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February 21, 2013

Things to Consider When You’re Short on Cash

Short On CashThe unfortunate truth is that many people will find themselves short on cash at some point this year. Even the most financially responsible individuals may run into hard times, and they may need access to a quick source of money for a few days. For example, when your child is sick or you are in a car accident, you may be faced with lost income as well as various expenses. This and many other events can and do happen, and they can be costly. Some people may have enough money saved in their savings account to get by, but if you don’t, what should you do to get over this rough patch?

Credit Cards

Credit cards may be the source of quick money that many people initially will consider. You may have one or more credit cards in your wallet right now that you can pull out and use at a moment’s notice. However, keep in mind that a cash advance on these cards can be very expensive, and often, there is a higher interest rate and an extra fee associated with this. Furthermore, if your cards are maxed out, this is not an option for you. As a final note, consider how long it may take you to pay your credit card balance off. Any new charges to your account today will increase your minimum monthly payment until the balance is paid in full, and this can affect your budget for months to come.

Paying Bills Late

If you don’t have money available to pay your bills, it may have crossed your mind to simply not pay those bills. Eventually, you will get caught up, and you can pay your bills as funds become available. However, keep in mind that there are costs associated with simply not paying the money that you owe to your creditors. Many creditors will add a sizable late fee to your account balance, and they will continue to add onto the total you owe. For example, if you owe $100 to a creditor today, that creditor may charge a $30 late fee for not paying your account. Next month, you may owe $200 plus the $30 late fee. This can be a costly route to take, and it can result in you digging yourself into a financial hole that can be difficult to get out of. Furthermore, your credit rating may be ruined if you fail to make your payments on time, and this can affect your ability to obtain affordable financing for many months or years.

Short-Term Loan

A final option to consider is to apply for a short-term loan. Canada cash loans from www.CashLoans.ca are one of these options. These loans do have typically higher interest rates than long-term loans, but they have a short term and can provide you with access to the cash you need in a short period of time. You will not have to contend with late fees, increases to minimum monthly payments or how much credit you have available on your credit cards.

Each financial situation is unique, so it is important to consider how each of these options may be applied to your life. Ultimately, many individuals will have access to one or more of these options, and you may keep these points in mind as you make a decision that is best for you.

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February 11, 2013

Using technology to close a sale

Every day, the web becomes more and more useful for sales people; and as technology advances, the likes of video web conferencing perfectly replicates face-to-face conversations in just a fraction of the time of a traditional sales trip. Being able to make personal highly effective sales pitches at the drop of a hat, anytime and with anyone from anywhere in the world makes closing a sale that little bit easier.

For those sales people who have finely tuned their phone routine over the years and are sceptical about the advantages of using video for meetings, here are a few benefits to make you reconsider:

1. Online meetings using video allows for facial expressions to be read. Much of how we communicate is through facial expressions, posture, intonation and eye contact – all of which are lost when using only the phone to seal a deal. A video call allows you to use all of these tools to your advantage.

2. Sales people often feel obliged to fill awkward silences. With video chat, because you can see the people you are pitching to, you can ask the questions you want to ask and then leave the client to answer in their own time – all whilst you have visual connection which reduces any uncomfortable silences.

3. Showing people who you are, what you look like and how you present yourself can bring a sense of trust. The background setting also speaks volumes about what kind of person you are. Video gives your client visual cues which illustrate how you do business.

4. When fostering a business relationship, face-to-face interaction is extremely important in order to connect and gain trust. This is even more vital when asking someone for their business.

5. The added tools you gain with video conferencing software allow you to present documents and research in an incredibly simple way, to help sway your potential client.

Embracing video web conferencing provides you with a whole new way to close the deal. By adding a visual component to your sales pitch, you will find a whole new world of opportunities.

And if you are a small business with limited resources, using technology to your advantage will benefit you financially by allowing you to meet with many people without the cost of travelling.

For those without financial limitation, using video conferencing still enables you to get in there first and gain a faster response. What’s more, being able to make a pitch with the key decision makers based in several locations, gives you the power to make the best impression no matter where people are. Video conferencing also enables you to get the best panel of advisors to take part in a crucial meeting to close the deal, showing you have the right people on hand as and when your client needs them.

Video conferencing has undoubtedly crossed the boundary of simple user communication and team engagement; it has now become an important strategic tool that sales people are using all around the world to pitch and close business deals.

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September 1, 2012

ImproveYour Savings In Three Easy Ways

Even though the UK appears to have left the worst depths of the recession, all of us have been looking for ways to save up to make sure we’re prepared in case we hit another financial rough patch. Preparing for an economic downturn may be tricky, but we’ve listed the three most straightforward ways you can ready your saving accounts for the worst.

1. Establish a cash ISA. Save over £5,000 every year (and rising, as the deposit limits increase with inflation each fiscal year)without paying tax on your money. With so many ISA products on the market, be sure to compare cash ISA rates online and select the one with the best interest rates from a reputable bank that offers the accessibility you need.

