Are You the Prey, or the Hunter?

This article is all about reinventing yourself and changing your circumstances. It's obvious to me, that you have told yourself you want to reinvent yourself. I know that, because you searched for this article, or clicked a link to get here. Today, I want to talk about really reinventing yourself and changing your mentality. What I am talking about is shifting your thoughts from those of being the prey, to the thoughts of being the hunter.

Think about it, if you are prey, you can still reinvent yourself and change the circumstances and current reality for you and your family. You can take some courses and get some education. You can start exercising and eating better. You can read books about how to Reinvent Yourself at 50, or 30 or 60 or however old you are. But until you decide to become a hunter, you will always be prey.

What does it take to become a hunter? In my mind, the biggest thing is this, you can't be afraid to talk to people. By people, I mean both acquaintances, co-workers, and people you are comfortable with as well as talking to strangers and people, you have only met briefly.

Another big thing you have to set your mind to, is that it is OK, if someone tells you no! You have to have the idea that, when you get a no, you are 1 step, 1 phone call or 1 conversation closer to getting a yes. If someone tells you no, you have to pick yourself up and go on to the next thing.

The next biggest item it takes to change to a hunter mindset, is the ability and the willingness to take charge of a situation. If you find yourself in a group, at work or at a meeting of some sort, and it is clear that there is a task at hand. If everyone sits back waiting for the others to assign tasks and verify things get done, then nothing will get done. Usually what happens is that a Hunter has to come over and take charge. If you are in a competitive environment, like the workplace acting like prey, then you will get eaten by one of the hunters.

What does it take for you to switch your mindset, from being the hunted, to being the hunter? It only takes a decision on your part! All you have to do is to say, I will be the one that steps up and assigns the tasks and insures things are done. Making sure the job gets done, is all about setting expectations and accountability. If a list of tasks needs to get accomplished. Assign them to the ones best suited, to efficiently and effectively accomplish them. Set up a periodic meeting and announce the meeting in advance. During the meeting, make sure to hold the members of the group accountable, and you as the leader will monitor their progress, in a group setting.

* Remember, you can't be afraid to talk to people and it is OK to be told no. When told no, you are 1 no, closer to a yes.

* Be willing to take charge and step up. When you step up and take charge, make sure those in authority know you are in charge, and that the job will get done.

* Setting expectations - make sure all tasks that need to be accomplished are clearly identified and that everyone knows exactly what needs to be done, when the tasks need to be completed, and who is assigned responsibility for completing the task assigned.

* Delegating the work - In the expectation discussion above, I didn't say who is responsible for doing the work required to complete the task. Being responsible for a task simply means insuring it gets done. If you work smart, you will delegate and recruit others to do the work all the while insuring it gets done on time and completely.

* Accountability - set periodic meetings to monitor task progress and hold people accountable if they haven't done what was promised and what they committed themselves to complete previously. When expectations are clearly set, the next step is to make sure the tasks all get done, by holding those assigned the tasks, accountable.

* Follow Through - after the tasks are completed. Make sure those in authority are advised that the job is completed, and that you will be monitoring the project or task to insure the accomplishments your group worked so hard to complete are maintained. Make sure those in authority understand that you are ready for the next task.

Once the people in authority, know that you took a task, made a plan, worked the plan, and were able to accomplish the goal(s), you will be considered the next time a task needs to be accomplished. After you successfully complete several tasks, you will be seen as a valued member of the team and one that can be depended upon.

People Skills, like Team Building, Coordination, Leadership and Management, are all traits that managers look for in their team members when they need to promote individual contributors into leadership positions. A good manager is always looking for leaders with drive, ambition and people skills. You never see prey in positions of leadership anywhere, you only see Hunters. Since you have decided to reinvent yourself a bit, make sure you are a hunter and not the prey!

Accidents Claim

An accidents claim is the process of asking for compensation for damages or injuries that are the result of an accident. If you have been in an accident recently, whether it be a traffic accident, a bicycle accident, a bus accident, or some other type, here's what you need to know.

When can I make an accidents claim?

To qualify you need to have two things. First, you need have an appropriate insurance policy taken out. You need to have your insurance fully organized and paid up-to-date to be eligible to claim. Second, you need to have been unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident where you incur cost from injury or some sort of property damage.

