5 Dos And 5 Don’ts Of Cleaning The Couches In Your Company’s Reception Area

The reception areas that a range of businesses have will contain seating for visitors that include chairs and couches made from leather or upholstery, and invariably to keep the reception areas looking at their best there will be a regime in place to take care of chair and couch cleaning.

However, as good as that sounds, many businesses will, despite their best efforts, not be cleaning their reception chairs and couches properly and could, instead of keeping them looking great, actually be damaging them and compromising their appearance.

The latter scenario occurs because, instead of following proven methods for couch cleaning and cleaning other seating, they are using cleaning methods that do more harm than good. So, to try to ensure that any business owners reading this do not make those same mistakes, and instead have a reception area that is a credit to them, here are five dos and five don’ts of reception area couch cleaning.

The 5 Dos Of Reception Area Couch Cleaning

  • Vacuum Daily: A simple task, but often overlooked because of that, daily vacuuming is one of the most important ways you can keep your fabric couches looking great for longer. Specifically, vacuuming removes tiny pieces of dirt, dust, and grit that cause upholstery to fray.
  • Remove Stains Immediately: Stains on reception area couches come in many forms such as ink from pens, spilt drinks, and even dropped food. Whatever the cause, you must ensure that stains are dealt with as they happen because any delay can make the stain a permanent one.
  • Use Mild Cleaning Solutions: In all cases, ensure that any cleaning solutions you use to clean your reception area couches are mild and thus not likely to damage the fabric. The easiest one to create is a 50-50 mix of mild dish soap and warm water.


10 Tips For Starting And Growing A Successful Removalists Business

All Melbourne removalists that exist start from the mind of their owner. Before that, they may have been working for a removalist company and wished to start a company of their own, or they might have been entrepreneurial and saw removalists as an industry that they believed they could be successful in, especially if there were a gap in the market where they lived.

For anyone reading who has had any thoughts about starting a removalist business, we will not insult your intelligence and say it is so easy you can get started tomorrow. However, if you do proper research, including market research, create a viable business plan and seek the advice of those best placed to assist you. A successful removalist business is what you can create. Here are ten tips we recommend you follow to help achieve that ambition.

Do Plenty Of Research

Our first tip is to conduct comprehensive research before making concrete plans to start a removalist business. What are the gaps in the market? Who is your competition? What opportunities exist for you to grab market share? What are the legalities of starting this business? The more you know, the easier it will be to get started.


5 Investment Options If You Have Sold Your Company Shares

5 Investment Options If You Have Sold Your Company Shares

If you have owned shares in a company and have decided to sell them, what are you planning to do with the funds that the sale generates? We trust that you plan to use them wisely and one of the ways that can be achieved is to speak to financial advisors to discuss ways of investing them. Investment planning is not something that should be done without thought, and presuming you want to keep safe what you earned from your shares, then investing needs careful consideration.

In discussing investment planning with your financial advisor one of the facts that should come to light fairly quickly is that you have choices as to what you can invest in. One choice is whether you invest in one type of asset or several. Our view and we hope the view of the financial advisors you speak to, is that diversity is far preferable. In other words, rather than investing in just one type of investment, you should spread your portfolio across several options.

This gives you important benefits that you would not see if you placed all your eggs in one basket, as it were. The first benefit is that it reduces risk. An example is investing everything into the property and the property market plummets, which many of us have seen more than once in our lifetimes. By diversifying, whilst your property investment value may drop, investments in other asset classes such as government bonds may have risen.

A second benefit of diversifying is that your investment value can be boosted even if some of your investments stall. For example, if you have everything ploughed into government bonds and the price of gold rockets, you have missed an opportunity to increase your investments’ value and your net wealth.


Local SEO Strategies

5 Local SEO Strategies That Every Franchise Owner Should Be Using

Many consumers are surprised to learn that some of the biggest brands on the high street, and many businesses that are household names thanks to national and even international advertising in the press, magazines, and TV, are actually franchises owned by local entrepreneurs.

According to digital marketing experts, if you own a local franchise, it is likely that you benefit from marketing that is undertaken centrally by the main company. Although the millions of dollars spent by the central company may help give the brand a much bigger profile, it does not necessarily speak to the local audience that your local franchise targets.

Nor does all the SEO the main company does to get it to the top of rankings nationally for searches such as ‘coffee shop’, ‘pool cleaner” or ‘bakery’ necessarily help your local franchise to attract local customers who might search for those same terms with their town or city added.

What would help though, is for you as a local franchise owner to implement some local marketing strategies which can help you climb the rankings whenever local searches are made.

