Category Archives: Business

Prevent Or Repair Thrust Bearing Failure With Ease

download (14)History of Issues

While it’s true that thrust bearings operate on only a thin film of oil, they still have trouble supporting as much of a load as radial bearings. Radial bearings can carry loads up to thousands of pounds per square inch, and thrust bearings only handle a few hundred.

Due to the curved surfaces of where the bearing and journal meet, radial types develop a higher load capacity. Thrust bearings are made up of two flat surfaces that come together and no space in order to support oil film formation. The conventional type of thrust bearings are constructed via the incorporation of flanges at the end of a radial journal bearing. They’ve been successful for a long time.

Most shaft surfaces as well as surfaces of thrust bearings and other varieties are flat making it tough to keep a thin film of oil in place. When a thrust load is applied to the crankshaft and oil is squeezed out excessively a bearing failure can occur due to collapsing. This is why a contoured face is important in many applications as it allows thrust washers to be separated and handle higher thrust loads.

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New automatic transmissions have created the need for contoured thrust bearings in order to handle higher loads. This makes sense because it’d be pointless to install contoured faces on single piece flanged thrust bearings. Both flanged bearings and separate thrust washers are a great choice for new engine designs, and they come in a three-piece assembly.

Common Failures

Of course, obvious causes of failure for thrust bearings are improper assembly, dirt and other contaminants. However, there are some other common reasons for failure, they include:

Misalignment – Periodic dressing is necessary to keep the grinding wheel clean and sharp. If it’s not cutting clean it can easily create hot spots. An exact ninety degree dressing to the outside diameter will ensure the thrust feed is slow enough to be effective. Machinists should only remove minimal stock.

Remanufactured options are great, as they don’t require grinding. This is because the grinding wheel won’t even come into contact. Crankshaft end float is usually figured and set before grinding more material from the thrust face.

When it comes to crankshaft grinding wheels, one must realize they are not specifically made for use of the wheel or even for metal removal. Grinding the thrust faces of a crankshaft should only be done by a machinist with attention to detail throughout the entire job. Continual wheel dressings may be necessary and having enough coolant is important to prevent the aforementioned burn spots.

The thrust bearings and surface must be maintained to prevent what is called stone loading as well, and grinding should always end in a what’s called a “spark out.” Again, it’s crucial to maintain a surface of thrust that is 90 degrees in relation to the crankshaft center line.

Bad crankshaft finished surfaces – Thrust faces are hard to grind since they are done using the side of the grinding wheel. Marks left from grinding on the crankshaft makes a swirl pattern and if these scratches aren’t polished off they’ll affect operation adversely, and cause failure.

Overloading – Many factors may contribute to wear and tear, as well as the overloading of a thrust bearing, such as:

1. Improper crankshaft surface finish.

2. Improper crankshaft surface geometry.

3. External overloading, in relation to torque-converter pressure, bad thrust bearing adjustment, riding the clutch pedal, and too much load pressure on the rear crankshaft because of faulty front-mounted drive.

 

CD Packaging – Finding a Reputable Supplier

download (13)March 2016 – The CD Printing and Packaging Project

Jane works as part of the design team for a well-known interior designing company who specialise in layouts and décor for large public buildings. As well as the design work, she also takes responsibility for marketing the company at exhibitions, conferences and business to business events. She has found that, more and more often, potential clients are asking for information about the company’s previous work and experience on a CD, also she has noticed that many of their competitors are handing out CDs at exhibitions and similar events as well as distributing printed information. As the business has grown, the exhibitions they attend and the stands they occupy are also growing and in order to sustain that growth Jane needs to reach more potential clients. During a meeting with her team, it is decided that they will produce a document that will work within a web browser that can be put onto a CD. The CD, when inserted into a laptop or desktop PC disc drive, will automatically launch the document which showcases the company’s work and capabilities.

Their competitors are handing out CDs in eye-catching, high quality cases containing information booklets with instructions on how to use the disc and also further advertising their businesses. Jane volunteers to work on sourcing the printed CDs and CD packaging as she has some experience with producing artwork for printing.

