Business man presenting a business card

6 Benefits of Having a Business Card

If you want to succeed in business, you must think about branding. Most people will tell you that branding is the business of business. Branding is not just about the logos and colors and business names, it has to do with the way that you present yourself as the owner, manager and other stakeholder in the business. One of the most important components of business is the business card. Most people think they are an unnecessary additional expense, but people who want to network know that these are a must have. Here are some of the benefits which come from owning one.

1. For the personal touch

It is true that the age of digital communication has changed the manner in which everything is done. However, as the owner of a business that is still interested in creating the right brand image, do you really want to be the businessman who swaps contacts digitally? That is impersonal regardless of the convenience. Think of a situation where you get a business card and instead of giving your back, because you have none, you are forced to state that you will email or call back, yikes. Cards are personal and respectful.

2. Effective direct marketing

Think of a situation where you are at a conference with like minded individuals. Would it be better to go telling them by word of mouth that you have a startup in Silicone Valley, or would it be better to hand them a card? You are right, it is easier to do direct marketing with cards than it is to use word of mouth.

3. Creating the first brand impression

Brand is all in the mind. You will not get another chance to create a first impression in the mind of your clients or potential business associates. Therefore, you would rather take time and have professional cards made because they will be the first impression your prospective customers get to make it memorable and in a positive way.

4. Leveraging brand awareness

When you are getting your cards made, always remember that if they are creative enough, they will be reshared several times. This resharing is free marketing for your brand. Cards are therefore a tool that improves the visibility of your business.

5. Readiness to network

There is nothing that is more awkward than being at a party or other event and having to write your number on a napkin because a business prospect asked for it. When you have ready Business cards, they show that you have a passion for what you do and are ready to jump right into it at any given time.

6. Set your business apart

When you are competing for the same clientele with a number of other customers, you will discover that you need every possible trick to set your business apart. Product and brand differentiation can be something as simple as a well-crafted business card. It shows professionalism and commitment. Invest in quality cards because they will tell the story of your brand better than anything else.

Electrician examining fuse box

5 Common Electrical Problems in Home and Business

Home and business owners tend to blame power companies if anything bad happens to electrical connections in their houses. Some don’t even check where the problem is originating. Before you blame the power suppliers, it is recommended that you conduct a thorough search and determine the source of the problem. Here are some common electrical problems that you should be checking in your home or business so that you can maintain a steady and safe electric supply.

1. Electrical Shocks
When you turn a device on or off, there is a probability that you will experience an electric shock when the device is not adequately covered. Although they are pretty mild, they usually remind us that electricity is dangerous, especially when poorly utilized. For electrical shocks to occur, your device or electrical wiring in your home could have a problem. You can test this by using another appliance. If the problem persists, get an electrician who will provide an affordable electrician quote and solve the wiring problem before it becomes a serious issue.

2. Electrical Surges
Electrical surges entail the supply of excess voltage from the power source than what you have been expecting. This electrical problem lasts for some few seconds or microseconds and mostly leads to the destruction of electrical appliances such as laptops and television sets. Various defects are associated with electrical surges such as poor wiring, lightning strikes, faulty devices, and sometimes damaged power lines. You should consider contacting an electrician to solve this problem before it destroys your vital appliances in the house or business premises.

3. Electrical Fires
Consistent electrical fires is a clear indication that your office or home is experiencing severe electrical problems. It is common for electricity to produce fires, especially when there is short-circuiting or overloading the power source. Other challenges that are likely to cause a fire in your home or business include improper installation and poor maintenance. To prevent fires in your home or office where computers and printers are likely to be destroyed, make sure you conduct continuous maintenance and avoid overloading.

4. Flickering and Dimming Lights
The other common electrical problem that is common in homes and business premises is light flickering and dimming lights. Several electrical problems are associated with these problems such as poor connections and loose bulbs. This is a serious problem as it has been known to cause fires in business premises while at the same time causing an irritating experience. If such a problem persists, make sure you contact a local electrician who can identify the problem and recommend the necessary solution.

5. Electrical Sparks
Electrical sparks are common problems, especially when you are plugging or unplugging an appliance from an electrical outlet. Continuous sparkling can cause a fire, especially if there is something near the sparks that can catch fire quickly. It is recommended that you switch off power from the source if you notice some melting or burning wires.

These electrical problems may seem harmless, but if they remain unattended, they will gravitate and cause severe electrical damages in your home and business premises. To avoid damages, consider consulting a licensed technician who will provide the necessary assistance before the problem gets out of hand.

Couple watching movers move boxes

Guide on Selling your Home and Moving

You went through the home-buying process years ago. It’s time to see how your investment has grown with a home sale. However, you’re now the seller and not the buyer. You need to follow a few steps before the property can be advertised on the open market. Take a look at this simple guide on selling your home and moving. These tips can mean the difference between a quick sale and none at all.

