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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Self-storage: Collectors’ cost-efficient storage option

Where to store valuable collectible items
 Carefully storing collectibles helps preserve their value
By Sarah Miller

While there is a significant segment of collectors who make their foray into the hobby as a form of investment, a sizeable number of collectors started out simply because of the thrill of the hunt – be it books, records, toys or even wine. Indeed, there is a unique thrill in knowing that there are several pieces in your collection that most collectors would pay an arm and a leg for just to have them in their grubby little paws.

Problems collectors face

But as you continue to grow your collection, there may come a time when you need to make space in your own home, permanently or for the short term. Perhaps, you and your wife are expecting a new baby and you'd like to convert your private den into a nursery. Or perhaps your wife's old folks are coming over for a month-long holiday and you'd need to make room for them.

If disposing of your prized collection to other hobbyists is not a viable option, the smart move would be self-storage. Ringwood collectors can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they do not have to part with their valuable collections because they can rent a self-storage unit for the short or long term, depending on their needs. On top of that, they are assured that their collection won't be damaged during storage.

Finding the right storage facility

As a collector, you'd want your precious horde protected even without your watchful eye on it. It is imperative, then, to choose the right self-storage facility. What you'd want is a facility that offers units with a solid roof and walls, has individual alarms, 24-hour security, tamper-proof locking, smoke alarms, and movement sensors. If you are storing quite a number of items, it is advisable to opt for a facility that offers easy drive-up storage and does away with lifts and stairs. If you are storing wine, the facility you choose should have temperature-controlled wine cellars. If you want to visit your collection from time to time, opt for a facility that offers extended access hours.

But whether you are storing pieces from your valuable collection or ordinary household items, you can get more mileage from your investment in a self-storage unit by learning how to store them properly. 

Collectibles storage tips

The most convenient way to do that is to use the appropriate types of boxes. Prior to packing up your stuff, it is a good idea to make a few allowances. You'd be surprised at the number of boxes you'll actually need. Make sure that the boxes you use are sturdy and designed specifically for the items that you are to store. Boxes should be entirely filled up to prevent them from collapsing once you stack them up on top of each other. After a box has been filled, make sure to seal it with packaging tape to help keep dust at bay and even reinforce the box itself.

About the author: Sarah Miller is a business consultant and a content creator. Having been exposed to the different aspects and faces of businesses, she frequently does research on useful information regarding the different methods and techniques to further improve business marketing, sales, and performance. She sometimes writes on behalf of http://www.fortknoxselfstorage.com.au/

Image: Jorge Royan; "Vintage travel gear seller at  the marche Dauphine"  ; CC BY-SA 3.0 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Independent retailers and e-commerce

Brick and mortar businesses vs. ecommerce
In store retailers that require in person evaluation have an edge
By Sally Stacey

The last few years have represented a tough time for many traditional independent retailers. It must have felt like being attacked from all sides and probably still does but should they give up the ghost or fight on? There could be opportunities on the horizon because whilst the world is changing rapidly, not all of those changes are in the same direction.

The challenges

The truth is that many retailers simply got left behind and buckled under the force of the perfect storm. As big chains began to emerge and throw around their weight, consumers were becoming ever more brand aware. People were defaulting to the names they knew and as big malls began to replace the high street as the favourite places to shop, independent retailers were priced out because the rents were beyond their means. The growth of online shopping may well have been the last straw in reducing footfall and destroying margins but does it have to be the killer punch?

Winners and losers

Many traditional retailers are now embracing e-commerce with varying degrees of success and it just might be that the key to future success is in the very values that have seen some independents continue to prosper at their bricks and mortar sites. The winners have played on what they can offer rather than what they can't and there are distinct signs that showcasing the products you won't find in the malls and offering a veritable delight of a shopping experience can yield impressive results. If you can bottle those attributes and put them online then perhaps you are onto a winner.

Embracing e-commerce

Yes consumers like convenience and low prices but a significant number also value uniqueness and personal service. We all like to be pampered and to receive the right advice and a great ecommerce site can deliver those things and more. Successful independents have turned their stores into aspirational destinations, a hive of information and almost a private club by combining the latest products with traditional values and now they can use the latest technology to take things up another notch.

Moving up the gears

The best sites online do so much more than confront their customers with a list of products and prices. They impart advice and information, they pay attention to the details, they allay fears and they sell aspirations. They make people curious, they keep things fresh, they give people reasons to return. All this can be achieved with great content and the use of social media. The secret of ecommerce is not to use it as a means to reduce costs and to do less work. The answer is to do more work and just possibly to spend more too.

An e-commerce site is not static signage that can be left and ignored. It is a vibrant animal in an ever changing world that must move forward every day. It is a world of its own that can do next to nothing for your business or do almost everything and the results are proportionate to the effort expended. Backed by an increasing appreciation for the quirky and original amongst consumers who are tired of homogenised malls, it could be time for boutique independents to rise again but only if they fully embrace life online. The malls may eventually lose their appeal but people aren't going to ditch their computers, tablets and mobiles any time soon.

About the author: Sally Stacey is a keen writer and independent retailer who is excited by the opportunites presented by ecommerce.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The advantages of a personal image consultant today

Professional image consulting
Image re-branding assists with career development
By Sarah Miller

Image-driven. It sounds like a concept one would only associate with celebrities and performers. But personal image isn’t exclusive to people who are constantly seen and talked about in media. Personal image is also a crucial factor to your personal success, no matter what line of work you may be in, be it in a corporate or creative environment.

