20 Tips to Saving Money

save-nowI believe that saving money is an important life skill to have. It is extremely difficult to have to balance everyday expenditures with investments and savings, so a little bit of know how is required.

You need to learn to save money smartly, and to do so would mean to pay a bit more attention to your daily expenditures.

What I have noticed with a lot of people is that while they rarely spend on big ticket items, they end up spending small amounts of cash everyday without realizing that it amounts to much bigger expenditures in the long run.

5 Time Management Tips to Help Your Lifestyle

save-timeI have always believed in the phrase “Time is gold”. In other words, every second you waste on doing something unproductive is another second you lost forever.

This means that you become less efficient, produce less, and have less time for other things in your life.

Procrastination has always been an unpleasant habit of many students and workers because it sacrifices productivity and quality because of the need of having to rush their work.

Tips for Making a Profit Renting Out Your Cottage

In this economy, you might be hard pressed to find work and may be struggling to make ends meet. However, if you are one of the few lucky ones who happen to live near a popular tourist spot such as the Cumbria Lake District, you can probably rent out your property, especially if you own a cottage.
While Luxury Cottages Lake District are the most profitable, even modern tiny homes can bring in a considerable profit margin during the peak seasons. In Cumbria, the summer and Christmas holidays are often the peak seasons, and you can probably vacate your home for a short period in order to make way for renters. Sure, you will probably not be able to make it into a regular source of income, but you will have the option to gain a little extra income.
Here is what you need to make a profit out of renting your cottage.
cleaningClean it up
The first thing you will want to do is to clean up your property and make sure that every nook and cranny of your cottage is perfect. You may even need to renovate as needed, or buy new furniture if some of it is too dated.
You may also want to clear the cottage of any personal effects, whether they are family photos, valuables, and other items that are too precious to be damaged. Remember that whoever is renting your cottage will want to feel at home, rather than feel like they are encroaching on someone else’s life.
Advertise with a listing and beautiful photos
The next step would be to start advertising on listings. Check with your local websites on where you can list your cottage, and make sure that you include a lot of beautiful photos of your cottage.

Make sure that you take a picture of multiple angles of the home outside, all of its living spaces including bathrooms, and that you take a picture of the yard and the grounds as well. You may need to hire a professional photographer if you do not have a very good camera on hand.
When listing, make sure you only list on a few sites, so as not to become overwhelmed.
summer, cottageAdd restrictions
Don’t accept just anyone into your cottage. After all, this is still your own property, and you will want to make sure that your patrons will respect your home. For example, you may need to put a limit on how many people are allowed in the cottage.

After all, you can’t have six people staying at your cottage if it can only comfortable cater to two people. You may want to open your doors to pets as well, but limit them to one large dog or two small dogs to prevent any damage.
Meet your patrons in person
Always get some time off to meet your patrons in person when they arrive. Welcome them warmly, offer them some drinks, and have them tour the place so that they know where everything is. You should also have them read and understand your rental agreement, so that they follow the house rules.

 Stunning DIY Cottages Style:

How to Stay Fit on Little to No Budget at All

Market FluctuationThe market fluctuates so much that it truly is important to save as much money as you possibly can, regardless of what you do and how much you make. And of course the only way to do that is of course to lessen expenses as much as possible and to do everything you can to increase your returns—provided you invest. Which you truly actually should, especially since it is the best and quickest way to set your future up for the time when you retire.

However, there are just some things you can’t forego even when you are doing your best to save some money. One of those things people find hard to give up is their exercise—for their health and fitness. Not just exercise, but diet too. Eating healthy is 80% of it. But still, it is possible to stay fit and be healthy even on little to no budget at all. If you would like some tips on how you can still keep yourself fit despite a low budget, here is how.

Work Out Outdoors
Outdoor WorkoutThere are companies that are selling outdoor gym equipment in the UK these days and if you would like to invest on some equipment you can feel free to. But since we are talking about staying fit on little to no budget at all… don’t spend the money for the equipment—instead just find a park or a public area that has some outdoor equipment you can use for free.

It’s a great way to still get the resistance and strength training you need without spending all too much. The only thing you would have to contend with is weather.

Go for a Jog or Power Walk
Female JoggerIf you are more for cardio than strength training and resistance exercises, then you can just choose to do cardio instead. And one great way to do cardio is to go for a jog outdoors, or perhaps to go on a power walk.

