Why hiring a business coach for our business was worth every penny

Usually, when startups and new businesses are starting to have their plane take off, they play it safe.  This is understandable since many times it is hard to predict if business trends will be favorable or not.  New businesses sometimes struggle with keeping the boat afloat.  This seems to limit the amount that can be put to investment.

In our particular case, we knew that we had to face such struggles, besides competition and the need to market our business.  We did prove that marketing goes a long way and that it is really translated to revenues.  We decided to start strong so we had to make some adjustments.

Fortunately for us, people in North America are very faithful to their brands.  We are still working on marketing strategies to develop a stronger loyalty.  After several months, we felt like we had fallen down a spiral and our business was not blooming as expected.

Why we decided to hire a business coach

We detected some signs that we needed to hire a business coach.  Obviously, our first concern was how much was it going to be worth it.

  • The first sign was that we were not getting the results we wanted.  We later learned that our problem was mainly that we were looking at things from the inside.  It took us a while to realize that we needed a lot from the outside, a more objective one.
  • We realized that we were wasting more money than what we were generating.  We decided to venture into hiring someone that will help us do the exact opposite.   At the end, it was a money and time saver.
  • I felt overwhelmed.  My business partner felt overwhelmed.  We ended up having that feeling of having so much to do that you cannot complete any task right.  It came to a point in which we did not even know how much were making every month.
  • Being on the center stage of a business means that you do not need to share your feelings.  Your employees see you as a figure of excellence and as such, you must show yourself strong.  It is good for your business to show vulnerability and place some burden on someone else.  It was time to hire a coach!

Why was it worth every penny

When we mean that it was worth every penny, we mean it.  With increased revenues came higher demand and more production of labor force.  We were able to increase our sales even more than what we had envisioned.

If you are in need of a business coach, Carol Greenway is definitively your best choice.  Her vast experience will add so much value to your entrepreneurship.

Warning signs to look out for in real estate photos

People sometimes set on a journey to do whatever it takes to get their property sold.  This includes hiring professional photography to give the listings a more professional look.  Unfortunately, others will use photoshop, not to enhance the sunlight or remove some shadows.  Some agents would request some “enhancements” to a photo in order for it to appear different from what the property really is.

The very first thing that you need to keep in mind when looking at a professional photo of a property is precisely that: It has been taken professionally.  This means that it probably has some editing done to it.  Chances are that the property looks different in real life than what it does in the photo you are looking at.  Now, this is no reason to demean or judge.  This is a real estate listing and the client has to be impressed.

Nevertheless, we believe it is dishonest to abuse photoshop to make a property look different from what it is, let alone illegal for false advertising.  Anyhow, the following are some warning signs to look out for when checking out real estate listings.

The fake sunset

Sometimes when the photo is taken, the sky is not putting up his best face.  I´m ok with putting replacing a gray sky with a beautiful blue dome.  Now, when you place the sunset with a beautiful red-orange sky right where you can see it from the balcony of the house, it is misleading.  Every time you see a photo with a beautiful sun setting between mountains, ask yourself if the sun really sets there. (The sun sets on the west, by the way.)  Most of the time when the sun is photoshopped, it is placed in the wrong direction just to make it look as if you will get that imagery every day from your balcony.

Not too many interior pictures

Many times, when you see few pictures of the interior of a property, it can mean that it actually is a pigpen and owners and real estate agents do not want you to see it.  There are better chances of convincing you to take the home once you are inside.

Lots of lighting

Professional photographers know that the most important thing about a photo is lighting.  Many times, when light is poor and there seems to be no way to enhance it naturally, photoshop will come its way.  Just be skeptical when you see great lighting and a few windows.

Always tune it down

Keep in mind that the realtor has to give you a great good impression of the property. So, whenever you see a great photo, try to tune it down in your head.

If you want to have the best pictures without any faked out enhancement, you should hire the best real estate photography service.  Make sure your property looks nice and not fake.



Why dirty rugs are a sign of Mould

A clean rug not only looks clean, but it also feels clean. Even the color of it seems lighter and it really adds to the healthy nature of a space.  On the other hand, a dirty rug can easily be spotted.  If you ever encounter such situation, then there are some things that you need to think about.  The first one is to consider the possibility that your rug might be catching mould.

The nature of Mould

Let us begin by describing the nature of mould, what it is and what are the conditions it requires to grow.  Mould is a fungus that forms filaments known as hyphae.  These filaments group up into the visible black-ish coat that you see on your carpet.  There are several species of fungi that form hyphae and form mould.

The conditions that favor the growth of mould are dirt and humidity.  So, if a rug is dirty and has accumulated humidity,  mould will be a very evident sign of such filth.  As a preliminary advice, if there is excess water going on your carpet, seek to dry it immediately.  You will naturally not be able to keep dirt of your carpet.  What you can do is remove dirt that is already present.

