Redefining Retail: Why Shopping is Better at Boutiques

Studies comparing retail trade sales in 2017 to that of 2018 show that sales for clothing and accessories went up by 4.7%. This shows that online shopping hasn’t completely taken over the retail industry. In fact, small independent businesses are continuously thriving, earning large sums despite having three physical locations, at most.

Boutiques provide the market with different benefits that online shops can’t offer. The physicality and actuality of the goods alone make in-store shopping a greater, more enjoyable experience.

Shopping Experience

Nothing beats the shopping experience of being in-store. This is especially important to consider when weighing the benefits that clothing store franchise opportunities bring.

While it can be beyond convenient to access an online store on your smartphone, being able to actually try the clothes on and examine them makes shopping in-store a worthwhile activity. More often than not, cameras can’t exactly capture the specific colors, dimensions, and even the sheerness of a garment. For example, what appears to be opaque in photos can be see-through in real life. In-store shopping affords you the real deal.

Boutiques let you fit, examine, and take in the feeling of wearing the clothing item that you like. Sizes and other colors can be readily available, letting you choose from different options as they are. This allows customers to get exactly what they want, reducing the chances of returns and refunds.

Fast Fashion

Independently owned boutiques can quickly reproduce looks fresh off the most recent fashion shows, without the hefty price tag. The rapidly changing demands of customers today require boutiques to release items in line with what’s trendy. By selling affordable and fast fashion choices, customers can be on-trend while sticking to their budget.

person with a lor of shopping bags

This constant introduction of clothing items and other products is advantageous to retailers because it encourages fashion enthusiasts to visit your boutique more frequently. Fashion consumers are more attracted to items that are of seasonal or limited availability.

In addition, with inventory, boutiques have the benefit of cost efficiency. Excessive stocks from previous lines can be re-released once that trend comes back in the spotlight.

Brand Loyalty and Trust

An important part of a customer’s shopping experience is customer service. From sizes to alterations, in-store associates provide immediate assistance to shoppers. Today, customers would rather transact with small businesses because of the personal connection they have with the people who run it. Having face-to-face transactions make for real and authentic moments – something customers don’t usually get when shopping online. The owners and employees make a big impact on building trust and influence as they are the face of your brand. This is what makes people trust your brand, so you can be sure that they will keep coming back for more if you provide them with positive in-store service moments.

By giving customers unique shopping experiences and consistently keeping abreast with industry trends, you are sure to build and nurture solid relationships with your market. Leverage the opportunities and benefits of being in retail – this will not only help your small clothing business grow but will also positively impact the retail industry.

Catering Equipment Maintenance: What Needs to be Checked?

catering food choices

When you’re running a catering business, food quality and customer service are the two top considerations on your priority list. However, before you go out and cater to an event, your kitchen is where all the action happens first. This is why it is important to have in your kitchen the catering equipment and supplies that will be able to bring your menu to life.

Keeping your kitchen and catering equipment in tip-top shape is equally important so they remain fully operational and safe to use. Companies that offer catering equipment repair services may help you in conducting regular maintenance and safety inspections to detect wear-and-tear damage, prevent machine breakdown and repair your catering equipment, if necessary.

The following are some of the equipment that you should have in your catering business and the possible repair issues that they may encounter.

Freezers and Refrigerators

Commercial-grade refrigeration systems can either be reach-in or walk-in units. They are a key component in your kitchen as cold food storage units preserve the freshness of your ingredients.

When inspecting freezers and refrigerators, you need to check if the compressor is free from dirt and grease. Not being able to keep the compressor clean will cause temperature problems in your refrigerator, hence, affect its ability to keep your food frozen or cool enough. Other issues that may cause temperature problems with your refrigerators and freezers include a broken thermostat, loose door gaskets, clogged air vents and refrigerant leaks.

If you have a faulty or broken refrigerator, you need to have it repaired immediately to prevent the contents from being spoilt.

Cooking Equipment

Catering business kitchenCooking equipment includes cooking ranges, ovens, grills and fryers. Cooking equipment issues, if not repaired right away, will hamper the operations in your kitchen or worse, may result in electrical issues and cause a fire.

