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Top 4 Tips on Starting a Home Improvement Business

 

It’s not hard to see why the home improvement industry continues to rise in popularity. After all, the vast majority of homeowners commit a substantial amount of resources to the betterment of their properties. And while some of the tasks that it entails are achievable through DIY, most require specialist services that can only be accomplished by trained professionals.

But despite how profitable this venture can be to pursue, there are a few things to consider before you start your home improvement business. So, to maximize the return on your investment, here are a few top tips that you should keep in mind.

Choose your niche

Before you establish your business, it’s crucial to define your market first and choose your niche carefully. After all, there are several areas of specialization within the home improvement industry, such as remodeling and restoration, and it’s not economical or feasible for a startup with limited resources to engage in all of them at the same time. And by sticking to a few to start, not only will you differentiate your business from your competitors, but you will also mitigate the chances of overextending the company too.

Invest in marketing

In any line of business, marketing is vital. And the home improvement industry is no exception. After all, no matter how excellent the services offered are, it won’t produce the desired profit if your target audience is unaware of your existence. More importantly, the industry is rife with competition too. And an investment in marketing services like the Local SEO Company West Palm Beach offers can go a long way toward generating the awareness and exposure that the business needs to secure its market.

Research your options

In the home improvement industry, the equipment and tools that a business has at its disposal can often determine its level of success. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a small fortune in getting what you need. After all, profit margins will ultimately hinge on company expenses. So, before you start spending some money, always research your options first. In this way, you’re much more likely to find better deals and inexpensive alternatives and, as a result, increase revenue.

Don’t forget about insurance

While you may have the capital to establish the company, it’s essential to ensure that there’s enough for insurance too. After all, it’s impossible to operate a home improvement business without basic policies covered. And by taking the time to consult with a broker first, not only will you be able to get the insurance that the business requires but also keep yourself from spending on policies that are unneeded.

It’s easy to see the appeal of a home improvement business. With a consistently high demand for its services, it can guarantee sizeable returns. And by following the tips listed above, not only are you minimizing the chances of encountering problems and issues along the way, but you’re also far more likely to achieve the desired results as well.

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Quick Tips to Help Your Young Business Thrive

While it can take a substantial amount of effort to start a business, it is another thing entirely to keep it afloat in a fickle business landscape. It does not need to be said that trying to manage a start-up business can be challenging, and not every business owner is successful. That said, you do not have to suffer alone, as there are plenty of different methods to increase the odds of success, and to help your young business thrive.

There are different management platforms you can take advantage of

Business management software is not something that every new business owner tends to prioritise – which is a shame, as it can free up both time and resources, helping you to focus on other aspects of your business. Whether it has to do with asset management, communication between departments or a CRM system to make interactions with your customers easier, it is all about dealing with tedium. You might not feel like your business requires a management platform at such an early stage, but the earlier you can take advantage of such a service, the easier it will be to integrate as your business expands.

Your employees will dictate the success of your company

Some might think that incentivising the work of employees is something that can only be done as a business grows, but the truth is that it is necessary even for start-up businesses. If you put yourself in your employee’s shoes, would you be working hard if you knew that there was no incentive to do so? You would likely only do what you need to in order to get the job done, nothing more.

Your employees will likely do the same thing if your start-up business does not give them a reason to work hard. Acknowledge their efforts, and offer incentives to encourage them to give it their all. Having loyal employees early in your company’s life can dramatically increase the odds of success.

Maintain a social media account for your business

Last but certainly not least, it would be a good idea to have a social media footprint as soon as your business can get off the ground. No matter what industry you are operating in, having an account on a social media platform bridges the gap between company and consumer, giving you a chance to listen to feedback and to hopefully make changes for the better.

Having loyal supporters early on in the life of your business ensures that you always have a user base, and you would be surprised at how useful their feedback can be.