When it comes to washing your carpet, we suggest not using water to do so, especially with very large carpets.  There are other carpet cleaning techniques that are as effective.

How to get rid of mould

If your carpet has already caught mould,  you will notice the unpleasant build and the foul smell. You have a dirty carpet with the presence of fungi.  If this is the case in your house, there are several steps you can take.  The first thing you do is remove the carpet from the floor and take it outside.   To help loosen up the fungi use a dry broom.  Next, use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the affected area.   Use a mixture of dish soap and water to clean the affected area with a sponge.  Allow the carpet to dry out under the sun.  Make sure it is completely dry before bringing it back inside.

Professional help is needed

If your carpet is located at your office or is too large to remove from the floor, using soapy water can be counterproductive.  Using water on a rug and not drying it properly will bring even more mould.  This is when hiring a professional is necessary.  To get the best results, we recommend Hunter Douglas Cleaning Toronto.  Their work is highly professional and they guarantee the best results.

What to Expect When You're Getting Inspected

What to Expect When You’re Getting Inspected

One of the more daunting parts of buying your first home is the home inspection. In a very real sense the sale hinges on the results of that inspection, so it’s understandable if you find yourself held in suspense. However, if you know ahead of time how the inspection works it will help you better prepare (both mentally and on a practical level) and hopefully put your mind at ease.

Meeting your inspector

A good inspector is going to be professional and courteous. Upon arriving at your home he should introduce himself to both you and the buyer, briefly explain the process, and open the floor to any questions. Don’t be shy here! Inspectors know and understand what a stressful process this can be, and they should be more than happy to answer any questions you throw at them. Don’t be afraid of asking “stupid questions” and don’t be afraid to speak up if something in particular concerns you.

During the inspection

Which parts of your home the inspector specifically chooses to scrutinize will vary somewhat depending on several factors. However, in general they’re going to focus mainly on the the aspects of your home’s construction that could possibly effect safety or habitability. Don’t be surprised if he checks out things like your home’s foundation, roofing, electrical system, plumbing, and other major components of your home’s design. This isn’t the best time for questions – inspectors are typically very intent on their work and require concentration.  Here is a video of what’s included in a home inspection

After the inspection

It’s important to realize that once the inspection is complete, the prospective buyers are the ones who are entitled to the results, and they are typically the ones who get to decide if they’ll divulge the final report to you or not. Don’t be surprised if they take the report to their real estate agent and come back to you later about what was found.

It’s entirely possible (I would even say likely) that they’ll ask you to address specific items found on the report, whether that be repairing, replacing, or what have you. Technically, you don’t have to honor those requests if you don’t want – it is, after all, still your house. However do keep in mind that if the problems are especially troubling the buyers may decide to back out of the deal.

In short – view the inspector’s report as just another negotiating instrument – work with the prospective buyers and their real estate agent to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Ultimately, a home inspection is just one more discussion on the road to selling your home.

Get a Home Inspection Before You Buy or Sell Property

Buying a new home is sometimes extremely nerve-wracking, especially if you have never been through the process before. My spouse and I only recently bought our condo, and we had no idea what we were doing!

Sure, there are dozens of books out there on the subject, but when you are actively living your life and trying to buy a home in between everything else, who has time to read a 500-page book on the subject?

If you’re in a similar position, you should make sure to get a home inspection as part of your due diligence requirements. Of course, you will have the sellers’ disclosures within a few days of acceptance of your offer, but there are some things in a home that the sellers might not even know about!

The disclosures only cover certain categories of the home’s overall condition, but the inspection gets much more accurate. If you choose a wise and caring inspector who takes his (or her) job very seriously, he or she will give you a very detailed explanation or things in terms that you understand.
This will be a good thing for you on two accounts:

But on the other hand, you will find out about both positive and negative things that you didn’t even think to check. For instance, when we had our home inspected before the final paperwork was signed, we found out that our electrical wires were made of copper instead of nickel. This is a good thing!

We also found out that the wax seals upon which the toilets were set were done incorrectly, and that they had to be fixed, which cost us five dollars each, nothing too crucial, but something we needed to know about, which we wouldn’t have thought to check ourselves.

The home appraisal is not the same process as the inspection. The appraisal is only a general assessment of the home’s worth, as is. A home inspection goes through and itemizes all of the defects of the home. You should be present for at least part of this inspection so that the inspector can carefully go through each one of these items with you.

Even if you are jumping on a great deal (like a foreclosure) or buying from a seller or agent you trust, you should still get a home inspection. If you like, think of it as an “FYI,” so that you know what to start fixing up once you get into your new home!