Catering Food For a Large Business Function

Food Hygiene Regulations must always be followed if you are in the food catering business even if the food is handled and prepared in your own home. When catering for functions especially large groups such as a business function you can forget about the safety measures that need to be followed in order to deliver quality food on a big set up stage.

Foods that need extra special care:
Potential food poisoning is always a hazard when foods are not handled properly. A wide variety of foods such as raw poultry, meat, and meat products may contain food poisoning bacteria and are often associated with food poisoning outbreaks. Fish and other seafood products have also been associated with food poisoning. Desserts containing raw eggs such mousses and home-made ice creams may cause problems too. Care must also be practised when handling unprocessed foods such as raw salads and vegetables. Most raw foods can be a source of bacteria that can cause food poisoning that is why proper precautions must be taken.

Common Faults that Cause Food Poisoning:
Some of the common practices that could trigger food spoilage:
Improper storage, Insufficient temperature- cold or hot foods not kept on ideal temperature, under-cooked foods, and bacterial contamination.

Catering for any event means that large quantities of cooked or raw food compete for space in the fridge or freezer. Poor storage is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Since domestic fridges are not designed to hold large amounts of food needed for functions, some of the foods may be left unrefrigerated for a prolonged time, thus causing the food to spoil. Always be cautious. Before accepting any contracts, make sure that your fridge and freezer has a storage capacity that can handle the needed to keep the food safe and clean, especially when catering for large numbers from home. Dripping or defrosting foods must be kept at the bottom part of the fridge below any cooked foods. Salad trays must be protected from drips at any cost. Make sure that cooked and uncooked are not stored together.

Temperature control:
Perishable foods must always be kept in the fridge at the ideal temperature to prevent bacterial growth. If you are catering Hawthorn then ensure you have appropriate transport and technology food is delivered and consumed at a safe temperature.

Things to remember:
Utilise a fridge thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the fridge. Do not overload the refrigerator. If the cooling air circulating within the fridge can’t flow freely, then the efficiency of the fridge is jeopardised. Always keep the door closed. The unnecessary opening of the fridge door could cause the temperature to rise. Food that needs to be stored in the fridge before eaten must be prepared last to guarantee freshness and prevent contamination. Once everything is ready, getting the food to the venue is another matter. This can be an issue if you need to transport large quantities of perishable food. You need to consider if there are facilities adequate for hot or cold foods at the venue as well. Adequate fridge and cooker capacities are as important as in the home.

Sufficient cooking is the key to killing any harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It is advisable that the temperature at the centre reaches at least 70°C for at least 2 minutes. Before cooking meat or poultry, make sure that it is properly thawed. You can either place it in the fridge or microwave it. Ensure that the centre of the meat is well cooked by cooking until the juices run clear. Cooked food must only be reheated once and it must be heated all the way through. Don’t take any chances. Cook food all the way through even if there are people waiting to eat.

Cross contamination, one of the leading causes of food poisoning outbreaks, is the transfer of bacteria or contaminants from one surface to another.
Cooking by large quantities can mean more people in the kitchen who could be potential bacteria carriers. Large quantities of meat and uncooked foods are in danger of contamination. Numerous pots, pans, and utensils also need to be properly washed for the food preparation. Here are some tips to help reduce cross contamination: Prepare cooked and uncooked food separately. Do not use the same utensils or tools such as knives or chopping board when preparing them unless the tools are properly washed and sanitised. Wash used tools and worktops with hot water and detergent. Always keep your hands clean. Sanitise before preparing any food, especially between handling raw and cooked foods. Change dishcloths and towels frequently. Clean any injuries such as cuts or grazes and cover them with a waterproof dressing. Use a separate kitchen towel when wiping your hands. People who are recently ill with diarrhoea or vomiting must not be admitted into the kitchen. Ready to eat food must be kept clean and must not come in contact with meat, poultry or any unwashed foods.
Always Remember: In catering for large business functions, do not take any chances. Safety First.

AdWords for Your Business

As your company grows and you start to develop a sense of what works and what does not when it comes to driving revenue, you will eventually be confronted with the chance to join the Google AdWords game. You will then have the choice to produce a more robust advertising focus on the job, or outsource the job to someone with technical expertise. But to find the correct partner, you will need to know the appropriate questions to ask.

Choosing the right service for you

When outsourcing your AdWords campaign management, always try to find an AdWords agency with some practical experience working with customers in your trade. Coca Cola would not work with an agency that has never done beverage advertisements before, so don’t you make that mistake, either. Perhaps the perfect agency has worked with a competitor of yours in the past.

Locally-focused companies (i.e., businesses that service a particular geographic area) should attempt to find a local service with demonstrated experience targeting customers locally (every area has its own quirks). Bigger agencies are normally less locally-focused, can be cost-prohibitive for smaller home service companies, and are more likely to be diverted by higher-paying accounts. When outsourcing, consider everything that goes into an ad campaign, such as:

  • Keyword investigation and installation
  • Ad copy (i.e., content) and graphic design
  • Reporting
  • Campaign updates and adjustments

In a perfect world, your agency partner can handle the heavy lifting in all those realms (otherwise, you will need a strategy to do this work yourself). Even minor, continuing changes to ad copy can be time consuming but create a huge gap on the overall performance of your ad campaigns.

Another important consideration is finding a service which will be 100% clear with you and discuss specific, detailed reports and raw data. A partner who attempts to hide the performance information that you have access to probably does not have your best interests in mind.

For a home service company, learning the ins and outs of AdWords campaigns is vital. Even if you never take AdWords on in house, you still need the knowledge necessary to evaluate your agency’s performance and understand where your money is going.

Best practices for successful advertising campaigns

If you know early July is an important time for generating business, you need to have your AdWords campaign entirely planned and ready prior to this time.

Another key to success with AdWords is to define what success is beforehand by identifying what ‘conversions’ you want to see. If your advertisement causes someone to go to your web site, and do nothing else, is that a conversion? Does the visitor need to complete a form, call your office, book a job, or something else to call it a triumph? There are many different measures on the customer traffic. If you do not agree with your service provider beforehand–in concrete terms–about what success is, you are setting both companies up for irritating failure.

