Land Banking A Great Investment For Long Term Capital Growth

Land banking, over the longer term, has shown better average gains than either shares or property, and with less downside risk, with an average UK growth of 920% in 20 years!

Once the preserve of rich, today, even smaller, in the know investors are taking advantage of this opportunity to make substantial capital gains.

Land Banking – What is it? Land banking simply involves the acquisition of land, which does not enjoy planning consent, in advance of expanding urbanization.

With the granting of planning consent, the price of an open space parcel, not yet subject to urban development pressures, normally rises in value.

Land Banking in the UK In 2004 alone, agricultural land in the UK appreciated in value between 16% and 30%, depending upon its geographical location.

In fact, over the past 20 years, the AVERAGE increase in UK Land has been a staggering 920%! In many instances, investors who have bought land in the right place at the right time have exceeded these average gains.

Not only has land risen in value dramatically, it has risen in a smoother upward path with less downside volatility than either stocks or property.

UK Demand Exceeding Supply The UK is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe and has a rising population driven by a huge influx of migrants from overseas.

Two facts will illustrate the potential of land banking in the UK:

There is a need for up to 3,500,000 new homes over the next 15 years, rising to 4,400,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

Over the last 30 years, the demand for new homes has increased by 30%. In the same period, house-building rates have dropped by over 50%.

Supply must catch up with demand, and buying land in the UK therefore offers investors a great opportunity to make substantial capital gains.

Location is the Key! Under developed land, such as Greenbelt, agricultural and forestry, is cheaper than land that currently enjoys planning consent. The way to make big capital gains in land banking, involves buying land in specific areas in the hope of future development.

Pre-planning purchase of green belt, agricultural and forestry land is nothing new. Astute investors have been doing it for years.

Investors simply need to study specific areas for the likelihood of future planning permission being granted, which will lead to an increase in the value of the plot purchased.

How to Make Big Land Banking Capital Gains Every developer knows that each town and city must grow outward, and the land most available is agricultural, greenbelt and forestry.

Land without planning permission which is subsequently included in a local authority’s unitary development plan (UDP), will potentially benefit from a significant increase in value.

With the granting of a change of use, a site’s value can increase substantially. However, the change of use category granted, i.e. residential, commercial recreational etc, will ultimately dictate the change in value of the plot.

Land Banking Risks Any investor considering land banking needs to give careful consideration to site selection, and purchase sites which are within the path of progress and future urbanization, but also have a high probability of future development.

Land Banking is a long-term investment, as resale durations and amounts are variable.

Taking Advantage of the Land Banking Opportunity There are many specialist companies catering for international investors wishing to own UK land. An investment in land can be cheap, as many developers buy plots, divide them, and sell them in smaller parcels.

Examination of the Problems Facing the Transport Industry

The transport industry is facing up to wide spread problems all the way across the board, from same day courier services through to heavy goods haulage firms. How the industry deals with these problems is a vital question in how we can move forwards beyond the difficulties posed by rising fuel prices, environmental concerns being levied on the industry and also the potential prospect of winters as harsh as the one that the UK recently experienced.

The recent cold snap has a massive effect on the transport industry, and continues to do so, as it presented multiple problems that courier services and those in the industry had to work around and deal with. First and foremost amongst these problems was the over-abundance of ice on the roads during this period. Many local councils were woefully unprepared for a winter as harsh as the one we had last, leading to salt supplies being much too low. This in turn led to many roads simply becoming unusable, especially in smaller suburbs or urban areas. Needless to say this had the potential to strike a crippling blow to the transport industry and, for many, it did just that. The industry, and Britain as a whole, was simply caught unawares by the difficulties posed by such a nasty winter, and this led to major problems for many businesses, however the transport industry was amongst the most prominently affected. Vehicles were forced off the roads and many companies simply had to shut up shop for a number of weeks, drastically affecting income.

This is something to we simply can’t afford to happen again, especially due to the potentially catastrophic effect it can have on smaller businesses and urgent courier services, who rely on their ability to get from A to B quickly. As such we need to ensure that local councils all over the country have adequate salt supplies should we face the same issues in the future. Not only this, but salt supplies need to evenly spread around. We, as an industry, simply can’t afford another winter like the one we just experienced and knowing that supplies could have been available in places that needed them simply rubbed salt into the wounds.

Some are attempting to take measures to minimize the impact of this problem. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has already recommended a number of potential solutions to the problems that the industry faces from a harsh winter. Amongst these are the obvious, such as ensuring there are larger salt supplies available to reduce the time queuing at salt production sites.

