Don’t Waste Space: Why Businesses Need to Invest in Their Outdoor Common Areas

In business, you are always trying to compete with everyone else in your market, and that means finding better ways to make use of the resources you have. That way, you can attract more investment, increase cash flow, and create more customer and employee happiness. One of the things that you need to have focus and attention on is your outdoor communal space. Letting it sit there can be more than just wasteful, it can be damaging to your company’s image and security. Leverage it in the following ways.

Create Common Space for Employee Morale 

An outdoor green space is a beautiful sight to see, especially when all you see every day is the cubicle walls of your office. Creating a common area with green lawns and decorative plants gives your employees the visual break they need to shake their cabin fever and stay productive. Commercial utility construction in Middlesex County, NJ and beyond is becoming more popular as people recognize that their employees want more beautiful spaces to enjoy in their break time. Not only does this increase productivity and maintain the mental and emotional health of your employees, but it will increase employee retention, as well. Investing in your employees’ wellbeing shows that you care, and it will make them more loyal to your company in turn. 

Landscaping Impresses Investors 

Your investors want to see you make the most of the assets you have. After all,their money is on the line, and a dirty lot outside of your building does not inspire confidence. If the company they invest in can’t even maintain their own property, what does that mean about their ability to maintain the company as a whole? In addition to pleasing your current investors, it also attracts new ones. A well-kept lot shows that your company is flourishing and that it takes great care in even the little details, both important aspects in any investment.

Sewer and Gas Control 

If you do landscaping, you have more control of the sewer, power, and gas lines below. Allowing others to control the land surrounding your company can lead to tree roots growing through your pipes, resulting in costly repairs. Professionals can be found on sites like icunj.us ,and they can help both with ensuring that your utility lines are protected with covers and guide you in your placement of landscaping installments to ensure that you don’t have flora or other contaminants attacking your utilities.

Pest Control 

Pests can pop out from anywhere. But if your common space is unkempt, you’ll be giving them the shelter they need to sneak into your building. Keep the bugs and rats at bay with beautiful, trimmed green spaces that reduce hiding places and make a hostile environment for them to build long-term habitats. If your land is well-maintained, the activity itself will discourage any pests from setting up shop, and keeping weeds and other sheltering plants away from the base of your building with landscaping will prevent invaders from getting too close.

When it comes to getting the most you can out of everything you’ve got, your outdoor common areas can be a key asset. However, if left unmaintained, they can act as a liability. Worse than use it or lose it, you need to take your outdoor spaces into deep consideration with the rest of your building maintenance if you want to prevent costly problems in the future. Take control of your property and make it work for you, rather than against you.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

3 Ways to Keep Your Business Location Secure and Safe

Your business faces threats that go beyond the stiff competition of other companies. In fact, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, the biggest threat you face is against the security of the building itself. Since the building represents such a significant capital investment,it’s important to do all you can to keep it safe and secure. Fortunately,keeping your business’s building secure doesn’t have to be complicated, so long as you know what areas of security to focus on. Here are three great ways to get started. 

Add Cameras 

If your business doesn’t involve retail sales, it may not occur to you to have security cameras on-site. After all, without anything to steal, the risk of break-in is greatly reduced, right? Actually, whether yours is a retail location or not, utilizing security cameras is a great way to increase the safety of your building. All buildings contain items of value that thieves would be tempted to try and break in and steal. 

Cameras provide a strong deterrent to thieves, understanding that their anonymity will be in jeopardy. Plus, if a crime does occur, cameras provide irrefutable evidence of what actually occurred, allowing you to prosecute the crimes quickly so you can resume business as usual, as soon as possible. 

Lights On

One of the easiest ways to keep your business secure is simply to leave some lights on,even when you leave for the night. Though this may seem like an unnecessary waste of electricity, leaving lights on can help deter crime by making the interior of your business more visible to those who pass by.

Adding strong exterior lighting, as well, ensures that there are no hidden areas for anyone to be taking part in illegal activity. Not to mention, extra lighting in and around your business allows those previously mentioned security cameras to perform better. 

