Top 3 Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Landscape Designer

Would you ever buy a house without seeing a floor plan first? Probably not, right?

So why would you have someone take a shovel to your yard without first seeing or hiring a professional landscape designer?

Hiring A Professional Landscape Designer Will Save You Time & Money!

I’ve been doing Calgary landscaping projects for many years now and the most frequent statement I hear from homeowners is that landscape designs don’t really matter because if the construction contractor knows what he’s doing – “it’s all good”.

Another reason I often hear is the construction contractor will design and build for me.

And the most popular reason goes to: “Sorry, It’s too expensive” – which basically means that you don’t think of it as a valuable investment.

While these are all respectable points, my gut response is always: “Good luck”.

Here are 3 Reasons Why Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer Will Be of Great Benefit To You

1. Only a Professional Landscape Designer, is a True Landscape Designer

It’s easy to just put a bunch of lines on paper and call it a design drawing – what most self-proclaimed designers think. But without any formal training in the details of landscape design, we, in the trades industry, call it: ‘chicken-scratches’.

Has this self-proclaimed designer taken a proper site analysis? i.e. Shoot grades?
No, not just looked and guessed “oh, you’ll need a two feet wall” – I mean actually taken elevation shots to see how the existing land is shaped?

Have they really listened to your personal needs and come up with a solution that not only is aesthetically pleasing but fully functional? More Information on

Have they dissected the details of how different elements work within a yard – i.e. the Dominant element in conjunction with sub-dominant and subordinate elements?

What about properly defining transition spaces and destination spaces? How about a conceptual framework for the overall project?

I can go on and on but I think you get the point. You can’t have someone who learned a CAD design software just draw something random on paper and call it a ‘landscape design’ because, in the end, only a landscape designer can be the Calgary landscapers.

 2. A Good Professional Landscape Designer HAS Formal Education and Experience

In the last 10 years in being in the landscape design and landscape construction field – from a university master’s degree in landscape architecture to working as a landscape labourer, to working in an architectural firm, to working for Calgary landscape contractors – I’ve seen it all and there is a BIG difference!

How do design educators think? How do landscape architects think?  How do landscape contractors think? and How do landscape designers think?

I’ve also learned very quickly when specifically working with landscaping trades for about 6 years now, what quality workmanship is and what a ‘corner-cut’ project is.

I’ve seen my design vision for space come to reality and it’s the most gratifying feeling ever.

I’ve also seen my design vision for space turn into a nightmare, and that is not as pleasing to see. By hiring a professional landscape designer you will partner with someone who has the education, and the experience to back that education, so to help you avoid making mistakes they’ve encountered in the past.

You also want the landscape construction contractor to have a reliable track record – not Joe Blow (poor Joe – he’s always being singled out) contractor who started his company with a truck and a lawnmower because he needs his weekend beer money.

3. Hiring A Professional Landscape Designer Comes With a Price

I get it. When you think that a designer just draws a pretty picture (if they actually do) and to have to pay them $800, $1000, or even up to $3000 for it – On the surface seems a bit ridiculous when you don’t understand the details that (should) go into it – Everything from site analysis to form and function – a typical home-owner (not all) often question it.

The thing to understand is nothing in this world is free. Remember that. And if you’re planning to spend money this summer on landscaping your yard, you have to ask yourself: whether I’m going to spend $5000 or $150,000 on my yard, Should I have on paper what I’m going to be paying for?

Because the last thing you want is a miscommunication with the contractor regarding your agreement – so not only will it tell you what you’ll be getting but also acts as a contract between you and your landscaping contractor. Note: Often times landscapers will even waive the cost of the drawing if you decide to use their services.

Take a look at some of our landscape design portfolio and you will clearly see the professional difference that sets us apart from the rest.

I hope this shines a bit of light on why you need a professional landscape designer before diving into your next landscaping project contact Tazscapes Inc. Calgary Landscapers and learn why we can help you save money!

