About the author  ⁄ Darryl Rappa

If you’ve ever worked with concrete before, then you know how demanding it is. Once the material is poured and allowed to harden, then there’s not much that can be done. Hence, every contractor that works with concrete must have the essential tools for the job.

Should You Own Or Rent These Tools?

Fortunately, you don’t need to shell out a lot of cash for most of these tools. Hence, it makes more sense to own them. Plus you’ll save more money in the long run when you avoid rental fees. Furthermore, you don’t have to waste precious time picking them up and returning them.

However, there are a couple of equipments that could be too expensive for the average contractor to afford. So unless you’re using them regularly, then it’s best to just rent them whenever needed.

So without further ado, here are five tools that every concrete contractor should own:

Screeds

These are long, straight tubes or boards that are utilized to smoothen out wet concrete, not long after it has been poured. For simple tasks such as paving a driveway or a small floor space, you can simply cut out a 2 X 4 wooden board and use it as a screed.  If you can’t be bothered to do that, you can always buy a commercial screed. These are usually made out of aluminium and available in a variety of lengths, starting from 6 feet. 

You can even buy screeds that are custom-made for different projects such as building a bridge.

Rebar Benders

If you’re working with concrete, then there’s most likely rebar involved. In most scenarios, you’ll have to cut and even bend rebar, to meet structural specifications. Hence, we highly recommend that you keep the highest quality rebar bender you can find handy.

Safety Gear

When taking on any form of construction job, there’s bound to be some danger involved. Hence, it’s a must for all contractors and their crews to wear safety equipment at all times. The three most important pieces of gear are:

  • Eyewear – certain types of concrete can irritate and even burn your eyes.
  • Hearing Protection – this is to protect your ears from the noise output by heavy power tools.
  • Masks – these prevent you from inhaling dust and other debris.
  • Concrete-Grade Rubber Gloves – there are certain chemicals in concrete that can suck out moisture from your skin. As a result, your skin can suffer serious damage. In fact, there are reports of construction workers having to undergo amputations due to chemical damage.

Wheelbarrows

Usually you’ll have to transport small amounts of concrete or even equipment around the construction site. Usually, there’s no better tool for this than the wheelbarrow. However, you must make sure that it’s a very sturdy wheelbarrow, with pneumatic tires and a tray made of a durable material like steel.

Buckets

Buckets are indispensable when you’re working with concrete. You need them to carry water which can splash on the concrete to keep them from drying too fast. This makes it easier to add the finishing touches.

These five tools need to be present at every construction site where concrete work is taking place.

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Traditional construction has been in the works for quite some time now as it’s been our most popular way of making buildings and homes. It’s only as of late that modular construction has been garnering more attention and with the entrance of 2019, it has become all the rage for its affordability and convenience. There are several who still hesitate, however, at the thought of the concept due to certain myths floating around the market, but this list is going to debunk them and give you a good idea of what’s accurate and what’s not!

It’s New

No, modular construction isn’t something cooked up by modernists in search of easy living. It’s actually been around for far longer than you’d expect. Prefabricated homes have been shipped across the world since the early 90s! Some instances would include the Manning Portabel Cottage in Australia and when thousands of houses in the UK were shipped to different countries between 1910 and 1930.

They Aren’t Eco-Friendly

In this day and age, if companies aren’t more conscious about their carbon footprint, they lose a big competitive advantage. Eco-friendly is the new big thing and of course any industry would work on having this feature. Modular houses often use quality materials that help reduce heating costs and utility bills and it’s also worth remembering that these spaces are created entirely in a factory, drastically reducing the possibility of waste and therefore contributing to a more sustainable work ethic.

They Are Challenging To Repair Or Rent

This is hardly true because modular housing essentially has the same durability that you’d find in bricks or mortar, with the additional benefit of being environmentally friendly. There is also no visible difference between a traditionally constructed space and that of a prefabricated nature. In fact, modular designs have begun to show more popularity in visually impressing tenants.

