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Considerations Before Buying A Used Car

Did you know that with dedicated research and a well-planned strategy, you can acquire a used car that is as good as a new one? Yes, there are used cars that are as reliable and efficient as new ones. But the most crucial aspect of buying a second-hand car is to take your time to evaluate all the variants involved that will result in the car being the right one for you.

Many of us aspire to own a car; going for a used one is one of the best strategies in cost-saving and getting yourself on the road with your asset. But getting the best deal is not easy; many buyers have been left frustrated after acquiring an unsuitable car that fails to meet their needs and was not entirely as advertised.

Many used car owners suffer mainly because of the high maintenance costs, flawed research, insufficient information about the car from the dealers, and buying the wrong vehicle for their intended purpose. The fact is, you must know what you want, and with the following factors, knowledge will guide you in getting the best car that will serve you appropriately.

Budget

The question is, how much are you willing to put aside for a car? Determining the amount of money you need to buy your car is not automatic. You must establish how you will source the funds and consider any impact on your lifestyle. If you are opting for a loan, speak with your consultant for guidance regarding loan repayments, interest rate and any ongoing fees. You do not want to get yourself in a financial fix after just acquiring a car.

Also, keep in mind that the expense of buying a second-hand car does not end with the car’s price tag. There are other associated costs such as change of ownership, license, and additional charges depending on the state you are in. Ensure that you stick to your budget no matter what to avoid future financial crises.

Safety

It is essential to consider the safety of yourself, the car, and the transaction when buying a used car. One of the main decisions you must make is to determine whether to buy a car from private sellers or dealers. Many second-hand car owners will advise you that purchasing a used car from a private seller has more inherent risk than from a dealer.

Dealers must adhere to state and federal regulations, including consumer protection, while private sellers have no customer protection policy or regulation. Other safety aspects include car warning systems, active head restraints, anti-lock brakes, new airbag technology, and other in-built car safety requirements.

Purpose of the car

Determining your car’s purpose is a crucial aspect that you must consider through evaluating the following scenarios before making the final decision.

I. If the car is to be used in a family setup, what is the number of family members that the car will transport? What are the preferences of other family members? Do you need room for baby capsules or other access or legroom for an elderly or disabled family member?

II. If you are buying for travelling purposes, how long are your journeys? How is the terrain of the area of travel? Will the vehicle be comfortable for long-distances or unsurfaced roads? What is the fuel-efficiency like?

III. If it’s going to work, how does it reflect your image concerning your job position? What is the company policy on fuelling employee cars?

IV. Are you planning to join the Uber community? What are the requirements?

If you can answer these questions, you will have a clear picture of the car you want and can work towards acquiring it.

Type of car

Your budget might be set, and the purpose of the car determined, but many models can serve the same purpose. I know we all have our preferences, but proper research will guide you in coming up with the best solution for your car search.

You can begin by visiting various local dealerships, comparing the models, and developing a sense of precisely the kind of model that suits your requirement. Also, using internet resources, you can get a rough picture of a model that will suit your lifestyle.

Funding

You might have done your budget and all other preparations ready for acquiring your new car, but you will need funding. As stated earlier, your car costs more than the price tag; other costs such as maintenance costs must be considered.

If your car project is financed by a loan, partnering with a financial institution that guides you in making the best possible decision will make your life more comfortable and flexible during the whole process of buying a used car.

 

Jetski finance by Ezilend

Jet-Ski Maintenance – 5 Important Tips

So you finally got your hands on that Jet-Ski you have always dreamed of owning. You are ready for countless hours at the beach or in your local waterways. The sunscreen is packed, the kids – old and young – are excited and you are set for some real fun. 

While any personal watercraft will provide hours of unlimited fun and entertainment on the water, you will need to be all over the maintenance of your Jet Ski to ensure the best performance and safe use each and every time you take it out.

Read the Manual

The very first thing you should do – maybe even before you buy the Jet Ski – is to carefully read your manual to learn everything you can about its use, maintenance regime and how to store, manoeuvre and drive your jet ski. This is particularly important for those who have never owned a Jet Ski before. You will learn a great deal from the manual. If you have owned a Jet Ski before, then it is still useful to review your new toy’s details! You might be surprised by what this one can do – or what the latest recommendations are.

Keep the manual handy as it is important to review this from time to time – and when it comes time to upgrade or sell, you will want to hand this over to the new owner.