What do I need to do?

You need to start the claims process as soon as it's safe to do so after the accident occurs. The longer you wait, the harder it's going to be to make a straightforward, successful claim. As time passes evidence of the accident fades or is lost. On top of this, people's memories will fade the longer you wait. Don't delay!

The first thing you need to do is to contact your insurance company's customer service line or dedicated claims line. Your company will ask you for some basic information about the accident. At a later date they will send you accidents claim forms which you will need to fill out.

Make you sure include all relevant information, provide copies of police reports, and answer any questions your insurance company has. If you leave out any information, you could complicate the claims process, lose a substantial amount of compensation money or even disqualify completely.

Once you have filled out all the relevant forms, your company will file your claim. They will then assign a specially trained "adjuster" to your case. The adjuster will assess the physical evidence of the accident, interview you and any other people involved in the accident, consult with other professionals and decide whether your claim is legitimate or not. If they decide you have a legitimate accidents claim, they will decide the monetary amount of your claim and you will receive your compensation.

Five Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe

If you have a loved family dog or puppy, keeping it safe for a long time to come is undoubtedly a concern you have. There are several steps you can take to make sure your dog says safe and has a long and happy life.

First, make sure your dog is properly registered in your city (if required) and has all the proper tags. Not only should you have your dog license tag, but also an address tag in case your pet ever gets lost. Make sure your address tag has both your address and phone number, so it will be easy for you to be contacted if he is found.

Second, make sure your dog is properly vaccinated and has regular check ups. There are several common dog illnesses that your dog should be regularly screened for, and he should have his teeth cleaned regularly as well. You should also have your dog neutered or spayed.

Third, be sure to provide your dog with the best diet possible. Fortunately, there are some real quality dog foods available these days, just make sure you pick one that his all the nutrients your dog needs. If you can afford one that contains organic ingredients, even better. Part of a good diet is making sure your dog does not become overweight as well. By keeping your dog's weight in check, you will be taking a huge step in terms of his overall health and well being.

Fourth, look after your dog's mental health as well. Dogs need both mental and physical stimulation. Take your dog for frequent walks, play with him regularly, and just spend time petting and otherwise showing him affection.

Finally, you should be prepared in advanced financially for any health problems or accidents. You can do this by purchasing a quality dog health insurance plan or putting aside some special savings in case of such an unfortunate event. By knowing that you are ready to handle the expenses for any unanticipated event, you will provide peace of mind for yourself as well as make sure your dog receives the care he needs when he needs it.

Taking care of a dog requires a lot of time and effort, so if you are considering adopting or purchasing one, be sure you are fully prepared for the responsibilities involved. But with these responsibilities comes the joy of having a loving pet companion as well, which is well worth the effort involved.

Home Remodeling Tips for Finding a Reliable Contractor

A home renovation or remodel can be a costly and life-altering undertaking. You don't want to spend that kind of money and invest that much time, not to mention the inconvenience of giving up your personal space, on a job that is not done exactly as you specify. In order to ensure a top-notch job, you need the right company handling the work. When it comes to home remodeling, here are a few basic, simple tips for finding a reliable contractor.

It is essential that any contractor you hire to perform work in your home be licensed and insured. That means they've proven their ability to do the work to the licensing board and they have an insurance company that will cover the cost of any damages to your home that result from their negligence or ineptitude. While your cousin's nephew might be a whiz with a hammer, if he is not licensed and insured, he is not the contractor you want.

Secondly, check any and all potential contractors for your job out with the local Better Business Bureau and, if possible, get references from some of their other customers. Many of these contractors will have websites or photo albums showing you the work they've done in the past. Seeing past success will boost your confidence in their ability to do your remodel right.

Finally, do shop around. Two equally qualified, licensed and insured contractors may have very different price quotes. Get all quotes in writing and request a guarantee. After all, you want to be able to recommend them to your friends. So, when it is time for home remodeling, just follow these tips for finding a reliable contractor and you can rest easier knowing the job will be done the right way by the right people.

What Happens When You Default on an SBA Loan?

What happens to my SBA loan when my business fails?

So your business is struggling, and you are wondering, what happens to my SBA guaranteed business loan?