2. Switchinternet savings accounts. It’s easy to compare online savings accounts to find the ones with the highest interest. While some will require your funds to remain in place for a certain period of time (at the risk of a harsh penalty if you access or transfer them), once that period is up, you should always look for the best offers.

3. Set up automatic monthly deposits. Willpower often ends up derailing our best savings goals – it is hard to plan for the future when you see something you want right at that time. But if you automatically siphon some of your wages to go into a savings account, you can avoid accessing the funds for more frivolous purchases. This means you’ll have a guaranteed income in that account every month, allowing you to more easily plan for the future.

Actually getting hold of the spare cash to put in your savings accounts may still be tricky, but knowing how to handle the money you’ve got is the most effective way to ensure that your nest egg is thoroughly protected.

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July 5, 2012

Know Your Market. Reap the Rewards

If you run a hair or beauty salon, or indeed, any customer facing business, market positioning and a robust business strategy is essential.

Understanding your unique selling point

Good marketing starts with knowing your customer and your competition. Start with your customer in your target market. Think about the services or products you are selling and who you’re selling to. Then look at competitors who are offering similar things to you. Where are they strong and where are they weak? Are their goals clear and how do they attract customers? Is there something that makes them stand out from the rest of the market?

You need to gather as much information about the market and the competitors in it as you can and work hard to understand them. When you have this information, you can start to see how you fit into the wider market and where you can stand out with your competitive edge and ideally a unique selling point that isn’t offered elsewhere in your target market. For example, you might offer a superior customer service that’s accredited to external standards and known by everyone who steps into your salon. Exceptional professionalism, service, friendliness and standards are key to attracting and retaining your customers. A great service strategy can allow you to charge healthy prices rather than targeting the price conscious section of the market that may simply chase the cheapest deals rather than build up repeat custom to a single provider.

Another great differentiator is product, particularly in the health and beauty industry. For example, you might look to offer innovative services such as micro-dermabrasion and bee ‘venom’ facials, or gigi brazilian wax products to tempt in your customers. Innovation in this industry is a vital marketing strategy, as many customers love to try out the latest products and services and keep up to date with trends and developments in the market.

Marketing yourself

Make sure you understand your proposition and positioning before you begin to market yourself, then work with a designer to create a simple brand and logo for your business. This should then be used across your marketing channels, with everything from your business cards, staff uniforms and promotional flyers to signage, car livery and vouchers. Show a consistent brand experience by using the visual identity and language that expresses who you are. An online presence is also a vital marketing tool and getting onto social media can really boost custom. Look at working with a developer to build a simple website that explains your services and offers rapid contact for customers to book. Consider a call back system, if possible, to show that extra service.

Further considerations

As well as spending time and money on your promotions, the full customer experience will be affected by the other decisions such as how effectively you manage your salon operations, purchasing and stock, health and safety, company finances, legal and insurance requirements, staff training and more. It’s worth joining any local business support and networking groups to learn from other business owners. Think about a mentor or a knowledgeable business partner or salon manager if you are new to business ownership. The learning curve is steep, but it’s also fast and extremely rewarding!

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June 15, 2012

Five Sure-Fire Techniques That Will Help With Your Personal Finances

Controlling your finances is essential if you want to reach your financial goals. Fortunately, taking control of your money isn’t an impossible task. The following strategies have worked for millions of people who wanted to get out of debt, save money, and build wealth.

1. Put something into savings every month.

Some financial advisors name a percentage of your total income, while others name a dollar amount. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you put a percentage of your paycheck into a saving account. This is a sure-fire way to know that you are living within your means.

2. Pay off your highest interest debt first.

It’s nearly impossible to do anything without taking on debt at some point, but it is critical that you work to get your debt paid off as quickly as possible. By starting with your highest interest debt, you are insuring that you are paying the least amount of interest every month. As you pay off a loan, use the money that you were paying towards it to cover the next highest interest loan. Repeat this process until you are out of debt.

3. Have an emergency fund.

Everyone has unexpected expenses in their lives. Unfortunately, too many people choose to deal with them by pulling out a credit card. With an emergency fund, you will be able to pay for small and large disasters without relying on high-interest debt. While having several months of your expenses set aside is ideal, even having as little as $100 in a savings account can pay for minor disasters.

4. Start saving for retirement early.

With so few people eligible for pensions and Social Security becoming less and less reliable, odds are that you will have to take on the majority of the responsibility for your retirement. Fortunately, there are several different ways to prepare. The key to all of them, however, is to start saving as early as possible. By putting funds aside in your twenties and thirties, you earn the benefit of compound interest and increase the leeway you’ll have with saving for retirement in your later years. In other words, the more you put aside now, the less you’ll have to come up with later.

5. Teach your kids about money.

No matter how well you plan and save, you will someday have to pass on everything to your kids. You may even have to put them in charge of your finances for a while. Make sure that they know everything they can about money management. In addition to becoming proactive about protecting your assets, your kids will also be much less likely to make poor financial decisions that will have them asking for a loan.

While no strategy or piece of advice will prevent you from making mistakes or experiencing financial setbacks, following these five strategies will make it a lot easier to deal with these events if they arise in the future.

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