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While it’s great that you might be able to file a personal injury claim after being injured in an accident, during this time of uncertainty, you’re sure to have several financial concerns. And that’s the last thing you need when you’re recovering – physically and mentally – from your injury. But medical expenses can pile up and pay cheques could halt. Plus, navigating the legal labyrinth could feel like trying to decipher an alien language.

Securing your fiscal future after being injured in an accident is not just prudent, it's paramount.

Common Personal Injuries

Personal injuries can happen anywhere and anytime. Common ones include:

By ensuring you stay vigilant – especially when engaging in activities like sports and driving – you can lower your risk of being injured. 

But if you find yourself being injured in an accident that isn’t your fault, make sure you’re aware of the potential costs regarding filing a personal injury claim. 

Potential Costs for Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury claim might resemble a financial iceberg—what's visible above the surface often belies the bulk of hidden expenses beneath. 

Legal Fees: The Price of Advocacy

The quest for justice through legal representation isn't without its price tag. Your champion in the courtroom comes at a cost—attorneys' fees, which typically operate on a contingency basis, claiming a percentage of your awarded compensation. Factor in additional outlays for court filings, deposition costs, expert witnesses, and administrative expenses; it becomes vital to understand fee structures ahead of time.

Medical Bills: Navigating the Costly Path to Recovery

Post-accident medical care often follows an ascending cost trajectory that can escalate quickly from emergency services to long-term rehabilitation. Without adequate insurance coverage or a successful claim outcome, these charges can deplete savings with surgical precision.

Lost Wages: The Invisible Drain on Resources

Time spent away from work nursing injuries means pay cheques may dwindle or disappear entirely – an invisible yet palpable drain on resources that amplifies stress and jeopardizes financial security during recovery periods. It's not just immediate income loss but potential future earnings that hang in the balance.

Five Strategies for Managing Those Financial Challenges Effectively

The initial shock of a personal injury is often succeeded by the daunting realization of its fiscal impact. However, armour against these financial challenges can be forged with strategies rooted in foresight and careful planning.

So, here are five strategies to safeguard your financial future.

1. Maximise Your Insurance Understanding

A robust grasp of your insurance policy—knowing what it covers and what it doesn't—is akin to having a detailed map when you're lost in the woods. It’s crucial to review your coverage details and exclusions with your insurer before the unforeseen strikes, ensuring policy adequacy for potential mishaps.

For instance, disability insurance could serve as a bulwark against income loss due to injury-induced work inability. It's prudent to consider policies that cover both short-term gaps and long-term incapacities.

2. Choose Expert Legal Guidance

Navigating legal waters often requires a seasoned captain at the helm. Employing adept counsel, such as RVA Personal Injury Lawyers, can not only clarify complexities but also heighten chances for claim success.

3. Craft a Budget Blueprint

Managing finances during this turbulent time calls for meticulous budgeting. Categorize expenses and prioritize needs over wants; an adjusted spending plan can keep financial stability within reach even when income streams are disrupted.

4. Be Prepared with an Emergency Fund

Should the tides turn unfavourably, a well-stocked emergency fund offers a financial life raft. This reserve acts as a buffer, allowing you to cover unexpected costs without sinking into debt.

5. Explore Supplementary Income Options

Consider alternative income avenues that accommodate recovery limitations—be it remote work opportunities or passive income sources like renting out property space. These options provide an economic buffer while recuperative efforts remain primary.

Brick-and-mortar offices have long been the traditional way of conducting business, but in recent years virtual offices have become a popular alternative

One of the primary considerations when deciding between a brick-and-mortar office and a virtual office is cost, which we’ll take a look at in this article. 

The Costs of Brick-and-Mortar Offices

Traditional brick-and-mortar offices are physical workspaces where employees come to work. They are usually situated in commercial buildings and include private offices, meeting rooms, and common areas. In this section, we will delve into the expenses linked to physical offices and how they can affect a business's financial performance.


One of the most significant costs associated with brick-and-mortar offices is rent, which will vary depending on the location, size, and quality of the space. For example, an office situated in an upscale location in a major city will cost more than an office in a suburban area. 


Aside from rent, energy bills are another fixed cost that will turn up monthly. The average expenditure on electricity for office buildings in the U.S. is $1.44 per square foot annually, while the average expenditure on natural gas is $0.30 per square foot annually, as per the data from the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey.


Maintenance is another cost that business owners must consider when making their financial forecasts. This includes regular cleaning, repairs, and upgrades. For example, if the air conditioning system breaks down, the business must pay to have it repaired or replaced. Maintenance costs can be unpredictable and can vary widely depending on the age and condition of the building.


