Combating Car Depreciation: 13 Things That You Can Do

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A car is a major investment. In fact, for most of us, it’s one of the biggest we make throughout our entire lives. However, unlike most other investments, vehicles don’t hold their value over time. Instead, they, unfortunately, start to depreciate from the moment you drive them off the dealership’s lot. This means that, when it comes time to sell your vehicle, you’ll lose a significant sum of money in the process. Depreciation is one of the biggest costs of car ownership, but, thankfully, it is one that you can combat. With that in mind, here are thirteen things you can do.

  1. Choose The Right Make

When it comes time to buy a car, there are lots of options for you to consider. To get the most back for your vehicle, you should opt for makes and models known for their quality and reliability. MINIs and BMWs are popular choices as of late. It will also benefit you to choose a car that has a good warranty. This will make maintenance cheaper for you, but also makes your vehicle more attractive to future owners. Steer clear of big, expensive cars, as they tend to depreciate more.

  1. Stick To Neutral Colors

Bright and unusual colors may reflect your personality and style, but like selling a house, this can also have a negative impact on the resale value. It can also make it much harder to sell your vehicle at all. For this reason, you may want to stick to neutral colors and avoid airbrushing and decals at all costs. If you can’t hold back from pimping your ride, you should at least get a light-colored paint job before you put it up for sale. The more “standard” you make it look, the better.

  1. Buy A Used Vehicle

New cars depreciate a lot faster than most used ones do. Because of this, you should go used car shopping, rather than hunting for a brand new vehicle. This allows you to avoid a huge chunk of the car’s depreciation right away, potentially saving you a lot of money. That being said, this will only work if you choose the right vehicle. The older or less cared for the car, the higher the chance there is that it will have problems, which cancels out the benefit of slower depreciation.

  1. Start Shopping In January

If you plan to buy new anyway, you should start shopping at the very beginning of the year. A car’s year of purchase is one of the key factors establishing its book value. This means that, if you bought a vehicle towards the end of a year, you’d see a much smaller resale value than you would have done buying a car just a few months later. This is because your car will appear a whole year older, rather than only a handful of weeks, making it seem a lot less reliable.

  1. Hold Onto Your Manual

Your owner’s manual and service book are, of course, incredibly important, but what most people don’t realize is that losing or throwing away these documents can actually cost you money. A car without these papers, after all, is going to immediately arouse suspicion, meaning that fewer people will be willing to buy yours for a fair price. A car with both of the documents up to date, on the other hand, is a lot more attractive and should sell for its true value.

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  1. Follow The Maintenance Schedule

The best way to boost your car’s resale value is by taking proper care of it. This means following the maintenance schedule usually documented in your owner’s manual. This will tell you when your car should be serviced, as well as when to change the liquids, oils, filters, and other essentials. By following this timetable, you should be able to keep your vehicle in a good working condition, reducing the chance of costly mechanical or electrical faults any time soon.

  1. Watch How You Drive

Cars that have been driven poorly tend to reveal themselves during a test drive. The performance of a vehicle while braking, accelerating and cornering can all give potential buyers an idea of whether or not you have driven your car with care. With that in mind, you should ensure you pay attention to how you drive and make an effort to do so better, avoiding speeding or harsh braking. This will reduce the chance of your car becoming damaged while you drive.

  1. Keep The Mileage Low

Unfortunately, it’s not just how you drive, but how far you drive that plays a part in determining the value of your vehicle. In fact, mileage is one of the main factors that most buyers consider. For this reason, it’s crucial that you keep the mileage of your car as low as you can. The easiest way to do this is by not using your car for any long distance journeys. Instead, stick to city driving only, and rent a car if and when you want to take a road trip across the country.

  1. Ensure It Stays Clean

Persistently dirty cars lead to body corrosion, permanent stains, and faded carpets, all of which can negatively impact the value of your vehicle. If your car is also dirty upon viewing, it makes it less attractive to potential buyers, suggesting your lack of care could also have contributed to unseen issues. Because of this, you should make sure that you clean or have your car cleaned regularly. You should also take precautions by investing in seat covers and floor mats.

  1. Store Inside Your Garage

These days, garages are typically used as dumping grounds for old furniture, sports equipment, Christmas decorations, and other unwanted junk. However, you should give your storage space a good clear out and instead use it for what it was intended – Protecting your car. This is especially important if you live somewhere with a particularly harsh climate. After all, extreme weather, whether it be hot or cold, can physically damage your vehicle and harm the engine.

