Monthly Archives: November 2014

Can You Afford Not To Use a Compliance Consultant?

reliable consultantRemaining compliant in financial services can be an onerous responsibility. Along with operating your business profitably, you also need to comply with a myriad of rules.

At least once every four years, you will be inspected by the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority. Here, using an external compliance consultant can be vital. Do you feel that your firm lacks the competence, experience or resources to carry out compliance tasks in-house? Even if you do feel confident, the opinion of an independent third party can be very valuable.

Also, consider how the compliance environment is constantly changing. RDR, MMR, FCA credit regulation and payday loan price caps are just some of the recent changes. It all makes for a potentially confusing alphabet soup of developments. It can be very difficult to both run your business and keep up to date with all of these changes and what they mean. All these make it even more necessary to contact a compliance consultant who can identify regulatory developments that affect your firm. They can advise you on the changes you need to implement.

If you believe you would benefit from the assistance of an expert compliance consultant, then call one of the most trusted in the industry.

Huge mistakes in Kit Granny flats Project and How to Stay Away from them

granny flatFor any kind of building construction, it is always advisable to hire the right company and follow all the specifications and laws in Australia. This is true for granny flats too. Picking the correct builder in Perth will ensure good quality construction of the kit homes and timely completion as well.

It will also help you make sure that you do not fall prey to the common mistakes people tend to commit during the construction of such projects. Some of these mistakes are costly and should always be avoided.

If you stick to the following procedure, you’ll see that many pitfalls are preventable.

  • Survey – Have the contractors conduct a thorough site survey of your land where the construction will take place. They will have all the relevant information to compute the costs correctly for your granny flats Perth. If this does not happen before the work begins, you might end up paying for tasks you do not need, such as stabilising the yard soil or protecting it from termite infestation. When the contractor provides the quotation, understand all that it includes before committing to it.
  • Read – Read the contents of the contract thoroughly before signing the documents. Do not assume anything; ask questions if you do not follow the legal terms correctly. It’s your hard earned money that is going into the project and you have the right to question everything there before you agree. Do not sign any document in your excitement without first reading and understanding them.
  • Plan before signing, not after – Any construction project always has some issues. So it is important to plan well for all the stages of the design and construction, both in terms of money and time. After you have understood all the factors involved, then consult a building contractor. This preparation will help you face issues ahead and come up with solutions. If you sign the contract before you think the process through, you might be in for unpleasant and costly surprises.

Plan and design the granny flat you want, obtain all the necessary permits, then approach the contractor. Get accurate quotes from several contractors so you have choices.

Digital Marketing: A Marriage of Design and SEO

digital marketingIt was inconceivable as recently as twenty years ago to imagine that people would use the Internet to do banking and regular activities like buying groceries, furniture and clothes online. The Internet has radically changed the way people live their lives – thanks to a multitude of programs, sites and apps, shopping and gathering information have never been easy.

It is important for every business to have an online presence. This nets them maximum exposure and access to loyal customers. To that end, search engine optimisation or SEO is essential as part of an overall digital marketing strategy.

What is SEO?

SEO includes following specific standards and requirements set up by search engines to make searches easier. Alyka notes that this involves developing content relevant to the product and market, keyword research, and using these keywords to make searching easier. Some SEO strategies also develop good links to other sites to increase visibility.

Strategy of Digital Marketing with SEO

Just like traditional marketing methods, the aim of every company is to make sure that their products are useful and offer value to customers. There are various methods of advertising and web marketing is no different. Information needs concise value, a website with good design and user-friendly features so that it is easy to navigate are part of this strategy.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for websites as companies and their services are all different. SEO companies have to use a combination of techniques so their clients get top rankings on major search engines.

An increasing number of companies resort to blogs and other posts to divert web traffic to their sites. Web design services and traditional marketing development require different methodologies, but many companies offer both for affordable prices. The only thing that businesses have to worry about is the right digital strategy company to help them in their quest to market online.

The Latest Trends In Office Design

office designRenovating a home is inevitable in many houses. For offices, though, the same is true, but it entails a different approach, as offices are commercial spaces. Its primary concern is productivity, not comfort.

