Black Friday: Your Ultimate Guide

Black Friday

Two words synonymous with buzzwords like deals, sales, countdown and ads to name a few. Have you already started receiving deal sign-up notifications, some which offer early access and even opportunities to win vouchers? Black Friday officially signals the start of the holiday shopping season globally.

Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving in the USA, Black Friday, falls on the 29th of November 2019 and will no doubt be characterized by the same midnight-alarm-setting, queue-camping, quick grabbing, elbowing and epic statistics like those that came before.

Let’s not forget Black Friday’s equally anticipated partner Cyber Monday; for those of us who prefer using their quick clicking skills over physical queuing stamina. I, myself fall into the record-breaking eCommerce category no matter the day.

Black Friday: Your Ultimate Guide

  1. Research is key: don’t be caught by ‘fake’ specials and don’t lose out on possible bigger savings
  2. Make your list (and check it twice): this will prevent unnecessary purchases while also ensuring you tick off all your items.
  3. Hydrate and Nourish: You need to be in tip-top shape if you want to gain that edge
  4. Plan and Prioritize: optimal route planning will save you time and money.
  5. Budget: remember those oh-so-exciting monthly expenses don’t magically disappear
  6. Bonus: Sign up to all the Black Friday Alert emails
To obtain Black Friday’s ever-elusive specials shoppers will go to (sometimes fatal) extremes as illustrated in Black Friday Death and Injury Count. Use Your Ultimate Black Friday Guide and don’t become a statistic.

Want some visuals? Click below for Black Friday by numbers as published by Black Friday Global.


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

Building Relationships: One Construction Project at a Time

 

More importantly, is that everyone can build strong relationships no matter what industry you’re in or what your title may be. It’s important to build the right relationships with the right people. Strong relationships between general contractors and subcontractors are important for a successful project. These relationships don’t mature overnight, and it takes time and effort from both parties to build a level of trust that evolves into a strong working partnership.

Main contractors
When a client hires a contractor to build or renovate a property, the company is legally responsible for completing all of the required work. Main contractors are thinkers. They work with you through the entire project, from the idea phase to the finished product. By contrast, subcontractors come and go. They specialize in certain areas of the construction process, like large equipment operation, concrete formulation, plumbing, electricity and carpentry. They enter a project to do a particular task and leave when that task is finished.

Subcontractors
If you’re bidding to a general contractor for the first time this is your opportunity to make a strong first impression.
Communicate! Keep in contact with the site supervisor and project manager with updates on your progress and advise them immediately of any issues or potential delays that might impact other subcontractors on the job or the overall project timeline.
Choose the right team for the job. Make sure your workers act and perform their duties safely and professionally. Be organized. Practice good housekeeping and clean up after every workday, picking up tools and equipment and disposing of any construction waste as you go.
Show up to the job site every day with the tools, equipment, materials, and workers you need to get the day’s work done. Subcontractors may be tempted to take on a job that is outside the scope of their capabilities allowing the subcontractors a window of time at either end of the project will ensure all their work will be finished within the project time frame. Preparing for delays will prevent the project from running overtime and therefore going over budget. Following these suggestions will lower the chances for disappointment and maintain a positive relationship between you and your subcontractor. Partnerships between contractors and subcontractors are vital for any business. In fact, this relationship is beneficial to both parties involved.
A subcontractor agreement usually exists between a contractor and a subcontractor. It outlines information similar to the conditions detailed in a contractor agreement. In most instances, the contractor will be responsible for compensating the subcontractor and the subcontractor is required to complete certain tasks for the contractor. Both a contractor and subcontractor work together to complete specified duties for a company or an individual.

