22 March 2017
Business Adviser

On Machines Completely Replacing Human Workers

A Group of Employees The all-human workforce is still very much alive — and contributing. It has changed a lot, however. Machines aid workers one way or another today, in various industries and workplaces. But there’s still a future that’s yet to come: a fully automated workforce. It’s a situation that futurists either fear or look forward to, depending on several circumstances.

When talking about machines taking over the workforce, it’s not always ‘robots’ per se. The contraptions can be as simple as fully automated presses or CNC machines, the latter courtesy of companies like FlexDrill CNC and others. These contraptions still require human intervention. Looking at other factors, however, reveal some potentially positive results.

Actual Fears Or Paranoia?

Millions of jobs have been lost—85 percent of the 5.6 million positions in the U.S. and Canada — to machines. Many people think this is terrible news. In truth, there are upsides to this change. Inflation-adjusted manufacturing output in America increased by 40 percent over the last two decades, to the tune of $2.4 trillion in annual value added by American factories. It means that even though manual jobs are few, more work gets done because of automation.

Also, employing machines is becoming cheaper. Labor costs can be cut down by as much as 33 percent globally, due to faster and more efficient machinery (mainly robots) becoming affordable for the manufacturing sector.

By 2025, experts predict that a robotic welder, for example, can drop to as little as $103,000. Hence, manufacturing can churn out more products in less time, while also costing less than when it first came out. In short, machines are becoming more cost-effective than human laborers.

If people worry about losing their jobs to machines, they don’t have to. Unless completely autonomous, self-programming AI machines get invented soon, these automated workers require human intervention to work. They won’t program themselves and would need training from operators to ensure that the job will be done.

And who’s to think that robots and their kin can’t work alongside humans? With a mechanical counterpart, people can be as efficient as they’ve ever been. The fear of machines taking over the global workforce (and putting people out of work) is a misinformed one. It should stop.

21 March 2017
Business Adviser

Why You should Join Local Trade Shows, Expos, and Other Events

Local Trade ShowThere are more options today for promoting your business and product lines. Thanks to the Internet, promoting has gone digital, so you have options other than TV, radio, and print ads. You can use the web to show potential customers what you offer, what you can do for them, which of their needs you can answer, and so on. You can also interact with them real-time, no matter where they may be.

Find the right balance between using digital and more traditional methods of promoting your business. The better you become at this, the more powerful your promotional activities can be.

All that said, however, there is a promotional activity you should take seriously. That’s to appear at events in your community or other locations where you might catch the attention of potential customers or clients.

Presence at Events and Shows

If you are located in Salt Lake City, ULTIMATE EVENTS, INC. recommends having a presence at some Utah trade shows. There are also other options, such as fun runs or marathons, bicycle races, street fairs, concerts, and festivals.

Some of these events and shows are easier to identify as useful for your business. For instance, a food festival is a fine time to showcase your restaurant or food truck business, a marathon is where you should be present to display your environment-friendly sport drinking bottles, and so on.

Activities for your Booth or Display

Some of the things you can do at the event may include giving away free product samples or free services. You can also give a free clinic or consultation. For example, if you’re promoting an art school, give a free lesson on painting or drawing. You can also set up a selling booth if you own a bookstore. A demo of a product you’re promoting is also a good idea.

Having a presence at an event in your community or elsewhere gives you an opportunity to interact with customers face to face. To make this easier to organize, work with a professional agency with lots of experience in setting up displays and booths at events, and also promoting your business.

20 February 2017
Business Adviser

Make the Right Decisions When Investing in Gold

Gold InvestmentWith the way the economy can fluctuate, it becomes more burdensome to choose where to invest your money. Some people invest it in a business, which there really is no guarantee whether it will be profitable after six months. Others choose to deposit it in a bank in the hopes of earning a decent interest over time. These strategies may be sound, but there is a better option – investing in gold.

Investing in gold is one thing that you can do without fear of losing big. This is one of those commodities that you can rely on even if the market’s direction is already downhill.

Stands Against Inflation or Deflation

The seemingly volatile market today can rob you of your money if you do not invest them wisely. This is why those who invest in gold fare better despite the rollercoaster ride the economy is taking. According to Investopedia, during inflation, you can hang on to gold. Why? The price of this commodity increases even when the cost of living would increase.

Even when the stock market plunges, Atkinsons Bullion notes that the price of gold bars still increase. The same is true during deflation. When prices around are dropping, gold’s price will not.

