E-commerce: Business Ideas to Try

E-commerce: Business Ideas to Try

Products You Can Sell Online

The e-commerce industry continues to grow each year. Last year alone, it grew by around 32 percent compared to the year before, which is the fastest so far in the past decade. The pandemic may have helped this growth as stores started selling online due to the authorities’ restrictions.

With this, you may be interested in setting up your e-commerce business. Here are some business ideas you may want to consider when you dive into the e-commerce industry.

Setting Up an E-commerce Store

But before offering anything, you should set up an e-commerce store where you’ll sell the products. You have several e-commerce platforms to choose from depending on your coding knowledge and skills. Among the more popular options are Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and BigCommerce.

Some of these platforms require some coding knowledge, while others are user-friendly that you only need a domain name and website hosting. Basic designs on the website are already suitable for you to sell products online. But you can also enhance their look by hiring professionals to do it for you.

For instance, you can work with an agency that creates stores using web development tools from Shopify. These agencies can enhance the look of your website and make it user-friendly. Additionally, they can also make your e-commerce stand out in the market.

When you’ve set up your e-commerce site, it’s time to select the products to sell online. Here are some product ideas you can consider.

Second-Hand Products

Selling second-hand but good-quality products will always have a place in the market. People are always on the lookout for bargains, and they normally buy used-but-not-abused products in the market. With this, you can start checking your cabinets for any items that you can sell online. These items can include clothing, furniture, and jewelry.

After selling what you have at home, you can also visit any open thrift shops to source your products. Just make sure the thrift shop doesn’t have a website, or else you’ll be competing with the place where you’re sourcing your items. Additionally, the price should be reasonable enough to entice visitors to buy your products.

Educational Content

If you’re a teacher, you can create a course that you can sell online. Since many schools worldwide have implemented remote learning arrangements, you can offer courses that may help learners while they’re taking lessons online. The content may range from elementary-level lessons to university courses.

Travel Loan: Is it a Wise Option?

Travel Loan: Is it a Wise Option?

Should You Borrow Money to Travel?

Frequent travelers usually save up or use their credit cards to finance their trips. Some also take out a loan, specifically a travel loan, a.k.a. tourist loan. Borrowing money for a trip may not sound the most sensible, but if you use your credit card to book flights and shop abroad, aren’t you technically doing the same?

People who are highly deliberate with their finances may disapprove of going into debt in order to travel. However, there could be some perks to getting a travel loan. If you found a good lender, you can negotiate your terms so that you can still stick to your monthly budget while making your repayments. Plus, travel loans aren’t as big as home loans or car loans. You won’t be borrowing hundreds of thousands, so it’s easy to repay over a short period.

Potential Challenges to Borrowing Money for Travel

Travel is neither a tangible nor an appreciating asset. It is a luxury that loses value upon consumption. As such, it’s worthless to anyone but you.

Ask yourself what the trip means to you before borrowing money. Determine if the memories you’ll make will last a lifetime. If you’ll be sacrificing a part of your monthly income for repaying the loan, then your travel should be worth it. Depending on how much you borrow, you could be repaying the loan for years.

For example, if you borrow $10,000 for a month-long trip all over Asia, and the loan’s interest is at 15%, your monthly payment for 5 years will be $237.90. Your interest payments would add up to $4,273.96, making your total repayment $14,273.96. That’s a hefty amount of money for a depreciating asset. But if the travel’s value if beyond monetary for you, then paying over $200 every month for 5 years shouldn’t be an issue. You can negotiate for a more flexible term anyway, such as 10 years. But your interest payments will blow up more over that period.

The Good Side of Borrowing Money for Travel

Debts have such a bad reputation when it is used for anything other than homes, businesses, or cars. Some people even disdain travelers who use borrowed money for their trips. But a travel loan has more positive qualities than one realizes.

Travel loans allow for more financial flexibility. You can borrow more than what you need so that you’ll have room to enjoy your travel more. Say, your California itinerary didn’t include a tour to the Disneyland Resort initially, but upon setting foot in the state, you realized that it would be a bummer to miss it. But because you borrowed more than what you need, you can still buy tickets to the Disneyland Resort and enjoy a guiltless, spontaneous activity.

