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Mortgage Refinancing

Strategy Change: Signs You Need to Refinance Your Mortgage

Mortgage RefinancingA real estate property is often the ultimate dream of many people. Getting their hands on a home is somewhat a validation of their maturity and a sign that they have reached one of their milestones in life. The feeling is founded and normal, as buying a real estate property can be difficult, knowing that it always comes with a hefty price tag. When it comes to this, you can always seek the help and advice of reliable mortgage companies. You need to find the best one that understands your needs.

Now that you are already paying for your home for some years, you may notice that your lifestyle has changed and in one way or another, your mortgage payment is affected. You may consider getting a mortgage refinance scheme in Utah. But before you go at it, you need to look for other signs that may validate your move. Here are some of the things you need to look for.

You have a lot of expenses right now

Face it: owning a home can be expensive. And living with a family is also costly. You will realize that your income is almost wholly dedicated to your family, and you may find that paying for your home becomes less of a priority—which should not be the case. If you want to have some extra money for your expenses, you may want to lower your monthly mortgage. And that is what you can only do by refinancing it.

You want to finish off your debts sooner

Consider this scenario: you want a home, and you want to pay for it sooner. That way, your full ownership of the property will be legitimized in a much shorter time. You can refinance your mortgage if you want to pay off your debts sooner. Just a caveat: this means that your monthly payment will be much higher than the scheme you are initially given. But it is okay as long as you can support it with a stead income flow and even an additional source of profit.

When to consider Mortgage Refinancing?

Your credit score is good

Good credit ratings always come with perks you do not expect to be useful in the long run. One of them is the refinancing of your mortgage. When you have a good credit rating, you may qualify for lower interest rates in your mortgage. If you find out that you are qualified, you can apply for a refinance to change the payment arrangement for your property.

You are planning to retire

Retirement plans always influence big-ticket purchase. For one, if you are planning to retire sooner, you will want to finish off your real estate debts as soon as possible. Similarly, if you are on a long-term payment scheme, you may want to delay the closure of debts by requesting to pay your monthly loan at a much lower rate.

Paying off your mortgage can be tricky. In this case, you will need the expertise of reliable mortgage providers and consultants.

Woman dialing on the phone

Understanding the Advantages of a PBX System

Woman dialing on the phone

Communication is the lifeblood of any business. Whether big or small, an organization does well to tend to their lines of communication. Those just starting out might not think they need PBX telephone systems for small business.

To be fair, when the orders and inquiries are few, a single telephone seems enough. The problem here is one of scale. Once your business starts picking up in traction, having clogged up lines might actually turn potential customers away. Here are some of the most important benefits of having a PBX system on your business premises.

Internal Communication

When your business starts to grow, it’s important to speedily communicate within your company and with the various departments that might be located in the farthest parts of the building. A PBX system allows for effective internal communication—all without disrupting the external lines of your business. This is beneficial to ensure that streams of communication are not disrupted and you continue to be able to reach out, whether to your people or to your customers.

Finer Control

No matter what your business is, whether you provide a service or sell a product, many departments likely need to be reached by your customers. This can be the sales department, returns and exchange, troubleshooting, or any other department. Having separate phone numbers can be very confusing for customers. With PBX telephone systems for small business, you can have a single number managed by a capable receptionist who’ll be able to handle general inquiries and route calls to the right department.

Automation

PBX phone

If your business is growing, it might even be far too stressful for a single receptionist to handle. The beauty of PBX setups is that they’re easy enough to scale up. Automation is one such possibility that’s on offer with this system. You know how it works; you’ve called a business and had an automated voice direct you to where you needed to reach. Not only is this more convenient for your customers, but it also expedites the process of routing calls to where they need to be.

Affordability

Surprisingly, setting up a PBX system is not as costly as one would think. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable communications solutions that a small business can get. The reason for this is the ease of installation and maintenance. That affordability even applies should you wish to scale up to more advanced systems. This is perhaps one of the most attractive benefits, as it relates to small businesses.

