Top 5 DIY Pest Control Tips

diy pest control

Spring is around the corner, which means the battle of the bugs will soon ensue. Not sure what weapons you need in your arsenal? Don’t worry — a little DIY pest control knowledge will prepare you for battle in no time.

Pests can be a nuisance for your home and family. Fortunately, you don’t always have to call a professional for help. Here’s a rundown of the top five DIY pest control tips to help you to get ready for the spring.

Let’s jump in!

1. DIY Pest Control for Ants

These little insects can be kept at bay in a couple of simple ways.

First, we know you love your cup of joe. But if you can spare some coffee grounds, sprinkle them on your doors and windows to keep ants from invading your home.

Another option? Mix a cup of borax with a cup of sugar water. Then, pour this mixture into tiny jars, and poke some holes in the lids.

The sweet smell will lure ants in and encourage them to feast. They’ll then take their newfound meal back to their nest. You’ll start seeing the ant population grow smaller and smaller in no time.

2. Fruit Flies

These annoying little flies can’t resist a sweet smell, either, just like ants.

To get rid of them, simply fill a glass with two inches of apple cider vinegar. Then, add a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent. And voila!

You have the perfect trap for eradicating fruit flies from your kitchen.

3. Spiders

Like fruit flies, spiders are no match for vinegar.

To get rid of them, simply mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Then, coat common spider entrances, such as openings or cracks, with this acidic mixture.

Although this DIY concoction is certainly safe for you and your family members, it will effectively repel spiders.

4. Termites

This provider of pest control Port St. Lucie, points out that termites cause $5 billion worth of damage to homeowners in the United States each year. Ouch.

Fortunately, you can take some steps to keep your home from falling victim to termites.

These include having leaky faucets repaired and keeping your downpipes and gutters clean. Also, avoid having too many plants inside your home.

With termites, the best method for controlling these insects is prevention.

5. Cockroaches

If you like beer, you’re about to learn something that will make you love this fizzy beverage even more.

Cockroaches are another major offender when it comes to breaking into homes across the United States. But you can repel them with an old-fashioned can of brewski.

Just pour half of a cup of beer onto a saucer, and place the saucer on the floor near a cockroach entry point.

A sneaky cockroach may end up partying all night with your complimentary beer, and it’ll be good and drunk by the morning. That’s perfect for you, as it’ll have a hard time scurrying away when you’re ready to remove it. #partytimeisover

How We Can Help

I offer a wide range of tips and even coupons to help you to save money and live a more fulfilling life with your family.

Contact me to learn more about how the information and deals I offer can add value to your life this year.

5 Reasons Your Home Needs a Regular Pest Inspection

home pest inspection

You keep your home squeaky clean and spotless, so you might expect that pests wouldn’t be an issue.

What you may not realize is that pests in the home can be a problem even for a well-kept house. Because pests can find their way into your home for all sorts of reasons, you need a home pest inspection to assess your home and address any possible pest problems.

Pest infestations may not be obvious, but this doesn’t mean they’re not there. Read on to learn five reasons you should have your home inspected for pests regularly.

1. Home Treatments May Not Cut It

Though it’s tempting to buy pest control treatments and equipment and try to tackle the job on your own, you could be missing more than you’re hitting. Most of the time, treatments purchased from the store or home remedies can only treat what you can see. This can lead you to believe you have eliminated the problem when the source and bulk of the pest infestation is hidden.

Because many pests have vast colonies or extensive nests in places you can’t easily see, it’s necessary to have a home pest inspection done by a professional. They’ll know where to look and what signs indicate pest invasion.

2. Pests Can Damage Your Property

Most pests end up in your home because they are seeking a food source. When their food source happens to be your belongings and property, massive amounts of damage can be done.

Various termites and carpenter ants are notorious for damaging a home’s structure, as they love wood and sheetrock paper. These pests hide inside walls, causing a lot of costly damage well before you ever know they’re there.

Other bugs, such as silverfish and carpet beetles, are drawn to organic fibers. This makes them especially attracted to upholstered furniture, clothing items, towels, blankets, and sheets.

These are only a few pests that can move in and destroy your home and belongings.

3. Health Risks from Pest Exposure

The general population enjoys a clean, healthy life because of improved healthcare, sanitary conditions, and good pest control.

Many pests are capable of carrying detrimental diseases. A few examples of these diseases are:

  • Lyme disease carried by ticks
  • West Nile Virus and Zika by mosquitoes
  • Hantavirus by rodents

A home pest inspection can ensure that you’re not living with pests that could spread a serious disease to you.