Travel Risk Management

How safe is it to travel to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

Darren Aldrich is the Chief Operating Officer of ETS Risk Management, Inc., a global provider of travel security, Travel Risk Management, executive protection, threat intelligence and major event security. Frank is the former FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence, and recent head of Investigations, Special Event Security and Workplace Violence Prevention for General Electric.

How safe is it to visit Russia?

Virtually no travel to Russia is without risk.  Russia travel risk assessment is driven by three factors:

  1. Location specific inherent risks;
  2. The nature of the travel;
  3. And, the individual traveller.

For example, hate crimes against foreigners, minorities, and the LGBT community occur in Russia because of an apparent tolerance for such conduct as reflected in weak legislative prohibitions and an unwillingness to prosecute. Deadly terror attacks happen in Moscow, the north Caucasus and, most recently, St. Petersburg because of long-standing organic ethnic, religious and regional strife such as the Chechen/Russian conflict including possible sympathies for ISIS within the Chechen region.

Travel in connection with special events or sporting matches raises the already well documented daily risk of tourists targeted by pickpockets and muggers, often by organized gangs in major cities. Individual travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent or who simply “don’t look like they belong” in the eyes of certain locals should exercise particularly enhanced vigilance.

Business travellers should understand that electronic devices are frequently targeted for intrusion via malware and other means in an attempt by the Russian intelligence services to access proprietary corporate information for a competitive edge.

Despite the inherent risks, travellers who make the effort to seek the “ground truth” of their destination through their own government alerts, reading current country risk profiles offered by established security firms, and who maintain vigilance and a low-profile, can easily mitigate the risks and enjoy a memorable trip to a vast and proud nation.

How safe will it be to go to the World Cup?

Travelers to the World Cup are advised of the significant risk posed by organized hooligans who seek to engage in brutal fights with opposing fans from countries like Britain, France and other nations.

Russian hooliganism is marked by elements distinct from traditional hooliganism in the UK and Europe. Law enforcement agencies with decades of experience in securing soccer competitions have documented observations of Russian thugs who are highly trained and prepared to fight. These hooligans physically train in body-building and fight techniques and they make a point of not drinking alcohol during matches to maintain an advantage over their UK or European counterparts.

Disturbingly, Russian government leaders seemingly encourage such behaviour with Russian Ministers quoted saying “Keep up the good work”, and Putin himself observing how Russian fans had quite literally beaten the English fans.

However, a major world event such as the World Cup is likely to be secured by the highest level of Russian national security agencies who understand the negative impact globally of any major incident during the World Cup.  The largely incident-free Winter Olympics in Sochi, even under threat of terrorism, is evidence that Russian can secure a major event when it chooses.

What are the biggest risks?

Opportunistic crimes such as pick-pocketing and other thefts are common in major Russian cities. This risk includes theft from hotel rooms and theft from vehicles. Cases are well-documented of visitors whose drinks were spiked at bars for the purpose of robbery, rape or other violence. Unconscious victims are often left outside sometimes with life-threatening implications especially in the cold winter months. Further reports exist of criminals impersonating police officers for the purpose of harassing and robbing tourists.

Travel Risk Management

What are the overlooked risks?

Travellers to Russia often overlook or dismiss the reality that the Russian government is in near total control of infrastructure which facilitates intelligence service targeting of western business and government travellers to include remote intrusion into their devices, or, even outright theft of their laptops, smart phones and other devices.

Similarly, hotel frequented by western travellers are particularly notorious for intelligence collection, entrapment and attempts to compromise western business and government visitors. This fact poses a dilemma for travellers seeking to avoid such targeting by possibly choosing a local, non-westernized hotel.

However, such a choice often increases the odds of opportunistic crimes such as theft or assault and can antagonize the intelligence services who may become perturbed by your diversion from the usual hotel chains.

How should people mitigate this?

Risk mitigation remains similar to advice given for most international travel.

