What is a low doc home loan and how can it help?

If you are a self-employment person or someone who doesn’t have access to the normal types of income documentation a low doc home loan may be the saving grace that you’ve been looking for. When trying to apply for a home loan as a self-employed person you may be astonished at how differently lenders treat you.

Generally to apply for a loan you need to be able to show your past two tax returns and a decision based on those documents is what will calculate how much you are entitled to borrow. A problem with this system is that if you have out of date tax returns or returns that don’t reflect your income at the present moment you won’t be given a fair amount.

As you file your tax return happens a period of time ago, lenders don’t take into consideration what has happened in between that time frame. Luckily low doc home loans exist and can benefit you greatly.

They’re made for small business owners and entrepreneurs

Low doc home loans are designed with self-employers and entrepreneurs in mind. The documentation that you need to provide to get started is a singed privacy statement, a declaration of income, some proof of identification and the application form itself.

Being self-employed shouldn’t limit your borrowing capabilities and low doc home loans can help get your foot in the housing market.

Save time

When you run your own business or if you are an entrepreneur you don’t have the luxury to sit down and go through all the procedures that banks and lenders require you to do. Luckily low doc loans are also streamlined to make the process easier.

Traditionally if you have had finance within the past 6 months it can make the process even quicker. Lenders can go to the companies that you dealt with previously and analyse what type of payments you were making and if they were on time or not.

Since there is less paperwork involved, lenders often require some security for the loaned amount. They analyse your assets and assess whether you will be able to pay back the debt. If you already own a home that’s a great stand point in proving that you can pay back the debt. However if you aren’t it’s not the end of the world. Most lenders typically require a security deposit to pay off the first few instalments of the loan.

Vast amount of options available

A great way that a low doc home loan can help you is that there are plenty of different lenders available that have opted this type of loan. Businesses and banks are aware of the changing world and that people with their own business and those that want to start one need to get into the housing market themselves.

Low doc loans aim to help those who can’t supply the traditional documentation or time during the process of acquiring a home.

There are many different lending services available each with their own benefits and downfalls. Have a look and get an estimate from multiple lenders. As they are designed for stream line you can usually fill out an application online that is send back rather quickly.

In doing so, you can obtain your own portfolio of possible lenders without having to leave your household. Look at the rates that they provide and see which service is the best for you when making your decision.

How a leather couch can make the perfect addition to any study area

Leather Couch

More and more people in this day and age are working from home. This is the case because the internet works so well as connecting people now. Instead of having to attend physical meetings, people can chat via Skype or through email. Employees can easily be hired from anywhere in the world and can communicate with each other on a daily basis through social media accounts or apps such as Slack. In addition to this ease, people also want to work from home because they don’t want to have to work for someone else anymore. Almost all people have experienced bullying in the workplace in their lives and will decide that usual business model where a CEO will make all of the money and the people that do all of the work make the least amount of money doesn’t sit well with them. Having said this, just because someone decides to work from home, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have a dedicated room to work in where they can easily complete their tasks and not get distracted by other things in the home. As this is the case, many people will hire interior designers to give their home a simple and yet opulent feel that will allow people to get as much work done as effectively as possible. What an interior designer will commonly do is select certain pieces of furniture that will bring a room together. More often than not, one of these selected pieces will be a leather couch.

How does a leather couch bring a room together?

One of the best things about using a leather couch in a study area is that layers can be added to the piece. As a traditional leather couch will be neutral in colour (black, brown, tan, or cream), different textures and colours can be added to this to suit the person at hand. For example, for someone who is wanting a more feminine feel, they can add layers of light coloured pillows and throw rugs. They could also place a tall and light lamp next to the leather couch which will help balance out the neutrality of the piece. More someone who is wanting a more rustic feel in their office space, they could couple their leather couch with wood pieces or even animal hide or bones as decorations. Many people will enjoy coupling their piece with a retro bar cart which will give their office space an elegant feel that resembles the 1950’s. So as it can be seen, there are many different ways that people can utilise a leather couch in order to bring a room together.

