Where Can a Small Business Look to Get good IT Support?
July 12, 2021
Most small business owners are aware of the importance of having top-notch IT support, provided by knowledgeable experts, but many of these small businesses put up with inadequate monitoring and protection protocols because they think that professional IT support is out of reach for them from a financial point of view. While the budgets of many small companies do not allow for hiring a single in-house IT specialist, let alone an entire team, fortunately, high-quality IT support services are today available from many specialized providers for very affordable rates. Here are some tips to find the right provider of managed IT tasks.
Know What You Want
Take a look at the size and type of your infrastructure, including the number of your workstations, servers and peripheries, make a list with the most common issues that you are faced with and with the potential threats that you need protection from. Having all the features of your system collected will give you a better idea of the types of services that you need and will make your search for the right IT support company easier.
Look for a Local Company
When you know what you want, you can start looking for the right company. You can turn to friends and other business owners for advice and for recommendation and you can also carry out some online research to identify local companies. While most types of managed IT services can be provided over the internet, working with a local company gives you the additional benefit of having an expert team by your side with problems that cannot be solved remotely, such as the setting-up of physical networks or the installation of power surge protectors.
The Other Features to Look for with Your IT Support Company
Here are some other features that are essential for having a good collaboration with the managed Denver IT company of choice:
- A wide range of services – check the websites of the IT support companies around you for the services they provide. Look for a company whose services range covers all the activities that you need as well as services that you don’t need now, but might be necessary in the future;
- References, testimonials and endorsements – good IT companies usually provide information related to their client portfolio on their websites. Check that section and take the time to read the testimonials you fin, too. You can also look for reviews and rating to get a better idea about how others evaluate the company’s services;
- Look for a company that works only with in-house technicians – it is usually easier and more efficient to work with a company that is able to handle all the tasks they are in charge of using their own teams, without outsourcing any of the tasks to subcontractors;
- Look for a company that provides a clear fee structure – most companies charge a one-time set-up fee and then they bill their clients on a monthly basis. Look for a company that works for flat monthly rates, not for an hourly rate, that way you can be sure that your IT partner is interested in doing a good job the first time and is not interested in dragging of time.
Characteristics of a Great Home Builder
March 28, 2021
When you decide to build your house, hiring a contractor that promises the lowest price can be a huge mistake. Some builders have a strategy of offering low start prices, only to overtaxing you later, in various ways, whenever they have the opportunity. Make sure that the contract you have signed includes a fixed price, there is no risk to pay for hidden costs, and the builder is obligated to complete the works on time.
Choosing a builder, in the hope that it will create your dream home, can be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make, but if you give yourself enough time to get informed and do some prospective work, you have very good chances to find a true professional.
Ask for portfolios from each builder you are contacting and visit some of the homes they raised. You should check if the contractor has experience with the type of construction you want. Good builders are proud to present their projects. Ask for references, contact two or three of them and talk on the phone or in person about the quality of the works, the professional behavior of the builder and the service provided once the construction was completed. You should be interested whether the builder completed the project on time and stacked to the initial budget. If you receive a positive feedback from previous customers, you can hire the builder without hesitation.
Make sure the builder takes over the responsibility completely, including the design and the project. There is a huge advantage called “single source responsibility” in working with such a builder, if you really want to get a perfect home. “The single source responsibility” means to combine the design with the responsibility of building the house, so from the original concept until its completion. This way, there are fewer communication channels and fewer misunderstandings between the two parties. The biggest advantage for you is that you will never be a mediator between the designer and the builder.
Mortgage specialists representing Erie homes for sale encourage you to schedule a personal interview with the builder. Write down the questions you plan to ask, to ensure that you will not forget about anything important. Observe how the builder responds to your questions and how well you can communicate with them. Also write down or record the answers you get. Take advantage of the direct meeting to also request copies of the license and certifications – and do not forget to talk about insurance!
Choosing the wrong builder can turn your dream home into a nightmare. Do not leave your money and your security in the hands of an unreliable builder, who:
- overcharges you
- ignores deadlines
- is often a rude person
- it may force you to hire another contractor in the middle of the project
- takes the money you paid in advance and disappears
A comfortable home must be cool in summer and warm in winter. If you choose the right home builder, you will not have to worry about spending a lot of money on utilities, in order to maintain that comfort. A professional knows exactly what technologies and materials should be used to create a passive house.
Why Is Assisted Living Such a Good Option for Senior Citizens?
