7 Main Reasons Why Rental Properties Are the Best Investment

Although investment options is the term usually associated with the business circles,the truth is that this genie has long since left the bottle and ventured among the laymen. Recent economic crises have taught the older workforce that guaranteed jobs no longer exist, while the Millennial generation has developed a growing obsession with retiring as early as possible. A solution to both these problems lies in using the earned money to establish other ongoing sources of wealth. Here are seven reasons why rental properties should be your number one option.

You can purchase properties using leverage

In other words,even if you’re not able the pay the upfront price of the investment, you can secure the missing funds by borrowing the money from the bank, which is not the case with other popular investing options such as stocks. Of course, this means spending some time using returns to repay the debt, but time is your ally here. Because of the inflation,the price of the properties is constantly on the rise. Even if you are not making new investments, at some point, you will be able to raise the rent.

You are investing in a tangible asset

Investing in a business leaves you with a risk of ending up with nothing if the business fails. Properties are much different. Sure, you may face occasional value drops, but there’s no real way properties can fail because no matter what happens you still own a valuable asset you can later resell. This tangible, real-life value makes rental properties a very forgiving first-time investment for all newcomers that have yet to sharpen their business teeth.

You have direct control over your investment

Another thing that should be interesting to less experienced investors is that, as opposed to stocks and various trusts, properties give you full control over the fate of your investment. Here, finding a hot property is the hardest part of the job,and people who don’t have years of experience in the market should probably ask for the professional property investment advice.But, once the papers are finally signed and keys are passed to new owners,managing the assets is considerably easier.

A place to live is a basic necessity

Ever since the dawn of mankind, people always needed a place to live. And the number of living people is constantly on the rise. These two facts make properties more worthwhile than even the most lingering industries in the history. Tech trends are rising and falling, and even the fossil fuels are slowly going out of business. On the other, the number of people who will need affordable housing until they have enough funds to buy their own properties is only going to grow as the time goes by.

You are using a proven business model

Investing in rental properties is a business practice used by countless generations before us. There’s been more than enough time for us to discover all the possible dangers and learn how to avoid them. Today, the job of an average landlord is pretty simple and straightforward. The rules are already laid, and all the contracts are already written. Because of this strong foundation, new investors have a much easier job making their rental fortunes.

An opportunity for diverse investments

Unlike some other industries where finding an access point is very hard and buying a way in impossible for people with shallow pockets, the rental market is much more accessible and has to offer something for everyone ranging from small landlords to real estate barons. Single-family houses, multi-family properties, high end and low-end apartments, office buildings and office spaces… the list goes on and on, and even the lower tiers of the market are stacked with investment options with potential for great returns.

Freedom to establish other income sources

Finally, rental properties require very little actual maintenance, or any work whatsoever. As a matter of fact, aside from major remodeling that comes every couple of years, landlord’s monthly routine can be performed in a matter of hours, leaving you with more than enough time to commit yourself to a full-time job or another more time-consuming investments.This makes rental properties a perfect option for people looking for an early retirement.

As we can see, buying a rental property is very affordable,forgiving and accessible way for people to make their first investments. More adventures businessmen will probably be turned off by the fact that rental fees produce very stable, but also very slow returns, so this is definitely not the place for the sharks looking for overnight fortunes. But, for all those who seek safety rather than high turnarounds and need more free time to branch out to other fields, the rental market is more than worth checking out. 

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement and business blogger from Sydney.He is a regular writer at SmoothDecorator and contributor on several interior design, real estate and eco-friendly blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

Defending Your Reputation When The Knives Come Out For You

When you own a business of your very own, your reputation is everything. It’s what makes your clientele choose you over your nearest competitor. It’s what engenders a sense of trust in the brand you have created and in you; the guiding hand behind it. Thus, when the knives come out for you and others seek to besmirch your good name it can have disastrous consequences for your brand and your business. You must defend your good name with every ounce of might you can muster. This is a battle on several fronts. You must not only be reactive and deal with threats to your reputation as and when they appear, you must also lay a firm foundation to limit your liability and protect your reputation from damage. Here are just a few of the measures you can take…

Hire a lawyer with a sterling reputation

No matter the size of your operation, it behoves you to find a sterling legal team. If someone accuses you or your business of malpractice, the outcome in court is more than likely to spill over into the court of public opinion (which can be notoriously unforgiving). A good legal team will mount an aggressive defense on your behalf and ensure that the truth comes to light. See Brian Zeiger for more information. Of course, prevention is always the best cure, which brings us to…

Make sure that you have the right insurance

If you have a physical place of business, it goes without saying that you need some form of public liability insurance to protect you if a customer or client injures themselves on your business.However, businesses are increasingly investing in reputation insurance to insulate you against a wide range of risks to your reputation and to help employ potent damage control measures. While entrepreneurs can be gun shy when it comes to the prospect of more overhead costs, the right insurance is absolutely essential in protecting your operation and your reputation.

