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Why is Business Plan Important for Starting a Business?

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Have you thought that why not every business person becomes successful? At the start of a career, every entrepreneur thinks they will initiate a venture that can outshine their competitors.

Sadly, it is impossible to reach your desired destination without formulating an effective business plan, and most newbies neglect this step entirely. All the famous business consultants like Adrian Fox emphasized the importance of a Business Plan.

This article is all about the importance of business plans so delve into the article to know the reasons. We will be sharing ten reasons why you should never make a compromise on devising a plan.

10 Reasons that Depict the Importance of a Business Plan

Suppose you are still wondering that why your business can not be successful without having a plan. Then these ten reasons can make realize the significance of a business plan.

To Increase the Funds for Your Business

Veteran investors do not provide you with the money by hearing a brief description. Instead, they want a whole plan. It will depict that you are serious about business and have invested your time.

Therefore, before going to the lenders, make such a plan to make them believe that the possibility of success in your business is high.

In addition to that, they will get to know the total amount that the business requires to invest accordingly.

To Make a Better Decision

Besides funds or money, your business requires a lot of other things as well. They can only be achieved if you have a solid business plan. So, if you have a plan in your hand, you can manage following things appropriately by making wise decisions.

  • Planning about Human Resources
  • Making value for clients
  • Planning about technology-related tasks
  • Planning about Management

Hence, if you have already formulated a business plan, the things mentioned above can be sorted out quickly.

To Assist You in Figuring Out Any Weakness

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. But making a plan ahead of starting your project can help you identify the drawbacks or errors in your plan.

After making a plan, share it with others so if you are failing to evaluate mistakes, others may point out and revise your plan accordingly. Moreover, please share your project with experts and take their worthy opinion.

In comparison, if you start a business without a plan, there are chances that you make significant blunders, and in this way, it will be a wastage of time and money. So, it is one of the reasons that you should go for a plan.

You Will Get A Better Advice

If you tell someone that you have a business idea in your mind and they cannot give you a piece of better advice without knowing the details.

But if you show them your plan, they will get to know about your business accurately. Hence, they give you valuable advice that can help you in making your plan more actionable.

Achieving Goals

Every business has some short-term and long-term goals, which are inevitable to achieve for a successful business. A plan can act as a reminder for goals. If you do not shot for your benchmarks timely, then you will experience loss in your industry.

If you go to any consultant like Adrian Fox, he will suggest you make a business plan.

To Eliminate the Risk Factors As Possible

All the businesses have some risk factors associated with them. But a plan could be the solution to most of the problems. If you have articulated a business plan after examining the factors like volatility in the market, expenses, and revenue, risks can be alleviated.

Especially if you have no market exposure before, then fear of loss can be a hurdle in your way. So devise a plan that works best for you.

To Comprehend Your Competitors

While creating a plan, you will need to examine the rivals. In this way, you will understand what your competitors are doing. Furthermore, you will make such plans that will assist you in outshining your opponents and earn a name in the market quickly.

On the other hand, if you do not have a make plan, you may forget to consider your competitors. If you get a better idea about other entrepreneurs’ strategies, you should step into the market with more solid ideas.

To Get a Better Understanding of Your Clients

Your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur could be confirmed if you analyzed your customers thoroughly. Even before starting a business, you should consider what interests your audience? What they like to purchase? If you evaluate, then nobody can stop you from getting what you want.

By doing this, you will know your client’s priorities, but you can make better advertisements. If your customers can relate to your ad, they will have more chances to buy your product.

To Know the Market Trends

How can you dive into the market without knowing its trends? But some people make such mistakes. So, if you avoid trapping into these blunders, then make a plan on a priority basis.

Markets are not doing great all the time. Sometimes they are shrinking, and you can lose all your investment in the blink of an eye. So, do not act like a fool. Be professional and do your homework.

To Get the Talented People in Your Team

If you want talented and experienced people in your team, then without a business plan, you will not be able to do so. These people are in demand, and many companies want them to make a part of their team. Most importantly, it will not be easy for you to afford such high-paying employees if you are an entrepreneur.

Then why they come to you leaving the opportunity of working with the established companies. The only reason that makes them join your team is a business plan. If you make a plan comprised of your strategies and goals, they can impress that your company can grow even more than your rivals.

Final Thoughts

To sum up the discussion, I will say that a business idea can be achieved if you have made a plan. If you study Adrian Fox, a famous consultant, you will realize the significance of a business plan in starting a business.

Is now a good time to buy a property in St Albans, Hertfordshire?

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St Albans is the biggest city in the town of Hertfordshire, which is located in Southern England. It is popularly known for the Roman settlements and the timeless ruins situated in different parts of the city. St Albans is a significant commuter belt from where various parts of London are within easy reach. The population at St Albans is steadily growing, where many families move into this region. It provides a balanced life for its residents, with a mixture of urban and countryside vibes. 