January 5, 2021
Not all seniors are the same, and it’s certainly also true that not all of them need expensive medical care just because they can’t get around do performing household chores as easily as a 30 year-old. However, in many cases, those who end up in a nursing home can’t really have a say in the matter as their activities are limited and they are often treated as hospital patients when they could easily be allowed more freedom.
This is precisely why Denver assisted living is such an excellent option for most seniors. While those who do need extensive medical treatments and daily supervision can benefit a lot from nursing homes, elders who can still at least partially care for themselves can be given partial care in assisted living facilities where they can still claim a certain degree of freedom, the ability to form bonds and communities, and most importantly, the autonomy, dignity and freedom to still continue following their dreams and passions.
Here’s how it works: as the child of an aging parent, you and your aging mother or father can decide together on the type of assisted living facility to choose and what amenities it should have. Once you visited a few Denver assisted living facilities, compared their services and fees, and chosen the one that would suit your requirements best, your parent will move into a modern apartment or room with all the necessary amenities and accommodation benefits that a normal living area would have – including a comfortable bed, TV set, internet connection, bathroom, a small kitchen area and access to many if not all of the facilities’ various services and outdoor areas.
The entire process is no different than if your aging parent were to look for a rented apartment to live in. The only difference is that they will be part of a private, safe and caring community that offers customized support and doesn’t require residents to do regular work and maintenance, even when it comes to regular cleaning and maintenance tasks. They are all handled by the facility’s staff.
Oftentimes, Denver assisted living facilities will also offer meals to senior residents who don’t have the ability to cook for themselves, and some will also offer access to state-of-the-art gyms, where seniors can work out every day to stay fit and healthy.
Of course, if restaurant quality food, happy hours, common living areas to form social communities or even the local gym doesn’t interest you, then you’ll find you can still sit in a quiet place to read or work on your artwork, or benefit from convenient transportation to visit the local park or theater. As long as it’s included in your assisted living plan, you can benefit from it at no additional cost.
The sheer freedom and customization options associated with assisted living are groundbreaking. Most seniors are extremely pleased with these types of facilities, and those who are more sociable than others will often find that they can form bonds of friendship just as strong as those they have with their existing family members – if not stronger. As such, many consider that paying for an assisted living plan is definitely worthwhile, especially since a private room in a typical nursing home costs about twice as much as the average monthly price for assisted living quarters.
What is Fall Protection Training?
December 6, 2020
Falls from a height are the most common causes of death at work and one of the most serious reasons for injury. When workers are in a hurry or need to perform a quick task, they often become negligent and ignore fall protection measures, which can be catastrophic. A 2012 OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) study about causes of death among workers in the private industrial sector reveals that the main cause of death on construction sites is the lack of adequate protective equipment at work. Climbing and descending stairs is also a key safety issue in many other industries: from utility cleaning and wind turbines, to fixed ladders found on silos and in bulk storage halls. In all these areas, the use of a complete height protection system can have a beneficial effect on workers in the event of a fall.
Current regulations are applied to all jobs where there is a risk of a worker falling from a height, not only on construction sites but also in telecommunications, utilities or in other fields that involve this risk.
Legal regulations are established in a broad sense so that any work at height must be carefully evaluated and avoided as much as possible; if it cannot be avoided, then all due diligence must be done to minimize the risk. Risk minimization also refers to the use of protective equipment to prevent falls or reduce the distance involved, or to an appropriate written procedure and training so that, in carrying out their duties, workers understand and are able to cope in any risky situation that may arise. Protective equipment must be inspected, maintained and repaired, and workers must be properly trained in how to use it properly.
There are fall protection competent person training Colorado companies that provide these important safety courses. Courses may include:
- Basic courses for height safety
- Telecom tower access courses
- Training courses for rope access
- Courses customized and specific to a certain industry (e.g. roofing)
- Rescue courses
These courses are structured in modules, so that they can cover a wide range of industries where mandatory and/ or optional fall protection training is required.
Training is structured on four parts: theory, theoretical testing, practice and practical testing.
- Awareness of the dangers that can occur during working at height
- Collective Protection
- Personal Protection (Standards / Limits)
- Strong impact
- Fall factor
- Calculating the distance required for the correct use of work equipment at height
- Inspection of personal protective equipment
- Questions and answers (free discussion) and legislation
Theoretical testing – an evaluation for assessing theoretical knowledge.
- Presentation of specific personal protective equipment for working at height: complex belt, ropes, retractable devices, anchoring points etc.
- Use of PPE during access and work on the application tower
- Use of retractable systems for horizontal and vertical movement
- Use of retractable systems on both flexible and rigid work supports
- Correct working position
- Presentation of rescue equipment, practical exercises for different types of rescue situations
Practical test: test for the evaluation of practical knowledge, completed with obtaining a certificate.