4. Food Safety

Food can make your home very attractive for pests such as:

Even if your kitchen is clean, these pests can make their way in, spoiling your food. Home gardens are affected also. Garden pests such as aphids can hinder the growth of fruit and vegetables.

5. Prevention is Key

Pest inspections are all about finding pests before they become a problem. If there aren’t visible pests, an inspector will be able to tell if you’ve got unwanted guests hiding out in your house.

Pest control is a must, no matter where you live. For a pest free home, look for:

  • Local pest control businesses
  • Pest control Tampa for the Tampa area
  • Pest control with many years of experience
  • Pest control that offers an inspection

Prevent damage and infestation before they become an expensive problem.

Get a Home Pest Inspection Regularly

Having your home checked on a regular basis could mean the difference between a well-maintained, damage-free home and one that is falling apart and crawling with pests.

For more great information and helpful tips, please explore our other posts.

8 Essential Tips for Planning a Family Cruise

family cruise

A cruise with your loved ones is a once in a lifetime experience for many that they will cherish forever. But if you’ve traveled with your family before, you know how hectic that experience can be.

It’s important to have a plan in place so your family cruise sails as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when planning your cruise.

Have a Discussion

Even if you are the primary vacation planner in your family, it’s important to involve everyone in your cruise decision. You don’t want anyone to be unhappy while you’re trying to have the time of your lives.

Talk to your family about where you want to set sail. Do you want to cruise around the Caribbean or Central America? Maybe you prefer a cruise through the Mediterranean? Or perhaps you want an Alaskan adventure.

You might even want to take a river or lake cruise, like what Wayzata Bay Charters offer.

Keep in mind that the destination you are cruising to will heavily influence the duration of your cruise. Make sure that everyone is available for the dates that you end up choosing.

Choose When and Where Wisely

Deciding on where to cruise can be relatively easy, because a lot of people have dream destinations in mind. But figuring out when to go might be more tricky.

It may make sense for you and your family to set sail in the summertime when the kids are off at school and things may be relatively slow at your job. But this is when cruise costs are at their highest.

Depending on the cruise line you book, you may end up saving half the cost if you decide to go in the offseason. But this offseason does depend on where your destination is.

If you’re sailing to a place like Alaska, you may not be able to book a cruise for certain times of the year. Make sure you do your research so you’re not paying an exorbitant amount of money unnecessarily.

Watch Out For Deals

There are always deals and discounts available through cruise lines and travel agents, especially for a family cruise. If you’re traveling with children, you may be able to receive a hefty discount or possibly free travel on certain dates.

You will likely be able to save a lot of money if you’re able to book the cruise far ahead of time. Your flight to the port you will be leaving from will also probably be much cheaper.

This is not always possible, especially for large families, but the earlier you plan your trip, the less it will cost you in the long run. This is a great way to ensure that your vacation stays under budget.

Focus on a Family-Friendly Atmosphere

The important thing to take note of is not all cruise lines are exclusively family-friendly. The reality is that if you attempt to book a lower cost cruise line during Spring Break season, you’re going to run into some partiers.

Do some research into cruise lines that tout a family-friendly atmosphere so everyone in your family feels comfortable. Some of these lines will have special themes or experiences that will keep kids and adults entertained.

The idea behind a family-friendly cruise experience is that everyone has something to do. If your kids get bored while on the boat or at port, it’s going to be hard for anybody to have a good time.

Plan Your Excursions

Excursions are an essential part of the cruise experience, and one that not enough families plan for ahead of time. Did you know that in most cases, you can start booking excursions as soon as your reserve your cruise?

This way you will be able to choose from the wide range of options that your cruise line offers. If you wait until the last minute, you won’t have that luxury.

Common excursion offerings include snorkeling, scuba diving, tours, and more. Choose an excursion that highlights the unique appeal of the locale you will be visiting.

If your cruise line allows it, you may be able to book excursions through a third-party service. This can be a great way to save money. Just make sure that you research the company ahead of time to make sure they are reputable.

Furthermore, you’ll likely need to keep track of time yourself while on a third-party excursion, so make sure you get back to your boat in time. You don’t want to be stuck in port!

Spend Time Together and Apart

The best thing about a cruise is that you’ll have ample time to spend quality time with your loved ones. You should take advantage of that time as much as possible. But being together in close quarters can start to get trying after a couple days.

That’s why most cruise lines offer kid-friendly and adults-only areas of the ship, so every member of your family can get some time to do things for themselves. Give your kids some time to socialize while you relax at a private pool.

Then, meet up later for dinner and catch an evening show. You can be as flexible with your schedule as you want!

Talk About Safety

Cruises are generally very safe, but it’s still important to have a conversation with your family about making smart decisions. Pay attention to the safety debriefing before you set sail.

