Empty Nesters: Time To Forget Your Age

Aging parents can have a hard time coping when their children have left the family home. Indeed, as a parent, you can feel useless. As an individual, the sudden realization that you are not the young adult you were when you started your family can be equally painful. But the truth is that most parents will go through the empty nest experience, and it is the sign that you’ve done your job as a parent. However, don’t let the situation affect the way you think of yourself. Time has passed and now’s the perfect moment to train yourself to forget about your age. 

Fancy a RC car race down the park?

Nobody is ever too old to have fun

Do you have moments when you find yourself avoiding activities and hobbies that you think are for young people? While it’s fair to say that the aging process is as much a physical as it is mental development, empty nesters who believe they are too old to do this or that are more likely to struggle with a variety of self-inflicted health issues. The truth is, age is only a number. As long as you are safe, there is nothing you can’t do, and that includes splashing out on the best RC rally car to have a play at your local park. Don’t let your mind put age in your way of fun. 

Who said there’s no gym for seniors?

Just because your local gym tends to attract a young population, there is no reason why you, as an older fitness enthusiast, wouldn’t benefit from sports. In fact, keeping active is tremendously important, regardless of your age. Sports activities help not only to boost oxygen to your brain and maintain cognitive functions, but it also keeps your heart and bones healthy. More importantly, as you engage in physical activity, you learn to push the mental barriers your age would typically set for you. 

You don’t need to be young to look good

Fashion is for young people, right? You couldn’t be further from the truth. Even popular platforms, such as Instagram, are filled with accounts of huge fashion influencers who are over 50. There is no need for you to stay away from the clothes you like and embrace the dull grandparents’ style. Wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and cool at the same time is half the battle when it comes to age. You are only as old as you tell yourself to be. 

Is it too late to learn something new?

Life is full of excitement and new adventures. From the moment you decide you can’t contribute or learn anymore, your mind begins to shut down. While society continues to push the idea that a young brain is quicker and more effective, there is something that most people get wrong. Indeed, the plasticity of the brain is at its best when you’re a child and up to your 20s. However, the brain develops learning patterns and a facility to make sense of new knowledge in time. In other words, if you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, you’ll never be as good at it as today. 

In conclusion, age is no indication of your value as an individual. While it’s tricky to adjust to the situation as a new empty nester, you have to put yourself first and rediscover what you can do. Don’t deny yourself fun, sports, style, or even knowledge; the more you allow yourself to engage with the world, the younger you’ll feel. 

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Four Essential Facets Of A Business

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Creating a running a successful business takes a lot of commitment and even more work. Everyone has thought about leaving where they are now and delving into their own project, but 

the majority tend not to consider the graft that goes into it – their main focus is the success and the comfort of working for themselves. The good thing about owning a business is that anyone can do it – it’s not something that you need to be a genius to do. You’ve probably seen people you know operating a fairly successful company and wondered how they managed to reach that stage as they were never the brightest bulb. 

Whilst it’s not an impossible job, creating a business requires some research beforehand and some knowledge about all aspects of it. It’s quite an extensive list of elements, so you won’t be done in five minutes. If you’d like, let’s go through just some of the facets that should be considered.  

Writing A Business Plan

Before you even think about diving head first into a business of your own, you need to have everything planned out. Every single base needs to be covered if you’re to have a stable business. You’ll need to get everything written down in detail. Business plans act as a guide that you can follow along with as well as a reference when you need it in the future. They aren’t set in stone as soon as their written, however, as you’ll end up revising your plan as things progress. Another reason for the plan is to showcase your idea to potential investors – they’ll need to be convinced if you want to get extra funds.

Finding The Right Premises 

You’ll need a place to work. If you’ve started a small business venture from home, like digital marketing or writing, then perhaps you’ll be fine with working out of the spare room. If you’re hoping to start something bigger, you’ll need to find the correct workspace. Engineering companies, like WES, need factories with wide and safe spaces to work in. Businesses that require the majority of the day to be administrative would look at office space to operate in.  

Legal Factors  

It’s a strange and convoluted world at times, and when it comes to business, there are so many ways you can find yourself down a legal rabbit hole. You may not have even tried to cause any issues and you can still find yourself in a little trouble. Hiring a business lawyer could save you a lot of stress and a lot of problems as they’ll be able to go through any potential red flags. You could pick up a thing or two from them, also. 

The Marketing Side 

It’s a huge factor in business. You want to be able to make your brand almost instantly recognisable to people. You have adverts placed in magazine and online if you want. You could also put on events that draw crowds. There are a bunch of different marketing ploys out there, but the most popular one nowadays is social media – a cheap, free and instant way of building relationships with customers and potential customers alike.    