Infrastructure costs include things like furniture, equipment, and technology. For example, on the furniture and equipment front, costs include desks, chairs, computers, phones, and other equipment to ensure their employees can work effectively. On the technology front, costs include servers, software, and security systems to protect their data and ensure smooth operations.

Commuting Costs

One of the biggest advantages of virtual offices over brick-and-mortar ones is the elimination of commute costs. Commuting to a physical office can be a significant expense for employees, and it can also be a cost for the business if they provide transportation or parking reimbursement.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American worker spends around 26 minutes commuting to work each way. This translates to an average of 4.3 hours per week spent commuting. For those who live in urban areas, the commute time can be even longer.

In addition to the time spent commuting, there are also direct costs associated with it. These costs can include gas, tolls, parking fees, and public transportation fares. The cost of these expenses can add up quickly, especially for those who have a long commute.

The Costs of Virtual Offices

Virtual offices are a modern solution for businesses that do not require physical office space. They provide a wide range of services, such as a business address, phone answering services, mail handling, and access to meeting rooms and physical office space on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Virtual Office Address Subscription

Instead of paying for a physical office space, businesses typically will only pay a monthly subscription fee for the virtual office address. According to Investopedia, monthly virtual office costs range from $40 to $200 per month, depending on the service. 

Collaboration Software Subscription

If you’re a sole proprietor or a solopreneur, then this may not apply to you. However, if you have a team of employees, you will need to consider a software subscription that will allow you to collaborate online. Collaboration software includes services such as Slack, Zoom,, Google Drive, etc. Collaboration software ranges from $20 to $100 per month, although some free versions are available. 

Data Storage Software Subscription

Data storage software refers to programs, tools, or systems specifically designed to store, manage, and protect data. These software solutions can handle various types of data, including structured data (like databases), unstructured data (like documents), and semi-structured data (like XML files or emails). Services include Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Amazon S3. Data storage software ranges from $30 to $100 per month. 

Questions to Ask When Choosing Between a Virtual Office and Physical Office Space

Before making a decision, ask yourself the following 3 questions:

What Can My Business Afford to Spend on Office Space?

Virtual offices are generally less expensive than brick-and-mortar offices. They require no lease or rent payments, and there are no utility bills or maintenance costs to worry about. However, virtual offices may require additional expenses such as software subscriptions and virtual assistant services.

How Much Flexibility Am I Looking For?

Virtual offices offer more flexibility than brick-and-mortar offices. They allow employees to work from anywhere, which can increase productivity and reduce commuting costs. However, brick-and-mortar offices offer more structure and may be better suited for businesses that require face-to-face interaction with clients.

Is There Any Aspect of My Business That Requires Physical Office Space?

brick-and-mortar offices offer a more professional appearance than virtual offices. They provide a physical address and a dedicated space for meetings and client interactions. However, virtual offices can also provide a professional appearance with a virtual address and virtual meeting rooms.


When it comes to choosing between brick-and-mortar and virtual offices, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each business has unique needs and requirements that must be considered before making a decision.

For businesses that require a physical presence, such as retail stores or restaurants, a brick-and-mortar office is the obvious choice. However, for businesses that do not require a physical presence, such as consulting firms or software development companies, a virtual office may be a more cost-effective option.

Marketing tactics such as these are enough to lure the average person into the trap of getting external financing. Then they enter a life-long rat race to try and repay their loans because they have bitten off more than they can chew. Here are a few tips to help you stay clear of these problems and use a loan as effectively as possible.

1. Costs

One of the main problems people face with loans is the price of the loan itself. There are two things that you need to check in this regard. The first is the interest rate on the loan and the second is the service cost of the loan. The interest rate is relatively easy to calculate and understand. Still, it is the service fee that often takes people by surprise. Most lenders are not very transparent about the costs associated with getting their financial products.  After you have bought it,  you realise that it will cost more than you expected. Make sure you go through the fine print with the salesperson and understand what you will need to pay for exactly.

2. Loan Types

Before you sign up for a financial product, understand your needs and the different products available. Rather than getting a generic loan, you may be better off getting a specialised product intended for your needs. If you need financing for a home, a real estate loan will be a better option than a generic loan. Similarly, you could apply for a business investment loan if you have a business. These specialised loans give you better choices and better prices.

