Why Move When You Can Expand?

Over time, your home can begin to feel small, especially if you keep bringing more stuff into it. While your instinct might be telling you to move to a bigger place, why not give some thought to expanding instead? Your home has a lot of potential for growth, which will add value to your home and give you extra space.

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Major home renovations, like extensions and loft conversions, are not to be taken lightly. There are some things you should consider before you commit to this significant cost and time commitment and only proceed if you’re truly ready to take the plunge.

Here are some things you think about when it comes to expanding your home.

Work out the costs

Cost can be the biggest factor in deciding whether or not you should move house, or expand. In some areas, particularly big cities, the difference between 1/2 bedrooms or 3/4 can be quite significant. Meanwhile, a loft conversion or extension could be much more affordable while also raising the value of your home. Do a thorough comparison of moving versus expanding to help make sure that you’ve considered all of the options.

Consider the logistics

Make no mistake, a home expansion project isn’t a small job. It could disrupt your home for quite some time before the work is complete. You might be faced with some restrictions as to what you can achieve with your home conversion, and with a loft conversion, in particular, you might face height restrictions, problems with your neighbours (if you share walls) as well as structural issues. Keep your aspirations realistic, and if a loft conversion isn’t right for you, you could always consider adding an extension or expanding your kitchen instead.

Call in the professionals

A large-scale home renovation isn’t an easy job any means, so it’s important that you get professional help and advice to make sure the job is done properly. There are planning permissions to secure and surveys to carry out, and you’ll need to hire architects and builders to get everything done. You can speak to friends and family to get recommendations, as well as to give you a clearer idea of the work involved.

Budget

Once you’ve committed to expanding your home, you’re going to need to start budgeting to make it happen. Having a good savings pot behind you is a good place to start, but home extensions can soon start to cost more money than you initially accounted for. Creating a budget for your home improvement work is important, and you should aim to cut costs along the way. Keep an eye out for bargains on decor items you can get in a hurry like loft hatch next day delivery services to help you save money on those essentials. Budgeting isn’t always straightforward, but if you keep your eye on the prize, it’ll make it all worth it in the end.

While there are many things to consider when planning your home expansion, the benefits are worth it to give you the home of your dreams. If you’ve been thinking about moving to a bigger place, why not take a look at your existing home first and see if transforming it could be the better option for you.

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Better Business Starts With Superb Salespeople!

there? Perhaps they give presentations to clients in order to generate leads, or maybe they pitch to customers directly? Either way, if your company uses sales people then there are things you need to do to ensure they can do their job to its best potential. Here’s how you can help them to help you!

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A Smart Phone

Sales people are usually out and about, on the road a lot travelling to places to conduct their presentations and meet with clients and customers. So giving them access to a high quality business smartphone is a good move. Of course, most people have their own these days, but having a separate work phone can avoid distractions and also mean you’re able to check how the phone is being used to ensure the role is being done correctly. For example, you could check the bill to make sure clients and customers are actually being called and contacted. There are different phone plans and options for businesses, so this is something you would need to look into to get the best deals.

A Laptop and Software

One of the most important things that your sales people will need is a laptop (or a device like a tablet, depending on the sales pitch and type of work) and good software. You can get all kinds of presentation software. For larger meetings, you can buy projectors that can be hooked up to devices meaning they can share their presentation easily with a bigger audience. Spending a little more on a powerful laptop that will last is a good investment, be sure to factor in maintenance costs too. Thankfully you can find mobile computer repair companies online, these are able to come to you so wherever your salesperson is at the time they could come out and get things working again. The pitch is an extremely important part of a sales rep’s job, so they need a good laptop and software to be able to present this to customers and clients.

A Company Car

A company car is one of the most popular benefits that you can offer to your employees, particularly those that need to be out and about as part of their role. Investing in company cars for your sales reps is advantageous on a number of levels. First, it makes you look more professional- you could have your business information on the side using car magnets and decals. Not only does this make you look more professional but it’s a good way to advertise too. Secondly, it gives your worker access to a reliable vehicle that they might not otherwise have been able to afford themselves. If their personal car is old and unreliable then this can cause a problem with missing appointments and general lateness due to things like breakdowns. Finally, it allows you to employ the best sales people. You don’t have to rule out those with fantastic potential just because they don’t own their own vehicle. As long as they have a license you’re good to go.