Investing in the help of a digital agency to help grow your business is a big step. Be blunt in communicating your needs and expectations and do not be afraid to ask pointed questions, or walk away if you don’t feel like you’re getting everything you require.

Always start off with month-to-month deals initially and remain on top of your agency to provide the reports you require, on-time, every time. Demand focus on what they’re working on a continuous basis to enhance your advertising campaign results and make them show you their work logs and correlate efforts to improved outcomes.

Using Bitcoins in Real Estate

Bitcoin is getting a great deal of press recently, mainly due to the substantial growth in value of bitcoins within the previous 12 months. Lots of men and women are considering Bitcoin as potential alternative investment strategies and this article will discuss whether or not you can use Bitcoin to sell or purchase a property.

There was recently a story of somebody who was selling their home in Western Australia, and they were only accepting Bitcoins as the form of payment for the home. This is quite possibly a first in Australia’s real estate market.

So, it raises the question, can you purchase or lease a property with Bitcoin and if so, how do you go about doing this?

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralised electronic currency also referred to as a cryptocurrency and it’s created online and it was made using software.

Bitcoin is made in such a way that you don’t need banks to hold cash and you do not have to go through a central system to transfer currency. It is decentralised so that you can send money directly from one person to another with little or no fees.

The more bitcoins created, the harder it is to create new ones. This helps to stabilise the currency and be sure that there’s no one person who can say “well I will devote an influx of bitcoins to the industry.”

There is over one billion dollars of Bitcoin currency in the market right now. So, there are a whole lot of different exchanges on the market. We can exchange money for Bitcoins or bitcoins to your regional currency.

The risk associated with Bitcoin

Probably the most obvious danger of investing in cryptocurrency is the varying exchange rates of Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s exchange rate was relatively stable in its early days but in the past twelve months there has been a dramatic change. The value of Bitcoins increased from $10 per Bitcoin to more than $200 per Bitcoin. You can use a cryptocurrency calculator to calculate the current value of Bitcoins against the Australian dollar.

However, it is not all happy days, it’s not always going up, there have been cases where bitcoin has dropped dramatically in value. One of these instances was when China actually closed down lots of the trades of a bitcoin and overnight the exchange rate almost halved.

In recent times, there was a robbery of bitcoins worth $470 million. Someone came and clearly robbed all these bitcoins in huge quantities and all that information on this is blowing up on the net right now.

There was also a story of a man who threw out a hard drive a few years ago and has since realised that because of Bitcoin’s increased value, the value of Bitcoins on that hard drive would be approximately $14 million. So, if you are storing Bitcoin in your computer or your hard drive don’t throw them out.

And lastly, you have got probability of hackers. There have been cases where online hackers have targeted online currency exchanges. So, there is a risk that when you are making or receiving a payment, you are at risk. Furthermore, a cryptocurrency wallet, which is a program required for the exchange of currency may be at risk also.

Why sell or buy property with Bitcoin?

Many people do not know about or understand cryptocurrency yet so the idea of buying or selling property with Bitcoin will likely cause a media stir. Property agents can use this a marketing strategy for properties, getting media attention and attracting buyers wanting to be involved with something new and exciting. On the other hand, many would prefer to purchase property the old-fashion way – with regular money.

Consider it in your own life, if you are flicking through and you find a property you like but it is only available with cryptocurrency, you are most likely going to be turned off. Many people today are not yet familiar with cryptocurrency and because of this they don’t trust it. Although Bitcoins are becoming increasingly popular, they are not yet a mainstream form of currency exchange and as a result most people do not feel comfortable with the idea.

Next time you see an office building for sale, see whether cryptocurrency is a valid form of payment, it may not be now but in the next few years cryptocurrency may become the main form of currency exchange.

GPS Tracking for Businesses

As a fleet management specialist for an HVAC or plumbing company, you’re knowledgeable about GPS tracking software by now and might even already be sold on the benefits it can offer. Now, you will need to pitch the demand for the applications to your peers or top management.

How can you build the business case for GPS monitoring? This guide will outline the best method to collect information, present your findings, and convince your staff to embrace GPS monitoring to enhance business operations. Many business coaches insist on GPS tracking for a range of fields.

Identifying the problem areas for your organisation

What are the business issues you’re having that revolve around your fleet? Lots of you are not quite sure and certainly do not know the information.

  • Do you understand the expense of excessive idling for your company?
  • Do you know which of your drivers are the safest or pose the most danger?
  • Do you know the average time spent at each customer location?
  • Do you know how many unnecessary miles are driven in a day/week/month?
  • How well do you keep up with vehicle maintenance?

Most fleet management professionals don’t have analytics and insight into mobile workforce operations beyond what they physically see or hear about. You already know that GPS technology is available to assist you and your management staff collect this information so what are you waiting for?

The way to construct your business case would be to perform a pilot, or proof of concept, using a GPS tracking program. Begin by creating a list of the problem areas for your vehicles in addition to the areas that you think could use improvement, and focus on these areas throughout the trial. You’ll almost certainly discover that the technology can help resolve these business challenges and also help tackle different issues you were not aware of.

Collecting data to make your case

In the start of the trial, establish metrics for what you would like to measure. By way of instance, if fuel consumption/cost is a problem area for you, measure idle time/run-time, unauthorised use, paths taken, and petrol trades. Translate that information into dollars and cents.

Many businesses decide to conduct a blind trial, meaning they don’t mention installing the GPS devices to their workers and track fleet operations for 15 days to collect a baseline of information. Needless to say, you don’t use the information in the first half of this trial to punish any workers, it’s an indication into your worker productivity. Understanding where you currently stand is just what you will need to realise how much room for improvement you have.

After the first 15 days, inform your employees that you’re testing out GPS tracking and place some expectations and policies in place. Gauge the gap in the information for another 15 days to find out how much GPS monitoring helps enhance your fleet operations. Running a pilot will provide you more than enough information to back your claims up to your peers or upper management as definitive evidence for why you require GPS tracking.

