Why Small Businesses Should Think About Solar Energy

More and more, businesses are starting to focus on ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. One easy way is to focus on how environmentally-friendly your company is. Many companies are using solar energy as their first foray into the world of “green”.

But what a lot of companies don’t know about going green with solar panels are all the other benefits that it provides. Let’s take a look at how solar panel companies like Sunvolt Technologies can really help you out on your project!

Getting the “Green” Label

Using electricity from solar energy may lead to decreased usage of power, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. By utilizing this alternate source of energy, any enterprise or firm can convey its involvement in the fight against global heating and can decrease the nation’s reliance on international sources of energy. Going green will not just reduce operational costs but will function as a fantastic PR and advertising device.

Money and Energy Savings

Saving energy assists the local air quality and the nearby power grid. The business is helped by saving cash. For this reason, solar-powered businesses are a touch philanthropic as well as financially sound. Now, the initial outlay for an entire solar energy setup can be quite substantial. So much so that many companies think that it is completely out of their reach. However, there are many federal and state grants that can be obtained for people wanting to install solar panels. These savings start to add up quickly and make this an affordable option. Saving even 10% on the overhead can lead to massive savings.

PR Magic

Of course, there’s nothing wrong, in the world of business at least, with boasting just a little about your achievement. To be able to state that this ale, that bagel or those sweaters were created with solar energy is outstanding PR, possibly even enough to create a large buzz with some large media outlets.

Lowered Operating Costs

Solar energy systems may decrease or even remove your office building’s electrical bill. For small and large businesses, this cash savings may have a great impact. Having a solar energy system installed is the same to prepaying for nearly 40 years of energy, but at only a fraction of everything you’re now paying for electricity. The price per device of your present energy prices is probably considerably greater than everything you’d invest for solar energy. This leads to additional savings for your company.

Transporting Valuables as a Small Business

UPSSending or receiving valuables as a small business may be one of the most stressful decision you have to make as an owner.  Whether its cash, antiques, one of a kind inventory, or even loose diamonds, the security of the items you are sending is of utmost concern.

  • One option to consider is using a secure shipping company.  If you are transporting items a long distance such as across state lines this might be a feasible option to consider.  Companies such as UPS and FedEx do offer secure shipping services as well as insurance values on some of the items they ship.  This may or may not be an option for you considering the sensitivity and exact value of the items you are planning to send.
  • Consider transporting them yourself.  When transporting items within your city or even a nearby city it might be easier to move them yourself.  If you are routinely moving valuables form one location to another, or even taking a nightly deposit to the bank there are some important tips to consider:
    • First, never go alone!  If you are responsible for the items it is better to have two people at a minimum so that you can both verify for each other that the items did indeed make it from location a to location b undisturbed.
    • As often as possible transport items during daylight hours.  You are less likely to be bothered by someone looking to steal or otherwise disturb the transport during the day.
    • Don’t follow the same route or routine each day.  Someone who is watching your company because of the valuable you move will want to watch for a routine.  If you constantly change the route you take, the time you travel, and even the vehicle you use they are less likely to find a pattern and won’t be able to try to forcibly take the items.
    • Most importantly, if possible consider hiring an armored transport service such as an armored car for transport.  Though more expensive this option allows for the most security for your items as well as for your employees.  Armored car services hire only licensed, bonded employees.  They have the necessary equipment for security you valuable in completely safe way.  And, they know the routines necessary to protect your valuables.

When considering all of the options for transporting your small business valuables be sure to look at all of the options, how it affects the personnel as well as the valuables themselves.  Then whatever route you decide to use when transporting your valuables make sure that you feel one hundred percent comfortable, because if you don’t you should look at other options until you do.






Planning a Company Retreat

Golfing in vailA company retreat is a great way to reward your employees for the work that they do and provide a much needed time of relaxation for the people who work so hard to keep your company together. There is a lot that goes into planning a company retreat, so if you are hoping to organize a company retreat for your business and employees, then don’t wait any longer to get everything in order for your company retreat!
The most important thing to plan for a company retreat is the place. The employees are seeking to feel fulfilled from this retreat, as well as rejuvenated and educated. That is why it is so important to book a venue for the retreat that is not only fun but that is conducive to the sorts of activities that you will be doing. Many company retreats involve team building exercises and small events where the employees are able to get to know one another and grow together as a group of workers. In order to accomplish these goals, the retreat must be planned in an area where the employees are able to stay for however long the retreat is intended to be.
In addition to finding a place that is conducive to the atmosphere of the retreat itself, it is equally important that the company retreat be planned in a place where the workers can have fun when they are on their own. By planning the retreat in a place that is surrounded by a number of different potential activities and fun events, you can ensure your employees that they will not only enjoy the time that they spend in workshops and corporate events, but they will also enjoy the time that they have to explore the city as well.
Vail, Colorado is a great place to book your company retreat. With a number of different housing sites, there is sure to be a place that will fit your corporate needs for your company retreat. The city also offers a number of Vail hotel deals for people who wish to book hotels for the workers who will be coming to the retreat. Additionally, Vail is chock full of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. There are a number of skiing and snowboarding places to go, and the ski resorts are absolutely beautiful in their season. Colorado is known for its perfect weather for winter sports, and the weather in Vail does not disappoint. If you plan to visit during the summer months, there are many different summer activities to take part in. Vail golf packages are available to those who wish to set up golfing times for their workers during their visit to Vail.

