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Get to Know the Three Best Districts in Ho Chi Minh City to Invest In

July 03, 2018

Vietnam is known not just for its rich history, vibrant culture, and gorgeous landscapes and tourist attractions – it’s also known these days for its amazing real estate opportunities that more and more foreign investors are getting into.

Here are the three best districts in Ho Chi Minh City for a foreign investor, such as yourself, to invest in premium pieces of real estate, and possibly, a great deal on a piece of property for sale:

District 1

District 1 is considered to be the busiest district and the very center of Ho Chi Minh City, and because this district is the country’s commercial, financial, and business hub, you can see a lot of foreign owned properties located in this district in Vietnam property launch portal. Expect that property values for real estate here can be some of the highest in the whole city, if not all of Vietnam.

You can see a lot of offices and skyscrapers dotting the skyline, with several premium condominium and apartment units close by.

This district is also known for its backpacker area, with hundreds of guesthouses and hostels of different degrees of quality, which is around Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien Street.
Other notable places in this district include the following:

• Nguyen Hue Street (a lively street where locals come out to hang with their friends or grab ice cream and snacks after hours),
• Le Thanh Ton Street (commonly known as “Japan Town” because of the large Japanese community living here), and:
• the Saigon Center in Le Loi Boulevard (recently opened in 2016, complete with all kinds of local and foreign brands, as well as different restaurants)

District 2

Located on the other side of the Saigon River, District 2 also has some of the best international facilities in the whole country, and can be a really desirable place for expats and foreign investors to live and invest in with the number of restaurants, malls, and high-rise tower blocks alongside avenues of street food restaurants and hawker stalls.

The more laid-back atmosphere of Thao Dien is a welcome break from the hectic chaos of being in the downtown areas, and you can head on over to 188 Nguyen Van Huong to find all kinds of live music events, flea markets, and craft beer festivals going on.

Other notable places in D2 include the following:

• Family Garden (a great place for the whole family to get in touch with nature, complete with vegetable patches and flower beds, as well as animals that you can pet);
• BiaCraft Artisan Ales (one of the pioneers who brought craft beer in Vietnam, offering locally produced beers, ciders, and a menu of meaty side dishes and snacks)

District 4

The district’s unique location makes it its own “island”, formed by the Saigon River on one side, and two canals on the other.

It’s because of this that the district is famous for its abundance of fresh seafood and great finds if you’re into fresh seafood cuisine in Vietnam – in fact, many of the country’s fish hauls land on this district first – and it’s also just one boat ride away from the downtown area of District 1, so you’ll never miss out on any of the action.

District 4 also has its own lively nightlife scene, and many expats and tourist often head to this district to get a taste of the delicious local eats that the country has to offer.
Other notable places in District 4 where most of for-sale properties you see at www.propertylaunch.vn are located include:

• Vinh Kanh Street (this road snakes through the heart of the district and lights up with all kinds of restaurants and eateries that offer almost anything you can imagine, from local seafood to hamburgers);
• The Observatory, located at 5 Nguyen Tat Tan Street (one of the best dance venues the country has to offer if you’re looking to party with live DJ’s well into the early morning)

Now that you have an idea of the different places in the country, you now have the chance to look more into where you want to make your investment of a lifetime. When you do, be sure to contact the developer or landlord and get in touch with them, and see the place firsthand.
What are you waiting for? Invest now!

The Pros and Cons of a CCTV System

June 01, 2018

One of the most recent advancements in modern technology has to be the creation of the CCTV camera system. Here in Singapore, you may have noticed CCTV installations in public places, installed to prevent crime and uphold peace on the island. There are many benefits to CCTV technology, such as added security, to the point that we can see much of it used here in Singapore, in offices, houses, and public places. But as with any piece of helpful technology, CCTV camera systems have its own drawbacks, due to irresponsible usage.

If you’re thinking about installing a CCTV system in your home or office, you might be thinking about weighing the pros and cons of a CCTV camera. After all, there are a lot of valid concerns against a CCTV system. Here we look at all the advantages and disadvantages of a CCTV system, to guide your choice on whether to purchase one or not.

Pros
1. Heightened monitoring
The main purpose of a CCTV system is giving you the ability to see everything that happens in an area. With the push of a button, an officer can easily rewind the tape to aid in an investigation, have a secured doorway control program in Singapore, or a mom could check the feed to check up on the family cat. Rather than just lessening crime, there are also other practical things that a monitoring system can let you do, both in the workplace and in the home.

In a company workplace, an office camera can boost productivity. With the ability to monitor your employees, you have an accurate record as well as evidence about the daily habits of your employees. You can also monitor the punctuality of your employees. With a CCTV camera, you have a record of when an employee arrives or leaves. With video evidence, which can give you a good idea of why an employee is habitually late and how best to avoid it.

At home, a CCTV system can help you locate items that have been misplaced. Short of proving that someone came in and stole an item, you can use a monitoring system to prove if it was you who misplaced an item, or if someone else in the house took it for themselves. No more walking around trying to trace your steps, making a mess while trying to look for your keys or wallet. You could easily check the records to find them in no time. You can also check up on other members of the family, including pets.

2. Maintain records
If something interesting happened in your own backyard, you always have a record of it. Whether it’s a crime or simply something that you would like to be reminded of, such as the face of a new neighbor, you could easily consult your CCTV records. Since a CCTV can organize information systematically, you wouldn’t even have to worry too much about going through records and will be able to find your clip easily.

IP CCTV such as Singapore http://www.secureoffice.sg/cctv/ can even give you more access to your records. Since an IP camera is designed to be accessed over the internet, you can check your records even if you’re on the road, and view footage in real-time.

3. Lessen crime
In the UK, CCTV has been shown to reduce crime by up to 50%, closing half more cases than they would have without the use of a security camera. CCTVs can undoubtedly help reduce crime rates not just in public areas, but also in private spaces, such as homes and offices. While the UK often use more expensive IP CCTV, you may still lessen crime with a good analog camera.

An analog camera is still a good alternative especially if you’re tight on budget, or if you’re simply securing a small private space, like a home or office. While an IP camera has a few benefits over analog, such as heightened resolution and remote access, it may be a bit too much for the average homeowner.

Cons
1. Can make people uncomfortable and breach privacy
Here in Singapore, there are a lot of people who are not comfortable with a security camera, and it’s not hard to see why. Having your actions monitored 24/7 can make people feel anxious. It may raise issues of trust and privacy, especially in private spaces. In professional environments as well as within homes, it can stir controversy and be offensive to the people being monitored.

