Five Tips for Parking Lot Maintenance

Most patrons think very little of a parking lot until it is in terrible disrepair, or they can’t find a parking space close enough to the entrance of the building. As a business owner, keeping your parking lot in good shape is more than just about customer service. It also affects safety and the overall functionality of the rest of your property. Here are some tips for making sure this part of your property is well-maintained.

1. Maintain the Asphalt

If your parking lot is laid with asphalt, your first step should be to have a crew from your local sealcoating Pittsburgh PA company out to the property. Sealcoating increases the life of your asphalt and helps protect it from environmental and weather wear.

2. Watch for Spills

Oil and gas leaks can create a mess for your customers but also for the life of your asphalt. They cause the bindings of asphalt to deteriorate, leading to cracks and potholes. When noticed, clean them up right away.

3. Fill Cracks Immediately

The weather and heavy use will inevitably lead to some cracking and expansion of the asphalt. If left unfilled, the winter months can expand the cracks, as water continually fills and freezes in the gaps. A sustainable sealant is the best option for repairing the cracks when they are small.

4. Keep the Drains Clear

Parking lots can become a place for standing water after a heavy rain, and without properly placed and functioning drains, the water can damage the asphalt. Continually check your drains for debris that might be slowing the flow of water or blocking it completely.

5. Reroute Traffic

If you have noticed areas of deterioration, reroute the traffic to avoid additional stress before it is repaired. This helps with the cost to you, but can also protect your customer’s vehicles.

Don’t Delay

Parking lot maintenance is easy to ignore until someone complains about the rough ride. If you wait until a tiny crack turns into a giant pothole, the repairs will be costly and time-consuming. Follow these maintenance tips to stop problems before they start.

A Look Into Group Captives

With various different insurance options available, group captives are worth exploring. It’s become increasingly popular – the number of member-owned group captives has quintupled in the last two decades. 

More Cost-effective 

Captive insurance keeps costs centralized. Members will be able to find more cost-effective services as a group, compared with looking as a lone member. A captive will be able to buy key insurance products enabling each member to manage predictable losses.  

They will also see cost-savings from lower operational and administrative costs, in addition to various tax-related advantages.

Lower Risk 

With reinsurance company backing, the captive keeps its members insulated from market fluctuation and risk. Additionally, as the captive expands, its risk tolerance also rises, as well as its power to negotiate with reinsurers more favorably.

Being sheltered from market volatility, group captives are able to avoid subsidizing the premiums of companies facing higher losses.

Higher Flexibility

With group captives, premiums, unlike with commercial insurers, are kept within the captive, generating investment income that has potential to turn into notable return on reserves held and premium paid. 

Group captives are also have better flexibility during the underwriting process, even though the market typically determines rates. They have the ability to determine deductibles, copays and coverage, as well as pick their own provider networks. Non-fronted captives also offer chances to create their own forms and rates in time. e fronting insurers may provide the same benefit.

Health insurance is a key priority for employees, according to a 2018 Gallup survey. Group captive insurers provide stable coverage and pricing, as well as improved services. There is also a focus on loss prevention and risk control. Thus it can be worthwhile for especially small- and medium-sized businesses and organizations to look into. Brokers can offer key advice on choosing the right group captive for you.

4 Factors To Consider for Choosing the Right Commercial Door for Your Business

While the door you use for your business might not be the first thing on your mind when you’re first preparing to open, the door you choose is more important that you’d imagine. Learning more information on choosing the right door will help you know what different options are available and allow you to make the right choice for your unique needs. Keep in mind the following factors when making your decision.

Durability

Depending on the type of business you are opening, door materials such as steel or other sturdy metals are ideal for industries where durability is extremely important. In addition, steel doors are often used in areas that are hidden from view. If running a store or working in a different type of industry where durability isn’t your primary concern, there are other more attractive options to choose from.

Appearance

When it comes to appearance, your personal tastes and business type will determine what type of door you choose. Aluminum doors can be easily painted to match a particular color scheme, and glass doors are a great choice for stores since customers can look inside and get a peek at what you have to offer. Another option often chosen for its aesthetic appeal are wood doors. While some businesses might use wood for a front door, they are a popular option for interior doors.

Safety

While glass and aluminum doors might have a sleek appearance, they are not the safest in the case of fire or burglary attempts. Some businesses require extra security measures to ensure the safety of everyone inside. For these situations, steel is often the best choice.

Cost

Finally, you want to consider your budget when choosing a door. While glass or steel doors can be costly, aluminum is often chosen for its affordability. Of course, if you need a special door that is designed for cold storage, high traffic, or fire safety, you might need to spend more.  

Tips to Increase Your Profit Margin

Success is all about the bottom line. If you want to keep the doors open, ultimately you need to bring in more money than you put out. To do this, you’ll need to plan well and be prepared to make some decisions. Here are a few tips for bringing in revenue while keeping costs down.

Have a Niche

Specialize in something. Businesses need to stand out from the mass market stores. Offer similar products, but also have a twist up your sleeve. Do you personalize gifts? Can you offer monograms at a reasonable cost? Do you provide classes or home assistance? What if you provide a service and not a commodity? Then ask yourself what the customer needs most. You may have a 24 hour hotline available for easy communication. If not, focus on a special skill or knowledge.

Manage Costs

Be aware of how much you can charge for services and products. This most likely requires a monetary investment. You could purchase software as well as professional help. For example, hospitals hire Managed Care Consulting Firms to negotiate contract rates and help ensure that they receive enough revenue from insurance providers. This outside assistance offers several benefits. The consultants act as an unbiased opinion, evaluating the books and making logical decisions about where cuts and changes need to happen. They give guidance on how to get on track and (hopefully) stay there. Don’t take the criticism personally. Use it to improve financial decisions. 

Focus on Quality and Service

Customers are going to look at the price, but sometimes the final decision comes from attention and care. Hire friendly staff, and establish standards for communication. Do workers know your client’s names? Do they communicate with them frequently? Do they understand particular desires or needs? Often people remember the smile or extra attention that an employee provides.

There is no sure-fire way to make a business succeed. Using business skills, being open-minded, and working hard, however, may help you attain your goal of success.

The Many Uses of Silicon

When you think of modern computer technology, what comes to mind? Do you think of shiny computers and fancy new apps or social networking? Or do you think of Silicon Valley, the well-renowned center of computer technology in California? Silicon Valley is often regarded as the hub of computer and software developments throughout the United States and maybe even the world. Silicon Valley isn’t a valley made entirely of silicon, but is rather named such due to the significance of that naturally occurring element in computer technology. So just what is silicon and how is it used?

What Is Silicon?

Silicon, not to be confused with its man-made counterpart silicone, is one of the most abundant natural elements in the world. This element is defined as somewhere between a metal and a non-metal, with features of both types. Although it has been around since the beginning of time and is present in the Earth’s crust, it has only been used by humans since the mid-1800s. This material’s use is constantly increasing and expanding, to the point that there are now silicon wafer suppliers who provide silicon in wafer form to tech companies.

How Is Silicon Used?

As you may have guessed, an element that occurs naturally can be used in many forms, both technologically advanced and more rudimentary. It may come as no surprise, but this element that is found in the Earth’s crust is also often used in bricks and concrete. Silicon is also used as a fantastic semiconductor and can be found in all the modern technology, ranging from phones and computers to solar panels. When used as a semiconductor, silicon is typically flattened into a wafer format. It’s entirely likely that the many uses of silicon will continue to grow over time, as computer technology advances.