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DVLA Frequently Asked Vehicle Registration & Driving Licence Questions (infographics)

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Edited by lisa coffey, Friday, 14 Oct 2016, 08:07

Q- Is there any provision through which I can get my car taxed, using online or phone service, upon sale to allow me to drive my car legally?


A- The reply for this question is yes and it is available around the clock and seven days a week. It is available online and by calling at 0844 696 0055. The tax is confirmed at the moment of taxing.


Q- What is the reason behind the decision of not allowing the transfer of the remaining periods of car tax to be transferred to the fresh owners?


A- This is basically a customer protection plan. Seeing the absence of paper tax disc for checking, the vehicle tax will end as and when a vehicle gets sold. This will prove helpful in removing any doubt for all those who are purchasing the vehicle as it will mean that you will be always be sure that you need to have a new vehicle tax and you can’t overlook it.


Also Read:


Q- Are the car dealer authorised to carry on to tax the vehicles on the behalf of the customers?


A- Yes they are, by using V5C/2, either online with the help of V5C/2 of V5C, or finally at a PO branch who is responsible for dealing with the vehicle tax issues. talk to a member of DVLA support team for any issues related to your driving licence, vehicle registration or … 

DVLA Complaints 
Complaints Team
DVLA
Swansea
SA6 7JL
Oliver Morley – Chief Executive: DVLA Swansea
Chief Executive’s Office
DVLA
Swansea
SA6 7JL
DVLA vehicle registration
Vehicle Customer Services
DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1AR
DVLA driver licensing help
Drivers Customer Services
Correspondence Team
DVLA
Swansea
SA6 7JL

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Q- Once the tax disc gets nullified, will the things remain same for the motor traders?


A- As and when a tax disc is enforced, the motor traders won’t be able to buy the vehicles. They may use the trade plates, but they have to ensure that the vehicle gets used well within the conditions of the trade plates. Alternatively, if the vehicle needs to be registered in the name of motor trade, then fresh vehicle tax will be charged.


Q- If the dealer successfully retain a valid tax disc, are the dealers allowed to use the current stock as staff cars?


A- The reply for this question is ‘No’. It is mandatory for the dealers to get registered with their original name and they also have to ensure that the vehicle is taxed. If the dealers really want to use the vehicles for the staff or for personal reasons, it is imperative that they have registered the vehicles in their name. In order to gain more information, explore - .For, vehicle tax, medical enquiries and vehicle . contact DVLA customer service


Q- When will DVLA collect the monthly payment from my bank account?


A- The payments will be deducted on the first working day of every month.


Q- How much do I have to pay, as a fine, for having a vehicle without a valid tax?


A- The fine is up to £1000.


What is a v5c 2?

Complete form V62 'Application for a vehicle registration certificate' and send it to DVLA with the £25 fee. You can pay by cheque. There's no fee if you haven't received the V5C registration certificate for your new vehicle but still have your green V5C/2 section.

What is the registration certificate?

Prove your right to live in the UK as an EU citizen. You can apply for a registration certificate if you're a citizen of a European Economic Area ( EEA ) country and want to prove your right to live or work in the UK. You need a registration certificate if you're an extended family member of an EEA national.

infographic source:hellobox

DVLA infographic





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What Is Customer Experience Management & How to Implement It Successfully?

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Edited by lisa coffey, Friday, 14 Oct 2016, 10:33

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/blakemorgan/files/2015/06/Screen-Shot-2015-06-24-at-5.20.10-PM.pngCustomer experience management (CEM) is the the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and,oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle thus, increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. CEM is also bit more than just engagement.

The goal of CEM is to optimize interactions from the customer's perspective and, as a result, foster customer loyalty. the essence of CEM is treating customers as individuals.

Why is Customer Experience Management (CXM) SO important?

In an age when customers have access to vast amounts of data about your company and your competitors, In B2B industry, Customer Experience is fast becoming the only real sustainable source of competitive advantage.  In fact, creating a positive and consistent customer experience across multiple channels is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today, especially when every empowered B2B Buyer expects you to know them and their individual needs.

customer-experience-why-improve

The concept of customer experience may sound idealistic or touchy-feely, but anyone who dismisses it as such is woefully out of touch. In fact, customer experience has become a critical differentiator in today’s hyper-competitive, hyper-connected global marketplace. A Good customer experience management can:

  • Strengthen brand preference through differentiated experiences.
  • Boost revenue with incremental sales from existing customers and new sales from word of mouth as well over the phone.
  • Improve customer loyalty (and create advocates) through valued and memorable customer interactions.
  • Lower costs by reducing customer churn.

CEM affects the bottom line. A recent Forrester report cites a $10 billion company that made a modest shift in customer experience and reported a $65 million revenue increase from product sales, a $116 million increase from reduced churn, and a $103 million increase from word of mouth. That's a total of $284 million dollars! 

Happy Customers are more likely to remain loyal, try new products and services, and spread good news about their experiences.  The aim ultimately is to establish lasting & valuable relationships. Market share, retention, profitability, and customer satisfaction are all directly related to CEM performance.  In fact, a stock portfolio of Customer Experience Leaders grew 22% over its competitors even in a flat market.   

