Getting Help with Your Finances

Most of us are in debt. We’ve got credit cards, loans, overdrafts, store cards, and car financing plans. Some of us even owe money to our utility providers and landlords. Even those of us that aren’t are cutting it fine. We want to save, we even open savings accounts, but find ourselves struggling to put any money in them. Many of us want to set up businesses and build home offices, but our financial situations won’t allow it.

But, just as many of us are doing nothing about it. We’re getting by paying the minimums back on our debts.We’re letting any savings that we do have just sit there, instead of finding ways to make them grow. We’re living paycheck to paycheck without taking the time to improve things.

This is often because we’re embarrassed. We don’t want to admit that we need help or that we’re in debt. We don’t want to ask for advice on how to save or make our money grow because we are ashamed to admit that we don’t know already or that we’ve been wasting our money up until this point. We are afraid of speaking to an accountant only to find that we’ve been recording our profits incorrectly and our small business accounts are in a mess. We bury our heads in the sand because we are embarrassed and afraid. But,there’s really no need to be. There’s plenty of help out there, and plenty of people that need it. You just have to make that first move. Here’s a look at some of your options.

Visit a Financial Advisor

If you’ve got debts, you might find that their repayments are crippling. That you’ve got very little disposable income each month because paying off your debts is eating it all up. It doesn’t need to be like this, but it’s so hard to see a way out when it’s your money.

A financial advisor can take a look at your situation and help you to find ways to improve it. They’ll look at your income and expenses and recommend consolidation loans or other options that could help. They can even help you to create a budget to manage your money.

Most banks offer a free financial advisor service. But, remember your bank is only likely to recommend their own products. You may have to pay to see an independent advisor, but you could be offered a wider range of options.

Get Help with Investments

Investing your money is a fantastic way to watch it grow. But, it’s complicated and confusing. If you’ve never invested,you might worry that you can’t because you don’t know enough. The good news is,you don’t even need to meet an advisor in person, read another option that’s great for beginners and novice traders.

Hire an Accountant

If you run your own business or work as a freelancer, you might try to manage your own finances to save money. But, it can be all too easy to make costly mistakes. Hiring an accountant can actually save you money. They’ll ensure you are claiming any tax deductibles that you are able, and they’ll make sure you don’t face a hefty fine because you’ve either missed your tax return deadlines or made a mistake in your working out.Read more about deducatbles at

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.

Some Of The Best Ways To Protect Your Business Financially

It’s no great secret that if you want to run a business while and for the long term, you need to make sure that you are protecting it financially as well as you possibly can. Of Course, it can be difficult to do this if you are not sure exactly how, and the truth is that it often takes a prior knowledge, or plenty of research, to ensure that you have a good grasp of what you really need to do. In this article, we are going to take a look at just a few of the things you can do to ensure that you are protecting your business financially as well as you possibly can, and that is something which you should always aim for in the life of any business.


You might well have been aware of the fact that insurance can be helpful for a business, but it is almost certain that you haven’t thought of every kind of insurance which might benefit you and your company. There are a number of different kinds of insurance, in fact, which you can think of trying out, and you will find that the more protected you are in this way, the safer you feel on the whole, so it’s worth looking at. Having insurance for your building, contents and everything else of that sort is vital, but you should also think about insuring against potential future losses too. Having Professional Indemnity Insurance – Qdos Contractor or otherwise – can help you to protect your own finances if you are at the receiving end of a claim in which it is claimed you have caused a customer financial loss. Preparing for these kinds of situations is invaluable, and something that you should be aiming to do as early on as possible.


One of the biggest ways that companies need to pay out is by getting in trouble legally in some manner or another. So in general you will find that it is financially sensible to make sure that you stay out of trouble with the law, and that you don’t do anything which could cause you to have to pay out large amounts. This is easier said than done, and in fact many businesses accidentally get in trouble with the law. But having a legal advisor can be a great way to get around this, as can ensuring that your tax accountant is happy with what you are doing. These preventative measures will ultimately mean that you are much less likely to be in financial trouble in the future, so it’s clearly definitely worth it.




You must know your assets if you are to protect your business financially, as knowing where the actual money lies ensures that you can do something about it when you are in a position of struggling. If you don’t really know your assets, you might want to think about looking into whether or not you can list them, as this will ensure that you are in a better financial position overall anyway.

Is Buying Stocks The Best Option For Business Investors?

If you’re looking at ways to increase your business income through an investment strategy – or even as a way to gather sufficient fundings and launch a startup business using effective investment approaches – it’s likely that you’ve figured that the most effective way is to sell your stock for profits. The most common solution for new investors is to buy a stock and sell calls against it. However, it can be difficult to implement as a strategy as it relies on the availability of capital. Indeed, to sell a call you need to have at least a minimum number of stocks – 100 – which can be tricky to afford if you don’t have the financial means to do so. It’s therefore fair to ask whether there is a low-risk alternative to buying stocks to grow your profits from the investment market.


