6 Steps To Keep An Empty Home Secure And Safe

It is well documented that empty properties are far more susceptible to damage than lived in family homes, both through natural causes and the actions of vandals. By following our 6 simple steps below, the risk of this happening can be substantially decreased, giving you complete peace of mind that your unoccupied property is as protected as possible.

Clear the post
Having letters and promotional flyers hanging out of your letterbox, as well as piled up around your door, is a telltale sign that nobody is living at the property. More than this though, it can make it obvious that nobody is even visiting with any frequency. This obviously makes the property a much more appealing target for thieves looking for an easy break-in.

Maintain your gardens
Another giveaway that a property is long-term unoccupied is a wild and overgrown garden. This is less of a problem over the winter when not much is growing, but during the summer months it is vital that you dedicate a certain amount of time to keeping your property exterior presentable. Mow the lawn, cut back any overhanging foliage and remove any dead plants and flowers to make sure your property looks loved and cared for.

Check your doors and windows
As there will not be someone at the property for a lot of the time, you need to make sure that the best quality locks are fitted to your doors and windows to make it far more difficult to access your home illegally. You could even consider adding multi-locking deadbolts to the main access doors to provide additional security. When checking the property, make sure that all locks are in good working order and there are no signs that somebody has been trying to gain access.

Consider extra measures
Where budget allows, installing a burglar alarm can be an excellent deterrent, particularly if you invest in a system that is fully monitored by an external company. CCTV cameras can have a similar effect, as can motion sensor lights at key points around the property’s exterior. If it is impossible to access doors and windows without triggering one of these systems, it is far less likely that thieves will choose to target your property.

Ask your neighbours for help
If you have a trusted neighbour or friend who lives close to the empty property it is advisable to ask them to check in periodically. Not only will this make the property look more lived in, it also means that any damage will be picked up when it first starts and before it develops into a large problem (for example a small drip that turns into a massive leak over time). On top of this, such checks will often be a stipulation of your home insurance policy, making them a vital occurrence.

6 Maintain the property exterior
Similarly to maintaining the garden, keeping the exterior of a property looking fresh helps to keep it safe from damage. Repairing any areas of flaking paint or rotten woodwork helps to keep the property looking its best, as well as preventing any expensive damage from taking hold. This is particularly important if the property has an area that is particularly susceptible to damage, such as a flat roof. The property’s neighbours will also thank you, as an obviously empty property in a poor state of repair has been proven to bring down the value of neighbouring houses.

Young Entrepreneurs Business Building Tips

Get paid doing what you love! Become a young entrepreneur and start the business you’ve always have pictured in your head.

In today’s age, building a business has never been easier and the potential rewards are larger than ever. While most of your friends are scrapping by, you could be living the life of your dreams and profiting from your business. And thanks to the Internet, young entrepreneurs can build a global business that puts you on the same playing field as major corporations.

Before starting a business, there are several steps future young entrepreneurs can take that will facilitate your success. There are seven foundation steps that will help you to build a profitable business, fast.

Get your mind right. The first step to building a profitable business is for young entrepreneurs to develop their mental muscles and start thinking with positive end results in mind. Getting your mind right will allow you to keep focused and on course even when others try to contaminate you with negativity.

Set goals. Before starting your business, day dream about how you see this business growing and picture your day-to-day role within your company. Take your dreams from your mind and put them on paper. Put your dream on paper with a plan and you have created goals.

Once you have your goals written down, review them often. The more you read and believe your goals the faster you will get to where you want to go. Before going to sleep or when you wake up take a few moments to visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. It’s true – what you think about you become.

Focus on the greater good. This is especially true for young entrepreneurs. By starting a business that creates a positive change in the world you will reap the rewards. When you start a business that helps people, you’ll have positive forces working in your favor. So not only does doing the right thing help others, eventually it helps you, the Good Samaritan, as well.