An indication that you have faulty or broken cooking equipment is when the burners won’t heat, turn on or adjust the temperature. If only a single burner is the problem, it may mean that the heating coil is damaged. However, if all burners won’t work, it could mean a more serious electrical issue. If you’re using an electric stove, you may be dealing with a broken wire or temperature sensor. If you’re using a gas stove, you may need to check for a faulty gas control, igniter or valve.

Since checking on these issues involves the risk of electric shock, it is better that a technician have a look at your equipment.

Food Mixers and Processors

Commercial mixers blend ingredients for making cookies, pasta, bread or sauces. They are built with many small moving parts which are controlled at different speeds depending on the type of mixture that you want to produce.

If the mixer runs when you turn it on, it could have a blown fuse, defective motor or a faulty switch. If it won’t function at certain speeds, the speed control switch may be the issue. Or, if the motor hums but the beaters won’t turn, the motor might need to be checked or replaced. When there is excessive vibration while them mixer is being used, it may have misaligned gears or bent beater shafts.

As a catering business owner, ensuring that your catering equipment runs efficiently is a critical responsibility. You need to have your equipment checked for repairs regularly to avoid complications and accidents that may put your business and the lives of your workers at risk.

4 Reasons People Are Very Much In Love with Apple Devices

iPhone on a Facebook app

Apple, one of the most valuable brands in the world, has a huge following that any other tech brand could ever dream of. Its followers are religious and devoted to whatever Apple has to release. And this brand success did not happen overnight.

Many years ago, Apple, in its beginnings, has its own share of troubles that can bend and break the will of the strongest leaders. But with the strategy, commitment to technology, and sound marketing tactics, Apps has emerged as one of the most valuable companies in the world.

This is why a lot of businesspeople and even large companies capitalise on Apple. Some even get an Apple franchise. You may be thinking of getting on it, but before you fully decide on it, you will need to understand the factors that make Apple one of the most loved brands in the world.

Below are some of the reasons people are really in love with their Apple devices.

Reason #1: Keep It Simple

A lot of devices, even before, have grand promises. These promises seemed flamboyant and useful, but Apple did the contrary. They stripped down their designs and made sure that what will remain are the essentials. Therefore, they keep their devices simple.

And that can be even easily observed in the sleek body of their devices — from their MacBooks to iPods, iPhones, and iPads. They are bound by the philosophy; simplicity is a beauty. And it truly works for them and for their customers.

Reason #2: Usability at Its Finest

iPhone 6

Apple devices have this reputation of being easy to use. And this is credited to their teams of experts that focus on improving the user experience and interface of their devices. The device is highly intuitive that anyone can use it without having to refer to the manual.

They have mastered the use of touch technology. The sync function of Apple devices allows you to access the same file and items through different devices. In this regard, Apple has won in the consistency game.

Reason #3: Keeping Up with Consumer Needs

Technology has always evolved and will evolve. And in this era, it has evolved faster than expected. Apple has always been at the forefront of the game, meaning they have always followed trends and improved their design based on these. You can safely say that Apple does not follow the trend; they are even the ones who start them.

Reason #4: User-Centric

Apple’s commitment to service does not end in their sales team. Their aftersales team has always been dedicated to answer queries and fix their customers’ problem with their Apple devices.

This is why many customers hail Apple as one of the companies that offer the best customer service. The commitment to everything great and good will always be reflected in the different segments of the company — from production to sales.

These are only some of the top reasons people love their Apple products. And if you are using Apple products, you will realise that all of these are true.

Read more at Daily Bumps.

The Future Is Bright for the Bulldozer Sector

Bulldozer unloading sand

Bulldozers (also known as dozers) enjoy an advantage over other types of heavy equipment. Many industries use them, and some of these are the foundations of the economy. These include construction, civil engineering, and agriculture. The different components make them multi-functional as well. For these reasons, the global demand for bulldozers will increase. From 2017 to 2019, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) could reach over 7%.