What Do I Ask A Potential Executive Recruiter?
December 5, 2020
The best, safest and most efficient way to find the most suitable candidate for your top-level job opening is to outsource the task to an experienced and qualified executive recruiter. This means that the first thing that you need to take care of is to find an executive recruiter who has the experience and the industry knowledge to identify and recruit that great employee for you. With so many recruiting agencies around, the task of identifying the best service provider might be hard, so here are a few tips to help you.
Identify Companies Using Various Resources
Some of the best sources of information about local recruiters include your network of industry colleagues and online platforms. Talking to other business owners who have used such recruiting services or even to your own top-level employees who have been recruited by an executive headhunter are great ways to get first-hand information about local companies. You can also obtain information from employment-oriented online platforms and on the websites of executive recruiters.
Questions to Ask Potential Recruiting Partners
You should find out all you can about the recruiter’s relevant experience with companies from your industry segment. The recruiter’s knowledge of your industry and their personal network in your segment are essential for success, so ask the recruiters about their successes and challenges in recruiting executives for companies similar to yours.
The recruitment processes and strategies used by the recruiter are also very important. Ask questions about how the recruiter identifies candidates, about the methods they use for approaching those candidates as well as about the processes used for conducting preliminary interviews and for performing background checks. Ideally, your recruiter should search among active job seekers as well as among passive candidates who are currently employed, but might be interested in new challenges. The verification is also an important part of the recruitment process – the resumes submitted by the candidates should be checked meticulously for any gaps and discrepancies and the candidates’ employment and education history also needs to be verified.
The next important topic to ask your potential recruiter about is the interviewing processes they use with candidates. Ask the executive recruiter how many rounds they will conduct and how they participate in the final decision making. Ideally, your recruiter should assist you all the way to the signing of the contract with your new employee, including the discussions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.
It is a good idea to ask recruiters about the additional services they provide. Finding the best candidate for your position is the most important deliverable, but not the only one – your recruiter might provide assistance by reviewing the job description that you have provided, preparing detailed, written evaluations of the candidates or status information.
The last set of questions that you should ask refers to your own role as a client. Make it easy for your recruiter to ask for additional information about your needs and requirement as an employer – there might be important issues that you have overlooked or that need clarifications.
Do Dog Diapers Make Sense?
October 20, 2020
Diapers…for dogs? Yes, you read correctly. Many owners choose diapers for puppies or for older dogs with various health problems. They can save you a lot of scrubbing down floors and carpets and prevent your house from smelling of dog pee.
What You Need to Know about the Toilet Habits of Dogs
Dogs cannot be litter trained, like cats, when nature calls, they need to go outside, sniff around and find a good spot to do their business. It is in the nature of a dog to raise a leg next to a tree and it will not change no matter how many behavioral classes you take them to.
As a dog owner, you need to make time in your schedule to take your dogs out at least twice per day to relieve themselves. Once they are grown up, they learn how to let you know that they need to go out. However, small puppies, just like babies, will simply let themselves go wherever they may be.
Understand Why Your Dog Pees Inside the House
When we are talking about adult dogs, accidents inside the house are due to various reasons, and they all need investigating. For instance, you may have woken up too late and the dog just couldn’t hold it in any longer.
Also, since dogs have a sense of smell that is 40 stronger than that of humans, even the faintest smell of old pee, improperly cleaned, will lead them to believe that they can use that spot again.
Finally, older dogs may get incontinent, or suffer from other ailments, such as arthritis, which prevents them to walk properly and go out for their toilet. At any rate, if you note several instances when dogs pee or defecate inside the house, take them to the vet and find out what is wrong with them.
Until you find a solution to the health issue, you should put diapers on your dog.
Dog Diapers Make Sense for Females in Heat
Another reason to use diapers is when your female dog is in heat. During those days, the dog will leave blood trails around the house and spend a lot of time licking itself. A diaper will solve this problem in a convenient manner.
However, please note that dog diapers are not an efficient solution if you want to prevent your female dog from getting pregnant. A few moments left unsupervised around a male and…you may as well prepare for the coming litter of puppies.
How Do You Use Diapers for Dogs?
Dog diapers have became more and more popular, and companies invested a lot in R&D to design products that fit various breeds of dogs comfortably and are easy to put on and take off.
They are available in a full range of sizes, from X-Small to X-Large to fit any breed of dog, from Chihuahua to Rottweiler. As for types of dog diapers, you can choose between the disposable and reusable (washable) versions.
