Did you know that the motorcycle industry was in decline? If you’re a diehard rider and you love being part of the community, then you may be aware that there are less and less people buying into it. Maybe the amount of newer, younger riders that we see around just isn’t increasing inline with the amount of your older friends that are giving it up? This is often the tell-all sign. Because right now, sales are falling, and this could mean that the industry overall might start to die out. So what can we do?
First of all, the industry needs to really start to change. If you work in the motorcycle industry or you know someone that does, you’re going to want to take note. Right now, the dealerships just aren’t offering what customers want and technology is also letting the industry down. These are both areas that bikes just can’t compete with cars in. And it’s a shame.
At the same time, the industry just isn’t marketing to the right target audience. Although baby boomers account for most sales, they are on the decline and many (as you may have noticed) are aging out of riding now. So, unless the industry starts to focus on women, minorities, and millennials, things may not change.
But that’s not all, because there are also things that we as fans can do too! By bringing in our friends and family and encouraging them to ride, we’ll be keeping awareness and interest in the industry alive.
Infographic Design By SoloMoto
Whether you’re just starting to build up your own office space for your business, or you’re refurbishing a little, you can expect the place to feel pretty chaotic. There will be builders and mess, and it can get overwhelming at times because it may be hard for you to envision the end goal because as of now, it just looks like a dump. But you need to trust the team to do their job, this is why it’s so important that you choose the right people. It’s no good settling with a company just because their price was low, or they were available for when you needed them – if you don’t look into things properly, that’s where they begin to go wrong, so don’t settle.
There are a few other things that you will need to know, or at least think about while the office is under construction.
Here are some to get you started.
You can expect to have various phone calls, texts, and emails during the construction period, because builders may need to check in with you to ask questions or let you know if there has been a problem or issue. So make sure that you are always available, because sometimes if they can’t get through, rather than stopping a valuable days work, they will take their own initiative. But that may not end up being what you wanted, so communication is absolutely necessary so that you’re both on the same page and you’re left with something that you’re happy about.
If you are still working around the area while jobs are getting done, then you will want to look into a portable toilet rental so that you don’t have to worry about getting in anyone’s way while they’re working. Not only that, but it will be a lot easier for the building team too as they can just nip outside rather than trying to find the nearest bathroom in the area. People seem to imagine these as being dirty, but if you rent from a reputable company, you won’t have anything to worry about. So make life easier for the both of you.
There will be times where you have no choice but to leave the premises because it’s too dangerous for you to be there while the builders work. But there will also be times where it’s okay for you to be there, it may just be a little noisy and busy. Although you may not like the idea of leaving for the duration of construction, it might be what’s best for you, and for the workers. You will be able to get on with your business without distractions around you, and they won’t have to worry about you being there and potentially getting hurt.
Now you know some important things to think about – go over them and see what else may be a good idea. Then soon enough, the work will be done and you will be able to enjoy your new office space.
Everybody knows that customer service is central to a successful business which is why most of your competitors are already offering a great customer experience. It’s the biggest focus for most companies which is why being great isn’t enough anymore. If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors you need to go above and beyond. The easiest way to do that is to use new, innovative customer service technology. That’s the way to provide a customer experience that your competitors cannot match. These are some of the best customer service innovations that you can use to take your business to the next level.
Live Chat Bots
The expectations that customers have these days are a lot higher than they used to be. We might have been content with calling a customer service line during working hours in the past, but these days we want to be able to get in touch at any time of day or night. You could always pay staff to be available all night but that’s going to cost you a lot of money. A far better and cheaper alternative is to use live chatbots. These incredible pieces of software can mimic a real person and answer most general questions fairly easily by using a database of information that you supply. As well as giving customers access to your helpdesk around the clock, live chatbots can reduce the amount of paid customer service staff that you need to employ. Often, customer service staff are answering the same questions over and over, but if you’ve got a chatbot to do that, you free up time for your staff to deal with the more complex queries.
If a customer has a fairly technical issue with a product and they’re trying to explain it to a customer service representative over the phone, it can be incredibly difficult for both parties and the customer is likely to get frustrated. If you could send somebody round to look at it in person, it would be a whole lot easier. But it’s also expensive and time-consuming to do that. What you can do, however, is video call. If you use mobile collaboration services, you can easily set up calls with customers, making it so much quicker and easier for your staff to solve their issues. It’s a win-win because the customer is happy and you make life a lot easier for your staff.