They All Look The Same

This type of construction doesn’t boast a one-size-fits-all design. If there’s one thing experts are proud of, it’s the versatility that comes with this approach. Not only can you set up a stunning residential home, you can also get separate units done like an affordable and fast portable toilet hire across Melbourne or an office- even a classroom!

They Are Not Safe

Yet another popular misconception is that these setups are not able to withstand rough weather conditions and normal wear and tear that would befall a traditional home. This comes with the misunderstanding that a modular house is made out of cheap material whereas in reality, its construction follows the same local standards and regulations as that of a traditional process. The foundation is manufactured in an environment surrounding by highly trained professionals and any work is thoroughly inspected before arrival on-site. It’s also worth noting that there are special setups for challenging terrains and flood risks etc.

Modular construction definitely has a lot of misconceptions but, with a little understanding, many people would see it as a step in the right direction towards a sustainable future. It harnesses the latest technologies while managing to be both affordable and durable! If this isn’t the complete package, we don’t know what is.

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Most food-related business owners can really relate on the importance of maintaining their commercial refrigeration system. Even though your refrigerators are working great, they still need to be inspected by an expert from time to time for preventative care. Schedule your refrigeration unit for maintenance and enjoy these wonderful benefits.

Prevent Emergency Breakdowns

Emergency breakdowns are a great problem if you’re the business owner. You can lose a lot of fresh ingredients when your refrigeration system shuts down and it would be a very big loss. Prevent this from happening by scheduling a regular check from an expert. You may look for refrigeration engineer jobs online to make it even more convenient. Aside from regular inspection, they also know how to deal with certain problems such as broken electrical connections and many more.

Reduce Energy Bills

A well maintained refrigeration system helps you cut down on your energy bill. Keeping the unit clean is essential so that it won’t be consuming a lot of energy. Also, make sure to replace worn out parts such as seals, hinges, and many more to avoid wasting energy.

Avoiding Contaminated Ice

If your refrigeration unit has an automatic cleaning cycle, there is a huge risk of having contaminated or dirty ice in the long run. Scheduling a maintenance helps avoid this problem from happening. Make sure that the entire unit is being cleaned thoroughly from the smallest parts to the most obvious ones. You can schedule an inspection depending on how you use the unit. It can range from weekly, monthly to even a few times in a year, depending on how the unit is used.

Makes the Unit Last Longer

Just like any other machines, regular cleaning is important to keep the unit free and away from possible problems or breakdowns. Aside from cleaning up the outer parts, you should also need to clean the smaller interior parts that are accessible by hand. Dirty parts induce more wear and tear rather than smooth running ones. If you’re not sure how to clean those parts, better consult an expert and leave the rest to him to be assured that your machine is on safe hands.

Be Assured of Food Quality and Safety

When your commercial refrigeration unit is running at its best, you can be assured that the food and other perishable ingredients you place in will retain its freshness. With this, you can keep serving your customers with high quality and safe food and drinks made from fresh ingredients.

Saves Up on Repairs

Setting scheduled maintenance for your refrigeration unit helps in detecting and repairing minor problems before it gets worse. The more serious the damage is, the more expensive it is to repair that’s why it is best to repair them once they’re still new.

Refrigeration systems are crucial in businesses such as restaurants, cafes, groceries and food stalls. When you take care of this equipment well, you’ll never have to worry about unexpected problems along the way.

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The cyber landscape is constantly expanding to introduce new solutions that companies, big and small, can utilize to maximize their productivity and convenience. While this gives them an added advantage they need up their sleeve to be successful in current marketing conditions, it also makes them vulnerable to cyber crimes. These can cost you dearly if you don’t take the appropriate steps to guard your business. Here’s what you need to do:

Secure Hardware

With more people focusing on getting their hands on top-notch cyber security software, don’t forget that your precautionary measures should start with guarding against theft or loss of your hardware. This is a common way for data breaches to occur. Ideally all your devices should be password protected and the password would be dedicated to memory rather than jotted down and also only shared with the user of the device. You should also install tracking software on to your devices so if stolen they can be traced and found.