Proposing GPS tracking to your peers or upper management

At times the case could be that upper management tasked you with locating a GPS tracking solution. Thus, it is not so much about suggesting the benefits of the technology to them since it is which company to go for. The majority of the time however, there are stakeholders or other decision makers that don’t have this GPS tracking software on their radar, so you’ll need to pitch it to them.

Most executives will initially simply see GPS monitoring software as a cost, when in actuality it’s quite the opposite. When you must present your findings to peers or even upper management, you will need to show them the many benefits, dollar savings, and ROI that you discovered in the trial.

Work with your representative from the GPS monitoring business to put together a presentation that covers the vital data. Contain the problems you found and improvements made during the pilot which contrasts your baseline metrics into your own results. Additionally, present your aims for additional improvement and anticipated ROI from using GPS tracking. Once this information is introduced, there should not be much disagreement as to whether or not your company requires this technology.

Picking the best GPS monitoring solution for your organisation

Once you’ve introduced the need and have approval to proceed with a GPS monitoring project, you want to select which provider to choose. Bear in mind that there are lots of GPS monitoring companies on the current market, and they’re not all created equal. Some are better suited for construction management businesses, whilst others cater more specifically to freight companies.

Here’s a listing of the top five criteria that the GPS monitoring provider you choose must have.

Delivers most ROI

To be able to get the most out of a GPS monitoring investment, you will need to pick the solution that will deliver the maximum return on that investment. Instead of only considering the purchase price tag, it’s important to look at just how much the solution will lower your fleet costs. Only the ones which are highly configurable and that examine the broadest assortment of fleet metrics make it possible for supervisors to comprehensively measure and manage their fleet operations. You don’t need to limit your potential savings by choosing a solution solely on cost.

Quality customer service

Make certain to select a business with superior customer service. You will want to have an experienced and friendly US-based service team which will help you through any problems you have with installations, troubleshooting, and software training. This can be something you need to have available to you 24/7/365. It’s important that they can’t just solve your issue, but fix it on the first call. An excellent customer service and support team will save you from many headaches you’ll otherwise have.

Ease of use

Afford the time to make certain that the solution you choose is simple to use. Compare it to other solutions in the marketplace to help make the best choice. The last thing you need is to select software that’s not intuitive and confusing. Nobody will use it, and you’ll have wasted your money. When it is simple to use, it requires less effort to get everyone educated and on board to attaining your GPS monitoring objectives.

Customisable to your needs

Many GPS monitoring software platforms are “what you see is what you get” products. Be sure that the application selected can be highly configurable so that you have access to the information that you need, when you want it, how you would like to see it. Otherwise, the information will not be helpful and you won’t see as much ROI as possible. Every fleet differs, so one size definitely doesn’t fit all.


This is the era of interconnected technology. Many businesses need their accounting, dispatch, and customer service systems to exchange information. Now, GPS tracking solutions have to have the ability to integrate with these systems also. Make sure that the solution you choose will easily incorporate into your safety management systems.

Print Advertising Still Works, Here’s Why

Nobody understands when the famous expression “the reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated” originated. You may link the axiom to the likes of Mark Twain, Alexander Hamilton, or a high number of other famous men and women. When it comes to printing advertising, the quotation has special significance. In 2014, 91 North American operated magazines closed, which represents a nearly 100% increase from the amount of print books that ceased functioning during 2013. This begs the question: Is printing advertising dead?


The answer might surprise many digital marketers.


Advertising investments have gone electronic mainly because the Internet provides companies with an inexpensive way to promote services and products. However, online marketing requires the numerical power of print advertising to seal the advertising deal.


Business owners have four reasons to keep print advertisements as part of the marketing strategy.


Print Ads Convert More Customers


Believe it or not, print ads have a substantial influence on converting prospects to clients. Nearly 80 percent of customers act on direct flyer printing advertisements compared to 45 percent of customers that act on digital advertisements.


A Penn State study affirmed the power of print advertising by examining the memories of participants who examine print and electronic advertisements. The bottom line: print advertisements have much more influence on our purchasing decisions than digital advertisements.


Target Marketing 101


Successful small companies break down their loyal customer base by demographics. After learning the principal demographics of the customers, business operators target the market base by putting printed advertisements into print booklets which are then bought by the target market.


For example, dog lovers that are looking to buy health food for their canine friends are more likely to get the ideal brand via a publication like Dog Fancy than by getting an email blast from an internet marketing agency.

The Best Way to Build Trust


Most consumers understand the World Wide Web is rife with imitation advertising at best, and grossly misleading advertising campaigns at worst. Due to the dubious reputation of online advertising, print ads remain the most reliable source of advertising information.


Print advertisements never include pop-up displays that promote unseemly services and products. The simple printed method for promoting your products and services builds credibility, that’s the first step towards establishing the confidence needed for clients to take action.


Printing Bolsters Electronic Advertising


We do not recommend selecting one marketing medium over another advertising medium. In actuality, we think print advertising makes online advertising much more effective.


Although internet advertising costs less than getting the word out about your brand in print, electronic marketing should represent just a single piece of your advertising campaign. Oftentimes, online marketing sets the table for printing advertising to close the deal.


Savvy business owners understand that implementing both electronic and print advertising campaigns generates higher customer conversion prices.


No More Impulse Buying


Let’s face it: online shopping promotes impulse buying. All you’ve got to do is input your credit card information and hit the click button after reading an internet ad.


On the other hand, print advertisements do not offer a fast way to create a purchase immediately. Consumers that systematically shop for goods and services favour the more controlled printing form of advertising to generate product and service purchasing choices.


An additional reason to not dismiss published advertising might surprise you. Many consumers don’t use the net to generate purchasing decisions.


Yes, they may perform research online. But when it comes to reaching into their pockets, customers typically act on the information presented in print advertisements.


It isn’t an age thing, as far as it’s the way many customers feel most comfortable making service and product purchasing decisions.

Designer of ‘Smart Shoes’ Turns Over 1m Pounds

Despite constantly possessing an entrepreneurial spirit, Janan Leo’s light bulb moment happened during a normal daily commute to work.

