Aug 29, 2013 / 5:00 am
For a business to productive and profitable it needs a solid, structural framework.
The elements for a business include communication, database, owner and support team. They all work together as a unit. Like a well oiled machine, it is vitally important to understand how each element functions in your business to successfully operate as a unit.
As the entire framework fuses together, the formula for your business will flourish and have the ability to turn a lucrative profit. Regular maintenance is required for all the elements to operate continuously at top capacity effectively and efficiently.
Communication – The circulation system of the business
A good framework begins with how communication circulates throughout your business. Good communication is a key factor for every business to be productive. Consider for a moment how one single document could be handled, viewed and processed by a dozen or more people before a concrete decision has been finalized. Good business communication practices work as a team to expedite the decision process.
Database – The brains of the business
The database is the brains of the business and often stores vast amount of information in a centralized location. Accuracy is the key as the flow of information is in a state of continuous influx and dependent on the attention of every detail to stay current. Your database is business gold because of its capacity to accumulate nuggets of prospects.
Owner – The heart of the business
The owner brings the ingenuity, the passion and the vision. The owner is the force, the machine behind the momentum and manoeuvring through the constant changing business world. Comparable to playing a game of chess a business owner is always strategizing to be one step ahead of its opponent.
Support Team – The backbone of the business
For every business to function there needs to be a support team of employees or contractors. They are the backbone of every business. The business owner steers the vision and the support team executes the plan of action. For your business to grow and succeed it is important to build a collaborate team with the correct combination of talent, skill, and cooperation.
It is important the business owner invest the time to really possess a good grasp how every element operates. There is great responsibility, risk and commitment to consider as a business owner. The rewards that do come from all the hard work and sacrifices - priceless!
Office 2 Office offers a range of office efficiencies for small business to operate at top capacity by introducing the tools, training and strategies to become more effective and productive. Elizabeth provides the guidance to streamline systems that accelerate, organize and simplify everyday business processes. Clientele businesses increased 25% or more in sales and profits.
Aug 16, 2013 / 5:00 am
Part of my job as a Realtor® is to educate my buyers and sellers on the impact of renovations to their home. Even if your home is not currently on the market, the possibility that you will sell in the future is likely. Making smart, informed decisions on what improvements and changes to make to your property can greatly affect its market value—and how quickly it will sell. I’d like to share with all of you a few simple, yet important pointers to help you in your decision of where to spend your renovation budget.
As a homeowner and future seller, think about your home as if you were the future buyer.
First, invest your time and money on the aspects of the property that hook and bait. Your home’s curb appeal offers the first impression to potential buyers, and making a few simple changes can have a dramatic effect. Easy-to-maintain gardens and potted plants add charm and ambiance, while at the same time are typically as simple as a weekend “do-it-yourself” project, however, remember to keep it simple. Excessive or overly ostentatious landscaping can deter many potential buyers plus you will see a negative return on your investment.
Secondly, think about where the average family spends most of their time. The kitchen is the heart and hub of every home. Making tasteful renovations to your kitchen’s finishes and appliances can offer one of the highest returns on investment (approximately 44% on average) when compared to most other home improvements*. Similarly, updating a bathroom can add modernity and sophistication to an otherwise traditional home, while at the same time offering an enticing 56% higher average return on investment*.
Finally, simple all over changes to a home can be greatly beneficial when done thoughtfully. Refinishing or changing flooring is a good choice that can offer a 22% greater return on investment *, however consider your market when deciding how much to spend on these changes. An inexpensive overall improvement is paint colors. Choosing an attractive, neutral paint scheme is your best choice for resale.
When deciding which updates and renovations your home would most benefit from, think of renovations as an investment in your home; choose practical investments such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, and avoid more extreme and expensive updates like a pool installation, unless you plan to live there for years and years.
As you embark on future home renovations and improvements, I hope my tidbit of guidance can help you to decide which changes are best for your family and home. Never hesitate to contact me directly for complimentary information on ideas that may improve your home’s value in today’s highly competitive market.
* Information from RE/MAX Smart Renovator Guide
Lisa Salt and her husband Gord Fowler are among the Okanagan Valley’s exceptional full time, full service real estate professionals since 1993. To learn more about Okanagan real estate, contact the Salt Fowler Team and “Just Add Salt”!
Jul 23, 2013 / 5:00 am
“No, I don’t want you to call an ambulance, YOU help me.”