While managing a start-up business can be extremely challenging, it does not mean that you have to suffer through stress every step of the way. By utilising the methods above, you will not only minimise risk but also make things easier for you and those who work under you. Make use of management platforms, take care of your employees, and maintain a social media account.

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Looking After Your Health This Summer: A Guide

Summertime in many parts of the world means a lot more fun as well as sun. For this reason alone, your health should be in tip-top shape. You want to have energy and stamina to participate in all of the summer festivities and to enjoy and participate in the company of people you love the most. In order to do this, you have to invest more in looking after your health and protecting and taking care of the body that carries you around.

The good thing about your health is it’s something that can be managed by merely adopting healthy habits. If you continue reading, you’ll find out how you can look after your health this summer.

Look After Your Skin

As the sun is (hopefully!) going to be shining, make sure you look after your skin. It is advised that everyone wears sunscreen no matter what your skin type or shade is. If you have ever wondered precisely why you should wear sunscreen, it protects you from the harmful radiation that comes from the sun. Also, it’s been said that sunscreen reduces your risk for skin cancer, sunburns, and aging prematurely. It’s safe to say that these are all great reasons to protect your skin!

When choosing a sunscreen, select one with “broad spectrum” protection so that you’re protected against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure it has SPF 30 or higher as that determines the level of protection you’re going to get.

Get an Eye Checkup

You’re only born with one pair of eyes, so looking after them is a must. However, they’re a part of your body that are easy to take for granted, especially if you don’t wear glasses. Schedule an appointment to get your eyes tested as soon as possible. You can go to Jackson Davenport Vision Center to take an eye exam as well as get quality eyewear.

Some general eye care tips include wearing sun shades when in the sun, resting your eyes by getting enough sleep and eating lots of carrots amongst other vegetables.

Stay Hydrated

There is no better time to challenge yourself to drink more water than during the summer. This is when you’re most likely to suffer from dehydration, so keep bottles of water nearby. To remember to drink water, add flavor to it, especially if you have a sweet tooth. It could also help if you use an app like Daily Water Free or Daily Water to help track your intake. Lastly, have bottles of water at your desk, near your bedside, and anywhere else you tend to spend a significant amount of time.

Get a Checkup

It’s always nice to have a routine checkup with your doctor just to check base. You want to be sure that everything in your body is functioning as it should. If you haven’t had one recently, get a physical examination where your doctor will update your health history, check your vitals, and potentially take lab tests. If you’re experiencing anything unusual, don’t be afraid to mention it during your visit.

 

Is a Business Answering Service Better Than a Receptionist?

Unless your business requires a receptionist, you probably don’t understand the cost of having this person on the payroll, the training involved, and the resources that are required to keep this employee happy. Sure, a receptionist is a vital part of the team, but having one on staff could be doing your company more harm than good.

There is an alternative to a receptionist that you might not have considered: a professional

business answering service. A business answering service works basically the same way that a receptionist does, only that nobody is actually need in-house. There are pros and cons of not having a receptionist in the building, but the many benefits of an answering service make up for this.

In our honest opinion, yes, a business answering service is a better option than having a receptionist on staff. But no matter what we say, it is still up to you to make your own decision on this, so here’s what you need to know.

How does a professional answering service work?

When you invest in a professional answering service, you will still have someone answering your phones just as you would with a receptionist. However, this person will be in a remote location not actually within the confines of your office. But don’t worry, you’ll have complete access to this person and the ability to communicate via several channels.

Who will be the one answering the phone?

You will technically be considered a client of the answering agency and typically have a team of several individuals assigned to your specific case. These individuals have undergone an extensive training period from the agency, usually one that takes 12 weeks from start to finish.

They’ll also receive training about your personal company, how everything operates, and how to offer the best customer service for your customer base. Another perk is that you won’t ever have to worry about your receptionist needing vacation time. The agency will handle all of that, so you’ll always have someone to man the phones no matter what.

How much will this service cost?

