Finance and You

Things You Should Know to Start a Business

Things You Should Know to Start a Business

Finance and You October 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm Comments are Disabled

A lot of people would tell you that there is no perfect formula in starting a business. Most of them would also say that you wouldn’t know until you get there. There would always be a point when you would feel overwhelmed with everything, but the result would be worth it. Here are a few things that could help you live the dream of starting a business.

1. Know where to start.

Many people dream of starting their businesses but never get there because they burden themselves with a million things. Focus on the basic questions: What product or service should you offer? Which location would work? Who is your target market? Should you get a loan from a bank for your capital? TAB Bank financial advisors say that these questions are normal whether you want an online business or start a small shop. You have to ask these to begin and find a solution to your concerns.

2. Keep costs low.

When buying long-term products, expensive items or supplies are not always the best option. In furnishing your shop or business space, don’t be afraid to buy slightly used pieces or furnishings. Remember, a good deal could save you a lot of money.

3. Test and measure everything.

You should prepare a strategy for your marketing, financing, and maintenance needs. Make sure to collect data and study which method suits you. If it doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to change it.

4. Expect large expenses and low revenues.

Understanding your potential losses doesn’t mean that you accept them. It means that you understand which parts to work on and further develop, so you could work to improve your income later. This list is only the beginning, but it is enough to start your business dreams and turn it into reality.

Need Help with Funding Your New Restaurant? Get Hospitality Financing

Need Help with Funding Your New Restaurant? Get Hospitality Financing

Finance and You July 14, 2017 at 1:00 am Comments are Disabled

A restaurateur faces a variety of challenges when establishing a restaurant. One is the concept or theme of the restaurant, especially if this is a non-franchise type of hospitality establishment. Another challenge is its location relative to the market it wishes to cater to. Building awareness of your restaurant’s existence to drive traffic is also a priority.

The Money Challenge

Of all the challenges you face, however, having a sufficient amount of money to support the restaurant’s operations is probably the most difficult. Unfortunately, many restaurateurs lack sufficient money to fund their business.

Consider a Loan

To address this challenge, ARF Financial suggests that you consider securing hospitality financing from a reputable lending institution. Regular banks do not normally provide this type of business loans directly. You can deal with lending institutions that are willing to assume a big part of the loan risk by underwriting it.

Qualifying for this type of financing entails the same requirements that a bank would impose for most types of business loans. This would include the submission of a feasibility study and business plan that contains, at the minimum:

1. Business Concept (Theme, Menu)

2. Environmental Scan

3. Competition and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)

4. Location Analysis

5. Funding Requirements (Capital and Operational)

6. Financial (i.e., Projected Financial and Income Statements) Projections

7. Financing Proposal (i.e., amount needed and repayment terms)

8. Past business experience of principal(s), if any

9. Collateral

Businesses require money. Restaurants, in particular, have high start-up financial requirements because of the nature of the business. The food ordered needs to be prepared quickly, which means the ingredients should be readily available. The ambiance of the place, which costs a lot to achieve, has to motivate the target market to visit and revisit.

Being a service-oriented business means investments in people and processes for an excellent customer experience. There are loan packages that you can look at to help meet this requirement. You just have to be ready to qualify for one.

Boost Your Chances of Securing a Mortgage with an FHA Loan

Boost Your Chances of Securing a Mortgage with an FHA Loan

Finance and You June 21, 2017 at 7:06 am Comments are Disabled

Utah has seen much improvement over the last several years, one of which is its economy. According to experts, economic growth will continue well over this year. Having shown superior economic performance in 2016, the state remains strong and prosperous with many aspects of its quality of living — particularly, in housing — gaining the interest of many consumers.

With an impressive home ownership rating of 69.9%, The Beehive State’s housing market exhibits no signs of slowing down. This makes it a great time for you to start the search for your own house, especially if you have wanted to for a long time now, and has already made preparations for a purchase.

Making the transition from renting to owning

Although the cost of living in the state is higher than in other parts of the country, the overall quality of living here compensates for it. The fact that you can receive help from the government through a variety of mortgage programs also helps make home buying easier for you.

One of your options when it comes to mortgages is the FHA loan program. With the help of the Federal Housing Administration, you can make that transition from paying monthly rent to making payments that establish your home ownership.

