Many eco-friendly businesses are converting over to solar energy and the benefits it has on the environment are huge. This transition will revolutionize how we utilize natural energy sources to generate power for our local grids. The application is the same across the board, but the politics differ from state to state. The states that really take advantage of solar energy are obviously the ones that have businesses is states that receive a lot of sunshine. Florida, Southern California, Arizona, and Texas are all leaders in the Solar energy movement. Solar panels are being installed on buildings, parking garages, bus stops, and any other piece of commercial real estate that will facilitate the installation of rooftop solar panels. Areas where rooftop installation isn’t possible, solar grids can be installed. Solar grids can be built in large open areas of land where industrial or commercial structures don’t exist. Going solar helps reduce the carbon footprint on the environment and can ease the load of local energy providers during summer months when air conditioning units are running all day long. Converting to solar is a fairly simple process, finding a solar leasing company to facilitate the lease purchase and installation of the solar panels is going to be the first step in going solar.
After the paperwork is done and the lease is approved, the installation process can take 3-6 weeks. Panels need to be ordered, and inventory needs to be made of the components that will be necessary for installation. Rooftop installations are the most common and businesses with flat rooftops can take advantage of the real estate to build out complete solar grids. The amount of solar panels that a business needs is dependent on energy use. You will also want to make sure you are having quality solar panels installed, cheap panels made in China don’t quite last as long and therefore leave you in need of repair or replacement sooner than later. Having a solar lease specialist to walk you through an energy audit to determine how many panels you need will allow you to get exactly what you need and nothing more. Solar is often over sold since many solar specialists don’t take the time to truly evaluate the energy needs of a business. Having more panels than you need isn’t a bad thing, it means you are generating more power and if your local power company offers incentives or rebates then it can be even better for you. The issue becomes the lease payment, the more solar panels you have the greater your lease payment is going to be. Make sure you have an energy audit to truly assess your energy needs, talk with your solar specialist, understand what you are getting into, and then proceed with going solar.
Solar panels can have a 20 year life expectancy before needing to be replaced. You will definitely get a ROI with your panels in the first 10 years. Most leasing companies want to renew the lease and usually continue to cover repair and replacement costs if you are still paying them. However, if you opt out of your lease you can avoid those hefty monthly payments after the lease expires and save that money for future repairs. The money saved on energy is one value proposition, the other is the benefit solar has on the environment. Together if more residential and commercial properties go Solar, we can help reduce unnecessary wear and tear on the earth. The value of solar lasts a lifetime, and the lifetime of the generations that will come after us.
I decided to publish this post because of an experience my sister had looking for a mechanic in Redmond, Washington. We have all heard the horror stories of how mechanics have taken advantage of women over the years, and honestly, I think there are plenty of instances where men have been taken advantage of just as bad. After searching for a qualified mechanic to repair her car, she ended up using a company in Redmond called KD Automotive (https://www.kd-automotive.com/). KD is located off of Willows Road in the industrial area not far from the Redmond City Hall. She wound up there from a referral which is always nice. After talking to the manager she decided it seemed like a good place to do business and proceeded to have her car fixed at a very affordable price that came in far below what the other quotes were. Finding a mechanic can be difficult regardless which state you live in, so here are some helpful pointers to get your vehicle back up and running with the best mechanic in your area.
Most Americans rely heavily on their vehicles for every day transportation. Whether it’s driving to work, carting the kids around or hauling the family on a well-deserved vacation, your vehicle is a workhorse. Since you use it so often, it makes sense to take care of its maintenance, much like anything else of value. To best care for your car, truck or van, you should enlist the services of a reputable mechanic.
Having a personal mechanic, or one that you truly trust, can be a godsend for your vehicles. A knowledgeable professional in any field is that knows you and your situation can only be an asset. If you are considering buying a used car, for example, having someone who knows which defects to look for can help you steer away from a lemon. Also, he or she can give you advice on how to keep your vehicle in top shape, and relay any telltale signs of problematic issues. When you take your car to the same mechanic, they get to know your car intimately, as opposed to going from mechanic to mechanic. A personal mechanic is more likely to give you a deal on services or parts whenever possible, too, knowing that you will be returning for additional services in the future.
So how do you find a reputable vehicle serviceperson, one that is skilled, experienced and affordable? It starts with research. Ask your family and friends for recommendations; they may know someone who can keep your car in shape that they trust. Online reviews can be helpful, too, to a certain degree. If a mechanic has a reputation for over-charging clients, you will see a series of comments online to reflect that concern. You will also see testimonials from clients who swear by their mechanic’s skills; this information should give you a good place to start with your search. Once you have determined which mechanics are close to you that have a good reputation, it is time to see who will be the best choice for you.