Investing in a property at St Albans has proven to be beneficial in many ways for the long term. Living in St Albans is a dream for many Londoners and the people of the UK. It is a luxurious city in Hertfordshire where investors can find a wide range of properties for sale in St Albans throughout the year. Detached homes are in huge numbers at St Albans that come with large open spaces, where people can enjoy the nature and setting of the city. There are numerous options available to people when it comes to buying a property at St Albans. To find the right property according to the budget limitations, location and other factors, people can help Collinson Hall estate Agents in St Albans speed up the entire process.

PROPERTY MARKET-2021

The real estate business saw a steep decrease in property rates, interest rates and many other factors, making it easier for buyers and investors to buy a property. The once pricey homes are now affordable due to the price dip at St Albans. With the easing of lockdown in St Albans and other parts of Hertfordshire, the demand for buying properties has gone up drastically. People from different parts of the world are hunting for Estate Agents in Hertfordshire, Watford, St Albans etc., to get hold of the best properties at the lowest rates. Current deposit rates of properties have gone down by 10% saving up to £52,987 approximately. There are way more benefits for the first-time buyers at St Albans.

HIGH CAPITAL RETURNS

Although property rates at St Albans have declined over the last few years, rental yields have been constant throughout. Letting properties in St Albans is a profitable choice for overseas investors and people looking for a return on property investments. With many people looking for properties to rent in St Albans, it is not much of a hassle from the buyer’s point of view. Rental values increased by 3% to 5% every year, where the property owners can expect high rental yields for bigger homes at St Albans. Property prices are rising with every passing year, making it more valuable. If the buyers are planning to sell the property, they can expect huge returns with time. 

STAMP DUTY HOLIDAYS

Stamp duty is a must for buyers where they have to pay taxes for their property bought in the UK. Taxes are paid when the property prices go beyond £500,000. The extension of the stamp duty holiday until 30 June 2021 with low property prices at St Albans is a great time to buy a property. The chances of the threshold going down is higher, and the taxable charges may retain until the end of October 2021. Coming days will be more beneficial for the buyers, where they can avail the best deals before the property prices gear up.

FALL IN INTEREST RATES

Mortgaging is the most preferred option for property buyers at St Albans. There are mortgage lenders across the city who offer loans at different interest rates. The Covid pandemic hit hard on various businesses, including the property prices and interest rates. The interest rates have decreased considerably, making it easier for people to buy properties at St Albans. With the booming real estate business and the increasing number of mortgage lenders in the city, getting mortgage loans at low-interest rates is an easy job for the buyers. This leads the buyers to invest in handsome detached homes with huge lawns and gardens. First-time buyers get lesser interest rates compared to other buyers.

 BUYER’S MARKET

2021 has been favourable to property buyers in all aspects. St Albans is a property hotspot for it is located in the beautiful countryside of Hertfordshire. This city is the go-to place for investors and families trying to raise a family in a peaceful region. There are many government schemes you can advantage for the first-time buyers and others. The real estate business has geared up with the drop in property prices, interest rates and maximum LTV for properties around St Albans. With many benefits for the buyers in the UK, they can easily find the best property to invest in the city of St Albans. Buyers can negotiate the prices before finalising them.  

The Most Luxurious Destinations for a Post-Lockdown Getaway

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After so long stuck in our homes, there’s one big thing on everyone’s mind – a holiday. Whether it’s this summer or summer 2022, the sand between your toes is sure to feel like magic as you take your first step onto a paradise beach in your designer bikini. Early on in lockdown, the very thought of jetting off to a sunny resort felt too impossible to even tantalise our imaginations with. Now, however, with the ‘road out of lockdown’ laid down and a possible end in sight, it’s a little easier to slip away into a sunny daydream.

When you embark on your first holiday after lockdown, you’re going to want it to be special. If you’re dreaming of holidaying with your partner, you’ll also want to choose a sexy location to add some serious sizzle to your trip. Be sure to choose a destination that is as fabulous as you’ll feel when you’re sipping a cocktail and soaking up the sun.

Whether you’re looking for a sexy staycation or you’re longing to get as far away as possible, we’ve got you covered. We’ve discovered some of the most tantalising holiday destinations that everyone is sure to be rushing to once we’ve got the green light for foreign travel.

A sunny staycation

Of course, not everyone will have their eye on a distant holiday after lockdowns have eased. For some, a staycation is a much easier and manageable option – but who says staycations can’t be sexy? Cross your fingers for some summer sun in the UK and try a beach retreat closer to home, like Tresco Island.

Tresco Island, Cornwall

White beaches and a deliciously turquoise sea? Yes, they can be found in the UK! In Tresco, to be precise. Tresco is the second-biggest island of the Scilly Isles in Cornwall. It offers luxury and subtropical sophistication right on your doorstep.

This island has something for everyone. You could head to the island’s famous sailing club to try out windsurfing, or visit Tresco’s award-winning spa and spend a day in pure relaxation. The island is also home to Tresco Abbey Garden, a horticultural paradise that features over 20,000 exotic plants from all over the world.

For a more relaxing day, head to the white sands of Pentle or Appletree Bay. Who’d have thought you could enjoy a subtropical island retreat so close to home?

