Tax advice for the small business owner


Designing Your Office For Increased Productivity

Posted by on 10:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Designing Your Office For Increased Productivity

If you have been in the business world for a while, you know what a standard office space looks like. Entry-level and sometimes other employees are in plain looking cubicles at best and in tiny little cubbies at worst. The environment is very monochromatic and not very conducive to creativity, engagement, and enjoyment within the work space. While this design was based on the theory that anything that is not plain or uniform would cause distraction, reduced productivity, and lower efficiency, the lack of employee engagement it creates counteracts any positive effects it may have. So, get to know ways that you can design your business’s office with your employees in mind.  Bright Colors Are Not Your Enemy Go to any traditional office in the world and you will notice one obvious similarity almost immediately. They lack of bright or distinguishable colors in the office space.  Color palettes in offices tend to be black, white, beige, and other neutral tones designed for efficiency. However, if you want your employees to be happier at work and to be more creative, active, and most importantly, awake, you will want to incorporate more color into your office design. This does not necessarily mean painting your walls neon yellow or green (though if that is the direction you want to go, a single bright accent wall would do the trick). You can incorporate color other ways. Take your office furniture, for example. Office chair upholstery does not need to be black, beige, or other plain colors. Find office chairs that incorporate color and patterns into the seat and backing of the chairs. Choose a variety of colors and patterns and then mix and match at different desks or allow your employees to choose the chair they like best.  Natural Light Is The Fix For Lagging Energy Many business offices are like caves in many ways. They tend to shy away from open spaces, windows, and natural light. This is, once again, an effort to keep employees from becoming distracted. However, keeping your employees from being able to look outside or experience natural light can actually contribute to a lack of energy and motivation. The human body is designed to function along with the rhythms and cycles of the day. So, keeping that in mind, use a lot of glass, windows, and natural light in your office design. Give your employees the opportunity and the means to look outside, to enjoy sunshine in spite of working indoors, and to get the biological benefits of natural light. You will find that your employees are more energetic, able to focus, and motivated than they would otherwise feel.  Now that you know a few of the ways to design your office with your employees’ well-being in mind, you can get to work designing your new office...

read more

Three Alternatives To Cheap Custom Signs For Your Business That You Do Not Want And Why

Posted by on 7:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Alternatives To Cheap Custom Signs For Your Business That You Do Not Want And Why

Business expenses can sometimes seem ridiculous. Advertising is an area that you know is a necessary evil, but the costs are astronomical. However, you should not ignore the old adage that “it takes money to make money.” Spending money on a custom sign for your business makes it appear more professional as well as personable. If you do not believe that, then here are three very cheap alternatives to a custom sign and why you should not choose them. Cardboard Signs Professional cardboard signs are one thing–they are made to look nice and promote a sale or special event– but cardboard signs you make yourself at home are entirely another. Professionally-crafted cardboard signs look nice and cost less than signs made of vinyl, plastic, neon, or glass, and are actually constructed of many different layers of heavy duty card stock. They may also have laminated surfaces so that the signs can bear up under precipitation. Any other type of cardboard sign will not survive wind and weather, and definitely will not look as nice. Painted-On Signs Assuming you own the building where your business is located or you have permission from the proprietor to paint its exterior, a painted–on sign can look really cheesy. People driving by can miss it, especially in the dark when your “sign” does not light up. If you are going for the painted-on sign, at least hire a professional painter to do it. Otherwise, spend the money and get a sign that lights up and draws people in long after the sun has set. Window Decals Window decals that spell out your business’s name and what you do is not a reasonable substitute for no building sign at all. Most people will ignore window signage thinking that it relates to what is happening in-store or in-office at this moment. They are not going to stop, look and read the window decals without first looking for a sign on the building, particularly a sign above the door or out in front of the door. If anything, you can use window decals in conjunction with a custom sign overhead, but not in place of your business’s actual sign. Purchasing a Custom Sign for Your Building There are many companies that can make custom signs for your building. Some of these companies can even offer you a payment plan or budget plan while you use the finished sign to alert potential customers of your existence. Best of all, the sign you have a professional sign company make will not look like something your kids threw together at the last minute. For more information, contact a company like Signs In One...