Sourcing The Right CD Printing and Packaging Supplier

Jane has previously worked with a local print shop that produces high quality promotional material for her when required. She speaks to her contact at the print shop and asks whether they can recommend someone who offers a CD printing and CD packaging service. Jane is given some contact details of a potential supplier but she also does some internet research to find a UK based supplier of these services. She finds several suitable companies with good websites and positive customer feedback and so she places enquiries and requests quotes for a run of 500 CDs.

Jane is contacted by a project manager for the CD printing and packaging company recommended by her print shop contact. He has also provided a quote for a run of 500 printed CDs which is competitive when compared with the other quotes and so she begins to try to arrange a meeting with him to discuss the project further. Jane has allowed herself 3 weeks to get the CD project completed in order to have the CDs available for their next big exhibition. Unfortunately, she finds that her new contact is not returning telephone calls or emails in a timely fashion and she begins to run out of time.

Jane decides to contact one of the other potential suppliers on her list who have a reputation for good customer service as well as high quality products. Their quote was a little higher than the competition but better service is a good trade off. She speaks to Greg who is a project manager and designer and he recommends a meeting the following day at their manufacturing unit as time is running out on the project.

Meeting with the Project Manager to discuss the CD Packaging

Jane meets up with Greg the next morning at the company where he works which has the CD printing and CD packaging facilities all on the same site. Greg knows that there isn’t much time left for the project so he gets straight down to business and discusses the CD printing options with Jane. She has had small batches of CDs produced before by another local supplier who specialises in very small runs, so she has some experience of the CD printing methods available. She decides quickly upon a 3 colour screen print for the CDs featuring the company logo on a coloured background with the silver surface of the disc showing through in some areas to create an eye-catching effect for the disc.

The CD Packaging Options

Jane has only ever had CDs supplied in plastic wallets previously but this time she needs something much more substantial and impressive to get the potential clients attention.

The options discussed are as follows:

Paper or Plastic Wallets – These provide only rudimentary protection for the CD printed and recorded surfaces and are the cheapest packaging option available. It is possible to put a printed insert into the plastic wallet if necessary, but again it could only be used to hold the minimum of information required.

Clamshell and Trigger Cases – These cases are made of a durable, flexible polypropylene material that offers good protection to the discs and can be manufactured in several translucent colours. They are eye-catching and quirky but don’t offer an ideal way to hold printed information.

Jewel Cases – These are made from a rigid polycarbonate material and are usually transparent. They are the type of case used for mass produced music albums and most will be familiar with these having purchased a music album in a retail environment. The cases hold the CD on a tray which has a central spigot to secure the disc in place. This tray can be either black or transparent dependent upon whether the printed rear tray card is printed on both sides. The rigid material used to make CD jewel cases can be prone to cracking or shattering under duress but they do have a provision for a front booklet to hold information about the contents of the disc or in support of the content. A well designed front booklet and rear tray card can make for an impressive end product. Jewel cases are also available in a slim-line format which is about half the width of a standard jewel case, and in a dual or multi disc format which can accommodate from 2 to 6 discs if required.

DVD Style Cases – These cases are manufactured using a polypropylene material which is more pliable and less rigid than the polycarbonate material used to make the jewel cases above. They are usually widely available in a black or clear material but can also be sourced in a range of bold, bright colours if necessary although the cost tends to be higher. A DVD style case is the type of case you would normally expect to find a DVD movie in, in a retail environment but they are equally capable of holding a CD with the advantage of being able to hold a large information booklet and a printed case wrapper which slips inside a clear plastic cover glued to the outside of the case. These cases come in a slim-line format if required and also in a multidisc format capable of holding from 2 to 10 discs.