We’re hearing a lot about cybersecurity these days but people don’t often think of it as a customer service issue, but it absolutely is. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety of their information and they’re only willing to deal with companies if they’re confident that it’s protected. When you’ve got a good level of security and you can demonstrate that to them, you give them peace of mind which massively improves their customer experience.
These technological innovations will help you to deliver a customer experience that beats the competition every single time.
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At some point in time, the business is going to have to move out of your basement. Don’t get it twisted; the basement has done the company proud for a couple of years. Without its hospitality, the firm wouldn’t be at the stage of its life that it currently finds itself. There was a need to save money and limit expenses and the home offered you the chance to do just that.
The business is expanding, though, and that brings with it new challenges. The company has to be able to sound and appear professional. Otherwise, consumers and clients will avoid it and opt for a competitor. There’s also the fact that as the business grows, there is a need to hire and house employees. Unless you own a mansion, the basement won’t have enough space.
Commercial property is the next step, but it isn’t as straightforward as signing a tenancy agreement. Some entrepreneurs prefer buying rather than leasing, for example. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, it’s essential to make sure that the investment is sound. Here are tricks of the trade that will guide you through the process.
Length Of Contract
Business owners often make the mistake of thinking about the long-term and forgetting the short-term. Yes, a ten-year lease is cheap and provides structure. For those 3,650 days, the company has a place that it can call home and it doesn’t have to pay through the nose. But, rigidity is inflexible that is essential to factor into negotiations. What happens if a cheaper option pops up on the market in two year’s time? Even better, what if it’s less expensive and is in a fantastic part of town, an area that is bound to raise awareness of the brand? In this scenario, you have to quickly thrash out negotiations and move into the new offices as soon as possible. There’s one hitch, though – a binding contract. Unless the landlord is a saint or you pay off the rest of the deal, the company will have to stay put for the foreseeable future. On the whole, a short-term rent agreement is a wise move because it provides you with options. One of the major advantages of leasing is flexibility so you shouldn’t sign an unyielding deal.
Short-Term Over Long-Term
Buying a commercial property is the flip side of renting. In this regard, investors tend to focus on the here and now rather than the future. It’s easy to see why when all a boss wants to do is set up operations and go live as quickly as possible. Moving premises is a long process so banging out a short-term lease is a fast solution. However, be wary of cutting off your nose to spite your face. For instance, the plan may be to buy it cheaply, flip it, and sell it for a profit. Great, plenty of businesses do this to really good effect and make a killing. The problem is that the present factors may not exist in three year’s time. The location could be the biggest selling point, but what if there is a drive to build more houses in the area? Having to deal with disgruntled residents isn’t something CEOs enjoy doing, historically. Even the benefits for the company can change in the blink of an eye. Summer is almost here and shoppers love the sun and warm weather. However, this can change when autumn and winter return.
Capital Versus ROI
Pretty much everything you buy with company money is an investment that is made to increase profits. Otherwise, you wouldn’t purchase it in the first place. A commercial property – buying or renting – is no different and should follow the same rules. No responsible boss in their right mind would buy a piece of machinery or a piece of software that could bankrupt the company. So, the first thing to consider is whether the real estate is financially viable. Do you have the cash to pay the rent or the rates even if the business takes a nosedive? If the answer is no, then a cheaper option should be something you consider before signing on the dotted line. But, don’t only take the money the firm has now into account. Will this lease/purchase lead to an increase in sales? Is the return on the investment very high? If the answers are yes and the stats prove it, then it isn’t a bad move. In fact, it may be the difference between expansion success and failure. 247 Broadsheet says that things such as location, infrastructure, and the local economy are vital factors to consider.
