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Point of Sale Hardware is essential to sales transactions. Even small businesses need minimal equipment for their POS system. Although finding POS software usually comes before looking for the required hardware, it is still important to take note of which devices are best for your business. This article lists the steps on how to select your POS hardware so that you can use it to boost your sales and increase revenues.
Check What You Have
The first step to choosing your hardware is to check what you already have at your place of business. If you already have a computer, you may want to find out how you can use it as a POS device even if it was not bought for this original purpose. If you already have point of sale hardware, make sure to write down the names, year and software used with the equipment so you can make sure the new equipment you get is compatible with what you already have.
Check What You Need
The key advice here is to find everything that you do not need before you can list what you do need. For example, if you are starting a small coffee shop, before listing that you will need to buy a receipt printer, computer, scanner etc., ask yourself: do I need a receipt printer? Chance is you might find a device that will automatically send receipts to your customer’s phone and e-mail. Will you need an actual computer? You may or may not. If you have a larger venture, you may need this equipment. Interview a few professionals who own similar businesses to yours and ask them what hardware they have and which equipment they think is essential to the company’s operations.
Check How Many Units You Need
This step is self-explanatory: you have to count how many devices you think you will need for your company. If you already have a business, use sales performance data to see if you need additional devices. If you are starting your own company, make sure to develop sales forecast information so you can anticipate how much equipment you may need.
Explore the Different Hardware Models
Many point of sales hardware come in different types and models which each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one device over the other depends on many factors, such as the space available in your business, how much you plan on using the device, the platform you need to use your device on and your budget. For example, if you have a lower amount of funds to allocate to your point of sale hardware and do not have a big place of work (or even conduct most of your business online), you may want to use a mobile device such as a tablet or even a cell phone as point of sale hardware. However, if you will conduct a more consistent volume of transactions through the day in a bigger space, you may want to look for bigger devices, such as a computer tower with a computer screen, a cash drawer and receipt printer.
Check the Support System
Once you’ve found a model that you think will be best for your business, make sure you contact the support system to double check how reliable and accessible the customer service will be if your hardware stops working or breaks down. Ask to consult any warranties on the hardware and repair services that are available to you. Do they cost extra? How fast will someone come to you to repair your POS hardware if it breaks down?
Once you found the perfect POS hardware, hire a professional (preferably from the hardware company) to come install your equipment at your place of business. If you use a smaller device like a tablet or a cell phone, make sure to read through a manual guide or take time to research to make sure you understand how it works.
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The number of people immigrating to the United States each year continues to increase over time, reaching a peak of 40.4 million people. Over the past seven years alone, the number of legal immigrants exponentially increased by 2.4 million people, according to Pew Hispanic. As these men and women become accustomed to their new lives as potential American citizens, there are several tips that can be followed in order to establish credit history and increase their scores.
Start Off Small
The last thing that you want to do is overwhelm yourself with an overabundance of credit card and loan applications. Even though you might be eagerly anticipating the mere possibility of having access to hundreds or even thousands of dollars for personal or professional purposes, the best course of action to take is to start with a single credit account. Since you more than likely will not have a lot of credit history established based on the limited length of time you have spent in the country, there are many benefits to applying for a secured credit card might be the best approach to take in order to get the ball rolling towards improving your credit score, according to US News.
Make All of Your Payments on Time
Your credit history and score are both in a very fragile and delicate state right now. If you do not have a lengthy history to support and back it, one single late payment can drastically decline your score and damage your record. Therefore, it is highly recommended for you to take the necessary steps to ensure that does not take place. Budget your monthly income and expenses accordingly in order to make sure that you have enough money to pay all of your bills on time or even early. Doing so will do wonders for your score and overall report over time.