How do you best sell stocks?

Selling options for your stocks

First of all, if you’re new to the idea of using calls to sell your stocks, you need to understand one key factor of your investment strategy: What are covered calls? A covered call in an options strategy that involves buying or owning a stock and selling call options, and waiting for the options contract to be exercised. If you’re looking to gather funds from this strategy, you need to focus on collecting your income via option premiums. It’s a demanding strategy that requires available capital and understanding. Indeed, an error in this trading approach can be costly. Investors who sell at the wrong strike price or who let the contract expire may find themselves out of pocket.


Covered call strategy

The poor man’s alternative

If you prefer to make the most of the investment market to generate huge returns without needing to own multiple stocks, you’ll be more interested in using a LEAPS – Long-term Equity Anticipation Security – strategy. However, in this approach, the options are available on longer terms than traditional options. LEAPS options can typically extend for terms of 2 years out. Rather than buying 100 shares, the investor can simply buy the in-the-money LEAPS calls and sell an out-of-the-money call against it towards the end of the term. The main reason for this approach is to reduce the extrinsic value and facilitate the purchase. It’s a good way to enter the market for small budgets.

Growing your investment strategy

The advantage of getting to understand some of the main stock market strategies, as a business owner, is that you can develop a feel for the performance of companies and, therefore the fluctuation of their stocks. For small business owners or startups, the ability to keep a small part of your budget and dedicate it to stock market investments means that you can not only grow your market knowledge and identify business and financial trends before our competitors, but you can also accumulate the income you need to grow your company. Admittedly, you may even decide to build a team dedicated to the management of your stock options once you’ve developed a taste for the investing world.

As a business owner, you might find the investment world a little difficult at first. But using your business acumen alongside key financial strategies, you can maximize profits through the calls you make.

4 Ways Market Research Helps Your Business

Market research represents a number of activities conducted in order to gather valuable information about customers and competition. It is commonly done by businesses that want to get more familiar with their target groups. Typically, market research is not the research of the entire market, but is concerned with just one bit of it that’s of most interest to a certain company or industry. It should be a part of every business strategy and implemented at various stages, starting well before you launch a new product or even before you start a business altogether. Here a few basic ways one can benefit from it.

Learning about your customers

Naturally, in order to reach your potential customers, you need to know very well what your target group likes, and what their habits, passions and preoccupations are. Getting acquainted with their opinions on your industry, your brand and various products is indispensable. Before investing in anything at all you’ll need some very concrete and straightforward feedback about all this. Without doing proper analysis that will provide you with some exact numbers it’s impossible to design a thorough and serious business plan.

Knowing your market doesn’t come down only to what people think about your branch or your newest line of products. It’ also about getting familiar with more general habits and practices of the target group in question. This will help you genuinely understand people that make up your target group and get some fresh ideas on how to stay close to them. Also, find out who their role models and idols are – this info can be very useful when it comes to choosing a potential influencer you’d like to link to your brand.

Market research can help you find practical advertising solutions for different segments of your target group. Finding a common interest or habit for different groups of people you wish to reach can be very beneficial. Also, have in mind that the market is a living, dynamic entity that changes over time. Teenagers today don’t want the same things as teenagers ten years ago. Finally, target groups for specific industries and products change as well. For instance, companies that make gadgets of all sorts didn’t use to address older generations back in the days, but today these people make up a significant share of their market.

Analyzing the market has been made much easier with the development of new technologies. There are all sorts of tools you can use in this respect, but having a direct, authentic feedback from particular individuals is equally important as having comprehensive stats, graphs and numbers. Focus groups and phone surveys are traditional, common methods used for decades for this purpose. Among relatively new methods, using paid surveys online as a means of market research has many advantages and is definitely worth considering.

Learning about your competition

Analyzing your competitors can be a very effective method to get to know your market. You can learn a lot by studying the brands that belong to the same niche as yours. Watch the big players, their business and marketing strategies and check how they differ from yours. Monitoring the feedback for different companies from your industry is also valuable – avoiding repeating their mistakes can give you some competitive advantage over them. Try to spot new trends and recognize what the industry is lacking at the moment. At the end of the day, just delving into workings of your competition and trying to understand how they function is thought-provoking in itself and can result in some new ideas for your business.

Optimizing investments

A natural consequence of getting acquainted with your customers and competitors is minimizing unnecessary expenses. Investing money in something that your target group is obviously not interested in would be pure madness. Just knowing the scope of your market and the financial capability of the people you want to reach is invaluable. Studying all these factors is absolutely crucial for making any serious financial projections for the future.