Spruce up the Paint

A simple yet effective way to rapidly sell your home is by adding a fresh coat of paint, reports Zillow. Be sure to focus on the interior spaces first because the buyers see these areas up close. Old or discolored paint will instantly date a home.

Your exterior paint may not need a lot of updating because it weathers nicely over the years. Consider small paint jobs on the trim, such as the fascia, front door and window borders. The paint can be a simple, white color. Its impact is huge on potential buyers as they see the details standing out as testaments to your care and diligence.

Consider Hardware Upgrades

Sell your home with the original cabinets in place by adding hardware. Door pulls and hinges are the hardware that can be swapped out for a tiny cost. The visual appeal is immediate as buyers walk into the kitchen and hallways.

Most builder’s grade cabinets come with no hardware at all. Select hardware styles that match your decor, such as modern or rural designs. Most handles shimmer under your kitchen or hallway lights, which focuses the eyes on the hardware instead of the older paint on the walls. Hardware upgrades are always welcome sights.

Choose an Experienced Agent

There’s a lot of paperwork surrounding a home sale. In fact, a lot of this paperwork revolves around legal definitions. For a successful sale, hire an experienced agent. Real-estate agents have the training and experience to move through paperwork without any problems.

You’ll be able to safeguard your sale when you understand the legal wording behind the transition. If you decide to represent yourself during the sale, mistakes can occur because you aren’t aware of the terms. Make any sale easier by turning to your agent’s expertise each day.

Look at Curb Appeal

Don’t overlook the importance of curb appeal. Mow and edge the lawn. Add in a few potted plants around the driveway. The way that the home looks from a curbside view will help buyers make a decision. The visual image of the home will be tattooed on their brains as they consider a future bid.

If some parts of the home are dated, such as the siding, try a distraction technique. Paint the front door a bold color. Red or blue might be good colors to try. The door will be the focal point instead of the outdated siding.

Plan Your Move

Every step of your move should be planned out according to a timeline, states United Van Lines. Be aware of certain items that should be completed several weeks before the move, such as forwarding mail and setting up electrical services.

Schedule your moving van too. Popular seasons tend to make moving vans scarce, including the summertime. Start to pack away items that won’t be needed in the next month or so. The packing progress also helps your open houses by removing the clutter that’s not necessary during a showing.

Try Simultaneous Escrows

On an advanced level, you might be selling and buying another home at the same time. It’s possible to do this with some careful planning. Your agent might represent you for both buying and selling, but this scenario may limit your choices. The agent can get overwhelmed.

With two different agents who specialize in buying or selling real estate, you have the leverage to complete the escrows at the same time. Simply keep everyone aware of your intentions as the open houses and bids continue on.

Moving can be a stressful time in your life, but the effort can be eased. Work with your real estate agent on a comfortable timeline for your sale. He or she does this preparation on a regular basis. The experience will be much easier with a professional’s help to guide the way.

What Does a Building Inspector Look For

What Is the Role of a Building Inspector?

young architect or inspector make some notes, office building as background

The purpose of the building inspection is to give you an objective assessment of the condition of the house you want to buy. If you are thinking about buying a home, it might be a good idea to have it inspected by an expert, to make sure you make a good decision. If you are responsible for the purchase of your home, you should mention in your offer that it is conditional on an evaluation of the building.

Some people might think that paying a building inspector is an unnecessary expense, but that is not the case. The truth is that a building inspector can save you a lot of money in the long run. The reason for that is although a home may look beautiful and in excellent condition, it can hide surprises that only an expert can detect.

When Do You Have to Call a Building Inspector?

The answer is simple: before the purchase. This way, following the evaluation, you will be able to make an offer that would not be conditional. This could give you an advantage over other interested parties. As a general rule, a building inspector is only involved in buying a home after you have made an offer.A building inspector can also discover some problems with the house, allowing you to decrease your purchase offer to compensate for losses incurred by repairs. The building inspector may discover problems with the home that you wish to purchase and advise you not to purchase it because of the renovation costs that may be required. In short, the role of building inspectors is to inform you about the various aspects of the house you are thinking of buying and that you would not be able to see without their help.

The goal, when requesting a pre-purchase inspection of a building, is to learn whether there are indications of potential problems. You want to know the exact state of the house and all it contains. The pre-purchase inspection consists of making a visual inspection of all the easily accessible areas of the home and the components installed.

The existence of cracks in the foundations will be noted, as this could lead to possible water infiltration. The presence of a white powdery deposit will be sought since it could be a sign of the presence of water around and under the foundations. Although the objective of the pre-purchase inspector is not to perform a detailed analysis of the structure of the building, each element must still be scrutinized, such as the crawl spaces, walls, the floors, the foundations, the roof and the ceiling.