Protect the Exterior of Your Watercraft

In particular, the best way to keep your Jet Ski from looking great is to wash it down after salt-water riding.

Taking pride in the appearance of your Jet Ski is a practical consideration. You have spent considerable time choosing this watercraft for various reasons, and one sure reason would be how it looks. So from an aesthetic point-of-view, protecting the exterior ensures the craft remains bright and shiny. You should be proud to take it out adventuring and this also maintains the value when it comes time to upgrade.

By taking proper care and washing off salt-water, mud, sand and other residues – you are protecting your investment.  Take the time to wash and wax the watercraft’s exterior. Washing and waxing protects the boat’s skin from the degrading effects of sun, wind, sand, and salt.

Choose a cleaning solution that is made for boats or personal watercraft. In addition, waxes are also available that are designed for marine use. These products will better endure the harsh conditions that the sea can throw your way.

After a day on the water, you should also correctly store your jet ski. Provide maximum protection by either covering the watercraft using a form-fitting cover designed for your boat, or keep it securely stored inside a garage or carport.

The most important reason for washing, waxing and storing your watercraft in a protected environment is to prevent your jet ski’s exterior from becoming brittle or cracked. The sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays will rapidly deteriorate the exterior of your jet ski. So take the time to protect your Jet Ski’s body to make your investment last.

Flush the Engine

Salt water and fresh water can both contain residues and harm your engine. After each day out on the water, be sure to flush your engine. Your user manual will provide the steps to take to ensure you adequately remove any impurities.

Flushing the engine will remove impurities such as salt, sand, mud, algae, weeds and plant remnants from the engine preventing corrosion. The general method of flushing the engine involves running fresh, clean water through the engine for a couple of minutes after you take the Jet Ski out of the water and prior to storing it. Refer to the manual for how to complete this effectively for your watercraft.

Conduct Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Personal watercraft like Jet Skis require routine maintenance as they contain moving parts exposed to harsh environmental conditions, and these components will need to be periodically lubricated. Check the manual and your local dealer to find out the best oils and greases when lubricating your personal watercraft, as incorrect types could wash away quickly and leave your machine vulnerable and exposed.

Changing the engine oil regularly on any motorized device is imperative to keep the engine functioning safely. The Jet Ski manufacturer will have stipulated a maintenance schedule, just like car manufacturers do – so make sure you know what the length of time is between services and keep to the schedule.  

By doing a routine inspection of the watercraft each time you take it out and bring it back, you will be sure to notice any problems, corrosion or unusual engine noise.

Storing Over Winter

Following a cracking Summer and Autumn with your Jet Ski, the winter in some places may mean it is too chilly to be out on the water, so you will need to  store your Jet Ski for the season.

Any motorized device must be adequately prepared for storage when not in use. You will follow the directions in the user manual which will include the previously discussed flushing of the engine, a thorough wash-down to protect the exterior and  the addition of a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel evaporation from damaging the engine.

When not using the jet ski, fuel evaporation can leave behind varnish and other sticky residues that can cause fuel line clogs and other engine problems when you bring your Jet Ski out of hibernation. Fuel stabilizers come in various formulations, so choose one appropriate for use in personal watercraft.

Once you add the fuel stabilizer, remove the spark plug from the motor and spray fogging oil into the cylinder. Fogging oil is designed to provide long-lasting protection against corrosion inside the dormant cylinder; without it, the engine oil inside the cylinder would drain and leave bare metal exposed to moisture.

Jet-Ski Maintenance – 5 Important Tips

At Ezilend, we love a great day out on the water and providing loans to help you make the most of your time with family and friends is what we do best. If you are looking to invest in a Jet Ski, boat or other watercraft, be sure to check out our competitive rates. Get in touch today.

Good Credit vs. Bad Credit – What’s it all About?

When was the last time you actively considered your credit score? Do you know that you can access your credit report to make sure it is accurate and reflects repayments and credit history?

Perhaps you thought about your personal credit rating just before applying for a line of credit, only to realise that it wasn’t up to scratch, with your loan application being rejected.

Most of us tend to take a less-than-proactive approach when it comes to our credit – keeping our head buried in the sand until the last minute (i.e. when it dawns on us that we might actually need a loan). Unfortunately, credit scores can’t be repaired overnight. Like our cars, credit scores require a degree of maintenance – it pays (no pun intended) to annually check-up on our credit health.

