How To Accept Credit Cards: Guide For Small Businesses Owners

Running a business can be tough. Finding yourself almost out of time and money is an all too often occurrence, for example, and the number of decisions you will have to make might seem overwhelming sometimes. One of the easiest decisions you can make, however, is the decision to begin accepting online and in person credit card payments. This will open up your business and really help attract customers that are looking for a convenient and quick way to pay. To do this, you will need to find a good merchant account processor to help, and some of them even offer a free online merchant account! Let’s take a look at how you can begin accepting credit card payments. 

How To Accept Credit Cards

Free online merchant account
When you need to accept credit card payments, one of the first things you will need to do is to find a good merchant account processing service. This service, depending upon your chosen provider, will help get you the technology you need to start accepting payments as well as providing an online interface to help keep track of your transactions. Some of them even offer a free online merchant account, which is a great deal. 

Lowest credit card processing fees

One of the most important factors when it comes to picking the best merchant account service is how much you will owe in fees. Remember that your credit card transactions will each be charged a processing fee, which is how some services make the bulk of their money. Do your research and find the service with the lowest processing fees around to help ensure that you do not end up paying most of your money to help line someone else’s pocket. 

Are you in need of a great merchant account service provider to help you accept credit card payments? Why not give Merchant Account Solutions a try? They offer a wide variety of services and products, including a free online merchant account. 

Keep Your Flight and Time Options Open

Travel is much more affordable than it used to be, but a major trip or vacation can still take a huge bite out of your bank account. Here are some smart ways to save big bucks when traveling. 


Flight cost is a three-legged stool that depends on the interaction between your destination, dates, and price. If you have your heart set on a particular destination and your dates are limited by your vacation time, then you'll have very little control over your flight pricing. On the other hand, if you have a flight budget in mind but your destination and dates are completely flexible, you can take your pick from whatever is going on sale.

If you need an affordable flight and your vacation dates are fixed, try to open your mind about where you might go. If you are committed to visiting a specific location, you'll need to either create some flexibility in your travel dates or in your pocketbook.

Look at Lodging Alternatives

How adventurous are you? Depending on just how tight your budget is, saving on lodging could mean anything from staying in a three-star hotel to volunteering on a family farm. There's a risk-reward spectrum in travel, just like in business. The more risk you're willing to take, the more adventure you might find on a dime. Airbnb, hostels, couch surfing, and volunteering are all viable methods used by thousands of travelers, but they all carry some risk. 

Work Your Smartphone

The internet made the modern travel boom possible by letting people shop directly for flights, lodging, and tours without a travel agent. Mobile technology is carrying the industry forward at light speed. If you have a global network and a multi-purpose smartphone with long battery, life on the road can be affordable and easy.

With Google Translate, you can interact with locals without a guide. TripAdvisor helps you avoid tourist traps and evaluate tour offerings. Rome2Rio lets you instantly evaluate the cost of trains, buses, ferries, and taxicabs to move between locations. WhatsApp and Messenger let you stay in touch with family. 

Book Activities After You Arrive

Whether you want to sign up for a cooking class, wine tour, snorkeling trip, parasailing adventure, or mountain trek, you can probably do it more affordably after you arrive. Internet resellers collect a premium to list tours and activities on their websites, so they'll turn up in your U.S.-based internet searches, but you can book the same operators locally if you shop carefully and read reviews. There are some exceptions that require advance booking, like the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, but in most tourist-friendly destinations, you can easily set up activities on the fly.

Eat Some Meals In

Eating out is a part of the fun of travel, of course, but taking all your meals in restaurants can get tiresome and expensive after a few days. If you've booked an apartment or a suite with a kitchen, you can save a bundle on meals. Put the local market on your sightseeing list and stock up on fruits, bread, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, and other easy-to-prepare foods. Having breakfast and coffee on your veranda every morning makes lovely memories, and a picnic is a wonderful way to relax in nature. 

Use Credit Wisely

If you use your credit cards wisely, you'll come out ahead instead of spending on interest charges later. Pay your expenses with a card that earns either miles or cash back bonuses, then pay off the balance before the bill is due or as quickly as possible. Sometimes you can charge major expenses on a card that earns cash back and then transfer that balance to another card that's offering a zero percent balance transfer promotion; this will buy you six or twelve months to pay off any balance. Be careful, though — sometimes those balance transfers carry a fee.

Many people live on tight budgets, and these tips can mean the difference between being able to take a trip or having to stay home. A frugal trip can still be filled with joy and new experiences; don't be afraid to cut costs where you can. 

4 Ways to Boost Your Income Exponentially

You can clip coupons, refinance your mortgage or even get a roommate, but when it comes to saving money there are certain limitations that need to be acknowledged. When you create a budget, the primary factor that affects how much money can be allotted for each expense depends on your income expectations. This is why people who make a lower annual salary are only able to put by so much money into their savings and retirement funds. If you want to increase how much you save, invest and allocate for retirement planning, you need to increase your income. Making an effort to advance in your career or even switch career paths can definitely make a big difference in your paycheck, as can starting a side business or even getting a part-time job. These are the four best ways for money conscious people to see a marked increase in their income.

Boost Your Income Exponentially

Go for a Promotion

Have you been going back and forth with the thought of taking on more responsibility at work? If you know of a new position at work that comes with a higher salary, now is the time to go for it. You may end up needing to work longer hours and you will probably have less time to yourself, but then you will also have fewer opportunities to spend money on things that you don’t need. All in all, if your aim is to increase your income, looking for a promotion or a job that will raise your salary is a great opportunity.

