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‘Mobile Oil Change’ Businesses Have Terrible Profit Margins

The oil change business is hard. I am not going to sugar coat it. I have been in the business for five years and I am telling you from first hand experience. I have done more research on the topic that several people put together. I am an authority. I know what I am talking about. There is no profits, at least one can actually build a business on, in oil changes.

This is coming from someone who is in the business. Whoever, no matter who he is, tells you that you can make a decent profit off oil changes, regardless of what kind, he is lying. He is either purposefully lying to you to make money or really does not know. The profit from oil changes cannot, and I do repeat for emphasis cannot, sustain a viable business. The whole quick lube model is so flawed its almost comical. And the typical mobile quick lube model is even more flawed at its core. I have met only one guy who has what I consider made a real profit from mobile oil changes and his name is Lance Winslow. I have spoken to the guy and he is very smart but in one of his posts he stated that he makes very little from his oil change company. It had just been one of many companies he has started that has allowed him to achieve wealth in this country.

Every quick lube, including Jiffy Lube, makes no money from oil changes. Mobile oil change businesses will quickly realize this. The cost for your typical oil change in the United States, using the cheapest oil you can find, is $15.00 with oil and filter. The going rate for an oil change in the US is $20-$30 per five quart oil oil change. That means that in most states the most one can profit from an oil change is $15.00. And that is being liberal with the numbers and not including fuel. Fifteen dollars per oil change is not going to sustain a viable business. Some vehicles are absolutely terrible to work on like certain Chevrolet Cavaliers and Land Rovers and will take you more than an hour minimum to do one oil change. What do you get for all this trouble? Maybe twenty dollars. Its the biggest joke going.

The only way most quick lube places can make money is buying really pushing add-ons. If you work at any quick lube and do not sell the customer on additional services they may or may not need than you will be terminated very fast. The quick lubes cannot make money any other way. They have to push unnecessary air filter, fuel filters, coolant flushes, transmission flushes, power steering flushes, rear end flushes, cabin air filters, wiper blade replacement, fuel injection cleaners, and many others to even make a meager profit. The mobile oil change businesses have to do this a lot less because they have lower overhead but their profit margin still …

"Right of Offset" – Protect Your Money and Assets

What is the “Right of Offset”?

The “Right of Offset” gives a lending institution (i.e. Bank or Credit Union) a legal right to seize funds that a debtor may have in a deposit or asset account at that particular banking or financial institution, to cover a loan in default. It is also known as the “Right of Set-Off”.

What are the dangers of the “Right of Offset”?

If an individual, couple, or other entity has a checking, savings, or other form of deposit account at the same financial institution where they have a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, other debt account, that individual or entity has what can be considered a “banking conflict”. In other words, anytime an asset account is kept at the same banking institution as a liability account, a potential “banking conflict” occurs due to that banking institutions “Right of Offset”. What this means is, if an individual for whatever reason fails to make payments on a liability account, the financial institution has the legal right to not only freeze that individuals asset/deposit account, but to also seize any funds available to offset the debt due to that financial institution.

What types of liability accounts or debts does the “Right to Offset” pertain too?

A financial institutions freedom to utilize the “Right of Offset” is determined primarily by how they are chartered.

State chartered and regulated credit unions and banks, along with federal credit unions chartered and regulated by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) have the freedom and authority to exercise their “Right of Offset” on both secured accounts or asset backed (i.e. mortgage loan, auto loan), and unsecured accounts (not backed by collateral) or open-ended revolving accounts (i.e. certain credit cards and credit extensions).

Federally chartered and regulated banks (i.e. Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo) have the freedom and authority to exercise their “Right of Offset” on secured, but not unsecured accounts. A bank/financial institutions rights and authority as it pertains to its use of “Right to Offset” may vary between institutions. To find the specifics of a particular institution research the following areas:

  • The institutions regulatory authority.
  • The institutions member agreement received when establishing an account.
  • The institutions loan/debt documents or agreements received when establishing a loan.

Who regulates state chartered and federally chartered banks and/or financial institutions?

State chartered banks and financial institutions are regulated by the particular state Department of Banking, Department of Financial Institutions, or Department of Finance from which the bank or financial institution conducts business.

Federal credit unions are regulated by The National Credit Union Association (NCUA).

Federally chartered National banks are regulated by The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

How can I protect my assets?

