Launching your own Real Estate Business

Beginning a property company needs a whole lot of work, time and training. Though the laws vary in each state, beginning a real estate company is generally a three-step procedure which may take at least two decades. Before beginning your own business, you want to be a licensed real estate agent, ready to sell property, and before getting a broker, you should be a licensed sales representative.

  1. Become a Real Estate Agent

Figure out the particular requirements in your condition for obtaining a real estate sales license. Typically, you want to be 18 years old and meet your country’s requirements for becoming a trusted person — like not being a felon.

Back in Texas, you have to complete a licensed real estate course of 180 hours which covers real estate principles, real estate law, property finance and contract legislation. After passing your real estate sales exam, you’ve got one year to use to the Texas Real Estate Commission to your own license. In Texas, you want a certified agent to host you until you’re able to get your license. The TREC sends your sales representative license to a sponsoring agent.

Back in California, you are able to get your license with no host nonetheless, you can not operate in the property until you get you. The majority of states need your fingerprints are available on file.

  1. Become a Real Estate Broker

As soon as you’ve functioned as an active real estate sales representative for the duration of time given by your condition, you are able to apply to be a real estate agent. Back in California, you have to wait two decades. In Texas, you must work as a revenue representative for four decades. Along with the particular work experience, you generally require extra instruction to sell property.

The TREC demands you to take a licensed real estate agent training course, comprising 270 hours of classroom time. Moreover, you require either a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or an extra 630 classroom hours in courses which are accepted by the TREC, for example, business courses at a licensed continuing education faculty.

Back in California, continuing education courses don’t rely on a broker’s schooling requirements; the classes have to be a college degree.

  1. Begin Your Real Estate Business

As a licensed real estate agent property seller, you’re currently in a position to begin your very own property agent business thing. To begin with, you form your business unit, including an online property sales platform and a limited liability company. In the majority of states, such as Texas and California, the company entity should have a licensed real estate agent who’s in good standing termed as a management officer at the company.

Together with creating your organisation, you want to register it with the IRS and your state tax office for taxation purposes. By this time, you finally have a proven base of possible customers and new sales representatives that want to discover a host to start their own careers in your new firm.

Matters Needed:

Yard signs, Broker’s license, Office equipment, Office furniture

Hints:

To keep your profit margin, then look at charging brokers a workplace charge for using the facsimile and copier. Agents may also lead to the cost of mistakes and omissions insurance.

Caution:

Do not skimp on specialist assistance. Have a lawyer look over most of your independent contractor arrangement, contracts and addenda…

How To Begin A Cosmetic Surgery Business

It is no secret that people always need to look their very best. A lot of people enjoy their appearance. Among the very best approaches to enhance one’s appearance is by using cosmetic surgery.

It was something that just wealthy celebrities could access, but these days, cosmetic surgery is available to everybody. Many suppliers offer affordable payment plans. Doing this has started up their job to a completely new market segment. Possibly one of the clear takeaways from this plastic surgery market is how rewarding it could be. Another is that the pleasure which you get by giving people a new lease on life. If you are considering starting a brand new cosmetic surgery organisation, today’s convenient blog article is right for you.

Skills required:

First, you should be a qualified plastic surgeon. This means you’ll have to have the ideal credentials to show that you’re good at everything you do. Additionally, it is imperative that you’ve spent some time working for additional cosmetic surgery associations.

Qualifications and experience are the things you must possess to begin a practice. If you do not have those two components, they’re the very first things you want to get. Otherwise, you may wind up making mistakes. And you may even get sued by your clientele. Additionally, it helps that you have a professional attitude for your job. Your customers will soon be paying you a great deal of cash to enhance their look. You need to make sure you’re courteous, professional and meet customer’s requirements. The latter is particularly important when deciding what your clients want you to perform.

Determine your company model:

Next, you ought to consider how you would like to prepare your cosmetic surgery enterprise. Do you want to work with wealthy customers? Or you wish to provide your job to a broad customer base? And are you going to be focusing on anything specifically? Or do you desire to offer a variety of services? You could specialise in breast surgery for women or go even deeper into a niche such as a breast reduction.

You also need to think of how you’ll be charging your clientele. Some cosmetic surgery suppliers operate exclusively with insurers. That means your customers will often be those who require cosmetic surgery.

Others might just provide look enhancements that build on an individual’s looks. As you can see, there are loads of things to take into account when deciding how you want to provide your services. Thinking about these before you can help you concentrate better on what you would like to offer you.

Research the market:

It does not matter which sort of company one decides to begin. What does matter is how much before market research they execute? There is no point beginning if you do not understand the competition or clients in the market.

It is likely you will have spent a long time working together with additional cosmetic surgery providers. You’ll have some notion about what customers need and the way those providers satisfy their demands. However, the cosmetic surgery market is immense. Scrutinising every element of it’s vital. Doing this now will allow you to avoid making expensive mistakes later.

So, what sorts of things should you’re studying? The very first thing to do is determine how hot each kind of therapy is. Everything you do not wish to do is provide or focus on something which rarely interests your clientele.

Next, you’ll have to research your principal competitors. Who are the key players in the marketplace? Why are they so prevalent? And just how much do they charge? If it comes to pricing, then you must be aware of something. Some cosmetic surgery suppliers charge more in some specific locations. Also look at services already provided in a place and the demand levels. If there is already a clinic providing labiaplasty and vaginal tightening surgery in the area, then you may need to go down a different path.

Business premises: new or existing?

When choosing a place, among the questions that you want to ask yourself is whether to create a brand new surgery or not. Sure, there are lots of commercial assumptions which it is possible to adapt to your requirements. Nonetheless, you might find it difficult to offer you a broad array of services if you do not have the ideal location.

Sometimes, it may work out cheaper to create a new building from scratch. It is well worth considering how much space you’re likely to need for operation. Particularly in case, you anticipate working together with different surgeons or co-sharing in the same building.

I advise that you stop by a few different industrial properties to judge a notion of space and scale. This way, in case you do not find something which fulfils your requirements, you can construct something bespoke. Should you go down the customised construction path, make sure to choose trusted providers. Ensure all builders on your job have the ideal skills and credentials. The very last thing you need to do is cope with lousy workmanship. It may delay the introduction of your company and provide your operation a lousy reputation.

Permits and Licences:

It is very likely you will need many different state and national licenses. Before you start up a cosmetic surgery organisation, you must apply for them. The sooner you do this, the better. That is because permits can sometimes take weeks to process! It is well worth talking to the sections that issue the permits that you need ahead. They may give you a good notion of the procedure and how much time you will likely wait.

Marketing:

Last, but not least, you want to take into consideration how you’ll receive new customers into your cosmetic surgery. Come up with a brand positioning strategy and go from there, will you be perceived as a luxury brand or an affordable, accessible brand? You could merely employ a comprehensive brand marketing agency to use their expertise and do the work for you or take it one yourself. Some things to get started include a company name and logo, website and advertising material.

Business Opportunities in Sports

Many successful companies begin as hobbies or recreational pursuits. Sports lovers, in particular, can discover ample ways to turn their passions into lucrative business ventures.

Listed below are some of our favourite and most practical sports-related small-business suggestions to think about:

1. Sports apparel: Odds are, your neighbourhood is filled with sports clubs, from pre-professional leagues, schools, and children’s sports clubs. Each one these teams want uniforms, along with the participants’ friends and family will probably wish to buy fan gear and personalised items to demonstrate their support. So why not set up a business who supplies custom basketball uniforms to local teams as well as a basketball jersey design service to help teams stand out and be unique. You could specialise in any sport, such as swimming suits, gymnastics leotards, and tracksuits or even soccer uniforms.

