Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to Review a Business Complaint

download (3)One of the common methods of vetting a business that you have never worked with before is to check to look at the reviews or formal complaints about the business. Some of the common lists to post a review or file a complaint are sites like YELP, the BBB, or Ripoff Report.

Any business that works with a volume of customers over a period of time will have a complaint filed against them. Large businesses like McDonald’s Hamburgers or Amazon have complaints files about something somewhere almost every day. Business that have never had a complaint filed against them probably has not been around very long or does not work with a large sector of the general public.

This is not to say that complaints are not justified. There is more to reviewing complaints than reading how bad the service was from one customers’ point of view. Yes that customer probably had some less than average experience, but in the realm of company performance would not be the norm.

The first item to consider when reviewing a business review or complaint is to look at the number and frequency of complaints. If a company has only one complaint a year, or even a complaint or two for a high volume business, that means that most of the customers are satisfied. Consider that there are television commercials were they advertise their customer satisfaction rate. If the customer satisfaction rate were 97% that means that 97 of 100 customers were satisfied and that 3 were not satisfied. Enhance this to a large volume business and it becomes that 3,000 people out of 100,000 customers were not satisfied.

The second issue is that internet review sites provide a lot of anonymity for the complainer. Social media allows anyone to say anything about anyone with little consequences of their actions. Sites like the BBB and Ripoff Report provide an opportunity for the business to respond to the complaint. To fully and accurately review a business complaint you must also read the response by the business representative. Remember that just because someone can say something on the internet does not make it true.

The other issue is that some people do not understand basic business practices. Yes business are there to provide services to the customer, but are often regulated by a number of internal and external sources. Customers can sometimes expect, or demand far more than a particular business is able to provide.

 

Reasons For Opening A Business Bank Account

download (2)It may seem convenient and easy for you to keep your personal and business finances in a single account; however, this offers several disadvantages. Indeed, opening different accounts for the two can prevent you from experiencing hassles. This will also provide you with different benefits.

Why You Must Open A Business Bank Account

Protection from legal liability – Opening a business bank account will protect your personal assets any legal liability. When your company gets sued and you are keeping your company and personal finances in just one account, the court might go after your personal assets since your bank account won’t reflect 2 distinct entities.

Tax purposes – Another excellent benefit of opening a separate account for your business is that it will be a lot easier for you to file business income and expenses for tax purposes.

Professionalism – Having a business bank account will lend credibility and professionalism to your firm. If clients see that you are using personal checks for transactions, they may assume that you’re not running a legal business operation.

Tips For Opening A Business Bank Account

Having a personal bank account won’t mean that you will easily open another account for your business. But your current bank might not necessarily be the best one of for your company. Bear in mind that banks specialise in various areas. Often, they cater to small businesses. However, there are other banking institutions that can provide reliable equipment loans.

Aside from opening a checking account, consider looking into other financial products as well. These include cash management and the different lines of credit. If you find a bank with extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with companies similar to yours, this may be the best bank for you as well.

The banking cost is another crucial factor to consider if you are choosing the best bank. Most banks today allow companies to open accounts for free. Also, they just require a minimal amount of balance. Sooner, the needs of your business might change and you may need to evaluate your account according to your fees along with the convenience the account offers. And if you choose to upgrade your account, this may lead to higher fees. Remember though that these might be offset by the ease in dealing with the increased volume of transactions. Ease of access to added services from the bank may offset such high fees as well.

 

Nameplate Litho Printing

download (1)In the past, Stamping is the most common methods for marking metal nameplates. In recent days, as the technology emerges nameplate manufacturers choose different ways to design and print metal nameplates.

Industries manufacture metal nameplates using a variety of printing techniques. These printing techniques may vary based on the customer requirement and type of environments. As mentioned earlier, uses of these nameplates dictate their manufacturing process. For example: metal nameplates used for outdoor purposes are exposed to harsh environments. In such conditions, the printing method should guarantee long-lasting design and legible text. Photosensitizing, embossing, laser marking, etc. are few printing methods that allow outdoor applications.

