Tax advice for the small business owner

Refuting Two Moving Myths

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Moving into a new home is a daunting experience that will require you to address a great many logistical questions and challenges. Sadly, there are many misconceptions and myths about moving that can mislead you about what to expect or how to get the most from this task. After you have some of the more frequently assumed misconceptions dispelled, you will find yourself a more capable consumer when choosing a moving service for your next move. Myth: There Is No Harm Opting For Low-Quality Moving Supplies Moving into a new home can be a very expensive experience for anyone. Not surprisingly, there are many people that want to cut costs wherever they can, but it is an unfortunate fact that some people may attempt to cut costs on their packing supplies. This mistake can leave their possessions vulnerable to an assortment of damages because cheap moving supplies may not be able to withstand the stresses of the move. To minimize the risk of harming your possessions while moving, you should always invest in ample bubblewrap and boxes. The bubblewrap is essential for absorbing the impacts during the move, and you should place a sheet along the bottom and sides of any box. Also, you must avoid overloading your moving boxes to keep them from falling apart due to the excess weight. Myth: You Cannot Protect Yourself Against The Financial Costs Of Moving Damages Despite your best efforts, there is a good chance that you may accidentally break or otherwise damage some of your favorite possessions. Sadly, many people are unaware of the fact that it is possible to purchase a moving insurance policy. These policies will protect you in the event a wide range of damages strike your possessions. However, the exact types of damages covered can vary wildly, and you must carefully review any moving insurance policy to ensure you fully understand what protections you enjoy. While this insurance will add to the total cost of moving, it can prove invaluable if your favorite possessions are harmed during the move. Relocating to a new home is a stressful task that requires ample physical labor to complete. For those that are inexperienced with moving, it is important to understand the importance of investing in quality packing materials as well as the benefits of a moving insurance policy. Being armed with this information will make it far easier to be informed about how to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible. To learn more, visit a website...

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How To Find A Great Assisted Living Facility For Your Loved One

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Assisted living facilities are housing alternatives for older adults who may need help with the day-to-day living activities of dressing, bathing, eating, and personal care, but do not require medical and nursing care provided in nursing homes. If you are looking for an assisted living facility for an elderly parent or relative, find a facility in your area and take a tour. A facility tour can provide a wealth of information that is not given in a brochure or website. The following is a list of a few initial things to look for when you tour an assisted living facility: Cleanliness – Observe the cleanliness of the common rooms such as the dining room, sitting room, and entertainment area. Notice the cleanliness of the laundry room and kitchen. Be sure to see an example of the individual living quarters for one or two residents. Notice if the rooms are clean and bright and smell pleasant. Inquire how often housekeeping is provided for each of the residents.  Food – Ask to see the menu that is being planned for the week that you are on tour. If possible, tour the facility at meal time and sample the food and drink being served. Ask about dining room hours of operation and how snacks are provided for residents during off hours or when they may have missed a meal. Residents – Observe any and all residents that you see while you are taking a tour. Notice if they are wearing clean clothes and have well-groomed hair, nails, and teeth. Look to see that the residents seem relaxed and happy in the facility. Ask what entertainment and special activities are provided for the residents each week.  Staff – Notice how many staff members are working there and how they treat the residents. Observe if the staff members seem happy and friendly while they are caring for the residents. Notice if the residents are happy as they interface with the staff members. Ask how many staff members work there and the hours that they work. Ask to meet a supervisor while you are there and introduce yourself.  Safety – Inquire where the bathrooms are located near the common rooms of the facility. When you tour a resident’s individual living quarters, observe the bathroom that is provided. Notice if there are handrails and grab bars installed for the residents. Ask about the procedure for bathing the residents and how often they are bathed. Ask the tour guide to show you how a resident can call for assistance from their individual living quarters and bathroom.  Medications – Ask to see how medications are given to the residents and what medication and dosage records are kept. Notice where the medications are stored and if they are locked up and secure. Ask for the name of the local pharmacy that services the residents of the facility.  Families and Friends – Look to see if some of the residents have guests visiting them when you are on a tour of the facility. Try to speak to one or more of the visitors to get their opinion of the facility and the care extended to their family member. Ask if they think their friend or relative is happy living there.  If you are seriously considering a certain assisted living facility, drop...

