Balancing Business and Parenthood: A Business Blog

Make Counting Inventory Easy With These Tips

Posted by on Aug 17th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Make Counting Inventory Easy With These Tips

If you need extra storage for inventory for a brick-and-mortar or online shop, you may need to hire a commercial storage unit. Ideally, you should organise it in such a way that it’s easy to access inventory as needed, and you should choose a storage unit that makes it possible for you to count your inventory there. If you need to count your inventory for valuation purposes, to file your tax return, to apply for a loan secured by inventory or for any other purpose, the following tips can help make it easier: 1. Insist upon a climate-controlled, safe facility. To ensure your inventory stays in good condition whilst in storage, make sure that you choose a clean, safe, climate-controlled facility. That reduces inventory loss through damage due to mold, theft or similar issues. In addition, if the inventory is relatively protected, when you decide to count it, you can focus on the task at hand, rather than getting waylaid weeding out damaged or wet items. 2. Make shelving accessible. Choose a commercial storage facility that will allow you to anchor shelving to the walls or floor for stability. Install vertical rows of shelving that are easy to walk through. If you have large items such as antique chests or other furniture, organise those items in rows or clusters in the units, but do not stack other items on top of them. Instead, make sure everything is accessible on shelves. 3. Use bins. Don’t pile items on shelves or arrange them in deep rows that are hard to reach. Instead, place small items into bins and organise the bins only one row deep on your shelves. Putting items behind other items makes it easy to overlook them when counting your inventory. 4. Label all bins with contents. Make detailed lists of the items in each bin, and instruct employees to cross off items as they remove them from the boxes and sell them. In lieu of lists, take digital photos of each items, print the photos and tape them to the boxes. Then, again, cross the items out when you disposed of them. 5. Tag individual items. If you really want to be able to track your inventory, whether it’s in a storage unit or not, you should use informational tags. For small businesses selling handmade goods, you may want simple tags with basic details about the type of item and price, and then, link that info to a spreadsheet. If you run a larger company or use items with Australian Product Numbers (APN) or other international codes, you may want a commercial inventory tracking system, as well as handheld sensors to read the barcodes on each tag. 6. Make sure you can use your inventory tracking system in the storage unit. Regardless of the inventory tracking unit you use, you need to ensure that you can easily use it in the commercial storage unit. Does the unit have outlets? If you need to bring in a PC for an afternoon of counting your inventory, an outlet is essential. Similarly, if you use a laptop that runs on wifi, you may need to pick a facility that offers wifi, while if you have electronics that run off mobile satellites, you need to ensure you receive a reliable signal in...

read more

Reduce Nervousness And Prepare For A Live Phone Chat With These Five Tips

Posted by on Mar 30th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Live chat is a great way to have some flirty fun over the phone. However, even though it’s “just a phone call”, it can be nerve wrecking for many people. If you are feeling nervous, take a few moments to relax before you make the call. Here are five relaxing things to do before you engage in flirtatious live phone chat: 1. Make yourself feel attractive Even though you won’t be able to see the person on the other end of the line and they won’t be able to see you, it can make you feel more confident if you look your best. Before calling for live chat, take a bath, do your hair and put on your favourite outfit. When you feel great, you sound great. However, if you prefer not to get dressed up, that is the beauty of live phone chat. You can show up as you are, in your oldest, most comfortable clothes with your hair down, and still have a great time. 2. Do some positive self-talk Once you are physically ready, get yourself emotionally ready. Look in the mirror and compliment your outfit. Tell yourself you are interesting, likeable and intelligent. Looking in the mirror and complimenting yourself may sound hokey, but it actually works. If you want to build your confidence for your regular life as well as for your phone chat experience, listen to your interior monologue throughout your day. When you hear yourself saying or thinking something negative, counteract it with something positive. Over time, this habit of positive self-talk can make a huge difference.   If you are not comfortable looking in the mirror, just repeat a few positive traits aloud as you do some stretches and get ready for your chat. 3. Stretch or engage in a few yoga moves If you do yoga, do a few sun salutations or your favourite relaxing moves before making your phone call. If you don’t do yoga, just do a few basic stretches up toward the sky, down toward your toes and whatever else feels good with your body. Stretch slowly and hold each pose for a few seconds as you breathe deeply. Slow deep breaths and stretches will naturally reduce your anxiety levels and help you prepare for your chat. 4. Run in place or do some other cardio for ten minutes If you still have anxious energy, try to shake it off before your call. Run in place for a few minutes or do some jumping jacks. Research shows that cardio provides immediate stress reduction on a physical and emotional level. You can do a few minutes of cardio right before the phone call, but if you prefer, you can also do cardio before you take a bath and get ready. 5. Prepare some topics of conversation When you are nervous about anything, it can help if you prepare yourself. If you are nervous about phone chat because you are not sure how it will go or what you will talk about, prepare yourself by making a few notes on conversation topics. Take a piece of paper and write down some of the topics that interest you. If you are calling someone just for flirty chat, you may want to write down thoughts on your “adult” interests, escapades or...