Lithography or offset lithography is one of the printing technique used in decorating Aluminium nameplates. In litho printing, the inked image is transmitted from a printing table to a rubber blanket and then it’s transferred into the aluminium sheets or paper. It’s a mass production printing in which the printing media don’t come into direct contact with the metal nameplates. It’s easily combined with a certain decorative process like embossing, brushing, screen printing and diamond cutting. It’s a preferred option while printing in fine detail and half tones. Nameplate manufacturers apply decorations on flat sheets and then it’s subjected to forming and tooling. It prolongs the lifetime of nameplates because the flexible rubber coordinates with the print media surface, allowing the process to be used effectively on rough-surfaces as well.

Types of offset Litho printing machines –

Offset printing machines are commonly used by today’s manufacturers.

Sheet-fed offset printing – This printing is popularly known for small and medium-sized projects. In this printing method, machine is fed with individual sheets. These pages could be pre-cut or trimmed after printing.

Web offset printing – This printing method uses larger and high-speed machines. Huge rolls of sheets are fed into the machines from which individual sheets could be trimmed. It is more cost-effective and used for high volume projects.

Advantages of using Offset lithography:

  • Tight registration is one of the major advantages in using offset lithography.
  • It provides quality printing at low-cost.
  • It can print on a variety of surfaces including rough and hard surfaces.
  • Lithography is a cost saving process for nameplate manufacturers while choosing high-volume projects.

Conclusion:

Lithography works on the basic principle that oil and water repel each other, but compared to other printing methods it provides quality printing at an affordable cost. It is combined with several decorative processes to create quality Aluminium nameplates.

 

Secrets of Bonding 130: Borrow From Peter to Pay Paul

downloadIt’s only human nature. You have a problem, a need. A financial issue has come up and the timing is inconvenient. So if you just move things around, you can handle the problem and back-fill later.

For construction companies managing multiple projects, not every job goes smoothly. Construction work is complicated with many variables and uncontrollable elements. Sometimes the only solution is to throw money at the problem. When cash flow on the project is “temporarily” insufficient, there is a natural temptation to borrow money out of another healthier contract, with the intention of paying it back at a later date. Is this bad?

Trust Funds

From a legal standpoint, money a general contractor (GC) holds, that is destined to pay the subcontractors (plumber, electrician, HVAC, etc.) he hired on the project, is held “in trust” for the benefit of those subs. The law says it is their money, and the GC must safeguard it. Therefore, any money in this trust fund category cannot be “loaned” to another of the company’s projects.

Bonded Contracts

When a Performance and Payment Bond covers a contract, the payment section of the bond guarantees that suppliers of labor and material will be paid. This includes the subcontractors that were hired by the GC. The bonding company is guaranteeing that the trust funds will make it into the hands of the subs.

If money has been diverted into another project by the GC, and subs remain unpaid, they are entitled to make a claim against the payment bond. Sureties are risk averse and strive to avoid all bond claims. Underwriters are well-aware of the “Peter Paying Paul” scenario where the funds are never restored and a payment claim results.

Protective Measures

Bonding companies may take steps to prevent such misapplication of funds. One is Joint Checking. Under this procedure, the project owner (paying for the work) issues joint payee checks in the name of the GC and the sub or vendor. Now there is absolute certainty that the funds will get to the sub as intended.

This procedure does not cost money to implement (other than the administrative expense), but is dependent on the willingness and continuing participation of the project owner.

Another protective device is the use Funds Control, also called a Funds Administration. Think of this as a professional paymaster who pays everyone on the project, including the GC. Money goes from the owner to the funds administrator, who then issues all the checks. By avoiding the GC’s handling of the money, there is no risk of funds flowing to another contract.

The funds administrator charges a fee, which is paid by the GC. For this procedure to be successfully implemented, the owner must officially agree to pay the funds administrator instead of the GC.

Conclusion

When it comes to money handling on construction projects, many people have a stake in the process. The GC’s obligation is more than to simply complete the work. They have a fiduciary responsibility to handle funds properly and assure that deserving parties are paid. That’s what the bonding company expects, and it’s simply the right thing to do.

Steve Golia is an experienced provider of bid and performance bonds for contractors. For more than 30 years he has specialized in solving bond problems for contractors, and helping them when others failed.