A Few Precautions to Keep in Mind
Dogs have sensitive skin, just like babies. Thus, they may develop diaper rash. Please make sure that the dog diaper fits well, but is comfortable (not too tight) around the hind legs. At the same time, you should use baby wipes and baby oil to clean the dog when removing a wet diaper.
Last but not least, it takes a little time to learn how to put on dog diapers correctly, but don’t give up. Both you and your dog will be better off once you start using them.
How Long Does it Take to Sell a Business?
September 19, 2020
Most people who sell their business do not expect this to be easy, but many are surprised at how hard it can actually be and how long it sometimes takes to get a good price, in a good time.
However, it is important not to let fears lead you at the time of sale. Most of the frustrations and challenges in the experiences of sellers can be easily avoided with some helpful information. There are a lot of challenges you have to go through in the process of selling a business; below, you can read about those that you must avoid, because they have a significant impact, both for selling the business and for your peace of mind.
- Insufficient preparation
Lack of training is by far the most common mistake that small business owners make. Just as you have improved your house a little before you put it on sale, it is just as important to analyze and fine-tune certain aspects of your business before putting it on the list of selling businesses. Financial documentation, profitability, issues related to renting space, employees and other issues will not only influence the stability, but will also affect the price of your business, on the market.
- Distrusting the professionals
You may be an expert in running your business, but not in selling it, unless you are also a broker, a lawyer etc. Therefore, do not hesitate to take advantage of the experience business brokers provide.
- Leaving all tasks in the care of the professionals you hire for this job
On the other hand, be aware that once you hire a broker, your job is not over! Even if the broker will work hard to promote your business to potential buyers, there is no one has better motivated to sell it than you, or with more knowledge about it than you have. So, make sure to have a conversation with your broker about how you could promote the business too without following in his footsteps, so that you two do not work on the same things.
As a salesperson, you want to present your business in the best possible light, but that does not mean you have to exaggerate. Misrepresentations will influence prospective buyers, when they review the current financial statements, but will also become the basis for legal actions, after the sale.
- Failure to set post-sale terms
Many homeowners are so focused on selling their businesses that they completely neglect the transition process that will take place after closing. Some buyers will insist that the seller stay with them for a few months, while others prefer to end the collaboration once the purchase has been made. Either option is good, as long as the buyer and seller have discussed everything on the transition process and reached a consensus.
If you take these aspects into account and work with an experienced business broker, you have the chances to sell your business in 6 months; otherwise it might take longer than 12 months.
The Beauty of Channel Letter Signs
July 23, 2020
Channel letters are among the most attractive types of signage – the custom-made letters manufactured from metal or plastic can be used outdoors, on the exterior of commercial buildings as well as indoors, to highlight specific areas and to provide information to customers. The beauty of using channel letters lies not only in their aesthetic appeal – they can efficiently fulfill all the roles of signage, including informative, establishing and consolidating brand image. Here are some further benefits of using the solution.
The materials used for the channel of this type of lettering include plastic or metal, usually aluminum because it is rust proof. Whatever material solution is chosen, your channel letters will do your business long-lasting service and will be able to withstand almost any weather, from heat and cold to rain, snow and wind.
The materials used for making channel letter signs are all resistant to the elements as well as to impact, they maintain the texture of their surface as well as their color without requiring any special maintenance. Your channel lettering will need some cleaning, ideally done regularly and if you use illuminated signage, your LED lights or neon will need to be replaced eventually, but the types of lights used for channel letters is very long-lived, so you can rely on your lights for thousands of hours of operation.
You can use channel letters without illumination, but for more impact, you can also choose channel letters that are lit with energy-efficient lighting, such as LED lights. The light sources can be installed either to the front of the letters or to the back, behind the letters so that the light that they emit hits the back of the letters and create a halo effect. The LEDs used with channel letters are very efficient and they emit a very bright light, suitable for making your lettering visible even during the day and even when the sun’s rays hit the letters directly. LEDs are also very economical, their low energy needs make sure that your illuminated channel letters will be cheap to operate and friendly on the natural environment as well.
According to a sign company Denver CO professional, channel letters are suitable for executing any design; any shape and any color can be used, even textures and special illumination solutions are available. Being custom-made, to the client’s exact specifications, channel letters can feature corporate logos as well as text in a unique, attractive way that grabs attention like no other signage solution. The three-dimensional nature of these signs add even aesthetic appeal and it also multiplies the design solutions that you can use with your channel letter signage, such the combination of various styles for an eclectic and distinctive appearance.