According to ASIC’s Money Smart, Australians are entitled to check their credit report for free once a year. Credit providers use the information in credit reports to establish whether an applicant can afford a particular loan, and whether they are likely to repay it on time (or at all).

If you find that your credit score needs some TLC after reviewing your report, there are simple steps you can follow to get it where you want to be.

Check your credit report

As mentioned above, Australians are entitled to one free check of their credit report per year. In 2013, ASIC stated that a whopping 30% of Australians’ credit reports contained errors. It’s important to iron out any errors before applying for a loan because their presence will simply delay the application process. Some errors to look out for are:

  • Incorrect personal details (name, address or date of birth),
  • A debt might be listed for the wrong amount, or
  • A debt might be listed twice.

To find out more about credit reports and how to fix errors, check out this article from Choice.

Simple steps you can follow to get your credit report where you want to be – looking good!

Have an active credit account

Don’t be debtless! Go forth and access a credit account with a small limit because lenders don’t favour borrowers without a credit history. You can start as small as you need to: a mobile phone plan, Internet service or rental payments are all valid proof of payment history.

Punctual payments

This one is a no-brainer. The best predictor of your future behaviour is past behaviour – if you want someone to trust that you’ll make reliable and punctual repayments, start making reliable and punctual payments now! Punctual repayments are exactly when your potential lender is looking for in your report.

Be wary of making too many hard enquiries

What is a hard enquiry? A hard enquiry is the name given to the process of a prospective lender making an enquiry on your credit report. Having too many hard enquiries on your account doesn’t look good – it implies that you’re desperate for cash and/or have been knocked back for a loan on more than one occasion.

Good credit history isn’t hard to attain if you give it the attention it deserves. With adequate pruning, your credit history will flourish. Take a look at ASIC’s factsheet for more information about maintaining your credit report. If obtaining credit is or becomes a problem, speak with a friendly Ezilend consultant – we can help you to restructure your credit profile or point you in the right direction (and away from the rip-off lenders!)

 

Buying a new car

There is nothing like the excitement of buying a brand new car. And whilst financing a new vehicle is an essential part of the shopping process, we thought we would focus on the car buying process. Hopefully our tips will get you behind the wheel of your dream car at an amazing price.

Let’s get the finance out of the way first.

When buying a new car you have five main ways of financing the purchase. You can:

  • Pay cash by buying it outright,
  • Obtain a car or personal loan,
  • Use dealership finance, 
  • Lease the vehicle, or
  • Take out a chattel mortgage ( a secured car loan for business purposes).

Our advice, as industry insiders, is to shop around for your loan before you go to the dealership. Contact us at Ezilend and we can help you get your finance sorted. That way , you can go into the car dealership with finance ready to roll.

So how do you go about choosing the right car for your needs?

  • Research

Step one is, of course, to do your research. These days we have so much information available to help make our purchasing decisions easier. But don’t just read the reviews, have a good look at all of the car sales websites and see what prices various dealers are putting on the cars you’re interested in. Decide what features are most important to you as you narrow down the selection.

Once you have a vehicle in mind, you can then narrow down the dealers to talk with. Through this research process, you can be confident that you have a fair idea of what you should be paying for the car you want. If you are trading-in your current vehicle, do the same research so you know if you’re being offered a fair trade-in value.

  • Visit Dealerships

Step two – Visits to the dealerships. The process is very much choreographed once you arrive. It can be a psychological battle.. Using the internet prior to the visit gives the buyer a lot more power. While you can research every last detail, don’t underestimate the lure of that shiny new car, literally begging you to put your hand in your pocket and spend your cash right there! Resist the temptation. Let the car salesperson go through the process. 

Being sold to in this instance is not a negative experience in the slightest. This is where your research and bargaining tools come together with the incentives from the dealer. There may be various offers and incentives put your way. Ideally, take the time to visit a few dealerships for the brand of car you’re interested in to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Expect to spend an hour or so in each dealership while looking at. all your options.

Car dealerships rely on your initial excitement and a well-honed strategy of starting with a high price and then being able to lower the price – often linked into a ‘promotion’, which usually ends the day after you go in. You may often get a ‘this price is only valid today’. This is very rarely true. Take the power back if you can. If you can forward plan your purchase, it’s a great idea to buy either at the end of the month/quarter or (best of all) at the end of the financial year. This is when dealer stock must get moved on and you can generally negotiate a better deal.

