Car Loan: The Dos and Don’ts

If there’s one thing we all know when it comes to loan agreements is that the devil is in the details. One mistake or one line you overlook in the loan agreement can lead to you overpaying. So, as cliché as it sounds, you really need to review the agreement thoroughly. That includes checking the fine prints. You also want to make sure that there is no mistake in the contract. Whether intentional or not, it could potentially be very costly to you.

When buying from a dealership, pay attention to the marked up-interest rates as well. If you don’t know what that it is, let us explain. When you borrow a certain amount from your lender, the lender will approve the loan at a certain interest rate. But when the dealership gives you the contract, they will mark up the interest rate. What you need to determine is by how much has the interest rate been increased. Some lenders will cap the markup at a maximum of 2% while others won’t do that. So, if your loan has been approved at an interest rate of 7%, signing a contract with an interest rate of 11% is not such a great idea. Negotiate to have them drop the interest rate, or find a dealership that won’t charge as much.

How to Avoid Overpaying on a Car Loan

Step #1. Ask for the VIN

VIN is short for Vehicle Identification Number. You want to make sure you are getting the right car. So, when reading the agreement check the VIN carefully and ensure it matches the car you are actually getting.

Step #2: Fill in the form carefully

It may sound silly, but even one mistake on the agreement can cost you a lot. Ensure from the get-go that your name is spelled correctly and your address and driver’s license number are right. You don’t want to risk having to do everything from scratch. You might miss out on a perfect deal just because of that. Not to mention the administrative fees the lender and dealership could charge you to correct the mistake if you notice it after signing the contract!

Step #3: Find out what additional fees you will have to pay

Even if the dealership or lender assures you that they don’t charge any fees for, there could very well be other costs associated with the loan, such as the kinds you need to even start the loan.

So, find out from the lender what fees you will have to pay them as well as to the department of motor vehicles. Also, ask them to advise you regarding the taxes you will have to pay. Consider doing this at the start of the process itself, so you can budget accordingly.

Once you’ve confirmed this with your lender, you can now turn to the dealership and ask them about the “out-the-door” price. This will help you determine if there are any other extra fees you will have to pay. And if you do this early one, the comparison you make between one dealership and another will be more accurate. You will also be able to determine legitimate fees from the bogus one from the start, and potentially allowing you to save both on time and money.

Step #4: Check for add-ons

You will able to smoke this one if you follow the tip we ae you at the start of this post. Essentially, some lenders will include products such as extended warranties or gap insurance in the agreement. Some dealers will try to install additional equipment that you didn’t ask for and don’t even need, only so they can charge you for them. If you asked for it, fine. But if you didn’t, then that’s just them trying to get you to sign for higher monthly payment.

How to Get the Best Deal Possible

Most loan agreements contain jargon you do not even understand. But since understanding the loan process, knowing what to look for in an auto loan agreement and knowing what’s in the agreements are keys to ensuring you get what you bargained for, there are a few things you can do.

One of the first things you want to do before even starting the search for the perfect car is getting preapproved. Most experts believe that getting this done first increases your chances of locking in a better interest rate.

The next thing to do is to compare one quote from another. But how will you do this if one loan agreement is completely different from the other? It’s simple. Ask to receive quotes based on the loan length and balance. The closer the term agreements are to each other, the easier it will be for you to compare them. Direct comparison between one loan and another will make finding the best offer easier too.

Process Serving: Delivering Court Papers to Other Parties

Why Is Process Serving Important?

Process serving is a process whereby copies of court documents are delivered in a formal way to all parties involved in a case. This process is intended to not only inform all the parties of the existence of the case but also all the actions that have been taken in the case. Without this, no case can move forward.

Can’t I Do This Myself?

Unfortunately, no. No court will allow parties involved to serve documents in their own case. Depending on where you are from, you may have several options for having your papers served. The three most common are:

  1. A registered process server 
  2. An attorney
  3. An individual over the age of 18 who is not a party in your case

Choosing among these three options will depend on your specific situation. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for each of these:

1. Registered Process Servers

A registered process server is a person who is responsible for delivering legal to all parties involved.