3. Credit Score

Your credit score plays a pivotal role in how easily you will be able to get a loan and how cheap that loan will be. Just because a loan is advertised with affordable rates doesn't mean it will be reasonable for you. A poor credit score could make the loan more expensive because you are a riskier investment for the lender. If your credit score is holding you back from getting a good loan, your best option might be to wait until your score improves a little bit. This way, you may become eligible for other loans, and you will also get a better price on those loans.

4. Repayment

Loan repayments include repaying the interest rate and the principal amount. They are two completely separate things, and different lenders will structure their repayment plans differently. Make sure you understand your repayment policy and select something that doesn’t have compounding interest. This will help to keep the loan cost low and make repayment as easy as possible. Make sure you are comfortable with the repayment terms before signing up.

5. Lenders

Different lenders will offer the same kind of loan. You could get financing from a bank, a private investment company, an insurance provider, or even the government. Different lenders will have drastically different rates and conditions for a loan of the same value. If you can’t find a suitable option through banks, look into other options. Generally, you will get the most lenient terms through organisations that are backed by a local or federal government.

6. Value

People tend to require loans when they need a problem solved. The thing to consider is whether the loan cost will justify the value that you will get from using that money. If the risk and the price of a loan are higher than the value you will get, it might not be such a wise decision, no matter how profitable it might seem right now. Long-term loans can last years, even decades, and things can drastically change during that time. Consider the long-term value of using that money and whether it will be worth it, considering how the cost of the loan will increase over time.

Whenever you attempt to secure a loan, make sure you have plenty of time on your hands. Lenders capitalise on the urgency customers express and in their haste, they end up making poor decisions. Give yourself a couple of months to explore the different options and shortlist good options. Moreover, consult with the various service providers and take your time to understand the loan. Just because you are discussing an option with a company doesn't mean you have to decide right there and then. A well-thought-out decision could make your future.


Industrial And Business Needs

There are POS systems for all kinds of businesses in every industry. Therefore, business owners must know beforehand how the POS system they are getting will work accordingly for their business’s functions, services, and features. Different businesses need systems to manage operations, for example, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, and bars. 

Nevertheless, each of these businesses caters to different needs. A hotel may need a system to manage reservations while a retail store will not. A business owner must know the POS system to choose depending on how well it is adapted for their business needs and industry. 

Essential Integrations And Support

POS systems need different integrations for them to work efficiently. Business owners need to get POS systems that can sync business applications by allowing them to communicate directly. This saves the time required to accomplish tasks. 

Today’s quality POS solutions can integrate cloud-based solutions, scan-and-go apps, and mobile systems. POS systems also need supportive hardware and software. It is best that business owners get systems that can integrate with terminal cash registers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, or credit card readers. 

For the best credit card processing for small businesses, a business owner should get a POS system that integrates with the credit card terminal. In addition, the POS system should be purchased contingent on the business credit card usage. Business owners who already have existing hardware should always ask the POS provider if it can be integrated with the new system.

POS systems should offer efficient customer and employee support; otherwise, a business may miss out on revenue. They should be simple to use and set up with intuitive interfaces. Therefore, business owners should include these respective teams in the buying process to test the functionalities. In addition, they should look for vendors who have platforms for consultations, troubleshooting services, and multiple contact options for post-sales support.


POS systems vary in costs based on the solutions they are to provide. A quality POS system should be affordable but still, support enterprise functionality.  Business owners should compare different price points for different systems. 

Pricing varies, but POS providers must also be transparent about the same. As a business owner, look for straightforward and competitive prices and consider possible additional costs. Contracts can come with POS system provisions, but they should not be mandatory. If a provider says they do not have no-contract options, they should explain why satisfactorily.

Longevity And Scalability

It takes commitment for a business owner to get a POS system. Therefore, they must ensure that the system they want to get is robust, flexible, and scalable. It should be able to evolve with a business’s growth and keep up with industry trends. 

Business owners should not buy a POS system to cater to immediate requirements only. They must account for how practical it will be in the future and the impacts it will bring forth. 

When addressing the longevity question, business owners must think about the possible technological adoptions or supplementation and the need for training in the future. If a business owner is purchasing a POS system as an upgrade, they must analyse past scalability issues that a former system may have brought about.

POS Analytics And Reporting

POS systems are excellent for inventory and employee management, and they can drive business sales forward. However, beyond all that, they generate other reports too. For example, a quality system should generate reports for inventory reorders, busiest hours, top and lowest sellers, customer activity, online and in-store sales comparisons, and date range for inventory activities. 