  1. Leave Unpleasant Odors Outside

We all love and expect a new car smell, even when purchasing a car that isn’t actually new. Because of this, you should avoid giving your car any unpleasant odors. Whether it is cigarette smoke, wet dog, or greasy food, any unwanted smells can really put off a potential buyer, so it’s best to keep them out of your car. It also helps to have an air freshener hidden somewhere in your vehicle for when buyers do come a have a look.

  1. Pick Your Modifications Carefully

Modifications may seem like the best way to increase the value of your vehicle, but, although they sometimes can be, they definitely aren’t always. This is especially true when purchasing a brand new car. From expensive sound systems to larger wheels, there are a number of add-ons that simply won’t carry their value when it comes time to sell your car. Typically boy racer type modifications can be particularly off-putting and should be avoided where possible.

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  1. Know When To Sell

When it’s possible, you should time the sale of your car in a way that maximizes its value. This means avoiding selling your vehicle when the manufacturer has just released a new model. You should also ensure you sell in the right season. A convertible, for example, is best sold throughout the spring and summer, when most drivers will want to take advantage of having the top down. Of course, it isn’t always possible to do so, but when you can, it is beneficial.

Depreciation is a cost no car owner can avoid, but, with these helpful tips, you can combat and minimize it.

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Is Your Business The Kind People Want To Work For?

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In business, you spend so much of your time trying to make sure that customers and other people in the public will approve of it, that it is all too easy to forget about the people inside it too. Actually, these people are possibly even more critical in many ways, and you need to make sure that you are keeping them as happy as possible at all times. One of the most important reasons that you need to do this is because you need to know that you are always going to be able to hire people to work for you. So, as it currently stands, is your business one that people will generally want to work for? And if not, do you know what you might need to do to try and make it so? Let’s look at some of the steps you could take to do just that.

Make It Safe & Secure

Your employees need to know that they are safe and secure when they work for you, and this is probably what takes precedent above all else in fact. Of course, there are many things you will be able to do to make sure that you are keeping your business safe and secure, and so long as you are doing those, you will find your employees are happy with that. This is as simple as getting a security team in house, making sure you carry out cctv installation whenever necessary, and generally taking whatever steps you can to keep out intruders. But it’s also about preventing the likelihood of fire and other disasters, which in turn means training your staff themselves to be able to deal with that. It’s pretty involved, but it’s necessary to ensure that your staff are happy working for you.

Pay Them Well & Fairly

Pay is obviously a hugely important thing for all workers, and you have a duty to make sure that you are paying your people as well as you can afford to. You need to of course pay them at least a minimum wage, but you should aim to pay them more than that if you can and to give them a pay raise at least once a year. You will also need to make sure that you are paying them fairly, which means equally for the same job, same experience level and no matter who they are. As well as being a moral and legal responsibility, it is also essential in keeping them happy. By paying well, you will encourage others to want to work for you in the future, so it is in your own best interests too.

Be A Responsible Business

Generally, people also want to know that the business they are working for is a socially responsible one. That means that you have schemes in place to be as environmentally friendly as possible, that you are socially aware, and that you are acting in a manner which is fair and good for society. If people feel that you are doing that, they will be considerably happier to work for you, and you will find that you have potential employees coming to your door in droves.

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The Key to Setting Up Productivity Standards In Your Company

If you would like to make your company more effective, it is important that you focus on the processes and how they are working together to create value for your customers. It is crucial that you understand every activity that takes place in your industry and – especially  – in your company. After all, you will need to make the most out of your business and find the room for improvement. Below you will find a few tips on implementing productivity standards across the board.

Be Consistent

It is important that you are being consistent with the different processes, and provide the same value for all customers. This is where most of the businesses get it wrong. You cannot focus on the biggest clients and jobs and neglect the smaller ones. If you are a business consultant, for example, and your client signs up for a lower package, you will be able to prove yourself, and when their company grows, they will stay with you and spend more. Ensure that every client feels valued and respected by your staff.

Map Your Processes

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No matter if you are in the manufacturing industry, or sell insurance for businesses, you will need to have a process or a system that will allow you to create a procedure guide for your employees to follow. In many cases, business owners focus on the small detail instead of overseeing the different activities, and this results in lower productivity and profit margins. You need to be aware of the process map and understand it if you want to make improvements.

