Disabled Travelers – Plan, Prepare and Protect Your Policy

You’ve booked your holiday and you know exactly where you want to go and what sights you plan on seeing, the question is; are you fully prepared? As a disabled traveler it is important you attempt to anticipate as many hurdles that could potentially present themselves to you as possible. From contacting the airline to ensure they can cater to your needs as well as ensuring the receiving airport can receive you successfully and with as few hiccups as possible.

If you are a wheelchair user it is important to make sure you choose a carrier that will take into consideration your limitations. Similarly it is important to check that your entire journey is accessible, it is not about planning the perfect trip only to find out that at the other end the airport cannot receive you. Consider the more remote areas in the world or the less developed nations, a lot of them do not have ramped access and so if you have not taken this into consideration prior to the purchase of your ticket and it comes to your attention just before you are due to travel you may feel your travel insurance should cover you and compensate you the cost of a cancellation.

You may find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation when you find the provider refuses to honor the claim. Being aware of your limitations you are expected to take the necessary steps to ensure the seamless nature of your vacation. By not carrying out the necessary checks prior to your departure you are proving to be negligent.

Similarly if you were a driver but could only drive an automatic and failed to mention that when placing a reservation for your rental vehicle, subsequently on your arrival the only cars available were manual, your failure to mention your limitations is likely to automatically make you ineligible for a refund. In such an instance, your insurer is highly likely to agree with the rental company and will refuse to honor any claim related to the cancellation.

Before traveling it is vital you cover as many bases as possible, this should be of the upmost importance to any traveler who suffers from an impairment. Whether it is limited sight or weak limbs you should make sure you inform the various institutions involved in your traveling expedition of any factors that may affect your trip and your enjoyment of it.

When it comes to taking out travel insurance it is vital you are completely honest as any discrepancies will be noted and may nullify the entire policy. When it comes to making a claim, knowing that insurers do not actually want to hand over any cash to their customers it is in your best interest to make sure you are never to blame. Negligence is one of the main reasons travel insurance claims are refused, extra preparation on your part therefore is required to ensure it is not something the company finds you guilty of.

Neglecting to inform your travel insurer of any ongoing health conditions for which you need cover for while you are abroad will mean if your condition flares up while you are aware and you attempt to claim the cost of treatment from your insurer, the very insurer you neglected to inform of the condition is almost guaranteed to refuse your claim, leaving you to pick up the tab. If you have enough foresight to take out life insurance you should try to do all that you can to protect that investment.

Why Do Small Businesses Raise Money From Friends and Family?

Small businesses face many challenges and one of them is obtaining funding at the beginning.

We noted that 42 percent of entrepreneurs go to family and friends to raise money. Annually this figure is $50 to $75 billion for U.S. startup companies, which is about three times greater than funding from either angel investors or venture capitalists.

A further breakdown has shown that 82% of funding will come from either an entrepreneurs’ own savings or from friends and family. A number of reasons can be attributed to this avenue and here’s a few.

Immediate Funding Right Away

To raise money, going to family and friends can result in immediate funding. By approaching these connections, the entrepreneur knows they will already have available funding and he can avoid going through extensive financial background checks and voluminous paperwork.

Small businesses may also lack some business savvy and by going to family and friends they may be more comfortable talking about the opportunity and asking for money.

Only Available Funding at the Beginning

For some small businesses, funding from family and friends may be their only source at the start as sometimes banks and government grants may not be available to them due to a lack of credit, a business track record or an established business model.

It is family and friends that will fund the small businesses at this time. Entrepreneurs will then focus on creating their products, services, business models, offices and business plans.

You already have a relationship with family and friends: they believe in you and your vision

For many entrepreneurs, their small businesses have been a dream for quite some time and a passion. When this is the case, they have likely been speaking about this with family and friends, gaining their support and sharing their vision.

Family members as potential sources of funding may include parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors as well as childhood friends.

By receiving funding from this group, they are investing in the entrepreneur’s small business because they believe in him. They also know his desire to succeed and his work ethic.

Family and friends invest in people, not necessarily small businesses.

Lower or no interest on the loan

By going to family and friends, they may charge a lower interest on a fundraising loan as they know your current financial situation. Small businesses will also be able to avoid fees and penalties by structuring through families and friends.

In some situations, the money may even come as gift, further decreasing extra costs and excluding interest. The loaner may have an interest to give additional funding in the future and become a partner.

This can provide small businesses with an opportunity to put more money into the business right away while paying off the loan and not worrying about financial constraints.

Lower attorney fees

By receiving funding from family and friends, the structure of the loan may be less complex and require less documentation. It is important to have an attorney review this but by setting it up in a simpler manner, future changes may be less intensive and costly.

Regardless of the amount borrowed from family and friends, it is still important for small businesses to have a business plan and proper documentation as well as act in a professional manner.

Have these reasons further spurred your interest in borrowing from family and friends? Here’s a success story that may inspire you.

