Archives for November 2015

4 Must-Haves For All Tradies

Whether you are one of the fledgling tradies about to start an apprenticeship or experienced tradies running their own business, you need business equipment. There is always a list of must-have items applicable to all trades. The points in the following list are non-negotiable, so it’s important to get what suits you best for your line of work and your day-to-day activities.

tradies must haves

Don’t leave your business exposed

It’s one simple word that can be the make or break of any company: insurance. Make sure you aren’t exposing your business to unnecessary risks by not having it and yourself properly insured. Accidents unfortunately do happen, and there is enough to deal with on those occasions without stressing about how your business will cover the costs. If you don’t know where to start, or you aren’t happy with your current insurance, talk to a specialised company like Tradewise Insurance who can help you make a decision.

Don’t leave yourself exposed

This, quite literally, means ensuring you have appropriate clothing. It may seem obvious, but the constant jokes about “builder’s crack” should make you consider this more carefully. Do you have work-appropriate clothing for your trade? Is your uniform breathable and comfortable? Does it protect you from the sun? Perhaps you can have branded clothing to help promote your business? No matter what, you’ll be spending plenty of hours wearing your uniform, so make sure it’s comfortable (and that it covers up potential builders’ cracks).

Don’t leave yourself stranded

A vehicle is one of the most important assets you will have as a tradie. More than just a reliable mode of transport for getting you from worksite to worksite, your vehicle becomes your moving office, carrying and possibly storing your tools, and becoming your greatest dependency for work. Make sure you find a reliable model, with appropriate space for tools. It’s also imperative your vehicle is well-insured. You might also want to think about the amount of seating required, if you choose to carpool with your mates to work.

Don’t leave yourself underexposed

This might seem like a strange one, but if you’re in the business of, well, business, you need to make sure people know about you. These days, if you’re not online, you don’t exist. This means you need a website and social media presence. You can easily run and manage this marketing yourself, but if you’re not a technical wizard, it can be a worthwhile investment to have someone create your website for you. When you set it up, make sure it’s easy to find – you want your trade and location to pop up quickly when someone searches for local tradies. Once that’s all done, it’s up to you to keep it updated. There’s nothing worse than a website with old news, or a social media account that hasn’t been active in three months. Don’t forget!

There are a couple of must-haves for all tradies, but obviously there are many more things that could go on this list. What is your single most valuable business item? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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5 Ways To Pay Off Your Car Loan Sooner

Getting rid of debts like car loans sooner rather than later can be a solid investment in your future for a number of reasons. It not only improves your credit history, but means more money in your bank account, so if you’re lumbering away under the cloud of debt, here are five ways to ease the burden and help pay off your car loan sooner.

car loan

Extra repayments

The key to paying off any loan sooner is to regularly make extra payments. Loans can be paid via interest only or via principal plus interest repayments. That means you are either just paying off the interest or making headway into the actual debt, so ensure you’re paying back more than just the interest-only amount to get your loan paid off sooner.

For example, if your charges are $167 per month, try to pay back $200 a month. Even a small extra repayment can make a difference over time. Also bear in mind that the more you pay off your loan, the smaller the interest, meaning paying that little bit extra can help you save money in the long term.

Check your loan to make sure you can make extra payments and, if you’re signing up to a new loan, ensure there are flexible payment options and no exit fees. Organisations like Zoom Car Loans have some great packages available.

Change the Date

It’s a small thing but something as simple as making weekly instead of fortnightly or monthly repayments can also help you reduce your debt sooner. For example, loan repayments of $100 per week add up to $5200 in a year, but $400 per month equals $4800 annually.

Lump Sums

Got a solid tax return or Christmas bonus pending? Funnel it into your loan. A decent lump sum every now and then can go a long way to paying off your car loan quickly.

Spare Change

A great way to rid yourself of a loan is to channel spare change into it. Have a look at your weekly budget and see where corners can be cut. It might be something as small as foregoing that daily barista-made coffee and opting for the office tea room instead. But that saving could be around $20 per week.

Extra cash

There are plenty of ways to pull in a little extra cash when you’re serious about a goal. From getting rid of your unused items on EBay to a little freelancing or odd jobs. Again, just a small amount per week can add up over the life of any loan.

