Jennifer_Warren Archive

NZ Government Assures Safety of Cladding in Apartments

Modern Cladding SystemThe New Zealand government assured the public that cladding systems remain safe for apartments, despite fire-related incidents abroad.

In London, faulty building materials allegedly caused the 24-story Grenfell Tower to be in flames. Those that worry about their homes catching fire can heave a sigh of relief since the New Zealand government banned the use of these materials on January 1.

Flammable Cladding?

Flammable claddings in apartment buildings are uncommon in New Zealand, according to Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith. Still, the government is not taking any chances, as it required councils nationwide to find out if there are any faulty materials used in their areas before the ban.

In May, several proposals aim to enhance fire safety regulations for high-rise buildings. These measures included stricter verification for cladding systems and improving accessibility for water supply and fire hydrants.

For now, businesses should only transact with domestic companies that provide products and services designed and developed in New Zealand.

Local Expertise

When searching for reputable cladding providers, look for those vouched by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) such as Nu-Wall Aluminium Cladding. The company uses local supplies in manufacturing its cladding systems before shipping them to construction projects worldwide.

In this way, you can be sure that these products went through screening by New Zealand’s quality standards. Nu-Wall combined different elements in creating their cladding solutions, taking aesthetics, weather-resistance and functionality into account.

BRANZ has appraised the company for three times, which makes it a good choice for residential and commercial building projects.

While concerns have spread over the safety of cladding systems, New Zealand has stringent safety measures for applying these materials to its buildings. Many local companies adhere to these guidelines not just to retain customers, but also to maintain their reputation as industry leaders.

6 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Business

Team brainstorming about business plan and growthA startup business always needs cash to support its operations. This, however, should not hinder you from achieving your goals. You need to find ways to get through the process and succeed in your industry. Marketing experts from Vonazon share some effective ways to improve your business without having to suffer financially:

1. Always Help Your Customers

Your focus should be to help the customers, and as a result, the business will run smoothly. Every time you add value to the lives of your customers, they will reciprocate that gesture by being loyal to your brand. This relationship will provide cash consistently to finance the growth of your business.

2. Open a Credit Line

Banks are always lending money to interested and qualified parties. You should establish a relationship with the bank and open a credit line that will boost your purchasing power. If the current interest rate is low, then you can easily repay the loan.

3. Automate Marketing

This is a cheap and effective solution. You may use a software application to automate different marketing processes within your organization. You will need to automate some repetitive tasks in different departments of your business. These tasks include website optimization, video production, social media marketing, and email marketing. With marketing automation, you will make different tasks easier and effective.

4. Build Strategic Partnerships

If you want your business to excel, you need strategic relationships through which you can outsource some tasks. By outsourcing tasks that are not very competitive, you can ensure that your business remains efficient and offers quality services regardless of its size.

5. Provide Excellent Customer Service

You will need to deal with sales inquiries and after sales support. You can use a variety of tools to improve customer support. Great service will not cost you much, but will greatly enhance the customer experience.

6. Focus on Now

To avoid wasting precious resources, you should focus on proper planning and build your operations around the challenges you are currently facing. You should save money to solve existing problems and prepare for the future. Running a business is more than just selling and providing services. You need to oversee all aspects of the operations to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction and maximize your profits.

How Divorce Affects Your 401(k)

A Couple Going Through DivorceThe distribution of assets during divorce proceedings go farther than bank account holdings and household income. To reasonably split the finances accrued during the course of your marriage, you also have to deal with the finances you put in your 401(k) accounts. Your divorce attorneys in Denver, Colorado will explain the protocol in your state, but you can thoroughly understand the procedure by knowing how courts split it for couples.

1. Decide Between Marital and Separate Property

When dividing your 401(k) accounts, the first step is to identify the total finances you both put into the account during the marriage. The courts won’t really consider finances deposited before the marriage eligible for sharing to both parties. Generally, assets that either of the spouses owned before the marriage, such as 401(k) funds, are separate property. On the other hand, if both of you contributed to the 401(k) accounts during the marriage, then you will most likely divide the finances.

2. Estimate the Splitting of Shared Assets

The state where you live will conclude how to split your whole assets throughout the divorce proceedings. Most community-property states will divide the 401(k) funds that qualify as marital property evenly among the parties. In equitable distribution states, however, the judge could choose to divide the assets in a different manner for they would rather look at the big picture.

3. Finalize the Division Through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order

Besides acquiring a properly accomplished divorce decree, your lawyer should complete and present a qualified domestic relations order concerning your retirement account. This order will specify that the account should be divided based on the divorce order. As soon as the account administrators and judge approves it, they will place your name on the 401(k) as an additional payee.

With the above process, you will be able to claim the retirement property owed to you during the divorce. Ensure that you take your time in maneuvering the allocated 401(k) plans to protect you financially in the future.

Are You Buying the Right House in Brisbane?

Buying a Brisbane PropertyBrisbane is one of the most liveable cities in Australia. It's easy to overlook Brisbane when you’ve set your eyes on the bustling city of Sydney or the quaint and sentimental Melbourne. Through the years, Brisbane has created an image of being relaxed, laid-back, casual and not short on any cultural activities. However, when buying a property, you still need to make sure you get your money’s worth. Here’s how.