By doing so, you not only get the trickle-down benefits of the main company’s marketing and SEO efforts, but you also start to attract more prospects, leads, and ultimately customers to your franchise business. So, what are the local SEO tactics and actions that you can take in order to boost their local search rankings?


Anchor Text

4 Ways to Boost SEO With Anchor Text

If you have done research with regards to SEO and backlinking in particular, the term anchor text should be familiar to you. If not, the simplest explanation is that it is the text included in the backlink that links from one website to another.

Given how important backlinking is in terms of SEO, and a website’s ranking, knowing how to use anchor text effectively is crucial. Used correctly, it can have a hugely positive impact on rankings. Used wrongly, or worse, in a way that tries to game Google’s algorithm, the results will ultimately be negative.

Here are 4 ways you can use anchor text, all of which can help your SEO efforts.

Generic: This is where the text used has some relationship to the subject the website is about, without necessarily being a keyword it is trying to rank for. An example is ‘automobile’ for a website selling garage doors. The anchor text here is relevant to the niche but not necessarily a target keyword.

Branded: This anchor text is a good way of avoiding over optimisation of keywords in backlinks and usually has the name of the website or the business. An example would the link where the anchor text was ‘Joe’s Bakery’.


Why Identifying The Customer's Journey Is Vital For Your Landscaping Business

Why Identifying The Customer’s Journey Is Vital For Your Landscaping Business

Whilst Sydney landscapers may think of a map as it relates to a layout of a large, landscaped garden they are building, there is another kind of map they should be aware of. That is the map of the customer’s journey and what it identifies is the journey that a customer takes from their first inkling that they might want a landscaped garden, to the point where they are sitting in it.

The reason why landscaping business owners should be fully aware of this customer journey and the map that plots it is that it can allow them to enhance how their business operates at every stage. This ultimately helps make the customer journey a better one which leads to more sales and more satisfied clients. Let us look at these in more detail and what should be included in a landscaping business’s customer journey map.

Customer Journey Map Defined

We must stress that a customer journey map is not just conceptual but should be real and created using words, symbols and diagrams based on what is easiest for you and your team to follow. It will provide you with a better understanding of what the needs and wants of your customers are, what motivates them, and what may prevent them from taking action, such as agreeing to a sale.

A customer journey map will unlikely be a straight line because customers will not always go directly from point A to point Z in the sales process. Instead, they will go backwards, repeat steps, take detours, and jump forward some steps until they reach their final destination, which is to purchase what you are offering them.


7 Reasons Better Branding Can Boost Your Property Lawyers Business

7 Reasons Better Branding Can Boost Your Property Lawyers Business

Whilst branding might be an aspect of business that many people associate with large global companies, it is also something that all local businesses should be focussing on too, and that includes property lawyers. The scale of your branding activities might not be on the same level as the likes of Nike and Coca Cola, however, the benefits to your property lawyers business can be every bit as important to its success.

If you are still unsure as to what benefits might accrue from a marketing campaign that seeks to enhance your property lawyers business’s branding, continue reading and you will soon discover seven of them, all of which can boost it in both the short and long term.

Promotes Your Business As A Premium Option: When faced with the need to find a property lawyer, potential clients will want the reassurance that they are being represented by the best possible legal team. With effective branding, your property lawyers business can be projected as one of the elite legal teams in your area, which means those looking for a top property lawyer will seek to retain your services.


5 Winning Tactics For Family Lawyers During Business Contract Negotiations

One of the many skills which family lawyers have is being able to put across any point which supports their case effectively. Whether that be in writing or orally when in the Family Court, the ability to not only make an argument for something but to also win that argument is a huge factor in their success.

As such, you might think that it follows that all family lawyers are A-grade negotiators, and able to sell anyone on any point they are making at any time. That might apply to some family lawyers, and to others, but only when the point they are making relates to family law. When it comes to negotiating on matters they are less familiar with, such as business contracts, then there will be many family lawyers who are well outside their comfort zone.

Business negotiations are a completely different discipline from arguing a family law case, and whilst there might be some principles that apply to both, when it comes to the practicalities of doing each of them, there are several differences. So, we thought it would be useful for any family lawyers who wish to improve their business negotiation skills to highlight five top tactics which all professional business negotiators follow.


5 Decluttering Ideas To Implement When You Relocate Your Office

5 Decluttering Ideas To Implement When You Relocate Your Office

Whenever business owners discuss the benefits of relocating their business to a new office with the help of office removalists, they will understandably focus on matters such as better access to their target market, sign installation and the business’s potential to expand. Quite rightly, too, as these are significant benefits that any company seeking to be successful would wish to have.

