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BUSINESS, ENTERTAINMENT, Lifestyle,

How to Organize a Retirement Party

Going to a party can be fun, but organizing a party is the opposite. There are many things to consider when you’re trying to organize a party. What kind of food to consider, the location of the party and how many people’s food to order are only some considerations to take note of. It is not fun to organize a party but it sure is rewarding when you see people enjoying your party.

Here are some things you should consider when organizing a retirement party to make it easier.

Budget

Budget is the first thing you need to consider when organizing an event, no matter if it is a party or not. Budget is important and it is even more important to keep within the budget to avoid any problems. In order to start planning for a party, you need to figure out the budget for the whole party. If it is a big budget, try to keep the spending on the party to a minimum and instead get some gifts for all the participants. If it is a small budget, carefully planning your party will help you keep within budget.

Time and Location

A retirement party can either be organized in the office if it is for a co-worker or you can organize it at home if it is for your family member. It is important to settle on the time and location of the party at least 1 month in advance so that the participants will have time to organize their schedules and calendar. A party that releases its time and location too close to the actual date will result in a lot of participants not being able to attend. The importance of settling the time and location of the party is important as well for the next point.

Ask Your Participants to RSVP Early

Releasing the time and location of the party will be able to allow the participants to RSVP early. Consolidate the number of participants and start catering food and beverages early to avoid disappointment.

Food and Beverages

As this is a retirement party, the food and beverages supplied must be taken well into consideration. Is the food hard to digest for an elderly person? Is the food and beverage suitable for an elderly person? It is not appropriate to supply unlimited amount of sweets especially when you know that little or no children will be coming to the party. Plan what is suitable for the elderlies to eat and also what they enjoy most.

Consider Hiring Outdoor Furniture

Hiring outdoor furniture is essential, especially when the party is an outdoor party and that you do not have the right furniture to be placed in the outdoors. Hiring outdoor furniture can not only make your life planning the party easier but also help you focus on other things. It will also save you the trouble to set up the place and also needing to arrange the furniture back to its original place after the party.

Organizing a retirement party is not an easy task. Give yourself a pat on the back after everything is over.

BUSINESS, HOME IMPROVEMENT, Lifestyle, TECH, WORLD,

Love Your 4×4? Why Not Improve it with More Storage?

For most 4×4 owners, their car is a point of pride. As such, they’re always looking for ways that they can improve it. Well, as far as 4×4 accessories go, you can’t get much better than additional storage solutions. Why? Because of how much travelling you do! Why else have a 4×4 if you’re not a lover of the great outdoors and camping. That’s all part and parcel of having such an awesome vehicle. Which is why in this post, we’re going to list the benefits of having the extra storage!

1 – Pack smarter

Understand that the best 4×4 storage systems don’t technically create more space. However, they do make it much easier to pack! Therefor, you’ll get a great deal more into your vehicle. You see, the drawer systems do take up room, but again, that space is always utilised in a far smarter way. So, if you’ve been struggling with getting all of your camping gear into your vehicle, then you definitely need to invest in some smart drawer systems for your 4×4.

2 – Better security

If there are certain essentials that you like keeping in your car at all times, then what better a way of keeping them secure than by storing them out of sight? There are certain items which might draw attention to would be robbers, so you don’t bother keeping them in your car. Then, when you really need them it turns out that you forgot to pack them! Well, fortunately, with a decent drawer system you can have them locked away in your car so that you’ll never have to go without. The same applies for travelling with expensive equipment; you might not want to take your laptop into the woods with you, but you may wish to use it to edit your photos and videos when you get to your next destination!

3 – Combine them with other accessories

Drawer storage systems can pair up wonderfully with a number of MSA 4×4 Accessories. For example, an awesome roof rack will allow you to pack just about anything that you could possibly need! All of the smaller essentials kept securely in the drawers in your boot, and the other bulkier items strapped up top on the rack.

4 – It makes shopping easier

Remember all of those times you’ve had to pop into the store on the way home from work to buy a few bits? You’re not filling the boot with a monthly stock-up, you’re just grabbing something for dinner and a few bottles of wine. Now think of all of those times that you’ve had the bottles rattling around in the back every time you turn a corner or go over a little bump! Well, with a smart storage system, you can tuck the bags nearly into the drawers, allowing you peace of mind on the journey home! It’s the little things…

5 – Stay organised

If you love being organised and everything having its home, then you’ll love having some 4×4 drawer systems in place. Sure, this ties in rather closely with being able to pack smart. However, when you have such storage solutions, you’ll be able to remain organised when it comes to the packing and unpacking procedure!

Conclusion

There are so many benefits to kitting your 4×4 out with some drawers. So, if you’re an avid camper and you love the idea of being able to squeeze more gear into your vehicle, then this is the accessory for you!