The features that make FHA loans attractive

Traditional mortgages often come with strict and rigorous standards — a major reason homebuyers find it difficult to apply, especially those who have a less-than-stellar credit history. FHA loans minimize the risks of an applicant receiving a rejection, as this agency within the Department of Housing and Urban Development insures the loan for them. As such, lenders can make their lending regulations more flexible, since they know they have protection against a borrower defaulting on the loan.

All in all, the less rigorous lending standards of FHA loans, combined with their lower interest rate and down payment requirements, can make it just the right mortgage loan for you.

Four Things to Know Before Picking a Family Healthcare Plan

Four Things to Know Before Picking a Family Healthcare Plan

Finance and You April 5, 2017 at 4:24 am Comments are Disabled

Health Care Application FormHealth is a major concern to everyone. Most will go to the extremest ends to get health insurance or a reliable plan for their loved ones. The market will not always echo your enthusiasm and good intentions. It is important to know what to look for in a health care plan. Here is what you should find out before choosing your healthcare cover.

Give Your Doctor a Call

Always talk to your doctor first before going out hunting for a Medicare plan. Family medicine practitioners in Orem know your family the best and will always advise you on what to cover and what to ignore. The doctor’s understanding of your medical history plays a crucial role in deciding the amount of money you might need covering unique conditions that are or could be in your family in the near future.

Apart from just checking out the cover types, the family doctor can use his or her experience to guide you to the most reliable insurance covers in Orem. With medical expenses rising every day, it is best to find a cover that helps you save as much money as possible without compromising on quality.

Medical Needs Estimate

It is important to have an estimate of all your medical needs when choosing a good cover. Your doctor can diagnose your family and help you do a more accurate need-cost analysis. Know which costs the insurer covers and which ones are not. Also, get to understand the premium payments before making any agreements.

Weigh Risks and Rewards

Insurance is meant to protect you during a catastrophe. Make sure that you calculate the necessary deductibles and compare with what your family can afford every month. The cover should be comprehensive but manageable to avoid putting undue strain on your financial life.

Doctor Acceptance is Mandatory

The bottom line is to choose a cover that doctors will agree to. A high-end deductible plan is more suited if you have enough cash to spare, and there is a potential for your employer to increase. Always go for a plan that will work

Health insurance is not cheap but it is worth it. It is a relief to be exempted from the pressure of having to pay a lot of money during an emergency. A medical care plan always works.

3 Reasons to Refinance an Auto Loan

3 Reasons to Refinance an Auto Loan

Finance and You April 4, 2017 at 4:14 am Comments are Disabled

When refinancing your auto loan, you would be replacing your existing loan with a
new one on different terms. The entire process could have different results, too. This means that prior to refinancing, ensure that you have the right motivations or reasons for doing so because every auto loan deal is different.

With this in mind, the following are the most common reasons car owners refinance their auto loans:

Reduce Your Monthly Auto Loan Payments

In most cases, individuals refinance to reduce their car loan payments each month. These monthly payments, however, must not be your sole consideration for refinancing. In general, you could reduce your payments in two ways — extend the length of your loan or obtain a reduced interest rate. You’re also welcome to do both.

Modify Your Loan Term

In other cases, some borrowers consider refinancing to change the length of their auto loans. This has more to do with reducing payments every month than merely modifying the amount of months they would have to pay until the end of the loan’s term.

Lower Your Interest Charges or Rate

If your creditworthiness improves during your loan term, auto loan lenders in Michigan say that you could take out a new car loan easily with a better rate. Once you reduce your rate, you might likewise lower your overall interest charges, considering that you didn’t extend the term of your existing auto loan or didn’t lengthen it that much.

Add Another or Take Out a Cosigner from Your Auto Loan

Refinancing your car loan is the easiest way to remove a cosigner from your auto loan since you would be getting a new one with brand new terms.

A majority of borrowers refinance to save some cash, but this objective could take several forms. Some borrowers want to reduce their payments each month, others are looking to adjust the length of their auto loan and want a lower interest rate. There are also cases when borrowers simply want to remove or change a cosigner to their loan. Regardless of the reason, it’s critical that you know exactly why you’re doing it and what would happen if you do.

Essential Tips for Reducing Renters Insurance Premiums

Essential Tips for Reducing Renters Insurance Premiums

Finance and You March 31, 2017 at 12:24 pm Comments are Disabled

Renters, like homeowners, need insurance for protection from unforeseen events. An effective insurance policy covers a tenant’s personal properties in cases of fire, theft, and damage. One of the myths about renters’ insurance is that it is expensive. This is not true as monthly premiums range from $15 to $25 only, unlike the average cost of homeowners insurance of around $70.