Never assume that it will not happen to you. The present difficulties present in the current economy have created unexpected lay-offs and job losses. Expensive medical emergencies happen every day. Take the following steps to protect …

The Target Capital Structure

Firms can choose whatever mix of debt and equity they desire to finance their assets, subject to the willingness of investors to provide such funds. And, as we shall see, there exist many different mixes of debt and equity, or capital structures – in some firms, such as Chrysler Corporation, debt accounts for more than 70 percent of the financing, while other firms, such as Microsoft, have little or no debt.

In the next few sections, we discuss factors that affect a firm’s capital structure, and we conclude a firm should attempt to determine what its optimal, or best, mix of financing should be. But, you will find that determining the exact optimal capital structure is not a science, so after analyzing a number of factors, a firm establishes a target capital structure it believes is optimal, which is then used as a guide for raising funds in the future. This target might change over time as conditions vary, but at any given moment the firm’s management has a specific capital structure in mind, and individual financing decisions should be consistent with this target. If the actual proportion of debt is below the target level, new funds will probably be raised by issuing debt, whereas if the proportion of debt is above the target, stock will probably be sold to bring the firm back in line with the target debt/assets ratio.

Capital structure policy involves a trade-off between risk and return. Using more debt raises the riskiness of the firm’s earnings stream, but a higher propor- tion of debt generally leads to a higher expected rate of return; and, we know that the higher risk associated with greater debt tends to lower the stock’s price. At the same time, however, the higher expected rate of return makes the stock more attractive to investors, which, in turn, ultimately increases the stock’s price. Therefore, the optimal capital structure is the one that strikes a balance between risk and return to achieve our ultimate goal of maximizing the price of the stock.

Four primary factors influence capital structure decisions:

1. The first is the firm’s business risk, or the riskiness that would be inherent in the firm’s operations if it used no debt. The greater the firm’s business risk, the lower the amount of debt that is optimal.

2. The second key factor is the firm’s tax position. A major reason for using debt is that interest is tax deductible, which lowers the effective cost of debt. However, if much of a firm’s income is already sheltered from taxes by accelerated depreciation or tax loss carryforwards, its tax rate will be low, and debt will not be as advantageous as it would be to a firm with a higher effective tax rate.

3. The third important consideration is financial flexibility, or the ability to raise capital on reasonable terms under adverse conditions. Corporate treasurers know that a steady supply of capital is necessary for stable operations, which, in turn, are vital for long-run …

Make Easy Money Online: Become a Commercial Real Estate Property Scout

There are lots of ways to make easy money online. I am sure you have seen many of them in your email inbox.

One opportunity you may not be aware of is becoming a Commercial Real Estate Property Scout.

What’s a Commercial Real Estate Property Scout?

It’s a person who finds property for investors which meet a specific acquisition criteria.

Here’s the deal: This opportunity has nothing to do with sales, data entry, or any of those other possible questionable online business opportunities you may be aware of.

A Property Scout uses the Internet to search real estate listing databases for properties which meet the investors criteria. There are literally hundreds of these databases, many of which are free to use.

Advantages of the Opportunity

There are many things which make this opportunity attractive.

First, the price to get involved is very modest. It’s under $100 dollars.

Second, the money is really good. Frankly, there’s no comparison between what you can earn doing this and all the rest of the opportunities combined. It truly is one of the ways to make easy money online.

You can really earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Third, the support the company offers is incredible. While they won’t handhold or baby sit you, they will provide the weekly training, personal direction and weekly Q&A so that you can be successful–that’s more than any of the other opportunities do.

The fourth thing, is that you really can do this from home. There’s no travel involved. Plus it really only requires about twenty hours a week of work on a consistent basis.

The best part for me is that the company, Maverick Real Estate Investments, isn’t one of those schlocky companies promoting the next business opportunity. It’s real. And they sincerely want to see you successful because the big money for everybody involved is made when you find a promising property.

They’re committed to training you to be successful at it.

Maverick Real Estate Investments is in the commercial real estate business. That’s their purpose. And they’ve set up this business opportunity, so that they can attract people to help them find properties which fit their profile for acquisition.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Disadvantages of the Opportunity

Are there bad points? Yes, a small one. But you really can’t blame the company for it, it’s just the nature of the commercial real estate industry.

If you need to make money right away, this is not the opportunity for you. Patience is key. While you can realistically make six figures and up a year, the fact is it takes time to find a property the investors want to acquire. It has to fit their profile (which they’ll thoroughly train you in).

And even when you find a property that meets their profile, they need the time to do whatever it takes to turn the property around which could take as long as 18 months to do.