What indeed...

Let's answer that question by first understanding what the SBA guarantee actually means. The guarantee is actually for the BANK, not the borrower. Which means that if your business fails, the SBA will pay back a portion of the loan to the bank, assuming the bank has followed the necessary steps in servicing the loan (more on that in another post).

Many business owners falsely assume that the guarantee means that they are "off the hook", and that the loan is satisfied by the guarantee. After all, the borrower paid 3% for this guarantee...it was insurance in case things didn't work, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The SBA guarantee only protects the bank's interest, and provides nothing but trouble for a borrower in default. This is because a bank that has this "insurance" policy acts very differently than one that may be exposed to a large loss from a defaulting commercial loan. The bank will do EVERYTHING in its power to protect that insurance policy, including shutting down a healthy, but struggling, company.

Moreover, the bank's ability to work or be flexible with a company that is faced with defaulting on their SBA loan is severely limited by SBA regulations.

In short, the SBA is acting as an insurance company, and the bank is the client. The SBA doesn't want to pay out unless they absolutely must, and so they limit the bank's ability to be flexible with the borrower. I know, this sounds crazy, but it's how the system is put together.

So, understanding that the guarantee is just for the bank, what happens next?

Well, after the SBA pays the bank, the SBA comes after you, the borrower, for the deficiency. The full deficiency. For example: if you borrowed $500,000, your company failed, and the bank got 80% repaid from the SBA ($400,000), you figure that your personal guarantee would be limited to owing the SBA $100,000, right? Wrong. The SBA will look to you for the full $500,000.

In any case, if you are faced with a default, you need help. Even though the bank has limited ability to be flexible, there are ways to settle the debt with the bank AND the SBA. Find yourself a knowledgeable, ethical, professional who can help you through this process and you can actually save your company, save your house, and settle the personal guarantees for pennies on the dollar.

How GPS Fleet Tracking Can Improve Safety and Reduce Liability for Your Business

Companies that rely on vehicle fleets have unique costs associated with doing business. Mobile assets require significant capital investment. In addition, fuel and maintenance costs can take up a significant portion of a business's profit margin.

However, there are additional hidden costs that many fleet managers overlook in the course of doing business. Lack of proper safety measures for vehicle fleets can incur significant out-of-pocket expenses, increase liability and put lives in jeopardy.

Many companies find that installing GPS vehicle tracking on their fleet vehicles provides one sure way to improve safety. GPS tracking offers a wide variety of features and benefits that businesses with vehicle fleets can utilise to significantly improve their safety records and protect their business from undue costs.

The Focus on Safety

By improving the safety of drivers and vehicles, businesses can significantly reduce payouts for accidents and violations. Many business owners do not realise that the true cost of an accident is 2 to 10 times more than the direct cost of the accident.

  • The total cost of vehicle accidents include a variety of factors including:
  • Lost time by employees at the scene of the accident
  • Lost revenue because equipment is not producing income
  • Failure to fill orders or meet deadlines
  • Lost time by rescheduling missed jobs
  • Lost time on accident investigations and reports by management
  • Possible increased insurance premiums
  • Public relations damage

You may also be faced with the costs of replacing an injured driver. Costs include advertising the position, time spent in the application process, driver performance tests, drug screening, background checks, orientation, training and much more.

In addition, you will temporarily lose productivity as a new driver will not be as fast and efficient as a veteran driver. And even veteran drivers that do return to work after an accident injury will most likely not be at 100 percent right away.

Injured drivers can also lead to increased workers compensation claims and law suits. Losing claims can lead to significant settlement costs, as well as attorney fees and time spent defending the business.

Improving safety also limits your liability to claims from the public at large. Improper safety can obligate your business to pay damages to people injured in an accident and property damages. Settlement costs for hospitalisation, pain and suffering and other injuries can quickly spiral out of control and ruin your business.

By focusing on safety, your business can decrease insurance costs. An outstanding safety record can lower your risk to insurance providers which may result in lower premiums. In addition, many insurance companies offer rate reductions for additional safety equipment including GPS tracking devices.

A poor safety record may serve as a red flag to clients. Improper safety can result in interrupted service to clients and prompt them to search for other vendors. If your business has a great safety record it can help you keep client contracts and increase renewals.