Another, less obvious recommendation is to provide drivers with a little more leeway when it comes to their hours. The FTA calls for a greater flexibility in the handling of a drivers time on the road, as well as calling for a modest increase in the amount of time they can spend driving when they are able, to compensate for the periods during winter when they may be forced off the road.

This call, however, comes into direct conflict with recent rulings by the European Parliament (EP). An attempt to permanently exempt owner drivers from the 48 hour week imposed by the EP failed, meaning that soon self-employed courier drivers will now have to limit themselves to 48 hours of working per week, alongside the workforce that they may employ.

SEO Manchester Beneficial For Online Marketing Industry

Marketing through the internet is extremely effective in reach to a large group of audience from different corners of the world. However, this approach is highly competitive as a result of which millions of users are opting for the online marketing approach. This has led to infinite numbers of websites highlighting same topic or depicting similar themes. It makes getting lost in the vast crowd of websites becomes easier. But with the presence of seo manchester service providers, scenarios look a lot better. A website’s performance depends largely on the SEO methods applied on it before getting listed on the search directories. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the approach to build a website’s reputation in the most positive way while being placed on the search engines.

The SEO process comprises of different techniques, like article submission, linking to top rated sites, socializing the site, checking on the correct set of keyword usage, and most importantly, taking necessary initiative to find out about originality of the content. SEO professionals need to be dedicated and hard-working. It is said that professionals of SEO in Manchester have a fixed time to enter the office but no fixed time to go out. The work pressure is immense. However, only those who love to accept these work pressures can able to achieve the highest level of success in this industry.

seo companies in Manchester always offer the maximum benefits in terms of website optimization process. Clients from all over the UK and other parts of Europe rely heavily on the SEO service providers of Manchester. They have a fast and expert approach to rely upon. The companies feature teams comprising of young talents with experienced professionals to take the search engine optimization procedures to an altogether different height. The whole approach ensures that client websites are met with the very best of outcomes in terms of traffic accessibility and search engine ranking.

How To Start And Grow Your Sign Making Business In A Recession

Before starting any business and as an ongoing planning tool you need to create and maintain your business plan. As the saying goes, fail to plan, then plan to fail. Scribble down your ideas to start with, then using resource such as business link in the UK you can download a Business Plan Template.

If you are already a sign maker then I have some tips to expand first of all.

Digital vinyl printing can be an exciting venture. Digital vinyl is a cost effective material which lasts longer than the older materials. Furthermore it can be used for outdoor advertising.

Digital vinyl required of course special inks. If you buy compatible ink for a branded printer you may find that the warranty is voided. However if you shop around you will find reputable silvent printing suppliers who are supplying excellent and affordable warranties which happily run alongside compatible inks. And voila your problem is solved and your costs may be halved. A truely fabulous way to grow your business.

For newcomes to vinyl sign making you will need – A vinyl cutter, a computer with sign making software, a supplier to sign makers and a printer. The printer type is known as wide format, and solvent, eco-solvent printer.

If you buy your hardware over a 5 year period you will find minimal cash required to get going. One important consideration is a well ventilated room. Maybe you have a spare room, or access to a friends spare room to start off with. With interest rates being low you are sure to find a great deal with discount and a low rate of interest.

You’ll need a computer with sign making software to design the graphics and send the information to the cutter. The vinyl cutter usually comes with its own software. You can use it to design images or import files designed in other software or on specially developed websites.

There are suppliers who can provide the whole starter kit. If you take this route then you will be sent tutorials and may be offered telephone support. It depends on how much sign making knowledge you already have. The overall price may be higher than buying components seperately.

You will need the rolls of vinyl, premask, and squeegee to prepare the vinyl for application. We carry every supply necessary for complete sign making.

You will require substrates for the finished signs. This can be any solid, non-porous surface. A glass door, an automobile, or primed and painted wood.

There is much resource on the internet about how to do various aspects of the sign making. With the advent of video jug and you tube, there are videos which will show you how its done by the experts.

Lets look at the other aspects starting with financially. We need to work backwards here. Calculate how much profit per month you need to pay your bils. Do your research and establish the profit to be made from an average sign. Now calculate how many jobs per month you will have to do to break even and be able to get by.

When I started my own business, I cashed in shares, emptied my savings accounts and had enough cash reserve to live off for three months. I therefore had a three month plan to find new customers, do the jobs, and ultimatley the fourth month was make or break. Fortunatley for me it was make. Partly due to planning, I was able to enjoy the sales process rather than worrying and feeling pressurised. A year on and after attending several networking events business was booming which leads to the old cash flow problem. With planning and living within your means you will find success.

