The Numbers Game: Steps to Get Your Auto Financing Right

When you think about buying a car, most of your energy goes into searching for the correct car. While it is critically imperative to look for the right car model, it is more important to understand how you will pay for the vehicle. The numbers game is all about searching for the correct tools that will help you get an idea of your current financial situation. They will also help you to take the right steps in order to make the auto financing process a success.

Numbers that will make your Auto Loan a Success Story

1. Budget Ahead

Having a clear picture of your financial situation is necessary for buying a car. By calculating your incomes and expenses, you will be able to find out how much money you can direct towards the monthly auto loan payments. Focus on the monthly budget. Consider the monthly income after taxes and deduct every expense that you incur. Annual expenses such as Netflix subscriptions can be divided over 12 months and then subtracted. The remaining amount after savings is the monthly budget that you can comfortably spend on your new car. Remember it will include fuel and maintenance expenses, insurance and the auto loan payments.

2. Improve Your Credit Score

The better your credit score, the more chances you have at scoring a cheaper auto financing program. Solid credit history and a credit score of more than 600 can help you attract low-interest rates and better auto insurance options. In order to improve your credit score, pay off past debt, reduce your debt-to-income ratio to at least 36% and check your credit report for any errors or duplicate entries. Consistent effort on improving your credit score will help you save a lot of money over the term of your auto loan.

3. Managing Down-Payment

A good down payment is a good move to reduce your future burden and become debt-free early. A down payment of 20% or more on the total price of the car will help you to cut down on your overall cost. Also, it will put you in a great position to negotiate for lower interest rates. Save up for a big down payment before you purchase your car. Obtaining a pre-approved auto loan and putting money down are great ways of handling auto financing responsibly.

The Right Way of Financing your Car

While purchasing your new car, auto financing will be the key element in deciding your future financial expenses and savings. Make sure you take the time to think about the important tools that will assist you in perfecting your auto financing game. For instance, a reduction in the loan origination fee is possible if you initiate automatic monthly payments. Therefore, always be aware of your current situation and work towards building a strong financial foundation for you.

Attention Bad Credit Car Buyers! Here’s How You Can Get an Auto Loan!

Buying a car is everyone’s sweetest dream. But for bad credit car buyers, the auto financing part is more of a nightmare. Bad credit might have occurred due to a variety of reasons. Late payments, missed payments and past financial behavior may lead to a poor credit score. But fret not. Bad credit individuals can avail an auto loan, although a little hard work is required. Applying for a loan involves many factors which finally lead to a ‘yes’ from the lender. Understanding the different factors of a bad credit auto loan will help you to get a grip on your current situation and throw light on areas that need your attention.

Important Factors to consider for a Bad Credit Auto Loan

The following factors are of prime importance in the process of getting loan approval.

1. Credit Score

Checking your credit score before applying for car financing is a wise decision. If you suffer from bad credit, you should check your credit score a couple of months before you start car shopping. This will ensure that you have enough time to rebuild it. A few ways to improve your score include reducing your debt to income ratio, clearing old debts and checking for any fallacies in the report. While lenders judge your creditworthiness primarily through your credit score, do not worry about your bad credit. Your focus should be on improving it. You must also consider other factors that will help you get a loan.

2. Down Payment

Another factor in getting an auto loan with bad credit is the down payment. Car buyers with a bad credit history and limited time to rebuild credit scores should be prepared to put a hefty amount of money down. With a big down payment amount, you borrow less. This will eventually lead to more savings. Without a down payment, the dealer will narrow down the car options available to you and your financing options will also be limited. This is because the lender will consider you a risky buyer. Therefore, making a down payment can instill a sense of creditworthiness in the lender and you can avail such a loan easily.

3. Apply for a Pre-approved Auto Loan

A pre-approved auto loan is an easy way to have an upper limit of the car that you wish to purchase. Additionally, a pre-approved car loan helps you to be prepared for the automobile purchasing process. The process helps you to understand the amount that you can qualify for a car loan depending on your credit score, income and expenses. Thinking one step ahead and submitting your documentation in advance for a pre-approved auto loan will help you to identify any fallacies and save you a lot of time in case you have to apply for a loan again.