The inspector usually has between a week to two weeks to submit a written report. This report will declare the areas that have been verified, names those areas which have not been verified, explains the causes for why some inspections could not be made, and lists items to check during pre-purchase inspection If there is no significant sign of the probable existence of an anomaly, the pre-purchase inspector is not obliged to recommend digging around the foundations.

What Are Silt Fences Used For?

Silt fences are temporary barriers used at sites where the soil is likely to be disturbed by construction activities. They allow drainage while containing sediment. They are designed to protect nearby streams, creeks and other bodies of water from sediment contamination in stormwater runoff. They remain in place until a construction project is complete and the disturbed soil can be stabilized. They are generally made with porous fabric and metal or wood anchoring posts. Better quality silt fencing fabric is made from woven material with a high tensile strength and proper permeability.

Federal regulations, chiefly the Clean Water Act, require almost all construction sites engaged in activities that disturb one acre or more of soil to employ a permitted plan to deal with their stormwater runoff. Silt fencing is often an important component of such a plan. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides free guidelines for both developing a stormwater prevention plan and properly installing a silt fence. A silt fence is intended to control sheet or overland discharge. They are inappropriate in areas where water flow is concentrated.

A Silt Fence Around a Retention Pond

Most commonly, silt fencing surrounds the perimeter of a construction project. It is rarely necessary to surround the entire site. The fencing should be placed on the downslope edge of the project, but not running up or down the slope of a hill. The idea is to create a ponding area to retain sediment. Long runs of fencing are problematic as water may pool, and then overflow containment, at the lowest point of a long segment. Using several shorter, j-hook segments will effectively contain runoff.Silt fencing can also be used within a construction site. It can be used for containment around soil stockpiles and temporary spoil areas. Smaller cleared areas might also require silt fencing. Some local governments require a double row of silt fencing if the site drains directly into a creek, pond, wetland, or similar body of water.

Silt fencing can be effectively utilized along (but not in or across) streams and small channels. This is especially important for culvert placement and removal projects. A streamside barrier can also act as a second line of defense for a particularly vulnerable stream or creek. Many municipalities and counties require silt fencing along creeks and channels if they are within 30 feet of a road construction project.

Silt fencing is also used in a severe storm and/or flood events. Cheap and relatively easy to quickly put in place, silt fencing can be used as a stop-gap measure when flood waters threaten to overflow a containment channel or sediment basin. It can also be effective when sediment-rich water begins to leak beneath an established silt berm.

Keeping sediment-filled flood waters from entering waterways is essential. On the short term, sediment can clog storm drains and cause additional flooding. Sediment filled waterways prevent the growth of natural vegetation and encourage the growth of toxic algae blooms. Sediment degrades the habitat of fish and other marine creatures. Simple containment measures, like silt fencing, can greatly reduce these negative outcomes.

5 Steps To Great SEO

Internet marketers talk and hear a lot about SEO. However, one thing they have to understand is that there is a lot that goes into good SEO. It is not what people think at first. As a matter of fact, a lot of what people think SEO is turning out to work against their business. This is why it is important to find a method that is good for SEO. One thing that people will realize that this method is actually a very sensible method which is made of a few steps.

1. Use Analytics

One of the most important aspects of SEO is the use of tools. One particular tool you should use is analytics tools. These tools show you where the strengths and weaknesses of their campaign is. A lot of search engines provide free tools for internet marketers in order to help with their optimization.

2. Use Data For Organic Rankings

With the tools, it is important to use the data that is presented. This will help with the optimization. Among the data reports is the competition in the keywords. This will help you figure out the best way to rank for your chosen keywords.

a laptop with google on the screen
3. Keep on Top of Changes

Search engines are always changing their algorithms. The reason behind this is so that they can improve the services they give their users. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of these changes so that you can avoid any hard hitting surprises from the latest algorithm update.

4. Don’t Game The System

One of the worst things an internet marketer could do is try to game the system with black hat tricks. While it may work initially, the success will be short-lived, and it will be bad for your reputation. It is better to make sure that you are providing something valuable to your customers so that they will want to engage with your company.

5. Build Good Relationships as Well As Links

One of the common topics that are talked about with SEO is link building. However, the worst thing you can do is just try to build links to your site. After all, search engine algorithms have changed to the point that not all backlinks are going to give your site higher rankings. A better thing to do would be to engage with communities and build relationships so that people will be more aware of your brand. Also, people will have a better impression of your company.

These are among the five steps to great SEO. When done right, it will provide customers the best experience possible. One thing users don’t want is to visit a top ranking site that is filled with spam and useless content. However, internet marketers are not going to have time to provide their own SEO. This is why there are SEO services that people can use in order to provide users with well written and optimized content.