How To Spend

Wise Money Management and Spending Tips

Author: Jeremy (page 2 of 5)

Marketing Tips for Plumbers

7 ways to boost your
plumbing business

From engaging on social
media to branding your company vehicle, there are some simple steps you can
take to help market and grow your plumbing business.

In order for your plumbing business to
succeed you need to grow your customer base, and for this you need to dedicate
some time and resources to marketing your services. This can seem daunting if
you have little to no marketing experience, but there are some simple steps you
can take to help you grow your business.

Build your brand

First and foremost you need to turn
your plumbing business into a brand – a recognised name that is at the
forefront of people’s minds when they have a plumbing emergency. Creating a
brand is not just about designing an eye-catching logo (although that’s
certainly part of it); your branding should inform every element of your
business. Think about what you offer and what differentiates you from your
competitors, define your target audience, and create a unique voice – then use
these elements to build an engaging and memorable brand

Go digital

Digital communications channels offer a
myriad of marketing opportunities for small businesses. Creating a clear,
easy-to-navigate website which showcases your services is really important so
that potential customers can find you online. This doesn’t have to be a really
expensive project – just a small website of 4-5 pages should be sufficient for
your needs.

Social media offers another effective
way to engage with your target audience. Try to think creatively about the type
of content you want to post. Running contests and offering discounts to social
media followers can help you to expand your reach, while posting videos
instructing people on how to deal with common plumbing problems can help you to
build trust and brand recognition.

Harness your fleet

As a plumber you more than likely have
your own van (or a several vans if you have employees), so it makes sense to
use your vehicle to your advantage with fleet branding. This simply
involves applying decals or graphics to your company vehicles, turning them
into moving billboards for your plumbing business. It’s a great way to increase
your visibility and, with up to 3,000 impressions per hour it’s one of the most
effective forms of visual marketing.

Local business listings

To increase your chances of being found
by potential customers it’s important to get your company listed in local
business directories. Printed directories may not be used much these days but
online business listings such as Yelp, Google and Yell.com are a really
effective way of increasing your visibility and building your reputation as a
trusted business.

Radio ads

If you have the budget you may want to
consider promoting your services via a radio advertisement. These days it’s
overlooked as an advertising medium by many businesses, but radio advertising offers immediacy,
frequency and significant reach, and, importantly for a small business, it can
be surprisingly cost effective. An engaging and memorable advert on a local
radio station will help you to reach your target audience and get your name out
there without breaking the bank.

Community engagement

Getting involved in the local community
is a great way to build your reputation and get your name in front of potential
customers. Consider supporting an annual event or sponsoring a local sports
team for an easy and effective way to foster good feeling and potentially win
new business.

Word of mouth

By far the most important and effective
marketing tool for small businesses is word of mouth referrals. One negative
review can have a big impact on your reputation, so always go the extra mile to
ensure that your customers are happy with the service they receive. Be sure to
ask your satisfied customers to leave a review on social media and online
business listings so that potential customers view you as a plumber they can
trust to do a good job.

Marketing may can take time and effort but it is
imperative to the success of your company. Of course, you don’t need to try all
these things at once. Instead think about carefully about your business, your
resources and your target market, and decide what will work best for you. Even
taking small initial steps on your marketing journey can have a big impact,
helping you to successfully grow your plumbing business.

Give Your Building Project The Perfect Finish

Thorough painting and decorating can
make all the difference

After all the work and planning that
goes into a building project whether a renovation of a home, the construction
of a new commercial premises, a new extension or a refresh of a buy to let property,
it’s easy to overlook the difference a thorough, considered and professional
painting and decorating job can make.

As it’s often the last job before
completion of a project, the temptation is to get it done as quickly and maybe
as cheaply as possible – but with a bit of thought, planning and expert help
your new project can be transformed from merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

Decorating options

Sometimes, especially if a building is
to perform a functional role such as an office or a buy to let property, it’s
tempting to treat the decorating as a bit of an afterthought or at least with
little imagination. A few tins of magnolia from the local DIY centre slapped on
is often the sum total of some people’s efforts.

With the decorating techniques
available today, not to mention a
multitude of paint colours and types
, it’s easy with the right help to create a visually
interesting look for that new office, extension or renovation.

