If you are considering starting a mobile oil change business, then you must be concerned with local demographics, and really do some due diligence and strategic thinking on the concept. Not long ago, someone asked me if Daphne AL might not be a good market for a mobile oil change business? He was considering a Certain Franchise Corporation offering mobile oil change franchises actually. Okay so let’s review this shall we?
Well, I’ve heard some good things and some not good things about this particular mobile oil change franchising operation, but I believe that is about typical of most all mobile low-cost service franchises. You see, people get into the business cheap, and are not quite as anchored to give it their 100% and thus, often those franchisees will quit or fail.
Personally, I can think of better business models, than a mobile oil-change type franchise, given the current economic situation, of course the individual asking me about this was a business person already so he’d have a leg-up on things due to his business contacts I presume. I have been to Daphne, AL personally, several times in fact, and am aware of the stellar demographics and all. Now then, he might do well with the marine sector, and he’d want to get started I assume as the snow birds come forth?
This mobile oil change business can work well, if he doesn’t tie his business to only personal cars, there is actually more money changing the oil for Fleets. His city in this case, might be a little different. I did note Daphne, AL does have some of both, some industrial areas, and high-end areas for private vehicles also. Still, you know, it’s a tough business.
It’s really about marketing, and he must know that folks are going for longer intervals between oil changes these days. And I just bet his city has some ordinances about mobile vehicle maintenance too. Indeed your service range would most likely need to be 25-35 miles and that would include Mobile too. So, there is a decent amount of business.
Also he needs to consider that this is an owner operator type business until he gets it going, because he will need to be near those customers and guarantee customer service while building the routes, which takes a little while, remember his repeat customers will return only every 3-4 months, except for high-mileage fleets.
Also, he might want to check with city hall, local police departments, gas company, telephone co, cable co, etc. as there are some good sized fleets, of course too, there will be competition once you leave your town there.
Now then, where should he get the equipment? Well there is an AL company that sells vans and equipment, it’s a Biz Op type deal, another in Atlanta that builds both trailer units and van set-ups. And I think there is also one in FL, so he is surrounded by potential vendors. A franchise, hmm, well, that may or may not be appropriate for him, he’d have to really think on it. You know – royalties, etc.
Indeed, due to the economy, I don’t even recommend the business model right now. But if he decides to go for it, do some serious soul searching. With regards to a franchise operation to buy such a business from, most appear to be a little pricy. Now I know there is a NJ company which offers mobile oil-changing franchises, and that might be less advantageous for him because of the distance thus, level of franchisor services he might get for what he is paying into the system.
Although, they might have some decent financing venues, which might be something he is in need of? Again, I don’t know all of his situation, or yours for that matter, but these are all things to think about for anyone considering this type of auto service business. Think on it.
State treasuries serve as the banks of the state; they also manage the money of the state, and therefore serve a vital role in their overall economic success. Universal among the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, New York and Michigan is the role of the treasurer and their attitudes on university education. Each department functions to invest state funds in order to maximize profit, thereby increasing their revenue so that the public can be better assisted. Each state has an unclaimed property fund to help lost items reach their owners, and each state has a savings program implemented to assist parents in saving for their children’s education. Below is a short description of some of the more interesting programs and information about each state:
Alabama State Treasury
* Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program(PACT):This investing plan helps families by allowing them to purchase a contract to prepay 135 semester hours of college tuition at any college or university around the country
* The Security for Alabama Funds Enhancement (SAFE): This program involves banks in securing their own funds by requiring them to pledge collateral to the Treasury Department for a collateral pool
Kentucky State Treasury
* The Treasurer position was among the first created by the state constitution in 1792; they are elected every four years and act as the chief elected fiscal officer
* KEES program: This is a lottery program set up to raise money to send graduating high school seniors to college
* Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System: Oversees the pensions and savings of teachers
Illinois State Treasury
* Agriculture and Alternative Agriculture Loan Program: Offered to farmers or agriculture specialists who produce alternative products such as grapes, strawberries, or hydroponically grown food. Also for those who are in the Christmas Tree growing, fish farming or wine-making business
* Bank At School: This program helps elementary school children learn the basics of money management by partnering a local bank with a school to run an in-school bank.