An Exotic European break

For those who are itching to leave UK soil, but only looking for a short break, a luxurious European long weekend is the perfect solution. If you’re looking for somewhere alluring, it needs to tick all the boxes – beautiful beach, fine dining, and romantic views. The southwestern seaside town of Biarritz in France has it all.

Biarritz, France

Biarritz is a small coastal town that’s off the beaten track. This makes it a wonderful getaway if you’re looking for true escapism (and aren’t we all after a year in lockdown?), Biarritz is the perfect long weekend getaway and a wonderful place to show off all of those holiday clothes that you’ve been desperate to pull out from the back of your wardrobe.

Anyone who’s looking for an active holiday will adore the surf in this quaint French town. Many tourists visit purely for the world-renowned surfing experience, but the seaside town is also a paradise for anyone who’s looking for a more slow-paced getaway.

Historically, Biarritz was known to be a discreet summer retreat for various royals. It has since maintained its reputation as a luxurious holiday spot for those who want to get away from it all.

The town teems with class but has a sense of privacy. Because of this, it feels worlds away from the nearby resort towns of Côte d’Azur. From surfing to spa days, this gorgeous and classy retreat has something for everyone.

Far, far away

For eager globe-trotters, the go-ahead on international travel will mean only one thing: travelling to the other side of the world for the luxurious holiday of their dreams. When the day comes that we can travel anywhere, only the sexiest locations such as Grenada will make the cut.

Grenada, the Caribbean

Known as ‘the island of spice’, it doesn’t get much hotter than Grenada. This Caribbean country is made up of the main island, Grenada, as well as numerous smaller islands, meaning there’s a lot to explore! The main island is the one most known for its spices. It produces a third of the world’s supply of nutmeg, which is known to be one of the top aphrodisiacs – perfect for a sizzling romantic getaway!

Grenada is the ideal location for anyone who is looking for back-to-back beach days and is also keen to sample some delicious local food. Expect a mouth-watering mix of traditional West Indian and Caribbean dishes that are sure to add some spice to your life.

The stunning island isn’t short of luxury resorts and secluded beaches. It offers the perfect escape from the rest of the world, and you’re sure to feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and radiant.

Whichever destination you choose, that first holiday after lockdown is sure to be one to remember. After the past year, there’s no doubt about it – you deserve a sexy and luxurious break.

Sources

https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2016-03-31/the-50-most-beautiful-places-in-europe

https://www.tripstodiscover.com/worlds-sexiest-travel-destinations/

https://www.cntraveller.com/article/biarritz-france-weekend

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/southwestern-france/biarritz

https://www.visitislesofscilly.com/explore/tresco

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-19598301

Tie suppliers are helping us all dress for the end of lockdown

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For more than a year, we have become very familiar with the insides of our own houses. Going out and about has not been something that we have had the opportunity to do. This has meant that many of us have become overly familiar with our pyjamas and more casual wear, even during the day. But tie suppliers all over the country are hoping you are ready to get back to your best!

As lockdown ends and we slowly move towards getting back to normal (or at least the new normal), we are heading outside more and more. Seeing our friends, going back to our jobs, and beginning to realise we want to dress up a little more.

If you are in this position, read on for some tips and tricks for getting back to dressing up as we return to the world outside our living room.

Start small

If you have spent the last few months in mostly comfortable clothes, it might feel like a challenge to get back to dressing smartly for outings. A well-ironed shirt can do wonders for even a more casual outfit, or you can throw a nice blazer over a t-shirt for a smart-casual look that could work for drinks with friends or even a relaxed working environment. After all, no one is quite sure yet how the “new normal” will impact our sartorial choices. Mix it up a little and see what works for you!

Go places

Going out socially might make you feel a little nervous, so make an effort to do things (in a safe, socially distanced way) that you enjoy. For example, a meal at a restaurant you enjoy is a great excuse for dressing up, or head down to the cricket club or to play a sport you enjoy. There are plenty of opportunities to make the most of our new freedom.

Working from home

If you are still working from home, or are in a hybrid work situation where you are only sometimes in the office, you might be tempted to stick to your more relaxed looks. Dressing more formally, even for Zoom calls, can help you to get back into the habit of dressing for company. Put on your favourite shirt, tie and jacket even if you are only doing phone calls that day. It will make it feel a lot less jarring when you do return to the office.

The right tie

Choosing the right tie for any event can make your outfit look a lot more put together. Whether you have a tie that goes with your work uniform or even one that you wear to a club, then now is the perfect time to get it out and get used to the feeling of being a little smarter. You can even buy some new ties to inspire yourself to dress up more often!

Are you excited to get back to the activities you love? Don’t forget that the right tie can pull together any look and when you are looking your best, you will feel a lot more confident!

Why We All Love Good 4 U So Much – Nostalgia is Back with A Bang

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“Well, good for you, you look happy and healthy…” are 9 words that will resonate strongly with many of us but, Tik-Tok users more than most.

