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Tips on starting a new business from Millhouses Accountancy

If you’re currently starting your own business or just considering it, you have a great opportunity to build it properly from the ground up, creating a great foundation for a successful business. Even more importantly, however, it’s a great opportunity to avoid some of the most costly mistakes than can ruin a business or worse!

You’re either working on your own dream or someone else’s – anon

Avoiding the biggest mistakes people make when starting a new business

Many people, when starting a new business, don’t give enough thought to the accounting and bookkeeping side of things. But of course, it’s perfectly understandable how that might happen. Our first worry with any new business is about the first sales, and then getting paid, and then creating steady some cash-flow, and then managing customers, and then finding the next sale… and it goes on. However, before you know it, you’re a year down the line and you’ve got a pile of invoices & receipts to sort through. Whichever way you look at it there’s a better way to do it – start with a solid financial foundation and get your accountant in place from the start.

A good way to think about starting a new business is to think of it like building a new house. Who in their right mind would try to do the architects drawings themselves, or save money by just not following building regulations, or just estimate the materials instead of using an engineer? And before all of that comes the foundation of any business – the financial side of things. Get the foundations right and you give yourself a solid base to build your business on.

Make sure you’ve for the right training you’ll need

Millhouses Accountancy have many years’ experience helping people start and grow their businesses. They provide the full range of supportive services – from standard business accounting and tax returns right the way through to virtual financial director services.

These days you’ll probably need an online accounting package so get some training on how to use it. Do you know how to properly do a VAT return or if you need to? Find this out too. Who should pay Corporation tax and when? How is best to pay yourself? Book some time in with your accountant and learn the basics of good business financials from the start

Other business support services:

Consider booking in some sessions with your accountant on:

Call Millhouses Accountancy today if you’re thinking of starting a business – and make sure you build a solid foundation for a successful business 

Water Parks & Aquatic Shows

Most of us are familiar with the big theme parks such as Euro Disney or the Magic Kingdom at Disney Park Resorts. And if you’ve ever visited one you will have most likely seen a water feature. These are anything upwards from small fountains to dancing water shows, and they’re often a big favourite of the crowds (especially the younger and older members of the audience!) However, water parks can actually be huge. As an example, the biggest water parks in the world, in size order, are as follows:

  • Chimelong Water Park at Guangzhou, China
  • Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States
  • Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States
  • Thermas Dos Laranjais, Olimpia, Brazil
  • Bahamas Aquaventure Water Park, Paradise Island, Bahamas

I’ve personally heard of Walt Disney World, but besides that, I’ve never heard of any of those other names! Which is amazing considering just those water parks alone attracted around 11 million visitors in total in 2018 (these are the most recent statistics I could find).

Aquatic Show’s, by contrast, are normally more of a spectator event. And one of the most recognised manufacturers and installers of these aquaitc shows is France’s very own Aquatique Show. There were established in 1979 and began presenting 2 to 5 shows per week in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. Their first exports outside of Europe began in 1989 with an installation for the Bicentenary of Australia. One of their best claims to fame was the creation if the biggest water show in Europe at Futuroscope Park, Poitiers, in France, in 1991, before presenting their aquatic shows throughout the Middle East in 1998 including the Dubai Shopping Festival. In 2001 they made their first installations of water shows in China before the installation of the world’s largest temporary show in Wolfsburg for Volkswagen in 2007.

With a focus on continually producing new and innovative new shows and on new movements such as the water tunner effect, the water fountain show, new textures and more powerful lighting effects on their water effects, Aquatique Show continue to be one of the world’s leading designers and producers of water shows. Their amazing water special effect continues to wow crowds throughout the world, with the creation of water effect effect year-on-year. These water features are usually tailor-made, however, there are some standardised displays allowing for more consistent production. For more information see their website.

Insurance Claims Management

Can I first start by saying I’m not an insurance expert and any statistics quoted here are not from my own research, rather taken from other companies websites I found during my research. In other words, this article is just for fun – please don’t use any information here to make financial decisions and make sure to get proper advice and do your own research first. According to a recent article I read on the Statista website (link at bottom of page), the insurance industry in the United Kingdom is the largest in Europe. Or even more surprisingly, it turns out it’s the fourth largest in the world! These is even more surprising when you consider that in terms of population, we’re only the 21st biggest country in the world (out of 235) behind countries like Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Egypt and Iran. We’re also only 82nd in the world in terms of land area – a medium population on a little island. So, as one of the worlds leading exporters of insurance, we’re certainly appear to be punching above our weight!

The article goes on to say that in 2016, the UK insurance industry employed over 111 thousand people, and by 2017, the tax contributions from this industry were over 72 billion pounds which apparently is the largest contribution of any sector in the country. You can broadly define insurance into two main categories – life and non-life. Life insurance premiums in the UK in 2016 amounted to 168.9 billion euros whereas the rest of Europe combined amounted to under 700 billion euros in total. in the UK, there are also a further 82 billion euros of non-life insurance (e.g. car, business or home insurance) which is the second only to Germany in Europe.

