As homeowners we know that we are likely to be living in our greatest asset. Our property is an investment just as it is our home. As such it can be a good idea to think of it these terms before we choose to spend any money on it. It makes sense to ensure that if we are investing, we will be likely to make a good return on it, as we would do with any other type of asset. With this in mind, here are 3 ways to add value to your home, areas that are usually worth spending on.
Renovate and redecorate
Improving the interior appearance and condition of your home tends to be one of the best places to start. This is also the one that tends to make a real difference to how we live in and enjoy our homes on a day to day basis.
You will want to address any more serious concerns first with this one. If your house would benefit from rewiring, damp proofing or plastering, then get that work carried out before moving on. These make your house more comfortable and safer for you, and issues in these areas could put potential buyers off if you were looking to sell at some point.
You can then have more fun with planning decor changes or updating rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms are often the rooms that can help to sell homes or put buyers off them, so they are normally wise investments.
Adding square footage to your house usually adds value. There is a caveat here that most areas and streets do have a ceiling price, no matter the number of bedrooms or reception rooms, so do take care that your spend doesn’t take you through that ceiling.
Assuming that you have taken into account the ceiling price, there are several ways to extend your home. Loft conversions can be stunning additions to a house and people often use them to create an extra bedroom and ensuite. You could also add floor space on the ground floor, using some of your yard space up or demolishing unwanted outbuildings, or you can add another storey or two.
When you are extending, think about the rooms that people find most desirable, as these are the ones you want to either add on or enlarge. Perhaps you will add a utility area and guest WC in a downstairs extension, or an additional bedroom or bathroom upstairs.
Improve the exterior
There are many ways to improve the exterior of your home, so work on them in order of priority according to the most value they will add.
You could hire a paving contractor and get a complete new driveway which is likely to add kerb appeal as well as being a structural improvement. You might want to update your glazing, front door and porch, all of which can make your home more attractive as well as more energy efficient.
You may choose to landscape your back garden, which can often be a matter of personal taste. However, there is no doubt that a well looked after garden is more tempting to potential buyers than an untidy and overgrown yard.
It doesn’t matter whether you play hockey or whether you fancy starting your own synchronised swimming team because there are more amateur sports teams being set up than ever before. If you want to get started, then here are some tips that will get you well on your way.
The first thing that you need to do is arrange to have a meeting with a few diverse people from your local community. It helps to try and include that you represent every age group here, as this will help you to show a level of fairness when decisions are made. It also pays to make sure that you find people who are excited about your project, as well as people who have a certain degree of talent. This will help you to manage the business aspects of your club, so it’s well worth looking into.
Hiring a great coach will help you to motivate players and it will also encourage more people to join too. Strong community connections may also help your team to get sponsorships and it will help you to further the level of support you have. At the end of the day, coaches are the foundation of how successful your club can be, and they can also help you to create a network of connections too.
Your club will most likely be in competition with other clubs in the area. For this reason, you need to try and find a way that you can differentiate yourself. If you are able to connect your team to a local bar or even a restaurant then this will give you somewhere for your team to congregate and it will also help you to build your brand. When choosing a central hub, try and make sure that it relates to your team values.
The last thing that you need when setting up a club is to run out of money during your very first year. You have to also remember that you need to buy a lot of supplies along the way, and if you are not careful then you may end up going over budget. One way for you to stop this from happening would be for you to create a solid business plan. First-aid kits are also required, as they will help to keep your team healthy while also showing that you genuinely care about the people who are part of your organisation. Medals and badges may also be required, and if that’s what you’re looking for then these guys can help.
Code of Conduct
Bad behaviour could get your team ejected from games, so it helps to have a code that your team can follow. This will help you to really stop any issues from happening and it will also help you to prevent arguments. A code will also strengthen your team values and it will make it much easier for them to bond together when it’s really needed. If you want to get some help when writing the code, then make a list of the things that are most important to you as a team leader and go from there.
When it comes to working and creating a thriving business, you often don’t go down the traditional routes. Some businesses start off in shops and business locations, but also so many successful businesses are born from the home, and they progress from there. Having people working for you that are perhaps not in the same room enables you to have skilled people who can work remotely. This might be as part of your team when it comes to sales and visiting customers and clients, or it might be working remotely from a laptop or computer. However, how can manage these people effectively and enable your business to thrive? Here are some of the options to consider.