 

 

 

BUSINESS,

Pro Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners  

As a small business owner, time is your most valuable commodity. It’s not your shop front or the products and services that you offer, it’s time, and if you want to get the very best out of your business and watch it grow and thrive into the future, then you’re going to need to spend your time wisely.

In this post we are going to explore some pro tips which can help you manage your time better! Let’s go!

 

monetise1 – Monetise Your Time

When you break down your working day and try to monetise the hours you work, you’ll find it far easier to manage your time efficiently. Understanding the value in each given hour will allow you to gain a better understanding of how your time and company resources should be spent.

 

 

2 – Keep a Diary and Write a List!

Considering we all have these incredibly smartphones at our fingertips, we really have no excuse when it comes to poor time management. You’re likely reading this on your phone and yet I bet you’ve not once used your calendar for anything other than checking the date.

Create a list of what you need to do, every morning or before you go to bed and then set yourself reminders. This will help you to flow from one task to the next with relative ease and before long you’ll find that you’ll be getting much more done.

 

business3 – Don’t Save the Big Jobs till Last

The worst thing that you can do and something that we’re all guilty of is putting off the less desirable tasks till last. If anything, you should tackle the boring stuff immediately when you start the day while you’re feeling fresh and energised and then everything after that will be an absolute breeze!

4 – Outsource What You Can

Do you need to be handling all your company’s books? Think about how much time and effort you can save by simply hiring a reliable tax agent to handle the books on your behalf. Of course, we understand that your business is your baby and it can be quite hard to hand over the keys to the kingdom, however, if you roll with a reputable firm that you feel comfortable with, you shouldn’t have any issues at all! And, in addition to saving you time, they can even save you money! It’s definitely worth thinking about.

The same goes for anything else that you can afford to outsource. If it streamlines your business and frees you up to focus on other important tasks, then do it.

 

small business5 – Relax!

Don’t blast through the entire day without giving yourself a moment to stop, eat or relax. If you want to continue working at your optimum, then you need to take regular breaks. These little 10-15 minute gaps will allow you to unwind a moment, catch your breath and even come up with new ideas.

Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be on the right path to being a time management master! Don’t fall into poor habits and don’t be too proud when it comes to the books either – inviting a professional to come and assist you with that aspect of your business will allow you to thrive in other areas. It makes sense!

BUSINESS,

The most in-demand skills now

Even though most office environments around the world have a warm and friendly first impression, with many different prospects of new work colleagues, future friends and potentially even future partners, beneath the surface, whether shared by the whole team or not, there is definitely an atmosphere of competition.

Usually most offices will have a kind of social and professional ranking within a certain company and this is based on many different factors dependent on the type of business and the position. These can be things like the individuals level of experience performing this roe or one very similar too it or perhaps even things like how well the person is educated but what also makes you different from the person that got the promotion to senior management is that they probably had well suited skills that make them an asset to not only the role but the company itself.

However the term “skill” is a particularly loose one at best, after all does the ability to make really good paper airplanes count as a skill? Yes it does but that’s not what we are going to be talking about in this which will be focusing on more soft and universal skills that are pretty easy, cheap, readily available and in-demand across all office environments across many different sectors and industry’s.

BUSINESS,

How to make quoting up a job faster

Most people enter the construction industry because of their love of working with their hands and the satisfaction that you receive from creation. To most people construction is just about the end result and largely for the client, this is true, however for the contractor, the pride should be in every stage of the work that then eventually comes together as the finished product. And yes in a way a lot of the satisfaction in the job comes in the after thought process, when you are looking at that finished extra story on the house you were working on and thinking how you built that. But the point remains that if there is no pride in the work ongoing then it will be extremely difficult to look back with any kind of pride on your ability.

Before any work can commence however, comes the all-important and infinitely annoying task of pricing up all of the necessary work on a job and giving an accurate and fully costed quote to the prospective client. The most irritating part is when you spend all of the time double checking your calculations and really spending a good deal of time of giving them the most comprehensive and reasonably priced quote and take the time to explain every part of it to them, only for them to unexpectedly choose another contractor to handle the work for them because of one discount they gave. So let’s take a look at how you can make this process easier and more efficient, and far less annoying if the client decides to go elsewhere.

More eyes, more hands

Obviously when you are quoting up its important that you are as thorough as you possibly can be. This is because you can’t exactly amend a quote after you have given it over to the client and most won’t like any extra work being added in in top of the price they were originally quoted unless it was truly something completely unforeseeable, like unseen subsidence. However, simply telling your client that there is an extra charge that you didn’t include due to “oversight” will not go down well at all, so to avoid losing favor with the client, its best to have a clearly laid out and comprehensive quote going from the get go, and the best way to ensure that you don’t miss anything important is to have an extra pair of eyes or two to look over everything and give you some reminders.