You will need to contact the tax office and register your business. There is an amount of flexibility about time given to register but I would strongly recommend registering as soon as you set up. The reason being that they can take eight to ten weeks to send through your tax number and you may need this for the family tax credits that you may be relying on.

You need to do your book keeping from day one. There are several book keeping packaging that make it simple to produce invoices, take payments, record expenses and materials costs. It will quickly produce balance sheets and profit and loss statements. Do not worry about doing your self assessment because the tax office will send you your pack well in advance explaining how to do self assessment and when they need it by.

If you find this daunting you may ask an accountant to do it and the costs for sole trader is usually quite low. They will also send by default a pack on how to run your own business. Obviously you need to keep receipts for everything from petrol, materials, to car expenses.

When you are starting out look out for deals on the internet. For example you may choose to use compatible inks rather than branded inks.

If you are starting to think about your own business then my advise would be do your research, use the internet, find out about pricing and remember it is not easy. However it can be the smartest move you ever make. Us any free resources like Business Link who will give you free guidance all the way.

You need to be self motivating, have a hunger and determination which will get you out of the bed and into the office each morning, and finally good skill.

Management Report For Woolworths Uk

Introduction
Woolworths was a company that was started in the year 1879 in the City of New York. Its founder Frank Woolworth was interested in offering a one stop shop for a wide range of commodities at an affordable price. He transferred this same concept to the United Kingdom thirty years after establishing the same stores in the United States. He was well received in Liverpool with enthusiastic shoppers thronging the premises.

However, the retail chain store industry has undergone numerous dynamics and Woolworths seems to be a victim of these circumstances. The report shall highlight some of the internal and external challenges that have affected the company. Additionally, an analysis of the company will be done with reference to the theme of globalisation and recommendations for improvement given as a result.

Description and analysis of the internal and external factor to which Woolworths UK is subject

1)Internal factors
Woolworths is affected by some human resource based issues plaguing the retail industry. For instance, some clients have asserted that before purchasing items in any retail store, they usually consider behaviours of the stores employees. Woolworths has received numerous reviews about this aspect. Consumer surveys have indicated that a half of retail purchasers are happy with Woolworths consumer service while the other halves have asserted that their employees are rude. Consequently, the company has to work on the latter percentage. (Hammer and Champy, 1993)

Marketing strategies are crucial in running any business. For companies to dwell in the retail sector today, they need to portray a clear theme in their advertisement and marketing strategies. Woolworths marketing manager asserts that the companys marketing strategy is largely centred on three major categories and these are;
Family
Entertainment
Home

These three themes are what make Woolworths stand out. However, other critics assert that Woolworths is severely lacking in this area. They claim that while other retail chain stores are distinct and stand out depending on specific themes; Woolworths has nothing special that makes it unique. Consequently, this is a marketing or branding issue that will affect future decisions made by Woolworths.

Demand determinants are also instrumental in determining how Woolworths performs in the UK market. There are a number of things that UK consumers look for when shopping in retail chain stores and some of them include
Convenience
Quality of items
Price
Brand recognition (Chopra and Meindl, 2000)

When one talks about convenience, they are referring to the ease of reach with which one can find commodities in retail stores. This is usually depicted by the manner of arrangement. When commodities are arranged haphazardly, then customers may not be enticed to come back there. Woolworths seems to have failed in this regard because many consumers complain of its haphazard nature. For instance, when one steps into a Woolworth store, they are likely to find childrens costumes placed together with table mats and the table mats may be placed alongside video games or other kinds of things. Consequently, it can be argued that Woolworths sense of appeal in terms of convenience is quite wanting. However, it can also be argued that this haphazard arrangement is what contributes to Woolworths uniqueness. This is because it is kind of a spur of the moment alternative rather than a distinct kind of arrangement. (Price Waterhouse, 1995)

On the other hand, convenience can also be assessed through a stores location, when stores are located in busy streets or in accessible places, then demand for ones items may increase. Woolworths may receive a plus for this aspect because their stores are conveniently located and one does not have to look for parking to get into their stores.

Brand recognition and quality of items are an important demand determinant. Once a company fails to deliver in terms of these parameters then there is fertile ground for failure. Woolworths have been praised by some consumers for their high quality items. However, there are still other buyers who have not been satisfied with their commodities claiming that they are a jack of all trades but a master of none.