Renters insurance in North Carolina and other states is a reasonable and necessary expense as it provides peace of mind at an affordable price. There are also ways to qualify for discounts or negotiate a lower premium.

Choosing the Right Location

High-quality neighborhoods offer safer and healthier living conditions as people tend to take extra measures to avoid unfortunate incidents. Insurance policies for high-crime areas have higher premiums because of higher risks of theft and vandalism. While a renter’s insurance policy covers items inside and outside of homes, living in a “nice” community minimizes criminal incidents.

Maintaining a Good Credit Score

Insurance companies look at a renter’s credit score to determine how much to charge him or her. Spending wisely and avoiding excessive debt guarantee a good credit rating. If you are planning to rent, make a habit of taking good care of your finances early as a bad history spells disaster to insurance providers. They will use your bad financial reputation against you and sell you insurance at a higher price.

Quitting Tobacco Use

Smoking increases the risks of fire incidents. Cigarettes left unattended are the main reason for fire breakouts inside homes. Insurance companies spend millions of dollars on fire claims each year. Non-smokers or quitters reduce the risk of starting a fire inside and outside their homes and insurance providers reward them with discounted premiums.

There is no reason for renters to forego an insurance policy that ensures protection at a low cost. Although renters’ insurance policies have coverage limitations, they take care of the essentials without breaking the budget.

If You Can’t Make Your Chapter 13 Payments, What Now?

If You Can’t Make Your Chapter 13 Payments, What Now?

Finance and You March 30, 2017 at 8:17 am Comments are Disabled

Bankruptcy FormWhat do you do if you don’t have the money to make payments for your Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan? The answer would depend on why you filed for Chapter 13 in the first place, what were your objectives for your case, and why you can’t make payments.

Are your money issues just for now or for the long run?

If your money issues are due to some kind of interruption in your income sources or unanticipated expenses, you might be able to fix your case. Your bankruptcy trustees could allow you informally suspend your payments or make a new repayment plan for you to get current on your initial repayment plan approved by the court. Your trustee could also request for a more formal modification of your plan.

Why did you file for Chapter 13?

Bankrupt individuals choose to file for bankruptcy to keep valuable possessions, such as their home, a costly vehicle, or timeshare. The reality is that sometimes, you can’t plan for unexpected circumstances. This means that you might have to alter your goals if your available income can’t cut it.

Is your repayment plan income or asset driven?

The degree to which you could modify your payments would depend on how your trustee calculated your payments to unsecured creditors. If your repayment plan is income driven, but you suddenly experience issues with your income, you might opt for a plan modification.

If your plan is asset-driven so you could get a discharge, you would still need to repay your creditors the original calculated amount. While you could restructure your payments through a plan modification, the amount you have to repay would remain the same.

What now?

You have four options if you’re unable to catch up informally or quickly on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments, says renowned bankruptcy attorneys in Utah. These include:

  • Plan modification – Determine your most feasible goals and available income.
  • Opt for Chapter 7 bankruptcy – Figure out if converting to Chapter 7 might be more appropriate for your case.
  • Have your case dismissed – This could be your chance to begin a new bankruptcy case, along with new values and timelines.
  • Consider a hardship discharge – Under specific circumstances, you might benefit from a discharge even if you failed to complete your repayment plan.

The great news is that you have a couple of choices to make good on your Chapter 13 repayment plan that would benefit not only you, but your creditors as well. It’s best to consult a bankruptcy lawyer to help you assess which option would be ideal for you.

Practical Ideas to Setting Up an Office Without Breaking the Budget

Practical Ideas to Setting Up an Office Without Breaking the Budget

Finance and You March 29, 2017 at 5:11 pm Comments are Disabled

Setting up your very own office need not be very expensive. There are ways on how you can maximize your budget, yet at the same time, create a nice office you can be proud of.

Setting up an office can be overwhelming, especially when you have already received the quotations of materials needed from suppliers. Once you have seen the figures at the right side of the dollar sign, you might start feeling stressed out. So instead of worrying too much about those unsightly figures, try to implement some practical ideas that could help you cut down costs:

Start Small

If you’re just setting up a new office,  you wouldn’t need a huge space, which also carries a huge rent. Look for a small office space where you can easily set up a couple of used office furniture. Once your business has stabilized in terms of income and expenses, you can then consider moving to a bigger office.

