financial adviser

How to find a good financial adviser

It’s no secret that we all desire to be financially secure. Whereas our levels or degrees of what we consider to be financial security may differ, the goal is the same. We want to have enough money to educate our children, buy a home, and go on family vacations, as well as have a sizeable retirement package for the time we are beyond our productive years. So what does it take to achieve all this? The answer is financial planning.

Financial planning can broadly be described as the active and deliberate process of making sound decisions about your money to enable you achieve your life goals. This may range from investing in life insurance, a pension plan, buying a home, putting a will in place, and having a more organized spending, just to mention a few. To do all these, you will need the help of a financial advisor.

You have two options when choosing a financial adviser. You can opt to work with a company or independent financial advisers sometimes referred to as an independent financial planner who is essentially working on their own and not affiliated with any company.

This article seeks to focus on independent financial advisers and offer you a couple of pointers on how you can find a good one.

You need to have a clear understanding of the nature of the service you want

When looking to choose an independent financial planner, it will be good to be aware that this industry is big and so for effectiveness, different service providers will specialize in specific services. It’s virtually impossible to find independent financial advisers offering all types of financial services. Truthfully, you should be very sceptical if you come across one who does. It’s therefore important for you to have a clear understanding of the nature of the service you want so that you can choose an independent financial planner with the competencies you are looking for. For instance, finding one who specializes in investments if that is the kind of advice you are interested in.

Ensure the independent financial planner has the right credentials

When it comes to financial planning, you can’t afford to drop the ball. It should be your sole purpose to ensure that you properly vet and do your due diligence on all the independent financial advisers who will come your way applying for the job. In this case, their credentials will be key. You want to ensure they have the right legal and professional documentation that qualifies them for the job. For instance, an independent financial planner must have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification whereas an investment advisor must have a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. These are just some of the credentials they must provide and you must be familiar with how they look so that you can distinguish fakes from legit.

These credentials are usually acquired after independent financial advisers have passed the relevant examinations that demonstrate their proficiency on these subject matters.

Learn how these financial advisors earn their pay

Independent financial advisers are in a profession like any other therefore, they are entitled to pay just like any other professional. It’s therefore important for you to have a clear understanding about how their various pay structures work so that you can know whether it makes financial sense to you. For instance, the common pay structures currently in the market include hourly rates, commissions or having an asset based fee. There are also terms like fee-only advisors and non fee-only advisors and these are terms you must be able to understand and differentiate and see how they relate to the services that they offer to you. All in all, there isn’t anything wrong with any of these payment methods, it’s all down to which payment method works for you in the long run with minimal impact on your bottom line.

Protect yourself from potential risks

When working with an independent financial adviser, you must be fully aware of the industry best practices that have been put in place specifically to reduce potential risks of financial loss. Case in point, in many scenarios where investors have lost money to fraudsters, it happened because investors had given custody of their money and assets to these so called independent financial advisors who ended up swindling them. As a system of security to avoid such cases of fraud, a good advisor is meant to guide you on how to deposit your money and assets in the custody of a third party which is often a large and well known company that specializes in this area. Once this is done, your advisor will be free to make any transactions using your account but will not have direct access to your money or assets. It’s the custodian who will be ultimately responsible for reporting the transactions to you, verify signatures, and so on. Do your due diligence to ensure that the independent financial planner is not affiliated in any way with the custodian.

Look for referrals from other customers

From a conversation and perusing through documents, you may not be able to get a clearer picture and a proper background check on a potential independent financial planner, this is where customer referrals become important. You can opt to look for these referrals on your own or request the advisor to give you their client list so that you can get to know more about them, their work ethic, experience, success rates and so on. A legitimate advisor should have no qualms giving you this information. The internet may also be a good source of this information because if there are complaints about an advisor in the industry, chances are high this information is online.

Well! There you have it. Your how to guide on finding a good financial advisor. Keep all these 5 points in mind and we can guarantee you that your money and assets will be in good hands as you work towards building a more financially secure future not only for yourself but for your family as well.

