Three Tips for New Store Owners

Opening a retail store is very rewarding. Any business owner knows that a lot of hard work and stressful days have to be endured to get to this point. Having a physical retail shop poses a new set of Read more

Boosting the Efficiency of Your Hot Water System

Quality is important when you are looking to buy a new hot water system. The way you shop, how much research you do, and the final decisions matter a lot. Of course, you don’t want to buy one and replace Read more

For Beginners: How to Water Your Greenhouse Plants

Plants housed in closed ecosystems like standard greenhouses and geodesic domes require more attention and care than plants in outdoor gardens. For one, your garden plants could get some water from the occasional rain, but the plants inside your Read more

Three Things that You Need to Improve Your Catering Kitchen

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Higher Learning | Comments Off on Three Things that You Need to Improve Your Catering Kitchen

Head chef posing with the team behind him in a professional kitchenAnyone who works in a kitchen knows what hustle and bustle can go on. A catering kitchen will have a lot of demand for quick and quality food. Thankfully, it is possible to stay on top of the game and satisfy the demand without compromising on the quality. Your catering kitchen must have state-of-the-art equipment and other similar upgrades. Here are three things that you must have in your kitchen to ensure its success.

Floor Mats

As part of the food industry, it is important that the kitchen is sanitary. One of the things that many people overlook is the floor. The floors of a kitchen can be the perfect house for all sorts of germs. A way to make sure that your kitchen is as clean as can be is by getting excellent kitchen floor mats. There are floor mats that keep mould, mildew and bacteria from thriving. That way, you will know that there will be an extra safety measure to keep your food from posing as a health risk.

Transportation

If you have a catering kitchen, you will have a lot of food orders that must be delivered to a certain location. Using your own car can be fine for small orders, however, it can damage your car with stains and odors and won’t be a long-term solution, especially for larger orders. Make sure that the vehicle is large enough to support all of the food, supplies, etc. This will make sure that the more delicate food and items will not get crushed and be able to satisfy any order no matter what the size is.

Fridges and Freezers

Of course, every kitchen would require a fridge and freezer. However, you can upgrade these necessities. You can get more space-saving options by getting counter refrigerators and under counter freezers. You can take advantage of these options since they allow more room for more countertop space for prepping the food.

If you want a successful catering kitchen, then there is no need to worry. You can add things and upgrade items that will help you achieve a more efficient kitchen.

Small Additions that Add Elegance to a Home

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Hot Spots | Comments Off on Small Additions that Add Elegance to a Home

Plant decor in the houseIt’s important to dress your home up as you please for maximum comfort. The following are some techniques you could try out to make your home look better without too much effort.

1. Pine Tongue and Groove

Pine tongue and groove make a huge difference in any home. Placed in strategic locations, they add a touch of elegance that would work in practically all themes. The beauty of such paneling is that it has a universal appeal. Plus, there are lots of designs to choose from.

2. Contrasting Pillows

Add a few pillows on your sofa to add contrast to the overall look of the home. Throw pillows usually come in different shapes and sizes, and as such, it is easy to mix and match as the season warrants. For example, use red pillows for Christmas and something green for Saint Patty’s Day.

3. Fresh Flowers

It’s really amazing how fresh flowers can liven up a room so quickly. No need to spend so much on fresh flowers, however — even everyday flowers you can pick off the garden can add a bit of happiness indoors.

Make a point of putting some in your home, especially during days when you’ll be staying indoors.

4. Natural Light

There’s really no need to spend hundreds in order to boost the beauty of your home. In many cases, all it takes is to take off the drapes or clean the windows to allow natural light in. Open the windows and breathe in fresh air, you’ll thank yourself for it.

5. Odd Groupings

Most decorators follow the ‘rule of three’ technique wherein they usually display multiple items in threes. This is actually more satisfying to the eyes and therefore more relaxing in homes.

Of course, those are just a few of the changes you can make to have a fresher home. In time, you’ll learn how to experiment to achieve the results you want.