Encrypting

Encrypting all sensitive information, from customer information to employee and business data, is one of the most efficient ways to render valuable information useless. By now, the full-disk encryption software has been virtually ingrained into all operating systems so it’s only a matter of making sure that each computer device has it activated as well as updated so data can be encrypted whenever the computer is at rest. Also make sure to have devices enter sleep mode after only a short period of inactivity, such as five minutes.

Portrait of a two men using laptop over gray background

Backing Up Data

Backing up data after encryption comes in especially useful in cases of a data breach such as ransomware, where all your data is encrypted by the malicious software and you can only get them back by paying a ransom.  By backing up your data and storing it separately, you don’t necessarily have to lose your data or pay to get it back.

Invest

At the end of the day, there are only so many solutions you can come up with when cybercriminals are continuously finding new and improved ways to breach the system. At this point, you need to invest in professional cyber security Sydney to be further prepared for an attack.

Educate

Yet another basic procedure to see to- make sure all your employees have a basic understanding of cyber security and the steps they can take. Using personal devices to access business data should be prohibited, and they should also understand the risks of using unsecured networks in shops, hotels etc. for work. Users will also have to stay away from unsecured websites and also restrict admin rights to a select few people to make sure employees won’t give away any information.

Anti-Malware

Invest in software that has been specifically designed to see to these problems so your breach won’t go undetected. You’ll need to make sure you have an effective firewall in place as well so that malware doesn’t enter the system. This will have to be continuously updated as the latest cyber threats are revealed.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to guard your company well against any unwanted attacks.

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When you’re going abroad on a business trip what do you worry about? Getting to the airport in time? Missing luggage? Getting food poisoning from trying out new food? These are all legitimate concerns, especially if you’re not yet used to a whole lot of travelling.

However there is something else that business travellers should be wary about: getting your devices hacked. The country you’re travelling to may not have the same privacy or confidentiality laws as Australia. Hence, when you connect to public Wi-Fi, there’s always a chance of your devices being hacked into. This can be especially worrisome if you’re carrying sensitive company data on your laptop or phone.

It’s always best to protect yourself from hackers when travelling abroad. How? Here are some great tips to help you with that:

Make Sure to Back up Your Data

Perhaps the whole point of your business trip is to give an in-person presentation to a prospective client. So losing your presentation file can have a disastrous impact. You may end up losing the client and get in trouble with your boss as well. Hence, we always recommend uploading all of your important documents to a secure cloud. Make sure you do this before you leave your house and not using public Wi-Fi.

It’s always great practice to backup data regularly to multiple sources. This way if one source is corrupted, you can retrieve it from another.

Your company may have its own protocol when it comes to backing up data. If it doesn’t, you should bring it up with upper management and stress the importance of it. If the company does not have its own cyber security department, hiring a reliable firm like Gridware can truly help you put together an effective data protection strategy.

Install Device-Locating Applications

With these applications, you’ll be able to find the exact location of your device if it gets stolen or misplaced. Both iOS and Android users have native device-locating features pre-installed. So all you need to do is to enable them before you leave the house.

Update Your Software

Before you leave for your business trip, make sure all your software, including operating system and anti-virus guards are up to date. This is important because developers send software updates in order to fix gaps in the previous one. Often these may concern cyber security vulnerabilities.

If you don’t already have security software installed, do it right away.

Practice Strong Password Management

If your passwords are easy to guess, then you’re just asking to be hacked. Good password management is a very effective barrier against cyber-attacks and will ensure the protection of your data in most scenarios. Hence, when putting up passwords, make sure they are:

  • Not obvious and quite difficult to figure out.
  • Not the same across all of your devices and accounts.
  • Changed regularly.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

With two-factor authentication, you need to provide an additional detail such as your phone number or an answer to a security question in order to log in. It’s an additional layer of security for your social media and other private accounts.