Do Not Limit Yourself to the Credit Score

Credit scores make an important component of the auto loan process. However, it is not the only way to obtain financing for a new car. While a bad credit history may be difficult to erase, you can start by following the above-mentioned steps and work on getting auto loan approval easily. Remember to focus on different aspects of the deal and you will get approved at the click of a mouse.

Managed Services – The Secret Sauce For A Successful Managed Services Business

Just for the moment, consider yourself a moderately successful IT service provider who sees the growing opportunity in managed services, is quickly developing the technology to support this burgeoning market and knows the secret – has in fact the secret “sauce” – to managing a successful managed services business.Now liken yourself and your IT business to the owner of a fine dining establishment. The restaurant owner knows that his professional livelihood is built on the “meat and potatoes” of his operation, namely his fine selection of highly quality meats cooked to perfection. And he is convinced that his culinary success is due to the secret “sauce” he has created to adorn each entree. He even has a signature garnish that he places on top of each entree that makes it highly unique to him and a cut above his competition.This same analogy applies to your IT business. Your company is probably beginning to shift away from the technology and the tools that deliver services to a realization that the managed services business is the “meat and potatoes” upon which your future livelihood will rest. Your “culinary” success will be due, in large part, to the special “sauce” you create to adorn each managed service you offer. That special “sauce” is your marketing strategy. The garnish you place on each managed service is the one unique fact or feature about your business -and how you market it – that sets you apart from your competitors.So, what are the “meat and potatoes” of your business – the managed services you plan to offer your clients as you transition to a successful managed service business? How are you going to marketing those services – what “sauce” or “sauces” are you going to create to sell them? What “garnish” will you put on top – what fact or feature about your business is unique enough to separate and differentiate you from your competition?First, let’s talk about managed services. This is the “meat and potatoes” of your operation.To optimize your overall performance as a successful managed services business, here are five key elements of the business to master. Mastery of these “secrets of success” will determine how well you do in the marketplace and positively impact your success and survivability as a managed services provider (MSP).Core Technologies. The definition of managed services is expanding from infrastructure management and remote maintenance to the inclusion of software as a service. Selecting the right technology is one key piece of an effective MSP strategy. Successful MSPs typically use one of two types of software solutions – Professional Services Automation Software (PSA) and Remote Monitoring and Management Software (RMM). PSA blends such functions as customer relationship management (CRM), sales force automation, customer billing and troubleshooting into one single comprehensive platform. RMM allows the MSP to proactively maintain and troubleshoot customer systems and networks off-site.
Emerging Technologies. Up until now, MSPs were able to master basic PC and server administration. Today’s MSPs face new challenges as the landscape of managed services continues to evolve. Now these MSPs have to master cloud and SaaS managements and learn how to tap into systems like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Apps, Microsoft Windows Azure and Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Keeping pace with these options requires constant networking. Successful MSPs make this one of their biggest priorities.
Business Leadership. As you move from being a technology driven business to being a managed services provider, commitment from the CEO and top management is critical. Managed services will stall or fail completely without this commitment. CEOs don’t have to master the MSP technologies but what they do need to do is this:
Promote recurring revenue streams as much as possible instead of quick break fix project work.
Track and improve customer service levels rather than billable hours.
Schedule frequent meetings to advise customers on those service levels and to discuss technologies that can further improve overall business performance.
Hiring & Firing, Sales Training & Compensation. The jury is still out on whether MSPs need to fire or replace staff as they push into managed services or work with existing staff to generate more and more recurring revenue. Sometimes MSPs find it works better if they augment their staff with outside talent, though many times this talent can be found within their existing rank-and-file. In more traditional IT companies, sales teams are generally paid a one-time commission for special projects revenue. In the managed services market, however, recurring revenue models create new opportunities and new challenges. The biggest challenge is keeping salespeople focused on longer-term, ongoing contracts rather than quick-hit project work. Without the proper compensation plans in place, salespeople may make half-hearted managed services calls and end up pitching a new technology product instead of the managed services you hope to sell. The best MSP in the most successful managed services business has clearly communicated compensation plans with well-defined goals and priorities that motivate the sales professional to look for more business and more opportunities for managed services from either existing clients or new ones.
