There are certain types of businesses that have especially high demands when it comes to management and organization. I know this since one of my best friends is in the international shipping business.

This type of business is so complicated since it involves several steps to be successful with it.

types of transport of transporting are loads.Let me just point out some of the steps: Ordering goods and merchandise, finding the most effective means of transport, management for critical paperwork for customs, knowing where demand is and so forth.

It gets even worse for those companies that deal with international shipping, import and export. Shipping goods from country A to B can be extremely challenging due to a lot of regulations and laws, especially when it comes to customs and the transport of goods.

Jeff, my friend got a consultation about how to improve things in his business and they advised him on shipping software. The advantage with this software for his business is that he can access all the information he needs to ship his goods wherever he needs to.

He also showed me how the shipping software shows him in real time about the best prices and recommended transport means. Before he had this shipping software he needed to employ two people only for this management task and even then it was often confusing and many mistakes were made. The problem is that in the transport business, such mistakes can be unforgiving!

It was just two years ago where one single piece of paper was missing for a shipment of machinery to China. What happened was that his shipment couldn’t go through customs and he lost several hundred thousands just because of a mistake with the paperwork.

With the shipping software and some good export management software, such things cannot happen since the software will immediately let him know when something is missing.

I mean I do not know too much about this particular business but I can see how this software can help to avoid such mistakes.

Keeping running costs at their utmost minimum is one of the essential criteria that can decide whether a business or organisation will in-fact run profitable. This is a fundamental thing any business owner knows, whether they run a brick & mortar business or a company that’s web-based only.

Even a rather simple website can incur massive expenses over time when frequent outages or delays due to poor website maintenance will demand expensive servicing or ongoing fixes and tweaks, not to mention potentially lost clients due to technical issues that may occur on your website.

A typical example here would be how business owners develop a plan initially that may take into account the costs for establishing their presence of the web, including expenses such as for hosting, mandatory staff and so forth. At first glance, this calculation may just come out as financially viable profitable. Obviously, having a web site made and the required web hosting these days does not necessarily cost a fortune any more. Investment decisions may follow based on those initially calculated rather tolerable running costs.

screws

Here is where an initially profitable seeming web business may quickly turn into a financial disaster: Because the business owner or entrepreneur failed to take eventualities along with costs resulting from them into account. Very often, the initial financial calculation is made based on a “in a perfect world” scenario that in the very real business world rarely ever persists, at least not over the long-term. In other words: Problems WILL at some point arise and it would be wise to be prepared for them.

Allow me to give an example, in particular when it comes to website maintenance and how it can save on your expenses. For virtually any web based business, and even more so for those sites with a high volume of traffic, every single minute of downtime will immediately translate into losses. For major corporates, 20 minutes downtime may well result into many millions lost. Obviously, this must be avoided when your commercial business depends on the reliable operation of your site.

I have come across several business owners, some of them in the real estate field and others who supply wordpress support for websites related to day trading who told me that they cut down on their running expenses by getting rid of their technical staff that previously performed regular checks and maintenance tasks for their web presences.  I didn’t like this idea at all.

Those owners seemed not to realize the significance of those maintenance tasks, I assume they thought that their websites will keep running flawlessly on their own. I tried to reason with them and actually let them know that I don’t consider this as being a good solution, not when a business relies on flawless operation 24/7 such as in those two cases.

Low and behold, two weeks after the one owner dropped their staff and maintenance, they entered into a new partnership that was formed for promoting a very popular software product via their blog. What the business owner did not expect was that the traffic due to the demand for this particular product literally brought down his website. During the promotion time, the website could not be reached and not one single sale was made.

Had he not tried to save on his website maintenance he could’ve easily avoided this and would in all likelihood have banked significantly. I talked this particular scenario over with his former technical staff and they confirmed to me that this could’ve easily prevented. They would have known about the traffic to come in advance and would’ve been able to prepare the site adequately.

While this may not be a typical scenario that someone may think of when it comes to standard website maintenance, it does nevertheless illustrate nicely what all it can entail. The layman, and this includes the business owner that is occupied with other aspects within his/her company may simply not be aware of this. Prevention of such things happening certainly belongs to proper website maintenance as do other, more straight-forward things that’ll help the flawless operation of a website under all circumstances.

Before you think about cutting your expenses you must always take eventualities into account otherwise you run the risk to save on the wrong end. The costs for having dedicated staff that can regularly maintain your website to ensure peak performance at all times might be paling when compared to the losses possible by disregarding this as not relevant. This is in particular true for anyone in the financial industry.

Golf Breaks FranceTaking a Budget Golf Break in France

It’s a common misconception that Golf holidays have to be expensive, that they’re the kind of holidays that are only taken by high flying businessmen who can afford to fly out to their favourite course on a whim. With the rise of budget flights and affordable accommodation it’s now possible for the average joe who enjoys a round of golf to jet off for a weekend, or maybe a week of golf. While there are a number of five star golf courses in the UK. you can actually find somewhere with sunshine fairly easily if you look abroad golf holidays in France being the obvious choice as it is so easy to get to.

France has it all, the food, the wine, the great hotels – in addition to the golf courses and the great weather. That’s the best thing about taking a golf break in France, the opportunity to play a round or two without having to worry about taking an umbrella with you. There’s a wide range of top notch hotels and courses to choose from ensuring that you have the best of everything from the golfing green to the bed you sleep in after a relaxing day of playing golf.