read more

Is Your Business Breaking Your Back? Three Lifting Devices To Ease Your Pain

Posted by on Mar 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The human back was the original lifting crane far before anything mechanical was invented. However, continuing to load your ute by hand may be causing back pain and other heavy lifting injuries that could easily be avoided. Here are three ways that you can load faster and smarter without having to put your back under stress any more. Hydraulic Crane The hydraulic ute crane is the perfect solution if your business needs the capacity to load and unload your truck at any time or anywhere. This lifting device is mounted onto the tray of your ute and it is a portable lifting machine. Consider these points before you purchase a hydraulic crane for your ute: Is there any tray modification needed? You should choose a hydraulic crane that can be fitted to your ute deck with a minimum of modification. When you go to sell your ute at a later date you do not want to have to pay for the deck to be returned to its original state before the sale can take place. What lifting load do you need for your crane? A tradesman who is lifting pallets of bricks onto their ute is going to have a higher lifting capacity need than someone who is moving steel pipe. Is the crane arm manually pushed or does it move by power? A manually pushed crane arm will still require the operator to have the physical strength to shift it, but a powered arm glides to the point that the operator directs it to go. If you do not wish to attach machinery to your ute, there are two other lifting options open to you. Electric Forklift The electric forklift looks much like a motorised forklift apart from having a seat and steering wheel for the driver. Instead, the operator stands behind the forklift and manoeuvres it from the loading area to the ute. As these devices can handle loads over one tonne, they are still a viable option when it comes to getting everything you need onto your ute tray. The major disadvantage of using an electric forklift is that unless you plan to drive it up some ramps onto the deck of your ute, it is not a portable lifting option like the crane is. The forklift will remain at your loading station and will not be available to help you unload at your destination. If you do choose to transport it with you on the ute, this takes up valuable deck space that you need for your load. Block And Tackle The block and tackle is the manual way of loading heavy items onto your ute and does not require any electrical equipment to help you with the task. This process involves using a minimum of two pulleys to lift a heavy object. The object is picked up using a hook or rope tie that is attached to the main lifting rope. The rope passes through the pulleys and at the other end is the operator who pulls the rope to lift the object. The mechanical advantage theory explains why one person can lift heavy weights using the block and tackle that could not be lifted by themselves alone. There are two main disadvantages when considering the block and tackle method for loading your ute....

