POS Solutions for Small Businesses

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If you are a retailer or service provider, and you take over the counter payments, you will be aware that customers like to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Nobody likes to stand around for longer than is necessary, so getting things done fast is encourages consumers to use your services. For example, if you don’t have a modern, up to date Point of Sale system, you may be losing business. These surprisingly affordable and very capable machines allow you to process transactions quickly and efficiently, and they can help bring your business into the 21st century.

Furthermore, do you take card payments? Many small businesses don’t, largely on the mistaken grounds that it will cost a lot of money, but in fact it is costing you money not to take card payments! This is because people appreciate the convenience of paying by card – it’s quicker for both you and the consumer – especially in these days of swipe cards that don’t even need a PIN. Also, people tend to spend more when paying by card – nobody is sure why but it appears to be true – so you are missing out on potential further turnover.

Modern POS Systems

For the very latest POS systems for small business use check out the range on offer from Merchant Account Solutions, a leading name in the field with many satisfied clients and a reputation for excellent service. They can provide you with fully integrated up to date systems that will enable you to service your clients quickly and effectively, and at a sensible and affordable rate. Indeed, we believe their prices to be the best in the business, so you should take a look now for more information.

You should ensure that your new POS system includes a credit card machine, so you can begin to take card payments immediately. This will also be at an affordable rate, and they have many different models to choose from, and will be happy to advise you on the very best solution for your business requirements, at the best prices in the business. You cannot afford not come on stream, so have a look now and you’ll be impressed.

Online eCommerce Solutions

If you are dealing largely in eCommerce, you will need the latest solutions to enable you to operate efficiently, and at www.merchantaccountsolutions.com you can fine everything from POS solutions to a range of accounting and invoicing software, all specifically designed for use by smaller businesses. You will find they offer an integrated system that will vastly improve your cost-effectiveness, and allow you to ensure all your transactions are processed quickly and correctly.

The 21st century lays many demands on smaller businesses, and being on the ball when it comes to POS solutions is one way of staying ahead of the pack. Merchant Account Solutions are there to help you get the very best out of the latest technology, so have a chat with them now and see how they can bring your business into the modern world.

What is the Cost of Selling my House?

If you are thinking about selling your house to raise money to offset your debts, it is important to keep in mind the cost of selling. In addition, you also need to explore several smart ways to save money on the major financial expenses. Otherwise, you will be surprised at how much you selling your home will be an expensive business.

With the many agencies and factors involved in the process of selling a house, it is more than just naming price and finding a buyer who is ready to buy. Even then, when you take time to research and prepare adequately, you will know the costs that are involved and how to cut down the amount. Here are the main expenses related to selling your house and ways of reducing them:

  • Estate agency fees – This is a major cost when selling your house. Estate agency fees varies depending on the kind of agent that you are working with. A high street agent for example will charge you a commission of up to 3 percent of the selling price.

If for instance, your house is selling for £219,000 and your estate agent is charging you a 2 per cent fees, you might end up giving then about £4,380. Consequently, if your house is worth much more the agency fee will definitely rise.

However, you can save on this fee by opting for a fixed agency fees that you agree upon upfront before instructing them. This way, you are guaranteed of a good return from the sale. Alternatively, you could opt to use an online estate agent that will potentially save you money. It is also the simplest way of reducing the cost of moving.

  • Removal costs – Although you may be keen on negotiating the estate agency fees, you also need to keep in mind the removal costs when calculating your budgets. In addition, depending on your furniture and the distance to your new home, the price could rise from a few hundreds to several thousands of pounds.

You need to take into account whether you want the packing services or not because this is likely to bump up the price.  Thus, you will do well to reduce these costs by shopping around. You can also use comparison sites to see how much it will cost you. If you are not moving a lot of stuff and you are willing to do some legwork, then you will certainly pay less.

  • Solicitor’s fees – While the buyer will foot the charges for the stamp duty, survey as well as searches, you need the services of a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor that will act on your behalf and handle all the legal issues associated with selling your property.