What about all the extras?

Once you have identified the dealer you would like to go with – who is offering the best price, and the car is definitely the one you want – you are ready to do the deal. Just know that before you sign anything you will be shuffled off to see the “Extras” person. The “Extras” person will talk to you about all of the essential ‘add-ons’ you will need to take with your new car. For many dealerships the margin on the car is minimal, so they’re interested in extra income from add-ons. You will also be told about the ongoing service schedule required to make sure your warranty remains valid. A new car warranty is not in fact invalidated if you take your car elsewhere to be serviced. However, it can complicate matters should you make a claim.

There are generally three categories of New Car Add-ons…

  • Paint protection
  • Upholstery protection, and 
  • Tinted windows

…and sometimes there is even a service to fix those occasional dints and scratches that it’s generally not worth claiming on insurance. Are these extras worth the money? There’s no clear answer to this. But, here are the pros and cons…

Pros

  • If there are ever any problems related to the add-on provided by the dealership you just take the car back in. 
  • The additional options are taken care of before you pick up the car – no need to take it back later to have the work done.
  • If you are financing the vehicle, it’s easy to add the extra cost into the entire car loan.
  • You can be reasonably confident that the work will be done to a sufficiently high standard. The car brand will not want to be associated with any problems relating to the add-on down the line.

Cons

  • The add-on may not be necessary – it is a new car after all.
  • Getting add-ons done at the point of sale at the dealership can be more expensive than getting the same job done by an external company.

To an extent, the dealership relies on the fact that you probably don’t know about the latest paint protection technologies, or how much it would cost to get the same treatment elsewhere. So this is where a bit of research can save you money in the long-run.

Once you have negotiated your way through the buying process, don’t forget the other things you need to organise before you pick up the car. Remember things like insurance, and don’t forget to take your toll tag out of your old vehicle and inform the toll company of your change of vehicle. Then you can relax, and enjoy your new wheels!

Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays Sponsored By Ezilend Finance

Ezilend Sponsors Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays

Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday (VMRW) is a squadron of Marine Rescue Queensland whose primary objective is to SAVE LIVES AT SEA.  “We provide marine search and rescue services to the boating public and island communities on a volunteer basis,” said VMRW President, Mal Priday. “Funding support for Marine Rescue organisations is vital. The costs of maintaining, operating and providing assistance to the boating and island communities – not just in the Whitsundays, but nationwide – continue to increase year-on-year.”

Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays Sponsored By Ezilend Finance

Abundant Coastlines and Growing Boat Ownership

With our nation’s abundant coastline, flowing waterways and beautiful weather, recreational boating is one of the leading pastimes in Australia. In Queensland, registered boat ownership* sits at an incredible 264,000… and rising!

To support the great work of the Whitsunday’s Volunteer Marine Rescue, Ezilend have stepped up to the table and provided vital funding support.

Silver Sponsorship

Ezilend Managing Director, Jack Bradford, said: “Ezilend was happy to become a Silver sponsor and contribute vital funding for a 2-year period to enable the service and volunteers to continue their life-saving work.” Jack has recently moved into the region and, as a keen boatman, he is certainly enjoying the lifestyle of the Whitsundays. Boating safety is important to the team at Ezilend which is what makes this partnership a win-win.

The Volunteer Marine Rescue operation is run entirely by volunteers including boat crew, radio operators, management, fundraisers, trainers and performs an essential emergency service for boat owners in the greater Whitsunday region. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in local community organisations like the VMR, and these brave volunteers provide over 2000 man-hours a year saving lives. They are called on for assistance, on average, about 10 times a month for situations such as:

  • tow assists
  • search and rescues
  • medical evacuations from boats and island resorts and camping areas,
  • transfers of Queensland Ambulance, Queensland Fire and Rescue and also the Queensland Police Services to emergency situations.

The Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsundays own and operate:

  • two purpose-built Rescue vessels: an 11.9-metre NoosaCat for open waters, large vessels and Medivacs, supplemented with a 6.7-metre Naiad RHIB for smaller vessels and inshore assists; and
  • two VHF radio stations on Hyman and Whitsunday Islands. 

In addition to the life-saving duties, VMRW provide boating information for visitors, including access to safety information, radio and navigation support, tidal and weather observations.