However, there are other less obvious benefits arising from moving to new business premises; one of these is that you can declutter your office completely. Decluttering is especially important for interstate office relocations. Depending on how long your business has been based in its current premises, there will almost certainly be useless items. These can include any of the following.

  • Discontinued Products
  • Out Of Date Products
  • Unsold Stock
  • Broken Furniture
  • Damaged Equipment
  • Irreparable Equipment
  • Archived Documents
  • Old Promotional Material

Whilst your business may have a general clean-up from time to time, a relocation presents a chance to eliminate all this junk and avoid you or your interstate removalists having to take it to your new premises. To make this more easily achievable, we have outlined five tips below, which we urge you to follow.


Tell-Tale Signs That An Employee Might Be Taking Drugs

As an employer, you have a duty of care to all your employees when they are carrying out their roles. Much of this is a legal obligation, however, many employers believe they also have a moral obligation too, and this is why many of them will allow employees paid leave for mental health counselling or for drug rehab programs, for example.

One of the problems that employers face, is that in most cases they are not qualified to identify the symptoms of someone who is going through a personal crisis. The other issue is that if someone wishes to keep a problem they are having to themselves, they have the right to do so, as long as it not affecting their work.

In the case of someone who has a problem with drugs, the situation is different as, even if an employer has no formal training on the matter, there are some obvious tell-tale signs that someone is using drugs. Even if that person tries to keep their drug use a secret, their actions, and behaviours can give away the fact that they are. Here are some to look out for if you suspect someone is taking drugs.

Actions Out Of Character

If you have known an employee for some time, and they start to act in a manner that is completely out of character, then drug use could be the cause. Examples include a usually lively person becoming introverted, or conversely, someone who tends to be quiet and shy becoming very outgoing and in extreme cases, outwardly aggressive in some situations.


The Options For Business Owners To Manage Their Workplace Drug Policies

There are many policies which any company has to have in place with regards to their employees, and one which most business owners hope they never have to act upon is their drugs policy. Whether the action that might follow as result would be dismissal of an employee or paying for them to visit a drug rehab centre, knowing one of your members of staff is a drugs user, is never pleasant for any employer.

One of the values of a company or organisation having a clear and unambiguous drug policy is that everyone, from the owner or CEO, down through management and finally to all the employees, knows exactly what the procedures are going to be. These will cover drug testing, sanctions, and disciplinary consequences, should they apply. Bear in mind, not all companies will have immediate dismissal as the sanction, and they may instead go down the rehabilitation route.

The point here is that everyone should know what the policy is so that there can be no confusion and more to the point, no apparent unfairness should an employee be subject to disciplinary action due to them failing a drug test. This is as much an aid to the employer as it the employees as it gives them a clear understanding of what steps to take, rather than making it up as they go along.


Unfair Dismissal

What Do I Need to Know About Defending an Unfair Dismissal Claim?

As an employer, there’s every chance that you will have an unfair dismissal claim brought against you at some point. Even if you follow the law to the letter, you will always have disgruntled ex-employees who feel like they’ve been unfairly treated and that they deserve some sort of compensation.

Fortunately, it’s quite easy to defend against unfair dismissal claims if you’ve followed the correct procedures. If you’re not completely familiar with the process, we’d always recommend hiring a lawyer to keep you out of trouble. However, the following four steps should provide a solid base to help you understand what’s involved with defending an unfair dismissal claim.

Step 1: Check Whether the Employee Was Eligible to Make a Claim

One thing that a lot of employers don’t realise is that not every ex-employee is actually eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim. To be eligible, an employee must have been:

  1. Employed for at least six months, or 12 months for businesses with less than 15 employees. Unpaid leave and unauthorised absence don’t usually count towards these periods. 
  2. Earning less than the high-income threshold or covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement. In most cases, employees earning more than $148,500 per year (as of July 2019) will be ineligible to make a claim.

As you can see, this immediately discounts a lot of people.


Car Breakdown

Budgeting For Unexpected Vehicle Costs

It’s easy to forget about things when you’re putting a budget together. Unfortunately, unexpected costs can arise from time to time, and they can essentially ‘break your budget’ if you don’t have something to fall back on.

Although things like Mercedes Benz servicing can be expensive, unexpected breakdowns and repairs can be a lot harder to pay for. It’s therefore important to keep them in mind when you’re putting together a budget, and make sure that you include them. Put it this way: it’s a lot better to have money left over at the end of the year than to run out of money when you need it.

Consider the following things to help you budget for unexpected costs:

Use The 1% Rule:

The 1% rule is an old budgeting guideline that involves putting aside 1% of your income every week for unexpected expenses. Although it works, 1% isn’t a lot, and it may not give you enough savings to pay for large repairs.


