Tax advice for the small business owner

Important Information For Homeowners That Are New To Using Propane

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If you have moved into a new home that has appliances or a heating system that use propane, learning more about it is a good idea to remain safe and to get the most out of it. Propane provides warm heat and dependability in appliances for a lot less than electricity and traditional heating oils. Learn more about propane and how you can use it safely while enjoying its money-saving benefits. Propane Is A Cleaner, More Affordable Fuel Also referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, propane is a non-toxic, odorless gas used by many people to heat their homes. Propane is also used in appliances like cooking stoves and clothes dryers. Propane is one of the cleanest fossil fuels in existence, listed in the Clean Air Act of 1990 as a fuel with the lightest hydrocarbon emission. Unlike energy sources like coal, gasoline and traditional heating oils, propane does not have high levels of by-product pollutants when it is burned, a huge benefit for the environment and for your family in the home fueled by propane. Propane is one of the most affordable energy sources as well, making it an even better choice for homeowners. Propane Is One Of The Safest Fuels Available Strict regulations and guidelines surround the use, handling and transporting of propane fuel. The technicians that visit your home to fill propane tanks are trained and must be certified through a Certified Employee Training Program (CETP). Some technicians are trained to educate homeowners about the safe usage of propane as well. When safety guidelines are followed by homeowners, the risk of fire and tank explosions related to propane is extremely low. For example, if the stove in your kitchen burns propane fuel, it will have a pilot light that stay lit when the stove is not in use. The pilot light is responsible for igniting the main burner when you turn on your stove to start dinner. In the event the pilot light goes out, contacting a professional for re-lighting it is best because the average homeowner does not have the proper training. Propane Tanks Can Be Underground If you don’t like the idea of a huge, unsightly propane tank interrupting your home’s landscape, you should know propane tanks can be buried and they have fewer environmental risks underground than others tanks do that contain traditional heating oils. The risk of groundwater contamination in the event of an underground propane tank leak is far less because it evaporates fast, never reaching groundwater sources. Home ownership entails you making decisions that are beneficial to you and your family while helping you to save money. Choosing propane from a company like Sunrise Cooperative Inc as your primary source of propane for needs like heating, cooking and drying laundry is a great way to save money while also making a smaller impact on the...

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3 Tips To Help You Turn A Temp Job Into A Permanent Position

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Turning to an employment agency, like Elite Staffing Partners, for a job is a great way to find temporary positions, but you should realize that this may also be a great way to find a permanent job. If you really need a full-time job and are willing to put forth a lot of effort, you may be able to turn a temporary job position into a permanent one. If this is your goal, here are some tips that may help you accomplish this. Make your goal known When you sign up with an employment staffing company, they will locate jobs that fit your qualifications. When they find one, they will tell you about it to see if you are interested. You are free to take or deny any temp jobs offered to you, but when you find one you really like, you should let the company know that you hope to land a permanent job with them. Telling them your goal will plant a seed with them. If you do a good job and they like your work ethics and abilities, they may keep you in mind. It is more beneficial for a company to permanently hire a temp worker, rather than look for someone else, simply because the temp worker will establish him or herself in the job position. This means less training for the company, and this can amount to better productivity. Get to know your co-workers A second good step to take when you find a job you hope will become permanent is get to know the people you work with. If you establish a good rapport with your co-workers, they may put in a good word for you. As you get to know them, be friendly and helpful, and try to make their jobs easier. Go the extra mile Going the extra mile may also help improve your chances of getting hired permanently while performing a temp job. Going the extra mile may involve working longer hours or picking up extra shifts to help people out. It may also involve performing extra duties when you have spare time. Whatever you can do to benefit the company and its workers could help you get a permanent job with the company. If you need a job and are having trouble finding one, you may want to look into an employment staffing agency. They can help you find temporary work to stay busy, and your temp jobs could be a good step towards finding a permanent, full-time job...

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Struggling In The Competitive Fitness Center Industry? Turn Your Locker And Shower Rooms Into Relaxing Spa-Like Rooms