Suddenly it makes sense that many of the leading companies in Europe’s insurance industry are found in the UK – 5 of the top 10 reside in the UK with Prudential being the largest with a market share of almost $54 billion USD. So you can imagine the huge scale of insurance claims management these companies will have to undertake even in an average year so moving away from the old fashioned paper style insurance claims to digital presents opportunities for huge savings. “In an increasingly digital world, removing the need to submit paper bills to health insurers offers medical providers and their patients a fantastic opportunity for improvement. The savings for insurers can be dramatic: manual claims submissions in the US are estimated to cost 74 cents, electronic submissions just 26 cents – a 63% improvement.” – Cegidim Insurance Solutions

Statista article link: https://www.statista.com/topics/4511/insurance-industry-uk/

Sports halls and gymnasiums as focal points for communities

Sports halls and gymnasiums are often very important focal points for communities providing warm, dry areas to exercise along with changing facilities and toilets. Schools and municipal facilities traditionally provided this type of resource to communities, however, increasingly, private companies are beginning to invest in this market such as private gyms. This is most likely due to a combination of the ageing infrastructure which typically dates back to the 30-or-so-years post-war which is when many of these structures were built, and also to increasing austerity & a move towards private investment in areas which were once provided by local government. What is the result? Obviously, rising prices is something we have all seen, however, what we also have now is access to new facilities which are properly maintained. Old concrete and steel structures are being replaced by modern, often wooden structures which are more eco-friendly and certainly more pleasing to the eye.

With this move to more modern building types come a whole new industry focused on providing these structures. A good example of which is SMC2, based in France, who specialise in leisure and tourism construction. On the subject of their multi-sport gymnasiums, “the design of a temperate gymnasium combines high environmental and architectural quality: it combines a glue-laminated timber structure with a translucent textile membrane roof. Our textile membrane roofs have a 17-year guarantee. Their curved shapes inspired by the world’s major sports facilities are intemporal. The air handling and double-walled roof provide thermal comfort without any risk of condensation.”

Communities need sport facilities that are not only safe and accessible, but also suitable for use. Suitable means not only of the correct size and shape, but also able to be used all through the year. Modern buildings are generally better often better insulated than the older buildings they’re replacing which is good news for us all and better for the environment. Whether it’s
tennis court construction you’re after or new gymnasium construction, taking the heating and environmental considerations into consideration is certainly something that all planners and architects need to do

 

Have you ever needed a debt collection agency?

If you’ve been running your own business or involved in company accounts for any length of time you’ll know how difficult it can be to keep up with all the different financial tasks that need to be kept up-to-date. Even more so if you’ve ever run a small business you’ll certainly understand what it’s like managing the sales, the marketing, the invoicing, the bookkeeping, the VAT, the admin, the purchases, the accounts, etc. And this is even before we get to dealing with overdue invoices! It’s a fact of life that we’ll all one day have one of those customers who simply won’t pay for whatever reason – and this is where you may need the services of a debt collection agency. Maybe your customer is just doesn’t want to pay or perhaps they’re just one of those irritating companies that avoid paying anything they can get away with. Whatever the reason, it might be time to type ‘debt collection Sheffield’ or ‘debt collection agency near me’ into the search engine.

B2B Debt Collection Sheffield

B2B Debt Collection Sheffield

Even if you’ve never needed to use the services of a debt collection agency, it’s very likely that one day you will. A debt collection agency is an independent company who job it is to recover money owed to your business on your behalf – agencies that specialise in collecting debt where the original creditor cannot get arrears paid by themselves.

Business to business debt collection agencies can take the stress out of chasing your debtors. And problem debtors are a big problem according to a recent report – it’s been estimated that 63% of small businesses are struggling with late payment issues at any one time and this is only likely to get worse during the Coronavirus lock-down as unemployment rises and businesses increasingly struggle here in the UK and further afield. It has probably never been more important to stay up to date with invoices by making sure they are constantly paid on time. Small problems can sometimes snowball and cash-flow problems are something that can cause even the most profitable businesses to struggle.

If you do feel you would like some help chasing your debtors, and need a debt collection agency in Sheffield, give Collective Solutions 4 Business (CS4B) a call on 0114 231 6080. With many years’ experience providing the full range of bespoke debt collection agency services such as debt recovery, credit control, debt collection, invoicing, tracing, and company reports, they’re on-hand to help you get your finances back on track.

Dehumidifiers in industrial applications

I was working in London in late 2000 when the capital was hit by extremely heavy rain that caused disruption on a huge scale with the inevitable flooding that followed affected numerous parts of the city. At that time, as noted by a subsequent report by the Greater London Assembly, around half of residents living in flood-prone areas were unaware to the danger that flooding posed to them so it came as a shock to many. Add to this the quantity of basement and cellar conversions in zones where land is flood prone, and you can envisage the wide-scale disruption that this extreme weather caused many Londoners – both businesses and residents the same.

industrial dehumidifiers used in the food industry among others

At that time, I was working with a company that, among other things, leased dehumidifiers for industrial applications such as drying out properties and buildings. Normally used for things like drying plaster or decorating, there was suddenly a massive demand for these machines by homeowners, once the waters had subsided and people were able to see the damage that had been caused.