Government Regulations

Government has long been a proponent of safety. In the UK, the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations lay out safety and maintenance requirements for work vehicles. And in Ireland, work vehicle safety is covered under the Safety, Health and Welfare Work Act 2005.

By law, every employer must make sure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

Unfortunately, accidents are simply an eventuality if you have a vehicle fleet. However, you can reduce your exposure to accidents and violation by utilising proven safety measures.

GPS vehicle tracking is a proven, cost-effective way for businesses with vehicle fleets to improve safety in the three areas that cost businesses the most: driver behaviour, vehicle maintenance and asset safety.

Improving Driver Behaviour and Reducing Speed

According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), 87.2 percent of all at-fault large truck crashes are driver related.

Even with the most aggressive driving policy, you cannot be out on the roadway with all your drivers ensuring proper safety compliance. GPS vehicle tracking has been found extremely useful in giving business owners the ability to monitor and improve driver behaviour.

Speeding is a factor in nearly 23 percent of all at-fault large truck crashes according to the LTCCS. By ensuring your drivers obey the posted speed limits, you can significantly decrease the chances of your vehicles being involved in a serious accident.

Many GPS tracking solutions track vehicle speed and offer extensive alerting features that notify you immediately when a driver has exceeded a speed threshold. These alerts can appear immediately on-screen, be sent via email or mobile phone, or can be flagged in management reports.

Speed alerts allow you to immediately take corrective actions toward the offending driver. In addition, you can access a database of speeding violations for drivers to find those that

continually break speeding policy. This allows you to take more long-term corrective actions to break continual bad driving habits.

Speeding was a major concern for Ian Stirling, owner of Ian Stirling Haulage. Based in Renfew, Ian Stirling Haulage has provided haulage services to its clients throughout Scotland for over 20 years.

Mr. Stirling installed a GPS system on his fleet that includes speeding alerts to notify him if a vehicle exceeds a set speed threshold. The alerts can be set to notify him immediately of an infraction and are also flagged throughout the system's management reports.

As a result of installing GPS tracking, Ian Stirling Haulage has drastically improved safety for its drivers.

"Drivers can sometimes get distracted out on the road," said Mr. Stirling. "GPS tracking helps them keep their speed down and has even changed their driving style."

Driver Confusion and Unauthorised Usage

According to the LTCCS, driver unfamiliarity with the roadway is a factor in 21.6 percent of all at-fault large truck crashes. GPS vehicle tracking solutions that include exceptional mapping functionality can help reduce driver confusion in unfamiliar areas.

GPS tracking systems that use concise mapping, like Google Maps API Premier, can help dispatchers provide proper routing instructions to drivers and get them safely to the next job site. In addition, good GPS tracking includes up-to-the-minute traffic information that can help drivers avoid accidents and other hazards on the roads.

Unauthorised vehicle use by employees opens your business up to a wide range of liability issues. Many businesses allow drivers to take their vehicles home and many even allow drivers to use their vehicles for limited personal use.

Unfortunately, some employees abuse this privilege and use their vehicles for extended unauthorised journeys. If a driver gets into an accident during one of these journeys, your business may be liable for significant financial obligations.

Some GPS tracking solutions feature alerts that notify you when a vehicle starts up or moves during unauthorised hours. In addition, some systems can show you historic route information, so you can see exactly where your vehicles travelled during any time. You will know exactly when an employee used the vehicle, how long they drove the vehicle and where they went.

The historic journey function can even show you if drivers take their vehicles to unauthorised areas during the regularly scheduled work day.

For example, Best Electrical, an electrical contractor based in London, uses GPS vehicle tracking to monitor excessive vehicle mileage and unauthorised vehicle usage on off-days.

According to Robert Ranson, Director of Operations, Best Electrical mainly services maintenance and emergency calls. Technicians are available 24/7, which requires that his engineers take the company vehicles home.

Unfortunately, that meant Mr. Ranson had no idea if the vehicles were being used for unauthorised journeys or if employees were arriving to their first job site on time.

With GPS vehicle tracking, Mr. Ranson can use live tracking to monitor the location and status of all eight vehicles in his fleet. In addition, activity alerts let Mr. Ranson know if an engineer shows up to their first job on time or if they left their house on time in the morning.