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Keeping Up The Curb Appeal Of Your Business Property

It’s the first thing that your clients see, and therefore, first impressions count. We often spend so much of our focus on the interiors of the property, but what about the outside? Here’s how you can improve the curb appeal of your business.

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Show Off Your Brand

There’s nothing like making a statement, and when it comes to your company’s business property, you want to show others who you are. When someone is passing by, it’s important to show them who owns the building or what company lives there. So show off your brand image or logo and style it, so it shows off loud and proud. Whether that’s stencilled onto the door or fixed onto the side of the wall. Your property needs to be spotted from a distance, and it’s a good sign when everyone can find your building, instead of ringing your reception, having no clue where you are.

Fix What’s Broken

Broken outdoor fixtures and furniture is only going to create a bad impression, and it also shows a lack of respect for your own property. So take the time to spend fixing anything like the commercial awnings, that might be broken or looking a little worn. Adding a fresh coat of paint to the windows or walls may be needed where necessary, every so often. This might be a job for the operations or building manager to keep an eye on to ensure that everything looks presentable when office hours commence. 

Add Some Colour

Colour is a great way to attract attention, and whether it’s the way you dress the building or through the branding you display, colour draws the eye. Think about your brand colours and how you could display them on the building in a stylish manner to keep within your brand’s image. Perhaps you can spill some of this colour onto the paving outside your front door if it’s allowed?

Let Nature Blossom

Nature can really transform a space, and if you have the ability to plant some nature outdoors, then it’s worth doing it and contributing positively to the environment. Consider planting some trees if you have lots of space, or if the business property is fairly small, utilise the windows with some hanging baskets. Potted plants by the front door of the reception look very pretty, and during the summer, floral arches are a luxurious way to show off. Be sure to keep this outdoor nature tidy though by getting any shrubbery pruned regularly and keep on top of the gardening aspect.

Light It Up

Need a bit of lighting to illuminate what can be a dull space? Then why not invest in some LED lighting to emphasise the structure of your building or to light the pathway to your entrance. A lot of dramatic effects can be created through light, so it’s certainly worth trying out. 

Taking time to improve your curb appeal will certainly create a lasting impression to every client for guest that walks through your doors. So use these tips and transform your outdoor space right now!

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Top Home Renovation Mistakes People Make

Managing a renovation project is similar to any other project management task. You will need to have a clear purpose and vision, or you will go off track and never achieve what you wanted to. You will need to plan every stage, or you will either run out of time, or run out of money. Below you will find a few tips on how to avoid some of the most common home renovation mistakes people make. 

Underestimating the Budget 

It is crucial that you start with assessing your budget and the cost of the project. If you don’t set a renovation cost limit, your expenses will soon spiral out of control. It is crucial that you are able to meet the obligations and have the money exactly when you need it. Taking on a short term loan might be a solution, but you might not want to do it, so you will have to budget carefully. 

Underestimating the Task 

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You have to measure the task and the time it will take you to complete every stage of the project. You will also have to avoid touching the same job twice, to save time and money. This will make your home improvement go faster and smoother. You could easily waste time on making your home cozy and then realize that you need to change your floorboards and start it all again. 

Not Measuring Everything 

Before you start dreaming about your perfect home and looking online for furniture, it is important that you get the measurements of each room. If you live in an older home, chances are that you have uneven walls, and every inch will count. You will have to create  a 3D plan using an app or free software, so you can plan and imagine your space before you would invest a lot of money in furniture that doesn’t fit. Check out https://shopdiscountdirect.com/shop/bedrooms for some amazing space saving bedroom furniture. 

Not Having a Project Plan 

When renovating your home, you will need to be the one person project management team. You will be the one to ensure that your contractors turn up on time, and you have all the materials and tools that are needed to complete the job. Draw your different phases on a project map, so it is easy to follow up. 

Not Ordering Furniture On Time 

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If you don’t know how long each phase will take, you will have no chance of getting everything ready to enjoy. When ordering furniture online or getting a custom made unit, you will need to wait a couple of weeks. If it turns up too soon, you will be stuck and have to rush your renovation, or store your furniture somewhere inconvenient. If it comes too late, you will be risking eating on boxes and sleeping on the floor for a while. 

Home improvements are not without stress and hard work, and it is hard to avoid mess and chaos. The better you manage your project, the more chances you will have to avoid problems. 

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9 Common Mistakes Website Owners Make

There’s a lot that goes into making a website. You need to have the initial idea, the time to make it happen, an idea of how to make the site profitable, and so on. Even if you do all of these things, however, it’s always possible that you won’t quite hit the heights that you expect to hit, purely because of some fundamental errors that hold the website back from reaching its full potential. If you’re not quite reaching the number of visitors that you’d like to reach, then take a read below, where we outline some of the common mistakes that website owners make. 