Unmoving Value

Historically speaking, gold has always been regarded as a valuable commodity. The Balance mentioned that the manner by which gold is valued has transcended up to the present. It gives people the feeling of security. The mere notion that you have gold, gives you the peace of mind that nothing will happen to your investment despite the ups and downs of the economy. With its unmoving value, any investor would have a sense of security that his investments will not disappear in thin air.

Diversifying Portfolio

One rule on investment that many businessmen follow is never to put all the eggs in a single basket. This means that if you would be investing your money, do not just invest it all in the stock market or in the bank. When the stock market crashes, all your investments will be going with it. As Investopedia suggests, try to diversify your investments and one way to do this is to invest in gold. Once you do, you will be reducing the risk and volatility of your investments.

If you have not yet considered investing in gold, then by now you may already be thinking of doing so. Gold has always been regarded as a valuable commodity and that notion has not changed today. When you buy gold, you are assured of having an item that will not lose its value despite market trends.

10 October 2016
Business Adviser

What Underwater Bridge Inspection Service Providers Must Have

Underwater Bridge InspectionBecause it is a critical aspect of a big infrastructure project, underwater inspection service providers must have certain qualities that prospective clients should look for.

Clients of reliable underwater bridge inspection service providers are usually construction contracting firms, engineering companies, insurance service providers, and city, state, and federal government agencies.

What to Look for in an Underwater Bridge Inspection Service

The provider must be able to work on contracting or consulting basis for both short and long term projects. They must have the capability to handle engineering-oriented problems. Their diving technicians are preferably certified by the National Bridge Inspection Standards. The commercial divers must be certified to have the knowledge and experience to effectively and efficiently carry out repair jobs.

Depending on the specific requirements of clients, a licensed engineer must be on-site to make sure that everything is compliant with industry standards. Whether the task at hand is complex or routine, the company must be able to offer practical and cost effective solutions.

The designated underwater inspection and repair teams must have considerable experience working under the most challenging underwater bridge substructure conditions.

The company must also have the right tools and equipment to perform the levels of inspection that the client needs.

Types of Services Provided

Typically, the ideal underwater inspection company must be able to offer the following services, among others: scour assessments, structural concrete assessments, removal of marine growth from substructures, ultrasonic thickness measurements, critical structural element analysis, core sampling, and magnetic particle inspection.

Upon inspection, and problems are discovered, the company must be able to help the client with damage repair and other remedial efforts that include underwater welding and structural steel fabrication, toe protection and scour control, diver-directed jetting and dredging, core drilling and concrete cutting, and underwater concrete placement.

By working with an underwater bridge inspection company that has the skills and experience for the job, the success of the project is guaranteed.


9 March 2016
Business Adviser

Get the Show Started: 1-2-3 Essentials for Events Management

 Organizing Events in Australia Public events such as conventions, exhibits and meets are no simple affairs. Organising these take the most extraordinary effort, combining delicate timing, coordination, logistics, manpower and strategic planning. To make them into rolling successes, there must be cooperation between the many stakeholders, the organisers, and the guests as well.

If you are in the events management business in Perth, the basics of putting up a successful event is known to you. But in case you forgot, here is a quick 1-2-3 refresher shared by claasichire.net.au.

The Program

All events have to have a sort of skeletal program to take place. The program is essentially what will take place from the time the gates open to the emcees bidding the guests goodbye. This said, for there to be an event, organizers must come up with a solid plan on what the main attraction will be throughout the duration of the event. Although exhibits and conventions are free-roam for the guests, the main stage is where the show will be. A program of main events has to be drafted, containing the who, what, when, and how details. These can be anything ranging from demonstrations, contests to promos of the event sponsors and exhibitors.

The Partners

The event partners are everyone who has a stake in the show. These stakeholders are your exhibitors who will help populate and make your event busy for the most part. These parties pay to become part of the event to market their businesses. For example, events such as food festivals will typically have no problem finding partners in the restaurant business. So to make your event busy and successful, make sure to secure the attendance, support, sponsorships and commitment of these stakeholders. A beefed up event is sure to attract many attendees.

The Logistics

Events management is essentially a logistical affair. To be successful, you have to be a smooth logistical operator. Secure all the necessary materials and support you will need for the event from security to the production of stage programs. Delegate tasks to your committees in charge of the many departments such as food, security, ticket sales, marketing, et cetera. Securing the event venue is also a concern. If holding an outdoor event, make sure you have sufficient awnings, tables, chairs, tents and fencing. Don’t forget the portable toilets too. If your business does not already have these assets, you can always hire rental companies to provide them for you.

