How to figure out the best credit card for you?

Which credit card is best for me?


Whilst I may be a big advocate for careful spending I'm not opposed to credit cards. They have many useful benefits in terms of building a credit history, delaying cash outlay such that you earn more interest on your cash, you get better purchase legal protection should something go wrong, and some credit cards even pay cash and rewards for their use. One caveat to my cavalier attitude to credit cards: pay them off in full each month.

I was recently asked by a friend "what credit card do you recommend that I get?". This isn't an easy question to answer. Everybody is different and has different requirements. After a little research I was able to give her the details of a credit card that should suit her needs. If you are on the lookout for a new credit card then follow these simple points:

If you don't have much credit


If the card is going to be your first credit card and you have very little income then you're going to be more suited to a credit builder credit card. These credit cards provide the user with a small amount of credit and have extortionate APR interest charges on them should you miss a payment. However, they're great if you're just starting out. Every 3-6 months you'll be able to increase your credit limit. After a couple of years you'll be able to transition to a better credit card.

Who do you bank with?


It can be beneficial to check with your current account provider. The application process will be smoother as they will have a lot of your details on file. In addition, there may be favourable rates and benefits to users of the banks other products. 

Points or cashback?


Many of you may have a good income and could easily afford to make the repayments on a credit card. If this is you then the only real question is whether you want to receive cashback or points as a reward for your credit card spending. 

I have friends who love the points system on credit cards. They build up points for every £1 spent on the card and use the points to get upgrades on flight, sometimes even paying for flights outright. You can also exchange your points for other gifts such as electrical goods and shopping vouchers.

I prefer cash back. For every £1 that I spend I get 1.25% back at the end of the year. This works out at about £200 per year. I love it because it's money in my pocket to spend however I wish and I didn't need to do anything for it. I just purchased whatever I would ordinarily purchase but used my credit card instead of a debit card or cash. 

General advice when taking out a credit card


Test your chances of succeeding with the card application before applying. Being rejected from a credit card application a couple of times in a row can be damaging for your credit history. I strongly recommend using moneysavingexpert.com and putting in your details for the card that you want. The site will tell your the likelihood of success in your card application. If your chances are greater than 50% then I recommend applying.

What about APR and interest rates?


You may be wondering why I haven't mentioned the various interest rates and balance transfers on credit cards. This is because I want you to ignore all of this. I want you to pay off your credit card in full each month, in which case it doesn't matter what the interest will be as you'll never be paying it. As for 0% balance transfer deals - whilst these may be attractive I still want you to get into the habit of paying off your credit card in full each and every month. Do not be tempted to moved your debt from 0% balance transfer card to 0% balance transfer card. That is a potentially dangerous slippery slope.

Do you like what you've read? Tell your friends by sharing it with one of the buttons below. Please post this to Facebook or Tweet it to help your friends and family. Feel free to send me an email (mrmoneybanks@multimillionaireroad.com), find me on twitter @millionairer0ad or comment. Whether good or bad, I want to hear from you all.

How to figure out the best credit card for you?

Which credit card is best for me?


Whilst I may be a big advocate for careful spending I'm not opposed to credit cards. They have many useful benefits in terms of building a credit history, delaying cash outlay such that you earn more interest on your cash, you get better purchase legal protection should something go wrong, and some credit cards even pay cash and rewards for their use. One caveat to my cavalier attitude to credit cards: pay them off in full each month.

I was recently asked by a friend "what credit card do you recommend that I get?". This isn't an easy question to answer. Everybody is different and has different requirements. After a little research I was able to give her the details of a credit card that should suit her needs. If you are on the lookout for a new credit card then follow these simple points:

If you don't have much credit


If the card is going to be your first credit card and you have very little income then you're going to be more suited to a credit builder credit card. These credit cards provide the user with a small amount of credit and have extortionate APR interest charges on them should you miss a payment. However, they're great if you're just starting out. Every 3-6 months you'll be able to increase your credit limit. After a couple of years you'll be able to transition to a better credit card.