Expandability

A PBX system is easy to expand. That’s not just within the confines of one company. You can even expand the system to cover other branches elsewhere to provide the same lines of communication centrally without the need for separate numbers. You can even set them for remote access if you would like your employees to be able to connect to the system remotely.

If you’re running a small business, communications should be a top priority even if you’re just starting out. Don’t settle for a single telephone line—look to the future. With a PBX system, you have an affordable means to stay in contact with your employees and your customers.

Senior executing posing with employee behind

The 4 Stages of Hiring for Executive Positions

Senior executing posing with employee behindYou’ve seen all kinds of employees before. In your years of reading resumes, interviewing, and hiring, you’ve come to learn that a good resume does not always equal to a good employee. Perhaps you’ve had regrets, both in hiring and not hiring.

Now that you need people to fill executive roles in your company, you want to be thorough even as you work with supply chain executive recruiters. Here’s how the process usually goes:

Stage One: Going the DIY Route

Thanks to your experience in the field, you’re sure that you’re the most qualified person to hire someone for an executive position. You write the job brief yourself, taking the time to list down all the requirements and skills needed for the job. You think that if you describe job responsibilities extensively, those who are underqualified will back off and not waste your time. You save the file, remember something else, and add to it. Even though you want to fill the position as quickly as possible, you will not settle for just anyone.

Stage Two: Tackling the Confusing Resume Pile

You’ve successfully posted the vacancy to all listings you know, or you may have forwarded the job brief to your chosen recruiter. You wait and look for updates every few hours. There are qualified people out there and you’re using all your willpower to draw them to your recruiting agency or job posting. Surely, they’ll be enticed to join a successful company with a competitive salary and benefits package.

Stage There: Handing Control Over to Recruiters

Recruiters interviewing a candidateYou realize the company cannot remain at a standstill while you’re waiting to hire someone qualified for the job. You work out ways to cover the tasks of the vacant role while you let your recruitment agency handle the hiring process. You ask for updates less often, not because you’re less interested in filling the position, but because you realized this isn’t helping them hire someone faster. After all, you both want the best fit for the position and pressure will not lower your standards. Think about the cost of onboarding an unqualified employee, only to let them go due to their lackluster performance.

Stage Four: Giving the Job Offer, Finally

It may take days that feel like weeks or weeks that feel like days. One day you get a call that the list of applicants has been reduced to a handful, and it’s time to conduct the final interviews.

You take your time meeting each one, knowing their personality is as important as their job history if they are to join your company. Among the applicants, someone catches your eye and impresses you during their interview. You peruse their resume one more time to be sure of your choice. You think about how they’ll contribute to the business, and that finally decides it. You inform your recruiters, and finally, someone gets the job offer. The hiring process is done and you know it’s a successful one.

It’s not an easy task to fill an important role in a technical industry. With a systematic handle on things, your recruitment team will find that employee in no time.

injured businessman talking to a lawyer

Categories of Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases

injured businessman talking to a lawyer

Personal injury cases are now among the most common types of court cases. This is because people are more informed of their rights and what they are entitled to in case they are injured in accidents secondary to someone else’s mistakes. The reality is that once someone’s been hurt and suffered even to the point of losing the capability to earn a decent living, no court will truly fix your suffering after a personal injury.

The court can, however, award you various damages to alleviate your suffering. Though a large percentage of people know about the economic damages they can recover, very few realize they can also recover non-economic damages. These damages could include physical trauma, emotional suffering, and as mentioned above, the loss of the ability to sustain a job and earn a living.

It really is essential to file a claim if you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s mistakes, negligence, or reckless actions. The best step to take is to get in touch with a reputable attorney who can represent you in a court of law. With representation from a personal injury at a law firm such as Feldman & Lee PS in Kent, there are categories of non-economic damages you can recover. To be more specific, here are three of those categories:

Mental Anguish

Accidents and injuries are very troubling, and every person copes differently. Unfortunately, most people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, stress, and depression after their accident. You can file claims for mental anguish damages. Mental anguish damages are meant to recompense you for these mental issues among others you might incur. To recover mental anguish damages, you must have evidence of the duration and severity of the psychological symptoms. It may be recommended, and even necessary, that you seek help from a counselor or psychiatrist.

