will put customers off and prevent your media from effectively loading. Factor in the time you spend sorting it out, and the losses to your company could be huge.

Web Design

As well as putting a great web hosting package in place, you should also invest some of your startup capital in creating a website that looks beautiful and performs flawlessly. In the 21st Century, your website is often the first thing about you that the consumer will see and if it looks awful, well, they’re hardly going to have much confidence in your products and services are they? Don’t make the mistake of using a basic template when even just a little investment in a custom solution can be all that it takes to make that sale!

Creative Content

Naturally, you’ll want to put some content on your website so that people can actually find your company. If you want that to happen, it pays to invest in high-quality content written by professional copywriters, either on staff or freelance. If you do this, you can bet that you’ll make your money back and then some in the fullness of time.

Customer Service Training

Most startup owners are so focused on the future and how they want their business to be a year, two years or even ten years down the line, that they often lose sight of the things that need to be done now to get them there. One such thing is high-quality customer service training.

You see, although customer service might not seem like your most pressing issue right now, or even something you can justify using the business credit card on, it is actually one of the most vital tools in your arsenal. After all, your customers are the people who will make or break your business, and without them, you won’t even have a business at all. Once you realize this, it’s well-worth taking the time to invest in the right training so that your employees always treat your customers right.

Legal Counsel

We all know that legal fees are expensive, lawyers aren’t exactly known for being poor, after all. However, there is absolutely no way of getting around the fact that, if you want to start a successful business and avoid future financial difficulties and even bankruptcy, you need to invest in good legal counsel when you set up your business. If you don’t do this, you could end up making a mistake somewhere down the line and getting sued and, as I’m sure you will know, the cost of litigation, not to mention the cost of compensation should you lose a case, can be astronomical.

Great People

You can try, but I would bet against you starting a successful new company without a few good people by your side to help you along the way. Every company’s biggest cost is its payroll and hiring more employees than the minimum or those who don’t exactly come cheap might seem like a good way to cut business costs, but if you want your company to grow, you need to invest in the most creative, hardworking qualified people and you need to invest in enough people so that none of you are spread too thin.

As the old cliche says “Sometimes, you have to speculate to accumulate.” This is something that is certainly true in the startup world, and especially when it comes to these particular things.

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The Risks Of Living Without Insurance

insurance to liveWhen you’re looking for ways to save money, it can be easy to make chops and changes to the things you need in life. There are a lot of expensive areas in life, and the ones at the forefront will usually take precedence over the less important. Of course, though, things like insurance are only less important until you need them. Living without cover for certain areas of your life can be very risky, and to help you understand, this post will be going through some of them. Along with this, it will also be helping you to save some money without cutting them out.

Health And Life

If you’ve ever been to a hospital before, you probably already understand the great costs which can come with it. Even an ambulance ride could set you back several thousand, and this is before you’ve been treated. You can’t avoid these costs, but, with health insurance, you can have someone else pay for it. Along with high hospital bills, a lot of people fail to consider the costs of their funeral and other arrangements when they pass on. To cover this, companies like lifeinsurancequote.co can be used to provide life insurance to those with dependents. It’s always best to start something like life insurance nice and early, as you usually have to save a certain amount before the company will pay anything to your loved ones.

Car

Next, you can start to consider the other important areas in your life. Most people can’t live without a tool like their car. You use it to get to work, and you probably use it for other important parts of life, too. But, if you were to have a crash or had your car stolen, you would be left without until buying a new one. Car insurance can protect you from these sorts of issues. In most places, this sort of cover will be a legal requirement, and you will get in trouble without it. You can use comparison sites to find the best value car insurance, but it’s also worth shopping around yourself, too.

Home And Possessions

With your car sorted out, you can start to think about the other possessions you own. To start with this, it’s best to think about the biggest item you own; your home. In the case of a catastrophic event, like a fire or a storm, you might not be able to afford to repair your home. Along with this, in cases of theft and burglaries, it can be almost impossible to get your hands on the items you’ve lost. Home and contents insurance can cover this sort of area for you, and websites like www.usa.gov can help you to find the best options. It’s important to do plenty of research when you’re choosing cover like this, as a lot of the options you have could be very confusing.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what can be done when you’re trying to assess the risks of living without insurance. In most cases, it’s best to make sure that you have as much as your life covered as you can. Of course, though, not everyone can afford this sort of expense. So, it could be worth thinking about the most important areas surrounding your life before you choose which options to go for.

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Investment Ideas (That Aren’t A House!)

investment for purposesEvery standard investment advice consists of making a big purchase in the shape of a house, as it’s generally viewed as one of the best ways to get a good return, or if you ask for another item to invest in, most people will say get another property! But are there other options for investment that don’t involve four walls and a roof? Well, surprisingly enough, there are!

Precious Metals

Precious metals like gold are considered to be quite controversial assets. Some people see them as a no-brainer and are a foolproof investment, and while others may view them as a nightmare, the fact is that the truth is neither here nor there, but they are responsive to certain market conditions. Precious metals appear to gain value when the dollar is weak, and then weaken when the dollar is strong in value. However, this is not an exact science. And of course, we don’t know when this will occur, so it’s best to have some precious metals available at all times. The great thing about items like gold bullion is that you can purchase them and keep them safely at home.

A Boat

A lot of people would consider a boat to be a terrible investment. However, this is largely due to the upkeep and maintenance of the boat. The financing alone can be crippling, but there are sites like boatfinancing.co that can show you the best options for getting a loan to purchase a boat. As time goes on, and the concerns about rising water levels and the threat of natural disaster at every corner, it would be very sensible to own a boat. So not only is it a sensible investment right now, but it’s something that is going to be highly desirable in the coming years.

