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5 Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them

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Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them

Contractors are gaining a lot more work over the pandemic, the contractor’s construction market is reaching $180 billion. There are things you should know about hiring a contractor to remodel your house.

Before hiring, you should ask them these 5 important questions. These 5 questions will give you all the ins and outs of hiring a contractor for your next construction project.

Hire a Contractor

Sometimes homeowners are wishing to remodel a home but don’t know the first thing about hiring a professional. Interior designer renovations require proper planning. In these circumstances, you may need to hire a contracting team.

To renovate you must source the correct materials and hire the right people for the job. Sometimes, you need a knowledgeable contractor to oversee the entirety of the project.

This can include a complete house remodel or a smaller renovation for something like a guest bath. There are plenty of issues you need to consider before hiring the right person for the job. A cost certified contractor can allow you to expedite the job process.

What exactly does a general contractor do? These individuals are responsible for providing all of the materials, labor, services, and equipment for a job. The general contractor then hires all independent contractors for portions of the work.

1. Personal Recommendations

Always ask a general contractor for a personal recommendation. Online referrals are not always the most reliable source of connecting with a future contractor.

It might prove difficult if you are blindly looking for service professionals via an online service. The highest-rated ones near you can suffer from commercial saturation and not deliver quality work.

Ask friends and family to see which contractors were successful in their projects. There’s a greater chance of finding a reliable contractor once you see their complete professional work.

2. Ask for Credentials

Any potential offer to work should follow a check of the contractor’s credentials. Ask if they are licensed, bonded, and insured. You can go online and check if the contractor has a physical address.

The contractor’s state license board regulates the construction industry. Every state has its terms and conditions. Check online for your state or county’s license board.

An abbreviation next to your contractor’s name can represent certifications from different national trade organizations. This can indicate whether the individual contractor or the contracting company belongs to a certain organization.

3. Pricing & Design

You must understand that price reflects the quality. The lowest bid might suggest that the contractor is using cheap materials. It can also foreshadow a contractor that is not keen on their craftsmanship.

The lowest bidder may desperately want a project and cannot satisfy higher expectations. If you select the cheapest bid, prepare yourself to pay more down the line.

Make sure to reference designs and request a budget for the parts and labor. If the contractor is familiar with working on these projects that can give you a rough estimate of the job.

Request a line item description of all the materials necessary for the job. A good contractor or construction crew can make cheap materials look like a million dollars. It’s okay to hire a skilled unlicensed contractor.

If not, you may have to prepare money for mistakes later on down the road. Allow multiple bids to build before selecting the right choice, which should land somewhere in the middle price range.

4. Home Improvement Contract

Your contractor should understand how to develop a home improvement contract. This should include detailed time frames and line itemizations for specialty materials.

It should also include the total cost of materials and payment arrangements. In addition, it should include the contractor’s license number, project description, and information of all parties.

Be cautious, the contractor should provide a specific timeline for the duration of the project. A contractor can have an overload of work and may not fulfill your desired timeline. Make sure your contractor can abide by your schedule.

Keep track of all project-related content. This includes payments, receipts, and all contact information. All payments should break down into different increments.

Never pay full payments upfront, even 50% is too much for partial contract work. A typical retainer fee should never exceed 15%-20% of the overall project cost.

5. Budget & Project Expectations

Be realistic about the project budget. Break the project down into multiple phases and see what you can prioritize with your contractor. If you’re on a budget, you might want to spread your cost over time.

When undergoing project management, you may experience delays. A contractor needs to communicate why and how they cannot fulfill the budget. But, most projects can accumulate to double the original pricing and time.

Check to see if they can acquire the correct permits. Your contractor needs to understand what regulations they need to follow for the remodeling project.

Your contract or architect is responsible for applying for all necessary permits. Any homeowner should know what is going on behind the scenes regarding property rights and remodel restrictions. Permits may take a longer time to acquire depending on the job.

Finding a Reliable Contractor 

Communication with your contractor or architect is key to completing your project. Expect a contract to increase in price if a contracting team discovers issues with the property.

Always consult with many contractors before selecting the right one. Once you discover the right contractor you can break into your dream job. 

Follow our blog for more information on hiring a contractor and fulfilling your dream remodel!

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Business

5 Revenue Accounting Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

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Revenue Accounting

Many people think that accounting is boring and fail to appreciate just how much value it creates for the modern world. In the United States alone, the market for the accounting industry is worth more than $119 billion every single year!

Of course, there are a lot of common revenue accounting mistakes that detract from the value of proper accounting. Avoiding these mistakes can mean saving your company a lot of stress, time, and even money.

So just what are these common revenue accounting mistakes and how can you avoid them? Read on to learn all about the most common revenue accounting mistakes!

1. Keeping Records Incorrectly

Many people fail to keep records correctly because they do not find the work very interesting. Even modern digital filing techniques, which have made the whole process much more convenient, have failed to make the process interesting for most people.