If you are serious about getting into the water with a new boat and need access to fast, easy finance, give Jack’s team a call! 1300 850 447

*Source:  https://www.bia.org.au/industry/industry-data

What comes with a Franchise Package?

One of the most significant business expenses for a startup can be buying your franchise.

What do you get when you become the proud business owner of a new franchise location? This is a question that many ready-to-launch entrepreneurs find themselves asking. In fact, it’s the first place to start when you’re contemplating buying your first franchise. It’s the starting line for calculating your costs, resources, and the real value of each franchise package up for purchase.

In the hundreds of available franchise options, franchise packages tend to be developed in about the same way. In addition to helping you turn investment capital into a new business, each franchise package should provide the ingredients to help you turn your location into a thriving extension of the brand’s business model.

Features of a Franchise Package

  • Structural Business Model

The one thing every franchise needs (other than a brand to license) is a business model. This business model and all the trappings that come with it are what makes a franchise valuable. The business model has been well-established, tested, and borne out with other franchise owners and now it can do the same for you. Franchisees put the business model into practical application by selecting and preparing a location for business.

The model also still provides the kind of flexibility and freedom that every entrepreneur craves to customise the business based on what’s best locally.

  • A Few Trade Secrets

Most franchise packages include a few vital tips inside the business model and guides offered by the parent brand. This might be recipes that make a franchise restaurant unmistakable to fans. It might be a certain way retail displays are put together.

  • Tools and Industry Technology

In today’s business world, every business comes with a stack of software. Possibly a stack of specific hardware and equipment as well. The kind of technology your business needs, fortunately, can also be provided by your core franchise in the franchise package. Every franchisee has access to the technology and the industry tools used to make the magic happen.

  • Back-Office Support

The back office is often what new entrepreneurs need the most help with. Finances, taxes, and legal compliances can pile up. Not to mention managing your complex network of relationships with vendors and services. Most franchise packages offer back-office services, training, and back-office support for franchisees. This can help you cover the experience and back-end staffing gaps early on.

  • Marketing Support

One of the most significant benefits of buying a franchise is marketing. You get to build on an existing brand instead of having to establish and build your own. Not only is this a great place to start, but a franchise also helps you with local marketing on the brand and image foundation.

  • Consultations with Industry Experts

In business, it never hurts to get a second opinion – especially if you’re new to business ownership or the staffing industry. If you want to consult with experts in the industry, your franchise is the perfect avenue to do this.

  • National Franchise Network

Finally, you can access the national network of connections, clients, and resources that has been nurtured by the core brand. You gain a connection to other franchisees across the country and to the brand’s vendors and widespread clients, just to name a few perks of the franchise network.

Are you looking to open your own business? We’re ready to help. Whether you’re starting from scratch and are building your own unique business model or choosing a smart franchise package to get started with, you’ll need more than just energy and elbow-grease. You’ll need investment capital and a smart team on your side to get the job done from branding to your opening day celebration. Contact us today to consult on your business plans and financial needs. From business coaching through our blog to startup capital, we’re here to help you turn your entrepreneurial goals into reality.

Tips to help you secure a Business Loan

Once you have an idea for a business and a team of professionals working by your side, your next big step to get your start-up off the ground will be to secure funding, likely through a small business loan. While banks and other financial institutions offer a wide range of financing options for businesses, you may still face challenges securing funding if you go into lender meetings unprepared.

Taking the right steps before applying for a small-business loan will reduce the likelihood of your application being rejected. At Ezilend, we want to help you to get the financing that you need to start your business. To help get you started, here is a look at a few steps that you can take to improve your chances of securing financing for your start-up.

Have a Good Business Plan

Before you apply for a small business loan, you must take the time to make a detailed business plan. A business plan serves as a roadmap that explains what your business does, how you plan to market your product/services, and it forecasts projected growth.

Making a business plan will not only show lenders that you are serious, but it also gives you time to think about your long-term goals. Once you know more about your business and goals, you will be more prepared to meet with lenders. You will have already contemplated the answers to most questions a lender might ask. Your business plan will also help give lenders a sense of what your business does and how you plan to turn a profit, improving your odds of securing a loan.

Determine Your Long-Term Goals

After creating a business plan, you will also need to map out your long-term goals for your business. Lenders want to see that you have a vision for your business, and simply saying that you want to make money won’t cut it.