Try to Use Your Rent Payments as a Tool
Another great tip that you should follow to improve your credit score is to use your rent payments as an effective financial tool to build your credit history. It is true that most utility companies and phone service providers won’t report your payment activity and overall history to the three major credit bureaus unless it has been escalated to a collection agency or charged off all together. However, recent reports have proven that you can actually make these payments count as long as your landlord is willing to report your positive payment history as well. By signing up for electronic rent payments, according to Experian, your rent history will soon be reflected within your credit history as well.
Guard Your Identity Cautiously and Carefully
Studies have confirmed that identity thefts and related crimes have also led to a drastic decline in the average consumer’s credit score as well, especially when it comes to immigrants that barely have an identity to steal as well. However, their lack of knowledge and experience in this regard makes them primary targets to the average cybercriminal or identity thief. Keep in mind that over 12 million people were victimized by identity theft in 2012 alone within this country, according to NBC News.
In addition to regularly checking your credit report for discrepancies, errors and other mistaken reports, make sure that you pay close attention to how well you are protecting and safeguarding your confidential information and data. For example, consider purchasing a shredder to properly dispose of old bills and confidential documents. Any type of identification cards and documentation that you receive from the state or federal government need to be safeguarded accordingly.
Structured settlements and annuity payments are very popular these days since they enable you to plan your investments and get bigger returns out of them effectively. Due to the current economic slowdown, the demand for such investments will only increase going forward. There are a number of companies through which you can sell your structured settlements however there are also many fraud companies out there which can rob you of your money within the wink of an eye. Therefore you need to be ultra cautious while choosing the right company for your investments. The billion dollar question is “How to choose a company so that you can have the maximum cash for your structured settlements?” For your reference, the following points have been collated so that you know beforehand what all things to look into so that you can have maximum benefit out of your investments.
The company which purchases structured settlements is known as a factoring company. Always remember that, if you want to sell your payments to any factoring company, they will not buy that at a full rate; rather, they will purchase your payments at a discounted rate. It is the percentage of your actual investment is what you get as a return. This number depends entirely on the monthly or annual payment amounts and the time period which is involved. The due date of the payment plays a very significant role in getting good returns. If your payment due date is early then your payments will have a higher cash value which in turn will lead to greater returns. Conversely, if the due date is 30 years down the line then the return will also be on the lesser side.
Whom to approach
The most important thing which you should take a note of is that you should always approach a reputable company which has around 10-15 years of quality experience in this field. A reputed company will provide you a variety of quotations to choose from and you can select the best possible scheme in order to maximize your profit.
Documentation is of paramount importance
Whenever you are dealing with the vendors of these types of schemes, never accept or sign a verbal offer. Always have all the things documented so that you always remain on the safer side of things. You should also review all the necessary paperwork and not just sign them blindly. There are a lot hidden things involved which you would need to look into for your own benefit.
Therefore, please follow the above steps so that you can have better returns for your structured settlements. Structured settlements are a great way to safeguard your financial future; however, you need to make sure that you are approaching your investments in the correct way. They will provide you with the best returns possible as compared to any other investment scheme in the business right now.
More than 60% of Americans belong to a frequent flier program. Although the programs can be very confusing (blackout dates, mileage expiration), we keep earning miles because we know they are still the best way to get free travel.
What you may not realize is that more miles are now earned on the ground than in the air, with credit cards. But, credit card offers can seem extremely confusing. If any industry has more fine print than airlines, it is banking. Don’t get discouraged! With the right credit card, your family could have that dream vacation a lot faster, and cheaper. Below are 5 tips for choosing and using the best airline credit card for you – and getting on that beach fast.
• Your best airline credit card may not be an airline credit card: Depending upon how you spend, you may not want to settle for an airline credit card. For example, if you spend a lot of money at restaurants and want to earn United Airline miles, you should consider the Chase Sapphire card. You earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, and you can transfer those points (1:1) into your United Airlines’ frequent flier account. With the United Explorer Card, you only earn 1 mile per $ spent in restaurants.