Although you cannot get around this, you should expect to pay between £500 and £1,500. However, this depends on how complicated the sale process will be. You could also reduce the solicitor’s fee by using a solicitor from outside the capital, compare quotes or using price comparison sites to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Other unexpected costs

The cost of selling your house does not stop at the estate agency fees, removal costs and solicitors fees. Therefore, the law requires you to provide an energy performance certificate (EPG) and provide information about the energy efficiency of the property.

You will do well to use assessors who are accredited to do the required survey. While your estate agency can arrange for one, you are better off organizing it on your own.

If you have large appliances that you are willing to get rid of and you cannot take to the recycling centre on your own, you need to pay a small charge to your local council so that they collect and dispose them on your behalf.

 

Turning Your Specialist Hobby or Craft into a Money-Spinner

I won’t get into detail about which languages they were, but when I was younger and we were in one of the additional language classes, speaking about our hobbies had the teacher drilling it into us that a hobby is something you do purely for the love of it and in addition to doing it in your spare time, you actually go out of your way to make some time for it. What a hobby isn’t according to the teacher is something which you do for money or professionally in any way.

Well, I guess we’re going to blur those lines a little and discuss just how you can turn your specialist hobby or craft into an income generation stream. I mean we’re always taught to follow our passions and then working on those passions in anticipation of the money to follow naturally, but in reality it requires a bit of initiative to be taken on your part. You’ll perhaps be driven by your passion for whatever it is you have a special interest in, so it’ll never get old, which means that you can really carve out a nice, consistent stream of income out of your continued perusal of it.

Create a Blog or Website

It really doesn’t take all that much to get a professional website up these days, in the same way that it’s very cheap and easy to get a blog up. Get a website or blog of your own up covering what will undoubtedly be a lot of topics which form part of your hobby or special interest. Don’t think about monetising it yet because then you might run the risk of having the passion sucked out of the content you’re generating. Never succumb to the pressure of feeling like you have to cover a certain topic because that’s how passion slowly dies. Also, it’ll make for the reason why you end up making no money with your blog or website when the time comes for you to monetise it. So don’t be swayed by the latest news doing the rounds or anything of that sort.

Topics covered should be those which you’d perhaps naturally discuss with other fellow hobbyists interested in the same topic.

Sell Products and Services Related to Your Hobby or Special Interest

One of the ways through which to sell products and services related to your hobby or special interest is through your blog or website. This proves to be very effective as a way through which to sell because what you’ll essentially be doing is referring so-called “hot leads” to the online sales platforms you’ll be linking to. If you won’t be selling directly as the retailer then you can sell as an affiliate. Link to products and services that solve a specific problem, like linking to a book, instructional DVD or other form of media which discusses exactly how to solve a specific problem. For example maybe a how-to guide detailing how to use a specific piece of machinery for a specific activity.

How to Sell Broken & Unwanted Gold

The holidays can be expensive. From the gifts and dinner to heating bills and travel expenses, it’s easy to be short on cash around the holidays. If those expenses went on a credit card, that’s not a debt you want to hold on to for too long. High interest charges compound the problem, and it can be months before you’re out from under those holidays bills.

While of course it would be nice to spend less, or get a raise, in most cases that isn’t feasible. Rather than take a short-term loan or sell something with meaning, you might be able to sell some old, unwanted, or broken gold jewelry to help take care of those costs. Gold is still over $1100/oz heading into 2017, so its value can add up much quicker than you might think.

Here are a few tips for selling your gold for the most cash:

1) Avoid jewelry stores

Jewelry stores have huge markups on their products and don’t sell a lot of second-hand gold and jewelry. If they buy it, they’ll probably melt it down at a fraction of its value, meaning they’ll give you even less for it. Add the fact that they’re paying a lot of security, overhead, and rent, and there just isn’t much money left to pay you a decent amount for your valuables.

