Ways You Can Sell Products Online

Many people want to make money, especially in this day and age with unemployment rates at an all-time high. There are thousands of people just like you who want to start their own business or to figure out a new way to make money online. There are many ways you can make money online but if you haven’t tried to sell anything on the internet before, then you need to learn a few tips before you get started.

Figure Out Products That People Want to Buy

The first thing you should figure out when you want to go into business for yourself is what you want to sell to consumers. Do you want to sell health and beauty products, supplements, electronics, vehicles, books, or any other tangible product that consumers would be interested in? There are thousands of products that you can choose from in a variety of categories. People who want to make a lot of money online should figure out what type of popular products are available where they can sell and make a profit on.

Research Affiliate Marketing Programs

There are a lot of affiliate marketing programs that are available online that you can join. You will promote and sell a company’s product and when a web visitor clicks on the affiliate network URL and purchases the product, you will earn a commission on the sale. There are many large affiliate network companies that will allow you to sign up and become an affiliate marketer.

Create a Website and Sell Products

If you want to become your own business owner, you can always create a website that allows you to sell products online. You should choose a product that you will stand behind and are passionate about. Since you’re in business to make money, you should find products that are popular with consumers today. For example, you can sell electronics or health and beauty items. These products are always in demand by consumers. You can also sign up on other websites and create your own storefront so you don’t have to buy a website and domain URL.

It Takes Time

There are thousands of products and companies out there that want people to sell their items. People need to be careful with certain types of companies as they may tell you that you can earn thousands of dollars immediately, when the reality is there are few that are able to accomplish this in the beginning. When you are starting to sell products online, just be patient because you’ll need to create a brand and name for your company to draw customers in to buy what you have to offer.

Challenges Faced by Commercial General Contractors

Despite a rise in production last year, the construction industry is still likely to make a sluggish recovery. As the economy continues to recover from its recent downswing, the commercial construction industry also continues to grow. However, the industry is still encountering challenges that can affect businesses and investors. When it comes to effectively addressing and handling these challenges, hiring an experienced commercial general contractor is a good way to ensure that your project goes smoothly and successfully. Things are looking up a bit for the construction industry though.

New construction starts have been strong in recent months, construction spending rose throughout much of 2011, the production of construction materials has been up for six months in a row, and Caterpillar, Inc. and other large companies have posted strong earnings reports for the past couple of quarters a hopeful sign that small and mid-sized companies will also do better. However, the industry still faces plenty of challenges. Small companies for the most part are struggling because of the sluggish economy, increased competition, rising insurance costs and a shortage of excellent workers. The largest challenge, by far, commercial general contractors say, is the economy. Although the unemployment rate is dropping and the U.S. economy is showing other signs of recovery, economists and others say the recovery of the construction market will lag behind the overall economic recovery.

Commercial general contractors say homeowners and other customers are savvier in the wake of the recession and typically get three or four estimates before they decide whom to hire. This means commercial general contractors are competing for work against two or three of their peers now, compared to one or none before the recession.

People used to call and say, ‘Come do this job for me,’ and they’d get around to asking what it would cost. Yet another challenge is rising insurance costs. Insurance market conditions for U.S. construction fiĀrms began deteriorating in the second half of 2011, and that is expected to continue this year. Large losses and reduced investment returns caused many U.S. insurers to seek rate increases in 2011. As a result, rates for various construction product lines, such as general liability, builders risk, excess casualty and others, rose, forcing up costs for commercial general contractors, who passed them on to their customers. Cost overruns. Sometimes, projects can get “carried away” and can end up costing significantly more than anticipated. This can occur if materials need to be changed, if there are unexpected delays or additions, or if the planning got out of hand and the building ended up a bit more showy than originally anticipated.

Video Production Business Tips – Reasons NOT to Upgrade Video Production Gear

We can all find reasons to upgrade our video production equipment and software. Industry magazines tell us we should and equipment/software manufacturers advocate we do so we’ll have access to the new features available in the upgrade. There are thousands of people in production forums throughout the world who believe that staying up to date with current upgrades and technology is crucial to being competitive in the video production industry.

