Will An A/C and Furnace Replacement Increase The Value Of My Home?

Replacing your outdated HVAC system can certainly improve the value of your home.

This is especially important when living in climates with extreme weather conditions – hot summer days and cold winter nights. Here in Nevada, where we most definitely experience both ends of the weather spectrum from the north side of the state to the south, it may be a good idea to consider some of the ways an air conditioner and/or furnace replacement can be beneficial for your home:

Lower Energy Costs

It’s no surprise to find out that on average, heating and cooling costs account for more than half of utility costs in Nevada homes. And therefore, it is imperative for homeowners to make energy efficient decisions when it comes to their home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. Replacing older heating and cooling systems that often operate around 60 to 65 percent AFUE with new high efficiency systems currently on the market that operate well over the 90 percent mark will save hundreds and thousands of dollars in fuel costs. Having a lower energy bill is a huge plus factor for a home buyer in the midst of rising hydro costs. Not to mention, the reduction in fuel usage by high efficiency systems is less wasteful and better for the environment. These advantageous factors will likely add value to your home and increase the chance of a home sale.

Comfort Control

Unlike older, conventional HVAC systems that operate using a single speed motor, new variable speed technology makes it possible for heating and cooling systems to run using a wide range of speeds. This range in speed will help to precisely control the air in your home and customize the comfort in different areas of your home. Having more consistent air distribution leads to a host of different benefits including better humidity and air quality control, whereby better regulated air temperature in the home allows your filters to better capture and remove indoor contaminates and impurities preventing things such as mold formation.

3 Tips for Using Facebook Ads to Promote Events

Over the past few years I’ve run dozens of Facebook ad campaigns with mixed success. During that time some of the most successful campaigns have been for event promotion. Yet I still see very few people using Facebook ads to promote their events.

Thanks to increasingly improved targeting options, using Facebook ads for event promotion can yield fantastic results. Ads for events follow many of the same guidelines as any other Facebook ad but there are a few key differences that can really drive success.

1. Use off-site registration

You’ll hear that the rule of thumb is to run Facebook ads that don’t lead users away from Facebook. That’s generally a good idea but event promotion is an exception. The issue with driving visitors to your Facebook event page is that it’s just too easy to click that Join button for the event without any real intent behind it. I’ve found that an extremely low percentage of people who say they’ll attend the event on your Facebook page actually attend.

To avoid this you’ll want to set up a registration page outside of Facebook. There are a lot of great event registration websites out there but I prefer to use a form that can be embedded on my own website. Here you can require that they give their name, email address and possibly more information. Although this may weed out a few registrants, I’ve found that the people who do register are much more serious about attending and you will see a much higher percentage of these people actually show up for the event. In addition, harvesting email addresses of registrants allows you to send a reminder email before the event, which also improves attendance.

If you use this route make sure you use a Thank You page so that you can track conversions. In the ad setup process Facebook now allows you to easily drive ads for website conversion and provides conversion tracking pixel for you to place on your Thank You page. This will help you track the effectiveness of your of your ads and help drive relevant visitors.

2. Targeting

Targeting is one of Facebook’s strongest features and your options for precise targeting are fantastic when it comes to event marketing.

Custom Audiences: Custom audiences is one of the most powerful ad tools as it allows you to target very specific users. An explanation of Custom Audiences is beyond the scope of this post but HubSpot has a great article that outlines the process. Ideally you’ll have a list of past attendees that you can target or you can use the Similar Audience feature to find potential new registrants. There are also retargeting opportunities here for reaching people who have already shown an interest in your brand or event.

Location: If your event is at a physical location then location targeting is an obvious choice. Typically people will travel a few miles for an event but for local events you won’t need to reach users 100 miles away. The more you can narrow down your target area the more effective your ads will be and the less money you’ll need to spend to reach your goal.

Interest: There can be a tendency sometimes to want to push your ads to everyone, especially if it is for a more general event. However, unless you have an unlimited budget you’ll want to think about the types of people who will really be interested in what you have to offer. Will you have live blues band at your event? Facebook has identified 348,430,800 people who are interested in “Rhythm and blues music.” Promoting a garlic festival? There are 9,421,728 people on Facebook who have expressed their love of garlic. You’ll also want to consider interests that are loosely related to your event. For instance if you’re planning a health fair then health and wellness interests are an obvious choice. Dig a little deeper though and consider targeting those interested in yoga, or a vegan diet.