Who do you bank with?


It can be beneficial to check with your current account provider. The application process will be smoother as they will have a lot of your details on file. In addition, there may be favourable rates and benefits to users of the banks other products. 

Points or cashback?


Many of you may have a good income and could easily afford to make the repayments on a credit card. If this is you then the only real question is whether you want to receive cashback or points as a reward for your credit card spending. 

I have friends who love the points system on credit cards. They build up points for every £1 spent on the card and use the points to get upgrades on flight, sometimes even paying for flights outright. You can also exchange your points for other gifts such as electrical goods and shopping vouchers.

I prefer cash back. For every £1 that I spend I get 1.25% back at the end of the year. This works out at about £200 per year. I love it because it's money in my pocket to spend however I wish and I didn't need to do anything for it. I just purchased whatever I would ordinarily purchase but used my credit card instead of a debit card or cash. 

General advice when taking out a credit card


Test your chances of succeeding with the card application before applying. Being rejected from a credit card application a couple of times in a row can be damaging for your credit history. I strongly recommend using moneysavingexpert.com and putting in your details for the card that you want. The site will tell your the likelihood of success in your card application. If your chances are greater than 50% then I recommend applying.

What about APR and interest rates?


You may be wondering why I haven't mentioned the various interest rates and balance transfers on credit cards. This is because I want you to ignore all of this. I want you to pay off your credit card in full each month, in which case it doesn't matter what the interest will be as you'll never be paying it. As for 0% balance transfer deals - whilst these may be attractive I still want you to get into the habit of paying off your credit card in full each and every month. Do not be tempted to moved your debt from 0% balance transfer card to 0% balance transfer card. That is a potentially dangerous slippery slope.

Do you like what you've read? Tell your friends by sharing it with one of the buttons below. Please post this to Facebook or Tweet it to help your friends and family. Feel free to send me an email (mrmoneybanks@multimillionaireroad.com), find me on twitter @millionairer0ad or comment. Whether good or bad, I want to hear from you all.

A tip to be entrepreneurial

How to generate business ideas


Doesn't everyone want to be a little more entrepreneurial?

Sometimes it seems like any ideas that you have someone else has already thought of. Other times you had a flash of inspiration but then when you try to remember it it's gone. Then there are those times when you're desperately trying to think of a hussle, a way to make some additional cash but no inspiration comes. How can we all be a little bit more entrepreneurial?

Become more entrepreneurial


I've read an awful lot of business books over the years. What can I say other than I get a weird kick out of learning about other peoples' successes in the business world. I've recently read Richard Branson's autobiography (and it was good! Highly recommend). What was clear from his business life is that he always kept a pen and paper handy. These were for his business ideas. Branson details in the book how he keeps libraries or his black leather bound books. He uses these books for inspiration when inspiration has failed him.

Pen and paper is the key to becoming an entrepreneur


Keeping a pen and a small pocket notebook has been a habit of mine over the past year. It's on me almost regardless of where I am. Whenever I get a flash of inspiration or an idea no matter how small I write it down straight away. I don't go into detail, I just write free flow and draw out a small flow chart of the idea. At the top of the page I give the idea a title or simply denote that it's a business idea.

 

Hopefully you can see from my picture that my little black book is pretty well used and battered. I also use it for keeping short to do lists, goals or networking ideas, opportunities and contact details.

 

Hopefully you can see from the picture how brief the ideas are. I simply write out how the idea would work and in this case I wrote out a few risks. 

The idea is that if every I want to actually pursue an entrepreneurial pursuit I check my little black book and review the various ideas to see if there's anything that I want to act upon. If you're looking for inspiration and are short on ideas I strongly recommend that you go out and purchase a little black book.

Do you like what you've read? Tell your friends by sharing it with one of the buttons below. Please post this to Facebook or Tweet it to help your friends and family. Feel free to send me an email (mrmoneybanks@multimillionaireroad.com), find me on twitter @millionairer0ad or comment. Whether good or bad, I want to hear from you all.