Events management is a difficult endeavour, but with the right mentality, team, and resources, you are sure to make every event a success.

22 July 2015
Business Adviser

An Environment that Supports a Business Startup

Startup BusinessA Washington brain trust named Provo as one of the biggest producers of high-tech talents and jobs. It caters a diverse economic sector comprising of software technologies, biotech, manufacturing, marketing as well as retail industries. Thus, Forbes lists it as the third best place for business and career in Utah.

Aside from Novell and other big names in the industry, Utah also supports small ventures. Through its Small Business Development Center (USBDC), start-ups can seek assistance in planning and ask for financial aid through a Revolving Loan Fund.

Furthermore, here are some tips to make it work:

  • Push it.

Everything starts with one great idea.  Be open to hear and take the risk to execute it. As Derek Sivers, a successful businessperson and author, says “it means nothing unless executed”. How are you going to assess the idea? Sivers suggests placing a value to it and to the level of its execution. Multiply the two. Use this table as a reference:

Idea Execution
Awful = -1 None = $1
Weak = 1 Weak = $1000
So-So = 5 So-So = $10,000
Good = 10 Good = $100,000
Great = 15 Great = $1,000,000
Brilliant = 20 Brilliant= $10,000,000

The higher the amount you get, the more brilliant the idea is.

  • Deliver some value.

Aspire to deliver value both to your people and to your customers. When you consider your staff valuable to your company, they return the investment, says John Maxwell. As for your customers, take time to listen and consider their concerns and they will stick with you forever.

  • Invest in the right marketing.

Social media networks are great and low-risk, low-cost venues for marketing. In Provo, for example, a powerful graphic design can communicate what message you want to convey to potential customers and get them hooked into it.

A combination of executed brilliant ideas, an effort to put value to your own people and customers plus a strong marketing, puts success within your reach.

30 June 2015
Business Adviser

Short on Space: Shelving Solutions for Retail Shops

Retail StoreThe Auckland International Airport now has The Loop Duty Free Shop. The shop aims to provide passengers with a good retail experience and to achieve that, they paid special attention to the layout.

It would be nice if your shop had shelving that maximised space—and did not break down easily. Shelving is a practical storage solution, but you need to decide on the material. Wood and steel are two of the most common building materials used.

While many appreciate the charm and beauty of natural wood products, if your main requirement is durability, then get metal shelving. In New Zealand, libraries, schools, offices, shops and other establishments use them for varied purposes.

Perfect for tight corners

The strong kiwi dollar throughout 2014 encouraged investors to buy commercial properties in New Zealand. With many investors, getting ample space is now a luxury.

When your shop has a limited floor area, metal shelves can provide you with additional clearance. These products are easy to install even in the tightest corners.

Hydestor Manufacturing – Shelving also recommends mobile shelving that doubles the storage capacity of your shop, giving you more head space. Remove storage boxes and supplies on the floor to widen the area where you do business with customers.

Which type of metal is best?

Galvanised steel is one of the raw materials used to build practical storage solutions. They can withstand high temperatures and direct force and trauma. They also last for a very long time.

Stainless steel is a prime choice in industrial settings and other working environments. Even the food industry prefers stainless steel.

Meanwhile, chrome wire is a less expensive product that is equally versatile. These elegant and functional shelves fit anywhere, including commercial, residential and industrial settings. Now, if you are after style and durability, then wrought iron shelving trumps all other options. Just be ready with wads of cash because they are expensive.

Metal shelving solves any problem you may have with limited space. They are durable, versatile and stylish. They fit traditional as well as contemporary tastes. Find the shelving that fits not only the size of your commercial space, but also the design.

11 May 2015
Business Adviser

Diversifying Your Property Portfolio: Top 3 Types of Commercial Properties to Explore

officeFor many Australians, a reliable way to attain financial security is to invest in something that provides great returns. As a result, most investors choose to buy a commercial property. But when trying to find the right one, timing is important.

Unlike the residential properties, a commercial property is income-driven. There is no such thing as a sure bet, but diversifying the property portfolio will help reduce risks and achieve a better result. With diversification, you are not placing all your finances in one place. This lowers the chances of losing a huge amount of money in a sudden market movement in the sector.

Choosing the ideal property is a key business decision, which requires planning and research. This article lists down the three main types of commercial properties in Darwin, which is considered a safe investment due to higher yields.