If you end up in a tax audit, it is absolutely essential that you have all of your records on hand. Your receipts and other records need to be organized so that you can find them if you ever need to prove that you have been conducting yourself appropriately.

2. Few Checks and Balances

In some businesses, especially small ones, a single person is in charge of all financial matters. Unfortunately, that means that there is a single point of failure. Checks and balances are important to make sure that everybody is doing their absolute best to engage in accounting with integrity.

Setting up checks and balances can help everybody feel at ease about the integrity of accounting decisions.

3. Fiddling With Closed Periods

It is important not to mess around with closed accounting periods. Once they are closed, the data in them is used to inform financial statements and other official documents. Changing them can cause disagreements in your records and statements.

4. Falling Behind on Bank Reconciliation

It is important to reconcile bank and credit card statements regularly. Although this can be tedious, it has to be done over and over again to avoid serious errors. Don’t think that you can skip it without exposing yourself to problems down the line.

5. Exaggerating Revenue

There is a long list of reasons that people can accidentally overstate revenue. For example, people can mix up received revenue with accounts receivable. Whatever the reason, a lot of people accidentally overstate revenue.

Look at every category of transaction that could be mistaken for revenue. Make sure that everybody understands what counts as real revenue and what does not.

The more you learn about the most common accounting mistakes and business accounting errors, the more interested you might be in finding small business accounting solutions for payroll mistakes. To learn more about how to manage cash flow mistakes and other common errors, click here.

Avoid the Most Common Revenue Accounting Mistakes

We hope that you were able to learn something helpful from this short piece on some of the most common revenue accounting mistakes that you would want to avoid in your business. Although it can take a long time to learn all of the nuances of proper accounting, doing so is an investment in your future business success.

To keep up-to-date on the latest developments in business, finances, and more, take a look through our other articles!

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Scale a Business: 3 Tactics for Operational Success

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Scale a Business

Are you looking for some growth strategies that can help you scale your business in the upcoming year? If you want to grow your business successfully, you need to make sure that you have a clear plan in place. 

For some tips on how to scale a business successfully, keep reading. In this guide, we will give you some business strategies that can help you scale up in the new year. 

1. Team Build for Success 

In order to scale your business, you need to make sure you have the right people on your team. Growing your business is impossible to do on your own. Rather, you will need assistance from professionals and talent in your industry to work on moving your business up to the next level.

As a business owner, you want to start by ensuring that you have sharpened managerial skills, as properly managing your team is a must for success. Additionally, before attempting to expand your company, you will want to make sure your managerial processes are streamlined for optimal results. For example, look at where there is a need for improvement in areas such as training, onboarding, and recruitment. 

This will allow you to ensure that you are prepared to properly grow your business and team, as you will effectively find and bring new talent onto your team, setting them up for success so that they can integrate as an integral part of your team. Many business owners chose to hire recruitment as a service in order to save time while finding the best talent available. 

2. Focus on What Sets You Apart 

Often, when it comes time for organizations to grow, the leaders behind the business will begin brainstorming on what new products or solutions they can offer their clients. However, this is not the best way to grow your business and can result in chaos. Instead, it is best to take a look at your current core offerings as well as what sets your brand apart from others in your industry. 

Then, make sure that you are optimizing these areas in order to make sure quality is at the core of your company. By capitalizing on what makes you different from your completion, you are able to fill a niche while targeting a very specific demographic. 

3. Streamline Business Processes 

Before you even begin to work on scaling your company, you will want to make sure that all of your business processes are streamlined and optimized for success. This will ensure that your business is even able to grow at all. Improving all business processes will allow you the efficiency and effectiveness you will need while working to grow your company. 

Scale a Business With These Tips and Tricks 

When it comes time to scale a business, you will want to start by working to improve all areas of your current company, team, product, and more. 

Head to the “Business” section of our site for tons of additional info and advice that can help business owners. 

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Business

How to build a career with Business Analysis

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How to build a career with Business Analysis

If you are a professional who wants to be a change-maker in your organization or you wish to upskill in a data-driven discipline, opt for a Business Analysis Post Graduate Program and learn to manage complex business problems. 

Master the necessary tools and frameworks that set you apart in the hiring landscape. Become recognized in Business Analysis fundamentals with hands-on experience and tools that facilitate better business outcomes. A Business Analysis Master’s degree prepares you for job roles that call for advanced data analysis, complex decision-making, and management skills. It can help you grow within your company and increase your earnings. 

As organizations witness digital transformation, they are implementing more and more analytics, and those professionals who have the necessary Business Analysis skills stand a better chance at getting hired.

