Monday, 29 April 2013

How to manage sellable antiques, comics, figurines and other collectables

Many people have a good collection of sellable items in their garage that they are trying to hold on to sell when the time is right. Eventually, these items will lose their value due to bad maintenance or improper storage. Here are a few tips to help preserve the quality of your valuable collections.
You are planning to sell the set of “Spiderman” comics you collected since you were a teenager, each one still in their cellophane protector, one day. However, the collection has started to pile up in your room, in the garage and in the cupboard and before you know it, some of the books start showing signs of deterioration due to the environmental elements. That loses the comics a whole lot of value which in turn means less money for your collection. Bummer.
Fortunately, this can be easily prevented with a bit of discipline and smart thinking. Here’s how.
1. Get plastic boxes
This is one of the most useful tips things you can get for any collectable. Because plastic boxes are sturdy and durable, and they don’t disintegrate fast, they maintain a relative stable environment inside them. To prevent further moisture damage, a bag of silica gel easily bought from a camera shop in the bag will dry out the interior effectively.
2. Organise
Label, label, label – this cannot be emphasized enough. If you are serious about collecting, labelling will help you in the long haul. It helps you see, at a glance, what is in the boxes, thus eliminating the need to open to check each box few years down the road. An example of labelling would be, “Box A – Toys of 1940 - 1950” followed by a list of the items in the box, such as, “Clapping Monkey” or Blue Toy Car”.
3. Maintain
Every few months, clean up the area the boxes are stored in. Watch out for cockroaches’ eggs, spider webs or the droppings of rats and lizards. Any pests that can sneak into the boxes can be your worst nightmare. A vacuuming and a proper wipe down will turn pests off the area. If pests are a major problem, look into pest control.
4. A self storage facility
If you are planning to move to a smaller apartment or just need that extra space, a Sydney self storage facility might be the best option for your collection. Check if the facility has long term storage discounts and other perks which can save you a whole lot of money. Check also for security features. Many of them have pretty good service.
5. Have a selling plan
Many people overlook this when storing their collectables but a plan to sell should be part of your storage plans. Look at the value of your items on online auction sites or pawn shops and sell those you deem has reached their full value. Get a trusted expert if you are really unsure. That can save you a whole lot of worry and time. A good selling plan means you free up more space for more items for your collection, thus keeping the cash flowing.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Tips on Storing Your Leather Objects Without Damaging Them

While leather products are desired by many people, they often require regular maintenance and proper storage to preserve its best quality. However, storing leather items does not have to be a complicated affair. With a few simple steps, you can keep them away for a long time without having to worry about any wear and damages.
Leather products, if well preserved, last you a lifetime. However, regular maintenance, such as proper cleaning, conditioning and protection is necessary to keep them in the best condition. When it comes to storing leather items, whether at home or in some self storage facilities, there are steps which you can follow to keep them well protected, without causing damage to them by mildew or other conditions.
Applying Leather Moisturizer
Before you move them into a self storage unit, you need to condition the leather by applying a generous amount of leather moisturizer. The substances in these moisturizers, such as oil, lanolin and beeswax, ensure that their skin is kept hydrated and supple, hence preventing it from cracking or mildews from forming. If possible, you should also moisturize it periodically for as long as it is kept in storage.
Wrapping The Leather Objects
Whatever leather objects you are storing, be it leather bags, shoes or jackets, you need to wrap them up before placing them in a box. You may use materials such as dust covers, rags, plain papers or tissues to do so, but do avoid acid paper as the acid will attack the leather and cause irreversible damages to the products. When storing bags or shoes, you may wish to fill the bags and shoes up to their maximum capacity with papers or tissues. This is to prevent creases from developing over time, allowing the products to retain their shape while they are kept away. For leather jackets, shirts and other clothing items, hang these items up; do not fold. Creases will form if you fold them, causing the leather to crack.Storing The Leather Objects
Leather should always be stored in a well ventilated and breathable container and never in plastic or any air tight box as it accumulates moisture and encourages the growth of mildew and bacteria. If you are planning to store your leather items in a self storage facility, make sure you choose one that has storage units that are “breathable”. Some better storage companies in Sydney build containers with materials such as heavy industrial plywood that allows maximum air circulation, hence preventing moisture from building up, and keeping your items dry and fresh. To be absolutely safe, throw in a dehumidifier in the storage unit to absorb any excessive moisture that is still hanging around.
Another big enemy of leather, besides mildew, is sunlight. Direct sunlight dries up the fibres inside the leather and causes cracks and discoloration. So before committing to any warehousing facility, make sure that it is dark and cool, and well away from direct sunlight or any pest infestation.
With a few simple steps, you should be able to preserve and store your leather items properly for a long time without having to worry about wear and damage.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Advantages of Expanding Your Business Through Franchising

In recent years, the growth rate of franchising has been exponential. The proven success of franchising has prompted many businesses to regard it as a quick strategy to expanding their business. This article weighs the pros of using it to your business advantage and explains why it is so appealing to many companies.

