Three Tips for New Store Owners

Opening a retail store is very rewarding. Any business owner knows that a lot of hard work and stressful days have to be endured to get to this point. Having a physical retail shop poses a new set of Read more

Boosting the Efficiency of Your Hot Water System

Quality is important when you are looking to buy a new hot water system. The way you shop, how much research you do, and the final decisions matter a lot. Of course, you don’t want to buy one and replace Read more

For Beginners: How to Water Your Greenhouse Plants

Plants housed in closed ecosystems like standard greenhouses and geodesic domes require more attention and care than plants in outdoor gardens. For one, your garden plants could get some water from the occasional rain, but the plants inside your Read more

4 Reasons Your Lender Could Change Their Mind After Pre-Approving You

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Money Talks | Comments Off on 4 Reasons Your Lender Could Change Their Mind After Pre-Approving You

Guy discussing the policiesBelieve it or not, getting preapproved for a mortgage may not necessarily mean that you will be the owner of a home. Sometimes, a mortgage company will preapprove you for a mortgage only to deny you the financing later.

Knowing why this could happen can help you veer away from it. Here are four reasons it happens.

1. You’ve changed employers

Some loan types have particular requirements for how long a borrower must have consistently worked at a certain job. FHA loans, for instance, require you to have at least two years of solid employment.

A sudden change in jobs after a HARP home loan company has preapproved you can lead to a denial of the financing, so desist from that.

2. You have some negative items on credit

You certainly don’t need a perfect credit score to get a mortgage. But, there are guidelines you need to adhere to when it comes to your credit score.

If your credit score is in the 600’s, then you want to avoid negative impacts on your credit once you’ve been preapproved. That means you should continue paying your bills promptly.

3. You incur additional debts

So you’ve just been preapproved and now want to take a loan for a brand new ride. That may seem like a great idea to you, except it will probably get your mortgage denied now that you’ve incurred another major debt. It’s a risk you don’t want to take once the lender approves you for a loan.

4. There are problems with the appraisal

Different banks will have different requirements when it comes to the issue of pre-appraisal. It could be that the lender does not finance homes located in a certain location. Insisting on buying a home in such a location will most likely lead to a denial.

It can be devastating to find out your bank has denied you a previously preapproved mortgage at the last minute. To avoid that, it’s wise to find out why that would happen and take measures to prevent it.

3 Key Factors in Successful Farming

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Higher Learning | Comments Off on 3 Key Factors in Successful Farming

Tractor tank on a farm fieldAustralia has one of the most robust farming industries in the world. It is composed of 85,681 farming businesses, with only 1% of this sum owned and managed by foreign nationals. Ninety-three percent of Australia’s food supplies are produced in these farms, which employ 304,200 workers.

The entire industry contributes at least 3% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The success of Australia’s farming sector is due to its stakeholders’ efficient understanding and management of the following important factors:

Social and economic factors

Social and economic factors include a wide range of considerations, such as capital (finance), labour, technology, markets and government. Each of these has a huge clout in any farming business in Australia. For instance, adequate financing means you get to have the capacity to pay for sufficient labour, as well as the most efficient farm machinery available in the market.

Environmental Factors

The important concerns here include physical factors, such as climate, relief and soil. The type of crops you choose to grow should be those most compatible with the climate in your area, your area’s level of soil fertility, as well as its exact topography.

Global market competition

In this age of an increasingly global economy, local farming businesses are no longer independent from the whims of the global market. This is especially true if your business currently caters to international trading or plans to do so. From the prices your crops get to command to your level of access to cutting-edge farming equipment, there is the global market that needs to be negotiated.

If you are currently managing a farming business or planning to join the industry, it is important that you understand how it works. A key part of this is the aforementioned three factors that will directly affect how well you do in the business.

Finding the Right Loan While Protecting Your Finances

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Money Talks | Comments Off on Finding the Right Loan While Protecting Your Finances

Client with an approved mortgageWhile buying a home is an exciting experience, it can also be a stressful one, especially if you don’t understand the home loan process. This makes it essential to do your homework, gather information from experts, or get prequalified. It also pays to know a few helpful things that can help you make the right choice and protect you against opportunists.