All you will need for that is a good pair of sneakers and workout appropriate gear. And if you’re not that picky then you can forego the workout gear even—just remember to be careful as there are some risks to your health and well being if you use the wrong gear.

Online Exercise Videos
Online Exercise VideoIf you aren’t too big a fan of the outdoors then you can always just take to exercise videos. You can get some DVDs for sure, or for an even better (or much cheaper) option, you can always just load up some online exercise videos for free and work out that way!

All you’d need is a good computer or gadget that can access the internet as well as a decent internet connection and you are well on your way to burning those calories and melting away that fat.

Strength Circuit for Outdoor Exercise


There are a million other ways for you to get moving without spending way too much money too—all you need to do is just get creative!

How to Organise Your Business Supplies

Time management is extremely important for any business as time is equivalent to money. The more time you waste, the more money you lose. It is a fact of life. If you are dealing with buy-and-sell, you will want to make sure that all of your business supplies are properly organized and ready to go once you need them.

d73053352f2d6a0b77184226b342b806In fact, organizing your business supplies is a great way to streamline your business operations – your staff will be wasting no time in looking for items and there is less risk of misplacement. It is a great way to save time and to save money as well.

There are several key steps to organizing your business supplies:

Invest in quality shelving

If you have a big business, I strongly suggest that you invest in Quickline Storage equipment. Warehouse shelving is designed to take heavy loads and are perfect for organizing all of your supplies.

I strongly suggest that you invest in warehouse shelving before you attempt to organize everything. It will be much easier once you can assign a spot for everything that you need in your business.

For smaller business, you can get smaller shelves. Most shelving suppliers offer bespoke shelves for smaller spaces as well. You may also want to invest in filing cabinets, boxes, and other furniture for organization.

Make a check list of your supplies

Once you have your shelving in place, you can start making a check list of your supplies. Figure out what items you will need and in what quantities. You should also take note of when you ordered the supplies and when they are projected to arrive.

ChecklistYou should also take note when the items get shelved, and if they have an expiration date or not. Your check list should have multiple digital copies so that you can keep track of it and edit it easily as needed.

Segregate your supplies by category and type

Segregate your supplies by category and type, making sure that you put together items that are used for the same purposes. Once you have segregated the items, you can now stack them neatly on your warehouse shelving. Label all of your items properly so that they are easy to find and retrieve, especially if they are encased in a box.

Assign someone to catalogue supplies

You will need to assign one or two people to catalogue supplies. Having just one person to catalogue everything will make it easier keep track of the supplies. The second person will be there to take over in case the appointed person is absent. The assistant will also double check if the supplies are being catalogued properly.

They are in charge of checking how many items are going in and how many are going out. They are also in charge of checking if you need to order new supplies or not.

Organizing your business supplies is just one of the many things that keep your business running smoothly.

Learn about shelving from this video below

Tips for Negotiating with Suppliers

Every business man will have to negotiate with a supplier at one point in their lives. I knew someone who was very adept with negotiating with their new playground equipment supplier, so much so that he always managed to get a good deal.

He has great rapport with his supplier, and he has since grown his playground selling business. He is very successful in his venture.

Negotiating with suppliers can be tricky. You need to have good business sense and of course, find a supplier that is trustworthy.

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You will need someone who can deliver the goods on time and is honest with his or her business venture. Even if you are negotiating with playgrounds or children’s toys, a business is still a business, and you cannot waste any time or money on a dishonest supplier.

If you need some tips on how to negotiate with your supplier, read on.

1. Have solid communication lines

The most important part of having a supplier is that you can communicate with them well. This goes beyond the simple language barrier – you need to be on the same page at all times.

Even if your supplier is located across the world in Asia, you need to be able to communicate with them on even footing.

husband-talking

Be attentive and responsive to any issues that may arise, and build rapport with your supplier. My friend was very good at handling his playground supplier that he always was the first to be contacted whenever they have new products available.

2. Find the actual costs

As a buyer, you may need to figure out the actual costs of producing a certain product. Honest suppliers will only add as much to the final price as to gain a decent profit. Others may overcharge if you do not find a good supplier.

The actual costs of the products should include the price of the raw materials, as well as labor and shipping, among other things. Try to find the actual cost, and this will give you leverage when making a deal with a supplier.

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3. Quote multiple suppliers

Unless you have already made an exclusivity deal, it is never a bad idea to get a quote from multiple suppliers. My friend for example, quoted several playground equipment suppliers – one in the UK and two from abroad.

He eventually chose the UK supplier because of their excellent service and competitive prices.