Specifically, avoid open display of wealth, including expensive jewellery, and anything that may identify you as a tourist. Avoid walking alone at night. Be vigilant for pickpockets in main tourist areas and around the main railway stations, and keep your passport tightly secured. Always buy your own drinks at the bar and keep them in sight at all times.

To mitigate the risk of being victimized by “fake” police officers, always insist on seeing identification if you are stopped.

What duty of care provisions should employers sending staff to Russia have in place? What should employees ask for?

Business leaders sending employees to Russia are advised to include professional risk management measures into the travel plan.

These measures should include physical security guidance, protection of intellectual property, and potential medical consultation and even evacuation. The addition of enhanced security enables your team to focus on business objectives within minimal constraints or distractions.  Employees should ask for loaner devices to take that contain only the data needed for that trip and bring a reliable communication device.

Employees traveling for lengthy periods, particularly to more remote areas of Russia, should understand that the local hospital blood supply may not be screened for HIV and other diseases as is the standard in the US, UK and other nations. Therefore, employees should ask about medical evacuation plans in the event of an unexpected need for surgery.

How Evaporative Cooling Works

In Melbourne, we will often experience plenty of hot summer days. Some places near the water are able to enjoy natural cooling breezes, but for many of us, there needs to be an alternative to help us stay cool. It seems that with the current global climate change process that we are going to be experiencing even more extreme variations in temperature. And with the increasing cost of electricity, it will be important to be able to have efficient methods of cooling installed in your home.

Many people are looking for alternative solutions to their cooling requirements. Some are using innovative new home designs that take advantage of natural light and ventilation to reduce heating and cooling costs. Others are trying to find a cooling solution that will be more environmentally friendly. There are people who are looking for the best way to install a new cooling system as part of the design work for their new home. Others are looking to retrofit older style houses and units that were not designed to take advantage of cooling systems. It is important to be able to identify a technology that will meet the specific needs and requirements of the space where it is to be used.

How evaporative cooling works

There are many different types of cooling systems. As summer comes, we will often look to these to provide the solution when our living space gets a bit warmer. It is important that they are able to operate as efficiently as possible, as there can be a substantial cost associated with running a cooling system. The price of electricity keeps going up and it looks like it is going to be a while before we will see the prices going down. Choosing a system that will provide the solution you need and at the same time reduce the amount of money you need to spend to run it, will be an important consideration when making a selection.

One of the popular systems that have been used for a very long time is evaporative cooling Melbourne. If you have ever done any exercise that has made you sweat, made your t-shirt wet, and then felt a breeze that made you feel cold because of the dampness in your shirt, then you have experienced evaporative cooling.

The history of evaporative cooling

In its simplest form, this was the original method of cooling used by humans. The idea is very simple. It is through the process of evaporation of water that temperature is lowered. Originally the basic concept was to wet some form of cloth material that would then allow the water to evaporate. This would keep the temperature of the area around the material lower. The scientific principle is that heat is drawn out of the air to provide energy for the liquid water to be turned into water vapour.

Keeping cool in the outback

In the Australian outback, the original cooling method for those without electricity was to use a timber-framed cabinet that had the side panels made of cotton or hessian material. This material was kept wet during the day and the breeze was then able to blow through the material. Evaporation would occur, reducing the temperature, which would keep the items inside the cabinet cooler. The material also played an important role in keeping flying insects away from the food items inside. This cabinet was often known as a Coolgardie safe or cooler, as it was on the Coolgardie goldfields that the design was first developed.

Modern evaporative coolers

The evaporative coolers that we use today are much more sophisticated than this though. It is most effective in low-humidity areas, providing a natural and energy-efficient cooling method. So, when you are considering evaporative cooling Melbourne is a suitable environment.

In an evaporative cooler, a pump will usually circulate water from an inbuilt reservoir onto a specially made porous cooling pad that will be able to hold the water. An electric fan will then draw air into the unit that will flow through the moistened pad. As the warmer air passes through the pad, it transfers the heat to the water which will evaporate as water vapour, which as a result reduces the temperature of the air.

