Does Your Business Need This?

A business card is an integral part of any great marketing plan. For its size and price, it is possibly the most effective part. Needless to say, you cannot expect your business card to tell the entire story about your organization. Everything you should expect it to do is present a professional image people will remember. A business card can make or break a customer’s first impression of your organization. Select a business card design that is suitable for your company, business, and personal style. If you are a funeral director, as an instance, you don’t need to get caught handing out day-glow cards with cartoon figures on them. If you are a mechanic whose specialty is converting old Beetles to dune buggies, a formal, black-on-white collectible card will most likely be dropped into the nearest circular file. When crafting a layout, begin with the style in which best supports the company image you would like to project. To help you get started, here are five different card styles below for you to think about.

  1. Basic cards

Having a basic business card can sometimes suit your business best, especially if you go for the simple cream colours, or black on white. This is a fantastic style to select when utility is all you require. It is a no-nonsense approach that may attract customers and prospects who wouldn’t be impressed by fancy layout features-the men and women who want “just the facts, ma’am.” The plan is simple, and the information is concise and clear.

  1. Picture cards

Having your face in your card-whether it is a picture, a drawing or a caricature-helps a touch remember you the next time he or she sees you. Images representing a service or product will benefit your company supplies, and can help you communicate your company better than dozens of phrases. A splash of colour (instead of simply black and white) is often helpful on a picture card too.

  1. Tactile cards

Some cards are distinguished not so much by how they seem like how they feel. They may use different materials, such as wood or metal, or have unusual shapes, edges, folds or embossing. However, for some companies, this more unusual card might be worth the cost.

  1. Multipurpose cards

A card can do more than promote your name and business, it may also function as a discount voucher, an appointment reminder another function. It might also provide valuable information that the average person could need. By way of example, a hotel might have a map on the back of its own card for any guests that are walking around the local area. A card of any sort can be produced multipurpose by adding one or more of these sorts of features through business printing.

  1. Outside-the-box cards

A very unique and identifiable presentation can sometimes draw additional attention. Creativity knows no bounds-except the quantity of money you would like to spend. Some examples are cards made from chocolate or that folded out into a tiny box to keep little items in.

One Last Tip

Though this might seem like obvious advice, it may cost you another trip to the printer if you do not heed it. Make sure you include the essentials the first time round visiting the professional printer. This means making sure your name, title, business name, address, telephone number (or numbers, if you would like to include your mobile), email and Web website are all correct on the document you are getting printed. If somebody wishes to contact you after receiving your card, you sure as hell need them to be able to!

The Importance of Good Web Content

The Value of Website Content

Superior content is what sets your site apart from the masses and provides the perfect message to the hearts and minds of your clients. The success of your site is determined mostly by its web content. In the end, content wins the pockets of your clients. The rest of the elements of your site (layout, visuals, videos, etc.) supply a secondary support role. In case you’ve got effective taglines, terrific design is only going to enhance their effectiveness. Design itself doesn’t sell. The content of your site should always begin with appropriate market research. You need to determine your high value customers (HVC) and specify personas to your site. Then you need to determine how you are going to target them. Taglines and slogans which are customer-centric (i.e., focuses on the needs and wants of the client) are essential to capturing the attention of your potential clients. Your taglines must provide a clear value proposition and include an effective call to action. The trick to a successful site is having clear, relevant and keyword-rich content that provides the ideal message with power and conviction. Your content strategy should target your audience, engage them and convince them to do it.

Copywriting vs. Copyrighting

Because good content is indeed important to the success of your site, consider hiring a professional copywriter to supply expert copy for your site. Copywriting is the process of professionally written articles for marketing purposes. It’s not to be confused with copyrighting–the procedure for getting a copyright or legal defence for your distinctive content (usually done through an intellectual property lawyer). It’s an excellent idea to secure both solutions. You might also consider filing for trademarks for your slogans or logo design.

Videos and other Visual Content

Effective content does not necessarily come in the form of text. Videos on sites are changing the way important messages are conveyed. Website visitors expect to receive the info they want without effort. Custom videos are a good tool to engage audiences and drive significant messages in a format that requires less effort than reading considerable amounts of text. If you are a mortgage broker, perhaps include a custom video explaining your key roles and how your site visitor will benefit from your business. Additionally, illustrations, infographics, diagrams and interactive presentations are often utilised to explain difficult concepts and help users in their own decisions.