But still, you have …

What TN Home Buyers Need to Know About THDA Loans

Some of the best loan programs in TN are right under our noses, and THDA loans (TN Housing Development Agency) are one of them. A few reasons why there isn’t a ton of press about these great loans is because 1) not all TN lenders can do them, 2) THDA loans tend to be smaller loan sizes (on average) and coupled with the limitation on allowable fees, many loan officers who could do them choose not to, and 3) many loan officers do not offer them because they believe that THDA loans are a lot harder to get closed, which is not true at all as long as they know the program guidelines. For brevity’s sake, this article will provide an overview for the THDA program rather than detail each of the 3 loans THDA offers (Great Rate, Great Advantage, and Great Start).

The THDA loan programs were designed to offer help to low to moderate income buyers in TN seeking to purchase an affordable home. Here are the main things to know about THDA loans:

  • these loans can be used only for primary residences in TN from one to four units
  • the loans are always 30 year terms with fixed rates.
  • the borrower must qualify for an FHA, USDA Rural Development, or VA loan program before the loan can “become” a THDA subsidized loan program. The vast majority of THDA loans are FHA, since FHA loans have the broadest in eligibility requirements. Minimum credit score for any THDA loan is 620 as of right now.
  • THDA loans can effectively make FHA loans near-100{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} or 100{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} financing when combined with available THDA grant money, a “community” 2nd mortgage program like The Housing Fund, or THDA’s “Stimulus” 2nd mortgage program.
  • THDA loans are made generally to first time buyers (including people who haven’t owned a home in 3 years); the exception to this rule is when a buyer is purchasing in a “targeted” county; for example, middle TN “targeted” counties include Cannon, Clay, Dekalb, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Houston, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Maury, Stewart, Trousdale, Van Buren, Wayne, and White.
  • THDA essentially sets its own subsidized or below-market rates, which are dependent on how much grant assistance one might need. There are 3 basic loan types: Great Rate (0{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} assistance), Great Advantage (2{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} assistance), and Great Start ( 4{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} assistance)
  • since THDA loans are intended for “modest” homes, properties must meet eligibility requirements; for example, the sales price cannot exceed the county’s limit. There are only 2 limits in the whole state of TN- either $226,100 or $200,160 (these limits are actually fairly liberal by TN’s standards). The counties which have the higher limit are the following counties: Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson. All other counties in TN fall under the lower limit.
  • the household income of the borrower(s) cannot exceed the median income limit for the county, based on the number of persons in the household; for

Modern Financial Management Theories & Small Businesses

The following are some examples of modern financial management theories formulated on principles considered as ‘a set of fundamental tenets that form the basis for financial theory and decision-making in finance’ (Emery et al.1991). An attempt would be made to relate the principles behind these concepts to small businesses’ financial management.

Agency Theory

Agency theory deals with the people who own a business enterprise and all others who have interests in it, for example managers, banks, creditors, family members, and employees. The agency theory postulates that the day to day running of a business enterprise is carried out by managers as agents who have been engaged by the owners of the business as principals who are also known as shareholders. The theory is on the notion of the principle of ‘two-sided transactions’ which holds that any financial transactions involve two parties, both acting in their own best interests, but with different expectations.

Problems usually identified with agency theory may include:

i. Information asymmetry- a situation in which agents have information on the financial circumstances and prospects of the enterprise that is not known to principals (Emery et al.1991). For example ‘The Business Roundtable’ emphasised that in planning communications with shareholders and investors, companies should consider never misleading or misinforming stockholders about the corporation’s operations or financial condition. In spite of this principle, there was lack of transparency from Enron’s management leading to its collapse;

ii. Moral hazard-a situation in which agents deliberately take advantage of information asymmetry to redistribute wealth to themselves in an unseen manner which is ultimately to the detriment of principals. A case in point is the failure of the Board of directors of Enron’s compensation committee to ask any question about the award of salaries, perks, annuities, life insurance and rewards to the executive members at a critical point in the life of Enron; with one executive on record to have received a share of ownership of a corporate jet as a reward and also a loan of $77m to the CEO even though the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US bans loans by companies to their executives; and

iii. Adverse selection-this concerns a situation in which agents misrepresent the skills or abilities they bring to an enterprise. As a result of that the principal’s wealth is not maximised (Emery et al.1991).

In response to the inherent risk posed by agents’ quest to make the most of their interests to the disadvantage of principals (i.e. all stakeholders), each stakeholder tries to increase the reward expected in return for participation in the enterprise. Creditors may increase the interest rates they get from the enterprise. Other responses are monitoring and bonding to improve principal’s access to reliable information and devising means to find a common ground for agents and principals respectively.

