How to Get the Most Out of Consultants

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-09-2017

If you’re running a business, your main priority has to be running that business. In the early days you’ll be concerned with meeting day to day challenges and establishing a customer base, then potentially growing into new markets and new locations. If you’re involved in running a bigger, more established business, your most likely to spend your time making sure you can keep providing the service to customers as they expect, and ensure the employees relying on you get paid.

What this means is that while you become an expert on running your business, there are areas of knowledge you simply don’t have time to develop. It makes sense to hire permanent members of staff to fill some of these gaps: it will save you time and trouble to have a dedicated member of HR staff once you’re business reaches medium size, and depending on your needs it may be worthwhile having a full time IT specialist.

For other situations, it may be worth hiring a consultant or an Interim Manager.

These are specialists, who are adept at coming into businesses and working over the short term to achieve specific goals, and are able to leave afterwards with no costly, drawn out redundancy process.

These specialists come with a hefty price tag, and it’s important make sure you’re getting maximum value for money when you hire them.

Firstly, make sure you’re getting the right person for the job. An Interim Manager has very particular skills, and they’ll be very effective in situations of crisis and change, but less so if you’re trying to simply access a new market or reform your processes. Discuss your needs with an executive search company and they can guide you to the right professionals to help you.

Secondly, you need to have clear aims in mind. This is something else a Consultant or Interim specialist recruiter could help you to crystallise. Try to create a clear picture of how you want your business to look after you’ve worked with a consultant, and distil that down to a list of concrete goals like increasing turnover by a set percentage, or accessing a clearly defined new market. Asking how they would achieve these goals will help guide your initial conversations with consultants.

Finally, don’t be afraid to cut the relationship short: review progress regularly, and if the consultant isn’t delivering what they delivered, don’t feel shy about dispensing with their services. Remember, your business has to come first.

Brexit Brings UK Space Industry Down to Earth

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-07-2017

With Theresa May recently firming up a controversial deal with Northern Ireland’s DUP to ensure she has a working majority in parliament, all eyes were on the Queen’s Speech this week. Here, Theresa May had the chance to lay out her agenda for government and people are interested to see which election pledges will make it from the campaign trail to legislation.

While many of the more controversial ideas (like removing the ban on foxhunting, for example) aren’t currently a priority, some ideas for stimulating the economy in anticipation of problems following Britain’s leaving the European Union were announced.

One of these measures is a ‘Space Bill’, intended to make the UK an attractive base for space industries. The bill would grant the government new powers to license different activities, from vertical rocket launches to the development and testing of ‘space planes’.

Unfortunately, it seems the government’s plans to make the UK Europe’s Cape Canaveral might not get off the launchpad.

Much of the UK’s existing space industries rely heavily on cooperation with their opposite numbers across Europe, sharing expertise and manufacturing capability with multiple different agencies in the EU. With Brexit threatening the free movement of both experts and materials, the space industry in the UK could shrink, rather than growing to account for 10% of the world’s space-based business.

Recent successes in European space science have been founded on cooperation, with the project to place the Philae lander on a comet involving scientists and engineers from across all of Europe.

With the threat of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU freezing British space industries out of business contracts, Brexit could set our science and engineering back years. Richard Peckman, chair of UKSpace, the trade association said ““Staff mobility and supply chain are a massive issue for us…We’ll be asking, is Britain still the place to work in this industry?” Does it make sense to do business here?”. This is putting deals worth hundreds of millions at risk, as UK businesses are reluctant to bid for projects they may not be able to fulfil.

While the final form that Brexit will take is yet to be seen, the many UK businesses working on space travel and research have to be hoping it will allow scientists to work wherever they can make the best strides forward, and with access to the materials they need.

The Different Factors that Determine Your Auto Insurance Cost

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-07-2017

There is quite a range of auto insurance costs out there. Even when considering similar coverage options. It can be a bit confusing to go into without doing research on the topic. Here are some of the different factors that will determine the cost of your auto insurance premium.

Your Age

It’s a simple fact that younger drivers have to pay more than older ones. Younger drivers are less seasoned on the road. They have also had less time to prove themselves reliable and safe with great driving records. Senior drivers often have to pay higher rates for insurance as well. They’re more likely to be considered a higher risk driver than someone in middle age.