An important element of maintaining an efficient evaporative cooling process is to ensure that the cooling pads are kept completely saturated. It is also important to ensure that the fan and electric motor are the most suitable size so that there is an appropriate airflow through the pad and the output of cool air will meet the requirements of the environment where the cooler is being used.

Cooling walls for different environments

An increase in interest in this technology is spurring innovation in evaporative cooling design. One of the most interesting new design concepts is water-based evaporative cooling walls. These are potentially a very effective cooling technology for buildings and at the same time are able to provide additional insulation benefits that make them beneficial in the winter as well. It is well suited to use in cooling animal shelters, greenhouses, warehouses, and factories, as well as some large public spaces. People have even introduced this concept into residential accommodation, creating a design feature for their home.

Two-stage evaporative cooling systems

The efficiency of two-stage evaporative cooling systems has increased sufficiently for them to be used in environments such as Doha and Dubai, where they are often used alongside other traditional air conditioning systems to provide substantial savings.

There has even been a focus on the development of small air conditioning units that will only draw relatively low amounts of energy so that they are able to be used in association with solar arrays. This just seems to make sense when you consider that in the hottest times there is likely to be plenty of sunshine to power them. There are even small evaporative cooling units that are able to sit on your work desk.

Pool & Spa Remodeling in Malibu

Pool Renovation

Make your pool inviting again. Modernize the style and shape, add waterfall features, or resurface the pool with a new texture. Whatever you desire, we are the pool renovation professionals for the job!

Pool Installation

Take a swim at leisure, cool off on a hot day, or read a book in a shaded area by your new pool. Make these visions a reality by calling the pool installation experts at Valley Pool Plaster Pool & Spa Malibu pool remodeling today.

Pool Repair

Malibu pool remodeling

Fully relax poolside without the eyesore of broken tiles or cracked concrete. Our pool repair technicians handle pool repair work, from lighting to resurfacing.

Trusted Swimming Pool Company in Malibu, CA

If you’ve been toying with the idea of adding a swimming pool or hot tub to your property, look no further than Valley Pool Plaster. As an established swimming pool and hot tub installation company in Malibu, CA, our goal is to provide you with quality products and construction at affordable prices.

Benefits Galore

There’s nothing like taking a dip in a cool, inviting swimming pool during a hot summer’s day. And when you’re chilly, sore, or simply looking to relax, having a hot tub on hand can be a wonderful perk. Best of all, swimming pool and hot tub installation is a worthwhile investment in your Malibu, CA property, and should you ever choose to sell, that pool or hot tub can be a real marketing plus.

With a skilled, experienced team of swimming pool and hot tub installation contractors, Valley Pool Plaster is the place to go when you’re looking to enhance your Malibu, CA property and quality of life.

About

Valley Pool Plaster Pool & Spa Malibu pool remodeling is a hands-on pool and spa remodeling contractor serving residents of Malibu, CA, for more than 30 years. From start to finish, we are on the job performing all the work ourselves without sending in any subcontractors. We use the highest quality tile, stone, and plaster to ensure your pool’s long-lasting beauty. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed. References are available upon request.

Here Are Ways To Marketing For Fitness

One of the hottest debated topics, when internet marketing for fitness professionals get together, is how often a company needs to post to create the optimal customer engagement. According to a popular social media pre-scheduling tool who crunched the data from 10 different studies, companies need to post to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn at least once a day, Pinterest 11 times per day and Twitter 15 times per day for optimal results. Breaking down those figures further helps one understand the best way to engage with your audience on each of these popular social media platforms.

Facebook

Using Facebook ads that have optimized user-friendly landing page is the best way to convert lookers into customers on this social media platform that has over 1.47 billion customers on a daily basis. Target your potential audience by their interest to make sure that you are showing up regularly on the feed of people who are going to be interested in your products or services. According to Word Counter, multiple photos, videos, and links may seem more interesting and attention-grabbing, but data shows that the simplest posts (i.e., single photo attachment or status-only) reap the most engagement. Give your audience something that they will be interested in receiving in exchange for their information. Write compelling headlines to raise the click-through rate on articles that you post.