Dehumidifiers work by reducing the humidity in a room. They remove excess moisture from the air by drawing it over the refrigerant-cooled coils using a fan allowing the excess moisture to condense. In works in a similar way to how the moisture forms on the glass of a cold drink on a hot day. Warm air holds much more moisture than cold air. You cool the air and it lets go of the moisture.

Dehumidifiers are important not just for homes where they’re often used to remove moisture from the air to tackle damp and mould, but they’re also very important in the workplace. Too much humidity, or simply excessive variation in levels of humidity in a workplace and you can end up with big problems. They used in many diverse industries such as the agri-food and food processing sector; industrial bakeries & pastries; the pharmaceutical industry; the chemicals industry; and all companies involved in the process of seed storage. The
industrial dehumidifier provides a fast and efficient way to remove moisture industrial (i.e. industrially) scale. Without them, many of the foods and chemicals we use on a daily basis would be much more expensive or even not able to be produced in the first place

From a Sheffield SEO company – why organic content creation is important

Generating more, genuine, high-quality traffic to your website – the type that actually converts your visitors into leads – should be one of the main aims of a successful SEO campaign. So, when planning out your SEO strategy, you should at minimum take into consideration two main factors which will help you to achieve this; organic content creation and transparent link-building (preferably done by those engaging with your website copy). This article talks about three reasons, according to Seven Creative (a web design and Sheffield SEO agency) why this is the case. With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to help explain why organic content should continue to form the cornerstone of your SEO campaign

Seven Creative are perfectly placed to help with your search engine optimisation either as a one-off or on a longer-term basis. This Sheffield SEO company have been providing SEO services for many years.

About Seven Creative – Sheffield SEO company

Seven Creative are perfectly placed to help with your search engine optimisation either as a one-off or on a longer-term basis. This Sheffield SEO company have been providing SEO services for many years. Focusing on the production of shareable, engaging website copy, they have a proven track record when it comes to successfully ranking sites across a wide spectrum of trades.

Any New Website Content Can Be Carefully Optimised

A steady stream of carefully-optimise, valuable site pages will come as a result of continued organic content production. Each new page presents a chance to for you to integrate search terms that you wish to be found for; whilst the accompanying meta data you can fill in is another factor the search engines will be weighing up when debating the value of your site.

For each page of copy that is written for your site, you can add in relevant images, which when added correctly can also give your site a boost. As long as you consistently stick to good practices, you’re sure to see an improvement for your website in the search engine ranking positions.

Useful Information Will Increase Website Traffic Engagement

Focusing on the production of content that offers genuine value to your target website users can benefit you in a number ways. Primarily, it will ensure that you’re providing your potential customers with useful information; that will ultimately persuade them to choose your services. As a result of this, it’s likely that those users will engage with your site for a longer spell of time.

Google will look fondly upon this; as the longer a visitor spends on your site, the more the search engines will flag it as a valuable source of information. Finally, if the traffic you receive likes the content, they’re more likely to delve into the deeper structure of your site. This means a reduced bounce rate and more subsequent points scored with the search engines.

Seeing Value Means People Share

If people see value in the content of your business blog, they may feel compelled to share it across social media and other bookmarking sites; which can only have a positive effect. Not only will the links built back to your site by this activity act as golden flags to the search engine algorithms, they will also raise exposure of the shared content you’ve written and get in front of more potentially high-value website visitors.f and when other web users start to link to your site, the subsequent SEO benefits can see you rise further up the ranking positions.

Profitable, Long-Term SEO Investment Strategy for Your Business

SEO can become a profitable long-term investment for your business – as long as your strategy is carefully-planned out. To speak to one of the SEO experts in Sheffield at Seven Creative about tailoring a campaign to suit your needs, give one of their team a call today on 0114 383 0711.

Sheffield SEO services help your website reach its potential

To make sure that your website indexes will within the Google search results, its content needs to be well-optimised. This is vital when it comes to the implementation of successful SEO strategy – which needn’t be a tiresome process. When done right, it can generate plenty more genuine traffic to your site, so it’s well worth your consideration. As Sheffield SEO experts, Seven Creative are well-placed to help and have put together a guide surrounding their top tips to make sure you do it right.

The Importance of Long-Term SEO Services in Sheffield

For monthly campaigns in particular, patience is vital as SEO needs to be something that you invest in for the long term. A website rewrite can improve your positions fairly quickly depending on how competitive your keywords are, but if you then don’t continue to add regular, organic content -whilst your competitors do – you’ll soon find yourself sliding back down the SERP’s.

Get Blogging with Valuable Content

When optimised correctly, business blogging content is perhaps the most important factor with relation to how the Google Algorithm deciphers your website. Engaging news articles, case studies and blog articles are the best way to show the search engines that you have something of value to offer on your site, so this really is an opportunity not to be missed.

