What Are the Types of Commercial Loans Available to Businesses?

What Is a Commercial Loan?

A commercial loan, also known as a business loan or industrial loan, is an arrangement between a financial institution and a business. Financial institutions, such as commercial banks and mortgage companies, offer this type of debt-based funding to companies across a wide array of industry sectors for a wide range of business purposes, such as:

  • For the funding of major capital expenditures
  • For inventory financing
  • To cover operational costs that the company is having trouble to afford
  • For investments in equipment

Types of Commercial Business Loans

There are several sorts of commercial business loans available to businessmen. These include accounts receivable loans, real estate loans, vehicle loans, lines of credit and construction loans. All these different types of commercial business loans can be split into two major categories: short-term loans and long-term loans. We’ll start by looking at the short-term ones first as there are fewer loans in that category.

1. Short-Term Loans:

A short-term loan is a type of credit that is obtained to support a temporary business capital. Just as with any other loan, the borrowed capital and the accrued interests have to be paid back within a certain amount of time (typically within a year).

1.1. Lines of Credit

A line of credit resembles using a business credit card. It allows you to draw money as you need but has a limit – just like a credit card has a credit limit.

1.2. Merchant Cash Advances

Merchant cash advances are also a type of loan. However, the payment for this loan is a bit different: the lender gets a percentage from every sale the borrower makes.

1.3. Accounts Receivable Loan

This type of loan comes in handy when your customers have not yet made their payments. Borrowers are typically eligible for this type of loan if they have creditworthy customers.

2. Long-Term Loans:

Funded all at once, long-term loans are perfect for providing a set amount of capital for specific needs. Unlike short-term loans, long-term loans are paid off over an extended time frame. This time frame generally exceeds one year in duration and entails making smaller monthly payments with higher interest rates. Moreover, long-term loans can be secured and unsecured. Cash, inventory, and equipment can be used to secure the loan.

2.1. Equipment and Vehicle Loans

Equipment and vehicle loans are commonly taken by companies for financing the purchase of equipment and vehicles. The equipment may include computers, printers, air conditioning systems, and other heavy equipment. The vehicles, on the other hand, can range from new to used and include cars, vans, trucks or other machinery. In the case of this type of loan, the repayment terms will vary depending on the type and age of collateral.

2.2. Real Estate Loans

Compared to a home loan, the real estate loan is a commercial real estate loan is a mortgage secured by a lien on a commercial property rather than on a residential property. The loan is interim or permanent financing taken for the purchase, refinancing, or construction of commercial buildings, such as apartments, office buildings, retail buildings, industrial buildings, medical/dental offices, and warehouses.

2.3. Construction Loan

A construction loan, also known as a “self-build loan”, is a short-term or interim loan. This type of loan is used to help pay for construction costs, such as materials and labor, until the retail, commercial, or residential development project can be refinanced. In simple terms, it covers the costs of the project until the owner or developer can obtain long-term funding.

2.4. Land and Subdivision Development

The Land and Subdivision Development loan is a type of loan that allows the borrower to do two things: 1) purchase a lot to build something on it or, 2) buy a piece of land to be subdivided. While subdivision loans usually allow up to 18 months to subdivide, develop and begin selling off the lots, lot loans usually allow up to five years for building.

2.5. Commercial Fishing Loan

As you can deduce from the name, this type of commercial loan is mostly concerned with vessels and all types of fishing and processing gear. Commercial fishing loans are structured to fit the seasonal nature of the business and, essentially, cover or finance for the purchase of Individual Fishing Quotas.

2.6. Letters of Credit

Letters of credit, also known documentary and standby letters of credit, are arrangements most often used by:
• import/export businesses
• contractors
• travel agencies
A letter of credit is meant to serve as an assurance of payment and are usually for less than six months (although it can be renewed annually). Once your application for a letter of credit is approved, your lender will send an official letter of credit to the vendor. The letter will guarantee a specific dollar amount.

How to Set up a Digital Start up in 10 Steps?

Starting a business for the first time can be overwhelming and intimidating. If you happen to have a conversation with any entrepreneur or small business owner, you will learn that starting a business requires a lot of work. A great starting point is to generate a business idea but if an idea does not become a business then it is futile you had it. It is important to remember that not all small business is positioned for success as most businesses have a limited time of five years to stay up in the market. If your business happen to cross those five years, then you are lucky and you can manage your business successfully.

However, before taking the plunge, you are in for a real challenge of how to make it up to the expectations on the market and work according to what your audience and clients await from you. It is at this stage that it is a bit risky but with proper guidance and efforts, you can do it.

Remember the key to success is breaking down the process into manageable chunks, being realistic about timelines and getting the right people and resources around you to help you achieve your goals.

