local moving companyMoving is the worst. No one likes moving and no one likes to help their friends move. From the time that I left my parents house to go to school I have moved ten different times. That is ten different apartments, ten different sets of friends to help me move, and ten different rounds of packing and unpacking. All ten within the last seven years. Not to mention the number of times that I have helped my friends move. Whoa, that’s a lot of moving. If we added in that number it would just make me feel stressed and wonder why I haven’t started to charge for my services. See, I am very well organized and once I start a project I won’t stop until it is finished. My friends know this about me and have learned that I am a very reliable friend to recruit to help them move.  Some moves have been easier than others, like the time that I moved from one apartment to another apartment on the same block. One time I helped my best friend move from one apartment to another apartment right next door in the exact same building. She moved from #101 to #102. This move should have been easy but the narrow hallway made it quite a challenge.

The last time that I moved is the last time that I will move without hiring a moving company. I have realized after so many moves that it is completely worth the money to hire a local moving company. The prices are usually very reasonable and completely worth it if you consider how much work it is for you and all of your friends to move in one day. When your friends help you move you have to buy them pizza and beer and sometimes pay a friend for gas if they are letting you borrow their truck to move all the big stuff. You usually have to take the day off work so you’re losing money there too. By the time you add up all the extra expenses you might as well have hired movers and it will be much less stressful for you and about the same damage to your bank account.

Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about how you are going to move your three-piece couch across town in your compact car. Bribing friends with food and beer works most of the time but wouldn’t it just be so much easier on you if you hired professional movers and packers to do it all for you? After my last move I have decided that it is definitely worth it to hire movers. I am getting too old to do it myself or beg my friends to help me do it. We all know that most of them back out at the last minute anyway. My favorite is when a friend makes up a totally crazy explanation for why they can’t help you move. “Sorry, my grandma needs me to come over and help her with her computer”.

Over the past few decades, prefabricated steel buildings have become increasingly popular.  There are dozens of reasons for this: they can be ordered to any size, they don’t wear down over the years as easily as wood buildings, they are easy to add onto, and they can be used for a wide variety of purposes.  Browsing the internet, you can catch a glimpse of some of the things people use these types of buildings for.  One of the most interesting and exciting ideas I ran across recently was a baseball field inside a steel building.

Like I said before, metal buildings can be made to virtually any size you would like.  They can be small, so you can house a few household items, like a lawnmower, trailer, etc., or they can be incredibly large so you can hold sporting events.  One of the things I came across recently was a baseball field.  The building that the people were using for the field was incredibly large.  It looked like it was several hundred feet long a couple hundred feet wide.  They had either used a building without a floor or added dirt to the inside of the building to replicate an infield.  They had all four bases, the foul lines drawn in, and even a scoreboard on the wall.  Who knows if the scoreboard was plugged in or not, but you would have to assume that indeed it was.  I can’t imagine how awesome it must be to play a baseball game inside the building.  I played growing up, and although I do not really enjoy watching baseball (there is too much time in between the action), I love playing it.  Playing it inside would bring a whole new level to it.  The building wasn’t as large as a dome where some professional teams play, so if you hit a pop fly it would probably go off of the ceiling.  The same would happen for a home run.  It would make it incredibly exciting, because you wouldn’t know where the ball was going to come down.

This idea that people had led me to think of the various other things you could use prefabricated metal buildings for.  One idea that immediately jumped to mind was a gymnastic arena.  They would work great because you could order one of the size you needed.  There would be plenty of space to perform all of the acrobatic skills that people use to perform gymnastics.  One of the things that always scares me when little kids are practicing is that they might hit one another in the head with a mistimed cartwheel.  There generally is not a ton of space at your typical recreation center, which means that kids are flying all over the place.  A steel building would provide ample space for everyone to do their tricks without the fear of running into one another.  If I am ever in a position that I can afford ordering a steel building, I am going to do something of this nature with mine.  I can’t wait to have my indoor baseball field.