Vendor/Suppliers
Main contractors and subcontractors often tend to ignore one thing: supplier relationship management. Effective supplier relationship management increases profitability and drives efficiencies for businesses.
Leads 2 Business has a service called Leads 2 Quotes and Open Quotes. (www.L2B.co.za) Vendor/Suppliers receives RFQ from main /sub-contractors as a preferred vendor via email, submit your RFQ’s (request for quotes) online. Easy access to vendor/suppliers within the area of work. You will be able to view which contractors prefer your business and interact directly with you regarding your service and product offerings.
This is a professional platform to enable anyone to build a solid relationship between Contractors and Suppliers.
As much as company culture is important to your business, it should also manifest in your supplier. Values such as speed, quality, excellence, innovation, and reliability are existent in trustworthy companies and you want to be sure that the same can be said about your own suppliers

Available Cash
You have payments due to subs, employees, vendors, materials suppliers, and equipment renters but you don’t get paid until the project is complete. If you want to have a solid relationship with your subbies, treat them how you would want to be treated, and pay them on time, every time
Nothing will ever run a 100% smoothly in construction at any given time. When there is a bump in the road, fingers start pointing. If you have a positive attitude and are working with subcontractors you trust; it will be easy to establish a good working relationship
Good business relationship management can lead to loyalty, which is important in terms of finding suppliers and subcontractors that can be trusted. This applies to tender bids as well as project delivery. Professionalism should be demonstrated at all times, as well as open and honest communication, efficiency and consideration when dealing with their needs and requirements

There are plenty of tools and online resources out there to help keep you and your business organized

Whether you are a “leader” or a follower, you can build a community of friends, colleagues, associates, allies, partners, and buddies around you. Together, there is no telling what you can do. Building Relationships: One Construction Project at a Time

Sources:
ProjectSmart
GenieBelt


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About Nirasha Rampersad

I started working for Leads to Business June 2017 as Support Assistance in L2Q.

15 Ways to Renovate on a Budget

Everybody wants a beautiful living space, a space in which to unwind and relax and shrug off the stresses of day-to-day life.
Your home should be your sanctuary, your place to escape and just be.

Here are my 15 Ways to Renovate on a Budget.

First and foremost:

1. Establish a Budget and Don’t Budge
It is so easy to get caught up in the beautifying process that one can easily go over what has been budgeted for.

2. Pay Cash
You are wanting to create an environment that allows you to come home, kick off your shoes and relax after a long day, not one that causes you to pull your hair out while you are number-crunching until the wee hours of the morning because of credit card debt. As far as is possible, buy your materials with cash.

3. Check Your Prices
Don’t just go into one store to find all your prices, if you are going into a large store, there is every possibility that you might get caught up in some slick sales talk and wind up going over your budget, go to a few stores, get quotes and compare prices.

4. Clean Up
Before starting a project, clean up. Be ruthless with yourself if necessary. I tend to suffer from sente(mental)ity, there are dozens of keepsakes that we are given by children along the way and they get hung up on the fridge and such, in the pursuit of cleaning up, if it isn’t going to serve a purpose, take a photo of it and then chuck it.

5. Set a Time Limit
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if there wasn’t a time frame to work within, it would still be under construction. Again, because time is precious, you don’t want to lose precious time with your family.

6. All Hands on Deck
When you take on a renovation project, instead of employing a company to do the work for you, why not get the whole family involved, this creates friendship and most of all, ownership.

7. Recycle, or upcycle.
There are so many good ideas of how to transform “junk” into useful items on Pinterest, so, get pinning!

8. Feature Walls
Instead of painting out a whole area, consider painting a feature wall. The idea behind this is to create the illusion of space, it’s also a great way to allow yourself to have fun and to get creative with colour and also cost-effective when purchasing paints.

9. Consider LED
LED lights need not be BRIGHT, there are different shades to choose from, depending on your needs, a cool white would better suit a kitchen or bathroom, where a warm white would suit lounges and bedrooms, as older globes go, consider changing up and save on your electricity costs and doing your bit for the environment.

10. Consider Skylights
This is a great way to add natural lighting to your home in strategic places and also to cut your daytime electricity costs, work out the pros and cons of adding a skylight and as far as possible try to calculate what you would save in lighting up those areas.

11. Do It Yourself.
If you can build shelves, lay tiles or even paint, then you have already saved some money that can be utilized elsewhere.

12. Add Plants
Well placed plants have a way of lighting up spaces, you would do well to consult with your local garden centre to obtain some advice as to which plants are best suited to which areas, for example, it would not be a good idea to put a cactus in the bathroom.

13. Go Green
There is a lot of focus on the environment and lessening our footprint, If you are updating your bathroom, why not look at going green, Low flow toilets and low flow showerheads will not only help you do your part for the environment, but it will also help you to save money.