Instagram

marketing for fitness

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Give users promo codes that will make them want to use your products along with good calls to action from your company’s bio. This article from Entrepreneur reinforces, “never underestimate a good call to action (CTA), even though Instagram is a visual platform, an enticing call to action will help change casual viewers into customers.” Run contests to get your customers to show how they are using your products. Use Instagram stories to tell a compelling brand story.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful platform when it comes to business-to-business sales. Use your fully completed profile to make a compelling case for why people should do business with your company. While you do not want to stuff keywords in, make sure to use as many as possible in ways that make sense. Create optimized links in your bio.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual site, and research shows that the best visuals for this platform are 736 pixels by 1102 pixels. Food and drink pins along with how-to pins do amazing on this site as long as you have a compelling headline with your keywords in it and good visuals. Make it easy for people on your site to pin your content straight to their personal pages on this platform.

Twitter

Engaging your customers by asking questions is one of the most effective ways to drive conversions on Twitter. Images are another powerful way to engage your audience on this platform. Evenings and weekends often have the best engagement rates but try it with your own A/B tests as your results may be different.

Using each of these platforms is a powerful way to engage customers at each step of the sales funnel. Yet, each requires a different approach. The most important tip, however, is to consider the relevance of your target audience on each platform. Employ these tips to drive customers to your business today.

Beach Garden

Ulladulla On-site Caravan – Short Walk to Beach

This is a fantastic Onsite caravan in excellent condition. We have loved this Onsite caravan for the past 25 years.

The Onsite caravan includes a tropical roof and sealed throughout.

Everything is included, All ready to start enjoying the beautiful South Coast

Annex and Caravan inclusions:

  • Bedding, additional linen, and towels
  • A family size fridge and a small one, both only 6 months old.
  • TV, DVD, Microwave, Stereo System, Fan, and Heater
  • Crockery, Cutlery
  • Washing machine (small) used on a bench
  • New blinds in Annex and brand new window in onsite caravan
  • Bathroom vanity with toilet, space for shower, easily installed as sewer connected.

Caravan Park facilities

  • Fantastic Amenities, including swimming pool, tennis courts, putt-putt, jumping pillow
  • A short walk to ‘Lobster Jack’ beach and the surrounding bushlands.
  • Park is in a great location, close to restaurants, cafes, clubs, supermarkets
  • Pets not allowed

Contact us for most up-to-date price

View More Details: onsite caravan for sale NSW

Pool Maintains

Choosing the #1 Pool Maintenance in Thousand Oaks

When it comes to residential, none is as coveted as the Thousand Oaks in the Conejo Valley.

And that is not surprising; as it can provide you with a spectacularly designed home that has a beautiful panoramic view of the landscape. It honestly is an experience of a lifetime, and if you’re one its residents, you must be the envy of most.

But what really makes these homes special is their very own outdoor designer pools.

Nothing relieves the stress of a hard day better than taking a relaxing dip right in the comfort of your own backyard. But as most homeowners will tell you, to maintain a fully functioning household, a swimming pool in the yard may just mean additional responsibilities.

Although it might improve the aesthetic appeal of the place, keeping it clean might be too time to consume for a busy schedule. But proper pool maintenance is of utmost importance if you wish to continue enjoying its comfort while keeping the water sparkling blue.

Luckily several in Thousand Oaks pool maintenance companies offer their services to Thousand Oaks residents.

And today we would like to help you out with a guide on how to pick the right pool cleaning company along with the need for pool maintenance and some helpful DIY tips.

Why Must You Have a Clean Pool?

Let’s be completely honest here when was the last time any of us cleaned our pools or hired someone to do it? It is always more fun to swim in it rather than taking the time out to clean it. And if you are not cleaning your pool on a regular basis then there might come a day when your pool gets too dirty to be used.