What Are The Financial Habits Of Successful, Wealthy Couples?

Becoming a wealthy couple

The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:

We all sometimes dream of earning a seven-figure salary of winning the lottery. But for the vast majority of successful, wealth doesn’t just arrive on their doorstep one day. It’s the result of years of frequently see habits and careful financial planning.

For instance, the couples that effectively manage their money always keep tabs on what exactly they are spending their money on. According to experts, many couples get into trouble by failing to keep up with things like subscription costs. Just cutting down on a few unused subscriptions can often lead to significant savings.
Flickr
What other habits to financial planners see frequently among people who successfully build wealth? Let’s take a look.


They Reverse Their Thinking


It’s a sad fact that wages in the US haven't risen for the median earner in over 18 years in the US. That’s despite a massive expansion in high technology and productivity. As a result, paychecks are often small, especially after taxes and other expenses.
But top financial planners say that couples have gotten their approach to building wealth wrong. Most of the time, couples will spend their money, pay their bills and then put whatever’s left towards their financial goals. That’s the wrong strategy, according to planners. They say that couples need to reverse their thinking. Financial planning for newly married couples should put financial goals as the top priority. Everything else should come after that if the aim is to build wealth.
It should be noted that this isn’t about starving yourself or getting evicted to reach your financial goals. It’s about putting away that little bit of money you can afford first, and then dealing with everything else afterward.


Build Your Own Psychological Defence System


We all know how tempting new, shiny consumer products can be. Who hasn’t lusted over a new pair of shoes or video camera at some point? But this type of short-termism and consumerism can derail even the best-intentioned savers.

There are defenses we can use against such temptations. One strategy is called “heuristics,” first suggested by behavioral economists. These guys suggest that people develop simple rules to help them deal with problem areas. A simple rule might be to spend no more than $3 on a cup of coffee or always to buy last-gen computer equipment. These rules help to simplify your mental processes and help couples avoid splurging on things they don’t need.

Live It Up Like A Secret Millionaire
Pixabay
People imagine that the lives of millionaires are dominated by flash cars and Michelin star meals out. But not everybody lives like Donald Trump. According to “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” many are frugal. Thomas Stanley, the author of the book, came to this conclusion after interviewing dozens of very wealthy people.
What wealthy people tend to do instead is build their wealth privately, and save for the future. Sure, there might be a few Kim Kardashians and Kanye Wests out there. But the vast majority of wealthy people are living as millionaires in secret, saving for their retirement.

Maximise mortgage borrowings when you're young

Mortgage borrowing advice


Borrow as much as possible! You won't see me writing that very often. Let me caveat this...a lot.

I want you to borrow as much as you possible can for your first mortgage limited only by what you can physically afford to pay back. You should only do this if you've got at least a couple of decades until retirement.

You want me to borrow as much as possible - are you mad?


On my blog I have long advocated being very careful when it comes to debt. In a very short summary I have always argued that you should avoid it like the plague. Even with a mortgage I used to argue that if you have to have one (and let's be honest 99% of us will require one) then at least make sure that you try to pay it off as quickly as possible. Over the years I have since refined my understanding of debt and now would encourage large mortgage borrowing under the right circumstances.

Good debt and bad debt


A really quick lesson in wealth: the poor man uses his own money to invest and grow his wealth; the rich man uses other peoples'. Buying a property that will grow in value over time with someone else's money is how to grow wealth quickly.

Case study: Growing wealth with borrowed money 


Let's say that you have £100,000 to buy a house with. There are two scenarios:
Scenario 1: you buy a small property outright. Over the next 30 years the property grows in value tenfold. You now have an asset worth £1,000,000. Well done.
Scenario 2: you but a larger property worth £300,000 by putting down a £100,000 deposit and getting a £200,000 mortgage for the rest. Over the next 30 years the property grows in value tenfold. Additionally ou end up paying £400,000 back to bank in terms of debt borrowed and interest. However, you now own  an asset worth £3,000,000. Minus the £400,000 and you're net assets/ overall benefit is £2,600,000. This is a 260% better outcome than in scenario 1.