To an extent, they are correct. But what people don’t share with you are some of the reasons why you should not upgrade your equipment and software. Or at least not at the speed in which the industry says we should.

The underlying theme here is that upgrading your gear takes money out of your pocket which impacts the overall cash flow of your video production business. If you choose to finance upgrades with debt (loans, credit cards, etc.), then you are also impacting your cash flow because you will add payments to your monthly expenses. I know that upgrading is a necessary component of running a video production business. However, you should think hard about the following reasons NOT to upgrade before you spend the money.

1. If you haven’t mastered the video production equipment and software you have now, you shouldn’t upgrade.

When you start to get the itch for something new, take out the manual and start reading. You’ll be surprised at all the things you didn’t know about the equipment/software and this will re-energize you. Until you can push your gear to its absolute boundary every time you use it, save your money.

2. Rarely will an upgrade result in more profit for your video production business.

Think about it. Did the last piece of gear you purchased improve your bottom line? It probably didn’t. My employees are constantly advocating that I purchase new cameras or software. I respond by telling them that if they can justify on paper how the new gear will result in additional profits for the company, I’ll consider it. Needless to say, most of the new gear doesn’t get purchased.

3. When you finally pay off your car, you want to do your best to drive it as long as you can.

Not having to make payments is a wonderful thing. The same goes for equipment and software in your video business. If you have a camera that is paid for and is still generating revenue for you, think hard before buying another camera. Making money with gear/software that isn’t costing you money substantially increases your profit margins. A couple hundred dollars every quarter or year in maintenance will help that piece of gear be a profit maker for as long as 3 to 5 years, depending on what it is of course.

4. If you had a choice to invest $5,000 into equipment for your video business or invest $5,000 into something that will improve the quality of life for your family, which one would you choose?

If you chose the equipment, you have your priorities all screwed up. If you chose your family, your head is on straight. In my situation, $5,000 will cover several mortgage payments on my house and on my rental properties if/when they are vacant. Instead of sinking the extra cash into a business asset, I use that cash to build personal assets which will directly benefit my family.

5. Upgrades take time away from your revenue generating activities.

If sales are down, upgrades won’t improve that. You have to improve that. If you are in the middle of several projects, upgrades won’t help the situation. They will simply slow you down which will cause you to be less profitable. Purchasing new equipment won’t make a prospect want to do business with you. The quality of your work and reputation is what gets the phone to ring. Ninety-nine percent of the time, your clients won’t give a flip about what kind of cameras or software you use. They’ll only be interested in the formats you can provide them after the project is complete.

Obviously, you can’t run a video production company without upgrading your equipment and software when absolutely necessary. I just hope that this article has given you a reason to only upgrade when you are 100% sure you can no longer squeeze a reasonable profit margin out of the gear you have now. Training yourself to hold off on spending large sums of money for as long as possible will help to increase the financial strength of your video business as well as improve your skills as an entrepreneur. Both of which will accelerate your success!

Specifying the Use of Surface Protection Products on Historic Interiors During Construction

Projects involving historic interiors range from the meticulous restoration of a classic movie theatre to renovations of abandoned lofts for new residences. The size of the building, significance of the interiors, and scope of work will determine how best to protect interior finishes during construction work. All work involving historic buildings, however, shares the need to properly plan for and specify appropriate temporary surface protection products. Without such provisions, unnecessary damage can result which will require additional funds and can lead to complete loss of certain interior finishes. Relying on the contractor to protect interiors without specifying such surface protection puts historic material and finishes at unnecessary risk. Protective measures must be specified in the construction specifications for the job. Although general contract language may make reference to “protecting existing construction” and may require that the contractor “restore any damage to its original condition at no additional cost” the general nature of the language affords little protection to existing historic finishes or features. Rather than provide adequate protection, some contractors deliberately elect to repair damage, believing it is cheaper. Therefore the best practice for historic interiors involves specifying protection of all historic architectural features and finishes using temporary surface protection products.