The Pros of Getting a Registered Process Server

  1. Even though their fees vary and depend on the difficulty of the task and the distance they have to travel, their fees are generally reasonable.
  2. You will be given a ‘Proof of Service’ form that has been filled by the server. This form will have to be kept for filing purposes. The great thing about working with a registered process server is that you can trust them to correctly fill out the form for you.
  3. Their service is recognized and is considered to be valid. Even if a party decides to contest their service, they will have to prove that it’s not valid.
  4. Not only do they know the types of documents that have to be served, but they also know how to locate hard-to-find people.
  5. They tend to be more flexible and would be willing to perform the service on odd days and outside of business hours.

The Pros of Getting a Registered Process Server

The biggest con has to be not being able to use an Order on Application for Fee Waiver of Court Fees and Costs from the court to pay your fee.

2. An Attorney

If you are being represented by an attorney, on the other hand, they will typically ensure that all documents are served properly. They will either have a staff member serve the documents, or choose to hire a process server to handle the delivery.

The Pros of Letting the Attorney Choose the Method of Delivery

Letting your attorney choose means you don’t have to worry about anything. With their experience, you can rely on them to determine the best way to serve documents.

The Cons of Letting the Attorney Choose the Method of Delivery

The only con might be the fees. They will generally be a bit steeper than the fees a registered process server will charge you.

3. A Third Party

Depending on what country and state you live, you may leave the delivery of documents to someone who is not a party to the action. The person you trust with this must be an adult. In short, they can handle serving documents if they are not a named party to the case and are above 18 years old. So, family members, spouses and even friends could do this.

The Pros of Leaving Documents Serving to People You Know

  1. Since you know the person and they are someone close to you, you most likely won’t have to pay them. Unless agreed otherwise, there will be no charge for service.
  2. If the other party named to the case is a family member, you can rest assured that these documents will reach the right destination.
  3. They will typically be more flexible and would be more willing to serve documents after working hours or on weekends.

The Cons of Leaving Documents Serving to People You Know

  1. Since the person responsible for serving the documents have no experience in this, you will have to ensure you know the process from start to finish. This includes knowing how to draft a proper Proof of Service Forms for filing purposes.
  2. They will usually not understand nor recognize the documents that they are serving. S, you are leaving important documents in the hands of someone who has no idea how important these documents are.
  3. Unlike process servers who are registered, your family member’s service is more likely to be challenged. Considering they know relatively little about what they are doing, there are chances that their services are not valid.

I Chose to Have Someone I Know Deliver the Documents: Where Can They Serve the Documents?

There are no restrictions when it comes to location. From their home to their place of work, it doesn’t matter where the documents are served as long as they are served.

Tips and Tricks Every Job Hunter Should Know – Part II

If you’ve not yet read the first part of this 2-part post, click here to read it. The first post covers all the things you need to know when filling out application forms. The previous post also includes a few things you can do to maximise your chances of being called for an interview even when you hire a recruitment consultant.

This post, on the other hand, will focus on recruitment agencies and the pros and cons of using them. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Recruitment Agencies: What Are They?

In simple terms, recruitment agencies work both with businesses and job seekers. They help companies fill their vacancies and help candidates find jobs.

Some companies choose to work with recruitment companies because they simply don’t have the time to go through all the resumes and pre-interviews. Others go to recruitment agencies when they are having difficulties finding good candidates for their open positions.

Recruitment Agencies: How Do They Work?

After having received the job description from their client, they will scan their list of candidates to find the candidate that is most suited for that role. They will typically shortlist the candidates and call them to conduct phone interviews or ask them to come to their office for a proper interview. Once that’s done, the list of names of candidates that have been selected are sent to the company and the final choice is left to the company.

What Are the Prerequisite Skills, or Qualifications I Need to Have?

While you can use a recruiter at any level, you should not know that they might not necessarily be able to help you.

Hear us out. If a company or a business is looking to fill entry-level jobs, they really won’t contact recruitment agencies. Why pay them a big fee for candidates that they should be able to find themselves? So, if you are an entry-level job seeker or are looking to change career path, steer clear of recruitment agencies. They will most probably be unable to help you out anyway.