Don’t take cyber security lightly, especially when it comes to company data. Practice these tips and ensure data confidentiality at all times.

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Australia’s coworking scene has been described as “sleeping”, but that is soon to change with foreign investors looking to add their twist to the country’s coworking scene. A favourite of the start-up, Australia’s coworking industry has grown to include various types of coworking spaces, some industry-specific, some niche space, and then the general coworking space. Even investors from as far away as Europe and Asia see the country as fertile ground for establishing global coworking spaces.

The reason Australia’s coworking scene is catching the attention of major players in the global coworking scene is because of the country’s diverse professional scene, and more importantly, its location in the Pacific. Moreover, the chance to take advantage of the government’s project to refurbish old buildings in some of Australia’s major cities makes this the most opportune time to invest in coworking spaces in the country. Professionals who choose coworking as an alternative to the traditional office space can only benefit from new spaces that will allow them more options in shared workspace.

Let’s take a closer look at the Australian coworking scene and how it is developing.

Why Are Australian Professionals Coworking?

In addition for a need to find cost-effective office space, Australian professionals are attracted to coworking for a variety of reasons. One major draw is coworking allows businesses in Melbourne or Sydney access to beautifully fit out offices in some of the more attractive, prestigious business districts. Please visit the following site at http://www.servcorp.com.au/en/coworking/ to see how one major company provides professionals with coworking spaces in prime locations around Australia.

Another reason businesses are attracted to coworking is because the office setup provides businesses with industry diversity, which can make networking, getting referrals, and meeting mentors very simple. Furthermore, these offices come with important amenities like meeting and boardrooms.

Coworking spaces are also attractive to this group of professionals because many of them are in close distance to major transit, and if not taking the train, tenants have access to hassle-free parking. Professionals are also attracted to the fact that many of these offices have moved to a format that allows tenants to access the building 24/7. As coworking has become more popular, many spaces are focusing on quality of life while at work and have invested in shower and changing rooms, in addition to bike racks.

Who Are Australia’s Coworking Professionals?

Australia’s coworking professionals comprise of a number of professions, but in recent years, digital, IT and software companies have increasingly used coworking as an option for office space. In addition to this group, marketing and creative arts industries are attracted to coworking, which has presented many opportunities for these industries to work, network, and collaborate. However, other industries are beginning to take an interest in coworking.

Those who belong to legal services, a group long associated with the white-shoe corporate image, has also taken advantage of the coworking scene, and these companies generally work in industries described as legal sales. Accounting and finance firms are another group of professionals in Australia who are moving toward the coworking concept. Finally, in line with global trends, corporate interests are looking toward the coworking concept not just as a money saver but to co-opt some of its ideas related to making work more productive.

Coworking Australia

The coworking scene in Australia is looking to mix things up in the next few years. By providing professional-grade office space, this scene has managed to attract a good portion of businesses who need office space without the protracted, often rigid, contracts. Ultimately, you cannot beat office space that can give you access to resources and people needed to promote business growth.

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Today’s businesses are reliant heavily on being flexible, available and of course cost efficient. Your customers will need to get whatever they want, anywhere that they want at a price that they can afford which is why you as a business needs to stay creative if you want to stay ahead of your competition. The receptionist services that are available today is exactly what the global marketplace needs and that explains why many businesses are now turning to them for their services. In fact, having their services can open up an entirely new world of opportunities and possibilities for both you and your clients. So if you are still considering making this investment, here are some great advantages that will help you make up your mind.