Also Read: 12 ways to hone the skills of your customer service team

What Is The Need For CEM Software? 

For a business to be successful, the business owners must have a serious approach towards defining, implementing and managing their customer experience. That is where customer experience management software can help you in successfully implementing customer experience management

Customer experience is a discipline with complete tools, practices, and methodologies that companies must routinely perform in order to manage the customer experience. To have a methodical focus on customers, it is important that customer experience specialists work with C-level executives in order to:

  • Dedicate employees to customer experience – Customer experience projects don’t usually take off successfully if they are pinned to day jobs.
  • Allocate budgets to customer experience projects – Doubling down customer experience investments to delight customers is a promising way of ensuring successful initiatives.
  • Craft customer experience strategies – Having a precise customer experience strategy helps make the organization focus on spreading or distributing the right type of customer interaction strategies.
  • And finally, focusing on generating a great customer experience builds loyalty and positive word of mouth, which in turn builds profitability.  And is there any better reason than that?
customerengagement

How to choose a customer experience management platform

The growing desire among brands to improve customer experience has created a massive opportunity for technology suppliers to provide tools that help them build and deliver that experience.

But as with many fast-growing segments of the marketing technology stack, confusion remains regarding exactly what a customer experience management (CEM) platform should do.

Numerous suppliers have waded into the market, including OpenText, Sitecore, SDL and Adobe, as well as newer contenders including Backbase and HubSpot. Call centre technology companies such as Genesys and Verint also play in this market.

Not surprisingly, each contender defines the market based on their own capabilities. But the general thread of collating and managing customer data from multiple sources to create, manage and measure customer experiences remains consistent throughout.

A key attraction of CEM platforms is their ability to combine multiple processes into a single system. That, however, inevitably sees them needing to connect to other tools within the marketing technology environment.

One key player in the CEM platform market is UK-based technology provider, SDL, which boasts a strong footprint among retail clients as well as financial services organisation. Country manager for Australia, Kevin Ross, says part of the interest in CEM platforms comes from brands realising they are no longer in control of the buying journey, if indeed they ever were.

Today, customers have that control, Because of things like mobile phones and Google, customers have the ability to search and network and get commentary and look at what people have said before, so there is a well of information that affects how they get on that journey.

The real question is how you pitch up with relevant content in the moment, contextually. And to be able to do that, there are three capabilities that platform needs.

  • The first is the ability to leverage customer data from multiple sources, across an organisation and from outside.
  • The second is the need to do this in a way that captures entertains, captures attention, and maintains brand connection,
  • while the third is the ability to integrate both requirements in the context of a customer journey.

Another contender in the CEM platform space is Sitecore. Vice-president of enablement services for greater Asia, Robert Holliday, says clients are looking for a central place to manage all content communicated out to multiple channels, starting with Web and mobile, but also adding email, social, mobiles apps, ecommerce and even print. It’s taking all the technology that Amazon spent millions of dollars and years developing and then packaging that up so this is available for smaller organisations that perhaps don’t have as many IT people internally.”

Also Read: 7 indispensable customer engagement strategies

How To Implement a Customer Experience Management Programme?

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
Successful customer experience programmes are not about technology deployment and can’t be implemented out-of the box. In my experience CE programmes fail primarily because the links between what you do and what you expect to get are not well understood or internalised throughout the organisation. In part this is a measurement issue, but sourcing and collecting the “right” data is key. The real issue is making sense of it and having the confidence to act on the data.  In our experience the following are the four CSFs that all successful CE programmes share:

A clear understanding of the financial benefits that will flow from improving the quality of the customer experience. Without a complementary and compelling financial imperative, CE programmes will falter.

A defined target CE, tailored to each segment, supported by a robust model that allows the cause and effect relationships between the levers and the outcomes to be used to prioritise the interventions that will have the greatest impact on the desired customer and business outcomes.

A willingness to optimise the target CE to suit local variations in service provision, operational competencies and customer expectations.

Setting clear targets and providing a clear feedback loop that keeps customers informed of actions taken on their behalf and allows continual adjustment of the levers that impact the desired outcomes.

3 key steps to implementing an integrated CEM in your organisation:

  1. Technology enablement to provide integration of the data silos;
  2. Analytics to provide access to key data along with insight to develop products and solutions to meet demand; and
  3. Cultural change to empower employees and customers to deliver a consistently high quality service.

Ensuring Integration With Technology Enablement

You can select specific tools and vendors based on the need to address an immediate issue. Although this approach satisfies a short term need, it often leads to amass tools that overlap in capability, which fail to integrate and that place a burden on IT to maintain, as new versions become available. So for CEM to work within the IT function of an organisation you have to think integration. You should view the toolset as a key component of an integrated supply chain which delivers effective CEM.

The first step is to remove the complacency of the organisation to stay with the current state of things. Most organisational change initiatives fail at this step and the adoption of a strategic toolset is no different. The second step is to generate short-term wins.