A POS system with quality reporting should allow a business owner to check sales progress anywhere anytime to see where they need improvement. It should also allow someone to see average sales, total customers,  transaction quantities, and net sales with easy access. 

If a business owner can understand the reports their POS system generates, they can match the system better for their business needs.

Final Thoughts

The right POS system for a business should efficiently merge business operations and customer engagement across various locations, terminals, and even franchises. The wrong system can bring forth detrimental consequences for a business. Due to that, business owners need to beware and analyse the key factors above when buying these systems.

What Is Credit Repair?

Credit repair is the process of disputing errors on your credit report to improve your credit score. The goal is to get the negative items removed from your report, giving you a better chance of being approved for loans and other forms of credit.

It becomes easier to get approved for a mortgage, car loan, or credit card when you have a good credit report. You may also be able to get a lower interest rate on those loans. A bad credit report can lead to you being denied credit altogether or paying high-interest rates. The good thing is that credit repair companies can help you fix your credit. They will work to ensure that your credit report is accurate and up-to-date.

What Do Credit Repair Companies Do?

It is wise to know that credit repair companies will work to dispute any errors on your credit report. They have experience dealing with the credit bureaus and know how to get the negative items removed from your report. This can be a long process, but it is worth it in the end.

One of the main things that credit repair companies will do is help you build a good credit history. This includes helping you to establish a solid payment history and increasing your credit score. They can also help you learn how to use credit wisely to don't damage your credit score again in the future.

So, if you have a bad credit report, you can seek these companies out for help. They will work to correct the errors on your report and help you rebuild your credit. It may take some time, but it is worth it in the end. What you are required to do is be patient and follow the instructions of the credit repair company. They know what they are doing, so you can trust them with your credit file.

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

Many individuals who want to repair their credit always have this question in mind - how much does credit repair cost? This question may vary, as each company has its pricing structure. However, the average fee for credit repair is around $99 per month. This price usually includes all of the services you will need to improve your credit score.

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider a credit repair company that offers a payment plan. This will allow you to pay for the services over time, making the repair more affordable for you.

What To Consider When Choosing A Credit Repair Company

When choosing a credit repair company, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. First, make sure that the company is reputable and has experience repairing credit reports. This is to ensure that you are dealing with a company that knows what they are doing, and they can repair your credit as required.

You will also want to ensure that the company offers a money-back guarantee. While this is not assured in many companies, it can give you some peace of mind that you will get your money back if the services do not meet your expectations. However, it is essential to read the terms and conditions of the guarantee before you sign up for the services.

Lastly, make sure that the company offers a payment plan if needed. This will allow you to spread out the cost of the services over time, making it more affordable for you. This is especially so if you are working with a tight budget.

Credit repair companies can be a great help when fixing your credit report and increasing your credit score. If you are considering using their services, make sure that you do your research first to find the best company for you.

Can You Clean Up Your Credit For Free?

You can do some things on your own to clean up your credit for free. This includes reviewing your credit report regularly and disputing any errors that you find. You can also start building a good credit history by making on-time payments each month. However, if you have the worst credit and it seems like you have tried everything, then you may want to consider using the services of a credit repair company.

Credit repair companies can be beneficial in fixing your credit report and increasing your credit score. They have experience dealing with the credit bureaus and know how to get the negative items removed from your report. But it is worth it in the end. So, if you are considering using their services, make sure to do your research first to find the best company for you.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of information online about health insurance and how to make the best decisions possible. Actually, as you begin to do your research, you need to pay close attention to the best health insurance plans provided, what a health insurance plan covers and the cost of each. Since this information can easily be evaluated from one health insurance provider and health plan to another, you need to make your decision by ensuring each option is equal in comparison. With this in mind, you need to review each plan based on the factors provided to you below.

1. Can you see your present doctor or any doctor that you want to see for your medical conditions?

If you invest in a new health insurance plan, you need to know if you can make appointments with all of the doctors that you prefer. Because some plans may not give you the freedom to choose, you need to know what types of choices that you can make. For example, if you have been seeing your family’s physician for a number of years, you need to know if you can continue this patient and doctor relationship. If not, you need to know exactly how this process works before you sign up. Otherwise, you may be forced to find and choose physicians that you have never seen before or those that you may not prefer.

2. What is the deductible?

Another issue of concern that you will need to research is what is the deductible that you will have to pay. Since the deductibles for certain policies can vary greatly, you need to know what is the sufficient amount in these plans.

