Home Improvement Loan -Neighbor’s Envy and Owner’s Pride

Each one of us wishes to make our home look the best. Even small improvements in the home can make big changes. People undertake different home improvement projects be it for making it a better place to live or as a mere status symbol. You may have great home improvement plans in your mind. However, do you have sufficient funds with you? No, don’t look at your savings. You may have big savings in your account, but don’t use it for making home improvements, they can be used in handling any financial emergency in the future.

Why to use your own funds when you can take a loan to make home improvements? A home improvement loan can provide you with the funds you need to make the home improvements that you and your family has been eagerly waiting for.

Home improvement loan is tailored for the UK residents who wish to make improvements in their home. You can use the loan money to make specific as well as complete remodeling of your home such as heating system, new conservatory, new kitchen, rewiring or any desired home remodeling. When you will make improvements in your home, it will definitely help in increasing the value and add more equity in your home. This will help you in grabbing better and larger amount of loan in the future.

Home improvement loan providers in the UK can provide you with the loan amount up to £75,000. So, with a home improvement loan you can finance small as well as big home improvement projects. The rate of interest on the home improvement loan varies from lender to lender while the loan term may range from 3 to 25 years depending on your credit score and the amount you wish to borrow.

You get an option to apply for either a secured or an unsecured home improvement loan. Secured home improvement loan requires a borrower to put collateral against the loan. You can put your home, car or any property as a security against the loan. Advantages of secured home improvement loan are larger amount of loan, lower rate of interest, longer loan term and flexible repayment term.

Unsecured home improvement loan does not involve a borrower to put any security against the loan. Homeowners as well as tenants can apply for an unsecured home improvement loans. Homeowners by availing an unsecured home improvement loan can protect his property from the risk of repossession by the lender that happens in case a borrower fails to pay the loan money on time and in full.

Estimate the cost that will be incurred in undertaking the home improvement project before you start searching for the best home improvement loan deal. Plan in advance about whether you wish to do the improvements yourself or want to hire a contractor. If you wish to hire a contractor, you should also add his fees in the estimation of the expenses. All this will help you in determining the loan you need, to make the desired changes in your home.

Traditional lenders used to rule the finance market in the past. Lot of inconvenience was involved in the whole loan process. A borrower had to go out and meet each lender personally, fill in the long application form and stand in loan queues to submit their loan application form. And then wait for the lender’s decision, which used to take many days and sometime even weeks.

Entry of the online lenders has given a breakthrough to all the hurdles that existed in the old lending process. In the present scenario, the loan application process has been simplified for the convenience of the borrowers. A borrower just needs to fill in a small online loan application form that hardly takes 2 to 5 minutes. Fast loan approval, in-principle loan decision and low rate of interest are some of the features of online loans.

By the time you are through with the loan application process, you will start receiving lot of loan offers that you may find to be the best. Don’t hurry in making the decision, a little bit of research can help you save good sum of money that you can use in the future. Collect the loan quotes which is offered by most of the online lenders and compare them, look for the home improvement loan that is offered with the following features low rate of interest, larger loan amount, longer loan term and flexible repayment terms.

Make the required changes in your home to transform it into your dream home with a home improvement loan. A little bit of hardship on your part while searching for the best home improvement loan can help you save your hard earned pounds.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Positive and Powerful Performance Management

