How to Maximize Your Pension

You are likely to know already how important your pension is. It is important to maximize your pension so that you can get the most out of it when you retire. You can take simple steps now that will increase your financial security when you retire.

Understand Your Pension Formula

A pension uses three factors most of the time, including how long you have been employed, how much you make, and a benefit multiplier. You can check with the human resources department to find out what you can do to maximize your pension. You need to understand how working overtime or getting a raise will impact your pension. This allows you to plan the steps that make sense at your job.

Negotiate with Your Employer

It might be a long shot, but you can negotiate with your boss for a higher match of your contributions. Your boss might be looking for tax benefits, and it might work out.

Create Your Own Pension Plan

You can also create your own pension. Many plans allow you to make contributions whenever you can, and this is a great idea if you are self-employed or an independent contractor. This type of pension is backed by insurance rather than your employer, and you can choose your contribution amount. You can take charge of your future this way.

Put Off Your Social Security

You contribute to Social Security throughout your life, and it becomes available when you are as young as 62. However, if you put off taking your payment, your check will be more each month. You can maximize your pension by waiting as long as possible to take your Social Security.

Invest in an Income Annuity

When you invest in an annuity, you will receive an income. You can get an immediate annuity that starts paying you immediately, or you can get a long-term annuity that will start paying you later. This is a great way to secure an income for the future and maximize your pension.

Final Words

Your pension will provide you with an income when you retire. By taking steps to maximize it, you can increase the size of your check.

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How to Make Your Business More Sustainable

People work hard today to make their businesses more sustainable. You can make certain changes that may not seem like much but make a big difference in the long run. If you want to draw customers and employees who are environmentally conscious, you need to take steps to make your business greener.

Cut Down on Auto Use

Anything you can do to encourage employees to leave their cars at home will go a long way towards showing that you care about the environment. You can incentivize everyone to carpool, ride their bikes, or walk to work, and it will reduce your business’s carbon footprint. You can also have bike stands where customers can lock their bikes outside of your business. Anything you can do to show that you care about the environment will benefit you.

Look for Products That Are Sourced from Sustainable Manufacturers

When you focus on making sure that your products are sourced from sustainable manufacturers, you are taking steps to show that your business is environmentally friendly. You can make sure that wood products are sourced from sustainable businesses and make sure that you use products that can be recycled. Limit your packaging to what is necessary, and always work towards reducing, reusing, and recycling. Recycle everything, including electronics, paper, and anything else you can. You can also reduce your packaging materials to only what you need.

Find Ways to Repurpose What You Don’t Need

Rather than throwing everything into the garbage, you can find ways to repurpose what you don’t need or use. For example, if you are doing a remodel or a renovation, you can try to donate anything you don’t use to a charity. Have a clothing drive to donate work clothing for single moms and dads who need interview clothes. You can find ways to get everyone involved in repurposing, which benefits those in need and helps to reduce your impact on the environment.

Final Words

There are many opportunities to show your employees and customers that you care about reducing your impact on the environment. This is good for business, and you will feel good knowing that you are doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.

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Preparing for a Crisis in Your Business

When you have a business, you are going to face a crisis at some point. It is important to make sure that you are prepared. Obviously, you can’t prepare for each specific crisis, but you can make a general crisis management plan. Doing so will help you make it through any crisis you face.

Create a Plan for Any Disruptions

It is much easier to come up with a crisis plan when a crisis is just an idea. You won’t be running around trying to manage what is happening, so you can come up with different scenarios and how to handle them. Think through any possible crisis that could happen, such as natural disasters, economic problems, or a health crisis. Then, plan out the steps that you will take to handle the crisis.

Make Sure That Everyone Knows the Plan

You must make sure that your employees, partners, investors, and clients all know what the plan is. Let them know where the guide is so that everyone can spring into action when a crisis occurs. In addition to implementing the plan more effectively, everyone will have more confidence knowing that there is a plan in the event of an emergency.

