Starting a Home Repair Business? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself First

Are you thinking of starting a home repair business? If so, it is a good way to begin your career as an entrepreneur. You can enjoy a substantial profit as a one-woman operation, setting your own hours so you can still be a Mum who spends quality time with her family.

If you enjoy working with your hands and can help people with issues they’re having around the home, then this type of business is likely right for you. But before starting out, make sure you’re ready by making a comprehensive plan. Ask yourself these four questions first.

Are You a Self-starter?

Being good at going out and generating connections that could turn into sales leads is a great start! On the other hand, some people need direction, and to be advised on what their next step will be to grow the business.

By identifying this part of your personality, you can start to understand what will work well for your home repair business. If you need encouragement, then you might want to work for someone else to start with and then, over time, create your own biz. This way, you can start to get an idea of what is needed, if it will be a good fit for you, and some of the logical steps to take in the future.

What Services Will You Provide?

Another key question to ask is what services will you offer to customers. If you are skilled at gardening and landscaping, then why not focus on what you offer around gardens and lawn care?

Or, you might be better at fixing furniture. Maybe furniture repair is what you excel at, instead. Depending on what you are going to provide, choose suppliers that specialise in the trade products you need, such as Tradefix Direct. They offer a vast range of fasteners and fixings available online with fast next-day delivery.

What Type of Customer Will You Target?

Next, think about what type of customer you will target for home repairs. Look for someone who needs and is willing to pay for home repair. Also, consider who you want to work with; that way, you will enjoy doing the work week after week.

This will be your target audience. Take the time to understand them so that you can target your advertisements effectively to them.

How Will You Set Up Your Work Space?

Now it is time to set up your work area within the home. Try to create a distinct space separate from the house so that you can still enjoy your Mum time without having your home repair business interrupting every minute. Maintaining a clear distinction between pleasure and professional activities is vital to your entrepreneurial success.

Among the setup tasks are creating a business name and choosing a logo design. Next, get business cards printed, open a business bank account, and create a business plan.

Conclusions on Starting a Home Repair Business

Now you have the essentials to start your entrepreneurial journey. Get ready to spread the word to friends and family to help you get the home repair business off the ground. Look forward to the sales to come and the income your endeavour will provide your family.

How to Save Money on Energy Bills

UK households spend an exceptional amount of money on energy each year. With many households racking up £1,000+ on bills annually, reducing costs in this area could substantially improve the financial wellbeing of families.

Knowing how to cut costs, though, can be tricky as many people aren’t aware of how to reduce their energy usage, other than through obvious means like turning down the heat. Below we outline a few key areas that could potentially reduce the cost of your energy bills.

Install Smart Thermostats

Smart technology is finding its way into many modern homes. Whether it’s Alexa or Google Nest, many homes are incorporating smart tech, which can regulate everything from lighting, temperature, electronics, or smoke alarms. Smart thermostats provide a great benefit as they can regulate the temperature and only heat the rooms that you are using, rather than the entire home.

Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances

Appliances can be enormous energy wasters, particularly when it comes to washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Which.co.uk estimate that an energy-efficient fridge-freezer, for example, could save you £50 per year. To assess whether your appliance is energy-efficient or not, check its energy-efficient rating, which can range from A (most efficient) to D (least efficient).

Eliminate Draughts

One of the more obvious ways of cutting energy costs is to reduce the draughts in your house so that you’re not turning up the thermostat every 10 minutes. Reducing draughts can be done in a number of ways, such as sealing cracks, putting draught stoppers at the base of your doors, or closing up any noticeable gaps that allow outdoor air into the home.

Windows are also a notorious source of draughts. If you haven’t already invested in double glazing, check out Mainstream Windows for cost-effective options.

Turn Off Appliances & Technology

Appliances or technology such as computers can also silently eat up energy if they’re left on standby. When not in use, ensure that you switch plug sockets off and turn all appliances and technology off. You might be surprised by how much money you end up saving over the course of the year.

Wash Clothes & Dishes at Lower Temperatures

You may not be aware of it, but washing your clothes at 30C instead of 40C could save many pounds off your annual bill. Many modern dishwashers also come with an eco-function, which means you can wash your dishes at a lower temperature.

Install Insulation

Insulating your roof or your inner walls can go a long way towards making your home warmer and more energy efficient. While the cost of laying the insulation can be high, it is worth it in the long run as it can potentially shave off your energy bills while keeping you warmer in the process.