read more

Five New Ways To Think About Air Conditioning In The Age Of Climate Change

Posted by on Feb 18th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Climate change threatens to hit Australia harder than the rest of the world, and according to some projections, temps will raise an average of 5 degrees celsius by 2090. As the weather gets hotter, air conditioning becomes more of a concern. However, if you do not want ridiculously high energy bills and you also want to reduce the amount of energy you consume, you need to think about your air conditioner in a new way. Here are five of the ideas you should keep in mind as you approach air conditioning in the age of climate change: 1. Design For Climate According to many environmentalists, one of the reasons that people have become so reliant on air conditioning is because they live in “boxes” that are the same regardless of climate. A generation or two ago, designers created homes that were artfully designed for the climate where they were being erected, and this strategy helped the home to stay cool with little artificial influence. If you are designing a home, look into how homes have been historically designed to work in your climate. Features such as rooms with multiple windows that can be used to create a cross breeze, the stumps under old Queenslanders or attic windows that release heat are the perfect example of this type of building. If you are not designing your own home, think about adding some traditional cooling features to your existing home. 2. Take Advantage Of Natural Cooling Methods Having stumps under a home allows air to circulate around the home, and as a result, the home stays cooler. However, even if you are not in a position to lift up your home with jacks and add stumps, you can still take advantage of some natural cooling methods. Shade is key when trying to reduce the heat in your home. Add awnings or light-blocking curtains to your windows, and if possible, plant trees or other shade-producing plants outside of your windows. Even trees that cast shade on the walls or roof of the home can help to keep it cool. Efforts like these can help you to reduce your reliance on your air conditioner, but if you want to reduce how often you run it, you need to think about efficiency when buying your unit. 3. Choose Your Air Conditioner To Complement Your Home When choosing your air conditioner, make sure that you choose one that complements your home. You need a unit that is large enough to cool your space without having to run overtime, but you don’t want a unit that is too large. If your home tends to have uneven temperatures, consider getting a split air conditioning system so that you can assign different thermostats to different rooms. Work with an air conditioning expert to determine exactly what your home needs. 4. Use Your Air Conditioner Wisely Even with a perfect house design, cooling natural features and the perfect air conditioning unit, you still need to be wise about how you use your air conditioning unit. Turn off your air conditioner when it is not in use, but keep in mind that you should set it to a cycle on and off so that your home does not get too hot. If it gets too hot, the air conditioner has...

read more

Selling The Family Farm: Four Memento Ideas

Posted by on Feb 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As of 2011, there were 157,000 farmers in Australia. Although this number may sound large, it actually indicates a 11 percent reduction in the number of Australian farmers since 2006. If you or someone in your family is getting ready to sell the family farm, you may be feeling a bit sad or nostalgic. To alleviate these feelings, consider creating a memento of the old family farm to take with you and pass through future generations. Here are four ideas you should consider: 1. Aerial Farm Photography As suggested by the name, an aerial farm photograph is a photograph of a farm taken from someone above the farm in an airplane. It can include the whole farm or focus on specific areas such as homes, barns, fields or pastures. Traditionally, these photographs are framed and displayed, but these digital images can be printed on blankets, coffee cups and other items as well. When ordering your photographs, you have a lot of options. In addition to choosing which parts of the farm you want photographed, you can also choose whether or not you want the dust edited out of the shot or left in to create authenticity. For more information, contact a company like 3D Mapping Solutions. 2. Old Windows, Lumber and Hinges Rather than just leaving the old home and the old barn with the seller, take a few pieces as mementos. Old window frames can be repurposed into mirrors, picture frames or standalone artistic pieces. If applicable, you may even want to salvage the old glass rather than the window frames, and in other cases, you may want to salvage an entire wall, floor or barn door. Salvaged wood can be used to line the walls of a new home, or it can be used to build furniture ranging from headboards to dining tables. Even small pieces such as hinges or door knobs can be salvaged and integrated into a new space as a memento of your family farm. 3. Trees Although the process can be tricky, you can take a living piece of your family’s farm with you in the form of a tree. With the help of a trained arborist, you may be able to dig up the roots of your favorite tree on the farm and move it to your new home. Unfortunately, moving trees can be risky so you may also want to get a tangible memento such as an aerial farm photograph or an old door knob. If you prefer to leave a mark on your land rather than taking a souvenir, look for a historic tree. With the help of groups such as Save the Historic Trees, which has been instrumental in saving historic fig trees, you may be able to stop the new owners from cutting down certain trees on the land you are selling. When you drive by the newly developed land in the future, you will be able to point out that tree and tell your loved ones how you saved it. 4. Tractor Parts Finding something to memorialise your farm is nice, but you should also think about memorializing what you and your family did on the farm. Old gears and random internal parts can be used in art projects – they look great for instance on a...