Pete is the general manager of a west coast plant for a national company. He has had trouble meeting his revenue and profit numbers for the last year. His District Manager has asked him for a meeting to discuss action plans for performance improvement. Pete’s company is in a highly competitive market and margins are slim. He has been a general manager for eight years and is known as a tough, no-nonsense boss. He has always made money and reached company goal, but he never has achieved stellar results. This year has been particularly difficult. A bigger national competitor has purchased smaller local companies, lowered prices and he’s losing accounts. He has lost some employees due to turnover and has fired some of his managers for lack of results. Most of his salespeople are new and new sales have been slow in coming.Pete’s been working long hours and the stress is getting to him. He has wracked his brain with how to improve results quickly. He has already:
Threatened his management team
Cut expenses to the bone
Pulled in favors from a few key accounts
Fired people
Held service and sales contests
Demanded his management team work extra hours and delayed vacationsUnfortunately, results haven’t improved. He knew his job was on the line and he wasn’t sure what to do next. However, he would have a plan for his boss with timelines and new projections. He just dreaded the meeting. His boss took no excuses and would rant and rave at him and his team. Pete just hoped he didn’t stay an extra day.This is a typical scenario and challenge managers face today. How would you rate this manager as a boss? What do you think his managers would say about his leadership? He isn’t a bad person, and some in upper management would say he is a good boss doing the best he can and others would say fire him. What do you think his employees say?All Good Performance Begins with Clear Goals and PlansGood bosses know that people want to succeed. Goals motivate people to succeed. Earl Nightingale said it years ago, “The problem isn’t in achieving goals, people will do that. It’s getting them to set the goals in the first place.” Once the goals are set the key is the atmosphere you create will implementing the plan.A 100-year-old services company in the US wanted to improve sales to their existing customers. Their results were mediocre. They had tried a variety of incentives and meetings and nothing worked. By engaging them with the positive performance management strategies they began to make progress. Improvement began with a thorough assessment of sales management’s skills in communicating with existing customers. Tracking reports were created around well designed goals. Training was designed and implemented The goals were shared with all involved. With consistent communication on the numbers and goals, occasional incentives, follow-up coaching and regular recognition, results improved and were sustained.What changed? Did the employees decide to become better? Did they get fed up and decide to do it themselves? Did they go to management with a big goals and a new plan? Certainly not. The management changed, with some help. They refocused their efforts with new goals, tools and support. How was this process different from Pete’s?Bad bosses often lack clear goals and plans. If they have them their execution is suspect and weak, and some threaten termination if they aren’t achieved. One general manager in a retail organization changed goals and direction so often, he disillusioned his employees, performance suffered and he lost his job. Other managers simply don’t worry about goals. They don’t know how to set them; no one showed them how, so they show up every day and do the best they can. Little is discussed about goals or progress. Of course most managers have goals, but they forget to tell the employees. If the goals aren’t reached, the employees get in trouble or are tormented about the lack of results.Once people are clear on the goals and action plans to achieve them, most people perform better. What is it about this that confused or frightens managers? So few really do it well. Research shows goal-setting is the motivational technique that works and performance will improve. To set goals and plans, a manager must:
Think about and create a plan for his area, department or company.
Do this regularly with periodic updates, staying one step ahead of the company process.
Identify department or company strengths and areas of improvement.
Identify each direct report’s strengths and areas of improvement.
Analyze customer feedback or quality data.
Consider all relevant information: equipment, the economy, competition, resources, etc.
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound) goals on company priorities. Improving customer service is not a SMART goal. It’s vague. Improving the customer survey results from 69% to 75% in the next year is a SMART goal.
Regularly communicate results.
Set goals with each employee and regularly review progress with them.We recommend that managers include employees in the process. One manager I met in an airport had just accepted a job as plant manager with a new company and was moving from Memphis to Houston. I could tell he was a good boss based on his actions and how he spoke about the value of his employees. After assuming his new role, one of his first steps included involving his team in a planning process. Why do this? People want to be part of something – the team, a cause, a mission. With their contribution, managers not only achieve that, but tap their minds for creative ideas that they don’t have. The employees are committed to the plans, because they now “own” them and the manager has buy-in.How to Manage PerformanceAll good performance begins with clear expectations and goals — keeping employees’ daily focus on excelling in their jobs. When employees understand what managers expect, they will stay more engaged, want to do their jobs well and find ways to keep improving. They will perform more effectively and become more satisfied with their jobs. Without this important communication, only the very best employees will excel. The biggest complaint from managers is that all of this takes time. And, it does. However, it’s an investment in a process that saves you time later and that can dramatically improve productivity. Effective leadership is a high contact sport. Here are three key considerations.Setting Expectations Meet one on one and review the job description and duties in detail with the new employee. This begins in the hiring process. Answer their questions about the job, and once hired have them talk to others doing the job. Set goals for 30 through 90 days. Meet with the employee periodically to clarify any misunderstandings, review progress and handle problems. Ask for periodic updates on projects, and continue to check employees’ expectations: first day, first week, first month, and monthly.Goal-setting and Planning Meet one on one and establish clear goals with all employees. Put three to five goals in writing and clarify what’s in it for them, relating their performance to personal impact. Schedule a meeting to discuss this at least monthly, but flex with the challenges and follow-up. This is an invaluable communication process that will help the employee succeed. Some companies discuss goals daily, but most managers don’t do it at all or just once a year at a performance review. That isn’t enough; jobs are too fast-paced and complex to let things go that long. Good bosses make goal-setting, communication and feedback on results a priority.Coaching Review employees’ performance daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on the need. Coaching discussions aren’t about pay increases or for job evaluation purposes. Follow your company procedures for those. They are usually required every six months or once a year. With coaching, talk about recent specific performance one on one and review how things are going from two perspectives. First, understand the employee’s view. Ask these key question: How’s it going? What’s working? What are your key problems or challenges? What can you do differently or better? How can I help? While you ask the questions, you thoughtfully listen to their comments and then give appropriate feedback. For example:
Give positive feedback. “I agree you did a good job on the report. It was specific and well-researched.”
Bring up problems. “Have you noticed the growth in complaints? What’s happening there? How are you handling it?”
Give guidance and create a plan of action together. For example, “What about a campaign to gain new customers. I haven’t seen much of that. Can we focus on that? What are your ideas?”If you are separated by distance, this can be handled with a phone call. But e-mail is inappropriate – it’s too impersonal and we will often write what we might not say in person.Six Other Performance Management StrategiesManage by Wandering Around. Tom Peters coined this term. It means to touch base and observe what’s happening with your team during the day. Do informal coaching, talk to employees, pat them on the back, tell a joke, give them a hand if needed, listen to what’s going on or give needed praise and encouragement. There are times that your duties might prevent you from doing this, but make every effort to make it a regular practice.Every day at the end of the day check in with every employee you can. Keep it informal and ask things like: How did it go? What progress did you make? Any problems? Anything you need help with? What happened on that goal we talked about? What’s the plan tomorrow? Good job on that account. Remember, to follow-up. Always try to keep things positive!Track your priority goals on a bulletin board, an intra-company web site or dashboard. This provides immediate recognition for employees and fans the flame of competition and pride in doing the job well.Meet weekly or every other week and review progress in a staff meeting. Include people in other offices through phone conferences or a WebEx. The meeting doesn’t have to be long. You want to get updates on priority goals or projects, discuss problems or issues and communicate any news about your area or company.Keep people informed through email updates. Communicate progress and results to employees regularly. Without information, people tend to think the worst and the rumor mill grows. This is especially important to employees in remote offices, who are separated by distance from headquarters. Keep your e-mails positive as well.Use the phone (or Skype) for the same reasons as above, but it’s more personal. The phone is a good tool for coaching. Managers of one of our client companies call their locations across their districts a couple of times a week to encourage or recognize them. This also gives them the opportunity to find out how things are going. In the beginning, most employees asked, “What’s the problem?” They were so used to managers only contacting them with issues. By the way, use the phone to confront performance issues only if there’s no way to meet one on one. Then, focus on the problem, not the person, and identify a plan for improvement.As a manager, you have the single biggest influence on your employees’ performance than anyone else. Be proactive and consider the strategies we have discussed. With consistent and enthusiastic application you will have a positive and powerful impact on their results.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Keys to Be Successful in Business Marketing

