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Basic Strategies in Starting a Small Business

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Home Office | 0 comments

 

If you’re ready to start your own business, here are some strategies to jumpstart what you’ve always dreamed of – to be your own boss and work in your own time. By now, you have probably decided what kind of small business you want and what sort of products or services to sell. Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy task; it’s even quite daunting, to say the least. However, here are some helpful but basic strategies in starting a small business to get you on your way.

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Small but thriving

Back to the Basics

These things to consider is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s just a few helpful reminders to get that small business up and running.

1. To run a small business successfully, do what you like doing and what you know. It’s a great help to know the industry you’re joining but most of all, success is guaranteed if you focus on your interests and strengths.

2. Choose the name of your business that will be eye catching or that will grab people’s attention.

3. Get an email address for your business. It can be part of your email web address where people can communicate with you. This is important especially if you’re selling a product or service.

4. Make a business plan. People often overlook this one important aspect. The business plan must include details like names of customers, your competition in the business, and budget, most of all.

5. Have business cards printed. Many inexpensive printers out there on the web can do this for you. Your business card must include your name, address, telephone and cell phone numbers, website address, Facebook or other social media address to send out to potential customers.

More Strategies for the Entrepreneur

It makes for sound business sense to be aware of this short list of strategies that can be useful for you in the long run. However, there are a few more points to consider when starting a small business that you should bear in mind.

1. Get help from the pros like an accountant or a lawyer who can help you with licensing requirements and tax credits if need be. Chances are the government grants tax credits when you run a business from your home. A lawyer can help you with business permits and rules pertaining to home based or small business in your area or state.

2. Use a business credit card for your business to keep your personal finances separate from the profits of your fledgling business.

3. Do your homework. Establish a network where you can connect with people and market your product or service even before you open your doors.

4. Invest on a special telephone number that potential customers could reach 24/7. A 1300 number would be a good idea, and if you need to buy 1300 number, you have several options to choose from. A 1300 number could give your business the credibility and authority it needs to make customers feel secured, and it can also help your business improve its sales.

5. Harness the power of the web. Even before you start selling a product or service, it’s a good idea to make a blog for your business where you can input information about yourself, your service and product and contact numbers. The blog acts as an info sheet on the internet where people can get the latest information on your business.

6. Try to get financial aid, if possible. There are a lot of financing with easy term payments out there especially from banks just in case the money you’ve saved is not enough.

7. Back up your documents. It’s a good idea to keep track and store your files in a fire proof vault in case your lap top gets stolen or lost.

There you have it in a nutshell, some basic strategies in starting a small business and a few tips more to get you going on your way to achieving your dreams of being your own boss.

 

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Handy Tools for a Dandy Kitchen

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

ladlecradle

ladle cradle in ceramic

One way to keep the family healthy is to prepare home cooked meals made from natural ingredients and to stay away from processed food items that are rich in artificial preservatives. Unfortunately, not all home makers look forward to preparing family meals and would rather have someone else do it for them.  Those who have little love for working in the kitchen can make their cooking task a bit easier by equipping the kitchen with some handy tools.

Less mess is less stress in the kitchen. Homemakers who often find themselves cleaning up after ladle drippings on the counter tops or stove can get a little help from the ladle cradle. This kitchen tool is specifically designed to hold a ladle or spoon as you cook. It is shaped like a small dish that is able to hold the ladle in an upright position making it easy for you to grab the handle when your dish needs stirring or tasting. The dish shape also allows it to hold drippings and keep them away from your countertops.

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Magnetic knife rack

Knives are essential kitchen tools whether you plan to cook meals or simply toss a salad. As such, a nice looking knife rack can help keep your kitchen organized. Even if you haven’t figured out which knife is used for what, having your knives in one place makes it easier for you to find and switch tools in the midst of preparing meals. One can usually find a knife set that comes with a rack already. Those who have yet to buy their knife rack may want to check if it securely holds knives and protects them from getting dull.

Aside from knives, an apple slicer can also be handy in the kitchen. This tool makes peeling, coring and slicing apples a lot easier and safer too. There is little risk of users getting accidental cuts during the coring or peeling process as compared to using a knife.

appleslicer

apple slicer in silver

You can also do two tasks at the same time because apple slicers are able to slice and peel apples at the same time. Some apple slicers can also be used in peeling potatoes and turnips or in slicing onions and tomatoes.

There are a lot more handy tools that can help even the most inexperienced cook or the culinary challenged individuals. Homemakers who intend to make a serious business out of preparing healthy family meals can start by finding their own tools for a dandy kitchen.

 

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Table ideas for small spaces

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Home Keeping, Tables | 0 comments

 

Something happened between the Stone Age and today. The number of humans walking the earth has more than tripled, and now some of us find ourselves living in cramped spaces. With the limited surface area around us, we are then faced with the problem of finding pieces of furniture to complement our homes.