Below are ten steps to guide you in setting up your digital business.

Step 1: Define your concept
All entrepreneurs have ideas, but is your idea killer? If you’re going to start a new online business, the first step is to crystallize your idea and define your concept. What is your product or service? What does it do? What doesn’t it do? Who is it for? What’s your vision for this business?

Step 2: Assess the opportunity & validate your idea
The second step is to assess the size of the opportunity for your concept – undertaking market research and competitor analysis to assess demand, unmet needs and gaps in the market. What is your value proposition? What is your competitive advantage? Why are people going to buy your product or service?

Step 3: Create a business plan
Business success requires planning. The third step is to create a business plan which includes marketing, sales, operations and your financial model, to determine whether your business idea is viable and to help you choose the most profitable business model.

Step 4: Fund your business
To turn your idea into a successful business you are going to need money. There are many options for funding a start up, ranging from borrowing from your family and friends to venture capital. Step four is choosing the right type of funding for your business.

Step 5: Build a brand
Back in the day they used to say, “If you build it, they will come”. Building a great digital product is certainly one of the best marketing tools but these days it’s not enough.  Before you start building your product, step five is to choose the right name for your business and create a strong brand that differentiates you from your competitors, reinforces your market positioning and resonates with your target market. You don’t get a second chance at making a first impression!

Step 6: Legally protect your name & intellectual property
Once you have come up with a brand name, step six is to register your business name, register the domain name and protect your intellectual property via copyright, trademarks and patents.

Step 7: Design & build your product
Your website and/or you mobile app is the most visible aspect of your business. Getting your product right is most critical to the success of your business. Step seven is designing, building and launching your minimum viable product so you can start testing and iterating as quickly as possible.

Step 8: Market your product or service
The success of any new business is contingent on driving highly qualified traffic to your product or service. Once launched measuring and optimizing your product and marketing to maximize conversion of visitors into customers is crucial. Step eight is to develop a marketing plan using SEO, SEM, social, display and content.

Step 9: Form Partnerships
Brand credibility is one of the key weaknesses of any start-up business. Partnerships can boost a start-up’s legitimacy and credibility to investors, customers and other potential partners. Step nine is to form partnerships. These may be financial or could provide access to powerful other benefits such as distribution channels, or a combination of both.

Step 10: Recruit the A-Team
Finding the right office space, recruiting a strong team & building a great culture together forms the essential tenth step in starting up a business. Having the right people around you at the right time is imperative. Ensuring that you create a great vibe, instill common values and develop a culture that your team is proud to be part is critically important to whether your business will succeed.

Starting a digital business is like eating an elephant, you’ve got to do it one bite at a time. Always remember to take one step at a time and you will be on your way to successful small business ownership.

Most Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make by Not Outsourcing to An Accounting Firm

Managing the accounting part of a business is not limited to bookkeeping (although it is undeniably a crucial part of it). There are other processes that are more demanding and could get quite overwhelming for new, and inexperienced, business owners. These activities include managing ledgers, journals, financial statements, and income tax records.

And the more the company grows, the harder it will be to efficiently manage the journals and do proper bookkeeping. Instead of neglecting the financial part of the business, it would be better to hire professionals. Otherwise, the owner will have to get an experienced accounting firm to rectify any errors they may have made. This will result in the business having to pay more than they would have initially done. Furthermore, bad management of finances could lead to a failing business.

1. Assuming bookkeeping is easy

It is a common misconception that bookkeeping is an easy task that only involves inputting data into software. Unless the business owner has proper knowledge of what is required by industry regulators and tax authorities, they will not be able to keep accurate accounts on their own.

Without this knowledge, there will be a lot of anomalies and errors in the records of the business. Considering the importance of bookkeeping to the proper running of a successful business, it would be better to hire an accounting firm to maintain the books.

2. Not understanding the requirements for a small business

An accounting professional knows the type of documentation and licenses required for starting up a business. Even if you offer excellent services if you don’t know everything about that industry you might run into problems down the line. An accounting firm can help you set up your business venture with confidence.

3. Not tracking business costs accurately

Accounting and bookkeeping lose their effectiveness when records are not kept accurately. This will result in your business being left vulnerable to being late on important bills and to losing money. It can also:

  1. get in the way of expanding your business
  2. set you up for headaches come tax season
  3. fail to reflect that you paid a bill
  4. cost your business money
  5. undermine your ability to plan for next month or beyond

4. Making data entry errors

There are several data entry errors that can occur even with the use of accounting software. Some of these errors include:

  1. Entering incorrect dates for transactions
  2. Entering wrong amounts when preparing invoices for customers
  3. Applying full payment for an invoice when only a partial payment has been received
  4. Applying a payment to the wrong invoice
  5. Selecting the wrong bank account

The owner will, therefore, have to be very careful when making entries. And if there were errors, the owner will need to have the necessary knowledge to know how to fix them. An accounting firm, on the other hand, can make sure that all accounts are entered accurately and can easily correct such errors.