Try to gauge what you are looking for in a supplier. The cheapest quote is not necessarily the best, as you will have to take into account the quality of the products and the services provided.

4. Pay deposits early to give you leverage

As a buyer, you have to prove to suppliers that you are easy to work with. You can do so by paying a deposit early on.

50% to 70% is usually ideal, as this will give you more leeway to negotiate with them. My friend paid his playground suppliers 65% upfront.

Suppliers are much more ready to give in to your requests if you pay them a deposit right away.

How to Smartly Buy-to-Let a House

Running-a-buy-to-let-business-as-a-limited-companyFor those that want to go into the buy-to-let business, there are many pitfalls that you have to watch out for. As an entrepreneur, I to have dabbled in buying homes just to rent them out to others.

Investing in properties can be risky, but I you do it right, it can be a great source of income with a considerable return.

Your money is well invested if you go for a buy-to-let business.

Just remember, as with any business venture, you have to be smart with it. You need to plan out carefully and watch for any trouble that may come your way. To smartly buy-to-let a house, read onwards.

High net worth

You may want to purchase a buy-to-let house with high net worth. A house that has a high net worth not only has a sizable resale price, but it also comes with a higher price tag if you rent it out.

A high net worth house is also more in demand than other types of housing, as many would choose it because of the luxury that the house has to offer.

Manage how much you borrow

Model house with to let sign. Image shot 01/2004. Exact date unknown.It is easy to go overboard with the borrowing and spending.

Sure, you will need to invest in your house, but you should make sure that you do not borrow more than what you can pay back to the bank.

Manage your spending and borrowing and understand how long it will take for you to pay back all of your debt.

Mortgage rates can be insane, especially with the current housing market in the UK. Otherwise, you might end up bankrupt an in a lot of trouble with the law.

Spend only enough to add value to your house

Yes, you will want to spend money to make money, but you have to be smart about it. Your buy-to-let property should have investments that add value to the house.

You may want to add a fancy new fireplace to your home only to find out that it adds absolutely nothing to the final money that you make from your income.

Screen your tenants

Always screen your tenants and do a background check on them. It is better to have one or two reliable tenants who pay their rent on time, than to have 10 tenants who never seem to pay their rent.

Ask whether they can provide you with access to their income, as well as the receipts to their bills for the past five months. Checking their bills in the past will help you make a decision on whether or not they are reliable in paying their dues.

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A buy-to-let property is an investment, so you should not let yourself be carried away with promises of easy money.

The truth is that many people spend themselves into the poor house because they were not very smart in managing their money and screening their tenants. Practice good business sense and be prepared to handle any issues that may arise.

How to Get Your Children Involved in Business Early On

As an entrepreneur, I am building my business to provide stability for my family and myself. My children will benefit from my business more than anyone else would, and when I grow old and finally leave this world, I want my children to take over everything that I have worked for.

They will have the stability that I wanted for them, but of course, I want them to be prepared. One thing that I have noticed is that a lot of parents who have their own business want their child to take over some day, but fail to involve them early on.

What happens is that their child is usually not interested in business and entrepreneurship. There are many reasons for a child not wanting to follow in the foot steps of their parents, but often times, it is just because they were simply not involved in the business as a child.

Here are some tips to get your children involved in business:


Enroll them in an after school club

Getting your children to enjoy maths and science is a great way to start them off on the path of entrepreneurship. These subjects foster critical thinking and problem solving, which are highly applicable in business. If you live in London, you are in luck – there are many after school clubs that focus on science and a bit of mathematics.

If your child is intimidated by these school subjects, an after school club can also help them get over their fears and enjoy it for what it is.

Get them to start advertising by themselves

children-in-business

I know that the best way to advertise an after school club in London would be to use social media as an advertising platform. If your child is old enough to use a computer, you can help out his or her after school club by asking your child to make their own advertisements and to post them on social media.

Meanwhile here is a video about Child Care Business Training:

It does not even have to be a real advertising project. You can turn it into an arts and crafts activity for your children to enjoy, with a little bit of business savvy thrown in.

Get them to sell things by themselves

young-in-business

I am sure that everyone is familiar with lemonade stands and girl scout cookies. Having your child sell goods by themselves is a great way to foster business skills from an early age.

You do not even have to limit yourself to cookies and lemonade stands – you can have a bake sale, make bracelets, or even sell artworks if your child has the talent for it.