Successful Design Strengthens Your Message

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” In webdesign, this is especially true, as first impressions are most important. Statistics show that your site typically has between one and five minutes to keep your site visitor. This is barely enough time to read and process any material. This means that you must find additional techniques to retain the customer’s attention or lose them to another site. This is where the layout and look of your site is relevant. It creates the first impression, captures the attention and engages your visitor to read and process your taglines, dive into your website and ultimately help to create buying decisions with confidence. Successful design functions in harmony with your copy; it supports your messaging, strengthens it and provides it in a visual, easy-to-process fashion, allowing your clients to get in touch with your site on a deeper level. Fantastic design also reinforces your company’s brand and eases purchasing decisions. Design must work in conjunction with your branding and content to be able to highlight your strengths and core company values, and ultimately lead users to do it. Be certain to adhere to some of the current web design trends. Effective web design is much more than just an aesthetically pleasing web site. Professional web designers need to factor in all design aspects, from the psychology of colour and screen resolution to access requirements and typography, so as to engage, excite and inspire. Challenge your internet designers, and ask them to describe the rationale of the layouts they market. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Furthermore, it might be worth looking to your competitors for appealing and effective mortgage broker website design.

Avoid Stock Photography on Your Site

Avoid using stock photography if possible. You may think a stock picture is the perfect fit for your site, however there are feasibly thousands of different websites using that same picture. Nothing succeeds and represents your company more efficiently than original and professional photos of your products, customers, facilities and team. Custom photography makes your site stand out among the rest, and they give credibility with the visitor on a personal level. Using custom photography also gives the opportunity to integrate your advertising message and brand into photos. This will greatly enhance the marketing power of your site.

Content Marketing

You have probably heard the word Content Marketing but might not be sure exactly what it means. Content Marketing involves the sharing and creation of publishing and media content so as to acquire customers. This information can be displayed in a number of formats, such as blog articles, news, videos, white papers, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, photos, etc.. Content promotion is one of the best methods for advertising your website and your company. Posting relevant, valuable and regularly updated information on your site will boost search engine optimisation (SEO), help position you as a professional, and permit you to build relationships with your viewers. All are priceless benefits for any company.

Importance of Website Content

One of the advantages of publishing good content is that it increases the amount of people who find your site through search engines. Search engines love content, especially frequently updated content, and if you wish to get visitors to your website, it is important to give content that people want to see. Likewise, a search engine’s job is to find content for their clients. Think about the following: How many pages do you have detailing your company’s goods and services on your site? You probably have a limited number. In a blog, for instance, you can add fresh, relevant content almost daily. Every extra page of content is possibly a new entry point (landing page) to your site. Many businesses seek close relationships with their clients. It’s sensible to post relevant and helpful info on your site through blog posts, articles or whitepapers. This provides prospective customers to see you as an expert in your business and be more inclined to conduct business with you. When you use content promotion, you establish trusted lines of communication with your clients, and build credibility in the procedure.

Utilise Social Media to Promote Content

Among the best ways to market your content and generate traffic is via social media. To get the most out of your content, you have to harness the power of social networking. For best results, your articles ought to be syndicated, distributed and promoted through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Why Your Business Needs Automatic Gates

Residential buildings aren’t the only ones that could benefit from using automated gates. It’s strongly recommended that commercial institutions also consider gate automation since using such a system in place can supply them with several advantages.

Provide security and protection

Among the most significant reasons for installing automatic gates is safety. Having automated gates is a terrific security alternative for keeping unwanted trespassers off your commercial property. The irreversibly geared motors which electrical gates have make it incredibly hard for burglars to force them open. Your automatic gate system, which becomes your first line of defence, helps not only to secure your property but also makes your clients feel safer 24/7.

Increases the curb appeal of your property

Automated gates don’t just offer maximum safety but a more attractive and inviting appearance for your property also. Before installing an automatic gate, consider your layout options first. There are numerous designs and colours to choose from that will fit your general theme and further improve your property’s appearance.

Customisable options

Automated gates can be customised according to your requirements. As an example, a sliding gate or a swing gate could be integrated with a complete assortment of locking mechanisms in addition to access control and fire control systems. They can even be set up with your own signage.