When your sales people have good quality equipment, it allows them to do their job well and means more sales and profit for your company. There’s upfront costs to consider, but the service they will be able to provide and the money gained back in sales is well worth it.

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What Is Form SHO1 And When Should You File It?

The SHO1 form is the return of allotment of shares form and this is a document that must be filed with Companies House as part of the process of allotting shares of your company. The director files this form, and it must be done within one month of the shares being allotted. Once the form is filed and accepted by Companies House, the details from the form will be shown on the public register for your company.

The SHO1 form can be filed by the director electronically or send through post. However, you choose to file it, you must include the same information on the form. Many people find that filing the form electronically is the fastest and easiest way to get it to Companies House. Many formation company agents also offer assistance with this filing and can submit it to Companies House for you if you choose.

The SHO1 form became current in 2009 and since this date, details of new shareholders are not required. This information is however, required when your next confirmation statement is submitted or when your next annual return is due. If you have a series of allotments, you can record all of them on just one form. Be certain that the statement of capital reflects your company’s position following your last allotment.

It is worth noting that your SH01 form does not need to be filed for shares that you issue in your company at the time of your incorporation. This information was provided in your IN01 form. The SH01 form is only for new shareholder information.

You must include correct figures, which could mean understanding certain financial terms such as nominal value, unpaid shares and share premium. Remember that if you are notifying Companies House of a new series of allotments on the same form, you will need to file within a month of the earliest of these allotments. You are permitted to file individual SH01 forms as well, and if you do so then you need to try to submit the forms in the order in which your allotments are processed. This helps you to keep the information up to date as it is shown on public record. It may be easier to wait before submitting a new form until the former form is processed.

After you have submitted your SH01 form, you should ensure that you update your register of members. A company formation agent can help you with this if you need assistance. Most will calculate the updated statement of capital for you and configure the nominal value and share premiums for you, as well. If you have trouble with the paperwork, you can opt for this assistance and most companies only charge a nominal fee for doing so. It is a good way however to ensure that these forms are filed properly and on time and that all of the information that is included on them is correct. The form will be populated and then sent to Companies House electronically on your behalf.

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Protect Your Business From Harm

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Whenever we think of protecting our business, we immediately think of protecting its growth, making sure that it can still trade, and that hackers can’t get to our data. But when you have a business that operates from physical premises and has employees, there is a lot more to consider. Below are just a few things you that need to think about to ensure that the real world doesn’t harm your business.

Insurance

All businesses must have insurance, but there is a difference between meeting the legal requirements and having the right amount of cover. Not only do you need business insurance, but you should have personal liability cover in case any accident should occur involving the general public. Your insurance should cover you for any loss or damages that may occur from theft, accidental or deliberate fire, and weather damage. You can also look into keyman insurance which helps to protect your business from loss of earnings should anything happen to a few of your most important staff members. There are a variety of industry specific policies that you could benefit from as well. Not many people know about environmental insurance, but it can be incredibly handy to have. Do some research and ask your competitors what type of cover they have.

Health & Safety

An insurance policy will protect you should the worst happen. Health and safety will help to prevent the worst from happening in the first place. Companies like AEL fire alarm servicing can help to make sure that your fire alarm is working correctly to minimise the risk of a fire going unnoticed and getting out of control. You should also ensure that any potential hazards are dealt with properly too. Clear up and debris or spillages promptly to avoid the risk of people tripping or slipping. Put warning signs up in particularly dangerous areas or where they may be needed. Ensure that the structure and fabric of the building are in good repair too, a nail sticking out of a door or wall could be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Employee Medical

It always pays to have comprehensive employee medical cover. You may think it an unnecessary cost, but every day that your staff are out of work is costing your business money. Not only do you have to cover sick pay for your staff, but you either have to pay for someone else to cover them, or suffer reduced productivity in the workplace due to being short-staffed. Good medical cover will help your staff to heal and recuperate at a quicker rate, meaning that they are able to rejoin the workforce earlier than they otherwise would.

There you have it, a few simple ways to protect your business from harm in the real world. If you take sensible precautions against all eventualities, then you will find that you are seldom caught unawares. Running a business can be stressful work at the best of times, the last thing you need is to be worried about all the ‘what-ifs’ and worst case scenarios.