We can’t give you an exact number since every answering service varies in cost. We can, however, tell you that a business answering service will cost a great deal less than having a receptionist staff member on the payroll. Think about it, how much would you be paying your receptionist each year? Probably somewhere around $28,000 depending on your location. On top of that, the company has to provide health benefits and other necessary compensation.

We haven’t even covered the other costs relating to keeping a receptionist on staff. You need to have an office space for this person, a desk, phones, office supplies, and anything else for this person to do the job effectively. With a professional answering service, you don’t have to worry about providing any of these things. Your call representative will receive everything from their own employer, who technically is not you but instead the answering service agency.

 

Things to Think About Before Hiring an SEO Firm

Let’s be honest, if your website isn’t showing up on the first page of Google results, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Even showing up low on the first page isn’t a great sign, and it probably means that a lot of potential customers have no idea that you exist at all. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best in the business, your opportunities for turning a profit are much lower than if you would show up as the #1 result.

This is why investing in search engine optimization could be the best thing you ever do for your company’s future. If you’re not a marketing guru and aren’t all that tech savvy, don’t even think about trying to optimize your website all by yourself. Dish out some cash on a top-rated SEO firm, it will be totally worth it.

Before spending the cash, however, there are a few things to think about and considerations that need to be made. Don’t be afraid to shop around for SEO agencies before you settle on the one for you. During the “shopping” period, be sure to ask each agency these questions to make sure it’s the right fit.

What SEO services do you specialize in?

The term SEO is not defined by one thing, but rather it is made up of many strategies. Ask the agency about the specific strategies they use and how it works. Some firms will only offer SEO content, while others will do everything from keyword research to website auditing. Even if you are in need of one service, it is always best to choose a firm that offers variety. This gives you the option to add services to your SEO plan later on.

What have your success rates been like?

This is an important question and one that you need an honest answer to. Getting an honest answer is the difficult part, since no firm will brag about failures in the field. You’ll be able to tell a trustworthy firm from a dishonest one though when you ask for a reference list and contact information of clients from the past. This means that the firm has nothing to hide and that past clients have probably had good experiences and a lot of success.

How much will this cost me?

Asking about cost should be done early on so that you don’t waste any precious time. You might even want to ask this first so that you can rule out the agencies that don’t fit the bill from the get go. It is very unlikely that the agency will offer up a set price since many of the services are offered separately from each other. However, you should be able to get a ballpark figure of the money you’ll be spending.

How long before I can expect results?

If you’re a believer of instant gratification, you might not love the answer to this question. SEO results won’t come about instantly. Some of the best agencies can get results in as little as 3 months, but you could be looking at 9 months to `1 year before you see a significant change. Don’t trust an agency that says you’ll see change within the first week, this is pretty much impossible.

 

5 Major Corporations Using the Powers of SEO in 2019

There is no question about the powers of search engine optimization and its ability to promote a brand. Some experts are saying that investing in SEO is the best thing a company can do to grow and see increased profits. Whether you believe that or not, you can’t deny the success that SEO can bring.

Still not so sure about it? Some of the world’s most reputable companies have gone from small startups to major corporations with the help of search engine optimization as one of their main marketing strategies.

Starbucks

You probably think that Starbucks has always been the Goliath of the coffee world against the smaller David coffee shops out there. In a way, it is not wrong to assume this since there are tens of thousands of Starbucks locations and pretty much everyone in the world is familiar with their signature mermaid logo.

However, getting to the top did not come easy for Starbucks. Just like anyone else, this coffee chain started as a one-stop shop in the heart of Seattle, and it took some effort to expand across the world. Starbucks doesn’t need SEO so much not since everyone knows the name without needing to visit the site, but at the start this corporation’s web presence was the key to growth, making SEO an essential marketing strategy for the coffee conglomerate.

Amazon

There is literally no need to even leave the house anymore thanks to the services provided by Amazon. Amazon.com services as an online shopping portal that operates worldwide, and in certain places you can even order your groceries and have them delivered through Amazon. Just like Starbucks, Amazon had to work to get where it is today. SEO was definitely not the sole strategy used, but it played a major role.