Service Level Agreements. Successful MSPs know that without a well-designed and understood service level agreement in place, the clients will be expecting one thing and the MSP another. Using a solid service level agreement shows the client that you know what you are doing and that you will put both your reputation and wallet behind your word.Now, let’s talk about how you are going to marketing these managed services. What “sauce” or “sauces” are you going to create to sell this business model and bring value to the customer. The signature “sauce” you create and the ingredients you use to make it is the key to your success. Here are the three ingredients you need:Marketing & Client Education. Managed services generates a significant amount of information about end users’ activities and needs. Successful MSPs use that information to anticipate those needs and recommend applications and value-added services to help clients run their businesses more effectively. Using that information as part of a marketing strategy to better educate the customer is paramount. Many MSPs believe the client’s lack of knowledge and understanding about the managed services business model is their greatest inhibitor to success. When the time comes to describe your managed services portfolio to clients, remember these three words – less is better. Skip the high-tech acronyms, the techie bells and whistles, and focus on the benefits to your client. Concentrate only on the services you offer that bring them real value, like customer satisfaction or service levels.Marketing Strategies. To date, managed services has been about the technology, but today’s successful MSPs are more focused on how to run their business well and deliver value to their customers. They know the importance of a successful business model, targeted sales strategies and value propositions and they are marketing all of that to their clients as part of their managing services portfolio. But the driving force behind the push to invest in a sales and marketing strategy is the company’s commitment to sell the customer on the value the MSP can provide.The New Marketing Model. Successful MSPs know that technology alone is not going to change their business. They know it’s all about creating a business model of managed services and equipping themselves with the skills to run their business and to market it to a targeted audience. To build a successful marketing model, you need to do three things:Define your product (managed services) from the client’s perspective and sell it that way. Let client’s know the advantages of this approach. Let them know you can provide them with software and spread costs over a number of clients. Tell them you can build more application experience than in-house staff. Assure them that your key software systems are kept up to date, available and managed for performance by experts. Let them know they will always have access to product and technology experts. Show them you can reduce their costs to a predictable monthly fee.
Know your client and let them know you know them. Let them know that you know it takes them six to 12 months to commit to a services program. Speak to them in their own language by speaking to the pains that you know that they have because they are common in the industry. Then show how you are uniquely qualified to resolve these pains and problems.
Use sales and marketing tools to your advantage to reach your client and, use only those with a proven return on investment. Schedule as many visits and meetings with the client as you can to advise them on service levels and to discuss new and emerging technologies to further improve business performance. Invite them to events like small business luncheons to get their thoughts and opinions on business trends or use of technology. Prepare hand-outs describing the benefits of predictable, flat-rate, proactive managed services programs. Create ongoing marketing and PR campaigns to announce new software products and technologies. Actively solicit customer endorsements.Now, once again, liken yourself and your IT business to the owner of a fine dining establishment. We have defined the “meat and potatoes” of your operations – all of the managed services upon which your business in now built. We have given you the key ingredients to make your special “sauce” or “sauces” – client education, key marketing strategies and the new marketing model. Now all you need is that signature garnish you place on each of your products that is unique to you and you alone and a cut above your competition.That garnish is a statement of who you are and how you present yourself. Are you ingenious? Are you creative? Are you capable of delivering the services required in a knowledgeable and innovative way? Do you communicate reliability and dependability? Are you empathic towards your client and their needs? What is it about you that makes the client want to do business with you and nobody but you? These are the intangible things that set you and your managed services business apart from your competitors. This is what your clients will remember.This is a concise overview of what it takes to succeed as an MSP. Know your product. Know the market. Know your customer. Then move ahead and capitalize on the opportunities in managed services.