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

Bury Your Bills In The Construction Industry

Are you struggling with the costs of running your construction company. The problem with this particular business sector is that it’s a heavy equipment industry. This means that you can have a lot of costs long before you even open your doors. You need to invest in the equipment, the supplies, the vehicles and much more to ensure that you have the right type of set up. If you don’t have a strong client list, you can quickly be buried under all the money that it has taken to get your company up and running.

So, how do we fix this problem? How do we handle some of the greatest costs you’ll face in construction?

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Hire The Best Workers

Now, you might think this is actually going to be more expensive. In the long term though, hiring a skilled, trained and qualified workforce will actually save you money. Why is this? One of the biggest unexpected costs that you can face in this industry is definitely a lawsuit. A legal claim in the construction industry could cost your business thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions that you don’t have. Hiring a solid team of workers is one of the absolute best ways to avoid the issue here. You won’t need to worry about them hurting your business through mistakes. At the very least, you need to make sure that you are using licensed workers. While unlicensed workers are cheaper, this is not an effective or smart way to cut costs. It could actually be one of the worst options available to you which is why you definitely want to avoid it.

Another way to cut costs here would be to keep health and safety standards high. It really is in your best interest to look after your workers and keep them safe. Why is this? Well, it’s again all about the finances. If workers aren’t safe, they’re at more risk of injuries and incidents that could put them off for weeks or months. You’ll either need to replace them or handle the lower levels of efficiency that come with losing a worker. Getting the right safety gear including harnesses, hard hats and ear protectors is a good step in the right direction here.

Cheapen The Deal On Equipment

Of course, one of your biggest costs is always going to be an issue with equipment. Equipment can cost thousands and then even more through both maintenance and repairs. So, how do you handle it? Well, first you need to think about where you’re purchasing the equipment from. There are lots of different possibilities here including companies like Equify Auctions. Here you can get the equipment you need at an absolute steal and make sure that you immediately reduces the overheads on your business. It’s a great choice whether you’re purchasing, cranes, trucks, diggers or any other construction equipment.

Make sure that you do compare and contrast the costs of different sellers before settling on one to buy from. Remember there are so many different sellers available, it’s always worth checking around to make sure that you find the absolute best deal.

Alternatively, you can think about avoiding the purchase altogether. Rather than committing to an expensive purchase that will immediately drive you into debt, consider renting equipment instead. This will be most suitable for equipment that you need for certain jobs rather than all the time. Cranes are perhaps the best example because these are only needed for jobs on a higher scale, quite literally. By renting equipment one of the big benefits is that you won’t have to worry about too many extra costs. This means that you’ll be able to avoid problems like maintenance and repairs that you would need to contend with if you made a permanent purchase. That said, you will still need to make sure you invest in some quality insurance. Otherwise, you could be asked to front the cost for any wear and tear that the equipment withstands.

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Keep Things Flexible

Another way to cut the costs would be to make sure that your business stays as flexible as possible on the market. How do you do this? Well, consider whether you need a home hub for your company. It’s possible that you don’t, particularly in the construction industry. While there are brand benefits of having a platform to market your business that is brick and mortar as a construction crew you can probably get by online. That is, as long as you have a solid local SEO campaign as part of your marketing plan.

This isn’t the only way to keep things flexible of course. You can also think about your workforce. Would it be best to hire freelancers rather than a full, permanent team. Again, this presents advantages and disadvantages. The benefit? You’ll be able to avoid a lot of the costs that are associated with a full team of workers under your thumb. The main disadvantage? It’s hard to build loyalty with this type of set up which means that unless you’re using an outsourcing agent, you could see a high level of churn. This unpredictability can have a negative impact on cost.

Think Small Sell Big

Finally, you may wish to consider looking at smaller jobs for your construction crew, at least at first. Smaller jobs are a smart choice because this means lower levels of equipment and materials. But you can still make an absolute killing in this section of the market. So, what are we talking about here? Well, there are few options including loft conversions, landscaping and extensions. All are comparatively smaller jobs but can still be very profitable if you keep costs under control and build up a solid client base.

The trick here is to make sure that you know how to provide the quality without blowing the budget. Remember, the budget of a client will typically impact the costs that you’ll need to handle too.

We hope this helps you manage the costs in construction more effectively and bury the bills under the foundations.

