How the Landscape Affects Your Office Building Construction

Erecting an office building from an empty lot takes a lot of land preparation and specialized equipment. To install a foundation, the site needs to be level. Putting in lower levels or digging trenches means getting through tree roots and rocks. Then, after the building goes up, controlling rainwater is important to protecting the structure. With time, landscaping architects and slab experts can provide solutions for these problems, but only if you catch them in advance.

Uneven soil impedes foundation builds

Your office needs solid ground and a sturdy base. Without these basic needs, the building can crack, shift, or collapse. The first thing builders need is an even surface to put the foundation. To get flat ground, all trees, weeds, rocks, and gravel need removing. Groundwater tables help engineers determine if foundation piles or bracing are necessary. Soil testing by boring dirt samples to see the composition of the earth layers helps the construction team find out what is beneath the surface before construction begins. 

Rocky ground is tough for laying cables

Knowing how deep the rock layer goes and whether the dirt is sandy or clay-like helps construction teams know which equipment to use for digging trenches for underground cables. For large rock issues, a rock boring hire might be necessary to drill the boulders. Once in smaller pieces, regular construction equipment can remove the material and ship it off the site. Having an inspection done before buying the land for development can help prevent this and other costs, so be discerning in your choice of land. Not all empty lots are created equal for building.

Tree roots are plumbing disasters

Your office needs restrooms and plumbing you can count on to deliver water and remove sewage properly. When building on a site with a lot of trees or overgrowth, roots will pose issues. Proactive removal of roots is one way builders can ensure that your pipes last. Existing buildings need a regular inspection to find problems before they become disasters. Make sure that you are aware of where the plumbing lines are laid even after the construction is long over so that you can prevent trees from being planted too close to them.

Proper grading is necessary to prevent slab problems

Whether you have a new office or work from an old building, rain is a problem. Keeping the foundation dry is important to preventing problems with settling and cracking. Historic sites must meet specific local and state regulations. Complying with these codes is easier when a proactive rainwater removal system is in place. Gutters, sloped landscaping, and ground stabilizing treatments help keep the soil even and prevent water from sitting against basements and foundations. 

Even if you plan to bulldoze the lot, the landscape of your construction site will affect the building long-term if not properly addressed. Working with the climate and utilizing the right equipment to start off with is important. While not all elements of the landscape can be altered permanently (such as climate or the property surrounding yours,) regular inspections can help you head off problems before they become costly.

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.

How to Decrease Costly Down Time During Construction Projects

Downtime during a construction project can have a big impact on both worker productivity and your ability to meet project deadlines. Any amount of downtime will can build up over time, and oftentimes downtime in one area will cause more in another. Although downtime on the job is inevitable at some point, it is a good idea to learn a few strategies you can use to prevent wasted work hours. Below, you will find a few tips for keeping your machines and operations running as effectively as possible. 

Rotate Workers

A lot of downtime can come from the physical needs of your workers. Long hours of working can be exhausting. Not only does this result in your employees requiring breaks, but their productivity can slow down as they become more tired leading up to those breaks. One way you can mitigate this is to rotate your employees. Set up shifts so that, when one set of workers are tiring and need a break, the set can rotate in and take over. Even just rotating tasks so that some can do restful activities, such as supervising and directing operations, in between more physically demanding activities can help keep your team fresh and efficient. Talk to your workers about their rest needs and work patterns to create a schedule that will work best for everyone.

Engage in Preventative Maintenance

Your workers aren’t the only ones affected by long work hours. Your machines will also need breaks and checkups to ensure that they are working efficiently. Machines work long and hard to bring your construction ideas to life, and maintaining them regularly can help you avoid the cost of full repairs and needless downtime later. Develop a preventative maintenance plan that includes things like inspections and selective repair work. Consider getting a guaranteed cost agreement for the life of the machines as well. If you have engines or motors that are frequently worked close to overheating, consider ways to rotate equipment so that each will suffer less strain and wear over time.

Manage the Details

Any large or small construction project will have a plethora of logistics attached to it in addition to the physical labor. However, your project managers and workers don’t always have access to all of the relevant information they need while they are on the project site. If they are unclear on points such as local building codes, work schedules, or subcontractors in the area, then it can be time consuming to try and coordinate with those who do have that information. Construction management services, however, can help you and your employees keep track of all operations and relevant information through phones, tablets, and laptops. This ensures that all necessary information is readily available to all relevant parties. Missed calls, emails, and elusive or vague calendars will no longer have the power to slow down your project completion rate when you have the proper management and tracking solutions. 

Consider the Weather

One of the biggest factors influencing downtime for construction is complications with the weather. Whether it’s rain, snow, wind, or even blistering heat, certain steps cannot be completed in extreme conditions. Make sure that you are keeping careful track of weather trends when scheduling project completion dates. Take steps to prepare for potential delays from the weather by getting what needs proper conditions done first. Ensure you have the right equipment, such as tarps, canopies, heaters, and dehumidifiers to help mitigate the effect of the weather on your work. Also, find ways to make even downtime productive by taking the opportunity to run equipment checks indoors, assemble necessary equipment and parts, organize paperwork, and create action plans for when the weather lets up.

