Useful Personal Finance Advice

Do you run out of money by the end of the month and have to wait for the next paycheck to get back to normal life? Do you end up with no monthly savings despite wanting to stash away a certain amount for the future? Or do you simply wish to save up a sum for that well deserved vacation? Then you are in need of some personal finance advice.

The basics of this advice are to try and help you become disciplined in your spending. Most of the time, the extravaganzas are done on the spur of the moment and this is what causes the most strain to your budget. While occasional spending sprees are fine and in fact, normal, making them a habit are what is risking people that are on a tighter budget. And you definitely wouldn’t want that. Also, it is important to effectively manage your personal finance today so that you can save some money for the future. You never know what the future is like and with a global economic climate that is uncertain at times you may want to stay on the safe side.

So the first thing to do in order to sort out your personal finances is to get a good idea of what they are. You must be well aware of what ‘needs’ your money and what ‘wastes’ your money. The first part includes those things that are absolutely essential: things such as food, groceries, health, education, transportation costs, mortgage, etc. These are those expenses that you cannot do away with because they are your daily-life necessities. Still, you should know how much they cost you. The second part is about the things that you spend on but which are not absolutely important for a decent lifestyle. It is the things like dining-out, trips with friends and shopping for fun. It’s good to spend on these things but if you stopped doing so, they won’t have a great impact on your lifestyle.

Once you know these details, you are in a position to trim down the expenses. How do you do that? Once you have made a list of both types of expenses, tick off the things that can be removed or at least reduced. For example, when it comes to trips with friends, you can eliminate them or reduces them from once a month to once every 6 to 8 weeks instead.

The new routine may be a little difficult. But soon, when you find yourself with a handsome amount of money saved by the end of the month, you’ll start to feel better about things plus, it will let you do a lot of things you’ve been planning, for instance, taking your family on a long trip or exchanging your car for a better one. Or perhaps you can ready yourself to pay the expenses of your kids future as they move from high school to college. In either case, a good management of personal finances is a useful and profitable choice.

Home-Based Business Opportunity? Why Should You Be Contemplating on One?

There is a home-based business opportunity for every individual that (he/she) feels to utilize their knowledge and skill to become their own boss and work toward their own financial freedom instead of working hard to enrich someone else.

A home-based business is a business where the center of the business is situated in the owner’s home. This leads to one very important consideration, especially if you have a family: How are you going to separate your home and workplace? When considering a home-based business opportunity it is important to think about these factors as it can influence both your work situation and home life negatively when approached in a wrong way.

While considering a home-based business opportunity, one need to first assess ones talents to identify what one is really good at. These talents will form the bases for one’s business and will determine to a great extent the success that should come thereof. Closely related to assessing your talents, is examining your skills & talents, in other words, what you can do! Skills will develop as you are using and learning as you are developing your talents.

Your home-based business opportunity will come together if one can use both his/her skills & talents to create result bringing business ideas. The service that you render can be professional services such as advisory services or bookkeeping. Unfortunately, manufacturing businesses from home that entails clients coming and going the whole day might upset their neighbors. Ensure that your home-based business opportunity can be really workable from home.

It is important to assess your home-based business opportunity in terms of the profit angle. As you will be working from home, it will be necessary for you to distinguish between your office expenses and your home expenses. Do not fall into the trap of getting your home and office expenses mixed up, as you will not be able to determine your real business profit. To help you do this, an important starting point would be to have a separate phone line for your business. Many people fall into the trap of using their home phone lines just for starters and fall into the habit of doing so. In the end your business will show a profit, but your home expenses will be more because of your telephone.

A home-based Internet business has several benefits, one of them being the time freedom that you can make through the leverage of time and money. You will not be subject to any rules. There is no boss, no time schedule and no corporate structure. Make sure that you do not become to relax because of this. It is still important to maintain a professional image and work according to your own rules. Remember, if you do not work, you do not get money. Make the best of a home-based Internet business to make sure that you reap the rewards. If you are your own boss, you are the only one that can make it work.

Insurance Agency Lead Scoring

Many insurance agencies have not yet formalized their lead scoring system. This is a worthwhile endeavor for all agencies, and one which should be revisited every year, while tracking the return on investment of their marketing programs.

What is lead scoring? It is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale, and then assign a value to determine interest level and distribution. For example, let’s say a trucking insurance lead appointment arrives at your agency. This lead is with an owner of 15 power units, they use company drivers, and they are unhappy with their carrier. Perhaps your lead scoring system falls on a 1 to 10 scale, and this lead is scored an 8. What might receive a higher score? And what types of leads are outside of profile, and what score would they receive? Perhaps prospects need to score an 8 to appear on your producer scorecards.

Is the lead distributed to producers by territory? Does your lead handling process vary by type of lead, product or prospect? For example, are commercial leads separated by large and small business, by industry or product? Are benefit leads parsed by groups over and under 50? And does your agency have a tracking system in place to determine how many leads showed for the appointment, moved into the pipeline, received quotes and ultimately convert into new business?

Salespeople, sales managers, producers and other business people often refer to prospects in vague terms such as: new, warm, hot, cold, likely, qualified, etc. These terms do little to better understand a sales pipeline or convey likelihood of purchase to other members of the team. Agencies can consider creating a simple prospect scorecard to resolve this issue and quantify their lead scoring. Formalizing lead scoring offers benefits such as:

Helps Producers create ideal attributes to form a buyer persona
Creates a simple numeric system to leverage your buyer persona
Assigns numeric values to rank your best prospects
Creates a simple qualification acronym to determine likelihood to close

What should be included in a prospect scorecard?

Use a prospect scorecard to quantify your approach to pipeline building. Some attributes of your ideal client might include revenue, growth rate, client type (business or consumer) and market niche. For example, are you targeting companies with $5m to $10m in revenue? Are your best prospects fast-growing firms, trucking companies, manufacturers or consumers?

If you’re selling to consumers, are they high net worth, middle-income, millennials or senior citizens? Are your prospects in a specific niche market such as banking, insurance, biotech, consulting, education, etc.? Create a scorecard with your ideal attributes and a customized qualification abbreviation to help you determine if you’re selling to an in-profile prospect.

Insurance agencies and brokers seeking to get to the next level with their insurance marketing and lead generation, but lacking the internal resources to achieve their marketing goals, can reach out to a proficient insurance agency marketing firm.