You will need to take time to think about how you want to grow and expand your business. What proactive steps do you plan on taking to achieve your goals? Mapping a five-year timeline of steps you plan to take to grow your business will give lenders a concrete idea of how you plan on turning a profit. Lenders want to see proof that giving you a loan is not a risk. So anything that you can do to show that you have thought your business idea through and are prepared to grow your business can help you secure a loan.

Bring The Right Documents

Nothing looks less professional and ruins your chances of securing a loan more than not being prepared for a meeting with a potential lender. This makes it critical that you gather the right documents to take to your meeting and that you have them organised so that you can quickly find what you need at a moment’s notice.

The documents you most likely need include:

  • recent tax returns,
  • bank statements,
  • proof of insurance,
  • letters of incorporation, and
  • any applicable business licenses or other professional documentation.

You do not want something as basic as not having the right documentation with you derailing your chances of receiving a business loan.

Be Ready to Talk Numbers

It is also critical that you are prepared to talk numbers. You will need to know your business or business concept’s financials inside and out before your meeting to prove that you know what you are talking about. This demonstrates that you have a plan for your business’s financial future. Be ready to discuss:

  • your business’s ongoing costs,
  • how much you have invested in your business,
  • whether you have any investors,
  • how much money you anticipate needing, and
  • how long you anticipate it taking to pay back the loan.

Knowing the financials of your business can help a lender to decide whether or not you will have the means to pay back your loan. So showing that you are prepared and have done your research can demonstrate that your business is a good investment.

Taking the time to prepare before applying for a small business loan will give you the best chances of securing financing. Contact us to learn more about how you can improve your chances of securing approval for a business loan.

5 Smart decisions for home improvement during the pandemic

Your home is your castle, and right now during the pandemic, it’s also where you spend all of your time. One of the side effects of working and sheltering at home is noticing all the little improvements that could be made. You may already be tightening screws on towel rods and adding shelves to the laundry room. You might also be noticing more significant improvements you’d like to make or thinking about ways to improve your home for the duration of the pandemic.

We’re here to help. You can approach home improvements with a purpose-built loan to make your at-home pandemic time more enjoyable. Today, we want to highlight smart decisions you can make to improve your home during the pandemic.

Secure Your Home Perimeter

Take a walk around your home and your fence line. Home security is not just about keeping out robbers; it’s also about safely containing pets, small children, and even your gardening projects. You can also use gardening or remodelling to create a comfortable 1.5m distance between you and the nearest neighbour.

If your fence is old or damaged, repair it or install a new modern fence. If your gate sags or if the latch is rusty, repairs can significantly improve your overall home security. Check to make sure your exterior door locks are secure and that the doorframes are well-fitted and sturdy. Older homes often have external doors made from outdated materials and worn frames that could be quickly updated for greater security.

Create Safe Distancing on the Front Porch

One highly innovative way to upgrade your home is to create a security gate on the front porch. Fine steel mesh or shady wood lattice can create a polite distance between the front door and where visitors stand. Move the doorbell out and add a security gate on the porch. Then each delivery and no-contact service can be greeted at the door and share the shade of your porch without any risk of contact with the family.

Use this opportunity to build out your porch for hospitality as well. Add a table and a storage bench for the convenience of the delivery team. Leave tips and friendly notes in addition to creating more safety.

Make Your Home More Comfortable to Spend Time In

With the entire family at home far more than ever before, the next most practical improvement is one that increases the comfort of your house. Repair, tune-up, and upgrade your appliances like the air-conditioning, heating and hot water service. Build new cabinetry that adds shelves right where you need them. Or transform surfaces into murphy-style fold away furniture that can serve two or even three purposes.

You can add stairs, hidden safes, or windowsill benches. The right improvements for your at-home comfort will depend on your lifestyle and the shared routines of your family, as well as the architecture you’re starting with. You can also consult with a skilled home builder to get ideas for the smartest home improvements.

Make Smart Project Financial Decisions

Another part of making smart decisions is balancing your finances. The best improvements are ones that mesh well with your budget and your plans. You can invest savings that you have specifically set aside for a renovation. Or you can use the equity of your home to take out an improvement loan. Be sure that your renovations fit comfortably into your financial plans. Many modest improvement projects can significantly improve your home within the confines of your budget.

