Home Improvement Construction – Financing the Project

You have finalized the home improvement plan and selected your contractor; all you need now is to finance the project. If you are cash rich you can just finance it yourself paying cash as the project progresses, if not you can get an equity loan from the bank or a residential construction loan to finance your home improvement construction project.

Home improvement construction loans are short term loans that allow you as property owner or the builder to borrow the money needed to remodel your property. Loan terms vary from project to project but what you need to be aware of is construction loans are interest only payments and the rate of interest charged is generally higher than the long term mortgage rates charged. The way it works, once the loan is sanctioned; funds are distributed either to the property owner or builder all through the duration of home improvement construction process in accordance with a predetermined disbursement schedule. Interest is payable only on the amount drawn to date and not on the whole loan amount. Dependent on what has been agreed with the lender; you will be allowed to draw on the funds either in a percentage breakdown example: 10% of the loan on completion of 10% of the home improvement construction project or when a specific part of the project is completed like the foundation or roof, etc. The final amount will be disbursed once the certificate of use and occupancy is issued.

You will be required to submit complete plans and specifications for the home improvement construction project you are setting in motion. Apart from the plans the builder has to provide an all inclusive budget, construction schedule and proof of qualifications to manage the home improvement construction project.

In order to apply for a construction loan you will have to provide a copy of your credit report. All lending institutions like mortgage companies, credit card companies, car dealers, etc. frequently use the information contained in these reports to decide whether you are a credit risk or not. All bad debts appear on your report for a period of 7 years; if your loan application has been rejected at any time due to the credit report, you are entitled to a free credit report copy. You are also entitled to one free copy of the report every year. There are 3 main credit reporting agencies that provide the reports and note that frequently requesting a copy of the report will lower your credit rating!

I would like to close out this article with a few guidelines on selecting the right contractor; it is a well known fact that choosing the wrong contractor means letting yourself in for a nightmare of mammoth proportions!

Ask friends and family for recommendations; ask neighbors who have recently had home improvement construction done on their homes that you have noticed; there are director agencies and the Better Business Bureau you can contact.

Procurement – 20 Questions That Can Prove to Finance the Worth of Procurement

The Procurement function often reports directly into the Finance Department. One issue Finance people often have is how to measure the performance of these Procurement people. Here are some questions that Finance executives can ask their Procurement staff to test whether or not they are getting value for money.

What answers would you give?

1. What cost savings have you achieved in the last year – 20%, 30%, 50% or more?
2. Have you made any radical changes to your supply chains in the last 12 months? How as it improved service and/or lowered costs?
3. How do you challenge your suppliers’ prices? Are negotiations and competitive tendering your only tools?
4. Do you systematically and regularly collect data on the total cost of acquisition and use of the things you buy? How do you use this information?
5. How does the rest of the organisation view the procurement department? Do they see it as adding a true competitive advantage?
6. What do your suppliers think of the way you deal with them? How do you capitalise on this?
7. Are you the first organisation that your suppliers come to with new ideas? What radical innovations have they brought to you in the last 12 months?
8. What % reduction have you achieved in your supply base this year? How does this support your business strategy?
9. How many people are involved in procurement in your organisation? Is this too few, too many or just about right?
10. Does anyone outside the Procurement department commit your organisation to expenditure with suppliers? if so, how do you make sure that money is spent wisely?
11. How do you know if your procurement people have the right mix of skills and experience for your business? Do you benchmark roles, responsibilities and abilities?
12. How do you go about updating the skills of people in procurement? Do you have a programme in place to meet the requirements from a training needs analysis?
13. It has been said that the best form of buying is not to buy in the first place. How do you challenge demand for purchased goods and services in your organisation?
14. How do you challenge the specification of the things you buy?
15. Do you have a structured process in place to systematically improve your supply base?
16. Do you know where all of your supply bottlenecks and risks are? Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place?
17. How do you measure the improvements your people make to business performance? Do you benchmark this and identify any gaps?
18. When was the last time you reviewed your processes and procedures? Do they still support the ways in which you need to work? Do they ensure that “best in breed” ideas and practices are applied consistently by all buyers?
19. Is your IT system capable of giving you all the information you need to manage Procurement?
20. You have Procurement under control. Quality and delivery are good and costs have been reduced. What do you do next? Do you have a vision and plan that has been agreed by the business?

Lender Financing – One of the Secrets to Improve Success in Funding

During these difficult economic times, one constant complaint from CEOs and Owners of small and medium businesses is the difficulty they have in securing debt financing. Businesses that have been successful in securing funding often team with professionals (CFOs) to develop a Bank Proposal Package. A Bank Proposal package is not a business plan, rather a comprehensive turnkey package written so bankers and lenders will take action.

