Focus on Results: Where to Spend Resources for Maximum Gain

When you’re running a business, working in any kind of managerial role or simply taking decisions on behalf of one for example as a marketing agency entrusted with a budget, what you’re doing every day is choosing where to spend resources to get the best results for the smallest investment. Those resources might be literally money, but the resources you have at your disposal could be the work-hours of the team you’re managing, the reputation of your company, even personal favours built up over time.

You need to make shrewd use of these resources, putting them into projects that bring in a bigger return than spending them costs. This doesn’t just mean profit: one of the most important things you can do is begin to recognise more indirect gains, from building a reputation for quality with your customers, spending money to build in risk avoidance systems that reduce loss from future projects and avoiding false economies, seeing the bigger picture is vital as you rate your decision making and account for it in front of others.

One of the most important factors at work here is the use of data to inform each decision you make. Using research on your own company, and from market research agencies like Attest mean you can approach choices with confidence about what your consumers want, the extent to which they’ll trust your brand, and exactly what you can do to get it to them. It ensures you’ll avoid problems like over promising, which can harm trust in your company in the long term and drive away the loyal repeat custom that success is founded on. With good data you can start to predict the outcome of your choice, and this modelling allows you to steer towards good outcomes and away from bad ones.

It’s important that your research and data gathering looks back as well as forward. Don’t just walk away from a project, especially if it’s gone badly (or at least, not as planned). Review your decisions, look at where your expectations differed from reality and try to work out why: you might need to make some personal changes if your preconceptions are causing to allocate resources wastefully, or you might need to change your data gathering and analysis techniques to better your ability to predict how your choices will turn out and make sure you’re making the right ones.

Buying Part of a Business: Is it Worth It?

When seeking to continue to build your financial portfolio, adding investments is one idea that many choose to pursue. One way that such investments are typically made is by buying part of a business. Buying into an existing business means that you become one of the main stakeholders, owning a portion of the business itself. While this is something that is done frequently, quite often are new business owners not aware of the many factors that are related to making this significant financial decision.

Benefits

Of course, buying part of a business may sound overwhelming, but there are many factors that make it a beneficial decision.

• Established company client base. One of the benefits of owning part of a business that is established is the fact the client base is already set. While a new business has to attract customers and build a group of returning clients, one that is already functioning will have this taken care of. This will allow the business owners to focus more on customer service and maintaining client retention and increasing the number of clients.

• Ease of expansion. If you happen to buy part of a business that is looking to expand, it will be much easier to do with a company that has already made a name for itself and gets good feedback from its clients. It’s also easier to get an unsecured small business loan for expansion when the company has a proven track record of sales.

• Focus on business improvements. You may like challenges and, thus, purchase part of a business that may need to make a few changes to improve. Luckily, the company has a plan of operation in place so that you can focus on how to improve it for the company’s overall success.

• Current owner knowledge. One of the best factors of buying part of a business is that the current owners will be very familiar with the company and can show you what has and hasn’t worked for business operations thus far. You, equipped with this knowledge, can then come up with innovative ideas to benefit the business.

Risks

As there are many pros to buying part of an existing business, there are just as many risks of shared ownership of a company. It is best to keep these factors in mind as you make your decision.

• Current owner practices. It would be an absolute nightmare to purchase part of a business where the owners mismanaged funds. Upon learning more about a business you may want to purchase part of, be sure to research all financial records.

• Bad reputation. A good use of customer feedback is to learn how the company fares amongst past clients. A company with a bad reputation will likely struggle with being successful.

• High turnover. In addition to clients being indicative of a company’s progress, the employees can serve the same purpose. If there have been numerous employees during the business’ lifespan, especially due to multiple resignations, this would be something to keep in mind as a problem area when taking the company on.

• Differences between owners. If the current owners are not open to change or new ideas, you could possibly run into difficulties with trying to take the company to the next level in terms of expansion, increasing profits, or employee and client satisfaction.

The choice to buy part of a company should only be made after carefully considering all factors, good and bad, that are involved. It can also be helpful to seek the help of a business adviser who can answer your questions and give guidance as you take this big step.