You’ll also want to use different creative depending on your audience. Using the example above, if a blues band is only one part of your festival then you’d want to create ads highlighting aspect for users who have expressed an interest in Rhythm and Blues music. It’s a little more work to create multiple ads but you’ll find your ads are much more effective if they’re unique to each audience.

It’s easy to tell yourself that everyone in your city would be interested in your event, but unless you have an unlimited budget then you’ll want to narrow your targeting as much as possible. You can always expand your focus later if you have excess budget.

3. Images

Great images are a foundation for any Facebook ad campaign and it’s important to use them effectively when advertising your event. Look for image opportunities that are unique to your event. If you’re trying to attract out of town attendees then try using a photo of a well-known landmark in your target city. Maybe you’ve got a lineup of well-known speakers, try using their photos to help promote your event. If you’ve set up a custom audience of past attendees then a memorable image from a previous event could trigger a click.

There are a million image options out there. It’s important to get creative with your selection and even more important to target the image to the target audience for each ad.

Facebook ads can be a great option for promoting your events. With advanced targeting options and online registration you can ensure that you’re spending your money in the most effective way possible.

How Does Office Design Affect Productivity?

Startups have become kind of synonymous with “cool” office design. The exposed ducts, and wide open spaces are commonplace in the tech scene, where employees can sometimes be spotted working from the couch. At any given gaming or tech startup, you’re likely to find a fully stocked fridge and big cushy chairs.

Interior Office Design

Is all this design worth it?

Some anecdotal evidence suggests startups are great places for community building and that workers tend to form friendships that last throughout their careers there. Just ask the founder of Maptia, who moved his company to a beachfront office property in Morocco to keep his love of surfing alive. If keeping your employees happy means investing in their workspace, consider which improvements are likely to have the best impact.

Remote Employees

Contract work is becoming more commonplace, especially amongst small businesses where individuals often share the work burden with another contractor. In this case, virtual office design is just as important for productivity. Keep a Google Doc with a task list that your contractor can access at his or her schedule. Encourage freelancers you work with to change their scenery and exercise too. Moving around in a new space is a surefire way to get creative juices flowing.

Coworking

For some, coworking is another approach to the small business in-home office. Rent space in trendy parts of your city to get a full day of new scenery. Coworking is also great for collaboration. Talk with others about the challenging projects you’re taking on, or offer advice to help. Coworking generally doesn’t leave much room for a worker to customize his space, but it can be a great tool for networking. Look for coworking events in your area to meet new business owners tackling some of the same challenges as you.

Sound Levels

Controlling sound inside your office involves a few concerns. Some offices let employees listen to music, so choosing a radio station for the office could become an unnecessary productivity killer. If employees listen to headphones, they may be unable to hear someone else in the office talking to them. Customer service employees on a handset will also pick up residual noise when speaking with clients. Advanced headsets like those from Headsets Direct will help control the voice level and keep communications with the clients seamless. Another helpful tip would be to adopt an internet based chat program for the office, they can help employees listen to music quietly while remaining engaged with the group.

Posture

Sitting in chairs for extended periods can wreak havoc on one’s back, shoulders, and wrists. Proper posture is important, but there are a few things you can do besides spending thousands on office furniture. Encourage employees to actually sit properly with their back straight, shoulders level and monitor raised to eye level. The employee’s elbows should rest comfortably at the sides of the chair, with wrists straight and slightly elevated. Offering small pillows for an employee’s back will provide some extra support. Also encourage stretch breaks, where employees get up and exercise between tasks so that their bodies remain limber.

Air Supply

Encouraging employees to take a walk outside isn’t just about losing weight. Proper air supply from a natural source has benefits to your lungs and brain too. This means less headaches and a reduction in the chances of developing asthma. Employees also need sunlight, which is easy to miss out on when working 8-5 on weekdays.

A well designed workspace can provide sunlight to workers, and give them more control over their light. Encourage your employees to be more proactive about their workspace and take pride of ownership over your company. It’s trendy to invest in the stocked mini-fridge, but your employees might be happier with a cozier workspace.