Work with Experienced No-Contact Custom Home Builders

You want to work with experienced contractors who understand the new no-contact terms. Custom home builders can help you not only bring your vision to life, but they can also advise on the smartest home improvement options. They can suggest ideas based on your current architecture and suggest a few clever improvements to help you capitalise on your existing ideas.

In light of the pandemic, you can still opt of a no-contact service for your in-home improvement. Contractors are happy to work with gloves and face protection and it’s easy to maintain a 1.5m distance for most project tasks. Talk to your contractors about what you can do and how to conduct your project in a safe, no-contact manner.

Ready to make smart improvements to your home during the pandemic quarantine? We’re ready to help you take the financial steps necessary to improve your home while it is the single most important location for the family.

6 Essential supplies every company vehicle can and should have

Sending company vehicles out into the field with employee drivers is a commitment businesses make every day. Ideally, each vehicle is packed with all the gear, equipment, and resources your teams need to get the job done. If they are technicians, then toolboxes and handheld computers may be in the supplies. If you run a corporate hospitality fleet, they may be stocked with drink coolers and a selection of onboard music. 

But there are some supplies that every company should be stocked with, regardless of purpose or style of the vehicle in question. If you are sending employees out in company vehicles, if you are potentially transporting clients or merchandise in these vehicles, then the following five items should be considered practical, essential, and included in every well-planned company vehicle.  

1. Device Mounts and Charging Ports

Most modern business fleets are not run over phones and CB radios anymore. You work with a management app. Whether you’re coordinating routes or customers schedules, chances are that each vehicle will need at least one mounted device and a port to charge it from. Sometimes, vehicle computers can do the job, but more often, you’ll have a phone or tablet mounted to the dash to serve as your management and communication device. So make sure the vehicle is equipped and ready to support any device infrastructure your team needs to interface with the fleet management platform.

Some fleets will go for a permanent installation, affixing a device and tucking away it’s charging infrastructure so that the device never leaves the car. Others may have a more flexible setup with a device that is magnet-mounted and can be carried in to coordinate service with customers as well as being a vehicle guide. Consider these choices when setting up your device mounting and charging infrastructure. 

 2. It’s Own Wallet

Every company vehicle needs a wallet. The vehicle needs to be rolling with its registration and proof of insurance at the very least and most businesses like to keep the vehicle manual somewhere in the car just in case. The car’s wallet, no matter how big or small, should be the single place where employee drivers look for documentation on the car. Ensuring that your vehicle has one unified kit of documentation is exactly how you help employees deal with unpredictable situations in the future, from dealing with the aftermath of accidents to emergency roadside service.

This way, if a fleet vehicle is involved in an accident or is pulled over during the daily route, your drivers or team will be able to fish up any documentation needed. In such a stressful situation, they will not need to turn the vehicle inside-out looking for hidden registration or insurance documents tucked into the glove box or next to the spare tire.

 3. Lost Item Guards

Things get lost inside vehicles. This is a fact of life we’ve all accepted as commuters who have dropped endless pens, USB sticks, and tubes of chapstick into the Dark Unknown that exists between and under the seats. But this doesn’t actually have to be true. There are small non-tech devices that can be installed in a car that prevent items from falling between seats and getting lost under seats. They are non-tech simple foam-and-felt guards. Some slip between the console and the front seats. Some lodge underneath the seats to prevent anything from rolling in there. 

The addition of these simple guards can save your employees so much grief losing pens, keys, and glasses then having to fish them out ungracefully if they remember to fish them out at all.

 4. Vehicle Survival Kit

Every company vehicle should have a fairly comprehensive survival kit. This should, at minimum, include a first-aid kit, a large bottle of water, and roadside reflector triangles. A more complete kit might also include a blanket, flashlight, ration bars, and so on. Consider the possibility based on your region and local weather that an employee might become stranded with their vehicle, possibly in extreme weather conditions. While these packs may rarely be used, they could save lives if they were ever needed. And the roadside reflectors are sure to come in handy eventually.

 5. Spare Tire and Tools

Tires pop from time to time. A million tires roll over the same pot-hole and it’s a nearly random lottery which one will hit it wrong and blow. Whether it’s debris in the road or just bad luck, you want your employees to have access to a donut wheel, a tire tool, and anything else they may need to change a tire on the go quickly. Even if you have roadside service that could rescue a tire-stranded employee, you hardly want to rely on cell signal to keep your employees both safe and mobile. Make sure every one of your company vehicles features a spare tire and the tools to change it, just in case.

