6 Tips For An Affordable Home Renovation

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever have. And just like any investment it is important that you take care of your house by doing the necessary repairs, regular maintenance and most of all keeping the house design up to date. By doing so, the value of your home will significantly increase. However, due to today’s economic problems, a home renovation project may not be on top of your to-do list at this time.

But what if I tell you that there are ways on how you can save a lot of money on home remodeling? Yes, you can remodel your home at a price you can afford. All you need to do is strategically plan your materials, design and timing for your home remodelling project. You will see that it is actually not so hard to cut costs without compromising the quality of the project. Here are some tips on how to remodel your home without blowing up your budget.

1. Efficiency matters, not size. Reorganizing your home, bathroom or kitchen for maximum utility doesn’t necessarily require building or creating more space. You can do this by using shelves with concealed cabinets or pullout drawers. This can be very useful especially in the kitchen, where careful planning to get additional space pays off by not needing to extend the cabinetry into the other rooms.

2. Let there be light. You can let in more natural light into your house without building additional windows and doors. Before smashing your walls for more windows or bifold doors, why not think of less expensive and less invasive ways of having more light. For example, you can make a windowless hallway brighter by installing a solar tube skylight which could be more affordable than putting up a new window.

3. Do-it-yourself demolition. If you are planning to start a home renovation project on a tight budget, you can begin by being your own demolition team. Even though knocking down a part of your home may not be as expensive as rebuilding it, you can still save a few dollars by doing some of the demolition work yourself. Just be careful and take extra precautions. Don’t forget to salvage reusable building and slightly used fixtures. If you have more time to spare, you can also try some of the finishing work yourself such as painting, sanding, installing the insulation and rubbish removal.

4. Consider long-term expenses. Purchasing pre-finished materials may be costly upfront but it allows you to save cash on extensive paint or finishing jobs. For example, you can get primed and painted weatherboard, skirting, decking boards and even prefabricated wall finishes. These items usually cost more upfront but they will also help you save some valuable time and money by preventing costly paint jobs.

5. It’s all about the timing. Renovation jobs can be costly especially if you’re doing it on peak season. Contractors usually double their charges if they are highly in-demand. So, you might want to create a timetable on when to efficiently start your renovation project. This way, you will have more bargaining power with the contractor and it is likely that you will get a fair deal for your remodelling project. It is also important to get price quotes from more than one contractor.

6. Go out and buy your own remodeling materials. Remodeling materials are normally expensive. Furthermore, there are some contractors who add a little price commission on the building materials that they buy in your behalf, thus, making the process even more expensive. This is why it would be better if you buy them yourself instead of handing over that task to the contractor to make sure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. This also allows you to monitor every penny you shell out on your renovation project.

Profitable Tips For All Restaurant Owners

What were the last three things you did to increase your restaurant profitability? Below profit protection is constantly on your mind, you will get hurt. Eroding margins, fickle markets, escalating food prices, rising utility rates, outrageous credit card fees, and a host of other factors eat into your margins daily, thereby reducing your ability to pay the bills, let alone yourself.

We recently consulted with a client that has not paid himself for 17 months. He called us out of sheer desperation saying, "I just can not go on working for free." The sorry fact is that there are many restaurateurs working hard for very little income, and we think it should stop.

In my profession as CEO of the leading restaurant consulting firm in the US, people rarely call me when things are going well. The kinds of calls that I receive daily are along the lines of, "Why can not I make any money" or "My food cost is through the roof" and this is the most painful one, "I can not afford to Stay open anymore, what can I do? "

Why do not you invest a few minutes into yourself right now and read over the tips below. In fact, print out a copy and share it with your friends that run an operation as well. Yes, some tips may seem obvious, but are you using every tool at your disposal to solidify and enhance your profits? Your restaurant owes you for risking your neck to get it open, so I'd like to suggest that you start holding it accounting.

1. Do not serve water automatically. Sounds simple, but water service does not increase your profits or sales. Put systems into place where you serve alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, sodas, milk – anything but free water. Serve it upon request only.