Deal quickly and decisively with social media complaints

Every customer service policy should have a comprehensive and effective customer complaints policy at its core. However, in the social media age, people are much more likely to air their grievances in the public forum of social media than submit an official complaint.

The longer a complaint is left undealt with on social media, the more potential damage it can cause to your reputation. It’sup to you to deal with these types of complaint quickly and decisively. Set up a Google alert to help you to respond quickly. Address the complaint publicly. Be sure to apologize and demonstrate your willingness to make amends.

Know the needs of your target market

While you may enjoy the regular custom of your target demographic now, make no mistake, they will turn on you if they feel that their needs are being neglected. Lose focus and you may find yourself the focus of negative buzz which will almost certainly result in a loss of sales.

Take the steps to guard your reputation and you will not be pushed off the path to prosperity.

Things to Consider Before Relocating Your Company

Moving is always hard, whether you have to relocate your home or your business, and there are so many factors you need to take into consideration. If you don’t do it right, you might face potential less when it comes to your customers, business partners or even your employees. However, there’s a way to avoid all of that,make the move smooth and continue working the same day you finish the move. In order to achieve that, you need to be organized and prepare everything in advance. That will help you spend as little time possible on the actual move and help you focus on what’s truly important – doing your job.

Do Market Research

In order to find the perfect space for your new office, you’ll have to do a thorough market research and discover the best areas. That means you have to see where the biggest companies are settled at the moment and find your spot there. Also, try to get closer to the companies you work with, because that will make organizing your meetings much easier.

On the other hand, you can move to a neighborhood where there’s no company like yours, and thus became a true leader. This will give you an opportunity to establish a new market and make your own rules, which is something many businesses are good at. You can be a leader if you research all of your options and offer something new to the clients in the area you choose.

Location Matters

The word “location” has different meanings for different businesses location, but they all have one thing in common – staying close to their clients. If your office is far from your clients, they might realize that they don’t like the commute and could eventually stop doing business with you after a while.

This will also prevent you from getting new clients –you may have the best office in the world, but if it’s far from your potential clients, they won’t have time for meeting with you. Think about the location of your competitors and try to find a space somewhere close. That will allow you to be in the center of the happenings, and bring you closer to new business opportunities.

Organize your new office

Before you start moving all your belongings, think about preparing the space and making it ready. Start by painting one wall at the time and making them look more appealing, but be sure to pick the color that’s going to suit everyone. Fix everything before you bring in the furniture because it’s always easier to work with empty space, and you’ll be able to see what needs to be fixed.

Apart from that,find a company that will help you set up an electricity connection and make everything work before you move into your new office. This is crucial because you’ll have to power all your equipment from day one, so make sure you organize this in advance.

Cost issues

Find a real estate agent who works with office spaces, can negotiate a good deal for you and make sure you get the best space on the market. Although this sounds like an expense you don’t need, think of it as an investment in the future of your company because you don’t want to move again after a while just because it turns out that the new space isn’t working for you.

When it comes to your employees, they will have to balance doing their jobs and helping you with the move. You’ll have to give them bonuses, because this is definitely not what they’ve initially signed for, so make it worth their while.

Find a Moving Company

No matter how small your business is, you won’t be able to move everything on your own. With all the computers, chairs, desks and other furniture, it’s always better to leave it to professionals instead of trying to do it on your own.By doing this, you’ll avoid accidents that could damage your sensitive equipment and thus ruin your moving budget.

Organize everything and ask your moving company to pack your entire office and label all the boxes just to make the unpacking process easier. That will allow you to let your employees unpack their personal belongings on their own, and this will fasten the entire process.