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In the same way that you wouldn’t buy a house that was subsiding, you don’t want to invest in wonky office space. In general, this is an issue that is almost impossible to repair. And, if you can, it will set the firm back thousands of dollars. Plus, there is the hassle and the stress to consider also. There is no point buying a property only to spend your time worrying, bitching and moaning about all of the hard work. A piece of commercial real estate is by no means a straightforward task, but digging up the foundations is something you want to avoid like the plague. Remember that as a buyer or a renter that the ball is in your court. It’s your money and no one can make you sign a contract that isn’t in your best interests. Of course, no one is going to put all of the information on a plate for you, so research is vital. Digging down into the nitty-gritty is a process that you shouldn’t shirk. If anything, it’s something to take step by step to ensure that the deal is a favorable one. Don’t confuse major flaws with small things that are easily fixable.
Okay, this is going to sound like a huge contradiction, but stay with us here. Yes, subsidence is often something that is a deal breaker because of the money and time costs. However, don’t dismiss a property out of hand until you have looked into the fine print. Consider this scenario. You’re in the market for a piece of commercial real estate and find one that has the perfect location. Better yet, it’s half the price of everything else on the market. There is a catch, though – it’s falling down. Do you wash your hands of the responsibility, or do you see the silver lining on the horizon? Well, the answer depends on a range of factors. If it’s cheaper to hire Helitech to repair the foundations, then you may want to consider your position. Let’s face it – opportunities such as these don’t come along very often. And, if you can keep the expenses low, then it’s somewhat a no-brainer. Only go to these extremes when the hard work is worth the effort. Anything that is in a mediocre area with a relatively high retail value isn’t a sound investment.
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How are you going to pay? Firstly, let’s take a look at leasing options. In many ways, it’s self-explanatory because you have to release the funds every month. Still, you can pick which option is the best for the business. To this day, some owners prefer to pay in cash rather than leave a paper trail. As dodgy as it sounds, it is a viable option if the company is cash-rich and doesn’t have many assets. Usually, the best way to pay is to set up a debit online and let your bank release the funds at the same time every month. Then, there is no need to worry about missing payments and incurring late fees. Buying gets difficult because the amounts are large and there’s a good chance you don’t have the money. Applying for a bank loan or a mortgage is always on the cards, but don’t assume it’s the only option. Alternatives include part-ownership. How it works is straightforward – the fund owns half and you own the rest. This is an excellent way to source the money without high-interest rates and mounting debts. However, be aware that when there is a sale that the fund will take a 50% cut. Another option is to invest in a fund that owns the property. It’s very indirect but it does have its pros.
The above takes one thing for granted – your level of expertise. It’s easy to see real estate as something which is basic and not complicated. Residential homeowners invest all of the time and seem to come away unscathed so why can’t you? The reality is that commercial real estate is a complicated and messy affair, and novices will get eaten alive. This is particularly true if you’re looking to buy a building outright. Still, it doesn’t mean you should pull out. As long as there are experts by your side who you can trust, then they can carry the slack.
Only you can answer the question – is commercial real estate a sound investment?
Pixabay Image Source: Dream for your business forever
When running a business, you are often told never to cut corners because it will come back and bite you in the face. Now, while this is absolutely true in many cases – there are a few corners that you can cut without endangering yourself or your business, you just need to know what they are, and never confuse them for something that they’re not.
Let’s face it, running a business gets awfully expensive, and you will lose a ton of money before you can expect to see any profit. That’s just how it works, so you will need to have a lot of patience. But why spend so much money on things that you don’t necessarily need to do?
Here’s a list of some clever tricks for the corners that you can cut.
Know your numbers at the beginning.
Although your job role may not be a mathematician, there are many skills that you should take from them. As an owner, you will be dealing with numbers every single day, so you need to have a good understanding of them if you’re going to make this work. When you start out, everyone will tell you-you need a budget so you have an idea of what you can and can’t afford. But don’t just have ‘an idea’ – be sure, be one hundred percent certain. Most businesses go wrong because they underestimated or overestimated how much it would cost them, but if you get it right first time, you will not only save a lot of money, but you’ll also save a lot of time too.
Attend auctions for larger equipment.
Buying supplies and equipment can be pretty pricey, especially when you’re required to buy them often, so auctions are an absolute godsend. Essentially all you have to do is book a spot, arrive there on the day, and then bid for what you want, and depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can get all the things you needed for half the price – if not more. As long as everything works and functions properly, sometimes there’s no need to buy things brand new with the price tag still on. So have a look at some government heavy equipment auctions if you’re in need of a commercial truck or two.