Looking down at her unstylish footwear in a tube trip to Virgin Trains’ offices in London, where she was employed as a new product development manager, the 26-year-old decided she would make a foldable smart shoe which she would wear during her commute and then put away and store inside her handbag if she wish to change into brighter women’s heels in the office.

After floating the idea to family and friends and receiving a positive response, Ms Leo made a prototype of this shoe and approached several factories so as to have it manufactured. The concept was declined by over 100 makers before one agreed to deliver the therapy shoes to market.

Ms Leo then started selling her shoes at Brixton market, and encouraged them by handing out leaflets to female commuters on the tube. “I was so determined to get the brand name out that there I would regularly approach women in the street to talk about the design and find out what they thought of it,”  she said.


Despite launching the shoe manufacturer, Cocorose London, at the height of the financial crisis, Ms Leo, now 36, has managed to grow the company from one that flipped over only 40,000 pound in its first year, to over #1m annually now.

The women’s shoes, which can be made from leather and built to be completely bendable, are carried in separate stores worldwide, including in Europe and Asia, but it’s the e-commerce component of the business that’s booming, growing 50pc within the last year.

The organization has benefited from manufacturer exposure, with stars such as Pippa Middleton, Dame Helen Mirren and Joana Lumley seen and about sporting the cushioned shoes, which retail between 45-120 pounds. The brand’s most popular designs include the “Clapham”, “Shoreditch” and “Hampstead”.

Cocorose has also attracted attention through its longstanding cooperation with The Royal Ballet, and the firm has been an official present associate to the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) since 2010.

The flourishing fashion fad for athleisure — sports clothing mixed with leisurewear — has also boosted sales in the business, Ms Leo considers, with more women buying into clothes that’s convenient and comfortable.’


However, the designer, who heads up the firm with her business partner and boyfriend Gareth, has not always had an easy ride. Growing a business in a recession meant the provider’s finances were in dire straits in the first years, but Ms Leo says their focus on exporting to markets in Europe and Asia helped the company grow more quickly.

The pair suffered an additional knockback early on as they were refused a patent for their layout, despite spending a substantial amount of money through the application procedure. The couple instead chose to signature Cocorose London, which Ms Leo states is vital for any new brand wanting to export, as many nations and vendors will not accept non-trademarked products.

Ms Leo has also seen copycat women’s shoes being sold in different countries, which can often spell bad news for a small business. She recounts a particularly memorable moment when shopping in a luxury department store in China, where a saleswoman approached her and presented her with a foldable shoe. Despite being shocked that her style has been duplicated by other manufacturers throughout the world, she said she felt proud that her merchandise was deemed good enough to replicate.

The company, which now employs five people, is trying to grow further through outside funds, having had a static turnover of #1m over the last few years.

However, with the retail industry continuing to battle, Cocorose could have a challenging few years ahead. A study published last month by the Bank of England suggested consumers continue focusing on essential spending and cutting back elsewhere.

Whilst shopping was considered Britain’s unofficial national sport, consumers now have shifted from spending on clothing and shoes to leisure pursuits, like eating out and vacations.

Retail spending dropped by 1.2pc this past year, with trend sales suffering a 2pc slump – the steepest decline since the credit crunch of 2008.

Peer Education Could Save your Business

Peer education is strong. Sometimes you learn so much more out of a colleague who has been on the job longer than you, than from a designated business coach, a guru giving a ted talk or that well-remunerated speaker that had been brought in to rev up your company breakfast.

Peer-based learning


Decades ago the term “sitting by Nellie” was popular — when you started a project you sat next to someone experienced who’d show you the ropes. The innuendo over the years was that this was a poor method to learn since it relied on Nellie, who may not have the required coaching skills to up skill someone else and improve worker productivity. The truth is that this is the favoured way of learning for lots of individuals originally thrown into a new role, at least for a time till they ‘overtake’ or ‘outgrow’ Nellie’s fountain of knowledge and skills.

It is tempting at a new job to feel simultaneously defensive and overly rah-rah of what you could do. You may not welcome being shown the ropes by somebody whose style is not particularly compatible with yours. But if you set aside pre-conceived ideas of what your job entails or who is able to do the describing, there are invaluable techniques to build skills from peer-based learning.


Two-way fluid learning


To begin with, it is well-recognised that while peer education is a teacher-student connection, the functions are more fluid. You’re in reality teaching and learning from each other, and you both may very well be high quality advisors.

Recognising another individual’s greater experience in the region whilst communicating receptivity and endurance to what they’re saying benefits you both. If the suggestions and insights offered are equally constructive and useful, this generally motivates the student to reciprocate in different ways. What’s more, this gradually builds trust and a casual atmosphere of constant improvement, and of course honesty and transparency, which are excellent builders of a favourable office culture.


Proactively seek an assortment of peer mentors


You do not necessarily need to share the exact same career goals with peer mentors; often it is helpful to consult and learn from individuals whose expertise and aspirations are different from your own so long as they can offer strategic business advice.

It’s likewise beneficial to seek out colleagues from different cultures and make a conscious effort to discover skill sets and knowledge that around and broaden your own understanding. Be proactive and try to learn from others, expand your networking and communicating with all members of the group. Everyone will have something to offer that promotes new thinking.


Communicate with caution


With increased migration and increased diversity quotas, offices are quickly evolving, posing challenges on cultural, societal and training levels. Insensitive pairings and lack of awareness about fundamental ground rules of communication can cause feathers to ruffle.

Constantly seek to be open to learning, communicate with caution and be supportive of others. Suspend assumptions and decisions. Take note that idioms or colloquial language have the capacity to cause offense when peer mentoring, so proceed with caution and tact.


Using technology


Digital communication, particularly in video and audio forms, can be particularly useful when your workplace is geographically dispersed. Skype, various communication programs, and live-streamed coaching can offer real-time communication. And easy pre-recorded video clips to showcase new skills, ideas and ways of doing things are a bonus for training.