Emanating from the risks faced in agency theory, researchers on small business financial management contend that in many small enterprises the agency relationship between owners and managers may be absent because the owners are also managers; and that …

The Case Against Medicare Supplement Insurance

There are some people who believe that Medicare Supplement Insurance may be a waste of money. Here is why some people believe that to be true.

Original Medicare is a government-run health insurance program for people aged 65 and older and for people who receive social security disability benefits for at least 24 months.

Original Medicare, it has been argued, is the best insurance plan in the united states and among the best in the world. The premiums for Medicare Part A (hospitalization) are most likely paid for you (by the taxes you paid) and the Part B premium is only $110 per month for people newly getting Medicare in 2010.

Your share of costs for Original Medicare are also relatively low. If you go in the hospital for example, each stay in the hospital is only $1,100 total for up to 60 days. If you go to the doctor or have tests done (such as an MRI), you normally only pay 20{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} of the Medicare Approved amount (an amount much lower than the “regular” or “customary” amount charged by most health care providers).

In addition to low costs, you have tremendous freedom in your access to health care. You can travel anywhere in the country and find a doctor or hospital that will accept Medicare.

So the question is, if Medicare alone is such a great plan, then why in the world would anyone buy Medicare Supplement Insurance? A Medicare Supplement Plan is an insurance plan sold by a private insurance company. The purpose of these plans is to “fill in the gaps” left by Medicare. This is why these plans are often referred to as “Medigap Plans.”

Following are three reasons why “The Case Against Medicare Supplement Insurance” should be thrown out of court.

1. Guaranteed Insurability

When you first qualify for Medicare (such as when you turn 65), you are “guaranteed issue” of a Medicare Supplement Policy. In most situations, and in most states, you could be in the advanced stages of some dread disease and a Medicare Supplement company must sell you insurance at the preferred rate.

Also, once you do qualify for a Medicare Supplement Plan, you can never lose your coverage, as long as you pay your premiums.

2. Protection Against the “Big Stuff”

If you have to pay a few dollar here or there for an xray, or a co-pay at your doctor, that is probably no big deal. But if you get into trouble, meaning if you get really sick, the original Medicare protection may not be as robust as you thought. $1,100 per stay at the hospital can add up very quickly, as can your share of expensive diagnostic exams.

The fact is, most of us don’t buy insurance for the little things, such as a ding on the car. But we do want insurance for when the “just in case” happens, such as a major car accident.

3. Affordability

Medicare Supplement Plans are very affordable for most people. As …

Starting a Coffee Shop – Funding Sources

Besides having a coffee shop business plan, you need to have your funding source(s) defined when starting a coffee shop. There are many options available for you, but we will talk about the most common.

SBA – So many sources push SBA loans, SBA LOANS, SBA LOANS! Let me first say, the Small Business Administration loan program is awesome, if you can get approved. Although they have loosened up some of the requirements lately, it is still somewhat tough to get approved.

First of all, the government does not loan the money. The standard program is a bank loan though there are some micro loan programs available that use funds from capital groups. Most of these loans are normally collateral loans, and they are backed by the US government similar to HUD and FHA home loans. What that means is that if you should happen to default on the loan, the government will reimburse the bank for certain percentage of the loan amount. That is good for the bank, and good for you if you can qualify for one of these loans. They are tough to get I’ll say again, and there is a lot of paperwork to fill out and file. You also have to have good credit, very good assets, low debt to income ratio, and unencumbered collateral.

Some SBA loans can take some time to get approved and then funded, but if you are approved, they usually have up to a 7 year repayment period and a favorable interest rate. It’s best to talk to an approved SBA lender for particular details, as the bank calls the shots, the SBA only backs the loan. You can work with a local SBA office as well for details or go to http://www.sba.gov

Personal – This is the easiest form of financing, but less likely for most people. Try to put all you can into this venture from your own pocket without ruining your marriage, family or jeopardizing your home. If you do get financing, you will be required to pitch in at least 25{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} of the total you need to start your coffee shop anyway. The more you have in, the more the bank knows how serious you are and more likely they are to fund you. They also know the more you have in personally, the less likely you are to run when the times get tough.

Cash is king. Liquid assets are a great source of funding. Liquid assets are assets that can be converted to cash quickly like stock, bonds, or a 401(k). I only recommend any retirement plan as funding as a last resort. This is what I did when I ran into capital problems and could not get a loan because I was maxed out. It’s best though to leave this money alone and search out other options.