14. Work Party
The community my family belongs to believes that it takes a village….not only to raise a child but to do things like this. An old-fashioned work party is a great way to get a large part of the job done and an after-work braai is a great way to connect with one another after the work is done.

15. Have Fun!
You are doing this to give you a space to make amazing memories with your family and friends, don’t lose yourself in the mess, you are making memories as you go, it might be hard work now, but the payoff will be better.


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Solar Cities

In 1839, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered electricity could be generated by sunlight. He claimed that “Shining light on an electrode submerged in a conductive solution would create an electric current.” Solar energy is now utilized and recognized all over the world.

Solar cities would be very beneficial in South Africa due to our current restraints with Eskom and the load shedding each one of us has had to endure on and off for the past 12 years. Solar Energy is free and being a third world County, this would be viable and It would be great not having to depend on Eskom for electricity.  Utilizing Solar panels will save you money and reduce your lights account.

Many South African are currently utilizing solar energy to power the following:

  • Watches
  • Calculators
  • Lighting
  • Water pumps
  • Water heaters

Solar energy hold’s the most potential in South Africa due to the fact that we receive a large amount of radioactive energy. Solar Energy is renewable, meaning we will never run out of sunshine. Wind energy could also be unitized in South Africa, especially around our coastal areas.

Counties that make the most use of Solar power would be:

  • China
  • United States of America
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia

The initial cost of setting up a solar running house or city is at a high rate, however, the saving, in the long run, is thousands of rand.

Sources:
Feedspot
Google
HomeInsulations


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How Factories are Constructed

posted in: General 0

A factory is an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods mostly in bulk or operate large machines processing one product into another.

Factories are normally large buildings with a lot of empty space to work with as well as your different sections with different machinery for the different stages of production

When building a factory there are a few points to keep in mind. Factory layouts and designs require detailed coordination between the manufacturing process, production line and building facility.
The floor load, headspace, bay size and more all depend on the type of machines and equipment to be used.

5 common types of factories

  • Chemicals
  • Food Production
  • Electronics
  • Paper
  • Metal manufacturing

The first factory was built in 1790 by Samuel Slater in America

The largest factory in the world is the Boeing Everett Factory situated in Washington, with a surface area of 398000m2 and was built in 1966

Daily technology, as well as the designs of factories, are developing and changing. In the near future, we will see people working together with intelligent machines, also factories who are highly contributing to our environmental pollution are changing their ways for the environment and these are the factories of tomorrow.

Sources
Wikipedia
Bizfluent
WorldAtlas
Raconteur


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Tallest Buildings in South Africa

Tall, Taller, Tallest… The 5 tallest buildings in South Africa.

South Africa is one of the most structurally and economically developed nations on the African continent.

Let’s have a look at the top 5 tallest buildings in South Africa.

Interesting Facts:

1. The Leonardo is a 55 Floor mixed-use property development reaching 234m.

Its completion in 2019 has made it South Africa’s tallest building, taking over from the Carlton Centre which was the tallest building since 1973. The development will include street-level shops as well as an above-ground podium, where a swimming pool, restaurant and several other facilities will be located. The tower portion of the development will be built above this 4 level podium. An alternative name for the development was 75 on Maude. However, it will only hold that title for a short duration, as Kenya has plans to build the tallest building in Africa within the next three years.

2. The Carlton Centre is a skyscraper and shopping centre located in downtown Johannesburg and reaches 223m and 50 floors.

The Carlton Centre was designed by the US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Anglo American Properties began construction in the late 1960s by demolishing the old Carlton Hotel and the closing roads to form a city superblock. Excavations for the Carlton began in January 1967 and took two years to complete. Although occupation of the Centre began in 1971, construction was not finally completed until 1974. The building officially opened in 1973 at a total cost of over R88 million

3. The Ponte City Apartments is a skyscraper in Berea, Johannesburg.

It was built in 1975 and is 173m and 55m, making it the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. The 55-story building is cylindrical, with an open centre allowing additional light into the apartments. The centre space is known as “the core” and rises above an uneven rock floor. When built, Ponte City was seen as an extremely desirable address due to its views over all of Johannesburg and its surroundings. The neon sign on top of the building is the largest sign in the southern hemisphere and advertised for the Coca-Cola Company prior to 2000. It currently advertises the South African mobile phone company Vodacom.