Jakeboxes and Presentation Tins – These are the premium packaging types on offer. Jakeboxes are constructed using card which can be gloss or matt laminated. They have a clever mechanism which presents the disc to the user when the package is opened much like the “pop-up” mechanisms found in some children’s books. The presentation tins can be manufactured as required to a bespoke design or standard round tins can be sourced and printed with spot colours.

CD Packaging Artwork

Jane decides to go for the DVD style case after considering that she needs her CD packaging to hold an information booklet about how to use the CD which also contains further company information.

The Bleed Zone and the Booklet Layout

Greg provides her with templates for designing the booklet and wrapper which show an allowance for ink “bleed” and page positions. The “bleed” zone is usually 3mm around the outside of the printed sheet and the printer will ask that any background image used on the sheet should extend into the “bleed” zone so that there are no tiny white edges visible if the cropping is slightly inaccurate. It only takes a discrepancy of a fraction of a millimetre to produce a tiny white edge if the image does not extend into the “bleed” zone.

The page positions are marked on each template. Jane needs a 16 page booklet and these must be printed in a certain way to allow for assembly of the book. For instance, the cover of the book has the front image on the right hand side with the rear image on the left. Inside the cover, page 1 is printed on the left hand side and page 15 is printed on the right. It is important to pay attention to how the book needs to be printed for correct assembly in order to save time with correction of possible errors.

Using Photographic Images

Greg discusses the photographic images that Jane wants to use in the booklet and on the DVD style case wrapper as some of them are quite dark. Dark photographs can be difficult to digitally print as they may come out darker than they look on a PC screen which can spoil the effect required. Test prints are essential so that you can determine how an image will look when professionally printed and any exposure adjustments can be made to the photo if it needs to be lightened or if colours need to be enhanced.

Working in CMYK mode for Printing

Another important consideration that Greg discusses with Jane is the printing format required to suit their process. Many artwork software packages allow user to work in RGB or CMYK modes. RGB mode is usually used where the image is destined for a website or screen display. CMYK mode is the required mode for printing. Users need to be aware that, sometimes, colours can look quite different when viewed in RGB mode and then switched to CMYK mode. Block colours can be given a Pantone reference code which is a colour standard used by printers enabling clients and the printer to be sure of an exact end result, particularly where a well-known company logo is used and a specific colour is part of that logo.

The Project Conclusion and Summary

Once Jane has her artwork in order, the CDs and paper parts are printed, the CDs are then duplicated and the CD packaging assembly is carried out. The process takes 4 working days so she has her order 2 days in advance of requirement. The project has gone smoothly for Jane and the following bulleted points should be followed to enable similar projects to go just as well:

Research your suppliers on the internet or by word of mouth – Find a supplier with a reputation for good customer service and prompt communication. The lowest price shouldn’t always be the primary consideration. A cheap, poor quality product delivered late is unnecessarily stressful.

Allow enough time – Discuss any timing issues first with your supplier, to allow them to check whether they can deliver your job on time. Jane’s run of 500 CDs in DVD style cases with printed booklets took 4 working days from receipt of the master CD and approval of the artwork and this is typical for the industry. Any errors or delays in a short notice order can be catastrophic and, again, very stressful for both parties.

CD Packaging Artwork – Discuss this with your supplier so that you are clear what format the artwork is required in. A good supplier will work with you to ensure the artwork is correct and will result in a high quality end product. Most suppliers will have an artwork team who can produce the artwork for you if required. Proofread any text on the artwork, and ensure that there is no potential copyright infringement with any images used.

CD Packaging Selection – Consider exactly what your requirements are for the packaging and if possible create a mock-up to ensure the end product will be fit for purpose.

 

Asking for Help Is a Great Way to Get Information

download (12)Everyone loves to be helpful. Because of this, you have a great opportunity to learn more about your prospects and clients if you learn how to ask the right questions at the right times.

Here are some examples of how asking for help, at the right time, can give you a treasure trove of useful information you can use to position your product or service to the right person.

