The world of small business ownership, freelancing, and independent contracting is booming and is not expected to slow down anytime soon! More and more companies are contracting out as many jobs as possible and more people are seeing that they need to make a job for themselves rather than relying on anyone else for work. Today’s business environment also make it an excellent time for entrepreneurs to finally follow their dream of starting their own company.
If you’re a small business owner, contractor, or freelancer, note a few innovations to watch out for in the coming years. This will ensure you’re taking full advantage of all the tools available for making your business or other endeavors a success.
Chances are that very few people would think of hiring an Uber or checking the balance of their accounts at a credit union without using that company’s smart phone app. Personalized apps, designed specifically for your company, make it easy for consumers to conduct their business with you and you alone, generating new business and encouraging repeat business.
If your small business doesn’t have an app, you can have them designed by any number of tech companies and even freelancers! Your app can then be listed in online catalogs designed for various smart phone brands and service providers, allowing customers to find you and return to your company for new business as often as possible.
Technology in Consumer Products
More and more consumer products are likely to involve some form of technology, something that a small business owner or freelancer would do well to take advantage of in the coming years! As an example of technology in the simplest of consumer products, pet doors and collars are more often equipped with sensors so that the door remains shut until the pet approaches. This keeps raccoons and other unwanted visitors from using that pet door for entry into a home!
Sneaker soles and football helmets might include monitors that protect a jogger or player from injury. Microchips designed to fit a number of products allow a person to track them when stolen. Small business owners might offer such technology in their products while freelancers might take advantage of this innovation and design such technology for everyday consumer goods!
Cryptocurrency refers to online currency or an internet means of exchange without the use of standard banks and credit unions. While there is some controversy over cryptocurrency there are also many advantages to this form of financial transaction, and this method of payment is becoming more widely accepted by even large retailers as its exchanges typically avoid the standard fees charged by banks and other financial institutions.
If you’re a small business owner, freelancer, or general contractor, you might consider the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency as a means of payment. There are online sites that accept such payments for you as well as apps you might try, for in-person billing and payment. This might allow you to expand your customer base and also avoid steep fees you would otherwise face from your bank or credit union.
If small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, it’s easy to see why innovation is the lifeblood of those businesses. Without innovation to keep small businesses competitive and thriving, they might quickly die out when competing against their larger counterparts.
Much of the noteworthy innovation of the past few years has involved emerging technology, but the way a business operates and addresses challenges in its industry is also vital for its growth. Eco-friendly products, services, and processes are also important to the overall economic health of small businesses as consumers are more aware of how their buying choices affect the environment. Note a few of the best small business innovations of the past year and how they’ve helped those businesses grow and thrive in today’s competitive climate.
A blockchain is a type of electronic distributed ledger that allows various parties to interact with certain parts of that ledger without the need for point-to-point communication. Every interaction forms a block and those blocks then become part of that entire ledger, which is why it’s called a chain.
Consider an example of how blockchain works. A company orders materials from an overseas supplier. The request for quote is one block, the order itself is another, the bill of lading is another, the invoice is another, and so on. Each party responsible for those individual blocks will only have access to the part of the chain they need. Also, once a block is added to that chain, it cannot be deleted or altered, allowing for full transparency of transactions.
Similar to apps on a smart phone, assistant bots are programmed to follow a small number of commands for tasks designed to assist in the office or for your company in general. An assistant bot might keep track of your calendar and create reminders for events, note when certain payments are due, or filter emails and messages in order of importance. These bots are invaluable for small business owners who cannot afford to hire an assistant and who might struggle to stay organized while running their business!
A swarm team forms for the sole purpose of solving a particular problem as quickly as possible and then disbanding and returning to their normal duties just as quickly! Swarm teams allow small business owners to take advantage of a wide range of talent on their staff, as opposed to static teams or departments who work together over the year, and without tying up everyone’s time with endless meetings.
A co-working space functions much like a small, rented office inside a larger suite, except that today’s co-working spaces are more group-friendly and oriented toward sharing experiences and insight with others in that same space. For example, a co-working office might schedule team building exercises open to anyone who rents space in that office as well as others who want to attend. Co-working spaces might also include areas and times set aside specifically for networking with others in that same space, so you can discuss challenges you’re facing in your business with those more experienced or able to offer solutions, and vice versa.
As more consumers expect and even demand eco-friendly products and services from area businesses, green initiatives are vital for the success of small businesses. These initiatives include websites that track the supply chain of various products, to ensure they have the last impact on the environment as possible. Other green initiatives might also include eco-friendly options for industry specific products and services, such as air conditioning refrigerant, home insulation, cleaning products, and so on.
Green initiatives allow small business owners to meet consumer demands for eco-friendly products and processes with minimal amount of research. Rather than having to spend hours searching online for eco-friendly products, they can partner or align with these initiatives for notification of improved products and services that are specific to their industry.
