31 Oct
2014

The fundamental ingredient in a successful marriage

It’s a well-known fact that communication is a key ingredient in a successful marriage. Without effective communication, a couple is unable to discuss important issues and resolve their disagreements. This can often lead to feelings of detachment, anger or resentment in the long term. Although I refer to communication in relationships these tips are equally important in any important relationship in your life.

Communication can be tough, especially if it is with someone you have been in a relationship with for a long time. After a while, couples get comfortable with each other and, as a result, the level of communication tends to decrease. Assuming your partner already knows something or not taking the time to communicate with them can lead to a relationship breakdown over time.

Comfort should not equal less communication. There are many issues that may arise if you don’t keep yourself open and make an effort to communicate with your partner. Follow these simple tips to keep the communication lines open between you and your partner.

1. Never Assume
It’s important not to assume something unless you’ve communicated directly with your partner about it. This could be anything from a roster of household chores, to making assumptions about the way your partner thinks or feels about a particular issue. If you’re unsure, ask your partner and avoid arguments or misunderstandings.

2. Say what you mean
If you have something to say, say it. But make sure you’re clear with your communication and that you’re actually getting the right message across. There’s nothing more confusing (and frustrating) than receiving conflicting messages from your partner. In some cases, it may even help to write your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. By writing it down you are able to construct your thoughts in a clear and concise way and ensure you’re getting all the important bits of information across.

3. Don’t be afraid of a disagreement
If you disagree with something your partner has said or done, you should let them know in a calm and reasonable manner. Don’t avoid these conversations for fear of a disagreement. While a disagreement may be difficult to deal with in the short term, an open dialogue about such issues will do wonders for your relationship in the long run. By staying quiet about issues that are important to you, you will only become resentful and angry.

4. Communicate the good, not just the bad
Communication in relationships is not just important when there is an issue to address. If you have something good to say about your partner, say it loud and often. By communicating feelings of love and appreciation with your partner you will nurture the love and trust in your relationship.

5. Make time to communicate
With work and kids and extra curriculum activities it’s easy to see how some couples can’t find the time to communicate with each other. It’s very important you set aside some time on a regular basis to reconnect and communicate with your partner. This may be every day or simply on a weekly basis. Make sure you shut off all electronics and remove yourself from distractions to really focus on what each other has to say.

AusPsychology offers professional counselling services to people having communication difficulties. Their experienced counsellors can help you improve your communication skills and work towards better relationships with your partner or significant others. If you would like to talk to someone about marriage counselling brisbane, contact AusPsychology today.

23 Sep
2014

Roof Repairs Brisbane

A home’s roof tends to be thought of as nothing more than a structure designed to keep the weather (and possums) away from your family and prized possession. Yet, as a focal point to any home, it plays an important role in the overall aesthetics of a property, and therefore the market value of it. Roof restoration should then be seen as a wise investment for anyone considering an overall property maintenance and renovation plan.

Before deciding to restore your roof, you need to first determine whether a roof restoration is a more suitable option in comparison to a roof replacement. When making this decision there are three key factors that need to be considered – condition, cost and disruption.

The condition of the roof will be the main factor in any decision to restore or replace a roof. Roof repairs brisbane experts recommend roof replacements only when the condition of the roof is so bad that the option to restore it is not available to them. This includes cases of a roof pitted or eroded, or when metal tiles are so severely rusted. In all other cases, a rood restoration is recommended.

Restoring a roof is also a cost-effective option to replacing a roof. As it requires only cleaning, replacement of damaged sheets and tiles, and preventative services, rather than a complete overhaul, it is an affordable option if you are seeking extra funds to spend on other areas of your home – or to keep in your wallet!

In terms of disruption, roof restorations provides very little disturbance to the lives within the home. In comparison, a roof replacement can leave a home vulnerable to weather damage and, as a worksite, pose potential danger to family members and pets. In addition, it is also a very noisy process – which is likely to make you enemy number one in the eyes of many neighbours.

