Month: November 2016

Now, while the overall number of self-employed is growing, many fall by the wayside in their attempts to run their own businesses. A great sounding business idea does not necessarily translate into a viable business.

Business hazards

There are countless factors that can bring a business undone, though the general consensus among small business researchers is that the main one is “management inadequacy”, associated with around 90% of business failures. Other major contributors to failure are poor accounting records, deficient accounting knowledge and lack of management advice. These business hazards are joined by many more including: inadequate financing; excessive debt; low sales; high costs; high interest rates; market collapse; lack of market knowledge; overwhelming competition; poor product; service or quality; economic downturn; excessive optimism; production inefficiencies; poor planning; poor forecasting and sheer bad luck.

Thing the proposed business through

By doing your homework very thoroughly, however, which involves seeking considerable professional advice and preparing a proper business plan, you will address and resolve many of these hazards before you even pass “Go”.

You may even discover during the research phase that your proposed venture is unlikely to work. As disappointing as this may be, it is infinitely preferable to go back to the drawing board at this point rather than be forced to bail out one or two years into the business. You’d be amazed how many businesses have been set up simply off the back of an idea without any dispassionate research being done. Of course this ad hoc approach can work, sometimes spectacularly, but mostly it doesn’t

Consider the following points because they will help you focus on the issues critical to business success (and note, this list is far from complete).

  1. What is the main reason why you want to become self-employed – either by buying an existing business or by setting one up from scratch? If it is basically to “buy” yourself a job, think again. Working for someone else who is established is generally more secure, easier, and initially better paid than working for yourself. (It is also less exciting!)
  2. Do you have experience or training in the type of business you wish to establish or buy? If you don’t, I strongly recommend you spend some time in paid employment in the area you want to enter in order to discover more about the industry’s dynamics and performance, and whether it is really for you. This experience will also help reveal how much sheer physical energy and drive you will need to succeed in the industry.
  3. What are your people skills like? Success in this vital area call for integrity, wisdom, leadership, authority, humour, patience, intelligence, tact, empathy, fairness, and an ability to listen just as much as an ability to get your message across clearly. Do you believe you can judge people well, and could you recognize merit in a potential employee? How would you motivate staff, win their respect and trust, get the best performance from them, and retain them?
  4. What about the people closest and most important to you – your family? Their support is vital and can’t be taken for granted. You must give first priority to this relationship and be sure that it is sound before you embark on self-employment, because there are times it will be strained by the demands of the business.
  5. Do you have the financial know-how to run a business? Do you know what the costs of setting up your proposed business would be? Could you construct a cash-flow analysis and predict when the business would generate profits? Having adequate capital to tide you over the early lean times is critical. Where will the money come from? From personal savings, from an equity partnership, or from a bank loan? If a loan, how and when do you intend to pay it back?
  6. Do you understand marketing? Do you know what competition you will be up against? Can your product or service evolve to meet changing market conditions?
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Are you looking for some coupons? Coupons sometimes can help you to save up your budget for fulfilling your daily need. However, it will be difficult to get some coupons if we are not really trying hard to get it. Whoops! It is not a big deal, right? You might not worry because you can just go search in store grocery coupons. There are so many websites that offer the coupons for some daily needs which usually available in grocery stores.

One of the ways for you to get the discount in store grocery coupons is by accessing Walmart. Through its website, there are so many coupons that are available for you to get your needs in discount price. From its website, you can search based on the categories that you need.

The categories that are available on the website are Baby & Toddler, Beverages, Foods, Health Care, Household, Personal Care, Pet Care and Storage & Packaging. Is it so tremendous, right? Everything you need have coupons that will make you be easier to take some of them without any worry to burn your wallet.

Besides, you can also search some product trough Walmart in store grocery coupons by categorizing from its brands. There are most than fifty brands that are available with coupons. From Air Wick, Cascade, Diamond, Dunkin’ Donuts, L’Oreal Paris, Milo’s Kitchen, ORAL-B, Starbucks, VENUS, Ziploc and other brands are completely available.

You might be not worried that your needs cannot be covered because there are so complete. What make it is more wonderful is the coupons that will be given are almost have the discount up to 50% or even cut off the price. Then, you can just click on the coupons that you need and clipped it. Collect as many as you want!