Although the moving process can be stressful and exhausting, you can organize everything in advance and it easier. Include your employees but show them that you appreciate their help and they’ll be happy to help you. Think about all the steps you need to take after the relocation and don’t waste your time in the new office. By continuing where you’ve left things off in your previous office, you’ll be able to get back on the right track and immediately start making new deals.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

A Question Of Trust: Putting Our Faith In Remote Workers

When we’re trying to conserve our business’ productivity, its integrity, not to mention its finances, the modern approach that so many companies look to is the remote working setup. Naturally, it’s a big draw, not just because it’s a way to cut those financial corners, but it’s a way we can hire so many people, and actually, make the most of the limited finances we have. But, with remote working comes a lot of questions, not just in terms of the technicalities, but also, when you’re hiring remote workers or freelancers, this question of trust can arise. Are remote workers to be trusted? And how can we get around this issue?

The Handling Of Sensitive Data

The one basic way we can get around this is to have contracts. Even a freelancer contract carries a legal cache, and it’s the best way for us to cover our bases. Unfortunately, the difficulty of ensuring remote workers and freelancers handle data effectively is all about consistent communication. While there are some technological ways for you to keep on top of this, hiring a virtual server hosting company to do the monitoring, or hiring a dedicated team to monitor the computer components will ensure that you are keeping some sort of watchful eye on your remote employees.

Improving Your Communication With Them

As we can struggle with the idea of control when we have remote workers or freelancers, it’s important to differentiate between the two terms. Remote workers can be hired on a permanent contract, but freelancers are not. So, if you are concerned that the two aren’t mutually exclusive, you have to think about what you want from your employees. In addition to this, if you want freelancers to feel part of the team, you have to make them feel just that. The big anxiety that we can have when it comes to trusting remote workers is that they can leave us in the lurch when there is a deadline looming, and while we don’t want to be let down, if we don’t give them any sort of incentive to keep working for us, such as by minimal communication, then part of us shouldn’t be surprised when they do inevitably jump ship. Improving your communication isn’t about messaging them every 20 minutes or so, it’s giving them that room to breathe but showing them that you have faith in their abilities to complete the task. This is a hard thing for us to come to terms with, especially when we’re trying to keep numerous plates spinning, as well as get to know the new members of the team.

Don’t forget, it’s important that remote workers feel part of the team, even though they are working from home. Remote workers, from a stereotypical perspective, can take liberties, and not do what is asked of them, but if we are to trust remote workers, then we have to have some semblance of honesty in how we communicate. We can trust remote workers, and we should, but maybe it’s more about the fact that we have to come to terms with changing our own managerial styles.

Losing Focus? How to Identify Your Marketing Audience

Effective marketing is essential to getting your business the exposure it needs to bring in new customers, and to retain old ones. Without careful planning and execution, not only will you fail to increase your business’s exposure, you will also be wasting money on ineffective solutions. One of the greatest pitfalls of marketing is catering to the wrong audience. A skateboarding equipment brand may find sales dropping if their marketing solutions are geared toward the elderly, whereas an in-home care service may find a disinterested audience in younger generations. Your target audience will determine if you should be marketing through newspapers, television ads, YouTube and social media, billboards, and so forth. The following are some tips to help you better identify your audience so that you can focus your solutions into only the most effective campaigns.

Surveys

Putting out a survey can help you gather important demographic information about the types of consumers visiting your website and the kind of products they are interested in buying. Knowing who is already following your product and service will help you better cater to them as well as reach out to more within their demographics. Surveys like these can also help you measure how satisfied your current customers are with your products, and if you need to make changes to better suite their needs and interests. Many television producers, for example, are often surprised to find that the demographic they are marketing toward is very different from the one that is actually watching their content, often resulting in changing the content to better satisfy their majority fan demographics.

Read Visitor Reviews and Comments

Your website should contain areas for product reviews and user comments. While surveys give valuable feedback to you, potential customers are also interested in knowing what works for what demographics. Reviews and comments work both to give your customers an open-ended medium to convey their experience with your company, and to give you insight into what your customers think that interested parties should know before purchasing your products and services. Once you understand the typical customer experience with your company, you can better convey that in your marketing campaigns to paint a satisfyingly accurate preview to future customers.

Customer Profiling

One way to gain significant insight into the audience you are reaching is to do background research on the customers you have. What else are they interested in? What other companies are they looking at within your industry? How is your product or service being used? What other companies are taking an interest in your products and services? This can be difficult to determine when companies and consumers are answering surveys and leaving comments with ambiguous internet personas. Name matching services are available online to help you identify the individuals behind acronyms, usernames, and even foreign characters. It is much easier to build a clear picture of your current demographics when you know who is interacting with your company, and a little research can help you find everything you need to crack the mystery caused by online pseudonyms.