Real estate equity – This is a good source of funding if you have enough equity in your home or another piece of real estate. The …

How To Obtain Limousine Financing For a Start Up Business

Many enterpreneurs like the glamour of starting a limousine business but the road to their

success may be a little bit more complicated than one might anticipate. This article will concentrate on the financing side of the startup investment and try to give the want to be limo entrepreneur a reasonable assessment of what is in store for them.

Today, most typical lenders aren’t interested in lending money to a start up business for a limousine service. They consider it a high risk type of business and feel that their investment dollars can be better spent somewhere else in their portfolio. However, there a few lenders out there that feel comfortable in the transportation industry and will lend accordingly. Their bankground might be exclusively in this industry and will cover not only limousines but additionally limousines and shuttle buses, coach and tour buses, ambulances and hearsts etc.

Most lenders review the applicant’s background and want to ascertain that they have experience it in this industry and/or have other key employees that can supplement this situation. Additionally, they understand that this start up business may lose money at the start and want a comfort level that the applicant has a nest egg of money. An income producing spouse that can support the cash flow demand.during the start up phase would be a real plus. Additionally, the personal credit of the applicants may be raised to a higher standard to reinsure the lender that he has a qualified applicant.

Once the lender gets passed the initial credit review and the applicant’s qualifications to run this type of business, the amount of upfront money to qualify for a lease becomes an issue. Each lender is different but for the most part they require the applicant to put up somewhere between

10{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc}-25{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} of the acquired cost of the limousine. Each limousine deal is reviewed separately by the lender because, in their mind, a hummer vs a lincoln stretch has different criteria to them. They review the year, make and model, including the mileage, etc to come up with a financing deal. Many lenders don’t like lending below $25,000 to $30,000 and a limousine no older than maybe three to four years old. Additionally, their leases could run as little as 30 months and as much as 60 months. It is advised for you to look at more than one lender and see what criterial is best for you.

The final part of the financing exercise is to find out how much you monthly payment will be. This can be an interesting exercise because know one is going to quote you an interest rate. I have seen start up limousine businesses being charged anywhere between 14{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc}- 38{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} interest per year once you get through all the red tape. This carrying cost is criterical for you to make sure you are able to afford the payment per month because you don’t want a run away business which will be out of balance from the start. It …

Book Summary – The ABC’s of Building a Business Team That Wins – Written by Blair Singer

This book is part of the Rich Dad Advisor family. Being able to build a successful team is a sought after talent. Think about your favorite professional, college or Olympic sporting team. I bet hardcore football fans can tell you which teams won each Super bowl. Can they tell you who came in second, probably not because nobody cares? Building a great team is by far the hardest component of business. You are dealing with unique personalities, qualities and skill sets. So the question becomes, how do you do it? Blair answers this question in the book.

Why is this important to me?

I strive to not waste your time. You are either part of a losing team or winning team. That is it. If you were ever part of a winning team then you can still remember the connection, camaraderie and code. If you consider the most effective teams, they all operate under a strict code of honor. This is critical in keeping the team united. The best example of this is seen in the U.S. Marine Corp. These guys have to run under a code or they die. It is that simple. Semper Fi – “Always Faithful”. Blair’s book is concise and to the point. We will outline creating a Code of Honor for your team.

Why a code of honor? In the absence of rules, people make up their own rules. The best way to avoid upset, collisions and disharmony in any group is to make sure everyone is playing by the same rules. The code brings out the best in everyone who subscribes to it.

Mission-Team-Individual – That is the order of the code. When people agree then you have the foundation for a championship team. If you don’t believe in Mission-Team-Individual then just image if Individual or team was first. Bernie Madoff put individual first and Enron put their Executive Team first. Look what happened. If the Marine Corp put individuals first then we would not have our freedom today.

Drafting the right players for your team is crucial. The old adage that people are your greatest asset is NOT true. They have to be the right people. I can tell you that my biggest expense and losses in business have ALL been around hiring and recruiting the wrong people. I could have been on mini-retirements in my late 20’s if I would have gotten this skill right. I would wager to say that over the years, I have spent over seven figures on the wrong people. This does not include the heart ache, counseling and other crap that goes along with having the wrong people on your team. I implore you to learn this skill because it will save you years of heart ache. It is cheaper to burn stacks of $100 bills then it is to have the wrong people on your team. LEARN THIS SKILL NOW!

Question – How do we get the right players on the team?

1. What kind of …