Get Back in School

For many, going back to school might seem like a thankless chore, but that is only because they are focused on short-term results. Sure, completing FNP online programs may take time and finishing a degree does cost money, but it will more than likely lead to a huge boost in your income. Not only are you more valuable to potential employers when you have a degree, you also have an increased ability to command a better salary. 

Monetize Your Talents

With the emergence of websites such as Etsy, it is now easier than ever for people to increase their income via their hobbies. Whether you like making ragdolls or happen to be really good at painting portraits, your talents are being underutilized if you aren’t making some extra money off of them. Choose something that you’re good at or at least enjoy doing, then find out how you can turn something you only do on occasion into a source of income. 

Work an Additional Part-Time Job

Although working both a full-time and a part-time job will leave you tired, look at what you will be getting in return. For people who have completed online FNP programs, the idea of working two jobs is akin to volunteer to burn the candle at both ends. On the other hand, you don’t have to resign yourself to doing it for long. Just working a part-time job in addition to your regular job a few months out of year can help you to save for a summer vacation, pay off your car or get your credit card bills under control

When new bills emerge, sometimes you have to adjust your budget. Increasing your income will make it possible for you to live a low stress life as you will not worry as much about how you are going to handle future hardship. Choose to go back to school, get an additional job, go for a promotion at work or start your very own company. No matter what route you choose, your financial advisor will approve. 

Comparison between NPS Tier 1 & Tier 2 Account

The New Pension System (NPS) is a retirement plan launched by the Indian government. It is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The scheme is primarily aimed to offer individuals retirement corpus to achieve financial independence during their senior years.

An individual aged between 18 and 60 years is eligible to invest in this scheme. A duly filled application form must be submitted to PFRDA-appointed Point of Presence (POP). Every successful applicant receives a unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).


Applicants receive the PRAN application status through an email or an SMS. Successful applicants are given a welcome kit including the PRAN card and information guide. However, they may check the status with the POP if there is a situation where the PRAN card is not received. NPS contributions may be made in Tier 1 (pension account) and Tier 2 (investment account). These accounts mature when the subscribers reach the age of 60 years. The differences between these two accounts are briefly discussed below, to assist individual investors.

Comparing Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts


Tier 1 account is mandatory for every NPS subscriber and is the primary account. Tier 2 account is optional and may be opened by a Tier 1 accountholder. The returns as estimated using the NPS interest rate remain constant on both these accounts.


Subscribers have to make at least 1 contribution to both these accounts each year. The minimum contribution at the time of opening a Tier 1 account is INR 500 and INR 1,000 for Tier 2 account. In addition, NPS subscribers must invest at least INR 6,000 per year to their Tier 1 accounts. There is no minimum annual contribution that is mandatory to the Tier 2 account but subscribers need to maintain at least INR 2,000 as the minimum balance.


When NPS was launched, subscribers were not allowed to withdraw from the Tier 1 account until maturity. However, recently this rule has been modified and investors may now withdraw up to 20% of the accumulated corpus. This money is withdrawable only for certain expenses, such as children's education, buying a first home, or for treating critical medical conditions. The Tier 2 account has no withdrawal conditions and subscribers are allowed to withdraw as per their personal needs. Moreover, Tier 2 account holders may transfer money from this account to the Tier 1 account. However, no such transfer is allowed from Tier 1 to Tier 2 account.

Tax benefits

Subscribers enjoy tax benefits of up to INR 1.5 lacs under section 80CCD (1) of the Income Tax (IT) Act on the contribution to their Tier 1 accounts. An additional benefit of INR 50,000 is available for Tier 1 contributions u/s 80CCD (1B) of the IT Act. No such tax benefits are provided for contributions made to the Tier 2 accounts.


Tier 1 accounts mature when the subscribers reach the age of 60 years. At this time, they may withdraw a maximum of 60% of the accumulated corpus as a lump sum. Until recently, this entire withdrawal was taxed at the subscriber’s tax rates. However, 40% of the sum withdrawn at maturity is now tax-free. The balance corpus is converted to an annuity scheme offered by the PFRDA-approved service providers. Investors may use an online nps calculator, pension plan calculator to estimate the annuity they would receive on their converted corpus. On the other hand, investors are allowed to withdraw money from Tier 2 accounts any time, thereby providing complete flexibility.

The number of NPS subscribers increased significantly from the time the Finance Minister offered additional tax benefits to the investors. However, a large number of individuals still lack clarity and the above discussion aims to clear some of the differences between the two accounts offered by NPS. 

How Demonetization will Bring your Home Loan Lending Rates Down

According to estimates, banks collected cash deposit of more than Rs 4 lakh crores in the week following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes announcement by the Indian government. While people still wait to get their scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes replaced by new 500 and 2000 rupee notes, many are wondering what this move will do to their deposits, loans and investments. 

Home Loan Rates

Subsequent to the demonetization move by the government, all of the Indian citizens are showing up in large numbers at various banks to deposit money in their accounts. Most of this cash is being deposited in savings bank accounts and banks usually pay you about 4 percent interest annually on these accounts. 

Getting money via savings bank accounts is low cost deposit for banks since they pay less interest on them. And with the demonetization of large currency notes, banks are now getting a lot of money. With this, banks can further lend money to people as they apply for home loans. This high liquidity in banks means that the home loan interest rates will be cut down tremendously.

Banks or lending institutions are generally expected to bring about huge deposits growth. This will knock down the borrowing cost for banks, ergo the benefits are passed on to the consumers who avail home loans from banks in the form of reduced interest rates. 