We welcome your thoughts, comments and feedback on this article.

An introduction to drum heating oven

The drum heating oven is a great invention for safely heating four or more drums all at the same time. The oven is made with four pallets for storing the drums in one place, and it comes with a fork-lift for easy loading and unloading of the drum containers. It functions by using steam with one thermostat for heating each palette. The drum oven is set at a fixed temperature to maintain solids above the melting point and minimise liquid viscosity.

Advantages of using a drum heating oven

  • Ideal for storing large quantities of drums for as long as required.
  • The temperature can be adjusted to suit your needs.
  • Reduces energy consumption due to incorporating high-efficiency insulation material into the construction of the oven.
  • Can be used for fast heating
  • Increases productivity
  • Suitable for all types of drums
  • High volume, low-pressure hot air circulation system.
  • High thermal designs

Insulated heating jackets

The insulated heating jackets is an electric heater that outlines the heater with insulation to protect consumers when in use. Another purpose of the installation is to maximise energy efficiency so that there is less heat escaping into the air. This type of heater is one of the most efficient in heating consumption. They are specifically created for covering the whole outer part of the drum container.

Induction drum heater

The induction drum heater has a built in wall magnetic steel to produce heat all around and directly through the inside containers.  The steel creates an eddy current to blast out the heat inside the oven.

Glass fibre mats

The Glass fibre mats are implanted with heating elements for heating certain types of drums that are coated with different materials. They can produce extreme heats into the surface. The mats are designed for flexibility to fit different types of coating including a polyester material. They are used for wrapping a coated drum before inserting into the oven. Glass fibre mats are also known as ‘band heaters’. It doesn’t have an extra insulation. Therefore, the heat is reduced through radiation and escapes into the atmosphere.

Drum base heater

The removal of the liquids or solids from the drums often requires a lot of power. To add an extra heat into the drums, a drum base heater can be useful when the drums are in necessary needs of extra energy. The drum base heater comes in different types of heating including steam, silicone mats and induction heat.

If you’re looking to purchase or hire a reliable drum heating oven, Hedinair offers a variety of drum heating ovens to suit your needs. Their services allow you to choose the right size and temperature that suits you best. All their ovens are attached with fitted wheels for easy transfers. A flame-proof version can also be added for workplaces with hazardous areas. Choose from an electric or steam ovens by visiting their website at For more information, please contact them on 01268 761777 or drop them an email on

A Guide To Shipping Products Overseas

With the UK market getting crowded in almost all areas, it’s understandable that many companies see more potential in overseas customer bases. If you’re an online retailer who primarily relies on an e-commerce website or other sales channels, a key part of your business model will be the methods you use to transport goods overseas after making sales.

This can bring a lot of associated costs with it, but it’s possible to minimise these as long as you do your research first. Here are the top considerations you will need to factor in if you want to make international shipping a part of your day to day business operations.

Have the right packing materials

One crucial element here will be having access to appropriate packaging supplies to send your products between countries. Smaller items are less of a problem if they can be sent in small boxes or envelopes, but larger shipments may require more specialised supplies such as pallet boxes to be packed into wooden pallets, shrink wrapping to protect awkward items and so on.

Find a suitable storage solution

If you’re immediately going to be shipping large quantities of products, or at least producing them on a large scale, then perhaps you will need your own dedicated warehouse. However, many smaller companies are increasingly making use of more flexible storage services, where warehouse space is hired out as required. This increases efficiency and cuts down costs, so it’s an excellent option to consider.

Arrange transportation and delivery

Of course, after your products have been produced, stored and packed up for shipping, they will need to be transported quickly and efficiently. This may typically include several different types of vehicle, especially if you’re shipping to customers abroad where door-to-door delivery drivers would not be an option. Whether your packages will be travelling by road freight, sea, air or all of the above, make sure you pay for an appropriate service to get them to their destination quickly and safely.

