display homesMost prospective owners tend to think of lots with narrow street frontage as property that is not ideal. Often, many equate good living with spacious lots. But, as many can attest, this is not always the case. Sometimes, great things come in small packages—or in this case, properties.

Wide living spaces usually only go to waste because the homeowners cannot maximise them. With a smaller lot, though, managing and making the most of it is much easier. If you are looking around for a good piece of land, do not be afraid to include narrow lots in your options. There are also high-quality display homes you can visit for design and layout inspiration.

Here are some valuable reminders to remember:

Know the Type of Soil

The overall cost of laying the foundations of your home depends on the type of soil on which it is built. This is because the foundations have to comply with Australian building standards. Only qualified engineers can test the soil, so it is best to look for one early on. Besides, knowing the soil type lets you get the most out of your narrow lot.

Check Utility Service Connection

You should check your block if it is connected to essential utility services like water and electricity. You do not want to give the go signal for the home construction without these utilities. Contact relevant companies first before starting the construction process.

Consider the Street Frontage

You might feel like the design options are limited when it comes to narrow street frontage, but the truth is that there are plenty. You can coordinate with your builder to learn more about your options and to generate more value from the narrow space.

Demolish Low-Value House

Ultimately, if the only thing that stops you from buying a good property is the low-value house built on it, then you should consider demolishing it. It is much better to rebuild in a good location than to look for a block of land farther away.

Narrow lots may not seem like much, but they come with many benefits. When looking for a property to build your dream home in, a narrower one may be the best option for you.

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social mediaFor those experimenting with SEO, it is important to know the importance of social media and just how much influence it has on your campaigns. Over the years, it has proven to be a potent factor in reaching a wider market and strengthening a brand’s online presence. In fact, it has become a standard for businesses of all sizes across Australia (and the globe, in general) to have social media handles for their brand.

While a strong social media presence helps businesses in Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne gain traction, not knowing about the various social signals can compromise results. These signals refer to things like Facebook likes, Google+ shares, retweets, and re-pins. What many do not know is that these seemingly shallow and small interactions with followers can actually impact your rankings on Google.

Building a Strong Following

Google does not have feed level access to the data streams of major social media platforms yet, but it does count, on a limited level, the links that users share. It is like the link-building approach in SEO. The only difference is that it usually takes longer time to convert leads. As long as users do not share the direct links to your websites or are spurred to visit your page, the impact will not be as monumental.

Engaging more with social media, gives you a better sense of your brand’s value. For example, SEOServices.com.au says that reliable Perth SEO companies monitor social signals to see which posts generate more interest from followers. They can then create the appropriate strategies to deepen these connections. Videos, images, and other forms of multimedia content are usually great audience magnets.

Building Authority

The bottom line is that when you post high-quality content, you are essentially establishing authority. Having a large audience boost visibility and generates a strong branding value.

If you are building your brand’s online presence, this can boost your campaign and take your brand to new heights. You can have a strong social media presence by monitoring relevant social signals, and eventually, rank higher on the search engine results pages.

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slated  roofingWith so many roofing styles, it can be quite difficult to settle on the right one for your house. If you are looking for a more traditional looking roof, then slated roofs are the perfect choice. These offer much in terms of the classical look as well as their home waterproofing capabilities.

Slated roofs draw their appeal from their natural appearance. These are durable, and require little in terms of maintenance. The downside is that installers need to shape them by hand to fit in with roof specifications. In addition, these are also prone to breaking, making it quite impractical for DIY installations. Unless you have prior experience, it is best to leave the job to professional roofers in the Long Island area.

Nevertheless, there are a few things you need to keep in mind should you prefer to go the DIY route for installation or maintenance needs.

These are:

Be Informed

All slates are different. Be aware of different types. Consider their prices and projected longevity. Keep in mind that slate roofs are an investment for your home’s future and, as such, needs careful consideration.

Be prepared

You are bound to have broken slates down the road. Always anticipate this so you will not get frustrated by repairs from time to time. Well-trained slaters can repair single slates with ease. Never skip out on the little repairs as they can prevent potentially troublesome damages in the future.

Be Aware

Be aware of the different problems that may arise. Apart from chipped or broken slates, you also need to keep an eye out for broken flashings. Additionally, always keep your gutters and downspouts free from clogs and in proper working order.

Annual inspections of your home’s slate roofs can help prevent potentially budget-breaking damages in the future. Be sure to never skip out on this. Early detection of problems, after all, gives you a chance to curb problems before they can cause more damage. It is better to spend on roofing maintenance solely than on interior repairs as well.

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company brandingOne of the fundamental lessons of marketing and forming a band is coming up with a good name. Everyone needs a name that will leave people in awe. But, when it comes to businesses, they seem to take the whole name thing to an entirely different level. Only they don’t call it naming, they call it branding.

Branding is such an important part of a company’s existence that they’re willing to spend millions of dollars for their name to provide a boost. The question is, is it really worth all that money?

There have been debates about whether or not the value of brands in exaggerated, with many good arguments on both sides. Industry veteran Voodoo Creative notes that companies are justified in investing so much in a symbol. The recognition resonates with customers in such a way that, when quantified, amounts to a staggering value.