2) Search for trustworthy local shops

As much flak as cash for gold and pawn shops take, a trustworthy store is often your best local option in these situations. The more gold you have the close to spot price you’ll get, but you’ll still receive quite a bit under what the gold is worth (not unusual or unexpected, though). If you’re going to use a local gold buyer, the best thing to do is do your homework. Research these companies to make sure they are legitimate, have been established online for some time, and have some positive reviews.

Like jewelry stores, there are considerable overhead costs which force local shops to pay less to remain possible (although they are not as high). You can find some registered listings on Sell Your Gold Locations.

Even if you don’t end up selling to a local pawn shop or cash for gold store, it is a good idea to get a quote from them first. This will give you an idea of what gold you have and a price to compare it to. As we’ll talk about, online cash for gold stores guarantee to match or beat these prices, so it’s good to get those offers first.

3) Online Gold Buyers

Worried about selling your gold through the mail? That’s perfectly understandable. A lot of bad companies have come and gone over the past 10 years with bad business practices and reputations, resulting in a very bad name for the industry. But several names were there before the rush and have remained after the rush – companies with large online followings, hundreds of reviews and happy customers, and good overall reputations.

As it is with local buyers, make sure you do your homework here too. But if you can select a good gold buyer to mail your valuables too (make sure it’s fully insured), they typically offer the most cash for your gold. With low overhead costs and efficient mailing systems, these companies have less expenses per transaction and usually guarantee highest payouts.

Cash for Gold Mailer, a new company launched in 2015, even frequently publishes their payout rates. They offer insured shipping, price match guarantees, and operate purely online through a pack mailing system. Free packs can be requested on their site, or you can print a free label and send it to them directly.

How does selling your cash for gold online work?

All the companies that sell packs online these days (all the reputable ones at least), follow a very similar process. It’s quick and easy, and it generally works like this:

1) Request a Pack or Print a Label – Register for a pack on an online cash for gold website. Most then allow you to have a pack mailed to you, or you can just print the label. If you have it mailed, they’ll send you a prepaid envelope to pack your valuables in and mail. If you choose the “print” option, you can print that prepaid, insured label and attach it to a package that you’ve prepared yourself. Either works, but if you’re in a rush, packaging it yourself can save you a couple days.

2) Pack & Mail Your Gold – Be sure to pack your gold safely. If there’s a chance you want your gold returned, or think it might have more valuable as a piece of jewelry than just the melt value, it’s best to use padding to carefully secure your shipment. Pack it up, and then mail it for free – most businesses use FedEx (so drop it off at a FedEx location or drop point), but some still use USPS.

3) Accept or Reject Your Offer – Most of the reputable companies have moved to online systems to process packages. You’ll be able to log in to see the status of your order at all times, and when the package is processed your offer will appear online as well. Log in, and then you can accept the offer or request your items be mailed back.

4) Get Paid! – If you accepted the offer, companies send payment via check or most offer an online payment (via something like PayPal). If you rejected it, they’ll send your package back safely and securely. Due to the reputation of the industry, the best online companies are really good about taking care of transactions quickly.

This won’t take week or months to complete, and is usually turned around in less than a week. If you print your own pack and mail it the same day, a Paypal payment can often be in your inbox the next day. Nearly as fast, and usually much more convenient than local shops. Not to mention that you get paid quite a bit more.

So get caught up on those holiday bills safely, securely, and quickly by selling old jewelry or gold you no longer enjoy. It’s probably worth more than you think!

Everything is For Sale, Including Debt

As the saying goes, “Everything is for sale, you just have to come up with the right amount to make the purchase” and if you think about it you’ll realise that this is actually true. I’m not just talking about those scenarios where sentiment and desire seem to defy economic logic and trump real market value here. I’m talking about sales which go on without the majority of us even knowing about them. Debt is a very big seller in the world right now, yet it all happens within the darker corners of what’s otherwise plain view as most people choose to turn a blind eye to it going on.

