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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Debt Consolidation?

  • September 18, 2021

dollar bills rolled up

Exploring your debt consolidation options?

Falling into debt is never a nice situation to be in.

However, no matter how financially savvy you may be, there may be challenging times in life when it just seems like there’s no other recourse but to borrow money. Whatever the situation, there’s still a way out. And, it’s a good start that you made it here today, searching for means to get rid of your debt.

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Key To Success In Student Life? Get Organized

  • September 18, 2021

papers scattered as a person works

Looking for the key to success in student life?

The move from high-school to college is a profound change for many. A fair number of people never get the chance to gain a college degree, hence the reason why going to college is such a big deal in our society.

College isn’t just about achieving a piece of paper (college degree) though, it’s a whole new life experience comprising of several micro experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.

So, what’s your perception of college life? Homecoming parties, some studying in between and a lot of hanging out in your dorms or football ground?

Well, we’re not in a movie, and real college life demands a lot more studying, being punctual, and of course, getting organized! We’re not saying you can’t party along the way but staying focused and planning everything out is the key to success.

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4 Golden Rules That Will Take Your Investments To The Next Level

take your investments to the next level

Are you looking to take your investments to the next level?

Thinking about investing your money?

Good, you’ve already made a fantastic financial decision. There are almost too many things you can invest in these days, which makes things very confusing for a lot of people. Everyone is looking for the ‘best’ investment, but I’m here to tell you that all things can be good investments if you play your cards right.

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Is It Financially Worth It To Become A Landlord?

  • September 17, 2021

rowhouses

Being a landlord entails a great deal of responsibility as well as – at least initially – costing a lot of money. Yet many people still choose to do it, and a lot of them make money. It might be something you are contemplating for your own career path. Is it, however, financially worth it to become a landlord? 

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How To Avoid Financial Troubles The Smart Way

  • September 17, 2021

calculator, paper, and pen

Should you ever experience financial issues such as needing to pay off debt or being close to bankruptcy, then it important to take the necessary steps to stabilize your finances. Stable finances can aid a stable life. Thus, here are the smart ways to avoid financial troubles that could impact your quality of life. 

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What To Know Before Moving to a New Office Building

  • September 16, 2021

What To Know Before Moving to a New Office Building

Deciding to uproot your office and staff is a huge decision. Whether you’re trying to save money, downsize, or relocate closer to your clients, moving comes with many benefits and challenges. To make the move successful, you need to understand what to know before moving to a new office building. Use these tips and tricks to get started.

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What you Need to Know About Buying a Business

  • September 15, 2021

Buying a business can be an excellent way to own a business without many of the initial start-up costs, but while it presents many advantages, it isn’t always a walk in the park. Buying a business from a trusted online platform still requires a lot of research and patience. Here is what you need to know about buying a business before investing.    

Work out your goals 

Some people buy a business as a livelihood, while others use it as a step to the next project. There are many reasons to buy and run a business, and you need to work out what yours are before you start investing.  

Understanding your goals for the business will shape everything that’s to come. For example, if you want to receive an annual income from the business, you will run it differently than if you what to increase its value to sell. 

Pick the right industry 

Once you have established a clear goal for your business, it’s important to pick the right industry. There’s little point in attempting to fulfill a childhood dream if the business isn’t going to be viable. You also need to pick an industry that has some potential for future growth. 

But how can you tell if an industry is going to be viable for you? You can do some research and talk to people, but this strategy will only take you so far; alternatively, you could work part-time in the industry to learn the basics and get a feel for it.  

Buy from a trusted source

When you have decided that owning a business is the right thing for you, it’s time to find one of the markets that’s for sale - but where can you go to find listings of businesses for sale? It needs to be a trusted source, so you don’t pay too much or buy a business that’s mis-advertised. 

First, find the top places to buy a business online and research the platform. Of course, you will want to view the listings but remember to take a look at the website itself and look into its terms and conditions. Carrying out this additional research reduces your risk of buying a faulty business.   

Do your research 

Research is vital when buying a business online. There’s a high chance that you will invest your money in a business that isn’t viable or one that is being mis-sold. So begin your research on the business listing platforms and draw up a shortlist of options. 

When you have your shortlist, it’s time to dig deeper and research the businesses themselves. Perform plenty of online and offline checks, write emails and talk to company personnel and customers. You might even pose as a customer to get a feel for the business.   

Have an initial viewing 

After you have carried out substantial research, it’s time to approach the business and make an offer - this is usually done through an agent. You can think of buying a business as similar to buying a house; it’s important to think with your head and not your heart.  

