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Managing A Renovation Project

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Starting a renovation project can be a big challenge. It is not as simple as the shows you see on TV, a huge amount of planning, legal stuff and sourcing goes on before the work even begins.

Managing a project like this can be a complex affair which is why you need to make sure you know exactly what to do at every stage, and leave no stone unturned.

  1. Assess the Building’s Condition

Before you start to plan a renovation project you will need to know exactly what you are dealing with. You will need to visit the site and run a full check to see if the building is structurally sound, if the foundations are stable and what cosmetic touches you will need to do.

  1. Stop Deterioration

When you have assessed the current situation of the property you intend to work on, you will also want to make sure that no further damage occurs as you prepare for starting work on the project. You may need to put up scaffolding to keep the building supported or board out floors and the roof to prevent damp getting in.

  1. Check for Grants

It is not likely that you will get a grant for your restoration project, but it is certainly worth looking into. If the building you are working on is listed you may be given funding to carry out the work and make sure that the building’s integrity is kept.

  1. Apply for Permission

One of the most boring and long winded parts of renovation is getting the permission to carry out the work in the first place. As soon as you know you want to start a project, get your application for planning permission, listed building consent and any other things in. It may take a few weeks for the results to come back so it is always worth doing it as soon as you can.

  1. Structural work

The first thing you will need to do in terms of working on the property is making sure that the building has water, electrics and gas supplies- as well as being weatherproof. It may take some installation, plastering and insulating to get the building ready for the rest of the work you plan to do.

  1. Demolition

There may be certain parts of the building that you plan on knocking down and salvaging, so once you’ve stabilised the main structure you can go ahead and do the groundwork.

  1. Issues with Damp

If you are working on an old building, you will find that it is much more likely to be damp than a more modern one. This is because older buildings are made with solid walls. Because of this there is no airflow going through the bricks and therefore condensation builds up much more easily causing damp and mould to grow. To get rid of the damp you may need to call someone in to help you identify the source and to seal up any potential holes for water to enter the home.

  1. Check Drains

Sometimes you may find that the drainage around the property is damaged or blocked- and this can be another cause of damp in the home due to water becoming logged underneath the foundations. You will also want to check what’s connected to which part of the house, and you can do this by putting different coloured food dye down the sink and having someone inside a manhole seeing where the water comes out. It will show you whether your drains are in working order or if they are blocked.

  1. Plan Access

With a large project like this you will need lots of heavy equipment and machinery. Make sure that you have the ability to get the large diggers and other machines to the site without being an inconvenience to the surrounding public.

  1. Managing employees

It is not easy to manage a full group of trade people, but it will be required if you are to work on a large project.  If you are going to be overseeing the development of a home extension or a large row of homes, you will need to make sure that before the work begins you lay out the guidelines, safety laws and provide training to your workers. If anyone gets injured during the construction they could go to a lawyer like Hofmann & Schweitzer if you do not take the time to write down every regulation. It could be worth going over it with a lawyer before your employees sign it.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Myths of Executive Jet Charters

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The act of flying in a private jet doesn’t seem like it should belong in someone’s day-to-day life. A private jet flight fits in the realm of red carpets, a sold-out world tour, or going to an exclusively owned island. However, you’d be surprised how often people do fly in a private jet – particularly in the world of business. There plenty of misconceptions about privately jetting off, so what’s it really like to fly in one?

It’s Too Expensive

It should be established that the fact people have to fly for business is nothing new. It could be anything from visiting a partner office abroad, or groups from various companies from around the world need to meet face to face with each other. It is likely when they fly they will want to do so in business class, if not first. If you think of the collective cost of these tickets, in comparison to hiring a jet the expense doesn’t seem too much. It can make financial sense to go private rather than commercial.  Jet charter companies can help people plan the journey so it’s just right.

It’s Hard to Find a Private Airport

In the US there are more private airports than commercial ones, so the chances are a business person can find an airport nearer them to suit their needs. Similar to the likes of hiring a car, hiring a jet means they are completely in charge of their transport. Colleagues can fly at a time which suits everyone’s schedules rather than have to rely on commercial lines.