Ways to Save

When it comes to our personal finances, it’s safe to say we’ve all done our fair share of worrying. With bills to pay and mouths to feed, it can seem like saving any of your money is a pipe dream. An impossibility. And, yet, we must. We have the unenviable task of doing the impossible. Or, at least, that’s how it seems. In truth, savings money can be easier than you think. With a healthy does of will power and the right know how, you can secure your financial future. Here are some tips to get you started.

First and Foremost, let’s talk where and when to spend your hard earned money. For starters, consider eliminated or reducing luxury spending. For example, you don’t really need that new video game, so it can wait until it’s one sale, or until you’re in a better financial position. Meanwhile, we all need things like Winter coats and shoes, so these are items worth spending money on. In fact, it might even be worth spending a little extra on these items to ensure quality. After all, you don’t want to end up spending even more from having to replace these items frequently. However, even in this situation, there’s room to save. Here’s a Mackage coupon to help you find a good quality coat and save. Which brings me to my next point…

Coupons and sales are another great way to save. Retailers employ these cost cutting measures frequently in order to entice customers new and old and generally drum up some extra business. That’s why an eagle eyed shopper stands to be able to take home most, if not all, of their shopping at a heavily reduced price. You may have to do your shopping piecemeal in order to maximize savings, but it’s well worth it to save that much money. You’ll also have to remain diligent in order to find thee special offers, so keep your eyes peeled like a jaguar ready to pounce on its unsuspecting prey.

Mistakes to Avoid When Investing

If you’re new to investing, there’s probably quite a bit you still don’t know. While experience is the best teacher, you may be able to avoid some common mistakes by following the advise of professional advisors. Looking at some of the worst mistakes new investors can make may help you avoid these common pitfalls.

Disregarding Inflation

In whatever medium you choose to invest, it’s important to account for the inevitable cost of inflation. Your gains over several years should reflect a profit, even after considering the rise in the cost of living, since you invested the initial funds. For instance, you may invest $100,000 in bonds with a 30 year term limit, yielding a net interest of 4%, which you reinvest in more bonds at the same rate. If inflation also rises by 4%, the $311,865 you have made isn’t any better than what you might have normally saved and that money was tied up in the bonds for those thirty years.

Depending on Margins

Another big mistake new investors make is to essentially use margins as free money to finance their investments. If the investments don’t pan out, the investor is left with the debt of the margin with nothing to show for it. This isn’t much different than financing your investment with a credit card or with car title loans in Orlando. Unless you’re confident in your financial savvy, it’s better to avoid margin investments as much as possible.

Basing Investments on Rumor

Many new investors will throw their funds in on a new business or an established business with a new product just because they have heard people raving about the product. Even in cases where the product sells as well or better than expected, that doesn’t necessarily mean the stock price will see similar gains. Similarly, investment professionals recommending specific stocks on television or the internet is most often just one person’s opinion and you should have more factual information, before risking your funds on that stock. Every investor should do his or her own research.

Diversifying with the Same Risks

Everyone has heard of the importance of diversifying, but this is more than merely putting your eggs in different baskets. If all of your investments share the same levels of risk, you’re defeating the purpose of diversifying. Instead, look for investments with better risk profiles. This may mean investing in precious metals, as well as stocks, or buying bonds to add to your portfolio.

Invest, Don’t Gamble

Investing should be viewed as a long-term commitment and one for which you develop a sound plan to maximize your earnings over several years. If you’re trying to buy individual stocks on the premise that you expect a big return on one or two, you might be better off taking your money to the casino. Investing isn’t the same as gambling and even past stock performances can’t indicate a sudden increase that will lead to a personal windfall. Instead, research your investments and consider consulting a professional advisor to help you develop a promising investment strategy.

Investing can help you save for the future and ensure financial security, but only when approached with a good strategy and the patience required for a long-term plan. By taking the time to learn about your investments ahead of time, you can avoid making mistakes that could cost you your funds. If you’re uncertain or confused about investing principles, you may want to enroll in an investing course or consult a professional advisor, before putting your savings at risk unnecessarily.