In addition, having extra money is useful in case of emergencies. Some trips result in unexpected food poisoning or injuries. Though an ER visit is the last thing in your mind while planning a trip, it’s better to be prepared for it than experience it empty-handed. If not a medical-related incident, emergencies can be extra baggage fees, hotel services, or unplanned activities.

Furthermore, travel loans give you more financial advantage than credit cards. Using a credit card tempts you to spend more because you’re not seeing your money get wiped out. Paying with cash, on the contrary, encourages you to stick to your budget. A travel loan’s fixed interest rate is lower than a credit card’s, too.

How to Qualify for a Travel Loan

There are many lenders offering travel loans. Each lender and loan offer different perks. But the qualifications are more or less the same for everyone. The terms, however, may differ depending on the location. In the Philippines, for example, a standard travel loan program has a term of 1 day up to 365 days, a principal amount of Php 1,000 to Php 35,000, and a fixed interest rate, calculated after application.

But as with any loan, you need a good credit score to be approved. A major credit scoring company will assess your financial records to see if you fit the risk profile. If you have no other debts, your chances of getting approved increases.

Here are the requirements for applying, assuming that you’re borrowing in the Philippines:

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time of application formalization
  • A Philippine or U.S. citizen
  • A permanent source of income

Having no credit score or history won’t automatically result in a denial. But for lenders to ensure that you’ll repay, they may ask for collateral, such as your car or another one of your properties.

Considering the amazing perks of a travel loan, being short on cash is no longer a hindrance to exploring the world. As long as you are a responsible spender, then borrowing money for travel won’t jeopardize your financial stability.

6 Expenses Included with Startup Businesses

6 Expenses Included with Startup Businesses

6 Types of Expenses Involved when Starting a Business

Everyone dreams of becoming their own boss and finally call the shots. The best and sometimes the only way to do so is by starting your own business. According to the Small Business Administration, approximately 627,000 new companies open their doors each year, ushered in by aspiring entrepreneurs.

However, starting a new business is very difficult, as any entrepreneur will tell you. One of the largest hurdles is amassing enough capital to do so. Prospective businessowners often turn to bank loans and other organizations for financial assistance in this matter. But what exactly are the costs involved when opening a new business? Here are 6 types of expenses associated with opening new startups.

Costs Involved with Starting a New Business

Everything costs money, even establishing your own company. But just like investments and life insurance, the money you spend on opening a new business can flourish and secure your financial stability in the future. When planning to start a company of your own, you should be aware of the six most common types of expenses involved.

Here’s a comprehensive rundown of these costs.

  1. Insurance

Your business will need to have its own insurance policy, completely separate from your personal insurance in most cases. This is to protect it in case your company is broken into by criminals, catches fire or some other negative incident. Aside from insuring the business itself, you may be required to provide your employees with their own insurance policies. These protect workers and gives a modicum of financial assistance should anything untoward happen to them on the job. Premiums on these policies vary with each company and your provider.

2. Permits and Licenses

Whether you’re opening a new bar or selling natural preservatives for cosmetics, you will need to secure business licenses from local or even national authorities. For example, if you’re opening a bar you will need to a liquor license as well as a business permit. These are often affordable, although this depends on local legislation. The more areas of industry your business covers, the more licenses you’ll need. This does not include voluntary certifications thatboost your company’s reputation.

3. Real Estate Costs

There are many differences between starting your business and setting up an online store. One stark difference is that almost all startups will require an office space, especially if you have more than a handful of employees. This means you’ll either have to rent an office or purchase a building for your new enterprise to occupy. This tends to be the most expensive part of opening a new business and can comprise the largest portion of your business’s overhead afterward.

4. Technological Costs

This covers costs such as computers, internet services, mobile devices and other electronics. Nowadays, every business needs at least one computer, even if its solely to track your expenses and client information. Depending on the industry of your startup, your technological costs can skyrocket. For example, a boutique bakery will have drastically lower technological expenses than a software development firm.