read more

3 Ways To Add Privacy To Your Chain Link Fence

Posted by on 12:08 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Add Privacy To Your Chain Link Fence

If you’ve recently installed a commercial chain link fence, chances are you chose chain link for its affordability. However, chain link fencing does’t provide much privacy. If you want to modify your chain link fence so that its privacy factor is increased, consider a few simple ways you can do so without having to choose a whole different fence. Fence Slats Fence slats are a great option for making your chain link fence more private. These innovations are long pieces of wood, polyethylene, or aluminum and can be affixed to your chain link fence vertically, horizontally, and even diagonally. Measure the height of your chain link fence, as well as the size of the chain mesh and your fence’s wire gauge. To measure your chain mesh, simply measure the diamond the mesh forms from corner to corner. Once you have your measurements in hand, head to your local commercial fence supplier to shop for your fence slats. Another benefit of fence slats for privacy is your choices of colors. Not only do fence slats come in a few different materials, they also come in a wide array of color choices. You can make a pattern with two or more colors or keep it simple with a single color. Whichever you choose, your fence slats will give you the added privacy you need for your chain link fence. Rolled Wood Fencing Another option to add privacy to your chain link fence is opting for rolled fencing. This type of fencing is sold by the roll, in a variety of heights, so you can customize it to your existing chain link fence. Commercial chain link fences with heights up to eight feet can be covered with rolled wood fencing. These rolls also come in a nice assortment of woods: bamboo, stick or reed fencing, willow, and dwarf pine are some of the natural materials available with rolled wood fencing. Once installed, you won’t be able to see your chain link fence at all. This is a nifty way of including natural elements in your yard, as well as modifying your fencing for complete privacy. Climbing Vines & Plants Have you considered planting climbing vines and plants or hedge plants for added privacy? Depending on what you plant along your fence line, this option can be very practical. Look for climbing and rambling plants like vines and trailing flowers that are native to your location. Once grown, the plants will not only offer privacy for your chain link fence, but they will also add beautiful scenery as well. Some great plants to choose for climbing up your fence include morning glories and moon flowers, clematis vine, passion vine, ivy, climbing jasmines, and black-eyed Susan vine. With love and care, your once-dull chain link fence can be turned into a wonderful climbing garden. Try some of these methods the next time you are contemplating adding more privacy to your space. You don’t need to replace any fencing at all. Just dress it up a little bit, and you’ll be pleased with the outcome.  For more tips for dressing up your fence, contact a professional like those at Security...

read more

3 Ways To Make Extra Cash Quickly

Posted by on 8:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Make Extra Cash Quickly

Do you need to come up with some extra cash quickly? If so, here are a few different ideas that you may want to consider.  1. Have A Yard Sale  Having a yard sale is an excellent way to make some extra cash fast. Another advantage of having a yard sale is that it helps get rid of excess clutter in your home. If the end of your yard sale is fast approaching and you still have a lot of items left, offer to let people stuff plastic grocery bags with items for one low price. Doing this can help encourage people to buy items from you. It will also make it less likely that you will have to haul a bunch of stuff back inside your house once your sale is done.  2. Sign Up With A Temp Agency  Signing up with temp agencies in your area is also a great way to make some extra cash. They are almost always hiring on behalf of various employers in your area, so your chances of being able to find work through them are pretty good. Make sure to dress professionally and look well groomed when you show up for your interview. You should also be sure to bring a few copies of your resume with you. It’s very important that you show up to the temp agency interview on time. If you’re late by even just a few minutes then it’s very unlikely that they will recommend you to any of the employers that they represent.  3. Offer To Babysit  Do you love spending time with children? If so, then offering babysitting services to parents in your area can be a really good way to make some extra money. One easy way to find potential customers is to post messages on your social media websites letting everyone on your friends list know that you are available to babysit. If you haven’t already taken a CPR training class, then it’s definitely a good idea to do so. This will help parents feel more comfortable about leaving their children in your care since they will know that you’ll be capable of handling any potential emergencies that may arise while you are babysitting.  There’s no doubt that being tight on money can be really stressful. Luckily though, trying even just one or two of these tips should go a long way in helping you to raise the extra cash that you...