Borrow until you can borrow no more


I hope that you can see from the case study above that the sensible thing to do is use other people's money to invest and buy assets. It's dangerous to purchase things on credit that aren't assets such as cars or holiday. However, if by borrowing you are able to purchase a fat appreciating asset and you have the time and the funds in order to afford the repayments over the mortgage term then you should try to borrow as much as possible.

Do you like what you've read? Tell your friends by sharing it with one of the buttons below. Please post this to Facebook or Tweet it to help your friends and family. Feel free to send me an email (mrmoneybanks@multimillionaireroad.com), find me on twitter @millionairer0ad or comment. Whether good or bad, I want to hear from you all.



FinTech start-ups and the role of crowdfunding

The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:

The FinTech industry has witnessed a huge amount of global investment and growth over the past few years. Between 2010 and 2015 alone, there has been a staggering $49.7 billion, a quarter of which was invested in the first two financial quarters of 2015. This trend of huge investment into FinTech has lead to a massive growth worldwide. This includes millions of FinTech start-ups appearing year on year offering a broad range of financial software solutions.



However, just like any other industry, finding funding in FinTech for a new start up can cause many great concepts to fall at the first hurdle. Attempting to borrow capital in the current economic climate through traditional bank lending, which are subject to stringent regulations and outdated processes can not only take a long time to process, but also it may not be guaranteed.

The latest funding alternative


But as is always the case in business, there are always people looking for alternative ways to raise capital for a new business venture, and a leading trend that is boosting the financial prospects for many new FinTech ventures is crowdfunding.



The whole concept of crowdfunding is to raise small amounts of capital across a large number of investors to generate a collective pot of money that can then be invested into the business. Managed correctly with comprehensive capital market solutions, it can be a very effective way of generating enough capital to launch a new start up and make the money go further too.

With this in mind, it is now playing a huge role in FinTech start-ups who are now appealing to the masses for investment and moving away from the larger banks. These don’t even have to be people with huge capital to burn; as the beauty of crowdfunding is that anyone with even a small amount of capital can make an investment into something they believe could be a success.

In the UK alone, crowdfunding is having a significant impact on the FinTech industry. And in some instances the amount of capital raised can far exceed the initial expectations like it did goHenry, a British FinTech start-up who designed a pre-paid debit card and app aimed at teaching children how to manage their money from a young age. They sought additional funding for their venture through crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube, with an initial target of £2million that was raised in less than 48 hours - they then went on to secure a record £4million from more than 2000 investors.

Is this a continuing trend?


With such a buzz around crowdfunding and so many success stories within the FinTech industry, this does raise the question of whether this method of raising capital is likely to continue and whether traditional banking institutions are in danger. Certainly with many FinTech companies offering crowdfunding services themselves it would suggest it’s here to stay for the foreseeable.

Naturally, one of the attractions of crowdfunding for start-ups is the ease and quickness that capital can be raised. Although it requires a company to promote their concept to a wider audience, this can be done effectively through crowdfunding companies. Furthermore, crowdfunding campaigns allow start-ups to make a more compelling and emotional connection with investors, particularly if they have a concept that is relevant to the potential investors, designed to enhance customer experiences.

On the flip side, banks still require certain regulations and objectives to be met before they can authorise credit or loans, regardless of whether the individuals believe in the concept’s prospects or not. This could pose a problem for banks, unless they change their business models, if the prosperity of crowdfunding campaigns for FinTech start-ups continues as it is. Banking institutions that historically profited from business loans and credit could miss out on a sizeable chunk of revenue, where they made profits on interest repayments, which could have the potential to affect the bottom line.