5. Equipment Expenses

Not every device or piece of hardware you’ll buy for your new business falls into the technological category. Your desks, ergonomic chairs and carpeting are all part of what’s known as your equipment expense. This also covers specialized forms of equipment. Continuing the example above, a bakery will need plenty of ovens, stand mixers and possibly even a walk-in refrigerator. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on this part of your startup costs. A comfortable workplace with the right chairs and desks can mean the difference between a profitable first year of business.

6. Debts and Obligations

Finally, there are the costs your business will incur before it ever opens. The primary examples of these types of costs include any bank loans you may have had to take out just to finance any of the other aforementioned costs. Another type of financial obligation you’ll have to pay off sooner or later includes returning investment costs to all backers who helped fund your business. This does not count any personal cost you may have accrued financing the enterprise. For example, if you took out a mortgage on your house to buy equipment, that’s a personal cost and shouldn’t be part of your company’s obligations.

Starting a new business is a challenging and complex process. Understanding every aspect of this process is important in ensuring you know what you’re getting into when you want to become your own boss. Knowing the costs involved is essential in preparing yourself and your affairs properly for becoming an entrepreneur.

5 Steps for Setting Your Affairs in Order

5 Steps for Setting Your Affairs in Order

How to Prepare Your Affairs In Case the Worst Happens

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a death toll in the millions from all around the world. The best way to protect people from contracting the illness remains distancing yourself from other people and staying indoors as much as possible. But people still need to go to work, especially if they’re frontline workers.

However, although the definition of frontline workers needs to be agreed upon by authorities, you may already be returning to your regular workplace. This is particularly hazardous. For example, even if your wellness resort adjusts to the pandemic, you still face an increased risk of contracting the illness and getting hospitalized.

Worse, you may have a preexisting condition and fall mortally ill. The mortality risk of the illness depends on largely on your age, but you never know how it can affect you and your capacity to earn. Although it is a very sensitive and grim topic, you need to learn how to set your affairs in order in case you are hospitalized for a prolonged time or in case the worst happens.

Here are five steps you can take to ensure your affairs won’t be a mess if you fall ill and that your loved ones are take care of.

  1. Locate all Personal Records

You need to set your affairs in order long before you put yourself at risk. Locate and collate all important personal records your family or loved ones may need to check you into a hospital or to access your finances. These will generally fall into three categories: personal information, financial data and medical information

Medical information includes your insurance policy and documents on the coverage of your health insurance. Your previous medical history will also be necessary to guide doctor’s treatments.

Your personal information includes all documents that will help your loved prove that you are who you say you are. Birth certificates, certificates of employment and marriage licenses belong in this category.

Finally, you must collate your financial records. The passwords to your bank accounts, lists of assets like real estate property and investments should all be easily accessible by your family in case the worst happens.

  1. Create a Reference for Important Documents

Naturally, all your documents will be incredibly difficult to parse. This is why you need to make it easier for your loved ones to reference and find them. For example, you can sort out all your files into different clearly marked folders with tabs indicating the contents. You can print out a page identifying which document is which and where they can be found. This will make the process significantly easier if you do succumb to an illness.

  1. Prepare Advanced Directives

If you do catch the virus, you’re more likely to be incapacitated for a long period or even rendered uncommunicative. You may be too delirious to manage your healthcare and finances or unable to speak due to medical devices. This makes arranging advanced directives essential prior to the events. Advanced directives generally fall into two types. A living will instructs people on how you want to be cared or in your illness. The other type is assigning someone who will have durable power of attorney for health care. This designated person will be in charge of making medical decisions for you.

If you own a business or have a lot of enterprises, you may also want to assign someone with durable power of attorney, which will empower them to make decisions for you in any legal task should you be unable to make them on your own.

  1. Come Up with Financial Strategies

Whether you’re running your own business or simply working on the front lines, you and the important people in your life need to come up with financial strategies should you fall ill. This can include where you’re going to get the money to pay for your health care. Which assets are you all willing to part with to fund prolonged hospitalization? Should you sell the car first or take out a second mortgage on your house? Setting these protocols up long before they become necessary makes it less hard for your loved ones and reduces the stress from an already stressful situation.