Mortgage loan providers in IL such as ambankqc.com share some tips:

  • Be cautious about too good to be real offers. Be wary of those who tell you that having a low credit score or credit problems will not have any impact your interest rate. If the proposal sounds too good to be true, you may want to get a second opinion and talk to several lenders. This will also help you compare different loan products from different providers.
  • Learn more about prepayment penalties. Find out if the available mortgage includes a prepayment penalty or a fee if you decide to pay off your loan early. If yes, you may want to ask about other mortgages that don’t have a penalty.
  • Double check documents. When submitting income information and other documents, make sure that they are accurate. Be wary of those who tell you that it is okay to falsify your documents just to qualify for a particular loan. You should never forge information or sign documents that you know are untruthful.
  • Ask about additional payment and fees. Talk to you lender about the fees included in the home loan process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the items or fees that you didn’t understand or know are part of the mortgage.
  • Make sure the documents are complete. Never sign papers that have blank fields or incorrect dates. If a lender asks for your signature with incomplete details, you may want to consider finding a new loan provider.
  • Check before signing. Be sure that you understand the loan before signing. You can ask for a written estimate and review the offer. You can also benefit from getting advice from a credit counseling expert or agency if you are unsure.

Make sure that you are working with a reliable lender that can assist you and help you make sound decisions. You should get pre-qualified or pre-approved before starting to look for potential houses.

Landing Your Dream IT Job: How CompTIA Certification Can Help

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Higher Learning | Comments Off on Landing Your Dream IT Job: How CompTIA Certification Can Help

Certified IT professionalsAny organization that stores, retrieves, and sends information through the use of computers and telecommunications rely heavily on their IT (Information Technology) network. With most of the data they handle being of sensitive nature, it’s vital that they have strong security measures in place. Through proper information security protocols, they can safely and efficiently conduct their operations, while ensuring the data safety of everyone involved. Because of the crucial roles that IT security plays, the need for professionals specializing in protecting such networks continues to rise. This is amongst the primary reasons majority of corporations seek the services of CompTIA-certified IT professionals.

What it means to be CompTIA-certified

CompTIA, a vendor-neutral, non-profit trade association, issues some of the most recognized certifications in the IT industry. With the organization having issued over 2 million certifications within the last two decades, it has quickly risen to recognition as a leading IT trade association.

Because of this, having a CompTIA certification means increased personal and professional growth for IT professionals. Certblaster.com suggests that you take a closer look at the certifications you can get with the trade association, which include those for the A+, Network+, and Security+ programs. With such certification, you can achieve the boost you need to start in any of the vast array of IT practices.

CompTIA certification: Increasing your chances of landing your dream IT job

Most organizations, businesses, and corporations seek professionals with CompTIA certifications, seeing as it is amongst the leading associations in the IT industry. As such, getting certification with them means considerably increasing your potential and the possibilities of gaining not just any employment, but one that you truly desire.

Keep in mind that all entities – whether individuals or businesses – that have databases and IT networks require the expertise and skills of IT security personnel. And while you may already have standard training and education in this area, it doesn’t automatically guarantee employment. You are in a better position to land your dream job with a CompTIA certification.

3 Pointers to Remember When Checking the Car’s Safety

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Money Talks | Comments Off on 3 Pointers to Remember When Checking the Car’s Safety

A couple being handed over with car keysBefore applying for an auto loan, you have to make sure that the vehicle you’re planning to get has passed standard safety requirements. Common factors involved in a vehicle’s overall safety range from how it can protect occupants from a collision to its performance during emergency situations.

When choosing a model and make, it’s crucial to look at all suitable variables, including the security features and ratings. Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union, a trusted name in auto loan lending, shares what to consider when reviewing your decision:

Insurance-Industry Impact-Test Ratings

There are research groups like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that conduct their own series of crash tests. These simulate car-to-car collisions, focusing on the front, rear, and side of the car. The results should give credit to the vehicle’s structural integrity and its capacity to keep the driver safe inside. Make sure the model you want has received acceptable ratings from any of these organizations.

Government Crash-Test Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also takes impact tests and rollover assessment. Cars can receive up to five stars, with fewer stars indicating a bigger chance for injury in case of an accident. You can see all crash-tested vehicles at one of their sites, safercar.gov.

Antilock Brake System (ABS)

Consumer Reports’ experts highly recommend choosing a unit that has an antilock brake system. All new vehicles now have this as a standard feature, but if you’re getting an older unit, be sure to check for it. During a hard stop, the antilock brake system prevents the wheels from locking up and spinning out. It helps the driver to maneuver better during a panic stop.