2. Team sports photography and memorabilia: today anyone can take a decent photo on their phone, but there is nothing like a quality team photograph before a big game, a great action shot to keep for years to come. Build a company based around team photography, especially if you already have some experience in the photography field.

3. Golf gear cleaning and repairs: Golf is a costly hobby, and lots of gamers are prepared to spend huge dollars to obtain a competitive advantage. If your home is close to a golf course or in a golf community, think about beginning a gear cleaning and maintenance company. Rich golf enthusiasts are not going to clean their own clubs and will be looking for a professional with great attention to detail to do it for them.

4. Fitness boot camp: Extreme sports are a fast-paced market. Fitness boot camps and intense programs are always in demand from those looking for a fast fitness fix. You could hold camps outdoors or partner with local gyms. Find a niche in the industry such as fat blasting boot camp or fitness camps for recent mothers looking to slim down.

5. Boxing gym: Together with intense sports, combat sports like mixed martial arts and kickboxing have exploded in popularity because the Ultimate Fighting Championship has gained recognition. Open a boxing gym to capitalise on this tendency. You can offer a range of martial arts style depending on your expertise and connections, there is high demand for wrestling training due to its intensity and effectiveness as well as an increase in youth pro wrestling for young enthusiasts.

6. Walking tours: Blend scenery and fitness. If you reside in a tourist destination relegated to walking, look at offering excursions on foot. Supplying active travellers having an experience that suits their lifestyle can be valuable. For more adventurous and rugged customers, you may think about overnight trekking tours, also.

7. Indoor parks and playgrounds: Parents are always looking for entertainment options for kids, especially on the holidays and weekends. This is where indoor playgrounds and facilities come in. Trampoline parks are popular as well as indoor mazes and play equipment. You can combine you indoor playground with a small cafe or food outlet as parents are hanging out for hours and children will surely be hungry after all the running and playing.

8. Canoeing teacher: or any sports instructor for this matter. In case you’ve got a talent and enthusiasm for some game, then introducing it to novices could be rewarding in a variety of ways. Becoming an instructor for beginners and children is an easy way to turn your hobbies and expertise into a business. Start recruiting clients at schools and other community clubs as well as advertising at local parks and playgrounds.

9. Fantasy sports: Who is on your dream team? The dream sports trend has exploded in size, and organisations are finding success serving this particular demographic. There are now businesses that provide insurance for players as well as other services such as technical analysis and professional tips. As this area continues to expand there may be other opportunities for business.

10. Driving range: Whether you purchase a current place or begin from scratch, a driving range can help keep you near a game you love and supply income for substantially less than the expense of a golf program. Keep it fundamental and basic, or include meals, arcade games, and activities for children, based on your budget and interests.

11. Paintball/laser tag: Both these sports have loyal followers and prove to be popular as recreational activities and birthday parties. If you have a passion for fun and innovation then these sports are for you. Paintball can be exhilarating and fun for people of all ages and will always be popular. Laser tag has seen several technological innovations in recent years including 3D imaging and high-tech lasers. Plus you can make additional revenue by having a bar or casual dining at your venue.

The Business of Retail

Margarita Olivares does not function average retail shops. In her store you will find pink walls, animal-print carpeting and workers wearing fluorescently coloured drapes; the products featured on metal display stands are furry, feathered or glittery in nature. This blend makes Olivares’ 2 Glamdora – It’s a Girl Thing, shops a woman’s paradise.

Olivares keeps busy by running shops in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas as well as being a mum of four. Additionally, it makes Olivares, who is now featured in the AOL/Entrepreneur. Com series “The Startup”, a fantastic person to speak about what is needed to conduct a hip retail idea. We asked her to share her secrets for maintaining a business running smoothly and efficiently, and here are some tips:

Location

  • Where you at? Selecting your place is the most essential step in making your dream of having a retail shop come true. What’s it if you’ve got a fantastic staff and amazing merchandise but no clients? You need to pick a place which has a high traffic count. A new retail shop is not likely to have a subsequent unless it is a franchise using a well-known title, [so in case you are independent,] you will need all of the help you can get. In the ideal situation you will want to be far from a competitors store and be beside non-competitive retail stores that have steady customers; the escape from such companies will induce your walk-in visitors and bring in new business for you instantly. If you are looking to a new retail shopping centre then you should to request the demographics of the region. This will make certain you’re not opening up a luxury shop in a low-end portion of city. Be conscious of your environment, and take your time picking the ideal site. Do not select a location simply because it’ near your residence.
  • Big brother. Shopping Centre management has a project to perform, and it is to be certain shops coming to the mall or people in the mall are after all of the guidelines and policies which pertain to each individual rental. But management should help new tenants be acquainted with the mall since malls are conducted by a rigorous set of principles, and breaking one of these rules may break your pocketbook. Opening late, for instance, is illegal and carries a fiscal fine to be paid into the mall. Mall management teams are extremely professional, and it is ideal to have done your research prior to trying a negotiating or meeting with leasing supervisors regarding the retail shop for lease.

Product

  • Stocking your shelves. Selecting product for your shop may be the most time-consuming and costly portion of starting a company. This obligation should not be dismissed! Before launching your shop, you need to see wholesale marts to obtain a notion of the product you’d love to carry. Decide exactly what your mark-up is going to be and what is right for your region. Deciding on the product can be fun but keep in mind to keep up an overall theme and purpose to your merchandise. Share ideas with other retailers in the mart and ask the sales reps to their own thoughts and suggestions. You will find most individuals are prepared to assist and talk about their experiences with specific goods. This can allow you to narrow and decide down [your options to] products which will succeed on your shop.
  • Maintaining a theme. I keep a theme in my shop by remaining true to the name: Glamdora – It’s a Girl Thing. Clients know exactly what to expect when they encounter our shop. They expect to find products for women, maybe not many stop in to find out what we need for boys. Keeping with our tagline we comprise products for women of all ages: nail files, presents, room decoration, accessories and shoes. They are all picked for their colours and merchandised by theme. Glamdora shops are hot pink and lime green showing off zebra and black accents. With this particular theme, I select merchandise that suitably fits my shop. I select the nail documents in sexy pink, presents in vivid colours, room decoration in zebra or leopard, etc. Sticking to a subject can allow you to build loyal customers and make an exceptional shop in the procedure.
  • Stay present and keep true. Do not believe you understand everything when it comes to trends. It is like trying to keep up with every available crane hire company – it is unreasonable. Keep up with the neighbourhood in addition to national trends. You may observe a specific look plastered all around the TV or in fashion magazines such as wire furniture, but understand your marketplace. Can it sell in your shop? Does this match your theme? And do not try to sell whatever’s way from your typical purchasing budget simply because it’s trendy. The ideal thing to do is listen to your clients. Clients will always allow you to know what they’re searching for, but only in the event that you ask. Stop by your nearest wholesale mart to preview forthcoming trends and new goods.