An important difference between protecting historic interior features and finishes and protecting new interior features and finishes during construction is in the timing of the construction schedule. In new work, finishes such as cabinetry and flooring are installed late in the construction schedule, after mechanical and electrical systems and other high impact work are completed, thus not exposing the finishes to major construction operations. In preservation work, however, existing interior finishes are exposed to all the high impact and potentially damaging construction phases of the project. Important architectural features which are easily removed should be stored off site, if possible, to protect them from vandalism, theft and damage during construction. Lighting fixtures, fireplace mantels, and interior doors are typical examples. Access by construction personnel to spaces with significant features and finishes should be restricted, except for their work relating directly to the preservation of such spaces. Spaces with restricted access should be identified by the planning team and indicated in the construction documents in order to allow the contractor to include any associated costs in his price proposal. For spaces such as halls and lobbies, it may not be practicable to limit access, and for all interior spaces, some construction work may be required. In such circumstances, interior finishes must be physically isolated from construction operations by means of protective barriers and coverings such as the Zipwall Systems. Such surfaces are generally limited to flooring, walls up to approximately 6 foot height, and special construction such as staircases. Flooring should be protected from damage caused by abrasion, falling objects and there are a variety of floor protection products available from companies that specialize in surface protection.

Temporary protection during construction can involve covering historic features, such as floors and walls, as well as using temporary doors to control the passage of workers and the inevitable dust and dirt. Prominently located fire extinguishers are mandatory. Where protection from spilled liquids is required, a layer of water resistant surface protection should be used. In projects where electrical systems are being upgraded the use of fire rated protection should be used. Care should be taken in choosing the appropriate floor protection to ensure that moisture from spilled liquids is not trapped against the historic flooring or that newly installed or repaired flooring can breathe. Care should also be taken to avoid coverings such as rosin paper, could potentially stain the historic flooring. Historic stairways, balustrades, balconies, fireplaces, door surrounds, window surrounds, and other components will also need to be protected from construction damage. There are a variety of surface protection products on the market including Swiftwrap handrail protection, Ram Jamb door jamb protection, DoorGuard temporary door protection and others. It makes sense to contact a surface protection expert in order to choose the best temporary protection for the project.

Specifying temporary protection of historic interiors during construction is the responsibility of both the architect and contractor. Most general conditions of a construction contract contain language such as: “The Contractor shall be solely responsible for and have control over construction means, methods, techniques, sequences and procedures and for coordinating all portions of the work. For preservation projects, it is recommended that temporary protection of historic interiors during construction be specified in a separate Division 1 specification section to ensure that required provisions are not overlooked by bidders. By creating a separate section in a price proposal, the bidder will be inclined to treat the “special project procedures” as an added cost rather than a part of the temporary facilities required for any alteration project. The contractor’s project manager can thus anticipate making reasonable expenditures for providing specified temporary surface protection during construction. To ensure the adequacy of temporary protection measures in projects involving a construction manager, temporary protection is often best provided by the construction manager, who normally works for the owner on a cost-plus-fee basis. Temporary surface protection should generally be specified as to the product name, type and company where products are available.

Conditions prior to commencement of construction should be photographically documented by the contractor. For small projects, a videotape survey may also be an effective supplement to existing conditions photographs. The owner may wish to document existing conditions independent of the contractor in order to avoid any future dispute regarding damage caused by construction operations as opposed to pre-existing damage. Temporary protection of historic interiors during construction, an essential component of any preservation project, is largely a construction management issue. A successful protection program is the result of careful pre-planning, thorough project specific specifications, owner vigilance, contract enforcement, and contractor diligence. Cost savings can be realized by minimizing damage to the historic structure in the course of construction work and the proper use of temporary surface protection products.