Design help

Firstly, consulting home and decor
magazines can give you some ideas for colour combinations and styles for
certain rooms. Often a certain colour scheme can transform the look and feel of
a space; certain shades can make a tiny, darker room look a lot larger and
airier and two-tone styles can make a hallway look more interesting.

What about your commercial premises? A
flat dove grey shade everywhere is certainly functional, but why not think a
bit more imaginatively and create a space that helps project a specific image
and feel for your business? It certainly makes for a more stimulating working environment
and will likely make a lasting impression on your clients and other visitors.

Painting and decorating is a specialism
and experts exist to take it on as a project; for example a search for ‘commercial painters Ipswich’ gives you professionals with experience of decorating a
variety of spaces who can advise and execute a style to make the most of your
building project.

There’s also the matter of painting in
hard to get to areas such as at height and near hazardous areas; tasks that
professional painters and decorators are geared up for.

What will painting and decorating
experts offer?

Drawing from their experience, they
can point to a portfolio of various completed projects to help you decide on
something suitable. Maybe you’ve enlisted an interior designer? If so their
ideas on colour combinations can soon be made reality by your professional
decorators.

They’re used to working to an agreed
budget, know where and how to source good quality yet value for money
materials, are proficient in working in difficult to reach areas, and can
project manage so the task is completed smoothly and on time with good
communications at all times.

It’s a weight off your mind and well
worth the extra small effort to enlist the help of professionals to add the
finishing flourish to your building project.

A Stunning Show Car Is All About The Finer Details

Cleaning is a bit more than a bucket
and sponge for a gleaming show car

There’s car cleaning, then there’s
valeting, then there’s detailing – and here is where making a car look as good
as possible leaves the traditional Sunday morning bucket and sponge and quick
leather off firmly behind. Preparing a car for show is very much all in the
detailing.

A specialism

Most people can clean a car, and most
people can probably clean, vacuum and polish or wax a car’s bodywork, too.
Beyond this, preparing a car for show or just generally making it look its best
is very much a specialism best left to experts who not only know what they’re
doing but use the latest in car care materials and equipment to achieve this.

For example, for those looking to get
their old, new or classic car in tip top condition in the capital or beyond
this car detailer in
London
offers the latest
in state of the art car care methods.

If you’re looking to show your car,
the standard of detailing is so high you’ll likely need a pro who can
accomplish the following to get your car in the right condition to show it off.

What detail is required for the
ultimate show car?

Inspection – a detailer will firstly have a good look all-round the
car to assess what needs doing.

Assess paint thickness – using clever measuring equipment, a detailer will
measure how thick the paint is across various parts of the car to ascertain how
much polishing (as some involves the removal of a small layer of paint to do
its job) can be done.

It also provides clues as to whether
the car has had body and paintwork repair work done since original manufacture.

Wash and decontamination – a thorough wash is carried out and any deposits and
particles removed.

Claying – a clay bar (looks like a bar of soap) is used to remove
finer contaminants and provides a clean surface for the paint protection that
will be applied to adhere to.

Paint enhancement – swirl marks and scratching is removed by a gradual
polishing out; this will enhance the paintwork and provide a ‘mirror’ like
finish eventually. It may take the detailer two or even three days for this
part.

One detailer specialising in very high-end
performance cars even uses a forensic evidence microscope as used by the police
and costing thousands of pounds to detect the tiniest and most superficial of
bodywork scratching.

If required, this process will be
repeated this time using finer grades of polish to enhance the paintwork
further.

Another option you may be advised to
choose is having a ceramic coating to protect the paint and make it easier to
remove contaminants in the future. Is it worth it? This leading
motor authority website

says it is.

Wheel washing – they’re cleaned both front and rear (brake dust and
other contaminants are removed) using softer brushes and then sealed for
protection with a durable wheel coating. This prevents buildup of brake dust
build up on the inside of the wheels.

More

Detailing can offer even more than the
above depending on what is required. For example, if leather upholstery needs
restoration this can be undertaken along with, of course, a thorough cleaning
and vacuuming of the rest of the interior – nowadays much can be done by a
detailer as opposed to having to call in a specialist to perform a retrim.

What about under the bonnet? Your
gleaming show car could be let down if the engine bay looks a bit mucky and
dirty, so an engine bay detailing would be in order.

