Reclaimed Furniture Is The New Trend For Decking Up Interiors
When environment is the hot concern of the millennium and things are going green, reclaimed furniture has come up as an eco-friendly way of dressing up your home. The United Nations Environment Program has enlisted twelve tree species as endangered. But these trees have always been a very popular choice for furniture creation. Every year 40 million acres forests are wiped out off the planet just for the sake of using the wood for making furniture. But now that these limited natural resources have started to dwindle, people are searching for environment friendly options for decking up their interiors. One of these green options is reclaimed wood.
What is reclaimed wood?
Reclaimed wood is nothing but recycled old lumber that has been discarded from decommissioned buildings and homes. This old lumber is then harvested, recycled and given another life. For example, you can use reclaimed wood in creating a dressing table or a coffee table.
Advantages of reclaimed furniture
There are several advantages of using reclaimed wood for making furniture. One is, as already said the environmental advantage of preserving the virgin trees and second is the absence of toxic substances. The normal furniture that people generally use is polished with paints and non-toxic glue. The concept of reclaimed furniture is to create beautiful home decor and utility articles that will boast of high quality and not even impact the environment negatively.
Create different looks
Reclaimed wood is excellent for creating rustic pieces of furniture that have a special aesthetic value. In many cases, it is even hard to tell if the reclaimed furniture is old. This is because, while refurbishing the reclaimed wood, all sorts of saw blade marks, nail holes and stains are removed to give that flawless look. For those who wish to get that antique look, they can ask the builders to retain these marks for that well-worn charm in their furniture pieces. In other cases, reclaimed furniture can be given a wide variety of designs with traditional or contemporary motifs to get that customized look.
Personal Assistant Services Business Is Exploding
Author: Stephanie Ostrea
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Tags: Personal Assistant, dog walker, animal care, concierge, elder care
The current economic scenario is dismal in the country. Well-known banks and mortgages companies have crashed. Some big businesses have gone bust. Millions have lost their jobs.
Yet surprisingly, in America the Personal Assistanting services business is exploding right now. The number of independently owned and operated companies serving time-strapped clients has mushroomed, right along with customer demand for such businesses. By all accounts, Personal Assisting services are one of the fastest growing small businesses in the USA.
A Personal Assistant service runs on the most basic of premises: people want things done but don’t have the time to do them. But they’re happy to pay someone to do them on their behalf. This service offering is also known as lifestyle management.
This business is an offshoot of the long tradition of the hotel concierge and their promise of exclusive personal service and local knowledge. In earlier times, such service was the exclusive preserve of the very wealthy.
Now, however, with falling data processing costs, cheaper direct channels of communication and the wider and easier availability of information on the internet, these services can be delivered more economically, and are within the reach and affordability of a wider audience. Little wonder then, new concierge businesses have sprung up in all the major metropolitan areas, promising to help manage the busy lifestyles of their corporate and personal customers.
The National Concierge Association, a Chicago-based group, was founded in the late 1990s as a networking and resource organization for both personal and hotel concierges. And in 2001, the International Concierge and Errand Association (ICEA) was set up in America, Today, both associations serve their members through essential resources, continuing education, networking opportunities and other professional help.
Although no exact figures are available about the number of concierge businesses in the county, it is estimated that there are several hundred, and the industry is still growing. And there is plenty of room for even more growth, industry analysts say.
The reasons for this stupendous growth are not difficult to fathom. Simply put, Americans are working harder than ever, and finding it increasingly difficult to cope up with their workload at offices or businesses while trying to fulfill personal and familial chores and responsibilities. It is seen that most people end up accumulating heaps of stuff – both in the workplace and in their homes.
In a recent survey by Steelcase, a leading designer and manufacturer of office furnishings, 27 percent of office workers described themselves as “pilers,” while 12 percent described themselves as pack rats. Taking care of all that “stuff” requires time and organization. Some people need help just to get organized; others could manage the paperwork if they weren’t saddled with so many other chores. That’s why they turn to (or would like to be able to turn to) personal assisting/concierges to help keep them organized, run errands, and ensure that business and personal responsibilities are fulfilled. Another survey, co-sponsored by AOL and Women’s Day in 2005, found that 67% of people would prefer a personal assistant to a life coach.
On the other hand, the main reason the number of independently owned personal assistant/concierge companies has skyrocketed is because the start-up costs and barriers of entry have become quite feasible for many entrepreneurs.
Another big reason for the growth and popularity of personal assistant/concierge businesses is that they serve very wide spectrum of customers. From small business owners, busy professionals, seniors living independently, two-career families, recuperating patients, out-of-town visitors, realtors, lawyers, busy moms to new parents. In fact, anyone who feels overwhelmed with their to-do lists.