Patient meeting with doctor

3. Shop around for the most affordable price

Since the prices of everything are going up today, you need to pay close attention to the rising cost of health care. Because these monthly expenses may significantly increase your budget, you need to make sure that this price is within your means. With this being said, one of the best ways to control this cost is to shop around. However, when you are shopping for the best pricing, you need to make sure that the features in the plan are the same. Simply stated, just because the price is cheap, it may not be the best value overall. Instead, you may be paying a lot more for less.

Whenever we reach a new patamar in information technology, its first commercial application is usually in the sphere of accounting. This was as true for the development of spreadsheets in the 1970s with Visicalc, as it was for ERP programs in the 1990s with the dawn of widely available internet, as it has been for a plethora of accounting software tools that have taken advantage of cloud computing over the past decade.  

The principal reason why accountants have been so fast to innovate in technology is probably because there’s always a new pain point for their profession to address. In the beginning, that meant invoice processing and calculation. These days it can mean anything from sophisticated auditing software to collaboration tools. 

The following are just some of the ways in which accounting software improves the lives of small business owners and their accounts on a daily basis. 

1. Increases productivity 

At its most basic, the goal of the first computer was to compute more productively. This is essentially a synonym for accounting more productively. Accountants were arguably the biggest early beneficiaries of advances in information technology. The academic James Kwak has said of Microsoft Excel, which at its heart is an accounting program: “Microsoft Excel is one of the greatest, most powerful, most important software applications of all time.”

Excel is just one facet of a much larger pool, however. There’s also Intuit’s QuickBooks, first released in 1998, and now used by over 5.6 million businesses in the United States. Most of those businesses are run by entrepreneurs with only a cursory knowledge of accounting. Modern accounting software of the likes of Excel and QuickBooks means that’s all they need. Multiply 5.6 million by man-hours saved, and you start to get a feel for the scale for the productivity generated by these tools. 

2. Saves Costs 

Closely aligned to accounting software’s ability to increase productivity, is its capacity to save costs. Most digital accounting tools aimed at the mass market are now marketed through subscription models, whereby small businesses can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per annum for a service that once cost them tens of thousands of dollars per year. The payroll function offered by Sage is a case in point. 

Most businesses lease at least some of their equipment and machinery, which involves complex lease contacts, replete with terms and conditions. Trullion is a lease accounting automation software that uses AI to extract the relevant data from these contracts, exporting it to the company’s ledgers, workflows, and report functions. The time savings for financial teams and external auditors - who can click on the data in these reports and be brought directly back to the original contract - is huge.

3. Enables Collaboration 

As mentioned at the outset of this article, accounting software was one of the first software applications to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing. Companies, finance teams, and auditors can now all be connected to the same documents in real-time. Thanks to the cloud, every transaction and the corresponding journal entry can be viewed by the relevant stakeholders, thus leading to a level of transparency and collaboration that simply didn’t exist before. Tools offered by FreshBooks and Financial Force are just two such examples.

4. Reduces Errors 

There is not an accountant alive today that is not familiar with error messages like #REF!, #NUM!, and #VALUE! in their spreadsheet calculations. Without software, most of these errors would continue to exist - at least in the short-term, while the accountants grappled to understand why their balance sheet wasn’t balancing, or why changes made in the debt schedule weren’t being reflected in the financial statements. 

Finding and reducing accounting errors is the bread and butter of accounting software. And while this is largely taken for granted, it generates huge value. If we equate small errors with essentially being poor quality data, we can put a figure on this. Research conducted by Gartner suggests that the average financial impact of poor quality data on an organisation is $9.7 million per year. The aforementioned examples of Trullion and QuickBooks are prime examples of where human error is minimised thanks to the functionality of the tool.

5. Generates Insight 

Taking all these points together, we’re led to accounting software’s greatest contribution to any business: the insight it provides. It is uncontroversial to suggest that, thanks to accounting software, millions of business owners now have a better handle on their company’s finances than ever before. Financial statements are easier to interpret. Budgets are easier to construct and analyse after the fact. And accurate Pro-forma statements are easier to project. This is the difference that accounting software can make to your business.

According to Ken Charman, CEO of uFlexReward, this appears to show that the private sector, despite their concerns about how the reforms played out in the public sector, are ready to embrace the new measures when engaging limited company contractors.

Kate Cottrell, one of the UK’s foremost IR35 experts has slammed these organisations for their blanket approach stating: “It is a real shame that these organisations have not waited a little while longer when we should have the final legislation and updated guidance from HMRC on a host of issues…” but their decision to comply ahead of the deadline, clearly demonstrates the mounting regulatory pressure on organisations today.