The Age of Your Car

The age of car plays in the insurance factor as well. New cars are often more expensive to repair than old cars. For this reason, the insurance tends to be higher on them as well. The condition of your car can also play into this for similar reasons. The style of your car plays a part as well. Sporty cars might be fun but they can be considered more dangerous. That’s a price you’ll pay for on the insurance side of things.

What Kind of Safety Features Your Car Has

Cars that have nifty safety features will be considered safer to drive. Many cars now have rear cameras and sensors that help to park and prevent bumping into things. Having this feature decreases the likelihood that you might rear end someone. Your insurance company will see this as a plus, and potentially offer you a lowered rate because of it.

How Often You Drive

How much you actually use your car will also affect the price of your auto insurance. If you don’t drive it every day or put on few miles there is less of a chance that you will need to use your insurance. The more you drive the more maintenance you need, and the more likely it is that you might have a fender bender.

Where You Live

Each country and state has different rules about auto insurance rates. The same car and the same person would get quoted different numbers just for being in different states. These are usually for reasons that you can’t control. Some areas are considered higher risk when it comes to damage, such as areas that are prone to tornadoes.

Whether or Not You Own the Car Outright

If you are leasing a car or are still making payments on it, you might have to pay higher auto insurance. The auto insurance company generally won’t allow you to get away with just paying general liability. They will most likely want you to pay for collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Those options will indeed give you more coverage in the event of an accident. They will also increase your premium. Only when you own your car outright will you have the option to downgrade your auto insurance coverage should you choose to.

Shop Around

Always shop around to find the best car insurance rates. Cheap Auto Insurance Ottawa may have better rates than other companies. Shop Insurance Canada to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Shop Insurance Canada
Toronto Location
1210 – 141 Adelaide St. W
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 3L5
Canada
(905) 266-0533

Ways To Make Extra Spending Money

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 04-04-2017

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dA common desire for families is to have extra spending cash. They work hard at their day/full time job but the salary just isn’t cutting it. A lot of times, people have side jobs to earn this extra money. Below are some ideas to get you motivated for your side hustle.

Direct Sales

There are many companies out there whose focus is the side hustle. Direct Sales jobs are often taken on in conjunction with a full time job, but they can also be a full time job on their own depending how well you do. Companies such as Stella and Dot, Avon, Mary Kay, Beauty Counter, Lu La Roe, etc. are direct to consumer sales and are very successful companies. Some may say they are pyramid schemes (which may be true), but they allow you to earn that extra money you are seeking. You get what you put into it since all of these types of businesses are commission based.

Online Gambling

While it may not be the most responsible or surefit approach, it is possible to earn extra cash by online gambling. There are many sites such as net bet that offer online gaming. Sites and apps now make this industry so easy to access, long are the days you have to travel to Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Freelance or Consulting Gigs

Depending on the industry you are in or your area of expertise, it may be possible to get a freelance or consulting job on the side. This means companies would hire you as an independent contractor to perform tasks for them. For example, you could write blog posts, do bookkeeping, perform administrative tasks, or create a new marketing plan for a business. There are even websites and apps that help you find this type of job.

Uber Driver

Becoming an Uber driver allows you to earn some extra cash with a flexible schedule. Anyone can become an uber driver as long as they meet the company’s insurance and car criteria. Once you meet their standards than you can register as a driver and chose when you want to take on clients. You can take on new clients as much or as little as you need. You could even find one private client who many have you as their go to choufour that could keep you busy. The only downfall to this method is that you do have to put out money and give some of your profits back to the company.

Become an Entrepreneur

To be the ultimate side hustler, start your own business. Be in charge of your own destiny. This allows you to work with a schedule that is best for you. It is a lot of hard work but the reward could be worth it.

Overall there are many types of jobs you can do on the side to help you earn some extra spending cash. If you are working so hard at your full time job only to pay your bills, why not make some extra money for you to stash away your savings or to do something fun.

Best POS And Credit Card Machines For Small Businesses

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Business Products & Services | Posted on 22-03-2017

Running a small business is an experience that can present you with many challenges. One of the struggles of running a small business is finding ways to accept payments and still not have the fees from that affect your overhead or your overall stock prices in any drastic way. So, your search begins for the best POS solution and portable credit card reader begins.