And they provide an incredible array of services: from informational requests, setting dinner reservations, making telephone calls, researching travel arrangements, sorting out bills, organizing activities, personal shopping, waiting for deliveries, grocery shopping, pet sitting and much more. They do more than run errands. They stand in lines, research events, book tickets, plan your holiday vacations and can find the most efficient and affordable methods of travel when needed. In essence, a good concierge creates a second you, completing your tasks exactly the way you want them done. A personal assisting/concierge can customize their offerings. They may choose which services to offer and when to conduct business, making this a fairly flexible job.
And for the customer, the best part of the personal assistant/concierge business is the payment for the services. Typically, concierge companies bill on an hourly rate, and depending upon the type of task at hand the charges can vary. But when you hire a personal concierge, you don’t have to pay salary or employee benefits. The personal concierge is a business owner.
The author Stephanie Ostrea is the owner of AYSNW LLC (At Your Service North West LLC) (http://www.aysnw.com), one of the reputed full-service Personal Assistant/Concierge Service companies, based in Woodinville, WA. Stephanie is a former corporate manager with 25 years experience in customer service at all levels. Educated in Human Services field, she is passionate about environment conservation, preparing nutrient dense foods for herself and others, volunteering for community projects and growing her own food.
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Miami Rental Property: 5 Dangers to Avoid When Renting It Out
1. Not taking it seriously
Transforming your home in a rental or buying a Miami rental property is a business; hence, you must take it seriously. Casual checks every now and them won’t cut it. In fact, if you fail to treat your rental as a business, you could face some major legal troubles.
Once the home has become a Miami rental property, for instance, it automatically becomes a business. This means that you are obligated to report its income to the IRS and your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the house once it becomes a rental business. Be sure to have the right insurance to safeguard your property from any accidents.
2. Going solo
Even if you’re good in numbers and excellent in managing affairs, it is still important to hire yourself a property manager. You can find the right person through the National Association of Residential Property Managers. The right professional from an agency can give you a helpful insight on the rental rules and regulations of Florida.
3. Skipping in background checks
Don’t be too hasty in accepting tenants. One of the most important parts of screening for potential renters is background checks. Dig up any possible red flags and cautionary tales from the prospect’s history. Furthermore, don’t forget to check his or her credit. Accepting a financially-sound tenant can help you avoid any future problems with the rent.
4. Not furnishing a lease
Although many landlords accept renters with a handshake, they’ll be singing a different tune if problems occur in the future. Failing to provide a binding lease can cause you legal problems in the future if the tenant goes about with his or her way with the property. To avoid future snags, have everything in writing.
5. Failing to ensure safety of the tenants
When it comes to residential Miami rental properties, it is important to ensure the safety of your tenants while living in your property. You must be aware of any faulty wirings, structural damages and other possible hazards, and address them accordingly. Remember that ignorance of the law is not an excuse, thus meeting the city’s building safety codes is tremendously essential.
Mark Michael Ferrer
Miami Rental Property
Punjab SMEs getting automated
At a time when maintaining full capacity production and bearing high costs have become difficult for most businesses in Punjab, investment in automating processes by small firms in the state still continue to be steady. Despite facing severe hurdles on various fronts, small-scale units in the Punjab’s industrial sector are investing substantially in automation.
The globalised economic scenario, challenging trading environment and the need to stay ahead in the competitive market are some of the major factors for prompting Punjab SMEs to step-up their level of investments in automation.
Greater awareness about the benefits of adoption of automation process during an economic crisis has also prompted many SMEs to keep pace with global practices and embrace automation technologies.
The adverse effects of the global economic slowdown witnessed during the last 1 year had put the margins of several SME units in Punjab under tremendous pressure, thereby making it imperative for them to rationalise costs and increase efficiency. Therefore, the need to cut down costs and enhance quality has made it necessary for Punjab SMEs to invest in automation.
“Automation is a key element of technology adoption process and helps entrepreneurs in increasing productivity and reliability in their operation. In order to deal with the recessionary pressures, small industrial units will have to make strategic and tactical shifts to automation technologies,” said Vineet Laddha, proprietor of Saroj Garments, a supplier of textile and apparel garments in Amritsar, Punjab.
Several SME clusters in and around Punjab such as auto components, textiles, farm-equipments, sports goods, agricultural implements, leather and machine tools among others, have also started increasing spends on automating their processes.
“Frequently changing preferences in the product-mix as well as the need to manufacture standardised products have made it indispensable for Punjab SMEs to invest in automation,” said Param Gill, proprietor of Sai Tools, a small-sized machine tool company in Jalandhar.
By adopting automation, SMEs in Punjab can bring about improvements in their business performance and increase management agility. Complete automation of processes by SME units in the state can bring manifold increase in the value and volume of their businesses.
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