Revealed: How Rich People Get Even Richer


The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘the rich get richer.' It refers to a common view that no one gets richer apart from those with money. But, how do rich people get so much richer? What are they doing to generate more income? Today, I reveal everything and show you just how they do it:

They Open Businesses

How many rich people do you know that start opening multiple businesses? It’s a popular tactic to turn their fortune into something even more epic. A successful business venture can make you so much money. Just think about all the profits you can make. And, once you have a taste for business, you may want to open more. Before you know it, you own multiple successful franchises and are a millionaire! This is how rich people become even richer throughout their life. There’s no reason you can’t open a business either. Seek out the funding, and get started making your dream a reality. Slowly but surely, your successful business makes more and more money. Your fortune increases, and you’re in the same boat as those rich people you used to envy!

They Invest Their Money

Being rich gives you the obvious benefit of having a lot of money. This gives you the chance to invest large amounts and turn it into even more money! Rich people do this all the time to grow their fortune. And, it’s something you should do too. While they invest mini fortunes, you can invest as much as you can afford. The key is finding safe and secure ways of investing. Things like self-managed super funds are safe and secure ways of investing in property. This is good as property itself is a very safe investment choice. You can take things like an SMSF 30 second quiz to figure out if this investment idea is right for you. If it isn’t, then you always have other options like share trading, investing in gold, etc.
                                                      (Source: https://flic.kr/p/ApJacN)

They Never Give Up

I think we’ve all been in a position where we’re envious of a rich person. We see them with all their money, and then hear that they’ve made even more. How do they have all that money? We ask ourselves, as we look on jealously. Well, one of the reasons the rich get richer is because they never give up. They’re not satisfied with sitting on a fortune and retiring early. Where’s the fun in that? A lot of people think rich people are greedy when they keep looking for ways to make money. But, I think it shows commitment, particularly to their future. The more they make, the more their children will have when they pass away. It sets the family up for a good financial future. If you want to be rich and stay rich, you have to work hard for it. Don’t earn a fortune at thirty and then retire and do nothing. Make your life productive and look for new and interesting ideas at all times.
 
 
So, if you want to be rich, you should follow the same principles as rich people. Do these three things, and you can start growing your fortune today.


How to Make Your Business Look Bigger Than It Is on a Small Budget?

Maximising your business presence

The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:

The world of business drives on competition. Besides the obvious profit making objectives, you also need to focus on keeping up with your competitors through tactics and strategies and gradually seek expansion, without breaking your bank or cutting down on your profit margins. The big giants in the market have a huge budget for exuberant marketing and promotional campaigns, yet there are some smart business hacks for you to build a strong and larger than life business profile.

Customer perception is the key to building a strong client base. If you are a small to medium business enterprise, you can still manage to create a strong and credible perception in your customer’s mind, portraying yourself as a large-scale business enterprise, even if you are yet to become one. Here are some smart tips for your business to fake it till you make it. Read on.  

Build a Business Website


According to a research, around 60% of small business do not have a website. This failure to tap the online customer markets limits the scope of business growth. Furthermore, a majority of customer’s purchase decisions are backed by their online research about the product or service. Therefore, it is essential that you keep your website renewed and updated or get yourself one, if you don’t have it yet.

Make Optimum Use of Social Media Platforms


Social media marketing is essential for your business, be it big or small. Social media platforms are home to a huge online population, and thus make a free gateway for you to extend and reach out to your customers. Not only do they help you advertise and promote your product, it also makes an efficient customer engagement platform and helps you gain a fist hand insight about the customers’ response.

Offer Online Payment Options


Online payment options signify a professional, automated and tech-oriented approach of your business and also establishes a more credible perception in the customers’ mind. It automates your invoicing system and provides a sense of security to the customers to make online purchases from your websites.

Build A Brand Out of Your Products


Branding does not mean that you spendthrift on a catchy logo, a unique name font or an interesting tagline. These factors are significantly important in their place, however, it is your business’s unique procedures and signature customer-oriented approach that enhances your prominence in the market and turns you into a brand.  