Don’t hire an expert – become one.
If you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to expand your business further and require some assistance on the new sector you’re going into, then hiring an expert would be the first option. But they don’t come cheap – getting the best help and advice from someone with years of experience can cost you a lot of money for their time and knowledge. So rather than relying on them – educate yourself. There are so many tools out there nowadays – the internet, to mention one – so there is no reason you can’t learn and become the best. Sure, it will take time, focus, and determination, but it’s doable.
You’ve been renting an apartment for years with your family. For the longest time you can remember, you and your family have been transferring from one place to another just to look for apartments which are apt for your budget. You were able to live, but you admit it was never easy. And now, you want to end the cycle; you want to purchase a home for your family. You don’t mind if the home is quite small – all you care about is providing a suitable home for your family. And since you don’t have enough money to purchase a home outright, you’re thinking of taking out a home loan to achieve this goal.
Before you immediately work with another lender just to acquire a home loan, there are a lot of things that you should think about first. This decision involves your money (and time) that’s why as much as possible, you should only do business with a lender who gives you the home loan you need. To help you do this, keep in mind these things:
- Mortgages are not commodities: Yes, you might need the money to buy a home but keep in mind that this process is not “all about the rate.” If you have this mindset from the start, chances are, you’ll be disappointed easily. Instead, you should remember that taking out a home loan is about finding a trusted lender who’ll help you navigate through a complex transaction, making things easier for you. You should be working with a lender who’ll give you the most honest advice and professional support needed in the entire home loan process.
- Online is not the best place to transact your home loan: With the advent of technology, you can do almost anything on the internet. And while it’s perfectly fine to buy a book, bid on sports equipment and buy music albums on the internet, it’s never the same when you’re taking out home loans. Yes, you can always use the internet to search the best lenders and calculate your potential loan amount, but you shouldn’t do business with a lender who is solely present online.
- Pay your bills on time: When you have too many debts, your credit scores can be adversely affected. And when a lender sees this, it can also have an impact on your home loan terms and the amount you receive. This is the reason why before taking out a home loan, you should make sure that you have a good credit score. You should pay all of your bills on time, all the time. The same is still true when you’re done paying your home loan. Your ability (or inability) to pay your bills can still affect your loan applications in the future.
- Do your own research: Ask around from your friends about home loans, and for sure, they’ll give you a handful of lenders you can work with. Searching for lenders online will also be a breeze. But you shouldn’t immediately trust a lender just because they’re seen on the internet. You should do your own research about the lender you’re eyeing to work with to determine if they’re credible or not.
- Aside from the lender itself, take the time to know the basic terms involved in the home loan process. For starters, you should learn the basics about adjustable rate and fixed-rate. While you’re at it, research any fees associated with your loan so you’ll have an idea of how much you’re going to pay. Determine the terms of the loan: This is one of the most important things to think about when taking out a home loan. The length of your loan will determine your repayment amounts and your interest rates throughout the life of the loan. When you pay the home within a longer period, your monthly repayments will be lesser. Generally, most home loans can range from one to seven years.
- Plans for paying off: Once you receive your loan, your responsibility doesn’t end – it actually just started. Your next move should be planning out how to pay off the loan. Decide if you’ll be doing it weekly or monthly. This is also something which should be thoroughly discussed with your lender. If you fail to pay on time, are there any fees? If there are, what are these and how much? Make sure that you get answers to these questions so you can prepare financially.
When you want to take out a home loan, for sure, many lenders would claim that they can give you the number one home loan. But you shouldn’t immediately believe what they say. You should be cautious in your decisions because this involves your financial resources – and money doesn’t grow on trees, right? Use the points presented in this article as a guide to determine which home loan to get and which lender to work with. And once you made the right decision, you’ll be able to finally welcome a brand new home for you and your family!
Amelia Smith believes that the key to understanding something isn’t always about how good the explanation is, but how engaged you are with the learning process. As such an integral aspect of her pieces for sites such as Go Bear is to ensure that insurance and banking concerns of her readers aren’t tackled just in a technical sense, but also in a way that they can relate to their lives.