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4 Things You Need In Case Your Car Breaks Down

When your car breaks down, it can be one of the most stressful moments you’ll encounter. Not only do you rely upon your car for a lot of the things that you do in your day-to-day life, but you may also be in a really inconvenient place when the breakdown occurs, and there is little that you can do about it. Whilst it may be an irritating and perhaps upsetting experience, there are some things that you can do – and some things that you need – if your car breaks down, and we’ve listed them here.

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  1. A torch

Whilst it sounds like an unnecessary thing to carry in your car, you’ll be glad that you have a torch if you break down during the night, especially if you’re on a road that isn’t very well-lit. You may also have to walk somewhere to get some assistance, which can be daunting in the dark, so make sure that you always have a torch in the car just in case an emergency situation arises.

  1. Good contacts for repairs

When your car breaks down, you just want it to get fixed as soon as is humanly possible, as there is nothing worse than being without it when you have to commute to work, and to your other commitments and hobbies. All car owners need to have the right contacts, so that you can get your car fixed without spending ages looking around for the right people to do it. Be smart, and have some phone numbers at the ready.

  1. A way to get the car parts you need

If you need to get your car fixed, you can save yourself a bit of cash by being switched on when it comes to car parts. Whether you’ve experienced a breakdown or not, make sure you’re aware of a website like https://www.breakeryard.com/car-parts/bmw so that you can order in the parts as soon as you need them. This will save you the expense of buying them directly from the auto shop, and you’ll be able to ensure that the prices you’re being charged are reasonable compared to the average.

  1. Blankets

Another small thing that you should always carry in your car is blankets, as you never know when you’re going to need them, particularly in the winter months. If you have to stand outside of your car whilst somebody comes to tow you, you could live to regret not bringing any along, as the wait can be quite a long one sometimes. Be clever here, and think about how many you’d need if a breakdown occurred. Your family will thank you if anything happens!

So, if your car breaks down, you need to make sure that you have a multitude of things on hand, from torches and blankets, to good contacts for repairs and car parts, so that you can get back on the road in no time. If you have all of these things sorted, you’ll be glad that you did if anything happens to you, so stock up and be prepared!

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5 Reasons You Could Lose Your Job

No one ever wants to think about losing their job. It’s just one of those things that’s hard to discuss because there is still shame that surrounds not being able to keep a job. Even if you work really hard, there are still circumstances that could cost you your career, and even if you show up every day on time and enthusiastic, there could still be things that you’re doing that could see you enjoying a pink slip at the end of a day.

It just hurts. If you’re in a position where you are worried about your job, it’s worth having a chat to your HR department about it before it becomes a problem. There are some circumstances where you can’t help but lose your job on your own terms, especially if you end up injured in your way to work, don’t show up and spend time trying to work out what to do when you’re in a car accident and you need time off. Your employer has to give you some wiggle room, but it doesn’t mean that they have to keep you on if you need extended leave. However, other than circumstances where you have no choice but to leave, there are times you could be working hard and still lose your job. Here they are:

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  • You were working on the wrong things.


Believe it or not, you could be spending your week and your overtime plugging away and still find that you are let go – because you worked hard on all the wrong things. If you’re not fulfilling your job duties, then you’re not going to be kept on.


  • You’re bored – and it shows.


There’s every chance that working on your job role isn’t fulfilling for you, and if you find that you’re not staying focused on your role because it’s just not challenging for you, then there’s a chance that you are going to show that to others.


  • You’ve got no allies.


In a business, you need friends. Getting alone with your colleagues is a must and if you’re not willing to do that, you’re going to struggle with being kept on. Companies have a culture, and if you’re not part of that culture you’re not going to survive in the company.


  • You’re overworked and making mistakes


There is such a thing as overworking, you know. All that overtime and those long hours? Not always a good thing. Take the time to slow down a little and make sure that you’re making time for yourself while you work, because overwork leads to sloppiness, which leads to making mistakes that you don’t intend to make.


  • You’re never there.


Earlier, we mentioned an injury that could put you out of action. Not being able to attend the office regularly can make your employer let you go because they need someone else to fill the gap you’re leaving. Some employers won’t allow for remote work, and while you can’t be fired for recovering, you can if they need the spot.

There are about a hundred more reasons for being fired, but it’s worth avoiding all of them!