Businesses and employers not only look at your performance, credentials, and work ethic. They also consider your professional image and presence since both play a role in acquiring more business. However, image and presence are not merely accomplished by shopping for new clothes. It takes a personal image consultant to harness what you already have and give you the tools to shine so you achieve your full potential.

Image consultants have gained the necessary training and experience in professional presence, styling, makeup,and grooming. The recommendations are customised for your needs. So whether you are looking to “rebrand” your image as a senior executive for the media industry or want to land a coveted position in the country’s prestigious investment banking firm, your image consultant will come up with the appropriate wardrobe and styling to help you achieve your goals.

A simple change in the colours and cuts of your wardrobe could spell the difference between garnering that critical attention from decision makers in your industry to simply getting compliments for a new outfit. Indeed, your personal image has to be more than just wearing new clothes; the new clothes have to represent your personal brand. And your personal brand has to reflect the very image you want to project.

In addition to benefitting from expertise in professional imagery, investing in image consulting services can actually save you time and money. When you’re trying to shift careers or advance your professional status, you can’t really afford to lose any time or waste any money. An image consultant knows exactly what outfits and styling will work best for you.

Depending on what you want to achieve in terms of your personal image, your consultant may offer you make-up tutorials, grooming sessions, and, of course, personal styling. Some consultants add etiquette and communication consulting services as well.

Professional competition in any industry is getting tougher as newer and younger players come in. Whether you are gunning for a promotion or want to shift careers, you can create greater, more effective impact by getting image and fashion consultancy services. It is an investment you can make today that will pay off big in the future. 

About the author: Sarah Miller is a business consultant who is fond of writing informative articles about various business industries. She usually reads books as well as visits websites like http://www.kellylundberg.co/ to broaden her know-how about improving business sales and the like. 

Image license: Geralt/Pixabay, US-PD 

Friday, August 15, 2014

5 top tips on finding the best debt settlement company

Evaluating debt settlement services
Debt settlement services should cost less than unsettled debt
By Daniel Clark

Debt consolidation is a wise financial choice for solving personal debt woes. This is especially the case if you are worried about your credit score. This type of consolidation is a widely used method to create more manageable payment solution for piled up debt. One such choice is business debt settlement from performance settlement.

The major decisions you have to make when you opt for debt consolidation as a means of debt settlement is to select the best debt management company out of several firms that offer this service. A good debt management company should have little or no financial risk tied to their services; they can be verified as such by investigating them via your state Attorney General's office and/or local consumer affairs office per the Federal Trade Commission. There are number of debt settlement companies in the market and this number is growing due to the large demand for debt settlement. To find the best debt settlement company, try searching with the same smart shopping techniques that are used when consumers look for mortgages or vehicle loans.  

With the availability of several companies in the market, it is sometimes very difficult to differentiate between real and counterfeit companies. Choosing the wrong company can lead to costs similar to or more than the unsettled debt, which defeats the purpose of debt consolidation and settlement services. In other words, if the debt settlement process costs more than the original debt, the company may be predatory nature. It is highly imperative to choose right debt settlement company, otherwise falling prey to an illegitimate company will land you in trouble at later point of time.

If you are thinking of using a debt settlement company, then it is helpful to take the following factors in to consideration:

debt settlement company reputation
Verify  debt settlers' credibility via government offices


Take into consideration the reputation of debt Settlement Company. Ensure that company has good reputation in the industry and have contacts in different leading companies. This factor will help you in working out to settle your debts in a quick and easy way with your lender. 
Financial services work ethic
Regulations govern financial services

Work ethic  

Another good indication of the best debt settlement company is good work ethic. As debt relief is very important, the team at this company should constantly work to get you the best possible deal.

Good communication 

Financial services communication
Strong negotiation services are key to effective debt settlement
A good debt settlement company will be in constant communication with you. They will enquire about your background and also ask about your current situation. 

Also, it is very important to feel comfortable and free to ask about how the settlement process is going to take place. They should be easy to work with you and should also be willing to listen to your needs. 


Debt settlement companies
Class action lawsuits and bad reviews are consumer red flags
One of the best ways to measure a company’s reputation is to look what other customers have to say about the company. Thanks to Internet, you can now easily read good and bad customer reviews online. 

Ask relevant questions

When in doubt ask about fees, costs and surcharges
It is advisable not to believe everything you read online as it may happen that it may be not be true. Ask relevant questions to verify the claims of company.

Before entering into agreement with any debt settlement company, it is very important to verify all the important stuff provided on the website like success rate, their experience in the industry and testimonials.

It can be said that above mentioned qualities will prove helpful for you in determining the best debt settlement company. Only by researching and comparing the debt settlement solutions among other companies online, you will be able to determine one which meets your financial situation.

Thus, by finding the best suitable debt company you can save lot of money and also avoid stress and hassles pertaining to debt settlements.

About the author: Daniel Clark is an author, who writes blogs and articles about bankruptcy and business debt settlement solutions to assist people in their financial situations. In his articles and blogs, he provides valuable tips about how to select the best debt settlement companies.

Images: 1. Meddygarnet; CC BY 2.0 2. F. Delventhal, CC BY 2.0; 3. Workethic, GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0; 4. US-PD; 5. EditorE, CC BY-SA 3.0 ; 5. Geralt/Pixabay, US-PD