The only type of recruitment agency that can help you if you are an entry-level job seeker is college campus recruiters that specialize in this. Otherwise, you are better off posting your resume on jobs boards and applying directly on the company’s web page.

Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency

  1. Whenever a candidate applies for a job, they typically check out the business’s website to get a feel of their brand and their values. While this most definitely helps, it does not compare to the insight you can get from a recruitment consultant. Remember that these agencies have been working for these companies for a relatively long time and know them very well. They know what the managers expect in a candidate. The benefit to candidates is twofold. Firstly, this means that they take into consideration all their candidates’ qualities before recommending them to the company – making you among the best candidate for that job. Secondly, their knowledge will allow you to know a lot about the company before getting there or having an interview!
  2. Unlike other candidates who have to prepare for interviews on their own, if you choose to use a recruiter you will be better prepared for your interview. After having sent your resume to the company, they will do their best t ensure you are ready for the interview. They will also be willing to answer any question you may have. This will make you feel more confident as you go to the interview. That confidence might even give you an edge over other candidates.
  3. Several companies do not advertise vacancies for some jobs. And most of those jobs are high-paying jobs! The companies will instead go to these agencies first to ask them for potential candidates. Since the recruiter that has your resume also has access to exclusive job roles that aren’t otherwise on the job market, your chances of you being suggested for that role is high! Thus, also increasing the likelihood of you getting in with a great company.
  4. Not a great negotiator? Well, then you’ll be happy to know that you can leave that to the agency. They will be willing to negotiate on your behalf. From salary to working hours, you can count on them to get you the best deal possible – one that you might probably never get on your own.
  5. If you have been placed on a temporary assignment that you’ve come to like, you can talk to your recruitment agency to have them try to secure a permanent role instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like the job you can always talk to the recruitment agency and have them look for another role for you. To top it all off, your notice period might not even be as long as it would have been had you gone directly to the company.

Essentially, what we are trying to say is that recruitment agencies are here to help you. Helping you find a job is key to their success, after all!

Tips and Tricks Every Job Hunter Should Know – Part I

Finding a job is not just about the interview and impressing the recruiter. Before you can even think of snagging an interview you have to get the attention of the recruiter.

And how do you do this? In the past, people would just print a cv, go from one company to another and drop their CVs. The times have changed and so should you. This also means that finding a job is not just about preparing one cv and sending that one resume to dozens of companies. If anything, most of the top companies out there will not ask you for a resume but will instead ask you to fill in a form on their website!

So, if you want to get that dream job, or work for the best company in your state there are a few things you need to sort out first.

Let’s Look at The Things You Need To Bear In Mind When Filling Out Application Forms

Tip #1: Ensure you have all the necessary documents.

Most job application forms take a relatively long time to fill because of the details they ask you to put on the system. Do not make the process any longer for you. If you are still filling in the form after 1 hour, you are likely to give up! So, don’t waste time running around the house and rustling through drawers. Before you even begin filling in the form, find all the documents you may need. This includes your social security number, latest resume (in case they ask you to upload one), your job reference list and the contact numbers of your previous employers.

Tip #2. Read the instructions carefully.

Don’t start immediately filling in the form. Carefully read the instructions and skim through the webpage or the form you’ve been given to ensure you have all the information you’ll need on hands.

Tip #3. If it’s an application form you need to fill and send by post, ensure your handwriting is legible.

You’ll typically he to do this if you are applying for a job in the public sector. What’s the use of filling in the application form if the recruiter does not understand a word you’ve written? Use correct spacing, capitalization, grammar (if necessary) and write neatly.

Tip #4. Accuracy is key.

Ensure you’ve gotten past employers, dates of employment, contact details, job title and references correct. This will serve no purpose if it’s wring. If the mistake is obvious, it will send a clear message to the recruiter: you either don’t care enough about the job, or you are lying. Either way, it’s a huge red flag!

Tip #5. No matter how long the application form is: Do not look for shortcuts.

Here’s one thing you want to avoid at all cost: Writing “Refer to attached resume” when filling in the blanks on the application. Complete the details as requested and ensure it matches your resume.