The same applies to the wheel arches;
dirt behind the wheels will let the side down so removal of the wheels and full
clean of the arches is another service likely required to get your car to
‘showing’ condition.

Ask for advice

Your chosen detailer should be able to advise on what would be required to get your car to show standard and provide a quote for the various elements involved. For showing your car off, the devil is very much in the detailing

Branded Outdoor Gazebo for Events

Stand out from the crowd with a customised
printed gazebo

Standing out at a crowded event can
be difficult, but a branded outdoor gazebo can help you to boost your brand
visibility and win new customers.

Exhibiting at an outdoor event can be
a really effective way to build awareness of your brand and win new customers.
However, exhibitions can be expensive, both in terms of money and staff time,
so in order to see a return on your investment it’s important to stand out from
the crowd and make the most of the opportunity.

One way to do this is with a branded
outdoor gazebo.

Marketing tool

Made from durable, weather resistant
material, such as vinyl, PVC or polyester, outdoor gazebos come in a range of
shapes, sizes and specifications and, with the right graphics, can act as a
really effective marketing tool for your organisation. With custom printing you
can choose what you want to display on the gazebo, whether that be your company
logo and slogan, a key marketing message, images of your products, or a
combination of different elements. You may even wish to supplement your gazebo
with pop up banners, flag displays or A-board displays for maximum impact.

Before you start designing, make sure
you have a clear idea of your target audience. This will help you to design a
shelter that has the maximum impact on the right people. It’s also important
not to overcrowd your gazebo with lots of text and graphics. The best designs
are bold, simple, eye-catching and, most importantly, consistent with your
overall brand.

Professional image

In business, as in other areas of
life, first impressions are incredibly important and potential customers will make a judgement
on your brand within the first few seconds of encountering it. With this in
mind, it’s vital to always project a professional image, and a well-made,
professionally designed gazebo will really help to position your brand in the
best possible light. Conversely, a cheap-looking, poor quality gazebo will
reflect negatively on your company, so don’t be tempted to skimp on costs with
a substandard product.

Easy and durable

On the practical side of things,
outdoor gazebos are easy to set up and take down at the end of an event,
meaning that staff are not left struggling with complicated equipment. What’s
more, quality gazebos, such as those supplied by Big
Value PVC Banners
are
highly durable, enabling you to reuse them at subsequent events and get the
maximum return from your investment.

Weather protection

Outdoor events in this country are
often at the mercy of the elements. And one of the additional benefits of the
outdoor gazebo is that it can help to protect your staff, your merchandise, and
your customers from the infamous British weather, offering both respite from
rain showers and shade from the sun. What’s more, if the weather proves
unpleasant you’ll likely find that people seek shelter under your gazebo,
providing you with a captive audience of potential customers.

With
a relatively low outlay and opportunity for multiple uses, a branded outdoor
gazebo is a cost-effective marketing tool that can help you to maximise your
event presence, boost your brand visibility and, ultimately grow your business.

With a relatively low outlay and
opportunity for multiple uses, a branded outdoor gazebo is a cost-effective
marketing tool that can help you to maximise your event presence, boost your
brand visibility and, ultimately grow your business.

What Happens to Scrapped Cars?

A Look Behind the Scenes at a Modern
Scrapyard

Almost two million cars are scrapped in the UK every year.
Exactly what happens to them?

Last year, the Society of
Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported sales of just over 2.5 million in
2017. At the same time, they are reporting a year-on year increase of 600,000
cars on the UK’s roads. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that
this must mean around 1.9 million cars are going out of circulation every year.
But just where are they going, and what’s happening to them?

If you’ve ever needed to
shop around for a scrap car quote, you probably picture a scrapyard as
being piled high with old cars slowly rotting away. A few yards like that still
exist, but in the main, today’s car scrapping business is quick, efficient,
clean and environmentally friendly. Let’s find out more.

Who can scrap a car?

Today’s car disposal
industry is highly regulated. Scrap yards just don’t operate out the back of
farms anymore. When it goes for scrap, a car has to be taken to an Authorised
Treatment Facility (ATF). This is a site that has gone through all the
necessary environmental and regulatory checks to confirm it can dispose of the
vehicle and their constituent parts safely and responsibly.