Your business ambitions should not be small as your business. Running a small enterprise on professional patterns, and fostering your signature style of customer dealings, business operations and marketing and promotions, would help you stand out in the market, and gain a cutting edge over your competitors.

Offer Promotional Products and Advertising Giveaways


Seeking for a TVC or print media campaign to achieve your marketing and promotional goals would cost you a huge amount, which of course is not feasible for your small business. However, there is an easy and cost effective alternate for small businesses to achieve even greater marketing outcomes.

Advertising giveaways and promotional items like notebooks, keychain, pens, mugs or other artifacts and accessories tend to create a more significant impact on your customers than any TV or print campaign. Customers love anything that comes as a bonus with their purchase and this makes it an effective mean to create a high brand retention and recall.

Don't Let These Productivity Killers Affect Your Business!

Avoiding productivity errors in your business


The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:
Every business ideally wants to run at full speed all the time. A lot of things can boost your company’s productivity fast. Having more employees and keeping them motivated can have a major effect. Giving them the best equipment for work also helps.


But productivity can be killed just as fast. There are certain productivity-killers that you should always try to avoid in your business. Many of these things are easy to prevent, and doing so will keep your company at full productivity. Here are some of the productivity-killers your business should watch out for and how you can counteract them.


 

Information Overload






There are many sources of instant news and information these days. These can often get distracting, and cause information overload for workers. You’ll want to avoid your employees getting too distracted by these things.


Social media and email are highly useful for businesses. But in many cases, they can also be huge productivity-killers. Make sure your business email system has an active spam filter to avoid inboxes getting clogged. You should also advise your employees not to use social media if it distracts them from work.


You can also help by not overloading employees with work. People with too much work to do can often get overwhelmed. It often turns out to be counteractive, as workers will feel less productive and not get as much work done.


 

Technical Problems




Businesses often have a large network of computers. As such, many technical difficulties can quickly hinder productivity. If an employee has a problem with running their machine, they may not be able to do their work till it’s fixed. If the internet goes down, it can quickly kill the digital operations of your entire workplace.


It’s always best to have I.T. support on hand in case of any computer or internet problems. Many companies help businesses with this, such as Spectrumwise. Specialist I.T. services will ensure your technical operations go smoothly. They can also fix any problems fast.


Avoiding all computer problems from minor issues to viruses will ensure your company stays productive. High-speed internet and fast computers will also help your business run smoothly.

Meetings






A lot of companies hold regular meetings. They’re often a way to deliver information, discuss problems, and work on projects. At the same time, they can also be a huge productivity killer for your business.


Having employees in meetings stops them from getting their work done. Not only that but many people also switch off during meetings. They waste people’s time in more ways than one, and in many cases they aren’t necessary.


If you need to get out information to a lot of people fast, maybe meetings aren’t the best method. Email memos can work just as well. If you need to hold a meeting, then consider doing it through video conferencing to save some valuable time.


 

Lack Of Schedule




Tasks will get done significantly slower if you don’t know what to do and when. Lack of planning trickles down to your entire business. Your employees will also find themselves wasting more time without a schedule.

Scheduling is important for getting tasks finished on time. Decide what needs to get done each week. It will help you let employees know what’s expected of them each day. Planning out when tasks need to be done can get them completed faster. It will also save you more time to complete more work.

Top 5 Facts About Plants in the Office

How plants and vegetation help your work environment

The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:

Plants do a lot more for your office than just making it look good. Here are the top five facts about office plants that prove why having an office plant (or a couple of them) may just be the thing your office needs:

Fact #1:

A study conducted in 2010 found out that having plants in your office lend more than just one benefit to your workplace environment. The results from the study shows that keeping plants in an office can reduce Anxiety/Tension by 37%, Anger/Hostility by 44%, Depression/Dejection by 58% and Fatigue gets reduced by 38%.
This fact alone speaks volumes about the psychological benefits you get from having your office go green.

Fact #2:

Office plants are not just good for you psychologically; they have plenty of physiological benefits to offer as well. In this regard, lowered stress levels and blood pressure levels are the two significant benefits that you reap from having plants around in your workspace.