Today, many offices choose to renovate and remodel. Offices now prefer new designs that can bring in the latest materials, optimise space and increase functionality.

Commercial interior design Perth offices go to renovate your workplace with new trending concepts. The aim should always be to innovate and increase productivity. Renovation makes it possible for optimal workflow of the available resources including manpower.

Some of these trending concepts:

  • Avoid big private offices or rooms. Instead, provide shared spaces and collaborative areas. This enhances teamwork, and balances the time spent on planning and team exercises.
  • Have smaller workstations for every team and thus have a chain of workstations. Companies can remove the conference room to save space. Instead, they can hold meetings at the centre of all the workstations.
  • For privacy or confidentiality, smaller workstations can have soundproof doors.
  • The space saved creates a small private lounge, which they can lock. There can be one for every five workstations. Up to five people can use this lounge to think in peace, make private calls or research on their laptops. This is a great idea as today’s open designs hardly have any private spaces.
  • For employees who hardly use their workspace you can have a touchdown spot instead of a full workstation. This could be in the form of a desk with facilities that supports voice mail, email and basic filing.
  • It is necessary to rethink space usage and technologies. With laptops and mobile phones, the employees need not sit in one place to be productive.
  • Only immediate files should be in close proximity and all long-term ones should move into a central storage unit.
  • Only have large workstations for employees who are in most of the time. The management is hardly there, so they may have smaller spaces.
  • Intelligent use of partition screens and furniture can improve the atmosphere.

The above points are not specific to any particular kind of workspace. It is to give a general idea of how renovations and rearrangement should happen. These trends are in response to trimming operating costs and maximising returns.

The Leaky Results: What Happens When You Leave a Leaky Shower Unfixed?

shower headA leaky shower always leads to more trouble than it might seem. You might dismiss it as just another minor issue, but in can drain your finances in the long run. This is why you should always see to it that your drainage and plumbing system are all in excellent working condition.

There are various reasons for a leaking shower. It might be because of high water pressure or cracks in the pipes. Whatever the reason may be, ShowerSolutions.com.au says you must attend to the issue as soon as possible. There are many consequences to not fixing the leak right away. Here is a quick look at some of the likely negative results:

Unsightly Water Stains

Fix the leaking bathroom fixture immediately, especially if you are particular about the look and feel of your shower area. Constant dripping may cause unsightly water stains to the walls and glass doors, and may require some effort to remove them.

High Water Bills

The leak may not seem like much, but it can reflect badly on your expenses. A leaking shower can waste around 12 to 20 gallons every day. You might be wasting precious water without realising it and only notice the problem when your utility bills come in.

Health Risks

Perhaps the worst effect of a leaking shower is its adverse effect to health. Moulds can grow and build up on your shower walls or floor. The growth can cause health issues like mild to severe respiratory problems, eye irritation, and skin rashes. In other cases, they may also cause headaches and fever.

Expensive Tile Repairs

Leaky showers can lead to more serious structural damage over time and force you to renovate the whole bathroom all together. Good thing there are better solutions now like the re-grouting leaky shower sealing before the situation gets worse.

These effects of a leaking shower can be avoided with immediate fixing. You can even extend the service life of your shower by making sure it is kept in great condition everytime. Do not leave the problem unsolved and call experts in as soon as possible to be sure.

So You Think Your Restaurant is Clean? Top 4 Sneaky Places Where Germs are Lurking

condiment bottlesEating out with family, friends or co-workers can be one of the highlights of a stressful week. Some people spend their Friday nights trying some scrumptious meals at a restaurant they can’t prepare themselves.

Everything spotless and sanitary, no restaurant wants to make its customers get sick. There are some places, however, that are difficult or impossible to fully clean. Believe it or not, restaurants are not the most hygienic places to go for dining. This simply means your business is not an exception. Know what the dirtiest spots are in your restaurant and what to do about them.

Menus

You may not be aware of it, but your menus are one of the most germ-infested spots in your restaurant. This is probably because they rarely get thorough cleaning. It’s not just customers, but also your employees who are constantly touching the menus to arrange them in each table. Educate your staff when to clean food-contact surfaces.