Tax Efficiency Currency Spread Betting

When you start any sideline or freelance business, one of the most important issues to deal with is handling your income and paying your taxes. The differences are varied from country to country in how to pay your taxes and what income is even subject to being taxed. It pays to educate yourself about the best ways to shelter what income you can from the taxman, legally, of course. That knowledge and skill set may be the most valuable you acquire as you explore ways to trade online.

Spread betting is indeed free from capital gains tax in the United Kingdom. The trading practice is illegal in the United States, because regulators consider the practice to be as close to gambling as possible. Spread betting got its start in the sports gambling world, but it quickly migrated over to the financial markets, where intrepid speculators can guess on the price change of a particular financial instrument.

Let’s say that you want to speculate that the price of a mining stock index is going to rise from $1000 to $1400 by the close of trading. You can find a spread betting exchange and bet $100 per point that it moves.

When you get involved in spread betting it is important to note that this is a leveraged method of working in the markets. That means that you can only put down a portion of your position into an account in order to take that position on a bet. That could mean that you only risk $50 and make $500 but it could also mean that you risk losing $500 when you bet $50. The losses can exceed the bet.

Not only is spread betting free for cap gains taxes in the UK, you do not have to pay stamp duty or commotions on your winnings. That makes the idea of spread betting tantalizing. You can bank more of your profits from the practice than you could trading on other types of financial instruments. If you are in any way proficient at spread betting, you can benefit from the tax break and make a killing compared to other forms of financial investing.

It pays to understand how exactly spread betting works as well. The bid is what an investor or traders might offer to buy a security and the ask is what the market maker or broker is setting as the price. The difference between those two prices is the spread. Supply and demand. It harkens back to freshman year economics. When investors are super interested in a stock or product, the spread gets tighter and tighter. With computers algorithms getting better and better at matching buyers and sellers the spread is moving constantly. Being able to predict the movement can be a very lucrative skill to have.

While risk management in regular trading is such an important and complex topic, the same is true for spread betting. You want to be sure that you know how much money you have out there at any one time, so you can keep track of your orders and bets. Taking control of your risk profile is vital.

Day traders tend to be very good at predicting the movement of spreads, because they spend all day staring at screens and trying to determine where the bid tick is going. Watching it day after day can give an intuitive feeling to traders and investors that are always paying attention to the markets. So getting into spread betting can be an effective way to diversify your income stream, with the added benefit of avoiding capital gains taxes. Spread betters in the United Kingdom can be sitting pretty, if they are good at the game.

The Art of Making Profits from Penny Stocks

While day trading and making money from penny stocks is highly technical, it is also something of an art. There are nuances and things to learn from hours, days and months of screen time, watching monitors for the consistencies and inconsistencies that are inherent in the market. You need to spend that time to understand them and be able to spot them. That is how you become profitable.

When you think about trading penny stocks you need to look out for pump and dump schemes. These happen when a particular person or entity buy a large amount of shares of the stock and then use methods to pump up the value of the stock with inaccurate information. Many times they use fake websites, segments on friendly investor-centric television shows and online message boards. These stock manipulators then sell their stake in the company and make a profit. That is where traditional investors that are employing a buy and hold strategy, can really take a hit.

Day traders have an inherent advantage when it comes to penny stocks, because they are not looking for the long-term hold. They are searching for volatility throughout a day or two. The instance of seeing a stock’s price start to go up wildly during a Wednesday morning should quicken your pace, if you are a true day trading protege. That belies an opportunity. The true pros see that Wednesday spike before it happens and get all their money into that stock, ready to sell at the precise moment, when there are others looking to buy and get in on the action.

The stocks on a national exchange, such as the NYSE or the NASDAQ, by definition, are not penny stocks. The stringent reporting that is required from such stocks mean that the SEC is not going to designate companies on those exchanges as penny stocks. And if the share prices drop low enough, the gatekeepers at the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ will drop those companies right quick.

For day trading purposes, you can consider any stocks that are prices between $2-$10 as penny stocks. That is where you can make some real money, if you are careful about what opportunities you jump on and which ones you leave by the wayside. The skill required to discern and act on these opportunities is greater than you can imagine. It takes years of penny stocks on the brain to be able to safely trade these stocks.