New York State Treasury
* Linked Deposit Program: This program was started to encourage small businesses in the state to invest. Banks offer a 2-3% lower interest rate on loans
* International Fuel Tax Agreement project: this plan simplifies how commercial motor carriers report their fuel use taxes. With this plan they can buy one license that can be used throughout IFTA jurisdictions.
Michigan State Treasury
* Taxable Tobacco Settlement Asset-Backed Bonds: the proceeds from the sale of these bonds is used to buy tobacco receipts and proceeds are deposited in the 21st Century Jobs Trust Fund to create more high-tech jobs.
* Michigan Municipal Bond Authority (MMBA) : Established in 1985 to give schools and other areas of government a different financing source to use for certain projects.
If you’re home is being financed then your lender requires that you purchase homeowner’s insurance. But did you know that virtually all homeowner’s who own their homes free and clear continue paying for homeowner’s insurance?
People who own their own home recognize the tremendous value that their home represents and they – rightly – want to protect it. The good news is that there are several simple things that almost any homeowner can do that will lower the cost of their homeowner’s insurance almost instantly. Just be sure to let your agent know that you have done all or some of the following:
Let’s start with the basics. You want to insure your house for the full amount that it will take to rebuild it from the foundation up, and you want to include the cost of replacing all of your home’s contents – but you do not want to make the mistake of insuring the value of the land that your home sits on. The land is not going to be destroyed.
The number one homeowner’s insurance claim is not for fire damage, as many people think, but for the exact opposite – water damage. A broken water line or a bad connection to an appliance that floods a home during the night or when a homeowner is away at work is the number one homeowner’s insurance claim.
If your home is ten years old or older ask your insurance agent how much you will save each and every month if you make a one-time investment in upgrading your plumbing and your electrical system. See if the number makes sense to you. If so, then go ahead and upgrade your home.
Fire is still a major problem and there are things you can do that should lower the cost of your insurance. Clear all brush and weeds at least ten feet from any structure on your property. Buy and install the proper number of fire and smoke detectors throughout your home, and change the batteries twice yearly. Buy a kitchen-rated fire extinguisher and keep it in an accessible location. If you have a home that is more than one story add rope ladders for emergency exits in a fire or other disaster.
Burglary is also a major concern. Install motion-sensitive floodlighting around your property. Trim all bushes away from windows so burglars don’t have a convenient hiding place. Install deadbolt locks on every exterior door and make sure all windows have a working lock.
A home security system that monitors your home 24/7 for fire and burglary can save you 20% or more on your monthly homeowner’s insurance bill – but check with your agent before installing a system since not all systems qualify for the same discount on your insurance.
Also, repair or replace any broken concrete walkways on your property, fill in potholes, and replace worn or lose boards in decks and porches and replace or fix lose railings.
Your homeowner’s policy has a deductible. The larger your deductible the lower your monthly payment. Obviously you must exercise caution when raising your deductible as you must be able to afford to pay your deductible out of your own pocket of there is a claim.
[As a side note it should be pointed out that most standard homeowner’s policies in Alabama have a limitation on payments for wind damage; talk to your agent about possible remedies for this. Also, you will need to purchase a separate policy for flood damage – again, talk to your agent about your needs].
Now take what you have learned from this article and go online. Find at least 3 websites that allow you to compare prices on homeowner’s policies from different insurance companies. Enter the same information into the form on at least 3 different websites and then simply pick the company that offers the best price – assuming that you feel confident that this company will still be around in 30 years.
Venture capitalism, a potentially beneficial form of investment for small businesses especially for technologies, industries, dot coms and biotech types of businesses.
For the first part of the year, venture capitalist industry has been going steady and it seems that venture capitalism is alive and well. Biotech, software, media and entertainment investments, telecommunications, and various internet-specific companies seem to be going well.