Run a Market Analysis

While marketing to your current customer demographics is very important, it’s also important to seek to expand your audience if you want to bring in greater sales opportunities. Finding new audiences to reach can be difficult, however, because some audiences will be receptive to the sort of thing you provide, while others will be entirely disinterested. Once again, a skateboarding equipment brand won’t find much luck trying to market towards an elderly demographic, but they might be able to reach a greater audience by targeting teens, children, and based on current YouTube trends, even pets. While common sense plays a large part in deciding on a new target demographic, you can also gain great insight by doing a market analysis. Look around and see what audiences are being targeted by other companies in your industry, and see how effective or ineffective their methods of reaching them are. Following current market trends will help you keep your marketing campaigns relevant and on top of the industry, and allows for greater opportunities to expand your customer base.

You cannot have an effective marketing campaign if you don’t know your intended audience. Knowing what demographics you are already reaching, as well as what audiences you could be reaching based on current market trends, will allow you to make educated decisions for your marketing solutions. Don’t let your promotional content fall on deaf ears. Find your audience, find out how to reach them, and maintain awareness to continue to meet the needs of your customers.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

How to Organize Your Small Business Finances

Having a brilliant business idea and developing a killer product is not enough for you to succeed. Research shows that financial problems are one of the major reasons small businesses fail. To keep your business afloat, you need to take your money management seriously, reduce operational costs and generate more cash flow and have a solid budget plan to back you up.

Here are a few vital steps to take.

Never Mix your Business’ Expenses with Personal Ones

One of the most common misconceptions among inexperienced business owners is that using the same bank account for their personal and business’ costs will save them time and hassle. There is a long list of reasons why you should separate your personal and business finances.

First off, using your personal accounts may make your business look unprofessional and hurt your brand image. Your target customers want to work with a legitimate business and not the individuals behind t.

Second, managing your private and professional finances simultaneously is tedious. It would take your bookkeeper hours to separate your personal expenditures from your business’ ones and pay taxes on time.

Finally, it would be difficult to take out a bank loan or apply for a government grant for your business when the need arises.

These are just some of the numerous examples why you should separate your expenses strictly. Don’t use your personal funds for your company’s purposes and vice versa and you’re golden.

Secure Funds on Time

If bootstrapping was enough for you to get off the ground,that is great. Unfortunately, it’s usually not enough to maintain a spotless financial health. Namely, your business is constantly growing and, with them,your expenses will be bigger, too. Your priority should be to estimate these costs and secure the right funding options on time.

For example, one of the most common options small business owners choose is taking out a bank loan. Yes, it’s safe, but it’s far from being perfect. First, you will probably have to wait for weeks before your application gets approved. Then, there are huge monthly interest rates which will hurt your small business’ bottom line. Not to mention that it takes at least 10 years to pay off a larger business loan. There is a wide range of simpler, alternative funding options you should consider, such as crowdfunding, finding an investor, teaming up with another entrepreneur in your niche, or even applying for government grants.

Build a Solid Billing Plan

Billing is one of the most significant business operations. Precisely because of that, you need to take it seriously and have a solid billing strategy. Your main goal is to get your customers to pay you regularly and, at the same time, maintain strong relationships with them. Here is what you need to do:

  • Create a clear payment policy that ensures that your visions align with the ones of your clients. This is where you should state when you want to be paid, what payment methods you accept, how you will deal with canceled projects, or what the fees will be for late payments.
  • Ensure your invoices are always sent out on time. Otherwise, your clients may get the impression that you don’t care about punctuality and deadlines.
  • Inform your customers of any late or failed payments.
  • Automate your rebilling strategy. The billing processes mentioned above require investing lots of time and effort. Luckily, you can invest in direct debit services and automate your payment processing and management. No matter if your customer has forgotten to pay you or their transaction failed for some reason, the app will inform them of the problem and help them solve it automatically. Additionally, you will be able to track your cash flow and invoices on one platform, in real time.
  • Reward your customers for making payments ahead of time by offering great discounts, free products, or free shipping.