read more

How To Freshen Up Hardware On Furniture

Posted by on 7:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Freshen Up Hardware On Furniture

When you’re making over an old piece of furniture, you must leave no stone unturned. This means renovating the hardware as well to really finish this new look. Keep in mind the correct way to make your hardware go from drab to fab. Preparing First things first, clean up that old piece of hardware. There are a few ways to go about doing this: Clear away grime and grease with denatured alcohol. Since your cleaning cloth is bound to get dirty, it’s advised to use an old T shirt. To restore a piece to its former glory, get out white distilled vinegar and very fine steel wool. Apply the vinegar to the hardware and rub it around with the steel wool. Alternatively, wash the piece with degreasing soap and plain old water. You can use steel wool to remove any flakiness. If all else fails, spray some window cleaner on the hardware and wipe it off with a rag. Know that this step is very important. It can be hard for paint to bond with metal, so you must make sure you have a clean and smooth surface before you apply primer and paint. Priming Next, you should prime the hardware item. Select an oil-based primer paint spray made for metal materials. Priming is a critical step since it ensures that your top layers won’t peel off and so your fine work won’t be lost. Also be sure that you apply a couple of thin layers to prevent globs and drips. Last, don’t forget to lightly rub the hardware with steel wool so it’s smoothed out. Painting Once the primer dries, you can get started on the most exciting part–spray painting! Again, go with thin applications, which only require two or maybe three coats. Most folks recommend spraying the back side and the flipping it over after it dries to paint the front. If you really want to be clever, you can stick in a few nails to a board that stands up vertically. Hang the hardware at the end of the nails and spray these items all around. Another approach is to jab skewers into a foam pad and then place the knobs on top before spraying them. Sealing You may also use these techniques for the sealing process. A good sealant is recommended to make the hardware more durable and even shiny. Consider using a lacquer finish or a clear finishing spray. Going through all these steps will take time and effort. Yet you should see the fruits of your labor displayed in fantastic-looking hardware that will stand the test of time!  Check out your local hardware store to find the supplies you’ll need for this...

read more

Operating A Small Hotel: 4 Tips For Enhancing Your Return

Posted by on 8:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Operating A Small Hotel: 4 Tips For Enhancing Your Return

When it comes to running a business, pricing plays a very critical role. With a small hotel, you can significantly increase your bottom line by using pricing and discount strategies. Here are three initial pricing strategies and one discount strategy to help you obtain more bookings and revenue while getting a leg up on your competitors: 1. Price Match Your Local Competitors More than likely, there are other hotels – probably larger chains – in the same city as you. Even if it is a small hotel like yours, they are still your competitor. Whatever the case may be, you may want to consider offering at least one of your rooms at the same price, while others are at higher rates. This is to help you get the best of both worlds. You’ll have the opportunity to bring in more revenue than your competitors, but you’ll also be targeting guests who want to save a little bit. 2. Take Part in Psychological Pricing There is a psychological response in consumers when you set a price like $99 versus $100.  Consumers are more likely to choose the $99. Although it is only a buck, somehow they are attracted to the $99 price. This is a very odd pricing technique, but it is also very effective. It’s definitely worth giving it a shot, even if the potential to boost revenue is minimal. 3. Go Above and Beyond Your Competitors As a small hotel, your rates likely need to be a bit higher than your competitors in order to be successful. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be better than them. With your higher price, consider adding some extras that help to justify the higher room rate. This will set a specific standard that shows your hotel is of a much higher value and is worth the extra money that you put forth to get a room. Just make sure that you deliver on your promises, or your hotel will quickly go down the drain. 4. Don’t Be Afraid to Offer Discounts Although you are small and are trying to grow your hotel into a booming business that brings in plenty of money, you may want to consider offering some discounts. This is particularly true for guests who stay for an extended period of time. Alternatively, you could offer a discount for guests who decide to stay an extra night or two. It helps keep your rooms occupied and brings in money, but it also keeps your guests happy and more likely to come back or share their positive experience with others. As you can see, there are several ways in which you can attract guests to your small hotel and ensure that your hotel stays in the game with your competitors. For more ideas, you can talk to a marketing professional or to North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau who may be able to shed some insight on how you can bring in even more guests and...