Source: Pexels.com

Overcomplicating the Text

You know what your website is about and why it’s there, what it should provide for your visitors, and so on. But your visitors don’t. They’re just turning up. In their quest to fill their visitors in on all the necessary information, some website owners go overboard, and try to explain everything. The text on your website should be readable, succinct, and to the point. People online have short attention spans, and they’re not going to sit through a convoluted essay that explains your website. If you find the art of writing too difficult, then hire a third party to do the job for you.  

No Focus on SEO

You could have the single greatest website in the world, yet it wouldn’t count for anything if you’re not also focusing on the SEO side of things. Building and curating the website is one half of your job; the other is in the marketing. As such, it’s recommended that you spend some time reading up on the best modern ways of spreading the word about your site. Without it, there’ll be an upper limit to how much success you will find. 

Too Much Social Media

Some website owners don’t spend enough time marketing their site; others spend too much time, and especially so when it comes to their social media channels. Now, let’s not make any mistake: your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages are important. But they are not the end goal — your website should be the end goal. You should essentially be using your social media pages as a vehicle to drive visitors to your website. Don’t make the mistake of putting all your best content on those channels — all you’ll be doing is boosting the other website’s revenue. Save it for your own site. 

Understanding the User

It’s your website, sure, but it’s not for you — it’s for your visitors. As such, you should be looking at all the site decisions through the lens of “what is best for your visitor?” One way to do this is to make the most of UX research software. With that, you’ll be able to create your website with the user experience at the forefront of your mind. They’re the ones who will be interacting with the front facing aspect of your website, so it’s in your — and their — best interests to make it as enjoyable an experience for them as possible. 

Trust Issues

The internet has done a lot of good for humanity, but it would be wrong to pretend that there are no issues. Cybercrime, for example, is increasingly common, and it’s rightly making people less trusting when it comes to the online world, and the websites that they choose to interact with. When it comes to your website, it’s important that you’re not allowing your visitors to have any doubts about your overall credibility and trustworthiness. To begin with, make sure you have all the latest security certificates (this is non-optional if you’re selling items/handling sensitive data). Another way to build trust is to have as much contact information listed on your site as possible. People will feel much more relaxed about using your site if they know that they can get in touch with you via email, live chat, phone, and so on. 

Source: Pexels.com

Lack of Value

We said earlier that your website doesn’t exist for your benefit; it’s for your visitors. So take a look at the type of things you’re putting on there, and ask yourself who it benefits. If it’s all for you, then it’s time to mix things up. You have to provide value to your visitors, otherwise, why would they come? Things like blogs, tutorials, and interesting content will all give them a reason to visit your site. You shouldn’t only be asking strangers to grow your site or business — you should give something back. 

Checking Out Processes

It takes a lot of effort to make a sale online. If you have someone who is interested in buying from you, then please, please, please, make it easy for them to complete the process. Some websites take for granted that if someone puts something in their virtual shopping cart, then they’re going to check out — in actual fact, this isn’t true. Shopping cart abandonment rates are high. Can you really afford to lose business for something as silly as a complicated checking out process? Your goal is to make it streamlined and fluid. If there are multiple steps and only one payment option, then you run the risk of them changing their mind. Don’t let it happen.

Lack of Updates

It’s always important to remember that a website owner’s work is never really done. You can sit back and admire your good work, but not for long! To stay relevant, you need to keep things updated. There’s always something questionable — and a little sad — about visiting a website that hasn’t been updated in a couple of years. Once you’ve got the fundamentals of your website in place, it’ll just be about tweaking things here and there, and also adding a regular blog — it makes a big difference!

Simple Mistakes

Finally, take the time to ensure that you’re not making any simple errors that undermine your site. Spelling and grammatical errors, as well as low-quality videos and photographs, bring down the quality of your website more than you might think. 

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Why a Sense of Purpose Can Extend Your Life

Originally posted by Silvernest Team on Mar 12, 2017 11:33:13 PM

sense-of-purpose

For many baby boomers, retirees and seniors, winding down a career, or having an empty nest can be a shock. The quiet, and lack of daily demands can take some getting used to; and it is common to feel a lack of purpose. Studies show that NOT having a purpose in life can increase illness and reduce longevity.

With 10,000 people turning 65 per day, the aging population is growing, and with greater health and vitality, a new era of “active aging” is underway. The “Third Age” of life can be one of renewed purpose via encore careers, volunteering, caring for children or meaningful travel. Science shows the best gift we can give ourselves is to have an upbeat and positive attitude about the future- whatever comes.

“It is time to expand our perceptions of aging,” said Paul Irving, president of the Milken Institute. “Having a sense of purpose literally changes everything.”