Factors That Promote the Demand for Bulldozers

The continuous need for bulldozers, especially in Australia, can be due to the following:

1. Rental Options

Like most types of heavy equipment, dozers cost a lot of money to buy. This can prevent small and medium enterprises from engaging in large industries such as construction. To further stimulate both the demand and these sectors, some companies in Australia now offer bulldozer for hire.

This service helps level the playing field. Even new businesses now have access to the same types of heavy equipment that big competitors use. It is also scalable, which means that they can choose to hire more units as the demand grows or cut back when the need declines. This setup, therefore, helps provide companies significant control over their cash flow.

Third, hiring bulldozers can prevent companies from applying for massive debt. In turn, they can be more flexible over the use of their revenues. They can also reserve the financing option for a much bigger capital requirement.

2. Population Growth

Australia’s population is increasing. According to the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the country had close to 400,000 people more in 2017. Overall, within the period, about 25 million chose Land Down Under as their home. It also represented a 1.6% increase despite the fact net migration (or the difference between people coming in and out) declined.

In Queensland, the population already reached 5 million, and analysts believe it will experience rapid growth in the coming years. As the population increases, so should the infrastructure. For example, it can potentially boost the demand for housing. It may mean the conversion of some lands in the country into urban areas. Both of these will require bulldozers. The dozers are essential in digging and excavation processes. They are also helpful in smoothing out rough terrains.

3. Technology

Worker driving a bulldozerBulldozers are not only robust machines. They are also becoming more efficient. An Israeli company, for example, partnered with Caterpillar, one of the most popular heavy equipment brands, to design an autonomous vehicle. If it becomes successful, then it can help address the labour shortage in countries such as Australia.

Some already feature global positioning systems (GPS), which can promote higher performance accuracy. Others are becoming more eco-friendly. They might need a much lower amount of fuel, or they might have a longer service life and better fuel economy.

The demand for bulldozers is due to external factors such as population growth. It can boost the growth of construction and civil engineering, which need these types of equipment. The dozer sector, though, isn’t complacent. It also exerts effort to make sure the material remains relevant by introducing useful tech and making it more accessible to small and medium enterprises.

Getting a Laser Engraver Can Improve Your Finances

It easy to dismiss the idea of buying a laser engraving machine until you pay attention to the opportunities that it can open up. Getting one of these machines gives you a chance to start a business venture with little capital.

Armed with a laser engraver for wood and metal materials, you can harness your creativity and turn your hobby into an income-generating activity. Depending on the amount time you’re ready to allocate to business, you can make your hobby a side job or a full-time one.

Unlike laser marking, engraving requires little in the way of starting capital. Since the machines don’t use ink or drill bits that wear out and need constant replacement, your running costs will be on the lower side. That means you’ll have high margins for any product that you make, creating a lucrative business in the process.

Create Unique Products

Your imagination is the only limiting factor when going down this rabbit hole. Honing your skills and abilities to work with a laser engraver opens you to a world of possibilities. The range of products that you can create can range from custom clocks, coasters, jewelry, signboards, gift items, engraved spice jars, and wedding invitations.

Better yet, lasers work with just about any material, including fabric and acrylics, broadening your horizons even further. However, you need to tread carefully to avoid making costly mistakes. For the best results, you need to carry out in-depth market research to get a feel of the popular products. There’s no point in creating a beautiful product that people aren’t willing to buy. E-commerce sites make a great learning ground as you can identify the fast selling items.

Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube seen on a laptop

Armed with a high-quality camera, including the one on your smartphone, you can use this free facility from the world’s leading search engine to grow your income. The video streaming channel from Google boasts a monetization program with a low entry barrier, making it open to anyone using their services. You only need to record and edit your videos before uploading them to your channel for your audience to watch.

As a skilled artist with a laser engraver, you won’t have to bend over backward to create content for your channel. You only need to record highly detailed videos as you work on creating some of your signature products. Making such a channel comes with a myriad of benefits.

For starters, you get to build your brand authority, which helps to sell your products. As your viewership grows on the channel, so does the popularity of your brand and products. You get to earn from Google monetization as well as the increased purchases from the subscribers.