Since banks nowadays are acquiring a lot of money through savings bank accounts, there is no requirement for your fixed deposits. The simple math is that banks would rather pay 4 percent interest on savings accounts than around 7 percent interest on fixed deposits. Therefore, various banks are now dropping interest rates on fixed deposits, which means lending rates are expected to come down as well. 

Most deposits are coming from savings bank accounts and banks are paying less interest on fixed deposits to consumers, allowing them to lend at lower rates with high liquidity. So, you can expect the EMI on your home loans to drop down notably in coming 3 to 6 months. This is definitely a relief for people who are paying EMIs or planning to obtain home loans in coming months.

Leverage CIBIL Score when Applying for a Home Loan

Buying a house is one of the major achievements in your life. And with the easy availability of financing options - since you can apply for home loans online now - it’s become easier than ever before. But ever wondered why some people get more loan amount at lower interest rates than others? It’s because of the CIBIL score, which is a crucial factor in determining whether or not your loan is approved.

Applying for a Home Loan

Lenders access your CIBIL score prior to processing your application for home loan. These scores are generated as per your credit history, loans obtained and loan repayment patterns. A high CIBIL score means strong creditworthiness and the person gets better home loan amount and interest rates while someone with low score is seen as a risky borrower from lenders.

Here are some crucial steps to leverage your CIBIL score when applying for a home loan.

Check your CIBIL score prior to applying for home loan

It’s important to know your credit score beforehand so that your home loan doesn’t get rejected by the lender. By checking credit score, you can ensure that all your financial details and credit history are in order. To access your credit score, you can log in to the CIBIL website and pay a minimal amount of Rs. 470. And in case your score is not up to the mark, you can rebuild your credit record by improving it and become eligible for a home loan.

Do not apply for a home loan repeatedly

If a lender rejects your home loan application because of your lower-than-required credit score, do not just apply to a different lender. This is because another lender will also enquire about your credit score, which reflects negatively on your credit rating. Instead of reapplying right away, try to improve your credit score by repaying debts and cutting down on credit card usage.  

Don’t go overboard with unsecured loans

Make sure you don’t have too many unsecured loans. And if you do, try to close or limit them and even close your credit cards with high limits. These indicate outstanding debt on your credit history and since lenders examine your Debt to Income ratio prior to sanctioning a home loan, this will have a negative impact on your eligibility. Lenders consider high Debt to Income ratio as a possible default as the borrower may not be able to make additional EMI payments.

Should I Invest In High-Risk Industries?

As the vast majority of investors will tell you, success is down to avoiding risk. But on certain occasions, an investor will have the urge to put their money behind a high-risk business.


Why? Because the returns can be extraordinary - it’s that simple. But what is a high-risk business and what do you need to know before gambling on a positive result? 

I’m going to take you through everything you need to know to help you work out if a high-risk business is a viable investment to make.

What are high-risk businesses?

A high-risk business is a company that sells risky - or even dangerous - products. Certain products attract lots of interest from criminals and fraudsters, or can often be a risk in the sense they could cause problems for customers. 

Gambling is a distinct high-risk business, as is anything to do with the sex industry, firearms, and cigarette products. But even direct marketing or health products are classed as high-risk. It’s the same for any new business - you have no previous record or credit history, so you are seen as high risk. 

High-Risk business

As an investor, the sensible option would be to walk away from these types of business models. But if you hear about a deal that sounds irresistible, there are some checks you can make to prevent disasters.

What checks should I make?

Due diligence is a vital aspect of any investment into high-risk companies. In an ideal world, any company you invest in should have open records, up-to-date tax returns, and a seriously impressive business plan. 

You will want to see that the firm places standards high on their list of priorities, too. It means they should be upfront and honest with their claims, and comply with industry regulations. It is advisable to seek out firms that use protections for receiving payments, too, so you know they are avoiding the many fraudulent chargebacks that can occur with a high risk merchant account. 

High-Risk Industries

You will also have to do some soul searching. Take the arms industry as a perfect example. It will almost always be profitable, but can you live with the fact your investment is used for death and destruction?

Will it cause me problems?

Aside from the dangers of losing your money in a high-risk business, there is something else you need to think about: society. In the past, investing in shares with a tobacco company, say, was no great shakes - many would do it. 

These days, however, the climate is a little different. In fact, if you are a company investing in tobacco, gambling, or the arms industry, there may be consequences. The societal norm has changed a lot, and many consumers will stop buying from companies who support industries they deem as irresponsible - or even ‘sinful.' 

While it’s different for private investors, you should be aware that if others people find out about your portfolio, they may view you differently as a person.

Should I do it?

There is nothing to stop you from investing in high-risk businesses other than your moral code. If you do decide to go with it, ensure you run plenty of checks - and understand they are called ‘high-risk businesses’ for an excellent reason. Good luck!

An Online Loan Can Provide A Quick & Simple Fix

Once you realize you need a little extra help covering unexpected bills or repairs, you’ve got the easy part over with. The hard part is finding a lender that can provide you with a responsible loan that covers small cash shortages. For the first time borrower, the lending industry may seem like a complex world you have no hope of navigating, but with a little bit of time and effort you can search out a loan like a pro.

payday loans

Landing a loan with reasonable rates, terms, and conditions will require some light online reading, but don’t worry! There are reputable lenders of short term loans, like that make this complex task simple. These kinds of lenders offer fast, convenient, and responsible access to cash with a simplified process to eliminate confusion or delay.