Set up a Line of Credit

 The worst thing about a crisis is finding that you can’t continue paying the bills because there may be an interruption in your work. If you have a line of credit set up, you will never have to worry about this happening. You can take care of your payroll, pay your suppliers, and, most importantly, stay home while you weather the crisis. Having this set up ahead of time will help to make sure that you are prepared when a crisis arrives.

Final Words

When a crisis comes, you need to have a plan so that you can carry on. Whether you are hit by a natural disaster, an economic crisis, or a health crisis, a plan can help you continue functioning while you wait for the crisis to pass.

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Handling Your Business Finances in Economic Uncertainty

Economic uncertainty can happen at different times, and you need to know how to manage your finances to get through it. When the economy is uncertain, customers spend less money, which can impact your projections. It can hurt your profits and your daily cash flow. You need to be prepared and have a plan for handling your finances during these times so that you can come out of it unscathed. 

Pay Attention to the Economy

You need to pay attention to the economy so that you understand changes that can impact your business. It will help you understand both the risks and the opportunities that may exist in the event of an economic crisis. You also need to be aware of what products and services you rely on for your profits so that you can make a plan for how to compensate for anything that comes up in the future. 

Manage Your Cash Flow

If you manage your sales and expenses regularly, you won’t get caught by surprise when an economic crisis hits. You should make sure that your company is able to sustain its obligations and pay creditors and bills on time. You can invoice your customers promptly and incentivize them to pay quickly. Make sure that you are on top of paying and getting paid on time so that you don’t get caught behind with a lot of outstanding invoices.

You can look at your business and determine where you can cut costs and take steps to increase your cash flow. By keeping your company healthy, you will be able to manage your finances in an economic downturn.

Pay Attention to How You Stock Your Business

You need to pay attention to how you manage your products and stock your supplies. It might be tempting to overstock, but you can end up unable to move products. You need to be able to have what your clients need, but don’t overdo it. If you are stuck with extra stock, it will cost you in space and insurance, and it cuts into your profits.

Final Words

The best way to handle your business finances in times of economic uncertainty is to understand your business, your customers, and the economy. You can plan ahead to make sure that everything runs smoothly during these times.

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Preparing for a Crisis in Your Business

When you have a business, you are going to face a crisis at some point. It is important to make sure that you are prepared. Obviously, you can’t prepare for each specific crisis, but you can make a general crisis management plan. Doing so will help you make it through any crisis you face.

Create a Plan for Any Disruptions

It is much easier to come up with a crisis plan when a crisis is just an idea. You won’t be running around trying to manage what is happening, so you can come up with different scenarios and how to handle them. Think through any possible crisis that could happen, such as natural disasters, economic problems, or a health crisis. Then, plan out the steps that you will take to handle the crisis.

Make Sure That Everyone Knows the Plan

You must make sure that your employees, partners, investors, and clients all know what the plan is. Let them know where the guide is so that everyone can spring into action when a crisis occurs. In addition to implementing the plan more effectively, everyone will have more confidence knowing that there is a plan in the event of an emergency.

Set up a Line of Credit

 The worst thing about a crisis is finding that you can’t continue paying the bills because there may be an interruption in your work. If you have a line of credit set up, you will never have to worry about this happening. You can take care of your payroll, pay your suppliers, and, most importantly, stay home while you weather the crisis. Having this set up ahead of time will help to make sure that you are prepared when a crisis arrives.

Final Words

When a crisis comes, you need to have a plan so that you can carry on. Whether you are hit by a natural disaster, an economic crisis, or a health crisis, a plan can help you continue functioning while you wait for the crisis to pass.

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Sovereign Wealth Funds’ Impact on Corporate Governance

Corporate governance issues can be very complex and they cover a broad range of topics. When it comes to financing, corporations usually have two channels that institutional investors will use when trying to impact portfolio company strategies. Some might talk to boards or management to go over governance issues. Others will decide to divest and this can lead to two channels interacting due to the threat of an investor exit. 