Tip #6. This is a continuation of the tip above: Describe your qualifications FULLY.

Avoid acronyms. The recruiter might have never of them. Write every qualification in full and ensure they are accurate.

Tip #7. Don’t leave out questions

Some companies reject applications that leave required sections blanks. When you’ve scanned the form at the start you must have seen these sections. Ensure you complete them. If there is a question that does not apply to you, write “Not applicable” instead of just leaving it blank.

Tip #8. Do not be too strict with your salary expectations

If your salary expectations do     not fall within their grid, they will probably reject you before even calling you for an interview. How will you get to impress them then? Instead, give them a range or write “negotiable”. That way you at least get the chance of meeting them and proving to them that not hiring you would be their loss. 

Tip #9. References: Know when to mention them.  Provide references if requested

While you must prepare a reference list before starting the application, it does not mean that you must mention them. Here’s the unspoken rule about references: do not provide them unless requested.

Tip #10. Do not leave any grammatical mistakes

Once you are done with filling out the form, PROOFREAD! The recruiter reviewing your application will most definitely notice spelling mistakes. And, unfortunately, sometimes this is enough to sabotage your chances.

Tips for When You Are Going Through Recruitment Agencies

If you are choosing to go through them, you need to make sure to build solid relationships with the recruitment consultants. To do that, here are a few things you can do:

Tip #1: This is your career. Don’t expect them to take the lead. Instead, be ready to do a good amount of chasing.

Tip #2: Do not rely on these agencies alone. Get on as many jobs boards as you can. The more exposure you get, the higher the chances of you getting hired are.

Tip #3: Do NOT apply for jobs you don’t care about. You are wasting both your time and the recruiters time.

Want more information about recruitment agents? The second part of the post will cover this. Click here for more.

Safe Crane Hire: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning to rent a crane for an upcoming project? If this is your first time renting a crane, you might need a bit of help finding out the right unit for your project.

If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the different types of crane available for hire.

What Are the Types of Cranes Available for Hire?

If you are already in the industry, you know that there are several types of cranes available for hire. If you are new to this, though, you may have trouble distinguishing one from the other. The size and configuration of each crane serve a specific purpose and vary according to the type of job they are meant for.

From their lifting capacities to the environment they will be used in, you have a lot to take into consideration. For example, the heavier the job, the greater the lifting capacity will be.

So, what are the different types of cranes?

1. Crane Vessel

Crane vessel, also known as floating crane and crane ship, is a fixed type of crane that cannot be moved. Great for lifting heavy loads, this type of crane is mostly used to lift sunken ships from the water or load or unload ships.

2. Telescopic Crane

Equipped with a large boom fitted with tubes, telescopic crane is high enough to handle the transportation of goods from a low place to a high place and vice versa. They are also good for rescue operations as their height can be adjusted.

3. Harbour Crane

The harbour crane, often called mobile harbor or port harbour crane is a flexible machine able to lift very heavy loads. This makes it perfect for unloading and loading ships in seaports.

4. Crawler Crane:

Designed to move on tracks, the crawler crane is a very heavy type of crane that can move on almost any kind of surface.

5. Rough Terrain Crane

Mounted on four rubber tires, the rough terrain crane is mostly used in off-road applications.

6. All-Terrain Crane

Very similar to the rough terrain crane, all-terrain cranes travel at the same speed on the public roads as well as on the off roads. They differ from the rough terrain crane in two ways: 1) they have more tires, and 2) all-terrain cranes can be used both on off roads and on public roads.

7. Truck Mounted Crane

Mounted on a truck with rubber tires, this type of crane is equipped with only one engine. This engine is responsible for the operation of both the undercarriage and the crane. Able to travel on highways, the truck mounted crane is a relatively cheap crane that does not require any other vehicles to transport it. Most truck-mounted cranes have a rotation of 180 degrees but you should be able to find some that can do a complete revolution (but these tend to be on the more expensive side).

8. Level Luffing Cranes

Level luffing cranes are equipped with a hook that stays fixed and a hinged jib that can move in a vertical direction.