Fact #3:

Office plants can also help you cut back on Operations and Maintenance costs! Here is how:
Plants help in normalizing the humidity levels in the environment. Offices with low humidity levels often report their interior damaging, especially if it involves things made out of wood. On the other hand, if the humidity levels are too high, that can do structural damage to the office. Plant transpiration ( a process by which plants cool themselves down) can help stabilizing the humidity levels which in the long run can keep your office and its structure all proper.
Also, did you know that a healthy young tree can give you the same cooling effect as ten room-sized air conditioners that have been working for 20hrs/day can?
Let that sink in.

Fact #4:

Keeping plants in the office can make your employees reduce their absences by 50%? Fewer absences would mean more employees showing up to work which would lead to an increased level in productivity. Not only this, but having plants can also lead an increase to the quality of the work that is done. Greener offices report having employees that are more focused on their tasks. Several studies have concluded that having plants in the office can bring down the number of mistakes made because the workers are that much more focused on their work.  
The reason behind this is of course, linked to CO2 in the air. An increased amount of CO2 in your workplace environment can hinder your productivity and keeping plants around is the easiest, most cost effective way of combating this.

Fact #5:

Other than regulating your blood pressure, humidity levels in the air and making you more productive, spending time surrounded by plants can also make you look healthier. Forget your moisturizing lotion for a little while; studies suggest that plants can be effective in reducing your skin’s dryness by 20%.
Put some Peace Lily or Spider Plants around your office and have your mind and body thank you for it. 
 

Branding: The Business's Secret Revenue Generator

Image result for branding


The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:

Generating revenue for the business, big or small, requires strategy. Utilising all the tools to your advantage will work financial wonders.  Whichever way you look at it, marketing is something that every business needs to address to turn a profit. What is the most powerful tool when it comes to business marketing? When it boils down to it, making sure that the image is in line with the company ethos is the main attraction to customers and potential clients. So, make sure that both aspects work in tandem with each other. This will make your campaign or marketing strategies work to their maximum potential. Aligning a business image with the company ethos can have its difficulties, especially from a small business perspective due to limited resources. How can you sync them up?

Having Brand Awareness


This is the first fundamental step to aligning business and image. You need to have total awareness of your product, so therefore you need to know the brand. Do you understand the basics of what your product is and who it is best suited for? An approach that businesses use is to see where the product is best suited i.e., the target market. You also need to be aware of where you are alongside your contemporaries. When you look at what everyone else is doing it helps you to identify a tone that stands out for your product and also will help you avoid tricky issues, such as plagiarism.

How to determine the tone? Do some brainstorming. Start by creating some “buzzwords” that links with what you were trying to communicate as far as the brand image is concerned. Is your business ethos in your face? Or is it subtle? As soon as you understand which keywords align best with the business that will help to create an identity for the brand. From there, you can outsource or get help from marketing companies or a reputable Website Development Agency to help you achieve an image you are happy with.

Work On The Logo


The logo might be viewed as just a simple picture to go with your business name. But your logo needs to communicate everything about your business you made in a simple and effective image. A memorable logo will link to a memorable business. And therefore link to a memorable product. The logo is something to invest in because people will remember images rather than products. The logo is an anchor to hang your business on. When you think of big multinational companies, such as McDonald's, the golden arches always comes to mind. So creating a logo that stands the test of time will be a key issue for you to address. Getting the logo right is something that can take time, but it is integral to setting up your business's financial future.
It makes financial sense to understand the power of your image as a business. If you do not understand this, it can cause repercussions down the line. The power of branding and image for a business is not something that you should overlook. So take your time, and get it right.



Is a 25 year mortgage a good term?

The ideal mortgage length


The biggest purchase or purchases that you will make in your life is property. Property can be expensive, especially in major cities. Whether renting or buying, property can be a real burden on your finances. 