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are an interesting topic because they have had a positive impact on corporate governance. For example, many sovereign wealth funds have been able to improve the governance of the various firms in their portfolios. A change in governance preferences can alter things quite a bit and it can lead to various improvements. Read on to explore the impact that sovereign wealth funds have on corporate governance. 

SWFs Care About the Long-Term

The first thing to note is that SWFs care about the long-term and they shy away from strategies that are meant to provide short-term benefits. This is a lot different than a public pension fund because it doesn’t face liabilities and it winds up being substantially more flexible when it comes to asset allocation strategies. Many of these SWFs are great at saving and building wealth for future generations. 

Changing Corporate Governance

Problems with corporate governance can have huge repercussions when it comes to investments. Changing corporate governance in positive ways will benefit everyone that is involved. Effective corporate governance has the potential to improve the value of companies in the long-term. Many SWFs demand that companies work on effective corporate governance strategies and they have certain expectations that companies will need to meet. 

Basically, SWFs are changing corporate governance for the better and helping companies to improve their overall value. There’s also evidence to suggest that funds are more interested in investing in businesses that have higher governance index values. Firms now have the incentive to want to work on corporate governance and SWFs are playing a direct role in changing how things operate. If firms want to enjoy the benefits of SWFs and better investments, then they need to work on reshaping their corporate governance policies. 

 

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The Benefits of Having Soft Skills in the Workplace

There are many different skills that are necessary to have to find success in the workplace. Many of these are considered to be “hard” skills, and they’re the ones that you’ll utilize to perform the daily tasks that you’re given. You should also be aware of certain “soft” skills that will make your job a lot easier. If you possess the following soft skills, you’ll be a substantially more effective employee. 

Analytical Skills

Businesses around the world need people with good analytical skills. You should be able to look at problems and think about ways that you could fix things. Possessing critical thinking skills makes it easier to succeed in many fields. Modern business is very reliant on data analysis, and it, therefore, makes sense that analytical skills would play such a big role. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is something you’ll want to work on as well. You see, having good emotional intelligence will allow you to relate to others. Being aware of your own emotions and being able to control them is crucial. It’s also very beneficial to understand how others are feeling so you know how to better approach specific situations. 

Communication Skills

Communication skills make a huge difference in the workplace and it will be hard to find success without them. You need to know how to be a good listener as well as how to speak to others respectfully. Some people are better at speaking than others and have an uncanny ability to get their point across. Work on developing your communication skills and it’ll help you in just about any type of job. 

A Positive Nature

Even having a positive nature is a good soft skill to have in the professional world. If you’re a person who is able to maintain a positive outlook even when things are tough, you’re going to be quite valuable. Some people are better at maintaining positivity under pressure than others. Do your best to be a positive worker and this can help others to keep moving forward, too. 

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The Importance of Business Budget Planning

Having a detailed budget for your business is going to put you in a much better position. You should always strive to have an accurate business budget that will help to inform your decisions. The importance of business budget planning is high and you should take the time to learn more about it. Keep reading to learn about business budget planning and how it can benefit your company. 

Why Budget Planning Matters

Budget planning matters because your budget is used to plan for the future. The budget that you create today will act as the base for your business finances. Having a good budget to follow will make it easier for your company to set goals and work on important initiatives. If you don’t know where you stand and haven’t taken the time to go through the numbers, then you’ll be operating blind. 

Your budget should ideally break your revenue and expenses down by quarters. If your business is large, then it might also make sense to separate budgets for different departments. Small businesses generally have an easier time keeping budgets based on the entire company’s operations. Your budget planning should take your long-term goals into account while also anticipating necessary expenditures. 