Debt is being sold all day, every day and its trade never stops for single second. For as long as the world is turning, debt is being bought and sold somewhere around the world if not everywhere, you just don’t know it’s going on.

The basic forms of debt are rather straight-forward in their makeup and can take the shape of something like getting financed by the bank to buy your car, for which you’d make weekly or monthly repayments with added interest of course, so something like your mortgage or bond you have on your house which will take a much longer period of up to 20-30 years to pay off.

More sophisticated forms of trading debt are where the real money is made due to one of the most powerful tools of the financial sector; leverage. If a company offering financial services has been given the green light by the Financial Conduct Authority to operate within many different sub-sectors of the financial sector, they in effect hold the true power of leverage and gearing in their hands to generate insane amount of money, mostly through the business of trading debt.

Why do you think an insurance company is seemingly never satisfied with just doing insurance? They’d much rather offer financial services which span the entire insurance sector and given half the chance they’d expand into other financial services such as housing a resident banking branch or even brokerage for services such as offering the public a CFDs and stocks trading platform. In the case of offering a trading platform, licensed brokers are themselves traders and make use of leverage to make huge profits while charging traders a service fee for each trade or perhaps levying a spread fee instead of a fixed per-trade fee.

What’s ultimately at play here is debt because financial services companies can list the credit they hold on their books as assets, assets which can then be repackaged and sold or used as collateral to fund expansion operations or further investments.

Nothing sells like debt and when you earn interest on the money you have in a savings account (although it must be said that this is very little interest you earn) you are indirectly participating in the trading of debt. The money which you keep in the bank is being loaned out to other clients and some of the interest they pay on that loan is filtered down to you, but you’re really just getting scraps because banks have the authority to use leverage to loan out more money than what they physically have in reserve.

Whenever some investors or businesspeople who’ve been active in other spheres of business finally head on over to the financial sector, they often wonder just why they didn’t make the transition earlier. Because of the way in which our financial sector is set up and operates, often making insane amounts of profits is as easy as getting the right finance leads, which are known to be of high quality since financial services have become a very important if not critical part of our everyday lives.

So, the message for you today is that you should perhaps take the time to think about what exactly you’re spending your money on. You can either buy or sell debt and if you do it cleverly, you can enjoy some big financial rewards.

Do No Credit Check Loans Exist?

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Have you noticed that it’s one of the ways that most advertising has? A bold statement to build up the product or service being sold that is at the same time both true and not quite true.

That’s probably the way it is with so-called no credit check instant payday loans. It’s more or less true that there’s no credit check on your ability to repay the loan, yet at the same time, there is strictly speaking no such thing as a no credit check loan.

So, what’s the real answer – do they, or do they not exist?

Credit checking

A credit check offers lenders a way of assessing whether applicants are likely to be able to afford the loan requested and if they are likely to make the agreed repayments without defaulting.

That’s done with reference to your credit history of the way you have managed your borrowing in the past, the extent to which you have made repayments on time or whether there are recorded difficulties – as evidenced by your having been declared bankrupt, have had country court judgments (CCJs) mas against you, have entered any Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) with creditors or have needed to make a Debt Management Plan.

These records of your credit history are kept by the main credit reference agencies in the UK – Equifax, Experian and CallCredit.

Lenders not only choose to conduct credit checks (to safeguard their own interests) but are obliged to do so, in the interests of responsible lending to customers, under the terms of the authorisation and regulation to which lenders are subject by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Under these strict rules, therefore, there is no such thing as a no credit check loan.

No credit checking

On the contrary, insist many providers of instant payday loans. They make a decision about whether or not you qualify for such a loan based only on the information you provide in your application – a “snapshot”, if you like, of your current financial standing, but without any formal check with the credit reference agencies.

This is a process known as a “soft search” or “quotation search” which leaves no trace on your credit history file.