Partner with other companies

If possible, a good strategy when you’re getting started in the international shipping business is to pair up with other companies and create mutually beneficial partnerships. For example, you could arrange a long term contract with one particular shipping company, so you’ll get a discounted rate in exchange for the promise of regular work for them. This increases efficiency for everyone and allows you to offer a more reliable service.

Make sure your plans are scalable

Most businesses looking to sell their products abroad tend to be doing so in the hope that they will later be able to expand their business even further. The international market has effectively no saturation point once you reach a certain stage, although progress may be slow at first. Be sure to start with realistic expectations and design your business model to fit the size of your operation, but bear in mind your growth plans for the future and try to come up with solutions that could be seamlessly expanded in future if your business takes off.

7 Types Of Video That Work For Businesses

As we all know already, video is a powerful form of media content and that’s why the internet is gradually becoming even more geared towards this format. On every platform, from search engines to social networks, you will find that video continues to infiltrate the content you’re seeing more of. This is because it simply works.

But as a business, taking advantage of that is more than just acknowledging a broad phenomenon. Hiring a corporate video production company is a fantastic start and it probably means your finished video will look better, but even that isn’t enough in isolation. You need to make sure video is part of your strategy and make it work for your exact business, otherwise you’ll never get the most value from it.

A major part of that comes down to choosing an appropriate type of video to focus on next. Here are just seven fantastic examples to experiment with.

Brand introduction

Why not go for the classic approach and create an introductory video explaining your company, your values and the rest of the basics? When done well, this can be highly valuable and it’s a resource you can use over and over again. The most common thing that people do wrong here is that they never move past this form of video and they think they’ve finished. In reality a mix of all the following types can also help a lot.

Explainer video

These informative, straightforward videos can be done in an animated form to save time and money, or you could pick up a camera to maximise the amount of interaction your audience gets with a real person on screen. Either way, the point is to explain your product or service in an engaging way. You could tell the origins of your company in a fun way or explains the fundamentals of your product.

Tutorial video

In a similar way, you can get a point across well in a video format, and this works especially well when you are adopting a value-first strategy (perfect for getting noticed on social media and doing something other than preaching about your great products). Teaching your viewers how to do something really useful helps establish trust and brings in repeat traffic.

Product review

Like explainer videos, these are known to really help with conversions on e-commerce websites and for other businesses. Videos are the closest substitute for customers actually being able to see and touch your products in a physical shop, which is why they help with sales so much. They make it much easier to persuade someone that buying your product is a good idea.

Live streaming

This is a hot trend across social media platforms in 2017, and if you can embrace live video you might find it easier to engage with certain audiences. Give it a try whenever something exciting is happening, or plan a webinar that will interest your clients and schedule a set time to go live.

Review aggregator

A good way to engage with customers and boost your search engine presence is to create a video that summarises some of your best reviews and testimonials. You can optimise this video so that it appears whenever someone is trying to search your brand, and use the video format as an opportunity to connect with those people.

Casual video

You can spend a lot of money on a flashy advert, but if you don’t distribute it properly you’ll never get that value back. Try taking the opposite approach for a low-cost, low-risk alternative strategy. You can put a video together in just a few seconds on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, and don’t necessarily need to edit it at all. Just make sure the content creates a personal “way in” for your potential customers so they can see that interesting and relatable people are involved with your business.

The benefits of steel frame buildings

Industrial Steel BuildingsA major consideration for many businesses is ensuring they have the right amount of space available for their needs, and that this space is fit for purpose. Office space for employees is a common requirement, but for many types of business there is a lot more to the process. Industrial steel frame buildings can have many uses for businesses including warehousing, factory space and more, plus they offer a great range of benefits over alternative methods of constructing your own bespoke buildings on site. These include the following:

Ease of installation

Provided you have a professional specialist company to construct your steel frame buildings, the whole process can be very quick and easy. Using a portal frame system, which is common in the industry, two portal sections are connected by a series of bays. The larger your building, the more bays will be required to construct it. No welding is needed to fasten the building together permanently.