Target

Target: the ultimate retail store for everything from home decor to fashionware to groceries. Some people compare Target to the likes of Walmart, but you simply can’t beat the quality and style offered by retailers that are found throughout the aisles of Target. In order to beat out fellow retailers with a similar business model, the marketing team at Target goes above and beyond when it comes to optimizing its website – especially with the online shopping epidemic.

WholeFoods

WholeFoods has recently broken into the grocery delivery service, which means customers can shop for groceries online and have them delivered to their doorstep within a few hours. This is completed through the Amazon shopping portal, but even so Whole Foods has really had to step up its online game. And how do you suppose they’ve done that? Through SEO of course.

Google

It might come as a shock to you that the Google corp also has to invest time and money into search engine optimization strategic planning. Most companies perform SEO for the sake of trying to “please” Google and rank higher than competition. But just because Google is the king of all things SEO does not mean this major corporation can ignore it for their own business practices.

 

6 Benefits of Virtual Training Platforms for Businesses

Every business involves some sort of training procedures for both new employees and ones who have been working for the company for decades. Training employees on innovative business strategies, proper workplace conduct, or new software implementation is the best way to stay ahead of the game.

There are tons of virtual training platforms (VTP) available to help with any business-related training needs within the company. Using one of these platforms will not just make the lives of your fellow team members easier, it will keep you as a competitive key player in your industry. If that’s not enough, read about these 6 benefits of investing in a virtual training platform for your business.

VTP provides flexibility

Online platforms for job training purposes provide tons of flexibility that you won’t get from an in-person training seminar. With a VTP it is possible to complete the training anywhere, anytime as long as there is an internet connection. Getting everyone together and coordinating schedules is the biggest challenge of all, but a virtual platform makes this no problem whatsoever.

It offers mobility

This is essential since we are living in a world where mobility means everything. Online training and eLearning seminars that can be completed from any device, including a mobile one, are becoming the norm. All you have to do in order to access a VTP from mobile is register an account with the platform and sign in when you need to access it.

It builds a sense of community

It can be difficult to connect with fellow employees, even when you work in the same building. With a VTP you can connect any time with your team members and touch base at all hours of the day. Some companies say that investing in VTP helped to build a better sense of workplace community.

It helps with information retention

When a training is completed online, there is often better information retention than there would in for an in-person training session. There are a few reasons for this, the first being that the members of the training can refer back to the online training slides whenever they need to.

Maybe an in-person seminar also provides handouts that can be referred back to, but it is had to keep track of papers – it always seems as if you can’t find them when you need them most. With a VTP, you just need to remember your login information to access your account and find the training resources.

VTP programs provide constructive criticism

Some people don’t take criticism well, and it can also be difficult for the person dishing out the critiques. VTP programs work by giving criticism in a way that is easily handled and extremely constructive. Basically at the end of each training session, the trainees will be required to take a quiz. Any wrong answers will be thoroughly explained; it is easier for some individuals to take criticism from a computer rather than another person.

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Opt for a Reputable Company when Renting or Buying Forklifts

To discover why you shouldn’t hire or rent a forklift from the least expensive company possible, continue reading to discover why you should always hire or rent heavy machinery form a reputable, well established company!

Here’s why you should go through a reputable company when renting or buying forklifts:

1. Reputable companies will rent or sell forklifts which are in perfect working condition

One of the key reasons why you should always purchase heavy machinery such as a forklift from a well established, company, is that there will be little to zero risk of purchasing or hiring a forklift, which isn’t in perfect working condition.

After all, the last thing that you want to do is to hire an expensive forklift for hundreds or thousands of dollars, to find that it doesn’t work correctly or is faulty.

2. You can trust the staff from reputable companies that have been around for years

If a company hired out or sold forklifts that weren’t in good condition, they would soon go under as they’d never receive any repeat business and their negative reputation would quickly spread, through word of mouth and online reviews.