These are only some of the important features you need to pay attention to. There’s also the child safety, airbags, secure belts, and head restraints to consider. Whether you want something flashy or a simple vehicle to get you from point A to point B, safety should still be a priority.

Does Your Company Need an Asset-based Loan?

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Money Talks | Comments Off on Does Your Company Need an Asset-based Loan?

Businessman pressing a Business Loan concept buttonBusinesses apply for loans to fulfill various cash flow needs of their operations, such as meeting payroll or funding a short-term investment. If a business cannot show it can repay the loan, a lender may choose to provide the loan based on the value of the business’ assets. This is called asset-based lending.

How asset-based lending works

TAB Bank in Utah described asset-based lending as a flexible alternative to traditional lending. The lending terms depend on the value and type of the secured asset. Is it liquid enough that it can readily be disposed of or turned into cash? Often, lenders would prefer highly liquid assets, such as bonds, mutual funds, and properties. They want to guarantee the security of their loan so having an easily convertible security is the best collateral. Additionally, if the asset is more liquid, the loan-to-value ratio is higher.

The value of an asset-based loan is never equal to the full value of the pledged assets. Normally, the lender and the business will agree upon a certain percentage of the assets’ value. This may go between 70 and 80 percent of the value of receivables or 50 percent of inventory.

Why businesses apply for asset-based loans

So, do you need an asset-based loan? Businesses apply for asset-based loans for several reasons. They may use these to raise capital. For big companies, when they issue shares or bonds in the capital market, they need to raise capital to offset the huge costs of investment. Also, asset-based lending is reliable for immediate funding, particularly with time-constrained projects like mergers or acquisitions. For smaller companies, however, asset-based lending is a common solution for immediate cash flow needs, from payroll to inventory requirements.

Asset-based loans are perfect for companies that are growing fast, as well as those with high leverage and those that are undercapitalized. These businesses are usually engaged in the manufacturing, distribution, and service sectors. If your business is any of these, then asset-based lending can be the right choice.

Warehouse Operation: 4 Ways to Maintain Product Integrity

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Warehouse Operation: 4 Ways to Maintain Product Integrity

Owner managing his warehouseProducts could break from time to time in your warehouse. Boxes of goods may fall out of the shelving or large items could damage smaller items. The more items that break, the more you can expect to lose money. Moreover, cleaning up the mess takes time away from workers who should be focusing on their primary tasks.

You can prevent most instances of breakage and avoid the costs using the following strategies:

Invest in high-quality industrial racking systems

Your storage requirements call for the best racking systems for warehouses. Your options include galvanised pallet racking, drive-in racking, cantilever racking and many other storage structures. Some of the crucial factors in choosing your racking system are the goods to store, the volume of items to store and the typical warehouse operation.

You also need to consider the design of your warehouse; the space has to work for the movement of products and people. With the right raking system and appropriate design, you can prevent or minimise future problems.

Don’t overload the racks

Before placing products on the shelves, it’s important to know the storage equipment’s capacity as well as the weight of the items. Determining and following the load capacity of your shelves will keep accidents to a minimum.

Keep the warehouse clean and organised

A dirty warehouse is a safety hazard. It could lead to slips and falls; Worksafe reports that 70 per cent of injuries in warehouses are due to hazardous manual handling and slips, trips and falls.

Install rack column protectors

Rack column protectors may not cost much in the market, but they do a fine job protecting your products in case of a forklift accident. They absorb a significant amount of the impact when the rack gets hit besides preventing the racks from collapsing.

Don’t let product damage in your warehouse slash your profits and tarnish your image. By adopting a few precautionary measures, you can maintain the integrity of your products and keep operations running smoothly.

4 Tips for Setting Up a New Warehouse

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Hot Spots | Comments Off on 4 Tips for Setting Up a New Warehouse

Warehouse with a good setupSo, you’ve finally chosen the perfect warehouse for your business’ storage needs and you’re now excited to set it up with heavy duty long span shelving, floor markings, and all that good stuff. You probably know by now, however, that it’s not going to be an easy job.

You don’t have to lose sleep while thinking about what your warehouse layout should be, though. Here are some tips to help you get started on a setup that’s conducive to productivity.