  1. Contact a Legal Professional

Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to get the advice of a legal professional. Have a lawyer go over your affairs such as your will and check if everything is in order. This can help you spot any issue that could reduce legal entanglements if you’re unresponsive or worse in a hospital. Their help will also be necessary if you plan on changing your will.

Yes, it’s not pleasant to discuss what could happen when the worst happens. But bad things, like serious illness, can and regularly do happen, especially in these uncertain times. Not discussing the probability and how to handle such events helps no one. Learning how to set your affairs in order will give you and your loved ones some peace of mind in these troubled times.

6 Tips to Staying Positive During the Home Buying Process

6 Tips to Staying Positive During the Home Buying Process

How to Stay Optimistic When Buying a Home

Purchasing a house can be a long and arduous task, especially for first-time homebuyers. Unless you have help from wealthy parents or are making big bucks yourself, chances are that the process won’t be as smooth sailing as you’d like it to be.

Home sellers, for instance, may say no to your offer or give you an unfair deal. Another scenario is a mortgage loan provider not giving you the interest rate you need.

When the home buying process gets tough, how do tough homebuyers keep going? Here are a few tips you can follow to stay motivated, disciplined and focused during the entire home purchasing journey:

If your friends or family members aren’t supportive of your decision to purchase a home in the current market, hear their reasons and arguments. Then, check if the facts they’re providing are true.

Also, don’t get discouraged when people warn you with home buying horror stories. If you find out some buyers delaying or changing their home buying timeline because of a specific problem, this doesn’t mean that their situation will automatically apply to you. Every home purchase is different, so don’t assume that things will end up badly when you see one or two aspiring buyers not doing well on their journey.

Although you need to be realistic with the house you can afford to buy, this doesn’t mean that you should settle for the next cheap house you see on the market. When people become exhausted or frustrated from their house-hunting efforts, they often begin to lower their standards. This way, they don’t have to experience the hassle of searching anymore.

If you’re getting annoyed about not finding the home you want, never settle for less. Take your time and be patient.

House hunting in a demanding real estate market can be a challenge for a lot of homebuyers. Once you’ve found an ideal property, chances are that someone else thinks that it’s ideal, too. This results in bidding wars, increased prices and raised stress due to competition.

Instead of getting annoyed at other homebuyers for wanting the same house, take steps to stand out from the crowd. Make offers that property sellers can’t refuse. Also, see if you could submit an offer that’s slightly above the listing price. This is helpful if you want to purchase a home that’s in demand.

The real estate market isn’t always constant or balanced. Sometimes, it favors sellers. Other times, the market favors buyers. Get familiar with how the housing market works in your area. This way, you’ll face fewer surprises and disappointments during the home purchasing process. What’s more, you’ll know the ideal time to proceed with your buying transactions.

Placing your best financial foot at the start of the home purchasing process is an effective way to infuse positive energy into the entire buying journey. Start by coming up with a realistic budget for a new home. Make sure that you take into account the following expenses:

Having a sound budget will give you a good grasp of the range of houses you should be viewing.

As you’re getting ready to buy, you’ll want to work on your financial health. A few measures you can do include:

Many dream of having a house of their own. Unfortunately, not everyone knows exactly what to look for in a house. When they can’t find what they want, they may likely settle for a residential property that isn’t ticking off all the boxes. Eventually, they’ll end up hating their new home before they even get to unpack.

So save yourself from frustration and disappointment by knowing exactly what you want in your dream home.

A good way to do this is to create a vision board. Start by pasting a picture of a dream home on the board.

Alternatively, you could put photos of the various parts of your dream house, such as the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. Then, add specific details to these areas. You could, for instance, write down that you want a sofa, a coffee table and hardwood flooring in your ideal living room.

By creating a vision board and putting up pictures of your dream home, you’re training your mind to stay focused on what you want to achieve.

A positive mindset makes a lot of difference when finding and buying a great home. When you need further motivation, get someone to guide you through this life-changing journey.

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