After all, nobody is superhuman and we are all capable of mistakes and oversight, however if you just ask a couple of your trusted laborers to come with you and to actively point things that require attention to you as you make up a list and then everybody does a final check of the area against the list to make sure that everything is accounted for and factored in can mean the difference between giving a $500 quote and a $1000 quote which means a  big difference both in terms of their money and your trustworthiness as a tradesman to give an accurate and reasonable quote, so get some of your chaps to give you a hand with it.

Software

As the construction industry moves at a slower but steady pace into the 21st century, there are many different improvements and advancements within the trade, in all areas from the equipment to the materials and also in the models of business and the administrative tools that we as tradies use to give our customers the most comprehensive and all-encompassing quotes and evaluations that we can. To this effect in the push to get the construction industry as up to date as other physical industries are, there are new programs called a builders estimation system which allow you to do many things digitally and more efficiently.

These specially designed programs are able to calculate input work against which supplies and equipment necessary can all be calculated at the base price for your area and a digitally generated timeframe for the work can be established and then all of this information in its digital form can be quickly and easily sent off to your client to view and approve or to discuss with you further. Either way these programs are designed to save you, the tradesman, time and effort during the quotation period.

BUSINESS,

How to Successfully Start Up an Antique Reproduction Business

Starting up your own business can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most daunting tasks you ever have to undertake as well as being a great risk. Many new businesses fail in their first couple of years and not always due to a lack of adequate considerations. Sometimes a business for whatever reason won’t take off and no matter what you do or how well you planned it simply will not be successful. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to do everything in your power to give yourself the best possible chances of achieving your goals.

Finding a niche is key and so is timing. Selecting the right business at the right moment can alter your chances considerably. Markets can become oversaturated or dominated by larger more established firms. One area which has started seeing an increasing number of businesses set up is antique reproductions. Be it furniture or other products there seems to be an increased public demand for it. Therefore, it stands to reason that now would be a good time to start up your own business in this field. So what should you do to give yourself as much of a helping hand as possible?

 

Business plan

Business Plan

It should go without saying but this will clearly be the first and potentially most important thing you do. Making a robust plan will help you to see how your business is tracking and whether you are on course or not. Organising your finances properly at this point could dictate the entire success of the business so do your homework and seek qualified advice if you require.

 

Consider Contacts

contact

Do you already know anybody who has set up their own antique reproduction company? If so you should use them as a fountain of knowledge and gather ideas and experience from them. Anyone else you know though who has set up their own business will have advice and stories to tell so you should ask around. Even if someone has gone into a completely different type of business they will have faced similar perils which you might come across. Consider also if you know anyone who works for a business which could help your own such as materials or delivery. Building up a network will aid your cause greatly so spend the time getting to know different people who might be able to help you out later down the line.

 

Competition

competition

You need to ensure there is enough room in your market for another competitor i.e. yourself. If the region you live in has already got a number of well-established antique reproduction companies, there might not be enough wiggle room left for you. Any business thrives of its customers and demand for this rather niche product will quickly become fulfilled. If the local competition isn’t really up to scratch and you think you can oust them then, by all means, go ahead but do a little market research beforehand. There might be a good reason why they are not pulling in a lot of business and you might not do any better.

 

Buy an Existing Business

You don’t necessarily have to start up your own business from the very beginning. It could well be a much more sensible option to buy an existing antique reproduction shop. Purchasing a business from somebody will potentially reduce your costs considerably. As well as this you will possibly be able to maintain the previous owner’s list of clients and contacts. There may not be enough room for the two of you and so if you are determined to be in a certain location this may be your only choice. You can then change the business and do as you please but exploring this possibility might be one of the best choices you could make.

BUSINESS,

Pros & Cons of Using a Holiday Home Rental Company or Doing It Yourself

Having a holiday home which you can rent out either temporarily or permanently can be a great way to generate cash. You can have it as an extra income or even do it full time with several properties and make them your main method of earning. Whichever way you go about it one of the biggest decisions which you need to make is whether you are going to do it all yourself or employ a rental management company to handle it all for you. Both options have their merits so it is worth comparing and contrasting them to ensure that you are making an informed decision on which way to go.

Doing It Yourself

Pro’s

Obviously one of the major benefits of doing it yourself is that no one else will be making any commission on your investment. All of the money you earn is yours and yours alone. Given the widespread use of the internet you will be able to manage the listings and advertising yourself relatively simply if you choose to do so. If you are not sure when you will and won’t be renting the property you will have full control and flexibility in when you do.