 

4. The Marble Towers is a skyscraper in the CBD of Johannesburg.

Built-in 1973 and is 152m and 32 storeys tall. The structure is made out of a mixture of concrete and marble and has an eight-storey parking garage attached. The building was originally known as the Sanlam Centre. It is located on the corner of Jeppe and Von Wielligh Streets.

 

5. The South African Reserve Bank Building is a 38 storey skyscraper in Pretoria.

It was built in 1988 and is 38 storeys tall. The structure is made of concrete and glass and was the first flush glazed glass tower block in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sources:
Wikipedia
BusinessTech
Commons.
Flickr

 

 

 


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About Candice Van Aswegen

I started working for Leads 2 Business in May 2012 as an Account Co ordinator and more recently the Deputy Head of Department for the Telesales team. I schedule appointments for the Account Executives with potential clients.

CIDB Tender Value Limits Increase

posted in: General 12

The revised tender value ranges across all CIDB grades come into effect on 07 October 2019 and will display as such on Leads 2 Business from that date.

Please see the below press release for detailed information.
Regulation Amendment Notification 15 August 2019

Source: CIDB


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

How to Go Green without Breaking the Bank

posted in: General 0

How to go green without breaking the bank does not necessarily mean smoke and fly.

Going green means being environmentally responsible, eco-friendly and can be affordable.

You do not need to drastically change your lifestyle right away. You can start gradually by doing just a few things and adding more as time goes on. Depending on what you do, your actions will help the environment in many different ways, but they will all add up to help reduce the impact of climate change.

1. The home set-up
Your home should be set-up in a way that saves energy.

  • Plug home electronics into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • Use Energy Star-qualified CFL and LED bulbs.
  • Install outdoor solar lights
  • Make your own detergents.

2. Food options

  • Consider turning your backyard into a miniature garden.
  • Make your own compost.

3. Thrifting everyday purchases

  • Spend a weekend thrifting or even visiting vintage shops to find cheaper and green alternatives.

4. Selling and donating unwanted items

  • No matter how organized you say you are, everyone has some level of clutter.
  • Start by taking a look in your closet, picking and packing the items that you have not worn for ages.

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

6. Plant a tree

7. Use Less Water

8. Bring bags to the grocery store

9. Check out Freecycle

  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is the cliche behind Freecycle
  • Check your local board on the site to search for household items, from furniture to technology, that other people want to give away. The site is also perfect for getting rid of your own useless junk. Freecycle is free to join (naturally), and it’s a win for both you and the environment.

10. Ditch your car.

  • If you can get to work without driving, why not do it? You’ll get some exercise, save some cash and help the environment. Even better, it will make you happier and generally more satisfied with life.
  • Carpooling.

 

Earth day – 22 April

Sources:
Isotherm
SmallfootprintFamily

 


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About Chantélle Naudé

I have been with Leads 2 Business for 9 years, working in the Leads 2 Quotes department. Mother to two beautiful daughters.

Safety shouldn’t be Complicated

Safety (noun); the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.

Safety really should not be complicated. Sometimes taking all the safety precautions can end with injury and in some extreme cases, even death.

Some examples spring to mind…
20 years or so ago, my school friend was travelling from Durban to Pietermaritzburg with her father, and they had an accident. Emergency personnel could not free her from her safety belt, and she ended up being burnt to death.

In some other cases, some people might still be alive if they had their safety belts on, which would have stopped them getting ejected through the windscreen. Buckle up and maybe carry a knife on you just in case you need to free yourself.

Then there are a couple of cases where timber workers, felling trees, end up with the tree falling in the wrong direction, or maybe they were just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and got hit by it; instant death. Protective clothing and helmets did not help in these cases, but maybe if they had a better knowledge or were more aware of their position, they might still be alive.