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Development Outsourcing Metrics

Outsourcing is no longer a new concept. Lots of companies are electing to use service providers to supply certain tasks as opposed to handling them in-house. When done correctly, outsourcing can be extremely efficient and profitable. Yet, one thing that needs to be considered prior to the process of outsourcing is the development of metrics. These are essentially guidelines that are developed in order to make certain that the service provider’s deliverables meet the expectations of the customers or end users. Keeping that in mind, in this post we will take a look at the main considerations in development outsourcing metrics, so keep on reading to discover what they are…


First and foremost we have people metrics. This relates to the individuals who work at the company you are considering outsourcing a portion of your work to. You should develop a set list of skills and qualifications you expect from the employees of the service provider. This will help to ensure that they possess the necessary skills and experience you require. Measuring performance is another metric that should be considered when it comes to developing the necessary guidelines for the employees.

Aside from this, two other important metric areas are cost and responsiveness. Let’s deal with the former first. Cost metrics are imperative to ensure you do not receive any nasty surprises when the company invoices you for the work they have provided. It’s vital to establish a cost per function point for both maintenance, like outsourced IT support, and enhancements. Aside from this, responsiveness is another critical metric. Businesses that do not establish this metric prior to outsourcing often live to regret it, as communication proves to be inefficient. You should establish commitment timeframes for project estimates, enhancements, call backs, ad hoc requests and the closing of production application defects.

We have already discussed the people metrics that are needed to ensure a quality service, yet you should also consider technology and process metrics in order to achieve this as well. After all, no matter how skilled the workforce may be, if they do not have the right tools and systems for the service you require they are not going to be able to complete it effectively. Putting in place guidelines in regards to processes and technology will help to ensure that you are happy with the service you receive. You may also wish to implement a customer satisfaction survey as part of a customer satisfaction metric at a certain phase of the outsourcing process to ensure that the service provider is actually meeting the goals of your end users.

All in all, this post has presented some of the fundamental development outsourcing metrics you definitely need to consider when you begin the process of looking for the best service provider for your needs specifically. This should give you a basic guideline regarding the approach you should take to measuring providers and ensuring they supply the standard of service you require. You may need to add additional metrics in regards to your company and/or the part of your business you are outsourcing.

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Online Marketing Strategies For Those On A Budget

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When it comes to growing your business online, marketing is right at the heart of everything you do, but it can be extremely overwhelming when you go online and see the big gurus and entrepreneurs with the flashy marketing and telling you that you need to have this strategy or this system otherwise you’ll definitely fail.

Not only is it untrue that there’s just one marketing strategy, tool or system that will work for you, but it’s also not necessary for your marketing to be flashy or cost a lot of money. Although it’s always great to be able to invest at higher levels and make your marketing look more professional and polished, but this is not necessary for success, and is only something you should do if it makes practical and financial sense for your business.

In this post, we’re going to share with you some of the top online marketing strategies that you can try out to see which ones are best suited to you, and the great thing about these strategies is that they’re simple enough that anyone can use them, and they really work well no matter what your marketing or start up budget is.


If you have any kind of online business – even if you have an offline business, you should be using the power of blogging to share great content with your audience. If you’ve never blogged before, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the process, but really the best thing to do is come up with a list of topics that you think your audience would be interested in learning about and then creating some posts in advance around that, once you’ve created some posts in advance so you can schedule them out and remain consistent, since consistency is what contributes to growth.


Creating a podcast show is another great way to reach an audience of people who may be interested in your products and services, and the great thing is you don’t need to come up with new and separate content each time. You can repurpose the blog content or take snippets of each post and then expand on it. Don’t worry about repeating yourself because not everyone consumes content in the same format – some people prefer blogs or videos, whilst others prefer podcasts.


Webinars are a fantastic marketing strategy when done right. They have gotten a bit of a bad rap in recent years because some people have been using them in a very sleazy way and only looking to make sales without delivering any real value. However, if you have a high value product or service such as coaching, copywriting, or even IT Support Services, then you could create a webinar that provides great value around one of these and then pitch your services at the end.

Social Media:

Social media is not about making sales, but building connections and relationships. If you’re able to do this with your audience, then the sales will come, so make sure you’re utilizing the power of social media for marketing your business online.