As long as you are a Canadian over the age of 18, with a functional bank account, valid email or phone number, and proof of income, you can get started by filling out an online application form. Once you submit your application, you’ll find out whether or not you qualify for assistance within as few as 5 minutes. This basic contact and financial information may need verification further on in the borrowing process, so don’t be surprised should your lender require to contact you after you qualify. Even with this additional clarification, these online cash advances remain a convenient alternative to conventional lenders because they facilitate your loan quickly. In some cases, you can receive same day assistance once approved.

Of course, when it comes to your finances, convenience isn’t your only priority. You need to make sure the lender you choose can provide a responsible way to cover unexpected cash shortfalls. You can make sure your chosen lender will keep you on financial track by confirming they:
  • Are compliant with provincial loan regulations,
  • Are a member of the Canadian Payday Loan Association (CPLA),
  • Provide easy, quick, and convenient online access to cash,
  • Are careful with personal information via a secure online platform,
  • Offer budgeting tips and financial information in addition to their loans, and
  • Are available by phone, email, or chat to answer any questions.
Don’t be discouraged by the lending industry. Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed choice about your financial assistance. When you can confirm your lender has all of the above, you can feel better about the source of your loan. You’ll have a better chance of accommodating your cash advance’s repayment schedule, so its addition to your budget won’t upset your finances.

The Financial Effect Of A Personal Injury

When you suffer an accident, either at work, home, or in a public place, your life can feel like it’s being put on hold. After the effect of the accident on your health, your finances are likely to take the biggest hit. The problems that results from the long term implications of a personal injury can cause severe emotional distress, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are three ways in which your financial situation can be affected by personal injury, and most importantly, what you can do about it.

Personal Injury

Medical bills

The cost of treating any serious injury can add up significantly. Even with medical insurance an excess may be required, and some long term or specialised treatments might not be covered by your insurance plan. Without insurance the situation can be much more grave. You will be expected to pay using your income or savings, or with the help of family. In any case, the cost of treatment, medication, and rehabilitation is not without consequences. Medical expenses alone are enough to put the injured party in dire financial straits,  and can even lead to bankruptcy.

Damage to personal belongings

Certain types of accident can cause damage to property that is both costly and inconvenient. For example, a road traffic accident that leaves your car unusable can cause difficulty. Although the cost of repairing or replacing the car will be covered by the car insurance, many insurance plans do not provide a courtesy car. Therefore the cost of alternate transportation while waiting for a new vehicle, on top of the excess from your insurance plan, can have a significant impact on your finances.

Loss of income

If the injury you sustain is severe enough, you may find you’re unable to attend your employment for a period of time while you receive treatment and rehabilitation. Certain injuries could even make it impossible for you to continue work in your chosen industry, and so alternate employment may be required, and this process is time consuming and costly. Finding yourself out of work for any significant period of time can obviously have serious effects on your financial situation.


Although it can seem to be a helpless situation, all is not lost. There are avenues available to you to regain your lost money and compensation. A personal injury claim can result in payout for costs faced as the result of an accident, such as loss of income, damage to your personal belongings, and the cost of your medical bills. Compensation for damages such as emotional distress as a result of injury can also be covered by personal injury claims. The payout can help to allay fears of repercussions far ahead in the future that may result from long term rehabilitation problems and employment concerns.

Personal injury can be stressful and costly, and have serious long term implications. If you’ve been affected by anything you’ve read then you may find it useful to discuss the possibilities you have available to you with a personal injury lawyer.

Want to Buy Expensive iPhone 7? Short-Term Personal Loan Can Help You

Owning an iPhone is a status symbol for many individuals. Others may use this smart phone for its excellent features. These phones are among the most expensive products and it is not always possible to pay the entire amount upfront. The festive season is here and individuals may take advantage of the offers and deals available to buy the latest iPhone. Zero-percent interest rates, exchange offers, and cash discounts (when credit cards from certain banks are used) make it more affordable for people to purchase the latest Apple smart phone.

Personal Loans

Even with these offers, many individuals may still find it difficult to buy the phone because of the huge expenses often incurred during the festivities. One way to overcome this hurdle is to opt for a short-term personal loan to purchase the latest iPhone during festivals like Diwali and Christmas. Here are four reasons to avail of a short-term personal loan to buy iPhone 7.

1.Flexibility to Use the Loan Amount

Unlike car or home loans, the amount that is borrowed as a personal loan does not have any specific end use. The borrowers are free to use the money for any legal purpose. This flexibility is beneficial and the multipurpose nature of personal loans provides individuals with an excellent way to purchase the iPhone 7 model.

2.Faster Processing of the Loan

When compared to the other types of loans, the processing time for a short-term personal loan is quicker. Sometimes, users may receive approval within a few days, which is advantageous when a person is looking for immediate funds.

3.Lesser Documentation 

Personal loans are offered by lenders without requiring excessive documentation. This makes it simpler for applicants because the process of getting all the documents in place is cumbersome and time-consuming.

4.No Collateral Requirement

Generally, short-term personal loans are unsecured making it possible for individuals who do not have any assets that may be used as collateral to qualify for a loan. Additionally, borrowers eliminate the risk of losing their assets in case they are unable to service the loan in a timely manner. Furthermore, the tenure of these loans is shorter when compared to home or automobile loans. 