Despite the risks of venture capital, entrepreneurs still try to obtain approval of venture capital organizations to get hold of some money to finance their growth and development. Entrepreneurs from across the country take advantage of the growth of venture capital investing. Even in Jefferson County in Alabama, venture capitalism could flourish.
It so happens that Jefferson is the most densely populated area in the state of Alabama. There are a lot of potential things happening here and there could be several opportunities for venture capital organizations to invest in businesses in this part of Alabama.
Venture capital is a double edged sword. For the investor it could possible mean great profits if things turned out well. Investors will put their money on a company on the assumption that things will turn out well and that the company will do good in the near future reaping all the profits for them.
The money can be utilized by entrepreneurs for innovative enterprises or research. This works well especially with high technology companies. There is actually a great risk of losing all the possible profit and as well as all the present investments that the venture capitalist has put forth so far.
So what does Jefferson County has installed for venture capitalists. Jefferson has a limited-form of home rule government. This system resulted to usable land use zoning, as well as better maintenance sewer systems and roads. Garbage disposal and taxation is quite OK too.
Five years, that’s how much time capital investment analyses and capital source studies should be conducted. This is just enough time to test your product, service, market and process investment.
This is entirely better for both the entrepreneur and the investors. Particularly, the investor needs to know how stable the company will be. These analysis and studies can anticipate possible scenarios that can help the company and the investor through tough times. With proper planning, it is quite possible for both the entrepreneur and the investor to borrow long term and obtain equity placements, and other related major investments.
Throughout a quarter of a century, I’ve experienced innumerable fond moments attending productions at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, Alabama. And the glimmer never fades. When the lights start to dim on the Festival Stage or the Octagon, I’m always filled with an unbridled sense of excitement typically only felt on Christmas morning… or during the Iron Bowl. From the higher-brow flourishes of a Shakespearian work to a more down to earth offering such as, “Always… Patsy Cline,” I’ve never walked out of those Zeus-sized doors with any hint of disappointment in tow. Until “Menopause The Musical” came along….
When ASF “staged” the production I was mortified to witness it, even more so because I was foolish enough to pay for it. Not because I’m some insufferable theatre snob but because the so-called play is simply awful. Want a synopsis? Hold on to your box seats! A group of women sing pilfered pop songs in which the lyrics have been bastardized and supplanted with sophomoric references to menopause symptoms. It’s like Beavis and Butthead for women experiencing hot flashes. And after the 37th reference to night sweats and cranky hormones, the awkward attempts at humor fade just a wee bit. Onto my description of the plot itself: There isn’t one. Each song is shallowly strung together by bits of vapid dialogue. Curtain.
And to be fair, the performers cannot be faulted for simply doing their jobs, nor can the director. Each of the actresses exhibited a well-honed and disciplined voice and miraculously brought a lot of excitement to the stage. But you know what they say about applying lipstick to a pig… then there’s one about polishing something… but I don’t want to stoop to “Menopause The Musical” vulgarities by explaining in detail. And considering the musical’s commercial success, perhaps ASF will now offer something similar from the male perspective, replete with choreographed song-and-dance fart jokes, gratuitous butt-scratching and high-stakes belching contests.
Now ASF has announced that – as if we did we didn’t get nauseated enough the first time – they’re bringing “Menopause” back to celebrate their coming 25th anniversary repertory season.
“Menopause The Musical” isn’t entirely without merit… if you’re down for some off-color, knee-slapping, monster truck rally type entertainment, then by all means, haul your behind on over to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival when they flop this monstrosity back on stage. But it’s much more suited to a smoky bingo hall or rural community theatre. Perhaps ASF should slap a hand-scrawled banner over the front door when this shows opens, and temporarily change their name to the “Rooster Poot Players.”
I am not remotely naive. I fully respect that the theatre must make money. And embarrassingly enough, Hee-Haw type productions such as this draw massive crowds. (Apologies to Hee-Haw, because it was actually entertaining.) Slinging crack rock on a street corner is certifiably a lucrative endeavor too, but it doesn’t add anything to our cultural landscape. But if finances are an issue I’d rather ASF trim costs somewhere, even if it involves producing fewer plays. Selling your soul and reputation simply to turn a few bucks isn’t worth it. The only consolation here is that the statue of that Willie guy which stands proudly on the immaculate grounds of the Blount Cultural Park faces AWAY from the theatre. Stay classy, ASF!