While this essay makes clear, learning from gifted colleagues on the front (compared to more conventional training videos, or for that matter, management) is a lot more likely to sharpen skills and consciousness. The attractiveness of videoing what you are doing is so that you can analyse and improve, with input from experienced peers.

The old saying that your athletic match improves when you play against someone better than you holds true at work. Accept, love and enjoy what peer mentors can demonstrate.

Poll Reveals Brokers’ Lack of Online Presence

A recent poll on brokers asking how they felt their own business broker websites were performing, revealed a surprising 40% confessing they don’t actually have one. Just a third of respondents felt they were satisfied with their website’s performance.

Daniel Hegarty, chief executive of online broker agent Habito, stated that it had been shocking that so many agents don’t have any IT web solutions for their business, which he said must be considered as the “complete baseline” for almost any consumer-facing small business.

He continued; mortgage information ought to be available and transparent. Available now means online, 24/7, from any connected device — that is the reason why we interact with clients via live chat such as in the evenings and on weekends, and also our unnaturally intelligent mortgage chatbot is obviously there for clients to speak through their choices.

A mortgage is arguably the biggest purchase in anyone’s lifetime, therefore it is essential that the business begins to embrace technology to be able to empower individuals to take charge of their finances and shield themselves from staying or getting on the incorrect mortgage, broker’s can launch their websites so easily with a readily available mortgage broker website template.

“Understandable scepticism”


David Sheppard, managing director of Perception Finance, stated that for smaller agents there was some clear scepticism around the usage of a custom web design. He explained that a lot of agents are only traders and those will often find business from repeat customers and word of mouth, so to put money into a site and make it good and drive visitors to it will appear an unnecessary expenditure. You might even devote a great deal of time on this that is time which may be spent writing proposals.

But, Sheppard contended that a quality site is crucial for bigger brokerages, however that the emphasis has to be about obtaining a site which represents just what the broker is all about.

There are tons of companies that can design and construct a site but it’s essential that it seems new and reflects the business image. An off-the-shelf site, whilst more economical to put together, could have the opposite effect to what your company is seeking to attain, unless it is something decent like website templates for mortgage brokers. When the site is there however the continuing cost also has to be factored in. Hiring a good search engine optimisation company and spending cash on Google is essential if you want customers to find you.

Obtaining some help

There are lots of options for agents looking to set up a site, with tech companies and networks that offer their experience.

As an instance some businesses provide a site building service for agents, with the choice of a complete IFA site or simply mortgages. The company offers standard text for agents that they may accommodate if they see fit, in addition to integrated best purchase tables or even a mortgage lookup option.

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive of Mortgage Brain, also stated that it had been very surprising that such a great number of agents do not have a site “in this electronic era”. He went on to say that It is actually a very low price, with low costs, such as an adviser to acquire a professional site. All it requires is for them to receive a client that they would not have otherwise obtained for the site to cover itself.

Toni Smith, company operations manager at networks First Compete and Pink, stated that it’s attractive to borrowers — especially younger first-time buyers — leaves using a good site essential.

She continued; we assist our agents design theirs by providing a referral service into a design service that makes sure that a site is acceptable for a phone, easy to navigate and contains a search engine optimization setup. In addition, we make certain all sites are assessed by our Fiscal Promotions team to make certain they do not mislead customers.

Lauren Bagley, Sesame and PMS marketing director, added; we recognise that many consultants need support to boost their digital capacity. Included in our evolving technology approach, we’ve established an internet solution for many Sesame and PMS members that offers pre-approved sales copywriting and content, customisable designs, tools and calculators. The sites will also be fully responsive and price effective, giving an ideal solution to improve a client’s experience and understanding of your company.

There are many options available to help brokers to get started on their digital strategy, and aside from a small investment of money, not much is needed to get a business in the door that is the internet.

Tech Start-Up Educate Children in Developing World

Last fall, when I saw Kawangware, a densely populated slum outside Nairobi, Kenya, the afternoon was bright, and a breeze provided a welcome respite from the odor of the open sewers that run like septic tanks through the back roads and alleys. Extreme poverty makes life hard here, and H.I.V. and waterborne illness are rife. Most houses are one-room corrugated-metal shacks that lack electricity, running water or general indoor plumbing. It was an unlikely place to start a for-profit private college. Along a pitted road, an ambitious experiment in bringing market-based education to communities such as this across the world stands an outpost of Bridge International Academies.

Stepping within the green-painted metal fencing, I ducked into one of two low, rectangular college buildings, which was assembled from rough-hewed wood and sheets of glowing green metal. In the hallway, one of Bridge’s founders, Shannon May, encouraged me to look through the chicken-wire windows. The dim, spare, well-swept classrooms with its weak laminated structural timber beams had uneven concrete floors and no electric lights. Inside, a third-grade instructor was reading from a computer tablet, reciting a lesson script which was sent from the Bridge headquarters in central Nairobi, a 45-minute push away. The teacher quietly spoke the lesson to the twenty-three third-grade students dressed in bright green Bridge uniforms, who were doing their best to follow along. The teacher wrote on the chalkboard, describing the math symbols which indicate “greater than” or “less than.” Since Bridge schools are standardized, May pointed out that the teachers were working from the same synchronized lesson manual that was being delivered in countless Bridge’s schools in Kenya, permitting the company to make certain that students everywhere were getting a uniform program.

Teaching children from preschool through eighth grade, for a fee of $54 to $126 per year, Bridge operates 405 schools in Kenya based on the location of their faculty. It was founded in 2007 by May and her husband, Jay Kimmelman, together with a buddy, Phil Frei. From early on, the creators’ strategies for the world’s poor were daring. A competitive start-up company that could work out how to profitably deliver instruction at a top quality for less than $5 a month could radically disrupt the status quo in education for those 700 million kids and finally create what might be a billion-dollar new international education company, Kimmelman said in 2014. As titans in Silicon Valley were remaking communication and trade including automating commercial plumbing services, Bridge founders promised to reevaluate primary-school education. It is called the Tesla of education businesses by Whitney Tilson, a Bridge investor and hedge-fund director in New York who helped found Teach for America and is a vocal supporter of charter schools.