read more

Truck Mounted Attentuators Features: Critical Support For Your Road Work Projects

Posted by on Feb 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For companies that carry out line-marking on highways and roadside maintenance projects, an investment in a truck mounted attenuator is a business decision that cannot be overlooked. A TMA will help ensure the safety of your workers, your equipment and passing motorists. This guide will provide a quick overview of how truck mounted attenuators operate and point out some of the major features that will be beneficial to your company. Truck Mounted Attenuator Basics Truck mounted attenuators are fixed on to the back of a shadow vehicle and located at roadside maintenance sites. They are designed to protect the crew who work in front of the vehicle and any motorists that may accidentally drive into the closed traffic lane. How TMA’s Work They work on the principle of energy absorption and are designed to absorb the kinetic energy (energy produced by motion), of a colliding vehicle. Attenuators make use of crushable materials including aluminium cells, elastomeric cylinders, light-weight steel foam and the latest technology to make highly efficient crumple zones which absorb the impact. Years of research have been devoted to impact absorption techniques and the development of efficient materials and practices. Much information has been collected about the likely reaction of vehicles on impact and TMA’s are designed using the latest data. Best Features of a TMA A range of TMA’s with different specifications allows companies to choose the appropriate model for their needs. Ease of Transportation If you need to transport your TMA over long distances a compact model will allow for high speed travel along a motorway in order to arrive promptly at the site. A model that can fold up over the truck bed will provide better balance and weight distribution for travel. Preferably the cartridge section of the attenuator should fold horizontally while the strut section folds vertically, adjacent to the bed of the truck. Hydraulic power for support brackets is a desirable feature that will prevent vibration during transport and minimize wear and tear on hinge joints and fasteners. These features combine to offer minimal wind resistance and drag and provide increased rear visibility, thus allowing you to drive safely at free way speed. Ease of Set Up A fast and simple setup procedure when on site is always highly desirable. A few minutes checking the pintle hooking system should be all that’s needed to be ready for safe operation. Look for: Models which allow the driver to operate the rear of the TMA from the cabin to prevent exposure to traffic Swivel jacks at the rear and side for easy set-up Ease of Refurbishment Some models of attenuator have a modular design and are equipped with reusable components which do not need to be replaced after an impact. Steel supporting frames and strike plates are reusable. They are designed to collapse on impact. Only the aluminium, energy absorbing cartridges require replacing. The refurbishment of inserting the new aluminium cartridges is so straight forward it can often be done at the work site. Modular design provides a cost effective and time saving benefit. Safety Considerations Unsurprisingly there are strict Government regulations covering the requirements for safe road side operations. Currently, each state has its own standards which can be quite perplexing if you operate nationally. Fortunately new national codes are proposed and are likely...

read more

4 strategies for better organising your wardrobe

Posted by on Jan 30th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How many times have you woken up bleary eyed only to be confronted with a wardrobe that is the epitome of chaos? Have you had a moment when you are already running late for work and your stress levels are only amplified because you just can’t find anything to wear? Truthfully, everybody has been there, and this is because most people’s robes just aren’t organised optimally. But with these four strategies, you can make sure that you find exactly what you need within your wardrobe each morning and that you start the day in a far less stressful way. Arrange by eye level. You would be forgiven for not being completely alert first thing in the morning. The last thing you want to do is scramble through layers of clothes because you can’t find a particular item. This is why it’s a good idea to arrange clothing by eye level. If you can immediately see the clothes that you wear the most and that you love the most, you can grab them without rummaging for twenty minutes. Place the things that you need sometimes below eye level, and place the items that you rarely need but that you still want to keep right at the top. Throw stuff out. One reason you might not be able to find what you are looking for inside your robe is that you simply have way too much stuff. If you are the person who loves to shop but isn’t so keen on throwing things away, now is the time to break the habit – it will make life so much easier. It is a great idea to empty your wardrobe completely every six months. Be really honest with yourself about which items you actually wear or are likely wear in the future. Donate anything else to charity shops or host a garage sale so that you can sell the items. When you place your clothes back in your closet, the new sense of space will make everything so much easier to find. Add lighting to your wardrobe. A wardrobe is essentially a big dark box where you store your clothes, shoes and accessories, and generally speaking, a wardrobe would probably not be lit at all even though it’s a space where you need to find things. It’s no wonder that so many people get so stressed out way they open the robe doors each morning. If you are handy with DIY skills, it is well worth spending a Sunday afternoon installing some lighting inside your wardrobe. A light shining down from the top would be great, but it would be an even better idea to add individual lights to shelves so that every part of your wardrobe is illuminated and you never have to worry about not finding that grey tuxedo jacket again. Separate work and home. Your work life and your personal life are two very different things. Because of this, your work closet and your home closet will also look totally different from each other. At work, you might need to wear neat tailoring and sombre colours, but when you meet your partner for dinner on a Friday night, you might wear completely different fabrics, colours and shapes. For this reason, it can be a good idea to create two...

