Sunday, February 22, 2009

Avoiding Mistakes with Your Money

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The most common financial mistake is a failure to define your goals. Few people know what they really want their money to do. Several years of accumulation of savings or a sudden inheritance or other windfall leaves with money to invest and no idea of how to make it best work for them.

Another common mistake is failure to follow through on your financial goal. The cost of not making investment moves immediately can add up, Say that, after check of your personal finances, you decide to shift some money from your low-paying savings account into higher yielding Treasury bills. If you delay just a few month, your procrastination will cost you a bundle if money.

A third financial mistake is the failure to maintain careful records. You have to keep and keep updated the list of your investment, your bank accounts and file should list names and amounts of all policies. It also should give the location of your safe deposit boxes and contain your tax records and credit-card information, as well as wills and deeds.

Still another common financial mistake is greed. some people are so obsessed with making tax-exempt or sheltered investments that they often miss much more lucrative, if taxable, investments. you weigh the tax benefits.

It is a mistake to heed advice from people who are not qualified to give it. Amateurs like your next door neighbor or your cousin's son in law can do more damage than good. You are better off soliciting and then carefully considering professional advice from brokers, bankers, attorneys, accountants or financial planners. Fees should be agreed on in advance, but sometimes the advice is free.

Another common mistake is a failure to keep an open mind about investment opportunities. Many invest in just one thing and stick with it.Huge sums of money are still locked away in passbook savings accounts, many of which pay low interest. Higher yielding money market funds, treasury bills, short term income trust or tax-deferred annuities are safe as well as rewarding.

The biggest mistakes most people make with their money is not hedging their assets and not diversifying their investments. If you have a variety of investments, you stand a better chance of riding out any financial storm.

The worst mistake an investor can make is to assume he or she will not make a mistake. It may be comporting to learn that some of the most knowledgeable people in the world of finance have made some awful gaffes with their own money.

To Recapitulate, here are ways you can head off serious losses in your personal finances.

Define your goals

Give careful thought to what you want your money to do for you.
Follow thought, by saving and investing .

Keep careful records
Review and up-date your financial plans regularly.
don't be carried away by tax-sheltered investments.
They make some only if they would be worthwhile investments even without the tax breaks.

Get your advice from professionals:
Insurance agents
Financial planners

a. Keep your knowledge of investments up to date by reading widely.
b. Put your money in a variety of investments that can flourish in different financial climates. That way you can minimize the cost of any errors.
c. Put yourself hard to ask questions of yourself, your advisers and anybody trying to sell you an investment.

Remember, nobody is infallible, and there are no dumb questions--- only dumb answer.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Get The Right Franchise

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You could have bought a fast-food franchise. You can do that by acquiring one of the many new franchises. If you get a strong franchising system, the odds of surviving and making good as a small-business man or woman multiply impressively.

And some of the strongest new franchises are those that provide services to businesses that cannot themselves afford to hire the people and buy the expensive equipment to do the work. You could provide such services for businesses as typing, copying, telexing, photo copying, printing, and many more in a matter of office works.

Service businesses have added a new dimension to franchising, but you also can find opportunities in its traditional backbone- retail stores. There is strong potential in stores that sell the more popular brands of home computers, TV equipment and inexpensive furnishings. Restaurants that serve ethnic specialties such as Greek or Mexican foods are taking off as well.

Revenues of some franchises are expected to grow much faster than the average in the immediate future. They include automobile, refrigeration and air conditioning repair and service chains, printing and copying services, home repair and maintenance firms, and temporary-employee agencies, etc. The reasons are an improving economy and greater public recognition of franchise trademarks.

There are professional franchise consultants, but be careful in choosing one. Some people with little experience have set themselves up as franchise consultants and promise much more than they can deliver. you best bet is to deal with a lawyer who is familiar with drawing up franchise contracts and with knowledge of the rules of franchising.

For recommendation, try a franchise operator in your area or the local bar association. Before hiring a consultant, ask for the names of past clients and contact them. before you sign a contract to buy franchise, the parent company must give you a disclosure statement. From it you can get the names and phone numbers of several franchises. You would be wise to phone them to find how well they are doing.

when you buy a franchise, you pay the company an initial fee and later a continuing royalty that can vary from percentage of gross sales. In return, you can use the company's trademark and franchising services for a set period, usually 10 to 20 years. The basic service is to give operating instructions, often covering from sales tactics to the color of the office carpeting. Capable companies also help you pick a business location and buy equipment and inventory. their representatives sit in with you when you hire the first employees. they also hold your hand through crises.

Instead of running franchise themselves, many investors hire managers to operate them. but franchisers usually feel that the owner's attention is crucial and therefore will not sell units to people who intend to be absentee owners.
That is understandable; few salaried managers will put in the 60 to 80 hours of work each week that it takes to make a business succeed.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Be an Entrepreneur

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To survive in today's economy, small-business people like the big require management skills that are often best acquired through formal training.

If you have neither the time nor temperament to work toward a degree, you can choose from a variety of commercial and government sponsored courses.

A good business course will cover such fundamentals evaluating an idea for an enterprise, raising capitals and dealing with supplies and customers. Students are commonly asked to prepare a detailed business plan for their firms first five years.

You can size up the course's content by studying the catalogue or talking to faculty and former students. You usually can get names and phone numbers from those sponsoring the course.
The best and most accessible of the cram courses are those sponsored jointly by the Small Business Administration, chambers of commerce and community colleges.

If you have longed to start a new business but need the security of working for an established corporation, you could be a prospective intrapreneur. That is an entrepreneur who launches a small company inside a big one. what is most alluring about intrapreneuring is that if promises some of the rewards of a start-up but few of the risk. If you succeed, you may enjoy promotions, bonuses and a chance to innovate again.But you are not fired if you fail.

Start by asking yourself how well the venture you would like to champion suits your company. Ideally, your idea should compliment your firms research or marketing strengths without appearing to threaten entrenched producs and executives.

You will need to draw-up a business plan . It should present a detailed description of your venture's projected markets, start-up costs , monthly sales goals and annual profit. Include in the business plan your initial request for special compensation in addition to your regular salary.