Decide Your Focus

Always plan how you want your SEO campaign to pan out. If you work within a competitive trade, for example, you’ll be more likely to see page 1 results by targeting one of your niche services. Similarly, adding a geographical focus to your activity can also help you maximise the benefits of SEO.

Optimise, Always

If you’ve hired an SEO company for one-off site work but now want to try it yourself, it’s essential to maintain good practices such as adding descriptions and alternative title text to any new images you add to your site. Whenever it comes to adding new content to your site, make sure that it’s optimised for the search engines.

The Company You Work with Should Provide a Report

If you’ve had a bad experience with paid services previously, that will only be heightened. A company that provides you with detailed monthly reports can be worth their weight in gold; and you’d be wise to choose such a firm to carry out any SEO work that you need. The mystery surrounding SEO needn’t be a problem, as the right company will be fully transparent.

Contact These SEO Experts in Sheffield for More

Seven Creative’s SEO experts in Sheffield can provide you with engaging web copy; that will stand the test of Google updates to fire you up the rankings – and then keep you there. Call them today on 0114 383 0711 to find out more.

The Coronavirus & the effect on oil & gas production

We’re currently in the midst of world Coronavirus pandemic meaning that many countries have had to ‘lock-down’ their residents – especially here in Europe – to stop the spread of the virus. Here in the UK, workers have been told to work from home if possible, and certainly not travel unless necessary & important. As a result of this, many factories and other industries have simply had to close down for the foreseeable future, either following the government advice, to protect their workers or simply because their customers aren’t using their services anymore. However, one of the effects of this huge slow-down in manufacturing and industry has been a massive reduction in pollution.

residents of Punjab in India are able to see the peaks of the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years

For example, on the news today, apparently residents of Punjab in India are able to see the peaks of the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years, after a massive drop in pollution caused by the country’s Coronavirus lock-down (implemented on 22nd March 2020). In China, NASA and European Space Agency pollution monitoring satellites have detected a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide over China. The evidence points to the economic slowdown following the outbreak of Coronavirus. And here in the UK, some cities have seen levels of nitrogen dioxide plummet by up-to 60% compared to the same period last year due to people simply not using their cars since the country went into ‘lock-down’.

According to the website Offshore Technology, one important impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the downstream oil industry is that the price of crude oil has fallen significantly in a short time

However, has this also had an effect on oil producers? According to the website Offshore Technology, one important impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the downstream oil industry is that the price of crude oil has fallen significantly in a short time, taking billions off the stock prices of major oil and gas companies. Demand has dropped, oil workers travel has been restricted, and infections from Coronavirus have been found on some oil rigs. However, what about the long-term effects of this? What happens when this is all over? For example, in recent years, many oil & gas companies have been looking towards more non-traditional methods areas of oil production such as deep-water offshore exploration. On the one hand, these unconventional resources are said to contain at least as much as the total conventional oil reserves extracted since the start of the oil industry, so the potential profits are there. However, on the other hand, developing these new, large-scale sites comes with significant cost associated with R&D and the new technology required for extraction. What happens if demand for oil never goes back to pre-Coronavirus levels? If, for example, many workers simply find they prefer working from home and continue to do this even when they have the choice to commute? This, in conjunction with things like the ongoing development of alternative forms of transport and the large-scale changes to government policies on things such as home heating may mean this is indeed the beginning of the end for the traditional oil industry. Whatever happens it’s going to be an interesting time!

A quick guide to grinding media

Some days, certainly in my line of work, you learn something new and interesting about a new industry. On the other hand, sometimes when you investigate a new industry you’re simply overwhelmed and inundated with new, apparently meaningless phrases, words, acronyms, jargon, and lingo simply leaving you confused none-the-wiser. If you consider yourself to be someone firmly based in the former camp, now might be a good opportunity to go and make yourself a cup of tea with a biscuit. For fans of the latter, you’re in for a treat as we delve fearlessly into the subject of grinding media!

According to their marketing material, the Magotteaux Group are the global solution provider to ‘high abrasion extracting industries’ with their unique ‘grinding media’ brand Ecomax. You’ll also be pleased to discover that Magotteaux has also recently extended its offering to ‘Ecomax Forged’ meaning their grinding media is now available in both cast and forged!

As solution provider to high abrasion extracting industries, they start with a cross section insight into their customers value chain before combining all relevant levers from expert advice, service, resources, products & equipment to help their customers save money and optimise cash generation. Although it’s hard to believe, some people don’t yet know that Magotteaux developed their first cast chromium balls in 1950 in in their foundry in Vaux, Belgium. Roll on to 2020 and the firm now, according to their website, produce more than 250,000 tonnes of grinding media per year! Apparently, grinding media, or in this instance, grinding balls help reduce wear in some crushing and grinding processes. Coupled with special chemical compositions and heat treatments, they can now remove 150 alloys.