Convenience for your customers and clients

Manual gates require personnel to open and close them whenever people arrive. You will no longer need to do so with automatic gates since they can be operated only using a remote controller, without people having to exit their vehicles if no one is manning the gate This is especially helpful at night or during poor weather. Using access controls built into your own automatic gate, you can even see your customers and control if to give them access to your own property or not.

Practical setup and maintenance

Installation and maintenance of your automatic gates do not have to be a problem. Reputable gate automation providers have well-trained technicians, together with all the essential supplies and equipment, who can economically and safely set up your gates for you. Preventive maintenance programs will also help make sure your automatic gates are working according to manufacturer’s recommendations at all times, which increases equipment life expectancies and offers reliability.

Long-lasting durability

In comparison with regular gates, most automated gates are made from stainless steel and aluminium, which prevents them from easily breaking down because of weather damage or decomposition.

Increase property value

The value of a building fluctuates because of various factors. Making improvements on your establishment has an impact on its value. Adding automatic gates raises both its curb appeal and its value, which will make it even more attractive for buyers in the long run.

Additional insurance breaks

Insurance is a vital investment which commercial establishments must possess. Because automated gates offer another layer of protection to your property, insurance companies may be more willing to provide you additional insurance premiums.

All of these perks create automatic gates a must-have for any industrial property. Improve yours now by checking out our wide assortment of automated gate solutions.

10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Builder

Making updates and modifications to your house is stressful enough, without needing to be worried about cowboy builders destroying your experience. A few straightforward questions before you hire somebody could save you plenty of heartache. Help identify possible cowboy contractors by asking the following 10 questions.

1. Are you a licenced builder?
This is the first question you will need to ask. Only ever work with licenced tradesmen. The results can be catastrophic. Each state permits you to conduct a search on contractors to look at their license, a simple Google search for ‘assess a builder’s licence’ will get you started, please take action.

2. Do you have Home Indemnity Insurance?
Before pay a cent, ensure your builder issues you with a Certificate of Currency for Home Indemnity. This insures you for financial loss if the builder die, become insolvent or do a runner.

3. Are there any disputes underway with the building commission in your state?
This will inform you more about the builder’s overall reliability and professionalism in addition to the general quality of the work.

4. Have you ever been declared bankrupt?
If your builder went belly-up at any stage it may indicate a fast twist button on your job if they don’t have the financial means to complete the job. A building company with little or no money may be forced to pull the plug without warning leaving you stuck with a half-built house and looking for a builder willing to finish the job.

5. Do you work in area where I will be building?
It appears simple, yet a lot of people don’t ask this question. Your builder might not be considering building somewhere where they need to travel. The builder may also need to employ sub-contractors he’s unfamiliar with and these people might not be up to standard.

6. How long will the construction maintenance period last?
A builder agrees to perform maintenance on the building development for a time period after the property is handed over to you. Most experts recommend a six-month maintenance period for residential units and 12 to 18 months for industrial properties.

7. Who supervises the property structure?
This is important because the building supervisor is the man who keeps everybody honest. When a supervisor is onsite, higher quality work is done. Look into this individual’s track record including their past experiences and length with current employer.

8. What about your trade base and its long-term employment?
A consistent and reliable commerce base is vital to ensuring the job will be high quality come what may.

9. Can we view your newly finished projects?
This is absolutely a no-brainer. You must have the ability to check at the contractors’ recently finished work. This way you can see for yourself if the builder knows how to build a house. Take a look at the quality of products used and the job done. If you can, talk to the builders’ customers and get references. This way you can get opinions about customer satisfaction and experience. You’ll be amazed about how forthcoming men and women are with details.

10. What other projects are you going to get involved with while working on my home?
You do not want the builder to be biting off more than they could chew. The more they can focus on your work, the fewer mistakes they will make and not to mention your job will be done quicker.

And finally…
Bear in mind, building a new home is a huge financial and emotional investment. Take the extra time to do a comprehensive check on any potential builder, their craftsmanship, credentials and references.

The Growth of the Automotive Sunroof Market

The automotive sunroofs market is expected to grow at a substantial pace over the forecast period of 2017-2025. An automotive sunroof could be described as a fixed or operable opening in the vehicle roof which allows the entrance of air and light into the automobile. The automobile sunroof market has become highly competitive with new varieties of sunroofs and breakthroughs in the leakage issues that turns out to be among the major problems in sunroof openings. With the increasing demand for comfort and security systems in automobiles, the requirement for sunroofs in automotive vehicles has improved significantly. Sunroofs provide better air circulation within vehicles and also offer exceptional brightness and lighting during daylight, which in turn raises the comfort level of the passengers.

