Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

Has Your Car Got Curb Appeal? Steps To Take Before You Sell

Are you thinking of selling your car? Whether you’re keen to sell privately or you’re hoping to get a good price at a dealership, it’s essential to ensure that your vehicle looks the business. We often associate curb appeal with houses, but if you’ve got a motor for sale outside your home, you want it to turn heads for all the right reasons. Here are some simple steps to take before you place that advert or visit local dealers.

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/hugo90/4589529343

Clean and polish

There’s nothing more off-putting for a potential buyer than a dirty car that’s full of wrappers, cartons, and other random bits of trash. Think about what you would want to see if you were the customer looking for a new car. Clean and polish the exterior and vacuum the interior. Hang a new air freshener on the mirror to provide a pleasant odor, and remove any rubbish. If there are stains on the fabric seats, clean them with soapy water. If you’ve got leather seats, wipe them clean. Giving the car a wash can make a massive difference to its aesthetic appeal, and it will also make it look like the car has been loved and well looked-after.

Removing scratches

It’s very common for cars, especially old ones, to have scrapes and scratches. If you’re getting ready to sell your car, investigate minor and deep key scratch removal techniques and try and make your car look as pristine as possible. Scratches can affect the value of the car, as well as its visual appeal.

Check the tires

If you’re on the lookout for a new car, you’re not going to be very impressed if you turn up and see a vehicle on the driveway with flat or worn tires. You don’t need to replace the tires if they’re in good condition, but if there are obvious signs of wear and tear or the air pressure looks low, it’s worth taking action. Pump up the tires and replace damaged parts before you make arrangements for potential buyers to come and visit.

Take a good photograph

Many of us are influenced by images when it comes to buying products, including cars. A blurred, low-quality photo could put buyers off before they’ve taken the opportunity to read your amazing description and learn more about the car. The photo is really important, as this is what most people will look at first. Choose a bright day, try and avoid capturing any other objects in the foreground or background, and use a filter to enhance the quality of the shot.

Picture courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcerasoli/5919070550

Are you looking for a new car? Do you want or need to sell your current vehicle before starting your search for a replacement? Before you place an advert in an auto magazine, put a sign up in the window or visit dealers, follow these steps to ensure your car looks as good as possible. If your car is shiny and clean with tires that are in perfect condition, you stand a much better chance of selling it for the price you want.

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The Realities of Growing Your At-Home Business Into a Fully-Fledged Company

Have you ever wanted to turn your at-home business into something a lot large, more lucrative and ultimately more profitable? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

Growing your at-home business and giving it a much-needed boost can be a fantastic way to dip your feet into the waters of big-league entrepreneurship, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and could even change the way that you see your business.

There are a couple of realities that you’ll need to cope with and understand when attempting to turn your humble startup into a fully fledged company. In this article, we’ll be discussing a couple of those points in order to make it easier for you to understand and ultimately decide whether you want to grow your business or not.

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You’ll take on a different role in the company

You may be a hands-on person right now that takes care of everything from the production of your product to the customer service, but if you plan to grow your business then you’ll ultimately need to take on a different role in your company. Entrepreneurs tend to take on a more managerial role that focuses on macro decisions rather than focusing on finer details.

You might lose your passion for your craft

Let’s face it, the more serious you take your passions the more likely you’ll lose interest in them. There’s a huge difference between what is considered a good product and what is considered a desirable one, and this is especially true for creative industries and passions. If you’re going to grow into a more serious business, then you need to understand that you have to appeal to your audience instead of simply doing whatever you want.

You’ll have to start thinking about large-scale operations

Whether it’s planning 3rd party logistics, expanding your production line or even opening several retail store locations, you’ll need to start thinking about long-term decisions that will assist in your growth. This can be a huge departure from what you’re used to if you only made small-scale decisions, so it does take a bit of practice to get used to.

You can’t work alone anymore

People often find it difficult to manage employees especially if they’ve been working on their own for most of their business life. You need to understand that in order to grow your company and have it become more profitable, you need to trust your employees with their tasks and you have to stop micromanaging everything they do. Working alone just isn’t possible when you want to grow into a fully fledged company, so start thinking about how you can make use of your staff for the best growth and efficiency.

Growing your business can be a daunting prospect, but as long as you accept these realities and understand how they can affect your company, you’ll have a much easier time garnering the respect and attention you need in order to transform your at-home business into a larger company.

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Road Trip Hacks for the Ride of Your Life

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There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned road trip to really make you feel alive and ensure that you appreciate the world around you that little bit more. However, you can make that amazing road trip even more amazing with a few simple hacks that will make it the ride of your life.