The sooner you pay off a loan, the sooner an item is truly yours. It’s also the chance to demonstrate some great habits for your credit rating and have a little extra spare change each week. All it takes is commitment and a small amount of financial common sense.

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Using Mobile Business Tools As A Contractor

If you are used to working on the road as a contractor and have ported most of your communication tools to your smartphone or tablet, this is a very good time for you because there are new options that will meet your needs in almost every area of your business.

business tools

Suppliers take note of mobile access

Although you could always use major retailers’ and wholesalers’ websites to pull the product information and details that you needed, recently, many of the companies that you purchase from have either created their own applications for Android or they have made their websites accessible from mobile devices to ensure that you are able to access them when you are looking for parts while you are on site. While both options make it easier for you, most tests show that if an application is available, it will prove to be faster to use and offer you more in the way of occasional discounts.

Payment made easy

Another hassle for contractor that allow customers to pay on terms is that it used to mean that you had to go back to your office and create an invoice so that they could have a record and start the clock on payment. No more. Companies like have created software for smartphones and tablets that allows you to invoice your customers instantly while you are on site. Even better, if the customer is residential and pays right away using cash or a check like they normally do, you will be able to provide them with an invoice bill or receipt that creates a way for them to see exactly what work was performed and why they are paying what they are paying.

Designers R U

Finally, if you work on exteriors and interiors and the client is not using an interior decorator, you are probably often asked to create color combinations or at least provide options for the customer. Chances are that because their own tastes will decide most of the final details, they would like some way to validate what it is that you will do for them before you get started. Fortunately, many of the paint companies have created emulators that allow you to take a picture of a wall and add their product to it so that you can see what the wall will look like in advance of you actually making changes to it.

Kitchen cabinet companies have also created similar software, making it simple for you to help your clients design what they are looking for in the comfort of their own home.

Image courtesy of StockImagesat

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3 Things Your Business Can Outsource Today

Outsourcing is a great way for your business to downsize and save money whilst still maintaining a comparable level of output and efficiency day-to-day. You may even be able to expand your services if you’re smart about which areas you choose to outsource – but which areas should you consider? Here are just three to get you outsourcing

1. Inventory management

For some businesses, keeping track of their inventory is a simple but time-consuming task that eats up valuable employee time. For others, it’s akin to fighting a losing battle. Tracking your incoming and outgoing stock, and keeping an accurate tally of your stock on-hand, is critical for the fluid running of any business. There are a number of ways to approach this task in terms of outsourcing, but the most reliable is automation. Using automated inventory management software, like the kind provided by Fishbowl, is perfect because it means your warehouse staff can devote more of their work hours to actually running the business instead of endlessly bean counting. Software like this is compatible with the most popular existing account and inventory management programs like Quickbooks and Xero so there isn’t even a weird transitional phase, you just install it and put it to work.

2. Web design

Web design is one of the most popular areas in business for outsourcing because there are plenty of talented freelance web devs out there looking for work. Depending on the quality of work you’re looking for, you may need to cast a pretty wide net and have a particular budget in mind. It’s important to remember that the best web designers frequently don’t come cheap, but most are open to negotiation. Independent contractors are perfect for jobs like this which often tend to be concentrated over a narrow time-frame – that means you aren’t paying an entire salary to someone you don’t permanently need in a full-time capacity.

3. Marketing

Your marketing should be driving sales within the business. A lot of small business owners try to go the DIY route here too and often come up short. There are so many ways to craft an effective modern marketing campaign and there are lots of companies that can accomplish that for you. They’ll provide something that reaches as many demographics as possible – through social media, AdWords, ad spots on high traffic websites and even into old media like TV advertising and newspapers. These are the kinds of companies that can really generate huge traffic and revenue because they know exactly how to manipulate these systems for maximum effect.

These are just a few facets of your business that can be outsourced for greater productivity and results in the longer term. Depending on the job, it can be an excellent cost-saving measure and it might even free up your overworked staff to do the jobs they were originally hired to do. Have you ever outsourced any part of your business? How did it go? Tell your story in the comments below.