Global Automotive Sunroofs Industry: Drivers and Restraints

OEMs have begun to provide optional or built-in sunroof systems to midsize department automobiles along with luxury or premium vehicles. Due to rapid economic advancement, growth in GDP, reduced inflation rate and downhill trend in fuel prices, there is enormous demand for premium vehicles globally. Growth in production of these vehicles in developing countries of Asia Pacific is principally characterized by increasing domestic consumption, increase in disposable income, low ownership rates and existence of inexpensive labour in India and China among others. Moreover, recovery of macro-economic states in developed nations of North America and Europe post economic downturn in 2010 is just another factor responsible for the rise of the premium car division. These factors are largely responsible for the growth of the sunroof market as the increase of these sunroof systems is directly related to the progress of the passenger vehicle segment.

High care cost, incidences shattering of sunroofs are a number of the major dominating factors of the marketplace. It helps the market that the sunroof systems have holes and drains that can cause water clogging and leakage to the vehicle. This requires regular maintenance and therefore adds up to the upkeep cost.

The worldwide after market of sunroofs has been segmented based on material type, glass sunroof and fiber sunroof. Segmentation of the glass sunroof market has is into: laminated glass sunroofs and tempered glass sunroofs. The sunroof type marketplace was further segmented into in-built, tilt and slide, panoramic, top-mount, pop-up, and solar glass sunroofs. Glass is the most popular material employed for fabricating sunroofs. Having a glass sunroof provides greater transparency, and an open and spacious atmosphere, which has resulted in high customer interest in them and greater demand in the glass sunroof marketplace. Pop-up, tilt and slide, built-in, top-mount, removable and panoramic are the most frequently used sunroofs in automobiles. Pop-up sunroofs are one of the oldest sunroofs methods in use. They have an extremely basic construction with a vent in the trunk plus a removable glass panel. All these sunroofs are manually controlled.


Global Automotive Sunroofs Industry: Scope of this Report

The report offers a summary of the elements that drive and restrain the industry growth sunroof cars. The current marketplace trends of the automotive sunroofs market are highlighted together with future anticipated market development opportunities throughout the period from 2015 to 2025. Moreover, information related to key players operating in the market together with their market share and essential strategies adopted to keep their top position is also provided within this report. The report also comprises the present market size of automotive sunroof market in terms of earnings (USD Million) along with predictive prediction from 2017 to 2025.

The geographical segmentation contains the North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America region. Europe holds the greatest market share followed by Asia Pacific and North America. Asia Pacific is expected to develop together with the fastest growth rate.

Some of the major players working in the automotive sunroofs marketplace include includes Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. (Japan), Inalfa Roof Systems Group B.V. (Netherlands), Inteva Products, LLC. (Troy), Valmet Automotive (Finland), Johnan America, Inc. (U.S.), and Mitsuba Corporation (Japan), amongst others.

Commercial Mortgage Broker: Do I Need One?

Do I truly need one?

When you buy a commercial property for investment or for your company premises it takes a whole lot of planning and work. Commercial lending policies are not as clear cut as they are in residential financing so it’s worthwhile browsing broker websites to find an experienced commercial mortgage broker to have on your side.

What are the advantages and what should you look for in a commercial agent?

What makes commercial loans different from home loans?

Unlike a home loan to buy a residential property, commercial loans are not governed by the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2001 (NCCP Act). That is really a good thing for you as creditors can be more flexible with financing coverage. The trick is trying to figure out what the bank would like to see in an application and wanting to get a reasonable deal.

By visiting a lender directly, many borrowers lose out:

  • If you’re in a challenging situation, then the lender will use it as an excuse to overcharge you.
  • Should you not know what competitors can provide, they will charge as much as possible.
  • If you are a loyal customer with several accounts, they think you are going to be far less likely to leave so that they’ll charge you more!

What do commercial mortgage brokers do?

They will firstly sit down with you and work out what you are trying to attain. The agent will want to understand what type of commercial property you are looking at purchasing, whether it’s an office building, a warehouse, a retail store front or a factory. If you are PAYG, you will usually need to provide your latest payslip and a group certificate. If you are self-employed, the broker will have to see your past 2-3 years business and private financials such as tax returns and business activity statements (BAS). Fortunately, there are non-doc solutions available.

