General Business

How to Get Started with Investment Properties

You may have been dreaming about getting into real estate investment for many years, it’s something many people consider because they enjoy working with properties, there are good profits to be made, and it’s a way of earning an income independently of an employer, perhaps providing you the opportunity to drop your day job and possibly work part time or even work towards early retirement. So how do you get started with investment properties?

First Steps in Investment Properties

Your first decision when it comes to investment properties is whether you’re a flipper or a landlord. Do you want to buy rundown properties, do them up and then sell them at a profit. Or do you want to buy a property, either renovate it and then rent it out or rent it out straight away perhaps to a sitting tenant.

House flipping is usually most suitable for someone who has cash available and the skills to do renovation work themselves. You will need cash available not only for the deposit to buy the house, but also to fund the renovation work. Its worthwhile calculating the estimated renovation costs on a project first before buying the property to ensure you can complete the project with a short period of time. The longer you own a property, are paying taxes and mortgage on it, the lower your profit margin. The key to house flipping is to do it in as a short a time as possible so you make more profit in a shorter period of time.

Of course not everyone has the luxury of having money in the bank to renovate an empty property while also having another mortgage for their own home. So if you want to flip your first few properties and don’t mind living a minimal lifestyle while you do it you could either live with parents or friends, rent a small apartment, live in a trailer or motorhome, or even live in the renovation property while you do the work on it. By doing this you free up as much money as possible to renovate the property and free yourself up from other work which you would have need to cover your living costs.

Long Term Property Investment Strategy

Property investment for rental as a landlord is a longer term property strategy, and as a house flipper you may actual switch to this model for some of your properties once you have some equity so you have an income every month. If you are able to buy property cheap because it is rundown, and then renovate it before renting it out this could bring very good returns. Alternatively buying a larger property and splitting it into a multi family dwelling for rental could be another profitable route. Having multiple renters in one property means you will have a steady income even during months where you are seeking a new tenant.

If you invest well and show profitable returns you should be able to reinvest profits into more properties and slowly grow your real estate portfolio.

The Advantages of Ecommerce Order Management Software

There was once a time when the only outlet for your products was your own sales team, who would manage orders and new client development. Those years have long gone thankfully, but the order system can be very fragmented now with orders coming in from retail units, distributors, ecommerce channels, e-platforms, and traditional orders from customers. Integrate as well different supply sources and your back office accounting functions and order management as well as inventory and receivables has become a logistical nightmare. However, ecommerce order management software has now simplified all of that

What Does Ecommerce Order Management Software Do?

Ecommerce order management software provides centralized advanced order and inventory tools which are integrated with EDI so they can interchange data with suppliers, customers and logistics providers. By integrating both order management and inventory and receivables along with accounting back office systems, there is much less duplication of work and a reduction of data entry.

By synchronizing multi-order types and automatically checking inventory status against customer demand inventory control is maximized and order management is accurate. Your should never have too much stock of one item, or run out of stock, if demands stay within reasonably limits set.

You will have end to end visibility of your inventory no matter whether you have one warehouse or several, or even if you utilize drop ship suppliers. Reports generated by the system, or viewed on the software dashboard allow you to see sales reports across multiple channels, measure inventory by items and quantities based on demand, availability, allocation and sales numbers. This allows you to monitor total product cost and landed cost from start up order through to sales receipt. You can then make decisions on future prices, customers who should be prioritized, and which products to discontinue.

By integrating order processing with EDI systems you have much better inventory control, with orders triggering instantly, and paperwork through to accounting reduced to a bare minimum, also alleviating manual data entry and admin time.

From the customers point of view ordering will be a more slick process as you can chose to give them live product availability data including quantities available, and estimated delivery times. This can support single SKU or bulk fulfillment for consumer and corporate customers.

Integration with Third Party Logistics & Carrier Solutions

Breakdown in order processing to fulfillment to customers usually lies in a breakdown in communication between the company and it’s third party logistics or carrier supplier. With order management software connected to EDI, this part of the process can be more compactly integrated, with the two companies utilizing the same data to instantly create and fulfill delivery data. Visibility across the supply chain allows the third party logistics supplier to manage capabilities in line with demand and throttle scale up or scale down with minimal cost or risk.

The end result to the customer is that they receive their product quicker, and are the ability to track their order, to see where it is in the delivery process.