Wedding favors for 2008 in Alabama, how do you have the Alabama wedding. Well are several ways to fit on your wedding theme in the type of wedding that you want to add to your selection and give your wedding that great personality of the Alabama now looked at every Southern bride and groom would want.
To finance other look in a detailed organization of fine down-home style is wedding favors human need to look at the wonderful selection of great butterfly garden, gift baskets with wildflower seed packets, which comes in the set up well. The butterfly garden, gift baskets in the wildflower seed packets that come with it or love the image of spraying in full bloom, which shows Alabama’s style.
These butterfly, gift baskets are fashioned in the three boat all the time as images of a country garden delegate basket framing and charming mesh liner and has plenty of cute butterfly accident. These baskets are sold in the set of 12 each one contains a little paper grass filling and wildflower packet, which will help you grow and keep your love blooming in the Alabama style. The set includes four baskets in each set free pastel colors lavender paint angering a packet of grass wildflower seeds and 12 seed packets. Some other great things were. Love is blooming wildflowers, the flower kit. These favors are environmentally conscious yet brings a nasty and lighthearted fun to each table. Each garden kit comes with full heart flowers seed packets and also has 12 matching organza ribbons and enough seats to fill all the packets as much fun as they are to get down as a bonus. Every gift package includes a hard detail with the charming love is blooming indiscretion, which can also be personalized with a heart-shaped sticker.
So get the down-home, Alabama, Southern style wedding favors and check out some more these great wedding favors for 2008. Below I’ve put together a great selection for you to enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful and southern home wedding.
If you are financing your home then your mortgage company insists that you purchase homeowner’s insurance. But the truth of the matter is, the vast majority of people who have paid off their homes and are no longer forced to purchase homeowner’s insurance still choose to do so.
The reason is obvious. The vast majority of people in Alabama recognize that their house is their most valuable asset and they are anxious to do everything in their power to protect that asset.
This is just good, common sense. Still, it is also good, common sense to want to get the best value for your dollar and not pay more than necessary for your homeowner’s insurance.
And that’s where this article comes in. We are going to discuss several things you can do that can allow you to get the same homeowner’s coverage that you now enjoy – only at a price that’s lower than what you are now paying.
Let’s start by looking at how much homeowner’s insurance you have. You need enough insurance to completely rebuild your house from the foundation up and to replace all of the possessions that are currently in your home in case of a disaster. But what you don’t want to do is to make the rookie mistake of including the cost of the land under your house in your calculations.
Keep in mind that most standard homeowner’s policies in Alabama have restrictions on wind damage. If this is a concern to you be certain that you discuss this issue separately with your insurance agent. Also, no standard homeowner’s policy in Alabama includes flood insurance. If you wish flood insurance this must be purchased separately from a government-guaranteed fund; your agent will have all the details.
If you want to get the best rates on homeowner’s insurance in Alabama then you’ll need to make your home as burglar-proof as possible. Install motion-sensitive floodlighting, trim bushes back away from all ground floor windows, install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and make certain that all windows have a working lock.
You will also need to make your property safe from liability suits due to preventable accidents. This involves repairing or replacing old, broken or buckled cement walkways, repairing or replacing worn, broken or lose floorboards on porches and decks and filling in any potholes or other hazards around your property.
If you live in a fire danger area be certain that all brush and weeds are cut back at least ten feet from all structures.
If your home is 10 years old or older talk to your agent about how much you would save month after month if you made a one-time investment in your property and had your plumbing and electrical system upgraded. You might be surprised at the savings you could realize. Run the figures and if they make sense to you. If they do then upgrading your home will both save you money as well as make your home a safer place to live.
Make sure you have installed the appropriate number of smoke and fire detectors based on the size and configuration of your home. Detectors need fresh batteries twice yearly – many people change batteries each time they set their clocks forward or backward an hour.
