You Must Have Auto Insurance – How To Save

Several Different Ways To Save

The best way to save on auto insurance is to be a female veteran with an absolutely clean driving record, a sound vehicle with only one owner, and good credit. But as you may have ascertained, this represents only one portion of the actual demographic buying auto insurance. If you’re not in this category, you’ll have to be creative.

First, you don’t want to take the first quote you get from the first agency you call. Geico and Progressive want to dominate the market, but the truth is you can get much cheaper rates from other agencies regardless of your situation; it just may mean paying on a different scale.

For example, some organizations are going to give you the option of paying different rates depending on how much you pay, when. Sometimes if you pay on a yearly basis, you can save one or two hundred dollars overall. Sometimes the same will happen if you pay twice a year, or quarterly.

There are some agencies who don’t change rates at the monthly level, from those at the annual level; but these are only a minority of insurance agencies. Usually, you’ll end up paying more piecemeal than if you consolidate payments into a single annual chunk. The thing is, not everyone can afford this.

Additional Factors

Beyond comparison, the kind of insurance you ultimately source for your car will play a big part of the eventual cost. If you just get barebones liability, it’s very conceivable for you to source insurance which is under $30 on a monthly basis. But then, if you go this route, should you experience an accident your vehicle will not be covered.

You may also consider a packaged deal which exists from under the “shadow” of a small or large business. A corporate entity is going to get different rates than an individual. If you’ve got a fleet of vehicles, it’s possible you can get a group rate that is cumulatively less expensive than insurance on a single vehicle.

You should pay careful attention to taxes as pertain to small businesses and insurance.

A state comptroller may run a tax audit on your business, but if you list insurance as a business expense, then you may be able to write it off; and even if you’re under audit, that’s perfectly legal. You might consider this an insurance discount of a kind, if you like.

Finding The Best Rate

If you’re looking for the best rate pertaining to auto insurance, CarInsurance.us.com points out that: “…no two people are the same when it comes to car insurance.” There are many reasons this is the case. You’ve got traffic tickets, you’ve got driving history as regards accidents, age and gender both factor in—the list goes on.

A big part of that is liability. If liability is removed from the individual to the business, depending on the creditability of the business, you may very well save substantially on auto insurance by defining your car as one of the “company” variety.

One thing is certainly true: regardless of what you do or how you conduct your business, efficiency is going to be one of the most important things in maintaining profitability. You’ve got to curtail time expenditure among employees where possible, decrease infrastructural overhead, and sometimes take out a loan.

Part of efficiency in business is securing auto insurance en masse through an agency who can give you a business rate, and being sure to claim that as an expense on your tax forms. You can double down by using your business to source insurance on a car that, let’s face it, you were going to use for business anyway.

5 Ways to Cool Your Home in the Texas Heat

Keeping cool in the Texas heat is always tough. The summer months can be some of the most punishing in the country. But there are ways in which you can keep your home cool in the Texas heat. This guide is going to introduce you to five of the best ways to stay cool this summer.

Invest in a Good Air Conditioning System

If you feel like your home isn’t cool enough, the chances are your air conditioning unit isn’t doing its job. This often happens when the filters aren’t replaced often enough. Not only should you invest in a good air conditioning system, you should go out of your way to make sure you’ve maintained your air conditioning system.

Reduce Cooling Load

Let’s say you bought real estate near Austin, Texas. It gets pretty hot here throughout the year. Focus your shading towards the east and west windows. These are the areas the sun is going to hit. Reduce the cooling load by shading these parts of your home and you’ll find that your home is much cooler.

But don’t shade the entire house otherwise you’re cutting off air channels and leaving yourself trapped in a heat-locked box.

Install White Window Shades

This uses the simple principle of color. Black absorbs heat and white reflects it. By installing white window shades and closing them during the hottest parts of the day it will take longer for your home to warm up. Combine it with your air conditioning unit and you’ll be far more comfortable.