2. Set up the dining experience on the first visit to the table. Tactfully done by the server, profitable items should be promoted, desserts can be suggested, and guests will appreciate a quick, "Run down" of the dining experience. Plus, server competency will be rewarded for taking responsibility for the positive experience that they will have. My wife's favorite server line is, "Want to split a dessert with coffee?" Not only have we just purchased a dessert that may have been too much for one of us, we've also bought 2 coffees. These additional sales make a big difference, and they're easy to execute. Having a hard time selling desserts? Encourage your servers to use this statement and see what happens.

3. Concentrate on improving product delivery systems to eliminate waste. For example, if your servers are throwing away iced tea lemons at the end of each shift, instead of at the end of the day, re-evaluate this system. By valuing everything, you may be surprised what gets thrown away. This includes portion control items such as creamers, crackers, butters, jelly and silverware as well.

4. Understand that guests dine on a budget, and be sensitive to it. Servers that sell beyond the dining budget will experience reduced tip income, and the restaurant will experience reduced visits. Ensuring that your guests come back repeatedly is much more important than increasing their check average for just one visit.

5. Selling a more expensive item does not always equate to increased profitability. Make sure that your servers understand which items are most profitable for the restaurant, and promote those. It makes no sense to promote items that may have minimal profit contribution. Tell your servers what items you want them to sell.

6. Use the best menu. Ensure that your menu is costed out properly; Current with market conditions, and designed to insure that the most profitable items are the ones being promoted. It makes sense to enlist a consultant to do this for you, as the return on investment will be immediate and lasting. This is your # 1 selling tool.

7. Work with your food vendors to insure that you are buying the right items for the menu specifications. Are you overbuying on an item that does not require top grade quality? An example would be the purchase of a # 1 quality baking potato, when a # 2 quality would suffice.

8. Buy key items in bulk. On the topic of food vendors, make certain that you are promoting menu items that you are able to bulk buy on a negotiated cost effective basis – and can sell at a premium. This simple step will quickly aid in bringing meaningful dollars to the bottom line.

9. Offer your guests a complete dining experience. This includes the sale of beverages, appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, side items (such as a vegetable) and add-on items (such as sour cream or cheese). Make sure that you are not inadvertently missing out on the sale of key parts of the meal. Table tents, menu inserts, promotional signage, sales tracking, and staff pre-shift meetings are all ways that you can ensure that all meal parts are promoted and sold effectively.

10. Bundling meal parts together will increase the quality of your guests dining experience and maximize their dollars spend. Bundling may consist of an appetizer / salad / entrée combo or salad / entrée / dessert combo. Diners will not be surprised by the dollar value, and they can knowingly order within their budget.

11. Do not forget the grapes. Effective promotion of your wine offerings should be systematic and routine. Guests should be fully aware of the pricing and offers, both by the glass and by bottle. Wine service is a skill that every server should have.

12. Get an Operations Analysis. As operators, we frequently get caught up in the heat of the battle, and can not take the time to analyze our operation critically. Engaging a restaurant consultant to look for ways to improve service, enhance income, and reduce waste should result in immediate financial improvement. Do not skimp on this, thinking that you have your bases covered, because the food service industry changes daily. In cold hard terms, your restaurant should be a money making machine to benefit the owner (s). If it's not generating the kind of money you think it should, you must get the machine repaired!

13. Do not overlook slow day parts. If it's quiet in the afternoon, are there promotions that may make sense for you to utilize to generate more revenues during this down time? Do not tolerate your money machine sitting open, but not generating revenues. Put it to work.

14. Children's menus. Most of them are boring, and priced to reflect that. Is it reasonable to think that parents would pay a bit more for more interesting and nutritious meals? This is a good opportunity to re-evaluate your children's menu and pricing. It's dangerous to neglect this important item, as parents usually examine this menu closely.

15. Are you maximizing food sales in your bar / lounge areas? For many, it's more enjoyable to eat in a bar than drink in a restaurant. It makes logical sense to have menus, silverware, condiments and promoted specials available for your drinking guests. If they do not eat on the first visit, you will have planned the seed for them to consider eating in your establishment next time.

Simply remember that it's not what you make, it's what you keep that matters. Hopefully some of these tips will be useful. Still can not seem to make the numbers come out the way you want? It may make sense to enlist the services of an advisor to walk you through the complexities of making money in the restaurant business.