Peer To Peer Lending

As a way to remove the middleman out of the equation, this is a great way to get a higher rate of return. It benefits both sides, the investor, and the borrower, as the borrower gets a lower rate. Many organizations specialize in peer to peer lending, such as ratesetter.com, but there are plenty of other peer to peer lending platforms that have a decent return on investment, you just need to look for them. But you need to beware that with certain lending platforms, you may be required to invest more than $50!

Wine

Yes, believe it or not, wine is a great product to invest in because it can increase in value as it ages. With the right type of vintages, these can be highly sought after, and you can make a decent amount of money. Of course, to make the most out of this investment, you need to have a good understanding of wine generally, but you also need a room to store them in that is temperature-controlled. To get a substantial profit from your wine, you will also need to buy in bulk. In addition, you need to keep notes of when you bought certain vintages and where from, as these are vital trinkets of information to wine connoisseurs.

You see? There are more investment ideas than a house. So take some of these ideas on board and start investing!

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The Financial Value Of Cultural Heritage

old heritage valueThe heritage and history of a country is a very important thing. It shapes the attitudes and lifestyles of the people that live there, and it is a great source of pride for so many people. Remembering where we came from is the best way to decide where to go next, and respecting the sacrifices of those that went before us helps us to appreciate the things that we normally take for granted. Heritage has an incredible emotional and spiritual value, but have you ever considered its financial value? These are the ways that the heritage of a country brings lots of significant financial benefits to its government and its citizens.

Tourism

The most obvious way that heritage benefits a country financially is tourism. Some countries depend on their natural features like beaches and hot weather to attract tourists, but when you don’t have that to offer, history and heritage can be just as big an attraction. Europe is the perfect example of this. There are still some European countries that are the perfect beach destination but for the most part, the continent doesn’t have that asset. It does, however, have a rich history that you can see in the form of tourist attractions. There are lots of museums dedicated to the continent’s history during the world wars. People come from all over the globe to see these kinds of attractions and it brings huge amounts of money to the countries.

Collectibles

You can use the heritage of your country to make yourself money personally as well. Lots of important historical events have been immortalized in the form of collectibles that will be worth a lot of money a few years down the line. Sites like www.lpm.hk sell special collectible coins dedicated to historical events. These kinds of collectibles will appreciate in value very quickly and can be sold on for a big profit in the future. Collectibles are a great investment that you can start at home fairly easily. As well as coins, you can invest in commemorative plates or even actual relics from historical periods. Items of interest from historical periods are worth lots of money to collectors and the longer you keep them, the rarer they will become as similar items fall into disrepair. The condition is one of the most important things to consider when you’re investing in these items because it hugely affects the value of them.

Trade

Countries hold grudges for a long time. The history and heritage of countries often dictate the relationship they have with other countries. Having a rocky past with another country is going to hugely affect any trade deals that they might try to make with one another. Countries may find themselves involved in unfavorable trade deals with other governments that they have had disputes with in the past. Regardless of the many years that have passed, bad blood runs deep and it can have far reaching effects on the economy of a country.

The heritage of a country is a hugely important part of life for its citizens, but it also brings serious financial benefits.

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Is Bankruptcy The End… Or a New Beginning?

are you bankruptShakespeare once said “Neither a lender nor a borrower be”. That’s a nice sentiment, but the bard didn’t live in an era of subprime mortgages, negative equity and business insolvency. In his day, all you had to do was write a few sonnets for a wealthy patron and you were golden. In the 21st century, however, lending and borrowing are not only essential in a realistic business climate, they’re the basis of our entire global economy.

In both personal and business finances, peaks and troughs are inevitable, and even the most successful among us have our rough times. From hip hop icon 50 Cent to Mark Twain, many of successful business and creative types face stared down bankruptcy and come through it stronger than ever. Even the billionaire president Donald Trump has been declared bankrupt four times.

Myriad circumstances may result in individuals and businesses filing for bankruptcy. While it’s undeniably a stressful and upsetting experience, it’s important to remember that though there are certainly repercussions following bankruptcy, by no means is it the end.

If bankruptcy is looking like a possibility, or even an inevitability here are some tips that will help you to make an informed decision whether or not to file:

Remember… You are not alone

Facing bankruptcy and feel like an isolating experience, but you are most assuredly not alone. In fact, over 800,000 people applied for bankruptcy in federal court last year. Filing will neither make you a social pariah nor mark you out as a failure. It is, however, important that you do it right, so hiring a bankruptcy attorney should be one of your highest priorities. Your spouse or partner doesn’t even need to file alongside you.

There are different kinds of bankruptcy

In the US there are two forms of bankruptcy; Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 and which you file for will depend on your circumstances. A Chapter 7 requires the business or individual’s assets to be liquidated, using them to pay creditors as much of the outstanding debt as possible. A trustee will be appointed to facilitate the liquidation and ensure that creditors are paid in proportion to the debt. A Chapter 11, on the other hand, reorganizes the debts and adjusts them in terms of repayment amounts and interest rates (much like consolidation).

You may still be able to get credit

You may feel that it’s the end for you and your business, but lines of credit will still be open to you. Remember, however, that over-reliance on credit is what leads many to bankruptcy in the first place. Bankruptcy is a highly instructive tool for many as it teaches them to really appreciate the importance of budgeting and financial planning. That said, the bankruptcy is not quite as prohibitive in terms of credit as many believe.

But it’s important to be realistic

Bankruptcy is intended to wipe the slate clean. It’s a fresh start for businesses and individuals, but it’s not without financial consequences. Credit gets harder to come by (but not impossible) and it could have repercussions on your business borrowing. Bankruptcy can help you but it should also be considered a last resort. You should first consider an alternative such as a consolidation plan before filing for bankruptcy.

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