Starting a Business

Starting a business Every business starts with an individual and their idea. The path the idea takes until it comes to fruition depends on the drive of the individual. Once a plan is developed for a business, the individual behind it has to find a way to finance it. A lot of business owners choose to inject money into their businesses from their personal bank accounts. This approach doesn’t last very long because of the limited amount most of us have in our accounts nowadays. Eventually, you will run out of money and have to go to other sources to make sure your business has the proper amount of capital. Most businesses can’t succeed without the involvement of investors. You might be able to find money through other avenues, but you won’t experience as much success as you would if you pursued investors.

Investors are out there willing to provide you with enough money to keep your business up and running. You have to have a clear concept of the purpose of your business and where it’s headed in the future. Any lack of clarity in your presentation will result in investors backing out of giving you money. The key is to let the investor know how they’re going to get their money back. The desired outcome is for them to make money, not break even. If you find a way to make it obvious that your business has serious revenue potential, you won’t have a hard time getting investors. Some businesses hire individuals for the sole purpose of making presentations to investors. Odds are you’re not going to have enough money to hire such an individual, so you have to practice to make sure you can do an adequate job yourself.

Each state has its own set of guidelines for how to properly establish a business. You need to research these rules before you start working. The last thing you would want to do is operate outside of the law. One of the main things you have to do is acquire a business license. This process will require a small fee and the completion of a large amount of paperwork. Sometimes thisis all you have to do to get your business free and clear in the eyes of the state, but you can never be too sure. Research the laws regardless of what you think you know.

More and more businesses are picking up rewards credit cards. They’re making purchases at a rapid pace, so getting something out of the money they spend is a worthwhile pursuit. Normal people would have a hard time benefiting from rewards cards because the amount of money they spend is limited. Businesses have a larger amount of transactions and spend a lot more money. Naturally, they’re going to incur more rewards than the average person. Rewards credit cards are saving businesses that use them millions of dollars on an annual basis. Any business who isn’t using rewards credit cards right away should start using them right away. If you don’t know which card fits your business look at www.plasticrewards.com and you can compare different credit cards.

Best of luck starting your new endeavor.

Small Business Legal: Get It in Writing

The following is a guest post by Gary Lightman, an attorney at law in Pennsylvania that works with small businesses. 

Legal Tip for SMB-Get it in WritingPicture this: a business world in which all parties always meet their obligations—customers always pay on time, your product always functions exactly as it should, people remember every verbal agreement word-for-word, and no one ever has a difference of opinion when it comes to the status of a job. If this sounds like pure fantasy, it is—in the real business world, customers don’t always pay on time, your product may break down occasionally, people forget about verbal agreements, and people do have differences of opinion. With this swirl of confusion around you, how can you possibly expect your small business to get off the ground? How can you protect yourself from unforeseen issues that threaten to undermine the success of your start-up? In this case, your knight in shining armor is documentation, and lots of it.

The documents you keep as a business owner are your legal safety net. They constitute demonstrable proof that events actually happened, that services were actually performed, and that all parties willingly entered into the exchange. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak—and despite your best efforts, you won’t be able to remember clearly every factual detail of every interaction you’ve ever had with a customer. Not that it would have a legal bearing, anyway; the laws of the land require documents, and if a disagreement ever arises between you and one of your clients, you won’t have much of a leg to stand on if you don’t have any proof.

Some of the most important items that you as a small business owner should be documenting along the way are leases, rental agreements, storage agreements, purchase orders and invoices, contracts for services, return policies, and store policies. As you’re creating these documents (or paying someone else to do it for you), you can’t draft each policy with the expectation that everything in your business will always go smoothly. You’ve got to think about every contingency—every random or unforeseen circumstance that could potentially land you in legal trouble. Think about equipment failures, natural disasters, human errors, and other factors outside of your control that could have an adverse effect on the customer’s experience. Make sure that all your bases are covered, and then put it in writing. By requiring your customers to agree to the terms you’ve set forth, you’re protecting yourself in the event that something should go wrong down the road. If a customer isn’t willing to agree to the terms, they’re perfectly welcome to walk away—which is just fine. It’s better to lose out on one sale now rather than get into a messy legal dispute later, especially if the dispute arose because you didn’t think everything through.

So while getting into the habit of keeping good records can be a bit of a hassle up front, you’ll be ever-so-grateful you did in the event that something goes wrong—and it will.