Buying a new car is not something motorists take lightly. From the moment you decide to make a purchase of that caliber, you spend countless hours researching, test driving, price-checking, fact checking, and doing it all over again. But once you find the car of your dreams and sign off on the payment, what comes next?
However, just because you have made the decision to purchase a specific car and agreed on the added features, color and date of pick-up, this does not mean your job as an informed consumer is done with. Before accepting final delivery on a brand new car, there are some things you absolutely should review and consider. Because remember, once you drive off of the lot with your new car, anything that may be wrong is assumed to be your fault! That could end up costing you!
• Match all of the legal specifics on the car with your paper work – serial number, VIN, registration, etc. This should all be taken care of BEFORE you leave the dealership.
• Check on the mileage. Your car is brand new so keep in mind that if there are over 300 miles on it, your dealer needs to give you a logical explanation as to why. And be sure to document that as well.
• Review all of the interior features of your car. The seats, power windows and steering, AC/heat, lighting and any other additional features you have had added on. If something isn’t working right, get it checked out.
• Assess the paint job. Remember to check the entire body of the car thoroughly. You will want to look for any inconsistencies in the paint because as it ages, discoloration could occur.
• Open up the hood. Your brand new car should look nothing less than brand new. And also be sure your car has been stocked up with the necessary fluids and filters for proper function.
Consider bringing someone along with you for pick-up. Not only will it be fun to celebrate your new purchase with a loved one, but it also means an extra set of eyes. You never know what someone else may see that you didn’t. Spending a little extra time at the dealership before accepting your new car can save you a lot of aggravation later!
Deciding to remodel your home is a big decision. You have already invested a lot of time and money into making your house a home, and any decision you make to alter it can not only end up costing you money, but also more time! Whether you are remodeling to increase the longevity of your family’s life in your home, or because you’d like to sell, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
You know you are going to have to hire a contractor (unless you yourself are an expert DIYer) and you also know what a big decision this is. There are two types of contractors out there: those who want to get the job done as fast as possible, and those who actually take pride in getting the job done. Of course, you want the later, but how can you know who a quality contractor is?
First, you’ll want to do your own research. But once you make the decision on whom to call for quotes, what should you be asking? Here are 3 questions we encourage!
1. Do you have a contractor’s license? You can find this information out easily online, but the contractor in question should also be able to provide some sort of documentation.
2. How much experience do you have with this type of project? Most good contractors will have testimonials or photographs of work that they are particularly proud of. Don’t be fearful of asking about their experiences as they directly relate to your project. You can also ask for referrals. A happy client is always willing to talk to a prospect and sing the praises of the contractor.
3. How busy is your schedule? This may seem silly, but logically, a contractor with a busy schedule is more desirable. He or she is less likely to drag out your project (costing you more money) and has more practice with the skills and experience your project needs.
Choosing a contractor also means finding someone who you can work well with. Your needs are very important in this project and you will want a contractor who can be attentive of that. Of course, you want someone with creative vision and the experience to know what is feasible, but within reason, you also want your creative ideas to be important, too!
Choosing the right type of life insurance can be confusing. Depending on so many factors, you have multiple options to choose from. How can you know whether you need term life insurance, whole life insurance, or even a combination of the two?
Well first things first, it is important to understand the difference between the various types of life insurance policies.
Term Life Insurance
- This policy is for a specific period in your life
- It offers lower premiums
- It can expire and the rates can change
- It cannot build equity or cash value
Whole Life Insurance
- This policy is for the entire duration of your life
- It does not expire
- It can build equity and have cash value
Term & Whole Life Combined
- A lifelong base of whole life insurance coverage
- The whole life insurance coverage is supplemented during certain periods of your life with term life insurance
Although everyone is different, there are some guidelines you can consider that might help you narrow down your options.
Term life insurance: If you only need the protection for a specific period of time or need a large amount of insurance on a limited budget .For example, you may way to be sure you have insurance that can help pay for college for your children if something should happen to you, but once they reach an age beyond college, that type of policy may not be necessary anymore.