9. Rail Road Cranes

Exclusively used on railway tracks, the railroad crane is used for railway lines itself. Its flanged wheels make it impossible for this type of crane to travel on roads but perfect for the construction, maintenance and repair of railway lines.

10. Telescopic Handler Cranes

Resembling forklift trucks, the telescopic handler cranes have a telescoping extendable boom-like crane and can do a full 360 degrees rotation. They are mostly used to install frame trusses in buildings.

11. Aerial Cranes

Also called sky cranes, aerial cranes look like helicopters. They are very versatile and can be used for a wide array of things, such as carrying large loads in places that are difficult to reach by land, lifting loads to high rise buildings and for rescue purposes in the wake of a disaster.

12. Tower Cranes

Fixed to the ground or attached to the side of structures, the tower care is the most commonly used type of crane. Their ability to lift heavy weights to great heights make them great tools in the construction of tall buildings.

Hiring Cranes: Everything You need to Know

Now that you the different types of cranes there are, here’re a few additional things you need to know when hiring:

  1. Know your project well. You need to know this to hire the right type of crane.
  2. Determine how long the project will last and for how long you’ll need the crane. If you’ll need for a few hours, it will make no sense to hire it for a full day.
  3. Do not settle on the first rental company you find. Shop around and look for other rental companies. You might find a better deal somewhere else!

Boiler Maintenance: The Comprehensive Guide

To get the most of any equipment you own, it is essential to ensure that they are serviced regularly. The regular checkups, not only bolster the longevity of the building’s heating system but also minimizes operating and energy costs in the long term.

Boiler Servicing: What to Expect?

All boiler maintenance is conducted by experienced engineers and most of these maintenances lasts around half an hour. They typically start with a visual check before checking the inside of the boiler. The visual check is done before so as to ensure that the associated pipework is installed and positioned correctly and that the boiler is working properly. The engineer will be able to identify some superficial problems just through this first check itself. To inspect the inside of the boiler, the engineer will remove the boiler casing and examine each of its components. This second inspection will confirm whether the boiler is working safely and efficiently.

Engineers who maintain boilers will typically have a list of that they will have to check. This checklist will include some of the following:

  1. Check the gas pressure and gas flow. Correct if necessary.
  2. Use a flue gas analyzer to confirm that the boiler is burning the appropriate amount and mixture of gas and air. Ensure that the flue is not blocked. 
  3. All safety devices must be checked.
  4. Check water and gas pipework to ensure that there is no blockage.
  5. Ensure that all electrical connections are in good condition.
  6. Check the fans. It is essential that the fan and other key components of the fans are working efficiently.
  7. Ensure that no seals have been damaged or ripped off. The seals must be intact.
  8. All electrodes must be in good working condition.
  9. Ensure that the condensate trap and pipe are not blocked. Clean if necessary.
  10. Clean all components inside the boiler.

Once the maintenance is over, the engineer will inform you if any building and safety legislation and regulations have been breached. Do not be afraid to ask questions, especially when they are recommending changes and repairs. Make sure that all parts that have to be changed are replaced by parts from a reputable manufacturer, ideally from the boiler manufacturer itself. The engineer will also give you a full-service report that you have to sign once the checks are over. Only sign this report if you are happy with every element of the service your boiler has received.

But How Often Must a Boiler Be Serviced?

Generally, boilers have to be serviced every 12 months. But if you just got a new boiler, talk to the manufacturer and confirm when you must get the first service done. This is mostly because you’ll have to ensure that you meet the terms of your warranty.

There are several problems that can arise if the boiler is not properly maintained and regularly serviced. One such problem is gas leaks that can actually lead to the deadly gas carbon monoxide seeping into the building. This is especially important if your house is not equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm. Engineers who service boilers would detect if there is a risk of a gas leak when they conduct their maintenance. But since carbon monoxide is virtually impossible to detect, consider getting such an alarm even if you regularly get your boiler services – as an added measure of precaution.

Things You Can Do Yourself

Even though people recommend getting your boiler maintained at least once a year, it does not mean that you have to wait for that once a year’s appointment to make sure the boiler is in good condition. There are a few things you can do on your own, on a daily basis and on a monthly basis.