If you choose to restore your roof, the following provides a simple guide as to the overall process:

1. Inspection
Before anything can be done your roof will need to be inspected by a licensed roofer to determine its condition. If the roof is found to be in poor condition and therefore not fit for restoration, then a roof replacement will need to be arranged. If, however, it is found to be suitable for roof restoration brisbane, the restoration process can begin.

2. Clean
The roof is cleaned thoroughly using a high pressure wash, designed to remove dirt, grime, moss and additional contaminates in preparation for restoration work. A surface treatment is usually applied to sterilise mould and fungus growth on terracotta and concrete tiling.

3. Re-bedding and Re-tiling
Bedding that is loose is re-bedded using a sand or cement based mortar, and terracotta or concrete tiles that are broken or chipped are removed and replaced with new ones. For metal roofs, sheets that have rusted or have other damage are identified and removed, and new sheeting placed in the area.

4. Full Re-Point
On tiled roofs, all ridge-capping (the “V” shaped area at the top and sloping edges of your roof) are re-pointed. Usually a flexible point is used (acrylic based) which allows the ridge-capping to bind to the tiles so that the tiles remain in place and are not disrupted, or blown off in strong wings.

5. Primer and Membrane Application (Sealed)
The terracotta or concrete tiled roof is then primed and sealed, and specialist corrosion control primers are installed on metal roofs when required. Two coats of a membrane application are applied to the surface of the roof to provide ultimate protection, durability and weather proofing.

6. Painting (if applicable)
The roof is then painted in a colour of your choosing, allowed to dry, and then a second coat is applied. Once this process is completed you will have a beautiful, fully restored roof that will improve the appearance of your property, increase its market value, and provide a lovely focal point for any onlooker for a fraction of the price and disturbance of a roof replacement.

30 Oct
2014

Why upgrade to enterprise risk management?

The Global Financial Crisis taught us the importance of robust risk management practices in identifying and addressing issues that have the potential to impact on overall business objectives. Many organisations have implemented risk management programs, however a significant proportion of these have yet to realise the benefits of upgrading their programs to best-practice Enterprise Risk Management.

What’s the problem with traditional risk management programs?

Historically, risk management has tended to focus only on the negative – how do we identify what might go wrong? How bad will things get if it does? How can we stop it?

Another feature of old-fashioned risk management has been the tendency for it to be “siloed”, with each section of an organisation having its own approach to managing risk.

Modern, best practice Enterprise Risk Management has moved contemporary risk management programs and thinking beyond these limitations.

Why is Enterprise Risk Management better?

Enterprise Risk Management (also known as ERM) has a range of benefits for contemporary businesses:

  • ERM achieves efficiencies across the whole of the organisation by integrating a common approach throughout all functional areas.
  • ERM avoids the pitfall of concentrating on minor risks (such as slip hazards) at the expense of big picture risks (such as failure of critical infrastructure).
  • ERM captures the positive side of risk management, by also considering opportunities for new services, process efficiencies, improved methods of service delivery etc.

What strategies assist adoption of Enterprise Risk Management?

 

QRMC frequently assists organisations to develop or expand their risk management programs to embrace Enterprise Risk Management. Our experience suggests that useful strategies to successfully move to Enterprise Risk Management include:

  • Strong committed, visible leadership.
  • Recognising that risk management is an ongoing (not once-off) process.
  • Treating risk management as a tool to achieve business objectives, not as a compliance exercise.
  • Extensive consultation with, and training of, personnel (at all levels).
  • Consistently integrating ERM across all systems and functional areas within the organisation.

Special considerations for business or department amalgamation

 

A regular feature of contemporary business is the process of amalgamation, either of existing segments of an organisation, or of one business with a completely independent second business (M&A).

Determining the business objectives of a new organisation formed in this way is not always a straightforward exercise. The clarity provided by the risk management process greatly assists this determination.

