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Business

Pawnbroking Through The Ages

Pawnbroking is one of the world’s oldest professions and can be traced back through various documentations over three thousand years. For an industry to last three thousand years and not only still be going today, but be thriving in today’s tough economic climate,  it must have a stable centre set of values and principles that it has stuck to whilst also adapting with the times and to the ever changing needs of its customers. 

So what has changed over the years and what has remained the same in this now thriving industry? 

Pawn broking Origins 

Surprisingly it is said that the earliest pawnbrokers were Buddhist monks in China in around the 5th century. However, it was not common for pawn shops to be seen outside of the monasteries at all unless wealthy laypeople formed partnerships with the monks and opened up for business in nearby towns. People from other religions soon got on board although in a few, including Judaism and Christianity, pawnbrokers were forbid from lending to the poor at high interest rates. 

Along the way Pawnbroking has created some exciting stories. For example, the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus would never have happened if it wasn’t for pawnbroking. His voyage was almost entirely funded by the proceeds of the pawning of jewels from the collection belonging to Queen Isabella of Spain. 

Development of the Standard System 

The industry as we know it today, however, can be easily linked back to fifteenth century Italy, a time when the powerful Medici family were very much a financial force to be reckoned with. The Medici family split into two and whilst one half of the family continued the banking successes the other half became pawnbrokers. In fact the widely recognised sign of the pawnbroker today comes directly from the  Medici family crest, the three golden balls feature prominently on the originally medallion. 

It should come as no surprise that the origins of our modern system are so intertwined with banking as pawnbroking really is just another form of banking. 

Pawnbroking Today 

Today pawnbrokers cater for a wide range of customers from all sorts of backgrounds from the very wealthy to the impoverished as there is always a need no matter what your financial background for short term loans. The largest pawn broker in the UK is H&T Pawnbrokers with almost two hundred stores nationwide and the country as a whole has well over two thousands stores, proving what a thriving industry it is. 

Business

Why you should start your own business

Starting your own business is challenging. It will drain you on both a physical and emotional level as you battle with anxiety, fatigue and doubt. It will present financial obstacles and risks that will determine your future. So, why do so many people take the leap to chase their business dreams and become entrepreneurs?

There are just as many, if not more, positive reasons why people start their own business. Here are just a few that may convince you to do the same:

  • You’ll be able to do something you love

There’s nothing worse than dreading going your day job every day. Starting your own business gives you the opportunity to do something you love and make work your passion. As a result, you’ll have more drive, be more inspired and be more willing to go the extra mile.

  • You can establish a work/life balance

It may take some time, but one of the pros of owning your own business is that it offers flexibility. You may be able to set your own hours, work from your chosen location, hire who you want. Once established, you’ll be able to develop your own schedule that helps you achieve a work/life balance you’ve always desired.

  • You can enjoy tax benefits

Found a good retail space for sale but worried about all the costs? Thankfully, owing your own business comes with some good tax perks. You may be able to write off the cost of your car, phone bills, travel, equipment, and so on. You may even qualify for a government incentive that will help fund the cost of renting or buying a space for your business.

  • You’ll build a strong network

Initially, starting a business on your own can feel isolating but it also gives you an opportunity to build a strong network of like-minded people. You’ll be able to swap stories of the challenges that come with entrepreneurship and even find the right mentor that will help guide you on your journey.  

  • You’ll gain financial independence

One of the biggest reasons people take the leap and work for themselves is financial independence. Whether it’s increasing your wage or growing your savings to buy a house or secure your retirement, establishing your own business can offer that and more.

  • You’ll build something to pass on

Owning your own successful business gives you an opportunity to proudly pass it on to the next generation. One day, your passion may become your child’s passion allowing you to watch on as your business expand beyond your original expectations.

  • You’ll grow

By far one of the best outcomes of starting your own business is the growth you’ll experience as an individual. Your knowledge will expand, you’ll develop new skills and you’ll become more resilient. You’ll never gain this growth working for someone else.

Top tips for starting your own business

Feeling inspired to take the leap of faith? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Develop a detailed plan that outlines your mission, goals and deadlines
  • Understand your financial commitment and establish a budget
  • Know the ins and outs of your customer
  • Find your point of difference that sets you apart from similar businesses
  • Get out there and network seeking advice and mentorship
  • Remain determined. Don’t give up when you’re faced with the first road block.
Business

The way to reach the door of the right private investigator

You often come across reports about cab drivers engaged by reputed cab service providers behaving rudely with women, harassing and intimidating passengers and even criminally assaulting passengers.  In some cases, there are allegations of rape and murder too. It might seem baffling that such things happen despite the service providers’ claim of conducting thorough background checks of drivers.  How then can such untoward incidents happen? It is true that the company has played its part in knowing about the person before they engage him but one thing is obvious that the investigations done during background checks proved counter-productive.  These incidents pointed to the role of the investigating agency that did a shoddy job and were unable to reveal the real picture about the characteristics of the accused. It misled the employers who were caught in controversy.

Right selection is critical

To avoid experiencing the incident narrated above, it is crucial to make the right selection of the investigating agency. Obtaining referrals about their performance is the best way to judge their abilities, and the investigator must be able to provide references. Follow this up by checking the credentials of the investigator to know that he is licensed and has insurance cover.  In the last step, have a detailed discussion with him just as you would interview a candidate for employment.  This helps to evaluate the level of expertise and experience and to understand how useful it would be for your needs.