5. Not understanding what a business write-off is

Unless a company completely comprehends what can be added as a business write off and what cannot, they risk running into a lot of problems when tax season comes around. How? They will have to pour over and dissect every transaction to ensure that the business does not miss an expense that could have been listed as a business deduction.

6. Inefficiently managing billing

A business can’t survive if there is no cash flow. Cash flow is essential to keeping a business operating from one day to the next, as the company will have to tap into it for expenses, payroll, and other needs. And for that to happen it is crucial for the billing or invoicing, of customers to be done efficiently.

Proper billing processes will go a long way toward ensuring that revenue comes in on a timely basis. But if the business doesn’t have a good handle on the accounting end of their operations, they will be unable to prepare invoices in a timely manner. The more they delay in sending invoices out, the more time it will take for the clients to pay them.

7. Not planning for tax season properly

Do It Yourself tax software has been designed to simplify tax return and may seem like a good solution for small businesses. After all, it can help cut costs as there will be no need to pay an accountant or other tax specialist to get the job done.

But if you lack the necessary knowledge, you can easily stumble when tackling the tax filing for your small business. This is especially challenging if the necessary steps were not taken along the way to properly document the company’s finances. An accounting firm, on the other hand, will ensure that all records are up-to-date and will not struggle as much when tax season comes.

The Importance of a Clean Office

As an entrepreneur or a business owner, the state of your office is probably not top of your daily concerns. It is unfortunate that most business owners only take notice of the environment their employees work in only when things get out of hand since a clean and healthy workspace is one of the pillars of running a successful business.

It is for this reason that you need to make sure your offices are regularly cleaned and maintained. Your employees will be happy, healthy and productive and it will also make a good first impression on new recruits, business partners and potential customers.

Let’s look at some of the other benefits to making sure that your workspaces are kept clean.

1. First impressions count

As we mentioned before, a clean and tidy work environment looks appealing and more importantly welcoming to any potential clients. Dirty floors or smudgy conference room tables give your potential clients the feeling that you lack the necessary professionalism to take care of your employees, let alone a new client. The same can be said for a chaotic reception area. On the other hand, a clean and tidy work environment projects the image of a caring and professional company, which is sure to drive interest.

2. Improving your brand image.

To the average consumer, a tidy work environment implies superior, quality products and services, regardless of the type of work you’re doing, whether it’s serving food, doing taxes or selling furniture. A potential customer will certainly judge your entire brand based on how your office space looks and feels, and that includes any products and services you might be offering. Don’t let a messy work environment result in a potential customer walking away before you even have the chance to speak with them. Also consider the fact that people talk and share opinions, so that one negative impression could lead to you losing a lot more than just one potential customer.

3. Clean environments = happy employees.

Most employees consider their workplaces home away from home, meaning that you need to focus your efforts on keeping it clean and tidy. By keeping the work environment well-maintained, you’re allowing your employees to be productive, efficient, and most important of all, happy.

Your employees are the biggest ambassadors of your brand and business. They will talk about their work with their friends and families, share information on products and services they’re working on using various social media platforms and can attract potential new recruits to your company through word of mouth. If your employees are unhappy or dissatisfied with their work environment, they are less likely to participate in any type of business-related promotion. Not to mention that their productivity drops significantly when they’re working in a messy and unclean workplace.

How to go about keeping your work environment clean

First of all, never task your employees with cleaning duty. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service like Sheen Cleaning, who works on cleaning every part of your workspace, from the floors and carpets, walls and windows to bathrooms, hallways and even the outside of the building. This can either be a one-time deal or if you’re completely satisfied with their services, you can hire them to clean your offices a couple of times a month.

Air quality is another factor that greatly influences the health of your employees, and by extension, the workspace performance.

The number of airborne pollutants is much greater than it is outdoors, which makes investing in a proper filtration system all the more urgent and necessary. A great way to improve the air quality in your company is to invest in plants to filter out excess carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air and provide your workers with additional levels of clean air and oxygen. As an added benefit, plants have a calming effect on people, so this can also help reduce stress levels.

A properly organized cleaning schedule is extremely important. It outlines all the specific work that needs to be done, as well as any responsibilities the company and its employees might have during the cleaning process. Any specific tasks need to be clearly specified and all concerns vocalized. The complaints need to be handled immediately and proficiently by your cleaning company.