For getting the coupons physically, you can just do some steps. First, choose the coupons that you want. You can click on the picture or if there is a box of click you can just click on it. After that, the coupons that are you selected have been clipped.

After that, if you are all finish to select your coupons you can just go to the option to print the coupons that you have in store grocery coupons. Make sure that the coupons that you have is still valid and can be used. At the last, the coupons have been on your hand.

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The existence of coupon blogs and websites is quite popular the days. It is because many people want to get discount to save more money when purchasing something. The customer will not refuse to use these kind of coupon. There will be reviewed further about the most popular coupon websites in the next section. Looking at the history, people will only get coupon from some magazines or even local newspaper.

They need to cut this coupon first in a few years ago. The development of technology has changed this condition. They now can find a lot of websites or blogs which offer various coupon discounts.

It is not difficult to get the advantages of coupon. The customer just needs to register for an account. This account can be used to save extra money while do online shopping. Among all coupon websites or blogs, one of the most popular coupon blogs is The Krazy Coupon Lady. This coupon blog is founded by Joanie and Heather.

They are now also becoming celebrities of certain television show. The Krazy Coupon Lady is bigger than just a blog. It provides so much content for the customer. Other than the content of coupon in this blog, there are also other content provided such as recipes and DIY crafts. As popular coupon blog, it also has very well design.

There is Southern Savers as the most popular coupon websites. This site has been founded by Jenny Martin. At first, this site is just one of regional coupon blog. Now it becomes national coupon blogs with the readers from many regions in the country. You can find very update news of coupon in this site. There is also tutorial content provided by this site to guide new couponers.

Southern Savers also has simple design which is quite pleasant to navigate the readers. Southern Savers has some social media as well. One of social media owned by this site is Youtube channel. This media becomes the highlight of Southern Savers.

The next websites which is included as the most popular coupon websites is Diskonio. This coupon website is founded by Mia Sarambuna. She has developed a very successful coupon site. This site engages the followers very well especially on Facebook and twitter.

The content of Diskonio is more unique if it is compared with other sites in the same field. This site also gives good offers to the customers. Regarding the design owned by diskonio, this site has more simple design with pink and white color scheme. The founder said that this kind of design will make the customer easier when visiting the blog.

Another popular coupon blog is Hip 2 Save. It has been founded by Collin Morgan. This site provides the readers with coupon content which is quite reliable. Hip 2 Save provides the information of giveaways and online deals as well. The huge followers of this site are on Facebook. The blog itself is designed with fun tone which makes the blog very playful. Hip 2 Save is included as the most popular coupon blogs as well.

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Super funds come in two basic forms.

Defined benefit funds

With defined benefit funds your final pay-out is “defined” by a set formula. For example, you may get four times your salary if you retire at 55, five times at age 60 and so on. You know in advance what you will get.

These were once quite common in public sector super funds and with some larger companies. The advantage of defined benefit superannuation is certainty about the size of your payment upon retirement or leaving the company. The bad news is that it may be less attractive if you don’t stay with the one company until retirement. I know many people who feel trapped by this type of super. The end benefit is so attractive, they just can’t afford to leave. Low motivation is bad for the employee and employer and what a sad situation it is, because no one wins. These people wait for 5 o’clock so they can go home, and long to retire.

With defined benefit funds, how the investments in the fund perform is of no interest to you. Your end benefit is paid anyway (unless your company goes broke and defrauds the super funds). Your employer will be very interested in investment performance though because the better the fund does, the less he has to put in! You may have seen very public arguments about “surpluses” of defined benefit funds. A surplus means simply that your super fund has more money in it than it needs to pay out to its members in entitlements. Often employers will try to reclaim this surplus, and employees fight to hang onto it.

Providing the surplus is accurately measured, I have no doubt who it should belong to – the employer. They guarantee the member will receive a set benefit and dips into the company coffers if the money is not there. So, given the employer must meet any shortfall, I have no doubt any surplus, if it occurs, also belongs to them.

Accumulation funds

Accumulation funds are becoming increasingly common and are also very simple. Whatever you or your employer puts in, plus investment earnings, less expenses, is yours.