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Why Every Business Needs an Employee Incentive Program

 

 

Top talent is an important asset for any business. If you want to take your business to new heights, you ought to hire top talent. However, many business people tend to forget that hiring efficient workers isn’t enough and they must take steps to retain them. If you don’t value your employees they won’t take time in grabbing a more attractive opportunity where their efforts are appreciated.

You can introduce different incentive programs for your employees. Let’s take a look at some common ways that are adopted by many businesses around the world:

  • Profit Sharing –Some businesses reward their top tier employees by giving them a share in the profits of the company. It promotes a sense of ownership and employees focus more on working for the growth of the business.
  • Retention Bonus –You can celebrate work anniversaries of your employees and reward them if they stay with the business for many years.
  • Cash Bonus –Many businesses appreciate the hard work of employees with cash when they achieve certain targets.
  • Stock-Based incentives –Stock-based incentives prove to be most effective in retaining employees on long-term basis. Since they have financial interests, they’re less likely to leave the job.
  • Training –You can arrange regular training sessions to assist employees in improving their skill set.
  • Flexible Working Hours –You can introduce flexible working hours and remote working hours to facilitate your employees. Paid time-off can also help them relax and they’ll be charged when they return to work.
  • Travel Bonus –Travelling opportunities can encourage your employees like nothing else.

Benefits of Employee Incentive Programs

Many businesses don’t introduce employee incentive programs, fearing that it can affect their finances. However, these programs are extremely beneficial. Let’s take a look at the major reasons why staff incentives and rewards should be added to business model:

· Employee Retention

Employee reward programs can play a major role in employee retention. Create an environment where they feel comfortable and valued. If your employees feel that their efforts go unappreciated or their compensation is below market average, they would gladly grab any opportunity that comes up. With an effective reward strategy, you can convince your employees into keeping their jobs for long.

· Increase Productivity

Introduce Power2Motivate of your employees. Knowing that they’ll get some amazing rewards, they’ll do their best to achieve targets. It encourages employees to put in their efforts for the growth of the business. However, make sure the objectives and goals are practical and your staff isn’t overworked. If you set expectations too high, your employees will lose motivation in no time.

· Healthy Competition

Employee incentive programs promote a healthy competition among your workers. Since every employee gets rewarded on the basis of individual performance, they won’t feel threatened by the achievements of others. This will also promote a culture of teamwork.

In conclusion, employee incentive programs have become a necessity these days. It helps you attract talented staff, retain your top workforce and expand business.

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How Online Marketing Has Evolved

 

 

Online marketing is also known as digital marketing or web marketing and this term has been in use since the 1990s.  Many brands have found it necessary to pursue online marketing in some way in order to keep up with their competition.  Having an online presence also means that people are able to connect with them at any time and this also makes them available to people all around the world.  The user is also beneficial to the brand as they are able to give them feedback which can be very useful and improve consumer satisfaction.  Online platforms like Instagram offer companies a way to not only interact with customers, but also keep them following the brand.  Companies want to encourage people to become loyal users, not only one time shoppers.  Companies are able to make it easier for their clients to connect with each other and bloggers are useful when advertising.

Companies must also ensure that they achieve the right balance with just the right persuasion and good word of mouth from existing customers.  A good technique is to give clues or a hint that will keep them interested, this is a very effective marketing tool.  Too much information will cause disinterest.  It is also good to give customers the chance to have their say and make comments.  Online marketing is interactive and this will create interest.

Online Marketing is Cost Effective

Companies should create their area of expertise using online marketing and this will enable them to analyse patterns in customer behaviour. By generating a presence on social media such as Facebook or Twitter the company can also connect new customers with current ones who will be able to persuade new customers to stay with the brand.  Using online marketing is cost effective if it is done properly, and can keep finances in check with ease.  This platform is much cheaper in comparison to marketing using flyers for example and is also more effective.  Most people will have access to some form of social media and this will facilitate the advertising process.

Social media can also be utilised successfully as a way of connecting with customers with regard to addressing and resolving any issues quickly which increases the reliability of the company.

Email Marketing

Using content marketing is another online marketing tool where companies give their customers what they want using a certain method. Using email is another useful marketing tool and this also tells customers that the company has a site that is always up to date.  This can be used for everything from advertising specials on products to the online slots Canada has to offer at a specific casino.