Most small business owners/CEO’s work with their bookkeeper or Controller to compile information they think the Lender would want to see. They then schedule an appointment with their Bank Officer to request a loan. Professionals services firms lead you through a 3 step process: 1) prepare a Bank Loan Proposal Package that “tells the story” to the Banker describing your businesses; 2) presents the financial information the lender requires; 3) presents your business in the best light – an organization that is professional, has done its homework, and can stand behind their numbers. Typically, businesses that present a comprehensive Bank Loan Proposal Package move up in the review priority sequence, as lender’s have less work to do gathering information. The result is that the loan application is promptly sent to loan committee for review and approval faster.

The typical elements of a professionally prepared Bank Proposal Package are:

– Executive Summary
– Business Plan
– Personal Financial Statement
– Recent Credit Report with FICO Score
– Management and Ownership Profile
– Financial projections for the current year
– Most recent 3 years tax returns
– List of all assets including appraisals, copy of purchase orders, acquisition price and current net book value. The lenders typically like to see an estimate of orderly liquidation value (“OLV”) and forced liquidation value of the assets (“FLV”)
– Current aging report for accounts receivable and accounts payable
– Organizational Documents
– Information related to other loans, leases, etc.
– Website – URL link and high resolution color copy of the Home Page and About Us page
– Source and Use of Funds Statement for the proposed loan
– Application from the lender

Debt Relief Grants From the Government to Get Your Finance Back in Line

It’s not so hard to understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed by debt. It’s that sinking feeling that nothing you can do will help you overcome the feeling of being enslaved to that monthly payment. Sometimes it feels like you will be able to feel free of debt again. Debt relief grants from the government are one way to get your finances back in line.

Life is too short to be covered up with debt. Debt is that ugly slave master that keeps you bowing to it. If you have tried other methods of getting rid of your debt with little results, the next step may be to take the government up on their offer to help you out with debt relief grants that will be sure to help you get your finances back in line. Of course, that will depend on whether you can qualify for this program.

One way to qualify for a debt relief grant from the government is to be a small business owner or in the process of setting one up. Many times, a new business owner will utilize much of their savings just trying to get their dreams up and going. The first year of a new business is often the most critical part of building a business because getting recognized and drawing customers takes time.

Then again, there are many students or potential students that might want to take the government up on their offer to help them out with grants to pay some of their debt. Those seeking a higher education often need help just to make ends meet and a government can help to not only pay off debt but with their daily expenses as well.

Since the government has recently instituted some plans to help people get out of debt, now may be the time to check into taking advantage of one of them. The federal government realizes that helping people who qualify for these debt relief grants from the government will actually add to the tax base, because small businesses are the largest creators of jobs in our nation. Likewise, they understand that getting a higher education also increases the taxes that will be paid into the system.

With all this attention above, it should be easy for a person to decide exactly how they are going to go about getting a remedy for their debts. Not only can the government help to get your finance back in line, but you can help as well by curbing your spending.

The Evolution of the Auto Industry

Of course the idea of an automobile can be dated all the way back to when the wheel was first invented; however, I am going to place you back to when major progress was made to the auto industry. The first automobile was built in France by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769. Not long after came the first automobile patent in the United States which was granted to Oliver Evans in 1789. Evan produced his first self-propelled automobile in 1805. Although self-propelled, this vehicle wasn’t anything like how our vehicles work today. Finally, in 1870 an inventor by the name of Seigfried Marcus put an internal liquid fuel engine in a horse carriage which made him the first man to propel a vehicle by means of gasoline. As were finding out today this may have been our biggest mistake as a civilization due to global warming concerns. However, when directly eyeing the auto industry, this was necessary to jump start the idea that has effects each and every one of us everyday.

Karl Benz built his first automobile in 1885, was granted a patent in 1886, and began producing automobiles in 1888. Notice the last names if you are not familiar with the history of the auto industry. In 1889 Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach designed a vehicle from scratch rather than using a horse carriage fitted with an engine. By the 1900s, mass production on vehicles was under way in France and the United States. The first company formed to exclusively build cars was Panhard et Levassor in France. Next came the United States auto industry startup called Duryea Motor Wagon Company founded by brothers Charles and Frank Duryea.