Learn more about Managing Money

Just because you’re a business owner doesn’t mean you are an accounting wizard. No matter if you’re working with an accountant or using automated software, you need to learn the basics of accounting. Understanding how your business’ cash flow works, you will be able to make wiser money management decisions, predict potential financial challenges and take the immediate steps to prevent them ahead of time. There are numerous online accounting courses for beginners, such as Fundamentals of Accounting, Financing Options for Small Businesses, or Udemy’s Introduction to Small Business Accounting Training Tutorial that will teach you about the different types of accounts, accounting terminology, payroll, and so on.

Pay your Bills on Time

Just like with your personal finances, it’s paramount that you pay your business bills regularly. Loan payment and credit card late fees are massive. The same goes for your utility bills, vendor costs, and taxes that may result in numerous penalties and even serious legal issues. To keep track of your costs and manage them effectively, you should set up monthly reminders or leverage automated bill payments.

Over to You

To survive in this highly competitive business world, you need to manage your money wisely. Do market research regularly to secure funds, learn the basics of accounting, encourage customers to pay you on time, and pay your business’ bills diligently. Above all, you should keep track of the market trends and your business’ performance regularly to predict major cash flow problems and solve them effectively.

How do you manage your small business’ money?

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

5 Reasons to use Managed Payroll Services

Companies nowadays are trying their hardest to streamline their business functions. The question that’s faced by many firms is — whether they should keep performing the jobs at hand in-house, or should they outsource the tasks that do not generate any significant value, or generate revenue for the company.  This gives rise to services that offer to manage the payroll of your firm.

Though HR functions, such as payroll, earlier used to be managed in-house essentially. Nowadays, the story has changed. A greater need for efficient functioning has driven companies to hire a managed service provider to outsource the payroll. These services offer a 100% automated, on time and efficient payroll management. These skilled and experienced experts take care of your end-to-end payroll. So, it’s high time entrepreneurs hire efficient payroll services for small businesses. Dh Payroll is one of the greatest payroll service providers in the UK. It helps small businesses to manage their payrolls efficiently and minimize the errors.

 Benefits that are bestowed upon businesses due to payroll service providers

Efficient payroll services take off the pressure from you. They reassure you that your employees shall get paid their salaries, on time, every time. Most services also provide the additional facility of managing your businesses tax regulations, so that you don’t face any dreaded penalties. These services act as a crucial catalyst in the transformation of your business into something greater, and much more organised. So, let’s see how managed payroll services can help us reap benefits, shall we?

  1. Stay in control: Many owners may feel that outsourcing payroll may lead to a loss in their control over certain things. But when working with a flexible payroll service provider, you don’t have to function with an all-or-nothing strategy. You can simply choose which functions to hand over, and which to continue performing in-house.
  2. Risk-management: Now, we all know payroll and tax regulations are complex matters. With the right partner, you can have access to expertise in such crucial and nuance fields. This is especially beneficial for small businesses, which are anyways short of in-house payroll expertise. You will be provided with efficient, secure, and accurate services which will ensure compliance with regulations. This will protect your company from the risk of payroll theft and fraud.
  3. Greater accuracy: When it comes to crucial matters such as payrolls, you need to get the numbers right till the very last digit. Or else you can get into trouble and let your employees down. With ever changing tax rates, different time sheets, varying benefits and coverage, it can get quite tricky. Hiring such services shall ensure that your payroll is on point, and your staffs are getting paid the correct amount at the correct time.
  4. Cut down costs: Just like every other business, in the rest of the world, you too are aiming to cut down costs so that you can boost up your profits. These services allow you the flexibility to transform your fixed overhead costs into a variable nature. This is really important during a slump, as your business grows or falls, so does the service costs.
  5. Time-saving: When your HR department is not spending such a considerable portion of the time on maintaining the payroll systems, it can work on something even more beneficial for the company. They can focus their time, skill, and energy on other functions that shall increase the efficiency and productivity of the firm. And in turn, it shall help reach your business goals at the lowest possible cost.

So, these are five benefits that you can achieve with the use of hired payroll services. Payroll processing has to be strategically carried out, in order to ensure successful carrying out of business operations. And hiring payroll service providers is one of the strategies that you can put to use.

Author Bio:

Eada Hudes works as a writer for Dh Payroll. She can lend you expert tips on diverse topics ranging from relationship to fashion, making money, health and so on. Her write-ups are a window into her thoughts and knowledge.