However, if a company which rents or sells heavy machinery such as fork lifts, has been in operation for several years, it’s highly likely that they have many satisfied customers and are safe to do business with.

Just be careful to do your research before choosing to deal with a company which has been trading for less than a year. You’ll want to look at companies like, Mars Forklifts who ensure proper service even after machinery has been purchased.

3. The top companies will offer the best brands available

Another reason to be highly selective when it comes to choosing a company to purchase or hire a forklift for is that the top rated companies in your area, will offer the best brands available. Which is a huge bonus as, in order to complete your work efficiently, it’s a great idea to hire or purchase the best machinery available.

As an added bonus, the top brands of forklifts, have less issues with maintenance. So you won’t have to worry about your forklift being unresponsive or encountering a major issue, right after you’ve hired it or purchased it!

4. You won’t have any trouble getting assistance, if you have trouble with your forklift

If you hire or purchase a forklift from a less than reputable company, you may find that your calls, text messages and emails go answered. However if you ring or email a highly regarded company, you should be able to get help with your fork list in a short space of time.

5. If you hire a forklift from a reputable company, they will have a great insurance plan in place

If you plan to hire a forklift instead of purchasing a forklift and you deal with a reputable company, they will offer a great insurance plan in place, that will ensure that if you accidentally damage the forklift that you hire, that you won’t have to pay to repair or replace the forklift in question.

So if you’ve been tossing up whether to purchase or hire a forklift from the cheapest company around or whether to invest in hiring or purchasing a forklift from a reputable vendor, it’s well worth dealing with a professional, well established company.

 

Ten Practical Tips for Saving Money

Saving money is something that most of us would like to do more of, and yet it can be one of the hardest things to achieve. Saving money is important as building up a nest egg gives you a source of funds that you can use in an emergency, or you can use it to buy something special. If you always find that you are spending all your money before you get your next paycheck, then these tips for saving money might be just what you need to get started.

1. Commit

It can be easy to spend your money when you haven’t made a commitment to yourself to start saving. Even if it is only a few pounds each month, getting into the habit of putting a little aside can see your savings add up quickly.

2. Savings Account

Having somewhere different where you can put your savings helps you to keep it separate from your current account, where you might be more tempted to spend it. Look into getting a savings account with a good rate of interest so that you are rewarded with a little extra for saving your money. You could also set up a standing order for savings so that an agreed amount of your paycheck goes straight into your savings account each month. This will help you to save money, as you won’t have to remember to do it manually.

3. Savings Goals

Do you have a set amount that you want to save? It might be that you are saving for something special, or want a set amount saved for a rainy day. Having an amount in mind will help you stay motivated as you see your savings grow and reach your goal. Sometimes, emergency costs arise while we are still saving, and that can be a source of stress. However, companies like Bonsai Finance can help you get over a tight spot, without you having to spend all of your savings at once and leaving you with nothing.

4. Look for Discounts

When you go to buy your groceries from the supermarket, it is worth looking for discounted items that you can put in your basket. Fruit and vegetables can often be found very low in price, and if you plan to use them up in the next day or so you can save yourself money. Other discounted items include things with damaged packaging or end of season items.

5. Use Coupons

How many times have you been given a coupon for something and just forgotten about it? It might just be for a few pence off your usual pint of milk, or it could be a buy-one-get-one-free offer. However, you should make the most of coupons when you have them.

6. Save Your Change

When you get loose change, have somewhere at home where you can put it. A glass jar works well. When you have filled the jar with change, count it out and take it to the bank. You’ll be surprised how quickly the odd bit of change can add up, and it is a way of saving money without really noticing.

7. Stop Unnecessary Purchases

Do you really need to buy a frothy latte from the coffee shop every day? Or could you make do with making a coffee at work or at home instead? How about your weekly takeaway meal? Stopping all unnecessary purchasing can save you a lot of money, especially when you add it up over a month. You don’t have to stop all of your treats completely, just make sure they are treats rather than everyday purchases.