2. Vulnerable
Even the most expensive IP camera isn’t 100% safe. As with any piece of technology, there are still vulnerabilities in a CCTV system, which can be a huge deterrent to anyone planning to invest in a system. Criminals, with enough determination and know-how, can disable or access your CCTV system. However, it should be noted that there are still a lot of steps you can take to keep your system safe from tampering, such as getting your model from a trusted manufacturer or making sure that all connections are closed off and secure.

3. Unable to stop crime
While CCTV systems have been shown to lessen criminal activity and raise the probability of wrong-doers being caught, CCTV cameras are still just that: cameras. It can only record the crime as it happens. It will be unable to do anything about it, unlike an alarm system which can alert the proper authorities. Therefore, CCTV cameras aren’t very effective in stopping crime as it happens; you will need to pair it with other security systems, such as an alarm system, to make sure that you are fully protected from crime.

Coffee Carts: The New Best Way to Get Your Coffee Fix for Any Event

May 17, 2018

Do you love your coffee but hate having to line up or waiting too long for your favorite energy boost? If so, you might consider hiring a mobile coffee caterer to get the most out of your coffee breaks.

When it comes to coffee, you need not just quality, but also quantity and service – and these are some of the few reasons why you need a coffee catering service for all your needs.

What’s in a Coffee Break?
A great coffee break is one that you can get without having to wait in line for too long to get your cup of mocha, cappuccino, or latte. Instead, the time spent waiting is time spent enjoying the experience of a warm cup of exceptional coffee.

And when you’re sipping a cup of great coffee, you’ll know that there’s no need for sugar or other kinds of artificial sweeteners to get the full, rich taste of freshly roasted and ground coffee beans that you know and love.

Great coffee breaks with a cappuccino serving push cart in Singapore should also be in a light, roomy environment where people can walk around, stretch their legs, and chat. Breaks can also be refreshing with a side helping of dessert, especially if people will be getting hungry and tired during the event.

Why Get a Coffee Cart?
Fast service is key to making sure events go as smoothly as possible, especially if they take a while. And along with fast service comes quality and quantity to ensure that everyone gets an amazing blend – all of which are things a mobile coffee catering service can offer.

Having a coffee cart also spices any gathering, whether it’s public or private. Here are a few events that can surely benefit from having a coffee catering service:

• Conferences – A good coffee break keeps everyone awake and alert, and when access to great coffee is nearby, it also keeps delegates from wandering off too far or waiting too long in line.
For large events with a hundred or more delegates, you may need to hire two baristas to make sure that everyone consistently gets an amazing specialty drink.

• Public Events – It’s always good to attract a crowd with a mobile coffee cart. Because attendees and event organizers will always be on their feet all the time, having a trusted mobile coffee cart not only makes the event better, but it also grabs guests’ attention longer.
It also helps you as an exhibitor to include a coffee push cart along with your exhibition, as it helps build brand awareness with clients by tying quality coffee, and by extension quality services and products, to your brand and logo.

• Gala Dinners – Adding freshly-brewed espresso to any fancy gala dinner automatically gives it an added aura of luxury. Rather than your standard coffee-maker and tea, these energizing beverages when served hot and fresh can truly improve the mood and make any gala dinners something new entirely.

• Weddings – Hiring a coffee push cart isn’t just for public events. In fact, there’s nothing quite like ending a wedding ceremony with great cup of coffee to give your guests a night to remember.

Of course, drinks aren’t the only things coffee carts can offer. When you have guests, delegates, or clientele that are tired and hungry from a long day, coffee catering also provides a sweet side treat to go along with the fresh roast.

When you hire a coffee caterer, you get more than just the cart. You can also choose to rent an automatic coffee machine if you’re looking for some great-tasting blends while not pushing it on your budget.

Renting an automatic coffee machine from the coffee cart of your choice is now easier than ever because of their new self-cleaning feature – all you have to do is top the beans and throw away the grounds once the container is full.

Hiring and Payment Plans
Hiring a coffee cart business for your event is a lot easier when the business itself is flexible enough to meet your requirements. To get started, you will need to provide the following factors before you can get a quote:

• Event duration – The minimum call is one hour, but this can vary depending on the type of business you request from. It also depends on how long you will need the mobile coffee going for the rest of the day, or if you need it for more than one day.

• Number of people or cups – You may need to hire more than one barista if you plan on serving a large amount of people for a public event, gathering, conference, or especially an exposition where you need to draw in a large number of people.

• Location – Most mobile catering services that serve coffee are happy to travel to any location in Singapore as long as the catering service has access to two 13-amp power sockets (normal power outlets used in most households and offices).

If you’re not sure how you can get a quote for the mobile catering, you can usually look up the caterer’s contact details on their website, as well as their types of coffee, the coffee machines they use, etc.

There’s every reason to spice up your public and private gatherings with a mobile coffee caterer. With high-quality beans, top-of-the-line coffee machinery, and amazing expert baristas bringing coffee to your event, a great experience will always be coming with every cup.

What are you waiting for? Contact one today!

What to Do Before Renting an Apartment in Saigon

May 11, 2018

Saigon apartment rental can be a daunting task. After all, Saigon is one of the biggest cities in Vietnam, and there can be so many rental choices to choose from, all of which have a lot of considerations you have to keep in mind of. How will you choose between all the districts of Ho Chi Minh City? Will you choose to rent apartment in Saigon, or will you opt for a villa rental instead? As HCMC is a huge city, there are many things that you will need to do in order to make sure that your stay is the best that it can be.
Know the Districts

Before anything else, you will need to keep in mind the number of listings that you can expect to see from every district. Most listings to help you rent apartment at HCMC are commonly from four districts, namely Districts 1, 2, 3, and 7. Condominium rental in district 1, D1 for example, wouldn’t have a lot of listings. This is because district 1 is a crowded district, due to its boisterous and lively atmosphere. If you would find a listing here, it may tend to be on the upper limits of your budget. However, if you can afford it, and the vibrancy of the district does not bother you, District 1 can be the perfect spot for you.

If you choose to rent a place in D3, you have quite a number of better options. D2 is a quieter district compared to District 1 and has what is often referred to as suburban atmosphere. It’s a good compromise for people who would like a bit of peace and quiet yet still near shopping malls, tourist spots and important offices in D1. You are sure to find a lot of good options at Saigon condominium rental agency whether you are looking for an affordable apartment or a posh condo unit.

If Districts 1 and 3 aren’t the right place for you, you could always choose to look for an apartment rental in D2. D2 is perfect for families, as it has some of the best international schools in Vietnam. Here you could also find malls, parks, and less congested traffic. You would find a lot of opportunities to rent a house here or find a listing for a villa rental.