EMI Based Personal Loan

Individuals may purchase the latest iPhone 7 without facing any financial constraints by repaying through Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs). They may choose an online personal loan EMI calculator to estimate the amount that may be repaid regularly. Such online calculators help individuals understand the approximate installment they will have to pay towards servicing their loan as per their financial capability. An individual may also have the choice of opting for no-interest financing from the vendor of the iPhone 7. However, before getting excited by such offers, a person must clearly understand all the terms and conditions. Covering the cost of the latest Apple smart phone along with the other expenditures commonly incurred during the festival season may be difficult. Opting for a short-term personal loan to meet these expenses is, therefore, advisable. This allows users to buy the iPhone 7 without being worried about the huge cash outflows needed upfront. Servicing the loan amount would not result in any financial difficulties because the borrowers may choose a tenure that best suits their liquidity situation. If a person lacks a good credit score given by credit rating agencies like Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL), his application may be rejected or he may have to pay a higher interest rate. Borrowers are advised to clearly evaluate all their options before making any decision.

How to Save Money When Making Currency Transfers

Currency transfers are an excellent and useful service, but they can also be expensive. If you need to regularly make currency transfers, you could end up paying a fortune in fees. The good news is, there are ways to save on this vital service and below we’ll look at some of the best ways to do it.

Avoid the bank

The first place you’re likely to turn when converting currencies is your bank. You trust your bank and its typically easy to make an exchange; especially if you bank online. However, bank exchange rates can be extortionate. 

Making Currency Transfers

All major financial institutions tend to hike on a pretty large exchange fee. Sometimes this accounts to more than 4%. As well as the variable fee, they also often add a fixed fee on top. So, you could be paying much more than you need to.  

Use an online currency transfer service

So, if banks are to be avoided what other options are out there? Online currency transfer services tend to be the best choice. Companies such as Currency Fair, offer a very flexible, low cost service. Sending money straight to another person instantly is a great way to save, or you can opt to have the money sent at a later date, taking advantage of current currency rates. This isn’t a service you’ll find at your local bank!

Always exchange in advance where possible

Leaving currency exchanges until the last minute can mean you end up paying a lot more than you should. If you do it as early as possible, you’ll have more time to find the best rates. Currency transfer rates fluctuate often daily, so taking advantage of low rates as far in advance as possible can potentially save you a lot of money!

Be aware of all fees involved

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when exchanging currencies is failing to read the terms and conditions of the service you are using. As mentioned earlier, banks often charge several fees, some of which are included in the terms and conditions which very few people actually read. 

All currency transfer services will charge some fee so it isn’t something you can avoid completely. However, the amount charged varies significantly between providers. 

Overall, currency transfers don’t have to cost a small fortune. If you use an online service and follow the tips above, you could save a lot of money and avoid any nasty surprises.

The World of Business: Why do Companies Merge and Split?

During the past few years, there have been a lot of news about company splits or mergers, across all types of industry and business. One of the most media prevalent splits and mergers in recent years has been that of Citroen. In 2015, headlines read that Citroen split from DS, their parent company, followed in 2016 by the announcement of a new merger as the UK Citroen Retail Group dealerships rebranded and combined to form Robins and Day.

The World of Business

While you read about a number of splits and mergers, it can be difficult to understand why they occur. So why do businesses choose to divide and acquire?

Why Do Companies Split?

Divorce, split, breaking up: terms that most would associate with personal relationships, but go hand-in-hand with business relationships, too. However, when it comes to business, splits are usually decided on a strategic basis for one of two reasons:

1. Improve Effectiveness

Many companies have multiple functions and often split so that these diverse processes can be managed separately. By dividing a business in this way, it allows room for flexibility and the adoption of new management processes. This approach improves effectiveness when compared to management under a single business model.

2. Increase Profits

Another purpose is to increase company profits through the means of benefitting shareholders and attracting investors. Of course, increasing profits is largely dependent on the former reason, as the splitting up of a company allows each to be individually managed, thus maximising efficiency while increasing profits.

Why Do Companies Merge?

While the reasons behind company splits trend to be relatively straight forward, there are a huge number of motives behind company merger and acquisition. These include:


Typically classified as horizontal mergers, a business can acquire another to grow and increase their share of the market. This allows a company to purchase another and immediately grow their business, without having to start from the beginning


While some companies split in order to better manage different strands of their business, others acquire with the hope of diversifying. This is usually because by combining two or more different business elements, the company hopes to gain a competitive edge.

Reduce Competition

Unlike acquiring with the intention of diversifying, many mergers happen in response to a desire to eliminate competition. Buying within their own market allows a company to gain a larger share of the market, but does often come with a high purchase price.

Why Testing Equipment Can Save Your Business Money

When it comes to your business, there are a number of ways your company can save money, from trying to go more green and lowering the cost of utility bills, to using online cloud storage instead rather than purchasing additional storage devices. Another method involves EMC testing your wireless equipment, which could save costly legal issues, complications and money loss further down the line.

Why Testing Equipment Can Save Your Business Money

But what is EMC testing? Why do you need to test your equipment? And how can it save your business money?

What is EMC Testing?

EMC stands for Electro Magnetic Compatibility, a phrase which makes it sound a lot more complicated than it needs to. Essentially, EMC testing involves measuring how electronic equipment interacts with its surrounding environment, as well as other equipment in the vicinity. All electronic and electrical devices can emit electromagnetism and as the world becomes more immersed in technology, such a high density of electrical products means that there is a lot of potential for interference.

EMC is a series of tests carried out using specialist equipment (such as these from MCS) to ensure that a product is able to function compatibly within its electromagnetic environment, without causing a significant disturbance to any other devices.

Does Your Business Need EMC Testing?

EMC testing and compliance is a legal requirement across most of the world, including America, Europe and China, but is it something your business needs? As a general rule, if your company is involved in the design, production and manufacture of electronic items, it is safe to say that EMC testing will likely be applicable and should be a high priority. The rules also concern those companies who are involved in the import and export of electronics, too.

