Summer Home Improvements You Should and Should Not Do

Summer may very well be the perfect time to have some home improvement work done. Unless it’s extremely hot, the weather usually won’t prohibit you from going outside and doing some work yourself. Even if you’d rather hire some professionals with years of experience, you’re sure to find good deals everywhere as companies will be competing for your business during that busy time. Since there are a lot of affordable improvements that can be made to your home these days, what it really boils down to is what you can do yourself and what you should hire someone else to do.

In a perfect world, you would just hire other people to do the job for you. They would do it perfectly and charge you a very minimal amount. The reality is that this is hard to attain. It always feels like you’re rolling the dice when you hire other people to do home improvement work for you, and that’s why a lot of people choose to do it themselves. To be fair, there are a lot of things that you can do yourself, and the home improvement stores that seem to be on every corner these days are a testament to that. You can browse through their isles to get an idea of what you could do for your home. In general, the things you can easily do involve cosmetic adjustments and accessory installation. The main cosmetic change involves adding new coats of paint to the walls inside your home. It’s the first thing that people will notice when they enter a room, and a new coat will dramatically improve the impression they’ll get. Accessory installation includes adding such things as new toilets, door knobs, shower heads, and faucets. All of these can easily be installed over a weekend even by those with minimal experience.

Then there is infrastructure work. These kinds of jobs are best left to qualified professionals with years of experience. Although a failed cosmetic adjustment or accessory installation job would have minimal impact, failed infrastructure work can have far-reaching repercussions. For example, if you’re not careful while fixing a leaky pipe under your sink, you could end up flooding your home and causing widespread and expensive structural damage.

Sometimes it’s not only a matter of potentially causing damage. Sometimes it’s a matter of not having the right tools for the job. Take HVAC work for example. You may not cause widespread structural damage if you fail to do it right, but it just may be difficult to do it without experience and the right tools for the job. Installing a new air-conditioning unit isn’t just a matter of plugging it into a power source. It has to be adjusted so that it is operating at maximum efficiency the duct system that it uses has to be up to par as well. It could be difficult to even know where to start with such a job if it’s your first time doing it. That’s why it’s ultimately best left to a team of qualified home improvement professionals who have years of experience under their belts.

The Best Way to Improve Time Management For Your Own Work From Home MLM Business

This is Certain to NOT Make Hardly any money

Researching. Planning your system. Reading books. Don’t get me wrong, I carry out All of those details myself but I am very straightforward that THAT STUFF Won’t MAKE ME Cash! I am not training you NOT to do these things but I am expressing please don’t commit all damn day doing those things. In the remarkable book called “Crush It” by Gary V, he clearly shows how he spends a large amount of time on his social media stuff but it’s executed between the hours of 9pm and 3am. Not all of us can go on a handful of hours sleep every single day but here are some tips for you to improve time management.

Do the non-cash creating actions during off-hours

I do the largest percentage of my looking through eBooks, watching video tutorials, etc during the hours before 8am or after 10pm. Now some of you reading this may be wondering “Ray, you don’t fully grasp, I work ALL day and then I am dead-ass worn out when I get home”. You know what? I do have an understanding of and if you EVER want to improve that, you will need to make some sacrifices. Here is a quote I posted on my Facebook last night:

“Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.” Robert Louis Stevenson

If you would like to assure never changing your situation, then keep carrying out what you are doing and voila, it will work like a charm every time.

Sooo, how should I spend my time?

When you are in need of a bigger income from your work from home MLM business, know that you do NOT get paid to research, straighten your desk or tidy the house. You get paid out for 2 things, retailing and recruiting. Invest the majority of your time, specifically the “prime time” doing prospecting. Prospecting can be for people interested in purchasing your product or prospecting for people interested in having their own work from home MLM business.

If you want to considerably change your bank account, today, improving time management is the key. If you improve time management to ensure you are prospecting every day not just burying your head in the books and webinars, your bank account will thank you!

Missing Items From Home Improvement Contracts Render Them Illegal

California imposes very specific requirements on contractors who draft, prepare, and submit home improvement contracts to consumers. If a contractor fails to meet the minimum requirements then their contracts are potentially illegal, unenforceable, and the contractor could lose the benefits the contract was designed to provide them.