In conclusion

A clean and sanitized workspace signifies a level of professionalism and tells potential customers that you care about your brand and your employees. A happy employee is a productive employee, and as such, leaves a far better impression than a worker who needs to deal with a messy workplace and an unhealthy work environment. This is particularly important, as more and more brands are using their workers as a means of promoting their products and services. By keeping the work environment clean, you’re ensuring that your employees are healthy and productive and ready to serve the needs of any client that walks through your doors.

Residential Boiler Maintenance Tips

Through a vital service in hot water supply and household warming, residential boilers add to the comfort level of any home. If you want your boiler to always perform at its optimum best and enjoy that level of comfort throughout the winter season, boiler maintenance is a must.

Additionally, if you take care of your boiler properly and ensure that maintenance are done properly and on a regular basis, you can expect your boiler to last up to 25 to 30 years. In fact, regular maintenance will also help avert accidents and ceaseless repairs. These maintenance will also boost household safety and boost the efficiency of your boiler.

We’ll start by covering every part that needs to be inspected, before moving to a checklist you can follow when scheduling boiler maintenance.

Key Items that Need to Be Inspected

  1. Air Vents and Flues
    Air vents and flues can become blocked by the accumulation of dirt and dust. If the air vents and flues are blocked, the boiler will not work efficiently. This specifically applies to gas boilers, however. Have the technician inspect the vents and flues and clear the passage if any blockage has occurred.
  2. Water Level
    You can check the water level of the boiler on your own. A check every fortnight or so is generally recommended. A boiler that’s operating without water will become damaged beyond repair and can even lead to an accident that endangers the lives of your family members. You want to make sure that the pilot light is on when you have to check the water level. If the water level is indeed below the minimum, you can tend to do it yourself if only a few minor adjustments in the set-up is required. Otherwise, have an expert check the plumbing and correct any faults.
  3. Leaks
    Leaks are rather common in residential boilers and may happen during normal usage of the boiler. It doesn’t matter what your boiler runs on, whether it is gas or fuel, the leaks will generally occur through the valves. Leaks usually signpost that some adjustments are needed in the system. And if you do notice damaged or worn out parts in the boiler, you’ll need to find someone who can repair and/or replace these parts.
  4. De-Scaling
    The use of hard water typically gives rise to excessive lime-scale in the boiler. If left unattended, lime-scale will accumulate in the boiler. This accumulation can prevent the boiler from working as it should by hampering the heating capacity of the boiler. Keep an eye out for this – if you detect lime-scale limit going beyond the recommended limit, you will have to de-scale your boiler.
  5. Lubrication
    Without appropriate lubrication, the mechanical systems will not work properly. Lubricating on a regular basis is essential for the smooth operation of any residential boiler as lubrication supports the working capacity of most mechanical systems in the boiler. You’ll have to make sure that the boiler parts that are frequently in motion, such as the fan and pumps, are also routinely lubricated.

Two Things You Have to do Routinely

  1. Clear all Dust
    Because dust easily and quickly collects in boiler rooms, you will have to check the boiler room regularly. The boiler operations allow the dust to accumulate easily and you’ll have to clear any dust in sight regularly. Also, remember to inspect all the boiler parts thoroughly as any dust accumulation will affect the system and prevent it from working well. Hence, to ensure optimal efficiency, be sure to clean all areas that are prone to developing dust build-up, including fans.
  2. Flushing
    To remove dirt, grit and lime-scale that accumulate in the interior of the boiler, you will have to clear all the water from the boiler a couple of times per year by flushing out all water from the boiler. This will make cleaning the interior of the boiler easier.

In addition to checking these parts, it is important to follow a regular maintenance schedule to minimize the risks of breakdowns. Below is a schedule you can follow:

Annual Maintenance

The below items need to be inspected, cleaned and/or recalibrated by a heating contractor at least once a year, generally June and September:

  1. Fireside surfaces
  2. Burner refractory material
  3. Manhole gaskets – to check for leaks
  4. All system and safety valves
  5. Low water cut-off
  6. All operating controls
  7. Feedwater pumps
  8. Condensate receiver
  9. Electrical terminals
  10. Fuel oil levels

Periodic Maintenance

The following items need to be monitored and maintained either continuously or on a more regular basis:

  1. The oil level in the compressor lube tank
  2. Oil filters
  3. Sight glasses
  4. Air filters
  5. Flush drain low water cut-offs/sidearm oil pre-heater and water-line heater
  6. Clear sludge and sediment, and control chemical treatment concentrations
  7. Smoke alarm
  8. Combustion
  9. Burner controls
  10. Burner operation
  11. Traps
  12. Pipe inspection

Tips in Creating the Perfect Catering Menu for a Corporate Event

Are you during planning for your company’s next corporate event? Looking to pull off an all-day event with food and beverages that your co-workers will love? We’ve got 8 catering tips you need for your next corporate event. Of course, you must choose each of those dishes carefully if you want to make a catered event a hit. Chefs can leave everyone at a corporate event satisfied with a varied menu full of tasty entrees and appetizers, achieving positive word-of-mouth and repeat business.