At the ATF, the vehicle is
stripped of all hazardous materials and of any parts that can be reused or
reconditioned before what’s left is crushed and recycled.

Removing the hazardous materials

The first step is called the
Vehicle Depollution Process. Here, the most hazardous components and materials
are removed, including the following:

  • Lead-acid
    battery
  • Tyres
  • LPG
    tank if fitted
  • Air
    bags
  • Seat
    belt tensioners
  • Fuel,
    oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc.

The batteries and tyres are each sent to their own
reprocessing centres where they go through specialist procedures to be recycled
– these are what is known as closed loop processes – old batteries are used to
make new batteries and old tyres make new tyres.

ATFs are limited to the amount of tyres they can store at any
given time as the constitute such a serious fire hazard. If tyres catch fire,
they can burn for days, a fact that Essex residents living close to Rayleigh
will know all to well following the massive
blaze
at an
unlicensed tyre storage facility back in 2015 that caused chaos and disruption
in the area.

Next to go is the catalytic
converter. This comes into contact with a variety of unpleasant pollutants, but
it also contains precious materials such as platinum and rhodium. Recycling the
“cat” is another specialist job.

Getting rid of what’s left

With the pollutants safely
removed for reprocessing, what’s left of the car goes into a baler to be
crushed. All the metals, plastics and fibres are separated out and sent to
their own individual recycling centres.

Scrapping a car is a serious
job that needs to be done by professionals. Done correctly, it provides
valuable resources that go straight back into production. But in the hands of
unlicensed amateurs, it can result in dangerous cars and components being
reused, and environmental damage that can take decades to be put right.

The industry is
regulated for a reason, so if you need to scrap your old car, always use a
professional.

It’s Time to Sell Your Old Camera and Equipment

If you’ve recently bought a new digital camera, then odds
are you’re not going to use the old one again in a hurry. You might be tempted
to keep it as a back up “just in case” but the chances are you won’t need it
again. All the old camera will do is sit there and gather dust, so you might as
well make some money from it instead.

Clean out the old
camera gear

Since it’s the season for spring cleaning, start with your
kit to free up some space in your bag. If you’ve recently bought a sharper new
lens and your old one is just sat collecting dust, or you know how to sort the
aperture because of your experience with lighting, it’s time to sell it to give
it new life in the hands of someone new.

Your old cameras and lenses are still likely worth a good
amount of money, so it’s time to dust it off and save them from a landfill.
Turn your old camera and equipment into a winning combination of cleaning out
your camera bag and getting some extra cash in your pocket.

Money towards your
next camera

Renting equipment can be an efficient way to try out new
camera equipment, so why not cash-in some of your old camera equipment and put
it towards owning that piece of equipment for good? Similar to renting a house
versus buying one, it’ll be more cost effective in the end – and you’ll get to
keep the product in return. What better way to get cash for the new gear than
to sell your old gear?

Where to sell your
camera gear

If you’re thinking to yourself “I really want to sell my camera
to get some quick cash” people often turn to eBay or local selling groups, but
these can be scary and even dangerous at times. There’s also no guarantee the
camera or equipment will sell, get a good price for the value or that the item
is going to good hands who will love it as you did.

Selling your camera with Worldwide Camera
Exchange can solve all of these problems. Worldwide Camera Exchange pay premium
prices for high quality equipment in an easy way! Simply contact them for an
immediate quote, send, bring or ask them to collect your equipment free of
charge. Upon receipt, Worldwide Camera Exchange will check over the equipment
and make immediate payment. It’s as easy and stress-free as that!

Choosing A Luxury Watch for A Milestone Birthday

A 21st birthday calls for a special gift. Choosing
a luxury watch for your loved one to treasure as they hit a milestone birthday
is the perfect present.

We’ve compiled a selection of our favourite men’s and
women’s luxury
watches for sale
that any 21-year-old would love to receive!

Before you buy a
luxury watch

If you want to keep the luxury watch as a surprise gift and
don’t want to ask what kind of watch they would like, take the time to consider
their style or your chosen watch could end up sat on a table gathering dust.

Look at their current accessory collection and consider
their personal style. Do they love vintage? Do they only wear silver or gold?
Do they prefer formal jewellery or are they more casual? You could even ask a
close friend for their advice.