What is Business Analysis

Business Analysis is the technique for enabling change in an organization and solving business problems. It adopts methods that deliver the business objectives and identify solutions that maximize the business value. The set of tasks are prescribed in the Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge. The reference guide is the yardstick for the practice of Business Analysis and is designed for professionals who perform Business Analysis tasks in the organizational context. It mentions the core knowledge areas of Business Analysis, the skills required, the deliverables, and techniques to be used by serving analysts for desired business outcomes.

The practice of Business Analysis is a specialized body of knowledge that maps the path of leading a business to the target destination. It includes the effective use of analysis and techniques to achieve benefits, cut costs, identify new opportunities, and improve the way business is done. The business analysis adopts a data-driven approach by incorporating technology, statistics, and data modeling to harness new insights.

Why pursue a master’s program in Business Analysis

Postgraduate programs in Business Analysis are an emerging avenue of learning. These courses recognize that Business Analysis is used in most companies and tech start-ups keen to exploit market opportunities. Thus the demand is high for candidates with a master’s degree who can analyze data to solve business problems. Companies are also acknowledging skills required for the task of Business Analysis that only specialized programs can offer. 

A Business Analysis degree fits with a broad range of industries and hirers. Aspirants have a wide choice of job roles across industry domains.

With a master’s in Business Analysis, you can prepare for the following Business Analysis job titles:

  • Data Scientist
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Business Data Analyst
  • Process Engineer
  • Product Owner/Manager
  • Digital Strategy Manager
  • Digital Data Analyst
  • Director of Research
  • Management Consultant
  • Systems Analyst
  • Process Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Senior Analyst
  • Senior Business Intelligence Consultant
  • Senior Business Specialist
  • Senior Staff Data Scientist

Very often, Business Analyst roles are hybrid roles, with responsibilities stretching beyond Business Analysis.

As Business Analysis professionals are highly knowledgeable about organizational processes, hirers are snapping up Business Analysis post-grads.

What is the career path for Business Analysis?

Most wannabe Business Analysts are faced with the challenge of how to land a Business Analyst job.  Do you start with experience in a small or medium-sized company? Is an entry-level job the first step to learning more about the world of business before taking a certification? Or should you take a course first? Confused with various definitions of a Business Analyst job role in different job descriptions?

To do away with any uncertainty, listed below is structured guidance on how to navigate the career path for Business Analysis job roles. 

1. Learn the fundamentals of Business Analysis

At the very outset, begin by building your knowledge about how businesses work. This is best achieved with internships or entry-level jobs. You get to learn first-hand the inner workings of an organization, whether big or small.

Before you commit to a career decision about Business Analysis, do some background research about what the job entails.

Understand what a Business Analyst does. There are many descriptions of a Business Analyst role. But some points are common and core to Business Analysis. The Business Analyst creates positive change within an organization and helps teams understand the why and what of the change and how they can contribute to the process. 

The Business Analysis framework starts with discovering the business objectives and defining the scope of the project. It is followed by developing a Business Analysis plan, defining the requirements in detail, ensuring technical solutions support the objectives, helping the stakeholders achieve the desired goals, and assessing the ROI of the value creation. 

Understand how a business operates and identify the skills you will need to become a Business Analyst. 

2. Sharpen your analysis skills

An analytical mindset is critical for the role. Sharpen your analytical thinking, and learn how to use data to define, study and solve business problems. Get a handle on the techniques used to measure a business’s operating costs, performance, efficiency, and so on.

3. Earn a Certification or pursue a master degree

Regardless of career history, a bachelor’s degree is a must-have. However, to become a Business Analyst capable of solving complex problems, you need to have additional specializations, either a certification or a master’s program that teaches you the necessary skills, tools, and techniques of Business Analysis. A master’s in Business Analysis not only advances your skills and knowledge base but also gives you a competitive advantage when looking for a job.

4. Work on projects

Apply your newly gained knowledge to real-world business problems. Practice on projects with different types of business problems and diverse data. Build projects that cover the various ways data analysis is used to meet business objectives.

5. Hone your visualizations skills

The analysis is incomplete without the ability to communicate your insights to the stakeholders and team members. Develop written communication and visualization skills. Learn to use charts, graphs, and interactive dashboards that allow team members to query and interact with your analysis. Excel and Tableau are good platforms to practice your visualization skills. 

6. Develop domain expertise

Different industries have varying business needs and challenges. Domain knowledge also gives you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs.

7. Apply to Business Analyst job roles

Start with an entry-level role if you are a newbie. Internships and entry-level positions build your experience before you move on to a higher position. When searching for a job, watch out for titles like a junior business analyst or entry-level business analyst. Working and mid-career professionals must research the job, the company, and its business. What does the company do? What are the responsibilities of the job role? How do you fit in? Which role to apply for?

Summary

If interested in a career in Business Analysis, start by developing the above skill sets. Courses can empower you with a sound introduction to the profession. So get started by enrolling in a Business Analysis program for a career in Business Analysis.

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