1. Create an Extra Large Receiving Area

Your receiving team has one of the most important functions in your operations. If anything goes wrong, the whole process is affected. Having enough space to work in when counting and reconciling items to a list or breaking down pallets makes work easier and less confusing.

2. Receiving and Shipping Must Be Separate

Preferably, these two areas must be on separate ends of your warehouse. Like receiving, shipping also entails double-check counting and building pallets that all need to be recorded. Peak seasons won’t be friendly if you had these processes in the same area.

3. Dead Stock Must Have its Own Area

You can’t continue to keep your dead stocks with your moving stocks. Create a separate area for them, so when liquidation comes, you won’t rely on the numbers but on the actual products as well.

4. Put Frequently Picked Products Closer to Shipping

This is an ultimate timesaving tip. Imagine having your most popular products stored the farthest from shipping. Efficiency would be lost right away. If they’re stored closer to shipping, it would take less time for everyone to finish the process and you can have them shipped out in a shorter turn-around time.

Remember that as your business grows, your warehouse needs may change as well. Choose shelving and racking systems that are easy to customise based on your inventory, and train your staff well on these possibilities. Once all these are checked off your list, you’ll be ready to get down to business.

Steel or Plastic Water Tank: Which Is the Better Option?

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Information Facility | Comments Off on Steel or Plastic Water Tank: Which Is the Better Option?

a man working on a water storage tankWater storage tanks come in different varieties. In terms of placement, there are above-ground and underground tanks. Regarding purpose, some tanks store water from a household’s water line and tanks that harness rainfall.

When it comes to composition, there are steel tanks and plastic tanks. If you are considering outfitting your house with one of these storage tanks, it is important that you know a thing or two about the options available to you.

Steel

For years Steel has been the favored option when it comes to water tanks, and that is for good reasons. For starters, steel scores high in terms of durability compared to plastic. Its ability to postpone wear and tear is exceptional.

Furthermore, steel proves cost-efficient in the long run since they are easy to clean and maintain, and, more importantly, their hygienic composition disallows spoilage of your stored water supply.

Lastly, steel is considered an environmentally-friendly material given how it causes the least production and consumption-related carbon footprint. It is also easily recyclable.

Plastic

Perhaps the biggest selling point of plastic as a water tank material is the fact that it weighs less than steel. This means that they are more portable and thus less demanding come installation or relocation.

Plastic tanks also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes compared with steel, which is normally circular topped with a cone cover. These varieties allow you to pick a tank that can best blend in with your house’s design. Lastly, plastic does not rust.

While many advocates for plastic tanks’ sheer dependability, others remain wary considering how most plastic products nowadays are made from materials with known health risks, such as Polyethylene (PE), Bisphenol (BA), and Polypropylene (PP), among others.

To make the most out of your water tank, start by ensuring that you make the right purchase. With all the options out there, it pays that you thoughtfully decide which ones will best suit your needs.

4 Benefits That Will Empower Your Employees

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Higher Learning | Comments Off on 4 Benefits That Will Empower Your Employees

employees giving a high fives gestureToday, more and more offices are recognising the importance of empowering their employees by supporting not only their careers but also their personal interests.

Apart from benefits like pension, childcare vouchers, life insurance or gym memberships, there are other ways employers can boost employee morale. You can install features like cycle shelter for those who ride their bikes to work. Or surprise employees with a game room, where they can release some work stress on an Xbox or a game of billiards.

Here are more ideas on how to take better care of your employees:

Spa or Yoga Benefits

The health and well-being of your employees should matter to you. Giving them discounts or vouchers to spa treatments or yoga classes will show that you care about their health, too.

Single-Parent Benefits

Statistics shows that there are 1.6 million single mothers in the UK with dependent children as of November 2017. These single parents work twice as hard to provide for their family. If you have single parents in your workforce, you can treat them to benefits like extra paid vacation leaves or additional allowance.

Annual Sports Tournaments

Almost all offices have a sports buff or two. Hold an annual sports event for everyone. This is not only for morale-building, but also for forging relationships between different employees and departments.

Educational Loans

If given the chance, some employees wish to continue or enrich their education while working. Allowing loans with lower interest rates will show them that you also support their personal and educational growth.

The work-life balance has never been more important than now. These are just some of the ways that you can give back to your employees for being the backbone of your business. Remember that happy employees produce high-quality output. Keep yours in an environment conducive to employee satisfaction.