Dear Nurse Kris: Recently my wife fell, I couldn’t get her up off of the floor. She refused to let me call the ambulance, and she told me to stand in our building’s hallway until I saw someone who could help. So I did. When my neighbour came to help the two of us couldn’t move her either. We finally did call the ambulance. Now my wife is upset with me. What should I have done?”
- Frank S, tired caregiver of ailing wife
Dear Frank: I am sorry you experienced this. It sounds like you are trying hard to do the best you can and be responsive to your wife’s requests. You are in a tough predicament. You mention your wife is ailing, and with her recent fall it leads me to suspect you have been in the caregiver role for her, for at least a little while.
In health care, there is a phenomenon called “caregiver exhaustion”. This is what happens when caregivers ‘over help’. When one spouse cares for the other, it can be difficult to retain your objectivity. Being the sole care provider to your spouse, means dual roles for you: you are both husband AND caregiver.
There are a few sticking points with this dual role. You either cease being a husband, while you become your wife’s primary caregiver or, you become over-absorbed with the infinite details of your wife’s care needs and cease being a husband. Martyrdom is the next plane for you.
Being a Martyr, means you think you are the only person who can do things right for your wife and the only one who really knows how to care for her. You will know when you’ve reached this point when your friends ask you how you are doing, and you respond with, “Mary had a great BM today, wow, am I thrilled.”
Frank, the message here is that you cannot be everything, to everyone. The reason your lovely gal married you is because she likes you for the man you are. Marriage vows do not mean that you must do everything yourself for your gal. Marriage vows and partnerships mean you ensure your loved one's needs are anticipated, met and carried through as best as you can possibly provide for.
Your goal here is to be the loving person you are and ensure your wife’s needs are properly met. You want to give the best of yourself to your wife do you not? It’s difficult if not improbable to achieve if you are also her primary and solitary provider of care.
As your wife’s needs increase you’ll need to put in place a more formal caregiving structure. When an individual can’t move about comfortably or safely or can no longer perform all of their personal care, outside services (formal care) are there to help you and your lovely gal.
In Canada, each regional health authority or equivalent, has the responsibility for assessing clients in need and determining what level of care can be provided. Interior Health authority uses an income means test to determine what level of care and the associated cost if any, can be provided to you.
Some clients bypass the Health Authority entirely to avail themselves of the services of non-government personal care agencies which have the ability to schedule staff to arrive at specific times, the ability to match caregivers to clients and keep that same caregiver for consistency in care.
For more information Frank, you should first speak to your local Interior Health Community Care office at 250-980-1400 to inquire about an assessment of your wife. Other options to explore would be any Veterans Benefits you or your spouse might have, or insurance products such as Long Term Care, Extended Health Benefits or Critical Illness Insurance which you may have been paying for all these years.
Frank, you sound like a caring spouse. Enjoy your role as a spouse more and find others to help with caregiving. I hope these suggestions help you and your wife.
Nurse Kris Stewart, RN, BScN(Gerontology), MBA, is a member of the National Association for Care Managers and is registering for a Professional Geriatric Care Manager designation. She can be reached at [email protected] or visit the website at www.AdvancedHomeCareSolutions.com.
Jul 11, 2013 / 5:00 am
Big kudos to Julia Trops and the Okanagan Erotic Art Show, which opened over the weekend to a sold out crowd. Lots of people took the time to dress up and there were plenty of masks to fit this year’s masquerade theme. Artist Rory O’Neil won my vote for best entry, featuring a piece of drywall, some drinking glasses attached to it and a mention of noisy neighbours and thin walls. Putting your ear up to the glass was, well, let’s just say those who did had a smile on their face. Rory would have won my vote for best costume too had they had such a thing as he arrived wearing chaps...and not much else.
Winner of the People’s Choice award was Edward Vincent’s piece Invitation and the Resort Choice went to artist Krista Berrigan for her piece, Embrace.
The show will remain on display daily at Sparkling Hill from now 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Aug. 2, with admission by donation – already over $2700 has been raised from the event to donate to Central Okanagan Hospice Association. For more, visit their website.
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Calling all Parrotheads: If it’s been too long since you’ve “wasted away in Margaritaville", then Minstrel Café is where you need to head tonight. The Rum Runners will be playing a host of Jimmy Buffet songs and on these warm summer nights, there’s just no place like the patio of the Minstrel Café where you can sit under that beautiful big tree, listen to the music waft out through the sliding doors and should you choose, dance barefoot in the grass. Music gets underway at 8 p.m. and there is a $5 entertainment fee. Great food, great ambiance, put on a Hawaiian shirt or pin a flower in your hair and have fun!