Bathroom Faucet

What do you think your customers touch after using the toilet? Yes, they wash their hands to get rid of any bacteria. But, little do they know that a faucet could be as dirty as the toilet flush handle. Maybe your bathroom faucet is now a decade-old, and there are already thousands of germs lurking in it. Don’t hesitate to get some help to maintain the cleanliness of your premises. Hygiene specialist cleanpro.com.au suggests hiring a company providing commercial cleaning washroom services.

Ice Cubes

Do you know the chilling truth about the drinks you serve in your restaurant? Some ice cubes contain more bacteria than the water in the toilet. This is due to germs found on hands and failing to wash properly before touching the ice. Experts say it’s best to always clean the ice cubes before using.

Condiment Bottles

Ketchup bottles or salt and pepper shakers can be a breeding ground for germs, especially if they are used often but rarely cleaned. They can get dirty all day, as customers love to add some flavour to their meals. Instruct your staff to inspect condiments every now and then and wipe them with a tissue or clean towel.

To drive repeat customers, you need to keep your restaurant clean and healthy. Reinforce cleaning practices and seek the help of experts.

Supplying Nutrients to Your Family: Your First Priority

Health is the most important factor in a family’s living expenses. This is more so in the case of growing children. Parents are responsible to ensure that the children get a good supply of nutrients regularly.

You can buy additional supplements if suggested from any pharmacy, when your general physician or a pediatrician recommends them.

supplementsIn fact, if only good nutritious food is on the table all the time, it will benefit the whole family. Healthy eating should be a regular habit. Children should learn about making balanced and healthy food selection. Likewise, they should also avoid processed foods in large portions. You can help them by providing them better options and inculcating good habits from a very young age.

The following steps will help:

• Stick to unsweetened fresh fruits, whole wheat instead of white bread, lean cuts of meat or chicken instead of hot dogs or sausages. Avoid plain flour, refined sugar or any other sweeteners.
• Do not bring up children on soda or aerated beverages. Low fat milk or calcium-fortified alternatives are a healthier choice. This will provide the essential calcium nutrient.
• Have deserts in small portions on special days or weekends. Make this a rule so that you do not feel you are entirely giving up sweets and cakes.
• Do not force your child to eat a particular type of food instead, just offer them healthier choices. They will slowly come around. Respect their tastes, though, even if it appears too discerning or discriminating.
• For the adults, you may need to count the calories and portion sizes. Have more proteins and minerals, and less of fats, carbohydrates and sugar.
• Do not over-eat any category of food. Restrict the intake of dairy products as well, if you are an adult. You can satiate any in-between meal hunger cravings by having a fruit or nuts in small quantities.
• Consult a doctor regularly and ask if you have nutritional deficiencies. Depending on the severity, they may advise taking supplements. In Sandy, family pharmacies like Jolleyssandypharmacy.com offers a wide selection of supplements.

Sufficient nutrients taken on a daily basis will make your loved ones healthier. You can stave off chronic illnesses too, as your immunity levels would improve with overall health. Over half of being healthy comes from the food that you eat.

Kitchen Renovations – The Importance of an Updated Kitchen

There was a time when a kitchen has been just a place to cook. Consequently, the appearance of this room in the house did not have much importance. Today that outlook has changed and homemakers want their kitchens as sleek and spacious as possible.

That is why, homeowners do not mind the expenses involved in a kitchen renovation job. In fact, a kitchen remodelling work not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the room, but also confers other advantages.

Here is a deeper look at the importance of an updated kitchen.Kitchen

Increased Home Value

Perhaps, the biggest advantage of remodelling the kitchen is that it increases the market value of your property. The trend with buyers today is that they want to purchase a home that speaks of modern fashions. Selectsolutions.net.au says that, for the enterprising owner, you would make a quicker and better sale of the house if you were to update the kitchen.