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Whether you just opened a brand-new fitness center or you have been in the business for a long time, the stiff industry competition means that you need to make sure you take every step you can to keep your clients happy. Happy clients not only stick around longer without changing gyms (even if one opens up a few miles closer to their home), but they also refer friends and family who are looking to get into shape. If you already have an up-to-date facility with great equipment and a friendly, helpful staff, then focus on turning your locker- and shower-rooms into relaxing spa-like rooms that will make your gym the one everyone wants to join by following these tips.  1. Have Your Water Conditioned to Improve Every Client’s Shower Experience Before you begin looking into extras to make your shower and locker rooms more luxurious, make sure you have the basics of a good shower experience in place. While your water supply is deemed suitable by your local health department, that doesn’t mean it necessarily pleases your clients. Hard water with high levels of minerals and chemicals can leave your clients frustrated with their shower experiences; their soap and shampoo may not lather well and they may leave the showers with a film on their skin and lackluster flat hair.  Even worse, if any of your clients suffer from skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, or even just acne, they may avoid showering at your gym if the hard water exasperates their skin conditions. While your first thought may be that customers who don’t shower at your facility save you on your water bill, the truth is that they cost you money when they simply cancel their memberships to join gyms with water they can shower in that does not aggravate their skin.  You can easily improve the water throughout your entire facility just by having a point-of-entry water conditioner installed. Not only will a water conditioner improve the shower experience, but it will make water that come out of your fountains taste better. Placing a large sign on the front of your center that advertises that you care enough about your clients to provide them with conditioned water from a company like Olympic Springs Bottled Water can even attract customers from all around your area. 2. Add Aromatherapy to Your Saunas Saunas provide many benefits, and easing sore muscles after an intense workout is only one. Saunas promote relaxation of the mind and body, and they can be even more relaxing when they have integrated aromatherapy features. However, you don’t have to splurge on a sauna that has designated spaces to place scented discs or oils to add a relaxing scent to the sauna room when you can simply mix a few drops of essential oil into a spray bottle of water and occasionally mist the sauna rocks with the solution.  You can even place few small, elegant bottles filled with several scented-oil and water mixtures next to the sauna entrances and allow clients to choose the scent they spray on the rocks before they use the sauna. Make sure to also display instructions on how to use the sprays.  Great aromatherapy scents for a sauna include invigorating eucalyptus that has added muscle-soothing properties, birch oil that...

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New Year’s Resolution To Declutter – How A Storage Unit Can Help

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Does your list of New Year’s resolutions include decluttering your home? Are you questioning what you will do with all of the stuff that is making your home cramped and cluttered? Instead of getting rid of the things taking up space in your home, you have the option to rent a storage unit and move those things into the unit. Below, you will find some times for making this process a little easier. What kind of storage unit do you need? Think about what you will be storing in it. If you will be storing average household goods like knick-knacks, clothing and soft furnishings, a traditional unit will do. If you are planning to store things like musical instruments, wooden or leather furniture, electronics or precious items, a climate-controlled unit would be best. Climate-controlled storage units maintain a steady temperature and moisture level throughout the year. You won’t have to worry about extreme temperatures and moisture warping wood, causing mildew and ruining the things that you want to keep. How do you decide what to move to the unit? As you are completing the New Year’s purge, think about how long it has been since you used each item. When was the last time you looked at, or someone complimented the knick-knacks on your mantel?  The things that you don’t notice, use or enjoy can be removed from the house. Tip: As you go through the clothing in your closet, turn the hangers one direction. If you wear an item, turn that hanger the opposite direction. When the time comes to change out your winter wardrobe for your spring wardrobe, you can eliminate the clothes that are on the hangers that haven’t been flipped around. Tip: If you have kids, you know very well how quickly their mountains of toys can pile up. Keep an eye on what your kids are playing with. Chances are, if you haven’t had to pick it up off of the floor in a while, your child has forgotten about it and it can be removed from the house. Putting the toys in storage for a few months and returning the toys to your kids later will give them a refreshed interest—at this time, you can remove the toys from the house that they haven’t used and continue this process for months or even years before those toys can be sold or tossed out. Start looking around your house now and fill a box every day until New Year’s Eve. By that time, you will be ready to make your first trip to your storage unit (like those at 1st Stop Storage) and eliminating much of the clutter from your...

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3 Tips For Making Extra Money At Your Laundromat

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Obviously, your main source of income in a laundromat is the money that you make off of your coin-operated washing machines and dryers. However, there are other ways that you can bring in some extra cash. Plus, adding in a few amenities that can help you make more money can also help make things more comfortable and convenient for your customers. These are some ideas that you can use to make some extra cash. 1. Sell Laundry Detergent and Other Laundry Supplies Don’t assume that all of your customers will bring their own laundry supplies; some might forget them at home or might be relying on public transportation or friends and are unable to get a separate ride to the store. By selling laundry detergent at your laundromat, you can make sure that your customers all have what they need and can make a little bit of cash off of it as well. Along with selling laundry detergent, you can also consider providing other supplies like dryer sheets, fabric softener, and starch. 2. Put in Vending Machines with Snacks and Drinks Doing laundry can be quite boring and can take a while, and your customers will probably get hungry and thirsty while they’re there. There’s no reason to send that business across the street to the convenience store when you can make money by selling drinks and snacks in your laundromat. Invest in a few vending machines yourself, or work with local vendors who will place vending machines in your laundromat and pay you a monthly fee or share a percentage of the profits. 3. Install ATMs In today’s world, more and more people use debit and credit cards for everything and seldom have cash. Having an ATM machine on-site can make it easy for customers to take out cash to put in your machines and can allow you to charge a per-use fee to bring in a little more profit. You will also want to put in a few coin machines if your machines only take quarters, although these machines are generally offered as a service and do not provide any profits. If you are looking to make more money at your laundromat, consider offering these amenities. Then, along with ensuring that your customers have the easiest and best experience when they visit your laundromat, you can also make a little bit of extra cash. In fact, you might be surprised by the extra income that you can pull in with these three methods. For more information, contact a company like Metropolitan Laundry Machinery Sales...

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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

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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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