One of the first things that you need to consider is the communication side of things. You don’t have the benefit of being in the same place, so just popping your head through your office door is not going to cut it. This is when video link up and conferencing can work well. It is a step further than a phone call, allows your to share things and also have the benefit of body language and facial expressions as well as tone of voice. Other things to consider would be instant messenger services, and also sticking with standard forms of communication like email.
Fleet of vehicles and the benefits of that
Sometimes the staff that you have working for you remotely will be out in the field, generating sales and visiting prospects, and to make life easier, you may consider investing in assets such as a fleet of vehicles for them to use. However, there are some considerations to think about. Things like the insurance side of things and also monitoring fuel usage. This is when a great fleet card for small businesses can come in handy to work out costs and also monitor spending. You can also think about having these vehicles tracked. One thing you must do is to do checks on the potential drivers, such as their licenses and also an unspent charges for things like speeding.
Being aware of workload
Working remotely means that you don’t always get to have the general chit chat and communication you might in the office, which means that you might not always be fully aware of an employee or staff member is struggling with things like workload. It is always going to be worth it to manage expectations. Be aware of what you require and communicate this regularly, but also assure people that they can email and contact you directly should there be any issue.
A positive leader
You might want to focus a little bit on your leadership skills and take note if any changes can be made to improve them in any way. A positive leader works well face to face, but this can also be encompassed in your email, telephone and video contact. Ensure that when writing an email that you use positive language, when you are talking to someone on the phone or via video link up try and be exactly how you might be in an office environment. It can make a big change to how someone feels about the work and input they are putting in and can also help you to get the most out of staff you have working remotely. You don’t have the benefit of spontaneity and building people up when they don’t look or feel their best. So it must be auctioned on a more consistent basis.
Pay attention to time zones
If you offer up positions that will enable people to work remotely, then you are likely to attract people all over the world, especially if you have a digital and online business that is viable in different countries. This is when as a leader, you will need to take note of time zones. Not everyone will be on the clock the exact same time as you are, so it is worth ensuring that you do what you can to keep a note of people and where they live so you know when you may be able to contact them. Email is something that can be sent at anytime, but be aware of when you might get a reply back.
Still see the benefit of seeing people in the flesh
Finally, there is still a benefit of arranging meet-ups when it comes to the staff you have working remotely. It may not happen very often, but arranging a meeting at a central location can help people to get the interactiveness and feel part of the team.
Let’s hope these tips help you to manage a team that will be working remotely.
Let’s take you back to that moment you first got an idea. An idea that planted in your brain and failed to go anywhere. It grew, it evolved, and suddenly you had the inclination and the drive to start your own business because of that one seedling of an idea. Being passionate about what you do helps, and it can certainly be a huge driving force throughout your business journey. But there are things that every entrepreneur can fail to be a master of, and one of the important ones happens to be marketing.
Marketing is a huge part of your business, you know that as well as anybody. But getting it right can be tricky and now with a more digital focus it can be harder than ever to get your business seen and heard. There are some common marketing mishaps that everyone can be guilty of making. I wanted to highlight some of them for you to do and hopefully offer a quick tip or a resolve to help you overcome it once and for all.
It is important to realise that we live in a digital world where everything seems to be done online these days, and one of the big marketing tools any business has is social media. This can be a big way to get your business seen and in front of people that normally wouldn’t see your business and what you are all about. However the common mishap associated with social media is the fact that businesses do not utilise it enough. It is important to consider having a separate strategy for social media and really think about what you put out there for people to see. You may also want to focus on some of the more popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and growing those audiences collectively.
Thinking you have what it takes to control all aspects
It is so easy to think that you can control every aspect of your business, and collectively you can, but that doesn’t mean to say that you should implement every aspect personally. Good delegation means that you know when to give out responsibility and ultimately when to outsource. That means that for things like marketing, getting a digital agency involved in your strategy and also your website could be the way forward. They can help you with your online visibility and make it their primary mission while you focus on other aspects of your business.