When you interview a mechanic or take your car in for a service test, make sure the mechanic is ASA or ASE certified. These organizations require a code of ethics for their members. See if the shop is AAA certified, or has a good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Ask probing questions of your potential mechanic; it’s imperative that the mechanic knows how to handle a variety of situations and a variety of vehicles. If you are strictly a Chevrolet family, you will want to find someone who either specializes in the brand or can fix just about anything. For families that own a few different types of vehicles, it’s important to find someone skilled in many different models and makes. Makes sure that the mechanic can explain any problems in layman’s terms. It does you little good to have a doctor explain what ails you in medical jargon; the same is true with your car. You will also want to make sure that any recommendations the mechanic makes can be backed up with valid reasons for the repair.
You can always “test” the mechanic by bringing in your car for a particular service and then determine the labor cost, labor time, and parts costs. Get an estimate for the repairs in writing before he or she starts on your car. Investigate online the cost of repairs at other shops; keep in mind that specific dealership repair shops charge more since they specialize in a particular brand of car. You will also want to ensure that the mechanic has the proper tools to work on your car. Certain brands, like Mercedes, require different care than American made cars; and the mechanic should not only have the expertise to work on this type of vehicle, but the equipment to properly ensure it is fixed correctly.
There are other attributes that a good mechanic should possess, like excellent communication skills. Not only should he or she be able to explain what is wrong with your car so that you can easily understand, but there must be an ease in the conversation. You may find a mechanic who is great with his or her hands but cannot convey to you what’s going on with your car, it may not benefit you in the long run, especially if you are looking for a long-term relationship. Assess how you are treated by the repair shop; did you feel rushed and as if your questions were not answered? If a change in the repair needed to be made, did the mechanic call you for authorization first? Were you satisfied with the repairs? Service is an important part of the entire process.
Your mechanic of choice should also know how to effectively problem solve. Sometimes, he or she will need to think outside the box to fix your vehicle. While you don’t want your car to be slapped together, you do want a mechanic who can conceivably repair a problem with more than one solution.
Consider, too, how you drive your vehicle. Are you “hard” on your cars? Do you go off-roading in your Camry? Do you own a vintage car that requires special care? If you own a brand new vehicle, you will need to find someone who knows the innovative computerized engines found in newer models. The kind of mechanic you need will be contingent upon the specialized needs of your vehicle. This is another reason finding a mechanic who can communicate with you is an important factor in keeping your car running its best.
Sometimes, you may decide that convenience trumps cost. If you find two equally qualified mechanics and one happens to be closer to you than the other, that may be the deciding factor. Or, maybe you find an experienced mechanic who checks all the boxes but another one who is willing to take your vehicle on off-hours, or even do a “house calls”; these are factors that may help you choose your vehicle’s long-term caretaker.
Your car is your baby; in order to keep it running smoothly, you need to find the right person to care for it so choose wisely!
Jury trials are a very precarious situation, one where there’s a lot at stake. Depending upon the nature of the case and its complexity, either side, or both, may want to enlist the services of an expert witness. This witness is one who can provide testimony to either substantiate or refute evidence that has been presented at trial. It could be a forensic expert, or someone who possesses certain technical knowledge who is called in to testify regarding his or her skill or experience in a particular field.
In construction, expert witness testimonies are needed for home owners and developers that have construction defects and rely on an expert witness testimony in court to win the case for any job that has flaws. Building projects that are not done to code are also something that require an expert witness testimony. Companies like Goodman Consulting out of Oklahoma City are experts in this area. You can visit their website here at https://tcdexpert.com/ to learn more about the process and how expert witnesses in the construction industry work with home owners and developers in the court of law.
An expert witness’s duty in a trial is to provide fair, independent and impartial information regarding his or her direct knowledge of a subject, and to make it easier for the jury to understand. To be deemed an expert witness by the court, one must pass the Daubert test; a method utilized by the federal courts to determine is someone has the experience or knowledge necessary to be called an “expert”. If so, the testimony is admissible in court; if not, the testimony is thrown out. The Daubert test takes into account the following: whether or not the reasoning underneath the testimony is scientifically valid and if the reasoning can be applied to the facts in the issue. The court must determine if the potential expert’s testimony is relevant and reliable.
Not all expert witnesses are selected due to their academic backgrounds; some are considered experts just on their experience and expertise. While an unusual example, the movie “My Cousin Vinny” presents an expert witness that illustrates this point. Marissa Tomei’s character in the movie is called upon to be an expert witness regarding tire treads, even though the expert witness for the other side has already stated that the tires match those found on the defendant’s car. A car matching the defendant’s car had been seen leaving the scene of a murder and it had left behind tire skid marks. She is called upon to refute the expert witness’ testimony based upon her intricate automotive knowledge. The prosecution questions her true expertise; she proceeds to rattle off her personal experience rebuilding cars. The attorney then tries to trick her with a question he believes only an automobile mechanic would know; she soundly puts him in his place with her answer and he concedes to her expert witness testimony. While only a movie, it demonstrates the Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which states that an expert witness can be one who must have “knowledge, skill, experience, training or education” that will “help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.”