Just adding chlorine or other sanitary chemicals to the water, is not nearly as enough as you might think. The pool must be treated and scrubbed, and we mean ‘thoroughly scrubbed’.

A swimming pool is a lot like your bathtub. When you take a nice long shower you use various cleaning agents like soap and shampoo. These agents are meant to keep your body clean, and not the tub which is made of tile, porcelain, and fiberglass. After a point of time, you will notice soap scum building up, which if left unchecked, forms a breeding ground for mold and harmful bacteria.

It is the same for your pool, chemicals might temporarily keep the water fresh but it won’t keep the leaves and bugs out, nor will it clean the floor and the walls of your pool.

DIY devices like suckers and robot cleaners can help maintain the pool to an extent. But for a complete treatment, it is always advisable to leave it to the professionals.

DIY Pool Cleaning

For keeping your pool temporarily clean, we have a few pocket-friendly tips you can choose to avail.

We will chart out a few types of cleaners and the specific needs they fulfill, but it is always best to rely on a professional to get complete maintenance done.

Manual Pool Cleaners:

Water nets, pool poles, floor sweepers and chemicals can be the way to go if you’re a perfectionist and have a rather large pool.

Suction and Pressure Pool Cleaners:

If your pool is in the middle of a yard surrounded by trees, a suction or pressure cleaner can help get rid of the leaves and surface debris.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

These innovative machines are programmed to move around on their own and scrub the pool walls and floor. Quite effective against dirt and stain.

Solar Powered Pool Cleaners

These cleaners draw their power from solar energy and run along the surface of the water to collect leaves and debris.

Pool-Clearners oak

Professional Pool Care and Why We Need it.

On average, pool treatment companies tend to offer a contract to clean your pool at least four times a month. This might make you wonder if you should just clean the pool yourself. But we wouldn’t recommend that.

Cleaning a pool involves a lot more than just skimming the surface for debris. It also includes testing the chemical levels to cleaning the catch baskets and filter cartridges. Which will not be possible to accomplish without the help of a professional certified by the Health Department.

Here Are a Few Things That We Believe DIY Pool Cleaning Fails At.

Avoiding the Spread of Infection

Proper chemical balances in the pool prevent infections such as E.Coli from spreading. Companies that specialize in pool chemical and cleaning will make sure that your pool is cleaned often enough to prevent bacterial growth that helps spread infections like E.coli and Shigellosis.

Cleaning the Catch Basket

Every pool has a catch basket that nets dust, debris, and leaves. For the drain to not overflow and to keep a healthier pool environment, the baskets must be emptied periodically.

We believe that is something only a pool cleaning professional can efficiently carry out.

Cleaning and Changing the Filters

Prolonged use can have a negative impact on a pool’s filters. It can jam or break under the influence of excessive debris. Regular maintenance can help curb that disaster to a great extent.

The Right Pool Cleaning Service for You

There Are Various Thousand Oaks Pool Cleaning Companies. So How Do You Make Sure to Pick the Right One?

Wide Variety of Packages

To start off, make sure that the pool cleaning company you choose can provide you with a service package that has everything you need. From testing the chemical balance to checking the pool pump and other components. The package should be able to tick all the boxes in your checklist.

Professional Attitude

It may not be important for the pool technician to arrive at your doorsteps wearing a uniform, but he should be able to deliver his job professionally. Along with being trained in the latest techniques of pool cleaning, he should only use top-of-the-line equipment.

Licensing and Liability Insurance

After a thorough background check, see to it that you choose a company that has the proper licensing and hardware to complete the job. It should even be able to provide you with liability insurance.

Reliability

Trust is essential when it comes to admitting strangers into your house. Primarily when they will be working unobserved for hours. You should conduct a background check and search for reviews on the technician to see if he is at all efficient, reliable and trustworthy.