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Another Gen-S Story: Honda Launches the All New Honda RS150

Here’s the much awaited new generation sports motorcycle that will thrill young generations who are passionate of bike and sports. Honda, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, is now introducing another exciting motorcycle one after the other in the Philippine market. From the most technologically advance Scooters with Smart Engines to the most powerful Sports Engine in its class.

After several months of speculation, Honda has finally presented the All New Honda RS150. This Honda newest Sports Bike is equipped with a New Generation 150cc Liquid-cooled DOHC 6-speed engine, born out of Honda Racing DNA with class leading advance technology.

HondaPhoto shows (from left) Mr. Elie Salamangkit Jr., Product
Planning Manager, Honda Philippines Inc. ;Daiki Mihara,
President, Honda Philippines, Inc.; Noriaki Abe, Chief Operating Officer,
Regional Operations, Asia Oceania and president of Asian Honda
Motors Company Limited ; Hideo Nishinaga, AVP,General Manager,
Sales and Marketing Division, Honda Philippines Inc.

In its official public launch in this year’s Inside Racing Grand Prix (IRGP) event held at Carmona Racing Circuit, Mr. Daiki Mihara, Honda Philippines, Inc. President and Mr. Noriaki Abe of Asian Honda, Chief Operating Officer of Asia & Oceana Region of Honda Motor Japan, announces Honda’s commitment in delivering the most exciting Honda product for the New Generation. This time, not only that Honda has introduced in the Philippines Honda Smart Engines for Scooter or Automatic models but now our New Generation of Filipino Sports Motorcycle Enthusiast can enjoy the All New Honda RS150 with Powerful Sports Engine. This is just the beginning of another Gen-S story to come hinted by the two top Honda executives.
Honda RS150 red

The All New RS150 is an answer to young generation customers who are looking for freedom of high performance on sporty and sharply designed bike with class leading technology, specifications, and features explained by Mr. Elie Salamangkit Jr., Honda Product Planning Manager. To ensure the best handling possible, Honda’s Philosophy in developing sports motorcycle was applied wherein “Rider can control engine power in any circumstances… exactly when needed and as much as needed” or “Control at Riders’ Will”.
Honda RS150 pinkDesign, Frame and Engine synergy is what made this newest Honda motorcycle special. The bike design reflects aggressive new generation styling with sharp looking body and boasts attractive features from latest Super sports. Giving pride to the rider is its sharp wedge shape and innovative and edgy surface treatment not to mention its class leading features of LED Headlight, Fully Integrated Digital Meter Panel, Rear and Big Diameter Front Disc Brakes, Aluminum Cast Wheel, Clamped handle bar, Tubeless tires, and Rear Monoshock absorber among others.

The frame which holds the motorcycle was designed with high agility and safety in mind. The frame and chassis delivers agile and responsive control, very suitable for city streets made possible by its agile 45 degrees steering handle, compact dimension wheelbase of 1275mm plus the application of new strong twin-tube type sports frame which is designed to be safe at high speed and quick acceleration.
Honda motorThe engine performance has the best acceleration in its class, but still fuel efficient by application of wide variety of friction reduction technologies producing maximum power of 11.8KW (16.0 PS) at 9,000 rpm. The new generation engine especially designed for Southeast Asia including the Philippines has the following characteristics:

1. Flexible output characteristics that enable fun riding in a wide range of riding situations.
2. Improved fuel efficiency performance.
3. Remarkable level of comfort enabling the rider to experience a high-grade feel.
4. Exterior design with functional beauty that evokes the sophisticated mechanism.

Honda dares customer to test it and discover real power that you can handle.
Honda RS150 blackFinally, the all new RS150 is environment friendly with its Euro-3 compliant emission and safety is still Honda’s top most priority with the installation of Bank Angle sensor that increases rider’s safety by automatic engine turn-off during accidental crash or fall.

The IRGP crowd was further treated by actual show-off run of All New RS150 in the race track with its three exciting colors, Black, Winning Red and Space Magenta Metallic as special color which will all be available in Honda Shops nationwide.

To further strengthen commitment for the young generation, Honda has given the public a sneak peak of another Sports model, the All New CB150R which will be launched by next summer of 2016 as the Honda Gen-S story continues…

Excited with this latest news about Honda motorcycles? Find out more about Gen-S stories, visit their website at or visit or contact the local dealer nearest you!

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