Here are some of those hacks that will make your next road trip that bit more amazing:

Have Your Car Serviced

AAA says that the vast majority of vehicle breakdowns could be prevented by having the vehicle serviced before heading out on a trip. So, if you do nothing else, be sure to take your car in and have the oil changed and the tires, brakes and battery checked. This will help to ensure that you don’t end up stranded in the middle of nowhere when you should be having a great time exploring the local attractions.

Make a Flexible Plan

One of the best things about going out on the open road is the sense of freedom it brings, which is why you shouldn’t make any strict plans about where you’re going and when. That being said, it does make sense to do a little light planning, so that you have a rough idea of the direction you’re going in and how long you can afford to stop off at all those lovely roadside attractions if you want to make it as far as your planned final destination in the time you have available for you. So plan a little, but allow for the odd whim or the occasional wild night, too.

Forget Researching Your Road Stops

If you want to be truly exhilarated when you’re on the road, don’t go online and look up every single roadside attraction, museum and diner on your route. That will take away the spontaneity of the experience and ruin those amazing discoveries that you make when you’re out on the road, stopping when you feel like it and looking around.  When you don’t research the local attractions, you’re much more likely to stumble on those obscure and unusual sights that make road trips so much more exciting that other trips.

Download the iExit App

If you’re going to be driving on the major interstates and highways along your route, do yourself a real favor and download the iExit app which will let you know about the upcoming exits, gas stations, hotels, attractions and other amenities on your route.

Upgrade Your Stereo

Road trips and great music go hand in hand, so as well as compiling a playlist of all your favorite driving songs and the favorite driving songs as any of your buddies who are coming along with the ride, unless you already have a great car stereo, get on to Stereo Champ and find a new improved model. You’ll have so much more fun singing along as you take in the view when your jams aren’t muffled and you can hear them loud and clear.

Pack Light

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A lot of roadtrippers pack quite heavily because they aren’t restrained by baggage limits. However, it’s far more fun to pack light, so that you have plenty of trunk space to collect little souvenirs along the way. You’ll have so much fun seeking them out, and you’ll enjoy the constant reminders of your best trip ever when you get back home.

Pack Non-Essentials First

While we’re on the subject of packing, it’s a very good idea to pack non-essential items first. Why? Simply because you will need them less often and that means that you won’t have to keep messing up your luggage as you search for them. The items you’ll only need at your final destination should be packed first, with the stuff you’ll be using daily being packed on top for ultimate efficiency.

Take a Gas Card

If you don’t already have a gas card, it makes perfect sense to get one ahead of your road trip because you are going to be burning a lot of rubber and spending a lot of money on gas. If you have a card, you’ll be able to earn lots of points, free fuel, grocery discounts and even cash back on any hotels that you book into and that means you’ll be able to have more fun with your road trip budget than you might otherwise have been able to.

Visit Sitorsquat.com

Keeping clean and maintaining a good level of hygiene can be much more difficult when you’re on the road, so the last thing you want is to end up having to clean up or use the bathroom in a restroom that is dirty. If you visit sitorsquat.com, you can avoid this by checking out the bathrooms on your route that are cleanest and which ones are best avoided. What a relief!

Invest in a Multi-Outlet Adapter

If you’re going to be taking your phone, a GPS, kindle and a whole host of other gadgets and you don’t want you and your road trip buddies to end up fighting over the outlet, then it would be very smart of you to invest in a multi-outlet adapter ahead of your trip, so you can all stay connected all the time.

Take Time to Talk

One of the best things about being on the road is that you have a unique opportunity to mingle with lots of people in lots of parts of the country. You shouldn’t waste this by only speaking to your travel companions, and you should resolve to start a conversation with as many people as you can. Not only will you make lots of new friends, but you’ll get the skinny on the best places to eat, the hidden attractions that visitors don’t know about and the best bars (if you’re not driving). You’ll also get to hear some interesting stories and see more of the culture outside of your own hometown.

These hacks might be simple, but they will make your next road trip the best one of your life if you use them.

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Finding Success Out Of Someone Else’s

One of the hardest times during the building of a business comes right at the very start. Figuring out exactly what you would like to be doing with your time, how you would like to do it, and where the funding to get started will come from can feel like an impossible task. During this stage, a lot of people give up, and this is where most business ventures will come to die, wasting loads of potential. This is a shame, though, as it simple doesn’t have to be this way.

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Instead, if you’re willing to follow the beat of someone else’s drum, using a path which has already proven to be successful for others could be a great way to go. There are loads of ways to approach this, with the options to have making it very easy to choose something which will float your boat, while also being able to make you some money. To help you out, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to use existing success to fuel your new company.