The dining table is something we all need in our homes. Just because, doesn’t mean you no longer need a dining table. You’d be delighted to know that there are many types of tables out there which have been designed specifically for small living spaces.

table

Our dining table, usually for 6 people but could be extended for 8-10

A lot of prayers have been answered with extendable tables. Simply put, these tables are adjustable…the table top is actually divided into two. If you have a lot of visitors coming over, just pull the table top apart then you can add an extra plank of wood or leaf in the middle, extend the legs to each side as well and voila! More space for plates as well as chairs. The extra leaf can also be stored easily within reach; under the table top when not in use.

Then there’s also the foldable ones. These types of tables stick out against the wall and can fold down when not in use, and can be extended to accommodate two or three people dining together.

These extendable and foldable tables can also function as your work area. You’ll find some with tiny drawers going down along the sides, where you can store the stuff you need for your hobby or whatnot.

If you plan to have a foldable table made, it’s best if the color matches that of your wall. This gives the illusion of continuity, as if the table was an appendage of the wall. This makes your room look more spacious than it really is.

Having a small living space is not so much a liability, as it is a chance to challenge yourself into being creative. Find an extendable table to fit your needs, and you’ll feel like you’ve just struck gold.

foldable IKEA table


 

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The Coffee Table

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Tables | 0 comments

 

A coffee table like an end table is something that everyone takes for granted. It’s there to sit your coffee on or prop your feet up on after a long day’s work. You prop your feet on the coffee table, set your drink on the glass accent table beside you and grab the television remote. But have you ever thought about the history of the coffee table. It is very interesting so listen in as we take a tour of how the coffee table came to be.

coffee table

image via www.tbsdiscountfurniture.co.uk

Beginning coffee tables were pretty much the same thing as the round end tables of today. Only then they were called tea tables and sat beside the couch or chair to serve the family and guest tea and biscuits from. During the 17th century in Europe it was usually a tall round top table making it easier for the pouring of tea. The great thing about it was that it could be stored against the wall as the top folded down until it was time to serve tea again. In the 18th and 19th century these were abandoned for tea trolleys instead.

Exactly when the tea table became a coffee table is unknown but it was marketed to the average home owner in 1920. The president of the Imperial Furniture Company decided that by cutting down the legs on the tea table you would have the perfect table to sit your coffee on and it could go in front of the couch. Production of coffee tables then reached an all-time high and is responsible for the table that accompanies your glass accent table today.

The coffee table of the 1920’s is closer to the modern tables of today than any other table that is low to the ground and sits in front of or beside a couch or chair. It has been extremely popular since people realized that it is the perfect place to put their coffee which probably had a lot to do with the name it has.

As far the function of the coffee table there are many. People use it as a causal table to play games, store magazines and put their feet up on to watch television. It’s used for Super Bowl parties, Halloween candy and everything in between.

Whether you use the coffee table or the round end tables that are also very popular knowing the history of the coffee table is a fun tidbit to learn.

coffee table

How ’bout coffee? – somewhere in Vienna

 

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How Colour In The Workplace Affects Employees

Posted by on Feb 11, 2014 in Home Office | 0 comments

 

As we make our way into our place of work each day (be it a home office or otherwise) – no matter what our work involves – we are constantly influenced by our surroundings. We may not realise it, but colour plays a vital role in the choices we make, the way we feel and our productivity, amongst other things.

Meanwhile, what many business owners don’t realise either, is that the colours you choose for your workforce to spend their days in can also have a subliminal effect on your clients too.

Basically, the colours we choose to include in workspace décor is seen to reflect the business’s personality and values. However, it is quite a complex science as the colours used should also reflect the type of industry you are in as well.

image via http://www.kurugu.com

Many brands are even recognisable by the colour of their branding – such as Tiffany’s blue boxes, proving that colour really does get under our skin more than we realise it. And furthermore, often the colour of their branding or packaging can influence the way we feel about that brand and what we associate them with.

But these are no happy accidents – these huge brands will spend large amounts of money and put plenty of time into researching the science and psychology behind it. Then they will make very carefully considered choices about their brand colours based on studies and lengthy board meetings.

What different colours mean:

So what’s it all about? Well, here is a summary of what most colours are thought to mean – obviously, however, this is just a simplified summary and there are varying factors, which we will go into later on:

RED = Power and passion, confidence and energy.
GREEN = Money, environment, attractive to youth.
BLUE = Trust, integration, communication, relates to the mind.
PURPLE = Luxurious and whimsical, can sometimes appear not in touch with reality though.
• BLACK = Exclusivity and glamour, sophistication.
YELLOW = Fun and friendly. Happiness, optimism and friendliness.
ORANGE = Playfulness, comfort, enjoying interaction. Can appear frivolous.
PINK = Sweet and sexy. Femininity, love and caring.
BROWN = Warmth and dependability. Safe and reliable.