However, amalgamation poses particular difficulties when it comes to the risk management program:

  1. There are often difficulties involved in assimilating risk-related information from different sources, produced using different methods.
  2. Amalgamation poses the threat of extending the commonly experienced problem of risk management “silos” (as mentioned above) even further by creating silos based on the original business or department entities.

On the positive side, these difficulties present an opportunity to reach solutions by upgrading existing risk management systems to Enterprise Risk Management. Moving the new entity to Enterprise Risk Management provides opportunities to:

  1. Clearly identify the objectives of the new entity, and what risks and opportunities exist in achieving these objectives.
  2. Break down barriers and foster a new organisation-wide approach to risk management and the determination of uniform risk appetite.

Next steps

 

Risk management as a discipline has proven its value over time. Now businesses can extend this value even further by upgrading to Enterprise Risk Management.

For more information on Enterprise Risk Management, safety management, business continuity management and management systems, contact us. We are experts in providing independent and objective facilitation of the process of upgrading or developing new Enterprise Risk Management programs. You can also access other informative articles on our News page dealing with Enterprise Risk Management, as well as newsletters downloadable from our Publications page covering Enterprise Risk Management issues.

29 Oct
2014

What is Baltic Amber?

Many people don’t realise that amber is actually tree resin, not a stone. More specifically, it is the fossilized resin from an extinct species of trees, and is millions of years old!

What makes Baltic Amber special?
Baltic Amber has an active ingredient called Succinic Acid, which has been known to have many medicinal qualities. Succinic Acid is a natural analgesic that assists with pain relief.

Succinic acid is now produced commercially and is approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Baltic Amber teething necklaces have been a source of traditional healing passed on for many generations and are widely used and treasured throughout Europe as unparalleled alternative medicine with proven health benefits.

Baltic amber in ancient times
While some of us here in Australia may think that amber necklaces are quite a new thing, even in ancient times infants were given amber necklaces to wear.

Amber was thought to contain magical powers, and it was widely known to have healing properties. Besides the healing properties, infants were given the necklaces to guard against baby swapping, offer protection from evil forces, and help against witchcraft!

Ancient Germanic tribes such as the Goths, Nordic peoples, Celts, Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Chinese, all valued amber for its beauty and protection.

Amber necklaces as a baby teething remedy
Baltic Amber is popular with baby teething products as it helps with pain relief, it has a calming affect and it stimulates the thyroid to assist with the redness and drooling associated with teething.

Baltic Amber necklaces are made for wearing, not for chewing. By wearing Baltic Amber close to the skin, the amber produces an oil (rich in Succinic Acid) which your skin then absorbs into the body.

Baltic Amber teething necklaces are the ideal solution when you choose to care for your baby in a natural way.

Silicone Teething Necklaces
It’s a well known fact that babies and toddlers love to chew when they are teething.

They will chew on anything they can get their hands on! Our necklaces are designed so that they can have a safe and soft product to chew on when teething.

These necklaces also provide a stimulating object for babies to play with while breastfeeding.

Not only functional, these necklaces are fashionable and look great with any outfit. It can be very difficult for mums to wear long necklaces or jewellery with babies and toddlers, as they love to grab everything and can very quickly break an expensive piece of jewellery.

Our silicone teething products are made with the highest quality 100% food grade silicone, and are guaranteed to be BPA and PVC free.

All Beauty of Amber silicone necklaces have been tested and are fully compliant with Australian & New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS IOS 8124-1:2010).

Why choose Beauty of Amber?
Beauty of Amber specialise in Baltic Amber teething products, all of which are hand-crafted and made with authentic Baltic amber. Our genuine Baltic Amber is of the highest quality and sourced only from the Baltic Regions of Europe. We also have an extensive range of Silicone teething necklaces.

We are passionate about natural alternatives when dealing with the pain associated with teething, and offer excellent customer service.

28 Oct
2014

SEO Brisbane and the importance of Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a measure of how much profit a customer will bring to your business over the lifetime of the relationship that exists between you two. The customer is the most valuable asset in your business. Knowing how to acquire and maintain this great asset is the key to a profitable business. CLV helps you determine where to commit you money in marketing campaigns before you launch them in order to reap higher benefits.