Lead Generation Websites
In times past, small businesses paid for advertising through Google and social media sites in the hopes of getting quality leads. Lead generation websites bypass that cost and work by creating sites specifically designed to generate quality leads for local contractors and small businesses. Many such site designers maintain the site under their umbrella and get paid per quality lead, rather than designing the site and leaving it in the hands of a business owner.
Lead generation websites ensure that a contractor or small business owner pays only for quality leads rather than online ads that may or may not generate leads, and ensure the site is found online quickly and easily. These sites take the guesswork out of the lead generation process, allowing a business owner to focus on running their business rather than trying to maintain a website and online marketing plan.
Tampa Bay Pressure Washing Services Talks About Soft Wash Cleaning
It’s a sad reality that many homeowners overlook needed exterior house washing as well as professional gutter cleaning, roof washing, and outside concrete power washing. Regular exterior house cleaning and pressure washing of all these materials and surfaces keeps a home looking its best and protects your property from unnecessary wear and tear.
As with many other home improvement products and services, residential pressure washing has seen some great innovation in the past few years. One reason for our industry to grow continuously is the demand for more eco-friendly processes when it comes to every aspect of home maintenance and repair, including pressure washing. Homeowners also want to avoid noxious chemical fumes, even in their outside space, and contractors like the pros at Tampa Bay Pressure Washing Services also want to ensure that our services are harmless to building materials and outside surfaces.
What Is Soft Wash Pressure Washing?
Pressure washing refers to any cleaning that uses high pressure washing and rinsing, while power washing uses hot water during the cleaning process, to help dissolve oil, grease, and other substances. These cleaning methods are often combined with a detergent or solvent, designed to kill mold and mildew, loosen dirt and mud, or otherwise help with the washing process.
However, the past few years have seen one great innovation for residential pressure washing, and that’s soft wash cleaning. What is a soft wash pressure washing?
Soft wash systems start with the application of a specialty solvent designed to dissolve thick dirt, mud, sand, silt, grime, mold, mildew, algae, and other residues clinging to a home’s exterior surfaces. This solvent is typically allowed to sit for several minutes so it can break down as much dirt and grime as possible, while also seeping into all the pits and pores of concrete and the nooks and crannies of a home’s roof and exterior walls.
Once dirt and grime dissolve, a low-pressure rinse is all that’s needed to wash it all away! Low-pressure rinsing means far less splattering and splashing and less stress on brick walls, gutters, peeling paint, roofing shingles, and wood decks. Low-pressure rinsing also means power washing equipment that is easier to control, reducing the risk of damage to your home and beautiful landscaping features.
Added Benefits of Soft Wash Systems
Along with that low-pressure rinsing, the solvents used for soft wash systems are typically more effective at dissolving thick, caked-on dirt, mud, and other grime. These solvents are designed specifically to break down as much residue as possible, for a more thorough clean.
Pressure washing also uses far less water than a garden hose, making it an eco-friendly choice for keeping your property clean, while soft wash systems use even less water for washing and rinsing! The solvents used for soft wash systems are also more eco-friendly than ever before, with fewer noxious fumes and odors, for a more healthy exterior environment.
Tampa Bay Pressure Washing Services is proud to offer soft wash cleaning services for our customers in the Tampa area, and we’re proud of the results we’ve seen with soft wash systems. Homes in the area are cleaner and protected from damage caused by sand, silt, air pollution, and other residues, and our soft wash cleaning kills mold and algae quickly and effectively. This change in pressure washing is a welcome innovation in our industry and we hope all homeowners across the country take advantage of soft wash cleaning in their area.
Fort Collins Roofing Talks Innovations In Their Industry!
The team at Fort Collins Roofing knows that when you consider your commercial and residential roofing, you probably don’t think there could be much innovation in this industry. After all, a structure’s roof is comprised of several layers of dense, durable materials topped off by shingles or tiles, all of which have been in use for decades. You don’t use a remote control to operate the roof and a roof doesn’t have moving parts controlled by a computer, so there is little to no technology in the function of a roof.
While it’s true that the roof itself may be devoid of much technology, this doesn’t mean that the roofing industry itself is without constant innovation! A structure’s roof is a vital part of its overall framework and one of the main insulators for interior spaces. As roofing materials are exposed to harsh sunlight, high winds, heavy rains and snowstorms, and other damaging elements, it’s vital that materials used for roofing are as strong and durable as possible.
Homeowners today are also more environmentally aware than ever before, and are more apt to make eco-friendly choices when it comes to the materials and installation processes for every part of their home, including the roof. With all these considerations in mind, the roofing industry is innovating constantly, with new materials, application processes, and much more. Consider a few innovations that we at Fort Collins Roofing have enjoyed learning about over the years and which we’re excited to work into our roof repairs in Fort Collins as well as utilize for new roof installations in the area:
- Cool roofs use lighter-colored materials that deflect sunlight rather than absorb it. Deflecting sunlight keeps a building cooler overall, resulting in lower utility costs during summer months. Your structure will also have less heat trapped in the attic, for a reduced risk of resultant mold growth.