Understands what analytics can do

CEM is a long-term strategy with the aim of transforming the business to be less network-centric and more customer-centric. This is achieved by combining data sets in the network with service and customer contextual data, which yields improvements in customer satisfaction and strong revenue growth.Good data is the foundation for making smart decisions. Managing and implementing infrastructure for this data may require some time and effort, people, processes and technology.

An organisation will need a dedicated analytics team that understands the business objectives and understands what analytics can do, and that have the technical skills who can implement analytical tools.In order for analysis to be of any value to an organisation it must first have data quality management in place. A partnership between the business and technology groups is essential for any data quality management, as the business is responsible for establishing the business rules that govern the data input and quality.

Change the Organisational Culture

The number of interactions between customers and employees is infinite, and the chances to get things wrong or right are innumerable. The only change of ensuring a higher success rate of getting these interactions right is to develop a shared cultural understanding of what needs to be done and why. With a great company culture, employees will act consistently. Their motivation will come from within and reinforced by all of those around them.

To build an organisational culture that supports CEM excellence you will need to set the core values and behaviours to achieve these; review your hiring criteria, training, and ensure that you’re constantly checking in that all is being done to support the culture you’re working to build.

Organisations delivering excellent customer experience management

Catering for consumers who feel frustrated with the often slow broadband speed and poor customer service associated with the UK telecoms sector, Sky Fibre Optic Broadband delivers the strongest personalisation scores by successfully relating its proposition to specific customer needs. In today’s ‘always on’ environment, customer service is key to every brand, especially those within the service sector where Twitter is your new hotline number.

Sky is doing a number of things, but certain elements from a customer’s perspective are really standing out. To start, it is enabling the customer to be in control. Propositions are focused on no fuss, simple and capped tariff plans. Customers are not experiencing any nasty bill shocks and are genuinely grateful for this. Expectations are well managed and, in tandem with transparent marketing, this results in strong Integrity scores. Couple this with well-toned timely responses through Sky customer service channel it became the best customer support provider of 2016;


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Social Customer Service In 2016 - 5 Pillars, Tools & Top 10 Companies

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Edited by lisa coffey, Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016, 08:09

How important is customer service via social media?

According to J.D. Power, 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media channel for customer service.

And when they do, they expect a fast response. Research cited by Jay Baer tells us that 42% of consumers expect a response with 60 minutes.

Customer service is undergoing a major evolution, with online communication moving away from private, anonymous, one-to-one channels toward public one-to-many channels that are mobile, social, and attached to real identity. In brief, social media is changing the entire business of customer service, posing great challenges and presenting new opportunities for brands. In the midst of this seismic shift, though, it’s important to remember that the core principles of great customer service still apply.

customer service approach image shutterstock 336345563

Providing Customer Service Through Social Media In 2016

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have evolved to become more than emergent platforms for marketing and advertising. Increasingly, they are also valid and important channels through which consumers solicit and receive customer service. According to Nielsen's 2012 Social Media Report, nearly half of U.S. consumers use social media to ask questions, report satisfaction, or to complain—and a third of social media users prefer "social care" to the phone.

"Social care"

"Social care" is not a new concept, yet providing multi-channel support that includes social media can present real challenges for B2B and B2C companies both large and small—as well as opportunities to positively impact sales and customer loyalty. The reality is that customer service expectations are rising year over year and consumers are looking to brands to create a seamless experience that spans the showroom floor to the Facebook timeline. Simply having a social media presence is no longer enough; you need to be a social media rock star.

5 Pillars of #Social Support

    1. Proactive support for social customer service, making its existence widely known in marketing materials and sales/support collateral
    2. Aggressive engagement aimed at exceeding customer demands
    3. Interacting, rather than reacting as a means to anticipate what customers want and need—before they tell you
    4. Recognizing of social media for its viral power and leveraging that reach to influence the market
    5. Connecting with customers on a deeply personal and emotional level to build relationships and trust

5 Social Media Tools To Enhance Customer Service

    1. Salesforce
    2. LiveOps Social
    3. Social Dynamx
    4. Moxie Software
    5. Conversocial

Top 11 Companies That Rock Social Media Customer Service

  1. JetBlue
  2. Sky
  3. Nike
  4. Seamless
  5. Shutterstock
  6. Starbucks
  7. T-Mobile
  8. Walmart
  9. Whole Foods
  10. Sony Playstation
  11. Xbox

Top 3 Examples Of Amazing Social Customer Service

1. Samsung: A Unicycling Kangaroo and a Dragon Phone

As a loyal Samsung customer, called samsung customer service and asked for a free unit of their latest, soon-to-launch phone. To sweeten his offer, he included a drawing of a roaring dragon.

Also Read Other Posts

Not surprisingly, Samsung said “no”. But to say thanks, they sent him their drawing of a unicycle-riding kangaroo.

samsung-canada

Shane then shared both messages (and drawings) to Reddit where it went viral. In response, Samsung Canada sent him the phone he asked for – and customized it with his fire-breathing dragon artwork.

Samsung-canada-2


2. Morton’s Steakhouse: Airport Delivery

While waiting for takeoff in Tampa, Florida, Peter Shankman jokingly asked Morton’s Steakhouse to deliver a porterhouse steak when he landed at Newark airport.

mortons

While departing the Newark airport to meet his driver, he was greeted by a Morton’s server with a 24 oz. Porterhouse steak, shrimp, potatoes, bread – the works. A full meal and no bill.