If you haven’t implemented any of the above, it may be worth considering, especially if you are aiming to reduce your annual energy bills. Not only will it be beneficial to your bank account, but it will also help the environment, too.

Harnessing the internet as a driving force for your business

Despite 2020 being thrown into complete chaos, there is still a way to maintain the great business you have been operating for so long.

Many business owners do not have the time or the extended technical skill to run a website and operate their business efficiently, so it’s easy to lose track of what a website requires to get you the best results.

Which boxes do you have to tick to make your website presence worthwhile?

Keep things flowing

Problems with internet speed is something we’ve all been victim to, especially when shopping or trying to find information quickly online. This leads to visitors closing the web page in frustration and beginning the hunt again, leading to an entirely different website.

On a website performance basis, your audience is clearly dissatisfied with the speed at which your content is operating, and it has driven them away. To prevent this, you’ll want to ensure that you spend time looking for a web hosting provider that offers the optimum speed and not one you were inclined to pick for the small price tag.

Regular updates

Multitasking is a challenge and one that you must rise to if you want your website to succeed and keep your audience intrigued. Relevant content can be anything from contact details to new products and services, which is paramount to show that your business is progressive and adaptable. If your website doesn’t do this, then your consumers will be deterred and continue their search for one that is.

Communication is just as important. Even if you don’t have new products to promote frequently, you need your audience to understand your businesses value with transparent language that they can comprehend easily, otherwise this poses another threat that your audience will be baffled by the industry jargon you’re accustomed to.

Create your online identity

To truly make a lasting impression online you must leave no stone unturned, or rather, no platform without your presence on it. Start promoting through social media and increase your chances of an extra viewership and a higher potential to make sales. Curate content which is striking and can hook the right type of customer. Online networks function like a domino effect, whereby one user will engage with your post and that will leave an impression on multiple other users within their network. Each social media user has their own network of people online and this can be a resourceful and cost-free way to infiltrate additional target audiences.

Hire a professional for perfect performance

Ultimately, the success of your online presence will entirely depend on the amount of time you’re willing to put into maintaining your performance, content, and updates. If time isn’t on your side as is often the case with a business owner, then hiring a digital marketing agency could be the best decision you ever make. Responsive web design is an online business tool like no other. A website which looks professional makes your brand/company look professional.

Stockport website design companies can plan, create, and manage your website and social media, adding in a strategic approach to make sure you website is showing up at the top of the Google Search Results, and your social media platforms are reaching the far corners of your online network.

Treat Yourself with Fresh Steps

vinyl flooring uk

With the recent prolonged periods of being stuck at home, it has had positive effects on home renovation.

How Luxury Vinyl Flooring is Your Reliable Future investment

After staring at the same walls, ceilings and floors for months on end people are wanting to spruce the place up and give it a fresh feel for the years ahead. Knowing what is reliable and will not need a regular amount of repairs and touch ups over time is a prime focus for those wanting value in their relaxing places, so it’s no surprise that luxury vinyl flooring has reaped the benefits for those looking for a change of scenery.

Low Maintenance Lifestyle

Indeed, when it comes to enjoying your home you need to feel like you can sit and enjoy the time without constant worry of needing to clean up.

One of the main reasons people go for vinyl is the ability to switch off from worrying about your floor. The many properties vinyl provides include anti scratch and anti slip functions, so no matter if you have kids or animals running through your room you can be sure that the floor has the durability to withstand any potential accidents.

With added durability and extra cushioned texture, vinyl can withstand a lot more than other household flooring options which adds for further peace of mind.

Inexpensive Options

Lets face it, you want to know that what you will spend on your flooring is worth the money.

It’s no secret that vinyl flooring is a much cheaper option over carpet, laminate or wood/stone featured flooring. What you also can take into consideration is the relative savings on a number of areas.

Should an individual piece of flooring need to be replaced, it can be done without disrupting your floor by taking out the offending piece and replacing with another. With the individual pieces being very cheap to buy it does not leave you out of pocket. Also, consider the saving on not requiring a professional to fit the flooring due to relative ease to be achieved as a DIY project for that person in the house who likes to dabble.

Easy Clean

Gone are those embarrassing situations where you may need to hide sections of your floor due to spillages or hard to clean stains from dirt or sauces.