These ‘grinding media’ are used in a very diverse range of industries such as mines, cement plants and quarries all over the world including far-flung places like Alaska, Southern Africa, China and Chile.

What is aesthetic medicine?

We’re all familiar with general medicine, however, a subject along the same lines that not many of us know a great deal about is aesthetic medicine. This broad term covers specialties that focus on improving people’s cosmetic appearance through the treatment of conditions such as scars, excess skin, wrinkles, moles, liver spots, excess fat, cellulite, unwanted hair, skin discoloration, and spider veins. This branch of medicine includes dermatology; oral & maxillofacial surgery; reconstructive surgery; and plastic surgery. Aesthetic medicine includes such procedures as liposuction, facelifts, breast implants, radio frequency ablation, radio-frequency skin tightening, non-surgical liposuction, chemical peel, high-intensity focused electromagnetic field, radio frequency and fat removal. Practitioners will often use a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures. Aesthetic medicine procedures are typically elective and have been often been show can significantly improve people’s quality of life, their psychological wellbeing and their social engagement.

A well-known company at the forefront of the production of machinery used in aesthetic medicine (such as the aesthetic medical machine) is Deleo (established in Saint-Raphael, South of France). They produce machines used in aesthetic treatments such as the treatment of cellulite, anti-aging procedures, facial contouring procedures, body contouring procedures, the treatment of scars, the reduction of stretch marks, the treatment of alopecia, and dynamic phototherapy.  

An example of one of the machines produced by Deleo is their Medisol – a high powered LED lamp used for Photobiomodulation (the cytochrome stimulation of mitochondria by photons emitted by LED’s.) This process leads to an adenosine triphosphate production that allows cellular renewal. This process stimulates the neocollagen in the skin.  This technology is used to treat a number of pathologies such as post-operative and repair treatments e.g. scars, burns, and stretch marks, dermatologic treatments e.g. acne, and other aesthetic medical treatments e.g. anti-ageing treatments and alopecia. For more information about Deleo, visit their website at deleo-medical.com

Inspection cameras

If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of inspection cameras. A relatively recent application of modern camera technology, the inspection camera is able to provide an inspector with the ability to visually inspect in real-time things like drains from within by introducing a digital camera. Probably something you’re less familiar with are the inspection cameras commercial applications such as on building sites, by law enforcement, by utility companies, and for industrial applications. The problems with drains and pipes is, once they’re buried in the ground (or even encased in concrete), it’s often not economically or even physically possible to access them when there is a problem.

An example of a manufacturer and supplier of visual inspection equipment is VisioProbe, a company based in Montbrison, France and Paris. They have a very wide range of equipment such as a remote inspection camera and a radiation tolerant camera.

Image you’re Her Majesty’s Custom and Excise working at Dover and a suspicious lorry pulls up. A small camera on a pole which can view small areas would be an invaluable in helping to outsmart a drug trafficker hell bent on getting their illicit cargo into the UK. These inspection cameras can Pan & Tilt for 360° view, are tough and lightweight, have a long vbattery life, are lightweight being on carbon fibre telescopic poles, are compact and easy to setup & use, and allow photo and video recording which can be used in court to present the evidence. From their website: “[inspection cameras can] inspect containers, loads, look for suspicious items, explosives, weapons, packs, control trucks, boats, ceilings, cavities. VISIOPROBE pole camera combined with a large range of fibre carbon folding poles provides you with 360° vision in any situation. Designed to meet operational requirements in the most extreme working conditions. Visioprobe pole camera is among the most compact, robust and light weight with high end image quality.”

About Ash, Beech and Oak

Of the 32 species of trees native to the UK, three of the most recognisable and widely known are Ash, Oak and Beech. These three species are slower growing, deciduous and broad-leaved which distinguishes them from softwood trees such as pines. Hardwood is very well suited to furniture as it’s tougher than softwood, however, generally more expensive.

Beech wood is quite easy to identify – the wood is typically a pale cream colour, occasionally having a pink or brown hue. Preparing the wood with steam will often give it a more golden tone. Flatsawn surfaces tend to be very plain, while quarter-sawn surfaces exhibit a silvery fleck pattern.

Oak, on the other hand, has many different species, often introduced. Therefore, there are many colour variations seen in oak timber. To add confusion, not only dependent on the variety of oak, the growing conditions will also influence the appearance of the wood. The English Oak – also known as the European Oak – is common to most of Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa. The heartwood is a light to medium brown – often with an olive cast – though there can be a lot of variation in colour. Nearly white to light brown sapwood is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quarter-sawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns.

Ash is a light to medium brown colour, though darker streaks can also be seen, which is sometimes sold as Olive Ash. Sapwood can be very wide and tends to be a beige or light brown, not always clearly or sharply demarcated from heartwood.