Utilizing a Charter Bus Rental Service for Your Business

Are you considering using a charter bus rental service for your business? There are several ways to use a charter bus service, maybe you’ve not thought of all of them, but here’s some ideas to get you thinking.

Ways to Use a Charter Bus Rental Service

You can use a charter bus service in several ways, to get your employees to and from work, to move groups of employees around during their working day, or to pick up and drop off clients. Let’s discuss some of these in more detail.

Using a Charter Bus for Shuttling Employees to Work

Think back to your school days and its likely you were picked up by a school bus which stopped somewhere close to where you lived and then after picking up other students, dropped you off at the school gates. At the end of the day the bus driver ensured you got home as well. Imagine providing this type of service for your employees, they would love you for it. Not only would it save them time and money, but it would contribute to removing congestion from the roads and reducing the carbon footprint of your company.

It might be that your employees don’t live close enough together to provide a door to door service, but you could provide a secure out of city parking facility, which will be a lot cheaper to maintain that an inner city location close to your offices, where they can drive to and then board the shuttle bus. Not only will this same them time on their journey, and be a good alternative to public transport, but they will be able to relax as soon as they’re on the bus and start work, checking emails, phone clients or talking to their colleagues on the shuttle bus.

Using a Charter Bus for Moving groups of Employees

You may have a conference to attend, or a training day planned, an off site team building exercise, or an exhibition to go to. Why not put your team together on a bus rather than expect them all to make their own way to the venue. This will promote team building from the moment you leave the office, and will reduce travel costs for all, and fuel usage.

You could also use one for staff nights out or for taking the team to a restaurant or some place of entertainment for lunch or after work to treat them as certain times of the year.

Using a Charter Bus for Clients

Just as you may use a charter bus to move groups of employees around why not do the same with visiting clients or suppliers. It will allow your team to accompany them on their journey and perhaps take in some local sights, take them on a tour of your local facilities, and at the end of the day drop them off at their hotel, take them for a meal, or back at the airport for their journey home.

Utilizing Tax Resolution Services to Reduce Tax Burden

Tax is a concern to all of us, whether we owe it, think we might owe it, or are worrying about how we are going to pay it. If you’ve slipped behind on your tax payments or are being investigated, you will probably be considering whether to hire a tax attorney to help you deal with this. An attorney’s tax resolution services can help you in many ways, in not only saving you money but perhaps setting you up so that on future tax returns you will have to pay much less tax. So let’s review how a tax attorney can help.

Benefits of Tax Resolution Services

Tax resolution services provided by a qualified tax attorney can eliminate or reduce your tax debts if you are struggling with unfiled tax returns or unaffordable tax repayments. They can reduce your tax in three ways, first of all by negotiating an Offer in Compromise with the IRS to reduce the bottom line amount of tax that you have to repay. Second by reviewing and amending previous tax returns to maximize your tax reduction for those years and future years. And thirdly by leveraging the Taxpayer Bill of Rights to ensure you pay only the tax you owe and fair interest and penalties.

Your tax attorney will also be able to work on your behalf to stop wage garnishments and bank levies so that your business can continue to operate throughout the procedures while your tax situation is addressed. If garnishments and levies are enabled this could prevent you from running your business and make it even harder for you to pay back the taxes you owe.

If you have a tax lien against you your only options are to pay your tax debts immediately or to negotiate a payment plan. Such a lien can affect your real estate and personal property if you let it continue without any positive action, so it is vital to take legal advice and let your attorney work on your behalf to ensure things don’t go that far. If you fail to deal with a tax lien quickly it may also affect your long term employment prospects as you will be flagged on credit checks, and will also affect your credit rating preventing you from being offered credit in the future including mortgages, loans and credit cards.

Should your taxes and finances be audited you will need to aid of a tax attorney to defend you in this process. A tax audit can be a stressful time and also result in expensive fees so you can leave all of it with your attorney who will handle the administration and correspondence on your behalf. They will also ensure that your accounts are compliant and address any issues that are flagged up by the audit. This will leave you with peace of mind that there will be no surprises at the end of the audit resulting in extra taxes, fines, and liens against you.

Corona CA Property Management Services Available

If you’re looking at what Corona CA property management services are available for your Home Owner Association then you may want to consider aa full service Home Owner Association Community Manager as an option because they will provide many advantages for your Home Owner Association, you will have a much more professional service for all involved.