The Olivia Rodrigo hit “Good 4 U” has boomed in popularity since its release on May 14th – the song has more than 253 million listens on Spotify and a respective 1.3 billion views associated with the hashtag on TikTok.

While it has had so many of us bopping along – a few fans have noticed an incredible similarity to Paramore’s Misery Business.

Fan’s recognitions make complete sense too – there’s no denying we love this song because we love nostalgia. The last year has been filled with it. When we’re stuck at home during lockdown, we think of better, happier times and remember fond memories. Nostalgia has been spilling over into many different areas of our lives, from our clothes to our Instagram feeds.

GlobalWebIndex research found that we’re more optimistic when we’re nostalgic. Eight in 10 people answered that they feel nostalgic occasionally, and four in 10 said they do so regularly.

This undeniable nostalgia megatrend hasn’t gone unnoticed – even social media sites are getting involved in reminding us of happy times. Although it can be frustrating to remember all the nights out with friends and holidays we’re missing out on, we just can’t help but reminisce about the past.

In this article, we take a look at phenomenon.

Music is the answer

Let’s start with music. Looking back to the GlobalWebIndex research mentioned earlier, results found that music is one of the biggest triggers of nostalgia. When different age groups were asked what they missed the most, music was the most common answer. It seems that a song we love has the ability to transport us back to a memory. Because of this, people have been turning to Spotify to get that nostalgia fix.

The ever-loved music provider Spotify has delivered us Spotify Wrapped in recent years – a feature that gives users insight into their 50 top songs of the last year – the ones they listened to the most, top artists, genres, and many more. For those wanting to delve back deeper, Spotify Time Capsule lets you listen to your top songs of a particular year, allowing you to enjoy all the songs of a certain time.

Unsurprisingly, these nostalgic features were a massive hit and were posted across users’ social media feeds to show their friends their findings. In 2020, Spotify’s mobile app downloads surged by 21 per cent in the first week of December due to the feature.

You’ll also be glad to know that Spotify have also just launched their ‘Only You’ feature, leaning on the success of the aforementioned Wrapped campaign – definitely worth your attention!

Nostalgia marketing megatrend

Alongside being fun and slightly heart-wrenching, social media has been getting involved with ‘nostalgia marketing’ which we’re expecting to see continuing into 2021. In simple terms, nostalgia marketing is when brands introduce logos, colours, and themes from their previous branding to help remind us of “the good old days”.

Cast your mind back to October 2020 and you might remember when Instagram allowed users to revert to old app logos for one month only, including the classic 2010 logo that users were devastated to see decommissioned.

Visual remembrance

It isn’t just audio that gets our senses reminiscing – sight can be incredibly nostalgic too. Memories on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Timehop are all brilliant examples of social media features that give us an insight into what we were posting on that exact day each year in the past. Over lockdown, it has been interesting to see how much our lives changed, and it gets us excited to return back to normal. We can see videos, pictures, and posts from years ago – things we would probably have little recognition of. And now that more and more of us are sharing things online, there are only going to be more memories to look back on.

Now you’ve started thinking about those summers back in 2007 when you were rocking out to pop-punk or dreaming about the weather and that fantastic outfit you once wore, why not dig out those mule sandals ready for a summer to remember!

 

So, there you have it – we love nostalgia and there’s nothing we can do about it!

Sources

https://www.moengage.com/blog/spotify-wrapped-2020-app-downloads-engagement

https://www.globalwebindex.com/hubfs/Downloads/Connecting_the_dots.pdf?utm_campaign=Trends%202020&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=79285410&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9-mbwf1V0YtlEBAonM83noZNW8IXglKy1pI8PZj7V_PBbQUuj-NoazPQuCgKAI22y6_ZR7c43v_n289aRz385whvtGLYQt4r0SkXwHHEGGhODMYRw&utm_content=79285410&utm_source=hs_automation

http://newsweek.com/how-change-instagram-icon-old-logo-10-anniversary-1536956

https://www.jckonline.com/editorial-article/social-media-trends-2021/

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/instagram-new-logo-head-design-explains-how-app-chose-new-icon-and-why-you-might-hate-it-a7025451.html

 

The Micro-Wedding Trend

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Over the past year, we’ve had to adapt to a completely new way of living. Celebrations aren’t as we once knew them, and it has seemed almost impossible to plan the wedding of your dreams. However, the trend people are now calling ‘micro weddings’ has proved that there’s always a way to celebrate love, even in turbulent times. Over the course of the pandemic, the popularity of micro weddings has soared. Couples who wanted to tie the knot in 2020 or 2021 didn’t have many options when it came to arranging their big day. Even so, the micro wedding trend is set to continue even after all restrictions have been lifted. According to the UK’s roadmap for lifting lockdown, big weddings could be back on the cards from June. But will every couple want to throw a massive party? Instead, there have been predictions that the micro wedding is here to stay. Let’s find out why.

What is a micro wedding?