Of course, you could also always choose to stay at D7. For a lot of people, D7 can seem like a different world entirely, due to its zoning and planning. Here you would find a lot of high-rise buildings, as well as large spacious parks that are perfect for families or simply to just lounge around in. There are also a lot of malls and cafes in this district. Due to its layout, this district has large roads, relatively quiet neighborhoods, and a lack of traffic congestion, as well as pollution. You may also find a lot of listings to rent a house here in D7 or choose from one of many listings for a villa rental.

Do You Research Early

While knowing the districts is already half the battle, you will also need to brush up on a lot of other things to know about apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City. Trying to find good apartments for rent at District 2 and any other districts in Saigon can be challenging but definitely worth the effort. This research may take the form of internet searches, as well as reading up on books and magazines. You could find more in-depth information about how it is to stay in each district by interviewing one of the locals living in Saigon. Perhaps you know a friend of a friend or someone who used to stay there not so far back.

Aside from talking to locals, you can also start to contact agents a week before your move. A good time frame to start contacting agents early is about a week or two before your actual stay begins. This is so that you can get a feel for your apartment, just in case you’re having last-minute concerns about the place. This is also a good way to get to know the neighborhood, and scout out important sports such as the nearest grocery store, convenience store, hospitals and cafes. Plus, you may even get a chance to meet your new neighbors.

Know What You Need

Knowing what you need is an important thing to factor when moving to Vietnam. Just as it is important to understand what your apartment can give you, it is also important to understand what you need from it. Everyone has different needs for their apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City. For example, some people couldn’t live without a Wifi connection, while others need to have a quiet neighborhood. For others, having a spacious kitchen or a large bathroom is what is important to them.

A good and systematic way to go about this is listing down all the things that you would need to have in your rental. This can be anything from a close proximity to a mall, or large windows. From that list, choose the top three things that you absolutely cannot live without, and make sure that you’re honest and practical about it. Remember to talk to everyone else who is moving to the apartment with you, and create a compromise about what you would need to prioritize when you rent apartment in Saigon.

Of course, you should also remember that while there are many listings for apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City, you will have to compromise on some things. You may not get all the things that you prioritize on your list, but chances are, you’ll grow to love your place when you rent apartment in HCMC.

8 Ways You’re Damaging Your Clothes During Laundry

May 08, 2018

Your everyday washing method may be keeping your clothes clean and disinfected at all times, but are you sure it is the appropriate way to clean them without causing damage to the fabric? If you’re not sure, you may want to take a look at some of the most common laundering mistakes that most of us are guilty of doing.

1. Incorrect Use of the Machines
If you choose to go to a self-service 24 hour laundry in Singapore, make sure you read the instructions on how to use the machines properly. Commercial washing machines in laundry service shops are bigger and more sophisticated than the washers used at home, but they also come with a lot of problems.

You need to know how much water is needed and which type of detergent should be used. Using the dryer is also different from using the washer, as well as knowing how to set the right temperature when ironing or pressing clothes. As for steam-cleaning, remember the recommended temperatures for specific materials to avoid burning the items.

2. No Stain Treatment
Most commercial laundry services in Singapore will pre-treat stains before washing your clothes, because this will make the cleaning process more effective. If there are stains remaining after washing, the staff will continue treating the stain before drying, because letting the stain dry can make it more difficult to remove. Avoid drying clothes with stains because it will set the stain permanently on the fabric.

3. Wrong Drying Method
One technique of drying your clothes fast in the dryer if you’re in a 24 hour wash and iron clothes shop in Singapore is to run back-to-back dryer loads. This will allow you to take advantage of the heat that has been maintained for several loads. Make sure to follow instructions when drying clothes because you cannot load the same number of items in the dryer as in the washer.

4. Using Too Much Bleach
Although there are colorsafe bleaches available for colored or dyed clothes, you should avoid using bleach as much as possible. Commercial laundry services will also advise you that bleaching can only be done if the stain is too difficult to remove using detergent alone. Even stains made from protein such as blood and sweat will not need bleaching in most cases, unless the stain has been dried for several days. Laundry pick up services will not bleach your items unless you specifically instruct them to, because it can deteriorate the fabric when done too often.

5. Wrong Ironing Method
Heat will cause some fabrics to shrink or stretch, that is why you should use only the recommended ironing settings for specific fabrics, especially with uniform laundry that are prone to wear and tear.

6. Washing Dry-Clean Clothes
Clothes that are labeled dry-clean only should never be soaked in water or cleaned with water-based detergent, but some labels can be misleading. For example, if the label says dry clean, it means that the clothing can still be hand-washed and air-dried, although the laundry delivery services will always opt for the dry cleaning method if you ask them.

7. Washing Spot-Clean Fabrics
Spot-clean fabrics are common in some linen and upholstery, because they cannot be cleaned using both water-based detergent and dry cleaning solvent. The best cleaning method is to use an upholstery cleaner or the foam of a mild detergent on a stubborn stain.

8. Washing in Hot Water
Use hot water only if you need to sanitize clothing, because even laundry for spa and towel washing should not be done frequently using hot water. Most fabrics will eventually deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures.

The best tip we can probably share is to read your clothing’s care label. The care label states all the cleaning methods you can use on your clothing without damaging the quality of the piece.

A Beginner’s Guide to Different Kinds of Rings

May 03, 2018

The ring you give to your partner, whether it’s a wedding ring or an engagement ring, is not just a symbol of your love – it’s also an expression of your personal tastes. The many different styles means that there’s always a choice for you. If you don’t know what kind of ring to choose, then this guide is for you to help you get started.

Styles

1. Plain – This is the classic choice for most people in Singapore who would like to opt for simplicity – less is more, after all, and simplicity can be quite elegant in itself.

Rings can be made from an abundance of metals, from platinum, palladium, to even alloys containing gold, copper, silver, tin, or even other less-picked metals such as zirconium and titanium. Plain rings are also perfect if you want to have a special message engraved whether inside or outside the ring.

2. Two-Metal – The two-metal, or multi-metal ring, comes in different alloys, but what makes them different is that they are two separate bands of metal crafted together (either one on top of the other or side-by-side), using specialized equipment.

What makes this kind of ring even more special is that you can even use wood or ceramic. Ceramic rings, especially when crafted from tungsten carbide, are a good example in this case because they are especially durable.

3. Shaped – These rings that are popular at ling jewellery shop in Singapore will have a slightly raised stone for a ring to fit next to it, while others tend to be set lower or are curved. This makes it a go-to choice for an engagement ring or proposal ring as its more intricate designs are specially crafted, and guaranteed to impress.
A wedding ring can also be chosen from this category as well. A classic example is the Celtic popular, whose design symbolizes eternal love. The knot itself has no beginning or end.