3 Genius Tips to Accelerate Your Plumbing Projects

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Wellness Zone | Comments Off on 3 Genius Tips to Accelerate Your Plumbing Projects

Plumber fixing a faucetWhen your plumbing business starts to expand, you need to find ways to cope with the increasing number of projects. One way to do so is to increase the number of your staff. But, what if there was a way to handle more projects without necessarily having to add more people on your team? That would mean more profits for you.

The secret, of course, is finding a way to handle projects faster while still maintaining top-notch quality. Here are easy tips to go about it:

Choose parts smartly

Some of the parts you use in plumbing projects require less time to fit than others. When using press fittings, for instance, you can save up to two-thirds of the time you’d need to work with brazing. Opt for prefabricated plumbing parts too, as these reduce the amount of time you’d need to spend on the field.

Upgrade your project management

When involved in a large plumbing project, it’s likely that you’ll be working with various individuals. To keep the project running like a well-oiled machine, it’s important to focus on great project management skills. That includes efficient communication, choosing the correct technologies, and preparing for problems in advance.

Digitise processes

With the Cloud and other useful technologies, you need to have gone paperless by now. Do away with paper forms to keep track of every little detail of your plumbing projects. Going digital can streamline important activities like ordering, invoicing, tracking labor, and creating estimates. That alone can slash the amount of time you spend doing administrative work.

In an industry where your reputation depends on your ability to deliver excellent results in the shortest time possible, knowing how to fast-track your plumbing projects is a great asset. Fortunately, that’s something you can easily achieve by adopting a few strategies.

US Spending on Home Renovations to Increase in the Next 2 Years

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Money Talks | Comments Off on US Spending on Home Renovations to Increase in the Next 2 Years

House renovation in progressAmericans will continue to spend more on home remodeling and renovation work in 2018, as total spending by September will reach $333 billion, according to Harvard University’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA).

The LIRA attributed the significant jump in spending to an 8% increase in costs. Hence, it estimated annual gains from different home development projects to rise 7.7% by the third quarter of 2019, up from 6.3% in the last quarter of 2017.

Professional Experience

There are certain projects that you can do yourself, but some home improvement services require expert work. For instance, if you want an intricate design for kitchen cabinets done by a wood laser engraving machine, professionals are more than capable of doing this.

Safety serves as another reason for contracting professionals for most of the job. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that more than 500,000 people suffer from related injuries.

For this reason, it seems more cost-efficient to look for an insured contractor, especially if you want to upgrade your roof, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Renovations and Repairs

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies research Abbe Will said that the LIRA model has not fully taken the effects of the recent hurricanes into account, but the series of reconstruction work in Florida and Texas could support the increase in spending until 2019.

US homeowners have decided to pursue improvement projects partly because of strong home equity growth and a strong economy, according to LIRA. This bodes well for professional contractors, as several owner-occupiers will seek more of their services.

It makes sense to upgrade your house, whether or not you plan to sell it in the future. Remember to acquire the necessary permits, particularly for large-scale improvements. While do-it-yourself work could save you money, hiring professionals are important for other complicated services.

3 Ways to Improve Your Farm’s Productivity and Efficiency

Posted on by Ann Klatt in Information Facility | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Improve Your Farm’s Productivity and Efficiency

a woman harvesting carrotsIn the modern age, farming is not just a way of making food and tending to animals. It is a huge industry; a lucrative business that will not only feed your family, but also your employees and customers.
Like any other type of business, farming is result-oriented. There are goals to be set and achieved. If you want results, you should first focus on the operations and efficiency of the business.

Planning the future of your farm may require you to be attentive to details, but it will all be worth it in the end. Here are some pointers you may want to keep in mind.

Improve practices

If you want to advance, you should get rid of practices that prove to be costly and ineffective. This may require you to look at the entire operations plan of the business. If you are not yet invested in soil testing, now may be the right time to get into it. You may want to explore other ways of digging planting holes and ridging to ensure the fast growth or your crops.

Streamline the operations

Bureaucratic business operations have many layers and point persons. If you have lots of layers, there is a room for corruption that some of your employees may take advantage of. As such, you need to streamline your operations. A streamlined set of protocols will promote transparency and honesty.