Just because the price tag is high, doesn’t mean that they will
automatically love it, so finding a piece they will wear is more important than
just splashing your cash. Set a budget and try to stick to it, then you won’t
have parted with more money than you’d like if it gets misplaced or they don’t
like it.

Traditional 21st
watches

There are certain watch styles that are suitable as gifts to
mark a special occasion, whether it’s a 21st birthday, anniversary
or another milestone birthday. Classically styled metal watches are often the
most popular style, as their weight makes them feel substantial and the
materials mean they’ll outlast decades of trends.

Traditional watches for women often feature metallic
detailing and design but tend to include additional luxury features. Diamonds
are commonly used across the face and case, as well as 18ct gold and mother of
pearl.

High fashion watches

In recent years, the luxury watch sphere has expanded to
include high-fashion pieces from big name brands, alongside the traditional
Swiss and Garman manufactured pieces. Fashion watches are available for most
budgets, but for something really special you could consider the more exclusive
timepieces by brands such as Gucci or Versace.

For a 21-year-old who loves to make a statement, there’s
nothing quite like a bold fashion watch. Bright colours, outlandish features
and luxurious materials such as gold and diamonds are common features of a high
fashion watch.

Vintage-inspired watches

Vintage and retro fashion made a comeback years ago, with many fashion-conscious youngsters choosing to take inspiration from decades gone, rather than buying into new trends. Men’s vintage style usually includes rich colouring, minimalistic iconography and subtle metal shades. It’s an ideal style for anyone who loves the elegant and timeless style over more short-lived fashion trends.

How to Prepare Your Car for Sale

Presentation is key when it comes to getting your car ready
for sale. Not only will it make a car look significantly more appealing, but a
well-prepared car can also add hundreds, even thousands, onto the value of a
vehicle in some cases.

It’s also a good idea to put together the car’s paperwork
ready for the new owner, as this is key to proving the car has been well
maintained over the years.

Book in for a
detailing session

Car detailing
london
might be something you’ve heard mentioned before, but the
service essentially involves machine polishing a car and focusing on the finer
details to get a car looking its best. Car detailing works well on the majority
of vehicles, removing fine scratches, scuffs and marks from the body. Car
detailing helps to make a vehicle look as good as new, or sometimes even
better.

Have the car professionally
valeted

Whilst you might think that giving your car a quick wash
with a hosepipe and a five-minute vacuum inside will have your car sale ready,
the reality is that this is not the case at all.

It’s beneficial have your car professionally valeted to get
it looking its best for sale, which includes having the interior and exterior
cleaned and polished thoroughly. This will really help the car to sell at its
best possible rate, and if you’re taking photos of the car to sell it privately
yourself, it will make the car stand out in photos even more.

Valets at a local car wash can start from as little as £20,
or around £30 if using a unit-based valet or those operating on a mobile basis.

Dent removal

Dents can significantly reduce a car’s value when it comes to selling it. Paintless dent repair (PDR) is transforming dent removal at the moment, so long as the dent can be ‘pulled’ from a car using specialist tools. The treatment doesn’t always produce perfect results, but it’s a great way to get a car ready for sale and increase its value, without even having to touch a body shop for an expensive repair.

Online Estate Agents Vs. High Street Agents – Which Is Best?

You can save thousands of pounds in commission by using an
online estate agent that charges a flat fee rather than a commission – but how
much will you need to up by using an online estate agent, and is there a catch?

Woodland Estate Agents, leading Ilford estate agents, explains
the pros and cons to online estate agents and high street agents.

One in five high street estate agents are at risk of going
out of business amid a growth in online companies, according to recent figures.
High street agents offer a face-to-face service that can guide a seller from
start to finish. In exchange, they receive commission for this personalised
service. Online estate agents are now promising the same service – minus the
commission fees. Instead, you pay a fixed one-off upfront cost, which can be a
lot cheaper.

This can seem attractive, but in many cases it’s
non-refundable – so you pay whether your home sells or not, while there’s no
up-front cost with most high-street agents.

The pros of high
street agents

The biggest pro to using a high street agent is peace of
mind. On the high street, you can get access to an experienced agent who can
build a rapport with you and everything about your home. They will have sales
people in place to act as the ‘middleman’ after an offer is accepted.