Value for money

Steel can be cut to the exact size required based on detailed plans, which will include all the different columns, rafters, brackets, sheeting and other parts that will go into assembling your building. This means the required sections will be as compact as possible, so they can be packed and transported efficiently and cheaply. It also means there is absolutely no waste to dispose of on site when construction takes place, and labour costs are minimal due to the simple process.

Should You Be Following FMCG and MHRA Guidelines?

If your business deals with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), logistics is going to be a major hurdle for you. Hopefully once you’re at the point of starting up, or you’ve already started trading, you’ll have a system in place to ensure you can handle deliveries, transportation and storage for perishable products, whether you’re dealing with food, drinks, medication or other kinds of FMCGs.

In fact, if you handle medication as part of your business operations, these may also be subject to Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regulations. Balancing all these requirements to set up FMCG warehousing and MHRA approved distribution that works for your business model can be difficult, but it’s vital that you work on this if you intend to succeed in your chosen niche in the long term.

In terms of government guidelines, much of what you need to bear in mind comes under GMP (good manufacturing practice) guidelines. These are especially relevant to medical suppliers. GMP guidelines apply to the products themselves, ensuring they are high quality and suitable for what their intended purpose is. Meanwhile, GDP (good distribution practices) policies cover the requirements for safe and appropriate transport and storage of these products.

Licence-holding manufacturers, wholesalers and other organisations may be subject to these guidelines and the MHRA is responsible for enforcing them. They can carry out spot checks to identify any failure to comply on the part of businesses. After an initial inspection, a risk assessment will be completed which determines how often you would be subject to regular checks. You can read more about the policies and find documentation to help businesses on the government’s website.

It might be challenging for a business in a fast-paced industry to put systems in place that ensure compliance with rules like these, but the potential consequences of being found in violation of any guidelines should be enough to prompt action. It’s vital that you make sure you’re familiar with all the relevant details of government guidelines before you start running any business based around manufacturing, storage and distribution.

Tips for reaching your sales goals


For many businesses, reaching the sales goal is critical. To ensure that you are on the right track on reaching your goal, we’ve provided some following tips that could help you along the way.

Monthly subscriptions

Selling your service or product on a monthly subscription is better than selling them as a one-off. A monthly subscription may seem more affordable to the customers rather than selling them at a full price. People are always looking for an affordable buy so it’s important that you create a package that will suit everyone’s budget. You are more likely to increase sales with this method.

Team motivation

Motivating your team is highly important as this will have a positive effect on their energy. Motivated staffs are more likely to put an extra effort on their work too. You can introduce some sales promotional incentives to create a fun and positive vibe for the team.

Social Media Interaction

Take advantage of social media by sharing your contents online. It’s also ideal to make your content as interactive as possible to attract more customers and get them to engage with your posts. Social media is the perfect platform for sharing any promotions that you currently have to drive even more sales.

Improve your contract

You may want to change up your contract to close more deals at the end of this year. We find that many customers are more likely to seal a deal when they have been given an option to try the service for a month and an option to opt out if they did not like the product or service. Another tip is to shortening your contract on a quarterly basis instead of a yearly basis. Customers feel safer to sign up for a contract on a short-term basis instead of a longer one.

Metal Fabrication Company

Distinguishing the good metal fabricators from the bad

What Sets a Good Metal Fabricator Apart from the Bad?

Choosing from among the many metal fabricators in London for your construction needs can be quite tricky. On the surface, everybody seems to offer and promise just the same thing. But finding the best metal fabrication company is not like finding a needle in a haystack. There are several qualities you can check and consider to see which among the options will make the right partner for your construction project.

Here are the specific qualities that distinguish good metal fabricators from the bad ones:

Good track record

Everything boils down to the track record or the reputation of the company that will take care of your metal fabrication needs. Especially in today’s digital and social-driven age, it is easy to spot bad companies from the negative reviews or feedback that people post online. That said, be thorough when researching your options on the internet. Ask also for referrals from family, friends, and colleagues. Filter out the ones with a lot of bad reviews.