Investment: Getting started with your own business can be a very overwhelming process. With all of the decisions and choices you have to make without any experience, a lot of people buckle under the pressure here, and won’t be able to take their work all the way to completion. Instead, it could best to have someone else handle all of this work for you, and it isn’t too hard to find someone willing to do it.

There are loads of people out there with a burning passion for business and their own ideas. If you’re able to find someone like this, with an idea which you are confident in, you will be able to start looking into the idea of helping to fund them. There are loads of websites out there which are designed to help you with this, making it easy to find an option which appeals to you. Of course, you have to make sure that this is a company you can put your heart into.

Taking a route like this isn’t always a sure thing, though. You will have to put a huge amount of trust into someone else, relying on them to use your money correctly to boost your company. Along with this, you won’t have full control of the business, and may not even be able to help with making the big decisions. For a lot of people, this won’t feel right, and you might want to look for an option which leaves you in full ownership of the company.

Franchising: As one of the best ways to do this, franchising is one of the most popular ways to start a new business. Instead of coming up with your own idea and branding for it, you will pay an existing organisation to let you use theirs. A lot of fast food places operate like this, with small owners being supported by a wider network of professionals. This can make it nice and easy to avoid the early stages of struggling to set up your brand.

Getting started with something like this is the main selling point which comes with it. Once you’ve looked through the available FranNet Franchises for sale, you will start to get an idea of the business you’d like to run. With an option chosen, you will be provided with everything you need to kick off the business, and can start to make money almost as soon as the paperwork is signed. This will make it a lot easier to manage the branding and products your business uses.

Every option has one or two downsides, though, and franchises aren’t any exception. These sorts of business opportunities are never cheap, as the people selling them have had to work incredibly hard to build them up. While this is fair, it can make it very hard to get started, holding people back when they go down this route. To help you out with this part of the job, a lot of lending organizations are very open to these ventures and might be able to help you.

A Model: Finally, as the last option to consider, it’s time to think about a broader approach. Instead of using someone else’s idea, you could look at the business model they use, and try to find a way to apply it to your own company. A great example of this is subscription services. Over the last few years, these products have gained a lot of popularity, and this has led to more and more companies offering them, working to take their piece of the pie.

Finding a model like this which will work is as much about creativity as it is about research. When you find a model which could work for you, adapting it to meet the needs of your company could be hard. To help with this, a business advisor will be able to tell you if they think your idea is good, while also providing you with some common paths to take on the way. You just have to make sure that you’re choosing a model which has proven to be very successful.

Like the other options in this list, this route isn’t exactly perfect. While you will be using a model which has worked for another type of company, you could be going into unchartered waters for a business like your own. This can make it hard to feel confident in the work you’re doing. Along with this, some people will find that following another model will be hard without a lot of adaptation, at which point the successful element may have been unintentionally removed.

(Image Credit)

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, you will be in a much better position to start working on your next business. Using someone else’s success to drive your own is a method which has been used for thousands of years. Of course, though, nowadays, this sort of approach is more than just handy, and can save you a huge amount of time and money.

 

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If Someone Collapsed, Would You Know What to Do?

Most of us like to think that if the situation called for it, we’d be a hero. We’d rush across the road to save an elderly lady, we’d run into a burning building to save a baby. However in the moment when something bad happens, many of us respond in the same way. We’re crippled with fear or panic. We’re only human after all. When someone collapses, it’s usually a race against the clock. A heart attack, stroke, allergic reaction or other issue could mean that the longer the person is unconscious the less chance they have of making a proper recovery later on. For this reason it’s worth having some knowledge, some idea what to do if someone nearby collapses suddenly.

Keep Safe

The first thing to think about when someone collapses is keeping yourself and others around you safe. Creating further danger and injury will do no one any good and create more pressure for the emergency services. Stay out of roads, be wary of structural damage. If for example something has fallen and hit their head, make sure the area is now safe and you’re not in danger of it happening again. Another thing to be wary of is electricity. If a person has collapsed due to electric shock, touching them could cause you to be shocked. Keep your wits about you, and make sure you’re not going to make the situation worse before jumping in to help.

From this website

Checking Response

When someone collapses, you should immediately check if they are able to respond. Ask if they can hear you, you could ask simple questions such as if they are able to speak and if not, if they can wiggle their fingers and toes. If they remain unconscious, check their airways and breathing. Put them into the recovery position which will keep their airway open.

Call for Help

While you are checking for response, you or someone else should be calling the emergency services. If someone has been unconscious, even for a short time they should be checked out by a medical professional. If you’re in a location that’s difficult for a regular ambulance to reach, medical flight transport can get them to hospital in the shortest time possible. This is of course essential when it could be a life or death matter. Dial for an ambulance right away, speak clearly and give your location. Be prepared to follow instructions and administer CPR if the emergency services operator on the phone tells you what to do. If you have a defibrillator nearby (these are often found in public places) you may be asked to use this.