Getting a state-of-the-art laser engraver gives you a rare chance to go into business for yourself while tapping into your creative energies. Best of all, you require little else after buying an engraver to get into your new business venture, making it ideal for anyone looking to start a business on a budget. The machines are low-maintenance as they don’t use any ink or drilling bits that are subject to wear and tear.

Types of Freight Documentation for Imports

The Earth is now a huge community, thanks to technology. It is now possible to get commodities not available in your locality from outside your country’s borders. It is easier to import products that are needed by the residents in a particular place or country. Most people who see such an opportunity, however, end up with significant losses when they overlook one crucial element of importation. This is the customs clearance.

The biggest mistake they make is opting to handle their importation needs on their own instead of hiring a customs clearance broker since they want to reduce their expenses. After all, they assume that customs clearance is as simple as having a well-written commercial invoice and paying various duties and taxes. But obtaining a customs clearance is not an easy task. Among the key documents that most people overlook or find challenging to understand is freight documentation.

The following are the types of freight documentation necessary for getting clearance for your imports:

Bill of Lading

A shipping company should issue this to an operating shipper to convey the title of your goods. This means the bearer of a bill of lading is the goods’ owner during their transportation. The document also acknowledges and acts as proof of the receipt of commodities on board the shipping vessel. The bill of lading will contain details of the port of destination, the goods being transported, and the vessel.

There are different types of bills of lading. A cleans bill of lading, for instance, will prove that the goods have been received in good condition while a dirty or unclean bill indicates the opposite.

Road Waybill

This is required for goods that will be transported by land. It contains the details on international goods consignment set by the CMR convention. A road waybill is signed by a carrier and consignor and allows the latter to have the goods being transported at his disposal during their transport.

A road waybill comes in quadruplicate. The first copy is the consignor’s, the second is the carrier’s; the third one accompanies the goods while the fourth is signed by a consignee and is returned to the consignor. This document is non-negotiable and does not confer a title for the imports.

TIR Carnets

freight operator officers reviewing carnet

These are custom transit papers required for the transportation of goods, which will be partly done by road. TIR carnets allow the transportation under the TIR procedure set in the 1975 TIR convention. This requires goods to be transported in secure containers or vehicles and the custom control measures of their country of origin be accepted by the destination country.

ATA Carnets

The chamber of commerce in most industrialized countries issues these documents. They allow you to import goods without paying certain taxes and customs duties temporarily. Professional goods for use or presentation at exhibitions and commercial samples are among the products for which an ATA carnet might be issued.

The above freight documents are only a tip of the iceberg in those required for the importation of goods. That said, you can’t afford to import any products regardless of their financial worth and amount without an expert custom clearance broker. The amount you spend in hiring the broker is a drop in the ocean compared to the fines you might pay if the authorities find that you are lacking proper documents.

Ways to Earn More Income

money inside of a wallet

Nowadays, sticking to just one job might not be enough to make ends meet. This is why using your skills to get a second (or even third) job is essential. Getting the mortgages, bills, and other necessities can take more than just eight hours a day. If you feel like you’ve been living from paycheck to paycheck, it’s time to level up your money-making game and make more with the following measures:

Franchise a Business

Not everyone has the time and resources to start a business from scratch. Thinking of what to put up and sell can already take a lot of time. A franchise business that’s in line with your profession can be a great idea. Since you’re already familiar with the products and services that you’ll be offering, there’s no need to do a lot of learning and research.

a business owner

For instance, if you are an accountant, you can pick a franchise that offers payroll and bookkeeping services in your area. There’s already a demand for this kind of service, and virtually every business needs it, which means that selling it won’t be as tricky since you already know how it works. Also, since you will be a franchisee, there’s already an existing business model that you can use. The franchiser also often takes care of advertising and marketing, so your tasks are not as heavy as those who are starting their business from scratch.

Get Creative

If you are the creative type, then it’s time to make your talents work for you. There are a lot of websites that need creatives to get project-based work done, such as graphic art, writing, and photography. You can choose whether you’d like to be paid by the hour or once a task is completed.