Oldsmobile had a production line up and running in 1902 and would dominate this era of automobile production. By 1903, Cadillac, Winston and Ford were all producing cars in the thousands. A few years later in 1908 the Ford Model T was introduced and became the most widely produced and available car of the era. In 1910 the Mercer Raceabout debuted as the world’s first sports car. Slightly over a decade later the Austin debuted and was the most widely copied vehicle ever and served as a template for cars around the world. Later in 1934 the Citroen Traction Avant was the first mass produced vehicle with front wheel drive. Finally, Oldsmobile introduced the first automatic transmission in 1940 and no longer than 10 years all automobile manufactures were offering the same technology. 1950 and 60’s was when the auto industry had the ability to really focus on the wants rather than the needs of consumers. The classics we love to see are in prototypes. 1962 hits and the first super car was introduced as the Ferrari 250 GTO. 1964 sets a mark and Ford releases the Mustang that became the best selling and most collected car of its era. In 1977 Honda introduced the Accord and it went on to become the most popular car of 1990s. A huge win for Chrysler, their 1983 release of the minivans were introduced and pushed station wagons out of the market. Many of these vehicles lasted decades and many can still be found today. More recently, Toyota has recently surpassed General Motors in leading worldwide auto sales and now holds the number one selling brand in the world.

How Teenagers Which Download Free Music Ringtones Have Created a Whole New Cell Phone Industry

If you have used a cell phone, then you probably have heard of how free music ringtones have become very popular among most people, specially teenagers. A ringtone is just the sound of an incoming call, in a regular phone the ringtone is a pair of bells, but ringtones have become more sophisticated and personalized with the growth of mobile phones.

There are different kind of ringtones, one of the most popular are the Polyphonic ringtones. Now, there are many brand name cell phones that allow for a specific phone number incoming call, to have a personalized ringtone and teenagers love it.

There are a lot of sites that offer ringtones, some of the most popular sites, offer a service where you can make of your favorite song a ringtone, that means that teenagers can make ringtones from music that they own on their cds, mp3s, etc. Other sites offers the possibility for the user to make his own tones or music midi tones on the site and then download it to their cell phones.

Those are just some of the uses teenagers have for their free music ringtones, what we know for sure is that a few years ago it would have sound silly to think that a new industry will be growing just out of free music ringtones. But this new generation of teenagers is more sophisticated and associated with technology than ever before. At a very young age, they are familiar with computers, cell phones, software, the internet and more.

That has made of free download ringtones a huge billion dollar industry where every brand name cell phone offer this service. Teenagers dont want to have a cell phone just for work or calls, they want personalization, they want to project their own image as cool teens.

According to Juniper Research annual mobile music revenues will be as high as $14 billion by 2011, but there is also a trend were the mobile music industry will shift to full track music downloads in the next 5 years. As you can see the free music ringtones mobile industry is growing very quickly and will continue for the next years, but this is just the beginning, emerging technologies will in the mobile industry will create new opportunities.

The Eyes and Ears of the US Venture Capital Industry

The Venture Capital Industry in the United States has gone a long way since it was officially given the license to finance any entrepreneurial interest of any individual, or organization through the implementation of the Small Business Investment Act (SBI) in 1958 that granted the U.S. Small Business Investment Administration (SBIA) a licensing authority to assist financing for start-up businesses, either non-profitable body as in foundations, or those vying to pursue the development of new technologies, research, or equipment in line with global centralized communications.

The National Venture Capital Association that represents the United States venture capital industry, the known trade association (NVCA), a member-based organization of venture capital firms with respective financial existing capabilities to contribute for a bulk-pulling capital to be dispensed for bigger demand in investments; especially, a package full-risk equity capital for exceedingly high caliber or high growth business that can’t capably be handled by an individual investor.

The NVCA Response to Various Aspects in the U.S Venture Capital Industry

1. Acts to mediate in the public policy interests of the venture capital population.

2. Deals with strict professional standards of the venture capital environment.

3. Keeps and provides most reliable data within the industry.

4. Takes charge in pulling together effective interactions among members.

5. Mans the sponsoring of professional developments.

The National Venture Capital Association of the United States has big-time affiliates as the American Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth (AEEG), a gigantic U.S. network that takes care of various public policy issues that have greater impact to entrepreneurial expansion and growth in both management and profit. The AEEG has produced in the past years over 14,00 CEO from their different growing companies.

Viewing the Inside of the Venture Industry and its Capitalists

Cash flow, or the management offered by professional group of investors to beginner companies or any entrepreneurship that caters to a larger risk but greater returns in investments is what we call venture capital.

