Authors Posts by Joe Read

Joe Read

Founder & CEO of Wyze - a digital agency. I have a burning passion for generating big results - FAST. Fascinated with personal finance, entrepreneurship and high performance in the workplace.

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business premises decor

The appearance of your corporate premises can have a large effect on how well your business fares. This could surprise you… or perhaps it doesn’t. No matter how efficient your company’s staff are, their efforts could count for little if many of your potential customers are put off even entering the premises due to a tacky appearance. Here are some ways that you can spruce it up.

When rope access technicians are cleaning windows

The windows on your premises are likely to, collectively, take up much of the outside look; therefore, making sure that those windows are regularly cleaned effectively is crucial. However, ensuring this might not be straightforward if you have windows that are at a high height.

How can you arrange for those windows to be cleaned in such a way that preserves safety for the person doing the cleaning? Actually, you can arrange this by getting in touch with SAS Rope and Rail. This firm has IRATA-qualified rope access technicians who can use their expertise in rope access to physically reach those windows and clean them without risking their safety or others’.

Sign of the times… or the business premises

Many people could be easily deterred from entering your corporate site if it has a confusing layout. After all, they are probably already very short of time without having to try figuring out how to get around what basically looks like a maze. However, particularly if the layout is so complex that it cannot be simplified without a significant amount of manual work, you could help to keep bewilderment at bay once you have strategically placed signage in particular areas.

Signage can also have the advantage of extending your company’s branding colours beyond just its stationary and website – and, therefore, growing the reach of the brand’s power. You can even have that signage secured in especially high positions – such as on the exterior of one of a multi-storey building’s highest floors – with help from SAS Rope & Rail. These technicians can also remove the signage should you later want to replace it with new signage showing refreshed branding.

Don’t leave your reception looking like it has been ransacked

You also need to think about the interior look of your corporate buildings. The reception could be the first space that someone sees upon walking into one of those buildings; therefore, you really don’t want to leave files and paperwork scattered around it.

The Business Support Initiative points out that such untidiness could be especially off-putting if your company has the responsibility of assigning order to other people’s affairs. This would be the case if your company was in finance or accountancy, to reel off just two examples. If your reception appears to be in disarray, why should your company’s customers expect you and your staff to be able to prevent this kind of thing affecting them? Other problems you might be capable of addressing on the premises include peeling paint, left-over blue tack, and graffiti-covered furniture.

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cottage uk

There’s been a lot going on in the last few months, and 2016 wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either. So where has this left things for property?

Well, some experts are saying that the house prices are going to be flat for a couple of years. However, when you look into what flat means it’s just not rising quite so astronomically as they have been but still on the incline.

The other negative news to have but a dampener on things is the changes to stamp duty taxes that have had a huge impact on the number of transactions in the housing market. From April 1st 2016, Stamp Duty increased by an additional 3% on properties going up the scale, increasing the top band to 15%. The rates only affect people who are buying an additional property, such as buy-to-let properties and landlords.

However, amid the negativity, property developers and investors are still in a prosperous position. No matter what happens with Brexit or how cautious buyers are being, the fact remains the same: Britain needs more homes and where there is a demand, there is a market.

The area that has been most heavily impacted with a drop in prices and far less transactions is London. Since Brexit, it is reported that the capital has been the hardest hit with some places showing negative growth overall and being dragged lower by the most expensive boroughs.

Although London isn’t looking like the best opportunity at the moment, there are other areas in the UK that are thriving. The houses that are vanishing off the market the fastest can be found in Northampton, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Southampton, to name a few.

According to Prime Location, Northampton is attracting people who have been forced out of London’s price hike and in 2014, Northampton was voted the best place in the UK to start and run a business by credit reference agency Experian. Prime Location also suggests that development is thriving in Northampton with plenty of opportunities for investment in rental properties as well as buying off plan plots.

If you’re looking for property investment solutions outside of London, it may be best to organise your thoughts and speak to a professional. Daniel Goldberg, First Urban’s director and shareholder, would be able to provide plentiful advice on the current housing market, where works best for you as an investment and how you can still make a profitable business out of property investment.

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save money on great clothes

We shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to look good in nice clothes. However, take a walk through your local shopping centre and you could be excused for thinking that you need to spend a great deal in order to look sharp. Consider that expensive fashion brands can “buy” more publicity, says The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman; there are plenty of inexpensive clothing options out there which would have simply slipped past your radar. Here is how you can take advantage of them.

Shop at charity outlets in upmarket parts of the country

Freeman acknowledges that coming across “good cheap stuff requires some nosing out on your part” – and some of the places where you could nose around include charity shops. You shouldn’t just pick any, however; stick to those in posh areas. Hadley enthuses: “This was one of the best fashion tips I got as a teenager and it has honestly never let me down.”

Presumably the reason why this tip works so well is that, in these affluent areas, people can afford high-quality fabrics – but, once they no longer want them, a charity shop is one of the first places that they consider handing those surplus-to-requirements clothes to.

Continue your shopping trip in… your own cupboards

Sometimes, it seems, you don’t know just how much you already have until you’ve had a good rummage. By having this in your home’s cupboards, you could come across various items that you had bought long ago but since forgotten about.

Maybe, on a trip to Paris five years ago, you purchased a souvenir t-shirt that, you could now realise, still fits. Alternatively, you might have accidentally wedged a jumper between a couple of drawers when hurriedly looking through them during a moment of urgency a while ago; now could be the time to pull out those drawers and retrieve that still-perfectly-usable garment!