Instead of paying out for any and every kind of chemical to clean up blotches on your floor, vinyl offers a simple solution; warm soapy water on a sponge or a mop. There are other ways people have taken to cleaning their vinyl with ease to retain its original gloss, and with the benefit of anti moisture properties you are ensured that there is no leaking to the underfloor and ruining the consistency of your floor.

This makes vinyl perfect for a kitchen where heavy activity requires a floor that can take the heat.

Styles, Profiles and Suppliers

With vinyl the imagination is key to having a dream home the way you want it, so to help find that voice there are suppliers with decades of experience in finding the right tone and fixture for you.

Amtico is a leading favourite for professional luxury vinyl to give your home a sophisticated and contemporary feel with ranges such as Artisan Embossed Woods and Contemporary Ceramics. Luvanto is an extremely popular supplier who bring a stylish and creative energy to the spaces they supply with selections such as Ebony Parquet Flooring and Bleached Larch. Both suppliers bring top quality professional looks and feels to the home with quality unmatched in flooring. Invictus brings stylish, durable flooring to any room in your home with their natural element based oak styled flooring.

When feeling fresh requires a new home outlook, start from the bottom to give everything above a touch of class.

Preparing Your Home for a Baby

How to make sure your home is a safe environment for your newborn

Whether you’re expecting your first child or not, as a mother, there will be a million things running through your mind in preparation for your new arrival. One of these concerns will be how to make sure your home is a safe environment for your newborn. Keeping your home clean and tidy is beneficial for numerous reasons, but here are some ways you can make sure your home is ready for your new baby and to set your mind at ease.

Clean Carpets

Even if you hoover your carpets regularly, there will only be so much that a vacuum cleaner will do. To make sure your carpet is free from dirt and bacteria, it’s worth hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to do this. A great example of these services is like these experts in carpet cleaning South London. Professional cleaners will have the best equipment and safe, anti-bacterial cleaning solutions to make sure your carpet is as clean as possible and safe for a baby.

Store Cleaning Products Safely

For many people, storing household cleaning products and chemicals in places such as under the sink or low cabinets is normal. However, even though your new-born might not be able to move around independently at first, don’t underestimate how easily they could come into contact with these dangerous chemicals. Make sure you have these stored in places that children can’t access, such as on top of kitchen units or in locked cupboards. At the very least, this will be one less thing you need to worry about when they do start crawling.

Check All Smoke Alarms and Gas Detectors

You should always check these alarms for your safety at home anyway, but remind yourself to check them regularly once your baby arrives. Although you might not think a fire or gas leak is likely to happen, don’t tempt fate by ignoring these essential devices. For the sake of your life and your baby’s, remember to test your smoke alarms and gas detectors once a week.

Get Rid of Clutter

Babies are naturally curious, especially once they can start moving around on their own. It’s easy for them to pull things over or get into spaces they shouldn’t be. To help reduce the risk of accidents, get rid of any unnecessary clutter in your home. Another benefit to this will be that reducing the clutter in your living space should make it easier to clean, too.

Baby Proofing

Further baby proofing with items such as stair-gates, socket covers, and cabinet locks will all be essentials needed in your home. You might not feel as though these things are required immediately, but it’s better to get these things installed sooner rather than later to make your life easier later on down the line.

Welcoming a new-born into your home is a wonderful experience that brings so much joy to a family. As a mother, you will have a lot of things to worry about and organise for the arrival of your child, but these are some excellent ways to prepare your home for a baby.

How to maintain your personal style after becoming a Mother

Becoming a mother is a unique and life changing experience. All of a sudden, your free time will be filled with feeds, snuggles and baby baths. Many new mums will struggle to feel themselves for some time after giving birth. As well as changes in your weight and body image, mothers will struggle to sleep and function normally. You may feel like there isn’t time in the day to look after your image, but when you look good you feel good, and maintaining your personal style will do wonders for your mental health and physical appearance. To help you on your way, here is how to maintain your personal style after becoming a mother.

Plan Your Outfits

Once your baby is asleep, all the bottles have been washed, you have been fed and the house is clean, all you will want to do is get some rest. While this is encouraged, styling your look before you go to bed will minimize stress in the morning and you will be dressed well the next day. If this feels too overwhelming, then you could plan your outfits for the whole week on the weekend instead.