How Much Does Web Design Cost?

One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘how much are web design packages‘ and  ‘how much does a eCommerce website cost’?. Unfortunately, there’s not really a clear answer to this question, as much of the cost associated with web design depends on the exact services you need. 

However, I do believe that it’s important for you to be able to gain at least a basic understanding of the costs of web design, which is why I have put together this short guide. I’m going to touch on some of the most common web design costs, and what you can expect to pay in certain situations.

How Much Does DIY Web Design Cost?

If you have a few design skills, you might decide to put together a website plan by yourself. While this is more than possible – and almost certainly the cheapest way to design a website – it can be hard if you don’t have a lot of experience.

It’s important to note that designing your own website will usually still cost you at least a little. Some of the costs you need to consider include:


The Best Digital Marketing Apps For Your Business

As the internet grows, digital marketing is becoming increasingly competitive, with returns on investment slowly decreasing year after year. It’s therefore a good idea to leverage as many different tools as possible to help increase your chances of digital marketing success, otherwise you might find yourself spending a lot of money without seeing any results.

In my opinion, some of the most useful digital marketing tools that you can use come in the form of apps. Different apps are designed for different things – such as social media or email marketing – but some stand out above the pack as must haves.

You will find some of my favourite digital marketing apps below. Consider installing and learning how to use them to help you maximise your profits.

Facebook Ads Manager

If you run advertising campaigns on either Facebook or Instagram (or both), you should definitely be using the Facebook Ads Manager. It essentially allows you to stay on top of your campaigns from the comfort of your phone.

For example, it allows you to edit your advertising schedules, change your budgets, create new ads, and track your ongoing success. This is extremely useful for small business owners, especially for those who are always on the go.


What Is AI Web Design And Should I Be Using It?

In the past, web development was a manual process. Website code had to be written from scratch, and developing even simple sites took a significant amount of time. From there, things like website builders and code libraries grew in popularity, streamlining the web design process.

But, that’s not all. In recent years, the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to something known as artificial design intelligence (ADI). Basically, this technology allows everyone – regardless of their skill level – to create their own websites at the click of a button.

What Is ADI?

To put it simply, ADI uses machine learning to help users develop highly personalized websites that are suited to their needs. Usually, it comes in the form of a guided questionnaire, where you have to specify what sort of website you want, what design attributes appeal to you, and what features you need.

Now, there are different types of ADI technology. Popular website builders such as Wix and GoDaddy include some sort of AI design features with their editing interfaces. However, there are also numerous dedicated ADI platforms, including Bookmark and The Grid.


How to Start a Transport Company Without Debt

While it always costs something to start up a business, there are ways and means to start up a transport company without too much debt, depending on what kind of freight you transport. If you do it right, then you can get away with spending about the same as you would on buying a car.

For instance, you can sell your car and purchase a good used van, one tonner, or ute instead, for the same amount of money and use that as your start-up vehicle. The freight you carry will have to be small enough to fit in your vehicle, but there should be plenty of that around in a city as there will always be car parts and other small goods that always have to be sent from one destination to another.

By taking small loads you can offer fast service because it won’t take as long to load your vehicle as it would for a semi-trailer or a large truck.

Here are some points to consider:

  • If you are single, your transport vehicle can be used for a personal vehicle, especially if it’s a ute.
  • If you are a family man – or woman – you may need another vehicle to take children to and from school unless they are old enough to take the bus. That said, a child seat can fit into a ute or van and you can do the school run in between pick-ups.


Optimised Web Page

7 Elements Of A Properly Optimised Web Page

One of the reasons that those new to SEO often hit the buffers before they even start, is they become overwhelmed trying to understand every single aspect of it. Admittedly, SEO is a big subject, but as with any other, the sensible way to approach it is by breaking it down into its component parts.

This applies perfectly when considering how to optimise pages within a website design. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once and going round in circles, the required actions can be placed within 7 different categories, and then be planned for accordingly.

These 7 elements of on-page optimisation are:

Bot/Spider Friendly

If you want your website to rank, its pages need to be crawled by the search engine bots and spiders. If the underlying data structure hinders, rather than helps this, then what they send back will not be the full picture. Correct URL structures and redirects set up correctly will help, as will having your website hosted with a reputable hosting company.

Keyword Optimisation

This involves making sure that not only do your website pages have the correct number of keywords but also that they are used in the appropriate places such as the title and the first paragraph. Also, the keywords should not merely be the list that your keyword software churned out. Instead, thought should be given to descriptive keywords and those that match user intent.