Boiler Maintenance: Things You Can Do on a Daily Basis

  1. Ensure that there is no water leaking from the boiler.
  2. Conduct a visual inspection of air piping and flue gas vent piping to ensure that there is no sign of blockage.
  3. Inspect around and under your boiler equipment to make sure that the area around the boiler is unobstructed. The vent termination must also be free of any object that may block the vent.
  4. Your manufacturer must have recommended a designed range for temperature and pressure for the equipment. Check that these read within the recommended range.
  5. If there is a display panel, ensure that there are no error codes being displayed. If you see one, jot them down and immediately contact the service contractor.
  6. Ensure the combustion air opening is not blocked.
  7. There must be no unusual vibration coming from the equipment. If you hear strange noises, don’t wait for the next scheduled service. Get in touch with your service contractor.

Why Should Your Business Get a Green Roof?

What Is a Green Roof?

Also known as vegetative or eco-roofs, green roofs are essentially a term used to refer to the roof on which a layer of vegetation has been planted on. The roof is typically either flat or slightly-sloped and covered with a waterproofing system. The layer of vegetation is actually planted on that waterproofing system.

Green roofs can be classified into three major categories, namely semi-intensive, intensive and extensive.

  • Semi-intensive vegetative roof

Semi–intensive eco-roofs are a combination of intensive and extensive green roofs. The requirements, such as the depth the medium, the plant chose, and stormwater performance, for this type of roof depends on the roof structure and annual rainfall.

Intensive vegetative roof has a deep growing medium and a lot of soil. The growing medium is sometimes several feet deep and can support a diverse plant selection as well as small trees. Considering this, intensive eco-roofs not only require substantial structural loads but also need maintenance and watering on a regular basis. This type of roof is usually accessible.

  • Extensive eco-roof

A green roof is called ‘extensive’ when it has a shallow growing medium of about six inches or less. It also typically has a modest roof load with marginal watering requirements and restricted plant diversity. An extensive vegetative roof tends to be inaccessible.

A green roof cannot be installed directly onto the roof and instead require that specific layers of roofing materials are added. The growing medium can be installed and the vegetation can be planted only after those layers have been placed. Whether it’s a semi-intensive roof, an intensive roof or an extensive roof, the basic structure remains the same. It must consist of structural roof support, a vapour control layer, thermal insulation, roofing membrane support, waterproof/root repellant layer, drainage layer and filter membrane. The growing medium is above the filter membrane and will be used to plant the vegetation. Each of these layers is important as they each serve a specific purpose. They are key elements to keeping the plants alive and protecting the structure beneath.

Benefits of Installing a Green Roof

1.      A Green Roof Can Extend the Roof Life

Since vegetative roofs can shield the roofing materials from direct ultraviolet radiation and extreme temperatures, they are believed to be able to increase the life expectancy of any roofing system. Protecting the roof from extreme weather conditions means that the roof structure will probably require less maintenance and can, thus, save the owner money in replacement expenses over the long–term life of the roofing system.

2.      Green Roofs Confer Other Economic Benefits

This may come as a surprise, considering that the installation of such a roof requires higher upfront costs than traditional roofs, but as mentioned above, green roofs can prove to be more economical in the long term. Eco-roofs can also help drive down energy bills through its increased R–value. The reduced temperatures on the roof lessen HVAC loads also contribute to saving energy.

3.      Eco-roofs Can Improve Storm Water Management

One of the best things about green roofs is that it captures significantly more rainfall during rainstorms than other conventional roofs. This is a great way to reduce both flooding and erosion, while at the same time supplying the plants on the roof with the necessary minerals and water to mature and develop strong root systems. Some cities require that building owners pay a fee for stormwater management. Building with eco-roofs might be eligible for lower fees.

4.      Vegetative Roofs Can Help Improve the Efficacy of Mechanical Equipment

Mechanical equipment has been shown to perform better in cooler temperatures. The vegetation on the roof are great at producing cooler temperatures and can, therefore, contribute to boosting the efficiency of rooftop mechanical equipment. HVAC equipment, for example, must cool outside air, get it to the required temperature before transmitting it into the building. By making the air on the roof cooler, the green roof makes the cooling process is easier causing the HVAC equipment to use less energy.