Whilst you may have heard of these safety rules before, some do need repeating:

  • Stay alert and stay alive. The more awake you are, the less likely you will get hurt. I don’t know how many times I have driven on the N3 and seen trucks overturned. Rest when you feel tired. Rather get there alive, than in pieces.
  • Wear the correct clothing. Protective clothing should fit properly. Wear your protective helmet. You never know when an accident may occur. Be prepared.
  • Use the right tools. If you need a spanner, use it. Using incorrect equipment is just asking for trouble.
  • Don’t play pranks. Practical jokes can be dangerous, especially around heavy machinery.
  • Be tidy. This will reduce hazards. Always put your tools away when you are not using them and keep your floors clean and clutter-free. A slip or fall may just end up being a hospital call.
  • Do not take chances or shortcuts. Do it right, and do it safely. Short cuts are probably the biggest killer of all. To save a minute or two, you may lose a life.

If you follow all the safety precautions and still end up getting hurt, get first aid immediately. Neglect of an injury could lead to infection, loss of work time and in some cases, permanent injury.

Remember, your safety is your responsibility. If you are in doubt, contact your supervisor or manager for instruction, guidance, or training.

Safety is not complicated, but it is a choice. Choose wisely.


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About Melanie Miles

One girl who would rather wear boots than high heels...

Essential Tips on Pest Control in Construction

posted in: Did You Know, General 0

The best way to treat pests is prevention before construction, rather than managing a problem that arises after your building has been standing a while when prevailing conditions could result in an open invitation to pests. This may pose the threat of them making a home within your building, or neighbouring buildings. The damage that little critters cause, without one even being aware there is a problem, is substantial. Infestations can prove more costly to eradicate than preventative solutions. There are ways and means to avoid the unwanted attention of pests throughout the construction process, but the bottom line is to build pest control into your construction plans as early as possible.

See below for a 4 step strategy for successful pest control.

1. To establish the best pest prevention methods it will be vital to establish the following:
What kinds of pests pose threats in the area of the site and how high risk do they pose (types and numbers)
What routes might pests use to enter the building
How the building is constructed (to avoid high humidity, accumulation of water, or contact between timber and soil)
What materials are being used in construction such as timber and other permeable building materials, opting rather for impermeable materials such as brick, stone, concrete, and steel

2. Assess the risk of pests in the site location:
Monitoring – To assess types and numbers. Monitoring could be in the form of traps, inspections, and sampling or visual counts to assess the patterns of pests in the area. Monitoring can be done continuously through all stages of construction and as a management tool post-construction
Water Sources – What nearby water sources are there such as ponds and lakes which could pose a threat as pests will locate their nests close to water sources.
Grading – If your property is not appropriately levelled or graded, water may pool in areas of the site, attracting termites, mosquitoes, and other pests.

3. Formulate an adequate plan to prevent and manage pests:
The plan should not be an isolated pest control method but rather a combination of a number of control methods based on various factors and the information obtained through the above assessments, together with ongoing monitoring and reports.

Control methods to remove pests include:
Non-chemical
Pest trapping
Heat/cold treatment
Physical removal
Chemical
Pesticide application – a chemical treatment helps to form a protective barrier against later infestations
Control methods to avoid the influx or return of unwanted pests:
Training of construction workers, and the staff who will later occupy the building in the importance of sanitation and pesticide safety. Unhygienic practices and conditions will encourage the inhabitation or re-inhabitation of pests.
Inspection of all building materials that enter the site during construction
Reducing debris and clutter around buildings, the removal of litter and overgrown vegetation, and keeping planting away from the perimeter of the building will all discourage pests from settling
Sealing areas where pests enter the building
Installing traps, pest barriers and repellents
Maintaining clean dining and food storage areas

4. Documenting pest control actions is helpful in the evaluation of the success of your plan:
Record of each pest control method, including pesticide applications
Evidence that non-chemical control methods were considered and implemented where possible, due to the toxicity levels of pesticides.
Recommendations for preventing future pest infestations

Finally, to ensure continued pest prevention and control, it is advisable to work with a pest management professional on a regular basis and to keep your prevention and management plan relevant and current. Why not search the Leads 2 Business Directory for Pest Control and Management service providers?

Sources:
Hobby Farms
Pest
Nedcc
China Preservation Tutorial
Cycreek Pest Control
EPA


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