When prospecting, if you don’t know the person or department you need to speak with, there is no better opening then:

“Hi, I need a little bit of help please… ”

Now the crucial thing here is not to then ask a question. Instead, what’s important is that you actually wait for the other person to offer to help you first. As soon as they say, “What do you need?” or “I can help you,” that’s when you reply with something like:

“Thanks. I’m looking for the person who handles your lead generation, who would that be please?”

If they don’t know the name, then be prepared with:

“Perhaps you could point me to the right department then?”

Asking for help in this way is also useful when you ask for someone and they aren’t there any longer. Also, it’s great for when you do reach someone and they turn out to be the wrong contact. When that happens use:

“Oh I see. Perhaps you can help then. Who would be the best person to speak with… ”

OR

“I see. Can you point me in the right direction please?”

OR

“O.K., perhaps you can help me: who would be the best person for me to speak with in terms of ordering your XYZ supplies?”

These techniques are great for finding the right person or department to speak with. But the power of this technique goes far beyond that. Use the following types of “help” questions once you do reach the appropriate prospect:

“Perhaps you can help me understand how you handle your XYZ process. How do you get involved in that?”

AND

“__________, we have a lot of solutions that may be a fit, but I don’t want to bombard you. Perhaps you can help give me a brief understanding of who handles what, and then I’ll be able to know who would be the best person for some of this. Let’s start with you – what do take care of there?”

AND

“_________, could you help me understand how this flows at your company? Who handles XYZ… ?”

AND

“_________, help me understand how the decision process works over there. How do you get involved?”

AND

“__________, I need a little bit of help to understand your org chart – who do you report to?”

AND

“Perhaps you can help me: I’m sure you’ve got a lot of people handling different things, let’s start with the part of the process you handle: what is that?”

Layer with:

“And who handles the other parts?”

As you can see, there are a lot of applications for the “I need a little bit of help, please” technique. Now a word of caution: don’t underestimate how powerful this is. While it seems simple, it is actually a very effective technique if used appropriately.

When asking for help, genuinely mean it. Use your voice inflection and timing. Remember to always wait for them to offer to help you!

If you master this technique you’ll find that you won’t have to work so hard to find things out. People, because they sincerely want to help, will help you – if you ask.

 

Authenticity: Just Another Item for Your To-Do List?

download (10)There’s so much talk about authenticity. It’s becoming one of those overused words that people roll their eyes at.

It’s easy to talk about authenticity. But actually being authentic? Not so much.

All this pressure to be authentic can start to feel like yet another dang thing that you have to do in order to be successful in your business. One more add-on to an already burgeoning to-do list.

The thing is, authenticity isn’t really about adding anything on.

It’s about letting the artifice, the mask, the act fall away.

When you’re authentic in your business, in your marketing, you allow the essence of you to shine through. You allow those endearing quirks, heretofore (using the perfect big word is one of my quirks!) only seen in the company of trusted loved ones, to come out.

Aren’t your clients and customers loved ones? They can take it.

Not only can they take it – they want to see it! They want to see the real you.

Your work in the world is an act of love.

It’s the way you manifest your love in the time you spend at work, which is the most time we spend doing anything on a given work day. With that in mind, wouldn’t you rather express love from who you really are, and not from some adopted work persona?

I know I would.

My own journey with authenticity has felt like a winding and sometimes arduous one. When I started working, lo these many years ago, work personas were highly valued. Especially in my corporate job. Being yourself was considered wildly anarchistic, and few managed it successfully.

Besides, when I did try being myself, I was slapped down more than once by a manager. It’s a challenge to keep getting back up and trying again to be yourself in that environment.

One of the beautiful aspects of being an entrepreneur is that there is no one to say, you can’t be yourself. In fact, we all welcome it! We all crave it for ourselves.

When you are yourself, you not only feel the freedom of self-expression, you touch people in a deeper way. You connect with our humanity.

That’s powerful stuff in human terms. And it’s powerful in business too.