Invest in good equipment

Your old farm equipment may be the thing that keeps your business from advancing. It’s time to get rid of it (or sell it). Invest in newer and much more efficient pieces and devices, whether they are tractors or wireless LED trailer lights.

Improving farm operations will help you achieve your business goals. If you wish to know more, you should seek the advice of a consultant specializing in this industry.

3 Smart Ways to Save Money While You’re Young

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Money Talks | Comments Off on 3 Smart Ways to Save Money While You’re Young

coins in a jar, concept of savingWhen you’re young, you’re full of energy and expectations. You want to live your life to the fullest. However, it’s prudent to start putting aside some cash for your future. Saving can seem challenging to begin with, but once you set your goals and you’re enlightened on where to start, it all becomes easy and fun.

Set a budget

This is the cornerstone of all your financial planning. Draw up a budget depending on your needs, wants, and saving plans. Be sure to put aside the amount you intend to save before spending the money. Thanks to technology, there are many banks with mobile banking services that allow you to deposit your savings quickly and conveniently.

Take advantage of discounts

Before shopping for anything, take your time. Make price comparisons and check out if any discounts are being offered for your type of purchase. Also, take advantage of the seasonal discounts and make your purchase during this time. Consider buying your groceries in bulk for you to enjoy the economies of scale that come along with it. This way, you will be a savvy buyer and will end up saving a significant amount of cash.

Monitor your bills

Bills are recurring costs. They are there every month and take up a significant chunk of your cash. These are things like your power bills, cable TVs, Internet packages, water bills, etc. The good thing is that they can be monitored. Have an energy audit performed in your house and heed the recommendations given on how you can cut the power bills. Also, practice safe and waste minimization habits like putting your lights off when not in need, and fixing all the leaking faucets.

Your mindset plays a significant role when it comes to achieving your saving goals. The above tips are only meant to enlighten you on how to go about it. Therefore, they should not be viewed as restrictive. Rather, see them as means through which you will achieve your saving goals.

Understanding the Types of Strapping Machines

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Information Facility | Comments Off on Understanding the Types of Strapping Machines

WarehouseStrapping machines are ideal for keeping packages, bundles, and boxes tightly together. The machine creates straps, coils them around the package, and passes the tied packet into a strapping and sealing area. Heat is then used to seal the package according to a pre-set tension.

Strapping machines are important to all companies looking for the appropriate packaging equipment and solutions. There are various machine types you can get, depending on your task. Read on to learn about them.

Tabletop Machines

These are small, entry-level semi-automatic machines, approximately 30’’ high x 24’’wide x36’’ long. Semi-automatic strapping machines have strap rates of 10-15/minute, depending on the operator’s skill. They are relatively cheap depending on the features and brand and can be flexible. Tabletop strapping machines can be used as back up or the primary machine for low volume operations and off-line packaging tasks.

Arch Machines

These machines are more automated compared to tabletop ones but still require a worker for package positioning and pressing the activation button. The size of an arch machine is one of the essential considerations since the package’s size is restricted to what fits under the arch. The strap rate for arch machines is 30-70 straps/minute.

Fully Automatic Machines

Like arch machines, fully automatic strapping machines have built-in conveyors that carry packages through it. These machines need no operator, as they are activated by an automatic device, typically a photocell. They have a similar strap rate to arch machines. The conveyor speed of the machine must be fast enough to prevent bottlenecks in product flow.

Not all strapping machines are created equal. Getting the right manufacturer or distributor is key to ensuring the efficiency of your business operations. Buy your strapping machine from a company with well-designed products built to high standards of engineering for long-term operational reliability.

Study: Amazon Emerges as Most Favored US Online Retailer

Posted on by Ann Klatt in E-Biz | Comments Off on Study: Amazon Emerges as Most Favored US Online Retailer

Person shopping onlineAmericans love to shop online at Amazon and Walmart more than any other e-commerce firm in the U.S., according to a Retail Week research.

The study noted that 52% of online shoppers prefer to buy items in Amazon. Walmart ranked next, followed by eBay and Wish. Even if these companies dominate the online retail market, there are ways for your business to capture a slice of consumer activity.