A micro wedding is defined as a wedding with fewer than twenty guests. These weddings are considered to be a more intimate form of celebration, often with a shorter running time, a smaller budget, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Currently, micro weddings are the norm, with wedding guest numbers restricted to 15 until at least May 17th. However, there are many benefits to hosting a micro wedding that might mean the trend will stay put even after the restrictions are lifted.

On Instagram, there are already 332,097 posts #microwedding, and the number keeps growing. The pandemic may have forced tight restrictions on wedding days, but it’s also opened our eyes to new ways of celebrating that take the pressure off hosting a huge event. There really are a lot of benefits in keeping it small!

Better for the budget

One benefit of having a micro wedding is the reduced cost. Having fewer guests means not having to spend nearly as much money on catering or a huge venue. Instead, you could either save your pennies for your honeymoon or put the extra funds into different elements of your wedding day.

“Couples have been spending more on engagement rings and wedding rings recently,” says Neil Dutta of Angelic Diamonds. “It’s clear that they don’t want to funnel all of their savings just into the wedding itself.” He explained that the restrictions on weddings have led to couples looking for other ways to express their love and spend their wedding funds. Investing more in wedding rings or diamond rings that will last forever is one great way of doing that.

In addition to investing more into your wedding jewellery, you could choose any area of your big day for an extra boost. You could splash out more on your wedding dress or choose a location you’ve always dreamed of – even if it is a bit smaller than most traditional wedding venues.

An intimate event

One of the nicest things about micro weddings is that they’re sure to make your special day feel even more intimate. Yes, it’s all well and good to throw a huge party, but with so many guests, will you have enough time to share quality moments with your nearest and dearest? Micro weddings let your inner circle know how truly special they are to you. They also work as a great excuse not to invite people purely out of obligation. Who wants to spend their wedding day making small talk with extended family members or lukewarm work colleagues when you could be making memories with your closest family and friends?

Breaking traditions

Another fabulous thing about having a micro wedding is that it allows you to throw away the rule book and start afresh. With only your close-knit circle present, you can celebrate in a way that best suits you, with no need to worry about what others may think. Without the constraints of a traditional ceremony, you can get creative about what you wear, who walks you down the aisle, and pretty much every element of your wedding. The beauty of the micro wedding is that it can be carefully curated much more easily than a huge wedding extravaganza. Because of this, you can design it to fit you and your partner down to a T.

Many couples are sure to rejoice in the return of big weddings, but one thing that lockdown has taught us is that there’s more than one way to celebrate. When it comes to wedding planning, creativity has soared throughout lockdown. The past year has proved that bigger isn’t always better and the best way to celebrate your love is the way that most suits you and your partner.

Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52530518

https://www.guidesforbrides.co.uk/wedding-ideas/micro-wedding/#:~:text=A%20micro%20wedding%20is%20a,they%20will%20increase%20to%2030.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/life/micro-wedding-stay/

https://cocoweddingvenues.co.uk/the-blog/venues/coco-wedding-venues-collection/7-things-to-consider-when-planning-a-micro-wedding/

Top 8 Benefits of A Solar Power System for Your Commercial Building

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Are you considering a solar power system for your commercial building? Or do you think the upfront cost is not worth the investment? Well, you are not alone. Given the high energy costs, the competition, and hype around solar power systems, it is smart to check if it’s worth your money.

Here is a brief account of the top 8 benefits of utilizing solar power, a renewable source of energy, for your commercial building.

Solar power systems can be ideal for any of the following commercial premises.

  • Hospitals
  • Offices
  • Commercial buildings and warehouses
  • Sports clubs
  • Swimming complexes
  • Municipal facilities
  • Schools
  • Airports
  • Bus Stations
  • Taxi stations
  • Railway Stations
  • Building Integrated Systems
  • Car parks and many more

Produces Green Energy

Whatever the type may be, traditional power plants generally use fossil duel in one way or another. Some plants utilize nuclear energy to produce electricity but almost all of them are not sustainable means of production. When you install solar panels, you are lowering your carbon footprint. Moreover, you can effectively reduce your reliance on municipality-supplied electric power.

Your commercial building can also meet the criteria for Energy Star or LEED certification by installing solar power systems.

Attract Environmentally Conscious People

Thanks to the increasing awareness about global warming and the importance of reducing carbon footprint, more people are looking for environment-friendly solutions. For the last several decades, fossil fuel consumption has been on the rise.

You can help save the planet by opting for solar-powered commercial facilities. This approach will attract more customers, employees, and residents who wish to work with people who take the health of the planet seriously. Not only do you reduce the business expenses (more on that a little later) but you get more clients as well. It’s a win-win.

Cut The Energy Costs

The perks of having a solar power system are many but this outweighs all of them. Whether you install a solar system for business in Eagle ID, with or without battery backup, you can cut the energy costs.

Let’s say you have a system with battery backup. When it’s shiny and bright, your facility can directly use the energy produced by the solar panels. The batteries store the energy, convert it from DC to AC and instantly supply it to the building. The excess energy is utilized in the hours when the system is not producing enough electric power.