Splashes of bold colours can be added with a leather couch

Another great way to create an office space that is by adding splashes of bold colours. This can mix well with a leather couch as it will make the bold colours stand out even more. For example, someone could have one piece of colourful art work hanging somewhere in the room. Some will even like to purchase desks or computer chairs that are of unusual colours and patterns. Having a little bit of colour in an office space (but not going overboard) is often the perfect way to keep things light, positive, and fun. Furthermore, when using splashes of colour, people can still have a gorgeous leather couch in the space which can be a great place to sit and think or to offer guests a drink when they visit. All in all, people can’t go wrong when implementing a statement piece.

The benefits of mindfulness in the workplace

mindfulness

So often we spend our work days powering through work with the simple goal of getting it done and being able to go home at the end of the day. Before we know it the week is over and we get to do it all again in 2 days’ time.

The trouble with this is that we don’t get anything out of it and we can end up hating our job. Taking the time to think through every task we are doing and how it will benefit the business and clients can improve your own wellbeing and find a greater purpose for what you do. A sense of mindfulness will help you to get more than just a salary out of your job.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about paying full attention to the task at hand and completing it with purposefulness without judgement in the present time. The origins of mindfulness come from meditation and are designed to reduce stress and anxiety. Having mindfulness as part of your everyday routine will help you to have a greater awareness, allowing you to have a better understanding of what you are doing and why which will result in you being more stress free.

What are the benefits?

Taking a mindful approach to your work each day will have a number of positive effects;

  1. You will become aware of habitual or routine behaviours that may not be most efficient or are simply outdated, allowing you to take an alternative course of action.
  2. Having this awareness will allow you to better adapt to unknown situations
  3. You detach yourself emotionally from more situations which will allow you to make clearer, and likely better, decisions when it comes to finding a solution or choosing a course of action.
  4. Having a greater sense of calm will likely enable you to come up with more creative and innovative solutions to problems or simply improve processes.
  5. You will better prioritise your life and find a more suitable balance between work and play as a result of a broader perspective on things.
  6. Emotions such as stress and anxiety will be reduced which will in turn lower your blood pressure and improve your general wellbeing. This will have a significant impact on all facets of life allowing you to enjoy yourself more, relax and be more productive.

The impacts of increased mindfulness are almost boundless. Mindfulness in the workplace will enable you to get more out of your work and likely have a positive influence on your colleagues as well.

The 7 steps to becoming a customer

customer

Regardless of how you are found a person will take seven steps before they become a customer. Whilst these steps can not all be controlled by the business, there are always ways in which the business can made it a smoother transition.

  1. Discovery

Before this stage a person may not have any idea you exist. They may not have a need for your product or service and are therefore not in the market. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t be in the market once you are discovered and they know more. As a business, it is important that you are actively looking for new ways to be discovered and how this can be made easier fro potential customers.

  1. Awareness

Just because someone knows you exist doesn’t mean they know what you do. They may have a slight understanding that you sell something but they don’t know exactly what. This is a crucial stage of opportunity for you to inform the prospect of your offering. How you make them aware of what you sell could make or break the relationship. They may not need your product now but you want them to choose you if ever they do.

  1. Top of mind

The awareness doesn’t stay around forever. People move on and see other things, they get distracted. In order to maintain awareness in the prospects mind you must reach top of mind. 80% of conversions are made after 5 follow up calls so you need to have a strategy in play to regularly contact the prospect.

  1. Desire

Over time, be it through your awareness or top of mind efforts or simply a change of heart, people will find a need for your product or service. They have heard about what you offer through you, your competitors and friends and family and now believe they need this specific product. Having strategies in place to ensure that they opt for your brand is a necessity.

  1. Information

Whilst the person may have a desire to own the product they still don’t have the required level of education to invest. They want to find information that is going to help them to make a decision. Being that business that is on the front foot and can provide them with the help they need will help to convert the sale.