Not having a marketing campaign in place
Going back to basics often means that you need to rethink some of the areas of your business and doing this regularly with your marketing focus could be the right way forward. Often, businesses don’t have a strategy or campaign in place for marketing and this can be your downfall. Think about the hype there’s around Christmas and TV adverts at the moment, that is a separate marketing campaign in itself. Regularly reviewing what you are doing will help you to seize more opportunities. Start off small if it is easier, focusing on one product or service that you wish to promote more than others. Or even just focus on a concept of your business, for example, humanising your business in some way and giving it a voice to be heard digitally and physically.
Being consistent? Yes. Boring? Definitely!
You may be consistent online, updating your status and regularly checking in with your audience. You might have an up to date website and doing well in search engine rankings. Consistency is very important, but are you running the risk of just doing the same thing over and over again? Instead, why not focus on what you say as well as being consistent. Be open-minded to sharing content in different ways like in video format or through images. Maybe step out of the comfort zone and try a Facebook Live or Instagram stories. You never know what kind of reception you get but it could be well worth it to your business.
Forgetting more traditional methods
Finally, we may feel like we live in a digital world but does that mean we are focusing too much on the digital methods and less on the traditional methods? Why shouldn’t we think about marketing through TV or radio anymore? Advertising in the local press or even through mail shots. Some of these older methods do still provide results, and can often be determined by your customer demographic.
I hope that this helps you improve your marketing in your business.
There are few ways that you can improve your office atmosphere more than making sure that you empower your employees as much as possible. Here are some tips on how you can do that…
Set Your Ego Aside
As the boss of a company, or as a manager, you may feel that you’re the most important person in the room – you earn the most, you have the most skills and experience, et cetera. But it’s absolutely crucial to set this ego aside – partly because it would be extremely off-putting for others to deal with but also because there will always be someone around who’s smarter than you in almost any area out there. Putting your ego aside means that you can learn from the people you’re working with and that they can give you as much growth as you’re giving them.
It’s important to make sure that your employees have all the information they need to be able to make decisions and to carry out what they need to do without asking you for help or for confirmation all the time. Trusting them with that information is a way for you to shake off any worry when you go on vacation or take a day off. Make sure they’re aware of all the processes within the office – for example, if the computers go down then they know to call the managed IT services company that you work with.
Make Sure Your Office Is Flexible
Flexibility is often key to people’s happiness in their work lives. If they get their work completed, does it matter if they’re in the office from 8-4 or from 10-6? Can parents who need to pick their kids up work from home for a couple of hours in the evening so they can leave early? Can you be flexible for any employees who may have other issues in their lives, such as caring for sick or elderly relatives? Are people able to work from home so that they can save the time, energy and expense of a commute? Are you happy for people to attend doctors’ appointments during the working day so that they can feel as healthy as possible and achieve as highly as they have the potential to do? Allowing people this flexibility will make everyone happier.
Communication is absolutely key in workplace environments. If someone has an issue, listen carefully to them so that you can work out how to fix it. You have a responsibility to people to do your best to make sure that they feel comfortable at work, and if they don’t, you need to work out what the problem is. You want to make sure that the people you work with are happy to tell you the truth instead of what they think you want to hear.
Let Mistakes Go
It can sometimes be very easy to get frustrated when people make mistakes at work, especially when what they should have done is entirely obvious to you. But it’s important to remember that everyone has different life experience and a different work history, that nobody is perfect and everyone is in a different stage of development – and of course that even though you’re now at the head of a company or in a managerial role, you once made mistakes too. Make sure that you’re approachable enough for people to come to you to figure out how to fix their errors, and make sure that you forgive their mistakes, and that you forget them once you see that they’ve learned from them. Holding a grudge is good for no one at all.
When someone does good work, you need to acknowledge it and make sure that you praise them for it. People need to feel as though their time and hard work is noticed and rewarded – it makes them a lot happier and it will ensure that they continue working just as hard. It doesn’t have to be a big deal – just call them into your office, and tell them that you’ve noticed they’ve done excellently lately. If possible, it’s always good to reward particularly good work appropriately, whether it’s with a pizza party for a team that has hit all their targets or a raise or bonus for whoever has done particularly well.
It isn’t always easy to make people feel happy and empowered at work, but these tips should help along the way. Praise people, notice their good work, forget their errors, and give them the help they need to go far, and you’ll all get along excellently.