Implementing and Direction

  • Young workers. It is inevitable, you are likely to get young men and women work for you. Employ a young person that has a desire to find out more about your kind of business. Someone who’s interested in automobiles but wishes to work on your clothes store may not be as convenient as somebody who’s attending courses in vogue design? When picking a young worker, inquire about their hobbies and interests, and what they believe they can provide to you as a worker. I love to ask what they believe is their very best feature.
  • Second in control, assess all direction applicants’ references, and resume. Advertise for a supervisor if your budget permits and only if you are ready to provide competitive pay. A management candidate must have a minimum of one year of management experience and two decades of retail expertise. Request them numerous questions regarding applications, money management and, most significant, management abilities pertaining to client service and personnel.
  • Loss avoidance. You could always anticipate theft even if it is the on the latest slab scissors and you wonder how such a large item can be stolen. Depend on it and place your costs for this. The only way to learn how much you are losing would be to perform stocktake. I’ve got a POS [point-of-service] system that is run out of my PC and contains real time stock. It does not need to be refreshed and may tell me then that which I have available. Keep your workers fair with cameras. If you are selling small things to individuals, walk away with them, maintain them in safe instances. Make certain workers bring bags that are clear to function – or no bag in any way. You constantly need to take precautions.

Preventing Injuries In Your Business

1. Communicate your wellbeing and safety policy to employees. Each company must have one, and if you employ more than five employees, it must be in writing and readily available for workers to read. This could be by adding it to induction packs, employee’s handbooks or submitting it on a notice board. A well-written policy that is clear and understandable is a crucial and is a great first step in injury prevention for all businesses. The policy could illustrate site safety, safety equipment required to work, and other information tailored to your business such as evacuation procedures and hazardous substances. Whether you have a laser dermatology clinic or a run a factory, there will always be specific safety policies that everyone must know.

2. Evaluate the risks. All companies are obliged to perform a health and safety risk assessment. Think about all the possible hazards in your office, as an instance, are employees needed to carry heavy things or required to reach heights above their head? Or is there some possibility that clients can trip or hurt themselves that are preventable? Maintain a written record of your hazard assessment and any measures you take to decrease the probability of mishaps. Identifying risks and removing hazards is an efficient approach to ensuring safety and averting a serious accident.

3. Deal with any risks instantly. Slips and falls account for at least one-third of all workplace injuries – mainly brought on by preventable threats like slippery floor surfaces, trailing wires, and inadequate lighting. Reducing risk is generally simple, so act fast to clean up spillages, fix broken steps and invite employees to record maintenance faults straightaway. Ignoring risks and becoming complacent will cost you in the future. Simply paying for fixing some loose tiles is much more cost effective than compensating an injured employee. Engage employees in fall prevention training so they are aware and can help you identify risks.

4. Invite feedback from personnel on security improvements. Produce a safer office by consulting with employees on risk management, inviting opinions on security issues and inviting your staff to flag up office dangers. Employee participation is great because they are the ones at risk and exposed to the workplace the most.

5. Display safety data clearly. Make sure you stay inside the law by clearly demonstrating safety signs for employees and clients – for instance, instructions to emergency exits, warnings regarding transferring industrial vehicles or supplying information about the positioning of first-aid gear.

6. Maintain cleanliness and comfort. Apart from Providing basics like clean functioning bathrooms, sufficient lighting, and drinking water, you also must give ideal tools. Attempt to supply the most ergonomic design to decrease the probability of accidents like repetitive strain injury. Purchasing cheap seats and desks is a false economy if half of your workers wind up with back issues. Don’t take shortcuts or hold back on essential everyday equipment. As well as providing equipment, provide training on how to adequately operate equipment safely as well as proper storage and maintenance of equipment.

7. Have first-aid supplies readily available. The minimal companies are expected to supply is a suitably stocked first-aid box, an individual appointed to take charge of first-aid control and data for employees on first-aid arrangements. Ideally, you need to organise emergency first-aid training to the appointed individual in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and assisting a person who’s bleeding or unconscious. Have the first-aid kit located in an easy reach area and ensure everyone in the business knows where it is and then its contents.

8. Meet fire safety criteria. You’re obliged to carry out routine fire safety risk assessments and keep a fire control program which explains potential threats. Normal office breaches may consist of blocking fire exits, propping open fire doors and neglecting to train employees in evacuation processes.

9. Learn from any mistakes. If a person is hurt, however minor, take action to make sure it can’t happen again. The legislation claims you keep a listing of accidents or illnesses which occur to your employees during working hours this could be a very simple listing book or even a computerised log. No matter how much you activate safety, accidents can still occur so always remain vigilant and on top of your business, whether it is a restaurant or a cosmetic clinic it is your responsibility.

10. Keep security procedures upgraded. Do not forget to examine your coverages at least once per year or more frequently if you’re enlarging fast. As your business grows and employees develop into new roles, make sure they know about the risks and actively try to minimise accidents. Activate a culture where employees look out for each other and prioritise safety. Don’t forget to keep current with laws especially local restrictions- remember it is your job to keep inside Law.

How To Promote Your Product

For emerging food and drink brands, making the jump to grocery store shelves can be an intimidating yet unbelievably necessary measure for your merchandise and brand. Getting into grocery aisles significantly widens a brand’s potential customer base and exponentially increases its potential earnings haul. To successfully impress retailers and leave them clamoring to have your product on their metal display stands following your amazing pitch, you want to research each merchant and their typical customers, corner a market to make your product stand out from others like it, and align your product with a merchant’s business objectives.

Use these strategies to wow merchants and get your product in grocery stores in no time:

Make Your Product Stand Out
You may have researched everything there is to know about a merchant, but it will not mean anything if you are selling something that they already have. Prior to going to a pitch meeting, you will need to consider how your product differs from others like it. It is a wise idea to target a particular angle on your pitch – such as health, cost or ingredients – and highlight to retailers how your brand will stick out from other products in your market.

Know Your Audience
Among the biggest mistakes you can make is to enter every pitch with the identical approach you always use. Before every conversation with a merchant, you should research everything about them you can find. This means knowing who a retailer’s target customer base is, obtaining an ideal price point for this shop’s customers and having a grasp on demand for products like yours. Your research must dictate the cost point of your goods, the sort of packaging you should be using, and the marketing strategy you need to use when making your pitch to a merchant, and to successfully get your item onto product displays.

Prepare For Slotting Fees
Additionally, it is critical that you understand logistical issues, like how much a single merchant charges for slotting fees for shelf space in its store. This is especially important for smaller, emerging companies that are trying to improve their brand awareness, as these companies frequently have trouble paying slotting fees.

Help Shops Reach Their Objectives
Rather than creating a sales pitch just about your product, you need to position yourself as a possible teammate to retailers. To do that you want to get familiar with a company’ short-term and long-term objectives, and this strategy can go well beyond making a profit. By way of instance, retailers may be seeking to expand their offering of healthy or neighborhood food alternatives, so promoting your product as a means for retailers to accomplish that aim would serve you well during a pitch. It’s also wise to bring advertising strategies for your product to the table so retailers have a clearer idea of how to make sure your product will fly off the shelf.

You should think about how your product could be cross merchandised with other stock, mock up intriguing merchandising displays, and flesh out an advertising strategy prior to your pitch assembly so retailers have the ability to see the entire potential of getting your merchandise in their stores. The more they see you as a spouse who wishes to work together, the better your chances are of procuring some of the coveted shelf space in one of the retail aisles.

It is essential to keep these plans in your mind when devising your retail pitches. If you follow these guidelines, you will have the chance to place your brand ahead of the competition as you see your products picked up in a growing number of stores.

How To Market Your Business

You have started a company and you’ve got your new, professionally designed, custom logo. Now you will need some marketing materials so that you can get out there and promote your organization, your products, and your services.

However, what do you want exactly? A brochure, stationery, folder, flyer printing, website, blog? With all the different options you need to choose from, how can you know what to do and how can you know that is the best option for your company? And more important, which bits can get you the biggest return on your investment and bring you the most value? There are many places that specialise in booklet printing, however how do you know this is your best option?