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Explore The Costs Of Car Ownership

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Owning a car gives you a sense of freedom like few other things in your life. The ability to jump in your vehicle and hit the road is something that every driver should never take for granted. But, unfortunately there comes a price with having that freedom and these must be considered before taking the plunge into purchasing your car. So here are some of the other costs that come with owning a car.


There is one expenditure that stands out above all others and that is the price of gas. Your car needs it in order to operate, but whether you’re a petrol or diesel user the cost of fuel is never going to be too far from your mind. If you are concerned about the amount you are spending on your gas, then you might want to look at websites like Fuel Economy that will calculate how much you are spending on miles per gallon. The current national average for gas prices is $2.250 but can be almost a dollar more than that in different parts of the country.


Cars take a lot of work to maintain, it could be a breakdown while driving or just general day to day maintenance that you need to undertake. Unlike in other countries like the UK, there is not a yearly car inspection required for your car so long as it can drive above 55 mph and has working lights. However, depending on your state you might need to pass regular emission tests.

Keeping your car in full working order is important and you can do that by taking good care of it yourself in an attempt to avoid paying the average of over $500 on auto-repairs. Some things that you can do include keep your car clean to avoid damaging the body or allowing dirt to cause erosion, make sure you are replacing the car’s liquids regularly and inspect your tires before any significant journey.

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Car Fees

Just owning a car that sits on the driveway still costs you money. You should make sure you are aware of the costs involved in insuring your vehicle and registering it for road use. These costs are usually annual expenditures so can be worked into your household budget relatively easily. With the insurance aspect, make sure you are shopping around and using comparison websites to get the best deal available to you.

Other Costs

Finally, there are all sorts of other costs that can arise when you own a car. One example is a fine for speeding or other misdemeanors. However, don’t just accept these fines, especially if you are not convinced by the accusation. Websites like TicketBust can help you handle any claims against your driving with regards to a ticket you have received.

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Failed Your New Year’s Resolutions Already? Here’s Why

Sorry to break it to you if you’ve made some great new year’s resolutions recently, but the majority of resolutions actually fail come February – around 80%, in fact. This shouldn’t put you off making goals that could help you to improve your life. After all, everybody should aim to get better in one way or another, whether that’s managing money better, getting more sleep, reading more books, or doing something else that’s beneficial and meaningful. Making changes like this to your life can mean you enjoy life more and find your life more fulfilling.

However, failing your resolutions can be disheartening, and can send you off on a downward spiral. Some people have an ‘all or nothing’ mentality, and this means that failing a new year’s resolution can put them even further back then when they first began their quest to improve.

Perhaps you have an all or nothing mentality and you really need to cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to be perfect to reach your goals, or have absolutely everything laid out – you just need to keep moving forward, remember your ‘why’, and find other ways to be better than you were yesterday.

Below, we’ll discuss a few more reasons why you may be failing when it comes to improving aspects of your life, and you’ll find some ideas to help you overcome them, too.


You Haven’t Managed Your Time Properly

Proper time management is absolutely key, whatever it is you want to achieve. You need to make sure that you are prioritizing your most important tasks, and getting them done before anything else so that they aren’t bogging you down all day. For example, if your resolutions are to stay physically and mentally fit, why not meditate and workout before the rest of your day begins? Then you’re already off to a winning start!

You Haven’t Found The Right Help

You won’t always be able to do things alone. In fact, it’s a good idea to get some help from time to time. Perhaps you’d benefit from speaking to a career counselor if you want a new job, or a financial advisor if you want to finally get your finances in order. You might even benefit from an expungement attorney if you want to make sure that your past mistakes aren’t impacting your future opportunities. Do your research – a mentor could even be a great idea for you.

You’re Not Looking At This In The Long Term

Whatever it is you want to achieve, you need to come up with a plan that’s sustainable. Don’t be afraid to take it slow at first.

You’re Overthinking Things

Sometimes you need to stop thinking and just start doing. Just take one baby step in the right direction. All success is, is a series of baby steps!

You Don’t Have A Strong Enough ‘Why’

A strong ‘why’ will keep you going when things get tough. Write yours down and put them somewhere you can see them.

You’re Not Tracking Your Results

Tracking your results can help you to see how far you’ve come and help you to stay motivated. You could keep a journal to monitor your progress, for example.

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