When you think of the logistics of pulling this off, it becomes even more impressive. The Community Manager needed to get approval and place the order. It needed to be prepared and then driven by the server to the airport, to the correct location and at the right time. All in less than three hours.

Some of the comments on Peter’s post Takeaway: suggest that this isn’t an anomaly. Another reader shares his experience of ordering a baked potato and getting a full steak meal – delivered and for free.

3. Gaylord Opryland: Sleep-Inducing Clock Radio

After numerous stays at Nashville’s Opryland Resort, Christina McMenemy wanted her own spa-sound clock radio that comes standard in each room. The sound helped her sleep better than ever, and she couldn’t find that model anywhere. So she asked the hotel for help finding it.

gaylord-hotels

Turns out, that model was exclusive to the Gaylord hotels. She thought that was the end of it, and went to her conference.

Not only did they make a long term customer very happy, they also received significant media coverage for their act of kindness. Takeaway:Upon returning to her room that evening, she found a gift waiting: the spa clock and a handwritten card. The staff had given her the product she was unable to find.


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An Ultimate Get Debt Free Guide 2016 - 21 Effective Options For Getting Out Of Debt

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Edited by lisa coffey, Friday, 14 Oct 2016, 11:20

Ways to get out of debt

Debt is a major problem for a lot of people these days. The problem is, even if they know they want to get out of it, they have a hard time figuring out how to start. Being in debt has a bigger impact on your financial future than you might realize. Bad debts can continue to to haunt you and your credit report for years, especially if you don’t deal with it now.


Some question which might be haunting you day in night out:

How To Get Out Of Debt Quickly?

How To Get Out Of Debt On A Low Income?

How To Get Out Of Debt With No Money?

How To Get Out Of Debt And Save Money?

To get out of debt, you need a plan, and you need to execute that plan. But that can be easier said than done. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the steps you need to take. And it’s also easy to lose motivation if you don’t realize how much progress you’ve already made. These steps are designed to help you get a grip on your finances and spend less money so that you can focus on paying debts back. 

Some basic points you should consider in 2016 for getting out of debt

Acknowledge the problem. The first step is admitting you have a problem. The first week, all you have to do is say to yourself, “I have a problem with debt. I got into this because I spend money I don’t have. But I believe that there’s a way out, and I can do this. I can control my spending, make a plan, and slowly get out of debt.” That’s a major step. Now set aside just 30-60 minutes a week to deal with your finances — make it a set day and time, and don’t let yourself miss this appointment.

Stop digging. If you’re in a hole, the first step is to stop digging, and that’s what you’re going to do this second week. For 30 days, see if you can stop any non-essential spending. If you have a major problem with credit cards, cut them up. If you’re not so bad with credit cards, at least put them away and don’t buy stuff online for one month. What’s essential? Obviously your bills, housing, auto, gas, groceries … that kind of stuff. Non-essential?

Make small cutbacks. This third week, take a look at things you normally buy and see if you can cut out a few of them, or spend less on them. Groceries? See if you can buy house brands instead of name brands. Coffee? Make it yourself at home instead of buying out. Lunch?

Start an emergency fund. This fourth week, set up a savings account, if you don’t have one already, for an emergency fund. Now take the amount you saved in Step 3 (and even in Step 2 if you think you can make them last for awhile) and set up a regular automatic deposit from your checking to this emergency fund savings account for this amount. It’s important that before you start paying off debt, you have at least a small emergency fund.

Take inventory. OK, this is a step that we don’t like to take. But take a deep breath. You need to do this. Remember what you said in Step 1? You can do this.

Make a spending plan. We don’t like to do this step either. But it’s not going to be as painful as we think. This sixth week, set up another simple spreadsheet. In one column, list your monthly bills (rent or mortgage, auto payment, utilities, cable, etc.) — everything that is a regular monthly expense. Then list variable expenses (things that change every month) like groceries, gas, eating out, etc.

Control spending. If you’re into your seventh week of this debt plan, you may find it hard to keep track of your spending and ensure that you’re sticking to your spending plan.

A number of online resources such as LearnVest and Mint will pull the transactions from your financial accounts so you can start categorizing and seeing where to trim the fat.

If, as you’ve been reading the cost-cutting suggestions, you have a sinking feeling you have no fat to cut from your budget, then earning more will be your ticket out of debt. If a raise isn’t on the table for you, let everyone in your network — from friends to family to former coworkers — know that you’re looking for freelance gigs.

Pay bills on time. This may be a problem for a lot of people. It’s important, if you want to get out of debt, to start paying all your bills on time. 

(Simon Cunningham/Flickr)


If you are really struggling with your debts and find that after step one you do have too much of your income going on paying credit card bills, loans or other debts that just aren't being cleared, then you should seek professional advice.

The first step is knowing where you stand. You can monitor your credit easily using Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card. It provides you with your credit scores, and breaks down the various components of your credit file in an easy to understand way.

Commit to getting out of debt.

