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Recruit and Retain: The Two Reasons You Should Provide Employee Benefits Solutions

June 18th, 2013 · blog, Guest Post

Female office worker

The cost of healthcare and retirement plans may be rising, but resist the temptation to eliminate employee benefit solutions for your team. Simply put, if you want to recruit and retain top talent, employee benefit services are a must.

In a tight job market, the more competitive your employee benefit solutions, the more likely you’ll get the best candidate. Fail to offer many – or any – employee benefit services and you put yourself at a disadvantage. Even if you find a candidate willing to take a job without benefits, it’s unlikely he or she will stay with your company for any length of time.

Leverage employee benefits providers or brokers to keep your costs low

The good news is that there is help available to keep your costs as low as possible. Many employee benefits providers offer benefits solutions for nearly every price point. Additionally, many will bundle multiple lines of coverage at a lower cost.

Often, employers choose to work with brokers to find the right mix of employee benefit services for their team. These consultants make it easier for you to shop around for the best price across medical, dental and retirement plans rather than calling employee benefits providers directly. Brokers can also help you educate your employees on the costs and features of various programs. Not only does this help employees pick the right employee benefit services for their needs, but it also keeps your costs low by ensuring that employees don’t buy benefits they don’t need. [Read more →]

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Starting A Business: Think About Your Bank!

June 17th, 2013 · blog, Guest Post

handshake

When people start their businesses, they often spend an inordinate amount of time making relatively small decisions. Like which chairs they should purchase for the office or what color paint they should use in the break room. While those decisions can make the work environment slightly more enjoyable for them and their employees, those are not decisions that are fundamental to the running and eventual success of their businesses.

One decision that is often given short shrift, when it comes to researching for the business, is what bank the business should choose. Some people argue that banks are interchangeable and if things get bad that they can always change. Unfortunately, they’re not really interchangeable and which bank you choose can have a large impact on the success of a business. It’s not enough to just choose the bank that is closest to the office. If you do that, you will just acquire a convenient place to stick your money. If you put some more thought into the decision and choose the right bank however, you will gain a partner that can help you to grow your business now and into the future.

Choosing the right bank is a matter of choosing the bank that best fits the current and future needs of your business. Many people think that all banks provide the same services and have the same philosophies and focuses. That’s not entirely true. While some banks are more than happy to just take your deposits and collect their fees, others are interested in building long term relationships. The best way for them to build productive, profitable long term relationships is to help you to grow your business. The best banks do that in a multitude of ways. They offer everything from free business banking services to business loans to mentoring. [Read more →]

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Grow Your Business & Meet Business Operating Costs with Working Capital

June 11th, 2013 · blog, Guest Post

Large Building

As a small business owner, your working capital is one of the most important elements on your balance sheet. It’s how investors determine your financial stability, and it shows how much money you have on hand to manage business operating costs and grow your assets. Working capital is defined as your current assets minus your current liabilities.

Here are two ways to use working capital to manage your business operating costs and improve growth:

1. Accounts receivable: If your business relies heavily on inventory to run daily operations, you need to keep your shelves stocked. But, if your customers don’t pay in full up front, you may not obtain your accounts receivable until the end of the month. If you have business operating costs you need to meet before that time, working capital can provide you with the extra cash to purchase that inventory.

2. Accounts payable: If you have outstanding short-term debts to suppliers, they may offer you discounts for paying your bills ahead of schedule. You can use working capital to pay down this debt and earn the early payment discount.

Determine working capital needs with helpful calculators
If working capital dips too low, it can hurt the growth of your business. One way to supplement working capital is with a small business loan or business line of credit. These can provide you with the short-term funds you need to grow your assets. But, how do you know how much you need to borrow? A working capital calculator and business loan calculator can help you determine this and give you insight into your chances of being approved.

To use these calculators, input your annual growth, total current assets and liabilities, and target current ratio to determine how much of a line of credit you need to reach the next level. The lower your rate of inventory turnover, the higher your working capital should be. [Read more →]

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Work and Play: A Look at Britain’s Finances

May 22nd, 2013 · blog, Guest Post

Bank

There can be no doubt that the UK has been going through an age of austerity in the past few years after the banking crisis. Thankfully the country seems to have weathered the worst of the storm better than some others in Europe. Greece has been particularly hard hit and Spain and Ireland both saw their property markets collapse and unemployment levels rise.

At home, Britain has not been immune to troubles though and increasingly households have been feeling the pinch when it comes to rising energy bills and shopping expenses, whilst wages have stagnated. Both at home and at work, budgets have been tightened and cutbacks made.

Green Shoots

However, the much vaunted green shoots of recovery look like they might finally appear with finance chiefs of Britain’s biggest companies becoming increasingly positive about future corporate growth, according to a new survey.

The quarterly survey by financial services group Deloitte claims that fears about economic and financial uncertainty have fallen to their lowest levels for two and a half years.

The company undertook a poll of 120 chief financial officers (CFOs) during March 2013 and their Chief Economist, Ian Stewart, explained that risk was decline despite “gloomy coverage”. [Read more →]

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Surviving Bond Bubbles and Runaway Stocks

April 29th, 2013 · blog, Guest Post

Stock chart

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs of today have been those who have kept updated with changing trends in investment and technology. When it comes to investment trends, one common problem is the herd mentality. Investors find it hard to break away from what everyone else is doing. Despite their claims of making unemotional, rational decisions, they’re still prone to irrationality.

At any point in time, there is a certain element of risk. Sometimes, those risks are higher than other times. These risks make it hard to increase income via investments. Bonds and equities have been classical modes of investments. However, the risk of a bond bubble bursting or a runaway stock crashing causes nervousness and ambiguity in investments.

Stocks

The idea is to understand that investment in stocks are not going to be uniform. What is being emphasized today may not be applicable tomorrow. The goal is to know the trends for a specific period of time. Investment strategies for high quality and dividend paying equity are working well in our current market. In the stock category, small cap and growth are the best bet. The benefit of this approach is that investors can get exposure to stock appreciation and dividend based payback at the same time.

The kind of volatility that exists in the stock market is a major risk factor. Take the recent Twitter incident as an example. The stock market suffered losses when hackers posted fake news about an attack on White House. As of now, the stock has recovered all its losses. In order to survive the stock market, one has to be patient and wait for the right moment. [Read more →]

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