Physical Disfigurement and Impairment

Woman holding her broken arm

Economic damages will cover your medical expenses. If however, you suffer physical disfigurement or impairment from your injury (especially if this disfigurement has cost you your employment), pursuing non-economic damages is essential. You can prove the extent and severity of your impairment or disfigurement through medical records. More often than not, the disfigurement should be substantial for you to recover damages.

Loss of Consortium

Some injuries might affect you to the extent that you can no longer express love to your spouse or engage in sexual relations. In this case, loss of consortium damages will prove beneficial. These damages also apply for plaintiffs who can no longer handle domestic duties or find it hard to communicate after their accident.

Being in an accident or being injured because of someone else is always unfortunate. The above forms of non-economic damages will go some way in easing your life after your injury. Unlike economic damages, however, they are not very easy to recover. Getting the best attorney to handle your case is the only way you can increase the chances that the court awards you non-economic damages. Nothing is certain, but you can always hope that justice will prevail.

Business team having a meeting

Business Success: 3 Timeless Rules in Franchising Your Brand

Business team having a meeting

The franchising industry has seen a lot of drastic shifts recently. From the increased number of brands conquering the global market to the availability of crowdfunding platforms making launches easier to more women being more aggressive in breaking the through, a lot has changed. But still, there are things that haven’t. Case in point: The principles in growing the franchise brand. If you’re considering expanding your business through franchising, make sure to know these timeless rules and tricks of the trade:

1. Promote the right way

It is an understatement to say that it is tough to market a brand. It is difficult to convince others to take up your business. That is why a lot of franchisors tend to give false expectations to potential franchisees, like building this image of franchising as an easy, smooth-flowing business. That is not the way to promote your brand or do business either. Certainly, you would do better missing a franchisee with an honest, transparent deal than getting an entrepreneur on your team using false hopes.
Do your marketing and negotiations right. More importantly, build your brand in such a way that you would never have to resort to overly grand hopes when sharing your business, that people are the ones flocking to you. Go to franchise consultants. Sometimes, it only takes asking the honest question of, “How can I franchise my business right?” to grow it to success.

2. Train your franchisees well

Training plays a key role in making your franchise brand successful. You have to coach and motivate your franchisees well that they are able to carry on the different tasks (and the stress that goes with it) to make sure that they represent your brand in the best way possible. Sadly, some entrepreneurs take shortcuts when it comes to training people because of their lack of resources. If high-quality training isn’t part of your plans yet, then perhaps it’s best to wait out expanding into franchising until you are able to secure that. Find innovative ways to collect resources and create good training programs. You should at least organize the office and on-site training and tap different ways of learning, including visual, auditory, and tactile. Of course, if you would have new products and services, you should have training dedicated for that as well.

3. Measure, measure, measure

Team discussing about the franchise

You must regularly assess the performance of franchisees. You would never be able to know the effectiveness of the entire franchise program if you do not probe into how your franchisees are doing. So, set key performance indicators (KPIs). Of course, the default here is the numerical metrics, namely, sales, profits, and costs. But do not neglect the “softer” metrics, such as customer satisfaction, employee engagement, industry compliance, etc. Your franchisees themselves should have KPIs too so they could share valuable information on how you can further improve your program.
A lot has changed in the franchising industry, but there are principles that would stand the test of time. Stick to these principles to grow your business right.

fast food chain franchise concept

Non-Traditional Franchise Locations and Why You Should Choose them

fast food chain franchise conceptWhen you’re setting up a food franchise, the obvious choice is to have them in malls, plazas, and other high-pedestrian volume aras. For this reason, however, there is a lot of competition, as well as higher fixed costs such as rent. So why not try to find success that is off the beaten path?