read more

3 Tips For Motivating Temporary Workers

Posted by on 9:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Motivating Temporary Workers

Workers from a temporary staffing agency provide a number of benefits to your business, including giving your permanent workers assistance with large projects. It is important that you do everything you can to encourage your temporary workers to give their best while working for you. Here are some suggestions for how you can motivate your workers.  Select the Right Workers The best way to ensure that you are sent the right workers for the project you have is to be very detailed with the temporary staffing agency. When you contract for workers, you need to detail the skills that the employees need and what kind of personality traits each should have.  If you are looking for workers that could potentially become permanent hires, let the agency know. Some workers are only looking for temporary work. You could save on time and energy from training if you only focus on those who are looking to be permanent.  Create an Orientation Process Although the workers might be with you for a short period of time, you need to ensure they understand the dynamics of the company and what is expected of them. Do not assume that they know what to do. Show them.  To ensure that your workers are on the same page, you need to establish an orientation process. During orientation, you can explain exactly what is expected and offer training. You can even assign one of your permanent workers to each temporary worker so that they have a mentor to guide them.  Appreciate Your Workers Just like your permanent workers, the temporary hires will respond well to acknowledgements of their work. Take the time to thank your workers and offer incentives. For instance, you can offer to take your temporary workers out to lunch to show appreciation for helping complete a project.  You also need to show them respect. By showing respect, you let the workers know that what they are doing matters, which can have a direct impact on how well they work. Even if they are only there for a few days, make an effort to be respectful. You might find that some of the workers would make great permanent members of your team.  One of the best reasons to take the time to motivate your temporary workers is word of mouth. If you are a great employer to work for, you will find that you have very little trouble finding the right kind of workers to fill positions.  For more information on temporary employment, contact a company like BIRK Staffing & Technical...

read more

Storing Lumber In A Storage Unit

Posted by on 3:55 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You may have a lot of lumber for a coming project but for whatever reason life throws your way, you now have to wait for an indefinite period until you can put your lumber to use. But you will want to carefully choose your storage location so your lumber is in good shape when it is time to use it. Use Climate-Controlled Storage The best storage facility for lumber is one with a climate controlled storage unit. The lumber will be likely to rot if it is unloaded in a damp location. Inspect the lumber before you add it to storage to make sure that it is not growing mold. Keep the Lumber Off the Ground The lumber can usually be stored safely simply in a neat pile. However, you will want to use something to keep the lumber off the floor, such as using pieces of scrap lumber you will not otherwise use. Moisture can seep through concrete and will cause the lumber to become damp, increasing the rate of decay. If the storage unit comes with shelves or if you add shelves to your unit, this will help keep the wood off the ground. The wood should be stored as flatly as possible. Otherwise, gravity can cause the wood to warp somewhat out of shape, making it less usable. However, depending on how rigid your lumber is, it may be more convenient to store your lumber upright. Make Sure the Lumber Acclimates The temperature at which the lumber is kept at should be similar to the temperature that the lumber will be kept at when it is finally put to use. This is because lumber needs to acclimate to any given temperature. Also, if you do decide to bring more lumber from the lumberyard to your wood shop, you will not want to begin working on the lumber until it has acclimated. This can sometimes take months to achieve. Cover Lumber That is Stored Outside If you have to store your lumber in an outdoor location, cover the lumber with a material that will protect it from the elements. Polyethylene is one example of a material that acts as an effective moisture barrier. Engage in Stickering with Green Wood If the wood is still green, you will need to engage in stickering. This is where you place the wood on top of sticks to allow circulation around the wood. However, it is more likely that the wood you are storing will be...