If you’re planning on a longer stay (we were, and booked through biarritzgolfingexperience.com) you may decide to bring your own clubs with you but if you’re just heading out for a shorter break transporting a set of clubs can be hassle. Thankfully it’s possible to rent or buy all the equipment you need at the club. While buying a new set might be impractical for short golf holidays, renting them can certainly be an affordable and hassle-saving option for those who’d rather not risk their favourite club getting bent while being loaded into the hold.

Either way there’s the perfect golfing getaway waiting out there for you, and it won’t cost you as much as you think.

Horse RacingYou might be surprised to learn that my husband enjoys the occasional flutter on horse racing. You may think it’s a little at odds with my frugal lifestyle, and I couldn’t agree more. Sinking money into gambling seems to be one of the quickest ways to lose everything you own.

Eventually I had enough of all this money beyond our immediate control and spoke to my husband about it. Now, completely cutting out the gambling isn’t something he wants to do, so I suggested that we make the extra effort to get the best possible deal and do what we can to improve our chances of winning.

So, I started doing a lot of looking around online for tips and methods for betting on horses, and there is just too much information out there for an amateur to sit and make sense of. One thing that kept coming up was to follow a seasoned professional’s advice and stick with them, and to set a weekly or monthly budget. This made perfect sense to me so I turned my efforts to finding somewhere with a proven track record in horse racing, and which had consistent and helpful free advice on their website.

Finally, I came across a very clear and useful website devoted to horse racing tips. They have daily advice on horses running that day, and the owner of the site is a professional gambler who has earned an impressive reputation (you can see the site I found here: www.horseracingpro.co.uk).

I showed the site to my husband, and he agreed that it was very reassuring to partner with someone who has been winning for years. We had a long think about setting a budget, and have both decided on a modest weekly budget.

So far my husband has been getting a great deal of pleasure out of his weekly flutter, and I’m kept happy because I know that he will keep to his frugal budget.

I hope you find the website as helpful as we have.

Frugal Power Bands

Power BandsMy son has been asking me for ages to buy him one of these power bands that you wear on your wrist, which seems to be the current fashion among his school friends. I have kept saying no on the grounds that it would be a big waste of money and wouldn’t make any real difference.

It was his birthday this week so I did a little bit of digging to find out exactly what these power bands were, as I felt I really needed to know if I was going to refuse to get him one for his birthday. The online research that I did brought up a lot more than I thought it would, and they do seem to be much more tasteful than I first imagined. They come in all kinds of colours and shapes but all are basically an unobtrusive silicon band that you wear on your wrist. Apparently they give out ‘negative ions’ which are thought to be good for your health and your general mood. I couldn’t find any evidence anywhere that they could even possibly be bad for you or having any lasting effect of any kind at all.

With that in mind, I decided that there would be no harm in my son having one so the only other problem was the price! I don’t mind spending out for a birthday treat, but I always want to get the best deal!

Obviously, the power of the internet is awesome, and after searching around I found a company that had good quality, fashionable looking power bands at a really decent price (you can see them yourself here: http://uk.infinitypro.com).

The power band arrived quickly, was of a great quality, and most importantly, my son was absolutely thrilled on his birthday!

Now I just have to hope he doesn’t lose it!!!!!

As many of you will know I spend a lot of time online. Blogging, reading blogs, tweeting, etc is what I like to do to wind down!

Ergonomic Chairs

My job as a librarian can sometimes be quite stressful and heavy going (contrary to popular belief!). One of the things that people don’t always realise is that there is a lot of physical activity involved in my job, namely lifting heavy boxes of books around, plus a lot of bending and stretching as I am putting books back on the shelves!

Over the years this has meant that my back is not quite as good as it once was!

As I am getting older I am having to take a lot more care of my back, and to be honest I wish that I would have done so more in the past!

One thing that I have really found the benefit of at work is having ergonomic chairs to use. The way that they support your back and rest of your body is far superior to any other kind of regular desk chair.

As I have been spending an increasing amount of time at my computer at home, I decided that it was time to invest in my own ergonomic chair. I realise that ergonomic chairs are more expensive than regular desk chairs, but you can’t put a price on your health!

What I did though, is make sure that I spent a lot of time searching around online to find the best deal. There are loads of companies selling ergonomic chairs online, including the site that I went with in the end http://kaseergonomic.co.uk/.

The lessons from today?

  • Look after your health – it’s worth more than money!
  • Make sure that you shop around online for the best deal – it’s the only way

Have anything to add? Let me know!

Frugal Fun for Everyone

It's not about the money!

It’s not about the money!

A lot of people spend their lives chasing money. They think that it will bring them happiness and great experiences.

However, oftentimes they realise that this is not actually the case.

I have been living a frugal life for the last few years. It’s not that, as a family, we were necessarily uncomfortable. We have good jobs, a lovely house in a great neighbourhood, and enough cash to take the family on a foreign holiday each year.

However, having spent some time reading, especially online blogs on frugality, I realised that if we were more careful with our money, actually we could upgrade our lives, have better experiences, and have more money left in the bank to save or invest for the future.

The past few years have been a blast, and I really want to share some thoughts here on this website on how people can really make their money go further, and have better experiences as a family at the same time.

I will be sharing some of our recent purchases, how we have been frugal about them, and give you tips and tricks on how you can do the same.

So, join us for the ride. It’s time to upgrade your life and get what you want and need from your hard earned cash!