Moving-block rings are a good choice if you’re looking for something different – their modern twist makes it popular among couples who want something unique and a little quirky to wear on their fingers for the rest of their lives together.

Metals

1. Gold
Gold has always been traditional precious metal and legal tender in Singapore. However, because pure gold is too soft to be used as a ring, it’s usually alloyed with other metals that give it many different colors. For instance, white gold jewelry uses pure gold along with other white metals like silver or palladium, which is then plated with rhodium to give it its trademark luster.

What gives gold its deep yellow that you see whenever you think of it is actually the other metals included in the yellow gold alloy, copper and silver. Silver is responsible for giving gold its white shine, while copper gives its darker and richer color.

Rose gold is made of a beautiful alloy of gold and copper, and rose gold wedding rings are perfect for those with a taste for tradition and vintage style but who want to be able to have a ring made just for them to their own specifications. The exact proportions of each metal are the suppliers’ trade secrets.

2. Silver
Silver is one of the most common metals and is commonly used for making jewelleries. Because 100 percent silver is expected to be soft, copper is often used to strengthen it. Silver can also smudge on its surface unless regularly polished.

3. Titanium
By itself, this metal is shiny as well as really strong, as it’s used in metal plating for many devices and different types of hardware. This makes it resist scratches that would otherwise be a problem for other precious metals such as gold and silver. It’s also very lightweight and comfortable to wear.

The downside to titanium is that it’s very brittle, and it’s often alloyed with different metals to reduce its brittleness.

4. Steel
You would be surprised that steel made this list, but its luster and durability makes it a popular choice among couples with a low budget as well as jewelers because of its malleability.

Sizes

The widths of wedding bands are measured in millimeters. For women in Singapore, the most popular widths are between two and four millimeters. For men’s, the most common width sizes are anywhere between six and eight millimeters.

Width can affect the ring’s comfortability, as more skin is displaced with a wider ring. There are many services available to help you find your size, as well as many different charts to convert the size when ordering a ring. Remember to keep in mind that there are also many different measurements, the most popular being US and UK. You can also order a ring sizer online to solve this problem.

When sizing your fingers, remember to not do it when it’s either too cold or too hot, as extreme temperatures can make them swell or shrink. If it’s too hot, your fingers might swell and make the ring tighter. If it’s too cold, they might shrink and make the ring looser.

Gemstones

Engagement rings usually come with gemstones, and you can choose from a variety of them. Though the most picked stones are diamonds, there are plenty of alternatives, such as rubies, amethysts, emeralds, and even garnet and aquamarine. Their availability depends on the supplier.

Sometimes, the sheer number of choices when it comes to ring types, styles, metals, or even engravings and gemstones, can be a little too much – but you don’t have to worry. Use this guide to get you started on choosing the ring that will sit on yours and your partner’s finger for life.

Estimating Food for Your Bbq Cookout Party

April 18, 2018

Estimating the amount of food to serve for a large barbecue party can be overwhelming. But with simple calculations and generous estimations, you will surely come up with enough food servings good for everybody. It is important to do your own calculations whether or not you’ve hired a bbq catering Singapore provider to do the task. This will give you a clearer idea of how much to budget for your otah and satay party.

Start by assessing individual portion sizes in ounces according on the demographics of your party. For example, if you’ve invited kids, allocate 4 ounces or 1/4 pound of meat per child. If you’re feeding a gang of linebackers, you will need to triple that amount. Once you’ve calculated individual serving sizes, multiply the amount by 50 to come up with a fairly accurate estimation of how much food you will need. However, keep in mind that it’s always better to serve a bit too much than not enough, so be generous with your allocations and bbq catering budget.

Meat

Generally, you will need 1/3 to ½ pound of meat for each of your guest, or 15 to 25 pounds of meat. Hotdogs, brats, and hamburgers are the simplest meat to calculate since these meats are packaged and pre-counted. You can order specific amounts of food from Singapore’s bbq catering that come in pre-determined packages. Estimate a single serving of one meat and additional 20 percent of other meats. If you will be serving pulled pork sandwiches, allocate 15 to 20 pounds of pork for each person. The pork can be maximized because it is shredded, however, it may have the tendency to shrink because of its fats. So be flexible with your estimations in order for you not to run short. If you prefer using chicken breasts on sandwiches, budget 25 pounds for every guest.

Side Dishes

In estimating barbecue side dishes in Singapore you can allocate six ounces of it per person, which totals to 300 ounces for a party of 50 guests. This usually breaks down to almost three gallons or 20 pounds of food. You can already have a gallon of pasta or potato salad, another gallon of lettuce salad, and another one of fruit salad. For more selections, add 50 ounces of potato chips, or one ounce per person.

Beverages

The beverages are very important, especially on a hot season. Allocate a total of 1,600 ounces of lemonade or 32 ounces for every guest. With this amount, you need to secure large containers where your guests can easily help themselves for a drink. But if you hired a Singapore bbq wholesale and catering provider, there’s no need for you to worry about this. Another option is to stock individual bottles and cans of drinks. Fill a large cooler with ice and store your beverages in it to keep cool. If serving beer, estimate two bottles per person. Again, it is always better to estimate more than have less.

Dessert

What is a party without desserts? For outdoor cookout party, ask your bbq wholesale and catering provider to serve finger foods or easy-to-eat desserts, such as cookie bars, cookies, and brownies. Apart from the fact that they’re easy to eat, they’re easy to portion as well. Estimate two to three pieces of each dessert for every guest. If serving ice cream, order two to three gallons of different flavors for a party of 50 guests.

Every day is a great day in Singapore for cookouts, picnics and other outdoor activities. However, bringing food outside, in warm and humid environment, can impose great risk to food safety. Food airborne bacteria multiply more rapidly at warm temperatures (between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit); therefore, the hot environment outdoors makes the basics of food safety particularly important.

Fortunately, there are so many precautionary methods that Singapore consumers and bbq catering providers can do to ensure food safety during an outdoor otah and satay party. What are these methods? Read on and find out.

1. Always wash your hands before and after handling food
Whether you hired a bbq catering provider like http://www.springocean.com/ from Singapore or do the catering yourself, always wash your hands when getting in contact with food. This rule seems basic but not everyone executes this. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and a few seconds longer if you have just used the toilet. If there’s no available sink or the sink is too far away from the party area, have moist disposable tissues at hand for a more convenient hand cleaning.

2. Separate raw food from cooked food
Never use plates that previously held uncooked meat, seafood, or poultry when serving ready-to-eat items, unless the plates have been washed with hot, soapy water. Always keep surfaces and utensils clean before and after using them.