The Non-Traditional Franchise Location

A non-traditional franchise location goes beyond the usual strip mall in favor of alternatives like office cafeterias, college campuses, hospitals, and even military bases. Having fast food franchises provide the opportunity to penetrate the captive markets there easily.

The Advantages

Non-traditional franchise locations often have lower rental costs than traditional ones, and can spur your growth. This is because they offer smaller spaces that aren’t as contested as your usual strip mall. In a place with premium real estate like New York City, for example, a retail space in the financial district could set you back $369 per square foot, and that’s with the prices already falling.

A non-traditional location is a great starting point if you’re getting into the franchise business. If your business takes off, you’ll have a chance to expand and open a bigger location somewhere else.

Challenges

Because you’re starting a business in an uncommon location, you have to modify your business practices accordingly. For example, if you open a franchise store in a university campus, you have to take into account the long vacations between semesters.

The same goes for resorts. The seasonal nature of their business means that you’ll have peak seasons in the summer (or winter if it’s a ski resort), but don’t expect earnings to be that high on regular, off-peak days.

Business and franchise opportunities

What to Look For in a Location

You might be going against the grain with your site, but it doesn’t mean that you have to choose a completely remote area. High foot traffic is still necessary for your business to succeed. You just have to focus on a specific audience to cater to.

One of the best locations you can get is an office building, especially if you’re planning to franchise fast food or a cafe. There’s always demand for a quick bite and a brew in the office, with the added benefit of having higher turnover. If your franchise is centered on fresh juices and other cold drinks, set up shop in a water park.

Having a non-traditional location is a great springboard for new franchisees. Their rental and maintenance costs are often more affordable. And with an established brand supporting your business, you’ll have a great start to franchising success. Once you find your rhythm, you can branch out to other traditional or non-traditional locations. If you’ve successfully set up in a college, or office, and have gotten used to the quirk of each location type, put up a branch elsewhere– before you know it you’ll have a franchise empire in no time!

5 Key Logistics Considerations for Business Success

logistics concept

One of the keys to business success lies in the effectiveness of the logistics and all the surrounding support systems that help move each inventory. Unless you’re able to manage logistics internally by yourself, you’ll depend a lot on the reliability of the logistics consulting company that you’ll hire to handle all your needs.

The difficulty lies in both the number of companies out there that you can hire as well as the lack of understanding of what services you can expect from a prospective company that you are looking to hire.

Here are five things all the best logistics companies should be able to provide:

Capacity

A reliable logistics company must be able to handle the load of deliveries you require. This is something that requires an understanding of your delivery load monthly to be compared against the overall capacity that your prospective logistics partner can offer you. If they don’t match up or can’t match up on a consistent schedule, then you’ll have a problem.

Expediency

Even if a logistics company can handle the load, check if they can meet delivery promises on time. They won’t be a great partner for your business if they can’t be punctual. While delays are expected from time to time, these expectations should be managed well by the company you’re looking to partner with. It’s a simple matter of checking their own successes over the course of years with companies that are of the same size as yours.

Warehousing

two managers in a warehouse

Another critical component of a logistics consulting company, as ReverseLogix noted, is that most people don’t realize that they can benefit from being able to stock and manage inventory as organized as possible. This is a critical consideration if you’re looking to grow and expand your operations. What you need to check here is the security of the warehouse offered as well as its capacity.

Returns

While no one wants to have product returns, either for a refund or a replacement, it’s still an important and critical part of any business that moves inventory.

When it comes to returns, it isn’t just the reverse logistics capability and expediency that’s necessary, there must also be a robust and reliable system in place. This way, you can handle the processing of the complaints associated with the returns. This will help make the process faster, delighting your customers in the long run.

Warranties

Another inevitability when it comes to shipping is that there can be some losses along the way. While these can’t be helped, the best logistics companies offer some protection to ensure that the loss isn’t too heavy for you to bear. It’s not an absolute requirement to success with regard to logistics company partnerships, but it’s something that’s worth looking into to ensure that there isn’t any bad blood when it comes to such losses.

