Bigger, Better, Brighter and Cleaner

A lot of people who want to start off their own businesses look at cleaning services and starting their own contracting service. After all, everywhere gets dirty and needs a clean!There have been a number of stories about people who started off small but who ended up with big companies that take care of some of the big commercial cleaning jobs around the city.

But too many people don’t make the transition up from regular house cleaning services to bigger commercial services. There’s one reason for this: capital. You see, if you want to tender for a bigger commercial job, even if your first big job is as a school janitor or cleaning your local sports club, you probably need some better equipment than what you’ve already got. Sure you can start off with just a few brooms, mops, dusters and vacuum cleaners and they’ll get you enough to feed your family and pay the bills if you put in the work. But the time may come when you’d like to go up a notch or two and go for the bigger jobs. For this, you’ll need some heavy-duty equipment and if you don’t have the money in the bank account, this means that you’ll need to apply for an equipment loan.

So what are your options when you want to add some industrial cleaning equipment to your toolbox? Sure, if you have the option of getting an equipment loan for your small cleaning business, it might be tempting to try for a loan that’s big enough to get the lot. However, it’s always to grow slowly and not to over-commit yourself with the repayments. Sure, you’ll get more business with the new machine, but you don’t want to be stuck with massive weekly repayments that mean you’re in a tight spot if something goes wrong one week  there’s always that client who’s a bit slow to pay and you’re still going to get sick and want a holiday now and again. Just start with one or two items of heavy-duty equipment and pay them off before you get a third.

We’re loan brokers, which means that the ultimate decision about what new industrial cleaning equipment you should get is really up to you. You’re the professional and you know what sort of thing is most in demand. But if you’re still just at the stage of thinking about it, here are a few suggestions to get you thinking:

  • Water blasters: Best used outside and are great for cleaning off moss and mould on house exteriors as well as on driveways and patio areas.
  • Carpet cleaning machines: Deep cleaning carpets is one of those things that every household and every office should do annually, but carpet cleaning machines aren’t your average piece of household equipment. This service is bound to be in demand. Look out for units that have spot cleaning and upholstery cleaning attachments to really broaden the spectrum of services you offer. These range from small pull-along machines (cheap) to large truck-mounted units (expensive).
  • Polisher/scrubbers: A must-have for anyone tendering for office or school cleaning contracts, as these places tend to have acres of hard flooring which needs to be scrubbed and polished on a regular basis.
  • Vacuum cleaners: We’re talking industrial strength vacuum cleaners here, not little dinky domestic ones that have to be emptied every ten minutes. One thing you might want to keep an eye out for is a wet/dry model, meaning that you can do wet areas as well as carpeted areas, or backpack models that make it easy for you to do stairs safely without lugging a heavy thing on wheels up behind you.
  • Chimney cleaning rods, etc.: People still have wood fires so chimney sweeps are still in demand, especially in the cooler parts of the country.

Whatever you decide on getting so your fledgling business, don’t forget to talk to us before signing the dotted line for any loan. Ask us questions, even if they seem dumb. Do your homework. And we wish you all the best for your future success.

Let’s say that a few years ago, you started out as a small-scale contractor doing things like lawn mowing, window cleaning or home cleaning. And so far, your business has been doing pretty good. But you know that you can reach a bit higher and provide more services  and do a better job of what you do  if only you had an extra bit of equipment. You might want a stump grinder, a ride-on lawnmower, a set of scaffolding or an industrial strength steam cleaning machine (or whatever piece of equipment suits the next step you want to take with your business). You could go for the big commercial contracts and you know that the demand for what you want to do is there.

But there’s one small snag preventing you from taking that next step. Your business has been doing well, but you haven’t got that much stashed away in the account for purchasing a new asset for the business. This is where you need to start shopping around for an equipment loan so you can borrow the money you need to finance the new step. Well, you’ve taken the right step by coming here and reading this article.