Expert witness testimony can be introduced in any court, from family court to criminal court. These witnesses, based on their knowledge and the subject matter, can command several hundred dollars per hour for their fee, making it potentially difficult to afford one. If you happen to be an expert in a field, you can join a service that provides expert witness testimony to the court. They will call upon you when they have a case that matches your expertise, and then you would proceed to provide the information you know to the judge and/or jury. You do, also, have to do your own research because your reputation can be destroyed on the stand if you are unprepared. Taking the word of the attorney that is hiring you for your services will not be enough; you will need to verify facts yourself to ensure your integrity.
Additionally, you must be an objective witness, testifying to what you know is fact. By trying to sway the facts to one side of the argument or the other will damage your credibility. Most attorneys would agree, too, that you keep writing to a minimum. Any notes, correspondence, reports, etc., that you may have written down, even as a preliminary outline, may be presented as discovery, including any reservations you may have, or any small opening the other side may use to impede your credibility.
Expert witnesses have played a major part in some very famous trials. The trial of George Zimmerman, accused of shooting and killing teenager Trayvon Martin, claimed self-defense. An expert witness was called by the defense, and he corroborated the story that Zimmerman’s injuries were consistent with a struggle. The expert witness, Vincent Di Maio, is an expert in gunshot wounds, and he concluded that Martin’s clothing was in a position where he would have been leaning forward when he was shot. This, too, matched the story given my Zimmerman and many believed that Di Maio’s testimony was what sealed the deal: Zimmerman was acquitted of both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
An expert’s testimony can make or break a case, so it is imperative to find someone with a legitimate background who is completely unflappable while on the stand. They should be able to submit their facts in an unbiased, straight-forward manner, while maintaining composure regardless of the circumstances. Lives could potentially hang in the balance based on an expert’s testimony, a fact that has been seen in many cases over the years.
Federal Resources for Small Businesses
Federal officials, including Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne, were in the Port City Thursday looking to help small businesses boost international sales. The team spent the day at Xante Corporation.
Byrne said there are federal resources available, like the Export Import Bank of the United States that can help businesses move Alabama-made goods to places across the world.
Xante is one of the many places in our area that’s seeing the significant benefits of exporting overseas.
“Like Xante, it may be the working capital they need while their goods are being sold, shipped and sold, and the money comes back to them or it may be credit insurance and what they do by providing that in full faith and credit of the federal government. They’re making things happen that wouldn’t happen overseas otherwise,” Byrne said.
Xante Corporation employs about 150 people.
Best Resources To Learn SEO For Small Businesses
I received an email very recently asking “what are the best resources to start learning SEO” so I wanted to record a training video sharing with you the best resources to get started in my opinion.
These resources are intended for those looking to get started, those who want to learn the basics of SEO and get up to speed so you don’t have to rely on very expensive agencies and crucially so people out there cannot scare or intimidate you by making SEO sound really scare.
The resources I speak about and recommend are:
In addition I discuss my own free training resources, I have my Agency blog where I share industry news and updates.
I also have a dedicated training academy for small businesses who want to learn SEO, if you like to learn via watching videos then my academy may be really interesting for you and I encourage you to check it out.
If you do have any questions or comments on this video let me know just below. Otherwise best of luck learning SEO and growing your small business yourself.
Resources Available to Help Small Business Go Green – Marianne Markowitz SBA
What is the SBA doing to help small business find funds to go green? Where can SMB get info as to resources? http://www.scorechicago.org An excerpt of an interview with Mark E Goodman and Marianne Markowitz on CAN TV21 Hotline show recorded March 30, 2010. In this segment, Mark and Marianne discuss how they are working on a program to consolidate information and resources.. You can watch the entire interview at http://blip.tv/file/3423337
Small Business Resources – Conroe TX
Small Business Resources – Conroe TX
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Many small businesses can be started at a low cost and on a part-time basis, while a person continues a regular job with an employer or provides care for family members in the home. In developing countries, many small businesses are sole-proprietor operations such as selling produce at a market stall or preparing hot food to sell on the street, that provide a small income.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
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U.S. Small Business Administration Resources | Travelers Institute
Anne Hunt from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) explains how the SBA is working to help small businesses succeed.
Learn more about the Travelers Institute: www.travelersinstitute.org
Group Coaching in Chicago, Small Business Resources for Coaches and Consultants
Access your FREE eBook on improving your business from the experienced successful business consultant to coaches, consultants and independent professionals, Joe Costantino. You will have your free guide Powering Up YOUR Practice presented in seven powerful and easy-to-implement steps.