Final Thoughts

The complete maintenance of your pool is no easy feat. No matter how much you try to clean it by yourself there will always be areas you miss. For a thorough treatment, only pool care professionals such as Stanton Pools can do the job. So, don’t wait any longer, give your pool the treatment it deserves!

The Importance of Management Accountants

It is always an exciting time when starting a business. There are many aspects to think about ranging from brand marketing, product development, and business financing. These are some of the key areas an entrepreneur will focus on as this will contribute to the growth of the Small business accountants.

However, this can sometimes mean that back-office processes such as the accounting function will be lagging slightly behind the growth of other business areas because these functions need time to understand transaction flows and business strategy so that the control framework overseeing the business can be developed. It is therefore essential to know when the time is right to invest support infrastructure teams.

But How and When Would you Know This?

It is important for business owners to understand the performance of their business and have information at their fingertips – regular management accounts.

Management accounts are a suite of retrospective looking reports that describe the performance and underlying health of a business for any given time, and it can be using both qualitative and quantitative data. There are huge benefits to have these prepared on a regular basis. Most businesses will opt to prepare management accounts on a monthly basis, but there is no hard and fast rule because they are prepared to enable the business owner to make long term and short term decisions for the business. These benefits include:

Understanding How Profit or Loss for a Trading Period Was Derived

Knowing whether the business is turning over a profit or a loss is vital to ensure the future sustainability of the business. If the business is turning over a profit at the end of a reporting period, that’s great news! The information can be used to identify the products that helped with generating those sales. It will also give the business an opportunity to experiment with the product mix to better the performance next month.  On the other hand, if the business is making a loss at the end of a reporting period then management accounts will be able to highlight the key areas of that are draining the business and can be addressed sooner rather than later.

Identify Trading Patterns and Trending

Prolonged production of management accounts will allow an entrepreneur to identify instances of seasonal trending. A simple example would be subscriptions to gym memberships tend to be higher at the beginning of the year and tail-off towards the summer. This allows informed decision making around pricing structures during these periods.

Having a Holistic View of the Business

Small business accountants are designed to provide a complete snapshot of business performance for a given point in time. This will often include tax estimates on a rolling basis and an estimate of costs that have been incurred but not yet billed to the business. It is important to have this information to hand because it will reduce the chances of a surprise at the year-end with financial statements need to be prepared for compliance purposes.

Manage Cash Flow and Stock Levels

Maintaining a comfortable level of liquidity is important. If a business makes sales with 30-day credit provided to a customer, the management accounts will be able to highlight whether these debts are being converted into cash on a frequent basis. Moreover, customers who frequently pay their debts late can be identified and their circumstances can be managed more effectively.

Using Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators will allow the business to detect trends in their business and react accordingly. The same indicators can be used to benchmark the business’ performance against competitors.

Detection of Irregular Transactions and Fraud

Regular management accounts will allow an entrepreneur to have a familiar understanding of where profit or fewer levels are on a monthly basis, and at the same time create an expectation for what the expected level of profitability is giving their understanding of the revenue generated. Of course, nobody wants to encounter fraud in their business but management accounts will enable an owner to become inquisitive and therefore detect and prevent instances of fraud.

Negotiation of Leases and Credit Lines

If the office is expanding and the business in need of extra office space, it is likely that potential landlords will want to see management accounts / audited financial statements to gauge whether the business is a going to be a good tenant. Likewise, banks will want to understand the underlying health of the business before granting overdrafts or additional credit.

The quality of information available within a set of management accounts should not be underestimated and every business should consider integrating a reporting regime into their business review cycle. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Ludington Power Plant to Get 15% More Power After a Six-Year Upgrade

The six-year $800+ million upgrades of the Ludington Pumped Storage Power plant set its generating capacity to 2,172 megawatts.

In 2011, Consumers off grid power and Detroit Edison announced the $800 million upgrade for the power plant, with plans to replace the six turbines with more efficient models. The project started in 2013, all six units should be back in service by spring 2020.