Getting out a loan or a lease for business equipment is the same as getting out any other loan, really. You need to do your homework and ask all the questions before you sign on the dotted line. You need to make sure that you (or in this case, your business) can manage the weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments (don’t forget to work out which of these would suit your situation best). And the usual rule about having a generous deposit so you don’t have to borrow as much applies.

You also need to ask a few questions that relate to business finance  have a yak to your accountant and do a bit more homework. If this is the first piece of big equipment that you’re buying for your business, you might need to work out what to do with assets and depreciation when it comes to accounting. You also need to ask about what is and isn’t a business expense that you can claim back against tax. And if your business has enough turnover for you to worry about GST, you need to find out what to do about that when you purchase your new asset.

And I know it’s not pleasant to contemplate, but you also need to work out what you’re going to do about your loan and whether you can manage it if your new business venture doesn’t prove to be as profitable as you thought it would be. Will you be locked into a lease agreement for ages? Can you re-sell the asset to raise the funds to pay back the outstanding amount? And can you manage the repayments now with what you are currently earning rather than relying on the extra you’re pretty sure you should be able to earn with the new piece of equipment?

Of course, there’s a good chance that your new venture will succeed, especially if you persevere and do a good job. We wish you the best of luck with it, whatever it is.

Three Rules Of Financial Common Sense

According to the financial whizzes, the global recession is officially over. However, most of us are likely to tell the whizzes to go and pull the other one, as a lot of us are still having to tighten our belts and all rest of it to make our dollars stretch further  which is one of the reasons you’re probably considering taking out a loan to buy your next car rather than paying for it outright. Who’s got the money for a new car just lying around, anyway?

However, don’t think that a loan is the answer to all your money problems when times are tight. Even though a loan seems like a simple solution, you could end up getting yourself into a worse mess than you started with, especially if you don’t do your homework.

At least if you’re considering taking out a car loan, you’re sticking to the first rule of financial common sense when it comes to loans. This first rule is that you should never borrow money, not even a small amount, to purchase consumables or things that won’t last. Loans should be applied for only for larger things that are likely to last a long time and have some sort of retail value. A car (and, for that matter, a motorbike or a boat) certainly falls into that category. Think about it like this: if things turn to custard, you can at least sell the car to pay off the amount outstanding on the loan. (We’re talking here about loans you apply for rather than smaller credit card stuff. While it’s not a good idea to buy your groceries or pay for a family outing using a credit card as a general principle, this is a bit of a grey area, especially if the purchase involves online shopping where a credit card is a bit of a must  but that’s another story.)

Secondly, you need to keep your head on when it comes to choosing a car. Sure, it’s possible to get out a loan to buy some flash sports car as your one and only set of wheels, but common sense should tell you that champagne on a beer budget (or Alfa Romeos on a Toyota budget) are a bad idea. Don’t forget that you still will have to pay back that loan, and the longer the loan is running for, the more interest you end up paying. Choose a car that suits your needs and your budget  and don’t forget to factor fuel and other running costs into the equation.

Equations are part of the third good principle: set a budget and work out what you can afford. Get out the calculator or fire up a spreadsheet on the computer and use this to work out the weekly repayments that suit your needs and lifestyle best. Don’t forget to leave a small margin in this weekly budget for emergencies and unexpected things rather than planning things down to the last cent. This budget information will be really helpful when you come to talk to us, as it gives us an idea of the sort of weekly repayments you can manage, and we can help you find something that suits.

Bad credit?

So you think that because you blew it once upon a time that you’re never going to be accepted for a loan again? And now you’re in need of a new set of wheels? What are you going to do? Do you have to sell nearly everything in your house that isn’t nailed down, including the cat, so you can raise the funds you need to get from A to B without hassle, or live on baked beans for a month?

Well, maybe, although your friends might object to some of the results if you do live on baked beans. Every little bit helps, especially when you’re trying to collect the funds for a deposit. But don’t sell the cat just yet  you might be able to get a loan in spite of having a less than stellar credit history.