Avoid Heat Creation During the Day

There are some household appliances that create heat when they’re used. For example, your dishwasher creates heat. Another example of one of these appliances is the washing machine or the dryer. The way around this is to use them only during the evenings. You’ll also be saving money because it’s cheaper to use these units during certain periods of the day or night.

Close the Doors and Windows

When the Texas heat starts to bite, it can get tempting to open the doors and windows. This is a mistake for two reasons. To begin with, it’s a bad idea because the temperature is often higher outside than it is on the inside. Closing the doors and windows prevents an increase in temperature.

Another reason for this is that when the temperature stagnates there’s no breeze. If you open the window and leave the air conditioning on you’re making your unit work harder and you’re losing that cool air to the hotter outside.

Last Word – Keeping Cool in the Texas Heat

As you can tell, the most important factor in keeping your home cool is your air conditioning unit. You should make sure to have it serviced every spring to ensure that it’s working as efficiently as possible. If you can do this then your home is going to be as comfortable as possible and you won’t be wasting any money in the process.

What do you think is the best way to make sure that your home stays cool in Texas?

How To Get Your Sales Team Motivated

When your sales team succeeds, the entire company succeeds. This is not a fact that can be denied. Of course, what there does seem to be some argument on is how you can get your sales team to be as motivated as possible. While what may work for one sales team member may not work for another, there are some tried and true motivators that really seem to kick a lot of people into gear.

Set Up A Prize System

The exact way you will set this up will have a lot to do with how you run the company, as in, how you track the success of your sales team. But one great way to set up a prize system, as an example, would be to give out gas station fuel cards for every milestone each sales member reaches. Not only will your employees appreciate the financial reward, you will have the bonus of knowing that they cannot say they ran out of gas and could not make it in to work. Then you could give a much larger prize to the one sales team member who is the most successful by the end of the month. Remember, some nice incentives can really go a long way when it comes to pushing your sales team to meet your expectations and even surpass them.

Show Them The BIG Prizes

Working for weekly or monthly incentives can be a good thing. However, if you would like to take your motivating skills to the next level, you might want to think bigger. Most businesses run on quarterly and yearly goals and deadlines. Decide what you would like your sales team to focus on the most and then set up one extremely large and lavish prize that will be rewarded to the one person that broke the mold and brought in the biggest cash flow for the company. You could start with getting the Welk timeshare contact information and offer a week’s stay at it, free of charge, for the top earner. This of course, could be meant to be used during his or her regularly scheduled vacation time or you could throw in some extra time off to make it that much nicer.

Entice Them With Cash During The Holidays

Cash talks, but cash handed out during the holiday season talks even louder. This is because many of the people on your sales team will have friends and family that they want to buy presents for. They may have travel arrangements that they need to pay for or they may want to host a few dinner parties, which tend to cost a pretty penny. You can offer cash prizes or bonuses to your sales team if they reach a particular goal by the end of November. Yes, that is not yet the end of the year, but it is close enough so the winners of the cash will have time to make their personal arrangements and shop before the winter holidays arrive.

While taking notes about the various ways in which you could encourage your sales team to break some long-standing records, you will want to think about them personally and all you have come to know about them over the time you have spent working with them. Many sales teams become a family of sorts and if you really think about it, you will be able to decide which motivation tactic will work the best for them.

Tips to Getting a Good Auto Loan

Like most people, there are generally two major purchases that you’ll make in your life: a down payment on a home, and an auto loan. Budgeting for the latter will almost certainly be the first order of business, given that you’ve got to get to work and other places even before you’re successful enough for that house you’ve always wanted.

With this in mind, there are plenty of online resources to get you off on the right foot. Using an auto loan payment calculator, for example, you can completely streamline the process. In the following, you’ll get a step-by-step intro to the basics of getting the loan after the calculator provides you with a starting figure as a guideline.

Credit Matters

If there’s anything for which your credit score is important; it’s for making large purchases. This will really hit home when you’re buying your first car from an auto dealership – you can save literally thousands of dollars by having good credit, as the terms of the loan will tend to lead to much lower total interest payments. After all, it’s meant to gauge how responsible you are with money, right?