High street agents are trustworthy and reputable, as they
can trust experienced high street agents to get the best price possible during
negotiating processes and push sales through by helping with any problems that
may crop up – something an online agent cannot offer. High street agents also
have local knowledge and are aware of local market trends and pricing levels
for the area, which is something that online agents may not be able to match.

High street agents also only require you to pay if a
property sells.

The cons of high
street agents

The price can make or break a decision to choose a certain
agent as commission through high street agents can be through the roof,
sometimes amounting to thousands depending on the price of your house and where
it’s located.

High street agents can manage viewings for you, the viewings
are often limited to their set schedules. So, if someone wants to view out of
hours, you’ll have to conduct the viewing yourself, or it may never happen.

The pros of online
estate agents

Using an online estate agent to buy or sell a property has
quickly become a trend in the UK. In less than 4 years, PurpleBricks has become
the 3rd biggest estate agent in the country, and it’s not the only
firm growing fast.

It’s a cheaper option to high street estate agents as you
pay an upfront cost and not the additional payment once it’s sold. You receive
a 24/7 service as the internet is always open, which means sellers can manage
their sales as and when it suits them. There’s also a call centre which can be
accessed over the phone, offering sellers an online dashboard to track, update,
arrange and confirm viewings and manage offers.

You also have the freedom to use a face-to-face service to
guide you from start to finish, and the freedom to use multiple agents as
generally there is no contract period online.

The cons of online
estate agents

The downside to online estate agents is that you have to pay
an upfront online fee that is payable, regardless of whether or not the
property actually sells or not. Whilst it may seem cheaper at first glance, if
the sale falls through, you could still end up out of pocket.

There will be a lack of consistency, as you could find
yourself talking to a different person each time as you will essentially be
calling a national call centre.

Extra costs will build up, as you may have to pay extra for
professional photos and to have a floor plan designed. Extra help will cost
you, so keep an eye on the price!

Unless you’ve been appointed a regional sales
representative, you will more than likely have to conduct viewings yourself, so
you will need to be comfortable showing strangers around your home.

There’s not an after sales support, as an online estate
agent cannot call a buyer’s lawyer to push along the negotiations – only a
property professional can do this – which can make the buying process a lot
slower.

Overall, the general consensus is to sell or buy a property
through a high street agent. Yes, the costs may be dearer, but you have a
personal face-to-face service with a dedicated estate agent, they will do all
the work for you including listing the property and dealing with the legal side
of things from start to finish.

How to Avoid Shock Mortgage Bill Rises This Month

Banks and building societies will soon start paying back
more than £100billion they have borrowed, and this could be bad news for cheap
mortgage deals.

The Team Funding Scheme (TFS) was launched 18 months ago,
but homeowners could soon face a hike in their mortgage bills as a Government
scheme comes to an end this month.

Team Funding Scheme

The TFS was designed to make sure that the Bank of England’s
interest rate cut of 0.25 per cent in August 2016 was passed onto borrowers in
the wake of the EU referendum result. This gave lenders access to cheap money
and helped finance cheap mortgage deals – but this could all change this month
when the banks and building societies have to start paying the money back.

This has sparked fears that millions of Brits could see rate
rises if they’re a first-time buyer or looking to remortgage when their current
deal comes to an end. Those on a Standard Variable Rates (SVRs) deals could
face a hike even sooner if their lender decides to up their rates.

How to beat a hike in
rates

The Bank of England will announce this week if it is to
raise base rate again. If it does, then those on Standard Variable Rate
Mortgages (SVRs) will likely see their monthly repayments go up as these types
of mortgages track it.

If you’re concerned about the impact the TFS might have for
the best rates on the market, it might be worth signing up for a fixed-deal
instead or enlist the help of a mortgage broker in
Essex
to provide advice and guidance.

How do you
remortgage?

Remortgaging can save you thousands of pounds.

It’s important to start early and don’t leave it until the
end of your current mortgage to see what’s available. Most lenders will let you
set up your next deal at least three months in advance. You can use a price
comparison site to look for deals yourself, or use a mortgage broker to help,
who will not only find the best deal for your circumstances but will guide you
through the entire process.

The lower you loan-to-value (LTV), the better deals will be
available to you; this can be worked out by dividing your outstanding mortgage
by your property’s current value.

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