However, as always, let the buyer beware. This doesn’t mean taking all the precautions that everybody should to avoid buying a right dunger of a car. You also need to be cautious before you sign on the dotted line for any loan. Don’t rush into anything, even if you think that this is your only chance. Trust on this  you’ll be better off taking the bus or biking for a few weeks than letting yourself in for years of financial misery.

One thing that you have to be prepared to put up with if you have got a bad credit history is that you are likely to pay interest at a higher rate than your friends with better histories. However, this rate shouldn’t be excruciatingly higher than the good rate  if the good rate is about 9%, then the naughty person rate should be around the 1112% mark, not 20+%. Ask the questions if you have to (or get us to do it).

And regarding questions, be sure to ask about anything that you’re not sure about.Clarify anything and everything  there’s no such thing as a dumb question when you’re trying to understand a loan, and if the person you’re dealing with disrespects your question or doesn’t answer it, walk away and take your business elsewhere. To take one example, if there’s something about the money going from your account to theirs when making repayments on the 30th of the month, what happens on February? Are you going to cop a penalty for being late if the payment comes through on the 1st of March?

One thing that you should never do is to agree to anything that involves a loan approval fee. This means that you have to pay to submit the loan application, whether if it’s successful or not. Guess how these companies make their money!Sure, most companies have a loan processing fee (paying the pen-pusher who does all the paperwork) if a loan is accepted, but a fee just to apply? Get real  and go somewhere else.

If you haven’t got the best credit history, don’t despair. There’s always hope and you can get a loan. Talk to us if you have any questions or if you want a bit of help. We’re here to help you get the best deal for a car loan.

More Loan Ads Investigated

A few posts ago, we investigated a range of car advertisements and had a look at the loan packages offered when you bought through these dealers. However, car companies and the finance packages aren’t the only options when it comes to taking out a car loan. Sure, the loan packages you can get through car dealers are often very simple but if you’re smart, you probably want to shop around to find the best loan package which is why you’ve come this site so we can do all the legwork for you. You may have seen ads offering loans in other places.’ Let’s have a look at some of these and decide whether they’re a good idea or not.

From the very start, we can dismiss the sort of ad that landed in my email inbox this morning (oddly, the spam filter missed this one). This email simply said I am Mr XXXX the advertising agent of (name loan firm and the brackets were in the original). This company is a registered loan company that give out fund to those who need financial support in their businesses or other activities. Our offer is with a very low interest rate. For one to apply he/she must be above the age of 18.You have to take advantage of this as preference will be given to first seven applicant. All interested persons should contact us Via Email and then proceeded to ask for a bunch of personal details. We’ve probably all seen emails like this ‘ some are even briefer like yesterday’s beauty (which was caught by the spam filter): Do you need loan contact us now with: Name, Amount, Duration, Phone, Country.

No matter how badly you need a loan or whatever your history is, IGNORE THESE EMAILS. They are out to nick your personal information and even if they do give you a loan, the terms are likely to be absolutely vicious. Never trust any offer of a loan that comes to you  you should be the one to approach the company, not the other way around. And never trust a loan company that has an ad in bad English  if they’re good enough and they’re genuine, they should be able to hire a decent writer to do the job for them.

But what about other ads? Can you trust them? As usual, the age-old advice of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) applies, and you want to keep your wits about you so you don’t end up wishing you lived back in the Renaissance or the Middle Ages when charging exorbitant interest was considered to be among the most disgusting of sins, on a par with perversion.

Let’s take a look such loan ad in my local freebie newspaper: this one offers hassle free cash loans and instant cash. It all sounds very easy but I, for one, would ask a lot of questions before hopping on their website and applying and would ask even more (probably over the phone) before calling out one of their mobile managers to come round and give me the hard sell. Frankly, the ad on the same page that offers cash for scrap metal looks a lot more trustworthy and attractive. Some of the ads you see in the paper might be for decent companies, but always do your homework and ask thoroughly about terms and conditions before signing anything.

Or, even easier, you could get us to do the homework for you. We don’t like nasty loan sharks any more than you do, and we want to help you get the wheels you need without getting in over your head.