 6. Cleaning Supplies

Finally, ending on a lighter note, it’s always handy to have a kit of cleaning supplies tucked somewhere in the car. In fact, sometimes it can be a life-saver. Baby wipes and alcohol wipes are incredibly useful for employees in the field who may have touched something outdoors without an opportunity to wash up. And window cleaner combined with paper towels and an extending squeegee can clear a windshield if, say, your company vehicle parks under a tree that drips sticky sap while the team provided service to a client. There are so many helpful little use-cases for a kit of cleaning supplies to make it worth stocking every company vehicle with a few essential items.


Company vehicles are not just cars that work for the business. They are also carrying and protecting employees out in the field. With these six essentials stocked into every vehicle in the company fleet, you can be sure that your team has the means to stay safe, clean, on the right side of the law, and avoid dropping their pens into any under-seat abyss. All of which are incredibly useful when the right circumstances roll around. If you’re getting ready to buy or fit out a company vehicle and want to talk finances, contact us today!

Emergency Business Cash Flow loans for COVID recovery

In the past month, the entire economy has been hit by a huge shockwave caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stores are closing, people have stopped travelling or going out. Any business reliant on in-person business was hit hard, even if rebuilding your business model is possible with virus-safe methods.

Many businesses were disintegrated or very close to bankruptcy by recent events. Similarly, many more are finding themselves in dire financial straits. But you don’t have to be. Business cash flow loans are a normal part of the B2B commercial world. Even before the pandemic, many businesses every year experience hiccups that need a little liquid capital to skate through.

If your business has been affected by the coronavirus economic shake-up, an emergency business cash flow loan can help.

 Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

While e-commerce is soaring and grocery delivery is straining under pressure, many companies experienced the opposite effect. Empty venues and cancelled events can destroy your financial situation, even if your business is able to recover under no-contact conditions. Here are some of the most affected industries:

– Brick-and-Mortar Local Businesses

Any local business that relies on daily foot traffic has been hit hard by the stay-at-home order. Many are adapting, but the financial impact could still be severe. Local businesses may need cash flow loans to rebuild their services to provide delivery or arrange for employee safety on-site.

– Small Businesses Hit by the Shockwave

Companies without a deep slush-fund are also vulnerable to the COVID-19 economic impact. It takes additional revenue to coast through a sudden drop in customers and to cover the renovations or adaptations needed for a virus-safe business model. If you just don’t have the funds, we can help keep your momentum going and help you to make a strong comeback.

– Hospitality, Travel, and Luxury Service Businesses

With travel suddenly becoming the most dangerous of possible choices, all travel and hospitality businesses are suffering. Airports, hotels, spas, tours, and theme parks are all closed.

– Activities that Focus on Physical Contact

Some business models are based entirely on person-to-person contact. Massages and physical therapy, personal trainers, gym classes, and many others are all facing a sudden need to completely reinvent their business plan, and that can take a little extra cash flow to tide you over.

How Business Cash Flow Loans Can Help

No matter what has slowed down your business, often all you need is an infusion of cash into your revenue pool to make it right. Cash flow loans are precisely that – they increase your liquid cash flow to weather financial storms and recovery from sudden hits to your revenue stream. Here’s how a cash flow loan might be used to tide you over:

– Cover Temporary Deficit

If the recent shift in the economy put your business into debt, get yourself right with your customers and suppliers first. This will make it possible to move forward with a little extra cash and the freedom to restart your revenue stream.

– Build Online Resources

Right now, the best thing any business can do is rebuild their business online. Provide services, information, and customer portals online to recreate your client-experience in the virtual environment. Help your customers stay connected and provide as many services as possible through your website.

– Invest in a No-Contact Business Model

If you once provided local and in-person services, figure out how to make it no-contact. Provide asynchronous porch deliveries so your customers can safely retrieve their items. Provide consultations, establish social-distancing spaces in your venue, and set up online versions of in-person events like classes and consultations. A cash flow loan will give you the financial room to invest in the new business model and get back on your feet.


Was your business hit hard by the coronavirus economic downturn? You’re not alone, and an emergency business cash-flow loan can help. Contact us today to discuss your needs, and we will do our very best to get you fast approval