Creates More Space

A modular kitchen seems to create space magically for storing all those kitchen related knickknacks that you have stowed haphazardly in the place. In addition, with an updated kitchen you can:

  • Keep things in a more organised fashion.
  • Lose less time trying to find that odd bottle of jam or an old jar of pickle.
  • Knock down a wall or two to make the area roomier.
  • Include the dining area within this space for the sake of convenience.
  • Lend your kitchen a fresh and clean look.
Bring in Modern Appliances

Nowadays, a kitchen houses more than just a stove and an oven for cooking. You have all sorts of appliances in the market, from microwave ovens to induction cook tops and air-fryers. All you need to do to bring them home is to create enough space in the kitchen.

Whether making your kitchen more fashionable, creating more storage space or upping the value of your home, a kitchen remodelling work is a necessity. After all, a home runs on its stomach, and the place where you prepare the food for that stomach? The kitchen.

Off-Page Optimization: A Primer

offpage seoThe online marketplace is so competitive that if you want your site to sell well, it needs to rank at least in the top 5 or 10 of search engine results. To achieve this, search engine optimization specialists utilize off-page SEO as one of the measures that will make your site noticeable and thus gain higher relevance in results.

Here are the essential facts you need to learn about off-page SEO.

What is Off-Page SEO?

The term off-page SEO refers to methods done outside the website of the client, building a link library that links back to the website from other sources. Most people associate off-page SEO with the process of link-building, but the truth is it is more sophisticated than that.

Apart from building links to your site, The Perceptum Group clarifies that off-page SEO concerns itself with promotional strategies that allow the website to gain a better following and reputation online.

3 Main Components of Off-Page Search Engine Optimization

1. Link-building.
2. Use of Social Media for website promotion activities.
3. Use of social bookmarking.

Advantages of Using Off-Page SEO Methods

• Allows the client website to get better rankings in search engine results pages and consequently a more consistent online presence.
• Allows the website to garner a better Page Rank from zero to 10 – with 10 as the highest – and is an indicator of how relevant the site is for the search engine. In effect, higher page rank means higher relevance to search terms.
• Higher Exposure. A website that ranks higher in search results automatically gets better exposure as a result. Higher exposure means more chances that people will get to know the products and services on offer.

Link-Building in Off-Page SEO

Link-building without a doubt is the most popular strategy used in off-page SEO campaigns. The method entails the establishment of external links to your site.

Link-building is comparable to the number of “likes” like in social media. The more the people refer to your site, the more that the search engine sees it as an authority website, which will in turn let it rank higher in the results rankings.

There are two general methods for SEO: on-page and off-page optimization. The latter is easier, as it can just generate links that direct to your site, and helps immensely in the popularization of your brand.

Locked Out: Should You Ever Try to Break Into Your Own Home?

Locked OutImagine that you come back to your house and find out that you left your keys inside. This is one of the most embarrassing and frustrating problems a person can deal with, especially if it’s late at night and no one is home. When this happens, you might be tempted to simply force your way inside.

This is almost always a terrible idea, however, and for multiple reasons.

1. Consider the alternatives – Before doing anything rash, take a deep breath and think about what other options you might have. Trying to break in should be your last resort, and it is usually completely unnecessary.

• Even in the dead of the night or during an emergency, some locksmiths like mylocksmithmiami.com will get to you in less than half an hour – which is usually faster than any amateur’s attempts at forced entry.

• Waiting for a family member to come home can be an option, especially if you can stay with a neighbor or friend until they get home.

• In an apartment complex or rented property, you might be able to simply call the landlord to let you in.

2. The risk of damage – Even experienced thieves don’t always get into properties smoothly and without causing damage. Repairing a broken window or door will cost you dearly, and it will make an already bad memory even worse. There is also a risk that you will injure yourself in the attempt, especially if you attempt to climb a wall or tree.

3. Disturbing the neighbors–Break-ins usually aren’t quiet, and there is a good chance that you will disturb or scare your neighbors. Someone may even call the police upon hearing the disturbance, which leads to the next problem.

4. Attracting law enforcement – As if getting locked out of your own home wasn’t bad enough, imagine getting arrested for it. You might recall this happening several years ago to a prominent Harvard professor, and there’s no guarantee that the same won’t happen to you.

Needless to say, breaking and entering should never be your first choice, due to how difficult, dangerous, and potentially expensive it is. Keep calm, and do something far more reasonable instead.