Once you have shortlisted your top metal fabricators based on their reputation, it will be easier to check them according to other criteria. Contact each company on your list and request for a tour of its facility. Metal fabricators with outstanding reputation will have no qualms showing you around and briefing you about their processes and technologies.

Reliable customer service

Like in any business, customer service is crucial to any metal fabrication project. How can you expect that your project will be completed according to the timelines when you cannot reach the right contact person when you need to ask some questions? A good metal fabricator is not only skilled and capable but also responsive to its customers’ needs from the project’s beginning until the end.

You can test the quality of a company’s service by taking note of how its representatives respond to your questions and requests. Are they professional? Do they follow through their commitments? Do they respond right away? Before you hire a company, make sure that you are satisfied with its customer service.

Commitment to quality

Check the past projects that the companies you are considering have done for other clients.  Find out also the certifications and policies that each metal fabrication firm has for quality assurance. More importantly, ask the companies about their quality standards for the kind of metal that you require for your construction project.

Ability to meet your exact needs

Different metal fabricators have different specializations. For example, you cannot expect a metal fabricator that specializes in car parts to be as good as one that can do architectural metal fabrication. So make sure to hire one that can work on the type and grade of metal for your particular project.

Ideally, a good company is like a one-stop shop, meaning it can handle your project at all processes, from start to finish. You will just waste your time and money on metal fabricators that outsource some of their processes to other firms.

What you need to know before naming your businesses


When naming your business, it’s important to know the factors that you need to consider to create a successful business name. As once you have decided on a name, there is no going back. Let’s take a look at the following factors below.

Creative and unique

Make sure to brainstorm a few names that are different from the rest. You can come up with some ideas of your own, or you can hire a professional who can help you find and create the perfect name for your business.

Short and easy to spell

Customers are more likely to remember your brand name if it’s a short name. Also, ensure that your name is easy to spell as customers will find it easier to find your name online.

Apply AIDA

The term ‘AIDA’ stands for attention, interest, desire and action of purchase. You can use each step when you are in the process of coming up with different names for your business.

Product and service

Your name should have some connection or relation with the products and services you are selling so that customers can have an idea of what you are selling in the first place. Note that this also plays a massive role in your marketing and SEO as it can affect your traffic and visibility online.

Brand URL

You can also find out if your name is still available to register as a domain name. You can then create a website for your chosen name.

Forget your competitors

Do not look at your competitors for inspiration or ideas as you want your business to be different from the rest. Remember that your business will offer something unique and this should be applied in your branding. There’s also been a proven fact that companies who have similar names with their competitors are often not successful.

Find your niche

Spend some time on researching your target market. Once you have found your target, you will be able to create and develop a name that suits your niche. Many marketing agencies prove that knowing your market will serve you well when naming your business.

Here’s Why Your Business Isn’t Profitable Enough

Do you face the dilemma of trying to figure out why things simply aren’t turning out as well as they should be in terms of your profit margins? It can be confusing for business owners and managers who have followed all the right steps but still aren’t reaping the rewards. Perhaps you cracked the formula once, but haven’t been able to recreate that success again ever since?

What follows is a list of all the most common issues that cause this situation to occur. By working through these, you should be able to identify gaps in your business model that are allowing your profits to leak out, and figure out how to seal them once and for all.

1) Ignoring existing clients

Once you’re past the initial stages of selling to someone or signing them up for your service, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressure of sourcing new customers and forget about those you already connected with. Many of these could be an untapped source of income for you. Worse, they might not see the point of paying again when it becomes time for them to renew their subscription.

2) Lack of engagement

On a similar note, you need to be making a connection with people post-sales. This is the point where customers should truly begin to understand the benefits of working with you, and feel the benefits your brand claims to offer. Engaging with these clients one-to-one is vital, but many businesses fail to do so. This is what leads to high turnover and low retention.