CUSTOMIZE FOR THE OCCASION

Each event has its own demands, so it’s important for caterers to understand the requirements for every meal they serve. An appropriate concept or theme can guide menu creation, with a common thread to make all the choices fit together. No matter the event, the catering company should present a minimum of two entrees (serving any condiments on the side), at least three salad dressings and two possibilities for dessert.

Depending on when and where the event is taking place, chefs may have different seasonal ingredients available. By making the most of the produce or seafood that’s currently abundant, you’ll end up with a fresher, more distinctive final product.

COUNT HEADS

Have an estimated head count ready to provide a caterer or event planner that allows them to get started on menu options. Give continuous updates as your corporate event draws near. If you want a buffet, most venues require a minimum of 35 guests.

HEAD COUNT CATERING TIPS

Always overestimate your head count to account for last minute attendees. If attendance numbers increase on the day of the function, many venues reserve the right to substitute menu items to accommodate extra guests.

SET A BUDGET

Are executives at your company seeking steak and lobster but they’ve given you a hamburger and hot dog budget? Clarify and highlight what needs to be included in the budget and review it closely with management before you present your budget to a caterer or event planner. Don’t forget to account for linens, china, flowers for the tables and more. Event planners can help you budget and plan for everything you need.

MEETING THEMES

What’s the focus or theme of your corporate event? If you’re looking to surprise employees for a job well done, a buffet will go over nicely. If your corporate event is aimed at thanking the sales team for being the highest earners of the fiscal year, that buffet won’t go over so well. Focus on the feeling you hope to convey and that will help you plan your menu.

STICK TO A SCHEDULE

Is your corporate event going to have multiple speakers and presentations? Plan the food service around the day’s schedule and work with an event planner and caterer to build in time for food service and cooking times.

BUFFET OR WAIT STAFF SERVICE?

Depending on how busy your corporate event schedule is, you’ll have to decide if a self-serve buffet or a full service waiting staff is needed to serve and take away plates. If the focus needs to be on the corporate speaker and you’re looking to save time, a full service wait staff keeps attendees in their chairs longer. If you’re seeking a way to break up the day, schedule a buffet lunch that allows attendees time to mingle.

SELECT A MENU

Follow these general catering tips for selecting your corporate event menu:

  • Breakfast Functions on a weekday morning should include coffee, tea, fruit juices, a main entrée and two sides. Pastries can be offered too.
  • Lunch should offer a 5-ounce entrée per person, two to three side dishes and two to four appetizer options.
  • Dinner typically offers three to five appetizers, soup or salad, a 7-ounce main entrée and two to three side dishes. Plan on two servings of dessert per guest too.
  • Cocktail Functions that don’t include dinner call for 10 to 15 appetizer servings per person.

DIETARY RESTRICTIONS

It’s important to have enough menu variety to satisfy all your guests. Since many people are vegetarian or are on a gluten-free diet, you should inform your caterer or event planner that you’re seeking a few vegan and gluten-free options. If the catering service you hire needs to know about dietary instructions in advance of your corporate event, it’s important that employees with dietary restrictions select one of those options when they RSVP.

STAY AWAY FROM BOXED LUNCHES

Years ago, bring their own lunch or boxed lunches were popular at corporate events. While this is cheaper, you’ll never go back to boxed lunches once you’ve held an event with catered service. Clients and attendees are more impressed by a nice food spread and are more willing to pay attention to your event if they’re having a good time and are fed well.  Hint: They will remember the food.

If you’re planning a corporate event in New York City or Long Island, Sarah Brown Catering can handle everything from start to finish. Their catering packages include beautiful buffets, perfect plated dinners, lavish luncheons and unbeatable breakfasts to pair nicely with all of your corporate events and functions. Contact them to discuss catering tips and review our catering menus.

Adopting a Dog? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

If you’ve always to get a dog, you must have come across all those #AdoptDontShop signs and may be wondering if it’s a good idea for you to get a new dog. Well, it most definitely is. You will not only pay less than you would have had you bought one from a pet shop, but you will also (and most importantly) save a life. You must have heard about how dogs that don’t get adopted oftentimes get euthanized. And instead of getting a loving home, they end up dying alone. Which is heartbreaking for all dog lovers out there.