For companies like Barclays and Lloyds with potentially lots of contractors, complying with the new IR35 rules will be a huge amount of work.   However, it also provides an opportunity to assess whether the current systems they have in place enable them to accurately report on their human capital assets, including the contractor workforce.

Accounting for Total Labour Costs

It is becoming increasingly important that organisations understand and report on their human capital assets in a transparent way to existing and prospective employees, shareholders, regulators and other interested parties. Yet, to date, external contractors, consultants and  contingent workers are usually excluded from the employee payroll and the organisation’s total labour cost remains unknown.

When an organisation wants to analyse its business, it needs to see the whole labour cost, not just what the payroll systems can show up. In omitting the total data pertinent to contingent workers, organisations fail to understand labour productivity and end up with a skewed analysis that only takes into account employees. Deloitte found last year that only 42% of organisations were primarily made up of salaried employees.

With the IR35 forcing the costs of limited company contractors to be accounted for within the employee payroll, we’re some way along the road in organisations understanding the value of its human capital. This is despite there being no guidance yet on who will pay the tax, NI and the levy.

With the IR35 forcing the costs of limited company contractors to be accounted for within the employee payroll, we’re some way along the road in organisations understanding the value of its human capital.

For right now though, there is no universally accepted way to track the management of human capital. The economy has grown in ways that leave the current rules behind. For several decades an organisations’ market value has been far higher than the value of their tangible assets (for example land, buildings, fixtures and fittings), leading for calls for labour assets (i.e. human capital) to be included on balance sheets to give a more accurate impression of organisation value.

Reporting on Labour

Whilst companies must report detailed information about their capital investments, they have almost no reporting requirements related to human capital. This is a problem for two reasons.

The lines between contingent workers and employees are becoming increasingly blurred. This cannot be more clearly illustrated than with the recent troubles of Uber in the UK, whose drivers – traditionally thought to be self-employed – were, in fact employees of the company. Uber now has statutory obligations to give drivers holiday and sick pay (and thus, they are entitled to a minimum wage and paid leave). Prior to this, these were costs that were not broken down and could be a way of hiding a very bad gender pay gap, underrepresented minorities and more - regulators are catching up with that.

Additionally, not having to report on human capital discourages effective investment in workers - which can have an impact on your bottom line. Research shows organisations with specific employee experience programs and strategies report up to three times higher profit growth. Part of this growth is due to lower operating margins stemming from employees being more innovative in how they work, but lower employee turnover also contributes measurable savings.

Although the private sector may be lagging in preparation for the IR35 changes that take effect in little over 150 days’ time, they could bring about a seismic change in how organisations start to report on their human capital costs to the wider market.

If you want to enjoy a healthy annual profit margin and long-term success in your industry, you must take control of your cashflow. Here are four financial management mistakes your business must avoid.

1. No Emergency Fund

An emergency fund could help to keep your business afloat during a difficult time in your industry or when you received an unexpected bill. To ensure your company is never faced with financial hardship, aim to save a minimum of three months’ worth of corporate expenses, which could ensure your company’s survival should an issue arise.

2. Unnecessary Business Expenses

Many business owners believe they need to make large expenses to separate their brand from their rivals. As a result, they might pay a significant sum for the latest technologies, office equipment, or staff salaries.

It is, however, a smarter approach to adopt a more frugal mindset. For example, invest in second-hand products, haggle with suppliers, and find an affordable lease for your office or building space.

Never spend a penny more than you need to, even when your company is generating a superb return on its investment. By running a lean business, you’ll have more money available to overcome a financial obstacle.

3. Avoiding Insurance

The right insurance policy could help your business to make a swift recovery following onsite damage or compensation claims. Yet, many companies make the mistake of not choosing the right coverage to suit their specific needs.

There a wide range of options to suit different companies’ needs, such as business insurance, cyber and data risk insurance, and employers’ liability insurance. It is, therefore, important to consider the potential risks your organisation might face and to find an insurance policy to match.

If you fail to invest in the right insurance policy, your business could be liable for a considerable amount of money, should a client make a claim against you. For example, if you regularly provide professional advice and services to clients, you should learn more about professional indemnity insurance as well as public liability insurance. Reputable providers such as Hiscox can instantly provide coverage of up to £10 million with both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance so that your company aren’t caught out, with flexible policies tailored to your needs.

4. Failing to Budget

Many businesses are guilty of failing to budget each month, but it could be critical to your company’s success and survival. It ultimately helps a business owner to maintain a tight control of their finances, as they will know exactly how much money they will need to spend each month and where it is going.