This is an important consideration since every application you make for credit is noted on your credit file. If the application is rejected, this too is noted and is likely to have a negative impact on your overall credit “score” and subsequent ability to secure credit or a loan.

By pre-checking your likely ability to be approved for a loan when you make a formal application, therefore, this represents what might properly be called a no credit check instant payday loan.

No credit check/credit check

In this way, both answers might be seen as correct. The soft search or quotation search done by the provider of a payday loan avoids the need for a formal credit check – it is a no credit check solution. When you finally make your application for the loan, however, any lender is obliged to conduct a credit check on the file held on you by the credit reference agencies.

Financing a Courier Business

With online deliveries being popular, particularly at this time of year, a sound business option is the courier industry. As our lives become increasingly global, increasingly digital, we can order everything from groceries to books, some guaranteeing a one hour delivery slot. The industry continues to thrive, with big names being rivalled by independent companies. With companies such as Yodel and Deliveroo, the face of delivery across all strands is changing, as cyclists and every day drivers are drafted in to help get packages out there. Even the mighty Amazon announced Flex this year, which pays people in specific cities to deliver parcels.

Such a thriving industry that seems set to continue growing is something that investors can do well on, as we head toward even more online shopping. Some considerations for investing in or financing a delivery business are covered below:

Delivering on Time

The most important thing is for a delivery company to ensure that deliveries arrive on time. Check how the company you are considering financing intend to do this, what their history looks like concerning this and what compensation procedures they have in place. Delivery is largely based on word of mouth, particularly in the beginning, and that relies on timely arrival.

Delivering a Happy

One of the most important parts of being a delivery person is friendliness, since it is a customer facing role. This is how reputation is built, and as such, you should be sure that the people being used for delivery fit the criteria! A successful delivery business delivers on time and goes the extra mile. Find out how the delivery service you’re looking at investing in intends to vet their drivers.

Delivering Tech

There is nothing more frustrating than awaiting a delivery which gets missed and then having to wait two days before you can even access it. Opting for good communication with drivers, and good tech to allow tracking reduces the likelihood of this. You will need to provide finance for this key area.

Delivering Locally or Globally

Deciding where to deliver to will involve some market research. Companies such as InXpress are aggregators, which help consumers decide which delivery option is best, and as such have a wealth of information about shipping and delivery in the UK and beyond. Use resources and experts’ knowledge to help you gain a better understanding of the shipping and delivery industry.

Cost Benefits of Using Same Day Delivery Services for Your Business

Same day delivery is quickly becoming the norm, with a greater number of companies offering delivery within a one-day window. In today’s technology-ruled instant-access world, customers and are no longer content with the discounts, good customer service or quality products. Instead your customers want to be able to purchase and receive an order within the same day, meaning building a relationship with a reliable and reputable delivery service is paramount.

That being said, what are the benefits of utilising same day delivery for your business?

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Happy customers and clients are at the core of every successful business, so any opportunity to increase customer satisfaction should be considered. This is particularly true when it comes to same day delivery, as these services make customers feel appreciated, who will in turn spread good word of mouth about your company. In addition, an express delivery service also promotes your business as being professional and reliable.

Reduce Delivery Costs

Typically, many businesses buy or hire their own vans to ship goods, along with recruiting delivery drivers and paying for vehicle repairs. While this can be cost effective if deliveries are local, costs can soon mount when travelling further afield. Instead, it can be beneficial to hire a third-party delivery comparison company (like Parcels Please), as they can often quote prices that your business would find impossible to match, particularly for same day services.

Boost Business Productivity

Unlike standard delivery options, offering a same day delivery service means that there is no leeway when it comes to completing customer orders. This means that staff can no longer put off fulfilling an order until tomorrow as they must be processed and sent out on the same day. This requirement tends to increase the productivity of employees, although companies could also consider using additional bonus and incentive schemes.