Investing in a business that isn’t viable can be an expensive mistake, so you need to get it right at the start. Have your agent arrange an initial viewing where you can come into the business as a prospective buyer and ask all the questions you need to ask. 

Do a reality check 

Researching a business before you buy one is a time-consuming process; it is also an emotional investment that can be hard to separate yourself from. However, this is something you need to train yourself to do before you choose to buy the business. 

After you have acquired all the information you need, both financial and legal, it’s time to take a reality check. Step back from the business and look at it objectively. Consider its strengths and weaknesses and decide if you can really turn it around or not.  

Work out the financials 

There are various ways to buy a business, but most prospective owners use a credit agreement with a bank. So before you make your initial offer, you will have to have this financial agreement set out in principle - a little bit like taking out a mortgage on a property. 

The financial institution you’re working with will need three years of accounts from the new business as well as financial projections. They might also require a guarantee from you in the form of a lump sum deposit. Other sources of finance are available if you struggle to get a bank loan. 

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How to Make Pre-Employment Hiring Process Easier with Ramsay Test

  • September 14, 2021

The hiring process can be tedious and erroneous if employers solely rely on resumes. Candidates might likely overstate concerning their personality, attributes, and cognition skills. The academic qualification skills might be misleading and unreliable.

On the contrary, pre-developed aptitude tests can be the most reliable way of getting work-related details about a candidate. Published in 2004, the Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test is designed to help employers gather detailed information about a candidate’s mechanical skills. The test helps make the hiring process easier.

What skills are tested in a Ramsay test?

Depending on the entry-level and job demand, the Ramsay test covers four main areas although an employer may request a customized test. Candidates are tested for their mechanical reasoning abilities as per industry demands.

The pre-employment test also measures how fast a candidate can learn and do maintenance tasks and their experience in the management and oversight of industrial production.  They must also be tested on their ability to apply basic principles of mechanical knowledge fit for their work.

Which format does the Ramsay test follow?

Candidates get thirty-six multiple-choice questions that must be answered within twenty minutes. This is the same format candidates will find when practicing using the Ramsay exam practice test and that’s why most candidates who are familiar with this practice test easily pass the real test.

The purpose of the test is not to test the examinee’s previous knowledge, but their learning ability. The questions concentrate more on the general science and simple tools, production, and maintenance. They are simple questions like which side to turn a screw when unscrewing or which can empty faster than the other.

Which occupations are best suited for the Ramsay test?

Generally, the Ramsay test is fit for all fields that involve industrial production, machines, and maintenance. It’s the best test for technicians, machine operators, handlers, production teams, mechanics, and tool setters.

What benefits will employers get by using the Ramsay test during the hiring process

The Ramsay pre-employment test offers several benefits to employers. The most significant benefits are offering a streamlined recruitment process and giving companies opportunities to grow by recruiting candidates with the right skills. There are many other benefits as follows:

Firstly, with the right employees, the company is destined for a higher level of productivity. Secondly, most companies that use the Ramsay test have a higher employee retention rate. They save more money on hiring and training new employees often.

Thirdly, the Ramsay test is a time-saving process and it has proved to be more efficient. Finally, the test uses proven and tested metrics and its results can be relied upon compared to the use of CVs and resumes. With employees with the right skills, customers get more satisfied and monthly sales increase leading to higher turnover.  

What other Ramsay tests are there?

There are several other Ramsay tests that different companies use to test their candidates during the pre-employment or pre-promotion process. The most popular is the Ramsay Electrical and Ramsay basic skills test.

The Ramsay electrical test is customized for candidates applying to work in the electrical department in any company. These are positions like electrical technicians, maintenance technicians, and electricians. The test is divided into eight categories and although it’s not timed, you should finish it in about an hour.

The eight sections are motors section, analog and digital, circuits, maintenance, power supply, test tools, power distribution, and mechanical power.

The basic skills test is done by employees applying to work in the manufacturing department and processing/monitoring departments. Candidates tackle fifty-two questions divided into four sections. The four sections are reading, inspection/measurement, arithmetic, and problem-solving/monitoring.

A less common Ramsay test is the people skills test which is taken by employees wishing to work in higher ranking positions like team leaders, sales managers, HR, and so on. The test is divided into four sections. They are dependability skills, customer service/sales, leadership/management, and team knowledge. Employers may also request customized tests depending on their industry need.

How will employers access the Ramsay test?

The Ramsay test is available in the English and Spanish languages. Employers may choose to test their employees on a supervised basis using the print copy test. This test can be done in a specified location or on the company premises.

The test can also be taken online under unsupervised conditions. If an employee wants to be sure the candidate didn’t search online for possible answers during the test-taking process, they may choose to use the print condition.