 

 

marketing automationIn the business world, marketing is incredibly important, and many business owners expend a lot of energy and invest a lot of money, in the name of marketing.  Still, expending all of your resources on marketing is foolish, as you need to actually run your company, as well as market it.  One way to minimize the effort and money you have to spend on marketing is to invest in a marketing automation system.  Marketing automation systems can be incredibly advantageous, as they substantially reduce the amount of work that must go into your marketing, while maintaining the same level of productivity, if not exceeding it.  Of course, without the proper knowledge and training, you will find it difficult to get the most out of your marketing automation software.  Companies, such as Automation U, can help you utilize your marketing automation software, in the best way possible.  By knowing a lot about the marketing automaton system you are using, you can get a lot more out of it.

Ideally, a marketing automation system is designed to consolidate all of the systems through which you market your company, into one simple system that you or your employees can easily utilize.  The point is to allow you and your marketing employees to easily spread the word about your company, without having to do the manual work that ordinarily would be required to contact that many people, through that many venues.  A smooth automated system, with a good user interface, makes it easy for you to send out information, through all of the various sites you utilize to market your company.  All of your social media sites and other means of interacting with your customers and clients will be connected to your marketing automation system.  In addition to making the way in which you send out information a lot easier, it also makes it easier for you to adjust your content based on what you learn.  There are two reasons why this is the case.  Firstly, it is easier to actually change the information because of the smooth interface and the fact that all of the sites are consolidated.  Secondly, you can react sooner because you can analyze data more quickly and easily, since it is so conveniently organized.

Of course, this same principle can be applied to another important aspect of your business.  Your sales department is likely absorbing a lot of your time and energy, as well as the time and energy of many of your employees.  Because of this inherent inefficiency that comes with trying to keep track of inventory, customers, and employees, it is best to find a way to reduce this inefficiency.  Sales automation systems are the best way to do this, and they are every bit as helpful as marketing automation systems.  They consolidate all of the data regarding your sales, in the same way marketing automation takes care of your marketing department.  With sales automation, you never have to wonder what you have, what you spend money on, and where your money is coming from.

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While our youth group is strong and has always stayed roughly the same size, the participants have nearly turned over in the last two years or so, and we have decided that it is a perfect time to really rebrand the group. We always have a logo and a slogan, and in the last decade or so we have also done the specialty t-shirts and sweatshirts for the kids to wear. They enjoy being able to wear around the youth group logo because it shows that they are a part of something that they enjoy, that they are a member of a group. And they don’t mind the low cost of the items. We order them in bulk and that means that they are a lot cheaper than what the kids can buy in a store, because we only charge them what they cost, we aren’t making a profit for the church by selling them clothes. For the last five years or so we have had the same slogan and logo, and the image on the shirts has been the same as well. custom youth group t-shirt designSo now that those kids are all gone because they have grown up and moved on to something else in their lives, we figured that this would be a great time to get together and rebrand the youth group so that it more fits the current batch of kids who are involved as well as the kids who are coming up on being the right age to join the youth group.

We hired Youth Group TShirts because custom printing for youth groups is really all that they do. They have a lot of really great experience, and they have a team of great designers who are able to get to the important pieces of what these kids are looking for in their images and identity and what they want displayed on their clothing. It is important to do something that is relevant for them, as well as keeping it in line with the church beliefs and the direction of the youth group. We want it to belong to them, but it also has to be a representation of the church that they are a part of. So we decided to leave the image to the professionals, because they can take our instructions and advice, and also use the input from the kids in the youth group as well as the youth group leader, and put all of that together into a great shirt design that we are able to sell to them and that they enjoy wearing. I know that they are going to be able to come up with a design that the kids are going to really enjoy having represent their youth group, and the logo is going to be trendy and popular for sure. Then we will have another five years or so before we need to think about getting a new design together, though if this one is a great one we won’t need to rebrand or come up with a new slogan that soon.