Completed in 1973, the 45-yeard old power plant stands on a sandy, dune-like bluff, high above Lake Michigan near Ludington. Its construction began in 1969 at $327 million.

Often compared to a storage battery, the power plant can be placed online at full capacity within minutes. The hydro-electric plant uses six reversible pump turbines that, at its peak, can produce 1, 872 megawatts.

When demand for electricity is higher, the water flows back down through the penstock during the day, turning the turbines that produce power. It is what enables the plant to respond quickly to the highs and lows of Michigan’s energy demand. At night, during off-peak hours, the turbines are reversed to pump water from Lake Michigan into the upper reservoir.

offgrid

This 27 billion gallon reservoir, measuring to 2.5 miles long and a mile wide, has enough power to serve a community of 1.4 million residential customers.

In 2015, operating performance of the upgraded pump-turbine was measured during the performance test. It confirmed turbine efficiency performance against turbine output increased to a larger output range. In the case of pump operation, the pump discharge of the new runner increased by about 15% compared with the original at all head ranges.

The performance test carried out verified that Unit 1 has successfully achieved its target performance. Unit 1’s major overhaul was completed and turned to commercial operation test on March 12, 2015. Unit 2 was completed in May 2016.

A 2017 DTE Energy report outlined some of the major steps of the upgrade and its current status.

  • The first outage began in the fall of 2013 with the last outage planned to complete in 2019.
  • Each outage included three major steps: (1)Disassembly of the unit. (2)Refurbishment of wicket gates, main shaft, and spider. (3)Installation of the new runner, stator, thrust bearings, poles, and exciter
  • To date Unit 2 and Unit 4 upgrades have been completed
  • Unit 2 was tested to the design specification and was found to meet all the specifications. In addition, the unit will produce more output than expected.
  • Unit 5 has been disassembled and is in the refurbishment phase.
  • The next unit to be overhauled is Unit 6 which will have an expanded scope to include starting “pony” motor

Using the latest technology to improve efficiency and pump cavitation performance and increase turbine output and pump discharge, the new pump-turbines for the Ludington plant were redesigned by Toshiba.

The manufacturing for the other units is in progress and barring any unforeseen issues.

The DTE Energy reports predicted that the upgrade is currently worth $806 million, which is $14 million lower than what the company’s board approved.

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Driving

Best Driving School in Brisbane

Driving School is one of the best and safest driving school service thriving in the Brisbane area. We provide intensive driving lessons to properly equip you before hitting the road. Our experts strive to provide the best professional service, including crash course driving lessons, which focus on driving instructions and mastery of road rules. With these, we assure customer satisfaction at very affordable rates. You’ll find that our driving instructors are very skilled, professional, patient and friendly.

Driving School‘s professional staff will kindly provide you with all the necessary information that you will need to help you obtain your driver’s license, remedial lessons, special drive test requests, or answer other questions that you may have.

Driving School

Numerous referrals from all over Brisbane only testify to the quality of our service and the satisfaction of our clients!

Safety is our main concern, as it is yours. All instructors are dedicated to creating safe drivers through providing a quality education and experience while keeping the learning process convenient and enjoyable.

The Brisbane branch of Driving School has been in operation since 2016 and is run by V8 Supercar drivers Dean & Aaron. Along with Dean & Aaron, Driving School uses some of the best driving instructors in Australia. With a combined total of over 30 years of experience, you know you are in safe hands at Driving School.

Come along and learn some of the tricks of the trade. Our friendly staff will guide you through everything you need to complete a perfect handbrake turn, 360 degree spins on our split surface vinyl and a ramp to ramp jump. Or if you’re after even more of a rush then come along to our Advanced course and learn how to complete the advanced 360-degree spins, reverse J turns and have a go at driving on 2 wheeling! Driving School is the only place in Australia where you can have a go at 2 wheeling yourself. Too nervous to drive? That’s ok! We offer our Wild Ride experience as well.