6 Steps To Keep An Empty Home Secure And Safe

It is well documented that empty properties are far more susceptible to damage than lived in family homes, both through natural causes and the actions of vandals. By following our 6 simple steps below, the risk of this happening can be substantially decreased, giving you complete peace of mind that your unoccupied property is as protected as possible.

Clear the post
Having letters and promotional flyers hanging out of your letterbox, as well as piled up around your door, is a telltale sign that nobody is living at the property. More than this though, it can make it obvious that nobody is even visiting with any frequency. This obviously makes the property a much more appealing target for thieves looking for an easy break-in.

Maintain your gardens
Another giveaway that a property is long-term unoccupied is a wild and overgrown garden. This is less of a problem over the winter when not much is growing, but during the summer months it is vital that you dedicate a certain amount of time to keeping your property exterior presentable. Mow the lawn, cut back any overhanging foliage and remove any dead plants and flowers to make sure your property looks loved and cared for.

Check your doors and windows
As there will not be someone at the property for a lot of the time, you need to make sure that the best quality locks are fitted to your doors and windows to make it far more difficult to access your home illegally. You could even consider adding multi-locking deadbolts to the main access doors to provide additional security. When checking the property, make sure that all locks are in good working order and there are no signs that somebody has been trying to gain access.

Consider extra measures
Where budget allows, installing a burglar alarm can be an excellent deterrent, particularly if you invest in a system that is fully monitored by an external company. CCTV cameras can have a similar effect, as can motion sensor lights at key points around the property’s exterior. If it is impossible to access doors and windows without triggering one of these systems, it is far less likely that thieves will choose to target your property.

Ask your neighbours for help
If you have a trusted neighbour or friend who lives close to the empty property it is advisable to ask them to check in periodically. Not only will this make the property look more lived in, it also means that any damage will be picked up when it first starts and before it develops into a large problem (for example a small drip that turns into a massive leak over time). On top of this, such checks will often be a stipulation of your home insurance policy, making them a vital occurrence.

6 Maintain the property exterior
Similarly to maintaining the garden, keeping the exterior of a property looking fresh helps to keep it safe from damage. Repairing any areas of flaking paint or rotten woodwork helps to keep the property looking its best, as well as preventing any expensive damage from taking hold. This is particularly important if the property has an area that is particularly susceptible to damage, such as a flat roof. The property’s neighbours will also thank you, as an obviously empty property in a poor state of repair has been proven to bring down the value of neighbouring houses.

Succeeding At An Online Business Administration Degree

An online business administration degree helps students understand how businesses work, so that students emerge from their degree ready to take on positions and job opportunities in the business world. A course of study can include courses in global business strategy, management information systems, management, marketing, accounting and finance, human resources, organizational behavior, and communication, to name just a few. Once students graduate, they can qualify for jobs in management, human resources, finance, or sales and marketing.

While choosing to complete an online business administration degree can boost your career and can allow you to study on your own terms, it also requires work and dedication, especially if you want to make the most of your education. Online programs give you plenty of flexibility and allow you to work at your current job, even as you prepare for a better job. To get the best post-graduation possibilities, though, you will want to study smart so that you can succeed at your degree program.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your online business administration degree leads to great opportunities in the future is to make sure that you select the right degree program for you. Make sure that your course of studies allows you access to professors and qualified faculty by phone or email. Make sure that you will get the resources and help you need to succeed in school. Finally, make sure that you will be pursuing your studies at a respected institution that hires great faculty. When all of this is in place, your degree will be more valuable and you will have all the tools in place to do your best at your studies.

The second thing to remember is that an online business administration degree is your responsibility. While this sort of program can offer you intensive studies that can help you qualify for a great job sooner, you need to make sure that you have the self-discipline to put work into the program. Buy a planner or calendar and block out time to study, review your notes, read course materials, and complete any projects that require work. Read over your course outlines to understand exactly what will be expected of you and block the time into your schedule so that you can complete everything on time. The good news is that since online programs are so flexible, you will be able to plan your study time around your other responsibilities. If you plan well, this can actually help you become a better student.

Be sure to find out what resources your school offers and make a serious effort to make use of them. Your tuition pays for these resources, and you can often get more value from your degree by taking advantage of all that your degree offers. If you have email access to professors, for example, be sure to get in touch with your instructors. If your school offers study skill help, be sure to take advantage of this so that you can become an even more effective student. You can never be sure which resources will prove the most beneficial for you, so give them all a try to see just how much you can learn.

A good online business administration degree can be your key to a bright future. However, it is not usually enough to just complete your course of studies. Make a real effort to complete your studies well and to get the most out of your program and you will find that your investment of time and money pays off in the opportunities and skills you will be able to enjoy.

Even Small Business Owners Have Assets To Protect

Unfortunately, asset protection is often ignored or lost in the long list of things to do when starting or building your business. This mistake can cost you and your family when you least expect it.

What’s Involved in Protecting Your Assets?

Asset protection planning is a simple concept. First you catalogue all of your personal and business assets, such as bank and brokerage accounts, personal property and real estate, etc. Next you identify possible financial threats and then you insulate yourself from threats using a combination of different legal entities (trusts, corporations, limited liability companies, etc.) and insurance.

Properly done, this will help protect your current and future assets from loss due to the hazards of everyday life, such as lawsuits, business failures, and creditor claims.

To create an asset protection plan, you’ll need to review your potential exposure to financial loss, assess the different types of protection available, evaluate potential tax issues involved and analyze your ongoing personal financial needs, such as qualifying for mortgages and easily accessing assets when required. You should work with competent financial and legal advisors who are familiar with asset protection strategies.

Small Business Owners Beware

As a small business owner, there are several areas that warrant your concern. The first is to take financial liability issues into account when you choose the type of legal structure within which you’ll run your business (corporation, limited liability company, etc.). Once established, take care to follow the legal requirements of the entity you choose, so that you don’t jeopardize your personal assets. Some examples of this are not mixing business and personal expenses, not treating your business bank accounts as personal piggybanks, keeping necessary records, having the proper corporate officers and establishing a Board of Directors in corporations.

Personal guarantees are another common source of financial exposure. Lenders, landlords and leasing companies often ask for a personal guarantee from the owner of a small business. This means exactly what it says; you are providing a personal guarantee of repayment. If your business can’t make the payments the creditor can and will go after you and your personal assets.

Many entrepreneurs use personal credit cards and credit lines to get started. This may give you the credit you need, but it is ultimately a personal obligation. So if your business doesn’t have the cash flow to pay the bill, you’ll have to deal with these credit balances yourself. And the hefty finance charges can add up fast. Use extreme caution when leveraging personal credit for business use.

And then there is insurance. Small businesses often underinsure to keep overhead expenses low. This is risky. Losses do happen and they can quickly put an under-protected company out of business or hamper it severely. Be realistic when evaluating the type (liability, property, malpractice, etc.) and the amount of insurance you carry.

Be Safe, Not Sorry – Protect Your Assets

Depending on your individual situation, there are a variety of asset protection tools from which to choose ranging from the relatively straightforward, such as insurance, to the extremely complex involving off-shore trusts and multiple legal entities.

Seek the advice of business advisors and attorneys who specialize in this area. It is an investment in your financial security. Once you are on the wrong side of a lawsuit, it is too late to protect your assets.