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5 Ways to Advertise Your Local Business on a Budget

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A website and social media presence are both great ways of advertising a local business, but they’re not the only ways to get customers through your front door. If you have a business that needs local customers and clients such as a hair salon or restaurant, you also don’t want to concentrate too much on gaining a worldwide audience as you would with a website, but should concentrate on advertising in your neighborhood. Consider some simple but effective ways of doing this while staying on a budget. 1. Use car signs and bumper stickers Magnetic car signs (like those available from Ascot Sign Company) are good to use if you need to remove them at certain times, whereas bumper stickers are a good choice if you don’t mind having a permanent sign on your car. These signs get seen by everyone in the neighborhood as you drive around running your errands, and a simple logo and website address can be enough to get customers and clients to want to find out more. 2. Use flags and banners outside your establishment If you don’t have an obvious entrance then customers and clients may not be able to find you. Using flags and banners not only makes your entrance stand out, it can also catch the attention of anyone driving or walking by. A flag or banner that advertises a sale or other special event can also draw in foot traffic. 3. Create flyers and circulars You can have flyers and circulars delivered with the local newspaper or with coupon books, or you can walk around the neighborhood and deliver them yourself. In either case you reach your local neighbors directly, more so than creating a website and social media presence, both of which are difficult to target to a local audience. 4. Use online classified ad sites Classified ads are no longer just found in newspapers but there are many websites that carry local ads that you can place for your business. Use these generously, in various categories. This can help you to reach as wide of an audience as possible. 5. Partner with other businesses in your area You might work with another business to offer discounts on each other’s services, or to allow marketing material to be posted in both sites. For example, if you cut hair you might offer a discount on a neighboring massage therapist’s services for every hair cut, and they offer a discount on your hair cutting service with every massage. You might allow flyers to be displayed on your counter for a restaurant next door if they put your flyers on their counter as well. Working with local businesses can then turn their customers into your...

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Aluminum Versus Vinyl Window Blinds

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Window blinds are a great option for accessorising your window. Binds offer certain unique advantages over conventional curtains when used for window treatment. However, due to the large number of materials used to make window blinds, it may be a bit confusing to pick the best material for your blinds. Aluminum and vinyl are among the most commonly used materials in the making of window blinds. The article below provides a comparison between aluminum and vinyl as window blind materials. Physical Appearance Physical appearance is an important factor to consider when choosing window blind material. This is because the blinds not only serve a functional purpose, but an aesthetic one as well. Aluminum blinds are more adaptable with a large number of interior house designs because aluminum blinds can come in a variety of colours and shades. In contrast, the spectre of colour choices for vinyl window blinds is quite limited, and a large number of vinyl blinds will come covered with a wood-grain surface. In as much as this is a disadvantage in the context of this comparison, it is an advantage in the sense that homeowners need not worry about the additional cost of painting vinyl window blinds.   Durability Buying window blinds is not an every-day activity. This is why you need to ensure that your chosen blind material offers great durability when compared to other blind materials. Aluminum window blinds are known for their great durability thanks to the tough nature of the parent material used to make them. This makes it very difficult for the mentioned blinds to break or suffer cosmetic damage, thereby enhancing their durability by a significant margin. On the other hand, vinyl window blinds are also durable but cannot outlast aluminum blinds. Superficial or cosmetic damage, such as stains or scratches, are more visible on vinyl blinds. These blinds also don’t have the structural strength to resist pressure as well as aluminum blinds do. They will therefore reach their breaking limit faster than their aluminum counterparts. Energy Efficiency A comparison between vinyl and aluminum window blinds would not be complete without comparing their levels of energy efficiency. As a metal, aluminum readily conducts heat, which makes it inferior to vinyl in terms of energy efficiency. Vinyl window blinds have similar insulation properties with aluminum blinds with the added advantage of moisture resistance. This is why vinyl blinds are the best for use in areas that experience high condensation levels. There is great importance attached to choosing the right materials for your window blinds.  Be sure to compare various properties of different blind materials before you make your final decision. For more information, contact a business such as Homemakers Lifestyle Blinds, Awnings &...