The best POS system for your small business will come with certain features. Features like lower than average service fees and preferably free tech support. Along with being able to provide the standard fare of keeping inventory and customer data, it should also be able to accept alternative methods of payment. The Clover POS system offers an all in one solution so business owners do not have to worry about purchasing many peripherals, not only saving on overall initial cost, but also costs for repairs or potentially broken devices. Instead of having four separate units to fix, there is only one.

For those who want to have more mobility and the ability to conduct business away from their storefront, there are portable credit card readers. These allow vendors to accept payment almost anywhere. There are even card readers that plug directly into a smartphone and payment can be processed from there. A large number of smart devices are equipped with NFC readers, which are also viable options of accepting payments from customers.

Overall, the best POS systems and card readers for businesses are ones that provide the business owner with a balance between savings, ease of use, mobility and reliability. When a system can provide all of these things, your business will likely see a great deal of growth if the tools provided are utilized correctly.

Your Dream Is Calling: You Really Can Retire in Japan

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-02-2017

Japan – the Land of the Rising Sun – is a special place. If your dream of living and retiring in Japan seems out of reach, think again.

It’s true that Japan has, in recent years, been an incredibly expensive place to live. But, times are changing. Make no mistake, living and retiring in Japan is still a financial challenge. You can do it, however, if you plan ahead.

Full Speed Ahead Retirement Planning

It doesn’t matter where you’re thinking of retiring, some things stay the same. Developing safe retirement strategies is still the most effective way to prepare for retirement, but is even more important if Japan is your destination.

Retirement planning, achieving your financial goals and understanding what you need to do to live a financially secure retirement in Japan before you go is vital. Consider meeting with a professional financial manager who can help you develop a plan.

Where to Live?

Renting an apartment in Japan is costly. Apartments in Tokyo, and other major Japanese cities, are probably smaller than you’re used to and a whole lot more expensive. Living outside of city centres will help keep costs down somewhat. Utilities are also expensive in Japan, but just like anywhere else, save money by monitoring and cutting back on water, electrical and gas usage.

Japan is free of regulations when it comes to foreigners buying real estate. That’s great if you have the cash on hand. It’s not so great if you expect to finance your purchase through a Japanese institution. You’ll have to meet stringent requirements to do so. Your best bet is to secure financing elsewhere or pay cash.

Guarding Your Health

Japan’s health care system is innovative and advanced. You will be required to register with one of Japan’s two public health insurance options: the National Health Insurance or the Employee’s’ Health Insurance. You’ll pay monthly premiums, the amount of which is based on where you live and your income. In addition, you’ll pay approximately 30 percent of medical costs yourself. Private insurance options are also available.

Save Money & Live Better

Japan is a land of mystical wonders. Filled with 18 World Heritage Sites, scenic beauty, ancient culture, epicurean delights, historic monuments, castles and natural hot springs, it’s no surprise that 2 million expats from around the world live, work and retire in Japan. Retiring well in Japan means planning ahead and learning to live on less. Once you’re there, follow these tips to save:

  • Get around using local rail or tram services. If you’re planning a day of shopping or sightseeing, you’ll save more if you purchase a Day Pass.
  • Regional rail passes are an affordable way to explore specific regions of the country.
  • Long-distance buses are less expensive than bullet trains. Of course, the trip will take three to four times longer, but Japan’s long-distance buses are roomy and comfortable.
  • Tour the free sights. There are plenty of free attractions you can visit no matter where you choose to live. Public markets, Shinto shrines, dazzling architecture and beautiful parks are just a few of the choices you’ll have.
  • Avoid tourist traps when eating out. Eat at affordable, local eateries. Tipping is not a custom in Japan, so you’ll save a little there, too.

Bank Scams

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 10-02-2017

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It is very important to trust whoever has access to your money. You work hard for it. When you  think of banks, you would like to think of them as trustworthy institutions since they are responsible for the populations most important valuables. However, in recent history there has been known to be some scandal with banks that causes consumers to question their integrity.

Quota Scam

Bank workers have quotas to meet, they are essentially salesmen trying to earn commission when it comes to opening bank accounts. Some banks have been  known to take it a bit too far and open up accounts and credit cards without clients knowing to meet these quotas. This is what happened at Wells Fargo. Managers were using unethical measures to inflate sales numbers. After the class action suit was filed, it lead to a large number of employees being fired and millions of dollars spent in fines and reimbursements to clients.