Wood used in the production of furniture can be made from simple planks of wood or, more often, made from panels or sheets. A good example of a wooden panel producer is the Ducerf Groupe, based in France, who produce the Panoplot panel, which is made of solid full stave lamellas glued together on the side and in the width. See examples here: https://en.ducerf.com/products/solid-wood-panels-panoplot

The amazing world of ball bearings

When I was in junior school, we didn’t have mobile phones, tablets, or any other technology for that matter. When it snowed, we had snow-ball fights and when it didn’t, we played games like ‘tig.’ They were simpler times and almost unrecognisable to modern children 35 years later. One of my favourite games – and one I discovered I had a particular aptitude for – was ‘marbles. Firstly, we agree on a hole to use and then negotiate which marbles from my collection would be wagered against which marbles from my opponents’ collection. Finally, we’d tip the marbles out and take it in turns to try to get them in the hole. If you got one in the hole, you got another turn. If you didn’t, it was your opponents turn. The one to get the last marble in the hole won the lot. And I still have my marble collection to this day! The value of marbles was not set in stone but rather something that you’d negotiate over using factors such as rarity, size or material. The most common glass ones may be worth ‘2’ and, for example, rarer, larger black glass marbles may be worth over a hundred each. One of the most valuable types of marble, however, was the ball bearing. All different sizes and values, and I can’t remember for the life of me where we’d get them in first place, but we coveted them, and they were invariably worth a lot!

This was, however, the sum of my experience with ball bearings. I suppose in the back of my mind I know you’ll find them everywhere from car wheels and roller skates to machinery and space shuttles. Turns out there are many different types and uses for them and also many innovative companies continually developing newer and more efficient bearings. Example types of ball bearings available – besides the ones a 10-year-old may play marbles with -include deep groove, double row, self-aligning, and thrust ball bearings. Just goes to show you learn something new every day!

Memories of the Microwave Oven

Recently on Radio 2 (here in the UK), Sara Cox talked about her memories of the microwave oven, in particular, when she first used one and could make a baked potato in 2 minutes exclaiming to herself ‘what a time to be alive!’ Yes, that was a great time to be alive but technology has continued its relentless march way beyond electronic ovens. I remember watching old shows like the original Star Trek series when I was much younger and marvelling at the technology there’d be in the future, never for one moment actually believing it would be within my reach only a quarter of a century or so later. For example, pocket-sized communicators are now in all our pockets and we don’t even consider the technology at work when we use them. Speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time (provided their awake and their phone isn’t on silent) or browse the sum of all the worlds knowledge from the bus stop on the way back from the pub – it’s up to you. I remember when I was young, if you had a difficult question, there was virtually no way to find out the answer. Not even in a library! Now I simply ask Google and I get my answer (usually) in seconds.

Another one of the amazing pieces of technology we’re all so used to these days are tablet computers. Not so long ago, no one would’ve believed that they’d be so ubiquitous and available to anyone, but they are now. In fact, screen technology is now everywhere, mainly thanks to LED technology. Dynamic LED screens can now be found everywhere from takeaway menus and road signs to advertising hoardings. The adverts around the pitch at big league football matches can be remotely controlled and food menus can automatically update themselves when breakfast service finishes. This really is an amazing time to be alive!

How to pick a great sign for your business

If you’ve ever had to squint when looking at a sign you’ll probably know just how important size and lettering is. It’s important for your new sign to be able to grab the attention of potential customers and get the desired message across. At Image Sign Studio in Sheffield and Rotherham, they help you to create the most effective, eye-catching and professional signage for your business. From assisting you in choosing the type of sign to the material, the size, shape and even the finer details such as the lettering options e.g. acrylic letters and acrylic cut out letters. They are here to help every step of the way.

Important Considerations When Choosing the Sign Size

First of all, the size of your sign makes a big difference, to help determine the most effective option for your specific needs have a think about the following:

  • The distance you want the sign to be seen from
  • The shopfront size (or size of the preferred location for the sign)
  • The available shape space

What Material Should I Use?

At Image Sign Studio, they offer a range of sign materials including aluminium, stainless steel, Perspex and wood and they are able to create a broad selection of styles. Below is a brief overview of some of the key sign materials that they use:

Aluminium

Aluminium signs are very popular. They are affordable, strong, professional in appearance and versatile. Aluminium is easy to customize making it a great option for your signage needs.

Dibond

Dibond is polythene encased in aluminium. It is lightweight, rigid and holds its shape.

Stainless steel

Signs made from stainless steel are highly durable, weatherproof and are an excellent option for use outside.

Perspex

Perspex is a very versatile material that creates signs suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It is durable, lightweight and easy to cut into the desired format. Perspex is great for use in illuminated signs such as light boxes.

Wood

Signs made from wood are often heavyweight, can tolerate all weather conditions and are very strong and durable. They are also very versatile and look great.

Choosing a Letter Style

They offer a range of lettering options including acrylic cut out letters, 3D lettering, illuminated lettering and more. The lettering you decide on makes a big difference to the final look of your sign.

Acrylic Letters

Choosing acrylic letters is not only a great option for adding dimension to your sign but is also very affordable and fully customizable. The acrylic cut out letters are created with precision and are long lasting and durable.