Corona CA Property Management Services

If you hire a Home Owner Association Community Manager you will notice the advantages straight away, as the Home Owner Association Community Manager will make the Home Owner Association run more efficiently, save the Home Owner Association money, and help to resolve issues between all parties in the Home Owner Association.

The Home Owner Association Community Manager will be involved in Home Owner Association Board Member meetings, by allowing all Home Owner Association members to highlight want needs to be discussed at the Home Owner Association Board Meeting and then setting and circulating the agenda for the meeting. The Community Manager will then chair the meeting to ensure that all parties get a fair say, and that all viewpoints are considered for the interest of all in the Home Owner Association community. They will have notes taken of the meeting and then prepare and circulate minutes. Following the Board Meeting they will ensure that all action points are followed up on and actioned before the next meeting.

In addition to Board Meetings the Home Owner Association Community Manager will also manage the Home Owner Association day to day, being a conduit for all enquiries, dealing with community emergencies, answering all home owner communications, and engaging with contractors who have been sourced and allocated to carry out work within the community.

If a Home Owner Association Community Manager is part of a larger organization, they will also have the resources available to them from that organization such as a wider rolodex of contractors, particularly those who have been approved, and will carry out work at a discounted rate because they have an agreement in place with the property management company. They will also have a central call center to deal with emergency situations so that when the Home Owner Association Community Manager isn’t working there is someone there to handle those types of situations.

Home Owner Association Community Managers can also provide training to new members of the Home Owner Association Board, allowing them to be prepared for their first board meetings, or a specific role such as Treasurer.

The role of a Home Owner Association Community Manager is a full time salaried position, and with it puts the onus on the Home Owner Association Community Manager to carry out their work professionally and efficiently. In contrast a Home Owner Association Community Manager appointed by the community from within the community won’t have the time and expertise to do a fully efficient job in this role, and will also likely have some level of bias toward one part of the community which will be visible in decision making and often concern some parts of the community.

Pricing Handicrafts

Whenever you sell something, you need to be sure that you are charging enough for it in order to cover your costs and make a fair profit. Collecting and analyzing this data is known as a price analysis. One area that has been studied recently is the global market for handcrafted goods from India. For centuries, the only way to get these items was to travel to India as a tourist and bring them back, but thanks to the development of global markets and cheap transportation, embroidered silks, carvings, metalwork and more are available worldwide. This means that prices have to be set, and that is where price analysis comes in.

Control for Variables

Many things go into determining the price of an item and handmade goods can be tricky. Some costs are fixed; for example, the cost to purchase supplies and raw materials and transportation cannot be controlled by the artist most of the time. The cost of the artist’s time is where the wiggle room comes in. A key consideration for artists is that they are fairly compensated for their work, although this is not always the case. Setting an income target for the business is important before determining a price.

Research the Market

Examine the markets where the items will be available. Are the items high-end home furnishings that will go to brick and mortar stores, or are the products lower-end items that will be available at discount stores like Walmart or Target or online? Will the items be displayed at trade shows where buyers can see and feel the items and then place orders? Is the item considered a niche product with few outlets but a high price tag? All of these points need to be considered.

Analyze the Audience

You also need to think about who is going to buy the artwork. Will this be a large, one-time purchase, such as a piece of furniture or a large carving, or are customers going to buy multiple pieces over time, such as with dishes, glassware or linens for the home? Analyze your audience to help you create the kind of goods people are likely to buy.

Check Out the Competition

Research what else is out there. Multiple sellers are not necessarily a bad thing. Because handcrafted items tend to be one of a kind, customers may be willing to buy the same kind of thing from several different sellers and may appreciate the variety.

After you have gathered the data, a price analysis will indicate how prices should be set in order to meet your business goals. This kind of tool can make or break a business.

What To Do For Online Investments in 2020

2019 has been a particular year for what concerns online-based businesses. Everything ranging from Amazon FBA to Dropshipping has been impacted by a multitude of price increases in terms of paid social advertisement and hosting problems on AWS. With this in mind, there have been some speculations regarding which are and which aren’t good business models to follow in 2020 for what concerns online investments, let’s analyse some of them.

The Rise Of Dropshipping Services

Let’s state a major fact: Aliexpress and everything China-related for what concerns dropshipping is dead. As said above, ads prices rose in the last couple of months and so have such Chinese suppliers prices. With this in mind, it’s important to understand that dropshipping isn’t just limited to physical goods and cheap products that have been white labelled on a quickly built Shopify store.