This may seem like a throwaway tip, but it is one of the most important. Getting out of debt is hard. It takes maintaining discipline over a long period of time. It demands lifestyle changes. It also sometimes requires bucking peer pressure.

While you shouldn’t build a plan so austere that it would be impossible to stick to, you will have to make some tough choices. If you’re used to treating yourself to spa days or shopping sprees or wild nights out, you’re going to have to give up some of these tangible and expensive pleasures in order to obtain what right now seems like the abstract state of being debt-free. 

Before you embark on this journey that will last months, if not years, think about how sweet it will be to be debt-free and be able to pursue other dreams you have, whether it’s buying a house, taking big vacations every year.

For motivation, create a visual reminder of what you’re working toward, such as a photo of the kind of house you’d like to buy, or the destination you plan on hitting when you can afford it. Put the image in your wallet, on your computer — wherever you spend money — to remind yourself of what you’d really like to do with it.

Find out the total of what you owe.

This should be a pretty obvious first move, but don't let the simplicity of it get the best of you. Get a piece of paper, a Google Spreadsheet, or open Notepad on your computer. Go to the website of every financial institution to which you owe money. Then, copy down all balances with their respective APRs (interest rate) exactly as they appear. It's also very beneficial to know what your minimum payments are for every account. After tracking down all of your debts, you'll have a decent idea of how much is owed. Let it sink in, but don't worry, in a few more steps we're going to start getting rid of it.

Try to make 0% balance transfers, get your APR lowered or refinance.

Now that you’re committed to paying down your debt, it would really help if it weren’t simultaneously increasing bit by bit. If you’re eligible for 0% balance transfers (you can search for credit cards on sites like Bankrate, Creditcards.com, CreditKarma, NerdWallet and others), see if it makes sense to transfer your credit card debt.

But beware the fine print. If the 0% offer only lasts six months, be sure you can pay that debt off within that timeframe. If not, you could end up paying higher interest than you were before — and it could even apply to the initial six-month period (look for the term “accrued interest” to see if this might happen). Also, calculate what the balance transfer fee is and make sure that even with the fee, you’ll still save money on the transfer. 

Work your debt and discretionary expenses into your budget.

Now, calculate what percentage of your take-home pay your minimum debt payments are. If your necessary expenses are 50% or less, aim to put 20% of your take-home income toward your debt.  If your minimum payments are less than 20% (say they tally $300 but 20% of your take-home is $600), you’ll be able to put more than the minimum toward your debt each month.

Start your debt-repayment plan.

Now that you have a monthly debt repayment target, go back to your debt spreadsheet. Pay the minimums on every debt except the highest-interest rate debt. 

This method of repayment will ensure you pay the least interest. If that top debt has a huge balance and you’re worried your motivation will flag, then you can try the “snowball” method, in which you start with the smallest balance and then use the momentum from paying that off to continue on to the rest.

If you can, set up all the payments on auto-pay so you don’t have to worry about missing any of them one month.

Stick to your weekly allowance.

The only way you’ll be able to pay off your debt is if you don’t keep adding to it. This means being vigilant about living within your means.

Depending on your income and the cost of living in your city, this can be difficult unless you keep an eye on it. If you know you need to make a shift in your spending habits, try using cash. Take out your weekly allowance in cash each week and only let yourself spend that amount until it runs out.

You could also make sure you’re staying within your allowance with a budgeting app like LearnVest, Level Money, Mint or You Need a Budget.

Trade in Big Ticket Items

Do you have a shiny new-ish car or two in the driveway? You can significantly reduce your total debt by trading in your car for something cheap. If you can get $18,000 for a trade-in, and you can find a $10,000 car on the lot then you just came into $8,000 to help you pay off debt. If you can trade-in two cars and concede to just having one you could double or triple this amount.  Now isn't the time to have toys. You can have toys when you're debt free.

Sell Almost Everything

Now that ALL of your big ticket items have been either sold or traded in for less expensive versions. American houses and apartments are filled with crap we don't need. A good way to figure out what you do need: Carry around a notebook and write down every item that you use over the course of a given week. It's going to be a lot less stuff than you imagine. The rest—the crap that added to the debt problem—has to go. It's unnecessary and dragging down your recovery efforts. Get rid of the stuff. There's always time for stuff when you're debt free.

Work, Work, Work

This one is going to blow your mind: To pay off debt faster you can work more. Overtime, second jobs, babysitting, etc. Check out this article I wrote about how to make more money. Pretty obvious, right? More money, more debt repayment.

Reward Yourself

Achieving your goals, no matter how big or small should be celebrated. Don't take this to mean that you should go out and spend hundreds of a dollars at the Mall for paying off $100 of your debt. Instead, buy yourself a cup of coffee. For a free alternative you could guilt people into congratulating you by posting your achievements on Facebook.