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Using Psychology To Overcome Stage Fright

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you hate public speaking?  If you go weak at the knees and are suddenly unable to manage a coherent sentence when addressing an audience, then you are not alone.  Whether it’s making a presentation to a few colleagues, delivering a key speech at an international conference in front of hundreds or acting in an amateur dramatics society play, most people suffer from stage fright or, performance anxiety, to varying degrees.  Here’s how psychology can help you to conquer your public speaking nerves.  Accept the nerves and focus on the job in hand The first step in overcoming your stage fright is accepting that it’s there.  It’s important that you learn to work with your nerves, rather than struggling against them.  If you spend the days leading up to the event desperately trying to confront your feelings of anxiety, they will take over your mind and you will lose focus on the actual speech you are going to deliver. ‘Focus’ can be defined as the thing you will be concentrating on while you make your presentation, give your speech or deliver your lines.  This will be the material you are delivering and the audience’s response to it.  Your aim is to ‘inform’ and in order to do that you must connect and engage with them.  The psychological condition of performance anxiety will make you want to distance yourself from the very people you should be trying to engage with.  Although it can sometimes feel as though everyone is staring at you, just waiting for you to make a mistake or ‘dry up’, you must tell your mind that this is not the case.  It’s not you they’ve come to see; it’s the information you have to impart that they are interested in.  There’s nothing hostile about your audience and it’s not personal! To combat these feelings you must make eye contact and talk to the audience, rather than at them.  You can banish feelings of anxiety by encouraging audience participation.  Once people are interacting with you, that horrible perception of a ‘me and them’ situation will disappear. Psychology is a very powerful tool when it comes to influencing how you feel.  Think about the passion you have for the topic of your presentation and harness those feelings of enthusiasm as you make your speech.  Your nerves will be carried away in a flood of fervour and your audience will be swept along with you as they pick up the vibe of your enthusiasm for your subject.   In conclusion Stage fright is a very real psychological condition which affects many people from different walks of life.  Try using the techniques outlined above to help tackle your performance anxiety issues and seek the advice of a professional psychological counsellor at a place like Associated Psychology Services for more advice on how to banish your fears...

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Signs That Your Automatic Transmission Needs To be Serviced

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The transmission system in an automatic vehicle works differently from a manual transmission system despite serving the same purpose. Automatic transmission systems are more efficient and easier to operate as compared to manually-operated transmission systems. As a responsible driver and motor vehicle owner, you need to be able to tell when it’s time to have your automatic transmission serviced. This is important for your safety when driving as well as for the longevity of the vehicle transmission system. This article discusses a few common problems associated with automatic transmission systems. Involuntary Slippage Of Gears One of the most common signs of automatic transmission problems is the involuntary slippage of gears. When you are driving and you notice that your gear slips from one mode to the other without your input, you should think of automatic transmission service and repairs immediately. Involuntary slipping of gears is very dangerous because it can easily confuse the driver thereby causing an accident. Rough Gear Shifts And Production Of Strange Noises During Gear Shifts Another common sign of automatic transmission problems is the rough shifting of gears. Automatic vehicle transmission systems are designed to work with great efficiency. Shifting of gears should therefore be very smooth and effortless for vehicles with an automatic transmission system. If you notice that the vehicle no longer shifts gears as smoothly, this is an indication that things are not well with your automatic transmission system. You should also be keen to notice the production of any noises whenever your gears shift. In the ideal situation, shifting of gears in an automatic transmission should be noiseless. Cranking sounds are most commonly produced during gearshifts and are an indication that a few screws need to be adjusted within the auto transmission system. Delayed Gear Response It would not be appropriate to conclude a discussion on the common problems that affect automatic transmission systems without mentioning delayed gear response. Under normal circumstances, gears should respond immediately when they are engaged or when gears shift. If you notice a delay of several seconds before your gears respond to your command, it can only mean that the automatic transmission system has problems. Delayed gear response is often seen when the car is being engaged from a stationary state. Delayed gear response may also cause a jerking motion on the vehicle whenever gears engage or shift. For more information, contact a business such as Marko Automatic Transmissions...