read more

5 Reputation Management Tips

Posted by on Jan 28th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Most of your clients and potential clients probably do an internet search every time they prepare to buy a product or use a service. Because of that, negative online reviews can be massively detrimental to your company. Ideally, you need to delete this negative press, but that isn’t always easy. Here are some tips on how to do that and what to do when you cannot delete the negative coverage: 1. Monitor what the internet says about you Before you can delete negative reviews, you need to know about them. Search your name and your company name online daily, and if possible, set up online alerts. Many search engines have the capability to look for certain keywords and email you every time they get a hit. That means that you know as soon as anyone mentions your company online, regardless of whether it is negative or positive. Set up alerts for your company’s official name as well as any nicknames and include your name and the names of any key employees.   2. Know your rights If you own a restaurant and a disgruntled customer posts a negative review about your under-seasoned steak or over-reduced demi glace, you have no legal recourse to fight that reveiw. Even if you believe that your steak was perfectly seasoned and your demi glace perfectly reduced, the matter is subjective. However, if the reviewer lies about an issue that is not subjective and it hurts your reputation, the reviewer may be guilty of defamation, and you may have a legal right to take him or her to court. For example, if the reviewer claims your bathroom walls were smeared with poop, your wait time was 3 hours long or anything else that you can definitely prove as false, you may have a legal right to get the reviewer to rescind his or her comments. In some cases, the reviewer or the publication may even have to pay you compensation for the damages. 3. Do not shoot yourself in the foot Unfortunately, the most damaging negative messages do not always come from others. They may come from the inside, and deleting the damage from these messages may be the hardest. Ideally, you always need to be in control of your message, and you need to keep it positive. If you inadvertently tweet or share something inappropriate or offensive, you can delete it yourself, but in the meantime, anyone could take a screen shot that captures the entire message. Similarly, if you respond to a client’s online complaint in a negative or disparaging way, that can really hurt your reputation as well, even if you delete your message once you realise your error. Because of that, it is important to only allow you or a skilled social media manager to create your social media messages. 4.  Address what you cannot delete Whether you or someone else posts something that you cannot delete, take steps to remedy it. If you post something that tarnishes your reputation, be honest and apologise about it. If a customer posts a negative review about your company, jump in and create a retort. If the site where the review is posted offers a spot for owners to post rebuttals, post an apology, an explanation or an offer for a free service....