Remember that when you maintain a huge office, your monthly overhead expenses would increase too. So start small and work your way towards achieving success, and moving to a bigger office.

Go Second-Hand

Unless you have a huge capital where you can easily purchase all office equipment that you need, including furniture, then your better option is to go for second-hand stuff.

Invest in pre-loved conference tables and reception counters. The latter is really needed because it is where people would be inquiring when they arrive at your office. In addition, settle for used computers too instead of new ones. Just make sure that you check the specifications of the computer so that it meets your business needs.

Play Multiple Roles

Since you are in the process of starting out, it could be a bit pricey to pay somebody a huge sum just to man the office. What you can do is to play multiple roles. Handle every aspect of your business as you’re starting up. You can initially be the manager and also the staff. Don’t worry because with the right management, your business will pick up its pace, and soon, your efforts will pay off. By then, you would be able to hire a receptionist and other employees who can help run your business.

Setup a Simple Website

Build a simple website. You can opt for the free websites offered by WordPress. Although there are limitations imposed by WordPress, the fact remains that you would be able to have your own site. Once established, market your business on social media.

With patience and perseverance, you will soon see your business flourishing. When that time comes, you will look back and appreciate every little effort you have put in just to make it grow.

Gold: A Timeless Investment

Gold: A Timeless Investment

Finance and You February 23, 2017 at 1:00 am Comments are Disabled

You need more than just money to be able to properly invest on something. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out of the investment business other than learning about it.

Gold is becoming one of the most popular investments people are making. Though it does not require signing of titles and papers in order to invest in gold there are many things one has to consider before venturing into one.

Why invest in gold coins?

The price of gold depends on the status of the current economy, Atkinsons Bullion explains. If it fluctuates like any other actors in the market, why should one consider investing on it? Because gold is a stable and tangible asset. Unlike stocks and bonds, you can actually hold gold making it a nice investment against absolute financial failure. You might lose your shares for a variety of reasons. But gold, it is oblivious to the movement of time and stocks, it would always have value.

Going back to the question, why should you invest in gold? Know that it is an investment that offers stability and security.

What to look for in buying gold coins?

A first-time investor surely has many questions in mind. Before making your first gold purchase, you have to study the market. The three important things to consider in buying gold coins are bullion content, grade or condition and the seller itself.

Gold coins have a variety of bullion weights. Typically, it is minted by ounces, half an ounce and quarter ounce. The grade or condition of gold coins is important to people who are into buying collectable gold coins. These can be graded by different agencies. The higher the grade is, the better the coin is. To avoid buying counterfeit ones, only buy from licensed and reputable sellers.

Do an extensive research and ask experienced investors to make the most out of your investment.

Types of Mortgage Changes Refinancing Allows For

Types of Mortgage Changes Refinancing Allows For

Finance and You January 10, 2016 at 5:09 am Comments are Disabled

There are certain situations wherein a borrower can benefit from refinancing a mortgage. Through refinancing, you can alter some aspects of your existing home loan to better suit your needs and financial standing. There are three primary changes you can make when you pay off your current loan and obtain a new one in its place.

Mortgage term adjustment

When you refinance your mortgage, you can increase its term (the length of time you pay off the loan). You may choose to do this when you want to make lower monthly payments towards your mortgage.

You may also decrease your mortgage term to get out of you debt faster. It’s a good deal if you can afford to make higher monthly payments (due to the shortened repayment period).

Reduced interest rate

According to Wasatch Peaks Credit Union, the lower your interest rate, the lower overall payments you make towards your loan. Lenders offering refinance programs may qualify you for reduced interest rates when market conditions change for the better or when your credit score improves. Also, refinancing to take advantage of a lower interest rate allows you to build your home’s equity faster.

Switching to a fixed-rate mortgage

Another change you can make to your mortgage through refinancing is switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan. As you know, the interest rates of ARMs fluctuate depending on several market factors, leading to either an increase or a decrease in your monthly payments. When you want stability with your monthly payments, consider refinancing it to turn it into one with a fixed rate.

There’s one thing to keep in mind before you make this big decision: You should refinance only after knowing what you’re getting into.