It Can Save You Money

If you hire somebody in-house to answer your calls you will end up paying them an hourly salary, benefits, taxes and of course, there will be overhead expenses too. When you add up all of these costs the bills that you have to pay at the end of the month are going to accumulate pretty fast. But if you hire an Australian virtual receptionist company you will be able to save money because you have no overhead costs for facilities and don’t have to pay them an hourly wage, taxes or benefits. In fact, you will only need to pay when somebody in that service answers your calls and you can choose a plan get billed based on the call volume or the time. Even then you can actually get them to answer calls all day every day as opposed to just eight hours a day.

You Get Better Flexibility

If you were to handle all your calls by yourself you would have your hands full and then some. But with a service like this, you will be able to handle everything seamlessly through peak hours, times that are not office hours, while you are away on holiday, at meetings or anything in between. This makes your business immediately so much more approachable and flexible to customers that they will give your business.

You Don’t Have To Worry About the Training

In any case that you hire professional services to handle your calls, they will be well trained and there is no doubt about that. Just make sure that you choose the right service though with a good track record of what they have done before for other businesses. You could argue that you can actually hire somebody with a lot of experience in-house too and that is true. But in a service all agents are not just experienced. They are constantly trained, evaluated after the calls that they take and are given the knowledge on the latest tricks of the trade that make them so much more impactful when they speak with a customer. These are just a handful of the advantages that you can enjoy really but there are so much more benefits than just this to hiring a professional service to virtually man your reception.

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SEO is something that can help small businesses create efficient and user friendly sites that can rank higher in the search engines. This will in turn help these businesses attract more potential customers into the sites and will eventually increase the conversion rate as well. If you are a small business your targets should include building a good site with great SEO presence so that you keep attracting customers. If you want to know why you should invest in this, here are some of the main benefits that you can expect with really good SEO.

You Will Have a User-Friendly Website

You will be able to create a much faster and smoother website that is also very user-friendly with the help of good SEO. The old terminology was only restricted to helping the brands gain more visibility but today, SEO has become a powerful tool that also drives a better user experience. If your site is well laid out and has no clutter, visitors will stay on it for longer and could potentially even end up buying from you. It is a great way to decrease your bounce rate and increase the page view numbers. Look for a good search engine optimisation Melbourne provider or in any other location based on where you are and you will see that your page performs better. Also target to have relevant content only that can help customers go through the process faster and answers their inquiries.

You Will Be Bringing In More Customers

What is the main reason to have a website? To bring in more business and to make sure that you are not getting overcrowded by your competition. If that was not the case why would companies want to invest their money in a process? Having a site with great SEO will help you do just that and will get you more customers than a company that does not have one. It is also one of the most efficient and cost-effective advertising strategies that are there today. It is also very accurate since it will only bring in customers who are exactly looking for the product that you offer. Therefore know that whatever time, money and effort that you invest in this, will bring you returns always.

You Will Have Better Conversion Rates on the Site

The best part about having good SEO is that they will help your pages load faster and they will also be extra easy to read and surf through. They will also be easily accessible across a range of devices like laptops, smart phones and tablets. When you pages are easy to read and navigate through they will keep your customers there for longer than they would otherwise. Customers who stay will go on to subscribe and be loyal to your brand. At the very least they will be returning visitors, and the more visitors you get the better you will sell. These are just a few of the benefits that you can enjoy by implementing good SEO to your website.

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Digital marketing refers to any marketing efforts that go through the web or electronic devices. These can be through emails, social media platforms, search engines and websites where you can reach target consumers online. Lots of people are in to online shopping due to its convenience which is why it is best to meet them in that digital world. Although traditional marketing is still utilized today, it is best to incorporate digital marketing strategies if you’re aiming to increase revenue at a remarkable level.

There are lots of internet marketing services to choose from depending on the nature of your business. Content marketing utilizes blog posts and online content to generate leads. Social media marketing then aims to promote this content by sharing it in various social media platforms. No matter what tactic you choose, its overall goal is to increase your profit. Here are the most common digital marketing tactics used by businesses all over the globe.