Choosing the right timing

You might have a product that’s brilliant and ground-breaking, but then again, this product might sometimes be a bit too ground-breaking to be profitable. There’s the right time for any new brand, product or service to be launched and sometimes it’s just too soon for that. For instance, you want to invest a great deal of money into an app that adds great features to a certain social network. However, if that social network is still not popular or developed enough, no matter how innovative your app is, you might end up losing a lot of money. Sometimes good ideas and solutions need to wait for the right time to be introduced, and you need to do proper research to be sure if this is the case with your project.

All in all, market research is not just a useful little business strategy, it’s a must for any serious company. Sometimes your instincts and intuitions will be helpful but you’ll also need concrete info and deep knowledge of what people you’re targeting feel, need and want. Try listening to them carefully. Caring about your customers is necessary if you want to reach them properly, keep them interested, build your brand and make your business grow steadily.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on


Is Your Money Being Properly Invested?

When it comes to your financial investments, do you tend to be happy with your outlook? For some individuals, investing can be a difficult task to tackle.

Whether no experience in investing or tied to bad advice from some people; investments can go bad. When they do, some lose a significant amount of money in the process.

That said do your best to make sure your money will get the proper investment no matter who does the investing for you.

Will You Invest in Commercial Property?

In the event you opt to invest in commercial property, where should you look first?

To start, do your homework on what commercial real estate might be in your best interest to put money down on.

As an example, what about REIT investing?

If you have not heard of this before now, REITs are real estate investment trusts. They allow you to invest in sizable commercial property assets. Often, you would not have the opportunity to do so without a REIT involved.

When thinking commercial real estate investment, what kind of property interests you?

For example, what about an office complex near where you live? While you could do one not near you, one closer allows you to check on the property. This way, you can see how your investment is coming along.

If it is an office complex your money goes toward, you’d be looking for one that offers:

  • Growth potential – The bigger the area of a complex, the more possibility of expanding it. It only stands to reason that property owners can charge more money for more land. Don’t settle on a small office complex property rental to invest in where there is no room to grow. Over time, many small businesses will outgrow their current offices and look to move on to something bigger.
  • Relative nice area – Any area one ventures into is bound to draw one or more sighs. When looking at office properties to invest in, search for one in an area of town that gets little or no complaints. For instance, you don’t want a property that gets regular visits from law enforcement. You also are likely to steer clear of one that is is hard to access for both workers and customers.

While you may avoid limited growth potential or questionable areas, stop and think.

Would such issues scare away most other investors? If so, you could end up investing in property that means you will be ahead of the game.

Last, be that educated investor who outdoes others.

One way to go about this is by seeing all there is to learn about commercial property investments online.

You may find surprise at how many blogs, videos and podcasts address the subject of investing. As such, you can learn a wealth of information before you ever invest a single dollar.

Given you want your money invested the right way, start today by seeing where your best options are.

When you do, you could be one step closer to a financial payday.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business and money topics on the web.





Productivity Products: The Tech Behind A Good Workforce

There are loads of tools, methods, and teachings which can be found around the web to help small businesses maintain a hard working team. Of course, though, despite all of your best efforts, there will always be people who lag behind or those who find it hard to work with others. There are loads of tools out there to help with this, nowadays, and this is going to be going through some of them so that you can use them on your own venture.


(Image Credit)

Project Systems: One of the best ways to make sure that your employees meet their deadlines is through strict monitoring. Thankfully, unlike in the past, this doesn’t have to be an obstructive part of their role, quickly falling into place as part of their routine. Options like Asana are great, though a lot of companies are investing in their own options which perform the same job.

Collaboration Tools: Along with everyone sharing their progress, having the ability to work together on the same documents is a great blessing. Options like Office 365 can handle this for you, giving everyone the chance to share the documents they use the most. This makes people’s lives easier, while also making their jobs faster, and this always results in higher levels of productivity. 

Proper Rewards: Most employers will only recognise your success on the surface. Internal awards may be given, though they don’t really mean much outside of the ceremony, and this isn’t enough to keep people happy. A human resource management company will have all of the knowledge and expertise to helping you through the process of fairly compensating your workforce. With pay being target driven, a lot of people will be willing to work harder.

Attendance & Hours: When people take sickness leave or are regularly turning up late, it won’t take long before a lot of time builds up and they start to needlessly cost you money. Using a system like Leave Planner will make it a lot easier to keep an eye on your attendance, along with keeping track of the hours people are working. This can be an excellent way to find the weak link in the business you’ve started.

The Devices: Finally, as the last area to consider, there’s almost nothing worse than working on a computer which is too old for the job. To ensure that your employees have the best chances at their job, it’s important to make sure that their machines reflect the work they have to do, and this could mean paying for upgrades every couple of years. It’s common for computer manufacturers to offer their machines on a lease basis to businesses, giving you a great option when you don’t want to buy.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start making some little investments to improve the productivity found within your business. A lot of company owners will struggle to manage a team. It’s unlikely that this is the part of the role you like the most, and this can make it hard to focus energy on it. With the tools above, though, you need only make a purchase to see the improvements.