Day trading is a discipline that requires hardcore study before you can really get good at it. Spotting the trends and being able to properly assess the risk and understand it all is a set of skills that take many years to develop.

That is why finding a day trading education site that you like and trust is so important. You need to be able to find a set of instructors that can express these techniques in accessible terms, while also finding a chat room community that can help you grasp the day-to-day nuances of the racket. Happy trading!

Get the Best Mattress for Your Money

Some of the investments that we make are fairly straightforward. We will expect that we should buy our own place to live, and potentially a car as well. Making smart investments can pave the way for our futures. However, there are a lot of small investments that we can make in our everyday lives as well. For instance, have you ever considered your mattress to be an investment? Because it is! It is an investment in your physical and mental health. Having the right mattress is a good first step towards making improvements in your life. It can be tricky to find the best mattress for your money, so hopefully this article will enlighten you!

Analyze Your Needs

The type of mattress that would best suit your needs depends entirely on you. If you have a stiff and sore back, you will require a different mattress than if you wanted a plushier one. If you have chronic back pain, it is recommended that you speak to a doctor first about what you require. A firm, good quality mattress will probably be your best bet to alleviate your back pain. Memory foam is nice because it shapes itself around your body. This will give you the optimal back support that you require. If you do not have a chronic illness, it is likely that you will not need to spend top dollar on the most expensive mattress that you find. However, it is still a good idea to invest a fair amount of money in a nice mattress for yourself. After all, you will be spending much of your life sleeping, so why shouldn’t you have a great place to do it? Some people have even different needs, and they are looking for something that their guests can use. Futon mattresses are nice because they can easily be tucked out of the way in a guest bedroom.

Do Not Spend Full Price

Mattresses can be found from a multitude of suppliers, all who want you to buy their product over their competitor’s. This means that these suppliers will be offering coupons and/or deals for their mattresses fairly frequently. Keep an eye out for these deals, because they will save you a significant amount of money. If you spend less money on a good mattress that will last many years, you are making a wise investment. Laura Ashley 30% Off discounts here which would help you ensure and find ultimate comfortable mattress at economical prices. This is particularly good for those on a budget as it’s a really easy way to make a room feel really different without having to spend a lot of money.

Another good time to invest in a mattress would be days like Black Friday or Boxing Day. These are the times when merchandise in stores is on sale the most. However, there is likely to be a great deal of people who have the same idea as you. This is why it is important to do your research beforehand, so that you know exactly what it is that you came into the store for.

Pay Attention to the Fine Print

Warranties on a mattress can be helpful if you know exactly how they can be applied. Sometimes however, people are tricked by the wording on warranties. Certain models of mattresses cannot be returned to the store if a mattress protector was not used on them. As well, if you did not use a box spring under the mattress, this is another means of dismissing the warranty. A manufacturer’s defect, such as a broken spring or bad foam, can occur in any mattress. A warranty typically covers a manufacturer’s defect for a certain period of time. Overall, it is a good idea to get a warranty for your mattress, because it is protecting the investment that you worked towards.

Take Advantage of Trials

Most mattress manufacturers, good ones anyway, will offer a sleep trial. This usually comes in the form of 30 days or 100 nights, for example, and allows the buyer to take the bed home and test it out. Remember, a bed that’s perfect for one person may not be the best for you. These sleep trials let you figure out if your new purchase is the best one and if it’s not, it allows you to return the bed for a full refund. So be sure to keep an eye out when shopping around.

Conclusion

Although you may not have thought about it, furnishing your home can involve making some pretty major decisions about investments. Good quality products come at a price, and some people are not inclined to pay it. Investing in a good mattress will provide you with a higher quality of sleep and an overall better feeling as you go through your day, without breaking your budget. When deciding to buy a new mattress it is important to analyze your exact needs, watch out for deals, and get a warranty. If you follow these tips you will be making a wise investment in your mattress, and therefore in your life.

Investing in Household Improvements

It is likely that buying a house will be one of the biggest investments that you will make in your lifetime. This means that you should work towards protecting your investment. To ensure that  the value of your house goes up, you should be investing in household improvements. Keeping everything maintained and repaired will prevent your home from deteriorating over the years. Knowing which aspects of your home should receive the most attention is tricky. Allocating your time and resources to your home is a balancing act, and therefore you should focus on a few points in particular.