"We have significantly reduced personal use of our vehicles since the drivers know I monitor usage," said Mr. Ranson. "And for my own sanity, I now know that my engineers are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there."

Proof Against Fault

In addition to improving driver behaviour, GPS fleet tracking can be used as proof against fault in accidents and other claims.

Plote Construction Inc., a family-owned construction company based in the United States, used data gathered by its GPS tracking system to avoid serious financial liability resulting from an accident.

According to Eric Villa, Dispatcher at Plote Construction, one of Plote's trucks was involved in a serious accident two years ago. According to Plote's driver, a car was weaving in and out of traffic. The vehicle pulled in front of the truck and slammed on the breaks. The truck swerved to avoid hitting the car and the Plote driver lost control of the truck, rolling the semi over.

The driver of the car had a different story, claiming that the Plote driver was tailgating her and speeding over 110 km/h. Luckily, Mr. Villa had access to GPS tracking reports and could pull up the exact speed and location of their truck before the accident.

The report showed that Plote's driver never exceeded 110 km/h and was not driving aggressively. With this evidence submitted, Plote's driver was found innocent and the company avoided significant legal liabilities.

"Without the GPS tracking, we could have lost that case," said Mr. Villa. "It really worked out great for us."

In addition, Plote Construction often gets calls from customers complaining about cracks in their windshields caused by rocks that have fallen off the company's trucks. Mr. Villa is able to pull up the GPS route replay to see if a truck was in the area at the time and verify the complaint.

"Many of these types of complaints are blatantly false," said Mr. Villa. "When I tell the person that the GPS says no one was on that road at the time, they just hang up."

Proper Vehicle Maintenance

According to the LTCCS, just over 10 percent of all at-fault large truck crashes can be attributed specifically to vehicle factors. Improper vehicle maintenance can lead to accidents in several areas including breaks, tires, engine breakdowns and more.

High-quality GPS tracking solutions include maintenance scheduling that alerts you when vehicles are due for maintenance. Many times, alerts can be set by calendar time, engine on-time or mileage depending on the type of service needed.

With a proactive vehicle maintenance program, you can reduce the chance of your vehicles malfunctioning on the roadways and causing serious accidents. In addition, properly maintained vehicles help save your assets by keeping vehicles on the road to do more business and costing less money in repairs over time.

Protecting Your Mobile Assets

A much-often neglected aspect of safety is the protection of your own assets. Safeguarding your vehicles against theft is essential to prevent serious harm to your business. Stolen vehicles cost more than just the loss of the vehicle itself.

Most stolen vehicles also carry expensive and specialised equipment that must be replaced. In addition, a stolen vehicle means lowered productivity which may ultimately result in losing customers. GPS vehicle tracking provides clear benefits for asset safety.

Engine start-up alerts can be triggered to immediately notify you when vehicles are started during non-working hours. With up-to-the-minute tracking by high-quality GPS providers, you will know exactly where any stolen vehicle is located. Just by looking at the screen you can tell officers on the case where to look for your vehicle.

In addition, many high-quality tracking solutions have a route replay feature which can help you track down stolen equipment. In many cases, equipment from a stolen vehicle is unloaded before the vehicle is recovered.

With route replay, you can see where the vehicle stopped on its journey after being stolen and have police search those areas for the stolen equipment.

Signature Car Hire in Middlesex, UK offers a wide variety of prestigious vehicles for hire and utilizes its GPS tracking system to protect its assets. When your vehicle fleet includes brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls Royce, security becomes a top priority.

Deepak Bhatia, Managing Director of Signature Car Hire, knows the exact location of every vehicle in his fleet using GPS tracking. This is especially useful considering that their vehicles are very expensive and highly desirable to would-be thieves.

"We highly value the peace of mind we get from knowing where all our cars are at any given time," said Mr. Bhatia. "We get an enhanced feeling of security from GPS because the system offers many functions which are beneficial to our business."

The GPS system used by Signature Car Hire notifies the company if a vehicle goes outside areas specified for client use. For example, if a client says they are in Cardiff but the GPS tracking shows the vehicle located in Scotland, Mr. Bhatia can closely monitor the client and contact them for clarification.