The need for private investigators

There are numerous cases when law firms and businesses need surveillance and investigative assistance to gather valuable information about specific people or organizations.  These are times when they turn to private investigators that have the capabilities of fishing out the needed information in the way clients want. Private investigators can repay the faith that customers repose on them by providing the most authentic and correct information within the desired timeframe. Whether it is about tracing witnesses, unearthing fraud insurance claims, spying on business competitors or conducting background checks, private investigators can do it all. They maintain complete confidentiality of information and carry out the most discreet probe that enables them to reach the core to access the most sensitive information.

Getting the real picture

Employers usually hire the services of companies like CTC Investigations, LLC to conduct the background checks of prospective employees. It is the task of the private investigator to provide their clients with the correct picture of the person under investigation. Private investigators have the training and expertise to carry out investigations in the most discreet manner so that the targeted person does not get any hint about it. By using various resources linked to the person, the investigator skillfully gathers information about the individual in detail so that every aspect of the individual’s life, behavior and character traits come to the fore.  The report of the investigator is supposed to be an authentic document in evaluating the overall quality of the person.

Private investigators would cost you a bit of money but do not be lured by cheap quotes that might lead to frustrating results.

Business

Businesses you need to consider buying

As a large investment and often complex purchase, buying a business is a major life decision. There are many factors to consider from industry, location to staffing and capital and it can be difficult to know where to start when you begin your search. If you’re considering purchasing an established enterprise rather than wrangling a start-up venture, read below for tips on businesses that you should consider buying.

Buying a business with a strong or steady financial position may seem a given, but what you consider strong will vary across different business types. If you were considering purchasing a newsagency for sale versus a car sales yard, the foot traffic and per customer spend would vary dramatically, so sales volume and total sales amount alone may not be a meaningful comparison. So after you obtain these figures for the business that you are interested in pursuing, be sure to consider the context in which it operates. An analysis should also include a review of potential competitors, whether it be geographical and/or within the online space and you should also try to understand why the business is being sold in the first place.

Ideally you’ll also want to purchase a business that has decent brand power or one with scope to be improved or overhauled. A good way to get a preliminary sense of where a business for sale is currently at, is to mystery shop or deploy associates on your behalf to do so. This task will help you to gauge how busy an enterprise is and whether it’s a known entity in its current industry. Don’t forget that a lot of this information can be gleaned online through reviews, social media and even the calibre of the business’s website itself. If you or your associates get an opportunity to candidly speak to existing staff, this can also be a great fact finding exercise. Purely online businesses may seem a little tricker, but a SEO audit may also give indications of the business’s wider reputation.

You should also pursue a business within an industry that you have pre-existing contacts in or an in depth understanding of its current operation. Already knowing the product or service that you will be responsible for can be a great head start and will most likely make the first few months of business ownership a little less hectic, although it’s not essential. If you’re looking to move into an industry that is new to you, think about the networks you do have and whether there is potential for synergy of infrastructure or opportunities in areas such as office space, logistics, marketing collaborations or cross promotional advertising.

Don’t forget to engage the services of an accountant and business valuer if you’re not confident in conducting the research and due diligence that should occur when investing in a business. Even if you are familiar with the industry, it can be valuable to have a set of objective eyes look into a potential business sale on your behalf.

Business

5 important things that you should know before hiring a dui attorney

Statistics show that every year more than one million individuals are arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol and narcotics. When you are arrested for DUI for the first time, it can be quite a challenging and stressful experience. It is important that you prepare yourself to face the case when you are informed. Finding a good attorney can help you get the best outcome for your case. Here are a few things that you should consider before you hire the right attorney for your case. 

Qualifications

DUI field is quite a complex legal field. Therefore, you should consider the qualifications of the attorney before picking one to represent you. Make sure that the legal representative is licensed by checking the State Bar website. You should also confirm the ethical records of the lawyer to avoid professionals who have complaints filed against them by previous clients.  A good attorney will have extensive training in law and will have enrolled for additional courses to ensure that he/she is up-to-date with the current DUI regulations and laws. 

Legal fees

Before you hire a lawyer, you should consider his/her legal fees. This is crucial because you do not want to exhaust all your finances just to pay your lawyer. On average, DUI attorneys will charge you a fixed rate or on an hourly basis for their services. Therefore, make sure that you know how much the attorney charges and try to negotiate the charges so that you can save some cash. However, the fee you pay should not affect the quality of the services that you receive.

Cases handled 

You should know the number of cases that the attorney has taken to trial. A lawyer may have the experience and the education, but may not know how to prepare the best case for you. Therefore, you should only choose an attorney who has successfully helped people in their cases. You need a legal representative who can confidently represent you in court especially if your DUI charges include personal injury, loss of life or a felony.

Initial Consultation

Before you settle for an attorney, you should ensure that you have a face to face consultation with your lawyer. This will help you to get to know the lawyer and ask all the questions that you may have. Make sure that you determine your comfort level with the advocate and only choose one that you can work with. Your criminal case may take time and you need a professional you have a good rapport with. 

When choosing an attorney, it is advisable to always go with one from your locality. This is because criminal law and regulations vary from state to state. Therefore, you need a legal representative who understands the law that governs your State. This will give you an upper hand in your case and your lawyer will have contact with other lawyers in your State. You should create a list of several prospective lawyers in your area. This will help you choose the right person for the job. 

Author Bio

Fred Mowers is a renowned DUI lawyer. With over 8 years of experience in Criminal law, he has helped many clients dealing with criminal cases. If you want to hire a lawyer, Fred is the best legal representative that you should consider.