How Can EMC Testing Save Money?

As long as a company considers the requirements of EMC testing early on, then there are a number of financial benefits. For example, there have been many cases of product recalls or withdrawals, because they did not meet EMC regulations and were not electromagnetically compatible. Not only can this be costly, but it can also damage the reputation of your business.

To save money, research regulations when designing or importing a new product. This includes items such as TVs, computers and cars. Consideration at this stage will prevent the expense of non-compliance, while also producing high quality products that boast a high level of performance.

Guide To Going On Holiday

The folks over at share the steps on how to close your office for the holidays. 

ALERT: The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! 

But before you get too excited planning your parties and making your shopping lists, there are things that need to be done at the office. 

Holiday season

Proper preparation before you close shop for the holidays will ensure that everything goes smoothly. This will also minimize the chance of having to address work-related concerns in the midst of the festivities.

Here is a simple list of what you need to do in anticipation of your office closure for the holidays:

1. Inform everyone

Everyone means: employees, suppliers and customers. 

Communication must be sent out at least two to four weeks in advance (the earlier, the better). Make sure that you reach each stakeholder via the proper channels to avoid miscommunication and surprises. 

It is helpful to post your official holiday schedule along your office’s main door or front desk, as well as the bulletin board. 

2. Assign point people

Appoint contact people in case of emergencies. Make sure that these are employees who will be in town during the holidays, and that they know how to address possible concerns.

A  contact information sheet with accurate names and phone numbers must be provided to your security services and other key stakeholders. 

3. Update your automated phone greeting

In case you have a company trunk line number with automated greeting, include information about your company’s holiday schedule 2-4 weeks before the said dates.

phone greeting

Emphasize on when everyone will be back to work and provide an email address where callers can send their concerns or inquiries in the meantime. Consider if you want to give an emergency contact number.

4. Plan deliveries in advance

Plot in receiving and delivery schedules in advance. If there are transactions that can be completed before the holiday cut-off, make sure that these get done. Otherwise, inform vendors and customers that operations will resume after the holidays, which might not be acceptable for them. 

5. Clean up!

Year-end is the perfect timing to organize your office and files. Backup important documents. If some papers have to be moved to a storage area, do it before you go on your holiday break. You would not want to start the new year with a messy desk and an unnecessary pile of paperwork.

Also check your pantry and office refrigerator and throw out perishable food items.  

6. Check all internal and external deadlines

Make sure all internal deadlines have been adjusted to accommodate the holidays. Urgent concerns might have to be finalized before vacation starts.

internal and external deadlines

Check that all agreements with external parties are fully accounted for. If updates would have to wait after the holidays, ensure that everyone involved in that project has been informed about it. 

7. Turn off and unplug some electrical equipment

Computers, printers, scanners, monitors, lights, copiers and shredders can be unplugged during your office break to save on electricity.

unplug some electrical equipment

If you decorated the office for the holidays, make sure that lights and ornaments are not left running while everyone is out. 

Some equipment that should not be shut off, however, are: phones and fax machines, refrigerators, servers and backup systems, and security systems. 

Alright, that’s about it! Refer to this checklist and everything should go smoothly as you sign off for your long-anticipated office break. 

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Gemma Reeves
About the writer: Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace

4 Ways to Limit Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt is often the biggest factor when trying to decide whether attending college is a viable option for you. The graduate class of 2016 is reported to have accrued, on average, debt in the region of $37,000. This equates to between $200 and $350 a month in repayment. Considering the rising costs of living these days, this could potentially be a large portion of your wages. Leaving you with very little to live on and little hope for saving towards your future.

Student Loan Debt

It is, however, possible to minimize your student loans and here are four tips for ensuring that you graduate with a debt that is far more manageable.

1. Do Your Research

When it comes to picking the right school you probably have your dream destination. It would be wonderful if we could all attend Ivy League colleges, but the truth is that the prestige of attending such places comes with a price - much higher tuition fees. It is an unfortunate reality that your choice of college may come down to what you can afford. You must be realistic, otherwise you will find yourself living beyond your means and unable to complete your courses. There are many great schools out there, so look into what various different institutions are able to provide that would suit your needs and your budget.

2. Apply for Scholarships and Grants

If there is funding to be had, then take the opportunity and apply for it. You have nothing to lose. There is a misconception among students opting to go to college that scholarships are only available to those with great grades or who excel in a particular field. This is not the case. Talk to advisers and find out what is available to you.

3. Seek Alternative Methods to Achieving your Degree

Attending a 'bricks and mortar' school is no longer the only option available. More and more students these days are opting to study online. For example, a course such as a masters in business administration online could, in theory, be completed without ever having to step into a school, and there are literally dozens of online MBA programs to choose from. Northeastern University for instance offers a great online MBA program that anyone with the proper credits can apply to. Taking this approach means you are already cutting down on living expenses dramatically.

4. Work

For those of you who have already accepted a place at a school now is the time to start thinking about how you might be able to juggle your studies with a part-time job. For some this is not possible. But if you are able to take on a job, then it means you may not need to apply for as much money when it comes to taking out a loan to cover expenses.

Unless you are super-rich, student debt has now become a fact of life for students across the country. But if you take time and plan wisely that debt does not have to financially cripple you.