Sales per customer can be obtained by taking the sum of sales and divide it by the total sum of customers in a given period. Customer lifetime is the estimated number of times you think the customer will reorder a given product or service.

The number of referrals made is a conservative estimate of how many people have heard about you through a particular customer. A satisfied customer often makes casual reference on his or her blog, social media page or post a comment on a forum about a wonderful shopping experience that you provided. These comments can be read by hundreds to thousands of people. You can collect this information by asking your new customers how they heard about you.

Customers Guesstimate the percentage of the referrals that will buy something from your business to arrive at the percentage of referrals that convert to. Finally calculate the cost of sales by taking the sum of goods or services and divide it by the sum of customers that you have sold to in that period and multiply the quotient by the customer lifetime figure calculated earlier.

Importance of Lifetime value to your Brisbane business

It serves as a benchmark in determining how much money, time and effort you can commit in acquiring a given customer in the first instance. You become confident of reaping benefits such as enhanced corporate image and increased sales from your current investments. One such investment may be seo brisbane today. Lifetime value of a customer helps you to re-focus on your marketing campaigns. Once you realize that your customers are an ongoing stream of revenue rather than a one-shot sale, you get motivated to focus on ways of keeping them or repeat sales as loyal customer are likely to buy more. Loyal customers cost less to service. Experienced customers know how to use your products or services and make fewer calls to customer support and request fewer visits from the sale rep thus reducing the overheads.

Limited acquisition cost is yet another benefit of calculating lifetime value of a customer. Loyal customers are much more likely than not to be your advocates. They will recommend you to their associates and friends and happily speak about your products or services. This brings in more customers with little or zero acquisition cost. Lifetime value helps you identify the best customers; understand what best they see in your business thus helping you come up with real marketing objectives and strategies.

Calculating CLV

There are several formulas to arrive at the Lifetime Value of a given customer; the most efficient one is given by:

CLV = (Sales per customer) x (Customer lifetime) x (Number of referrals) x

(The percentage of referrals that turns customers) – (Cost of sales)

To arrive at these data you can use the following simple steps to estimate each parameter.

Sales per customer can be obtained by taking the sum of sales and divide it by the total sum of customers in a given period. Customer lifetime is the estimated number of times you think the customer will reorder a given product or service.

The number of referrals made is a conservative estimate of how many people have heard about you through a particular customer. A satisfied customer often makes casual reference on his or her blog, social media page or post a comment on a forum about a wonderful shopping experience that you provided. These comments can be read by hundreds to thousands of people. You can collect this information by asking your new customers how they heard about you.

Customers Guesstimate the percentage of the referrals that will buy something from your business to arrive at the percentage of referrals that convert to. Finally calculate the cost of sales by taking the sum of goods or services and divide it by the sum of customers that you have sold to in that period and multiply the quotient by the customer lifetime figure calculated earlier.

Importance of Lifetime value to your business

It serves as a benchmark in determining how much money, time and effort you can commit in acquiring a given customer in the first instance. You become confident of reaping benefits such as enhanced corporate image and increased sales from your current investments.

Lifetime value of a customer helps you to re-focus on your marketing campaigns. Once you realize that your customers are an ongoing stream of revenue rather than a one-shot sale, you get motivated to focus on ways of keeping them or repeat sales as loyal customer are likely to buy more. Loyal customers cost less to service. Experienced customers know how to use your products or services and make fewer calls to customer support and request fewer visits from the sale rep thus reducing the overheads.

Limited acquisition cost is yet another benefit of calculating lifetime value of a customer. Loyal customers are much more likely than not to be your advocates. They will recommend you to their associates and friends and happily speak about your products or services. This brings in more customers with little or zero acquisition cost. Lifetime value helps you identify the best customers; understand what best they see in your business thus helping you come up with real marketing objectives and strategies.

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