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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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You Can’t Afford An Employee Scandal In Your Business Model

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Employee Scandal

There are countless issues that business owners encounter when they are trying to aim for greater levels of success on the market. Some of the problems can knock you out of the running completely and leave your business dead in the water. That’s certainly true for an employee scandal. If you’re not worried about an employee scandal in your business, then you’re not seeing the bigger picture. A problem with your employees can cause a drop in sales, leaves you struggling to hire talent for your company and hurt the reputation of your business all at the same time. To understand the ramifications of this issue, you need to be aware of the scandals that can hit your company.

Criminal Activity 

It is possible that a member of your team is involved in criminal activity while working for your company. If this does happen then they could target your business as a whole or your clients. Unfortunately, clients won’t blame the individual employee for this issue. Instead, they’ll blame your company as a whole for not taking the right steps to vet the people that you hire. That’s why you should think about using a professional service to ensure your hiring standards are at the right level. A construction labour hire agency can help you here and guarantee that you don’t end up with any shady people on your team. 

Injuries

You also need to make sure that you are avoiding issues with injuries in your business model. Injuries can and often will occur if the right steps are not taken to avoid them. Indeed, if you want to dodge injury claims in your business, then you will need to hire a health and safety officer. They will check for hazards and ensure that you don’t have to worry about your business environment being unsafe. Businesses will bounce back for the occasional personal injury claim if they have the right insurance in place. However, if injuries are a constant occurrence in your business, then your company will struggle to get new hires. No one wants to work for a business where employee well being isn’t a top priority. 

Harassment 

Finally, you need to make sure that you don’t have an issue with harassment in your business model. Harassment can occur in a variety of forms. For instance, you could find that individuals are being harassed due to their gender or they might be being bullied. If you are worried about this problem in your business, the first step will be to set up HR support. This will provide a structure that employees can use when they have an issue that they need to deal with in your company. You should also consider adopting a zero tolerance policy for this type of problem. 

We hope this helps you understand the potential employee scandals in your business model and what they could mean. In doing so, you will be able to make sure that you avoid them and keep your company on the right track for the future. 

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How To Reduce Your Shipping Costs As An Online Seller

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Reduce shipping costs

Shipping costs are something that you are stuck with as an online seller. This makes finding innovative ways to reduce your expenditure on shipping a necessity. This keeps your profit margins high and your stream of revenue flowing steadily. Thinking strategically to reduce shipping costs for yourself and your clients is a major requirement if you want to be successful as an online seller. This is because your customers and clients expect to spend less on shipping and want free shipping in most cases. Here are five smart ways to reduce shipping costs.

Choose lighter packing materials

Protecting items in transit is important, and this means you must get the best packing materials to secure them. However, not all packing materials are the same. To lower shipping expenses, consider lightweight, protective materials that offer the same level of protection as the heavier ones. In this regard, use air pillows and bubble wrap to secure the boxes’ empty spaces—the lighter the package, the lesser the cost.

Use flat-rate shipping

Make the most out of flat-rate shipping. Most major logistics businesses offer some sort of flat-rate shipping, and you can take advantage of this to save some money. If you happen to ship heavy items frequently, this could present a great opportunity to save a lot. Be sure to research your options and make the best choice that makes it economical for your business. You can get significant savings on UPS prices here.

Improve your negotiation skills

Great negotiation skills are key to saving money anywhere, and in the shipping business, your ability to negotiate will save you some expenses. You can negotiate the terms and rates of your parcel volume even if it is on the low side with your shipper to slash your shipping costs. With competition high amongst shipping vendors, being a good negotiator could secure you a good deal. However, note that not all shippers can provide certain services or guarantees. So, be sure you settle on one that can fulfill all your shipping obligations and satisfy your customers’ demands.

Buy in bulk

Buy packaging products, from cartons to air cushions, to bubble wraps, and even pallets in bulk. Buying in bulk usually comes with volume discounts that can save you some money. One more thing to consider is your product packaging. Your packaging is part of your brand, so find suitable branding methods that do not alter your products’ weight by much.

Recycle and reuse shipping supplies

It is more likely than not that you also have items shipped to you before you resell. It is best to recycle and reuse such shipping supplies, to save money on shipping costs and packaging materials. You can repurpose the cartons and packaging material for your own packages. Simply replace the shipping labels with your branded ones. This also ensures you run a green business as you reduce the effects of possible environmental pollution.

If you decide to offer free shipping to your clients, that is fine but remember that it will eat into your profits. In this regard, you must find smart ways to save money on shipping expenses as well as packaging. If not, then as much as possible, find ways to reduce the shipping costs for your customers so that they can continue purchasing your products.

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Ensuring The Best Quality For Your Customers

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Best Quality for Customers

For all businesses big and small, customer satisfaction should be the number one goal, as they’re the ones who make everything possible. Without customer satisfaction, you’re going to see sales decrease, and it’s going to be hard to operate with efficiency! There’s a lot you can do to ensure that your customers are satisfied, and it doesn’t hurt to put in that extra effort to make sure of it!

Data security

Data security is very important for many reasons, but most importantly you want to make sure customer information is not at risk! It’s a legal requirement to protect the sensitive information of customers and employees, and you’re likely going to lose sales if you have a data breach. Make sure that all of your data is secured and away from people with ill intent, else you’ll be risking your reputation and the trust of your audience!

In-house guarantees

If you work in retail, the only way you can ensure customer satisfaction is from product testing, and making sure everything is the quality you want it to be! Whether it’s by tasting products as a food retailer or making sure customers are getting what they pay for. If you sell by weight, consider investing in some scales to make sure you’re selling what you advertise – ones like these: https://www.arlynscales.com/scale-knowledge/industrial-weighing-scales/. You don’t want any mixups with customer satisfaction, and many brands have faced criticism for inaccurate advertising.

Promotions and loyalty cards

Loyalty cards and promotions are a great way to reward your customers for buying from you, they allow you to give back to the customer for their repeating patronage! Make sure to set it up so that you don’t lose out, while also giving back to your customers – you’re trying to please the customer, not sink the business!

A lot of businesses offer credit instead of a loyalty card, finance that can only be used in their stores, encouraging them to come back and buy from you again! These deals are great for building lasting relationships between you and your audience, and should be used by every retailer if they can afford it!

Customer feedback

Allowing customers to give feedback is very important if you’re trying to please them, as they can tell you exactly what you did wrong and how you can do better! A lot of businesses do this through their website with a review feature, allowing them to collect data on their customers and find a general consensus on what the audience wants. It’s never bad to hear what your customers have to say, and you might end up pushing yourself a little closer to success with each change based on customer complaints! You can read more at https://survicate.com/customer-satisfaction/tips/.

You can’t please every customer, but trying to please the majority of them is what’s going to help you climb closer to success. Trying to keep an honest relationship with your customers, and not driving your prices up too high is important if you want to keep loyalty between you; people can tell when they’ve been overcharged – and that’s not something you want!

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