Treat Yourself

It can be hard to remember to treat yourself when you have a new life to care for. However, treating yourself to items, like a Jacquemus bag, will give you something to look forward to and will make you feel great when you’ve got it. Fortunately, shopping for a Jacquemus bag can be done easily at SSENSE who have tons of designer items in stock to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Change Your Style

As a new mum, you will need to consider changing your style. This doesn’t mean that the clothing you buy has to be stuff that you don’t like or that makes you feel older, you just need to find a style that suits your new lifestyle and will make you feel comfortable throughout the day. For example, tight clothing could make you feel conscious about post-baby weight and can make it difficult to maneuver.

Eliminate Clutter

Now you have figured out a new style, you will need to make room for your new items of clothing. As well as creating space, eliminating clutter will make you feel more organised and  prepared for your new life as a parent. You don’t have to throw away things that you love and aim to wear in the future, but you should let go of stuff from different phases of your life or that you just don’t wear anymore.

Make an Effort

Making an effort is key to maintaining your personal style after becoming a mother. It can be easy to throw on old, comfortable clothing and leave your hair a mess. However, taking a quick shower, styling your hair, putting on a light layer of makeup and wearing decent clothing that is comfortable will make you feel much happier and more confident about your image.

Feeling happy in your own skin is key to a cheerful and positive attitude, which is essential now you are a mum. Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your family.  

Our lockdown so far….

I haven’t written much on my blog for a while but thought I’d document a bit of our life in lockdown so far. After all, these are unprecedented times and when it’s all over, I’m sure we will look back on it in disbelief. That’s if we get to the point where it’s ‘all over’. Who knows? Maybe things won’t ever go back to normal… maybe there’ll be a new normal on the other side of this.

We are now into week 9 of lockdown and for me, it’s absolutely flown by. Yet there’s been a massive mixture of emotions during this time.

The media reports, in the first couple of weeks especially, were bringing home the enormity of the Covid-19 pandemic. Watching it take a hold of the whole world was frightening. Countries like Italy struggling to cope with the thousands of deaths was devastating to see, followed by Spain. Then came the speed of the full lockdown here and schools closing all making it very real indeed.

My children found it difficult to come to terms with, that last week of school. Everything was quite confusing with no clue given as to how long this could go on or if they would be going back to school at all before the end of the academic year! My daughter was upset that she wouldn’t be going to school or seeing her friends for ages. She was worried about her work and falling behind, with her GCSE’s being next year. She’s year 10 so an important year. She felt upset too for her year 11 peers who were distraught that they would miss their last few weeks ever at school.

My little twins are in year 6, their final year at primary school, so if lockdown goes on for a few months they will miss everything that that last term entails – leavers assembly’s , parties, fun and all the goodbyes! The realisation of this among their class mates and teachers made them all extremely emotional. It upset me too.

On top of that, there’s the virus. The daily briefings from the Government became a must watch to see how the virus was progressing and to ensure we were doing the right thing to avoid catching it… like socially distancing, washing hands etc. Life just suddenly ground to a halt with no one being allowed out unless it was absolutely essential. We were told we mustn’t mix households which meant family and friends couldn’t see each other. The streets and roads were deserted. It was very eerie and unsettling.

But we got on with it and a week or two in and it was like we’d almost forgotten about life beforehand! The twins were basically on school holidays… their school said they weren’t going to start setting home school work until after the Easter holidays, although they were given ‘suggested’ work to do, like reading or websites to look at if we wanted to. We did the odd workbook here and there to break up the days and keep them away from their devices for a bit but nothing major. My daughter did have home school work set which she just got on with and did at her own pace.

Spring was suddenly upon us and it was a blessing. The sunshine has a habit of lifting the spirits and we could start enjoying the garden again. It made being stuck at home more enjoyable.

Up and down the country families started going out for the Governments’ daily allowance of exercise of one hour, and taking a daily walk, but socially distancing from anyone else of course. Two meters is the guideline. We ventured out too together, not every day but it was nice to get out as a family. People would cross over the road to stay away, or walk round each other to comply with the distancing. It was strange. Really strange.

I started running (well, fast walking and a bit of running!) and I’ve been loving it! Sometimes I take the kids to get them out of the house and enjoy the good weather, otherwise I go on my own. This is not something I would do if it wasn’t for being in lockdown.