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Discover The Perks Of Crowning Your Home With An Automatic Gate

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are many ways to transform your home into the dream residence that you have always wanted. For many, this revolves around splashing a fresh coat of paint on the walls, buying new furniture or working on the landscaping outside. However, all these efforts may be at peril if your most important fixture—your gate—is not worked on. For contemporary homes today, an automatic gate is the ultimate final piece to add to your residence. Find out why. Improved security By having an automatic gate secure your home, you drastically reduce chances of break-ins and burglaries. Automatic gates are operated using remote gate-openers, similar to those used on garage doors. Traditional methods of picking locks will therefore not apply and anyone without one of these keys will not access your home. In addition, automatic gates eliminate the danger you’re exposed to every day when you step out of your car to unlock your gate. When at home, enjoy communicating with any incoming visitors through an intercom or videocom before remotely unlocking your gate. Convenience at your fingertips It’s never fun having to exit your vehicle, open the gate and then get back into your car to drive through and exit the car again to lock the gate behind. This is a laborious exercise that owners of traditional gates have to endure every day. At best, one has to drag someone along to lock up behind them. With an automatic gate, one has the convenience of operating the gate single-handedly, and all with the push of a button. For one, this saves valuable time, whether you’re taking kids to school or rushing for an important meeting. Two, the convenience of having to remain in your car protects you from the weather elements such as snow, rain, dust or the scorching sun, meaning you get to arrive at your destination the same way you left the house. Prestige Last but not least, it’s undeniable that having an automatic gate elevates one’s home in terms of prestige. The improved functionality and security will make your life easier, increase your home’s value and make you the envy of your guests. After all, not everyone on your street has an automatic gate.  Automatic gates, like those installed by AGM Automation, can be manufactured in different technologies to suit your personal tastes, thereby complimenting your home even further. There are automatic sliding gates as well as swinging models. When it comes to material, you can opt for wood, iron or a fusion of the two. Needless to say, the design models are endless and will leave you spoilt for...

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3 simple DIY projects that will increase the value of your home

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you love nothing more than to relax on the weekend with home improvement projects, you’ll be glad to know that your love for DIY is not just a great stress reliever, but it can actually add value to your property. With today’s economic situation, it is no longer the case that you can buy a property and just watch its value increase over the years. Instead, you have to make a proactive effort to inject new value into your home. If boosting the value of your property is a priority for you, it’s time to get out your tool belt and work on these DIY projects. Light small spaces better. If you are worried about the resale potential of your property because of its small spaces, you can actually change the sense of space within your home with clever lighting tricks. Take a small kitchen, for example. Of course, everybody would love to have a huge kitchen with ample space for both preparing dinners and socialising with family and friends, but this is simply not always the reality. To create an improved sense of a space in a small kitchen, remove downward facing, recessed lights, and add directional spotlights. Point them at an angle towards cupboards and walls, and the reflected light will create an increased sense of space. Revamp your front door. The very first aspect of your property that potential buyers will see is not a living room or kitchen, but your front door. If your front door has never been updated, now is the time to give it a revamp. Coat the door with a fresh layer of paint (and don’t limit yourself to muted colours – bright yellows can also be warm and welcoming) and add a shiny brass knocker for a statement effect. Add loft insulation. In this increasingly energy conscious world, adding features to your home that can reduce energy consumption can be very positive attributes for buyers. One of the easiest DIY solutions to help reduce energy consumption in your home is to add a layer of loft insulation. And even if you are not planning on reselling any time soon, this DIY project will also result in lower heating bills for you and your family. If you live in an area that has cold winters, the impact of loft insulation cannot be underestimated. Spend some time completing these DIY projects, and when the time comes to invite a property valuer like Grundmann & Associates to your home, you should be pleasantly surprised by what they have to...

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The Variety Of Dog Crates You Can Choose From

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Making a choice on dog crates may seem overwhelming especially if you do not know what to purchase. Do not go buying the first crate you come across. This is because they come in a variety of styles so that you can best select what would be most suitable to your needs. So what are the different dog crates in the market that you could choose from? Plastic dog crates These crates are quite sturdy. You can rest assured that your pet will be secure when travellling in it, whether on the road or by plane. In addition to this, these crates are easy to maintain and clean. Which is a plus considering that pets can create quite the mess. One thing to note, though, is that a solid crate cannot be folded. As such, they tend to be bulky and can take up quite a bit of space when they are not being used. Aluminum dog crates A great advantage of aluminum as a material is that these crates are foldable. They can be discreetly put away when your pet is not using it. Since they are made from aluminum, you do not have to worry about the crate rusting when exposed to water or humidity. Aluminum crates are also well ventilated, and your pet can get a peek at what is going on around them since they will not be confined in a solid enclosure. Veterinarians generally use these types of crates, but you can opt to use it as a den for your pet in your home. Soft crates These dog crates are made from canvas material. They are a wonderful, portable option because they can be easily folded up and stored away when not in use. In addition to this, the soft crates promote good airflow so you can rest assured that your dog will be in a well-ventilated space. The downside to these types of crates is that they can be punctured easily. Hence, they do not make a good option for dogs that like chewing their way through things or have a tendency to scratch. Wire mesh crates Compared to other alternatives, the wire-mesh dog crates tend to be on the heavier side. Nevertheless, they are good for pet owners who only use them to transport their dog because they can be folded up and stored when they are not in use. Wire mesh crates are open on all sides promoting good airflow while giving your dog views all...