Self storage rental units are supposed to be one thing above all else: safe. There are so many reasons why we would pick a storage unit but the reasons we pick a storage unit are generally personal and then of course the things that we put in a storage unit are personal. So we are going to need a convenient way to store the things that we so love in a storage rentalway where they feel totally and completely safe. If people break into our storage unit and steal our things then of course the entire purpose of storing them as been completely ruined. That is why when looking for storage units we must look for ones who can guarantee there is excellence in security. Even if you don’t have anything too valuable in a storage unit, there is something very hard about being robbed. Have you even been burgled? No matter what they took even if it cost nothing like a journal, there is something truly violating about having your journal or your precious belongings taken from you when you were trying to store it for safe keeping. So Sound Storage of Mill Creek doesn’t ask you what kind of things that you are storing because to them it doesn’t matter. To them all that matters is that they offer you safe storage so you don’t have to worry about your things being taken. 

Sound Storage boasts that security is their number one priority. They understand that your things are precious to you and they will stop at nothing to ensure that nothing of yours is going to be damaged or taken. Once again it doesn’t matter what it is that you have, if it is personal and it is violated it does not feel good at all. Sound Storage is committed to making sure that you have your things cared for in a way that you would care for them in your own home. They will stop at nothing to provide the kind of security that will keep your belongings safe and sound for as long as you have them on the grounds and property of Sound Storage.

When picking a storage rental place it is important to find one that offers top of the line security and that should be one of the first things you look for. That is why Sound Storage is such a great option because you will see right away that they are passionate about keeping your things safe. They have state of the art technology that they are always updating to fit the times. They have twenty-four hour video surveillance to make sure that nothing goes unwatched, high security cylindrical locks that even the smarts and most experienced of thieves won’t be able to get through and finally they have an electronic key pad that you have to get through to get access to the grounds. I would like to see someone try to get past that! On second thought, maybe I wouldn’t. Either way you can trust Sound Storage to take great care of your special things.

 

coffee lounge

As a parent who still lives in active business and personal life, I cherish the times when I find a store or company that can meet the needs of both myself, my wife and my three kids. The other day while traveling through centennial I found a place called CoYo Cofee and Yogurt Lounge that was a real crowd pleaser. On the one hand, my kids were able to run wild in both imagination and spirit by creating colorful and vibrant combinations of yogurt and toppings. It was like watching mad scientists in their lab creating their latest masterpiece is. One by one day would walk up to the line of frozen yogurt pumps and make some very big life decisions. I can’t blame them though, this frozen yogurt and coffee lounge offers so many different varieties of frozen yogurt it really is hard to decide. My son, Harry, came up with what he called the Oreo cookie frozen yogurt cup and that was a masterful combination of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, chocolate chips and Oreo cookie crumbles over the top. You list to say, he has quite the sweet tooth. My daughter, Sarah, had a different idea and approach altogether because she wanted to keep the frozen yogurt simple and plain while adding as many fresh fruit and organic toppings as she could pile on while still remaining in the cup. We were all impressed by the large selection of toppings she chose but I was happy because they were all relatively healthy. I think that’s what makes this place so amazing is that everyone can find something they love and there are options for all members of your family.

My wife and I opted not to make a frozen yogurt masterpiece this time but rather to have a few cups of chai tea and enjoy some nice conversation mother kids made their creations. We were able to bust out our laptops and log on to their Wi-Fi system which enabled us to keep up with our office work while entertaining the kids. As I said, it isn’t always easy as a parent to walk that fine line and to be able to do both things so want to place like this frozen yogurt shop comes along that is such a joy for everyone to visit we cherish it. Living in centennial sometimes feels like you are on the outskirts of town because there are not that many cool places to take your kids but this frozen yogurt and coffee lounge is definitely one of them. They’re always coming up with creative new flavors and combinations for you and your kids to try so the experience is never the same twice. I know that this time Sarah wanted fruity and healthy choices on her frozen yogurt but next time she may try to do what she calls the gauntlet and that is one of every flavor. It doesn’t always work out in her favor but we think it’s fun to watch and the whole family gets a kick out of trying her frankenstein like masterpiece creations. CoYo is our new favorite frozen yogurt and coffee lounge!