Change Your Locks 

If other people besides you have access to a key for the exterior doors, it’s a good idea to change the locks on those doors, on occasion. After all, even if people turn in their keys when they leave the company, you never know if they have vengeful motives that have led them to make a copy of the key to be able to break in later.

Especially if an employee’s tenure ends under difficult circumstances, it’s important to consider changing your locks to ensure they can’t wreak havoc at a later time. Having the locks installed by a professional locksmithensures the job is done quickly and correctly, the first time. 

As with most things in life, properly securing your business requires you to strike a balance to ensure the best outcome. In this case, that balance is between costs and security procedures. You can fortify your business to become nearly impenetrable, however, you may find that you have no money left to actually run your business. By utilizing the above techniques, you’ll be able to minimize your costs and maintain a secure building.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

How to Prepare Your Business Location for All 4 Seasons

Regardless of whether you own your business facility or you are leasing the space, it is essential that this area remains well-maintained at all times. Proper seasonal maintenance may ensure excellent energy efficiency for financial savings. It may also keep many types of property repair concerns at bay. Remember that the condition of your facility may also affect your employees’ health in some cases as well as the impression that your customers have about your business. These are a few leading seasonal maintenance tips that business owners can easily follow.

Test Indoor Monitors and Sensors

Your office’s indoor smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors should be checked multiple times each year. You should check their functionality as well as the remaining battery power in them. Because this should be completed every couple of months, it makes sense to include this task on your to-do list at the beginning of each season. Make sure to call in the help of commercial hvac services.

Schedule Seasonal HVAC Service

The condition of your HVAC system affects indoor air quality, the longevity of your system, your comfort level, energy efficiency and more. Follow the maintenance recommendations from your system’s manufacturer. In many cases, this recommendation is for service before the heater and the AC are turned on for the first time each season. Remember to replace the air filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Re-Seal Windows and Exterior Doors

The seals around your business property’s windows and doors can easily deteriorate. This common problem can detract from your HVAC system’s ability to do its job efficiently. You may feel uncomfortable draughts inside the building, and you may notice that your energy bill is higher than it once was. Re-sealing doors and windows is an easy maintenance project that can have excellent results.

Show Your Plumbing System Some Love

Before the cold weather season arrives, ensure that all exposed pipes are wrapped and protected. Drain the exterior sprinkler system if your business uses one. The spring or summer season is a great time to schedule pipe cleaning and hot water heater service. Remember that any developing repair issue should be properly addressed as soon as possible.

There may be many additional maintenance steps that are required on your business property throughout the year. These are most common and may be most relevant to many businesses. A smart idea is to create a maintenance schedule that breaks down tasks per the season. By doing so, you can more easily stay on top of seasonal maintenance.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

5 Ways Your Security Team Can Help Keep Your Company Safe

Business owners have a lot of responsibilities. This includes responsibilities to customers, employees, business partners, suppliers and the government. One of the most important responsibilities a business owner has is managing security operations. If you ignore security, it can put the well-being of the entire company at risk. Below are five things you should make sure your security team has covered to ensure that your business remains protected.

Secure Your Network

In today’s interconnected world, the biggest threats to businesses aren’t necessarily criminals that show up in person. Today, some of the biggest threats to businesses are hackers, cyber criminals, malware, viruses, Trojans and other cyber security threats. It has been estimated the annual cost of cyber-crime will rise to $2 trillion by 2019. Make cyber security a cornerstone of your security operations for your business.

Screen Your Employees

Your human resources department is actually directly related to security. If you don’t properly screen your employees with criminal background checks during the hiring process, you could hire criminals that are likely reoffend while under your employment. This could mean losing money to theft. It could even mean being sued when customers or other employees are put at risk.

Provide Radio Communications to Security Staff

In regards to securing your physical buildings and grounds, you will need to have security personnel on hand to deal with intruders and other security threats. However, your security personnel will not be able to accomplish much without the ability to efficiently communicate. Companies like Altech Electronics provide radio communications solutions specifically designed for security purposes.