The Coca-Cola name, for example, is estimated to be worth $70 billion. There’s definitely a big upside in investing in brands, but what’s the reason for it? There are two parts to answering that question. Kim Kardashian can best explain the first part of the answer.

She’s the personification of a brand; she came out of nowhere, no one knows what she does to become famous, and makes lots of money for some reason. People are convinced she has no real value, and yet her image and name is highlighted every opportunity. Understanding branding is understanding the Kardashian effect on popular culture.

The second part of the answer is loyalty: undying, unreasonable, rabid, and determined loyalty. It’s a social phenomenon that companies have demonstrated multiple times over the years, and it’s what marketers aim for constantly. Once people swear fealty to a brand, they will do everything and anything to ensure that that brand stays on top.

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elderTaking care of aging parents is never easy, as it’s heartbreaking to see their health deteriorating. What they used to do a decade ago becomes more and more difficult each day. Whether they need to cook, do some groceries, or travel abroad, your parents can suddenly need your support.

As your parents age, they could no longer live alone as they might experience loneliness and depression. They often have bad days, but they keep it as a secret because they feel like they can be a burden on the family.

Give them a pet

Divert your parents’ attention into something positive. If you think your parents are still capable of caring for something, then give them a pet. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or bird, pets are ideal for people who are lonely. They don’t just encourage social interaction, but also offer unconditional love. They can be your parents’ great source of entertainment.

Keep your parents close

Most people don’t like the idea of asking their parents to live with them. Though many families consider retirement communities, you still have another option. If there’s still a vacant lot in your property, it’s a great idea to build a granny flat that’s complete with safety features. Being just in your backyard can help your parents ease their loneliness and remain close to your kids. You can look after them while retaining their independence.

With simple backyard homes, you can now do gardening with your mum and have a barbecue party together with your dad. You will feel relieved knowing your parents are only a few metres away from you.

Encourage them to socialise

Perhaps after visiting your parents you noticed they have lost interest in activities that used to give them pleasure. If your parents now live in your backyard, you can encourage them to join community activities. Let them join community services, join a book club, or take painting classes.

To help your parents avoid social isolation, you need to make a decision that also respects their desires.

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reliable accountantsHiring an accountant for your start-up business is important. You need to have someone dedicated to overseeing financial activities. Considering how the position requires disclosure and knowledge of strictly confidential information, it is important to hire and work with a highly competent professional who you can trust.

Femia-Accountants offers insights as to how to hire the right accountant for your business.

Get a Good Referral

One of the best ways to find a professional is by asking for referrals from colleagues or through trusted networks and associates. Ask your banker, attorney, or business colleague if they know someone who you can trust with your finances.

Know Your Needs

It is important to know your exact needs to assess the candidates you have. Set a fee you are willing to pay for the accountant, and be clear about the responsibilities you will delegate. Once you have this information, it’s time to have conversations with any prospective candidates. Choose at least five accountants and personally meet with them to see if they are the right fit.

Determine What Services They Offer

Because your business is just starting, it is important to find someone who will be with you every step of the way. The services you need may include tax and auditing services, bookkeeping, estate planning, management consulting, and the like.

Evaluate Their Personality

Aside from the services and expertise, a pleasing personality is also important. Make sure you can work together harmoniously. Your work ethics must also be compatible to handle all business aspects effectively. You must be comfortable with the accountant you choose since it’s your money you’re entrusting.

Know Their Fees

Ask them upfront about fees. Most charge per hour, while some work on a monthly basis. Compare their charges against their expertise and credentials. Hire someone that you know will give you great services at a reasonable price.

A knowledgeable and trustworthy accountant is essential to the success of your business. Make an extra effort to find the right one.

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UV protection and car tintingSun protection shouldn’t only be limited to when out at the beach or swimming in the pool. People working inside the office should also think about protective measures. This is because long wave UVA rays and short wave UVB rays can pass through window glass.

According to studies, people who work indoors with one side exposed to a window developed more wrinkles and sunspots on that side of their body. Skin protection and sun glare reduction indoors are both important to stay sun-safe.

Skin Protection

Apply moisturiser or sunscreen before heading out the door on your way to work. Moisturizer should be applied before the sunscreen and worn on top of any prescribed topical medication. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. If you’re going out on the field for outdoor work, it is advisable to use SPF 30 sunscreen or higher.

Applying powder or blush and lip balm with SPF 15 is a good idea. Pressed powder mineral makeup is a great choice, as it contains sunscreen and insoluble minerals that can block the sun’s UV rays away from the skin.

Reducing Sun Glare Indoors

According to TintWorks.com.au, tinted films applied to windows can significantly reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation that gets through the window glass. Apart from solar energy protection, window tinting also provides substantial energy savings and helps you maintain a more comfortable and productive environment. The level of protection varies, so it advisable to check with your supplier.

You can also use drapes and blinds to reduce visible light and glare. These are ideal for keeping a cool and welcoming atmosphere in the office. While these window treatments can reduce light, they do not reject solar heat at the source.