 

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Time Traps in Your Business

  • September 14, 2021

Your business needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Anything that takes too much time, is repeated or could be outsourced should be considered a time trap. 

Time traps, by nature, aren’t often noticed - and we spend much of our day assuming that we (and our business) are as productive as possible. 

In the end, most of us want to do more, faster and to a higher standard. Yet, without noticing, the time traps can sweep hours and hours from us at the end of the month, which may even add up to days. 

Here are some time traps and some things you can be doing to avoid them. 

Personal Time Management

Real-time management is a skill, and while many of us say we have it - we don’t. True time management takes strict organization, dedication, and focus. 

So if you are often either just on time or late, your deadlines seem to arrive upon you without warning, and you feel like you’re chasing your tail, then it’s probably time you took a look at your time management. 

  • Map out a realistic view of where you spend time (be honest); The Futur has some great videos on time budgeting and time management. Call it research. 
  • Cut the to-do list in half, and then maybe half again. Most people have too many items on their to-do list; then they can’t get everything done—that feeling of not accomplishing stacks up. Cut the to-do, achieve what you need to. 
  • Routines are the backbone of spending your time well. You can get a firm understanding of the points in the day that you need to take a break, where your productive times are - and when you really should close the laptop lid. 
  • Know what your priorities are - do you spend a lot of time helping others or checking to see what others are up to? Ditch it, and focus on what you need to do. Once it is done, go chat.
  • Under schedule yourself, instead of filling up all of the time, leave space that can be used for something else. 
  • Eat frogs - every day, get the worst or the most inconvenient tasks out the way - the rest of the day will feel like smooth sailing. 

Multitasking 

Multitasking is one of the biggest time traps and has proven to lose time. 

On average, when you multitask, you lose up to 23 per switch. So say you are in the middle of a big task that requires focus, and in the corner of your screen, you notice an email. 

Your attention is pulled away, and you head off to reply to the email. You see another email, and since you’re there, you respond to that too. A response to the first one comes back. 

You switch back to the tasks you were doing, and not only have you lost the time to send emails, but you need to get back into the flow of what you were doing again. 

It adds up quickly, and often we don’t even notice. 

If you manage multiple projects, you’ll need to develop an effective system to block the time for each thing - and avoid multitasking. 

  • Turn notifications off - and mark your calendar as X project focus period. This will stop people from messaging you for unnecessary reasons. 
  • If you find your mind drifting, write down the thoughts and continue with your focused period. 
  • Notice when you are most likely to switch between tasks. Should you instead take a five-minute walk? 

Business Admin

Business administration is an endless stream of repetitive tasks that could usually be outsourced - or automated. 

Business admin covers:

  • Emails
  • Customer responses
  • Bookkeeping
  • Invoicing

Anything that can be considered non-core but essential. These tasks don’t make you money directly, but they do need to be done. 

Take a look at how much time you or your team are spending on these items, and look for alternative ways to manage them. 

Ensuring your customer service is of the highest standard isn’t a job that you can tackle lightly, and most often, it will involve some outside support. 

Click4assistance.co.uk is the perfect place to build a live chatbot that offers things like customization and branding. 

Emails can likely be limited to one check and respond period per day, and building templates that cover all of the most asked questions, give information, payment requests, and anything else that repeats. 

Read more: How To Meet Your Customer Needs on Time.

Afternoon dips

We aren’t all morning people, and we aren’t all night owls. Finding out when the best time is to tackle tasks can help you be a lot more proactive. 

One of the first places to look is what your chronotype is? Are you a wolf? Perhaps a dolphin? Well, each of these animals has different peak productive hours and different sleep schedules. 

But not everyone can work in the office at 5 am, or 10 pm. So how do you make that fit? 

There will be portions of the day you are highly productive, and here is where you should block focus time for deep work. When you usually feel a slump or a little tired, you should place lighter tasks. 

If you have complete autonomy of your working time, then spend time studying these and where you can improve. 

Use your chronotype and your circadian rhythm to narrow down when you work best, and leverage it. 

Being slow to start

When you are hesitating, you are effectively doing nothing. Until you make a decision, nothing is going to happen.

Being slow to start is a huge time trap, and one that many of us would say is fine - because it’s a creative time and is giving us time to think. 

But you can think and do - at the same time. 

And something to be highly aware of is that you can hit the point where you are overthinking and procrastinating. 

If you are thinking about complex business problems, new products, new tools, or creating a new process, some time should be given for these. 

And thinking under duress and with a deadline can become difficult. Yet, pressure creates diamonds - so add a little pressure to your creativity. 