Install Security Cameras

Something else you will need is electronic surveillance of your grounds. Without surveillance camera footage to examine after the fact, it can be very hard to solve or prove crimes. Make sure all significant areas of your grounds and buildings where theft or crime could occur are under video camera surveillance at all times.

Train Employees on Security Procedures

Even employees that are not part of your security staff should be trained on important security procedures. If employees do not know what to do when they come across evidence of a crime taking place, significant mistakes can be made. Employees must also be trained on how to maintain cyber security when dealing with company computer systems.

Overall, maintaining security is one of the most important responsibilities of a business owner. If you ignore security threats, the ramifications can be severe. It can even lead to the end of your business. Make security a priority and make the proper investments to protect your company.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

4 Things to Check When Choosing Your New Business Location

You are getting ready to expand into a new business location. This is an exciting time for your company because it means you are finally entering the first major step in your company’s growth stage. Hopefully, if everything works out the way you planned, you will be pulling in twice the revenue and possibly more before the year is finished. However, there are a few things you still need to check out before choosing a new business location.

Traffic

When moving to a new location, the amount of traffic, both vehicles and foot traffic, is going to help determine how much business you will be doing. If the location you are looking at has low rates of traffic, this can become restrictive to your ability to generate sufficient revenue. By positioning yourself in a high traffic area, you will increase your opportunities for attracting customers to your new location.

Local Codes

Before you sign that lease, you need to know if something about how you do business will be in violation with local codes and city ordinances. Usually, you can obtain this information directly from the county building or government center for the county in which your business resides. This is important to check because you do not want any surprises sneaking up on you that could cause unnecessary financial strain on your business.

Building Maintenance and Repair

If you are buying the building you intend to expand into, then you should expect that there will be a few building maintenance and repair costs associated with moving into a new location. This is why you should be ready to work with an experienced company such as Drey Roofing who can manage any commercial building repairs, such as a new roof, for example, that may require a lot of work.

Your Parking Lot

In order to accommodate high enough customer or client volume, you will need to have adequate parking for employees and those frequenting your business. Not only should you make sure the parking lot is big enough, but it should be repainted too. Nothing gives a new location a fresh look like a parking lot that looks fantastic and has adequate parking.

Conclusion

You are about ready to open your new location. Since you did all your homework before making the big move, everything went smoothly as planned. Now it is time to open the doors for business and provide your company’s much-needed products and services to your local community.

Office Remodel: How to Keep Your Employees Accommodated during Major Renovations

While your office is being renovated there are a number of challenges that can pop up unexpectedly. Aside from the typical contractor and construction issues, it is likely that your employees will have some of their own issues from the noise, dust, parking issues, and other problems that come with a construction project on this scale. Luckily, there are a few different strategies one can use in order to minimize this issue. In the following guide, we will examine some ways to keep your employees accommodated during major renovations.

Determine Parking

Often times one of the biggest inconveniences for employees during an office remodel is the parking situation. Many office buildings are located in busy areas of town and already have issues with parking. Taking away even a small percentage of dedicated spots can cause havoc with on-time arrivals, towed cars, and many other snafus that are bound to come up. This may also help with your business insurance- employee cars that have to be parked off property tend to raise insurance rates.

Set up a parking plan before your remodel begins so that your employees will have a clear understanding of where to park. If you are in a busy urban area, try and speak with nearby businesses to reach some kind of arrangement where your employees can park there temporarily. An ounce of prevention in this situation is worth even more than a pound of cure.

Bathroom Replacements

If your remodel is in your bathroom facilities or will be blocking access it is incredibly important that you set up alternative restroom facilities for your employees. Not only is it the right thing to do- it is the law. There are two ways that you can arrange for your employees to have access to restrooms during work hours.