How To Take Your Profits To The Sky: Advice from a $60M company

If you want to take your side hustle business (or any business for that matter seriously, you need to treat it like a business and not a hobby.

One way you’ll know if you’re treating like a business or not is if you are using it as a vehicle to achieve your goals, or just messing around. I recently sat down for coffee with a retired executive who took a $15m company to an $60m company in 4 years. It’s definitely worth your time to learn lessons from an incredibly valuable and profitable company.

Grow your side hustle

#1. Train hard.

Learn new skills, Train yourself every day in Sales training. The world of business is built on sales, and you’ll need to learn how to sell if you want to be successful in the long term.

#2. Always take a chance.

One of the most important, if not the most important thing you can do is take a chance in life. You have to take a chance to do anything good in life. Start a business. Apply for a new job. Ask a girl out. Taking a risk is the foundation for all success, in many regards. The biggest chance they took was a 100% money back guarantee if the customer wasn’t happy for any reason. Returns actually declined.

#3. Solve problems.

If you want to make a million dollars, solve a million people’s problems as they say. Don’t look at problems as problems. Don’t get negative (like I used to) and call them dilemma’s – which don’t have solutions, rather, they have outcomes. If you don’t take responsibility for things, then you are not ever going to get where you want to go. If you look at problems as challenges or as a puzzle, you’ll be a lot better off because problems have negative connotations as where challenges are something you can look forward and actually solve.

#4 Make adjustments when necessary.

If something is working, do more of it until it doesn’t work anymore. If something isn’t, then change it. Always make adjustments where necessary because if you don’t and you keep repeating the same things over and over again and expect different results (like if something isn’t working in your business,) they say that’s the definition of insanity. Please don’t go insane!

#5 Never stop.

This compliments point #2. You take chance and you start something. And most people fail because they give up. Don’t ever give up, and you won’t ever fail. Take action on achieving your goals every day, and soon you’ll be exactly where you need to be. That’s how we built our company from nothing to over $60m in revenue! So take this advice and surely you will be successful as well!

Building a Fantastic Golf Pro Shop

The secret to improving retail sales in your golf pro shop can be summed up in three critical areas: Location, Merchandise Options and Design.

Golf Pro Shop Location

At most modern golf courses, retail/pro shop services haven’t been giving the care that other club operations have received. The prop shop is tucked off from the counter in an effort to streamline the coming and going of golfers checking in for tee times. Have you visited Disneyland or Walt Disney World? It is often that an attraction exit point will run right through a specialty shop. This isn’t out of convenience, but rather, out of design. A captured audience is more likely to browse and possibly make a purchase than the visitor who has to make an effort to get in to a shop. The first takeaway is make sure the counter operation is visible, yet forcing a pathway from the door to the counter through golf merchandise fixtures.

Golf Pro Shop Fixtures

Merchandising

Merchandise display is often an afterthought in a golf pro shop. pro shop staffers often have passing experience in retail sales, but lack the knowledge of professional merchandisers. Some specialty shops will forego the added expense of retail fixtures to maximize merchandise display options and simply opt for the traditional tables, counter tops and everyone’s favorite: the basic 4-way rack. Golf and tennis wear is often very trendy with bright colors. Why hide these colors away when they could bring color to a drab pro shop in addition to catching the eye of trendy shoppers. The takeaway for merchandising is to use custom golf pro shop retail fixtures to capture the eyes of your audience.

golf pro shop design

Pro Shop Design

Finally, the pro shop its self can use some help. As previously mentioned the pro shop is often an afterthought of a golf course. An artifact from days gone by where the dining, drinking and social options were where the money was in a club. These days, younger audiences are shying away from both golf and the legacy country club life. As such clubs are facing financial issues as they struggle to replace the revenue. It may be worth taking a look at a remodeled pro shop to focus the audience. Remodeling a pro shop to create a captivating interior that elegantly solves business needs. From movement and flow, to merchandise mix and display to custom retail fixtures. But it takes specialist in the field for golf pro shop design.

A typical golf course will see 25,000 rounds a year, finding a way to up sell just 20% of those players with only $20 in merchandise sales could add $100,000 in revenue to the club’s bottom line. Which is the final takeaway. A remodeled golf pro shop could likely pay for itself in a year from additional sales and revenue. Would $100,000 make a difference in your golf club?