In the spirit of not adding to your get-to-do list, I’m not going to put another list of how-to’s or to-do’s here about authenticity. I’m just going to share some thoughts with you about what I’ve observed in the authentic (and most successful) business people out there:

1. Stop worrying about what everybody else thinks.

What stops many of us from being real is worry about what other people will think if we are just ourselves. That we’ll be judged. That we’ll even be rejected. It seems less painful to be rejected when it’s your persona and not you that’s getting the cold shoulder. It’s not easy to just shut that worry off. What authentic and successful biz people do is express themselves anyway. That could be you!

2. Embrace standing out.

You know that guy in the terrible furniture commercial wearing a zebra costume who looks like he’s having the time of his life? We laugh. Or cringe. And we remember him. I’m not saying you need to dress up like a zoo animal. What I am suggesting is that doing something that feels foolish and fun can help you stand out. We worry so much about being embarrassed. What if we focus instead on how much fun we could be having?

3. Love yourself.

Oh yeah. This is a big one. HUGE. All that stuff I said in the first two points? Pretty much not a problem when you love yourself. You’re a beautiful amazing being. Be as good a friend to yourself as you would to someone you love.

How cool would it be to have someone in your life who lets the crapola fall away and is just themselves? You can be that person for your clients, your team, anyone who comes into contact with you. It’s inspiring. It’s loving.

4. Do what you promise.

Making a lot of promises that you don’t keep is one of the quickest ways to be perceived as inauthentic. People need to be able to trust what you say. That’s the start of any business relationship. From that foundation, buying decisions are made. Without it, there’s no business.

5. Have fun.

Business is hard work, right? How much fun are we allowed to have, exactly? Here’s some news: as much as you want! What if one of your criteria for whether a project goes ahead is, overall, is it fun?

It’s kind of cool when truths about business are also truths about life, isn’t it?

I welcome your authenticity. I’m with you in showing us who you are. We’re all cheering you on!

 

Secrets of Bonding 125: When to Call It Quits

images (4)Construction contracts can be terminated by either party under certain circumstances. Let’s take a look at it from the Contractor’s point of view.

Federal contracts make it easy for the government to end a project. The “termination for convenience” clause spells out how the project can be ended (with no fault on the part of the contractor) and provides a method of payment for the work in place. Other public and private contracts may also contain this clause.

Sometimes it is the contractor who is motivated to end the project early. In these situations, it is important to know how and when to proceed.

The Disputes Clause

“The Contractor shall proceed diligently with performance of this contract, pending final resolution of any request for relief, claim, appeal, or action arising under the contract, and comply with any decision of the Contracting Officer.”

Found in federal contracts, this clause means you must continue to work when facing a dispute. This assures that the contractor doesn’t hold the project hostage while the dispute is under review.

Other public and private contracts may include language regarding unresolvable disagreements, so it is important to…

Read the Contract

Contractors should only quit a project when they have a legal right to do so. You need to read the contract and, with the help of your attorney, choose a course of action.

An Unresolvable Disagreements clause may allow the contractor to stop work. An example could be engineering issues that make it impossible to proceed.

Stop Work for Nonpayment

In these cases, the contractor should send written notification of the overdue payment and allow a time period to collect the funds. Some contracts require that a second notification be sent before work may be suspended.

Because nonpayment may be a material breach of the contract, it can be justify stopping work. However, state laws vary on this subject. An attorney can help determine if such action is advisable.

Surety Bonds

If a Performance and Payment Bond covers the contract, it can play an important role.

General Contractors should alert their surety regarding any disputes. Stopping work can result in a Performance Bond claim. This can hamper the availability of bonds for other projects. The surety will want to understand the dispute and may offer guidance to the contractor and attorney.

Subcontractors have these same issues if they have bonded their subcontract. In addition, contracts with “pay when paid” wording may justify the GCs nonpayment – another reason to read the contract.

An advantage for subcontractors may be a P&P bond above them, filed by the general contractor. The Payment Bond is available for claim by subs and suppliers. It can be a powerful tool to protect subcontractors. Even a letter to the GC threatening to file a payment claim can shake the money loose in many cases.