- Green roofs aren’t actually green, but take advantage of sunlight exposure by setting aside a part of the roof for growing vegetation. Vegetation also helps to keep a roof cooler while improving air quality. On larger structures, that vegetation can even be harvested, providing a food source as well as lower utility costs!
- A blue roof is designed to take advantage of falling rainwater, with built-in trenches or other designs that direct rainwater to landscaping features, a garden, and so on. Blue roofs also help to avoid sewer and drain backups, by slowing down the flow of water as it runs off a roof.
- Metal roofs are gaining in popularity with homeowners because of their overall durability and appearance. A metal roof can last for decades, even centuries! A metal roof can also be installed over a structure’s current roof, avoiding the cost and hassle of a tear-off.
Solar Innovation for Fort Collins Roofing Installation
One of the best innovations for roofing installation in Fort Collins is solar! Today’s solar panels are more affordable than ever before, and are easier to install than you might realize. They’re also durable and go for years without ever needing repairs.
Residential and commercial solar panels are also being improved constantly, with some connected to rotating bases that follow the movement of the sun, ensuring maximum collection of sunlight. Built-in cleaning devices also sweep across the face of those panels, keeping them clear as needed.
If you’re in the market for a new roof installation or need roof repairs in Fort Collins CO, the team at Fort Collins is happy to show you even more innovations in the industry and how updated roofing materials can benefit your home or business. Whatever your needs for roofing materials in Fort Collins, turn to the pros at Fort Collins Roofing today!
Cypress AC Repair Pros Discusses the R22 Ban and Its Effect on Their Industry
Cypress AC Repair Pros is proud of the work offered by our expert heating and cooling contractors in the Cypress TX area, and take great pride in ensuring our customers receive nothing but topnotch, expert service along with industry-leading replacement parts and appliances. All the new furnaces and air conditioners we offer to our customers are energy-efficient and durable, meant to function for years before needing repairs.
While today’s air conditioners are designed with energy-efficiency and overall durability in mind, older HVAC units are notorious for leaking refrigerant through damaged hoses and poor-quality connectors. In the past, our HVAC contractors in Cypress could easily recharge those units with a new R22 refrigerant, commonly called Freon, but all that is about to change! R22 refrigerant is soon to be discontinued in the United States and worldwide, due to its harmful effects on the environment.
What the R22 Discontinuation Means for Heating and Cooling in Cypress
First note that the ban on R22 goes into effect on January 1, 2020; while the ban means that no one will be able to manufacture, import, or otherwise distribute R22 after that time, this doesn’t mean that R22 will simply go away on that day! Remaining stocks of R22 will be legally allowed for use in repairing older air conditioning systems that require Freon as a refrigerant.
However, note that supplies of R22 will obviously become more and scarce after January 1, 2020. As those supplies dwindle, pricing will no doubt rise, so that repairs and refrigerant recharges on older models of air conditioners then become more expensive overall. Some heating and cooling contractors in Cypress might also simply run out of R22 and not have contact with suppliers with Freon in stock, so that they cannot provide any refrigerant recharges on older air conditioning models.
For customers with older air conditioning units, it’s good to note how your repair costs might rise in the near future. It’s also good to consider the need for a new air conditioning installation in Cypress altogether! Eventually your older HVAC unit will need more refrigerant than what is available so that you’ll need to invest in a new air conditioner, compatible with today’s brands of refrigerant.
Added Benefits of a New Air Conditioning Installation in Cypress
Every homeowner and business owner in the Cypress area with an older air conditioner would do well to consider upgrading to a new heating and cooling system as soon as possible, to avoid having to go without a functioning AC unit if your current system should lose refrigerant. However, there are many other added benefits of investing in a new air conditioning installation in Cypress before your current unit needs repairs:
- An energy-efficient air conditioning installation can mean lower utility costs overall.
- Zone thermostats allow you to control the cooling in separate areas of your home or business. You can then keep occupied areas cooler as needed, without wasting power on cooling unoccupied spaces.
- An updated, built-in air filtration system means better indoor air quality for a healthier interior environment.
- Today’s heating and cooling systems are often built for durability, an important consideration in the Cypress area! Investing in a durable HVAC system now can mean fewer repair bills over the years and a longer lifespan for your new air conditioning installation.
While Cypress AC Repair Pros knows that changes in our industry can present certain challenges for our HVAC contractors in Cypress, we are also dedicated to ensuring our customers receive the highest quality repairs at the lowest prices possible. We encourage anyone in the Cypress area to call us with any questions you might have about your HVAC system and about how the ban on R22 refrigerant might affect your air conditioner and your heating and cooling needs.