In fact, drop shipping as a whole has evolved to drop surfing, where websites are building an interface which supplies services ranging from insurance, real estate renting and finance. There are many drop shipping portals which are providing financial services, ranging from stocks trading to long term finance. (given the fact that refurbishments were such a popular topic in 2019).

Don’t Blind-Trade

Online trading has become a substantial matter for what concerns online investment. In fact, what was once known as an incredible niche topic has moved to a more “mainstream” audience, also because the entire “online entrepreneur” culture has built significant relevance on Youtube, with famous ones being Tai Lopez, Grant Cardone and Gary Vaynerchuk. With this in mind, especially given the fact that online trading has been approached by many youngsters, it’s important to have a deep market understanding before starting this matter, otherwise, it will basically be considered as a mere form of “online gambling”.

Invest In Data Science

In 2019, data science has risen to the top for what concerns technology development and, in fact, many companies started to open offices where the Python-savvy developer would have been able to create and manage such data. With many startups opening on the matter, in 2020, this could be quite an easy form of investment, especially within the real estate industry.

This could also be considered from a technological point of view, especially for the entrepreneur who is technical in his approach and knows the ins and outs of the front end development industry. Data science is being used in a variety of business sectors, from commercial property management to eCommerce.

To Conclude

These are 3 of the main forms of investments for what concerns the mobile industry. There are, indeed, many different skills required in order to be successful within these areas, given the fact that these are not just simply “supply and demand” based, but, it’s safe to say that the future of online entrepreneurship will move towards this type of approach.

How to Transform Your Side Hustle into a Genuine Business

If you have been having a successful time in a side hustle, gig or ‘passion project’ then you may want to consider taking it a step further when it comes to the New Year. As developing your business could open up a whole new world of success. So, with that in mind, here are some of the key factors you can work on in order to develop your side hustle that one step further in 2020:

Why Develop Your Side Hustle?

So, your side hustle is going well. You’re making money, feeling positive and you are starting to wonder: could you be doing more? The answer is almost always: yes.

The fact is that whether you mean to or not, almost all successful side hustles eventually begin to morph into full-blown businesses. Intentionally taking that step from ‘side gig’ to ‘legitimate business’, however, can be a thorny path to cross.

Dedicate More Time

Okay, your side hustle is doing well based on the amount of time spent on it so far. But, how much time has that been realistically? Have you been working both weeknights and weekends to make this work?

By no means should you burn both ends of the candle in order to achieve a full business out of your side hustle, but allowing more hours to work does help. If you have been fairly stingy with the amount of time invested in the side hustle, consider upping that now. As it will be more time and investment at this stage which will now push your business forward.

Seek a Partner

If you want to take your side hustle all the way then it’s important to consider taking on a business partner. You may have avoided this route thanks to slight unease or unwillingness to share the profits, but think about it. With a partner, you could easily make up for a skills gap, gain useful contacts or simply double your work output as a side hustle/business. For example, if you’re an app development London professional, you may want to seek a partnership from an Alexa developer in the north. Not all partnerships end in horror stories, no matter what the internet might prefer to tell you.

So, start networking with like-minded individuals and try to suss out who might be worthwhile partnering with. Even short-term collaborations can be useful. With that in mind, don’t knock anything until you see what might be available to you!

Focus on Successes

By the time you have developed a side hustle to the point of potential expansion, you will have a good grasp of what works and what doesn’t. If you want to move forward, then it is vital that you concentrate doubly on the successes you have had. Whilst, potentially for good, leaving the failures behind.

Doing this, you will enable your side hustle to shed a certain weight. Thus potentially giving yourself enough buoyancy to shoot higher as a result.

Set-Up Specific Systems

Systems tend to make a business function more smoothly, allowing the day to day tasks to tick by peacefully. Implementing these early in your side project in order to support your business as it grows, then, could be simply good foresight. Good systems to have in place early includes: invoicing, accounting, document filing and even something as simple as having a separate business account for your side hustle.

Consider Hiring

Developing your business to the next level may require extra work, not all of which you can complete by yourself. This is the point where you may want to consider hiring additional talent to support your burgeoning business – such as freelancers.