While with defined benefit funds you concentrate your attention on the documentation describing your end benefit and don’t worry about investment, with accumulation funds you do worry about investment and you need to ask lots of questions. With accumulation funds what you get is determined by what goes in, but the expenses of the fund and, in particular, the performance of the investments it holds, are critical to what you end up getting.

Thing you should know about your accumulation fund
  1. How much is your employer putting in?
  2. How much do you have today?
  3. Where is the money invested ?
  4. What are the fees and charges?
  5. Do you get any insurance cover, if so how much?
  6. Can you add your own money to your employer’s super fund?
  7. Do you have any choice about how the money is invested?

If you don’t know the answer to these issues – ask! No reputable employer would not want to answer these questions.

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In the early 1980s, I started doing the occasional talkback radio segment on Sydney radio station 2BL. Retirement was something many callers wanted to discuss. It seems to me that at that time, people planned to retire at 65. Most financial planning was fairly haphazard and tended to take place after the date of retirement.

Today, almost two decades later, we have changed. People plan to retire much earlier and better health means we are living much longer. It has now got to the point where some people will spend more time in retirement than in the work force.

This makes retirement a serious business. A 55-year-old male will now live for another 23.8 years, on average, and a 55-year-old female 28.2 years. On top of this, our expectations for retirement have changed. We do not expect to stay at home all day minding the grandchildren. We hope to be healthy, active and doing those things that we did not have time to do in our working lives, such as travel – and in my case, play more golf!

Now, the bad news here is that an active lifestyle tends to cost more. Travel can be done cost effectively, but it still requires money. You will want to run a car, be able to eat out occasionally, and not have to worry about the cost of a meal with friends.

Don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fortune to live well. In fact, most people don’t have a fortune to retire on and, today, around 74% of 65- to 69-year-olds are on an age pension.

A retired couple I know live on a public service pension, plus an investment portfolio of around $150,000. They own a modest but comfortable home. Sure, they are well set up, but not dissimilar to many other retired. Between the income from their portfolio and the pension, their annual income is around $25,000. Due to a few of the simple tax strategies like income splitting and franked dividends, they pay very little tax – which help a lot.

What fascinates me about this couple is that they lead a truly global lifestyle. In retirement they decided they wanted to learn the languages and culture of other countries, so they live four months a year in Australia, four months a year in Italy and the other four months in France – all on $25,000 a year. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But they are able to do it, and this is how:

  1. They rent their home for at least six of the eight months they are away. Yes, this is a hassle because they have to store all their personal possessions with their family, but they rent it out fully furnished for a bit below market rent and do very careful reference checks on the people moving in.
  2. The eight months they are away each year, in France and Italy, they take a small apartment well away from the tourist haunts and they find that they can live more cheaply than in Australia. Remember, they can now speak both languages fluently so they mix and eat with the locals at local, not tourist, prices.
  3. They book and pay for their airfares well in advance to get the best deals.

Even if the last thing you want to do is live overseas, my point is that your retirement should be, and can be, a time when you reap the rewards of your working life.

Okay, so these days you need to start planning your retirement early. If you are getting close to retirement, you need to start thinking about a number of other things as well:

  1. What are your plans for your retirement? What do you want to do and what will it cost?
  2. Will your assets provide the income you need to live comfortably? Can you top this up with a pension?
  3. Where will you live? How will this impact on your lifestyle and your family?
  4. What are your views on estate planning? Does your will reflect your wishes?
  5. Investment will become very important. Do you need an adviser, and if so how do you choose one?
  6. What plan do you have to ensure your retirement is a stimulating time in your life?

My best tip on retirement is, of course, to plan early. For younger readers of this article, or those of you who can influence younger readers, please do think about it and encourage people to plan for retirement from the day they start work. An 18-year-old only needs to put aside about 12% Of her salary into super and she can retire on 75% of her final salary, linked to inflation. This would provide quite a decent standard of living. At 35 years of age the requisite contribution increases to around 30%, at 45 around 49% and at 55 you’d need to save 108% of you salary to retire on 75% of your final salary. Now I know some good savers, but putting aside 108% of your salary would not be easy!

Please don’t feel depressed if you are retired or close to retirement and have saved very little. After all, the importance of saving has only been made clear in the last few years. Fortunately, we do have a reasonable age pension system. I know it isn’t generous, but it does provide a minimum standard of living and is certainly better than nothing.

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