Business marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to other businesses or organizations. These other organizations may resell these goods and services or use them in their own business to support their operations. Business marketing is often called as industrial marketing or business-to-business (B2B) marketing.The perfect example of Business to business marketing is the automobile industry. Automobile companies buy various spare parts such as tires, batteries, electronics and door locks which are manufactured independently by other businesses and sold directly to automobile manufacturers to assemble automobiles.Even the Service industry is also engaged in large number of business to business transactions. For example Companies specializing in housekeeping provide services exclusively to other organizations, rather than individual consumers.Business-to-customer marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to retail consumers for personal use. While most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies. The business-to-consumer as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to transaction between two or more businesses.Business market (B2B) vs. Consumer marketing (B2C)B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing in a number of key ways. A Business market has very few customers as compared to a consumer market which has large numbers of customers. A business market usually sells a customized product where as a consumer market sells a homogenous product. A Business to business transaction is a huge value transaction as purchase quantity is very high where as business to consumer transaction is a small value transaction. Price can be negotiated in business markets where as price is usually fixed in consumer market. Business markets have lengthy and complex selling process with multiple decision makers but in consumer market buying decision are simple and are made by individuals.Keys to success in Business markets are:1) Value creation & Customer satisfactionBusiness begins with value creation. It is the prime objective of the business to create and deliver value in an efficient manner which will ultimately lead to profits. Value leads to customer satisfaction. Customer experience is an integral part of B2B marketing. The customer experience is the key brand differentiator, even more than the price and product.2) Social media marketingSocial media marketing is when a company uses social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to market its product or services. Social media marketing is one of the best and efficient platforms for marketers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing including current and potential customers.3) Mobile marketingMobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy whose aim is reaching a target audience on their Smartphone, tablets, and other mobile devices through email, SMS and multimedia messages.Smartphone usage has increased multiple times during the last few years, app usage has also highly increased. Therefore, mobile marketers have increasingly taken advantage of Smartphone apps as a marketing resource. Marketers aim to optimize the visibility of an app in a store, which will maximize the number of downloads. This practice is called App Store Optimization (ASO).4) Multimedia Content MarketingMarketing using Multimedia content attracts more customers. B2B marketers are widely adopting this trend. The primary driver is the desire to make content more engaging, compelling, and shareable than just the traditional modes. The most common forms of visual content include 360-degree videos.5) Effective Personal selling & Executive BrandingDistribution channel is the path through which the product reaches the final customer. Personal selling is the most preferred form of distribution and promotion used by B2B marketers The sellers promote the product through their attitude, appearance and specialist product knowledge. Executive Branding is when an executive showcases his professional strengths as a way to attract the customers. Executive branding is also known as reputation management. Especially in B2B environments, executive branding is now considered a necessity. Senior management must create and develop their personal brand image to attract new customers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off