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Make Your Own Cash Register: Three Options for Small Business Owners

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every business needs a cash register, and if you don’t have a lot of working capital to invest in one, you can make your own. From the super simple to the slightly more complex, here is a look at three cheap cash register alternatives: Super Simple Grab a calculator and a plastic box with a fitted lid, and you have everything you need to make a basic cash register. When customers are ready to make a purchase, use the calculator to add up their totals, and then slip the cash in the box. To make receipts, simply write a list of the purchased items as well as their prices and the date on a piece of paper. To make the receipt look more official, draft it using a word processing program and print it out. You could simply email it to your customers, too. The upside of this option is that it is easy, and there is little to no upfront cost involved. The downside is that there is no option to let your customers pay with a credit card, and you will have to track all of your sales and GST payments by hand. Middle of the Road Create a slightly more impressive cash register using a smartphone, a credit card reading device and a locked money box. By upgrading from a plastic box to a locked metal box, you keep your money slightly safer, and you can even bolt the box to a countertop to increase its safety. By adding a credit card reading device to your smartphone, you potentially increase the number of sales you can make by making it easier for your customers to pay with multiple money sources. There are many credit card processing apps that can be downloaded directly to your smartphone. In exchange for a small monthly fee or a percentage of each sale, these devices process credit card payments and send the money to your bank account. For cash sales, you will need to follow the protocol explained above, but for credit card transactions, you can generate a receipt and keep track of sales using the app that attaches to your credit card reader. If you already have a smartphone, this option is inexpensive to pursue, and it offers lots of advantage. Slightly More Complex If you want a slightly more complex homemade cash register, keep the cash box, but replace the smart phone with a tablet. You can download cash register software to a tablet. Although options and prices vary, some of the features you may find include inventory and sales tracking, invoice and receipt generation and the ability to create a database of clients. These programs give you all of the advantages of a complex cash register with advanced software, but you don’t have to worry about buying lots of hardware. For more cheap cash register options, you can check out providers such as POS in a Box....

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Need a Pop of Color? Learn How to Paint Your Floor Mat

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your office lacks lustre, consider updating the look of the floor mat under your desk. Many offices have clear floor mats under the desk to allow rolling from one end of their desk to the other end with ease. If you have a clear mat in your office, you can paint it with a unique pattern to add a pop of colour to your office within a matter of minutes. Use the following guide to customize your floor mat quickly and easily. Supplies You’ll Need Floor mat Large stencil Painter’s tape Newspaper Spray paint Position the Stencil Take the floor mat outside and lay it flat on the ground. You want to do the painting outside in the open air to decrease the chances of breathing in the paint fumes. When laying out the mat, the side that touches the floor needs to be facing towards the sky. Lay the stencil in the upper left corner of the mat and use the painter’s tape to keep it from moving. Position the newspaper on the exposed portions of the mat that are not covered by the stencil. This will ensure that the paint only gets where you want it to go. Paint the Mat Hold the spray paint a foot away from the mat and spray the paint directly onto the stencil, making sure you do not spray the paint in one place for too long. You should be moving the can in short, sweeping motions over the stencil to ensure the paint doesn’t collect in one area too much. If it does, the paint could creep under the stencil and ruin the look you are trying to create. Allow the paint to dry for thirty minutes. Finish the Mat Pull the stencil from the mat and position it next to the place you first painted. Tape it down with the painter’s tape and place newspaper over the area that you already painted. Paint the stencil the same way as you did previously. Repeat the process again and again until the entire mat is painted. Allow the paint to dry overnight before taking the mat into your office. This will allow you to be sure that no paint will get on your floor, when you position the mat in your office. Because you painted the underside of the mat, you do not have to worry about the wheels of your chair ruining the beautiful design you created.  For more ideas on how to decorate your office space, visit office supply businesses such as Business World Toner & Technology...