An Efficient, High-Visibility Advertising Tool
Whether you have a small, local shop or you run a franchise business, your channel letter signage will promote your business in a very efficient way. The letters are great for impressing your customers with your professionalism, to inspire trust and to create a lasting memory.
What Does A Water Damage Restoration Company Do?
July 22, 2020
If your home or your commercial building has been severely damaged by a flood, by excessive rain, by a burst pipe or by some other process that has led to the penetration of water into building parts where there is no place for excess moisture or ponding water, the best way to act is by hiring a water damage restoration company to extract the moisture from your building and to help you mitigate the damage. Here is how your Denver water damage restoration companies will handle your building damaged by water.
Ensuring Safety and Damage Assessment
The first thing that your water damage restoration team will check after they arrive is whether the area that has been affected by the water damage is safe to enter. They will disconnect the electricity and the gas supply to eliminate the risk of electrical shock and gas explosions, then they will enter into the damaged area to assess the damage. In that phase, you can ask all your questions about how the damage restoration will be handled.
Water Removal and Drying
The next step in the damage restoration process is the emptying of the room and the extraction of the water. You team will install high-capacity pumps that remove as much of the excess water as possible. When the work of the pumps is complete, the damage restoration team will take care of the drying process. They can use strong ventilators and other devices to extract any lingering water from the air, from the walls and the floor as well as from any items that could not be removed from the room.
The phase that follows the extraction of ponding water and moisture is the cleaning of the room. This is an important phase, no matter what caused the leak, and it has special importance in the case of water damage caused by flooding. Flood water usually contains lots of harmful chemicals and contaminants that can cause very serious illnesses, therefore everything that has come into contact with flood water needs to be cleaned with professional methods.
The cleaning after the water has been removed should involve the cleaning of the walls, too. Plaster, drywall and insulation absorb water very quickly. The materials are also thick, so leaving them to dry out on their own might take very long – the process might not be complete for years and poses the risk of the appearance of mold and mildew in the building. The best way to prevent the issue is by removing the plaster, the drywalls and the insulation that has been affected by the water damage, then to restore the walls when their water content has been reduced to the minimum. Some, not all, Denver water damage restoration companies are also licensed building restoration companies that you can hire for restoring your walls and floors – if you can, hire a water damage restoration company that provides such services as well. If there is no such company available in your area, contact a building restoration company for the process.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for General Liability Insurance For My Business?
July 21, 2020
General liability insurance is a type of mandatory insurance policy for businesses that provides coverage for general claims related to bodily injuries and property damage resulting from your business operations, your products and services, but not for the injuries sustained by your employees, for the auto damage sustained by your commercial fleet, for punitive damages or intentional damage. According to statistical data, the median cost of general liability insurance policies is around $42 per month, but how much your business will have to pay for your general liability insurance is determined by many factors. Here are some of the most important ones.
Typical Industry Risks
The risks typically involved by your business activity is among the most important factors that will determine the costs of your policy – the businesses in high-risk industries are usually required to pay more for their policies. For example, the activities of a construction business involve more risks than the activities of an IT consultant, therefore the insurance premiums will be higher for the construction business. The businesses that use chemicals and carry out their activities on someone else’s property, such as cleaning companies or landscaping businesses are also considered to be higher risks than computer businesses or other businesses that do all their work from their offices.
The higher the limit that the general liability insurance Colorado policy covers for, the higher the costs. The most common policy limits are around 1-2 million, that is the limit that most small businesses consider sufficient.
Tips for Reducing Insurance Costs
There are several methods that you can use to reduce the costs related to your general liability insurance:
- Purchasing multiple policies in a bundle – many insurance carriers provide substantial discounts to businesses that purchase multiple policies from them. Businesses are required by the law to have several different types of insurance, such as workers compensation insurance, auto insurance and others – if you decide to buy all of them from the same insurer, you can benefit from substantial cost savings;
- Make an upfront payment – most businesses pay for their insurance policies monthly, even though that is not the most economical solution. Making one upfront payment to cover your insurance costs for 6 months or for a year will allow you to benefit from substantial discounts;
- Risk management – enhanced risk management procedures will not only make your operations safer, they will also be good for your budget. Many insurance companies are willing to offer discounts to businesses that can prove that they are taking steps to reduce the risks related to their operations through active measures. Enrolling your employees into safety and risk management training programs, investing into the enhanced safety of your premises, the usage of work safety checklists and regular safety audits can all give you discounts. If you have such measures in place already or if you are planning to implement some, contact your insurance carrier to find out whether they offer such discounts or, if you are looking for a new insurer, check out their policies for handling such enhanced safety procedures.