Replace the Roof

Having a leaky roof can be disastrous to your home. Rain can seep in and flood the house, ruining all of your possessions. Replacing your roof can be a big decision, but it will definitely pay off for you in the end! Having a new roof can drastically improve the overall look and function of your house. If you are planning on selling your house, a new roof can increase the value. A new roof is a selling point to buyers who usually seek the advice of an inspector before they purchase the house.

Landscaping

The backyard of a home can sometimes be overlooked, so do not make this mistake yourself! Backyards can bring a lot of value into your home. They can also add enjoyment to your lives, because you can spend a great deal of family time there. Taking the time to add grass and plants can improve the look of the whole property. To assist you on your landscaping journey, you can look into some good quality equipment. For example, you can browse through some of the best rated wheelbarrows and pick one out. If you are really feeling adventurous, you could try adding something bigger to your yard, such as a pool.

Kitchen Remodels

The kitchen is a room that will add the most value to your home if it is redone. The kitchen is an area that will get very high amounts of traffic throughout the day, with people coming in and out. This is why you should focus your efforts on making the kitchen look newer and updated. The finishes do not need to be high-end, but they should look functional and nice. You could update the countertop and use a higher-grade material. Repainting the cabinets can go a long way towards the overall appearance of the kitchen. Replacing the fixtures is another quick way to give your kitchen a makeover. It is the little things that potential buyers will look for and will spend more money on.

Bathroom Remodels

Bathrooms are the other major rooms that you should focus on redoing. They will bring in a lot of value with a few changes. The most important investment you can make in a bathroom is to make sure that it is functional. If you have a bathroom that is leaking or shows signs of water damage, this won’t be bringing up its value. Fix up all the possible areas that are not working. Then you can start to work on the cosmetic changes. Changing the countertop and sink is a good way to increase the value. If the bathroom is very obviously dated, it may be a good idea to bring it up to a modern style. This will make you love the new facelift, and you will not be forced to use a decrepit, unstylish bathroom.

The Small Things

If any of the reno ideas we’ve listed are not within your budget, but you still want to invest in updating your home, then consider doing various small projects. Repainting all the walls inside can really spruce up your home and give it new life. It’s also really affordable. Another great idea is to replace all the hardware like door knobs, cabinet handles, and faucets. For the exterior, try your hand at resurfacing your deck and stairs. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make.

Conclusion

If you are investing in your home, you are taking bold steps in the right direction. Houses are big responsibilities, but they will give you back everything you spent on them and more if you do it correctly. Maintaining and updating your house is important if you want to increase it’s value. This might be for your own benefit, or it might be because you are thinking about selling it. Either way, your house will shine with your efforts, and the value will be raised. Living in a house you worked hard for and love will be a great thing for you and your family! Remember that small changes can go a long way if you are not ready to renovate the whole place. Later on, when you have more saved up, you can go back and tackle the projects that you did not get to before.

A Comprehensive Cars.com Review

Many of us have read about Cars.com online or in the latest issue of USA Today. They’ve been endorsed by national news outlets and are most often associated with the online sale, trade and purchase of a new or used car. What some people might not know are the actual benefits of using their website. The benefits are actually pretty amazing, and might be more of what you are bargaining for when it comes to buying and maintaining your car.

Benefit 1: Research Car Models

So many times people go into a car dealership and get charged extortionate sticker prices, because they simply don’t know what a car is worth. Cars.com is a great place to know exactly what you are getting, the true value of the car, and just what you should be paying for your new or used car. With an easy comparison on cars.com, you can look at just about every make and model you might like to buy. All while comparing payments and learning just how much you should put down in order to finance your next car. You can also review a dealer, review a car, and read others reviews for honest comparisons by consumers just like you.