There are some primary marketing pieces that every businessman, entrepreneur and small business owners needs:

– A business card
– A site
– A marketing piece

Your Business Card
Your business card is typically the first thing a new prospect will see. Their first impression of your company is often based on your business card. It is an integral way to get in touch with others and give them your contact info. Your business card should clearly convey a few things; not just who you are and what you do, but it should catch their attention and make them want to find out more. Your business card should include the following:

  • Your logo
  • Your brand colour palette and typefaces
  • Your contact information, including a mailing address. Supplying a mailing address in your cards instantly adds stability and credibility to you and your organization.
  • Support Details. This might be a tagline, call to action, sales pitch, or a list of solutions.

Your Website
If you’re in business, you definitely need to have a site. Not having a website could be driving your prospects into your competition’s door! Does a professional, easy to browse website offer you an internet presence, it provides credibility and immediately makes your company feel more established. Additionally, it is a fantastic tool for advertising your business, educating your prospects and customers, and automating repetitive tasks.

The layout (the look and feel) should blend cohesively into your own brand, strengthening your message and encouraging your brand positioning. The website should be simple to use, allowing visitors to quickly find the info they need. The site should include basic search engine optimization, such as name tags, description and keyword meta tags, HTML heading tags and ALT tags.

Your Marketing Piece
To further build your brand and connect with your clients and prospects, you’ll also need some type of follow up thing. This might be a booklet, a rack card, a postcard, a note card, or an HTML email. The particular type of thing will be different for every organization. You may use an HTML email newsletter template to maintain your target market upgraded on your organization, or your may use a note card to write a fast personal follow up note after a networking event. Here are some quick tips on choosing and creating your follow up things:

  • Examine the ways that you are in contact with your target market and which sort of follow up are the most suitable and the most favored in every case. Would a postcard be appropriate or perhaps a thank you note, or perhaps an HTML email?
  • Inspect the amount of time you have available for follow up. Have you got enough time to handwrite or personalize every follow up message? Or could it be better for you to create a printed item that may be used over and over?
  • Assess what portion of the follow up procedure can be assigned to an employee or virtual assistant. Will you make all the telephone calls yourself, but outsource the mailing of postcards? Or, if your target market favours email communications, are you going to use auto responders and program out a string of messages?

Ensure any advertising materials you match your brand and always communicate your message and reinforce your identity. Together, these few advertising tips can help you with your business card, your site, and your follow up thing are a combination your company cannot live without.

Cars For Business CEOs

Luxury automobiles often are large attention grabbers. That is particularly true in regards to what the CEO pushes. Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton famously drove a pickup. Warren Buffett, worth $42 billion, drove a silver 2001 Lincoln Town Car with Nebraska plates ‘THRIFTY’ till he auctioned it for charity on eBay last year for $73,200. When Alan Mulally moved from Boeing to become CEO of Ford Motors, last year he caught flak for calling his Lexus the best car in the world only when Ford was introducing him as its new leader.

The way the boss gets to work may seem a relatively benign thing. But people pay close attention to what their CEO drives, and what accessories they have in and around their cars. Just 10% of nearly 3,000 people asked did not know what their main boss drives. An automobile can really say a lot about the individual in the corner office. What CEOs drive provides a look into their private engine blocks. Some drive hybrids to be green and efficient. Others prefer older cars to show they could milk the most from available resources. Then, there are people who want fast and expensive cars because they are at the very best and will not settle for less. There are also those CEOs that love the bells and whistles on their cars, including 4wd accessories or even specialized leather car seats.

BMW was the hottest make driven by the C-level executives on the poll. Yet BMWs accounted for just 13 percent of the total, followed by Ford at 7 percent and Lexus at 5 percent. Another USA TODAY survey of 90 CEOs saw 13 percent drive a BMW, 12 percent a Mercedes, and 10 percent a Toyota. If automobiles represent character, the number suggests that CEOs are as diverse as Galápagos Islands species. There are those like Pace Micro Technology’s, who drives a $100,000 Porsche because he is obsessed with functionality, speed, and layout.

CEOs are not unique in having cars that show their personalities. For many people, cars represent their values, or people they expect to portray. However, it’s especially true for people who can afford any vehicle they truly desire. In the individual USA TODAY survey of 90 CEOs, the vehicles ranged from a $170,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur with a webasto sunroof, into a ’66 Lincoln Town car with a tjm bullbar. While 43% drive model years 2006 or newer, 11% drive vehicles created in the 1990s, or sooner. USA TODAY calculated resale values: 8 percent of the CEOs drive cars worth more than $100,000, while 6 percent drive vehicles worth less than $10,000.

Pricey automobiles, clothes, and houses owned by CEOs inspire employees, says Herb Vest, founder and CEO of dating site True.com. He drives a Mercedes convertible. Dean Cubley is CEO of ERF Wireless, a provider of encrypted wireless networks that is yet to turn a profit; he drives a Mercedes 500SL.

Three years ago Profit magazine called Debbie McGrath among Canada’s most successful female entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, the CEO of HR.com, which offers human resources advice, drives a ’93 Oldsmobile Silhouette, a minivan that got poor reviews, failed to sell well, and has been stopped. McGrath says it does not embarrass her but may embarrass her children.

There were only five women among the 90 who reacted to USA TODAY’s poll, too few to draw conclusions. But signs are that the entire CEO car thing is largely about boys and their toys. None of the girls reacted like Phil Libin, CEO of Sunnyvale, Calif., technology company EverNote, who recalls riding with his dad in a ’77 Malibu Classic with a dash that appeared to “stretch for miles” with sterile holes where the cool gadgets should have been. He describes his father as a car minimalist who’s still somewhat angry that cars no longer include manual windows. Libin, on the other hand, says he grew up to be incapable of passing up accessories, and he shops for automobiles primarily dependent on the amount of buttons, knobs and blinking lights on the dashboard.

One CEO who spent more than $100,000; Raul Fernandez, CEO of ObjectVideo and co-owner of NBA and NFL teams in Washington, D.C, drives a $111,000 ’07 Maserati Quattroporte. Although, he might trade it in because he has three young children in safety seats. Real estate developer Donahue Peebles primarily pushes an ’06 Mercedes-Benz CL550 probably worth slightly less than $100,000 brand new, but he also owns an ’06 McLaren SLR, an ’04 Ferrari 360 Spider, a second Mercedes, an ’06 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and an ’06 Jeep Commander; supercharged, of course.

As a CEO, what car you drive reflects greatly on your role and position within the company. Whether you are a green efficient driver, or more a sporty person driving that Porsche – no matter what you think, others will always have something to say about you, and that is just something you need to get used to.

How To Start Up A Business

So you wish to start your own business? If you think it is likely to be simple, think again. Entrepreneurship is a journey that takes a whole lot of time, energy and hard work, and perhaps unsurprisingly, lots of individuals wind up failing. But if your organization survives, the benefits of entrepreneurship are well worth the hurdles you will face on the path to success. If you believe you are ready to begin your first business, here is a step-by-step overview of everything you will need to do to make it happen.

Brainstorm ideas

Every new business starts with an idea. Maybe there is something you are really knowledgeable and passionate about, or maybe you believe you have discovered a way to fill a gap in the market. Wherever your interests lie, it is almost guaranteed that there is a way to turn it into a company. Consider making your own unique business card design, and get it professionally printed to hand out to future clients or customers.