Notwithstanding the granite countertops, the cabinets, or the carpet, the contractor you choose is the most important decision in the entire home improvement project. A very easy way to tell if you are dealing with a true professional contractor is by looking at their proposed contract very carefully. When I say carefully I mean to take the document and have a competent attorney review it. The contract will tell you a lot of information about the contractor without even having to speak with them. For example, California Business and Professions Code 7159 et seq. has very specific requirements designed to protect consumers against contractors. If the contract does not have these minimum protections you should be very wary of the contractor whom you are about to do business with. Some of the protections are as follows:

A home improvement contract and any changes to the contract shall be in writing and signed by the parties;

It must include the name, business address, and license number of the Contractor;

“Home Improvement” heading must be on the contract in at least 10-point boldface type;

“Contract Price” heading followed by the amount of the Contract;

“Description of the Project and Materials to be Used” heading

“Down payment” heading that states DOWN PAYMENT MAY NOT EXCEED $1,000 OR 10% OF CONTRACT PRICE”;

“Schedule of Progress Payments” heading with each progress payment stated and specifically referencing the amount of work performed and materials provided;

“Approximate Start Date” heading;

“Approximate Completion Date” heading;

“Note about Extra Work and Change Orders” heading

Commercial general liability insurance notice indicating whether or not the Contractor has insurance;

Workers’ compensation insurance notice indicating whether or not the Contractor has worker’s compensation insurance;

A mechanic’s lien warning notice describing to a consumer the issues of mechanic’s lien rights held by contractors;

Joint Check provisions wherein a consumer can make a check payable to both the contractor and the subcontractor or material supplier to protect them from being double billed;

Information about the Contractors’ State License Board (CSLB);

“Three-Day Right to Cancel” notice that gives a consumer 72 hours to cancel a contract without penalties;

This above list is a few of the common items that contractors fail to include in their contracts. If one or more of these items are missing from your contract please have it thoroughly reviewed before signing it.

Additional common questions to ask the contractor include:

How long has the contractor been in business in the state? Check their license status on the contractor’s state licensing board website.

The contractor should have a business history in your area including a list of references, phone numbers and email addresses. If they can’t provide references consider looking elsewhere. Hiring a contractor to complete a project where another has gone out of business can be costly and disastrous.

Get the names and contact information for everyone, including subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and employees who will be working on your property and insist on a full-time project supervisor.

There are dozens of other questions to ask during the selection process all of which are equally important. There are also other protective clauses that you can request to be included in the contract. For additional information about these areas contact a competent attorney who is familiar with construction contractor, contractors, and the contractors state licensing laws.

Powerful Marketing Ideas for Home Improvement Companies

More and more home improvement companies, including but not limited to roofers, home remodelers, plumbers, landscapers, electricians, HVAC contractors or basement waterproofing, are coming to realize the necessity of using powerful marketing ideas in order to get an edge over their competition and make their services known in the neighborhood, town, city or state they reside.

All home improvement contractors want and need to be exactly where their potential customers are. Obviously, potential customers are not on the moon or on other planets, but they spend a great deal of time on social networks, shopping or in front of the TV. Hence, the multitude of ways home improvement companies can promote themselves cannot be overstated.

If you are a business owner of a home remodeling agency, HVAC, roofing or plumbing business, just to name a few, you should use the best and most effective marketing tools in order to reach your potential customers and convince them not only to buy from you, but also to promote your business to their close friends for free. However, in order to get there from here, you need to start with the beginning.

Understand where your potential customers are

Almost everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ account. Additionally, every single grown up has a cell phone (over 70% have smartphones or tablets). On top of all, over 85% Americans have access to the Internet and use it on a daily basis. Therefore, the most obvious place where you can find most of your potential customers is online. This includes social networks, blogs, forums, websites and landing pages.

Also, most of your potential customers have active lifestyles, with two jobs, three kids and many bills to pay. You might find them in their cars driving to work every single morning. You can also find them at the mall or at a nearby store.

Marketing Tips

Now that you know where your prospects can be found, it is time to discover how to reach them. Use the following 3 marketing strategies to generate more leads starting today.

1. Leverage the Marketing Potential of your Trailers and Trucks

Truck-side billboards and vehicle wraps are becoming increasingly popular all across the world. However, many home improvement companies are unaware of how to use their trucks and trailers to promote their brand. Take into account the following principles when designing your vehicle artwork:

– Use a unique, captivating title

– Use colored images which are straightforward and bold enough to entice your potential customers

– Make sure there is a clear call to action at the end

– Highlight the contact information

2. Introduce your Brand to the Neighborhood

Another effective marketing strategy you can employ is to search for homeowners in a neighborhood who have similar remodeling/repair needs. If you have a new customer in a neighborhood, hunt for new possibilities & opportunities by letting his neighbors know that you are in the area. Drive around with your truck wrapped in promotional messages, distribute flyers and give special offers to those who are curious.

Create, print and mail or distribute full-color, vibrant postcards to all the local prospects in the neighborhood. Tell them that you provide top-notch services at affordable prices and try to put an emphasis on what they will get out of this, not of what you have to offer.

3. Use the Immense Power of Mobile Advertising and Social Media Marketing (SMM)

You simply cannot ignore mobile marketing and social networks. There are over 1.6 billion mobile users (compared to 1.58 billion desktop based users) who access the Internet regularly. If they don’t find you there, it is as if you do not exist. What you need to do is to promote your business on Google+, optimize your website for mobile users, create a company page on Facebook, capitalize on the promotional tools offered by Twitter and create a landing page different than your website. Don’t forget to optimize your website in order to show up high in search rankings.