Worries: How to get out of debt and back into the black

Few major ways that can help Americans get out of debt in 2016:


        Debt Consolidation
        Debt Management
        Debt Settlement
        Bankruptcy
        “Do It Yourself”


Debt Consolidation

Of all the options available to people who need debt help, debt consolidation is one of the most mild, least drastic options. That’s because, unlike other methods we’ll describe below, you don’t have to negotiate with your creditors in order to do debt consolidation.

if you choose to get a debt consolidation loan:

1. You contact a bank or peer-to-peer lender. First, you do some research to identify which company you want to work with. After you get in touch with a lender and verify that their terms and interest rates are good, you’ll need to allow them to check your credit score. If it is above 660, you should be able to get a consolidation loan.

2. You work with the lender to set terms for your new loan. Since the bank or peer-to-peer lender who is offering the debt consolidation loan will be your new (and only) creditor, you need to work with them to ensure the interest rate and monthly payments are going to work for you. As always, read the fine print.

3. Your debts are transferred to the new lender.
Once this happens, you no longer owe your previous creditors anything. You now owe the new lender the total amount of your balance.

Debt Management 

Of course, debt consolidation is not the only way to get out of debt. Another common method is debt management. These two terms are often mixed up, because many companies advertise both debt management and debt consolidation.

In reality, debt consolidation only refers to getting a new loan that pays off your old debts and gives you one payment.

On the other hand, a debt management plan (DMP) is a program offered by companies or non-profit groups that helps you negotiate a new payment plan with your current creditors. So unlike debt consolidation, you still have the same debts (with the same balances) but you negotiate for lower interest rates and, if necessary, lower monthly payments.

People usually go to a “credit counseling” non-profit organization to get help starting a debt management plan. (There are also for-profit companies that do debt management) If you decide to do debt management, it’s best to use a certified credit counselor from Vantage Acceptance.

Bankruptcy

If you file for bankruptcy, you may be able to eliminate most or all of your debts very quickly (in a Chapter 7 Plan) or over five years or less (in a Chapter 13 Plan). If you are being threatened with debt collection lawsuits, if your income has been to reduced to the point where you can’t make your payments, or if you are simply feeling overwhelmed with your debt, it’s a good idea to talk with a bankruptcy attorney to find out whether it may provide the relief you need.

Bankruptcy may work for you if:

You have significant debts that can be discharged (eliminated), and your income does not prevent you from doing that.

To make it work:

Talk with a qualified bankruptcy attorney, one whose practice is largely devoted to bankruptcy and helping consumers in debt. Ask for referrals from a financial professional you trust, or visit NACBA.org

A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Out of Debt


Few Helpful Resources You Might Want To Read


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How Small Business Can Overpower Megacorporations Globally?

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Looking for a good small business idea that could turn into a big business idea?

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If you are, I think we’re living in extremely exciting times, and I say this because it’s clear to me that businesses we used to think were established and virtually untouchable are now vulnerable to startup competition.

Some of these are obvious, and the popular press runs stories about them every day. I’m thinking about enterprises like Uber, Airbnb and other peer-to-peer or sharing business models that are using the advantages of today’s technology to launch an assault on an established business sector.

But some startups are getting traction even without leveraging the bleeding edge of technology. (Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “bleeding” here, because I want to talk about what’s going on in the razor-shaving industry.)

Let me set the stage with a very brief history lesson. Gillette and the company’s competitors sold reusable razors with the intent to make most of their profits from selling the blades used to fill the razors. It was a fairly advanced way of thinking at the time.

This business model chugged along merrily for generations. It’s so simple that it seemed almost unassailable. How could anyone make inroads against the likes of Gillette and Schick?

A funny thing happened on the road to success for Gillette and Schick – they got fat, sassy and complacent. With a corner on the market, they tolerated each other and let their attitudes towards their customers – especially when it comes to pricing and service – get the best of them.

This opened the door for some newcomers in the game, players like

  • Dollar Shave Club,
  • Harry’s Razor Company,
  • 800Razors,
  • Shave Mob, and
  • Dorco.

Some of these startups leverage the Internet in ways that caught Gillette and Schick off guard, but frankly their subscription model could have been launched without the Internet. These startups recognized that the established brands were vulnerable in pricing and in the hoops they make buyers jump through to get their blades (dealing with locked cabinets in stores).

If we look hard and with fresh eyes, we can probably find all kinds of supposedly established legacy companies that would be vulnerable to competition from an eager and creative startup. This could be your golden small business startup idea that has the potential for huge growth.

Think about the companies that you more or less dread doing business with. When your spouse asks you to run an errand to a certain store or to get a certain product and you immediately groan, where are you being sent? How can you make the experience better? Don’t worry if it’s a huge global corporation or included among the Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks.

In the end, it could be that, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”


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11 Factors To Know While Considering Small Business Loans

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What To Know When Considering Small Business Loans

Small business loans help the new company buy supplies and technology, hire employees, and secure space and services. Knowing the basics of business loans, when they’re a good fit, and how a loan could help are key factors in launching a company. 

The Basics 

It’s important to start the lending process early, because it takes time. Waiting until the last minute could jeopardize launch plans, so researching a lender ahead of time is critical. Smaller banks and credit unions often have more flexible lending standards, while big banks may offer cheaper rates – so the lender you choose should depend on the individual needs of your business. You may also get rejections – potentially lots of rejections. Don’t give up, but consider reevaluating your strategy if this keeps happening to you.