When you have narrowed your list of ideas down to one or two, do a speedy search for existing businesses in your chosen business. Learn what present brand leaders are doing, and work out how you can do it better. If you think that your company can deliver something other businesses do not (or deliver exactly the identical thing, but quicker and cheaper), you have got a good idea and are ready to create a business strategy. Another option is to start a franchise of an established company. The idea, new and business model are already in place; all you need is a fantastic location and the capacity to finance your operation.

If you are looking for some inspiration, check out a few of the most popular business idea lists:

Construct a business plan

Now that you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: what is the point of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end objectives? Do you need business stationary to get your product heard? How will you fund your startup costs? All of these questions could be answered in a well-written business program. A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any possible difficulties and what you will need to sustain it. A complete guide to writing your plan can be found here.

Assess your finances

Starting any business has a cost, so you need to find out how you are likely to pay for those costs. Have you got the capacity to finance your startup, or are you going to will need to borrow money? If you are planning to create your new business your full time job, it is sensible to wait until you have at least some money put away for startup expenses and for sustaining yourself at the beginning before you begin making a profit. While many entrepreneurs put their own money into their new companies, it is very possible that you will need financial aid. A commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often tough to secure. If you are not able to take out a bank loan, you may apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternate lender.
Startups requiring a lot more funds up front may want to consider an investor. Investors usually provide several million dollars or more to a fledgling firm, with the anticipation that the backers will have a hands-on part in running your company. Instead, you could launch an equity crowd funding effort to raise smaller amounts of money from several backers.

When choosing to start up your own business, consider the above steps and make sure you don’t rush into anything – remember, you want to achieve the best results for your business and by doing so means to take it slow and steady.

7 Ideas to Generate Leads for Brokers

Some mortgage broker sites are direct generation machines and some are Bermuda Triangles where qualified prospects move in and nothing comes out.

If you are a mortgage broker and you want to ensure your mortgage broker website ends up in the first category, you need to think about the seven traits of sites that generate leads.

Some of those characteristics are quick and easy to replicate and others are going to take some time and talent. What they all have in common is that they’ll make a large influence on your online lead generation — and therefore your bottom-line.

Mobile-Friendliness

In case you have not heard, mortgage brokers need to start believing in mobile-first so as to construct and maintain a successful site. Smartphone and tablet users have less and less patience for non-mobile-optimized websites, purpose built mobile websites and multi screen web design are more important than ever. Do not lose all those potential clients!

Here is how you can convert more cellular visitors into qualified leads:

  • Make certain navigation and link buttons are large enough to click easily, but small enough to fit mobile device displays
  • Use brief, clear, and targeted CTAs with action words
  • Use pictures, but ensure that they don’t overshadow CTA buttons on smaller displays
  • Format the content on every page so that it’s easy to scan and read on a multi screen web design. Think shorter phrases, and much more subheadings and bullet points

 

In-Depth Content

Filling your website with great in-depth content will have a huge impact on your online lead generation.

First, it is going to allow you to get more traffic. Content quality is your number one factor in Google’s ranking algorithm nowadays. If your website has it, you are likely to get excellent search engine visibility for your main keywords which will help you target clients, such as those selling private and commercial real estate.

Deep content also helps you do a better job of converting traffic into qualified leads.

  • If you answer all of your visitor’s questions on your content, they do not have to keep their online research on competitors’ mortgage broker websites.
  • The deeper you enter your articles, the more you can show off the unique selling points you provide that your competitors don’t.
  • Earning trust is crucial, and in-depth content shows off your experience in a manner that resonates with potential borrowers.

 

Customer Reviews

Speaking of hope, nothing earns it quite like testimonials.

Do not assume that people interested in your mortgage company will find reviews by themselves. In case you have good customer comments on platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook, you need to think about republishing them on your site.

If you have additional reviews that have not been published elsewhere, then put them on the testimonials page on your website. If you do not have lots of testimonials yet, begin making attempts to earn more. Seriously, reviews matter a great deal to your prospective leads.

Useful Tools

Mortgage broker sites need to be “sticky” if they are going to generate leads. Why is it that prospective customers stick to your website like glue? Useful tools

Your prospects will probably like to do some DIY calculations before they contact any lenders to buy a commercial property. Give them simple access to resources that make that possible and you will up the odds of these calling you when they’re ready to take that next step.

Here are some possible tools to provide on your mortgage agent website:

  • Interest rate feeds
  • Mortgage payment calculator
  • Refinance savings calculator

 

Gated Content

If you can create a miniature eBook or PDF manual on a subject relevant to your potential clients, you need to turn it into gated content.

“Gated articles’ is simply content that may only accessed by registered or paying customers. In your case, you will likely want to supply your valuable resource in exchange for basic contact information from the prospect. They get useful content that answers their questions; you get their email address so that you can market to them via their inbox. It is a win-win and an efficient way to enhance your lead generation.

Forms, Forms, Forms

If you want to capture information about your potential customers, or if you want them to get in contact with you when they’re ready to take the first step toward a home mortgage, you’re likely to need forms on your site. Not everyone wants the very first contact to be a telephone call. Unfortunately, many mortgage broker sites decide to just put a contact form on a single page: the contact page.

Do not make the same mistake. You should have a form on every single page on your website. It should not overshadow everything else on the page, but it should be prominent and the entry button must include a concise call to action that focuses on a specific advantage that you think would entice prospects to work with you.

Pop-Ups

Plenty of people say that they find pop-ups annoying, but the fact is that they work. They work really well.

If you are doing a great job of getting traffic to your website, but you’re losing them before they take any type of action (filling out a contact form, providing an email address in exchange for gated content, calling you, signing Up to get your e-newsletter, etc.), including pop-ups is among the easiest and most efficient strategies to boost conversions.

Vegan Leather Has an Unethical Dark Side

It was the ideal style, price and colour, but most importantly, the vegan leather tote bag had the ideal intention stitched to its very stitching. Yet it took just a couple clicks of the mouse to show an abysmal major question mark over its ethical brownie points.

Welcome to the intricate world of ethical style and its star recruit “vegan leather” (also referred to as faux or faux leather and, previously, pleather).

Yes, ethical fashion is that interested juncture where our conscience meets our credit card. Nobody exemplifies this better than British designer and self-anointed vegan queen Stella McCartney and her high-end handbag and women’s shoes range worn by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway and Salma Hayek.

 

However, it’s the non-leather inventory popping up in mainstream brands, such as American Apparel, H&M, Topshop that is really accelerated interest one of the lucrative millennial sector.

Up to now, it’s been so on trend, but scratch the rather vast surface of the vegan leather business and a murkier picture emerges. Clicking on “materials” I see that it is made from “PU” — polyurethane. Okay, that has certainly existed for quite a long time, but just what is it?

A chemical site informs me that polyurethane is formed by reacting a polyol with a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanine in the presence of appropriate catalysts and additives.

 

Pardon my ignorance, but this sounds about as natural as a turducken. However, it’s exactly what PU does to the environment that is the larger issue here, like the solvents which are used in creating polyurethane-based synthetic leather that are highly toxic.  And unlike leather produced from, say, a cow, a product made from PU also won’t biodegrade anytime soon, either, and neither is it recycled.

Vegan leather sits on peak of a market flanked by inconsistency, irregularity and ambiguity. However, it isn’t fair to tar all vegan leather products like women’s ankle boots with the same brush, and this is not good news for either the consumer or the industry. Especially since Stella McCartney is not alone in championing ethical options albeit at hefty prices (McCartney developed her own substance Eco Faux Leather, which uses vegetable oil as opposed to petroleum oil).

You can discover legitimate producers of vegan leather ladies boots which use more sustainable materials like Vegetan, which may be 70-80 percent biodegradable, or Lorica (or EcoLorica), another sort of hi-tech material generated from mixing microfibers saturated in resins. And then there is cork, barkcloth, glazed cotton and waxed cotton.