3. Use marinades properly
A marinade is a savory sauce that bbq wholesale and catering providers use to tenderize and enrich the meats’ flavor. When applying this method, marinated meat should be stored in the fridge and not left on the counter. Poultry and stewed or cubed pieces of meat can be marinated up to two days, while beef, lamb and pork can be marinated up to five days. If you’re planning to use the marinade while cooking the food, reserve a portion of it before putting in the uncooked meat; or boil first the used marinade to kill harmful bacteria before incorporating it with the cooked food.

4. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold
Foods that are intended to be served hot should be kept at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, should be well-wrapped, and placed in an isolated container; while cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and must be placed directly on racks of ice, or in a deep pan filled with ice. Your bbq wholesale and catering provider should already know this and has the right equipment to ensure stable food temperature.

5. Always keep all cooking utensils and your cooking area clean
Make sure that the cooking and serving area are kept clean all the time. Stock plenty of clean platters and utensils so you can easily get one whenever you need one. To prevent accumulation of foodborne bacteria, never use the same serving apparatuses for cooked and raw items. Buildup of harmful microorganisms in raw poultry and meat extracts can contaminate cooked food.

If your bbq catering party is held outdoors, look for a clean water source. If there’s none, ask your caterer or make an effort to bring plenty of water for food preparation and cleaning. For cleaning surfaces and hands, pack clean damp towels and cloths.

Complete Commercial Kitchen Equipment for a Fast Food Restaurant

Fast food restaurants are popular because customers can enjoy affordable food without having to wait for it to be prepared. In Singapore, you can have your own Fast food restaurant with the right commercial kitchen equipment from your kitchen equipment supplier.

Like any food and beverage business, the kitchen will need the basic tools for preparing food, but one difference of Fast food restaurants from other food businesses is that the preparation must be fast.

Here is a list of the commercial kitchen equipment that a Fast food restaurant in Singapore will need.

• Heavy Duty Range: When choosing a range for cooking a variety of dishes, check your menu and make sure you have an estimate of the volume of food the Fast food restaurant will serve daily. The size and number of ranges will also depend on that estimate. The commercial range can either be gas or electric and must have a vent.

• Wok Range: A wok range from a Singapore commercial kitchen equipment supplier is an essential commercial kitchen equipment for Fast food restaurants that want to serve Chinese food prepared by stir-frying, stewing, braising, deep-frying, searing, poaching, and others.

• Stock Pot Stove: To prepare broth, soup, stew or to cook noodles, pasta, vegetables and others, your Fast food restaurant might need a separate stove for stock pot. Talk to your kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore for the different stock pot stove sizes available for commercial use.

• Hotplates: This commercial kitchen equipment is usually a tabletop model that has at least two heating elements called the hot plate. It can be used as a burner to reduce the workload of the commercial range.

• Cheesemelter: This commercial kitchen equipment is used to prepare cheese for toppings on various food, such as pizza.

• Potato Peeler: For Fast food restaurants in Singapore that are planning to serve fries, a potato peeler will make the work easier. There are countertop and floor stand models, as well as chip scuttles if you want to prepare potatoes in other ways as side dish.

• Hamburger Press: This can be used to prepare fresh burger patties. Buy a model from the kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore that is dishwasher safe and easy to operate.

• Refrigerator and Freezer: You might need a different storage, such as freezer from www.alpscreative.com in Singapore, for meat and seafood, while other ingredients can be stored in a reach-in or walk-in refrigerator. A different cooling storage for beverages will also be necessary.

• Broiler or Salamander: A broiler is a special type of grill for meat and seafood. A salamander is also a type of grill, but it uses higher temperature than residential-type grills for overhead grilling.

• Pressure Steamer: This type of commercial kitchen equipment is used to prepare food with steam. Buy a model from the kitchen equipment supplier that has a high capacity.

• Rotisserie Oven: Depending on the Fast food menu, the restaurant might need different types of ovens. A rotisserie oven for example is ideal for cooking meat, such as roasting skewered chicken.

• Convection Oven: This type of oven can cook food faster than the regular commercial oven because the heat blows directly on the food.

• Microwave Oven: A countertop model is necessary for heating food in a few minutes. Look for a commercial microwave oven at your kitchen equipment supplier that is heavy duty and durable.

• Countertop Fryer: Fryers save a lot of time and space when preparing fried food. Look for models with complete features such as oil filtration, automation, and easy temperature control.

• Braising Pan: This commercial kitchen equipment is used for frying, braising, and so much more. This is perfect for Fast food restaurants in Singapore that serve a variety of dishes besides the usual burger and fries.

• Kettle and Mixer: There are commercial units that combine the steam kettle and the mixer for easier food preparation. Find the type that is best suited for the kitchen design, because there are styles that can be tilted while others are stationary.

• Griddle, Charbroiler, and Panini Grill: Most Fast food restaurants serve a variety of grilled food, that is why you should invest in commercial griddles and charbroiler for easier food preparation. The panini grill might be used for preparing buns.

• Pasta Cooker and Pasta Rinse Station: Fast food restaurants could also serve different types of pasta, but to make food faster, your restaurant should invest in commercial pasta cooker and rinser. Any type of pasta can be prepared using this commercial kitchen equipment.

• Food Rethermalizer: This commercial kitchen equipment can be used to heat up frozen goods fast besides its ability to keep cooked food warm and ready to serve anytime. Talk to your kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore to look for the right size.

• Cutters and Slicers: Commercial cutters and slicers will make preparation faster. There are slicers and cutters for meat, vegetables, and fruits.

• Mixer: This is an essential commercial kitchen equipment for whisking, stirring, and beating food ingredients. Mixers for pizza dough are also essential for Fast food restaurants that will be serving pizza.

• Rice Cooker: There are commercial rice cookers are more heavy duty than the residential models.

• Bratt Pan: This commercial kitchen equipment is quite versatile and may be used by a Fast food restaurant in Singapore for stewing, braising, steaming, boiling, roasting, poaching, and frying.

• Sushi Equipment: For Fast food restaurants planning to serve sushi, the following equipment are necessary: rice bucket, sushi oke, rice paddle, and rolling mat.

• Cold Storage and Chiller: Food that must be served cold or chilled can be stored temporary in cold storage cabinets or drawers.

• Coffee Brewing Machine: A Fast food restaurant planning to serve coffee must have the following commercial kitchen equipment: coffee grinder, coffee brewer, espresso machine, coffee machine urns, and cold brew or iced coffee dispenser.