Cons

Whilst you maintain control of your property yourself one of the biggest drawbacks of dealing with the process on your own is the sheer amount of time which it can take up. If you do not give it the proper time commitments it could either end up making you little return or even end up losing you money. Also your holiday home may be a long distance away from where you are based and so the maintenance and general upkeep can end up being very difficult to manage from a distance.

Using a Rental Management CompanyManagement Company

Pro’s

Firstly a management company will free you up of all the time which you would have needed to have been spending on the listing, advertising, contracts, maintenance and general customer communication involved with leasing a holiday home. As well as this but you will be using a specialist within the field who will have years of experience to call upon as well as having built up a network of contacts. All of the marketing and advertising will be done as you choose and the chances are that they will be able to do this side of things better than yourself.

Conscommission

You cannot always control the exact dates which your property is available for yourself. Whilst through means such as airbnb management of holiday homes you should be able to specify periods when the property is bookable and not but you will not be able to cancel someone’s booking and take it for yourself on a whim and so you have less flexibility using it for yourself. As well as these points you will obviously have to have a cut of your earnings taken as commission by the rental management company.

BUSINESS, Lifestyle, TECH,

Understanding 3D printer and 3D scanner technologies

3D printing or additive manufacturing, brings those 3D models you just created with your computer aided design (CAD) module to physical form. The process layers materials, building upon each layer until the object takes a solid form. With the continued evolution over the past 30 years, 3D printing is becoming easier and more inexpensive to use in your everyday life. This additive manufacturing is making it more convenient for small businesses to produce accurate scaled prototypes that can be manufactured for the masses. Also this tech will enhance the possibilities for local on-demand manufacturing of a product, part, or tool which is needed immediately. Along with 3D printers, 3D scanners are making it easier to produce replicas of any object, from animals to buildings, there is nothing you can’t recreate. With this idea of recreating objects many educational institutions, such as the Smithsonian, have begun to 3D scan many of their exhibits, uploading these files to the Internet so that you may download the file and 3D print whatever exhibit you find fascinating. Before you rush out to purchase a 3D printer and or 3D scanner, we shall discuss some of the technologies that are on the market.

 

3D Printers

We begin first, with 3D printers and understanding what types of printers there are and what type of material matter they use. There are seven different technologies that make up 3D printing: Material extrusion, vat photo polymerization, material jetting, binder jetting, powder bed fusing, direct energy deposition, and lastly sheet lamination. The most commonly used technology for consumer use, is material extrusion. It is by far the least expensive and most developed of the technologies. Material extrusion uses a process of heating and extruding thermoplastic filaments, layering the material as it builds your object from the base up. We shall now move onto 3D scanner technology.

 

3D Scanners

3D scanner technology was the largest set back with the advancement of 3D printing. Although that is now changing day by day, and many companies are placing more time and money into research and development of 3D scanners. The two main forms of 3D scanner technologies are short-range laser triangulation and mid-and long range laser pulse-based 3D scanners. Short-range laser technology is going to be the least expensive and is being used to develop handheld scanners. This short-range laser is mostly accurate to about one meter in distance. This laser triangulation often needs less prep time to set up with more movability around an object. However there are some disadvantages to this technology such as the loss of accuracy and resolution. Over all this technology is more user friendly and you will be able to find it at a less expensive price point. Mid and long range laser pulse-based technology uses the speed of light and the return rate to scan objects. This technology has a focal range anywhere from two to one hundred meters allowing you to scan almost anything you wish to make into a 3D mould. There are a few problems, because the laser is so far away from the object the accuracy rate is lower, and this makes for a slower acquisition rate of data, thus taking more time to scan your object.  Also these mid-and long range laser pulse scanners are way more expensive than the other technology.

Now that we have some idea of the technologies that are available for consumer use, we can begin to shop around and find the best printer and scanner that fits our 3D printing needs. You can find many of these 3D printers and 3D scanners here. Feel free to take a look.

 

3D Scanner and Printer Overview

Vat photo polymerization was the first technology to arise in the 1980s. This process fills a vat with liquid plastics and then solidifies the layers through a heat through either a UV laser or other light sources. Vat photo polymerization is still widely used to produce accurate scaled prototypes worldwide, but it is very expensive due to the material resin it uses. Material jetting is the technological process of layering a spray liquid through a print head and solidifying it through UV light exposure. This spectacular and colorful technology is still very expensive, but with time and development should come down in price. Binder jetting technology is a print head that sprays a glue like substance selectively over consecutive layers of powder. The print heads may also spray color onto the object allowing for a fine burst of color. Still this technology is a bit out of reach due to its price point. Powder bed fusion is expensive and very hard to master. The process uses a heat source to selectively join consecutive powder layers. Direct energy deposition technology builds 3D models by heating the building powder as it is deposited into position. The interesting thing about this tech is that it not only has the ability to create new objects but also to completely repair broken tools or objects by fusing them back together.