How To Make A Fortune Promoting Music Industry Affiliate Programs

The music industry is rapidly moving online. People are finally discovering the amazing power of the internet to collaborate with talent around the world and easily go from unheard of and unsigned into having a loyal fan base of tens of thousands!

This has opened up a huge opportunity to cash-in. Everybody in the music industry needs information on how they can best utilize the internet to promote their music.

After all, there’s a lot more to it than simply setting up a website or MySpace music profile. Because once you’ve got the website, you still must get people there and have them take the time to give your music a listen.

Few know the promotion secrets to doing this successfully on a large scale. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t profit on others books and courses on how to do this.

It’s possible with the power of “Affiliate Programs.” You see, an affiliate program is a way you can get paid for promoting other people’s products.

You send visitors to others websites. You then get paid a commission when sales occur. Virtually every business online has an affiliate program. Usually, you can find them at the bottom of their website with a link that says, “Affiliate Program.”

By promoting courses on how to succeed in the music industry online, you get to fill a growing demand for knowledge your customers, website visitors, or even fans have.

Use the Law of Attraction to Get What You Want

Locating and understanding information regarding Internet marketing success is somehow a dilemma. Aside from the fact that there are too many things to learn, you also get to encounter a lot of information that has no real value. Choosing and segregating all that data cannot easily be achieved.

Studying about SEO is entirely different from applying it to your work. Reading and researching about a particular subject is easier yet it is not enough. You have to do something about the facts laid on to you. With limited time, and unlimited information, how, where and what do you concentrate on to achieve success?

I have already discussed in my previous article the importance of spending your time wisely and I am sure you were able to comprehend the idea well. Time and effort remain fruitless except if you are able to determine what activity you need to focus on to achieve your goals.

But where to concentrate your time and efforts in is the million-dollar question. How can you be guided with this? Each one of us has our own approach in solving this puzzle. In the meantime, let me share with you one of the most powerful guide known to man: The Law of Attraction.

If you, by any chance, watched or read “The Secret”, you would understand this concept pretty easily. However, for those who didn’t, allow me to explain to you how it works. It is one way, if not the only way, that will completely direct you to the right direction — to the road to success.

The Law of Attraction states that you can achieve anything your mind conceives. Your thoughts — success, wealth, health, love, power — played a huge part in how you lived your life and how you will live it in the future. Now, that may sound crazy to you, and I am not forcing you to believe in this. I am also a very logical and reasonable person, like you, but there are things in this life that can never be explained.

Thinking about all the good things we want in life is so easy, and we do it all the time, but why didn’t we attain it? That’s because thinking is not enough. You have to feel it, imagine it, believe it and act on it. The Law of Attraction will assist you, guide you and make you successful but you have to do your part as well.

How to Master Law of Attraction and Deliberately Create More of What You Want

The law of attraction gurus all teach that deliberately creating what you want in your life is simple: all you have to do is focus on what you want. By focusing your thoughts on what you want, you put yourself into vibrational alignment and emit a frequency of thought energy to the Universe which attracts a match. In this way you can attract the happiness, financial and spiritual abundance you want in your life.
Following this guidance, if you want to to master the art of law of attraction, the formula is simple:
Focus and attention only on where you intend to go.
Resolve to do so every day for 30 days.
Persist through the periods of doubt or fear that will inevitably arise.
Hold your thought on where you want to go, no matter how difficult.
Focus only on what you want. After 30 days, see what happens.
This is all very straight forward stuff. So why is it then, that most people fail when attempting to put this into practice? If it’s really this simple, why do so few succeed?
While the principles of deliberate creation using law of attraction may be simple, they are clearly not easy. That’s because to hold your attention on what you desire requires tremendous discipline of thought.
Studying the teachings of Wallace Wattles and his book The Science of Getting Rich provides some additional clues: It’s hard work to stay focused on what you want regardless of present or past appearances.
“There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought.”– Wallace Wattles
Wattles nailed it in his book. We live in a world where you have been conditioned to react to what’s before us. Most people, with very few exceptions, have forgotten how to choose their thoughts deliberately.
Focusing on what you want for more than a few seconds at a time is very hard work which requires strong mental focus. It requires a strong will to hold your attention on the prosperity you are looking to attract while the value of the stocks in your retirement account are plummeting, or while the price of gas is going through the roof, or while another unpaid bill sits in your mail box, or while your bank account sits empty. And yet, if you are to be successful at using law of attraction, you must discipline your mind to do exactly that. You must learn to discipline your mind in order to stay fixed upon where you are going rather than where you are (or where you have been).