Of course, hiring a full-time employer for your side hustle at the exact moment of expansion may seem like one step too early. So, instead hire on freelancers for a specific period of time every week or month. This way, you can get help on specific projects or clients in order to expand your side hustle into the next stage of business.

Final Thoughts

Turning a side hustle into a fully-fledged business isn’t necessarily as easy as saying: 1, 2, 3. But it can be much simpler than you may anticipate. Get a plan in place and you will be able to achieve a steady growth trajectory over a set period of time. Which, compared to other business models, may help you to develop a much stronger foundation of success.

Understanding Product Development

Developing and launching new products is one of the most important ways for your business to expand. New products give existing customers more chances to spend money with your company, and provide a clear way for you to attract new ones.

Product development is neither cheap nor risk-free – you have to invest substantial resources in research and development, and the production of prototypes before you have a product you can launch to start earning back it’s development costs and turning a profit. Even if you do invest a lot of time and money in making a product you think is perfect for your customers, there’s a chance they won’t agree, and if you organise a big product launch with a strong marketing push behind it, and the product fails to find it’s audience, it can do some serious damage to your brand. Think of a movie studio that invests a lot of money in what they hope will be a summer blockbuster: if it gets critically savaged, and hardly anyone goes to see it, not only do they lose the majority of the money they invested in making the film, it also becomes less likely people will go to see future films made under that brand.

It’s worth taking the time to understand how the product development process works, so you can make more informed decisions about how you’re spending your money.

Concept Testing

It’s important to test not just prototype products, but the very concepts you’re considering taking forward to development. Customers need to be able to grasp how this potential new product can work for them: why it would be valuable to them and therefore worth spending their money on. If they can’t grasp the concept that the product is based on, it’s unlikely to be worth the money it will take to design and make it.

Iterating on Prototypes

When you begin to produce prototypes, be it of a physical product or mock-ups of the UI and functionality, it’s important to give consumers access to see how they use them. People within your own business already know how your systems are meant to work, so they don’t make good test subjects.

To get a true read on how good your designs are, you need outsiders, unprejudiced by a history with your products. Working with a market research company can help you find testers, as well as finding the right way to learn from their use of a prototype. Asking the right questions and watching their behaviour in the right way will give you the insights you need to feed into the next prototype, and ensure you’re iterating your way to success.

Small Business Expansion Tips

Most small businesses want to expand. The problem is that this is not at all something that is really easy to do. Unfortunately, expanding without a good plan in place can easily lead to failure. As an example, when you hire many employees and you do not really need them, bankruptcy is quite possible.

No matter what your goals are, if you want to expand your small business, here are some great tips from the Fix It Right Plumbing company in Melbourne, Australia. These tips will surely help out a lot.

Focus On Company Culture

Every business needs a very strong company culture, no matter how small it is. This is what keeps employees together when exponential growth starts. When you do not know how or where to start, just talk to the team you have. Think about why the company exists and what its values are. Then, work on the company vision.

You want employees to feel connected to the company so they can stick together if times are tough. Strong company culture will attract brand new customers too so be sure that you are consistent.

Hire The Best People

Hiring is a huge part of successful business growth. You need to take the time that is needed to find the best possible employees. When you hire the wrong staff members, it is so easy to end up failing to manage business growth.

When you hire people, be sure that you think about company culture, not just skills. Will the people you hire be a good fit for the team you already have in place?

Proper Innovation Helps

As the small business expands, it is tempting to spend money on creating new products or improving what is already sold. The problem is that this often happens in an inappropriate way. Do not blindly focus just on one thing. Try to innovate in other parts of your business. For instance, innovate onboarding experience or maybe adopt some brand new technology to scale the customer service department. The goal should be to gain more stability in your business. After you do this, you can focus on introducing new products.

Always Focus On Brand Recognition

As the customer sees your advertising campaign, slogan, packaging or logo, your goal is to be sure it is instantly recognized. Building brand recognition is by far the most important thing at the end of the day. Everyone knows the “Just Do It” Nike slogan. Try to achieve something like this and you will end up with long-lasting customers that are loyal and keep coming back to your business.

Focusing on brand recognition does not mean you should forget about the customers you already have. There are many small business owners that are blindly focused on getting new customers when they should be focused on that and keeping their current ones. Existing customers have to feel valued. When this does not happen, you have a big problem. This is because getting new customers is much more difficult than getting your current customers to come back.

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