Why it is Better to Do Home Improvement Projects in the Winter

The chill and the snow that the off season brings have long-since been known to bore homeowners to tears without much to do, especially in cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago. A home improvement project can be one of the fun and creative ways to enjoyably stay on the go and productive in the frosty months. So instead of keeping these tasks piled up for the coming spring or summer to do, why not tackle them now? No matter how low the temperature hits, home improvement projects can still be successfully done and winter even brings additional benefits for you to take advantage of.

Adding value to your home and enhancing the quality of your living should not be left to hibernate with the coming of winter when everything is already blanketed with snow and ice. A good sprucing through a home improvement project is even a fantastic way to welcome the coming of the holidays. And what better way to start the year than with some fabulous makeover or repair in the house to maximize its appeal, comfort level and functionality?

Known as the off season, winter is a time when businesses catering to selling products and providing services including that in the contracting and home improvement industry and market greatly compete to keep the business still fruitful. This and other reasons like the year-end inventory makes these months a perfect time to shop around for materials with the considerable discounts offered. Great buys abound with high quality products to be at very low prices.

Finding a qualified contractor in the winter is also much easier than that with the rest of the year. Because business is not as lively, these skilled and experienced craftsmen would be more than willing to accommodate whatever possible home improvement project you have in mind. Most contracting companies and professionals even compete for your project through tempting special offers such as giving discounts or doing additional small jobs absolutely for free. Without a long list of clients in their schedules, your hired local contractor would certainly be able to focus on one job and that is making a success out of the task in the most efficient and timely manner. This extra focus on every stage of the project as well as the littlest of details would eventually yield to the highest quality of results.

There are lots of home improvement projects that can be accomplished in the winter. Though not very popular, you can still do outdoor works as this can be the most ideal time for such. Repairing or installing cover to your gutters would help prepare your home for the coming wet season. Having your trees pruned is also a viable job because without the leaves, dead and broken branches are much easier to spot. Other outdoor projects can be done before it really gets cold and snows heavier. One idea that has increasingly been becoming popular is to have heated driveways that prevent your house from getting buried in all the ice. Most indoor home improvement projects on the other hand, can be done without much difficulty.

Finding a Low Interest Home Improvement Loan

When you want to make improvements to your home, the idea of a low interest home improvement loan comes to mind. After all, the major part of any loan is the interest rate, so if you can get a lower interest rate, the monthly payments and the total cost of the loan are going to be substantially lower. Don’t choose the bank where you have your mortgage simply because it’s convenient, but check around to find a low interest home improvement loan.

The importance of research

Just like any other loan, you want to be sure to do some research before you choose a lender. Failing to research before you obtain your loan can make the difference between finding a low interest home improvement loan and paying a higher rate of interest.

One of the worst mistakes that borrowers make is thinking that every lender charges about the same rate of interest, especially within the same regional area, and this is far from being factual information. First, different types of lenders have different interest rates.

For example, a finance company is going to charge a much higher interest rate than a bank, thus the reason it is easier for those with bad credit to obtain a loan from a finance company. On the other hand, many credit unions charge a lower rate of interest than banks.

Choosing a lender

If you want to find a low interest home improvement loan, you will need to do some research outside of your local or regional area. That doesn’t mean that you will find the lowest interest rate outside of your regional area, but if you don’t do the research, you will not know if you have the lowest rate on a home improvement loan that is available. In addition, sometimes you can present a lower quote to a local lender, and in order to keep your business, they will match the lowest quote you received.

If you have good credit and are a long time customer of a particular lender, they will not want to lose your business to someone else over a difference in the interest rate. You want a low interest home improvement loan, and they want to maintain your business, so you have a tool for negotiation.

Is the best rate always the lowest rate?

When you begin to research lenders, you have to look at every aspect of the cost of the loan and not just the interest rate. Of course, the interest rate is the first thing you will see when looking for a low interest home improvement loan, but you have to look at everything that adds to the cost of the loan. For instance, one lender may charge a lower interest rate but has an application fee and prepayment penalty.

Another lender may have other kinds of additional charges, such as required insurance, that will add to the cost of the loan. Researching every aspect of the loan in order to find a low interest home improvement loan that also has a low overall rate is your goal when you conduct your research.

Profitable Home Based Business – 3 Ways to Improve Profits for Your Home Business

Home based business people all lead a very comfortable life, since most have the flexibility to choose what time to wake up and what time to start work. However it is important for them to continue to improve themselves and their businesses, so that they can increase the profitability. This involves looking into the business system, to identify improvement areas.

Here are three common area where a home based businesses can be tweaked to increase profitability:

1. Focusing on the customer, not yourself.

In any business there is in the world, there is an involvement of the movement of products and/or services. This means that if you focus on the customer and not yourself, you will understand the demands of the customer better, and thus be able to provide better products. With that you can charge higher for your products, increasing profitability.