Letters for Illuminated Signs

Choosing lettering for an illuminated sign such as halo lighting or illuminated letters is a great way to ensure your sign is advertising your business 24/7.

Top Tips When Choosing a Sign

A sign is a great way to attract customers to your business. It is important to use a professional sign maker to ensure your business has an effective, professional and well-designed sign. Below are some of our top tips when choosing a sign:

  • Remember your audience
  • Stay on brand
  • Simplicity goes a long way
  • Sign size and lettering are very important

Call Image Sign Studio today on 0114 261 7617 or visit their website at www.imagesignstudio.com

 

 

 

 

Sheffield business sign manufacturer

Get your business noticed with a professional business sign

Standing Out from the Crowd

Having great signage is a business essential but why choose a profession sign manufacturer? Read on to find out. Imagine Sign Studio is an expert sign manufacturer based in Sheffield and Rotherham. For top tips, expert advice and more information don’t forget to check out our latest blog posts. In this post, we take a look at why it’s important to use sign professionals and pay attention to detail.

3 Reasons to Choose a Professional Sign Maker

A survey carried out by the University of Cincinnati revealed that nearly 8 out of 10 people have entered a store they’ve never visited before based on their signs. Many businesses overlook signs or doubt their significance which is a huge mistake. Having high quality, well-designed signs gives your potential customers a glimpse into your business. Below are 3 key reasons why your sign and sign quality are so important:

Increase Exposure of your Brand

Your signage will work around the clock, showing customers where your business is and who you are. Your signs will encourage new customers and the return of old customers too. That’s why you need your sign to reflect your business, you want to impress customers from the start.

Stand Out

There’s no doubt that your business has local competition, by having clear signs that are unique to your business you can catch the eyes of potential customers. A professional sign manufacturer will be able to work with you to create the most effective and eye catching sign for your business and location.

Cost Effective Option

A sign is a cost effective way of marketing and by buying from a specialist sign maker you can ensure the quality and longevity of your signage. The last thing you want is for your sign to look old or worn before its time and you certainly don’t want it to look cheap.

Don’t be Overwhelmed by the Options

There are so many signage types and options available to choose from. Each has its own benefit and use, if you’re unsure simply ask one of our team and we’ll help you create the perfect signage for your business. One aspect people don’t tend to think about until the last minute is the lettering options. Get the lowdown on the most popular lettering options below:

Flat Cut Letters

Flat cut letters are letters that have been cut from the material of your choice using CNC cutting machines in order to produce a three dimensional and more premium sign. Benefits of this type of lettering:

  • Provide complimentary detailing
  • Stand out & catch people eyes
  • Various fonts and shapes available
  • Modern
  • Various materials can be used to create the lettering including aluminium and acrylic

Aluminium Letters

  • Very popular
  • Cost effective
  • Various fonts and shapes
  • Intricate detailing possible
  • Resilient & sturdy

Flat cut lettering is very cost effective and produces great results. Sign manufacturer, Image Sign Studio, create everything in house meaning your made-to-order sign will be ready for your store-front in no time. If your business needs a fresh, new sign don’t hesitate to contact Sheffield and Rotherham based sign maker, Image Sign Studio today.

Reasons to get a virtual tour for your business

Not everyone is sold on creating a virtual tour for their business but the below reasons will show you why they are definitely worth your time. 360 Virtual View are a professional virtual tour company operating in and around Sheffield, Derbyshire and the Peak District and they’ve helped many businesses showcase their properties, businesses  and showrooms using virtual tours. Don’t shy away from this technology as it can provide you with so many benefits.

Increase the likelihood of receiving bookings

A virtual tour allows potential customers to get a more accurate feel for what you have on offer, increasing their confidence in you and your product and making it more likely for them to visit. Google shows that businesses who have a virtual tour on Google My Business experience an average increase of 85% in on-line bookings so by helping your customers get to know you better from the comfort of their homes definitely boosts your bookings.

Increase interactions with potential customers

It can be difficult to engage with new customers and attract people to your business using social media and on-line tools. This is where a virtual tour comes in. Virtual tours offer an excellent, natural solution as they provide an engaging post that can be accessed by anyone and at any-time. A virtual tour generates more interest and once it’s been created and posted on-line you don’t have to do anything else but sit back while potential customers enjoy the opportunity and experience of touring your business before actually visiting.

Showcase your business around the clock on-line

As mentioned above, once your virtual tour is posted it is available to potential customers at their convenience. This means even when you’re closed for the day your virtual tour can still be accessed and viewed 24/7. This increased exposure helps your business sell more and gain more customers.

Reach more customers with little effort

Having a virtual tour available is a natural draw for people, you’ll experience an increase in the number of customers visiting your site as well as your store. A virtual tour is an interactive experience and people will like, comment and share encouraging others to take a look too. Your customer reach will naturally increase and people will find the virtual tour a more personal and inviting touch.

Give your business a competitive edge

By having a 360 virtual tour you can get your business displayed on Google Street View allowing potential customers to find your location and take a look around your business before actually visiting. Many people take a look at nearby businesses using Google Street View so there is no doubt this will give you a competitive edge and will generate more custom.