Downtime is an inevitable part of any construction project, but not all of it is necessary. By taking precautionary measures, planning carefully, and orchestrating your tasks and operations effectively, you can greatly reduce wasted time and increase project completion speeds. The tips outlined above are just a few of the ways you can lessen the negative financial impact of downtime on your business.

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.

Insurance Debate: What Should You Do to Protect Your Business?

Every year, business across the United States face billions of dollars in losses. These losses can be caused by environmental disasters, civil lawsuits, inventory shrinkage, accounting fraud, cyber attacks, and a variety of other issues. If a business isn’t prepared for these types of situations, they can face significant financial losses. Fortunately, it’s possible to protect your business by taking the right precautions. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks on how to manage risks at your business or company.

Identify Threats and Weaknesses

When running a business, it’s important to create a SWOT chart. A SWOT chart lists a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and opportunities are a good way to look for potential growth in a company. On the other hand, weaknesses and threats help a company identify areas where they could experience potential losses.

Plans

Once you’ve identified all the threats and weaknesses in your organization, it’s time to begin addressing each of them. Companies should have three separate sets of plans for a potential problem. These include preventive plans, action plans, and resolution plans.

Preventative

Preventive plans include all steps that a company takes to minimize the risk of a problem occurring. For example, imagine that a company operates a large fleet of vehicles. If a company vehicle is involved in an accident where a third party is seriously injured, the company may face civil liability. This can be mitigated by doing several things, including drug testing of drivers and proper maintenance of all vehicles. 

Action

Action plans are the steps a company should use while a disaster is taking place. In the example above, an action plan may be a set of instructions that a driver should follow in the event they’re in an accident. This could include calling insurance companies, calling a company’s HR hotline, a company legal team, and more.

Resolution

Finally, a resolution plan is a series of steps a company should take to reduce the risk of civil judgment and resultant losses. Civil liability insurance can help a company minimize many of these risks.

For example, imagine that a housing contractor builds a home that collapses and kills several occupants. If all the workers on that job site are properly bonded and insured, the liability to the company itself will be much lower. Without insurance, a company could be on the hook for millions of dollars in this type of situation.

A great insurance planned coupled with preventative measures, like video surveillance systems, thorough employee vetting, and superior safety standards, will keep your business safe. By taking the right precautions, companies can reduce and eliminate many common risks that could result in financial loss.

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.

Run Your Office More Efficiently In These 3 Ways

Clearly, if you want your office to be run in the best possible way, you need to make sure that you are going to know how to achieve that and what it entails. Most business owners will want their office to be run as efficiently as possible, and this is something that takes a lot of time to get right. However, by understanding some of the basics of what are involved, we can appreciate what it takes to run an office truly efficiently. In this article, we will look specifically at just a few examples of what you can do to make sure that your office is run more efficiently. If you take these things on board and put them into action, you will find that you can expect greater results from your office, and that you will therefore have a healthier business as well. Let’s take a look and see what it takes.

The Right IT

All businesses these days need to have a real positive understanding of their IT systems and how they are used if they hope to have an efficiently run office. After all, you are going to be using this IT in many ways, so the clearer you are on this, the more likely it is that you will be able to make good use of it. One of the best things to think about there is to make sure you have the right kind of systems in place for your office specifically, and that they are providing the right kind of solution for you. You will also want to make sure that you have good IT support, either in the form of an in-house team or you could visit this website to find a company which can help you out on that front. Either way, as long as you can look after your IT properly, your office will benefit from this.

Streamlining

It’s also important to make sure that you are keeping things as simple as can be in the office. If you find that your procedures often get a little too complex, then this can really cause some trouble and means that the office is not going to work as efficiently as it could. Instead, you should aim to keep things simple, and that means that you might need to focus on some kind of streamlining process at some point. The more streamlined you keep the processes within your office, the more simple it will remain, and that will mean that everything is considerably more streamlined as a result.

Employee Numbers

There is something of a balance to be struck when it comes to trying to keep your employee numbers in the best possible position too, for having the right number of people can really make a huge difference overall. If you have too many, then you may well struggle to keep things simple, but having too few will mean that you don’t get anything done. Work hard to find the balance between the two, so that you can run your office as efficiently as you would hope.

Enticing Potential Employees: 4 Strategies for Making Your Company an Attractive Workplace

Attracting new and qualified employees can often be a challenging and complex process. There are many factors to consider when recruiting new employees, such as the background, qualifications, and educational history you are looking for. Many qualified applicants are searching for specific qualities in companies when job hunting. Therefore, not only will you need to be aware of the type of employees you are searching for, but you will also need to ensure that you have created a company culture that is conducive to their needs. The following information provides four helpful strategies you may want to consider in order to make your company an attractive workplace for job seekers.