Contributing factors

How serious is the business

Looking at the degree of seriousness within the business, some of the logic behind these colours will be more applicable to some businesses because of the type of work they do, rather than others.

For example, one design agency undertook a study, painting the office a different colour every week and reviewing staff reactions. But as the business involved sales, staff preferred red and black, above the soothing blues and greens. This proves therefore that it really depends on the type of industry the company is in as to which colours the staff will respond best to.

Likewise, usually more corporate businesses like bankers, accountants, lawyers prefer natural colours. However, if the business is corporate, yet with an element of fun mixed in, then it’s a good idea to include a hint of something more playful, such as orange or yellow. Planscape provide office furniture in various colours to add an accent colour in for a burst of energy or splash of creativity, amongst your primary corporate colour.

Where the colour is being used

You also need to think about where you use colour – from creating the right first impression in the reception; to the general office in which you want to create an aura of performance, productivity and teamwork; then meeting and training rooms, where it is often a good idea to choose colours encouraging creativity and communication.

And if you still don’t believe that colour matters in the workplace, then how about this statistic from colour psychologist, Dr David Lewis, who found that 80% of UK office staff believe the colour of their surroundings has a significant impact on their emotions and performance.

image via http://www.oneofficedesign.net

 

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The Cost of Owning a Car

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Garage, Outdoors | 1 comment

 

Running a household is no walk in the park.  You have to think about a multitude of expenses ranging from your everyday food to your monthly mortgage.  So although the prospect of owning a new car may seem like a solution to your family’s commute woes, think again.

When you check out sites like toyotacostofownership.com or even review sites for various vehicles, you will notice that there is more to owning a car than just paying for it up front or paying off your car loan. You have to consider all of these other costs as well, before buying a new vehicle, so that you can decide if it is really going to fit into your budget or not.

awesome car garage

image via http://www.mycarheaven.com

One thing to consider is that the tires are going to wear out. Tires typically cost around $100 each, though it really depends what type of vehicle you own. For a small coupe, you could find deals for $60 a tire, while finding them for $100 each would be a deal for a truck. Either way, to make your vehicle safe to drive, especially in the rain or in the winter, you need to replace your tires every five years or so. It is also a good idea to buy a full-size spare so that you have it on hand in case you get a flat.

Another thing to think about is just the cost of standard maintenance. You need to do things like replacing the washer fluid, adding more coolant and changing the oil. These things do not cost much, but they have to be done a few times a year so that the car does not break down. You also may need to have the tires rotated or aligned, helping them to wear evenly while you drive.

You should also take into account where you plan to park your car.  Do you have a garage or are you simply going to park it along the sidewalk?  If your car is just parked out on the street, it is subject to all sorts of danger.  Kids can hit your windshield with a football, or it could be easy prey for thieves.

Owning a car is pretty much just like getting a new pet or giving birth to a new baby.  It becomes part of your family, and starts to eat up a portion of your time when it comes to care and maintenance.  Before you head out and get a car, think it over.  Make sure you still have enough left for other expenses, and that the entire family lends a hand in the car’s upkeep.  Then, the benefits will outweigh the costs.

image via http://auburn-remodeling.com

 

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Choosing Tiles for Your Kitchen Backsplash

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Home and Living, Kitchen | 1 comment

 

Just like an aspiring Picasso with a blank canvas in front of him, you feel excited at the idea of decorating your own kitchen backsplash.  Although very keen on letting your personality and sense of style shine through, you find this task to be somewhat daunting.  With so many options to sift through, it’s understandable how confused you might be at the onset.  Here are a few guidelines on how to decorate your kitchen backsplash.

tile backsplash

image via http://backsplash.com


Consider the countertop.  The style and color of your countertop will most likely dictate the kind of tiles you choose for your backsplash.  Select tiles in a color which closely matches that of your countertop.  In order to have a sense of harmony, make sure that the color compliments nearby fixtures such as cabinets.

Stress your style.  Decide whether you want to go traditional or contemporary.  More old-fashioned elements such as marble and granite will come into play if you choose to go traditional, while sleeker lines will be more evident if you opt for a more modern look.

Go for a test drive.  Before you go ahead and buy those tiles, ask for some samples which you can tape to the walls.  This way, you can get a feel of what they look like.  See how they appear as light hits them and changes throughout the day.  Pick one main color and some accent colors to spread out.

Think about budget.  It’s so easy to get lost in all the tile options, but always remember to set a budget and stick to it.  If you’re strapped for cash, go for classic white ceramic instead of those chic tiles.  It’s better invest more in quality than in aesthetics, so you can probably spend a bit more on nice grout, to make sure that your tiles stick to the wall.

Cooking will be much more fun and fulfilling when done amid a beautiful backdrop.  Take the time to carefully choose the tiles for your kitchen backsplash, and you’re sure to impress your family and guests with not only your cooking prowess, but your artistic flair as well.

 

backsplash

image via http://cdn.home-designing.com

 

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