Without a budget in place, you could fail to account for your tax obligations, insurance premiums, office expenses and more. If you spend too much, you may then need to apply for a business loan or run up debt on your credit card if you urgently need cash to pay for a debt repayment or corporate expense.

Letting agents are great in that they manage the trickier and lengthier aspects of tenancies which landlords typically dislike. With that said, finding one which best suits you and your needs can be tricky, CIA Landlord Insurance has put together a handy guide which may assist in laying out the basics.

Who is likely to benefit from using a letting agent?

Typically, landlords who benefit from the use of a letting agent are those who have a large number of properties to manage. Also, landlords do not always live close to the property they are renting out, so a letting agent close to the property may prove wise in order to keep tabs on their tenancies.

Letting agents work well for inexperienced landlords, where they can be utilised for some added security and support. It is highly important landlords are up to date on relevant regulations and legislation, therefore if you are not or you do not feel comfortable in this department, it is most-definitely worthwhile using a letting agent.

What services do letting agents provide?

There are varying levels of service which letting agents provide, from a ‘let-only or ‘tenant-find’ service for example, through to the more comprehensive ‘fully managed’ service.

A ‘let-only’ and ‘full management’ service are typically the two main categories which a letting agent will provide.

A ‘let-only’ and ‘full management’ service are typically the two main categories which a letting agent will provide.

With a ‘let-only’ service, the letting agent takes responsibility for things such as providing rental assessments to give you a better understanding of what you can realistically charge, conduct viewings on your behalf and acquire references from tenants. What can also be expected from this level of service is a tenancy agreement to be provided, credit checks performed and the tenants first payment be taken by them.

A full management service, on the other hand, will incorporate all of the aforementioned elements but you can expect the letting agent to take responsibility for the day-to-day management, too. If for instance, a tenant locks themselves out of the property or there is a boiler fault, the letting agent will arrange for one of its approved contractors to resolve the issue.

What is the cost of a letting agent?

The cost of a letting agent greatly differs depending on factors such as the location and size of your property. As it is a highly competitive market, there is always the prospect of negotiation to get yourself a better deal, so long as you are prepared to haggle. Request a price from a number of sources in your locality, and begin negotiations from there.

If a small independent letting agent is hired, then for a ‘let-only’ service you may be fortunate enough to pay as little as a couple of hundred pounds for the service. However, the likelihood is you will pay the equivalent to a months rent + an annual tenancy renewal fee.

It is important to note, from June 1st 2019 landlords or letting agents are no longer able to charge these fees to tenants. This means that (some) letting agents have been offsetting this loss onto the landlords (therefore paying double what would originally be paid for the renewal fees).

A full management service will typically be a 12-month deal with fees starting at around 12% and can rise to as much as 20% depending on location. If you come across prices lower than this, it may be wise to avoid them for reasons of service quality.

A full management service will typically be a 12-month deal with fees starting at around 12% and can rise to as much as 20% depending on location. If you come across prices lower than this, it may be wise to avoid them for reasons of service quality.

Should I use a letting agent?

With a wealth of information at our fingertips, it may seem lucrative to consider a ‘DIY’ approach for conducting a letting agent’s traditional duties. With plenty of research, it is possible you can do it yourself. Only go down this road if you feel confident in yourself to abide by the relevant regulations and legislation.

One thing to consider if you do decide to use a letting agent, check to see if they are registered with an industry body or trade association. These include the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) and UK Association of Accredited Letting Agents (UKALA) as the main bodies whereby the letting agents have to adhere to certain standards in order to become a member.

The idea of being a landlord is great, but the reality, for the most part, is it is not an easy task. Taking control of all of your own property management may prove extremely difficult depending on the size and number of property’s you own, and the nature of your tenants. You may have the best intentions of delivering everything all of your tenants require but sometimes this may not end up as being the case. If dealing with unhappy tenants is your idea of a nightmare, letting agents will do this for you.

In accordance with your own circumstances and requirements, only you as a landlord can make the decision but by keeping yourself well informed on all aspects discussed in this guide, to begin with, you can improve your chances of making the best possible choice for you.

Of course, there's the deposit, mortgage payments and estate agents fees to think about, but what about finding out the boiler is broken once you move in? Or realising you need to pay just shy of £1,000 for a homebuyer's report? Once you add moving day costs, like hiring a van and buying sturdy cardboard boxes, it really does all add up.