In addition to the Chase Sapphire Card, you should also consider American Express cards with Membership Rewards (for Delta), and the Starwood Preferred Card (also from American Express) for a number of airlines. All of these cards offer the ability to transfer points to airlines. Depending upon how you spend, these may offer you the opportunity to earn more miles for every $ you spend.
• Big sign-on bonuses are a big deal: To encourage you to apply, banks offer very generous sign-on bonuses. Today, you can get bonuses between 30,000 – 50,000 miles. That can be $1,000 of free travel. Not too long ago, 25,000 miles was the norm. We are in the midst of a bonus offer arms race, and the winner is the consumer. Make sure you understand the terms of the bonus offer clearly (it usually requires a certain amount of spending in the first 90 days that the card is open). Banks will shout about the bonus offer to get you to apply, but they don’t do a lot to remind you of it once the card arrives!
• The checked bag benefit could more than pay for the annual fee: In recent years, airlines have introduced hefty checked bag fees. For example, Delta charges $25 for the first checked bag for travel within the US. If you take a family of 4 on vacation, and each person has a checked bag, then you end up paying a hefty $100 fee.
With the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express, the first checked bag is free for the entire family traveling on the same reservation. So, even though the annual fee is $95, one flight more than pays for it.
Even better, most airline cards waive the annual fee during the first year.
If you travel often and regularly check your bag, this is a really big deal – and can offer meaningful savings.
• Pay that balance in full every month: Interest rates on airline and rewards credit cards tend to be high (usually well above 15%). The interest rate doesn’t matter if you pay your balance in full and on time every month. Pay in full, and you pay no interest.
If you can’t pay in full, interest accrues very quickly. For example, a $7,000 balance (average American credit card balance) at 16% interest means you will pay over $1,000 in interest expense every year. This quickly wipes out the free travel benefits.
If you need to borrow, there are cheaper ways to do it. So long as you pay off your balance in full every month, the rewards on these cards will be well worth it.
• If you don’t already have an account with miles, consider Barclaycard Arrival or Capital One Venture: Credit cards that help you earn frequent flier miles are great ways to help an existing traveler earn more miles and get to free travel faster. Credit cards help you “top up” your existing mileage account.
If you don’t already have frequent flier miles, but would like to fly for free, you should consider a card like Barclaycard Arrival. (It is also good if you like to travel, but not by air). Like the other airline cards, it has a very healthy sign-on bonus. But, unlike the other cards, you earn 2 miles per $. And, those miles can be used on any travel expense – whether it is a bus fare or a flight.
Even better, you can use the miles to reduce the cost of your travel (you don’t need enough miles for the whole ticket).
How does this work? Barclaycard and Capital One do not transfer your miles to a frequent flier program. Instead, they have created their own programs. So, if you spend $1,000 on your Barclaycard Arrival – you earn 2,000 Arrival Miles. They have a value of $20. Whenever you make a travel purchase, you can use the $20 towards the total cost of your travel. (Even better, they give you a 10% bonus every time you redeem).
If you already have miles, it is probably quicker to top-up your miles with an airline card. But, if you are starting from scratch, these cards offer some of the best value out there.
Choose the right card, and you will earn free travel a lot faster. Still confused? There are tools and resources on the internet ready to help.
We recommend MileCards.com, written by a team of seasoned travellers. They also respond to email questions. I know, because I have sent them a few myself!
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Contributing to your 401k is a great way to invest in your future and build a nest egg for your retirement. However, deciding how much to contribute and when not to contribute can be difficult. Here, we look at the main points to consider if you are thinking about contributing to your 401k.
How much should you contribute?
If possible, you should try to contribute enough to qualify for your company’s maximum match. Depending on your 401k plan, your employer will match your contribution up to a certain level.
Your employer could match 100% on the first 4% of your salary, and 50% on another 2% of your salary. So as long as you contribute enough to be eligible for the match, you could receive $1 for $1 on the first 4%, and 50c for $1 on the second 2%.