You may not have cell phone access, so make sure you designate a meeting spot on the boat in case one of you gets lost. Keep track of your family and your belongings when you’re at port.

In some area, tourists are targeted for petty crimes, so you should make sure you stick together when you’re off the boat.

Stay Organized on Your Family Cruise

The key to having a fantastic family cruise is to stay as organized as possible. It’s okay to be flexible, but make sure you have a plan in place so you don’t waste any time!

Do you have any stories about your family cruise? Share it with us in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more money-saving tips.

How to Promote Your Business on a Budget

promote your business

Typically, experts recommend that small businesses spend about 7 to 8 percent of their total revenue on advertising.

Of course, for small businesses that are just starting and trying to get by, this can be a huge use of resources. In other cases, if you’re just starting, 7-8% of your revenue might not be much money at all.

Luckily, there are ways that you can promote your business, even on a shoestring budget. The key to spend your money in a smart way so that each dollar goes farther. This will help build your brand recognition and loyal customer base.

Ready to get started? Here are the tips you need.

Promotional Items

It is simply a fact of life that people like free stuff. Giving people free stuff with your company’s name or logo on it can be a good way to familiarize them with your brand. Also, when they use the item, they will be reminded of your business, or remind others.

Pens, notebooks, t-shirts, and custom buttons are all items you can give away for free to increase brand recognition. You can also get creative with where you go to give away the items. Festivals, bars, and other community sites are good options.

Blogging and Social Media

It costs little to no money to publish engaging content on your blog. Writing posts that cover content that will interest your key audience is a good way to improve SEO and drive traffic.

Also, you can share this content on social media as a way to boost your engagement on these channels.

Get Listed on Google

Another key to getting customers to notice your business online is to get listed on Google’s business directory. This will make it easier for customers to find your business on searches, as well as on Google Maps.

This strategy is even important for brick-and-mortar businesses, as most people conduct online research before visiting a business in person.

Attend Networking Events

Your local chamber of commerce or small business association likely hosts meetups for business owners in the area.

This can be a great way to learn from others in your industry. It can also help connect you with potential clients who may be able to make use of your services.

Build an Email List

Contacting prospects via email can be an effective way to make sure they are informed about your business, and that they don’t forget your business.

Consider following up with past customers to promote repeat business. You can also follow up with leads collected from subscription lists or networking events.

Promote Your Business on a Budget Today

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to promote your business successfully, even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with.

Whether you’re a local shop or a small home-based business, you can use these strategies to build your customer base.

Do you have a small business that you promote on a small budget? What strategies do you use? Let us know in the comments!

How to Start a Salon Business from Home

salon business

Are you a haircare professional looking to start a salon business from your home? If so, we don’t blame you–there are a lot of benefits from opening your own business from home, from being your own boss to the convenience of being in your own space. But opening your own salon business requires money, industry knowledge, and a readiness to take care the paperwork, policies, and protocols required for a business.

In this article, we’ll cover the ins-and-outs of opening your own salon business so you can set yourself up for success!

How to Set Up Your Own Salon Business from Home

Running a business from home can be great, but it does require a lot of planning and preparation. Here are some key things you need to do before opening your own salon business from home.

Register Your Business

Before you can start providing haircare services, you need to register your business with the local government and choose your business’s legal structure. You then will have to register with your state and apply for a federal tax ID number. You should keep in mind that there may be limits on what you can name your business and that you’ll need to pick a legal structure like LLC to make sure your assets are protected in case your business ever faces bankruptcy or legal issues.

Obtain the Necessary Licenses & Permits

The licenses, permits, and insurance you’ll need will differ by location, so make sure to check your local government website to see what’s required for your salon business. You may also need to get a special cosmetology license or additional ones if you want to provide other beauty services like nails or hair removal. You should allow between 9 to 12 months to complete any cosmetology program.

When I doubt, check your local government’s website. That way you’ll know if you need other things like business owner’s insurance policy or a home occupation permit or other health and safety permits.

Make Sure Your Space Meets Local Codes

If you want to start a salon business from home, you have to make sure it meets your local codes for businesses. Your town or city may require that you have a permanent wall between the part of your home you live in and the main salon area. They may also require that your salon has a separate entrance and even a separate restroom specifically for customers.

If your salon space can’t offer these things, you may need to do renovations to meet these local codes. But don’t worry, you can always apply for a business loan or try to find a partner to help finance your renovations.

Purchase the Proper Equipment

First things first, you’re going to need a wet station so you shampoo and condition clients’ hair. This space will also be essential if you plan to offer coloring services. After that, you’ll need salon chairs, which cost between $100 to $300 on average.