But that is just it. If you really want to find out more about your vegan handbag or women’s shoes, for that matter, you need to do all of the groundwork. Not exactly what you would call a winning marketing thought.

Bonnie Murthy, co-director of one of Melbourne’s most iconic ethically sustainable retailers Vegan Wares, could not agree more. Additional to the obvious problems related to operating in a regulation vacuum, Murphy informs me that the vast majority of the vegan market remains caught up in seasonal style which almost by definition is unsustainable (i.e. built-in obsolescence, seduction of new more ‘fashionable’ appearances, short product life etc.). While sustainability is fundamental to the authentic vegan philosophy, she says, in practice it often runs a poor second to animal-free component.

So there it is. Even people in the trade believe that vegan leather was coasting for too long on an undeserved reputation and it is no longer enough to understand what it is not anymore. The industry as a whole should take another step and live up to what it claims to be–a workable, consistent and clear alternative to the animal trade.

Introducing tighter regulations are a beginning, but like any industrial market, at the core of the vegan leather motion is the consumer. Up until now we have allowed the business to feed our vanity (Look at me I am helping save the entire world) And our guilt (I know that I cannot really afford it, but can I afford not to get it?), but let us not let it trade any farther on our integrity.

The ethical foundation on an Effective Mentoring Program

A formal mentoring program may be employed to develop worker skills, leadership characteristics, and also a commitment to the integrity of the organization. Laying the ethical foundations of an organisation via a mentor-mentee relationship proves an essential resource for new employees. It helps to navigate the way of working for a new organization and the guidelines and structures in place to do so. Mentors, also known as trusted business advisors, play an important role as role models to guide workers in the early stages of their careers and create future leaders who can become mentors at a subsequent stage in their professions. 

A solid mentoring program is significant today because workforce demographics have changed dramatically in the last several decades. In addition, technology has automated conventional employee functions and continues to influence on-the-job performance, changing the way people see themselves inside the corporate structure.  

It is suggested that an organization develops a business mentoring program and not relies on managers to perform that role. While many managers demonstrate mentoring behaviour on an informal basis, it is very different from having a structured training program. Managers focus on achieving the aims of the business whereas a mentor-mentoree relationship concentrates on developing the mentoree professionally and personally. 

A few reasons on how a successful training program rewards a company are: improving strategic company initiatives, increasing retention, reducing turnover prices, improving productivity, elevating knowledge move from just getting information and to keeping the technical expertise and wisdom gained from long-term workers, improving professional development, linking employees with invaluable knowledge and information to other workers in need of such advice and, supporting the creation of a multicultural workforce by developing relationships among diverse employees. 

A successful business mentoring program will also run through all to do with ethics. This includes ethical guidelines or policies the organisation will be held accountable for. The most essential step in encouraging ethical conduct is transparency. If the public can monitor a business’ behavior and if the organisation needs to make data available about its own operations, then it is the interest of the organisation to avoid unethical behaviour. However, businesses have legitimate reasons to keep some things secret although the duty of proving this relies on them. 

A business mentoring program benefits workers in several ways including: profits from the mentor’s experience; receiving critical opinions in key places, like communications, interpersonal relationships, technical abilities, change leadership and management skills; developing a much better focus on what is needed to grow professionally within the business; learning specific skills and knowledge which are relevant to private aims; gaining knowledge concerning the company’s culture and unspoken rules that could be crucial for achievement, as a result, adapting more quickly to the organization’s culture. 

The characteristics desirable in high quality advisors are as follows: 

Credibility. A high level of credibility in the organization. People must feel comfortable going to the mentor in talking about issues and confidential matters in a non-technical manner. Not only must the mentor be trustworthy and well-respected, but they must be perceived as trusted and well respected by those in the organisation.  

Common sense. The mentor needs wisdom gained by years of leadership and experience informed by the ethical principles of their organization to provide a base to exercise decent decision on sensitive issues and to resolve them appropriately. Mentors will need to think first and act afterward to better understand the issues and develop a rapport with the mentoree that builds on a relationship of trust. 

Business mentoring programs come in various shapes and sizes based on their goals. However, having them in place reduces the likelihood of unethical behaviour for both new and incoming employees to those already working for an organisation.  

Monitoring Theft in a Construction Business

Why construction businesses need equipment tracking 

For any construction company, the capacity to safeguard key equipment and move it easily at effortlessly between worksites is key to profitable operations. 

Even though a number of construction firms use real time GPS tracking on their vehicles and trucks on the road, many have not considered the advantages of using GPS tracking for securing assets and their equipment. Asset tracking technologies provide companies with real-time access to valuable equipment to help combat one of the industry’s biggest hurdles – theft.  

From cabs that are easy-to-open, poor security and lack of product identification numbers, building and construction sites are hot targets for crime. Based on the most recent data compiled from the National Equipment Register (NER) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), nearly 12,000 construction-related thefts were reported in the last year. Additionally, it is also estimated that 90 percent of thefts occur at building sites. This statistic isn’t surprising, considering sites are left open to thieves on nights and weekends once employees have gone home for the day and no safety personnel are present to guard the site. 

 

Equipment Theft is a big but avoidable problem 

The NICB report showed that of the 12,000 theft reported in the last year, only 23 percent of the stolen goods could be recovered. Several factors contribute to the low recovery rate of assets from delayed theft discovery, inaccurate or missing owner records, minimal law and policy resources and complicated equipment and identification formats. 

Equipment theft costs between $300 million to $1 billion each year, with the true cost of theft being much higher than the costs of replacing the stolen equipment. Once you consider the cost of downtime for workers whose equipment is missing and the cost of rental or replacement equipment is added, as well as increases in insurance premiums, the impact of theft becomes significant.  

With high pressure projects and tight declines, construction managers need real-time visibility of their equipment at all times. What makes an asset tracking system so effective is that it provides it provides managers with a full view of assets at all times and the information they need to handle equipment theft. Managers can easily monitor and locate equipment in all worksite yards and track all movements in real time.  

What should you be tracking 

When it comes to targets of theft, equipment can be separated into three different categories including high-value items, small equipment and tools and attachments. High-value items may consist of excavators, cranes, pavers, extractors and other large equipment. Small equipment includes light towers and sweepers and the final category, which thieves target most, consist of all small equipment and tools.  

The NICB reported that value and mobility were the two key factors that determined what types of equipment was stolen. The NICB also reported that tractors and loaders were among the types of equipment targeted frequently. A few other examples of hot targets that should be equipped with tracking include generators, light banks, trailers, portable toilets and cranes. Construction companies that utilise integrated asset management  typically begin with category one and begin working their way down as they begin to see significant savings. 

Why now? 

Formerly, this form of tracking technology was unattainable to most in the industry due to significant costs, now however, construction firms are able to find value-priced solutions to suit their business needs. As the economy continues to drive the construction industry, being able to better control costs with the prevention of theft will help every become more profitable.  

Ethics in the Sale of Indigenous Art

For many decades now indigenous Australian artwork has adorned boardroom and salon partitions from double bay to New York City and from Berlin to London.

Notwithstanding the commitment of dedicated arts centres, curators and collectors who have been determined to forge better prices for frequently impoverished native founders, too many aboriginal artists remain disadvantaged by poor access to mainstream markets, website designers, insufficient rates for their work and unethical acquisition practices.

Input Bluethumb, a transparent online sales and promotional area for Australian visual artists, that has shown considerable early capability to link painters and artists from remote indigenous community exhibition display services to vast, untapped national and worldwide buyers’ markets.