In addition, should a vehicle move to a port - a sure sign of possible theft in progress - Mr. Bhatia would know immediately and be able to contact authorities for quick action.

Finding the Right GPS Tracking for Safety

Businesses all over the world are now using GPS vehicle tracking to improve the safety of their vehicle fleets. With new regulatory enforcement on the horizon and the prospect of losing your business to safety violations, it's more important than ever for businesses to take a long hard look at how GPS tracking can further improve their safety record.

There is no doubt that GPS tracking can help your company improve the safety of your vehicle fleet. However, there are a few things you should look for when choosing a GPS tracking system for safety reasons:

  • Live Vehicle Tracking: Some GPS systems refresh vehicle locations at intervals up to 5 minutes. That allows too much time to elapse for a thief to be accurately tracked. The best systems refresh every minute to provide you with accurate, current tracking data.
  • Tracking Speed: The GPS solution you choose should have the capability to track vehicle speed. In addition, the system should alert you when drivers exceed speed thresholds you set.
  • Management Reports: A comprehensive reporting suite is essential for any great GPS tracking solution. The reports should highlight any improper driver behavior, including unauthorised usage and speeding. In addition, reports can provide you with accurate, location-based information that can stand up in the court of law should you ever need to defend your business.
  • Alerts: Make sure the GPS system you install has robust alerting features. Alerts should be customisable with various delivery options including email, mobile and within the reporting functions of the system. You should be able to set alerts for when a vehicle is started or shut down and when a vehicle enters a specific point of interest.
  • Route Replay: A good GPS tracking system will include the ability to track any historic journey taken by any vehicle. This allows you to see where any stolen vehicle has travelled in order to recover any stolen equipment dropped by the thieves.
  • Maintenance Scheduling: Choose a GPS solution that includes a complete maintenance program. You should be able to set vehicle maintenance based on calendar time, engine on time or mileage as needed.

Claiming For Loss Of Business

Commercial Loss of business

Theft, Burglary and Floods are not always straightforward. A business owner may be faced with loss of computer records, loss of stock and consequential losses.

Business interruption is inevitable, but what happens to the family and staff? Will the business have a future?

These events can cause closure for long periods. As a hardworking business owner you will ponder, how will you pay rent, pay your staff?

How you will live, start again quickly who will pay the high costs involved. You will need the expert guidance of a loss assessor to guide you through these areas

Flood Damage

Water damage to a home or business is not a pleasant experience. What may appear a minor incident can often turn into a disaster.

The first few days are often critical in making a successful claim. You want to be contacted within 24 hours of the incident to ensure the initial findings of the insurance company representative, fully covers all aspects of your claim.

You want a company that will ensure correct chemical sanitisation is carried out anti- fungal treatments are used prior to installation of humidifiers. This ensures dry rot wet rot is not given a chance to take hold.

Subsidence

Subsidence at your home can be catastrophic. A home is generally considered to be the most valuable asset people possess. Before an insurance company accepts you have a valid claim, investigations such as trial holes soil test drainage tests and monitoring will be carried out.

These can take a considerable period of time meanwhile you will endure the trauma of seeing your home falling apart. A loss Assessor will prepare your claim ensuring your interests are covered not just those of the insurance company.

You may wish to sell your house in the future. If the remedial works have not been carried out to the correct specifications it will be spotted by the purchaser's surveyor which may make selling difficult. Appoint a loss assessor to avoid this possibility

Fire

Fire is a traumatic disaster whether large or small which sometimes requires alternative accommodation, storage of property and protection against further damage or theft.

Damage can affect all areas, acrid and corrosive effects of smoke may linger and present health hazards as well as damaging contents and d├ęcor. Fire damage will cause unseen damage to electronic equipment which may be corrosive. It may not be visible when making an inventory but become obvious many months later when equipment fails and the claim has been settled.

Your assessor will ensure all electronic equipment is fully tested and cleaned inside despite no sign of external damage.

It is vital you call an assessor immediately after the fire and not wait until the insurance company adjuster visits. Remember stress levels should be minimal especially where children are part of the household. We can lift the burden from you contact us.

Personal Injury

Personal injury wherever and however caused is traumatic and should you seek our assistance we will immediately pass you onto our retained solicitors.