Automate

There are several processes in your business you can automate. For example, if you are planning on launching a social media campaign, you might not want to pay someone an hourly wage to keep on posting every day. Instead, you can automate your digital marketing and social media, so you can focus on the big picture and save both time and money. There are plenty of software and companies that will put a system in place and ensure that you have consistent brand messages reaching your audience.  

Have Equal Standards

If there is one thing that kills employee morale, it is not using equal standards and being susceptible of favoritism. It is crucial that you have internal policies and procedures, as well as employee guides, so you can use the same standards for each worker. While their experience level and knowledge might not be the same, if they are getting the same salary, you will need to have the same expectations, no matter if it is a male, female, young or old worker. This will help you establish productivity standards that will help you with your resource allocation plans.

Train and Support Your Employees

If you want your employees to be more productive, you will need to support and coach them regularly. Help them discover their strengths and development areas, and ensure that you are aligning your organizational goals with their personal aspirations to keep them engaged. Happy employees are productive, and you need to ensure that they are a good fit for your organizational culture and vision and mission.

Understand the Different Activities

No matter if you are starting a traditional business or want to break into a new industry, you will need to learn as much as you can. For example, only a few privileged people know about managing blockchain projects, therefore, you will have to pick your information sources carefully, Check out https://www.intellectsoft.net/blog/top-blockchain-development-companies/ to find out how experts can help you build your business up from the ground and ensure the success of your project.

Collaborate with Market Players

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One of the things many business owners forget about is that they can seek collaboration to simplify their processes and make them more viable and profitable. There are several ways of working together, such as pooling resources, exchanging ideas and even loaning employees out to another company when experiencing a quiet business period. All these methods will help you keep up the productivity and profitability standards in your organization and share, develop, and improve knowledge long term.

There are several ways you can work on your productivity standards, but involving your team is essential. Make sure that you sit down with your employees, ensure that they have a full understanding of processes, and consult with a consultancy firm to explore the opportunities for improvement or automation. To remain competitive, it is crucial that you simplify your processes and make your employees’ lives and job easier.

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Making Your Employees Happy and Productive

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If you want your business to be as successful as you know it has the potential to be, one of the things that you simply must do is look after your staff. By taking good care of your employees and keeping them happy, you will encourage them to be more productive, loyal and creative. This will take your business to new places and ensure that you have far fewer problems than your competitors as a result.

Sound good? Here are some of the best things you can start doing to make your employees happier and more productive right now…

Just Be a Great Employer

If you want to really simplify things, in order to make your employees happy and productive, what you basically need to do is be a great employer. If  you can do this, they will respect you and they will be confident that you respect them and that will go a long way. So be kind to your employees, be fair to them, give them enough responsibility to keep them happy and ensure you have clear boundaries in place. If you do those things and you remain approachable by all employees at all times, you will be well on your way to a happy workforce.

Value Your Employees

Your staff need to be valued if they are to feel happy in their work. So, be free with your praise ensuring that no good job goes unnoticed. If your budget can stretch to it, even if you need to make a few cuts elsewhere, give actual rewards, whether in the form of bonuses, dinners or even trophies, to those employees who have earned them, and talk to your employees face to face when things do go wrong rather than shouting and penalizing them. The more civil you can be, the more valuable they’ll feel and the more happy and productive they’ll be. Not only that, but the whole work atmosphere will be far better too.

Give Them Responsibilities

If you want your employees to feel really fulfilled and be really productive, it almost certainly pays to give them more responsibility. It can be tempting to micro-manage everything in your business, but if you do this, you don’t let your staff reach their full potential. Which can make them feel bored and unhappy. It can also mean that you miss out on their expertise and talents, which may actually be better than yours in many ways! Let them get on with things, trusting them to do a good job and you know what – they probably will!

Create Places They Can Relax

No one can be truly happy in their job if they are constantly overworked, stressed and tired. That’s why you need to provide a comfortable staff room where they can truly switch off and relax when they need a moment. If you can, creating an outdoor space, perhaps with a covered metal walkway, a few tables and chairs and lots of plants, is also a good idea.. It has been shown that spending time outdoors can reduce stress and increase productivity, so even if this costs your company a little cash, it will be more than worth it in the end.

It has been proven happy employees are more productive and will stick around longer, so do what you can to ensure your staff love coming to work each day and you will all win!