You’ll also need salon pro equipment like hair dryers and color processors, as well as standard beauty supplies like razors, scissors, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, hair gel, and other haircare essentials.

Budgeting is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining inventory since you’ll be replacing it regularly. Make sure to look for hair care brands your clients will trust, and buy the necessary products for any additional services you offer like coloring and extensions.

Design Your Space

Once you have the proper equipment and inventory, you can get to the fun part: decorating the space! Your salon should reflect your personal style while still being inviting for clients. While the major design ideas are up to you, make sure have things like large mirrors, reception area chairs, and shelving for equipment and any retail items you’re selling.

Not sure how to design your home salon? Here are some design tips:

  • Visit other salons to get design ideas
  • Use neutral colors for walls, window treatments, and flooring
  • Add pops of color to the space through decor, wall art, and rugs
  • Consider additional amenities like a coffee machine, coat rack, and other waiting area accommodations

By following these tips, you can create a warm and inviting space that will attract clients and lend credibility to your business.

Set Up a Website

Now that you have your salon space, you need to spread awareness about it! You should have a salon website that provides address and contact information, highlights your space, and explains the services you can provide. Try to follow local SEO best practices to make your website appear higher in search results, so customers can easily find your website.

Establish a Social Media Presence

A website isn’t enough when it comes to spreading awareness. You also need to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to spread the word and promote your brand and services. Make sure to update these profiles regularly, connect with clients and potential clients, and encourage them to spread the word about your business.

Figure Out Pricing

Making a profit is the make or break point of any salon business. You should calculate your prices based on things like overhead costs, competitive rates, and operating expenses. Think about how much you spend on things like products, equipment, and utilities, and make sure you can cover these costs while maintaining a profit of at least 10 to 20%.

Decide on Services

When opening a salon, you should absolutely know what services your target audience is looking for and how they align with what you want to offer. You should always offer services like cuts, washes, and basic styling, but if you live in a wealthier area you may want to consider adding high end services.

If your skill set doesn’t match the demographics of the people in your area, consider additional training to make sure you can provide what customers are looking for. By offering services like coloring and extensions you can add variety to your offering, which will broaden your clientele and drive greater sales.

Final Thoughts on Starting Your Own Salon Business

Starting your own business isn’t easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding (and profitable) if done right. By following the tips in this article, you can set yourself up for success and make it big as a business owner.

Are you hoping to open your business at home? Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments!

5 Tips on Finding the Best Deals on Home Repair

home repair

Are you tired of overpaying for home repair projects?

If you have ever had a bad experience with a contractor or overspent on materials, then you know what we’re talking about.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together 5 ways you can save on your next home project. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Do Your Research

If you’re looking to save a few dollars on your next home repair project, you need to be sure you do your research.

Depending on the type of repair, you will have to search for a certified professional to do the job.

Make sure you don’t go into it blind. Research how much the repair typically costs, how long it takes to get it done, and if there are any permits you should acquire.

2. Get Multiple Estimates

The last thing you want to do is overpay a contractor. Ensure you get multiple estimates before you commit to one of them.

Don’t just look at the dollar sign when you see an estimate. Look at what they’re offering you and how long it will take to get the home repair done. Ask them if they have insurance and their licenses are up to date.

You also don’t want to pay for a contractor to give you an estimate. Southeastern Foundation & Crawlspace Repair offers you free estimates.

3. Read the Contract Carefully

Once you pick the right person for the job, make sure you get a contract stating all of the terms of the repair.

Make sure the contract states the job that will be done, all of the materials the contractor is expected to use, and the price breakdown.

The contract should also state the terms of what would happen if one of the parties defaults on the terms.

4. Consider DIY Repairs

Although you might not want to get your hands dirty, sometimes you need to do it yourself in order to save on repairs.

If the repair is simple enough and doesn’t require a licensed professional, it’s possible to do it yourself.

Buying the material at a home improvement store might also be more economical than going through a contractor.

5. Look Into Government Rebates & Tax Credits

If you didn’t save as much money as you would like on home repairs, not all is lost. You can still get a great deal on your home repairs if you seek government rebates.

The government gives tax breaks for qualifying home improvements that increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Some of the home improvements include:

  • Insulation, doors windows, and roofs
  • Water heater
  • heater and air conditioning systems
  • Solar energy

Keep in mind you might get more tax credits for some repairs over others.

Save on Your Next Home Repair Project

It’s possible to find the best deal on your home repairs if you do your research, try some DIY, and you get some tax credits.

If you enjoyed these tips, we have more where these came from. To read about 10 Affordable Remodeling Ideas for Your Home, click here.