Email marketing has changed over the years and is an easy way to get to many more people.  Email marketing is not necessarily so much about the products but keeping the connection alive.  Sending out newsletters is another too, but should not have too much information and it should be personal.  By including videos in emails is another way to keep customers engaged and interested.  Email marketing is also useful for getting information out to a large group of people, advertising special offers and letting customers know about new products or services.  It also encourages people to voice their opinions.

The internet has enabled online marketing to be a successful and useful tool and has changed the way companies and brands sell their products and how people buy.

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When It Comes to Debt, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Debt can make those that suffer with it feel so alone, there’s no denying that. But, those that do suffer with debt or are to suffer with it in the future should know that they are not alone. Furthermore, they should know that asking for help from others is the single best way to fight the plight that is debt!

To see exactly who it is out there that is just willing and waiting to help you with any debt you may face, make sure to read on.

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People that you know

If you have accepted that it is both okay to ask for help and that you do in fact need help in regards to sorting out your debts, then the first source of help that you should turn to are people that you know in life, particularly those closest to you. You see, these are the best people to help you sort out your debts and any financial problem that you face in general simply because they will want to help. Furthermore, the form of help that these people will offer you will not be done for their own gain and will only be done to better your situation; specifically, any money that they borrow you in order to pay off your debts will not come attached with any interest rates, let alone high ones, or a strict deadline to pay back by. So, ask for help!

Professional debt relief companies

Debt relief is the action of reliving your debts in the most personal and straight forward way possible, and it is definitely a course of action that you should be considering to take. And, when you do take such a course of action, you should not be afraid to accept help along the way from the best debt relief companies out on the market today. You see, when you accept such help you will entitle yourself to assistance that is tailor made to your debt situation and your needs in regards to it, meaning time is not wasted trying to find a way to better your situation.

Financial advisors

The final source of assistance that you could and should turn to when dealing with debt is a financial advisor. You should turn to one because they will provide you with the knowledge, help and credit counselling needed to better any debt situation, no matter how bad it is. What’s more, they will help to de-jargon the world of debt for you meaning you are never left bamboozled in regards to it.

If you want to keep afloat during the financial crisis that is debt, make sure to take heed of advice above. More importantly, remember that you’re not alone when dealing with debt and that it is okay to ask for help when fighting it.

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Think Your Home Business Cant Keep Up With Established Competitors? Think Again!

Just because you run a business from home doesn’t mean that it’s not a serious venture. Whether you plan on expanding and moving to a commercial premises at a later date or you’re happy keeping it as a home business- you still have the potential to do well and earn a fantastic living. One thing that can put people off starting a home business, even if they have a great idea, is the belief that they will never be able to keep up with bigger, established companies. However if you go about things in the right way you will gain your own customer base and stand out to potential customers above other companies for all the right reasons. Here’s how you can go about it!

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Find Your Unique Selling Point

The way that you can compete with other businesses who are selling similar products to you is by ensuring you have a unique selling point. If for example you’re a business that creates handmade fine jewellery- the advantage you have over bigger jewellery stores is that yours has a personal, handmade appeal. This means you will appeal to a different set of customers, those who are interested in and see the appeal of this style. Perhaps you hand pick every stone you use, or offer custom settings and other options that larger jewellers don’t. You unique selling point could be anything from price to style to quality. Have a think about what your business specifically offers that your competitors don’t. That way you attract your own customer base and there’s less competition from other similar businesses.

Give Yourself a Professional Edge

One of the reasons people trust bigger brands and companies is because they’re perceived to be more reliable and professional. However there are plenty of ways you can give the same impression about your own business. Instead of having a regular landline for example, you could go through a site like Planet Numbers and get a local or national number, call handling even live call answering. You could even get a professional looking business mailing address, here it looks like your business is in a commercial office block, but your mail sent there is taken and forwarded on to you.

Create a Productive Work Area

When you work from home, you really need a space that you can be productive. Being able to stay home, avoid the commute and have your comforts around you is fantastic, however you need to treat your business like a proper job. Having a designated space can really help you to do this, at the end of each day you can shut the door to your office and maintain a healthy work/ life balance. Invest in a sturdy desk, powerful computer and a comfortable desk chair. Depending on the type of business you run you might need storage for materials, stock or specialist equipment. Have a think about everything you need and kit out your home office.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

Whether it’s for marketing, content creation, accounts, legal matters or anything else- if you get stuck then it’s worth seeking professional help. They will be able to tell you what to do to keep your business moving forward and allow it to reach its full potential. Dont just learn as you go, avoid trial and error and get it right first time to keep up with other established businesses.