Follow these guidelines to make sure that you — and your small business — approach the application process fully prepared.

1. Know your credit score. If you’re applying for a loan with a traditional lender, your credit score is one of the main factors that will be considered. So, before you contact any bank, know your numbers. Request a personal credit report (get one for free at AnnualCreditReport.com). Check for errors, such as a payment you made on time but was reported as late. If you find a mistake, contact the credit bureau and company involved to resolve the issue.

2. Understand your options. Lenders vary from the traditional (banks and credit unions) to the nontraditional. While the interest rate you'll get will likely be considerably higher than the average rate today, you'll also find the approval process to be much speedier than at a bank. In addition, you'll start repaying the loan in small increments every day, thus reducing the risk of missing a bigger monthly payment that might come with a traditional loan. Another alternative is a merchant cash advance, which is based on future credit card sales.

3. Know what you need. If you’re not sure how much cash your company needs to operate or expand, meet with an adviser or an accountant before approaching any lenders.

4. The terms of the loan. 

Small business owners need to understand all the terms and conditions of a loan before signing the dotted line. The small business loan sector is growing rapidly, which means there are some unsavory characters looking to make a quick buck. There are also a variety of ways a lender or creditor can offer funding. Here's what to consider:

5. How the lender determines credit worthiness.

Just like with any other form of credit or loan, not all underwriting is created equal. Small business lenders will have a multitude of requirements. Some will require that you’ve been in business for two years and generate at least six-figure income. Others may only require owners be in business for six months or offer loans based on invoices instead of revenue. 

6. How fast you need funding.

The immediate need for funding can have a huge impact on which loans a small business owner can use. Same day or next day funding is an option, but this could come with a steeper APR because the borrower has less time to shop around and compare price points. 

7. How much funding you need.

Consider how much funding is needed, and don’t forget to factor in fees. Be sure the amount needed for a loan is within the maximum amount available with a lender; otherwise it isn’t worth applying in the first place. 

8. Quality customer service. 

Sometimes a local bank or a reputable bank may offer the best fee, but small business owners should also consider customer service reviews. Newer entrants in the small business loan space may provide more streamlined customer service as well as a quicker response time.than the old and more reputed ones like HDFC Test the customer service before taking out the loan. 

9. Can YOu repay a loan?

Lenders may not ask it exactly this way, but that’s why they ask about your time in business, your annual revenues, your profits, or your cash flow. They’re trying to determine if you have the means to make regular payments. This is why it’s so difficult for early-stage businesses that aren’t generating regular income or revenues to qualify for a loan.

10. Will you repay the loan?

This is a different question than the first and is why many lenders look at your business credit profile as well as your personal credit score when they evaluate your business’s creditworthiness. Lenders try to predict, based upon your track record with other creditors, whether or not your business will make the periodic payments.

11. Do you have a backup plan?

This is an important question. Because many business owners plan to use borrowed capital to fund projects designed to increase revenue and profits, they anticipate an increase in revenues and the cash flow they’ll need to make their loan payments. This is a reasonable expectation. Lenders want to know that regardless of the outcome of the reason you are borrowing capital, you’ll be able to make the periodic payments—in other words, you have a contingency plan.

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Social Learning - The impact of Web 2.0 & Myths Debunked

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Edited by lisa coffey, Friday, 8 Jan 2016, 10:03

Social learning is a concept with significant roots in research and in theory, and it has been the basis of some educational designs for several decades.

However, e-Learning design often draws more upon the notion of learning as an individual activity based on content and on delivery by an instructor or an expert. Times are changing, and with the advent of social media, e-Learning designers need to understand social learning and to adopt some best practices to support it.

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The impact of Web 2.0 on social learning

In March 5, 2008, Steve Hargadon identified trends spurred on by the “two-way” nature of the Internet. These are trends that have significant impact on learning and education. According to Hargadon, there is a “new publishing revolution” arising from a shift in content creation for the Internet. At first, the Internet was a one-directional presentation medium where users received and read passively. Now the Internet is becoming an interactive platform, also known as Web 2.0, based on contribution and collaboration. Blogs, wikis, file sharing, social networking, and other forms are revolutionizing how we create online content.

As a result, the amount of online content available is beyond comprehension. Social networks like Facebook and Pinterest boast 250,000 and 300,000 new users per day, respectively. Content contributors number in the tens of millions daily, according to Forrester Senior Researcher Jeremiah Owyang. There is a “tidal wave of information.” It is an unenviable task to filter through the content postings, and to sort out the contributions that are worthy of attention.

Hargadon discussed how he replies to questions that people ask about content overload. His response reflects how social networking and social learning flow into one another naturally, as social constructivism suggests they will. He said, “It is in the act of our becoming a creator that our relationship with content changes, and we become more engaged and more capable at the same time.” In other words, by participating we learn to become.

Participation also shapes how people make choices, which reflects what they learn. Smart retailers already use this fact.

For example,

Reader reviews at Amazon.com significantly influence consumer reactions to a book and subsequent purchases. Moreover, Amazon tracks its users and their behaviour, and a kind of dialog ensues. Data collected from a shopper generates a list of books, DVDs, music, and so on that he or she might not have considered.