Conclusion

Stopping work can be an important remedy for the contractor, provided the action is legally permitted. When a contractor considers suspending work they must remember they may ultimately be found in breach of contract themselves. They should also take into account the larger situation of the nonpaying party, such as an impending bankruptcy.

The best approach is to review contracts in advance and negotiate the addition of langue that allows work stoppage under certain circumstances. The goal is to acquire the contract while limiting the risks.

Steve Golia is an experienced provider of bid and performance bonds for contractors. For more than 30 years he has specialized in solving bond problems for contractors, and helping them when others failed.

The experts at Bonding Pros have the underwriting talent and market access you need. This is coupled with spectacular service and great accessibility.

 

How Did Trump Make Himself Judgment Proof?

download (9)Unfortunately, litigation has become a way of life in this country. There are over 16 million lawsuits filed each year. More than 70% of the world’s attorneys live in the United States. Contingent fee arrangements encourage lawsuits. Many times the defendant still has to pay his legal bills, even if he wins.

I am sure that Trump found the best safeguard against lawsuits is not to have any attachable assets. He has accomplished this by transferring them into judgment proof entities.

I believe he created an estate plan whereby the vast majority of his assets were transferred into a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) to eliminate or reduce his exposure from future lawsuits.

How did this non-fraudulent transfer protect those assets? The key is the vote. Creditors may get a charging order on a limited partnership interest, but they cannot direct its affairs. Only the General Partners can.

Transfers that are fraudulent can be put aside and creditors can proceed against the debtor’s property. Fraudulent conveyance is judged on a case-by-case. Below are some of the criteria used to make this determination.

1. Consideration paid.

2. Solvency of debtor before and after transfer.

3. Pending claims at the time of transfer.

4. Intent of the debtor.

If the creditors do get an attachment against his limited partnership interest, they have to decide whether they want to expend additional time and money overcoming the following formidable obstacles:

1. Obtain judgment against the debtor.

2. Prove the debtor has an interest in the Limited Partnership.

3. Have the courts issue a charging order.

4. Obtain appointment of a receiver.

5. Apply for foreclosure.

6. Attempt a forced sale.

7. Secure judicial dissolution of the limited partnership.

8. Upon dissolution, receive what is left after priority paying claims.

Once creditors know, the position they are in, they will want to settle claims as soon as possible. If he decides to settle, he will use the following strategies:

1. Start off with 10% of the amount due and go up in increments of 5%.

2. Extend the payments out as far as possible.

3. Don’t offer any collateral or co-signers.

4. If they want to charge interest, prime rate is okay.

5. Have them erase any negative marks on your credit rating.

The most significant advantage of a FLP is that it protects his assets from creditors. The revocable living trust doesn’t. As part of an estate plan, the FLP will accomplish the same probate and tax protection as the living trust plus give him the additional asset protection.

 

The 4 Benefits of Hiring Professional Construction Waste Removalists

download (11)Being a building contractor comes along with several responsibilities where you have been assigned to construct buildings by your client. It involves arranging for labourers, purchasing raw material, estimating the time frame for the completion and finally clearing out the construction area from all the unwanted commodities strewn around. The waste often include waste extracted from building material, soil, broken glass, concrete blocks, broken bricks, stone chips, etc. Quite often, contractors make use of the labourers to help in clearance of the construction waste but those results in improper waste disposal.

Construction waste is often hazardous and when not disposed well, it is known to cause severe damage to the environment. There are designated professionals in most cities that specialise in construction waste disposal and perform the tasks with expertise. They are equipped with necessary equipment and machinery to ensure that the construction waste is taken care of and disposed in the most effective way. Here are a few benefits of hiring them which would make you understand the difference between their service and of those provided by the labourers.

• Convenient – You do not have to make arrangements for transport and other equipment to gather, segregate and haul the waste to dispose. The professionals would do so as they are designated to do so and are experts in what they do. They come over with the necessary equipment and disposal bins to allow safe disposal.