PPI Scam

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is an insurance that your debts will be paid in the event of a death, lost job, catastrophe, etc. The idea sounds amazing but unfortunately there are businesses which are taking advantage of consumers. Often times, banks can lump these policies in with mortgages, automobile loans and credit cards without even fully informing the client. This is easy to do because all of these items involve large amounts of paperwork. PPI claims as described here can be filed

Many banks have been guilty of this scam, but a major global bank who got caught doing this is Barclays. Barclays have been taking hits on PPI claims for over the past decade.

Fee Scam

Every bank has ways of making money, one of them is through fees. They charge overdraft fees, transaction fees and fees for different services. There are many class action suits filed against large banks because of the unlawful charges or even incorrectly classified charges.

Bank of America recently made a $27.5 million settlement for unfairly assessing overdraft fees on certain debit cards. Bank of America still claims this did not occur but they reached that settlement amount.

When a global bank goes through something like this, it is a publicity nightmare. As I previously mentioned, it makes people not trust their bank and want to move their money elsewhere. Banks are so regulated but it seems that situations like these slip through the cracks.

Being Money-Smart in a New City

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 31-01-2017

Ah, home sweet home. You’re happily kicked back in your new home and you’re slowly but surely getting used to the new city waiting to be discovered all around you. Unfortunately, your new stomping grounds can come with a high cost attached if you’re not careful with your finances. That cost can continue to trip you up long after you’ve stopped reflexively giving out your old address or phone number by mistake. Here are a few tips to keep your wallet as comfortable in your new home as you are.

Potential Pitfall # 1: Groceries

Even if you’re the king or queen of takeout, sooner or later you’ll need a few staples for the fridge. In your first few weeks after moving, get to know your local grocery stores and note prices for common items like bread, milk and eggs. If you have a handful of items that you can’t live without (for me, it’s a particular brand of pesto) take a peek at those as well.

Sure, spending that extra $1.50 on a gallon of milk might not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that cost accumulating every week for a year, it’s a luxury tax you don’t need to be paying. If your local grocery stores offer a shop-at-home option, make use of it: not only can you comparison shop a few stores right at your desk, but picking up or getting delivery for an already-assembled order keeps impulse purchases to a minimum.

 

Potential Pitfall # 2: Car Insurance, Gas, & Parking Costs

If you own a car, it’s easy to forget that these costs definitely change when your address does. Insurance costs can vary wildly depending on your new state and city—sometimes in your favor, sometimes not. It’s worth it to obtain a few competitors’ quotes to make sure you’re not getting hit with an unnecessary insurance hike.

Certain smartphone apps like GasBuddy can direct you to the cheapest gas stations nearby. Keep your eyes out for ads on classified websites like Craigslist for nearby parking space opportunities if spaces are in short supply in the immediate area around your building or home.

 

Potential Pitfall # 3: Other Transportation

If you don’t own a car, or don’t drive it often, you’re likely taking advantage of public transit options in the area. If you’ve moved for a job, make sure to ask your H.R. department about potential savings on transit passes (many companies, especially larger ones, have negotiated discounts on bus and train fare for commuting employees). If you’ve moved for school, the same rule applies: student discounts can save you a bundle!

If you only need one-off rides now and then, consider using phone apps like Uber and Lyft, both of which often offer discount codes. If you prefer your own wheels, unique car rental services like Zipcar can be an inexpensive alternative to owning a vehicle and paying for parking and insurance.

 

Potential Pitfall # 4: Socializing

Naturally, you’ll want to make friends and start setting up a social network in your new locale—that’s great! What’s not so great is looking at your wallet after paying for a round or two. If you’re planning to go out and don’t want to look like a cheapskate, scope out websites for bars, look for cost info in Yelp reviews and hunt down promotional nights and specials before ever leaving the house. Bring a set amount of cash with you so you’re not tempted to overspend, and make sure to eat before you head out to eat so that you can savor small plates or tapas treats without a growling stomach driving your menu selections.

Potential Pitfall #5: Passing Stores on the Street

When I was living in New York City, it never ceased to amaze me how easy it was for a simple journey from point A to point B to get interrupted by stopping to make a purchase along the way. In cities in particular, you tend to be surrounded by new shops and culture that seem new and exciting. Sometimes just the fact that they are there in front of you makes them tempting.

In walking cities especially, it can be easy to get distracted by the things you are passing. Rather than maintaining tunnel visions and keeping yourself from looking around and actively participating in your own journey from A to B, you can work to avoid distractions by setting a certain amount of time for yourself to get somewhere, only carry a certain amount of money with you, or just practice having the discipline to say no to your urges to shop when shopping was not your intention.