Buy a kitchen-rated fire extinguisher and keep it handy for any kitchen fires.
Consider how large of a deductible you can afford. Keep in mind that if you have a claim you will have to come up with the cash to pay your deductible out of your own pocket, so don’t make promises you can’t keep. However, also keep in mind that the larger your deductible the lower your monthly premium payment.
Now go online and find 3 different websites that encourage you to compare prices from different insurance companies for homeowner’s insurance in Alabama. Enter the same information into the form on each site so that you’ll be comparing the same policy on all of them.
When you’re done comparing prices then all that will be left is to choose the lowest-priced company and your job is done – you’ve found the best rates on homeowner’s insurance in Alabama and you can rest easy at night knowing that you are getting the coverage you need at a price that’s saving you money month after month, year after year.
Alabama now ranks second behind Michigan in new automobile manufacturing and is expected to take the number one position some time in 2009. Agricultural output is still strong, however Alabama is no longer even in the top 5 for cotton production. The “Cotton State” may soon need to change its motto to something more industrial in nature.
Alabama now has 11 cities that have a population exceeding 100,000. The state has nearly 5 million residents and continues to grow.
Huntsville has taken a strong leadership position in aerospace and electronics, with both NASA’s space flight center and the Army’s Missile Command both nearby. Over forty Fortune 500 companies have facilities in Huntsville.CRP is now the fourth largest research park in the world. Huntsville also hosts several technology giants such as the network access company ADTRAN, computer graphics company Intergraph and IT infrastructure company Avocent.
Huntsville’s population now tops 150,000 just within the city limits. The city has two major shopping malls. The entire Huntsville metro area is nearing 400,000 in population.
Just north of Mobile a new steel mill is in the works that will be bringing nearly 3000 jobs to the area. The mill is owned by a German company, ThyssenKrupp and represents a nearly $4 billion investment.
If that isn’t impressive enough, the Air Force has released details of the partnership between Northrop Grumman and EADS for the new KC-45 aerial refueling tanker to be produces at the Brookley Complex at Mobile. That partnership could produce 179 aircraft and total up to over $40 billion in revenues. Not bad when you consider the city of Mobile itself has a population of fewer than 200,000 and the metro area has a little over 400,000!
The Port of Mobile already ranks 10th in the country in tonnage. The State Docks are in the process of expanding container processing and storage capacity. Container storage at the docks will increase by an amazing 1,000%. Mobile is Alabama’s only saltwater port, and provides a point of importation and exportation for cities throughout the south. An expansion of this magnitude could place mobile on course for a significant move upwards in the top 10.
With the rise in automotive manufacturing, Steel companies including U.S.Steel, Nucor and McWane have announced almost $100 million in investments in new plants and expansion of existing plants in the Birmingham Area.
Healthcare is now a leading industry in Birmingham, with the states largest employer being the UAB and its neighboring hospitals. That’s about 20,000 jobs when totaled up. HealthSouth is headquartered also in Birmingham.
Finance and insurance play an important role in the local economy. Both Regions and Compass banks are headquartered in Birmingham. Insurance companies ProAssurance, Protective Life, Infinity Property and Casualty, and several other major insurers are headquartered also in Birmingham and employ a significant number of people in the area.
Birmingham is Alabama’s largest city with a population of over 200,000 within the city limits and over 1 million in the metro area.
In summary, Alabama is growing faster than most of the remainder of the country and provides significant opportunities for the future. Investments in infrastructure going on now indicate even greater chances for growth in the future.
A strong jump in durable goods manufacturing increased Alabama’s total state gross product to over $160 billion in 2006. That ranks 44th amongst all 50 states, certainly not a powerhouse, but GSP was up by 3.1% for the year which leads 27 other states. Alabama is on the move!
Homeowners in Alabama have been benefiting from the steady increase in Alabama home values. A recent study released by the University of Alabama reports that home values are increasing an average of 2.6 percent annually. When you take this information into account, and add the benefit of currently low interest rates, there has never been a better time to refinance you Alabama home loan.