Sometimes collapsing isn’t too much of a cause for concern. Fainting sometimes happens, and there could be lots of reasons why. Many aren’t serious. However you should never take a chance, call the emergency services and let them check the person over. It could literally save their lives. It’s important to remain calm, take precautions and follow the instructions of the professionals.

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5 Ultimate Ways To Give Your Home-Based Business A Boost

https://unsplash.com/photos/8u5JvXfp4uw

When it comes to running a business from home, it’s often very easy for you to think that you have to do things on a small scale. After all, you’re not a huge corporation, so why should you get to do things big? Well, it’s also important for you to remember that every business starts somewhere. While you may not think that you’re in the best position to create a successful business, you’ve always got the potential to do it. Because many successful businesses are built from home. And if you want to build your own empire, you’re going to want to make sure that you give your current setup a bit of a boost. But what’s going to help you to do that?

Branding

First of all, you’re going to want to take an objective look at your brand in terms of your image. If you don’t currently have one, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, you need to create a brand for yourself that will allow you to project the right image of your business out into the world. From design, colors, and fonts, to the language you use, make sure that you’re harnessing your brand and making the right impression.

A Social Expert

You know that social media and having an online presence is important, but you may not know the best way to create that for yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go without. Instead, bring in a social media expert to do this for you, and get the results you want.

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Efficient Systems

However, you’re not just going to want to focus on the things that can be seen from an outside perspective. Because at the same time, you also have to make sure that your internal operations are given a bit of a boost. You’ll find that efficient systems and cloud solutions and services for business will help you here. When you set up ways of doing things and have the most efficient services to help you, you’ll be able to give your business a boost.

Productivity Software

But having some great systems in place is just half the battle. They’ll really transform the way you do business, but you actually have to get working on them in order for that to happen. If you find that productivity is an issue for you, then productivity products and software for business will also be a massive help. Because as much as your image or social profile can give you a boost, an increase in your execution and output can often do more.

Some Good PR

And finally, never underestimate the power of good old-fashioned PR. Right now, you might be a small business that nobody knows about, but it doesn’t have to say that way for long. In fact, with your new branding and social pushes in place, getting some good PR in place could be perfectly well timed. You’ll often find that when your business starts to crop up in the media a bit more, all three work well together to give your business the boost that it’s been needing.

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The Practical Side To Living On Three Or More Floors

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When it comes to buying your dream house, space is always going to be a big and important consideration. Because we all want to make sure that the property we pick to be the base of our homes is somewhere that is going to facilitate our lifestyles. Yes, design and style matters, but when you’re trying to find the perfect place, you have to be practical. This is often the reason that many of us choose to live in houses with lots of floors. Single or double story homes can often come with enough space if you have the square footage, but sometimes space can be limited, so we tend to go up rather than out. However, when you’re living on three, four, or more floors, there are some key practical considerations to take in to make your life a little easier.

Layout

First of all, you’re going to want to get your head around the layout. Whether you’re moving into a place that is already done for you or you’re looking to renovate, when you’re living across a range of floors, you need to work with a layout that suits your lifestyle. A lot of the time, you won’t find that your living space or your kitchen is on the same floor. But that can be okay. Splitting your main living areas can work out as long as your bedrooms are well located. This can be essential when you have small children and want to ensure that your rooms are close to each other. Sometimes, you’ll want to rejig the layout to make sure it works a little better for your family’s lifestyle.

Space

From here, you then need to make sure that you’re utilizing as much of the space as possible. If your home does have the basement and attic converted, you’ll want to make use of them. However, if they aren’t currently converted, it’s often a smart idea to do this so that you can create more space on all floors. This is also a great way of adding on bedrooms.

Movement

Of course, for a lot of people, living across three or more floors can be a concern in terms of moving through the house. Minimizing stair usage, installing dumbwaiter installation services by Lift Works, or a full lift itself, can be a smart solution here. If you have issues with mobility, this can be a way of reducing the amount of movement or heavy lifting you have to do between floors.

Storage

You also have to get pretty smart with your storage too. When you’re spread across a range of floors but limited by your square footage width wise, you’ll need smart storage ideas by Apartment Therapy to really maximize your space.

Outside Space

Another concern is also your outside space. We’re mainly looking at homes that are compact, and won’t necessarily have acres of space. As with your interiors, you’re going to want to think about doing a lot with your small space. Limiting grass and opting for a tidy outside lounging or dining area can be the best way to make the most of the space you have.

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