5.      Eco-Roofs Can Insulate the Building

Not only does the eco-roof cool the temperature, it can also act as an insulation and decrease the amount of heat passing into the building. The extra layers of this roof reduce cooling loads on HVAC equipment helps a lot during warmer seasons.  

6.      A Vegetative Roof Can Provide Additional Amenities

If the green roof is installed over a building that’s in an urban area, it will increase green space and improves the comfort of your employees or residents by offering an aesthetically–pleasing view and environment. The roof can be used both for meetings or recreation. The plants can also include herbs and vegetables that can be harvested by the occupants of the building. Provided it is accessible, of course.

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Wedding Venue

There is a reason why choosing a wedding venue is so difficult and why it’s at the top of every couple’s to-do list. The thing with wedding venues is that they dictate every aspect of the wedding – from the number of guests to the theme and the color, the venue is the key to a picture-perfect wedding.

Which is why you can’t rush it. No matter how crucial it is to cross off that item from your list as fast as possible, you don’t want to cross it off just for the sake of moving to the next task. It’s great having one less thing to do, but with the whole wedding resting on that one specific detail, you want to take as much time as required to find the venue that’s perfect for you. You want the most important day of your life to go without hitch, and from a design standpoint finding the place where you will say your vows is one the first step to that. So, we’ve put together a list of common wedding venue mistakes that you want to avoid making.

Mistake # 1: Failing to Make an Appointment

Are you thinking it’s too obvious of a mistake? Well, you’ll be surprised to know how many couples show up a venue without making an appointment beforehand! If you want to take a tour of the venue, ask questions or ask for advice, you will probably have to talk to the wedding salesperson. And most of the time, you’ll need to make an appointment to be able to see them.

Mistake # 2: Not Taking into Consideration the Limitations of the Area

There’s one thing most future brides have in common: perusing Pinterest for ideas. The problem with that? Unattainable expectations. No matter how great weddings at the beach may seem, you need to take into consideration the region where you live and your budget. Planning for your wedding must go the other way around: see the types of venues that are available to you, THEN start planning your dream wedding[VP1] .

Mistake # 3: Not Considering the Design of the Venue

Choosing a wedding venue means taking into consideration the distinct design aesthetic it has. The design will help you choose your color palette and the overall theme you want to go for. You will have to make sure the style you choose complements the design aesthetic of the venue and does not clash with it. If the venue you have your heart set on won’t look good with the theme you have in mind, then you’ll have to make a decision: find another venue or change your theme.

Mistake # 4: Creating the Guest List Only After Having Booked the Venue

Think you can wait until then to create your wedding list? Then, unfortunately, you think wrong. While you can wait until you’ve booked to finalize that list, you must at the very least start it before even starting to look for venues. We are pretty sure you don’t want people crammed at your wedding! So having at least a rough estimate will help you find a venue that can comfortably accommodate your guests.

Mistake # 5: Not Respecting Your Budget

This one of the most common mistakes couples makes when planning their wedding. It’s really easy to go above board with the venue. Not only because you think you won’t find a better venue (if you plan well ahead, you most likely will find something that suits both your budget and theme), but also because you don’t realize all the logistics necessary for the wedding. This includes service fees, taxes, gratuity and the food, and beverage minimum if the venue offers catering.

Mistake # 6: Neglecting to Pay Attention to the Fine Prints

Think you’ve taken int consideration everything? Thought about the services fees and taxes? That’s great! But, unfortunately, there might be more. Other add-ons that can really mess up  your whole budget. These budget-busters include things like appetizers, dance floor, chair covers, corkage fees, parking space, etc. Remember to ask the wedding salesperson if these are included in the fees you are paying or not.

Mistake # 7: Not Checking the Accessibility of nearby

This is one thing you can’t neglect to do. Guests who travel from out of state or out of town will need a place to stay at and you need to ensure that you consider that if you really want them to attend.