• Dishwasher: Commercial dishwashers such as the conveyor and glass washer machines are important in Fast food restaurants that use reusable dinnerware. Make sure the kitchen also has enough cabinets and drawers for the dishes and smallware.

Advantages of Hiring Professional Pest Control Services

To meet your demands, the pest control services involves an assessment of the location to determine the best approach that can be used to terminate pest, because not all the pest control methods can be used in the same setting.

1. Mechanical or Physical Pest Control

This is only good for quick fixes and minimal infestation, but it does not work for certain pests. This is most effective when you need to exterminate rodents and small-scale insect infestation. If you want to remove termites for example, the mechanical method is useless.

2. Biological Pest Control

The method is not recommended for residential areas because introducing predators, pathogens, and parasites is not a safe idea. However, this can be useful in small-farms for crops and vegetables and properties with large gardens.

3. Chemical Pest Control

Pesticides work fast even if the infestation is significant, plus the chemicals are mostly safe only if you call a trusted pest destroyer in Singapore. Unlike the pesticides used decades ago, safer chemicals have been developed that will not affect humans and other animals.

4. Organic Pest Control

This is a safer alternative to pesticides if you’re worried about the safety of the residents and the other animals in the vicinity. However, this is usually recommended only in small-scale infestations and when the target is only one type of pest.

What to Look for in Pest Control Services

When looking for the best pest control management company in Singapore, don’t hesitate to ask the following questions:
• How many years has your company been in business?
• What services do you offer, and can you provide a list of prices?
• What are your experiences about addressing a problem similar to my case?
• Do you provide free assessment or consultation?
• How will the problem be addressed? Is it a weekly or monthly service? And what about maintenance?
• Is there a guarantee in the contract in case there is a problem or if maintenance is needed?
• Will the services be provided by a licensed or certified personnel?
• Are your products and services licensed, registered, approved or tested?
• How safe are the services and products you provide?

Preparing Your Home for Pest Control

Once you have contacted a pest control services in Singapore like http://www.pestdestroyer.sg and they have performed an assessment, you need to take steps to prepare your family and your home for the treatment. Doing so will increase the effectivity of the pest control method/s.

• Know what to expect during the treatment by asking the pest control services beforehand about the chemicals, methods, and number of treatments
• Remember the precautions given by the personnel before, during, and after each treatment
• Take out the garbage after cleaning your home
• Clean the house by vacuuming/scrubbing the carpets, chairs, couches, and cleaning other furniture
• Follow instructions when the pest control management tells you to throw away stuff that cannot be saved
• Remove or cover all food, cover appliances and furniture, and remove the linen and covers
• Store important items and evacuate the children, elderly, and pets before the treatment.

Above all, follow the professional’s advices for before and after the treatment. This helps prepare your home for the process and preserves the pest-free state of your home after the pest control procedure.

What is the Difference Between a Business Name and a Trading Name?

April 04, 2018

When applying to register trademark for your business, you have to consider both the business and trading names that you’ll use, as well as the extent of which you can use them.

Because there are only so many words that can perfectly sum up your brand of products or services that has not yet been taken by a competitor in Singapore, applying for trademark registration for your company name can be quite tricky.

Understanding terms such as “trade name”, “legal name”, and “trademark” is important, as they have specific legal meanings meant to be used for specific instances.

Trademark in a Nutshell

Essentially, trademarks are graphical representations (a certain combination of lines, shapes, symbols, etc.) used by businesses to distinguish their goods and services from their competitors’. They can, and are, often used interchangeably with “brand name”, and this definition can also extend to slogans used in combination with these graphical representations.

Before you register trademarks and gain exclusivity of use of a certain name, logo or mark, it’s important that you look at how you present your brand, as this affects how you want your potential consumers to perceive you and your business.

Business Name

The business name, otherwise known as the legal name, is the official name of the entity or person that owns the company. For partnerships, the legal name is given in the partnership agreement or is usually the last names of the partners combined. (Ex: Procter & Gamble)

For limited liability companies or corporations, the business’ legal name is the one registered with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), and will often be affixed with a legal prefix, such as LLC, LLP, Inc., Pte. Ltd., etc.

Remember to register TM for your intellectual property – applying to register trademark for your business name protect your brand as well as your business as a whole. However, while trademark registration protects your intellectual property from being stolen, this should not be an automatic ground to file an infringement claim for other companies who happen to be using a name or design that’s similar.

Fortunately, scenarios like this happen to be few and far in-between. When submitting your application to register trademark for your brand, your application will be compared against a record of all existing businesses for similarities or other grounds for objection.

Trading Name

The trade name is different from the business’s legal name. Usually, it can be summed up as the informal version of the legal name, and is used frequently in advertising. One good example of this is that you don’t see the legal name “McDonald’s Corporation”, “The Procter & Gamble Company”, or even “The Coca-Cola Company” in advertisements and advertising media.

Instead, the names you see on billboards and signs in real life or on the internet are “McDonald’s”, or “P&G”, or simply “Coca-Cola”. Legal names are rarely consumer-friendly, which is why abridged versions of brand names without the prefix are often used to market products and services.

Even though trading names are technically not business names, they can already be used as a registered mark if the company or entity is already using that name in their business. While they are not necessarily included in the trademark registration application form, it certainly helps to cement your claim as this allows you exclusive right to use them.

Choosing the Name for Your Business

Choosing a business name for your company before applying for a registered mark can be complicated, as the company name can tell consumers a lot about what your business is, as well as indicate the quality of your products and services. This can often form the basis of your brand, and can either make or break your company.
One way to avoid this is often by simply registering your name and adding “company” as a suffix. However, there are different reasons as to why you may not want to register your own name; one of these reasons is that it places a significant pressure on you personally.
You can check the availability of a name through a trademark registering company in Singapore like www.brandmark.sg to make sure that no one has claimed it yet. Once you find that this name hasn’t been claimed by any entity, you’re free to claim it for yourself.

Changing the Name of Your Business

Your business’s aims can change as it grows, and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing – in fact, you can always change your business name in order to reflect your company’s growth. Here are the steps you should take in order to change your company’s name:

1. As with the first time that you chose the name for your business, you need to cross-reference your intended name with existing databases to make sure that they are different from existing names. The IPOS should be able to take care of this for you with your new application.

2. Let the IPOS know that you are changing your business’s name, and fill out and submit the provided form. For sole proprietorship businesses, it’s best to file and submit a new DBA registration form.

Your name will depend on your business structure, although usually these kinds of name changes are mostly the same name but with an added suffix at the end.

3. Update the name on your licenses, permits, and other corporate paperwork, such as contracts, leases, and loan documents. You should also update your website, signs, and other branding materials to minimize confusion from your consumers.