Office spaces often take up huge lots, which make them a bit pricey. For instance, a building that features modern open plan office with multi-purpose corporate facility can cost nearly $800, 000. But with the staff amenities and exceptional fit out, buyers can make an office space a lucrative investment. Most company owners like to be in an aesthetically pleasing area that offers the ‘wow’ factor. As office spaces have long-term leases, tenants demand special features.


Industrial properties, such as warehouses and manufacturing facilities, provide relatively high returns. But investors must keep in mind that they also come with great risks. It can be difficult to find the appropriate tenant, as the property can be vacant for weeks, months or even years. As with an industrial property, buyers must evaluate the area and make the place enticing, functional and accessible.


Analysing the location is important when buying a retail property. To win tenants, it must be convenient for their consumers. Whether it’s a coffee shop, a clothing store or a grocery store, an industrial property is a safer and more profitable investment when it’s in a sought-after location.

Buy a commercial property well, make the necessary improvements and then sell smart. In today’s highly competitive market, you need to work closely with your tenants and be a good manager of your property.

23 April 2015
Business Adviser

How Remote Teams Can Work Together and Remain Organized

teamCollaborating on a project is much more challenging when the team members are spread across multiple locations. When you have to cooperate with co-workers or clients who are miles away on a daily basis, it adds new levels of complexity and inconvenience to an already difficult project. How do you keep things on track and meet deadlines?

While remote teams will always run into challenges, having the right tools and priorities can make a huge difference. By using technology, you should be able to maintain an excellent level of productivity, work quality, and team morale.

The Importance of Communication

Before anything else, you need to work out how the team will stay in touch and share ideas or feedback with each other. Communication is the foundation of any successful project, so pay special attention to these requirements.

1. Conferencing – A good video and audio conference call service is crucial. Whether you are speaking 1-on-1 with the graphic artist or holding a virtual meeting with everyone present, conferencing is indispensable. Look for a provider with a reputation for excellent reliability and sound quality, and shop around for the best rates.

2. Screen Sharing – There are times when you will need to show team members exactly what you see on your monitor, and what happens when you do something. Perhaps you even want them to take over for a while, giving them access to your desktop? You can find many free tools for this purpose, though they often restrict additional features to paying users.

3. Messaging – Skype is usually more than enough for simple chatting purposes, so there is no need to pay for a premium service here. Still, make sure to stress the importance of replying promptly to inquiries among your team. Nothing causes teamwork to break down faster than ignored messages.

Using Project Management Tools

You need an efficient way to track progress and manage individual tasks, so look into getting a reliable project management platform for your team to use. Popular options include Basecamp and Asana, but it is important that you look around for something that fits your exact needs.

In addition to the features, make sure to determine how user-friendly the software is; nobody appreciates a powerful but frustrating tool. A good platform is also as lightweight as possible, as load times can easily add minutes to every step of the process, costing your team countless hours in lost productivity.

You also want an efficient way to create files and modify them in real time with the rest of your team. Google Apps is excellent for this, and it should be your standard when looking for alternatives. Once you have the right tools on your side all that is left is for your team to make a genuine effort to collaborate properly.

13 March 2015
Business Adviser

Home buyers in Texas More Older; Want Newer, Better Homes

Texas is not seeing a lot of first-time buyers, as the older adults are taking over the real estate buying sector.

house kitchenWhile income for Texans looking to a buy a house is increasing, real estate agencies across the state are noticing that the older generations are their biggest customers. According to the 2015 Texas Home buyers and Sellers report, most home buyers are older, more likely to be married, and have incomes higher than the national averages.

More Money, Better Homes

The report found that from July 2013 to June of 2014, the median household income of Texas home buyers grew almost 6% year-over-year to $97,500. This means home buyers have more money to spend when it comes to finding the right property.

According to the report, new homebuyers are typically around 45 years old and married. This means more families are looking for houses where they can settle down and grow their families.

Conroe, TX-based real estate agency WRInfocus.com says properties within the Houston–The Woodlands – Sugar Land metro area are hot sellers because they are ideal for families wanting to settle down.

A Long and Lasting Home

Trends from real estate agencies and the Texas Association of Realtors show Texans are buying newer, bigger homes, with some even choosing to build from the ground up. Many of the buyers are thinking about longevity, with 16% saying they bought a multi-generational house for their kids who over 18 years old.

Texas homeowners are also choosing to spend more time in their homes. The tenure of owning a home rose by one year to 9 years in Texas — the national average is 10 years.

The problem for most first-time and repeat home buyers was finding the right property. This only highlights the importance of working with the right real estate agency.

Texas still leads the country in new home sales; finding the right house for you should be a little easier with the many choices.