Category Archive : Finance

Does Your Business Need Outside Management?

Some businesses can be wary of bringing in an outside management or business consultant. They may think that it reflects badly on their leadership to have to outsource a consultancy, or that the business consultant will take over and that the company will lose control of the project they are consulting on.

In fact, most companies and organizations rely on outside business consultants at some stage, typically when the business has grown to the point where it needs to move on to the next level, but doesn’t have the in-house skills or experiences to facilitate that. An outside business consultant can bring a wealth of new skills, experience and perspective to bear, usually at a fraction of the cost of taking on full time, skilled employees.

A Fresh Point of View

Business consultants come into a situation with a fresh perspective. They have an independent point of view informed by their experience in working with other companies in similar and not-so-similar circumstances, across a wide range of industry sectors. As an independent consultant, they have no agenda other than doing a good job, and they have no particular loyalties to different factions within the company. A long-standing business can be like a family, where certain things are not mentioned and certain assumptions prevail, even when they are not based on current facts. An outside business consultant can point out strengths and weaknesses and suggest change without fear of repercussion.

New Skills

A business consultant also brings expertise and specific technical skills that may be in short supply in-house. They can focus on a project without distractions and can train up company staff to continue the work after they have moved on. They can provide knowledge of best practice and effective solutions from other business sectors, and can provide a strategic overview of the company’s current position, as well as assessing the options for where to go next.

An example of a successful independent business consultant is Denver-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Scott Gelbard. Inspired by his grandfather, who established the Hong Kong branch of Merrill Lynch, Gelbard founded several venture capital firms before becoming a respected international business consultant, working with fledgling firms across Asia, Europe and North America. Some of the companies that have benefited from his expertise include BTO Self Serve Frozen Yoghurt, MusclePharm Apparel and Global Lead Gen. You can find out more at Scott Gelbard’s site.

What to Look for

The key to a successful outcome is finding a consultant that you can trust. Talk to other businesses that they have worked with to get an insight into their methods and style. Once you have hired a business consultant, make sure you communicate clearly the nature and boundaries of the project they are working on, and what you want to achieve.

A good outside business consultant is able to challenge long-standing traditions and assumptions and enable things to be moved forward with the effective implementation of goals and targets. The final decision remains with the company management, but whatever route you take, a consultant can help you develop an in-house team with the capabilities to achieve this. At the end of the consultancy period, your business should be revitalized and more efficient; the improved performance of the client is evidence of a successful consultancy.

Top Reasons to Consider Refinancing Your Home Loan

Depending on when you obtained your home loan and your current finances, now may be the time to consider refinancing your home loan. Refinancing often allows homeowners to find better interest rates or more favourable terms.

Why should you consider refinancing your home loan? Here are some of the top reasons that homeowners in Australia choose to refinance.

Reduce Your Monthly Repayments

The primary reason to refinance is to reduce your monthly repayments. Interest rates can fluctuate each year, depending on the economy and the housing market. If it has been several years since you purchase your home, lower interest rates may be available. With the lower interest rates come lower repayments.

Pay Off Your Home Loan Faster

By reducing your monthly repayments, you may be able to pay off your loan faster. You can take advantage of the lower repayments to make extra repayments. Most of these extra repayments go directly to paying off the principal on your loan, reducing the overall length of the loan and allowing you to own your home outright sooner. Companies like Rams and Lendi have fantastic tools and resources online available for you to use.

Access the Equity in Your Home

Refinancing is also a suitable option for accessing the equity in your home. If you need to fund renovations, purchase additional property, or cover unexpected major medical bills, you may need to tap into the equity in your property.

Consolidate Your Debt by Refinancing

Refinancing also provides a way to consolidate your debt. There is a good chance that the interest rates on your new home loan will be lower than the rates on your credit cards or other unsecured debts.

With refinancing for debt consolidation, you can combine your existing debts into your new home loan, along with the remaining balance on your current home loan. By reducing the amount of interest that you pay on your debts, you can save money in the long run.

Should You Refinance Your Home Loan?

After reviewing the top reasons to consider refinancing, you may decide that refinancing is the right solution for your financial situation. However, there are a few factors to review before exploring your refinancing options.

You should first use a refinancing repayment calculator to estimate your new monthly repayments. Online lending platforms, like Canstar, Lendi or Rams, provide these tools to help you determine how much you will need to pay on your new home loan.

You should also assess your credit score and your Loan to Value Ratio (LVR). If your credit standing has improved since you obtained your home loan, there is a good chance that you may qualify for a lower interest rate for your new home loan. The LVR should be below 80%, which means that the remaining balance on your home loan is less than 80% of the property’s value.

If refinancing still makes financial sense, use an online lending platform to compare options from a variety of lenders. Comparing rates is a great way to ensure that you get the best value for your refinancing. Always compare options before applying to refinance your home loan.