The Bridge Concept – low-cost private colleges for the world’s poorest children – has galvanized a lot of the Western investors as well as Silicon Valley moguls who know about the job. Bill Gates, the Omidyar Network, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the World Bank have spent in the business; Pearson, the multinational textbook-and-assessment company, has done so through a venture-capital fund. Tilson talked about the company to Bill Ackman, the hedge-fund director of Pershing Square, which spent $5.8 million through its base. By ancient 2015, Bridge had procured more than $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The fact that Bridge was a for-profit business gave pause to some NGOs that work in developing nations. But others concluded that in the past ten years, for-profit businesses backed by what are known as social-impact investors – individuals and institutions which make money by doing good – had brought about significant inventions, such as solar-power initiatives, eco-friendly architectural timbers in building designs, and low-cost health clinics, in poor nations. Bridge’s model relied upon comparable investors but was even harder in its fantasies of scale. “There is a good demand for this,” May said in an M.I.T. movie from 2016. Some of the corporation’s backers, she explained, were “not social-impact investors,” continuing that “it was directly business capital who watched, ‘Wow, there are a few billion people who do not have anybody selling them what they desire.’ ” To get a 2010 case study on the business, Kimmelman told the Harvard Business School that return on investment could be 20 percent annually.

By 2015, Bridge was teaching 100,000 students, and the Founders claimed they were supplying a “world-class schooling” in “less compared to 30 percent” of what “the typical developing country spends per child on primary education.”

Next Tech Market: Baby Boomers


Due to the fact that the Millennial market is so over saturated and tough to keep up with, Baby Boomers present tech services with all sorts of opportunities. Teenagers and 20-somethings take in innovation at a ravenous speed, just to then demand more. But the Baby Boomer generation is the total reverse. Baby boomers are now the fastest growing section of innovation customers. They’re finally beginning to embrace brand-new innovation as they understand just how much simpler it makes their busy lives.

After all, many boomers are still looking after grown kids or grandchildren in addition to their own moms and dads. Baby boomers are also investing more cash on tech than more youthful generations. Not unexpected when you think about how Baby Boomers control 70 percent of disposable earnings and invest more than any other market group. They are also expected to acquire at least $15 trillion over the next twenty years.

Leading Opportunities in the Senior Tech Market

The next 10 years is anticipated to be a prime-time show for tech services to get Baby Boomer brand name patriots. Have a look at a few of the most profitable chances associating with this freshly adaptive generation:

House Improvements

Some empty nesters are flying the coup for smaller sized houses, however numerous Baby Boomers’ strategy is to reside in their existing houses for a long time. To do that, they’re purchasing upgrades, renovations and enhancements that will show useful as they age as part of a digital strategy for their house. Ingenious businesses that can craft aging in place systems and gadgets for the house that make it much easier to get around and get things done will draw in Baby Boomer purchasers.

Example: House stair lifts are becoming more typical now that lots of elders are getting care at their home instead of a senior living center. Machines and a safety management system have gotten great with the engineering on today’s designs. The chair has the ability to enter a straight line and around curves. A stair lift is a feasible option for essentially any house now.


According to AARP, Baby Boomers invest around $120 billion a year on travel. They have a great deal of spare time after retirement, are fairly healthy and have a lot of money to invest, making them the most travel-friendly generation alive.

Example: Google’s travel-related apps are excellent for Baby Boomers since they are structured and simplified. Apps like Google Translate have a low learning curve and can make travel much more secure for senior citizens.


It’s obvious that Child Boomers put more focus on health care than more youthful generations. They’re most likely to have at least a couple of prescription medications and purchase yearly physicals. The older they get, the more health problems Baby Boomers understand they’ll need to handle. Looking after aging moms and dads is an even larger endeavor for some Boomers. The health management sector of the tech market is quickly broadening with items developed for Baby Boomers.

Example: Envoy has gotten a great deal of attention recently for developing an ingenious system that permits caretakers to discover cost effective additional aid. The business’s site, software and apps with the right software testing course or agile automated testing help users discover vetted caretakers and assistants in their area.

Physical Fitness

Baby Boomers are also concentrated on physical fitness as a method to remain healthy and prevent all those medical professional visits. Modern medication is helping individuals remain more active later on in life, which suggests senior physical fitness training is a market that has the capacity for development.

Example: Electric bike business like Evelo that target the Baby Boomer market have seen a rise in sales. The young creator and tech business owner Boris Mordkovich understood that he had a business model when his Baby Boomer moms and dads started using a homemade electrical bike. An electrical bike is popular option amongst numerous riders since it permits the rider to manage how little or as much manpower is use. This is apart from a personal trainer for seniors which is also an ideal option for a lot of Baby Boomers.

Animal Care

When kids are grown and off starting families of their own, some elders discover they have the time to look after a family pet. Without any kids around and a lot of disposable earnings, numerous animals are spoiled with animal comforts, and their owners purchase gadgets that make pet ownership much easier.

Example: GPS trackers like Whistle make it a lot easier to discover Fido if he left or left his leash. For Baby Boomers that have physical constraints, this piece of tech can be important in getting reunited with a family pet with the help of digital content on your pets whereabouts.

Leading 3 Tech Patterns at ConExpo 2017

With overall presence peaking at 128,000 and near unlimited lineups of parked heavy equipment throughout 4 behemoth lots and 5 conference halls in Las Vegas, ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 measured up to its track record as one of the world’s biggest events of contractor specialists and the equipment that powers international heavy building. A very first to ConExpo this year, the 70,000-square foot Tech Experience highlighted the latest in task site, labor force, production and facilities innovations, but there – as in other places throughout the 2.5 million square feet of exhibition area – it was the equipment that were on complete display. Here’s a look at the most popular equipment software, innovation and services at ConExpo 2017:


While remarkably not crowding the airspace above ConExpo, drones and drone-related innovation combinations overwhelmed the news at the trade convention. UAV specialists informed Building Dive that the big public crowds and labyrinth of set up crane-booms were a non-starter for an FAA waiver to fly at the program, limiting drone flights to a small number, involving instead flight cages at the Tech Experience school. Nevertheless, drone innovation was included at the most significant equipment supplier cubicles, consisting of presentation laboratories by Caterpillar, John Deere, and Komatsu, to name a few. Many options fixated on site reality capture through photogrammetry for volumetric computations of aggregate products in motion.