Get Out There!

Your new city is full of exciting new restaurants, entertainment and sights to discover, and if you’re conscious about where your money is going, you’ll enjoy them that much more. No one wants to frantically check their online balance instead of streaming another season of a favorite show on Netflix, so save yourself the fiscal anguish and use these tips to keep your bank account balance….balanced!

Ross Cameron is a full-time day trader and owner of  Warrior Trading which he founded in 2012 as a live trading chat room emphasizing education and idea generation. Before he achieved success by trading stocks, he taught himself many ways to save money on a day-to-day basis. Today he continues to trade in his chat room and teach trading courses, and lives with his family in Vermont.

What is the online application process at Merchant Account?

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 03-01-2017

Running and working at your own business is hard – your merchant processing and integrated card services shouldn’t be. That’s why it is so important to find the right kind of quality merchant solutions provider that offers great customer support and comprehensive services at a low cost. You might be convinced that this is a nigh impossible task, however I assure you that it is not. There is a fantastic service out there that is not only affordable, but it is also easily accessible. In fact, there is even an online application process you can use! Let’s take a look at one of the most reliable options out there when it comes to merchant account services.

Merchant Account Solutions

To be honest, all you really need in a merchant account service is quality customer support and excellent service options at a great price. Well, I suppose that’s not a small feat – but it is one that Merchant Account Solutions has been managing to meet for almost a decade. Merchant Account Solutions offers a wide range of services including things like integrated card services and free credit card machines to get you started. They even do all of this at the lowest prices around.

Online Application

One of the best features of Merchant Account Solutions is that you can apply for their services online without the need to speak to anyone! This is a great option for busy small business owners for whom time is a luxury. And don’t worry – the process is a simple and quick one. It’s also a process that results in 98% of applicants being approved, too, which is always nice!

When you need an excellent merchant account service provider that offers great prices, integrated card services, and a variety of services, give Merchant Account Solutions a try. They have everything you need to continue building your business into a success story.

 

 

Get a therapeutic treatment to your emotional problems

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Family Life | Posted on 29-12-2016

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A lot of debates have been making rounds in the market regarding the contribution of pets in providing therapeutic benefits to disabled patients. While many people try to establish that it is just a myth but in practical life it has proved to be quite advantageous for people with emotional and mental instability. It has been observed in a number of instances that people are registering their pets to qualify them as emotional support animals to help them recover from an emotional and mental turmoil. This has led to the arousal of confusion and distrust among a certain section of the society who are hesitant to understand the legitimacy of the law.

dog

Since most public places and accommodations restrict the presence of such pets, the owner needs to comply with certain rules and regulations relating to such ESA certified pet. For those who want to register emotional support animal need not require their pets to be professionally trained as they are known to provide an emotional support just by being around its owner with disability. This has led to a significant distinction between emotional support animals and service dogs that are trained to carry out particular services.

Allowing an ESA in Housing

There are several legal procedures by which an animal can be allowed as an ESA, each one varying depending upon the prevailing laws in that particular state. In order to get a detailed report on the legality of a specific situation, a qualified attorney must be consulted. It should also be remembered that all housing are not covered under the FHAA guidelines such as I ceases when the housing is owned by a religious entity or there are three unit or less in which case the landlord is not liable to accommodate such pet.

Certain steps need to be followed to comply with the housing laws. The first and foremost step is to obtain a medical certificate from a mental physician authorizing the need for an emotional support animal. Then the prevailing laws for an ESA in a No Pet housing society should be known for which a letter of accommodation is to be submitted. Upon presentation of the necessary documents the landlord needs to provide an acceptance and approval letter to the tenant permitting him to accommodate such a pet in his housing complex.

Facts to be considered by housing provider

Apart from the ESA certificate provided by the owner of the pet, the landlord needs to look into a couple of other things to accommodate such pet. The first consideration is the intensity of the requirement of such a pet for therapeutic treatment. This can be known from the medical certificate provided by the owner from an authorized physician where it is clearly mentioned to register emotional support animal for assistance of the person suffering from disability. The next consideration is whether the pet actually contributes towards alleviating any mental instability of the owner. If both the above conditions are satisfied the landlord is compelled to allow such pet in his accommodation.