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Four Personality Traits You Need To Manage Working From Home

There are so many perks to working from home. Seriously, if you haven’t worked remotely before, then you need to start thinking about how it could change your life. Some of the perks include;

  • Working a more flexible schedule.
  • Taking more time for your family.
  • No more long commutes.
  • Hello, pajamas!
  • Maintaining a better work/life balance.
  • Being free to work from wherever you like.

You may be considering working from home, but there is so much more to think about than just the perks of the situation you could be in. You need to consider whether working for home will be good for you or not, because your productivity level is going to mean a lot for a job that matches your personality type. Some people stay at home to work without being given the choice: those who aren’t able to work freely sometimes are healing from car accident injuries, or there are even those who are parents and need flexibility. Below, we’re going to look at four personality types that will manage making money from home.

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Independent. Some people benefit from the structure of the 9-5, the office walls and the camaraderie of the team spirit in the office. They do their best work when they visually and physically are in the place to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, there are those that are more independent, who don’t need the office fun or the 9-5 trappings to be good at their work. In fact, they thrive when they’re independent and happy. If you want to work alone, home working is the way forward.

Self-Discipline. Can you put together a to-do list without being told to? Can you keep your workspace clutter free? Can you thoroughly plan a whole itinerary for a trip before you go? You could benefit from being able to work from home! You need to be organized to be disciplined enough to stay and work at home and if you can be organized, then you can do it well and you can have the motivation to work your deadlines.

Focus. How much of your day can you avoid social media? If a cat video pops up on your screen, can you avoid it or do you click on it? If you can avoid procrastination and focus on your work, you’re going to benefit from working remotely. Staying focused is a huge working from home challenge, and if you can do it, you’re going to be able to sharpen your focus and avoid distractions.

Communicator. You don’t have to be a quiet introvert to benefit from home working. You could be the loudest, proudest person in the world, and as long as you are able to communicate via any means to your employer and your colleagues, you’re going to manage just fine.

Working remotely isn’t the easiest thing to do for every personality, but it’s the best thing for a lot of people. It’s become more popular in recent years, and it’s important that you know if it’s right for you before you go ahead and commit.  

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Bury Your Bills In The Construction Industry

Are you struggling with the costs of running your construction company. The problem with this particular business sector is that it’s a heavy equipment industry. This means that you can have a lot of costs long before you even open your doors. You need to invest in the equipment, the supplies, the vehicles and much more to ensure that you have the right type of set up. If you don’t have a strong client list, you can quickly be buried under all the money that it has taken to get your company up and running.

So, how do we fix this problem? How do we handle some of the greatest costs you’ll face in construction?

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Hire The Best Workers

Now, you might think this is actually going to be more expensive. In the long term though, hiring a skilled, trained and qualified workforce will actually save you money. Why is this? One of the biggest unexpected costs that you can face in this industry is definitely a lawsuit. A legal claim in the construction industry could cost your business thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions that you don’t have. Hiring a solid team of workers is one of the absolute best ways to avoid the issue here. You won’t need to worry about them hurting your business through mistakes. At the very least, you need to make sure that you are using licensed workers. While unlicensed workers are cheaper, this is not an effective or smart way to cut costs. It could actually be one of the worst options available to you which is why you definitely want to avoid it.

Another way to cut costs here would be to keep health and safety standards high. It really is in your best interest to look after your workers and keep them safe. Why is this? Well, it’s again all about the finances. If workers aren’t safe, they’re at more risk of injuries and incidents that could put them off for weeks or months. You’ll either need to replace them or handle the lower levels of efficiency that come with losing a worker. Getting the right safety gear including harnesses, hard hats and ear protectors is a good step in the right direction here.

Cheapen The Deal On Equipment

Of course, one of your biggest costs is always going to be an issue with equipment. Equipment can cost thousands and then even more through both maintenance and repairs. So, how do you handle it? Well, first you need to think about where you’re purchasing the equipment from. There are lots of different possibilities here including companies like Equify Auctions. Here you can get the equipment you need at an absolute steal and make sure that you immediately reduces the overheads on your business. It’s a great choice whether you’re purchasing, cranes, trucks, diggers or any other construction equipment.

Make sure that you do compare and contrast the costs of different sellers before settling on one to buy from. Remember there are so many different sellers available, it’s always worth checking around to make sure that you find the absolute best deal.