Performance Evaluation

Being able to evaluate the performance of your business is crucial, too. Making a budget can actually help you to determine how you’re doing. You’ll be able to see which areas of your company are doing well and which parts need improvement. Budget planning is a perfect opportunity for evaluation and you should endeavor to examine the data thoroughly to glean important information. 

Budget Planning for New Businesses

Admittedly, budget planning is not as straightforward for new businesses as it is for established ones. If you don’t have detailed past data to look at for sales figures, then you’ll have to be diligent and do market research. Look at market trends and data from similar companies to give yourself an idea of sales expectations. Remember that you should try to make accurate predictions and that it can be problematic to overestimate your company’s sales figures. 

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Creating a Positive Work Culture

Your work culture plays a big role in how well your company performs. If you have a positive work culture, employees will be able to work hard while feeling like they have the support they need to do well. Negative work cultures lead to employees having a bad experience, and as a result, they won’t be nearly as motivated to work hard for your company. Read on to explore how you can create a positive work culture and realize your company goals. 

Be Empathetic

One of the best ways to improve your work culture is to practice empathy. If you’re an empathetic leader and you understand the struggles that your employees go through, it’ll be easier for you to relate to them. You should always treat your employees with respect and kindness, even when they make mistakes. Creating a positive work culture in this way will allow people to have good experiences, they’ll even be better able to learn from their mistakes. 

Mentor Employees

Mentoring employees is another amazing way to make your work culture better. You can help employees by taking them under your wing and showing them how they can become better at what they do. Showing a genuine interest in the development of your employees makes your company a better place to work. You can make a difference in people’s lives by mentoring and encouraging other company leaders to mentor young workers. 

Keep Open Communication

Having open lines of communication is a key factor when you are trying to cultivate a positive work culture. Employees should feel like they can come to you and other senior managers with any problems they may have. They shouldn’t be afraid to speak out about things or share their opinions about certain matters. Develop an open communication policy that will help everyone feel comfortable talking about work-related topics. 

Reward Employees

Employees deserve to be properly compensated, and you should reward your employees for doing especially great work. Make sure that there are opportunities for workers to move up the ladder and always be quick to praise workers for a job well done. It’s also important to pay all your workers a competitive salary so they will be motivated to give it their all. Employees that receive proper compensation will be happier, and providing them with other benefits will only sweeten the deal. 

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Basic Financial Terms All Business Owners Should Know

As a business owner, it’s important to be able to understand various financial terms. You’re going to be hearing certain terms a lot and you should be familiar with them so that you don’t make mistakes due to misunderstanding a phrase. Read on to examine some of the basic financial terms that you should familiarize yourself with. 

Accounting

Accounting is a term that you probably know already, but this refers to counting your income and expenses. There are two subcategories of accounting known as cash accounting and accrual accounting. With cash accounting, income isn’t added up until you’ve received money and expenses won’t be deducted until they have been paid. Accrual accounting is different because it counts income and expenses when they occur. 

Assets

The term assets refers to things that your company owns that are worth something. There are various types of business assets and they can be split between two categories. Fixed assets are ones that are intended for long-term use that you won’t likely be selling anytime soon. Current assets are ones that will likely be converted to cash within one year. 

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a term that goes hand-in-hand with accounting. Businesses use bookkeeping as a way to keep a chronological log of your transactions. Some people use software to help with bookkeeping responsibilities, but you can also do this by hand. 

Depreciation

Depreciation is a term that refers to an asset losing value over time. For example, a vehicle is going to depreciate in value as it gets older. The same can be said for technology assets such as laptop computers. 

General Ledger

A general ledger is what you use to track your daily or weekly account balances. Businesses need to track account balances, credits, and debits very carefully. 

Income 

Income is the money that is coming into your business through sales. You might have cash income and you could also extend credit to customers who will pay you at a later date. All of this money that is coming into your business is income. 

Liabilities

Liabilities are the debts that you have to pay. This will include multiple things such as business loans and the wages that you are obligated to pay out to your employees. 

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