Cogent Reasons to Buy LIC’s New Jeevan Anand Plan

LIC’s New Jeevan Anand Plan is a Whole Life Endowment Plan that offers several advantages to those who opt for it.  It is a participating plan which means the policyholders have a share in the profits that are incurred by the company. The motive of this policy is quite apparent from its name. This implies that the whole life endowment plan renders coverage till the policyholder passes away and this continues even after your policy matures. In short, we can say that Jeevan Anand is a mix of endowment plan and a whole life plan.

life insurance

This is a form of life insurance that involves payment of a set amount to the life insured on a specified date. LIC’s Jeevan Anand Plan was one of the best-selling life insurance plan but the company annulled it as they had to launch LIC New Jeevan Anand Policy which is the revised version of the same.  In this blog, we will discuss its features and why it is one of the best plans to purchase. 

Features to reckon with:

1. It is a Traditional Participating Endowment Plan

2. It comes with Regular options to make the payments. 

3. The maturity benefit is received by the policyholder if the policyholder survives through the complete policy term, and this does not terminate the plan.

4. If the policyholder passes away, the sum assured is given to the nominee selected by the policyholder at the time of taking the policy.


1) Bonuses: This policy offers two types of bonuses one is Final Additional Bonus and Accrued Simple Reversionary Bonuses.

2) Death Benefit: If the life insured passes away during the policy term 
Sum Assured on Death + Accrued Bonuses

3) Maturity Benefit: If the policy holder survives though out the policy
Basic Sum Assured + accrued bonuses

4) Sum Assured in case of the Death of the policyholder is defined as higher of:
  • 125% of the Sum Assured as per the terms and conditions of the policy
  • Depends on the minimum of 105% of the all the premiums payable till the death date
  • 10 x (Annualised premium)
  • On the policyholder’s death, the assured sum is given to the nominee as the death benefit and with this, the plan terminates.
LIC Jeevan Anand Policy Details

Grace Period: LIC Jeevan Anand Policy offers a period of 30 days to its policyholders to clear all their dues. This period is offered to the policyholder if in case the policyholder is unable to make the payment. Consequently, keep on delaying the premiums. Now, if he or she fails to clear their dues even within this grace period, then the policy lapses. 

On the other hand, the policyholder is permitted to pay the dues in a term of 2 years from the date of first unpaid premium. After paying your due premiums within 2 years you can renew your dormant LIC New Jeevan Anand Plan.

Policy Termination or Surrender Benefit: 

After completing 3 years with the policy, the insurance policy becomes acquires a surrender value. Plus, the insurance policy also renders loan advantages and due to this the policyholders can get a loan using this policy.

Exclusions of the Policy

There are numerous suicide cases that we come across in our day to day life. If the life insured commits suicide within 12 months of taking the policy, then 80% of all the premiums paid till the date of death are paid back to the person nominated by the policyholder. 

Another case is when the policyholder passes away after the renewing the policy. In such cases, the nominee receives even higher of the 80% premiums paid till the policyholder was alive or the surrender value acquired by the policy over these months.

Documents you need

Following are the documents that you need to submit to the company in order to take the policy:
  • Correctly filled Application form/Proposal form
  • Age Proof
  • Address Proof
  • Medical History
  • Other Know Your Customer (KYC) documents such as Adhaar Card, PAN Card, Tax Details etc
  • Medical Diagnosis Reports as required 

Make An Informed Choice About Your Enforcement Agency

In today’s economy, raising a child on a single income is a challenge. When you’re barely making ends meet, it can be difficult to give everything your child needs to succeed. It’s hard not to feel bitter if, while scraping together what little you can, you’re waiting on overdue child support payment from your ex-partner. I you’re tired of waiting for them to get back to you, enlist help you can count on. Private child support enforcement agencies are invested in finding your Non-Custodial Parent (NCP) and getting the money you’re owed.

Enforcement Agency

The people behind many of the greatest agencies in the country care because they understand what it feels like to be in your position. Take, for example, the founder and current president of Support Collectors. She was once a single mom struggling to get the support she needed. Her state government child support office did its best, but simply didn’t have enough funding to provide the extra effort it took to solve her difficult case. It was through her own disappointments that she devised a system of personalized enforcement that guaranteed success.

If your government agency has failed to resolve your case, it’s time to supplement their efforts with a private enforcement agency just like Support Collectors. These organizations consist of lawyers, investigators, and enforcement specialists that work together seamlessly to provide their clients with dependable assistance. Their combined efforts will navigate legal issues, uncover the location of the NCP, and successfully negotiate the terms of the outstanding child support payments.

Unlike a government agency, which works on your behalf without requiring payment, the assistance from the private sector comes at a cost. Though negligible, this price should be something you can accommodate on your single income. In order to make sure their assistance is manageable, you should keep the following in mind before you sign along the dotted line:

  • The agency should be licensed to operate on your behalf across the country,
  • All of its specialist should be bonded,
  • The agency should have a membership with the Child Support Enforcement Council,
  • The cost of their service should be straight-forward and without unnecessary application or case development fees, 
  • They should be an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, with an A+ rating,
  • They shouldn’t demand you close your case file with the government, and
  • Their track record should be replete with excellent customer reviews.
When you find an agency that ticks off all of these points, you know your case will be in good hands. Combined with the efforts at your government’s office, you’ll have an increased chance of recovering the money that’s owed. As a result, raising your child on your own won’t be as a challenging. 

Short-term Loans: How Can You Use Them Right?

Short-term loans, also called payday loans, have developed something of a bad reputation. In some ways this isn’t surprising. These loans typically charge much higher interest rates than conventional loans—lenders claim it is the only way they can make a profit considering that they lend relatively small amounts of money for relatively short stretches of time—and it’s easy for unwary customers to be caught in a vicious cycle. Add to that legal scandals and criticism from prominent members of the Church of England and you begin to see how this state of affairs has come about.