When you have connected the solar panel system to the meter and utility lines, solar panels produce electric power that is sent to the utility provider. During the sunny days and low energy utilizing hours, your building may be producing more energy than required, your meter may even run backward.

Be In Control Of Your Future Energy Bills

Energy costs are continuously increasing every year. Be it the national average or state-wise cost comparison, an increase in rates is apparent. Such trends can jeopardize your future business goals in the long run. If you are a business or commercial building owner that uses a lot of electricity every year, keep your business expenses in check by opting for an alternative source of energy. As the average lifespan of solar panels is between 20-25 years, you are more likely to be in control of your future energy bills.

Avoid Complete Power Outages In Your Commercial Facility

Complete power outages can be a nightmare for any commercial building. It can be life-threatening in spaces like hospitals and healthcare facilities. When your building is relying on the electricity supply from the municipality, it is susceptible to a complete power outage at any given time. It can be a serious issue in storms and extreme weather conditions.

When you invest your money in a solar panel system, you are protecting yourself from the risks of a power outage. As long as the battery backups are functioning properly, your building will be supplied with electric power.

Get Tax Credits

Cutting business expenses gets to a whole new level when your state is offering tax credits for solar power system installation. Section 179 of the tax code allows businesses to complete costs of installation of solar panels. The Internal Revenue Service also offers a specific solar panels tax credit. From this year to onwards, it is announced to be at 10%.

Become A Prosumer And Earn SREC

Have you heard the term prosumer? It’s a combination of the producer and consumer. Installing the solar panel system allows you to become one. And while you produce energy for your utility company, you can make money. For every 1000 kilowatts of energy produced by the solar panel system, you will receive a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC). You can sell it to your utility for as high as $300 in some states.

Solar Panel Systems Are Cheaper Than Ever Before!

With every passing year, solar panel systems are getting affordable. And you can also finance your solar panel installation by acquiring loans.

If your commercial roof gets sunlight for the greater part of the year, then you should go for a solar power system. Get in touch with commercial solar panel companies Eagle ID today. “Make hay while the sun shines!”.

5 Top Netflix Tips for 2021

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2020 was a year of many things: a global pandemic, lockdowns, work for home, homeschooling, and a fair amount of angst. It was also arguably the year of Netflix.

For millions of subscribers around the world, the platform paid for its subscription fee many times over by keeping us occupied and the social-isolation blues at bay. Now that the world has developed strategies to better handle the ongoing situation, life regains normal. But the ever-faithful Netflix is here to stay, and most new subscribers the platform gained over the initial crisis aren’t giving up their access.

If you’re in that boat, you might be interested in learning a few nifty tricks and tips to help you get the most Netflix bang for your buck. With that in mind, here are our five best Netflix tips in 2021.

1. Access a world of content with a Virtual Private Network

Your passport might be gathering dust, but that doesn’t mean your Netflix account has to. If you feel like you’ve exhausted all the options on your home country’s Netflix, you can change nations virtually.

Each country has a different set of content, and certain content is only available in certain countries. Getting around the restrictions is simply a matter of hiding your device’s unique IP address and thus your true physical location.

By using a VPN for Netflix, you can change countries and access a whole world of content with just a few clicks. For example, let’s say you’re feeling the burn of stay-at-home orders and want to watch Bo Burnham’s Inside special on Netflix because he really gets it, but it’s not yet available in your country. All you need to do is select a US server (or a server in another country that can access Inside) from your VPN and then open Netflix.

Simple, easy, and oh-so world expanding.

2. Consult the ‘Bible’

Suppose you’re struggling to find something to watch that appeals to your own niche interests, and the Netflix algorithm seems to have you all wrong. In that case, you need the ‘Bible’ — a series of codes that Netflix uses to categorize its content according to genre and subgenre.

You can use these codes to find and watch content that isn’t usually shown on your home screen or in your suggestions. There’s something for everyone from B-Grade Horror Movies (code 8195) to Political Comedies (code 2700). Some codes are oddly specific, such as Biographical Movies from the 1920s (code 4450). You can find a full list here.

To use a code, type the following into your browser and replace the XXXX with the code of your choice:

https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXX

3. Get trustworthy reviews on your Netflix screen

There’s nothing worse than starting to watch something you thought was going to be great then discovering halfway through that it is, in fact, a complete dud. There’s an hour of your life you’ll never get back!

Avoid the issue, and avoid endless googling while you choose what to watch by installing a clever Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb plug-in. This browser extension works in tandem with your Netflix account and displays ratings from both sites when you hover your mouse over a title. There are other extensions that do the same job, but this is our top pick as it combines two respected review site metrics in one handy package.

4. Adjust your subtitles

Whether it’s general age-related myopia or you’ve just spent far too many hours watching TV during the pandemic, there’s no need to give up your love of foreign films just because the subtitles are too small.

Netflix allows you to make significant changes to your subtitles, including the color, size, font, and language, of course. While you wait for your new glasses to arrive, start adjusting your settings by heading to Account/Profile & Parental Controls, then select Change under Subtitles.