Coyo Coffee & Yogurt Lounge

10639 E. Briarwood Ave

Denver,  CO 80112

303-351-2299

 

Obviously the taste of catered food is a large contributing factor toward your happiness with a company, but service should not necessarily take a back seat to flavor.  Many catering services take pride not only in the quality of food but in the professionalism of their cooks and serving staff.  Your catered event can be as elegant and rehearsed as they come, or it can simply be plates of food passed around among friends.  The atmosphere is always up to you, so the catering company that you hire should match your style with their service.  With that in mind, when you’re in the middle of your search for the perfect caterer, keep an eye on their service types as well as their array of menus and prices.

catering serviceThe Gourmet Kitchen, located in Denver, offers three distinct kinds of food service styles for your event, but they are willing to adjust to any specific requests you have.  Their first option is Drop-off service, where they simply prepare the food and drop it off at your event site in disposable containers.  This leaves the presentation, dissemination of food, and cleanup to the customer.  The second option is Buffet With Set up and Tear down, which is exactly how it sounds.  Staff will not stay to serve food at this type of event, but they will prepare food and set up buffet stations before your event, and will return afterwards to break down the stations and clean up.  In this case the customer is responsible for serving plates and replenishing trays.  The third service option is a fully Staffed Event, where food preparation, presentation, service, and clean up will be completed by The Gourmet Kitchen.  A staffed event can come in different forms: buffet, sit-down, stationed, or passed plates.  In this case the staff can also provide plates, glassware, stemware, utensils, tables, centerpieces, bar tenders, chocolate fountains, etc.  Their menus can be specialized and they can recommend venues and entertainment options if you’re still looking for those things as well.  The Gourmet Kitchen also provides perks with no charge that many other catering companies would charge for, like cake cutting fees or cork fees.  Complimentary tastings are also available before your event if you need some help deciding on menu options.

Understanding the service options of the caterer that you have in mind will help the decision-making process go much more smoothly.  Taste is important, and food presentation and sanitation is even more important, but don’t let these elements overshadow the necessity of proper service.  If you have an elegant seated dinner in mind, but you happen to have chosen a catering service that only offers buffet service, you might be out of luck if your event date is fast approaching.  On the other hand, you might end up overpaying a catering company that specializes in glamorous services when you really only wanted the food dropped off so that you could worry about the presentation, service, and cleanup by yourself.

The Gourmet Kitchen

5604 Kendall Court

Arvada, CO 80002

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Craft beer is a marketing dream.

July 15th, 2014 / / categories: 47, beer, liquor, spirit /

In today’s day and age businesses are always looking to find an edge, some way to make more money. Much of that has to do with branding. In the alcohol world the term “craft” has begun to take over. What a craft beer or liquor actually is physically is also not set in stone. Many who brew craft beer do so with what they consider to be traditional methods and with pure simple ingredients. When people think of craft they often think specialty and “back to its roots”. There is a huge trend today in many industries in going organic, using pure ingredients, going back to the way it used to be. This is a great marketing strategy that has proven quite successful and lucrative in the alcohol industry.
Distilleries who are able to sell their products as craft make much more money than just ordinary product. One bottle of non-craft beer may run you $4.99 while a bottle of craft beer will easily sell for $10.99. Which bottle would you rather sell? The term craft can be used by anyone. There are no regulations or laws that must be followed in order to label something craft. There are also differing opinions on who can be a craft and who cannot. Some will argue that anyone can sell craft no matter your size. Others will tell you that if you’re corporate then you are not craft. The meaning is open to interpretation and is often used to varying degrees.
However, according to News.com, “The American Craft Distilling Association, which formed earlier this year, defines craft distillers as those whose annual production of distilled spirits from all sources does not exceed 100,000 “proof gallons” removed from bond (the amount on which excise taxes are paid). (A proof gallon is a gallon at 100 proof or 50 per cent alcohol by volume.) This works out to about 50,000 cases at most, which means bigger distilleries wouldn’t qualify”. Despite this new organization a disagreement on what it means to be craft and who is able to produce craft is still widely up for debate and will most likely be for some time.
Thankfully much to the distilleries joy none of this deters customers and Consumers of craft beer and liquor. The market for such products are still high in demand and customers are willing to pay a pretty penny to pass the sweet nectar of a craft through their lips. One such place to find craft beer is Joy Wine and Spirits as, “Colorado is at the forefront of the craft spirit and cocktail movement and we at Joy know a good thing when we see it… or taste it… which is why we carry all the timeless standards as well as all of the local libations. From Leopold Bros. to Lagavulin, what will you be pouring into your next glass?” Colorado is indeed a great place to live if you are a connoisseur of fine spirits. There is always a trendy liquor store around the corner to fill your desires.