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Start Being a Better Leader Today

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No matter whether you run your own business, you are in a leadership role, or you simply want to be more assertive in the workplace, it is important to know how to be a better leader. This is something that we should all be working towards, especially those who want to move up the career ladder and achieve more. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can start being a better leader today…

  1. Challenge your staff – The best leaders challenge their staff to work harder and to achieve more. A lot of employees become dissatisfied and bored if they are performing the same projects and tasks on a daily basis. This is why it is up to you to give your staff new challenges if you want them to achieve more. Make sure the tasks you set are within their capability, and provide them with constructive feedback afterwards.

  2. Take a leadership training course – This is one of the most obvious and effective ways to become a better leader. There are many different types of leadership courses available today, including Leadership Masters programs online, which make it easy to study while holding down a job. Not only will this make you more effective in your current role, but it will look great on your CV too.

  3. Study past leaders – It can also help to study past leaders. You should compare your leadership style to some of the great leaders to see ways to improve your leadership. Remember, not all forms of leadership are suitable – it depends on who you are leading and what you are trying to achieve.

  4. Think positive – The best leaders are those that think positively. If you have a negative approach, it is going to have a bad impact on the rest of the business. When things are going wrong, it can be difficult to stay positive, but it is important to do so. By doing this, you will inspire your team to work hard to rectify the situation and to learn from the mistakes that have been made.

  5. Get to know your team – You also need to take the time to get to know your team. Learn about your employees. Ask them about things they enjoy doing, their family, and so on. This shows that you care about people as human beings; that you don’t merely look at them like another name on the company payroll. This will encourage team members to work harder for you.

  6. Start to encourage creativity – If you respect your team and show them that you are open to their ideas, it will go a long way. Part of being a good leader is empowering others on your team to be the best they can be. Give constructive advice and positive feedback as warranted.

As you can see, there are many different things you can do to start being a better leader. From taking a training course to challenging your staff, follow the tips that have been mentioned above and you are bound to notice some immediate improvements.

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Stay Ahead Of The Technology Game

When it comes to the world around us, it’s filled to the brim with people using technology to make their lives easier, more secure, and often just a little more fun. The technology market however is ever changing, and you can be left behind in the mud in just a few days! With new inventions like AI being used by normal people in daily life right around the corner, it can even be quite a scary change as well. So to stay ahead of the game, it’s time to know the ins and outs of what makes the digital world tick, which can be incredibly helpful for business. No matter the kind of business you’re in, if you’re an entrepreneur just starting out, or you’re heading up your own team in a huge corporation, it’s time to consider what technology could really do for you.

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Even if you don’t work with technology, knowing what that ever expanding market is up to may just help you out in the long run. With this, you can easily develop new skills in your working force to cope with the coding and development tracks if you ever need to turn to it; plus it makes your business a little more legitimate for the future.

Track the Changes

There are plenty of websites out there that list the news we want to see about the technology sector in full, and are updated constantly. Places such as Wired are good for this, and they present the stories in a fun and friendly format to keep everyone interested. It’s good after work reading, and is light enough to keep up with everyday.

You can also do this with your social media, as plenty of accounts out there track the technological changes in our social system with a couple of tweets or posts a day. It’s incredibly useful to just click a follow button and turn on notifications for your phone, and this is wonderfully low effort to do!

Use the Web to Learn

The web is more than cat videos and specifically targeted ads after all! Of course you know this, you’re running half of your business off a website or social media page, and that makes you already quite ahead of the curve when it comes to the corporate world. Take this to bigger and better heights when it comes to learning how the world works with all the technology in it.

However, you can take a little more time to try and learn the new skills that everyone is going to need for a good career in the future. Search around for something like a masters in engineering management as it’s an incredibly good investment, with a full degree program done from the comfort of your own home desk, and that makes running a business alongside it a lot easier.

There you have it! There’s plenty of ways you can keep up, crafted by people just like you trying to stay ahead of the curve.

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