5. Put your life in the algorithm’s hands (for the next hour or so)

Can’t pick a title to watch? If you’re sick and tired of making the big decisions, the good news is that you can outsource this task to Netflix’s algorithm. On your Netflix home page, look for the Play Something option on the right-hand side of the screen. Click it, and the platform will make a random selection for you. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll like what it chooses, but at least you didn’t have to pick it yourself!

Get started with our top five Netflix tips in 2021 and get more from your subscription.

How Hospitality SMEs Can Transform Their Finance Department After a Pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic has been detrimental for the hospitality sector. More people are choosing to stay home to stay safe and to save money in the face of the largest recession since records began. Plus, hotels, licenced venues, and restaurants are subject to tightening restrictions, limiting revenue, and increasing expenditure for safety regulation including staff training and cleaning equipment.

During financial adversity, small market enterprises must re-evaluate their finances. A finance department should recognise areas for increased revenue, saving potential, and forecast potential difficulties in the future.

Here we look at ways in which SMEs in the hospitality sector can reassess their finance department to transform their business.

Financial planning and fiscal control

The pandemic has proved that the hospitality sector must be prepared for every circumstance. Sudden decisions to protect the public are understandable during these adverse times. Most recently, hospitality venues have been restricted by a 10 pm curfew, further reducing footfall in bars and restaurants. This emphasises the importance of financial planning.

It is the expectation that hospitability businesses function on an operating budget. These budgets include the cost of wages, rent, and products. However, with the volatility of 2020, this budget type may not be thoroughly effective. Businesses have had to find additional money for cleaning equipment and staff training.

Borrowing budget templates from other industries may share ideas on how expenses can be saved. For example, zero-based budgets create an optimistic perspective on cost-saving processes. Instead of looking for where cuts can be made, this budget allows finance departments and managers to argue why they should spend. In a zero-based budget, department leaders must justify every expense based on their utility and potential to drive revenue.

According to one survey of businesses that use this approach, a 91 per cent majority met or exceeded their financial targets. The money saved by zero-based budgeting is often reinvested for growth. However, businesses may want to consider saving for future financial adversity, especially considering the pandemic. Each new period requires a new budget, allowing finance departments to understand the effectiveness of each approach and where further investment can be made.

Auditing for your industry

The hospitality sector is the third-largest private-sector employer in the UK. It employs 3.2 million people, producing £130 billion in economic activity and £39 billion in tax for the government. However, it’s important to remember that the sector is broad and variable. Many industries offer different experiences with the unified aim to deliver good entertainment, service, and reception.

But where these industries differ is reflected in their finances, from the expenses to how consumers pay. For example, you may expect a hotel to receive credit card payments more than a restaurant, who may primarily process more debit cards. A licenced bar or pub may accept more cash than the other examples. These differences have a large effect on your finances. As we move towards a cashless society where card payments are more accepted due to their low contact and hygienic nature, it’s important to understand how your finances may be affected.

For example, reviewing that your business pays the correct interchange fees after using VISA or Mastercard processors is a priority. Interchange fees represent 70 to 90 per cent of all fees paid by merchants to banks. For a sector that has relied on cash, it is clear how the pandemic has changed spending habits and how the increase of card payments will affect your finances.

Companies should speak to their audit accountant and get a better sense of the best practices in the sector and what other businesses are paying.  While auditors will not breach other company’s confidentiality, they will be able to aggregate their knowledge of what is going on in the sector and assist you immensely.

Cost control and purchase management

The pandemic has caused a loss in revenue for most sectors in the UK. However, this is especially detrimental to hospitality industries. The gross profit margin of a business in the hospitality sector is usually 30 per cent, making it one of the lowest profit margins compared to other industries. Even industries with lower profit margins, including construction and car sales, can alleviate the low margins with higher gross profit. Hospitality businesses cannot do this.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the balance between a fair cost and a reflective cost for your business’s products or services. While most businesses will want to offer customers a fair price for food and drink, the finance department should identify the true cost of your service. A reflective cost breaks down expenses.

For example, if you were setting rates for a hotel room, consider which processes are used to create your service and how much they cost. This includes:

  • Staff wages for receptionist and cleaners
  • Electricity and water
  • Breakfast services
  • Interchange fee
  • How occupancy is affected during different seasons
  • How it may be impacted by the continuing pandemic

Of course, various other expenses can be uncovered too. But understanding how these costs are reflected in your price makes it easier to maintain a healthy profit margin.

A purchasing manager can help to reduce these costs by ensuring that contracts are effective and reliable. Finance departments should negotiate on your business’s behalf, with a quick understanding of how each contract can affect revenue and profitability. For example, some drink suppliers may provide free glasses but may be more expensive overall than suppliers who don’t. How the cost of glassware affects this profitability should be considered.

With uncertainty mounting over how the hospitality industry can recover from the financial burden of the pandemic, SMEs in the hospitality sector must re-evaluate their finances. They need to assess the most effective ways to increase revenue and profitability. Finance departments can be a useful business partner in creating business strategy, whether they highlight future adversity or give a reflection of current expenditure. Your finance department should at the forefront of your business, guiding it through this difficult period.

Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54242634

https://www.consultancy.uk/news/17553/despite-benefits-uk-companies-slow-to-adopt-zero-based-budgeting

https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/dev/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/UK-Hospitality-Workforce-Commission-2030.pdf

https://www.bigcommerce.co.uk/ecommerce-answers/what-are-interchange-fees-and-how-are-they-calculated/

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/gross-margin-hotels-36581.html

Your Self-Build Budget: Where in the UK Has the Most Affordable Tradesmen?

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Diving into a new self-build home project is an exciting concept. From the foundational work to choosing carpets and lampshades that match the furniture, you can transform your new interior space into your dream home. There are many advantages to building your own home, the main one being that you can tailor it to match your specific lifestyle needs. From a financial standpoint, self-builds are also a great project that, in the long run, can draw in a large income too – many self-build projects can make a 25 per cent return in profits.

However, it’s no secret that they can be expensive, and depending on which area of the UK you’re planning to start building, the costs associated with the labour required can vary. With this said, using search data collected on the average cost to hire different tradesmen in different regions of the UK, we discuss the most affordable places to hire tradesmen.

Cost of hiring a builder

Northern Ireland is home to the most affordable builders in the UK, averaging at £131 per day. This is followed by Wales, where the average daily rate for hiring a builder is £178.

Tied third place as the region with the most affordable builders is the North West of England and the Midlands, both with an average daily rate of £194. Finally, West Midlands takes the fifth position for most affordable private builder hire, standing at £198 per day on average.

On the other hand, which regions are the most expensive when it comes to private builder hire? The South East takes the top position for this, averaging at £220 per day, followed by the East of England, where you can expect to pay a daily rate of £218. Scotland takes third place, averaging at a daily rate of £216 to hire a builder.

Taking fourth and fifth position for the regions in the UK with the highest daily rate for a builder, London and the South West region charge around £215 and £211 per day.

Ranking regions from least to most expensive builders

RegionAverage Daily Rate
Northern Ireland£131
Wales£178
North West£194
East Midlands£194
West Midlands£198
Yorkshire and the Humber£199
North East£205
South West£211
London£215
Scotland£216
East of England£218
South East£220

 

Cost of hiring a plumber

If you’re looking to hire a plumber to help with your self-build project, data reveals that your location will definitely affect your budget.

Once again, Northern Ireland takes the top spot for the most affordable tradesmen, with an average daily rate of £200 for a plumber. In second place, plumbers in Yorkshire and the Humber will charge an average daily rate of £221, followed by plumbers in North West region, who charge £229 per day, making these the second and third most affordable regions for private plumber hire.

For those in the East Midlands region, you’ll be pleased to know that this is the fourth most affordable region for private plumbing hire, averaging at £232 per day. As for those in West Midlands, you can expect to pay £244 for this service.

Wales has the most expensive daily rate with an average of £357. This is followed by London, where you can expect to pay an average of £279 per day for a plumber. Moving on to the South West region, this area charges the third most expensive daily rate for a plumber, averaging at £268.

As for the fourth most expensive daily rate for a plumber, you can expect to pay an average of £263 in East England. Finally, the fifth most expensive place to hire a plumber is the South East, where a daily budget of £261 is expected for this work.

Ranking regions from least to most expensive plumbers

RegionAverage Daily Rate
Northern Ireland£200
Yorkshire and the Humber£221
North West£229
East Midlands£232
West Midlands£244
North East£245
Scotland£259
South East£261
East of England£263
South West£268
London£279
Wales£357

 

Cost of hiring an electrician

Taking the top position for the most affordable place to hire an electrician is, once again, Northern Ireland, where you can expect to pay a daily rate of £162 on average. The second most affordable place to hire a plumber is in the East Midlands, with a daily rate of £210 on average.

They are closely followed by a daily rate of £214 in the North East, £215 in North West, and £219 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Alternatively, those situated in London, Scotland, and the South East can expect to pay the three highest average daily rates for an electrician, with it costing £266 in London, £251 in Scotland, and £245 in the South East per day.

In the East England region of the UK, electricians cost £242 per day on average, making this the fourth most expensive place to hire an electrician, followed by the South West region, where you can expect to pay £234 on average per day.

Ranking regions from least to most expensive electricians

RegionAverage Daily Rate
Northern Ireland£162
East Midlands£210
North East£214
North West£215
Yorkshire and the Humber£219
West Midlands£219
Wales£223
South West£234
East of England£242
South East£245
Scotland£251
London£266

 

Now that we have uncovered the most affordable and the most expensive places in the UK to hire tradesmen, where will your next self-build be? Of course, the financial aspect shouldn’t be the ultimate decider when choosing the perfect destination to start a new self-build project. However, it is definitely something to take note of! Plus, there are many ways you can look at reducing costs in other aspects of your project, such as affordable skip hire and looking for the most affordable resources and materials to use.

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