  1. Value

For more complex sales, value is something that is highly regarded. By this stage your business will have built a relationship with the person. Being able to concisely explain the value and point of difference is the final stage in the relationship build.

  1. Action

Once the person understands the value, is informed about the product and has a desire to purchase it, it’s time to complete the sale. Ask them if they would like to purchase and highlight the benefits it will have for them.

Motivation tips to help you smash your next project

motivation

When we are handed a project we are often filled with excitement and an instant motivation to get started and smash it out. This motivation, however, often dies quickly when we hit a road block or a challenge throughout the project. Finding ways to overcome these and stay on track is pivotal to your success.

  1. Know why you’re doing it

Find a reason as to why completing this project is specifically important to you. Knowing why others want you to do it is a starting point but find intrinsic motivation to help push your through.

  1. Visualise success

Know what it is going to look like at the end and regularly visualise it at each stage of the project. This gives you a clear goal to work towards.

  1. Believe

Whilst we may often start out with enthusiasm, challenges may knock the belief out of us. Constantly reassuring yourself that you are the person for the job and will do it well is sure to keep you motivated and working to a high standard.

  1. Break the project down

Approaching it as one giant task is always going to land you in trouble. It means that you don’t feel success until completion which makes it extremely hard to overcome the challenges faced along the way. Break it apart in stages and reward yourself at the completion of each stage.

  1. Make a plan

This follows on from the above. Without a plan you can get lost and find yourself completing meaningless tasks. Make a plan and stick to it as it will give you direction.

  1. Understand that nothing is perfect

When embarking on a major project there are always going to be challenges. Additionally, if it is something you haven’t exactly done before, you are going to make mistakes. Accept them and learn from them.

  1. Tell people about it

Communicating your plans and success to others makes you both accountable and gives you a sense of pride. Informing others will ensure you stick to task and makes the successes more real.

  1. Use resources

Look to other colleagues, friend, family or conduct research to understand how to best go about each part of the project. Drawing on other people’s past experiences and researching will make your more confident in what you do and likely produce a better result.

  1. Create the right environment

If the project is going to take a long time it is important that you create an environment that gives you energy. This may require changing it throughout the project or completing work in different parts of the office or at cafes. Your environment has a huge impact on your work.

  1. Look after yourself

One of the biggest limitations to motivation is wellbeing. Don’t get stressed over the project and constantly evaluate where you are at and what can be improved. This helps you to remain realistic and doesn’t allow things to get out of hand.

Managing your boss and getting ahead as a team

teamwork

The relationship between a boss and his or her employees is incredibly important to the success of the team.

Having a strong relationship ensures that everyone in the team has a greater sense of enjoyment, success and productivity whilst also enabling greater development. The stronger the relationship, the more accountable everyone is of one another and the firmer they can be in pushing people to get tasks done.

Building a deeper relationship between your boss and the rest of your team not only benefits the business but it also benefits you in a personal manner. Those around you are now more likely to recommend you for a new position, they are more willing to help you and your boss is more likely to put time into developing you for greater responsibility.

There are a few simple things that you can do to help improve your relationship with your boss.

Be authentic and change your mindset

Successful employees are truly interested in the success of the team. Regular communication and support for other team members including genuine concerns about others’ goals, their professional desires and any personal concerns they have to build trust and reliability. Showing genuine care for team members and for the team’ success will go a long way.

Perception is everything

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is incredibly important so that you can get on the front foot and complete the tasks that you do best. This also means that you are able to benefit the rest of the team as everyone is then able to focus on the tasks that suit their own strengths. Seek feedback on your work to further identify what you add to the team. Without getting on the front foot you appear standoff-ish and may not be able to show the value you bring to the team

Be honest

When things go wrong or you face a challenge, don’t wait for things to get out of hand before mentioning it to the rest of the team. Once again you need to get on the front foot and inform everyone. This builds trust and means they are likely to give you responsibility in the future.