Tips to Help You Open Your Own Online Boutique Today

open your own online boutique today

Having a great product to sell is awesome, but selling it can be frustrating. You have to rent a space, buy the furniture for the store, and hire staff to help you manage the store.

That already sounds exhausting! But what would you say if you could do it all today without all those extra logistics?

Well, it’s possible! With the technology available today you can get started now. Open your own online boutique today with the tips fleshed out below.

Choose Your Products

To get on track to open your own online boutique today you need to start deciding what products you want to sell. Find products that people are looking for or are on trend. Try to cater to a specific niche with your products.

After you find these products, take amazing pictures of them. Find a white background and bright lighting to ensure high-quality pictures. If possible, try to record some video of your products as well.

When you are done taking pictures of your products, start writing up your product descriptions. Include measurements and special features. If it is relevant, include the materials your products are made of.

Get Your Finances in Check

You need to map out your budget before you open your online boutique today. Decide how much you will spend on getting your products, setting up your website, and shipping costs.

Make sure you know what bills you will need to spend and what days you will need to pay them. Understand that if you have a website, you will need to pay to maintain it and to update it regularly.

Getting the word out about your online boutique will be crucial to the business. Decide up front if you will be paying for marketing to be done or if you will be doing it yourself.

Set up Your Website

The next step to open your online boutique today is setting up your website. Make sure that your site design is organized and easy to navigate, as this aspect will help customers decide your credibility.

Since people will be purchasing products on your site, you’ll want to make sure it’s secure. Update your website regularly to ensure that it stays secure. And work on getting your site SSL certified.

Purchase your domain name and create one that is relevant to your boutique. This is what customers will be looking for on the web. Before you launch your site, test it. Make sure all of the pages load effectively. If your website takes too long to load it may cause customers to navigate away from it.

If you’re not sure what design would be best for your online boutique, look at other online stores. Note what you like and don’t like about the sites of other businesses and use them as inspiration for your own. Yizzam is a creative online website for buying t-shirts and is a great example to look at. Check it out here for more info.

Get on Social Media

To help extend your reach, meet your customers on social media. Ask potential customers what social media platforms they are on.

Then start creating accounts on those platforms. You won’t need to be on every platform, just the ones that matter.

Create relevant content that includes the products that will make users want to see you on their timelines. Post on social media weekly to keep up with trends.

Make sure your social media accounts look the same as your website. All pictures and posts should have the same branding as your website. This will increase brand recognition.

Organize Your Checkout

Since you will be selling things in your online boutique you’ll want to create an efficient checkout process.

Give the option for users to check out as a guest with just their email. Having users create an account can be pushy and may deter them from making a purchase. Simply getting their email will still help with marketing tactics later on.

If you want to start out simple and don’t want to spend time making a whole checkout process now, consider using Google Checkout or PayPal for your business. As these can be easier alternatives.

Set up Stores on Other Sites

After creating a website for your online boutique, start setting up smaller stores on other sites. This can help extend the reach of your products even further.

There are many users on online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Create an account on these and put a few of your products for sale. In the bio of your account direct them to your website.

These smaller stores will help you channel more users to your website and start building brand loyalty right away.

Learn About Your Customers

It’s important that you continue to learn about your customers. Use Google analytics for your website to help you understand how customers are interacting with it. Try changing some of your tactics based on how your customers behave and see if your site improves.

Take a look at your social media accounts and the analytics behind it. This will help you create an effective strategy for what you post and when.

Organize monthly checks of the analytics to observe how your online boutique is growing or suffering.

Start a Blog After You Open Your Own Online Boutique Today

After more of the pressing setup is completed, dedicate one page of your online boutique website to a blog. This will help increase your website’s search engine optimization gradually.

Start writing articles on topics that people are looking for. Choose a few relevant keywords and incorporate them into your content.

By optimizing your site for search engines, you’ll help put your site on the radar of customers and increase your traffic.

By creating a blog, you’ll also be helping your customers with problems they have. Thus adding value to their lives. This can also help your boutique’s credibility.

Optimize for Mobile

Currently, about 1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to shop online globally. Being able to access your website through smartphones is a must. If you’re going to open your own online boutique today, it needs to be accessible by mobile.

When creating your website, test its accessibility on your phone first before launching it. If you are using a site like WordPress or Wix, select their options for optimizing mobile.

More Business Tips

So there you have it! You’re ready to start building your online boutique store. Don’t stop here though. Keep researching best practices and other technology that can help.

Being a part of the e-commerce world means constantly improving and growing. For more tips on how to start your own thrifty businesses check out our page.