Logistics is the key to ensuring that your inventory and stock is moved efficiently and effectively. Finding a great logistics company to partner with will ensure that your business will succeed by keeping customers happy that their orders come on time. As long as you keep these five things in mind, you can be sure to find a successful partnership.

a professional man

Safety Apparel: What Performance Class Types Are There?

a professional man

Workers in dark or dim work environments and those handling various machines are at a heightened risk of facing injuries. Visibility apparel is an essential part of these work environments to alert other people of a worker’s presence and minimise injuries in your workplace. High-visibility garments primarily comprise three materials, including the background, combined-performance and retro-reflective materials.

The background material of the apparel you get from safety clothing manufacturers is a coloured fluorescent base material. The retro-reflective material is a band that reflects light while the combined-performance materials are a combination of the fluorescent and retro-reflective materials. The height depends on the set minimum requirements in relation to your background material.

High-visibility garments are grouped into the following performance classes.

Performance Class 1

Garments grouped as performance class 1 offer the minimum visibility amount. They differentiate wearers in non-complex work environments. They have a background material of a minimum 217 inches. The combined retro-reflective and background material size is 155 inches while the combined-performance material size is 310 inches. Performance class 1 safety clothing is used by workers in off-road environments.

Performance Class 2

Garments in this class offer more visibility for wearers compared to those in performance class 1 since they have more torso coverage. They have a 755-inch background material height and a combined-performance and retro-reflective material size of 201 inches. Workers in TTC zones and low-speed roadways and those working between physical barriers and traffic use performance class 2 garments.

Performance Class 3

Apparel in this class also includes trousers and sleeves other than a visibility vest. The background material in performance class 3 garments is 1,240 inches while the combined-performance and retro-reflective materials measure 310 inches. Performance class 3 garments are used in urban areas, high-speed roadways and high-crash areas, and when there is no physical traffic barrier.

Performance Class E

Garments in performance class E take the form of shorts or waistband trousers and can only be used with garments in performance classes 2 or 3. When worn along with performance class 3 or 2 garments, the ensemble is considered a class 3 safety ensemble. The background material for performance class E garments is 465 inches, and the combined-performance and retro-reflective materials measure 108 inches.

a policeman

Public Safety Apparel

This class of safety clothing is used by law enforcement, emergency medical service and fire service personnel who work near roads. Safety clothing in this class feature access to belt-mounted appliances and can tear away from a wearer’s shoulders in case the person is stuck. It also features panels, pockets and public safety official identification tags along with different colours. Red is designed for fire service personnel, green for EMS and blue for those in law enforcement.

Other than picking the right performance class for your employees from the above, you should ensure you get the right colour. Your choice apparel colour should contrast with your work environment to ensure the wearer stands out. You should also consider changing weather patterns and ensure the colour remains visible in rainy and clear weather conditions.

an agricultural sprayer

Understanding the Different Types of Agricultural Sprayers

an agricultural sprayer

There is no limit to the number of sprayers available currently. They are, after all, an essential component of most residential and industrial applications. Not all of these sprayers, however, will suffice for the agriculture, floriculture and horticulture sectors. In farming, you will primarily need sprayers for the application of herbicides, fungicides and fertilisers. The wrong type of sprayer will significantly affect the crop’s quality since it will not deliver your liquid to the crops efficiently.

The available farmer spray machine options primarily rely on a high or low-pressure concept to eject a liquid from a tank. The machines thus provide optimum performance with minimal efforts on the operator’s part. Here are the best sprayer alternatives you have for your farm or greenhouse.

Hand-Held Sprayer

This holds approximately a gallon or two of liquid. Its pumping mechanism is located at the top of a container with a spray nozzle attached to an application wand’s end. The operator holds the application wand and presses it. The pressure generated propels liquid from a tank connected to the wand via a rubber tube. Hand-held sprayers are generally used for small greenhouses or direct application of fluids to a plant’s base on large farms.