Mistake # 8: Not Having Weather Backup Plan

Most often than not, if you have a weather backup plan, then it won’t pour. But if you don’t have a plan in place in the event that it rains, then it most probably will. Murphy’s law, right? So, even if it might cost you a bit more, better be safe than ruin that important day: put deposit down for tents, heaters or fans, and/or umbrellas.

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Business Insurance

More than just helping to cover costs that are associated with property damage and liability claims, business insurance will protect your business, your employees and even your customers. But with the number of coverage options offered by insurance companies and each of them telling you how theirs is the best deal you can get, you can easily get misled.

However, even if finding the right business insurance can seem tough, it’s really not that complicated. When shopping around for the right policy, you simply need to beat the following 15 points in mind (These are pitfalls you want to avoid when you are trying to buy the ideal business insurance for your business):

Mistake Nº 1: Buying the Least Expensive Policy

Watching your bottom line must not lead to you seeking out the cheapest options out there. If you buy a policy based on price rather than value, you run higher chances of landing in hot water when it comes time to file a claim.

Mistake Nº 2: Getting the Business Description Wrong

If you are requesting a quote online, you’ll probably have to fill in a form. Online forms typically have drop-down boxes with generic business descriptions. Getting this wrong will also mean getting an a quote for a policy that doesn’t cover all the activities of your business.

Mistake Nº 3: Not Getting Enough Property Insurance

You should be aware that getting an insurance without the adequate limits means that there’s a possibility that the disbursement you get won’t cover the totality of the replacement cost or the repair cost. This is simply because the insurance company will only cover the amount you insure and won’t cover the loss in full if the replacement and repair cost exceed that limit.

Mistake Nº 4: Not Including Business Interruption Coverage

If you want soundproof cyber protection for your business, you must not fail to purchase a cyber policy that includes business interruption coverage. You might have to pay a additional premium for that, but it will be worth it as business interruption for a small business can be disastrous.

Mistake Nº 5: Not Having Sufficient Disaster Insurance

As mentioned above, not getting the right insurance will only put you at greater risks. While you may want to limit your expenses, you should ensure yourself against threats that can damage your business the most.

Mistake Nº 6: Choosing Low Deductibles by Default

This one is just as bad as the first mistake mentioned above. The reason why you must avoid automatically purchasing damage insurance with low deductibles is that you may be buying more insurance than you need.

Mistake Nº 7: Not Adjusting Your Coverage

As your business changes over time, so will your needs. And it is inconceivable that business owners don’t do the same for their coverage. Remember to reevaluate your insurance needs several months before the renewal of the policies.

Mistake Nº 8: Not Reading the Policy Carefully

If you don’t read the policy well, you will not be aware of the numerous warranties and conditions precedent mentioned in it. This, of course, means that there’s greater possibility of your business not complying with those. And non-compliance usually leads to a claim being turned down.in the worst case scenario, the entire policy can be invalidated.

Mistake Nº 9: Failure to Thinking About Health Insurance Options

You don’t have to wait for the renewal period to discuss health policies for your employees. Discuss your needs with your insurer and let them advise you on what’s best for your business and employees.

Mistake Nº 10: Not Willing to Change Insurer

Even if you have a great relationship with your current insurance company, it doesn’t mean you have to stick with them year in year out. Shop around and see if there are other insurers who can offer you better policies.

Mistake Nº 11: Not Purchasing A Policy that Covers for Online Sales

If you want to break into e-commerce to expand sales globally, think of getting a product liability insurance before. It will help protect you against expensive lawsuits over defective products.

Mistake Nº 12: Not Going to Right Broker or Agent

Considering that the broker will get commissions on the premium you purchase, it is important to find one that works for you and who is willing to meet your specific needs.

Mistake Nº 13: Not Listing All Entities or Locations

Since the majority of policy cover only entities that appear in the declarations, failing to accurately list all entities or location on the policy means that these entities will not qualify as named insureds.

Mistake Nº 14: Not Investing in Cybersecurity Insurance

That’s something you don’t want to overlook as more and more small businesses fall victim to data breaches and cyber hacks every single year. In the event of a breach, a cybersecurity insurance will protect the costs of your data and will also help cover the legal and technical costs of rebuilding.

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.