With this in mind, obtain a free credit report from any of the big lenders – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can get this report – free of charge – once per year, or after every credit card application for which you receive a rejection.

Your next order of business is figuring out how you intend to pay off the auto loan. Will you be going for a five-year loan term, or longer? Although the longer terms may seem better; keep in mind that you’ll end up paying more than the car is actually worth if you opt for too long a repayment term. Generally-speaking, this means that you’re maybe buying a car that’s slightly out of your range.

Additionally, make sure you factor car insurance and projected costs for maintenance into this calculation before signing up for your auto loan. The loan will, of course, need to cover these and will be reflected in your monthly car payment.

Obtaining the Loan (Pre-Approval)

As you might have expected, there are plenty of places at which to obtain a car loan – your local credit union, any bank, online lenders and others. Because of the competition, it shouldn’t be difficult to obtain a deal that’s in line with the figure you got from the auto loan calculator above. Now it’s time to sign up for financing, so you can see what your actual pre-approval offer looks like.

In situations where you don’t have much of a credit history – let’s say you’re just out of highschool or college – then it’s almost always possible to get a cosigner. You just have to locate a lender that allows this; there are plenty of them in the online space and off.

Choose Your Vehicle Wisely

Now comes the most exciting part of all: getting your new car. Although you may already have a loan pre-approval waiting in the wings, be sure to hear the car dealer out – she may have an even better deal for you. Since you now understand the basics of such loans; namely, longer terms can lead you to overpaying, you can spot a better deal easily. If she tries to extend the repayment terms, you understand that it might not be a better loan, for example.

These are just the basics of getting a favorable auto loan; but luckily, that’s all you really need. For more information, use the above as a guideline, and then spend some time using a comprehensive website to compare and contrast relevant information. With the resources available today, there’s no good reason why you should be stuck with a poor loan.

Starting a New Business

So, you’re starting a new business, and you’re looking for some advice. When you’re just starting a new business, there are lot of pitfalls to be wary of. A few of them are obvious, others not, but they all bear repeating. After all, this is your livelihood, and it’s full of hard choices, so every piece of advice is potentially a lifesaver. Here are just a few ways to make the most of your early business years and start off on the right foot.

An important element of all business is marketing, and it’s doubly important for a new, small business. The first and foremost way to broadcast your message to your town is just that, broadcast. If you can afford it, local TV and radio stations are the best way to reach the most people, so the investment is worth it if it’s in the budget. Another, less expensive alternative is the local paper. Newspapers have fallen out of favor in recent years, but it’s a far less expensive option that radio and TV.

Another great tip is to make sure your business is an inviting one. This starts from the road. Your sign needs to project an air of warmth and friendliness to draw in customers. Your signs and other onsite advertisements need to have that same inviting feel while also informing your customers of your goods and services.

Lastly, and this is key, you need to save everywhere you can. Obviously, you need to save without diminishing the quality of your goods and services, or the point is moot. Retailers like Tractor Supply can provide deep discounts on the equipment you need (if you’re a farmer) and can save you money the essentials of your business. Keep your eyes peeled for whatever discounts you can find that don’t sacrifice quality.

Making Your Company More Attractive to a Global Audience

The “marketplace” has changed from a very local audience, to one that you can tap into without any difficulty, as proven by portals like eBay, Amazon, or even Etsy. Your homemade hand cream can become a big hit in Asian markets, just like your water purification system can become a household staple in Peru.

As much as we would like to think that these things just “happen” by chance, the reality is that it takes some effort to prepare your product or service to be used overseas. From educating yourself on things like duties, shipping and handling, digital marketing, and even simple phrases in other languages, you can make your business attractive to a foreign clientele.