• Takes care of your safety – Construction waste is often fatal where broken glass, metal or concrete can be harmful to those who would be disposing it. The professionals are equipped with necessary measures that allow them to take care of fatal waste and accordingly dispose it not to harm them or the environment in any way.

• Efficient services – As they are professionals and need to keep a good reputation to stand out amongst competitors, they are the ones who would efficiently carry out the disposal tasks in the best way possible. They would ensure that you have a clear construction site that is ready for use. Most removalists come along with contracts that ensure that they would complete the tasks in the stipulated time and not cause any hassle while doing so.

• Efficient waste disposal – Most removalists have collaborations with waste treatment plants that allow construction waste to get disposed in the most effective way. Quite often, these wastes are recycled to be used in a better way to serve the purpose of construction all over again.

 

Strategies For Enhancing Company Profits For Greater Financial Health

download (8)Small and growing businesses are often tasked with the challenge of making do with inconsistent profits. While their overhead costs remain fairly static, they may not have enough regular money coming into pay their bills on time. With the right strategies, however, these entities can bolster and build their bank accounts for greater financial health overall. Following are several tips that owners of small-sized companies can put to use right now.

Stop paying your bills long before they are due. Although you might feel hard pressed to resolve these debts, keeping your money in your own bank account until bills are actually due is a much better way to manage your funds. This way, your cash can continue earning interest and actively working for you for as long as possible.

Make sure that your investments in new equipment and other resources are actually adding value to your business. New investment decisions should be entirely data driven in order to ensure wholly positive outcomes. When they are, all new tools will increase your productivity and overall capabilities so that you are primed and ready for expansion. Buying resources that grow your business will help you enjoy greater consistency in your profits over the long term.

Take inventory of the tools and equipment that you currently own and eliminate any redundancies. You may have a number of resources that all perform the exact same function. Equipment rental costs and maintenance fees for the goods that you own outright can add up fast. Make sure that your are only maintaining what you need by conducting a full equipment inventory on a regular basis.

In addition to lowering your overhead costs by inventorying your goods, you can also find items to sell. The resulting monies can be stashed away in your savings account where they can collect interest. Should cash flow issues ever arise, you can always fall back on these savings in order to quickly and easily resolve your money troubles.

Determine whether or not there are any redundancies in your workforce. These are evidenced by multiple employees who are performing the exact same job but who are not providing any additional benefits by doing so. You can streamline your team by redistributing job duties are by letting unnecessary positions go. While this might be a tough choice, it could be essential for the ongoing health of your organization. Remember, unnecessary overhead costs can diminish your profits considerably.

Consider going paperless so that you can control or even eliminate unnecessary supply costs. This is a fast, easy and wholly convenient transition given the expedience of scanning equipment and online data archival systems. Taking your documents to the cloud can also boost your public image by showing the world that your company is an environmentally-friendly one.

Align yourself with a good debt collection agency in order to clear out your delinquent accounts. Many growing businesses have financial troubles simply because they are unable to get large numbers of clients to pay for the services they have already received. These agencies can use proven collection tactics to help you collect on old invoices while continuing to maintain comfortable and profitable relationships with your existing customer base.

 

How To Gain More Attention From Your Local Market

download (7)The Internet has made it incredibly easy for companies to conduct business with consumers all throughout the world. This is just as true for small, micro and developing businesses as it is for major corporations with massive amounts of capital to invest in their operations and growth. Sadly, however, this has led many local businesses to overlook the benefits of cornering their nearby markets and building robust customer basis in their own geographic territories. Following are several, simple strategies for gaining new interest from a local market.

Take a niche specific focus that sets you apart from your competitors. This is especially important to do if there are a number of similar services or products being sold in your area. If you feel like the local market is already saturated, simply change up your approach and provide something that other companies cannot. Being flexible is key to making your small business grow and it can help your company stay afloat even during times of fierce competition and inconsistent profits within your primary industry.

