The Home Renewable Energy Business Is Booming

wind energyHome renewable energy systems provide a simple way to cut long-term fuel costs, which is vitally important during the years of austerity. Analysts believe that many pension schemes are likely to suffer in the next few years, so pensioners need to seek ways to cut costs.

Renewable energy systems such as biomass boilers are becoming more popular in commercial and domestic settings as traditional fossil fuels such as oil and gas become more expensive. The appeal of using a renewable source such as wood for fuel is easy to understand – along with the cost, there’s an environmental benefit too – but safety standards are just as stringent as when using the more combustible fossil fuels.

If you are installing renewable energy, a proper assessment should take place. A competent and qualified professional should be sought to assess your location and supply and install your new renewable energy system. They’ll be able to tell straight away what other provisions – such as upgrading or adapting your chimney – might be required.

Safety procedures

Fuel – wood-based fuel such as pellets are a potential fire risk when stored prior to burning, so secure storage is very important.

Some type of outbuilding that’s capable of keeping the fuel dry so it’ll burn effectively in the boiler would be the best option, but if within the confines of the property then the store should be sited well away from any naked flames.

Wet fuel, along with burning less effectively, can cause a safety risk and mechanical failures through fermentation; this can also cause build ups of hazardous gasses such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).

Ventilation – it’s at least as important that an effective chimney or flue is used for biomass systems as it is for fossil-fuelled types. Explosive gassy mixtures can build up, and dangerous CO gas can pose a hazard in the absence of an efficient chimney or flue arrangement.

CO monitor – ensure one is fitted in the vicinity of the burner or boiler. This is a requirement of Building Regulations AD J 2010.

Renewable energy is set to be big business of the next few years as people look for ways to decrease costs during retirement.

The Technology That Powers The Property Market

Property managementSoftware To Match Properties With Customers

How property companies benefit from a property matching database to more easily match suitable properties with applicants and the advantages of a bespoke solution.

More than ever IT is helping property companies deliver a more efficient service to their customers. The old manual ways of sifting through paper records to match properties to applicants has in many cases given way to database-driven systems to bring the whole property matching sequence into the digital age.

The Objective

A property agent’s job is to match commercial or residential properties for sale or rental on their books with applicants. Various criteria apply for an applicant’s ideal property such as location, type, specifications along with price, and the property company’s role is to match the applicant’s needs with available properties.

If this can be done quickly and easily, and the applicant notified as to what properties would fulfil their requirements as soon as possible, then everyone benefits. The advent of database systems able to match properties with applicants is helping property companies provide a more efficient and faster service.

What Does A Property Database Deliver?

A property database needs to perform various functions:

  • When a new property is added to the database it is matched with applicants already on the database looking for properties to that specification
  • Conversely, when a new applicant is added to the database their needs are matched to properties that could meet them
  • Automated matching should be possible to check at all times that applicants are being matched to suitable properties
  • The database user (the property company) should be able to perform a manual search by property or applicant

By recording contact details of the applicant, they are informed efficiently and quickly as and when suitable properties become available. For applicants being matched with multiple properties, details of all of them can be sent in one go.

Where a database can be of particular value is when information about the applicant changes such as their status (no longer looking for example), or when a property’s status alters such as a change of rental costs, or when it will shortly require re-letting due to a tenancy drawing to a close.

Price matching applicants to properties is obviously important and can be handled by the database, as can variations on this. For example, perhaps a 10% margin above the applicant’s budget can be built in as these properties may still be of interest to the applicant who might be prepared to pay a little more.

Software Options

It’s possible to use ‘off the peg’ spreadsheet type solutions, but this can have major limitations and doesn’t take into account a property company’s specific requirements. This can be of particular concern to larger companies with multiple offices possibly in other countries not just the UK.

The Bespoke Option

Having a property database built to suit the property company’s specific needs is becoming more prevalent as they realise that, in the long run, it’s far more efficient and cost-effective than compromising with a ‘one size fits all’ arrangement.

For example, leading property company Knight Frank turned to a specialist and experienced Essex based IT company to replace their ‘off the peg’ arrangement with a custom built property database solution. A system suitable for a company with over 150 offices worldwide was designed, and time was taken including running prototypes to carefully ensure the system met the diverse needs of a large property company and the range of different users working there.

The system provided for Knight Frank was introduced back in 2004 and, with ongoing enhancements and support from the IT experts who developed it, continues to serve the company now.

This makes taking the bespoke option a convincing argument in that, once the initial time and cost of setting up a suitable system has been covered, a well-designed system will last many years. This compares to an ‘off the peg’ arrangement which may need changing on a regular basis as a company’s needs alter, and may not fully fulfil their needs in any case.

More Demand

As more property agents realise the value of using custom designed property databases, so companies such as the business software specialists who helped Knight Frank are receiving more enquiries from those keen to investigate their own bespoke solution.

5 of the Worst Pieces of Advice for Small Businesses

 

There are pieces of advice that can really ruin a small business, because these are especially fragile. You need to nourish yourself with great pieces of advice, that’s why we are going to show you an example of what a bad advice is, so you can avoid it and continue building your business with the help of excellent advice.

Please, pay a lot of attention. Because this may save your business from a catastrophe. So pay attention and learn, because this is what your business needs to avoid these obstacles and grow like never before.

employee#1-) “C’mon. Hire People You Know!”

If you have been told that you should only hire people you know, then let me tell you that this is one of the worst pieces of advice ever given to small business owners just like you.

You should always focus on expertise, even if it’s from people you don’t know or have heard before. Because if you want your workers to be highly productive, then they need to be excellent regarding skills, and that’s not possible if you hire them based on how close to you they are, rather than according to their expertise.