 

Bring them to work

to-work

I am a big fan of “bring your children to work day”. It is a great way for me to bond with my children while introducing them to all of the things that I do. Of course, now that I am in a home office, my children are there with me all the time, helping me with small things such as stapling my papers.

Connect with your children and start early, so that they too can become great entrepreneurs when the time comes.

5 More Time Management Tips to Help Your Lifestyle

the-5-best-sales-management-tips

For those following this blog, I am sure that you have read my first article that was listing five time management tips to help your lifestyle. I have heard suppliers of paper sacks for dry dog food as well as other companies use these tips in their daily lives.

In fact, whether you are a freelance professional or the CEO of a large company, using these time management techniques will help you become more productive and efficient over time.

Now, here are five more time management tips to help you along in life and business.

1. Schedule appointments and activities in blocks that are arranged by their priority ranking

Scheduling alone will not help you organize your lifestyle. What you need is to schedule your appointments and activities in time blocks and have them arranged by their priority. The most important items should all be placed together so that you know which ones you have to do first.

The lower priority items can then be placed at the bottom of your schedule, since you will likely get to do them later. This leads to better time management and a heightened awareness of the tasks you need to accomplish throughout the day.

2. Take at least five minutes to collect your thoughts before starting a task

You need to take at least five minutes to collect your thoughts before starting a task. Collecting your thoughts and taking the time to prepare amply for the task at hand will lessen the likelihood of you making a mistake during the process.

It also makes you more aware of the goals you plan on achieving, and how long each task takes before you can finish them.

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3. Find the time of day when you are most productive

Remember those time blocks that I mentioned above? This is where it can come in handy – Several people have certain times of day where they are more productive than the rest of the day.

For some people, they are most productive in the mornings, while others are more productive in the afternoons. Those with evening schedules often find themselves mos productive in the early evenings.

No matter what your preference, do your high priority tasks during your peak hours to improve your productivity. This will boost your output and also create more efficient work schedules.

4. Stick to your schedule

Even if you manage to create a schedule, a schedule is worthless if you are not going to stick to it. If you find that you have been writing schedules but have been winging it anyway, change your habits and learn how to keep track of your daily tasks.

You should also learn to finish your tasks at the time allotted. If you run out of time, stop, and continue with the task that is next in your agenda. You can always tweak your schedule the next day in case the time you allotted is not enough.

5. Take breaks

Finally, take breaks and make sure that you are properly rested. A properly rested body is more likely to work efficiently.

Consider Training Your Staff Further

To have a good business, one that runs like a well-oiled machine, then you should always think about your employees. They are a big part of the business and it is important to make sure that they grow and do not stagnate.

 

By that, I mean that they don’t get complacent in their positions and just do their jobs without putting in any extra effort. They may even get so relaxed that they start getting lazy.

 

Staff growth is important for a dynamic and nurturing work environment. It also translates to better staff performance over time, leading to better numbers for your business. To improve staff efficiency and proficiency, it’s important not to let them stagnate and grow static.

 

So now you might be asking yourself “what can I do to counteract that and make sure there is growth in my staff?” Well, read on and find out.

 

Hold Meetings

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If you don’t already hold regular staff meetings, then make sure that you do. It’s important that you hold meetings because then you can assess performances, talk to employees, and see where improvement can be made, and where changes are required.

 

This is also a good way to stay connected to your employees and make them feel like a valuable part of your business—as they are. Never treat your employees like slaves or peons, they are valuable people and deserve to be treated that way.

 

Frequently Challenge Your Staff

Without challenges, people get complacent. And of course, they end up not learning anything new. So constantly (but don’t burn them out of course!) challenge your staff—have them do tasks they are not accustomed to, or switch up their tasks every so often so things remain fresh.

 

You can even challenge them outside of work—if you are the type of boss who likes to be friends with your employees too.

 

Get Additional Training

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First of all, you can get additional training not only for your staff, but also for yourself. If you feel as though training can help you to become a better leader, then go right for it and get training.

 

You may even learn a few things that can help you to better run your business. As for your employees, make sure that they regularly get training for their jobs or something that is relevant to it.

 

Of course don’t just repeat the training over and over—find new things and ways in which they can grow and learn. You can also get them training in something that is not exactly related to their job, but can be helpful in general.

 

And helpful in a good way, of course. Take for example what I did; I got my employees trained in many different things—staff training such as a 3 day first aid course is just one of them.

 

My employees also know CPR, which is beneficial not only for them, but also for my customers who may end up needing it someday.