Nike Started with Family and Friends

Philip H. Knight, co-founder and the current Chairman of the Board for Nike, Inc., got the idea for his business when he wrote a business plan for a Stanford MBA class assignment in the 1960s. He dreamed up a company that would sell shoes to athletes through the paper, “Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras?”

This assignment was to answer the question of whether or not a shoe could be designed and manufactured for less with better quality than the current market leader for athletic shoes, Adidas.

Knight was so inspired by the assignment he then went to Japan and met with Onitsuka Tiger Co executives, a manufacturer of fake Adidas shoes. He said he was the head of a fictitious company named Blue Ribbon Sports and that he wanted to distribute Tiger shoes back in the United States. Tiger officials accepted his pitch and sent samples to him after Knight said he would give them a big order once after he showed them to his business partners (but no, he did not have any).

When he returned home, Knight borrowed $500 from his father to start his business and pay for shoe samples. Keep in mind this was the 1960s and in today’s dollars and cents, this is equal to about $3,700.

After Knight received the shoes, he sent some to his old running coach Bill Bowerman, hoping he would purchase them and show the shoes to his runners.

It turned out even better: Bowerman gave Knight $500 and the two became partners in 1964.

The rest you could say is history.

What To Expect Of The Growing Popularity Of Online Education

There are so many Americans choosing to earn all or part of their college degrees online according to a 2005 research report. The report states that enrollment in online courses increased from 1.98 million in 2003 to 2.35 million in 2004. Parts of the reasons why people divulge on online education are hectic schedules and time. Not just these two reasons contribute to why people turn to online education but also changes in social and work trends as well.

Layoffs, Downsizing, and Displacement: A Springboard for Distance Learning

A greater number of people are turning to online education in order to recover or restructure their professional lives. These people were affected with the downsizing, rightsizing, voluntary severance packages, and early retirement. These are the displaced workers who wanted to return to work and need to update their skills or improve it. Homemakers displaced due to divorce need to work again and need to learn or update career skills need to avail of these online education programs. Online education are more convenient for these people since its easy to access if they online have a good internet connection and reliable computer at home.

Quality Education Programs Available Online

Many people are concerned of the quality of distance education could offer compared to traditional classroom instruction. They worry that online college courses are not that as high quality education as what traditional colleges offer. But you don’t have to worry. Most institutions that offer online education are also those traditional colleges that offer quality traditional education. Here is a report that proves it:

A survey in 2005 found that 63% of academic institutions offering traditional undergraduate degrees also offer distance or online education. They also found that 65% of institutions reported that they used primarily core faculty to teach online compared to 62% of core faculty assigned to teach classroom courses. In order to enhance your potential career or train an entirely new profession, online education offers program from individual courses to graduate degree and certification programs. You can get started on your first online college course but be sure that the online education program you are enrolling to is properly accredited and offers academic and technical support.

What to Watch Out For If You Decide to Finance at a Dealership

I am going to make this a simple article to read. I want you to be able to read this whole article and understand it before you make your next vehicle purchase.

Yeah, the economy isn’t the greatest right now. Yeah, nearly all industries are down on sales.

You see commercials on TV all the time talking about how now is the best time to buy a car. It is, BUT…..

You see, the auto industry is struggling. So of course, to get people to come in and purchase a car they need to advertise these “great” deals and show you how you can get their employee pricing! Sounds exciting, eh? Well if you walk in there with cash, maybe you are going to get a great deal. Actually, you probably are assuming you can negotiate a good deal.

But what if you are going in there without cash? Or without your own financing? Are you really going to get such a great deal? Well you may receive your dream car at employee pricing and they may promise you that its the best they can do on price.

Lets take a close look at their financing techniques.

Did you know that dealers really do shop for the best rate for you? Yeah, they do! However, they won’t give you that best rate! They shop for the best rate then give you a higher one. How? They are allowed to mark up your interest rate up to 2% higher than what they were quoted. That means that they are making profit off of the financing too. That can lead to you paying hundred to thousands more for your new car.

So think about this:

The car you are looking at costs $20,000.00 after manufacturer’s rebates. The dealership said they would take off an additional $1000.00 to get you to employee pricing. Sounds good, right? It is good. Now, you go to the financing office, they finance you at an 8% rate when you could have actually had a 6% rate. That will end up making you pay more, a lot more. They could have you paying a couple thousand dollars more in just interest! It makes that $1,000.00 discount look weak, doesn’t it?

The whole point here is to tell you that you need to be cautious when using dealer financing as if you know they aren’t making much from the car due to the incredible deal they gave you, they are going to make it up on the financing end of it.

Always negotiate interest rates. You wouldn’t ever take them up on their first offer on the price of the car would you? Nope. So treat the first offer on the interest rates the same too. A lot of dealers won’t even tell you what the rate is. Be sure to ask.

They have their own special programs through the car manufacturers to make up for lost profit. Don’t let them fool you. It is called dealer hold back. It is tough to negotiate into that.

If you would like to bring your own financing to a dealership, consider these banks from this site. Read their reviews and then choose one.