How Coolsculpting Affect the Body?

March 16, 2018

Stubborn fat is named such for a reason: regardless of how much diet and exercise you do, it just seems impossible to lose it. Now, you’re left with two options—live with them or have them surgically removed. Well, neither of the two is cool for us.

Coolsculpting is the newest non-surgical way to get rid of those annoying bulges of fat. This new technology cools unwanted fats to the point of death. Unlike other methods of fat reduction, coolsculpting Singapore involves no any form of incision and surgery; and therefore induces no downtime. Patients can immediately go back to their work and normal activities right after the procedure has concluded.

It’s safe, FDA-approved, and effective. The outcome looks natural and can be seen as early as three weeks following the treatment, with the most drastic results after three months.

What areas of the body respond best to coolsculpting?

Stubborn fat in the upper arms, inner thighs, love handles, tummy area, bra area, and back are target for this non-invasive procedure. In fact, any area with loose fat cells responds well to the treatment. And unlike other weight loss procedures, results from coolsculpting are permanent. Once fat cells are destroyed and eliminated from the body, they’re gone for good. So whether or not you weigh less after the treatment, you’ll look thinner and feel lighter.

What happens to the fat cells?

During the coolsculpting treatment in Singapore , exposure to cool temperature causes fat cell apoptosis, leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. Inflammatory cells slowly destroy the targeted fat cells in the weeks and months following the procedure. Lipids from the dead fat cells are transported by the lymphatic system for them to be processed and released out of the body.

Are there pre-existing health conditions that can affect the treatment?

Some patients reported that they feel neuropathy (sense of numbness and tingling sensation) in the abdomen area following the procedure, though most cases have subsided after a few days. There are varied causes of neuropathy, and these could include extremely cold temperature. However, if you have pre-existing medical condition and you have concerns about how the treatment may affect your health, talk to your surgeon before going through the procedure.

Is coolsculpting suitable for diabetic?

Since this is a non-surgical procedure that doesn’t involve anaesthesia and medications, it’s safe to say that coolsculpting Singapore is safe for diabetics. Because there’s no need for incisions, there’s no wound and no risk of infection or slow and poor healing. You may experience increased numbness in treated areas, but most diabetic patients have reported that they have not experienced any discomfort or side effects at all.

Is the treatment safe to have after giving birth?

Pregnant women are not qualified for coolsculpting, but the treatment is effective and safe after giving birth to help fix post-pregnancy belly bump, and won’t affect the next pregnancy in any way. However, doctors suggest waiting for three months after pregnancy before getting a coolsculpting procedure done.

What are the common effects after the treatment?

Coolsculpting is completely non-invasive, allowing patients to return almost immediately to their normal activities after the treatment. However, redness on the treated area(s) may be experienced, which lasts up to a few hours. Some bruising and swelling can also take place, which should clear after one to two weeks. Many Singapore patients have also experienced localized dulling sensation, lasting between two and eight weeks.

What to do to get best results after the treatment?

Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Doing morning walks help the lymphatic system, while drinking plenty of water aids the body in flushing out wastes and dead fat cells. Follow your doctor’s instructions as well, and make sure to disclose complete medical history including the medications you’re currently taking.

Is it better than liposuction?

In one word: No. But it’s definitely worth trying considering that it doesn’t need surgery and extensive downtime, and it’s far less expensive than liposuction. Moreover, it is an ideal option for those individuals who are close to their ideal weight and only want small amount of excess fat removed. However, for those aiming for significant results, liposuction offers more drastic slimming effect than coolsculpting.

Is it safe?

Coolsculpting is safe as approved by the FDA, and the process of cooling only affects the targeted cells, leaving adjacent tissues intact and unharmed. Coolsculpting Singapore isn’t only safe, but convenient for patients. The procedure allows patients to lie comfortably, while reading, listening to music, working on their laptops, or even taking a nap as the treatment takes place. Uncommonly though, a small percentage of patients may experience slight pain related to the procedure, which should subside in a few days and have no long-term side effects.

Is it right for me?

As mentioned, the best candidates are those who are near their ideal body weight, who maintains healthy diet, and have stubborn fats that do not respond to a healthy lifestyle. These people need spot reduction in specific body parts, but are not in favour of surgical procedure. However, while coolsculpting can trim down certain regions of the body, it is not a weight loss solution for overweight individuals.

Coolsculpting is the newest non-surgical way to get rid of those annoying bumps of stubborn fat. This innovative slimming method is 100% safe and can accommodate most patients who are seeking for subtle fat-reduction solution. To know more about coolsculpting, set an appointment with a certified cosmetic surgeon.

What is a Cardiologist and Why Should You Visit One Today?

February 27, 2018

What exactly is a cardiologist? For most people, that is a question they never hope to answer unless they want to be doctors themselves.
Most patients will tend to put off seeing a doctor for regular check-ups until the symptoms they suffer become severe or until they are unable to function normally on their own. However, this should not be the case.

Because everyone is at a certain risk of developing heart disease at some point in their lives (cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide), visits to a cardiology center should be more frequent.

Cardiologists and What They Do

A cardiologist, sometimes also referred to as a heart doctor or a heart specialist, is a licensed physician that specializes in the study of the heart. However, they also look at a person’s circulatory and cardiovascular systems in order to diagnose and treat certain diseases that target these parts of the body.

Cardiologists diagnose or predict potential health problems by conducting one or more physical examinations to determine heart rate and blood pressure (heart screening), blood tests, and interviews with the patient, as well as referring to medical records. They also give lifestyle guidelines to patients in order to improve their current heart conditions.

Conditions that involve cardiologists usually range from heart attacks and murmurs to coronary heart disease and hypertension. Once a cardiologist knows what a patient is suffering from, he/she must make the decision whether to prescribe medication or to refer the patient to a cardiovascular surgeon.

Heart Screening

The heart is a complex, sophisticated muscle that oxygenates and channels blood throughout a person’s entire body about seventy times a minute in healthy adults. As much as it is complex and sophisticated, there are many factors that can affect its health.

Heart screening is how cardiologists examine how healthy a patient’s heart is, next to blood testing or urine testing (to determine the amount of cholesterol or glucose in a patient’s system). Sometimes, both methods are used by a heart doctor to determine what a patient is suffering from.

The electrocardiogram (ECG) is the primary diagnostic tool used to screen the heart health of a patient, which utilizes electrical signals to determine a patient’s pulse. Any irregular rhythms will then be detected and graphed on a monitor.