Lastly, demand for commodities in this industry is affected by the price of its commodities. In analysing whether Woolworths is doing well, it is essential to look at what other companies in the industry are doing. Most of the commodities offered by Woolworths are sold by other competitors such as Asda and Tesco at cheaper prices. This means that Woolworths decisions need to be changed to respond to these challenges.

2)External factors
One of the major external factors affecting Woolworths is closely associated to its operating aspect. The retail chain industry is quite a huge industry since the numbers of stores located in the UK are numerous and this means increased competition for Woolworths. Additionally, the industry is not export oriented. Most products are sourced from outside and then bought into the region thus making players here to become susceptible to international forces that may sometimes be difficult to predict.

It is also interesting to note the fact that the retail chain industry is slowly being outcompeted by supermarkets. Times have changed over the past few years and the sale of non household items within the retail industry is no longer a reserve for companies such as Woolworths alone. Supermarkets which were once associated with the sale of food alone now offer almost all household items under one room. This increased competition from other categories of business has affected the overall productivity and performance of the company. (Porter, 1985)

Market size is an important factor that affects the any kind of business. This is largely because the rate of growth of the market largely reflects the amount of consumers available to purchase ones time. Statistics indicate that the UK retail chain sector is slowly reaching saturated levels. There are stores for almost every type of product under the sun. For instance, when one is looking for old suits then they may choose the option of going for Argos, when they require music CDs, then they have the option of going to Zavvi. Consequently, Woolworths is placed at a position where they are competing for a stagnating market i.e. one that is growing at very low rates yet the number of industry players is on the rise.

Other external factors affecting Woolworths decision making processes are also linked to the way they go about making their personal decisions. For instance, the issue of taxation is quite important in determining whether Woolworths succeeds or not. Since it depends on exports for most of their commodities, then the company is affected adversely by international tariffs in trade. However, it should be noted that the retail chain store sector is not highly regulated by the UK government and this is a plus on the part of Woolworths.

Globalisation
1)How globalisation influences policies and decision making at Woolworths UK
Enterprises and corporations alike are highly influenced by the concept of globalisation and Woolworths is not an exception. Before critically analysing this issue, it is essential to clarify its meaning; globalisation is defined as the increased level of contact between a certain entity and the rest of the world, through globalisation, mutual understandings, personal friendships and world citizenry is created. However, in terms of business entities, globalisation may not be a positive. This is largely because it causes increased competition which may be difficult to out manoeuvre especially when one lacks the capacity for change.

Woolworths UK was a brainchild of the US based subsidiary. Consequently, it had transferred knowledge and business structures from that part of the world to the United Kingdom. This meant that the company ought to have created a local solution to the local UK environment. Local marketing appeal for international companies such as Woolworths is crucial in succeeding in their market. This can only be done by incorporating all the external and internal factors. The United Kingdom was not the original company base for Woolworths; consequently, they needed to look for ways in which they could adopt to the local culture in the UK.

The UK consumer culture has changed dramatically over the past few years. This is as a result of increased levels of exposure brought on by information technology. Consequently, consumers are well aware of their rights and they also know where to find cheap bargains. This is actually the reason why Woolworths has not been performing very well; most consumers want a retail store with preset themes or one with cheap products.

Since so many other retail stores are available, then Woolworths has been pushed to the periphery in light of this competition. It should be noted that globalisation has played a large role in promoting this information driven consumer culture. Through interaction with other parts of the world, the UKs technological status has dramatically improved. People can get important retail information at the touch of a button and this makes them very choosy. In other words, globalisation has boosted information technology which has heightened consumer awareness and thus diminished demand for Woolworths products which do not represent the best value for money.

Globalisation has highly affected shopping behaviour among a series of consumers owing to the fact that it has promoted more job opportunities. Many UK consumers are constantly moving form country to country while conducting business, getting educated or working for a certain multinational. This therefore means that globalisation has created situations in which the UK consumer has very little time in his or her hands. People are now working for more hours and most of them have very little spare time for themselves. What this means for Woolworths is consumers also have little time to spend in their retail outlets. When going for shopping, buyers may be interested in spending as little time as possible in such outlets so that thy can get back to their busy schedules. Decision making in Woolworths must be such that it centres on meeting this need to save time when purchasing. (Kubeck, 1995)

Globalisation highly affects the productivity levels at Woolworths through its supply section. This is because now Woolworths and other retail chain stores have a wider supply base to choose from. They can source their commodities at a cheaper price from other countries of the world or they can locate high quality goods from suppliers in continents. Depending on how Woolworths reacts to this, global supply sourcing can either be a positive or a negative. It can be positive when good suppliers are chosen. However, it can be negative when Woolworths has been outcompeted by other retails who manage to get cheaper goods at lower prices.