Benefit 2: The American-Made Index

Cars.com has come out a rating system, with something so many people look for in a car, a rating system that tells the consumer just how American their car really is. If you want to know what it takes to call a car American, look no further. In 2017, “Cars.com has revamped its longstanding American-Made Index for the first time. Over the AMI’s 11-year history, the number of models meeting our original criteria has fallen due to the globalization of automobile manufacturing — from more than 60 vehicles in the AMI’s inaugural year to eight last year. By the original requirements, only three 2017 models would have qualified this year.” If you’re looking to buy American made cars with American made parts, www.cars.com is the place to look for your next vehicle. Quite often buyers want to know if their engine was completely sourced in the U.S. Or they really want to know that an American vehicle was manufactured by an American car company. You can find all of that out and more in The American-Made Index.

Benefit 3: Service & Repair Options

Cars.com doesn’t just help you buy, sell and trade cars. They don’t just tell you which cars are American made and which hybrids offer more value for money when bought new. Cars.com actually offers you even more with their service and repair options. Not only can you get a service estimate and find a service center, you can also read some great advice on car service and repairs. Cars.com offers expert service advice on maintenance, brakes, coolant systems, drive trains and transmissions, electrics, engines, and so much more. Whether you are trying to figure out what is wrong with your car, or how to fix something yourself, their comprehensive advice is well worth the read. You can also read up on the latest safety recalls and notices, so you are on the up and up when it comes to keeping you safe on the open road.

Cars are an essential part of some people’s daily lives. They get you too and from work, take your kids to practice and summer camp, get some people to and from school, and often are the centerpiece of summer road trips and family vacations. That’s why it’s important to really be knowledgeable on cars and Cars.com can keep you in the know.

Healthy Costco Foods

Last week Costco announced that they were going to be raising their membership fees.  The fee hike was relatively small, only 9%.  Executive members will now pay a $120 a year fee, while Gold Star members will now pay $60 a year.  Despite the minimal increase in a customer’s yearly fee, a shopper can still rake in many savings at the retail giant.  Costco shoppers go to the warehouse to buy items in bulk.  It is great for large families, but I even know of individuals with memberships that see the many benefits of shopping there.  While savings can abound at Costco, buying quality, healthy products can provide a big benefit.  There is a huge health benefit of buying healthy Costco foods that extends far beyond your budget and to one’s longevity.

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Healthy Costco Foods

Buying healthy Costco foods in bulk can help stretch your grocery budget for a given month.  For example, I try to set aside $350 per month to spend on food.  This includes eating out as well as purchases from Costco and other grocery stores.  A family of four might have a monthly food expenditure of around $1000.  The great part about buying food in bulk is that often times you can get a better price than buying the same item individually.  Many who purchase items in bulk at Costco tend to go ahead and plan for long shelf lives for these items.  For example, toilet paper and condiments are a few items where you can experience savings by buying in bulk.  Additionally, these items along with others can be stored in a pantry for many years down the road.  Shopping for lean healthy meats at Costco can provide a huge savings to a family of four as well.  Purchasing healthy Costco foods such as lean chicken breasts in bulk can provide healthy nutrition and savings.  By purchasing many pounds of lean chicken at once, you can slice and divide the breasts to your liking, put them in plastic Ziploc bags, and simply freeze them until a later date.  Even when shopping at grocery stores, one of the tricks I do is purchase items when they are on sale.  One week, chicken might be on sale for $1.99/lb while the next week it is $2.99/lb.  Organizing purchases so you take advantage of them during sales is the best way to optimize your monthly grocery budget.

Costco has a good reputation among shoppers. This is partly because of the quality of their products, but it is also due to their excellent customer service and robust returns policy.  So, if you’re shopping for organic food at Costco, there isn’t a lot of downside – the chances are good they’ll accept the product back if you want to return it.

While I’m raving about Costco they also have good prices on tires and are open on most major holidays, so you can get your car serviced while you’re picking up your groceries.

Buying healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive, and buying healthy Costco foods doesn’t have to cost a lot either.  When shopping for groceries, the keys are to buy in bulk when available and to also buy during sale prices for an item.  Finally, by planning your purchases ahead of time by making a list, you can avoid unneeded items.  Eating healthy and sticking to your budget doesn’t have to be hard.

Is Costco open on Easter? Click here to find out.