Reservations are recommended by calling 250-764-2301. For a full list of the Minstrel line up for the next week, check out www.minstrelcafe.com
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Friday night, the amazing Chris Botti takes over the amphitheater at Mission Hill Winery. Last I checked there were still some concert only tickets available for $99 and only a few seats left for the Loggia Lounge. This Grammy award winning trumpet player is rumoured to have one of the best live performances going, as he easily switches from jazz to blues to classical. Probably the most talked about winery concert last year, if you don’t want to miss him this year get your tickets before they sell out at Select Your Tickets or click here.
A couple of quick tips: The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. so be smart and arrive an hour early if you can to allow for parking and purchasing a beverage. Also, women, leave the heels at home. Tromping up and down the steep grassy hill of the amphitheater in stilettos doesn’t work.
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Saturday night in Lake Country you’ll find Rann Berry and the One Hit Wonders doing their show again, featuring the big hits (and big hair) of the 60s and 70s. They’re promising some new songs this time around – more of the songs that make you feel old because you remember them. Show time is 7:30 p.m. and you can reserve tickets by calling 250-766-9309 or pick them up in person from the Customer Service Centre in the Lake Country Municipal Hall. Tickets are $29 plus taxes and fees.
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Coming up next week is the start of the Kelowna Summer Theatre festival. I’m really excited about this outdoor theatre event that will run just outside of the Rotary Centre for the Arts. They’ve got two different plays that will alternate between July 18 and Aug. 11. Opening first is [title of show], about two struggling writers trying to create a musical theatre piece. The play ends up being about their trouble trying to figure out what to write, hence the unusual title. [title of show] will run nightly July 18 to 21, then on alternate nights after that. The second production, Private Eyes, is a relationship thriller comedy about love, lust and the power of deception in which nothing is quite what it seems. It starts up July 25.
You can get all the scoop as well as purchase tickets on the KSTF website at www.kelownasummertheatrefestival.com
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From starvation to gluttony, that’s sort of how I’m seeing our theatre scene here in Kelowna. In addition to the Kelowna Summer Theatre festival, you’ll also find new productions by Kelowna Actors Studio, Bumbershoot Theatre and New Vintage Theatre all starting up in the next week.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the theatre community would begin to talk amongst themselves to find out what the other guys are up to so that this kind of things stops happening. There are a limited number of people who support live theatre in this town and with four productions running at once, everyone suffers. Last year, every single Theatre Kelowna play and Bumbershoot Theatre piece ran during the weeks as a Kelowna Actors Studio production, often with all three opening within a day of each other.
The theatre community isn’t the only one guilty of this either. Okanagan Symphony and Chamber Music Kelowna clash and last year, the major fundraisers for Heart and Stroke, SPCA and Kelowna Art Gallery were all scheduled for the same night.
Imagine if there was a central reservation site where organizations could plug in their dates so they could all work around each other instead of fighting each other for dollars.
I will have the full rundown on New Vintage’s production of Super 8 (July 17 to 20 in the Black Box Theatre), Kelowna Actors Studio’s, Spamalot (KAS theatre July 17 to Aug.3) and Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre’s, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (BCT July 18 to 28).
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Speaking of Kelowna’s theatre scene, fingers are crossed for the Fred Skeleton Theatre’s cast and crew who, from what I’ve heard, did a fabulous performance this week at the Theatre BC Mainstage competition where they’re representing the Okanagan’s Ozone. The winners will be announced Saturday. Break a leg!!!
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Last but not least, remember the free Parks Alive! concerts are happening through the city. Tonight’s free concert, as part of the roaming park Legacy Series, you’ll find Black Mountain Boys, The Blue Healers and the Black Mountain Blues Band with Ellen Churchill doing jazz at Birkdale Park, just off Black Mountain Drive at Birkdale Avenue. On the weekend at Kerry Park, you’ll find a Rock’N’Roll theme which features a wide array of local talent including Floyd Vedan Band on Friday night and The Deb Stone band on Saturday night. For the full Parks Alive listings, click here.
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That’s it for this week. For up to date happenings, follow me on Twitter @ArtSeenOkanagan
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