Have their back

Your teams work will be regularly criticised and backing up your bosses ideas and thoughts builds a strong, cohesive team. This also means that they are more likely to trust you in the future when it comes to outputting forward ideas. Constantly communicate in a positive manner with your boss when they are surrounded by peers and superiors as this will build an appreciation for your work and build a stronger relationship.

Managing fatigue at work

workplace fatigue

Time is becoming more and more precious everyday as businesses and employees find ways to get ahead of the game. However, in this strive for greatness, are we too often neglecting sleep or prioritising work over it?

Communication technology has been and still is one of the major players in this cultural shift. No longer is it simply a 9-5 work day as clients and bosses now want immediate responses to their queries and requests. Getting home at the end of the day doesn’t leave you out of reach of work and this can have negative impacts on sleeping patterns, either by choice or subconsciously.

These increased demands and connectivity means that we need to find better ways of managing our time, in order to get more done, and our fatigue, to ensure that we are productive with this time.

  1. Prioritise

Focus on the tasks that are urgent or most important. urgent tasks that lack impotance should also be left until later. Getting the important tasks done that allow you to work through them thoroughly is going to have far better effects on the business and your own wellbeing. Being able to work at a steady pace ensures a higher quality of work.

  1. Take a nap

This may be challenging for those working in an office but nap pods and quiet areas are becoming more common in offices. Find a quiet space where you can rest your eyes and won’t be disturbed. A quick 20 minute nap in the middle of the day will help you to reset, re-energise and innovate meaning that you be able to get more done for the rest of the day and potentially work longer.

  1. Switch off

Your work can become overwhelming at times, especially with the increased demands of clients and employers. Finding time to completely switch off is essential to maintaining a high level of output. Find a whole day or specific times when you are able to switch off from work and not be in contact with colleagues or clients for at least a couple of hours.

  1. Find a hobby/activity

Finding a hobby or activity that takes your mind off the job is a great way to refresh your brain and feel good about yourself. Whatever the activity or hobby, make sure it gets you out of the office and is something that allows you to engage with other people and/or nature are the most beneficial.

  1. Self-care

Anything that contributes to your own personal development or wellbeing can be classified as self-care. This could be meditation, reading or a massage all of which help you to relax and find a sense of calm whilst benefiting your mind or body.

How to maximise your strengths in the workplace

strengths

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and it’s important to identify them so that you can best utilise your strengths and avoid situations that rely on your weaknesses.

Once you have identified them it is about maximising your strengths in the workplace to take you to the top. There are a few ways that you can hon in your strengths and achieve success.

  1. Identify when to use them

Not all of your strengths will be applicable in all situations. However, chances are at least one of them will be. Understand what strengths of yours are valuable in what situations so that you can step up when necessary and reach success.

The best way to find situations where you can use your strengths is to actively seek opportunities that focus on them. For example, if you’re really good at talking to people and building relationships then networking events might be the best tasks for you. Put your hand up to represent the team and show them what you are made of.

The more opportunities that you find to use your strengths the stronger they will become and the better success you will achieve.

  1. Don’t overdo it

Whilst you want to seek out opportunities that allow you to utilise your strengths, you don’t want to become known as a one trick pony. Understand that you will have more than one strength and you need to constantly find opportunities to use them all.

Whilst it is great to be the go-to person for a particular thing, you want to be that person for multiple things. This means that you add greater value to your team and you get greater opportunity to be seen.

  1. Look to improve

Just because they are classified as a strength doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. You may be really good at something but that doesn’t mean you are the best and even if you are the best you can still get better.

Find ways that challenge your strengths in a way that they haven’t been challenged before. This may mean enrolling in a course that helps to develop certain areas or taking on challenging tasks within the office that suit your strengths but are unknown to you.

  1. Understand your weaknesses

Your weaknesses are nothing to be ashamed of but it does mean that you should avoid helping out in areas that you aren’t well skilled in. Acknowledge that you have a weakness in a certain area and divert your time elsewhere for the benefit of your team.