So, before you get carried away putting in an offer on a home that could leave you out of pocket, here are five hidden costs first-time buyers should be aware of. And, if you want to find out exactly how much your new home could cost you, use Totally Money's new interactive home buying tool.

  1. Stamp duty land tax

Stamp duty isn’t a problem for everyone – homes under £125,000 won’t incur it, and prices up to £500,000 for first-time buyers will be reduced or negated. But if you’re buying a more expensive home, or not your first, it can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

  1. Fixing leaks, cracks and rewiring electrics

Small faults with a property are easy to overlook when you’re buying it. But once you’re in, it’s natural to want to get the place just right – but with average costs of £180 for fixing leaks and cracks, and as much as £2,750 for rewiring electrics, it can be a real shock.

  1. Homebuyer's report

Even if you don’t want a full building survey, a homebuyer’s report can identify a lot of potential issues with a property – but it’ll still put you out a massive £786 on average.

  1. Solicitor costs

When buying your home with the help of a solicitor, their costs can be between £850 - £1,500, which is a sizeable fee to pay as you enter your new property.

  1. Moving day costs

Boxes, a removals company to help you pack up and shift your stuff, taking a day off work unpaid to wait for the broadband to be installed, moving day costs can often the most hidden of all. Plan ahead by asking family and friends to help you move, or buying boxes in bulk, and you could save yourself a small fortune.

Joe Gardiner, TotallyMoney’s Head of Brand and Communications, comments: “Buying your first home is an exciting step in your life, but it’s also an expensive one – and often more expensive than you initially estimate. We conducted this research to help first-time buyers make sure they are aware of all potential costs before they have to pay them.”

(Source: TotallyMoney)

Don’t let a lack of finances get in the way of creating new and memorable experiences! There are lots of ways for you to reduce travelling costs without having to compromise on the quality of your trip.

Here are a few of the best ways you can cut travel costs this season and do more travelling without burning a hole in your wallet:

1. Shop Around for Cheap Flights

One of the most common reasons people say they can’t afford to travel is because the “flights are too expensive”. And yes, sometimes the price of flights are on the verge of extortion, but if you can’t find more affordable flights, it’s likely to be because you’re looking at all the wrong places.

You’ve got to shop around for cheap flights to find the best deals. Going straight to your favourite airline website and booking directly from it without even checking other sources is a rookie mistake. What you should be doing is comparing flight prices, so you can see the best deals on flights including things like recommended times to travel and possible discounts on returns etc.

2. Consider the Destination

If you want to experience as much of the world as possible, but you’re on a tight budget, you might want to avoid the “big spender” destinations such as Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo and so on. Expensive holiday destinations will make budgeting increasingly tricky, especially when you’re paying £100+ per night.

Instead, think about more affordable holiday destinations that offer just as much sunshine and excitement, but at a lower cost. A few of the most affordable destinations include Costa del Sol in Spain, Budapest in Hungary and Bali in Indonesia to name but a few.

3. Find Alternative Accommodation

Not everyone wants to compromise on quality when it comes to accommodation, and that’s okay. But if you’re looking to cut back on travel costs and don’t mind giving up a little bit of luxury, in exchange for somewhere to rest your head at night, you’ve got to consider cheaper accommodation.

First, you might want to check online for cheap hotels. You might get lucky and find something amazing and within your budget. But if you’re struggling, you can also stay in a hostel. Hostels offer lower prices, and many of them even include free breakfast, which is fantastic if you’re looking for a wallet-friendly alternative. If you’re a little more on the adventurous side, you might be open to camping or renting a caravan.

4. Cook your own Food

Are you a whizz in the kitchen? Save money by skipping the expensive restaurants and cooking your own food. If you’re travelling for a week or two, you might end up spending more than you anticipated on daily meals. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a nice dinner on holiday, but if you’re determined to cut back, you’ve got to cook for yourself!

You can even bring food with you and shop for groceries at the local supermarket. Cooking for yourself is slightly easier if you’re camping or renting an apartment with a group of friends. The cost of renting an apartment is usually cheaper than hotel prices and most come with their own kitchen, which is ideal if you feel like whipping up a Sunday roast dinner or making a stir-fry.

5. Avoid Taxis

Taxis are so expensive in foreign countries, and most people agree that they feel overcharged by taxi services for merely being a tourist. Always try to avoid using a taxi service when possible and opt for public transport instead. Or, you could get some exercise and walk to your destination or hire a bicycle. However, this will be more difficult if you’ve got a few suitcases to trail about. Buses and trains offer affordable means of transport, so make sure to take note of the schedule and make the most out of public transportation.

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