#2-) “Sorry, There’s No Room For You”

Have you been told that your business idea is way too crowded by big names or companies that can set you apart in a short matter of time, then don’t let them discourage you. Because there’s always room for someone new just like you. Your business has been created to bring a service or product that solves a problem from people. The unique thing you will have to do is to stand out from the crowd, but remember that there’s always a room for you. Just try it.

#3-) “C’mon. If You Want To Compete, Then Be Cheaper Than The Competition”

This has to be one of the worst advices. EVER. You should never target customers that are fixated in the price, and you don’t have to be cheaper than the rest of options in order to be successful, you

Business - group of businesspeople posing for group photo in office showing thumbs up

need to offer HQ products or services and clients will come. Guaranteed.

So, let’s suppose your gasp in the market is quite populated, then you don’t have to compete based on price, rather you have to ask yourself: “How can I do better than the rest of competitors?” This will make your business successful, without risking your profits.

#4-) “Online Marketing Is Free”

No, it’s not. It goes beyond creating a simple FB page for your business. Things like PPC, syndicating content and more are not free, you will need hire a specialized agency for this.

#5-) “Just Automate Customer Care”

Never do this. NEVER. Customer care is not something you can automatize, of course if you don’t want to damage your business reputation. Have a team that’s ready to deal with clients, so you can have a nice image in front of people, this will make your business reputable.

Employing Your First Member of Staff Here’s What You Need to Know

 

Want to hire your first member of staff but don’t know where to start? Or even worse: you don’t want what to do at all? That’s not a problem in fact, because thanks to this article you will obtain the guidance you need to hire the perfect first member for your staff.

We will talk about the most important aspects, so you can help yourself with our tips and hire the perfect person for the job. These tips are proven to work, so rest easy and apply them – you will get results.

Calm Down, We Are Not In The Jungle: Don’t Trust Your Instincts

A lot of entrepreneurs, especially when they are new to the field, try to follow their instincts, but that’s not such a good thing. You can follow or consider your instincts, but under any reason they can’t be your core of decisions.

You have to remember that hiring the perfect first member of your staff goes beyond the emotional stuff. It doesn’t matter if he did a really good job the first time, or if in the first interview he did it very well, you need to dig deeper to find things like if he’s an addict to drugs, if he has been in jail, if he has current problems, etc. These things are important, because people who are addicted to drugs are a big no-no. And the same for people who have been in jail for serious crimes, or those who suffer of a mental problem. Because mentally unstable people are dangerous for your business, and the last thing you want is to get into problems with such a person.

Test: Find If They Consume Illegal Substances

As we have said before, people who have an addiction to drugs are not a good resource for your business. You need to filter them out, because as the time passes by, they can cause problems to your business. For example, if you hire them to manage your inventory, then they can start to steal your merchandise in order to buy more of his drugs. I know it may sound a bit too cold, but it’s the truth. It’s a situation many businesses face every day, because most of the cases of employee theft are caused by employees with some sort of addiction to drugs.

Skills Are Over All:

When you interview your applicants, try to do it extensively. Instead of filling them with questions on where they have studied, you can ask them to you show their portfolio. In the case of programmers and designers, and even writers, this is pretty easy. You need to see if they are good at what they do, because at the end of the day this is what really matters. Because you need them to get the job done, so you want people who are practical and talented on what they do, this should be your definitive aim all the time.

What could a Potential Brexit Mean for Small Businesses in the UK

Can Brexit negatively affect small businesses in the UK? This is a question we are going to answer on this article, because we have realized that it’s a very important subject for lots of people in the United Kingdom. The UK leaving the European Union sounds like an apocalypse, but is it really the case? On this short yet concise blog post we are going to discuss all the fact and see how it can affect small businesses in the UK.

The Pound:

Experts agree that leaving the EU would cause a considerable fall in the value of the pound, and we all know that this cannot be a good thing. And this happens because investors react in a bad way to uncertainty, and leaving the European Union would be a situation which would generate lots of uncertainty. There’s no doubt about it.

The Contrary:

To the contrary to what some people think, leaving the EU would bring excellent benefits to the UK, according to what some experts affirm. They say that businesses in the UK would have a good time, because they would be able to escape the regulations and rules from the EU. But this statement can be discussed and even debunked according to what Brexit detractors affirm, because there’s no evidence of this.

Brexit supports affirm that the fall in value of the pound would make firms and businesses in the UK more competitive abroad, but this statement can be largely debated. Because any gain in competitiveness would be limited by huge trade barriers.

Spending Power – A Problem:

There’s also another problem linked to the Brexit. And is that, according to what some experts say, leaving the EU would have a negative impact in spending power. This reduction in spending power would affect negatively all sort of small businesses, including B2C companies in the UK.

Experts calculate the drop in £4,000, and this is a very big number in fact. This drop would be a disaster for many small businesses. And this is something Brexit supports have not been able to answer properly.

And this effect in the spending power is a subject that requires a proper discussion, something that has not happened so far now.

The Fear:

In fact there are many entities, like the Bank of England that state that a Brexit would make UK poorer, and this would affect lots of small businesses all over the United Kingdom. While Brexit supports state that this would give the UK more freedom, and therefore would make them richer over time.

But as we have seen, a gain in competitiveness would be hit by new trade barriers. In fact, this is a topic that requires a more insightful discussion, because it’s a huge change that can either make us richer or poorer.

Conclusion:

We just have to wait for the referendum. In the meanwhile, it’s important to organize more debates in order to inform population on what the best option is.