So how can you think and start more productivity? Use this checklist to think and work at speed.

  • What is the need?
  • Is there another solution in production - how could it be improved?
  • Work the problem backward - what is the solution - does it meet the need? 
  • Look for supporting theories and papers on it (if there is any)
  • Are there any ‘side quests’, alternatives, or other options
  • What would be the MVP?

Thinking up new products and services can leave us feeling stuck, which is a typical response to thinking. But you’re not ’stuck’; your brain simply needs time to make all of the connections. You’ll get your eureka moment - most often in the shower or on a walk because your brain has some space to work.

Communications

Are you taking video calls when an email would do? Are you in an email chain when a call should’ve been the right way to tackle it? 

If you have any sway over the conversations and how they happen, take a look at what really should be happening. 

Video calls can be exhausting, and unless you have a great facilitator, they can drag on, go off-topic and often feel like there was nothing productive at the end. 

Set a rule that there is a timed list for every video call and encourage people to stay time conscious and reach the points faster. 

Next time you see an email chain getting out of control, ask - should this be a call? 

Deadlines

Deadlines are a blessing and a curse. Humans usually work well when they are presented with deadlines. 

We feel a sense of achievement when we set out to get something done in the shortest amount of time. 

However, if you set a deadline six months from now, you might not feel the urge to get the work done until month 5. 

You can put a stop to this by setting yourself different deadlines as the project goes on. Set a deadline for each portion of the project and give yourself a limited amount of time to complete it. 

How to use deadlines to your advantage:

  • Give yourself days or weeks ahead of the actual deadline - this is your buffer for edits
  • Reduce your unrealistic deadlines and workloads - i.e., don’t agree to deliver six months of work in 2 days.
  • Use the Pomodoro technique in your work; these set focus periods will speed you up
  • Write down each step of the project up to the deadline - in detail, use that as your to-do
  • Tackle the most challenging parts first; this makes the rest feel easy

Study time

If you spend time within your working day learning how to do something, then it is time to ask for or create time dedicated to this learning. While learning as you do is an incredibly valuable ability, it eats into time that you should/could be using elsewhere. 

If you have to schedule your study time, set the exact time block aside each week for it. You can highlight times where you are less productive (chronotype) and use those times to read, listen and watch. 

Avoid time traps in your business by taking the time to spot them and build systems to avoid them or minimize them. 

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A Rookie’s Guide on How to Pick a Stock to Invest In

  • September 14, 2021

 

Did you know that 56% of adults in the US own a stock? If you want to join this group of individuals, you need to make sure that you're researching and learning how to pick a stock that will work for you.

Once you've made the decision to start investing and picking stocks, you will realize that you have a plethora of options to choose from. There are so many companies that you can invest in and the variety of industries available might be intimidating to a newbie. 

Investing in a stock takes only a minute, but investing in a stock that is actually going to perform? That takes a little bit more time and effort.

Keep reading below to learn how to pick a stock that will help you build your financial wealth. 

Figure Out What You Want Your Portfolio to Be

Do you want a portfolio that will grow slowly but surely over time? Or are you an investor that wants to pick a good stock that has a higher degree of risk for potentially more reward?

Whatever your main goal is for your portfolio, you need to figure it out before you can choose your stock. Every stock has pros and cons that have to be considered within the bigger picture of your investments and other assets. 

Pay Attention to Trends

Before you invest in the stock market, you should learn about the trends that are currently dominating. You can look at news websites to see what types of information are already available and learn about what has changed within the past 6 months to stay current.

In addition to that, it might be helpful to check out some of the opinions of those that are professionals within the stock market space. They have experience and insight that a beginner may not be able to pick up on right away, so looking at their logic and view on the market can help you make more educated choices.

Research the Market and Economy

Investing takes minimal effort, but investing in a way that will help you with your financial success is impossible without knowing what is going on with the economy. Even if you don't know a lot about economics, you can do a little bit of self-learning to figure out what it's all about and how it impacts the stock market.

Some of the main things to look at include:

  • Interest rates
  • Unemployment
  • GDP
  • Inflation or deflation
  • Trade wars
  • Company earnings
  • Political influences
  • Natural disasters

Remember also that different countries will have different stock markets and different economical implications. Click this link to find out more about the market in South Korea as an example.

Knowing How to Pick a Stock With Research

Learning how to pick a stock isn't difficult, but it takes some practice and know-how to do it well. As we stated before, there are many stocks out there, so you need to research which one will work best for your overall goals before you proceed.

Did you find this information helpful? If so, be sure to check out some of the other content on our website today. 

 

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