After all of this information is provided, the agent can go about searching for a lender that will approve your loan. Where a good commercial mortgage broker actually stands out is in their own abilities to negotiate for a competitive loan term and interest rate. Next, the agent will provide you with an Indicative Funding Proposal (IFP) to confirm the likely terms and conditions of the loan.

If you are happy with the proposal, the agent will arrange for a valuation and submit your mortgage application for acceptance. During the process, they’ll work with your solicitor and accountant and even liaise with your buyer’s representative (if you are using one) to offer you a smooth application process that’s in your best financial interests.

What are the advantages of a commercial agents?

They talk your language

They understand your goals in purchasing a commercial property, whether you are following a solid rental return or your plan is capital gains. They even deal with company owners seeking to get their own premises. They cannot advise on where and when to buy real estate but can help you to achieve your targets.

They don’t work for the bank

They can compare a variety of lending options from a variety of different banks and second-tier lenders. It is often found that Australia’s non-banks are more competitive than the big banks when it comes to pricing and accepting unusual commercial properties (security types).

They will negotiate your interest rate and LVR

You should expect to pay an interest rate premium for a commercial property loan but it’s important to see that the speed and the amount you can borrow (your Loan to Value Ratio) are not set in stone. In actuality, banks do not even advertise their prices to the general public. It comes down to a seasoned commercial mortgage broker with the credit skills and connections with the business development managers in the bank to get you a good deal.

They’re experts in credit

Did you know that certain types of commercial properties such as farms and bed and breakfast (B&Bs) can be financed at residential prices? That is much cheaper than commercial prices and you may even get more loan terms. Everything depends on the lender and how agents can package the deal.

They offer a smooth application process

They are with you from application to settlement and beyond. That means less stress for you so you can concentrate on continuing to look at other investment opportunities or, even better, pay attention to your business.

A commercial agent is with you for life

High-end investing requires a commercial mortgage broker that can commit to you for the long haul. They’ll play an integral part in your professional team together with your accountant, commercial buyers representative and your solicitor. In that manner, you can focus on living your own life and getting on with business while the agent focuses on ensuring your loan remains competitive.

What should you look for in a broker?

First thing you should look for is credibility. As a minimum, they should have a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking. They should also be an active member of the Fund and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Broker Association of Australia (FBAA). Second, you’ll want to understand what their experience is. Have a look at their LinkedIn profile and do a little research on the property you are taking a look at buying and be sure they understand what they are talking about.

If they have a Facebook page, check out what the testimonials and opinions say – this cannot be deleted or removed. Any other tertiary qualifications or specialist training they have in commercial broking may also give you more confidence in your decision. Visit different mortgage broker websites to see what’s available and compare what they are each offering.

Lastly, seek out a commercial mortgage broker who is “licensed” or can write loans with a large selection of the major banks, second-tier creditors and customer-owned banks such as credit unions and building societies. Increased choice in creditors means that you have a better chance of getting approval for a well-priced loan that fits your requirements.


Tips on Starting up a Plumbing Business

Whether you have just started thinking about it or if you have been operating your own plumbing company for the past couple of years, now is a good time to ask yourself why? Why do you want to be your own boss? Is it to earn money, maintain control, you just enjoy the notion of it or because you believe you can do it better? The answer probably does not matter. What does matter is that as soon as you understand the answer, you set some goals so that you can track whether or not reality lives up to your expectation. The goals for your commercial plumbing services will need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely).

If the purpose is to earn more money, just how much money do I want to make per year and the number of hours will I want to work a week to make this happen? Learn more about setting SMART goals here. As soon as you know why you are interested in being your own boss and what success looks like you will need to ask yourself would you realistically have the skills to accomplish those aims. Here you want to be quite honest with yourself. Broadly speaking, to start and develop a kick-ass plumbing business you will have to be a terrific communicator with excellent time management and multitasking abilities to be somebody who is good under pressure.

Speak with the Government
There is actually quite a lot involved in establishing and building your own business. Before you do anything drastic, save yourself time and money by knowing what is involved in running a company; whether it is an appliance repair service business, or a plumbing one there are always hidden costs involved.