Competitive strategies

Point-of-sale finance providers serve as one option for smaller online retail companies to keep up with the competition. You should be aware that not everyone is keen on using a credit or debit card for their purchase, simply because of security reasons or not having either one of them.

A person who casually browses through your online catalogue will be more likely to purchase something if you offer a broad selection of consumer financing options. Most Americans have decided to shop online due to its convenience, so having a flexible payment system will be among their expectations. 

Consumer demand

An increase in demand for goods and services led to an increase in consumer spending during the last month of 2017, according to the Commerce Department. The 0.4% growth likely stemmed from the holiday season.

Still, a higher consumer sentiment served as a main factor for more purchases. Economists said that Americans used their savings to spend more as they hold a positive view of the economy. If consumers continue to spend at the same pace from December, however, they should continually earn more throughout 2018, according to Wells Fargo Securities senior economist Eugenio Aleman.

Online retailers need to think of more ways for improving customer experience, especially since consumer spending has been strong recently.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Second Location

Posted on by Joseph Stevenson in Information Facility | Comments Off on 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Second Location

Woman opening a second business branchMany entrepreneurs dream of building a business empire. While growth is synonymous with success, opening a second location after making money from your initial venture won’t seamlessly take you to the promised land. It may seem a reasonable move, but take note of the following things you should not do to avoid failing or struggling unnecessarily at the very least:

Expanding too early or rapidly

Expansion is an attractive thought because it signifies more profits. However, it could come back to bite you someday if the time isn’t ripe. Rapid growth is not without challenges. Your second shop might not share the luck of your triumphant first of the added headaches of scaling up, like hiring the wrong people. You might also find it extremely difficult to keep track of your financials.

Assuming your chance of securing a loan is high

Just because you begin making money, it doesn’t mean you automatically fall under the criteria of a lender. An experienced business loan finance company would check your deposit volume and gauge your revenue’s sufficiency to approve your application. Without having a detailed business plan, pledging collateral, and building your credit, the difficulty in obtaining the capital you need would certainly increase.

Thinking your successful strategy is fail-proof

Say you secure the funding you need to open a new branch, using your tried and tested “blueprint for success” doesn’t actually guarantee success. Sure, you should stick to the practices that have made your business profitable so far, but you need to craft a fresh marketing strategy tailored to the new location and local customers. Every place is unique, which is why applying the same approach to every region, city or community is a disaster waiting to happen.

Boldness is a key quality to increase the reach of your business successfully, but reason equally matters. Exercise due diligence and take no risks except heavily calculated ones to keep your expansion aspirations from backfiring.

4 Tips to Ace your College Entrance Exam

Posted on by Nihonmagazine in Higher Learning | Comments Off on 4 Tips to Ace your College Entrance Exam

Students taking examDuring the late 1800s, there were no standardized college entrance exams. The schools conducted their own entrance exams. For this reason, the test difficulties varied and were influenced by faculty interest.

Thankfully, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) came into the picture. The college entrance exams have become standardized, and all that the students have to worry about is passing one of them.

There are more things you could do to get into the school you want. Here are some of them:

1. Take Supplementary Lessons

Taking test prep courses for the SAT and ACT can help you get a picture of what the questions will be like on your exam. The coaches can provide tips on how to answer difficult questions and how to manage your time during the test. It will also be helpful to download practice questions on the ACT or SAT website.

2. Know the Differences

By familiarizing yourself with the differences of the SAT and ACT, you would be able to know how to prepare. They are slightly different from each other. Both assess your skills in Math, Essay, Reading, and Language. However, in SAT, there is a part of Math where you cannot use a calculator. On the other hand, the ACT also assesses your skills in Science Reasoning.

3. Read your Notes

Most questions that appear on the test are the ones that you have learned in the previous years of your schooling. For this reason, it is important that you read your notes.

4. Prepare Yourself

Do not forget your watch, calculator, and your snacks. Prepare your things the night before the exam and do not go out for a party. Avoid drinking coffee because it will make you feel nervous. Eat chocolate instead.

Remember that nobody fails the college entrance exam. You do not need to worry about scoring low because you would still be able to get into college. However, if you want to go to a good school, you should do your best to score high.