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Caring For A Neon Sign

Posted by on 5:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Caring For A Neon Sign

If you have just purchased a neon sign to place your business’s window, you will soon be enjoying the brightly lit advertisement as it will do a fine job at attracting customers into your establishment. Neon signs can last for several years if you do some simple upkeep steps. Here are some ways to maintain your neon so it lasts while retaining its brightness. Clean Regularly Neon signs lose their brightness if they are covered with dust. To remove surface dirt from the neon tubes you will first want to unplug the light from the outlet. Use a soft-bristled nylon brush to wipe down each neon tube completely, removing loose debris in the process. For harder to remove grime, use a piece of microfiber cloth dipped into a mild detergent and water solution. Wipe down each tube with the cloth and use a piece of dry microfiber cloth to remove soap. Allow the sign to dry thoroughly before plugging it back in for use. Remove Stains Nicotine can build-up on a neon light, making it appear much dimmer than normal. To remove nicotine staining, unplug your light and use a cleaner with ammonia in the ingredients. Apply using a piece of microfiber cloth and remove using a clean piece. Make sure you avoid getting the cleaner on any backing of your light, as it may remove the paint.  Inspect For Damage If your neon light loses its brightness or if a portion is no longer lighting up properly, you will want to bring it to a repair shop for assessment. It is difficult to replace neon on your own, making it necessary to use a professional to have it done so you eliminate the risk of injury. If you see any portions on your light where the tube is flickering or if there are cracks in the neon tubing, your sign is in need of servicing. Place Properly When placing a neon sign, make sure it is in an area where children or pets will not be present, as there is a risk of injury should one of the tubes become broken. Neon signs are rather delicate, making it necessary to keep them out of harm’s way. Place them in an area away from doors or heavy foot-traffic. Make sure the outlet is close by so there is no chance of someone tripping over an extension cord, possibly causing your sign to fall and break. For sign repairs, talk to a...

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Tips For First Time Bobcat Operators

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Just because you can rent a bobcat for work around your home with a regular driver’s license does not mean that you have all the skills and knowledge necessary to operate a bobcat. If you are a little unsure of how to effectively operate a bobcat around your home to complete personal projects, here are a few tips for first time bobcat operators that should help you feel a little more confident about operating the bobcat that you rented today. The Primary Uses Of A Bobcat To start with, you need to know what the bobcat you rented should be used for. With the regular tools that a Bobcat is equipped with, they are used primarily for moving large loads of material, supplies and dirt. They are often used in move materials during demolition jobs. You can also rent and attach different tools onto the Bobcat you rented. The most common tools to attach are a tooth scoop, generally for demolition projects, or a smooth scoop for moving dirt, mulch and gravel. Additional tools can be attached to allow for lifting extremely heavy objects that exceed the normal listed capacity of the Bobcat. Turning On The Bobcat To turn on the Bobcat, you will need to insert a key into the ignition, just like you would do with a car. When you turn on the Bobcat, you will see fuel reading as well as warning buttons. Before you can start to use the Bobcat, you will need to disengage its safety features, which generally include an emergency brake as well as a brake that prevents the bucket from moving on its own. Moving The Machine Instead of a steering wheel, there are two controls or levers that allow you to move the Bobcat. In order to move the Bobcat forward, you have to push both controls forward. In order to reverse the Bobcat, you have to pull back on both levers. If you want to turn the Bobcat to the left, you need to pull back on only the left lever. If you want to turn the Bobcat to the right, you need to pull back on only the right lever. Moving The Bucket There are two pedals inside of the Bobcat that allow you to move the bucket or tool that is attached to it. In order to move the tool up or down, you have to press on the left pedal. In order to tip the tool forward, you have to push the right pedal forward. In order to tip the toll back, you have to push the right back towards your body. Additionally, you should try your best to keep the tool or bucket as low to the ground as possible, especially when it is full. This is the easiest way to ensure that the bucket and items inside of it stay level and balanced as you work. If you have any additional questions about how to operate a Bobcat, make sure you ask the rental agency, such asSummit Tool Rentals Division Of Wirtz Rentals, before you take it home and get to work. Once you get the Bobcat home, take a few minutes to practice using the controls before you start moving material...

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Designing Your Office For Increased Productivity

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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...

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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...

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3 Ways To Add Privacy To Your Chain Link Fence

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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...

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3 Ways To Make Extra Cash Quickly

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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...

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How To Freshen Up Hardware On Furniture

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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...

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Operating A Small Hotel: 4 Tips For Enhancing Your Return

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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...

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