read more

Five Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Business

Posted by on Jan 28th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Selling your business is a huge endeavor and, as your business may represent years worth of hard work and personal sacrifices, you also want to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Unfortunately, it is very easy to make mistakes through the process, and any mistakes could cost you a lot of money. Here are some of the most common mistakes you should try to avoid: 1. Reducing Income With Excess Expenses When tax time rolls around, it seems advantageous to write off as many business expenses as possible. That effectively lowers your income and decreases your tax burden. However, if you write off too many expenses, it makes your profits look compromised, and as a result, prospective buyers will not be willing to pay as much for your company. This is something that you need to start thinking about several years before you put your company on the market.   2. Accepting Unsolicited Offers Once in a while, business owners have their companies running smoothly, and out of nowhere, they receive unsolicited offers to sell. Before accepting an unsolicited offer, look it over carefully and talk with a specialist in business sales. If someone is offering to buy your company for more than it is worth, they may know something about the industry you do not—by selling you may lose that opportunity to earn. The other risk of selling when you weren’t planning to sell is personal. Selling your business takes you quickly out of your lifestyle and forces you to start something new. If you are not ready for that transition, the sale could end up feeling depressing and disempowering rather than positive. 3. Using EBITDA To Determine Sale Price Whether you want to ensure that an unsolicited offer is fair or if you have decided to sell and need help choosing a price, you should avoid using EBITDA exclusively to determine your sale price. EBITDA is a business valuation figure that stands for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation”. Essentially, this number expresses the value of a company based on its performance and separate from its burdens such as taxes and depreciation. Unfortunately, many business owners erroneously assume they can use EBITDA to determine their business’s correct price tag, but in actuality, these numbers over-emphasise the value of non-liquid assets while under-emphasising the value of working capital or highly liquid assets. For example, using the EBITDA metric may make a company with a lot of old machinery look valuable. However, if you buy that company and realise the machinery cannot do the job you need it to do (or if it becomes broken and worn down within a few years or months of you buying the company), those assets immediately become liabilities. To preserve your financial integrity, you would have been better off buying a business with less old machinery but more cash in the bank. Instead of exclusively using EBITDA, use other metrics such as gross profits or top-line revenue to determine sale price. 4. Not Reducing Inventory The inventory you have on hand should be enough to keep your business on its feet, but no more than that. When a buyer purchases your company, they buy the inventory as part of the sale price. Unfortunately, buyers do not like to raise their price...

read more

Which type of wood is best for your pergola?

Posted by on Jan 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Patio areas are very attractive in a garden for a number of reasons. They can give you an outdoor space for hosting gatherings such as barbecues for friends and family, they can act as a blank canvas against which you can install statement garden features such as a water fountain, and from a commercial perspective, they can even add value to your home. To make your patio feel like a functioning outdoor room, it can be a very good idea to add a structural element such as a pergola in the space. Wood is a popular choice for pergolas because the material is organic and has an aesthetic softness that something like metal lacks. But what kind of wood is best for your pergola? Oregon timber Oregon timber is a type of wood that originates from North America, but a great deal of it is harvested in New Zealand, making it a popular construction wood on this side of the world. For construction projects, this variety of wood is particularly appealing because of its low weight/high strength ratio. This makes it easy to handle for big projects, while creating robust structures. Because of this, you might want to choose Oregon timber supplies for your pergola if you are attempting to build your pergola yourself. As with any timber, you will have to protect your Oregon timber from wet rot, particularly if you live in a humid area or somewhere that experiences a great deal of rain. This is a fairly simple task and the wood can be sealed with an oil created for the express purpose of protecting timber from rotting outdoors. Western Red Cedar. Another hugely popular choice for pergolas and other outdoor structures is Western Red Cedar. Again, one of the reasons for this is that this type of wood has an attractive weight to strength ratio that makes it ideal for construction projects. But a concern that homeowners typically have when using woods outdoors is the susceptibility to rot and the wood’s attractiveness to insects. Fortunately, neither of these common problems is much of an issue when it comes to Red Cedar. This is because the fungicides present in Red Cedar make it more resistant to decay. Of course, it is still a very good idea to protect the wood further with a sealing oil, but you will find that this wood is less inclined to rot than most, even when in an outdoor environment. The aromatic oils within the wood are also supposed to be unattractive to unwanted insects, which will steer clear of your Red Cedar pergola. Redwood. Redwood is one of the most pliable types of softwoods, and this makes it very easy to work with for a variety of construction projects. It is easy to saw into the wood and hammer nails into it, for example. This might make the wood seem unattractively soft and that it would be vulnerable in outdoor conditions, but actually, this is not the case. While redwood is easy to work with, it is also a strong and durable wood, and if you become a redwood pergola owner, you will no doubt be pleasantly surprised at how well the wood keeps its shape and resists warping or shrinking. This is why so many outdoor structures, including decking...

read more