Bear in mind there are annual limits on the amount you can contribute – $17,500 if you’re under 50 and $23,000 if you’re 50 or older as of 2013.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that some employers require you to stay with them for a certain number of years to keep their matched contribution. With a Safe Harbor plan on the other hand, you will own that matched contribution immediately. You can learn more about planning for your retirement at the Suncorp website.
When should you not contribute?
While investing in your retirement is generally recommended, there are certain situations when contributing to your 401k may be not be a good idea. If you have no health insurance or life insurance, or if you have no emergency savings fund, it may be worthwhile putting off contributing.
401k contributions come out of your pre-tax salary, so if you choose to withdraw early, you will have to pay tax on the withdrawal. It can be a good idea to sort out an emergency fund and insurance first, so you are less likely to have withdraw money from your 401k.
There are a number of tax benefits to contributing to your 401k. As previously mentioned, contributions are taken from your salary before they are taxed. That lowers your taxable income so you pay less tax each year.
While you don’t pay tax on contributions to your 401k, you will pay tax when you withdraw money from the plan. However, you may be in a lower tax bracket by that point.
Money held within your 401k also grows tax deferred. This means the investment earnings on plan assets are on not taxed as long as they remain within the plan. You will only pay tax on those earning when you withdraw them, when again, you could be in a lower tax bracket.
Some 401k plans allow you to borrow against your vested balance (the amount in the plan that is yours). Borrowing from your 401k could allow you to pay off high interest debts, and you generally won’t be penalised or taxed on the withdrawals as long as you repay the borrowed amount within five years. This varies between plans, so read the fine print before choosing this option.
Never had, never missed
There is the saying that you can’t miss something you never had. The same applies for 401k contributions. Your contributions come straight out of your salary and the money never passes through your hands. There’s no temptation to spend it or skip the contribution, and it’s likely you will get used to that portion of your salary not being there.
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We all keep hearing about how the financial climate is stabilizing, and we are now bouncing back from the recession. This may be the case, but for the less well off, the crunch of financial affairs is still a very real one. The onslaught of high energy prices now means even more pressure is on people with a tight budget. The poor are still poor, and as we head into winter, it’s time to start thinking about cutting costs.
Cut Your Energy Bills
The first thing you need to do before the change is made is to assess previous bills. There is no point trying to get a new deal without knowing the old figures. Comparison sites are great at helping people find the best deals, and some companies will be open to negotiating as well. Average gas and electricity bills are currently £1,500 a year. But that doesn’t mean you should lose out. If you’ve never deserted your original supplier, you can still save £300 a year. The best option to take is to try a get a dual fuel deal. This way you can have gas and electricity with the same company, from which you can gain benefits from discounts.
Cancel Your Gym Membership
It is very easy to waste endless amount of money on the gym. We are all self-conscious people to an extent. So when we see adverts that tell us to better ourselves, we can be drawn in. So many people get persuaded to join the gym on moments of inspiration, with promise of a better life hitting home. However, having a gym membership does not make you lose weight or get fitter. It is the actual exercise that makes that happen. There are plenty of stories of people who pay huge amounts on membership, but very rarely go to the gym. If you don’t go to the gym on a regular basis, i.e. twice or more a week, then you should consider cancelling your membership.
Reduce Your TV Subscription
Another great way to waste money is by over paying for TV. Humans are creatures of habit and these days, television companies are extremely skilled in making you feel like you’re missing out. This is particularly effective when it comes to sport on TV. Big companies do make you feel like the only way to watch sport is to have their channel. But this is simply not the case. As way of saving money, a suggestion may be that for big games you go to your local pub. This would save you money in the long run (though you might spend some of your savings on beer!).
Remortgage Your Home
One of the best ways to reduce your outgoings is to remortgage your house. Financially, your current mortgage may be dragging you under into financial oblivion. To avoid getting into debt, this option may be the best one. Lengthening the time on your mortgage is certainly a big decision, so be sure to take time. Contacting a company like Capital Fortune is a good plan. This way you can get expert advice, so you know all of your options.
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