Here are some tips that small businesses can use to attract a global audience:

Speak their Language

Yes, it’s true that English is quickly becoming the “universal language” which people around the world as using to communicate with each other. However, the proficiency level varies from person to person, and many times you’ll find it difficult to communicate with foreigners who haven’t themselves invested time into learning the language. Depending on your product, you might want to get a translation of manuals, data sheets, and technical documents, in a variety of file formats and languages. In other cases, you’ll want to use very simple instructions aided with diagrams which will make it easier to understand

Go Online

An easy way to tap into the potential of globalization is by entering the digisphere. Create a website, invest some time in developing social media, and make sure to mention that you do world-wide servicing and shipping. Then it’s a matter of capturing the attention of your audience through search engine positioning, dispersing content through social media, and making online connections with other world-wide brands. Approaching local influencers can also be a useful tactic, especially for lifestyle brands. Develop a hashtag strategy and run a few contests to get a healthy following which can be analyzed and used as market research.

Find Representation

Depending on the specific markets you are trying to reach, you might find that there are already existing channels you can use to get the message of your product or service across. There could be distribution companies specializing in getting products similar to yours into the country, or interested individuals who would love to represent your brand and act on your behalf in local markets. Though you will be losing out on some of your profits due to the fact that you would be paying commission, the exposure and possibility for your audience to interact with your brand representative on a personal level could be well worth it and your sales could reflect it.

Be Ready to Sell

If you are targeting a foreign audience, don’t be surprised if all the sudden you start getting traction and orders start coming in. Already knowing your shipping rates and times will make this process more user-friendly and more likely that your customer will actually go through the checkout with what’s in the “cart”. Yes, you can scramble to produce this information, but having it ready for a quick response and transaction makes it a more professional and wrinkle-free experience, and therefore a stronger contender amongst similar companies present on a global front.

Even small companies can gain recognition and support from foreign consumers and investors. If you put in the effort to position yourself for the global marketplace, you might be surprised by the opportunities that arise. Once you address some of these tips you’ll find yourself on the journey of a lifetime and the rest of the path will be very evident to you.

Trading with Tact

Different things attract people to trading. For some it’s the opportunity to minimize their debts with relatively little work, for others it’s a chance to supplement their retirement plan, while still others just enjoy the thrill of it and the shock of adrenaline. Everyone’s situation is also different, as some use their savings, some their extra income, and others consider borrowing money so that they have something to start with, something that we personally don’t recommend.

However, one cannot forget that financial trading comes with risks. There are no guarantees of success and massive or even modest financial gains. Many have been burned before, however those entering the market for the first time might not be fully aware of the implications which come with trading. There are definitely safeguards you should have in place when investing your money, and your trading should have some kind of strategy behind it.

So how do you integrate tact into your trading?

1) Know Your Limits. Play within It.

Who couldn’t benefit from some extra cash? Whether to use for paying down your debts or put towards your dream vacation, success on the market is something we all dream of. However, in order to win you have to take the risk, the questions is always “how much?”. The answer is simple: never play with more than you can afford to lose. If you lost everything you invested, would you be able to recover? If the answer is no, then you are biting off more than you can chew. If you would feel it, yet still be able to exist, then you are probably still within your limit. Also adjust your limits to your comfort level so that you are not driving yourself into a state of constant worry. Your limits are only as good as your nerves are, even if according to your bank account you could play with more.

2) Look for Professional Advice

More and more people are starting to take a hands on approach to trading. However, unless you have a wealth of information on the topic or are willing to invest a lot of time into monitoring, that’s something that you should ease into. For people starting out, it’s a good idea to subscribe to professional recommendations that will make trading much easier. These detailed reports give exclusive tips on how to best invest your money based on your priorities. Others still might benefit from some personal coaching in which a seasoned trading veteran guides you through the initial steps and provides personalized pointers as you encounter your first sets of decisions.

3) Look for Variety

The farmer who first said “don’t put all your eggs on one basket” was a wise man indeed. When investing in stocks, especially at first, it’s a good idea to create variety in your selection. Think about your long term and short term goals simultaneously, addressing them with the investments you have in place. By having a varied selection of stocks, bonds, commodities, and more, you’ll find that you will learn the pros and cons of each while experiencing how the risk levels affect you and your financial situation.