8. De-Clutter

Sorting through and selling the belongings that you no longer want or need can bring you in some money that you can put in your savings account. You can list items of auction websites, or advertise them for sale on local social media pages. This is a win-win situation for you as you make space in your home, your old items get a new lease of life, and you get some money in the process.

9. Shop Around

Getting the best deal on your household bills can be done if you can shop around. Energy providers have different offers and deals, especially if you are a new customer. Often, it only takes a phone call to switch, and you could save hundreds of pounds on your annual bills.

If you buy things online, don’t just purchase from the first store you see. Look at other stores to see if you can get something cheaper, or if they offer free delivery that will save you money on the overall purchase.

When buying clothing, it is better to spend a little more on quality items that will last, rather than having to spend over and over again on cheaply made items that lose shape or get holes in.

10. Save Energy in the Home

Reducing the amount of energy you use in your home can add up to significant savings, and it is easy to do. Try making sure you switch off appliances rather than leaving them on standby, swap the lightbulbs in your home for energy saving ones, and make sure your boiler is efficient. Wasting energy means you are wasting money, so be more careful about how you use energy at home.

Saving money for a rainy day, or something special can be achieved by knowing exactly where your money is going and being able to make some changes to your habits. Once you get into the habit of saving a little where you can, it actually becomes a fun challenge. It is nice to watch your nest egg grow, and it helps give you some peace of mind that you have enough to get by should any unexpected costs arise. Look for the hidden ways you spend money in your daily life, be savvy when you need to buy something and look for ways to save energy in the home, and you could save a lot of money over the next year.

 

Jack Elway: How Nutritional Tips Can Boost Your College Football Chances

As we all know, Jack Elway is something of a household name when it comes to NFL.

As we also all know, one of the primary reasons why players like Elway make it all the way to the top is because of their conduct off-the-field. In other words, their attitude to nutrition and fitness; both of which are hugely important in the game.

As the title of this article might have indicated, today’s topic is going to be the former. We have spoken to Elway and found out some of the best nutritional tips he has for those young players who wish to carve out a successful career in the game. Let’s now take a look at some of the advice in-detail.

Get your carbs and protein equation right

Nowadays, a lot of the primary nutritional advice seems so surround protein. We’re all told how important it is to build muscles, and such advice certainly wouldn’t be wrong.

However, in terms of providing energy, it actually doesn’t do much. It’s at this point which you need to rely on a steady supply of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates should be focused around your competition, or intense training days, to provide you with the right fuel ahead of the action. Ideally, you should be looking to load your body with carbs several days before the event itself.

Stay hydrated – but also remember about electrolytes

It doesn’t matter whether you are an Average Joe or an elite athlete; the importance of staying hydrated is documented for all to see.

Of course, when you are exercising, you need slightly more fluids to replace the ones that you have lost.

Something which isn’t documented quite as much revolves around the electrolytes you lose though. When you sweat, these are lost, and this can wreak havoc with your nervous system. Electrolytes are able to transmit nerve signals, so it stands to reason that they are quite essential. Fortunately, there’s quite a simple solution out there. This revolves around isotonic drinks, which as well as tasting much better than water, are also able to replace these electrolytes and allow everything to return to normality.

The salt warnings aren’t AS important for athletes

This is probably one of the more interesting pieces of advice, as it tends to go against a lot of what has been said in the public over recent years.

There has been an avalanche of information suggesting that the nation as a whole is consuming too much salt, and this is impacting the general health significantly. Let’s confirm one thing; this is completely true.

The difference is that athletes tend to lose a lot of salt. Whenever you sweat, you will lose salt. This all relates to the last point that we made, about what you lose from your body when you place a lot of excursion on your body.

As such, you don’t need to stick to the “typical” guidelines when it comes to salt. Sure, don’t go overboard, but don’t be overly strict with yourself either.