Bluethumb is the production of Brothers Edward and George Hartley, a former accountant and a program designer for a web agency respectively, who were motivated by an early contact with artwork and their entrepreneurial dad.

Edward Hartley describes: we watched two industry-wide issues that were not being solved — where could people like us purchase artwork? Back in 2011 it seemed like you can buy anything online, except original artwork. And, how did emerging artists build a profession when less than 1 % ever watched gallery representation? And we wondered if a single online platform could address these issues by connecting art fans with Australia’s best emerging artists.

About 90 art centres operate in regional northern territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, representing some 13,000 native artists. As a result of modest sales and public financing, the centres have uncovered bold new abilities, brought modest earnings to communities and introduced more non-indigenous Australians into aboriginal and Torrs Strait Islander art.

But the centres will also be captive to the vagaries of distant community life: not least an inability to attract skilled artists and poor weather — especially in the rainy season — which isolates some communities for months leaving tourism impossible and makes it impossible to bring art supplies in and get paintings into prospective buyers quickly despite the impecible packing and crating services, the weather just makes it impossible.

Lots of the arts centres get little if any tourist traffic. So it’s very important that the centres are connected in different ways to prospective buyers that will neither personally go to the arts communities nor see the work of the artists in urban galleries.

Edward Hartley spent annually in Darwin. He travelled extensively throughout the top end and to the Kimberleys where he discovered something of indigenous art and culture which is, he believes, massively underappreciated. Today we’re building this incredibly strong network of collectors online, I believe we can build the world’s largest and most important group of native artwork, in one accessible location he said.

So far, eight community arts centres have determined to have their artists’ works showcased on the Bluethumb website. Most signed up following the business’s Freddy grant attended the 2016 revealed festival in Fremantle, an annual exhibition of top western Australian indigenous art.

Hartley states: the results were phenomenal. Despite not having yet assembled a dedicated platform [for indigenous art centres], they all made sales in the first fortnight, we’re determined to continue to enhance the technologies and on-ground service for art centres. It will have a substantial investment to build it up to where it ought to be, but I strongly believe in its own long-term price.

Bluethumb is launching a particular indigenous art center on its website. Now about 3 percent of the artwork on the Bluethumb site is indigenous (consistent with the first nation’s representation from the Australian market).

Several respected curators of indigenous art in the top end are independently praising the dedication of Bluethumb for promoting and assisting sell the job of remote artists.

One of them told the guardian: there is a huge possibility market here as well as the arts centres themselves may only do so much. They [Bluethumb] are rapidly building a good reputation for ethical and possibly lucrative bridge-building between remote aboriginal artists and the marketplace.

Bluethumb’s Freddy grant states: before we began this indigenous arts center project, the indigenous representation on Bluethumb was considerably lower. We are happy that it is now consistent with the Australian population statistics and will keep working hard for more and more indigenous artists on board.

Concerning linking distant artists with buyers, the business model is notable for its simplicity. Buyers choose and buy the art on line, the appropriate art center packages and dispatches the piece on the weekly mail plane and it’s delivered to the purchaser. Bluethumb takes sales commission in the pieces (smaller for arts centres than mainstream artists and galleries) and contains a seven-day return policy for unsatisfied buyers.

Mel Henderson, the interim art center manager of Papulankutja artists in Blackstone community (800km from Alice Springs in the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands), states Bluethumb is creating significant new opportunities for the arts center.

Papulankutja artists have had continuous sales since signing on with Bluethumb in 2016 and are anticipating the launch of the indigenous art center pages on their site, Henderson says. Bluethumb is fast becoming a powerful advocate promoting not just the work of artists yet also the work distant arts centres do.

Victorian Government Dodges Supplying Public Housing

The Victorian government’s 2017 home policy includes a majority transfer of public housing to housing associations. Housing Minister Martin Foley’s explanation is that the country is a dreadful home manager.

A similar rationale underlies the committing of public housing estates to private developers to construct private home and home extension builders to complete existing projects, the earnings of which fund some new dwellings with the extra justification of raising social mix.

Our soon-to-be-published research assesses the rollout of this plan. In inner Melbourne, after redevelopment of the Kensington, Carlton and Prahran estates, nine more estates are targeted. The tenants of buildings to be demolished will be emptied from mid-2018, according to a government briefing paper.

The national Greens MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, has criticised the app as selling public property to private developers to get a bagful of money and a smattering of new social housing. He adds that Melbourne wants a large scale construct of new public housing on a 1960s scale.

Foley’s defence of the rollout, in an unusual non sequitur, is that Labour cannot condemn the next generation of Victorians to reside in housing poverty.

Public housing stock exchange and estate redevelopments in public-private mix are a part of a trend that started in Thatcher’s Britain. The Blair government continued the strategy, which is now neoliberal policy orthodoxy in the United Kingdom and Australia.

This permits authorities to twist from providing housing for individuals on low incomes by shifting responsibility to non-government and personal sectors.

The truth is, home associations aren’t necessarily protected or better managers, particularly because they become institutions in their own right. Additional privatisation of public property to fund updates and a second storey extension to public homes not just fails to provide decent value for taxpayers, but is unsustainable. At some stage there’ll be additional upgrades required and no soil left to market.

The debate that the state shouldn’t be in the company of handling or building homes is one we are hearing more frequently. It is linked to the small-government situation more widely: if the state participate in healthcare, education, social press?

Since the ABC and BBC demonstrate, however, state-owned enterprises can function perfectly economically. And, paradoxically, they supply a rare source of ideological freedom from both government and big business.

Why shouldn’t the state finance an ongoing program of renovating, upgrading and constructing public housing? Why not set a regional organisational structure that’s locally responsive? There’s no case for supposing that, only because the condition is involved, management and construction has to be poor and individuals will probably be consigned to “home poverty”.

The significant determinant is an issue of finance. And the condition will constantly have better and more economical access to fund compared to non-government and private businesses.

If fund were really as hopeless a problem as authorities like to make out, and if it had been deemed fair that privatisating public property could help finance this procedure – and all these are big ifs, that need to be openly debated – then the authorities ought to be the programmer, to keep control of the proceeds. These should return into public housing rather than evaporating with a personal developer.

Offering workplace catering can increase staff member productivity

There countless methods to increase worker morale and efficiency; however an inexpensive choice is to supply your personnel with workplace catering for functions or to stock the kitchen with treats. A current research study by Peapod of 1,000 full-time office employees discovered that while 55% of respondents were “extremely” or “really delighted” with their tasks, the stats considerably increased to 66% when free food was provided by their company.

Supplying food for the office can go a long way in improving and increasing worker spirits, which in turn can have some terrific results that will benefit your bottom line and increase worker productivity.
Below are some reasons that supplying food or snacks for your staff members can benefit your service and make you one of the most magnificent business leaders.

Increases cooperation and constructs connections
Providing workplace catering enables staff members to get together and start to form more powerful and more positive connections with each other. They’ll start to interact, interact and develop relationships with people from other departments. Conversations in between individuals who wouldn’t generally connect might brighten locations in your organisation you didn’t understand were there to begin with, or produce new ideas.

It’s an excellent method for staff to charge
All of us need breaks at work, but not everybody takes one. It’s estimated that more than 50% of workers consume lunch at their desk every day, with the excuse that they’re “too hectic” or it’s just “simpler”. It is essential to performance (and their peace of mind), that staff members take a break and providing free lunch, whether it’s as soon as a week or as soon as a month, provides your personnel that much required time to re-energize, recharge and refocus for the remainder of the day.