Whole life insurance: If you want to obtain protection for as long as you live. This policy will pay a death benefit whether you die tomorrow or live to be 100. This policy can also accumulate savings with can grow on a tax-deferred basis. You can even use your savings to pay your premiums, making your policy even less expensive!
Remember, the best thing you can do is talk to your insurance agent about your lifestyle to figure out what policy is best for you. At Paul Murphy, we are always happy to talk with you. We can discuss your unique lifestyle and risks, and assess what type of policy offers the most rewards for you. Call us today!
As a manager, you work hard to be sure you are attracting and retaining the best employees. You want your business to be successful, and that success is, in part, determined by the success of your employees. However, what if you learned that although your door is always open and you’re willing to talk, your employees might not be sharing everything with you?
When it comes to a full-time job, individuals spend a great deal of time focusing on the benefits they receive from their employment. Those benefits can include their salary, their freedom, their ability to share new ideas and even the relationships in the office. Although you might feel like your employees can come to you about anything on their minds that is sometimes not the case. Unfortunately, many of the most important things your employees are thinking about are things they may not feel comfortable talking with you about. And it has nothing to do with you personally; these are just things that are uncomfortable for many people to approach. However, if you knew, you might have some more control over the employee job satisfaction at your company.
Consider these things that your employees may not be telling you:
- “I am underpaid”. Often times, we can forget that the market changes. When an individual is hired and negotiates salary, that salary is in line with market value. However, as the market changes, employees can end up feeling underpaid. Additionally, employees may gain relevant experience and feel they should be compensated for that. Pay attention to the market and what the going salary is for your employees and be sure you are consistent with it.
- “You micro-manage me.” Many employees work better when they are independent. They stick to their deadlines and turn in their work. This means that when a manager is hovering or micro-managing, these employees can feel as if they are underappreciated. This can hurt the productivity of these type of employees.
- “You ignore me.” The opposite of that, some employees work better when they feel their managers are always paying attention. An easy fix for this: schedule one on one meetings with your direct team members. Show them you know what is going on. You don’t need to know exactly how things are done, just appreciate that they are getting done.
The best way to find out what’s going on: ask your employees. They may not feel comfortable approaching you, but they might be more comfortable about opening up if you just ask!
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in mainstream media as to what constitutes as “working”. For many middle-class employees, spending 40 hours a week at the office or their respective place of business is what that definition breaks down to. However, for many other employees, the ability to work remotely is the new office space. It allows for a different type of work style and many find it to be more productive.
However, the idea of working from home has come under fire. After Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, realized that many of her employees may have been taking advantage of the increased freedom working from home provides, she has decided to ban the policy beginning in June, reports Courier Mail. Productivity and accountability among some employees goes down when they are given too much freedom. On the other hand, for many employees, it goes up. So how can companies know what road to choose when making a decision on whether or not to allow employees to work from home?
Careful individual assessment. Similar to any type of new responsibility, everyone handles things differently. Some people are better at some things than others. When it comes to working from home versus in the office, it is important to understand an employee’s work style. To get more out of your employees, it is a good idea to understand how your employees (and yourself) work best.
4 work styles:
- Doing- These are the people that work best when they can execute the task. They love to-do lists and the feeling they get when they are complete. They are typically intensely focused and detailed. However, doers also tend to dive into their work with minimal communication.
- Leading- Leaders are known to create a vision and inspire everyone around them. They have a vision and they want everyone else to understand believe in it. However, sometimes they forget to check in with the people who are executing the vision.
- Loving- Lovers are by nature, relationship-minded people. They thrive in groups and are highly empathetic. They can usually make people feel great, no matter what. However, they struggle to provide “tangible” work as their ability to follow through isn’t the best.
- Learning- These people are the researchers. They love to learn and understand problems. They are highly disciplined and think very strategically. However, for all of their knowledge and understanding, they lack execution. They need the rest of the team to be there to execute their plans.
The best businesses will have a balance of all four work styles. Everyone works differently, and we all have the ability to learn from others with varying work styles. Once you figure out how your team works, it will be a lot easier to increase productivity within your business!