Alternatively, you can think about avoiding the purchase altogether. Rather than committing to an expensive purchase that will immediately drive you into debt, consider renting equipment instead. This will be most suitable for equipment that you need for certain jobs rather than all the time. Cranes are perhaps the best example because these are only needed for jobs on a higher scale, quite literally. By renting equipment one of the big benefits is that you won’t have to worry about too many extra costs. This means that you’ll be able to avoid problems like maintenance and repairs that you would need to contend with if you made a permanent purchase. That said, you will still need to make sure you invest in some quality insurance. Otherwise, you could be asked to front the cost for any wear and tear that the equipment withstands.

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Keep Things Flexible

Another way to cut the costs would be to make sure that your business stays as flexible as possible on the market. How do you do this? Well, consider whether you need a home hub for your company. It’s possible that you don’t, particularly in the construction industry. While there are brand benefits of having a platform to market your business that is brick and mortar as a construction crew you can probably get by online. That is, as long as you have a solid local SEO campaign as part of your marketing plan.

This isn’t the only way to keep things flexible of course. You can also think about your workforce. Would it be best to hire freelancers rather than a full, permanent team. Again, this presents advantages and disadvantages. The benefit? You’ll be able to avoid a lot of the costs that are associated with a full team of workers under your thumb. The main disadvantage? It’s hard to build loyalty with this type of set up which means that unless you’re using an outsourcing agent, you could see a high level of churn. This unpredictability can have a negative impact on cost.

Think Small Sell Big

Finally, you may wish to consider looking at smaller jobs for your construction crew, at least at first. Smaller jobs are a smart choice because this means lower levels of equipment and materials. But you can still make an absolute killing in this section of the market. So, what are we talking about here? Well, there are few options including loft conversions, landscaping and extensions. All are comparatively smaller jobs but can still be very profitable if you keep costs under control and build up a solid client base.

The trick here is to make sure that you know how to provide the quality without blowing the budget. Remember, the budget of a client will typically impact the costs that you’ll need to handle too.

We hope this helps you manage the costs in construction more effectively and bury the bills under the foundations.

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Development Outsourcing Metrics

Outsourcing is no longer a new concept. Lots of companies are electing to use service providers to supply certain tasks as opposed to handling them in-house. When done correctly, outsourcing can be extremely efficient and profitable. Yet, one thing that needs to be considered prior to the process of outsourcing is the development of metrics. These are essentially guidelines that are developed in order to make certain that the service provider’s deliverables meet the expectations of the customers or end users. Keeping that in mind, in this post we will take a look at the main considerations in development outsourcing metrics, so keep on reading to discover what they are…

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First and foremost we have people metrics. This relates to the individuals who work at the company you are considering outsourcing a portion of your work to. You should develop a set list of skills and qualifications you expect from the employees of the service provider. This will help to ensure that they possess the necessary skills and experience you require. Measuring performance is another metric that should be considered when it comes to developing the necessary guidelines for the employees.

Aside from this, two other important metric areas are cost and responsiveness. Let’s deal with the former first. Cost metrics are imperative to ensure you do not receive any nasty surprises when the company invoices you for the work they have provided. It’s vital to establish a cost per function point for both maintenance, like outsourced IT support, and enhancements. Aside from this, responsiveness is another critical metric. Businesses that do not establish this metric prior to outsourcing often live to regret it, as communication proves to be inefficient. You should establish commitment timeframes for project estimates, enhancements, call backs, ad hoc requests and the closing of production application defects.

We have already discussed the people metrics that are needed to ensure a quality service, yet you should also consider technology and process metrics in order to achieve this as well. After all, no matter how skilled the workforce may be, if they do not have the right tools and systems for the service you require they are not going to be able to complete it effectively. Putting in place guidelines in regards to processes and technology will help to ensure that you are happy with the service you receive. You may also wish to implement a customer satisfaction survey as part of a customer satisfaction metric at a certain phase of the outsourcing process to ensure that the service provider is actually meeting the goals of your end users.

All in all, this post has presented some of the fundamental development outsourcing metrics you definitely need to consider when you begin the process of looking for the best service provider for your needs specifically. This should give you a basic guideline regarding the approach you should take to measuring providers and ensuring they supply the standard of service you require. You may need to add additional metrics in regards to your company and/or the part of your business you are outsourcing.

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