Sun protection is not just for people who sit in the office or for those who work outdoors. If your job requires extended time in a vehicle, UVA can reach you, too. Applying window film screen on the vehicle is advisable to screen out UVA and UVB rays.

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officeIf an employee is an introvert or a person who values tranquillity, he or she probably dreads the idea of an open-plan office. Most employers want this type of office setup to encourage creative thinking and collaboration. Recent studies, however, show otherwise.

Some Australian scientists even provide evidence about the negative health effects of working in such environment. According to Dr Vinesh Oommen of the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, open plan-offices cause high level of stress, high blood pressure, conflict and a high staff turnover.

Read on to learn more about the disadvantages of an open-plan office.

Noise and Distractions

Though lack of walls makes it easier for workers to interact with each other on a regular basis, this high level of frequent interaction may only lead to noise and distractions that make it difficult for them to concentrate on their work.

Lack of Privacy

According to thecaretakers.com.au, lack of privacy is one of the key factors of dissatisfaction in work environments. In this type of setup, your employees feel like they’re constantly under surveillance, as computer screens are easily visible, and those who walk by can simply hear their telephone conversations.

Decreased Productivity

Noises and distractions not only affect individual employees, but also the business as a whole. When employees are distracted, they feel less motivated. This can result in decreased productivity.

Higher Rate of Absenteeism

As germs spread more easily in an open-plan office, the rate of sick days becomes higher than those in an enclosed space. According to Dr Ron Cutler, a micro-biologist at Queen Mary University of London, the crumbs that accumulate on an employee’s desk and keyboard provide a perfect place for bacteria and fungi.

Your employees are your most valuable asset. Make sure to provide them with a great office environment. If you feel like your employees are dissatisfied with their working conditions, perhaps it’s about time to redesign your office setup.

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swimming poolIt’s a fact of early parenting that small children and pool rarely mix well. Letting a toddler get too close to the pool is most likely an accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately, the danger doesn’t stop at the water.

According to industry veteran Best Pools, Inc., parents should always be aware of their children’s activities, even if they’re just walking around a pool. After all, among the over two hundred young children who drown in backyard pools every year, most don’t originate within the pool itself.

Keep in mind that children actually take their parents’ instructions seriously. So, when a parent tells them not to do something – and mean it, they probably won’t do it on their own.

The Threat From Beyond

In addition, unless the child plays in pools every week, they won’t be comfortable with chlorinated water and will stay away from it. So, why do so many kids still have accidents in pools? An important distinction is made when a parent admonishes a child for goofing in the pool. The pool is dangerous, but only the pool, the space around it is apparently safe.

Any lifeguard or safety expert knows that the threat of a pool extends well beyond the water’s edge, which is why running is almost always not allowed. Slips and falls can cause cramps and other injuries, making it difficult even for adults to get out of a pool. A toddler waddling around a pool should send caution around the entire group to prevent another tragedy.

Infrastructure Training

There are two ways to help prevent small children from playing near the water’s edge: infrastructure and training. Infrastructure means installing physical barriers to the pool so that children can’t get anywhere near the pool without the proper supervision. The only problem with this method though is that it’s pricey, and hides the pool from view, reducing its value.

Training takes a significant amount of time. Much like any other education the children will receive, the parent needs to impart the wisdom of not playing near the pool. The difficult part is having to show them the consequences of doing otherwise without harming them. Fortunately, there are training courses that help parents teach their children how to swim, and act safely around a pool.

People use swimming pools to have fun and cool off. It is only essential to observe safety measures to keep it that way.

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virtual assistantThere’s nothing new about the virtual assistant industry. In fact, it might already be nearing a decade old, if it isn’t already. People have been working remotely for employers for a while, but not many people know anything about the profession.

This strange situation’s a perfect metaphor for the virtual administration. Employers engage VAs without having to know anything about them, and the world engages the industry without knowing anything about it. But, that should end, sooner rather than later.

Virtual Assistants in the Wind

The problem with probing the VA industry stems from the scattered nature of the demographics. Trying to take any meaningful data out of this line of work is a Herculean task that most people don’t even bother with. Because of this, many myths have begun circulating on the Internet about the very nature of the industry, and the kind of people in it. The only way for people to understand VAs is to peel them back one layer of information at a time.

The only way to make a dent in the cloud of mystery surrounding the world of virtual assistants is by making extensive use of surveys. This way, data collectors can get the information, they need straight from people in the industry no matter where they are.

It’s A Woman’s World

One of the most popular myths about VAs is that the entire industry’s mostly made up of stay-at-home mothers. While surveys show that virtual assistants are predominantly female, with more than ninety-six percent of respondents saying they are women. But, there is not much information about the respondents’ marital or family statuses.

Forever Alone

The second myth says the industry is a lie because all VAs work for large companies, and still require the assistant to work in offices just like every other profession. This seems to be decidedly untrue. A vast majority also seems to like working alone, with ninety-one percent of respondents saying that they don’t have employees, and work alone. Even out of those that hired people, eight-five percent said they work with just one other person.

This is basic information, but a step in understanding why the industry never received any sort of important notice even if it isn’t hiding. Many see virtual assistants as the future template of the work place, which makes gathering information about it all the more vital.

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