2. Plan for the year ahead.

Many home based business people take business day by day, and if there was any forward planning, it was for a short period only. It is important to take time to think about what is going to happen one year ahead. Will what you are selling be still hot in the markets? For those dealing on the Internet, what are the trends on the Internet that are going to take place? Should you start to learn some new technologies? If so, when are you going to allocate time to start learning these technologies? Is it time for you to wake up an hour earlier each day to read up, instead of lazing in bed?

3. Tweak your offline business processes.

Whether or not you are doing your business online, every business requires some offline administrative work, like accounting and book keeping, or even filing of documents. Can these processes be tweaked to save more time? Are these getting into your time where you can do more productive work? If so, is it time that you find someone to outsource it to? Remember that the only activity that makes money for a business is the sales and marketing. Focus your effort on these activities, and try to outsource any other activities!

These are, of course, just three of the areas where home business owners can look into to increase their profits. In fact, I would recommend that every business owner do a monthly review of their business processes, and see what else can be tweaked to improve their business. It is only with a consistent and constant desire to improve, can someone achieve financial freedom.

Pinpoint Your Home-Based Business Strengths With These 8 Power Questions

In order to successfully grow a home-based business in network marketing, one must practice the art of self-motivation. You don’t have a boss telling you what you have to do, so you have to be responsible for your activity. Every activity can be translated into a number and this is how we get statistics. Statistics are how we as business owners can evaluate our own personal level of activity.

Another part of the equation though, is that unlike a regular job, you do not have to rely on the numbers game to find success. The more activity you do does not mean the more successful you will be in network marketing. It just means you are filling up your busy time with activity that is probably not moving you forward. When you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, then evaluate and build on your strengths, you will begin to see your business grow without spending 18 hours a day “working.”

You can begin this simple process by asking yourself the following 8 questions every Sunday evening before you go to sleep. This is the best time to evaluate your activity because it gives you a chance to think about how you can make a fresh start before you begin your work week.

1. How Well Did I Follow My Schedule For The Week?

It is not easy sticking to a schedule, but if you are making any kind of improvement from week to week, it will not take long for you to get into the groove of it. Things happen to all of us, so do not worry about it. Just get back on track and commit to doing better in the week ahead.

2. What Was My Connect Rate And How Can I Improve It?

This refers to the people you actually talk to as you dial through your list each day. Your ultimate goal for this should be around 30%. Ways to improve it could be to make more dials each day, do your dialing during a different time. Do not leave messages for people as they usually do not return calls. Just call them back at a different time.

3. What Was My Invite Rate?

This obviously refers to the people you actually had a connection with. As you develop your skill set over the telephone, you will see this percentage automatically begin to increase with experience. You will always come across people who are just not interested in even listening to you, but those who are need to be told the benfits of your invitation to hear an presentation call in a way that will interest them.

4. What Was My Confirmation rate?

If this rate is low compared to your invite rate, start thinking about what you can do to attract the right audience. This could be purchasing better qualified leads, or your willingness to elminate reminder calls. When you get the right audience on the other end of the phone, this rate will automatically go up.

5. What Was My Closing Rate For The Week?

When your confirmation rate increases, this will also begin to increase assuming you are well adjusted to handling objections and showing people how your product or service can benefit them. Ultimately you only have once chance to close a person, and once again, your ability to properly justify the opportunity will make a big difference.

6. How Long Before I reach My Goal Based On My Current Rate Of Building?

You’ll have to do a little bit of calculating on this one. Just take your numbers and place them out in front of you as if you were predicting the future. If you have been closing 2 people a month since the beginning of the year and your goal is to have 50 new distributors by the end of the year, your rate of activity is too slow.

7. What Do I Need To Change To Reach My Goal Withing The Next 10 Weeks?

This could be anything from changing your presentation to spending more time dialing leads on the telephone. It is all up to you and it has to be. You are the only one who can find the magic formula for your own business. Everyone is different. You have to go through this trial and error to find your strengths.

8. What Excuses Did I Make This Week?

Did you find yourself saying that you did not close enough people because your telephone headset is outdated and you need a new one? No matter what you tell yourself, you cannot escape the truth because your business will not move forward if you lie. You deserve to tell yourself the truth. You don’t need a new telephone, you need to improve your skill set. Be responsible for your own business. No else is going to but you.

Start to see this evaluation process as an adventure or experiment. Only through process of elimination and pinpointing your strengths can you begin to see your results improve. You have to realize that no matter how much you pay for leads, they all stink. (Remember this the next time your upline tries to convince you to spend $25 per lead. The same leads are available online for about ten cents!) And since they all stink, that means that you will only get about 5-10% results.

Understanding this frees you from the frustration of everything working out 100% perfect so you can focus on improving your skill set. Tweaking and listening to people will become fun. This is how you will find the right audience as well. If your company does not teach you how to market properly (yes, it’s quite different than simply distributing a product), strongly consider seeking education where you can find out how to do so.