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What to Look For When Purchasing Your Next Tyres

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Shopping for tyres can be a bewildering experience. The number of manufacturers and retailers from which to choose is enormous. The key to successfully choosing the right tyres and deal is to be thoroughly informed before taking the plunge. Value for Money and Special Offers As competition within the tyre market is fierce, many retailers tout “buy three, get the fourth free” deals and rewards if you spend a certain amount in-store. The best thing to do is ignore the bombardment and thoroughly search each retailer and manufacturer’s website for the lowest all-round price.  It is also worth investigating the supply chain, and know the number of dealers and wholesalers involved in getting the tyres to you, the end consumer. Less middlemen means less people to pay. Do Your Homework It is no longer any secret that auto parts retailers and repairers treat customers differently based on assumed knowledge. The easiest way to disarm sales staff who employ high-pressure tactics is to go in with a full-bottled knowledge of what you intend to purchase. For instance, if you intend to purchase tyres best suited to wet weather driving, specify that you are searching for a model that features the greatest depth in tread. After-Sales Service There is nothing more important to personal safety when driving than the tread and pressure of your tyres. After one month, your tyres can lose up to 10ibs of pressure. It is vitally important to check with your tyres’ pressure for under or over-inflation. A good retailer should provide this service on-site. Proficient tyre retailers can also identify the wear patterns of your tyres. Unusual wear patterns often indicate wider problems associated with your vehicle, such as wheel alignment or stability. Many tyre retailers also provide either an on-site or mobile fitting service at an affordable cost. Warranty and Returns In the event of of encountering unforseen damage or simply making the wrong decision, your new tyres should be covered by either an in-store returns policy or manufacturer’s warranty. Some retailers even offer 30-day or 1,000km return policy for new tyre purchases as well as puncture repair free of charge. Be sure to thoroughly check the warranty and return terms and conditions (which can be found on any tyre retailer’s website), for they vary between manufacturers and retailers such as Cluse Bros Tyrepower Parafield. Furthermore, the vehicle type for which the tyres will be used will determine the warranty/return terms and conditions. For instance, 4X4s are often driven through rugged terrain, hence tyre warranties will differ...

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Wired vs Wireless Home Alarm Systems

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the best ways to deter burglars from breaking into your home is to install an alarm system. These come with a variety of functions but one of the biggest choices you will need to make is whether to go with a wired or wireless alarm. Here are the pros and cons of each. Wired system Pros It is often argued that wired alarms are more reliable, and while that may not be true anymore due to modern technology, wired alarms are still more difficult for burglars to shut down than wireless alarms. Due to electromagnetic interference not being an issue, you’re much less likely to receive false alarms with a wired alarm rather than a wireless one. The wired alarm is often connected to the home phone line but these days wired alarms also have their own wireless connectivity enabling the authorities or yourself to be contacted even if the phone line is cut. Wired systems often require little to no maintenance, unlike wireless systems. Cons The wires will need concealing, which can mean more work and more expense from the installers. These wires can then get in the way if your home requires renovations. If you ever choose to upgrade or add to your security system, this will inevitably require more drilling and wires to be hidden. Wired alarms are usually connected to the home phone line which can be cut, not to mention that many homes don’t have a land-line anymore.   Wireless systems Pros These are easier and cheaper to install than wired alarms as there’s no need to drill through walls and floors to hide wires. Additionally, because it takes less time, you pay less for labour. Wireless alarms have been used for more than 10 years and they now work better than ever. The number of false alarms has been reduced and the alarms are now more reliable. The sensors of a wireless system are usually battery powered, meaning that they will still work if the power is cut or during a blackout. Wireless alarms are portable, so when you sell your home and move, your alarm can come with you. Due to the simple nature of the wireless alarm, it is much easier to upgrade this type of alarm. It also won’t get in the way if you do any renovations to your home. Cons Similar to internet connections, wireless alarms can be disrupted by interference. This can mean that the alarm doesn’t work or it goes off at unpredictable times. Electrical interference from power lines, baby monitors, televisions and microwave ovens can cause wireless interference issues. You need to remember to replace the batteries in the sensors regularly to keep the alarm system working properly. Wireless systems can be hacked into, just like your wireless internet connection, but with much more serious consequences. The alarm can be shut down or made to go off to replicate false alarms from a distance of 10 feet from your home, which means a burglar can simply shut off your alarm or jam the signal before they enter your home. Whether you go for a wired and wireless home alarm system will depend on how you wish to use it and your house, but ultimately both are reliable so the choice really is yours....

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