3) Lack of personal relationships

Sometimes it can be frustrating when you know your offer is the best, on paper, but the customer chooses to go with someone else and you lose a sale. This is most often because they felt an emotional link with another company or person, and this was a deal maker for the client. To solve this problem, you need to work on your skills (or the skills of your employees) when it comes to building trust and personal connections.

4) Asking for too much, too soon

In many cases, committing to handing over a large sum of money to an unknown company is simply a risk that a customer isn’t willing to take. Why should they, if you don’t offer them any kind of safety net? A great way to do so would be to offer a free sample or trial to reassure your customer before they are expected to make that big commitment.

5) Lack of third party reassurance

Another thing that can scare off potential clients is not having the ability to compare your offering with your competitors. You need to make sure these prospects have easy access to trusted reviews and recommendations from experts in the field, so they can be reassured that they are making the right choice. Anyone can promise to provide the best results, but how are you going to support your claims?

Is Client Hospitality Relevant To Your Business?

Depending on your business, and most commonly at the higher end of the market, a major part of making a deal will sometimes involve entertaining and looking after your clients. When a major decision is about to be made and personal relationships need to be put to the test before a business partnership goes ahead, it can be profitable to host an event where you can get to know your potential new partners better. Here are some key considerations if you’re taking this route.

1) Assign a value to the relationship

It’s a common myth that personal relationships are always priceless. Within business, that certainly isn’t true, and in fact you would do well to assign a nominal value to all of your partnerships. There is a certain amount of potential profit involved whenever you consider bringing a new client on board. If you can work out this figure, you can accurately judge the value of getting to know them better.

2) Stick to a budget

Once you have completed the first step, you should understand how much you can spend on hospitality. Do what you need to do in order to develop that relationship, ensuring the cost is less than what you stand to make as a result.

3) Maintain existing clients

There may be a lot more value in your existing clients, but only if you show that you still care about them. Factor in future expenses where possible, and don’t forget that loyalty is not forever within the business world. Meeting and entertaining your top clients in person on a regular basis can be invaluable.

4) Research carefully

Make sure you don’t waste your time and money by doing some background research before you start making bookings. You need to be sure you’re impressing the right person, first of all, and once you’ve established what their preferences are you can come up with a solution that’s likely to win over that particular individual. In any case, you need to conduct thorough research to establish whether the client’s business is really worth your investment.

How To Make Your Business Seem Bigger Than It Is

There are lots of benefits to being a small business, such as flexibility and having a personal relationship with your customers. However, in some cases you might want to give the illusion that your business is larger than it really is, as this can help new customers trust you and see you as a viable to your bigger competitors. So what can you do to give this impression?

  • Start with your name. If your business is already established it might seem like a huge task to re-brand under a new name, but it could pay off if this is what’s holding you back. New businesses must be careful to get this right the first time and avoid the hassle of changing. In this scenario you are probably trying to avoid names that make it obvious you are working alone, or restrict you to one very local area.
  • Use a professional address. Your business might be something you manage entirely from your home, with no dedicated business address, but this isn’t an ideal setup if you want to appear larger. To avoid this, you might want to consider paying for a PO Box to mask your real address.
  • Register as a limited company. This is usually recommended anyway, but being able to legitimately add the “Ltd” to the end of your business name gives some additional reassurance that you are a real, possibly large company.
  • Branding is everything. Any size business can create a solid brand identity for itself and appear indistinguishable from huge corporate firms in terms of professionalism. How you present your company includes fonts, colours, logos as well as choice of language and how your staff present themselves, but the key is consistency. Building a successful brand can completely disguise the fact that you only have a small workforce behind the scenes.
  • Build your online presence. It’s easier online than anywhere else to create the illusion that your brand is bigger than it really is. It might require a little more investment, but it’s definitely worth getting your website built to a standard that could be used by large corporations too. Unprofessional websites are one of the clearest indicators of a small company. Beyond this, you need consistency across your email addresses, social media profiles and so on to solidify your brand.