Digital and Conventional Presentation of Content

Displaying content is extremely important for any marketing agency. Ultrathin tubes have long replaced the old-fashioned and expensive Cathode-ray tubes. Internet connectivity, live TV streaming, videos, and images are the future of signage and modern marketing. Shopping malls, shops, and all other businesses prefer electronic display over wallpapers.

Digital signage applications include high-resolution display devices that are easy to use anywhere, indoor or outdoor. The modern way of displaying content includes versatility and innovation. For example, an electronic display can run a combination of media including videos, images, and text that even deliver a specific message.

With the passage of time, the global advertising industry is growing bigger and bigger. The electronic display has become the need of every modern business. Some of the purposes digital signage serve are:

  • Informational
  • Commercial
  • Experiential
  • Behavioral

It is rightly said that there is no success without the content. Electronic signage is considered to be a new way of displaying content to an audience. It offers variety and a number of interesting features that allow users to be creative in content management. We often see digital signs at public places and retail stores. Therefore, it has a cultural impact on customers and viewers.

A question arises when or not signage has emerged as a new and effective advertising source. The answer is a big yes as digital signage is gradually taking over the conventional and outdated advertising solutions. However, the significance of traditional display can not be under as they are cost-effective. Commercial places should be well equipped with the information that might help customers make a purchase decision.

The internet is used broadly across the globe. And the information provided on a computer allows us to check back and reach the content easily. It is easy to change and manage content on digital devices. Your success depends very much on how you are advertising your business. Therefore, use digital signs to promote and advertise your business or cause. Digital signage is expensive as compared to those simple and static display means. However, digital display has become mandatory for rapidly growing businesses.

The display industry can not keep itself apart from technological advances. However, some of the old-fashioned signage is still being used by many businesses in developed and developing countries. For instance, a banner or a decal is a very simple type of signage. The presence of highly advanced electronics signals could not outsmart old-fashioned sign systems. However, it is recommended to use the digital and interactive form of signs which can captivate the attention of customers.

Compare Policies to Find Cheap Car Insurance

The idea of ​​a low cost car policy is something that has certainly been convoluted by the variety of bad advice and recommendations that are so littered across the internet. Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of looking for a car policy that costs the least and totally forget that a car policy product is supposed to carry some basic features to be really useful. The result of such a choice is that the buyer ends up regretting his / her choice and wishing for a more complete product. In order to find complete car policy that is also cheap, you need to compare multiple policies available online and this comparison process should include almost all the relevant aspects of policy to make it truly comparable. Here is a list of those aspects.

1. The service provider:
The provider of the insurance instrument is critical for you to find a policy that is really useful because it is the provider who has to approve or reject your claims. In different words, since the provider has to honor the claims, it is important that you find one who is respectable and genuine. Therefore, you should go through different reviews and comments posted online and try to tie yourself to only the best provider.

2. The coverage of the policy:
It is also very important for you to find a policy that has decent cover. Decent cover for every buyer would be different because the needs of every buyer are different. For example, you might be a bachelore which would mean that you will not really need co-passenger cover. In contrast, if you are a married man, then you would need a product that provides cover to your co-passengers. Here, understanding your specific requirements and finding a policy that matches them is something you should not neglect.

3. Network of garages or workshops:
The purpose of a car insurance product is to make your life easier in every way possible. This means that it should not only provide the right compensation but also do so in the most convenient manner. This is why the policy provider should have a vast network of workshops and garages. A wider network would allow you to get your car repaired and also have your claims honored as conveniently as possible.

4. Additional benefits and bonuses:
Finally, there are many providers online and offline who really try to attract potential buyers by adding value to their products. This value usually comes in the form of discounts and bonus benefits. For example, the no claims bonus feature is a very common value addition tool that is used by online providers. This feature would allow you to reduce the premiums that you have to pay if you have not made claims on your previous insurance policies. Needless to say, these added features are a wonderful way to not only make your policy more useful but also reduce the cost of buying it.

Cheap car insurance is a lot more than an empty policy which costs nothing. A cheap car insurance policy should ideally be able to protect and serve you while not costing a fortune.