Irving went on to offer four astounding statistics on the power of positive perceptions of aging and having a purpose:

  • Yale University research has shown that older individuals with positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer.
  • Rush University Medical Center found individuals with a high level of purpose were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Older adults with positive perceptions of aging were 44% more likely to recover from severe disability than those with a negative perception of aging.
  • Having a sense of purpose in life was associated with a 19% reduced risk for both heart disease and stroke.

“Having a sense of purpose is not just ‘nice,’ it is as important to our society as good nutrition, smoking cessation or exercise and should be a public health mandate.”

At Silvernest, we have found that active aging extends into our perceptions of our homes. An empty house is a lonely house; and bringing in a roommate creates a positive vibe. Many homeowners say they are more motivated to take on little projects, cook meals, turn the music up and actually look forward to coming home seeing the lights on for a change!

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3 Common Ways That Construction Companies Waste Money

Setting up your own construction business can be very lucrative but the overheads are very high and a lot of businesses struggle to get off the ground. If you can’t manage costs effectively, you won’t be able to afford to pay for all of the equipment and materials that you need to complete jobs and the business is likely to go under.

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There are a lot of costs that you simply can’t avoid in construction so regardless of how good you are with your money, you’re always going to have high overheads. However, a lot of construction companies, particularly ones that are just starting out, waste a lot of money unnecessarily and that’s when they find themselves in a bad position. If you can avoid that waste, you stand a far better chance of surviving and thriving. These are the most common ways that construction companies waste money that you should be aware of.

Inaccurate Quotes

When you’re pricing up a job and giving a customer a quote, it’s so important that you do it accurately. A good quote should outline all of the materials costs and labor costs, accounting for any potential problems along the way. But so many new businesses end up making mistakes and it can cost them a lot of money. If you suddenly realize that the job is going to cost a lot more than you originally thought it would to complete, you can’t exactly turn around to the customer and start asking for more money. You agreed on a price and you’ll have to complete the job for that price. That means that all of the extra money is going to have to come out of your profits so if you make a mistake with the quote, you’ll be making hardly any money on the job at all. If you get it very wrong, you might even end up losing money on jobs and that’s when you’re going to be in real trouble.

The important thing is that you don’t rush it. Don’t go to look at the job and feel that you need to come back with a price right away. If you tell a customer that you need some time to consider the work and look into the material costs, that won’t put them off. In fact, they’ll be more comfortable with a company that is being thorough than they will with a company that just throws a price out there straight away because it seems unprofessional. As long as you are thorough with your quote and you make sure that it’s accurate, you should be ok. Don’t try to overprice jobs because customers may compare it with their own independent estimation. It’s also important that you don’t underprice jobs just to get customers to start with. You should try to be competitive and you can knock prices down a little, but don’t offer to do the job for half the price that everybody else will because you just won’t be making any money.

Machine Costs

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If you’re doing larger jobs and you need some heavy machinery, that will require a big investment. But a lot of construction companies waste money here as well, often by going for brand new machines all of the time. At this stage, you can’t afford to do that and you’ll be far better off buying second hand. You can still get good quality machines second hand and you’ll save yourself a lot of money. Fuel costs are a big problem as well because they fluctuate a lot and you’ll be wasting money if you buy fuel when prices are high. If you want to save money on your fuel, you need to buy a storage system from a petrol tank supplier and start buying in bulk. If you keep an eye on prices and wait until they’re low, you can save yourself so much money if you buy in bulk and store it. That way, you won’t be spending lots of money on fuel when the prices skyrocket again.

Buying machines at all might not be the best option when you’re first starting out. It may be more cost effective to just hire them out instead. If you’re doing mainly residential jobs and you don’t use heavy machinery that often, buying them is a waste. Hiring them isn’t that cost effective if you use them on every single job but if you only use them now and again, it’s easier and cheaper. You don’t have to worry about any of the maintenance costs either so you’ll save money there too.

Injuries On Site

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The construction industry is a dangerous one and health and safety is a big deal, but if you’re not following proper procedure, you going to cost yourself a lot of money. If somebody is injured on site and it is found to be a result of you not following health and safety procedures properly, you’re likely to get a big fine. If you have the right insurance, that will hopefully cover the costs but in some cases, it won’t, and you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket.

An injury that puts somebody out of action is also going to slow progress on the job. There is a chance that you’ll be forced to close the site for a while and you’ll be a man down so the job will take longer than you initially planned for it to. But you won’t be getting paid any more money and you’ll have to pay subcontractors for longer so you’re not likely to make that much profit on the job after an injury.

Even though it sometimes seems a bit excessive, you need to make sure that you’re looking after your employees properly and always follow health and safety rules to the letter. It’s also important that you check that people are properly trained and certified before you hire them because some people may exaggerate their qualifications to get the job.

If you’re going to make your construction company a success, it’s important that you avoid these common areas of waste.

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