Komatsu, for one, has partnered with San Francisco-based Skycatch for exporting drone information into 2-D orthomosaics and algorithmically customized 3-D point clouds, while Lausanne, Switzerland-based Pix4D has actually incorporated its drone reality capture system with crane-mounted cams, enabling extra photography from cranes for hire to be integrated into point clouds and image mosaics. “Drones in a vacuum aren’t all that slick and cannot do much. It’s just in the increased combination with machine telematics and other task site systems and use-case innovations where we’ll see a rise in user value,” stated Dick Zhang, creator and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Identified Technologies, which presented at ConExpo its Truck IQ platform, a sensing unit and software package to determine and integrate lorry load and cycle times with aerial drone information to enhance earth-moving performance.


Mentioning improving equipment effectiveness, significant OEMs and third-party telematics platform suppliers leaned greatly on the advantages of wired machines and the IoT-connected task site at ConExpo. With the Association of Equipment Manufacturers standardizing telematics information procedures and offering builders public liability insurance, the majority of companies have actually been quick to promote “mixed fleet” abilities to check out and present functional, mechanical and run-time/idle information on equipment despite make or design. John Deere, for instance, has partnered with Houston-based HCSS to use a cloud-based, web user interface for tracking telematics information from Deere, Caterpillar, Komatsu and Volvo while also using after-market GPS gadgets for tracking older devices.

A main focus of telematics suppliers has been to decrease information overload on users who acknowledge the worth of machine tracking but are overwhelmed with ways to enhance business choices using the information. The outcome has been the production of simple-to-use efficiency control panels with ict risk mitigation on top of artificial intelligence that intend to use more predictive analytics. “There’s all this information coming at the user and they have no idea exactly what to do with it, so we’re concentrated on a critical view of what are the important things you appreciate and how our knowing algorithms better determine what the end user is thinking about,” stated Geet Chopra, senior item supervisor, business intelligence for Glenview, IL-based Teletrac Navman. “Show just that information and filter out the sound-  that’s where the market is headed which’s where there is value for the consumer.”

Additive manufacturing

In conjunction with the grand opening of the ConExpo Tech Experience, Task AME – a cooperation between the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Georgia Tech, the National Fluid Power Association, Oak Ridge National Lab and the University of Minnesota – revealed its totally functional 3-D printed excavator. Although mechanicals and electrical systems were not 3-D printed, the excavator was built from cab, boom, and heat exchanger parts all made used various additive manufacturing innovations.

At 7-feet-long and 400 pounds gross weight, the stick boom was developed with a Wolf Load metal 3-D printer in 5 days, while the 13-pound heat exchanger was produced with an Idea Laser X-Line 1000 powder-bed printer. The cab itself was printed with a room-sized Big Area Additive Manufacturing System, which developed the 3-D carbon fiber and enhanced ABS plastic taxi in just 5 hours. Put together at Oak Ridge National Lab, the excavator was evidence of a concept project that group leaders would cause bigger, faster and more scalable 3-D printing abilities in building and construction whilst also being able to provide a foundation to support landscaping contractors’ designs and projects.

Georgia Tech’s Dr. Joel Sokol Talks Sports Analytics Modeling

Joel Sokol is the founding Director of Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Master of Science in Analytics degree and Associate Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE). Dr. Sokol’s main research interests remain in sports analytics and applied operations research. He has dealt with teams and leagues in three significant American sports and has  gotten Georgia Tech’s greatest awards for teaching. Today, Dr. Sokol talks about his industry-leading LRMC technique for predictive modeling of the NCAA basketball competition, Georgia Tech’s MS Analytics degree, and the future of analytics.

What drew you to sports analytics?

When I was a kid I was a huge sports fan. In college I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, so I attempted a great deal of various things, and I didn’t like them enough to do any of them as a profession. Then one of my roommates said, “Hey, I’m taking this class that’s really mathy, but it’s more applied and I think you’ll find that the math tutor actually knows what he’s talking about. I think you’d like it.” I took the class with him – it was an optimization course in operations research – and I loved it. I decided that that was exactly what I wanted to do. It seemed like weekly we were learning something where I thought to myself, “Hey, I can use this to evaluate baseball” or “This would help with my dream football team.” So from the time I began discovering analytics, I was considering how it could be applied to sports. When I remained in grad school, I composed a paper on enhancing baseball teams, especially batting orders. So everything began there.

How many professional teams have you worked with?

I have worked with 5 baseball teams, to differing degrees, and I have begun dealing with a football group and a basketball group.

Do you have any success stories from working with teams that you can say validates your work?

I’d say this LRMC design is my most successful. The very first year it went live, we put it together after the 2002-2003 season. Georgia Tech had played in a holiday competition versus Tennessee; they were ahead by a point with only a few seconds left, when a Tennessee player in his orange and white basketball apparel struck a half-court shot to win the game. At the end of the routine season, a few of the professionals believed that if Georgia Tech had actually won another game, they would’ve had a change at remaining in the NCAA competition. That made me reflect on the Tennessee game – if some man strikes a last-second half-court shot, does it truly say that Georgia Tech is a different team than if he’d missed the shot?

After that year I began putting the design together. I knocked on the door of my statistics-expert coworker, Paul Kvam, who is not at Tech but an expert tutor you can find online. We put this design together and evaluated it on the fly for the very first time the next year, in 2003-2004. Before the NCAA competition began that year, our design was the only expecting Georgia Tech go into the Last 4. It was a bit uneasy, since we were aiming to make the case that we had a totally objective mathematical design, and here we were at Georgia Tech as the only ones choosing Georgia Tech to go to the Last 4. And obviously, Tech did make it to the Last 4 that year – they made us look excellent. Them, and some luck, most likely. Tech played lots of close games, and every round we kept saying that Tech was most likely to win. That helped put LRMC on the map.