Also the major telecommunication companies in UK like Sky, BT & Virgin Media infact rely heavily on consumer feedback (from the fact that a whole new niche of websites have cropped up, fixithere being one of those high quality sites which help their customers to be in direct contact with their service providers) in developing and upgrading their products & offers to bring them to market and increase their consumer base.

These examples illustrate how knowledge acquisition, development, innovation and customer support are shifting toward a collaborative model.

Social learning in the workplace

The evolution of the Internet has yielded stunning results in learner performance. Eventually, it will affect the structure of educational institutions. But how does this translate within corporate walls?

Can business organizations adopt social learning in the workplace?

In his introduction to a 2005 issue of Executive Thought Leadership Quarterly John Chambers, Cisco’s Chairman and CEO, had this to say:

“We believe that a new focus on productivity is emerging based on adding value to the exchange of information. This next horizon for productivity is based on interactions within functions, between functional business units, and across partner and customer organizations. 

CEO of Layr Inc , R.Khurana had this to say:

Internally, we need to enhance interactions among vendors, users, sales, and support. Externally, we need to optimize interactions with our customers – interacting in ways, and at levels, that we haven’t done before is required to add the greatest values possible.”

Other companies are likewise making strides in this direction. Microsoft offers its Office-based sharing technology, SharePoint. IBM implemented the use of blogs (26,000 registered), wikis (100,000 users), social bookmarking (DogEar), and social networking tools in their organization. IBM even owns 50 islands on Second Life for use in orientations, classes, and meetings!

Change is inevitable. We see that technology continues to evolve, along with how people connect and contribute to the creation of content within virtual communities. We either adapt, or fall behind. In his January, 2008 paper, David Wilkins explores the importance of supporting social networks in the workplace, or “Workplace Communities.” Wilkins reviews social learning on the job in terms of improving employee development, performance, and growth, as well as its effect on workplace innovation.

Wilkins shows a number of ways in which workplace communities support employee development, performance, and growth. They provide a mechanism for apprenticeship models, connecting less-skilled workers with their more experienced colleagues through social networking technologies. Communities can add an “Ask an Expert” feature to their network, to make it possible to leverage the expertise of individuals or groups.

Myth 1:

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Social Learning Is New

We all want the next big thing. But the next big thing is not always the next new thing.

In the late 1970s, Albert Bandura established the most well-known theory of modern social learning, which proposes that people can learn in a social context.

The advantages of social learning, including learning by example and the reinforcement of knowledge that comes with the “human connection,” are as valid today.

However, the advent of social networking technologies has helped create a new breed of social learning.

Myth 2:

unicorn

Social Learning Is the Same as Social Media

Social media and social learning are as much the same as French fries and French toast. In other words, they’re different (but both wonderful).

Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest make it easy and motivate people to connect, share information, and develop relationships.

Myth 3:

unicorn

Social Learning Is Just for Fun

Social learning is fun, but not just for fun. Like all of us, it multi-tasks.

Social learning has real benefits for both individuals and institutions. The interconnected, interactive nature of social learning exponentially amplifies the rate at which critical content can be shared.

In the book Social Media at Work, written by Arthur L. Jue, Jackie Alcalde Marr and Mary Ellen Kassotakis,

the authors share case studies of companies using social and informal learning for business success.

For example, Oracle uses a key tool called Connect

to give employees the information they need at the moment they need it. The tool is about more than just answering questions -– it’s teaching people how to make smart decisions about the business.

Maria Ogneva, director of community at Yammer, says,

“If your goal is to increase customer satisfaction, perhaps the impact metric you are looking for is the increase of speed of a response to a customer, and how collaboration helps you do that. For any social effort to be successful, it has to tie to a business objective.”

Myth 4:

unicorn

Social Learning Doesn’t Have Broad Appeal

Dial-up: RIP. Roaming charges: RIP. No matter how the digital world evolves, social learning is here to stay.

Social learning may be hyped, but that does not mean it is a passing trend. Modern day social learning is a reflection of the educational environment today’s students have helped create for themselves (and future students) to perform at their best.

Observations suggest social learning is here to stay  :-)

Today’s active learners are demanding and benefiting from social learning

Mashable Tech reported that after adopting a pilot social media learning program, the grades of one Portland, OR seventh grade class increased by more than 50% and 20% of students school wide completed extra assignments for no credit.

Myth 5:

unicorn
Social learning is just for students

A fifth myth could be that social learning is just for students. Yes, social learning is revolutionizing the student experience, but it’s a powerful tool for educators as well.

Think of the positive impact on schools when teachers interact with active learners via technology. The same benefits exist with respect to professional development—yet this fact is too often overlooked. Diverse educators agree that social learning can help teachers build their skill sets, which means it is an essential part of professional development.

It is not easy to incorporate social learning in your company, even when it seems like the obvious natural evolution in a learning organization. Some companies are just not ready for it. The culture of an organization determines its readiness to move forward and bring transparency into the system.

Success requires free flow of ideas, and support by stakeholders, for communication between networks.


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