Not everyone has a creative flair, but if you find that you are interested in this kind of work, you can hone your artistic side through practice and get inspiration by looking at the creation of other artists in the same field. Take the time to watch videos and research to gain more knowledge.

Take Further Studies

One way to get ahead of the competition is to broaden your knowledge. Those who hold a master’s or doctorate are more likely to land the job and even get paid higher compared to those who do not possess it. While it does cost a lot to further your studies, it is worth it.

If teaching is your passion, you can also share your knowledge by becoming a professor after you’ve completed your master’s degree or doctorate. There will be more career options to choose from once you possess these diplomas.

In the end, there are a lot of ways to get your career to the next level, but none of them is easy. It can take a lot of time and effort on your part to get where you want to be, career-wise. It’s essential to plan because the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to work on it and reap the benefits of your efforts.

Four Tips for Investing in a Rental Property in Utah

If you live in (or are planning to move to) Utah and want to buy a rental property, you’re in luck. The Beehive State is home to some of the hottest real estate markets in the United States.

Utah has a burgeoning tech industry, which creates new jobs and attracts more renters. The state’s tourism is doing well too, increasing the need for transient accommodation arrangements. As the state economy grows, so will land values. Since inventory remains low, the demand for housing is still strong enough to justify relative high rent prices.

If you seek FHA multifamily financing services, you can buy a property with several rental units provided that you’ll also live in it. While the timing seems perfect, understand that failure is still a possibility. Being a landlord is no joke, and real estate is only a lucrative venture to investors who regularly do their homework.

To minimize the risks of owning a rental property in Utah, use these expert pieces of advice as your guide.

Think About All Costs

Only two words decide the fate of any business: cash flow. Regardless of how much rent you collect every month, you can’t turn a profit without controlling your costs. Pay attention to fixed expenses, such as mortgage, tax, insurance and maintenance, since you can’t avoid or skimp on them no matter what.

Moreover, make sure to set aside enough funds to cover unexpected costs, like emergency roof leakage or unscheduled furnace replacement. Calculate your projected costs to the last penny to determine how much income you may generate.

How do you know if your rental property is a viable investment? Follow the 1% rule, which states that a property must bring in monthly income equivalent to 1% of its price. You can only break this rule when you’re positive that the property is likely to appreciate fast and the rent isn’t going to drop soon.

Pick the Prime Spot

Be picky when choosing a neighborhood. Uncover anything you can about your prospective area to forecast its growth and anticipate the headaches it may bring you. Sometimes, you need an analytical mind to connect the dots and discover the negatives of a location no one likes to mention. For example, a rather high insurance premium may suggest that the area is prone to flooding and other natural disasters.

Choose a Property Objectively

property owner in his new rental property

Don’t buy the first property you fall in love with. Curb appeal is a major renter magnet, but don’t forget about structural integrity. Have your prospective multifamily piece of real estate professionally inspected to reveal its deep, dark secrets. This way, you’ll know whether the seller’s asking price is reasonable and what improvements still need to be done.

Learn About Property Management

Being a renter in the past doesn’t make you a qualified landlord. Be prepared to handle demanding responsibilities and make hard decisions for the better of your business and other tenants. One of the primary skills you need to master is identifying a high-quality renter. You would be surprised how much hassle one bad tenant could cause to everyone in the building.

Invest in yourself before investing in a rental property in Utah. Although no one is born ready to be a landlord, you can succeed in this endeavor if you dedicate yourself enough to it.

Make Your Cross-Country Move Affordable with 3 Incredible Moves

a mover working

Just because you’re moving across the state doesn’t mean you need to deal with extremely huge expenses. You can find creative ways to lower the cost to keep the process affordable and convenient.

Most people agree that moving is an expensive process. But matters take a sudden turn when you are moving out of state, remarks a cross-country moving services provider. Due to the intricacies that come with moving goods over a long distance, your moving expenses are likely to be considerably high.