Speak to Your Accountant
If you do not have an accountant you will need to find one as soon as possible. Or ask one of your tradie mates, or find a tradie to see what they use for their commercial business to get an idea on who to use.

Pick a name
If by this point you still wish to do this you want to decide on a business name. You then need to look at the domain name and see if it is available, and that you are not breaching any trademarks. All of the research sites mentioned previously has links to websites that allow you to check availability and actually register the title as soon as you have found one you like.

Get Online
No one in their right mind will want to start a company and then try to keep it a secret so among the first things you will need to do is construct a Facebook page and a site. For new and current companies there is not a single legitimate reason for not having both a site and Facebook page. It is so important for you to be seen online, on many different platforms. Make sure you create your own website so that potential clients can easily search your business online, and contact you straight away.

Build your contacts
Now you have established your general plumbing company and built up a digital profile hopefully some work has begun to roll in. There is still a lot more things you can do to fill the pipeline. Essentially, now you are in business you will need to go and tell a whole lot of people which may refer business to you such as local real estate agencies, contractors, friends, family members, the neighborhood school and any regional businesses. If you would like to contact a local builder then there is no harm in an email or telephone call to determine if they would be to get a conversation about using you and your staff as their favorite technicians. They will be keen to understand why you believe you can do a much better job at a better rate than their current provider so be certain to read the rest of this post to receive your ducks in a row.

When it comes to the real estate agent or hardware providers working in the area the very same tactics apply. Before you get in contact with these men you should have a very clear opinion on;

  • Why or how a relationship with you would be ideal for their customers?
  • Why they ought to consider you rather than their existing partner/s?
  • How do you establish that working together is a low risk choice?

If you follow these instructions you are going to have a business set up digitally and physically, you will have started promoting it and the tasks will be beginning to stream – awesome! If everything goes well you are going to get really busy, but do not forget to return to the ‘why’ and keep in mind your achievable goals to remain on your business track.


Things to Know About Starting an Interior Design Business

Interior design is — there is certain glamour to it all. And, for those who have a natural aptitude towards the arts and design that this may indeed be an ideal career choice. The wonderful thing about this particular profession is the fact that it is one which is achievable at any age and at any point in life.

I recently talked with Leslie Wood proprietor of Hadley Court. To learn the intricacies of getting a design company off the ground. I asked her to share some of her secrets with the hopes of sharing them with those of you who aspire to travel this path also.


It is a profession that sees no age constraints


After earning her MBA and working in the corporate world, Leslie, like so many girls do, resigned from her career to raise a family. When her kids were grown, interior design, always a passion, appeared to be a natural match. She registered in design school to earn her diploma. While she was doing that she kept busy in the design community by attending as many seminars and lectures as possible to gain insight from high quality advisors. Throughout the classes and the lectures she started to identify her own style — She gravitated towards lavish design. Her customers have an appreciation for the traditional and heirloom quality however they need family friendly furnishings for their lifestyle. This practical luxury is now Leslie’s area of expertise.


Find your attention


Focus is important. It’s necessary to concentrate on your own personality, passions, interests and abilities. Educate yourself as much as possible in specific places. By way of instance, if fine art is your passion, research it as much as possible so that you can start to make your own market and develop your specialization, just like if your passion was in beach style homewares. People will begin to seek you out to your own specialty. What’s more, when you have honed in on your individual area of expertise, you’ll have the chance to work with other designers who might have specialties in other locations, thus cultivating new and hopefully lasting working relationships. An excellent way to get your foot in the door and to get yourself some visibility is to find an internship with or work for recognized leaders of the business. This provides invaluable experience and is another terrific hands-on approach to learning. If you do so, it would be smart to work with a designer whose interior decorating style is similar to yours.


Getting started: The financing


You really don’t have to have a huge budget to start your own firm. Connections, in this case are more significant. It’s crucial that you connect with recognized top business advisors and authority figures in design. As you do that you may grow your own network foundation and as this occurs you’ll start to draw your own client-base. By taking the necessary steps of learning, interning and partnering your system will grow organically.

The best way to charge


In any Industry this might be the hardest, most confusing part of building your own business. First of all, you need to charge what you’re worth. Set the tone right from the start. Your customers will love this knowledge, upfront. From that point, ideally you can calculate how many hours you worked on a certain job, divide number by the net profit you made on the job. Initially a target rate of $75 (US) per hour is reasonable and accurate. Based on where you live, the scale may vary slightly. If a plumber can control their rate, then you need to also! Your eyesight, ability to conceptualize, and pull things together is what your customer is paying for. After all, if your client could do everything they would not have called upon you for your help!