You Still Have to Go Through Security

This is not the case when flying privately. It can really cut down on the time of travel, in turn saving company time. When boarding a flight could potentially take up an entire morning or afternoon, by going privately, people can board the plane as soon as they fancy. There is no queuing, taking off shoes, or having luggage inspected. Though they’ll still need to bring a passport when flying internationally.

Weather Restrictions

Obviously a plane, even if it is private, is not going to fly in adverse weather conditions. A private jet is just as safe as a commercial plane. However, one of the many perks of flying privately is you can get going a lot sooner. As soon as the weather is deemed less dangerous and it’s safe to fly, the captain of a private jet can take off. Businessmen don’t have to worry about prolonged delays or cancellations.

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Key Terminology You Need to Know Before You Start Trading Forex

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As the largest and most liquid market in the world, forex attracts a multitude of traders on a daily basis. It is the market where currencies are bought and sold as investment assets, and is usually accessed through online trading brokers such as Oanda. Whilst the concept of trading forex is relatively simple (buying/selling currency), it is shrouded in terminology and jargon which newcomers can find difficult to decipher. As such, here are some of the key terms you should know before you begin exploring forex.

Pairings

In the forex market, currencies are always traded in pairs, as this gives one currency its value compared to another. If the dollar were traded against the pound, for example, it would be expressed as USD/GBP, with the first currency being known as the ‘sell’ currency and the letter being known as the ‘quote’.

Many popular currency pairings have been given nicknames, which can seem confusing if you have never encountered them. EUR/USD, for example, is known as the ‘euro’, and GBP/USD is often referred to as ‘cable’ or ‘sterling’.

Leverage

The ability to leverage investments when trading forex is part of the reason the forex market is so popular. Leverage essentially allows a trader to control more units of currency with less money than would usually be required (often significantly less) but at much greater risk.

The trader will be able to choose how much leverage they apply to an investment, and it is expressed as a ratio (e.g. 100:1). Whilst leverage can help traders make a much larger profit using less capital, it can also lead to an equally large loss if the trade goes against them.

Volatility

Market conditions often differ greatly on a day to day basis, but those which change exceptionally quickly (like the forex market) are known as volatile markets. This means that the assets traded in such markets are constantly shifting in value, and so must be monitored by the trader regularly to help inform their decision.

Currency pairings will experience different levels of volatility at any given time, largely depending on the economic and political climate in the currencies’ country of origin.

These are some of the main terms that you should know before you invest money in the forex market. There are more, but once they have been learned, you should find it much easier to read and analyse forex.

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How to Boost Your Company’s Income Long Term

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Part of running a company is trying to make it profitable at least in the short term. You need to make your business generate money, so you can keep the company running each day. However, what if you want to expand your company in the future, or start offering more choice to your customers? You might not have enough profits to achieve this now, but you can try to boost your company’s long-term income so that you can build towards it in the future.

Work on Your Profit Margin

Although your profits might be doing well, there might be room for improvement that will give you a better long-term return. Think about your business and see if there are any areas where you can improve your profitability. You might be able to do small things like finding a cheaper energy supplier or use cheaper suppliers for your products. Another option is to see if you can increase your productivity which will generate more profits in return. To make this work effectively, you need to create a plan that will take into account all parts of your business.

Seek Long-Term Investment

If you have been making steady profits for a while, there should be no reason why investors shouldn’t look favorably on investing in your company. You need to give them a long-term vision of where you want to take the company, and how much you think you can sell at that time. It needs to be realistic, or your potential investors might not come on board, but it also needs to be ambitious enough that your company will grow as a result. If you already have investors in your company, then they might be more able to invest more in the company knowing its current growth.

Invest in Other Companies

There are many companies that choose to invest in other businesses. For some, these are long-term investments designed to generate additional income for the business. It might also be an avenue personally, as you can invest in other companies and use the income to help finance your business. If you are new to investing, then there are ways such as Betterment investing that are great for new investors who don’t want a lot of hands-on dealings.

Consider Franchising

One way that you can increase your profits without having to spend a lot of money is to offer franchises. These offer budding business owners the chance to start their own business and have all the back-up they need, without having to create their own business idea. It also works for you because you don’t have to run the franchise or provide staff. There have been many companies that have benefited well from launching franchises.

Even though the immediate future of your company is important, you need to think ahead so you can keep your business growing. Part of that is trying to generate enough income to move into other areas or bring out new products.

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