Holding Business Meetings More Professionally

When I was first starting out in the business and entrepreneurial world, I have to be honest—I was young, fresh faced, and I didn’t have all that much experience. That’s how everyone starts out, anyway.

 

So of course I needed a way to be and to look more professional, so that people wouldn’t just look at me and decide that I wasn’t worth the time or effort, or even money (when I started trying to make business deals and partnerships).

 

Business meeting.

I wanted to look more professional because I wanted to be able to leave a good, positive impression on the people with whom I interacted because they could potentially become business contacts, people I would end up doing business with.

 

And because I always wanted to leave good impressions there was a time that I was always looking for facilities in Leeds for my business meeting, whatever meeting that was.

 

Looking professional is important to me, even now.

 

But back then, when I still needed to do pitches (and even now, when I need to give the occasional pitch) and when I wanted to build relationships and rapport with other businesses and businessmen, it was even more important.

 

And here’s why.

 

Finding Opportunities

When you leave a good impression, you can actually end up opening doors for yourself. By that I mean you can end up getting more opportunities from people who have become impressed, or people who begin to believe more in you.

 

It may come in the form of business offers, or perhaps even partnership offers. Or it could be people offering funding and capital for the business idea that you have.

 

This is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t compromise when it comes to trying to impress people. Of course, don’t try too hard, or you might scare them off too.

 

Setting a Good Tone for Your Meeting

I’ve mentioned before that I always looked for venues where I could hold my meetings. I did that because I wanted to set a good tone for the meetings—when people are happy, in a good mood, and liking their surroundings, it usually can result in easier agreement between everyone.

 

That and people will more easily and more happily part with their cash. So why not spend a little on renting a meeting place—the return could be exponentially more than what I spent.

 

Business Meeting

 

Prevent Prejudgment

If you are new to the scene, the tendency is people will judge you as being inexperienced. As a result they will not be as eager to do business with you.

 

At the beginning that was the case for me—people weren’t exactly jumping up to do business with me. But do your best to look professional and act professional and it will help you to look more trustworthy and even skillful, despite your inexperience (if you truly are inexperienced).

 

It will help you to make up for some of the things you might lack—trust me. I’ve been there.

A Short Introduction to Customer Relationship Management

 

Any up and coming small business will know that customers are the lifeblood of your company, so taking care of your company’s relationship with them is tantamount to ensuring that you are making a profit.

 

After all, your customers and their willingness to spend on your products and services are the end game to everything that you do for your business. Marketing, resource management, product development – all of them are there to increase your sales and to ensure that your customers are satisfied. The better your product, the more likely they will come back for more.

 

But no matter how good your product is, if you customer relations is sub par, people are less likely to purchase for you. What is worse, bad reviews on websites and word-of-mouth will negatively affect your reputation and turn off others from buying from you.

 

Of course, in order to effectively communicate with your customers, you will need to use a Customer relationship management (CRM) system. By implementing a CRM system, you can easily keep track of all of your clients in an efficient manner.

 

There are several characteristics that you should look out for when putting together a good CRM system. I have listed them below to give you an idea of how to go about it.

 

1. Quick and efficient service response

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The hallmark of a good CRM system is that it uses a quick and efficient service response. Usually, customers will prefer to have several options available especially if you plan on putting your business online.

 

Take a look at this video about the advantages of CRM in your business:

 


Part of my CRM system is the way my website is programmed. I ensured that the FAQ section of the site is visible and easily navigated, and I provide several contact options as well. Along with e-mail and an SMS response option, I also have calls on stand-by to provide the customer with real time assistance.

 

2. Automation of sales information

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As part of customer relations, automated responses and confirmation improve the client’s experience. This is especially true for online stores and online services. For example, my restaurant’s website has an option where you can reserve a table at a click of a button.

The server automatically gives them a confirmation that their table has been reserved, and also provides them with some advertisements that lists the finer points of my restaurant in addition to the specials and promos that are available for that day.

 

3. Use of technological solutions

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Gone were the days when handwritten letters got lost in the mail. Modern CRM system use complex computer algorithms to provide a smooth and easy user experience not just for the client, but for you and your employees as well.

Data is easily accessed, aggregated, and protected from malicious entities all with the help of new technology.

 

4. Opportunity Management

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CRM should include opportunity management, which allows your company to evolve and survive despite unforeseen circumstances. Good forecasting of sales projections are an invaluable resource when managing your relationships with your customers.