Creates Competitive Advantage

Whether competing in local, national or global markets, your business needs an edge to help it stand out and increase customer numbers. While your company could consider reducing prices or increasing the quality of products, offering same day delivery services can provide something of a unique selling point. Giving customers the option of expedited delivery not only increases customer satisfaction, but also creates a competitive advantage.

In conclusion, same day delivery services carry several benefits, including: increasing customer satisfaction, reducing business costs, boosting the productivity of employees and providing a competitive advantage.

What to Consider Before You Go International With Your Business

The decision to start working overseas is almost a no-brainer. The wider global markets give you access to more customers, more opportunities and more chances to make a profit. If you do this right, you could turn your small business into an international empire and while you’ll probably be eager to get going there are still some pitfalls, of which you need to be aware.

To help you in your business endeavours, here are some of these issues that you should consider before you start to work with other nations.

The Market Gaps

You first need to treat the international markets in the same way you would your local ones – it may just take a little longer. Research and look at the situation and demographics in the areas of the countries you want to work with, to fully assess whether or not there are any gaps you can fill or provide for.

Language and Cultural Barriers

Different countries also have different languages and ways of doing business – and the last thing you want to do is offend any future partners. The simple step here is to either employ someone who speaks the language or knows the culture of the country, or at least carry out your own research into business etiquette and expectations when you’re pitching to clients.

Trade Restrictions

For those businesses wanting to set up supplier routes or work with imports and exports, there are certain restrictions on goods that you should research first. If your main base is within the EU, the trade agreements in place makes moving goods more straightforward, with fewer restrictions. However, going outside of the EU can be more problematic, plus certain nations have stricter regulations than others, such as the China and the Middle East.

There are plenty of online guides to advise you with this, but also you can outsource shipping goods to external companies with international expertise, like Parcel2Go, who can help you overcome any trade barriers.

How Involved you will Be

Another big consideration is how much you will be involved in the whole process – as you’ll have your main business to think about as well. The workload can be quite demanding – especially for smaller firms – as such, you shouldn’t be afraid to invest in extra help or hand responsibilities to your trusted staff.

So, make sure you take note of the above when you’re planning your international business moves and you should put your company on the right path to overseas success. Good luck!

What you Need to Build a Successful Logistics Business

The world of logistics can open several business avenues, from the international transport of goods, to local deliveries and more, this can turn out to be quite a lucrative sector. Like with any business venture though, this needs to be done right from the start to ensure success.

With this in mind, here is what you need to have to start up your own logistics business:

A Plan

Before you start investing any of your money, you need to first create your business plan which outlines several key aspects. These might include:

  • What area of logistics you intend to work in?
  • Where you want to operate and what goods you wish to move
  • The size and scale of your business and your objectives for the coming years
  • What your business’ core values and beliefs are

If you need assistance creating this, you can find some useful templates on this UK Government page.

Additional Funding

Logistics can be quite an expensive industry – especially if you’re planning on working abroad. This means you should have plenty of capital behind your business to begin with, if you don’t you should look at acquiring a business loan, or seeking additional funding.

The Right Licences

Depending on what goods you intend to move, you might need to have certain licences. There are also import and export regulations to be aware of when shipping overseas, so you need to research these first before you agree to start transporting.

The Right Image

Your company brand is another big factor to consider as this will be something plastered all over your vehicles, company premises and even packaging. This needs to be eye-catching and something that makes an impression on customers, TNT Direct branding is a good example of this, with bold colours that really stand out.

Storage Facilities

On the subject of company premises, you will need to have a storage area that meets your requirements and which gives you space to grow and develop. The best bet here will be to lease something in the short-term and purchase a bigger space when your business is doing well.

Reliable Vehicles and Equipment

Finally, you also need all the vehicles and equipment for moving goods. Again, this is an area where you should look to cut costs initially and source second hand alternatives, then when you’re little more successful, purchase newer, more efficient models.

The logistics markets can be a competitive place, but with the above sorted and a little hard work you’ll be on the road to success with your logistics.