Still, if you want to make your Alabama refinance worthwhile, you’ll need to find the best refinance rates possible. Here are a few tips that will help:
Although you hear this simple refinance tip all the time, it is surprising how many people accept the first loan offer that comes their way. You should always shop around to see who can offer you the best deal. The market is competitive and there will be plenty of lenders willing to handle your Alabama refinance loan. If you can save just a little bit on your interest rate, shopping around is well worth the time and effort.
Look for Low Introductory Offers
If you plan on refinancing to an adjustable rate mortgage or a hybrid mortgage, look for special introductory offers. Many lenders who handle Alabama refinances offer abnormally low interest rates that can be in effect for up to the first five to ten years of your mortgage loan.
Prepare for the Refinance
If you are even thinking about applying for an Alabama refinance loan, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting a low interest rate. First, pull a copy of your credit report and do what you can to repair any blemishes that appear on it. Next, start saving your money. There will be closing costs associated with your Alabama refinance. Not having to finance these closing costs will get you a lower rate and save you money in the long run.
Your home is an important aspect of family safety and comfort as well as your personal/family finances. If anything you own deserves protection with insurance, it is your home. With that being said, the search for the best Alabama homeowners insurance begins. To find the best coverage, you need to know what you are up against. That is, what risk factors are important, the average cost you can expect, where to get information, how to shop and what companies provide Alabama homeowners insurance. With this ammunition in hand, you will be ready to gather online rate quotes to compare rates and find the best deal out there for you.
Statistics Concerning Alabama Homeowners Insurance
There are some statistics concerning the geography of Alabama that affect severely the cost of insuring your home. To begin with, the average sea level for the entire state of Alabama is only 8 feet. This means that most of the state is very susceptible to flooding. Alabama also ranks 13thin tornado frequency. The northern area of the state experiences a higher than average amount of earthquakes, which means earthquake coverage for your home should be considered if you live in this region. Possibly the biggest issue, especially for those in the southern part of the state, are the hurricanes coming from the Gulf of Mexico. Areas that are, year in and year out, in the path of hurricanes are great risks for homeowners insurance companies, and that is certainly the case with Alabama.
The Cost of Alabama Homeowners Insurance
Alabama homeowners insurance is significantly more expensive than the national average. The yearly average cost of home insurance in Alabama in 2010 was $797.00. That is $127 more than the national average and makes Alabama the 9thmost costly state in the nation to insure a home. This is due mostly to the fact that Alabama homes and residents have to battle severe hurricane seasons and prevalent flooding. To offset this higher cost, you can take the initiative to lower your rates a bit. First, secure your home with storm shutters, deadbolt locks, a security system and motion sensing outside lights. Second, shop around to compare rates before making your purchase.
Alabama Homeowners Insurance Companies
When shopping for Alabama homeowners insurance you will notice there are numerous companies offering insurance for your home. In your local area, you will most likely find local insurance agents representing major insurance providers, but you will also find a few local or regional providers. Visiting the websites of these companies or making a phone call to learn more about each company is a good way to begin your search for quality coverage.
Here are a few Alabama homeowners insurance companies to consider as you begin your search.
Gene Jones Insurance
Jimmy Stewart CPCU
Don’t relegate yourself to just these companies, as there are quite a few more available to Alabama residents. As you shop, you will undoubtedly come across more insurers and it would be a smart move to use them in your comparisons as well. In many cases, when you get your rate quotes from an online affiliate site, one or more of the quotes may come from a company you have never heard of. When that happens, certainly take a little more time to find out about that provider.
AlabamaHomeowners Insurance Resources
Online resources are great to help you when shopping for homeowners insurance and later on when specific issues/problems arise. If you have any issues with your insurance provider, you have recourse in a couple of areas. The local branch of the Alabama Better Business Bureau can be of help, as well as a resource when shopping for the right company. You can also report your complaint to the Alabama Department of Insurance if you want serious action taken. It can also be a great resource for advice, tips and information on changing insurance regulations regarding Alabama homeowners insurance.