Avoid trends… or, at least, ones that will be short-lived

Keeping up with fashion trends can undoubtedly be expensive, considering how often they change. Therefore, if you are in the habit of following them, you could, as MoneyAware advises, save money by dropping that habit… or tweaking it. You could, for example, stick to trends that should last a few more years at the least. Alternatively, you could opt for classic styles – think 1950s style – that typically take a while to go out of fashion. Marilyn Monroe has been a style icon in many decades!

When you buy new, buy quality

Sometimes we just can’t avoid buying new clothes – we might need them for work or an important event. A good rule of thumb for buying new clothes is to buy something that will last, something that will stay in good shape after washing and something you can where for a variety of occasions.

For example, if you are looking for a pair of shorts for the summer – think about whether you can get a quality pair that you could also wear to work and even in the garden. Dickies Life stocks a pleasing range of work shorts – including slim, multi-pocket and industrial varieties. Buying quality often means only buying once every few years rather than every few months!

How have you saved money clothes in the past? Any tips for catching a bargain?

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before you change career

Whether you’re stuck in a rut with your current job or are just looking for a new challenge, a career change is a huge decision, and there are certain factors that you should take into account before you decide to commit.

Why do you want to change?

First, think about the reasons why you want to change your career. Some of the most common reasons include a lack of interest in the role, lack of room for progress or the fact that you don’t get along with your colleagues or manager. Be very careful as to deciding whether it is your entire career that you need to change, or simply your place of work.

What do you want?

If you know it’s definitely your career path that you wish to change, consider what it is that you actually want to do. Think about what you dislike in your current line of work and what you would like to do on a day-to-day basis instead.

For example, are you unhappy with the amount of paperwork you have to complete or do you need more flexible hours to fit in with your work life balance? If it is a reason such as this, it may be that a career change is not the best move and instead you could organise a negotiation within your current role that could help solve your problem.

What are your interests and skills?

The likelihood is that you’ll have a certain skill set that you’ll have gained from your current position but consider whether or not these skills are transferable. You may be thinking that you want a complete change of career but, realistically, how achievable will this be?

If your current role is in finance, for example, it might not be logical to suddenly begin a career in journalism. Some of the most highly regarded skills that employers in all fields look for are organisational skills, communication skills, teamwork and the ability to show initiative. You should also take your interests into account to make sure that you’ll be moving somewhere that will hold your attention.

How much are you prepared to change?

It may be that the job you have now fits perfectly with your lifestyle regarding hours, location and salary so remember that if you change your career path, these things are likely to change too. Depending on the experience you have in your new and desired field, it may also be a possibility that you’ll have to start from the bottom of the ladder again which equals less status and less money. If you have a family, think about the implications this could have on them too.

Will you regret it?

It might be difficult, but try and see how this change might affect you in the long-run by looking 5 or even 10 years into the future. Will it take this amount of time to achieve once again the professional and financial status that you have now? If so, a career change may not be worth it.

You can always seek career advice

If you’re struggling with the decision, there’s nothing stopping you from seeking professional career advice. Sites such as CV-Library are packed with helpful articles and tips written by career experts that can guide you in the right direction.

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owning your home

If you are currently renting your home, you may have thought about how your financial situation would look if you were to get out a mortgage and buy a property for yourself…

There are a number of interesting debates on this topic, here we will delve into some of the key reasons for taking out a mortgage to buy your own home.

Of course every rose has it’s thorn and it’s important to analyse mortgage rates and inflation against your own situation before making a commitment.

1. More Affordable Monthly Payments

By getting a mortgage on your home, you take away the landlord’s cut of your monthly payments. So depending on the term of your mortgage, you’ll often find it works out more affordable than paying rent on a similar property and thus decreases your household bills.

2. You Gain An Asset

What’s more, by taking out a mortgage on your home, you’ll find yourself with a financial asset that you haven’t had before. The truth is, we all need somewhere to live and that means committing our finances towards accommodation, whether we rent or have bought our home, with this in mind it makes sense that we can work towards owning a substantial financial asset while we’re at it.

3. Freedom To Make a House A Home

Owning rather than renting a home, can give you more freedom in how you make your property into a home. When renting a property, there is often structures around what you as a tenant can do to the property, even down to the colour of paint on the walls!

You will need the permission of the landlord to make changes which understandably they will be reluctant to approve. Take out a mortgage on your home, and you’ll have a great deal more autonomy over what you can do, from the wallpaper to the structure, giving you the opportunity to make it work for you.

4. Make Your Property Work for You

Though it’s not always the case, owning your home can give you the opportunity to make money in a way renting a property does not. It might be you could take in lodgers through AirBnb or even though longer term lets – you also have the potential to rent out your property in the future.

Just remember, if you are looking to buy a property through a shared ownership scheme such as the help-to-buy or first-time buyers scheme, there are often restrictions on subletting your property or making structural changes to the property. If this is something you are interested in, make sure you understand the small print before you sign up, talk to an experienced mortgage adviser to find the right mortgage for you and to guide you through the process.

So there you have our 4 top reasons why you should get a mortgage on your home, from reducing your household bills when compared to renting, to providing you with a substantial financial asset that you could potentially make work for you.


business premises decor

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The appearance of your corporate premises can have a large effect on how well your business fares. This could surprise you... or perhaps it...