The success of franchising is well recognized in businesses such as fast food, casual restaurants and educational enterprises. However, in recent years, more and more businesses from other industries are also jumping on the bandwagon. From Sydney self storage to signage businesses, many are discovering the advantages of growing their business through this method of expansion.

So why is franchising so appealing? To the franchisor (the owner of the principal business), it offers many benefits that cannot be easily overlooked. Here are just a few of the many advantages.
1. Boosting market share and developing a strong brand equity
Franchising is probably one of the quickest ways to enlarge market share and build a strong brand equity. Consider the amount of investment a business requires if it wanted to increase market share through opening of more outlets. Needless to say, it would be quite substantial. However, by franchising your business to other business owners, not only are you able to open up new markets quickly, you can do so without having to invest money in the outlets yourself.
2. Reaching your targeted consumers
You can also reach your target market more effectively through cooperative advertising and promotion. While your marketing department can come up with fabulous national campaign to build your brand nationwide, there is only so much you can do for local advertising and promotion. With franchising, your franchisees would be willing to chip in and do their part in order to improve their business locally too.
3. Economies of scale through bulk purchasing
Rapid expansion through franchising also means that you are able to reach operating efficiencies and economies of scale quickly. With that, you can engage in more meaningful negotiations with your major suppliers for better deals. This benefits everyone, including your franchisees, allowing them to build their business on more cost effective grounds.
4. Recruitment of motivated owners and operators
One of the most difficult tasks in business operation, particularly in retail, is getting motivated and efficient staff to run the business. Unlike employees, franchisees are highly motivated in making the business a success since they are driven by their own profit margins. By replacing internal personnel with these motivated owners and operators, the probability of success is generally higher.
5. Transfer of risk
Risk exists in every business or investment. With franchising, however, some of the risk is transferred to the franchisee, who themselves would invest their own money into the business. For example, if you franchise a self storage business, your franchisees would rent their own warehouse, purchase their own warehousing and security equipment, and hire their own staff. Instead of incurring these expenditures, they are now transferred to your partners. Of course, you have to share the profit too, but that’s what it is all about.
Considering the many benefits of franchising, it is no wonder why so many companies are employing it as their business expansion strategy. Have you weighed the costs and benefits of your business too?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

How to Make Your Small Apartment Look More Spacious

With apartments in cities rapidly shrinking in size, space-starved urban-dwellers are finding it challenging to decorate their small home. However, the task may not be as daunting as it looks. With a few innovative ideas and clever usage of furniture, colours and lighting, you can transform a tiny home into a well-organized living space.
With escalating property prices, making do with small apartments are fast becoming a reality in many cities. Even though apartments are shrinking in size, it does not necessarily mean that your personal living space needs to be compromised. With a few clever use of tricks and innovative ideas, tiny homes can be transformed into super efficient spaces without sacrificing your personal style and taste.
The key to decorating small apartments is to create a design that is functional as well as aesthetically appealing. Sounds difficult? Well, not really, if you have a few tricks up your sleeves. To maximize the space of a spatially-challenged room, you can play with scale and proportion, install lighting that enhances openness, and have customized cabinets so that you can have plenty of room for storage.
Here are a few tips on what you can do:
1. Use of mirrors to reflect light - Light amplify spatial sense. By placing a large mirror or numerous small mirrors strategically, it can make a real difference to the room. If you prefer a modern look, furniture with metal or glass works too.
2. Let the light in – Blinds and curtains create a sense of darkness and crowdedness, making a small room looks even smaller. Get rid of heavy draperies and go for lighter or sheer curtains that let light through. If possible, try to keep the blinds or curtains open as much as possible
3. Use light colours on your wall – I think most people are familiar with this one, but I include it in here because it is absolutely true. Have you seen small rooms that are painted in dark gray or maroon? Well, don’t do that if you are already struggling with space. You don’t have to use white exclusively too because other light colours can also do wonders.
4. Build customised cabinets – having plenty of storage space is very important for small apartment. The last thing you want to do is to clutter your space with personal stuff with no where to hide. If you can’t find cabinets or shelves that fit perfectly in your apartment, it might be a good idea to custom-built some. It may sound like a lot of work, but if you can get hold of a good contractor, he would know exactly what to do to make the cabinets look inconspicuous and even complement the apartment’s overall interior d├ęcor. You can also buy baskets or containers, such as those provided in self storage facilities to store any remaining clutter. Other ideas include getting furniture that has storage space within them, such as an Ottoman and bed frames that have drawers underneath.
If you still have problems fitting everything you owned in, try cheap self storage near Sydney. Store whatever furniture or possession you do not need away temporarily until, well, you can afford a bigger apartment, perhaps?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Things That You Should Not Overlook When Moving