The amount of stuff you need to move, as well as their nature, the distance, and the timing of the move will determine the overall costs. Retaining the help of an expert allows for a hassle-free move. Here are some of the proactive measures you can take to keep your long-distance moving expenses at bay:

1. Schedule an off-peak move

About 62 percent of American families schedule their relocations from May to September. Naturally, movers are at their busiest during these months. If you insist on relocating during this period, you might deal with high moving rates because the demand is high.

If your timelines allow, avoid slotting your move during the peak season. Moving companies struggle to cope with the demand and as such, charge premium rates. The fall and early spring months make the best time to move if you’re looking to save on relocation costs. It is best to avoid the winter months when considering a long distance move as the road conditions are quite treacherous. Summer months are also an excellent time for a household with kids to move since they are out of school.

2. Sell off unwanted items

a couple holding boxes

Sorting your household items and selling some unused or old belongings come with two distinctive advantages. One, it will reduce the amount of stuff that you need to move, which lowers your moving costs. Secondly, it helps you raise money to fund the relocation and if you have plenty of excess stuff sold, it can finance the entire process, from packing to transporting.

Holding garage sales is a popular way to rid your house of unused items and make money out of them. Alternatively, you can list high-value items on sites, such as Craigslist or eBay, to increase your chances of getting better prices. Who knows, you might have a valuable antique possession, which you were planning to throw away. Donating any leftover items to a charity lowers your load further.

3. Use Existing or Low-Cost Packing Materials

Sometimes, the packing materials you need are readily available in your house. Check the attic or basement and look for old boxes or unused linens, which you can use to pack your things and protect them from damage during transport. Plan early, so you can pack your belongings yourself and avoid the costs associated with hiring professional packers or additional packing service from your mover.

Moving across the state or country can be a costly endeavor, which is why you need to prepare financially. Follow these tips to make sure you won’t be left with no cash in your wallet after you move into your new place.

The Common Regrets After Buying a Home

Conventional wisdom says that buying a house should give you nothing, but excitement and a sense of accomplishment. While this is true in most cases, there are also those who felt fear and uneasiness during and after the process. This is because they keep wondering if they have made the right choice. After all, you would not really know until problems start popping up as you live in your own abode.

Homebuyer’s remorse is common, with more than half of buyers having regrets about some aspects of their purchase. It could be the neighborhood (which turns out to be noisy at certain times of the day), the size of the house (which is smaller than you expected for your growing family), or the absence of a bigger yard (which you later realized because you recently got a dog).

Buyer’s remorse can be a bit alarming if you are thinking of buying a house. Fortunately, it is possible to avoid that by knowing where the most common regrets spring from.

Not So Happy With the House

One of the main reasons for remorse is having a home of the wrong size, preferably too small. Some get so focused on the neighborhood that they fail to branch out and miss good deals in other real estate markets. This is why it is important to be flexible in terms of location to find the right home with the rooms and features you need.

Buying More Than What They Can Afford

Buyers who think that they have found the right house get too excited, causing them to make uncalculated moves like paying more than the asking price to outbid other buyers. This spells financial disaster later on, especially if you buy more than what you can afford. Altius Mortgage and other mortgage lenders in Salt Lake City suggest setting a budget and getting a preapproval first before going house hunting.

Not Saving Enough/Paying a Bigger Down Payment

Couple arguing about house payment

Many homebuyers made little down payment, but wished they had paid more initially. This is because putting too little money down comes with higher rates and private mortgage insurance (PMI), which adds to the monthly payment. This is why you may want to pay at least 20% to get lower rates and monthly payment, as well as avoid PMI.

Problems With the Neighborhood

Some buyers find themselves easily persuaded by the appearance of the home, failing to assess the quality of the neighborhood. It is important to find a home with all space and features you need, but you also need to get a feel of the neighborhood. It is best to walk around it first or talk to your potential neighbors. You might also want to check the nearby amenities and access to transportation, especially if you do not have a car.

These are just some the aspects of the home purchase that many buyers regret. You can avoid remorse later on by doing your homework and making sure that you are financially and emotionally ready for homeownership. You can also get in touch with a reliable lender to learn more about your loan options.