Even if you feel ready to take the leap and adopt a dog, it’s important to do some prep work before you stroll into your neighborhood shelter to get one. While it’s great that you want to give a dog a second chance at finding a loving family, there are some key details you will have to iron out first.

1. A Pet will Change Your Life. And You Have to be Ready for This.

If you’ve never done it before, adopting a dog will be one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. While impulse adoption often happens and they are sometimes very successful stories, it is not always the case. Did you know that for every 10 dogs being adopted, one is returned to the shelter within six months of adoption?

To avoid having to take the difficult decision of returning your dog, think about your lifestyle. Do you have time to accommodate a new dog? And if you do, what kind of dog is best suited to your lifestyle and personality? Try to think about your character, your current living situation, your future plans, and potential commitments. While it’s always fun to have a young pup full of energy, running around the house, your lifestyle might be better suited for a gentle senior dog. Also, remember that having a dog also involves finding potty training them, taking them on regular walks and regularly cleaning after them.

2. Finding an Apartment that Allows Pets Is Your Responsibility.

Do you know what’s the most common reason for giving up a dog? The answer is quite easy. Actually, it is in the sub-title itself. Yes, you guessed it.

“My landlord said I’m not allowed to have a pet.”

It’s unfortunately very common for people to give away their dogs to shelters when their place of residence has a no pet policy. If you want to be a responsible pet owner, you will make sure to check the rules of the complex where you are living. Even if they say they are pet-friendly, they often have restrictions when it comes to certain breeds or certain sizes. It also means you will have to be ready to keep your dog in mind when apartment shopping.

3. A Dog Is Like a Child. When You Are Adopting, It’s for Life.

The biggest issue when it comes to adopting is that people don’t see it as a life commitment. They all love to have a dog around until the dogs are too hard to care for or are getting too old for them. Below are more common reasons given for giving up a dog:

i. The pet owner is moving to a new home that doesn’t allow dogs.
ii. Taking care of the dog is becoming too expensive to handle.
iii. The owner already has too many pets in the house.
iv. My future spouse doesn’t want a dog or doesn’t like dogs.
v. I’m pregnant and I’m scared of having a dog around my baby.

You need to remember that adopting a dog means taking care of the dog for their entire lifetime. It is a commitment, and if you are not ready for such a commitment, it might be better to not adopt immediately and wait until you are.

4. You Pet Needs to See a Vet Regularly.

Just like human beings need to see a doctor regularly, so does your pet. Especially if you are adopting. Unfortunately, your dog may have been exposed to a disease or a virus in the shelter or rescue kennel from which you are adopting. This is quite common and is even more of a reason why you need to take them to the vet.

In addition to getting a general health check, you’ll also need to take them to the vet to get them neutered and have a microchip implanted under their skin.

5. Learn to Decipher Their Language.

Finally, but not less important, is the need to understand the body language of dogs. The more you learn about it, the easier it will be for you to train them. You will also be able to assess their level of happiness, know when they feel threatened and know when they want to play and be able to take action accordingly. Through this, your dog will come to trust you and you will be able to create a stronger bond with them.

Step-by-Step Guide to Watches for Men: Choosing the Right Wristwatch

Even for regular watch wearers choosing the right wristwatch can be difficult sometimes. The simple act of shopping for a new timepiece can be a bewildering experience. In addition to the wide range of brands available on the market, there are several types of watches with costs going from a dollar to the price of a house.

And this post is about helping neophytes to buy the perfect wristwatch that will reflect their personality and compliment their style. We’ll cover the basics in an accessible, easy-to-understand way. Keep reading to find all the essential information you’ve always wanted to know about watches in general or about the watch you usually tote around on your wrist.

Which Watch to Buy?

Around 1.2 billion watches are made each year. Shocking, right? Considering that number, it is understandable why it is so hard to pick one sometimes. The choice is, in fact, anything but simple. So, how do you know which one to buy? Do you settle for the gaudy dinner plate? Or will the chrome digital watch fit you better? Maybe you’d prefer a high tech gadget-filled watch?

With the number of watches being churned out day in day out by factories all over the world, the categories of watches that exist tend to blur one into another. The fact that all those makes and variants are heavily influenced by the latest fashion and even borrow ideas from other marks and models also contribute to the confusion.

Now add to that the creation of gender-neutral watches that are aimed at a bewildering number of markets and sub-markets. Distinguishing between different types of watches became even more difficult after this. But gender-neutral watches helped bridge the gap between conventional men and women’s watches and introduced a greater variety of styles to the market.

We haven’t even begun talking about the digital and analog movement that has been replaced by hybrid digital mechanical movements in some watches. So how do you go about choosing a watch? Should you spend time reading everything you can find about every type of timepieces on the market? Well, only if you believe such a decision warrant years and years of research. If you want the rundown on how to choose a watch, keep reading.