Globalisation has also raised the level of competition among various industry players in the retail chain store sector. This is because globalisation favours growth of multinationals. The UK is plagued with a series of multinationals such as Tesco, Wal-Mart, Asda and many more. These multinationals create greater competition because of their diffused processes and also because of greater network structures, greater flows of information and hence greater productivity.

Lastly, globalisation has created fertile ground for outsourcing of jobs. The new buzz word was largely associated with the manufacturing sector where most businesses chose to outsource their manufacturing function to Asian based countries such as China and Taiwan. The retail sector is also involved in this buzz word because a number of their suppliers come from the Asian continent. They have chosen to outsource this aspect to other parts of the world so as to promote their level of competitiveness.

2)Critical evaluation of the effectiveness of the organisations response
Globalisation has promoted greater adoption of information technology and thus a more informed consumer. This kind of consumer is less loyal to particular brand unless that brand offers good quality or value for money. Woolworths has also been slow in responding to this aspect of globalisation. Since the consumer is more informed, the company should have worked on their prices and it should also have taken the time to check the quality of their commodities so that they can increase their client base. Woolworths still has a long way to go in handling these challenges.

It can be argued that Woolworths has not responded as strongly as it should to forces of globalisation. As it has been asserted earlier, many consumers are now engaging in more work and have less time to shop. Consequently, Woolworths store formats should have been changed to meet this need. Compared to other retail outlets in the United Kingdom, Woolworth is yet to catch up with the rest in terms of in-store organisation. More often than not, consumers may not be able to find what they are looking for in a Woolworths store unless assisted by one of the employees. Consequently, this takes a lot of time and may prompt some of them to choose other stores. (Scheer, 1999)

In terms of sourcing for suppliers from other parts of the world, it is imperative for Woolworths to awaken to the possibility that other retail chain stores in the UK are doing much better than they are. This is largely as a result of the lower prices that some of their commodities are grouping for and also because of a result of greater investment in dependant supplier who offer high quality.

Woolworths may have been overwhelmed by the increased competition facing the retail chain industry from multinationals. Globalisation has created sound operating structures for facilitating better productivity and this has given greater precedence to these large multinationals. Woolworths is supposed to be competing with the multinationals by offering products or services that whether they meet or exceed the offerings in these multinationals. However, Woolworths has not responded as quickly and assertively as it should. The company therefore needs to look for other ways in which they can promote this development through sound service delivery. (Sterman, 2000)

Woolworths has responded to the need to outsource by getting some of their goods from the Asian continent. However, compared to their competitors, this company still has along way to go in terms of being at per with its competitors. Most of the time, the company relies on European based manufacturers for their commodities or their in store brands.

Conclusion – Areas for improvement in the response of the organisation
Globalisation is eminent in almost all spheres of the UK economy. Consequently, companies that fail to react swiftly to this phenomenon are bound to be left behind. Woolworths has debts of three hundred and eighty five million pounds as of mid 2008. This poor performance is further illustrated by the figure below depicts its performance over the past few months. Its shares have been on the decline.

Source; (Eriksson and Penker, 2000)

In order to boost its performance in the global arena, then Woolworths needs to change a number of things. First of all, the company needs to respond to the need to save time this can be done by more orderly arrangements of their commodities in their stores. Secondly, the company needs to take greater care in terms of sourcing better quality items. Consequently, the company will do much better in the retail industry by placing greater precedence on this matter. (Eriksson and Penker, 2000)

On top of the latter, there should be greater emphasis on the adoption of information technology especially with regard to the use online sales. Also, they need to embrace the fact that their brand is barely recognised among future market segments. The company has to work on adding value to their name and making their services easily recognised.

References
Hammer, M. and Champy, P. (1993): Reengineering the Corporation – A Manifesto for Business Revolution; Harper Business Book
Porter, M. (1985): Competitive Advantage – Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance; Free Press
Price Waterhouse (1995): Change Integration Team – Best Practices for Transforming Your Organization; Irwin
Scheer, A. (1999): ARIS – Business Process Frameworks; Springer
Sterman, J. (2000): Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modelling for a Complex World; McGraw-Hill
Kubeck, L. (1995): Techniques for Business Process Redesign – Tying It All Together; Wiley-QED Publication
Chopra, S. and Meindl, P. (2000): Supply Chain Management – Strategy, Planning and Operations; Prentice Hall College Division
Eriksson, H. and Penker. H. (2000): Business Modelling with UML – Business Patterns that Work; Wiley