Build your credit. Having excellent credit is a young entrepreneur’s best friend. With good credit you will have access to low cost capital. When your starting out this isn’t so important; however, as your business grows, you may need business loans to expand your business faster. That’s when having good business credit will pay off.

Open up the Right Accounts. An important piece of a young entrepreneurs success is to have the right bank accounts set up. A checking and savings accounts should be set up as soon as possible. The sooner you establish a relationship with a bank, the more benefits you will receive in the future.

Be sure to choose a bank that has services you need now and will need in the future. Being a young entrepreneur, you want to find a bank that offers business loans, merchant services, business accounts and additional services you may need as your business starts to take off.

Build your team. With twenty to forty percent of your income going to pay taxes, the first members on your team should include a qualified tax advisor. Be sure to choose a tax advisor that has experience preparing business taxes.

Another member of your team, that you need before you invest money into a business, are mentors that have experience in the business you want to start. Having a mentor does not mean you need to hire a personal mentor coach. In today’ age, a quick search online and you can find books, videos and webinars of people that have experience in the business you’re looking to start.

Start a business you like. The last and most important piece of advice for young entrepreneurs is to choose a business that you enjoy. What is it that you’re into? Figure out how you want to live, how you want to spend your days and with whom you want to work with – then find a business to start that fits your lifestyle goals.

DO IT! Now that you have the foundation in place, get going on your business idea.

Even Small Business Owners Have Assets To Protect

Unfortunately, asset protection is often ignored or lost in the long list of things to do when starting or building your business. This mistake can cost you and your family when you least expect it.

What’s Involved in Protecting Your Assets?

Asset protection planning is a simple concept. First you catalogue all of your personal and business assets, such as bank and brokerage accounts, personal property and real estate, etc. Next you identify possible financial threats and then you insulate yourself from threats using a combination of different legal entities (trusts, corporations, limited liability companies, etc.) and insurance.

Properly done, this will help protect your current and future assets from loss due to the hazards of everyday life, such as lawsuits, business failures, and creditor claims.

To create an asset protection plan, you’ll need to review your potential exposure to financial loss, assess the different types of protection available, evaluate potential tax issues involved and analyze your ongoing personal financial needs, such as qualifying for mortgages and easily accessing assets when required. You should work with competent financial and legal advisors who are familiar with asset protection strategies.

Small Business Owners Beware

As a small business owner, there are several areas that warrant your concern. The first is to take financial liability issues into account when you choose the type of legal structure within which you’ll run your business (corporation, limited liability company, etc.). Once established, take care to follow the legal requirements of the entity you choose, so that you don’t jeopardize your personal assets. Some examples of this are not mixing business and personal expenses, not treating your business bank accounts as personal piggybanks, keeping necessary records, having the proper corporate officers and establishing a Board of Directors in corporations.

Personal guarantees are another common source of financial exposure. Lenders, landlords and leasing companies often ask for a personal guarantee from the owner of a small business. This means exactly what it says; you are providing a personal guarantee of repayment. If your business can’t make the payments the creditor can and will go after you and your personal assets.

Many entrepreneurs use personal credit cards and credit lines to get started. This may give you the credit you need, but it is ultimately a personal obligation. So if your business doesn’t have the cash flow to pay the bill, you’ll have to deal with these credit balances yourself. And the hefty finance charges can add up fast. Use extreme caution when leveraging personal credit for business use.

And then there is insurance. Small businesses often underinsure to keep overhead expenses low. This is risky. Losses do happen and they can quickly put an under-protected company out of business or hamper it severely. Be realistic when evaluating the type (liability, property, malpractice, etc.) and the amount of insurance you carry.

Be Safe, Not Sorry – Protect Your Assets

Depending on your individual situation, there are a variety of asset protection tools from which to choose ranging from the relatively straightforward, such as insurance, to the extremely complex involving off-shore trusts and multiple legal entities.

Seek the advice of business advisors and attorneys who specialize in this area. It is an investment in your financial security. Once you are on the wrong side of a lawsuit, it is too late to protect your assets.