Make sure that there is ample parking at or near your establishment so that it’s comfortable for people to stop in. A lot of local businesses start pursuing web-based customers simply because they cannot lure sufficient web traffic in for garnering the profits that they need. In most instances, this is largely due to the fact that people have a hard time accessing their physical locations and opt to use companies that are easier to work with.

Invest money into ensuring that your storefront and the entirety of your physical location is both clean and secure. If your shop isn’t visually appealing or if it feels unsafe to visit, you aren’t likely to get a lot of conversions. Simply cleaning things up a bit can make the individual consumer experience far more pleasurable, which will in turn lead to new word of mouth advertising.

Consider the benefits of investing in vehicle wraps for your commercial fleet or your own personal car. This will introduce your brand to consumers everywhere you go. For a very nominal investment, products like these can help you build your brand, market your products and make non-stop conversions. They can more than pay for themselves over the long run.

Implement a mass mailing program that introduces your company to the community and explains what you do. This can be a simple postcard or brochure. Not only will it increase local exposure, but it will also keep your company fresh in the minds of the consumers who have already purchased your services or wares. Regularly engaging with your existing customer base will strengthen and preserve these important connections.

Submit a well-crafted press release to all levels of local media announcing something interesting about your services or products or offering a high-value, limited-time offer. The benefits of outbound marketing campaigns like these are widely overlooked. These can help build your brand image while inciting a sense of urgency among your targeted market.

Never underestimate the benefits of good business signage. This is a great way to attract a lot of attention from passersby who are patronizing other local companies. You can use a retractable banner, sidewalk signage or other visible forms of advertising to share information about services, products and prices and further establish your brand.

 

How To Get More Value From Your Company Tools

images (3)All companies should make a diligent effort to properly care for the resources that they’ve invested in. The more tools that a business has, the more capable it will be of meeting the needs of its customers. In fact, the first step in planning a successful expansion effort is simply acquiring the necessary equipment for meeting greater demands. For these and other reasons, you should be doing all you possible can to get optimal value from these investments.

Make sure that you are investing in products that you actually need for your operations. While certain additions may come in handy from time to time, it could be more cost-effective to rent these if you don’t require them for consistent use. This is especially true if you happen to have a fairly limited budget for new resources and a wealth of equipment needs.

Take a complete inventory of these assets in order to identify areas of redundancy and determine which products your business is in greatest need of. You may discover that you have purchased multiple unit of the same tool even though each new addition does not provide additional capabilities or value. Knowing what you have is key to maximising your available equipment monies.

Have a system for ensuring that your tools are being checked in by employees after use rather than being left behind at job sites or otherwise mismanaged. This can be as easy as having workers sign items out for each job and sign them back in. Establishing a system of accountability will ensure that everyone is working together to protect your business assets.

Implement a feasible maintenance program so that these resources are not likely to break down ahead of their time. Certain forms of equipment may need to be cleaned and lubricated on a regular basis. There are many different options in equipment management software that you can use to ensure that necessary maintenance is being performed on an acceptable schedule and that no essential tasks are being overlooked. This is a great way to prevent breakage and keep small problems from spiraling out of control.

Always invest in-high quality equipment for your company, even if it means paying a bit more upfront. Many business owners are attracted by the lower prices of lesser known brands. Unless models come well-reviewed and well-rated by past or current users, however, you cannot be sure that these will provide acceptable returns on the funds that you spend to get them.

Higher quality tools are actually far more cost-effective in the long run than are cheaper versions that are likely to show the signs of wear and tear within just a few months of your having purchased them. They won’t break as easily and they’ll make it a lot easier for your team to provide superior workmanship. Even highly skilled professionals can only produce substandard results if they are forced to use substandard resources.

Take steps to protect your goods during transport and to guard them from vandals and thieves. Investing in premium Ute tool boxes will give you portable, reliable storage that each of you employees can access and use. These truck-mounted units will not only keep your property shielded from ill-intentioned people, but this type of durable housing will also shield these important resources from the natural elements.