Get it in writing


Contracts are necessary — absolutely necessary, since they protect all parties involved. Draw up a contract in writing so that your customer can see all that is entailed. It’s advised to ask for half the cover front, once the contract is signed. This will protect you if your customer has a change of heart. The more professional you’re from the beginning, the more you’ll be appreciated for your time, talent and business sense. Keep receipts and all of your finances in order. This is important when dealing with vendors, retailers and customers. If a customer audits you, which is a valid request, you’ll have to provide all of the detailed paperwork. If accounting isn’t your strong suit, then it would be a good idea to employ an accountant.


How to present to customers

Whether you’re meeting with prospective customers in their homes or your workplace, you may prepare storyboards for their own projects. If the client is after a beach style home, then clippings for coastal furniture and fabrics would take up your storyboard. Storyboards are visual and tactile recordings of the room you’ll be recreating. They permit you to be certain that all elements of your interior design work together. Leslie suggests offering your customers as much as possible and she sends her customers home with a gorgeous box full of fabric swatches in addition to a linen binder full of details for furniture, paint, hardware, etc. She firmly believes that it is this amount of attention to detail which has enabled her business to flourish as fast as it has.


The best way to grow your company


In this day of social networking, a growing number of people are relying upon the power of positive comments and word of mouth. Grow your circle. Get out there and join with as many people as possible on many levels. Join social and business networks. Meet with real estate agents, architects and contractor as it could turn into a working relationship. Identify and grow your brand. Start a blog or site or both to showcase your interior design style. Give prospective clients a sneak peek into your world. Here the net and social media is a really powerful tool. It’s the ability to connect you with individuals who may not ordinarily find you. Social media will help editors and powerful bloggers locate and promote your work also. All this can help grow your company, your brand, and in case you’ve got a product to sell, it is going to help with that too.

Get Return Visits from Simple Web Tips

Creating a successful website that keeps customers returning

We are all aware of the merits of social networking and how a powerful Twitter account or Facebook page may boost earnings, form contacts and drive traffic. However, if those carefully crafted tweets and statuses lead clients to some confusing and badly designed website then all the effort put into advertising will be fruitless. 

Without sounding overly obvious, a great website is essential to a successful business. A functional site that reflects your business ethos is the best sales tool where a bad site can damage reputation and sales. 


So where to start?

Before starting to build your site you need to have a very clear idea of what you would like and how you wish to make it. Vanessa Austin Locke, partner of Austin & Locke, has already been through the steps of producing a site. The company specializes in brand association strategies and producing ideas that enhance reputation, sway decision-makers and generate content. 

Austin Locke decided to utilise a website designer and stated she was searching for a combination of technical ability and creative vision. She aimed for simplicity of effect as it came into the design of her site. Simple and easy to use yet still engaging in a graceful way that’s not intrusive. We’re all constantly advertised to, and it’s irritating. We designed it with the client’s comfort in mind.


Hosting platform or website designer?

Creating a website doesn’t need to deplete your savings; you will find a myriad of hosting platforms like WordPress or craft websites, which allow you to create functional and aesthetic websites. If you know how to use WordPress already then don’t; make things harder and more expensive for yourself by using a new designer or building a CMS, says Austin Locke.  

When determining how to build your website, Sweales believes it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With the likes of WordPress that there are some great templates you can use for affordable web design, but if you want something a little more bespoke then look for a website designer. But stress that you want to be able to update the website once it’s up and running, you must maintain that flexibility.


The Design

The creative element of designing your site may be the most interesting part, but it’s paramount that you get it right and your internet look reflects the basis of your enterprise. 

Designer of the Austin & Locke website, Maria Withers believes that design trends are only temporary, but keeping up to date with them is essential.  

Your design should focus around your user’s needs, if a website isn’t aesthetically pleasing or intuitive your website can become redundant and users will bounce from your web page.


Boosting your sales

Correct management of your website can boost sales. SEO and social media play s significant role in directing potential customers to your site.  