Search Engine Optimization

This technique aims to optimize your website so it will rank high in the search engine results. By landing on the first page results, your website becomes more visible to consumers thus increases traffic. Always use relevant keywords to your online content to make it more searchable.

Content Marketing

This technique refers to the creation of informative and interesting online content. The goal of content marketing is to generate leads, increase traffic and promote brand awareness to your target audience. Content marketing is done through blog posts, eBooks, infographics, white papers and digital brochures.

Social Media Marketing

This tactic is similar to content marketing in terms of its goals. However, you promote online content through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. People spend most of their free time browsing through their social media feeds which makes it a great venue for marketing.

Pay-Per-Click Ads

It is one of the most cost efficient ways in driving traffic to your website. You only pay the publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the popular platforms of PPC ads is Google AdWords but you can also try other alternatives such as Facebook sponsored ads, Twitter promoted tweets and LinkedIn paid messages.

Email Marketing

Emails are convenient ways to communicate with your target audience. You can use it in digital marketing by sending newsletters, follow-up messages, warm welcoming messages, product promotions and discounts and other information that might interest your audience.

Online PR

A successful digital marketing lives on good customer feedback. You can increase customer trust by actively engaging their messages through email and social media. Keeping your online content fresh and engaging also helps build their interest and awareness about your brand. The more positive reviews you gain, the more consumers get attracted to your brand.

Does Digital Marketing Work For All Kinds Of Businesses?

Although digital marketing works for any industry, the type you should implement greatly depends on the nature of your business. B2B companies focus their strategy on generating high quality leads via different channels and your website. On the other hand, B2C companies focus on turning audience into customers which need stronger call-to-action tactics.

Talk to the experts first if you haven’t decided yet which one will work for your company. Investing in digital marketing is a great way to push your company better than it was before.

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Most successful businesses in the world today have the responsibility of keeping confidential information in various kinds of databases. This information might comprise of corporate secrets within the company or even more importantly client-related information which the company would be fully responsible for safeguarding. Whatever the case, with the advancements in hacking software’s and data breaching viruses there has never been so much of risk facing information security. Cyber security is something large scales multinational companies are looking at very seriously right now due to the huge loss in revenue client confidence and not to mention severe legal repercussions a breach in data can cause.

The Threat is real

Understand that no company involved in maintaining databases is safe from a cyber-attack on data. While the norm is to believe that only large-scale companies are at risk, this couldn’t be further than the truth. Recent statistics in the year 2015 indicated that 43 percent of companies targeted as primary targets for a cyber attack were actually small-scale companies. This figure is expected to grow in the future. The sooner we get rid of the notion that our company is not sufficiently large to make a cyber-attack worthwhile, the more protected we would be. The initial investment in safeguards for a cyber-attack would be less costly than the losses incurred due to a breach of data.

Seek professional advice

Technology continuously grows and so too are the defenses for cyber-attacks. Each business is different in nature, so seek out professional help in finding the best cyber security solutions for your company. Not only will a professional be able to tailor-make you security options for your data but also stand as a testament that your company has sufficient security safeguards in place in the event of any legal actions against your company. There are many professional companies specializing in cyber security options all around the world. For example, Cyber security companies Australia have given businesses the breathing space to focus on what matters, the business itself. These companies would worry about safeguarding any confidential information while you get to focus on the core functions of the business.

Plan on it

With information being an integral part in most businesses, every company must have its own policies and conduct regarding the safekeeping of its information. Official guidelines on the safeguarding of private information should be shared amongst all employees working in a company and even to the public to some extent. Marketing how much you place importance on information security is one way of looking attractive to a prospective client. There should also be guidelines and procedures in the unfortunate event of a data breach. These plans should be detailed, leaving no ambiguity to creep in when there is a difficult situation. This would allow your company to minimize the damage caused in a data crisis as well as maintain some kind of professionalism within the company. Be vigilant when operating a company in times like these when a breach of information is considered an offense and is punishable by law, not to mention the significant damages it causes your company as well as your clients.

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