We've had multiple articles on the site about trying to be more frugal and control your spending habits. However, we've also pointed out that the key to frugality is to focus on the big ticket items such as holiday spending, cars and property. 

Struggling to pay your mortgage


Many people cannot afford their properties, the rent or the monthly mortgage costs. This happens for one of two reasons. Either there is a major decline in household income for example one of the income earning members of the household loses their job, or else, the household has overstretched themselves on a property that they cannot afford. It is on this latter scenario that I draw my attention.

Only you truly know what you can afford


Many people think that if the bank is willing to lend the money for a mortgage then it must be affordable. They are mistaken. Whilst the mortgage broker or bank will ask you for your various outgoings only you can ever truly know what is affordable. You will know how much you can afford to spend. Go back through your bank statements and credit cards and map out exactly how much is coming in versus what is going out each month. You need to assess for yourself the affordability.

What's affordable and is here there another way?


Let's say the bank is willing to lend you £200,000 and at the current interest rate over 25 years the expense will be about £1,200 per month. This may be quite expensive for a household on only earning £40,000 combined. This would man that they have about £2,600 per month, and if almost half of that goes on property, that's a serious stretch for the family. It's irrelevant that they can borrow the amount.

A solution is to look for mortgages that have a longer term. For example, if the mortgage term was 40 years the repayments may be £750 per month. That's a huge improvement to the   household finances. Don't let the mortgage broker talk you into the 25 year mortgage when the longer mortgages may be easier to finance in terms of cash flow.

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Employee Training: Making the Most Of It

What's the point in training?

 
The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:
The next time you walk into the office and tell your employees that they’re due to go on a training course, I’m sure you’ll hear at least one subdued groan. Training isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite part of business for obvious reasons. It’s tedious for your employees, and eats into more important tasks you want to be tackling. However, if you want to reach your long-term business goals, ongoing employee training is essential. Here are a few pointers for making sure you get the most out of it.

First of all, leverage your best employees, as they make the best trainers. One of the many perks of being a small business owner is that you start off with a small number of employees, which makes them much easier to manage. When you’re hand-raising people in entry-level jobs, you’ll know who’s best suited to pass on their skills and knowledge. There’s no need to spend a load of capital on outsourcing your training when you’ve already got a wealth of knowledge and experience right there. For example, if you have employees who have been with you for a while and demonstrated great communication skills, appoint them as trainers for that skill, and make them the host for a monthly talk on the subject. As I mentioned before, training isn’t generally that popular, so you may want to offer bonuses or other incentives to make sure you’re getting the most out of these in-house tutors.

Source: Wikimedia



Next, make sure you’re researching changes in your industry, and stacking this against the skills and expertise within your business. If you let the skills at your business become outdated, then your profit margins are sure to suffer. Whatever industry your business is a part of, you can be sure that it’s not static, and there will always be some new technology, practice or convention which you should be looking into. As your business changes with the times, your training should as well. For example, if you’re in the energy sector and you’re looking to branch out into greener, more progressive energy sources, then organize some global renewable energy training. If you want your sales team to start using a more modern CRM system, then set a date for an in-house seminar on it.


Finally, make sure you’re taking generational differences into account. Unless you’re a genius like Mark Zuckerberg, odds are you were fairly old when your business started to take wing. It’s also pretty likely that your workforce is made up of a lot of millennials, who may not have the same outlook on business as you do. Your upper management are probably closer to your age, or somewhere in between. The point I’m getting at here is that a multi-generational workforce can sometimes lead to gaps in training. It’s very important to realize that different age groups are more receptive to different kinds of training. Your older workers may be more comfortable sitting through a good-old seminar, whereas your younger employees will stand to gain more from hands-on, tech-based training.

Disclaimer

Information on this site is not appropriate for the purposes of making a decision for carrying out a transaction or trade nor does it provide any form of advice (investment, tax or legal) amounting to investment advice, or make any recommendations regarding particular financial instruments, investments, or products.
Always seek advice of a competent financial advisor with any questions you may have regarding a financial matter