Failing to covert leads into sales? Here are a few tips

sales

Often a business will see that their lead to conversion rate is quite low and this is obviously one of the most alarming stats as it highlights an inability to really capture the customer’s interest.

One of the biggest reasons behind this is that a business will put substantial time, money and effort into the generation of leads but then lack the structures and processes in place to enable staff to convert them. Not investing in your sales staff and the conversion processes ultimately leaves your lead generation investment worthless.

There are 3 key factors that need to be considered when it comes to the conversion of sales:

  1. Quality of the lead

The quality of your lead is heavily dictated by your marketing efforts. These needs to be highly targeted and accurate to ensure you have high quality leads to people or businesses that are genuinely interested or have a need for your product or service. If you fail to do this, you will waste time dealing with low-value customers and your conversion numbers will look bad.

  1. Poorly-skilled sales people

Your sales representatives need to be highly skilled in the value proposition and providing additional value to the buyer. Too often companies fail to invest in highly skilled and highly relevant sales representatives leaving their customers unsatisfied. If the sales people talk about features and prices too early they fail to realise the value for the buyer.

  1. Failure to follow up leads

Too often sales people will only follow up a lead with one effort. Statistics have shown that in order to convert a sale you may need to make up to 5 follow up calls and from the first showing of interest, a customer may not buy for three months. This means that sales reps need to be persistent and patient and regularly follow up leads and check in with clients and prospects.

In order to ensure that your business doesn’t miss out on leads, there are 3 important steps to take in your marketing and sales pipeline:

  1. Know your business

Having a strong identity and goal will be reflected in your sales efforts. Make sure everyone believes in the businesses direction, values and is striving for the same goal.

  1. Know your market

Capturing the right market is incredibly important so that your sales efforts are well directed and you don’t waste tie chasing low-value customers.

  1. Align your sales process to your customers’ needs

This follows on from highly targeted marketing and ensures that you are providing your customers with value beyond your product or service. Look to provide relevant and meaningful solutions tailored to the customer.

A simple guide to hashtags

hashtag

Social media is all the talk of marketing in the modern world. The internet has allowed marketers to reach a wide variety of people and social media has made this even easier by automatically connecting like-minded people. This gives marketers unprecedented access to a large target market and one that they can divide into their own audiences.

The introduction of hashtags has added another element to this marketing labyrinth and understanding how to use them could have a significant impact on the success of your campaigns. Understanding what they are, how they work and how to use them will give your social media marketing a much needed boost.

What are hashtags?

Hashtags are the words that you see on a post that are clickable and accompanied by ‘#’, for example #hashtagmarketing.  When these are clicked, they take you to all of the recent posts that are related to that topic. Using a hashtag makes that post searchable using that specific hashtag or topic.

How do they work?

When you are posting about a specific topic, simple follow your post with ‘#’ and then relevant words that relate directly to your post. For example, when posting something about your new shampoo product you may use hashtags like ‘#shampoo’, ‘#thickerhair’ etc. or other trending hashtags.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using hashtags;

  • Don’t use spaces, for the hashtag to work it must be one word.
  • The case of the letters doesn’t matter but can be used to make it easier to read.
  • Research existing ones so that you can link your content to other content and build a stronger profile.
  • Don’t over dot it. Hashtags are great but too many can become overwhelming and annoying.

How do you use them?

Hashtags are a great way to increase the visibility of your posts and your brand in general. The most important thing about hashtags is making sure they are relevant and will lead users to other related content that could be interesting or useful.

It’s likely that you have seen posts with heaps of hashtags on them already. This may increase short term visibility but it is unlikely to win anyone over as it becomes too much to take in when ready the post. Use the hashtags sparingly with only a couple per post and understand whether it is best to use them within the text or at the end. Use them throughout the text if it doesn’t impact the readability but otherwise just put them at the end.

Using hashtags correctly will help you to build your brand and increase visibility to relevant customers.