You can make money from a website in a number of ways. You could set up Google Adsense, which will show Google ads on your website, says Sweales. Or you could accept banner ads on your website; this is more time consuming and both can distract from your core objective. If you have a website that markets your business, I wouldn’t be swayed to accept ads if it affects business branding. It’s worth setting up your business on Google Places for free as well as key directory sites like Yelp and Yell as they can help in the interim, says Sweales. 


Avoid creating a poor website

Building a visually appealing website isn’t enough to excite visitors; it has to be easy to navigate to ensure customer return, custom craft websites offer aesthetics and functionality 

Austin Locke believes static content is one the worst website offences and companies should keep it fresh and flowing, a website is like a room… it needs airing. 


Why Managers Should Use GPS Fleet Tracking

GPS fleet management systems are designed with one main goal: to save company managers time and money. There many advantages to using a fleet GPS tracking system. Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons.


1. Increased Profits and Performance

Access to vehicle efficiency and driver productivity information helps a company manage the costs associated with fleet operations. There can be a substantial decrease in employee overtime costs and driver downtime; decreased maintenance costs directly impact the bottom line. Plus enhanced route fleet and efficiency metrics allow for expanding client base. GPS fleet tracking for trucks saves roughly $5,484 per worker annually.


2. Improved Fleet Operations

GPS monitoring systems enable real-time decision making and improved accountability of assets and drivers. Fleet managers will no longer need to rely on driver log sheets, service forms and truck maintenance records to keep track of fleet vehicle operations. Immediate access to vehicle efficiency and driver productivity information can help a business better manage the costs associated with fleet operations. GPS vehicle tracking permits businesses to add more tasks to every work day. Companies typically find a 25 percent increase in work orders completed after implementing a GPS monitoring device.


3. Reduced Fuel Costs and CO2 Emissions

Poor driving behavior like speeding and unnecessary idling wastes fuel and could be recognized using a GPS fleet tracking system. Fleet vehicles may use up to 800 gallons of fuel annually because of unnecessary idling alone, which costs roughly $2400 per vehicle each year. Every unnecessary mile you remove will lower your carbon footprint and will make your whole fleet more effective and environmentally responsible.


4. Efficient Routing & Dispatching Support

GPS technology enables dispatchers to use real time GPS tracking for time-sensitive dispatching. Dispatchers can easily select and browse the closest vehicle to a certain place which will help to enhance customer service also. GPS technology will help dispatchers to determine support and delivery path overlaps, and to prevent difficult traffic areas that cause the driver to be delayed or get lost.


5. Reduced Maintenance Costs and Vehicle Wear & Tear

Without a fleet management system, vehicles are often serviced at regular intervals, no matter whether the vehicle is truly in need of upkeep. A fleet monitoring system will track each vehicle and send alarms to notify you if a vehicle requires repairs or maintenance. This can help to reduce excessive tire and motor corrosion which will extend the lifespan of your trucks and equipment.


6. Automation of Record Keeping

Fleet GPS management techniques require record keeping to a whole new level. All information relative to the fleet operations is listed and can be readily organized exactly how you want it. Fleet managers can schedule and confirm vehicle and equipment service periods; monitor service locations, gear drop-off places, and paths used; and maintain electronic records of employee hours and vehicle mileage. This information is invaluable in yearly planning and in the event of an audit.


7. Reduced Insurance Costs & Obligation

Most insurance companies provide a discount to companies using GPS tracking devices in their fleet vehicles. Verifiable vehicle data will help to safeguard your company against frivolous lawsuits. Fleet management systems may also lower your liability from injury claims and worker’s compensation costs.


8. Avoid Unauthorized Vehicle Use

Unauthorized and after-hours use of company vehicles can be identified and controlled with real-time data accumulated from a fleet management system. Ending unauthorized vehicle use will also reduce unauthorized gas consumption.


9. Increased Employee Safety

Automation of record keeping can help to enhance driver safety and efficacy. Fleet managers can access important data about driver behavior like speeding, unnecessary idling and a number of times the vehicle was set in reverse that can be dangerous. Fleet managers can benefit their safest drivers and train their worst drivers to use better driving habits. In case of an incident, GPS location data may also be used to get emergency help.


10. Better Customer Service

Real-time vehicle tracking data may be used to confirm driver deliveries and the amount of time spent at each place. Dispatching will have the ability to re-route drivers in a moment’s notice that will let you respond faster to customer queries.

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