What to look for in a watch

There are of course a few basic rules to help you pick the perfect timepiece. You will not get a goofy or garish orange sports watch to wear with a power business suit. And who would wear a diamond-studded dress watch to the gym?

The simplest way of choosing a watch is to ask yourself what you want and what best suits your lifestyle and personality. Are you an athlete who can rock a massive sports watch? If you are, good for you! If not, look for something else. Maybe something elegant that signals you’ve gone up in the world? Essentially, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you want a watch to simply tell time, as a fashion accessory or as a status symbol?
  2. Do you need it for work, sports or for a fancy party?

Once you’ve taken your lifestyle and the functions you want the watch for into consideration, you can start looking at the specifics. Let’s look at those in general terms:

1.     Cost

This is a pretty obvious one. There are so many watch brands out there and the price of these watches ranges from cheap to exorbitant. While a nice wristwatch will compliment your style and positively reflect your personality, buying it should not hurt your wallet. So, the best advice we can give you is to pick a timepiece that fits your budget is worth its price.  

2.     Legibility

The second factor you want to take to consider is legibility. If the watch is too small you will have a hard time reading the time. A larger face diameter, of around 34mm – 500mm, should remedy this problem. But there are other things that can make reading time hard, such as hour hands that look the same or inexistent numbers on the watch face.

3.     Comfort

If a watch scratches your wrist or keeps catching on things, you will probably hate wearing it – regardless of how stylish it looks or how much it cost you.

Instead, you want to find a watch whose wristband doesn’t gouge into your wrist. You should also take the size of the watch into consideration. If your wrist is small, a large watch will not only be uncomfortable to wear but will also simply look ridiculous. On the other hand, if your wrist is large it would be inadvisable to pick a small watch. It will look just as silly as a large watch on a small wrist.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue: The Ultimate Guide

It’s undoubtedly that choosing the wedding venue is the biggest and most important decision you’ll have to make when planning your event. The location will set the theme and tone of the wedding, influence your budget, and determine the number of guests you’ll be able to invite.

Considering its importance and role in your big day, it may feel like a daunting task. Hence, it would be advisable to start going through your options right away. We’ve put up a list of things you should do and think about when deciding on your location in this post. From start to finish, these tips will facilitate the decision process.

Tip Number 1: Think about the General Location

While it was customary to hold weddings in the bride’s hometown, this tradition has almost disappeared. Nowadays, people choose different locations to have their weddings. These locations include the town or city where the husband or other spouse grew up in, in the city, in a country the couple has always wanted to visit… the list goes on.

But whether it’s the hometown for convenience or another country for its backdrop, decide on the general location as soon as possible. This will make finding specific venues easier.

Tip Number 2: Set an Estimated Guest Count

This is just as important as your budget. Firstly, because it can considerably impact your budget. And secondly, not every wedding venue has the same capacity.

Therefore, if your guest list consists of 75 persons you will just need to have a venue that accommodates this number of people and that fits your budget. But don’t just come up with a random number. Sit you with your partner and plan carefully. While you may not have an exact number, you will have an estimate that will make finding the venue easier.

Tip Number 3: What Is Your Budget?

Wedding venues do not come at a small price. In fact, the venue cost can amount t around half of your wedding budget.

Considering the amount of money you’ll already be spending on your clothes, food, photoshoot, transportation and honeymoon, think about setting a clear budget for your venue from the onset. It will make choosing the venue easier.

Tip Number 4: Think about You Want for Your Wedding 

What would your dream wedding venue look like? When trying to imagine how you want it to look like, think about themes, colour schemes and season.

Are you looking for a traditional wedding? Or do you want an outdoor ceremony? Just as with your guest list, you will need to sit down with your partner and decide on your priorities.

Tip Number 5: Set the Date

If you already know when you want to hold your wedding, good on you. If not, at least try to narrow down some dates. It will simplify the wedding venue hunt, trust us!

Tip Number 6: The Internet Is Your Friend

Use it wisely. It’s not just about using Pinterest to find the perfect location (even though it is a very helpful app).

Look at reviews. Visit their websites. Check for photos taken by guests. These can help you narrow down your list of potential venues considerably.

Tip Number 7: You Don’t Have to Go On-Site to Ask Questions

Among the venues you’ve looked at, consider contacting you top 3 – 5 favourite venues to ask questions. You can ask about the date (it won’t be worth visiting if they are already booked on that date), the capacity of guests the venue can hold, any other additional services they offer and the pricing.

Tip Number 8: Visit 

You cannot make a definite decision without first visiting the venues that you’ve shortlisted. You’ll want to see how the venue really looks like in person and meet the staff and venue coordinator as well.