4) Start Small

Don’t be afraid to start small. When initially trading, you don’t need to have a lot of money to see results. Once you feel comfortable with the market and how to respond to different scenarios, you can begin to approach your risk limits and alter your choices to create a portfolio that you will feel confident about.

Trading with Tact doesn’t require a great deal of intelligence or your full-time attention. It does, however, require patience and a willingness to learn from professionals and from experience. When you start small and in an informed manner, you will naturally gravitate towards a varied portfolio that fits your budget. The most important thing is to play within your means to avoid a disaster.

How to Save on Legal Costs When Part of a Dispute

The idea of court is very exciting when it’s on TV. When you’re sitting in that room, hoping that you win, but worried that you won’t, it’s painful. Not only is it a real blow to the nerves, it can obliterate your finances, regardless of whether you win the case or not.

When we are involved in or run a business, there is always the chance that a commercial dispute can arise. There are a number of ways this could happen, from issues with your partner or shareholders, poorly defined contracts, lack of payments to other companies, and more. The risk is always there and unfortunately, many of us, at one point or another, get caught up in such an affair which has the potential to break you and your business.

There are, however, some ways in which you can minimize your expenses when involved in a commercial dispute. Though many of them are proactive, others can be used at other points in the game.

  1. Clearly Define the “What-if’s”

Before you do anything, prepare the paperwork. Whether you are planning to hire someone, enter into an agreement with another company, order something wholesale, or even start your business from scratch. Unless you define every scenario and how to deal with it, it can become a pain point later on in the litigation process. It can seem a little fatalistic at first, but you will get used to covering your bases, and you’ll see that others will respect you for it. It might seem like an expensive endeavor, but you’ll find value in hiring commercial litigation lawyers who sit down with their clients to determine their objectives before anything negative happens. They can advise you on proactive measure and will already have a relationship with you if there was something they needed to be actively involved in.

  1. Always Communicate

If there ever comes a point when the dispute can be resolved without legal representation, it’s often a better option. In cases when relationships dissolve or contracts are not being kept, trying to be transparent about your situation and clear with communication can really save you some time, grief, and money. However, this is not an option for many. It’s always worth a try, though, as attempts at communication and making the peace can be useful in court if it should end there.

  1. Mediate

Once at the point that legal intervention is needed, try hitting a mediation room rather than a court room. You’ll avoid court filing fees, and instead pay significantly less for a professional mediator who can act as judge. You should still seek legal advice before or while going into a mediation session, however, it’s not mandatory like it is in court if you are looking to have a fighting chance.

  1. Look for Free Resources

If you own a small business, chances are that you qualify for limited free legal advice at certain agencies or government locations. In attempts to stimulate the economy and assist small businesses, you’ll find that there are often free legal clinics being held during which you can attend seminars, ask questions, and seek advice, even if your business budget is low. Though this help often does not extend as far as to represent you in court, they can be helpful in preventing situations like this in the first place.

No one likes thinking about what things would cost if everything went south, however it’s a reality we should all consider, especially when in a leadership or ownership role in a business.

Finding A Reliable Forex Broker: 7 Things To Pay Attention To

Does it make sense to open a trading account and invest your money in the deposit if you do not have any guarantees of its safety? Why carefully analyze price charts and study the fundamentals of the foreign exchange market if the profits we earn can be being taken away by fraudsters?

It all comes down to the reliability of a Forex broker, which is usually assessed by such criteria as credibility, work history, insurance of risks and liabilities, availability of a license and the possibility of legal conflict resolution.

1. Credibility

Authority in forex trading is a vague concept. However, to determine the credibility of a particular office, you can read reviews about this Forex broker. Naturally, broker’s site is not a good place to be looking for reviews, where only positive feedback is usually gathered and all kinds of certificates are placed, which is called “about us” section. It is better to look for more objective data on the specialized thematic forums.