The first is to hire a portable toilet company like Direct Hire. An organization like this can provide for all of your bathroom needs and washing. These services will travel to your location- no construction on your end involved at all. You also have the option of making a deal with a local business and using their facilities if need be.

An office renovation does not have to be a horrible experience for everyone involved. Similar to other problems in life, it can be avoided or lessened with some planning. Use the information and tips we went over in this article in order to keep your employees accommodated during an office renovation.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Business Investing 101: What to Look For In a Commercial Property

If you are buying a property abroad because you want to expand or if you are buying a property in your own country and you want to take things to that next level then there are a couple things that you need to know. After all, you need to know the market you are going to invest in, why you need to make the purchase and even any goals that you have as well. Below you’ll find some advice that will help you out if you are a first-time buyer who is investing in the property market for the very first time.

Finding the Right Property

Searching for the right property can be difficult. You need to take into account every single aspect of your business and you also need to take into account how much money you can make from that property as well. One thing that a lot of people overlook is the impression that property is going to make on their clients and this is a huge part of your purchase. You need to make sure that it is going to make you look professional and that it is accessible as well. This isn’t as important if you plan on running a warehouse or even a storage facility, but it is very important if you plan on opening up your own retail store. After all, if people can’t find you then they certainly aren’t going to want to do business with you and this can have a serious impact on your investment. For this reason, if you are opting to have a store or even a retail location then you have to make sure that it is near public transportation lines, that it is easy to find and that it is very close to other local amenities. This even applies if you are opening up a set of new offices as well because it’s super important that your staff are able to get to work without going through too much effort. Another thing that you need to think about is the impression that this location will have on your investors. If you choose a location that is run-down and generally not very safe, you may see potential in it but your investors probably won’t and this could cause them to jump ship.

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Facilities

The facilities that the new location has are also very important. If you are opening your store or your business to customers then you need to make sure that you have both male and female toilets. If you are just opening a store and you don’t plan on providing your customers with bathroom facilities then you can have a staff bathroom for both genders without any problems. This can be a single cubicle and it can be located away from the initial storefront. If your facility already comes with all of this then you can be sure to save a ton of money in the future and you will also be providing your customers with the facilities they need at the same time.

Business Activity

If you want to look into a mortgage for your business then this link may help: https://www.propertyguru.com.my/resources/buy-property-guide/the-complete-guide-to-obtaining-a-mortgage-loan-for-property-in-malaysia. If you already have your loan sorted then it’s time to look into what activity your business is going to have. For example, if you plan on opening up an office then you need to know how many desks you need to have and you also need to know the space that you need to accommodate them as well. When you have this information you can then try and plan out how you are going to fit everything within your floor plan. It’s super important that you figure out all of this information before you invest in the property because the last thing that you need is to buy the space, only to find that it isn’t actually as suitable as you thought. Another thing that you need to do is make sure that your floor can accommodate the weight. For example, if you are looking for a warehouse space then you need to make sure that it can accommodate the weight of a lot of forklift trucks. It also helps to know if the entrance is going to be big enough for this machinery as well.

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Access

If you want to have a lot of success with your business then you need to make sure that it is accessible for just about everyone. For example, if you have a business that is on a higher level then you need to make sure that you have a lift so that you can provide those who need it with disabled access. Not only is this important for your customers, but it’s also important for your employees as well. You also need to think about the layout of the building and if it is in line with all of the fire and safety regulations. For example, if you are buying an older property and one of the exits is boarded up then you may have to get this sorted out sooner rather than later and you may also want to take note of any other potential damages as well.

Renovation

Buying an older property is great and you can save a lot of money by doing this as well. The main problem with this is that you could run into problems that you didn’t even know were present. For this reason, you need to have some money put to one side so that you can prepare for this and you also need to make sure that you aren’t going up to your maximum budget either. After all, things always go wrong and if you are not ready for all of this then you could end up making a really bad investment. It’s important that you take your time and that you leave some money to one side to help any emergencies or urgent purchases that may come up along the way. When you do this, you can easily make the most out of your investment.