Another wise thing to do would be to visit at the time and the season you want to get married in. It allows you to have a clear picture of how the venue will look like on that day. 

Tip Number 9: Remember that Even the Perfect Venue Comes with Some Cons

Now that your list has been considerably shortened, remember to weigh the pros and cons of the venues that still remain on your list.

While something may feel seem like a positive thing to you, it might not be the same for your partner. Sit down with them and draw a list of these benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

Tip Number 10: Signing the Contract

Now that you’ve chosen your perfect venue, ask to sign a contract. It is the best way to make sure that you’ve secured your desired venue.

However, do not just sign on those dotted lines without having properly read the contract. Read it carefully and ask for clarification if necessary. It’s an important decision, and even though you might be tempted to sign the contract and be done with it, affixing your signature to a contract without giving it a close read first might cost you a lot down the road.

10 Things to Look for When Trying to Find a Bookkeeper

Choosing a professional bookkeeping service means that your employees won’t have to focus on the financial nitty-gritty of the company. Instead, they will be able to dedicate their time to more constructive tasks, such as finding ways to constantly improve their services.

Bookkeeping is essential to helping your business grow and is necessary even if you already have an accountant.

Aren’t accountant and bookkeeper one and the same? Nope. These are very distinct roles with their own types of responsibilities. Bookkeepers are only responsible for keeping a clean record of all its financial transactions while accountants use these records to prepare financial accounts.

Entrusting your finances to a reputable bookkeeping service guarantees that your company is complying with state and federal laws and tax regulations. Proper bookkeeping management will also allow you to fully understand your business operations and ensures you make wise financial decisions.

How Do I Find the Right Business Bookkeeper?

1.      Find a Bookkeeper that Has the Right Skills

While a bookkeeper does not need a state-issued license (unlike accountants), they still need to have some level of training. Bookkeepers in Australia need to have the following to become certified bookkeepers:

  • Complete a certificate IV or higher in bookkeeping or accounting
  • Possess at least 1,400 hours of bookkeeping
  • Be registered as a BAS agent

2.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Is Experienced

Regardless of whether you choose to hire an independent bookkeeper or contract a firm, find one that has extensive experience. Conduct interviews if necessary and do not shy away from asking bookkeeping prospects in-depth questions about their career path and the accounting software they use. This will help you avoid hiring the wrong candidate.

3.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Regularly Updates Their Knowledge

Technology and tax and business regulations are constantly evolving. You do not want to work with a bookkeeping firm that has not stayed up to date with accounting news and technology. To ensure the firm you want to contract has stayed abreast of evolving tax and business regulations, ensure that they are continuously upgrading their skills, business services, and technological.

4.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Wants to Build Their Business

If the bookkeeper has the ambition of growing his or her business, he/she will ensure that they offer only the highest level of service to their clients. A leader understands that the better their clients do, the better will their business do in turn.

5.      Find a Bookkeeper You Can Trust

On top of qualifications and good references, you need to find a bookkeeper who is honest, transparent and highly ethical. You want to make sure that they would be easy to reach. We do not mean that they have to make themselves available to you at the drop of a hat – they have a business to run too. But they should be available should you need any clarification.

6.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Is Reliable

When we say reliable, we mean a bookkeeper who has a track record of excellence – they need to be able to meet deadlines consistently, be efficient and respect each client’s confidentiality. It goes without saying that if they offer high-quality service to their existing clients, they will do the same for you. You might want to look for companies that have a long-standing presence, as this is a testimony of the level of their work.

7.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Is Well-Informed

If you look at the technological aspect, this means bookkeepers who are familiar with the accounting software your business uses.  When it comes to the financial aspect, on the other hand, you want a bookkeeper who can provide real-time financial reporting and offer insight into your financial progress.

8.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Is Organized and Has Good Communication Skills

While you do want someone who is good with numbers, is fundamentally organized and detail-oriented, you also want someone who can communicate well. Being adept at dealing with only one of these thing may be a red flag. Remember that the bookkeeper will have to listen well and explain reporting and retrieval of financial data clearly to you- especially if you are not an expert in the field.

9.      Find a Bookkeeper Who Understands Your Industry

Remember how we said you needed a bookkeeper with experience? Well, if the bookkeeper has an in-depth knowledge of the industry you are in, it’s even better.

It might even be preferable to hire someone with only two years of industry-specific experience rather than someone with 10 years of general bookkeeping experience.

10. Find a Bookkeeper Who Prioritizes His Clients

What does this mean? It means that the bookkeeper or the firm is proactive, respects your time, and tries to understand your objectives. The firm should also be willing to continually upgrade so that their clients remain at the forefront of their respective industries, and ahead of the competition.