craft beer

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I have been really taken with shutters lately. I have been wanting to use them in all my properties and on all my job sites since I installed them in my own home, and I’ve had a lot of great luck convincing the customers that it will really meet their needs and bring a positive impact to their space. shutters I originally had to be convinced to put up shutters in my own home, but my wife insisted on it and she knew what she wanted and why. The shutters really added to the look and feel that we have in our space, and it made it much easier to use the windows that we have above our bed. I never liked to keep the window blinds open at night, because there is just too much light that comes in from the neighborhood. So when we would open the windows for the breeze and then shut the blinds to keep out the light, we were never able to actually experience and enjoy the breeze. But with shutters, you are able to get the breeze in through the slits in the shutters, and yet still have the window closed to the light. It has worked really well for us, and we are happy that we can now use our windows and leave them open when we are sleeping. The other benefit is that they add a nice look and feel that you don’t get from blinds. That is the part that I love the most, and why I try to sell my customers on it.

We got our order of shutters for the house from the Fine Shadings company that is where I have gotten other house and window products in the past. They have always been really helpful and fully stocked, so we went there to see what they had in stock for the shutters. Now, this is pretty much where I go all the time when I am doing a job and need to order shutters. They carry the hunter douglas brand, and those are a higher quality and better fit for most window frames than what I have found in other stores around town. It makes sense to have a place that you always go for the same product, and I really enjoy that I am able to build that relationship with my supplier as I convince more and more of my clients to go with the shutters on their newly remodeled windows instead of the traditional blinds and window treatments. I am just hoping that everyone else sees that same benefit as I do, and is able to experience the benefits of putting the shutters on the windows. In the end, it may be about personal taste and preference, and that is okay. Some clients don’t want to use shutters. But I do hope that everyone is at least able to give it a try and see if it will work well for them in the long run. I install them, and the client loves them.

When I think about all of the ways that a big company can improve their service and bottom line, efficiency is probably the most pressing.  Efficiency has become a cliche word in business and I think that that has something to do with the fact that it is a quality that every single business wants to have.  They would do just about anything possible to maintain a high level of customer service and achieve a greater rate of efficiency.  In my mind, I think that it comes down to the fact that a number of the larger businesses out there just don’t have the capacity to focus on how to become more efficient.  Nevertheless, I do have to point out that there are tools out there to help in the process.  One of these tools is a stock management system that monitors exactly what is in the stock of the store or business and helps the manager manage all of the systems down the supply chain.

stock management systemThe benefit of a tool like this is that it takes a lot of the personal involvement with the management of an inventory out of the equalization.  The less time that someone has to spend with that sort of manual counting system, the better and in many cases, it would allow for people to develop a greater understanding and ability of what that could open up for then entire business.  If I were to own a restaurant, I would hope that we could develop a system that tracks our inventory using sophisticated software so that my employees could better focus on interfacing with customers. With enough faith in your employees, the benefit of this is that they could derive even more business from existing customers and find some new business prospects along the line.  I do hope that we will be in the process of developing something like this where I work.

We are all in the fundraising business and as a result, we try to spend as much time as possible with our donors.  Being able to interface with them and spend more time in front of who they associate with means that we can make more money for the organization.  In very much the same way, we would benefit from an inventory management system that allows for us to immediately know what benefits we have left to give to the donor.  This would be the case should we want to put someones name on the wall or do something in their legacy.  It would help us out immensely.  My thought is that in doing so, there is a strong chance that we could soon be able to offer real time answers and process gifts immediately, which is not always the case.  I could picture a system whereby we use iPads to navigate gift and make sure that they reach their appropriate destinations. That would benefit both us and the customers a lot.  I wonder how much that would cost for the organization.