Short-term Loans

However, short-term loans are a financial tool like any other and can be beneficial if used for the right job.

When not to Use Them

If you’re not careful, short-term loans can lead to more problems than they solve. If you’re seeing some kind of regular shortfall, they’re not the answer. In the long run, the interest you pay on them will just turn into another expense. On top that some lenders impose late fees and default charges of as much as £25. Some borrowers even wind up taking out payday loans to pay off their payday loans to avoid these fees!

This will just create a situation where you are constantly in debt, and the pit just keeps on growing. They might seem appealing if you have a poor credit rating or don’t want to take the risk of a secured loan, but the spiral they can create means one poor decision can cost you for years to come.

When to Use Them

The best use of a short-term loan is to cover unexpected expenses or costs you would normally be able to cover if not for unfortunate circumstances. Before you take one out it is vital that you make a budget for the whole repayment period and are sure that you will be able pay back the full amount in a timely fashion.

If you do find yourself in such a situation, make sure you seek out ethical lenders like Smart Pig, who forgo late fees entirely, and check online to make sure your chosen lender hasn’t had any legal trouble.

If you follow this advice, short-term loans can be the valuable tool they were meant to be, instead of a pitfall.

The Three Biggest Challenges When You Take Your Business Global

Going global presents a number of challenges and opportunities. When you expand to the overseas markets, your potential customer base expands almost beyond recognition, to billions of people. 

However, there are downsides to going global as well, and your business will face a great number of additional challenges. In this post, we take a look at the three biggest challenges and how you can overcome them. 

#3 Shipping and Waiting Times 

When you start to ship over the world, lead times and delivery times start to get a lot longer than when you’re just UK based. This seems rather straightforward, but it’s often an aspect that’s overlooked. When you only ship UK wide, you only need cars or lorries. However, when you ship to the continent and beyond, you’ll also need planes, boats and other forms of transport. 

Business Global

As such, things take longer to dispatch, navigate and deliver. Sadly, this means that your delivery times will probably have to be vaguer, otherwise your customers may be disappointed by late deliveries. Consult with your courier service carefully to understand your new delivery times. It’s better to over-estimate times to prevent late delivery. 

#2 Communication 

Remember, the more places you ship to, the more different languages that you come across. Unless you have the ability to communicate with people who speak other languages effectively, you’ll struggle to do much trading. As a result, you’ll need to teach yourself or employ a linguist. 

Foreign language courses are easy to attend now, and tools such as Skype have made executing trades between countries and time zones easier than ever before, but never underestimate the importance of communication. 

#1 Money Transfers 

Finally, as well as dealing with different languages, you’ll also be dealing with different currencies when you’re transferring money. Although you can use PayPal or bank transfers, these can be incredibly expensive when you change currencies, and you need to ensure that you’re always getting the bets rate. If not, you could be receiving far less money than you require for your stock, particularly if the exchange rate fluctuates. 

As such, you’ll need a specialist company such as Ebury to help you and ensure that you’re never out of pocket. If you’re not careful, you can lose money incredibly quickly on the exchange rates, so ensure that this is continually reflected in your prices so that you remain profitable. 

If you can counter these three issues, you should have no problems going global.

How to Solve Your Financial Problems with Budgeting

There are lots of people in this world that have financial problems.  These problems come in many different shapes and sizes...sometimes we don’t even know they exist.   


What type of financial problem(s) do you have?  
  • Do you have lots of debt and you can’t seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel?
  • Do you have a problem with saving money and putting it away for future events and emergencies?
  • Do you overspend every month on things you shouldn’t have?
  • Do you and your spouse have communication issues dealing with money?
  • Do you have a tendency to not save for retirement?
  • Do you struggle to make ends meet and having money at the end of the money?
  • Do you not have a job, or recently lost your job?
Regardless of the financial problem that you have, your problem can be solved by creating and applying a budget into your life.  It may be hard at first, but over the long run, you will greatly benefit from keeping a budget.  

Why?  Because having a budget keeps you in control.  You can categorize and know where your money is going each and every month. Budgeting gives you peace of mind knowing exactly what your financial picture looks like.

To get started, follow these four simple steps:

Step #1 - Grab a pen and paper, or use a spreadsheet.  

It really doesn’t matter what you write your budget on… what matters is that it is written down and you can view it and tweak it often.  Putting it on paper gives you the ability to track it and know what is happening each month.

Step #2 - Write down your income.

List out every income source that you have and the amount that earn each month.  This could be a paycheck from an employer, self-employed earnings, or even investment and interest income.  List them all out and add them all together to create a total line.  

Step #3 - Write down your expenses

List every expense that you currently have for each month, regardless if it is a small or large amount.  In this step, it’s all about finding each piece of the puzzle.  When you have all of the expenses listed out, you’ll know exactly what you are spending your money on and how much.  List them all out and add them all together to create a total line. 

Step #4 - Income Minus Expenses 

Now take your combined totals and subtract your income from your expenses.  In a perfect world, you will have a positive number left at the end.  This means that you are saving money every month.  However, you may end up with a negative number.  If you fall in this category, then you need to find ways to cut out things that you are spending money on each month. 


If you have never created a budget, then get on it!  Your financial life will benefit from it.  In a world full of financial problems, you don’t have to be a part of it.  Budgeting will help you gain control of your finances, giving each dollar a purpose, and making sure that you are in control.