It can boost morale
Offering workers with complimentary food can boost morale, more than motivational speaking from a professional, according to a Glass door survey, and a pleased worker is an hard worker. A current study found that better workers are 12% more efficient. Now that’s a win for everyone!

A healthier workforce
A healthy worker is more efficient and is sick less typically. Through your choice of food and workplace snacks, you can also produce and promote a healthy food environment in the office by choosing fresh and real food. It’s typically too easy to get a quick lunch that’s unhealthy and carb-heavy, however with the best lunch ingredients that are well balanced and healthy, you can improve brain power by as much as 20% and achieve more at work!

Having a healthy and balanced diet plan during the work day can assist:
– Increase concentration
– Raises mood
– Combat fatigue and helps you remain alert
– Improve memory
– Boost staff member engagement and morale

Increase performance
Besides office catering, why rule out purchasing a coffee maker for your staff so they don’t need to waste time leaving the office and waiting in line? Providing breakfast is also a fantastic way to increase productivity. It’s the most important meal of the day and many studies have actually revealed that concentration, focus and memory are higher if you eat in the morning, and are sometimes more beneficial than a business coaching program.

Why bad housing design pumps up power rates for all

Whether you’re a boatie or not, everybody realises the importance of keeping the water on the outside when you go cruising or fishing. The less leaking the boat, the less you have to rely on devices like bilge pumps to stay afloat.

Exactly what does this involve houses? Well, Australia’s homes are infamously “dripping”– permitting the uncontrolled circulation of heat into and out of the building. Our response has been to put in a growing number of heat pumps, in the form of cooling. This is typically promoted as a feature, instead of an indication of a poor-quality structure!

This creates issues for everybody.

We all understand that some houses are hotter than others in heatwaves, and that well insulated and created houses cost a lot less to run throughout the year since they do not rely heavily on air conditioning system or heating units to supply convenience.

However did you understand that counting on air conditioners to stay cool on hot summer days impacts the cost of electrical energy for everybody, all year round?

Pumping heat from one location to another takes a great deal of energy, this makes air conditioning system especially power-hungry appliances. The leakier your home, the more heat has to be drained. On hot days, when great deals of air-con units are operating at the same time, this creates a challenge for the electrical power infrastructure, not to mention your home indemnity insurance.

It costs cash to develop an electricity network that can handle these peaks in demand. This cost is recuperated through the electricity unit expense (cents per kilowatt hour). We all pay this expense, in every electrical energy bill we get; in fact the cost of conference summer season peak need accounts for about 25% of retail electrical energy expenses. This is more than two times the combined impact of solar feed-in tariffs, the Renewable resource Target and the erstwhile carbon tax.

This implies that people living in homes that are built to handle their local climate are successfully diminishing those who live in poorer-quality buildings and relying exclusively on the a/c to stay cool. Perhaps even less fairly, those who have a hard time to manage air conditioning and need to deal with getting too hot are likewise paying this subsidy via the electrical power they do use. All this is because many individuals still reside in dripping, poor-quality buildings.

Does this mean that the air conditioning system is evil and should never ever be utilized? Of course not– there is a function for really effective air conditioning or heat pump in extreme weather condition events. However it does raise some interesting questions. Can we create and construct homes that are great to live in and do not cost the Earth to run? And, if so, why aren’t these homes the norm, instead of the exception?

You get what you request

The bright side is that comfortable, quality homes that put very little strain on the electricity grid are certainly possible. What’s needed is a combination of design that appraises the regional environment, proper structure products and quality building practices. Some houses consume less than a quarter of the energy of their contemporaries in the exact same environment– it is simply annoying that they aren’t more common.

In the past, the housing market would say that it’s simply constructing the houses that individual’s desire– that Australians are mainly interested in size and location, not energy efficiency. Current research, nevertheless, seems to indicate that the viewpoints of real estate representatives and other residential or commercial property professionals could be restricting how, or if, they promote energy efficiency and other sustainability functions to possible clients.

Are Australians still mesmerised by the surface bling of granite bench tops, a theatre room, picturesque pool surrounds or automatic gadgets? Are we beginning to think about weightier problems such as operation expenses, durability and comfort? Or are we waiting till the first heatwave or the very first electricity expense to realise simply how great or poor our purchase decision was?

Some smart purchasers– before they sign an agreement– are starting to inquire about insulation, but not the more essential questions, like “how hot does this room get?” or “can I manage to run this home?”.

The real estate sector seems to assume that if you don’t clearly request something, it is trivial to you. They also appear to presume that the structure policies set the requirement– despite the fact the structure guidelines are minimum requirements, not finest practice for convenience and worth.

Some likewise actively lobby for lower standards; arguing that energy effectiveness has “doubtful benefits” which needing information to be handed down to consumers is an “unnecessary concern”.

Buyer beware– you’re on your very own

Exactly what does this indicate? When purchasing a used car or a new phone, it’s relatively easy to get the info you require– and there are many consumer defence laws in place. However when we check a house for sale or rent, we can see the variety of rooms, test the taps and light switches, ensure access to functional gas installations and repairs, and determine how far it is to the shops or school or work, but there is a substantial quantity we can’t see and are not told.

Realty representatives or indemnity insurance brokers are not necessarily acting in the potential purchaser’s interest (or perhaps always in the seller’s). The seller wants the greatest rate in the fastest time, and the representative desires the biggest commission for the least effort. And contrary to practices in the European Union, no one is required (in most parts of Australia) to tell potential purchasers ortenants about the house’s running expenses.

There have been successes and failures in state federal government tries to make sure that house purchasers and occupants have access to details about convenience and running costs at the time of acquiring or leasing. Queensland’s Sustainability Declaration, presented in 2010, was extremely brief, with an incoming federal government declaring it “useless red tape”.

In contrast, the ACT government has required an Energy Efficiency Ranking for the sale or rent of houses given that 1999, with numerous reports revealing the advantages to residential or commercial property

worth and to decreased running costs. New South Wales prepares to introduce a voluntary disclosure scheme in 2018, and to make it compulsory in 2020.

These schemes not just make it easier to recognize houses that cost less to run however can likewise drive need for energy-efficient restorations and put down pressure on electrical power prices.

The circulation of details about housing in Australia is flawed. Realty agents, valuers, financiers, commercial emergency plumber groups, electrical power industry operators are deciding based on little or no details about how the quality of houses influence on their clients, their organisation procedures and electricity infrastructure financial investment.

Most importantly, owners and occupants are not being informed about the quality of your houses they are purchasing or renting, and the effects that specific residences will have on their health, comfort and wallets.

What can you do?

So is the real estate sector right? Do you appreciate the quality of the building you live in? What is a sensibly designed and sound home worth to you? What dollar value do you place on your health, safety and convenience? What value is there for your family to able to deal with heatwaves, or to settle the home loan quicker because of the cash you save on power costs?

You do not have to wait on government to act. If you are looking at buying or renting a new house or home, ask to see the energy certificate for the house. Such a certificate would have been developed as part of the building approval procedure.

It could also be useful to request for a thermal imaging report and air leak report. These are tests the builder can have done to prove his quality of building.

For existing homes, you can ask the seller for a Universal Certificate, or a copy of their energy costs, or proof of features they have installed to enhance the comfort of the house (such as invoices for insulation, a smart and shady landscaping design, window tinting).

And next time you’re visiting a pal or neighbour with heat radiating from the walls, windows and roof, and the air-con cranked at full blast, enjoy the great cool air– since you’re helping them pay for it.