Decide on how far you want to be from the CBD.

If you're single or married without children, and you're moving to Brisbane for that job in the CBD, look in–or at least near–the centre. If you want to live in the suburbs, make sure you’re not off the grid, and that everything you need is accessible.

Investigate the property and the area.

You may have found the house you think is perfect for your family. Should you get it right away? No. Take time to investigate and uncover everything–the good and the bad.

Ask the owner why they are selling the property. If you don’t get a straightforward answer, it might be a red flag. This is the time to dig deeper. For instance, you may find out that it’s prone to floods. If this is something you don’t want to risk, move on and continue your search.

Get a property valuation.

Make sure you're paying for market value. Even if the house is within your budget, this doesn’t mean you're paying right. Usually, sellers get the service of property valuators to know how much their property is worth. However, it’s best if you double-check through professional valuation. A certified property valuator will factor in attributes such as location, building condition and local council zoning.

Find out more about the community.

The house, the location and all the technicalities are not the only factors. You're buying it so you can live in it. You'll want to look into the neighbourhood and the community more closely.

Do you feel safe living there with your family? How active is the community when it comes to family and cultural activities? Also, consider whether you're a perfect fit.

Buying a property isn’t as easy as pointing where you want to be on the map. It's not enough that it's only a four-hour drive from Bundaberg or the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. It's going to be your home, so you need to feel at home.

A Borrower’s Primer on Car Title Loans

Car Title LoanDo you own a car and have recently found yourself in a tight spot in terms of finances? If so, then you should still consider yourself fortunate because you can place a lien on a vehicle you own. There are many lending agencies out there offering loans with cars, trucks, ATV, and motorcycles as collateral.

Read on to learn more about how you can use your car title in case of a financial problem.

The Typical Process

Your credit history is typically not considered when applying for a car title loan. Apart from the vehicle title, you have to submit official documents, including valid identification cards, proof or residence, proof of income, and in some cases, vehicle insurance. The amount you need can be yours within a few hours if you willingly surrender the title of the vehicle to the lender. For borrowers applying for short-term title loan from lenders like UtahMoneycenter.com, creditors usually associate the vehicle title loan with a high interest rate.

You get the vehicle’s title back as soon as you pay the full amount borrowed plus interest. Failure to repay results in loss of the car or truck because the lender has the right to repossess it. Make sure you understand this part of the deal.

Your Vehicle as Collateral

Your car has a specific value and the lender will name this amount after conducting careful inspection of the vehicle. While the title is theirs, you get the money you need and retain use of the vehicle. You have to pay back the loan according to the schedule specified on the contract. It is important that you are completely aware of the time you can get the title back. Some companies may impose a penalty when it comes to this.

These days, you may find yourself in sudden need for fast cash. If there is an emergency in the family and a huge amount of money is required immediately, your vehicle title can serve as collateral. Know your rights and responsibilities before signing on the dotted line and handing over the title to the lender.

Money Management for Businesses: What You’re Doing Wrong

money managementMoney, cash, capital – no matter how you call it, this resource is what keeps your business running. If you don’t manage it right, you’d be in big trouble. Forbes reports that 90% of startups fail – and the last thing you want is to be part of that statistic.

How? It all begins with proper cash flow management. You have to take a second look at the way you run your business and make sure you are not doing any of the following:

Incurring High-Interest Debt

Don’t depend too much on credit cards when running a business. Although these pieces of plastic seem practical, the sky-high interest rates can bite you from behind. Once you have your company up and running, do your best to stabilize the cash flow.

Of course, there are times when borrowing money is inevitable. In such a situation, it helps to look at your options. ProvincialBank.com suggests looking at commercial and SBA loans. Consider credit cards as a last resort to avoid those high interest rates.

Giving in to Impulsive Purchases

At one point, you will have to acquire assets for the business. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t buy new equipment or transfer to prime locations out of impulse. You have to rethink what you’re doing. Before you say yes to a new expense, ask yourself these questions first:

  • What are the benefits of this purchase for the business in the long run?
  • Are the company’s finances stable enough for such an expense?

Remember that when you’re still starting, the most purchase-worthy assets are those that generate positive cash flows. Anything else can wait until your finances are no longer shaky.

Allocating Resources Disproportionately

Think twice before allocating your resources. Although some areas of the business require more capital, you have to avoid allocating too little or too much to all the other aspects of the venture. Make sure that every side of your business has the right amount of resources to function properly.

Failing to Make a Cash Flow Projection

How do you foresee the finances of the company a few months from now? If you have no clear answer to this question, you might want to revisit your cash flow projection. If you don’t have one, it’s time to consult experts about it. Not having any knowledge on possible future expenses makes you vulnerable to other unforeseen circumstances that may ruin your business’s resource allocation.

The financial stability of your business depends on whether or not you’re guilty of these blunders. Review the way you handle your capital to ensure that your company remains afloat and growing.