Create a Desirable Company Culture

You should strive to create a desirable company culture by developing an environment that promotes innovation, inclusion, and diversity. This will allow employees to think freely and creatively to come up with new solutions to business problems. It will also show that the company is ethical in its hiring and promotion strategies. Everyone should feel like a valuable asset to the company, and employees should be encouraged to be respectful to each other despite their differences. All of these factors combined should help to create a company culture that attracts the top talent and discourages high employee turnover rates.

Offer Competitive Wages and Benefits

You will also need to make sure that you are offering competitive wages and benefits to your employees. The top talent wants to work for a company that values them and invests in their potential and professional success. Therefore, you should encourage their growth and always strive to reward hard work.

Make Ethical Decisions

Your company should strive to create a positive and ethical reputation for itself. This can be achieved through manufacturing products in an ethical manner that doesn’t damage the environment or communities. It can also be helpful to give back to your local communities through charitable endeavors and to listen to the feedback and concerns of your customers in order to provide them with the best products and services.

Become More Eco-friendly

Many companies are making a shift towards becoming more eco-friendly. This is something all businesses should consider because the health of our ecosystems is vital to our future. Ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly decisions include reducing your energy and water usage, manufacturing products in a way that causes less harm to the environment, and disposing of waste in the proper manner through research and by hiring professionals, such as aerosol disposal services.

Overall, there are many ways you can make your company a more attractive option for talented and qualified applicants. You just need to strive to be ethical and compliant and to invest in the future of your employees. The aforementioned tips make excellent starting points and there are always ways to improve and grow in order to become a better company for your employees.

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

Marketing for Indie Game Designers: How to Ensure Your Work Gets the Attention It Deserves

Even the most entertaining and challenging game is a bust if nobody plays it. The internet gives customers access to thousands of video games spanning dozens of genres and age ranges. To get noticed, indie developers have to ferociously market their game through conventional and creative tactics. While there is no perfect solution for marketing success, there are a few basic tips that every game designer should use.

Build Your Game’s Reputation Before Launch

Anticipation can be an amazing marketing force, especially if the game delivers as promised. Designers should start building awareness of their game months before their planned launch date. In some cases, getting a small group of dedicated players to serve as alpha and beta testers is a great way to accelerate mechanics development and bug fixing.

Connect with Media Influencers

The video gaming industry has grown to enormous proportions in recent decades, so it’s no surprise that there are many media outlets that cater specifically to this user base. Game developers should keep in touch with the community by reading blogs, forums and industry news so they can identify potential marketing outlets. Connecting with even a few high-profile bloggers can provide a huge public relations boost.

Consider Third-Party Distribution

Third-party distribution is not an easy decision for any developers, whether they are indie or established. There are a lot of options for distribution platforms, so designers have to do their research to figure out the best one for their game. Some gaming portals are designed specifically for indie or casual games, so it can be a great way to connect directly with the target consumer base.

Create an Engaging Website

Every game designer who is serious about marketing their game needs a website where people can learn more about the game and the development team. These sites don’t need to be incredibly complex or detailed, but they should be entertaining, engaging, and represent the spirit of the game. Game site builder tools can simplify the process of creating and maintaining the site while leaving plenty of creative options for users. 

It’s tempting to brush off marketing as a secondary priority or something that will resolve itself, but this can be a disastrous attitude for indie developers. Engaging in public relations outreach may be uncomfortable, unfamiliar and confusing, but taking the time to communicate and connect with users is a necessary step in getting the attention the game deserves.

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 Ways to Build Subscriber Lists for Your New Business

If you have a new business, then you need to have the right approach to increase sales and customer engagement. There is no better way to do that other than building a subscriber list with email. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, if you follow the four tips below you can have a solid list in no time:

In-Store Calls to Action

When people walk into your store, they are seeing everything for the first time. They might notice a new product, your design, the layout, or something else. However, if you have a call to action to get on your list, then you are going to increase your chances of converting them in the store without having to say a word. Don’t miss out on the money you could make by getting people signed up from a simple logo or banner.

Text Messages

The reality is that sms services for small business can help you build your list. When you think about it, everyone has a cell phone today. This is different than a few decades ago.

People are checking their phones constantly. No one lets their text messages go unchecked. Eventually, they are going to look down and check their texts. When they see something from your business, you have a chance to convert them. You can use a number of enticing angles and offers to get them to sign up. Either way, having an email list is much easier when you manage them with texts.

Website Opt-ins

Do not just put up a website and hope people will come. You need to do much more than that if you want to get people on your list. You need to have some kind of offer. For instance, you can offer a free service or a discount when they sign up.

Social Media Posts

Underestimating the power and scale of social media is a big mistake. With a small budget, you can get a lot of results with social media. The key is to understand which platform your users are going to be on and then execute.

Getting more out of your business means building a list in today’s world. However, without a strategy you can execute, it is going to be difficult. So make sure you give yourself and advantage and use the tips above. That way, you are ensuring your list will grow by the day and put your business in a great position.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