As time has passed we’ve just been set in our own little bubble and eventually stopped watching the news and daily briefings that were practically the same every day anyway. It became depressing seeing the number of deaths being announced then the fiasco with the care homes… it was all doom and gloom, plus I didn’t want the kids seeing it either.

We’ve been lucky I guess that Scott or I didn’t have to leave the house to work so we’ve been able to almost ‘hide’ at home with the kids and feel relatively safe. But every time either of us has to go out to do some food shopping I find myself being terrified of other people and germs. I’ve become ridiculously paranoid, having disinfectant wipes in the car and scrubbing my hands. Even wiping every single item of shopping religiously too with the wipes before I put it away. I just think we can’t be too careful. People with the virus could’ve touched the packets before us couldn’t they?

I haven’t taken to wearing a mask though. I did try but just couldn’t stand it. It itched my face which meant I wanted to touch my face even more than I would normally, and that’s been one of the major factors in spreading the virus… touching the face. So instead I find myself barely breathing as I navigate the supermarket as fast as I can, giving other shoppers an angry glare when they don’t distance properly. Actually I’m surprised I haven’t had a huge row yet… some people! In the earlier days shops seemed stricter and shoppers were staying the required (or as much as they could) 2 meters apart. But as time has worn on no one seems to care as much and it aggravates me. I just try to get around the supermarket as fast as I can now so I can get back home!

Homeschooling has been a bit of a chore for us. The school set work each week starting after the Easter holidays but it wasn’t compulsory. They know each family is different and it was a case of if you can then try, if not just do what you can. We looked at past Sats papers as the boys would’ve been doing them had school not stopped. From doing this I could see big gaps in their knowledge base, especially in maths, so I devised a plan to practice these rather than do new work set by their teacher. We’ve used workbooks that we’ve collected over the years from having two older children and also joined Twinkl, an homeschooling subscription website that waived their monthly fee for anyone who signed up during the pandemic. This is a wonderful resource which we have used but the boys have struggled to get into their schoolwork and I must admit to doing the absolute minimum some days! Oh well.

Technology has really come into it’s own. Oscar and Hugo have been able to play online with their friends.. mainly Fortnite, which they love… I mean what boy doesn’t? Even though I have to drag them off after a while otherwise they’d happily be on it ALL day, I think it’s a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and have fun at the same time! This has been so important during this time – they need those connections. Poppie too has played Minecraft online, as well as downloading Netflix Party in the very first week! It does come with a downside though… we often find ourselves having to sensor what we say in case someone has their headset on when gaming (they can hear everything!) or is Facetiming (they can hear and SEE everything!)… urgh, so annoying!

We’ve been out clapping for the NHS every Thursday without fail! I remember the first time this happened and seeing the coverage on TV… it gave me goosebumps. The overwhelming gratitude we all feel at this time for our NHS heroes, putting themselves in danger on the front line every single day. But not only them, all the keyworkers who have kept the country ticking over while we are all in lockdown. It’s opened our eyes as a nation. We are now acknowledging these (low paid in most cases) workers who have become our most important at this critical time. I hope we will continue to see and appreciate them when all this is over. Their efforts must be recognised. We mustn’t forget.

The worry never leaves us though. Coronavirus is like a black cloud which we can try and ignore while we’re all at home getting on with various things, but it’s there. The worries about how long it will all go on for. Scott needs to get to work sooner rather than later. Will the children go back to school before September?

We’ve heard Boris announce that the first slow steps to easing the lockdown are coming next week. Realising the stress of being out of work for over two months, the Government has advised those that can’t work from home they can go back to work, as long as their work place have social distancing measures in place. People will be able to have unlimited outside time, instead of the one hour a day currently, and can meet with one person too as long as it’s outside, socially distancing. We will also be able to ‘drive’ somewhere for the first time too, meaning we can go further afield for our walks.

We are absolutely going to take advantage of this by going to visit my eldest son who has been isolating with his girlfriend at her parents B&B in Whitstable. I’ve missed him loads but I know he’s better off being there as they have their own little apartment within the B&B and it’s by the coast. His girlfriends’ sister and brother are also there and they’re all very close in age so much more fun! We will of course have to social distance.

It will feel very strange driving somewhere further than the supermarket after all this time but I can’t wait! I need to see my boy. I’ll be nervous though, being out and about, especially having the kids with me, but we will be very careful.

Then it will be back to the new (for now) normal. Staying at home and, fingers crossed, staying safe.

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