2. Reputation

The duration of the work of the Forex broker and its happy history in the foreign exchange market speaks volumes about it stability and good risk management within this company.

3. Risk insurance

Insurance of risks and liabilities is the most important indicator capable of protecting the funds of a trader in the event of a company’s crash. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to check insurance guarantees.

4. License

Licensing is a certain kind of guarantee about the honesty of the owners of the company. The bottom line is that licensing of brokers gives traders the opportunity to file complaints and claims to special bodies. Such control bodies exist in all developed countries. In the UK, for example, this role is performed by the FSA, the Financial Services Commission, in the USA – by the CFTC or the Commission for the Supervision of Goods and Futures. Unfortunately, in the CIS countries the work in the foreign exchange market is not really controlled by anyone.

5. Contract

Legal regulation of conflicts should be indicated in the contract for the provision of brokerage services. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully study the contracts. The failure to pay proper attention to it often leads to disastrous consequences.

6. Currency pairs

It is better to choose a broker that offers a wide range of currencies. If a broker offers a couple of major economic powers, two or three pairs of developing countries with floating currencies, three or four fixed or tied currencies, then such a proposal is much better than the simple offer of 12 pairs of advanced economies.

7. Customer Support

The software can generate errors. In case of occurrence of such or similar problems, the trader needs to ask customer support for help. Therefore, a professional and patient support staff can seriously help a trader increase profits or, on the contrary, unqualified technical support can cause a lot of troubles.

Pay attention to these 7 factors, and you will surely be able to select the broker you will be comfortable to work with.

The Financial Supplies Your Office Needs

The path to becoming a small business owner is exciting but challenging. Maintaining the books, finances, and accounting practices is not an easy task. As a small business owner, there are some supplies that can help make these processes a bit easier. Stock your business with these financial supplies to make sure your financial tasks are always on track.

Deposit Slips and Other Paper Products

Image via Flickr by CarbonNYC [in SF!]

A small error can multiply over time and can cause problems with payments or even when tax time comes around. Thankfully, there are smart software options available. Quickbooks is a popular accounting software option and comes with accessories to simplify supplies for you. For example, the company offers custom deposit slips, pre-printed with your company’s information, that reduce the work you need to do for clear communication from the bank to the books.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure you’re always fully stocked with printer paper and envelopes. Sending out timely invoices and paychecks will keep things running on schedule without delays due to insufficient supplies.

Payment Acceptance Tools

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or you’re selling at craft fairs, you need the ability to accept more forms of payment to avoid losing sales. A portable credit card swipe terminal is a classic tool and comes in many versions with different features. Square Point of Sale is an app that uses your phone as a register. By plugging a small device into your headphone jack, you can swipe, track, and manage credit card payments just like a traditional point-of-sale register. Another option is Paypal. This payment system has been around for a number of years and is an especially great choice for sellers with an online store.

Image via Flickr by Philip Taylor PT

Basic Supplies for Handling Cash

You must also accurately count and deposit your cash regularly so your balance in your account is able to cover payment of supplies or employees. These bank deposits require basic packaging materials like secure deposit bags, bill straps, coin sleeves, and coin envelopes. Investing in some counterfeit banknote detection pens to check for counterfeit bills will also help protect your business.

Time-Saving Devices

As a small business, some things that help big offices manage their finances with less effort might also be a good idea for you to purchase. Handling large amounts of cash is easier when you have a coin sorter and a bill counter to make quick work of adding up totals. Having a laptop or tablet is a good investment because it enables you to access your accounts on the go. If you’re planning to offer shipping, a postage machine is an efficient way to manage your shipping without endless trips to the post office, and it adds your total spending for an easy reference.

All small businesses are unique and may not need all the tools mentioned above. Take these helpful tips into consideration, but adjust your investments to fulfill your specific business needs. Take care to make sure you’re ready with the right supplies and enjoy, with less stress, watching your entrepreneurial efforts lead to success.

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