Backpack Sprayer

This comprises a tank that holds approximately four gallons of liquid and a hand-held pump. Pressure is applied to an application wand with the tank strapped to the operator’s back and propels the fluid from the tank. The application wand and rubber hose connected to the pump extend into the tank’s bottom, making the liquid easily accessible. A backpack sprayer is generally used in large greenhouses and small farms.

working on an agricultural sprayer

Pull-Behind Sprayer

This is used on large farms. It comprises a boom that is mounted on and extends on the sides of an all-terrain vehicle or tractor. Pressure is generated by a mechanical pump inside the sprayer, which is driven by the vehicle’s electrical system or a battery. The liquid is then dispensed through multiple nozzles located on the vehicle’s back. A pull-behind sprayer has a device or remote control connected to control lines, which regulate the sprayer’s pattern and flow.

Aerial Applicator

This is an ideal choice for large farming tracts. Tanks with booms and multiple nozzles are attached on a small plane or aerial applicator. The pressure inside the tanks is generated from mechanical pumps powered with the applicator’s electrical system. The pilot of the applicator controls the spray flow and pattern using an electrical device or remote control. Application of liquids using an aerial applicator is sometimes called crop dusting.

Self-Propelled Sprayer

This is a self-contained sprayer comprising application booms, an engine and a tank. Some self-propelled sprayers also have hand wands to spray crops like grapes. A mechanical pump generates the pressure in the tank, and the sprayer is manoeuvred up and down crop rows using a remote.

Your sprayer choice makes the difference between a failed crop and a bountiful harvest. Therefore, diligence is essential when choosing one from the above. Work with an experienced supplier to guarantee you make the right choice.

a printing plant

The Biggest Printing Trends to Watch Out For

a printing plant

Printing is not dead, but the technology has never been the same over the last decades. The dot-matrix printer, which reigned the markets in the 1970s and 1980s, almost became unheard-of as the new millennium rolled in. Today, these are the booming industry trends to watch out for:

1. 3-D Printing

Some experts tout 3-D printing as the future of the industry, and it’s likely on track. Data from Grand View Research revealed a massive growth between 2018 and 2025. Within this period, it should have a compound annual growth rate of 16.5%, easily surpassing the market value of $7 billion in 2017.

Hobbyists and industries position themselves as the technology’s biggest users. Between the two, though, the latter will likely take up almost 80% of the market.

Among the industries, healthcare, automation, and aerospace will be the leading sectors. 3-D printing’s use will be critical in designing and prototyping.

Education is also a budding market. The technology becomes essential in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities.

2. Eco-friendly Printing

The printing inks market will remain robust. Until 2025, the market value will reach close to $26 billion, according to Grand View Research. Among the types of inks, the industry will see a rapidly increasing demand for sustainable options or the eco-friendly ones. Two factors will most likely boost the need for this type of ink. One of these is the universal shift to sustainability.

A Nielsen survey of 60 countries revealed that 66% of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for sustainable goods. Among the millennials, 77% will consider it. The preference then extends to packaging and, subsequently, to the method and kind of ink used.

Environmental regulations are another factor. The standards for manufacturing inks have become more stringent in light of studies that highlight the effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals to health and environment.

a variety of colours

Eco-friendly printing solvents don’t come second fiddle to the conventional ones either. In Australia, Roland eco-sol ink can produce superior-quality digital printing with a much lower running cost. The colours don’t fade fast as well. With its UV, water, and scratch resistance feature, an image remains vibrant for at least three years.

3. Printing Electronics

Technology accelerated the fastest within the last 50 years. As manufacturers obtain access to better tools and skilled professionals, it can even grow a lot in a shorter time.

The popularity of printed electronics is part of the reason. With this tech, manufacturers can produce lightweight electronic components for a significantly lower price and higher efficiency.

BCC Research data showed this market would have a stellar performance from 2017 to 2022. Within this period, the CAGR will reach 13.6% while the market value will grow up to $26 billion. It will be almost double its worth at the beginning of the forecast period. Of the many market segments, sensors will be one of the biggest users as it achieves a 23% CAGR within the forecast period.

Printing technology does change fast, but if all these were any indication, it’s changing for the better.