There are little details that you often overlook when you move, but should also merit some attention, even if these are found at the bottom of your checklist. It is still good to get these done before you physically move, as these would sometimes cause more inconvenience if not done by then.

When we decide to move, we would normally settle the bigger items on our checklist – things we want to store and items that we want to do away (or donate), identifying and selecting storage solutions, selecting house removal services and the like. But there are a few minute details that we oftentimes overlook, and means a great deal. Some of these things are below, and hopefully will be part of your checklist, and leave this on the last minute. Some take time, while some can be cumbersome to coordinate and settle.

Moving to a new place involves a lot of tasks and items to do. You do a checklist of what needs to be done from selecting storage solutions to understanding whether there are additional benefits like packaging services, but even though you are very careful not to miss out anything, we tend to over look some minor details. These are little details that should also merit some attention, even if they are at the bottom of your list. Otherwise, no matter how minor these are, these details can be a great source of inconvenience for you. At some point, these are details that you should be looking at and get these done.

When you have decided to move, you immediately make a checklist of what you need to do months ahead. Once you have pinned down the date of your move, you back track and identify which items that need more time to accomplish, and items that could be done right before you move or after you have left your old area. You usually make a general list of the ‘bigger’ tasks that you need to settle like the area you would like to move in; selecting a reliable property agent that you would like to work with when looking for the place; identifying a storage solutions service based on friends’ recommendations and your own research, providing you with premium and additional benefits like packaging services, packing materials, and the like; and looking for someone to rent your old place or even looking at selling it, which, again, requires a dependable real estate broker. However, there are a few details that you overlook which could cause some form of inconvenience to you – one way or another. These are items that sometimes could be done less than a week before moving, but chances are, could be overlooked. These details are your bills, important correspondences that you do not want to miss out, and even your friends from overseas who would occasionally send out greeting cards to you.

Hence, these are a few of the items that you could start with:

  • Utility bills: when you have identified your moving date, contact your utility service provider on the minimum period of termination and if you have any pending contract with them like your telephone line, cable TV or internet; and how many days in advance do they need for you to call in and terminate and if they allow you to tell to them way in advance and they could set it in the system. If your existing utility service, say a cable TV, has remaining number of months to complete the contract, and pre-terminating it would mean a considerable amount of penalty, try to find someone who needs the service and do a transfer of ownership. This way, you could save yourself from paying the early termination fee. If there is no contract involved, ask your service provider if you need to call again to terminate and how many days prior, so that you will have electricity until the day you move out. Tell them, too, your new forwarding address for the last bill, or if you could just check it online and pay online at the same time.

  • Important correspondences from government regulatory boards: You need to ensure that you update your new contact details of your government social security, health insurance, taxes and the like. It is not only about receiving information, but also avoiding the risk of unauthorized individuals gaining access to sensitive personal information.

  • Membership correspondences: Would you like to be updated with new benefits for new members of your favorite shop? How about sales flyers? These may be nuisance for some, but if you are that type who would like to receive letters about the latest updates of your favorite shops from warehouse sales, to just members’ benefits, it would be great to update them, too.

  • Friends’ greeting cards: In this digital age, it is heartwarming to receive snail mail from friends all over. You know they took the effort to make that trip to the greeting card store, get a pen and actually write with their own hands. There, do not miss them out, too, in your updates. You could announce it in your social media site, or just send them a personal message as a group. But also, be selective, if you are keen to keep it amongst your closest friends.

Include the above items in your checklist. Do not be preoccupied with just sorting your items, skimming over the best solutions storage for your needs, and selecting a self storage facility in Sydney in the end, and arranging these for packaging services and the like. The above list is as important as your bigger and more tangible tasks; yet, these items should not go unnoticed, too. Start with the above, and you could add more as you move along. It is better to start somewhere with these, rather than risk forgetting altogether.