read more

3 Things To Do When Relocating Your Business

Posted by on 6:55 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are planning on relocating your business, there are some things you need to do first. This includes everything from giving your employees and customers advanced notice, to knowing how to pack up your office equipment. Here are some things to do when you are planning on relocating your business. Provide Detailed Instructions for the Movers Start planning for the movers, such as those at Bekins Van Lines Inc, as soon as you call them–and arrange to have them move your office equipment and furniture. It never hurts to start early and it can help with the transition process. Start by writing down what can be packed away now, and what you will need to use up until the day you move. Cubicle furniture, computers, and other electronic equipment will probably need to be used now, but you might not need the conference room furniture and equipment so that can be packed up. If you are hiring a moving company to provide packing services as well, give them notes about how everything should be packed. Label boxes for them so they know what boxes to use for what items. Whether or not they are packing your office equipment, number boxes after you label them. Keep a sheet with a list of the numbered boxes and what is in each one. Pack Electronics Carefully When you are packing electronics and cables, make sure you are extremely careful. You might want to do this yourself instead of having the moving company do it for you, but that is up to you. Make sure all computer and equipment cables are labeled with what they belong to. Keep them connected to their devices whenever possible. If you need to pack them separately, store them in plastic storage bags with detailed labels about what device or equipment they go to. If you are packing up electronics and computer equipment yourself, make sure each device is wrapped carefully to protect it. You can use thick towels, blankets, or bubble wrap. Make sure the tape doesn’t come in direct contact with monitors or computers. If you are moving a small office, you might want to load some of the computer equipment in your own vehicle so you know for sure it is traveling safely. Inform People About the Move It is never too early to let people know your business is relocating. For customers and vendors, it can take a while until they update their contact information. Start informing them as soon as you know the date of your move and use multiple methods of announcing it. If you run a retail store, place a flyer on your front door with the date of your move. For any type of business, you can inform people through email or your social media pages. Also let your employees know as soon as you can. Even if it is not a long-distance move, they need to know as soon as the plans are in place. Give them sufficient time close to the move date to move their own belongings from their office or cubicle to the new...

read more

How Telehealth Services Are Beneficial To Physicians

Posted by on 11:20 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With the many advances that have been made in the medical field, many physicians, specialists and hospitals are using telehealth services more regularly in treating their patients. There are many benefits of these services that are helpful to both patients and physicians. The entire process of getting proper healthcare goes much more smoothly now that telehealth services have been included in patient care. These are some ways that physicians benefit from the use of this type of service. Access to All Health Records  Through the use of telehealth programs, a physician can more easily gain access to his patient’s previous health records. Even if he is seeing a new patient, he can view the previous appointments, surgeries, test results, and medications that patient has experienced. This gives the physician a better idea of what needs to be done to treat the patient properly. The programs that are used in telehealth services dates back to several years. Any medical records the patient has on record should be visible in this program. Therefore, if a patient has had certain medical problems in previous years, the physician can better diagnose if the condition has returned or advanced further. Improving Communication  Telehealth services also make communication between family physicians and specialists much easier. If a family physician feels the need to refer a patient to a specialist, he can contact the specialist so that he may view the symptoms the patient is having. This helps physicians locate a specialist that can treat those symptoms more quickly.  Physicians and specialists can also work together to form a successful treatment plan for the patient. If the patient cannot get into see the specialist right away, he may advise the physician as to what medications can be used to minimize the symptoms until he can examine the patient thoroughly himself. Reducing Office Visits  If a patient begins having symptoms he has suffered in the past, he may be able to contact the primary care physician for treatment without actually having to go in for a visit. The primary care doctor need only to view how the symptoms were treated in the past and prescribe the necessary medications.  This allows the physician to spend more time with the patients who truly need an office visit. The fewer patients that need to come in, the more individual time he can give those who have appointments at the office. Most major medical facilities have already began using the telehealth system. This has made it easier to provide quality care to those who need it immediately. Some private practices, such as dental offices and optometrists, have also found this service to be very beneficial in helping them care for their patients in the best manner...

read more