Find out more

360 Virtual View is a professional virtual tour company, working around Sheffield, Derbyshire and the Peak District. If you’re looking for a Sheffield virtual tour or would like to find out more about our stunning virtual tours then do not hesitate to contact us. 360 Virtual View offer a range of services suitable for all business types. Call us today on 0114 383 0711

Worldwide metals sector report

Of particular interest to many Sheffield companies in the steel and metals sector are the recent protectionist moves and volatility worldwide as the trade-war looms. According to recent research, the worldwide metals industry, valued at 2,700 billion USD, is currently a high risk for investors and enterprise following lack of credibility in management of overcapacity (steel), commodity price volatility, and exposure to environmental and sustainability issues. Notable events in sub-sectors include Iron ore price rises late 2017 and early 2018 on the back of demand switch, but Chinese port inventories stand at record highs, global overcapacity but the high level of import taxes protects some specific markets such as US and Canada, and the non-ferrous sector has returned to earnings growth on the back of strong price recovery. The LME Index has risen 17% in 2017.

The key players in the metal markets are China as the world number one producer and the world number 2 consumer, and Germany as the number 2 producer, the number 2 exporter, and the number 1 importer. The market is capital intense, low profit, and fragmented leading capital investors to err on the side of caution.

Strengths include the recovery of the European automotive sector, successful restructuring in the US, and strengthened cash flow generation in the mining sector. Weaknesses continue to be lack of credibility in management of steel overcapacity, commodity price volatility, and exposure to environmental and sustainability issues.

Within the sectors relating to metals other than steel, prices have increased due to strong demand – in particular, copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt (Especially those particularly used in batteries and electronics). Restraint on supply expansion is likely to lead to a continuation of demand growth exceeding incremental supply. Companies like MetaConcept (bismuth ingots suppliers and suppliers of soldering sticks) continuing to do well.

Contrary to popular belief, the precious metals, gold and silver, are not traded on the London Metal Exchange, but on the over-the-counter market usually referred to as the London Bullion Market, by the members of the London Bullion Market Association. Platinum and palladium are traded on the London Platinum and Palladium Market. Both members of the LBMA and LPPM trade the precious metals spot market on. Many companies involved in minor metals are members of the Minor Metal Trade Association. The LME used to provide trade matching and clearing services to the London bullion market and distributes gold, silver, and gold IRS forward rates on behalf of the LBMA.

Get a Great Virtual Tour with These Questions

Virtual tours are becoming increasingly sought after as effective marketing material. With the realization of their online value for potential customers, many businesses are now investing in virtual tours. With the sudden growth comes misunderstandings and uncertainties about what you can expect from a virtual tour company. As an experienced and highly regarded virtual tour company operating in the Sheffield, Derbyshire and Peak District areas we wanted to help customers get the most from their virtual tours, so below are 4 questions to ask your virtual tour company before hiring.

1) What equipment will you use for the virtual tour?

It’s important to ensure the company you choose is experienced, there are a lot of amateurs jumping into the business and if you don’t use the right equipment you won’t get the high definition that is needed for a virtual tour. Ideally, a DSLR camera should be used in order to get the image quality that’s necessary. A gimmicky camera will not produce the same level of quality and will not impress your potential clients so make sure the virtual tour company is using high quality and professional equipment.

2) Can I see some of your previous virtual tours?

Find out how many virtual tours the company has done before and take a look at their previous work. You can often find some examples of the companies work on their website so it is definitely worth taking a look. You can get an idea of how experienced the company is and by reviewing some of their work you can know the standard of the tours they offer. Pay attention to detail as if you were reviewing your own business’s virtual tour.

Not sure what to look for in their tour examples? Below are some top tips:

  • Lighting is very important for photos and this remains true for virtual tours. The lighting needs to be right otherwise you miss important details or your eye is drawn elsewhere.
  • Transition between rooms. You want the transitions to be smooth, it shouldn’t be clunky or feel unnatural.
  • Are your eyes being drawn to the right features?
  • Unwanted features. Are there features in the tour that take away from the experience? e.g. bins, faces, personal information etc.

3) What rooms will be photographed?

It is important to ask this so you can be clear on what will be included in the tour. This is an important question as sometimes photographers pick and choose which rooms to include, this can be for good reason and produce an effective end product but if the photographer isn’t experienced it could just be them trying to simplify the project.

4) Should the business be empty for the tour?

The virtual tour company will be able to offer suggestions on whether staff or clients should be around for the virtual tour. More often than not, the virtual tour is more effective when there are no people so the focus can be on what your business has to offer customers.  There can be occasions where there are benefits to having people around so it’s definitely something to discuss with the photographer. If you’re looking for a virtual tour Sheffield, Derbyshire or Peak District then 360 Virtual View will be able to help. Experience is key to producing seamless virtual tours, if you’d like to see our previous work, get in touch by calling 0114 383 0711 or via https://360virtualview.co.uk