A couple of years after that our design accurately predicted the NCAA competition’s Last 4, the finalists, and the winner – even the NIT winner. Once again, there was a substantial luck element – since there’s a lot randomness, I do not anticipate it to ever occur ever again – but it truly helped in regards to getting us attention and getting individuals to take note of it.

Do you have lots of students pursuing professions in sports analytics? What sort of suggestions do you provide?

Yes. Among the Master’s of Science in Analytics, a student is working for a sports start-up, and a second interned for an NFL group. Another of our M.S. Analytics students has his own sports analytics start-up (he tends to wear basketball shirts and shorts to my classes – you can tell he’s an absolute sports fanatic, it’s quite entertaining!), and another appears to be moving in that direction too. At the undergraduate level, I have an outstanding research student who is going to be an analytics intern with a Big league Baseball group this summertime.

In general, it’s tough to obtain a job in sports analytics. There are a lot of individuals with the mix of technical abilities and sports interest that the competition is extremely tough. Many individuals who get sports analytics jobs have actually done sports analytics as a pastime and have done it well. They have discussed it on blogs and sites, gotten discovered, and been worked with. Flaunting your very own excellent, initial work is the most foolproof method to be seen and worked with, but you need to have greatness to stick out, since there are so many individuals blogging.

Smart Gardening for Geeks

Gardening and planting is undoubtedly, not at the forefront of the minds of most ‘geeks’. The Chinese company iGrow might become business leaders in gardening for geeks with the product they dubbed Agriculture 4.0.

iGrow has presented a series of different landscaping items consisting of the iGrow intelligent hydroponics gardening systems to plant flowers, fruits and vegetables inside your home in a simple, practical, and sanitary way. From the seed germination to the blossom duration, you only have to add water and nutrients at most fortnightly, without any extra work or skill needed.

The magic of iGrow lies in its original semi-aerosol growing techniques and the LED planting lighting system, integrating all aspects that plants need such as light, water and air into one compact systems. The iGrow ensures continuous growth of plants through its automated control system and allows plants and vegetables to be grown even in a cold winter season and off seasons.

“Agriculture 4.0 total subversion and sublimation of traditional agriculture,” stated Lennon Tsai, founder of iGrow and the company’s conference speaker. “In China, iGrow has established a vast series of indoor agricultural products, from the micro indoor planting devices, cute enough that home decorators use them, represented by automated plant-growing machines and the garden-like workplace environments developed by ingrained planting systems, as well as the air farm developed by the smart DFT (Deep Flowing Technology) planting system. iGrow is dedicated to pursuing a genuinely wise planting system that covers all variety of species of plants.” Although it sounds complex, the company ensures that it isn’t, there is virtually nothing you have to do to maintain your plants and vegetation. The invention speaks to geeks on two levels, first of all, it is so simple to use that even someone with no motivation to garden will be able to do so. Secondly, the product is quite technical, and that in itself will spark interest in a geeky or nerdy customer.

iGrow has extended its business to more than twenty different countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In November 2015, the business received its first lot of funding which is worth tens of millions of RMB. This all happened in little more than a year after its development and the company had intentions of receiving its second round of financing in middle of 2016.

“Now we still have a number of new ideas in the making,” said Tsai, “due to the fact that we are fully mindful that the point is the best ways to make our item unique. We currently have an excellent choice of items, so together with our representatives, we can produce the products customers want. We have actually currently laid out a marketing network throughout the world, with leading priority to be provided to the American market this year.”

To have a plant growing device that does not require much attention sounds appealing and who doesn’t like some fresh salad, all the while adding to your residential interior design.

iGrow will display in the Hardware Tools and Gardening Exhibition in Las Vegas from May 9-11.

Working with a Web Design Company

Web designing and web development have become an integral part of each and every business today. If you are a business owner and are serious about staying ahead in the competition, you must consider online advertising and promotions. This will require you to work with a good web design company. There are a huge number of advantages and benefits associated with promoting a business online.

The exposure

A website designer or a web development company can give your business a great online presence. With the internet being the most visited place today, such an online presence will hold your business in front of a huge number of clients and consumers.who are ready to buy your items
People check the internet for almost anything, be it education, shopping, or something else they require information on. By having your own website with the help of an affordable web design company, you see much higher chances of presenting your business to this wide range of consumers and clients!
And if you are working with a good web development company , they will offer you even more. For example, consider search engine optimization, advanced technologies like blogs, forums, and other features that help you get more traffic to your business site, and hence show you much higher chances of sales and conversions.
The internet is accessible from almost every part of the world. Imagine the number of clients and prospective customers you stand a chance to see by getting a web designer to prepare one single site for you (if the site is prepared in the right way).

The Cost

Online marketing and promotions is always going to be cheaper than your offline methods. Even when you are getting a web development company to work with your online presence, the fees that you should expect are definitely much less when compared to the offline promotions and advertising. Simply consider the fact that there are no printing and publishing costs involved, no mailing costs, no issues with transportation and telephones, etc!
All this lets you enjoy a cheaper deal from a web design company who is preparing a business site for you and helping you promote your business online!

Choosing a Web development company

So far so good. Dealing with a web designer seems to be a profitable issue for your business, both in terms of results and costs involved. But how do you ensure that you are working with a good web development company capable of handling your issues and showing you the best results? There are a few points that are worth considering when you are thinking about choosing a good web design company to work with. First of all, ask yourself the following questions:

1.Have I checked the other projects that the company has worked on in the past?
2.Am I sure that the web development company can offer me the right technologies that I require for my business site (.net, php, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, MS SQL, mySQL, etc)
3.Is the web design company asking for a reasonable price?
4.Will they be offering SEO services (this is one of the most crucial factors today with regards to online advertising and promotions)
5.Will I get on-going support and other services like graphic design, software development, hosting, domain registering, etc from the same company? (this will reduce your worries as you need to contact with only one company to take care of every related issue)

Make sure that you consider all the above mentioned points before hooking up with a good web designer or a web development company. See your business grow over time with the power of the internet to assist you with your advertisements and business marketing!