Other diagnostic tools that are used by cardiology heart specialist from Singapore in order to screen heart health include the tilt table test, where the patient is asked to lie on a table that adjusts from horizontal to vertical position, and the exercise treadmill, where the patient’s blood pressure and heart electrical activity are taken and monitored for any abnormalities.

Heart Disease Warning Signs and Symptoms

Many, if not most, people will put off seeing a heart doctor until a problem or significant pain arises that will interfere with their daily life, and chances are that you are one of these people. However, some of the common reasons why you should see a cardiologist in Singapore include:

• Heart/chest pain – This is a given symptom preceding many heart diseases, and should be taken as an immediate warning sign. However, you still need to see a heart specialist just in case.

• High total cholesterol – This is the sum of all the cholesterol in your bloodstream. The higher your total cholesterol is, the more reason you need to see a doctor right away.

• Have/previously had a smoking habit – Smoking poses a huge risk for heart disease because it decreases the flow of oxygen to the heart and increases the blood pressure and heart rate as a result. Smoking also contributes to internal blood clotting and damage to your artery linings.

• Gum disease – While gum disease doesn’t necessarily mean having a heart disorder, most patients with swollen gums often have heart disease as this can happen when there is inflammation in the body.

• Diabetes/Family history of diabetes – Having diabetes, whether it falls under type 1 or type 2, predisposes you to contracting heart disease at a later point in your life.
While the reasons previously mentioned might not directly indicate any direct diseases, they precede other more obvious symptoms, such as:

• Severe discomfort in the chest – When the pain spreads to other areas of the body, such as the shoulders, jaw, neck, or arms, or when the pain isn’t relieved by rest, or when the pain comes with other symptoms (e.g. paleness, clammy skin, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or an irregular pulse)

• Severe pressure on vocal cords, resulting in hoarseness – Usually accompanied by severe pain in the chest

• Palpitations – Erratic heartbeat rhythms are a serious indication that need immediate medical attention.

• Low or high blood pressure – This could either mean that the heart is not pumping enough blood throughout the body (due to muscle weakness or other factors) or that a clogging in a major blood vessel is restricting blood flow, forcing the heart to pump faster

Scheduling Appointments

See a cardiologist as soon as possible if your family-care doctor recommends it. It is ill-advised to put it off for any reason, as even mild reasons or symptoms can indicate life-threatening diseases if left undiagnosed or untreated.

However, there is good news. When it comes to finding the best cardiologist, Singapore has many government hospitals as well as private clinics with a cardiology center. This makes scheduling for regular appointments and check-ups more convenient because of the ease of access, as well as make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve heart health.

How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM Software

January 29, 2018

Your CRM software can do great wonders for your company. Depending on how much you rely on it, it can simply hold all the contact details of your customers, or it can do as much as automatically publish marketing campaigns. However, no matter how much you’re relying on your CRM, the following seven best practices can help you make sure that you’re doing the most for your business.

1. Be sure that the data you input is accurate and up to date.

Your CRM system can only be effective in sales management with accurate data. The more accurate and up to date your data is, the more effective your CRM system will be. It’s good practice to regularly review all data in your system, as well as delete all information that is erroneous or redundant. On top of that, you should also make sure that all the data in your system is important and usable. This can make sure that your sales teams understand your customer, diminishing the chances of any errors that could occur. After all, customers would remember their history with you, and they expect you to do the same. For example, it could be irritating to a customer if you kept selling them something that they already bought from you, or if you kept inviting them to a seminar that they already reserved a seat for.

2. Go mobile

A lot of CRM software gives you the ability to access your data, like sales reports and lead effectivity, by other means than from your web browser. It pays to use a software that has this ability since accessibility can ensure more productivity and more profit. It’s always a good idea to have a mobile version of your CRM software so that you can access your data on the go. It’s also a good idea to invest in cloud CRM software, as the Singapore CRM software is available on different platforms and multiple devices, such as tablets and laptops so that every employee can access them without issue.

3. Make sure that all your employees can access your CRM.

No matter how good or useful a CRM system is, it wouldn’t be helpful if your employees don’t use it. There are a lot of factors that can dissuade your employees from using your CRM system. More often than not, it’s because that they don’t have the knowledge on how to use it, or they find it overly-complex and cumbersome. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you can create training workshops to make sure that all your employees know how to navigate the system, especially employees that work in sales management and sales reports. You should also make sure to do this after every software update to make sure that everyone is up-to-date on its features and interface.

When all your employees can access your CRM, your employees are armed with the knowledge on how to best approach your customers, letting you avoid potentially negative interactions with characters who have previously come across issues with your company.

4. Eliminate all problems and issues promptly

On the subject of issues, make sure that you solve all and every problem and issue as soon as you notice them. A CRM system can quickly point out what areas need tending to, but they’ll only be effective if you solve them. This can also make sure that you don’t frustrate employees any further, which is especially true for returning customers who returned in the hope that they don’t come across the same problem again. If they do come across the same problem, you can’t fault them for not wanting to do business with you again.

This practice also extends to complaints made about your company on social media. When a customer makes a complaint about you, it is imperative to address it as soon as possible. Knowing the fast pace of the of the online world, it is best to address it on the day of its posting. Many companies have been smeared and even ruined because of a complaint that was blown out of proportion. Even if you can’t solve a problem right away, simply acknowledging the negative feeling that your customers have can alleviate their problem, and shows that you truly care about your customer’s satisfaction.

5. Personalization is key

Personalized marketing is one of the easiest things you can do for your customers, yet it can also increase the effectivity of your marketing. For example, personalized emails that reply to the queries in http://www.crystaldash.com/contact-us/ on the Singapore website can increase effectivity by as much as 50%. Geolocation features even allow you to locate where your customers are, whether here in Singapore or abroad, which can greatly increase the effectivity of your leads. You don’t even have to know all the details about your customers, simply addressing them by name in their email can increase your click-through rate.

Personalization can also save time for both you and your customers. Sending your customers products or content that matter to them can increase the chance of click-throughs, purchases, and future engagements.

6. Be present on multiple channels

At present, information moves fast through many different channels. Every day, people in Singapore use the internet to express their thoughts and opinions, and your business should do the same. Try to be present where your customers are present. This means that if most of your engagement is on Twitter, try to have an active presence on Twitter as well. This is where the importance of a cloud CRM comes into play; as the internet is readily available at everyone’s fingertips, so should your means of keeping up to date with your company’s data.

6 Money-Saving Hacks for Your Wedding Flowers

January 22, 2018

Planning for your grand wedding day doesn’t only take time, it also costs money. Wedding flowers, particularly, are among the expensive factors of a wedding event. The process usually involves seeking the help of a wedding florist (if you have zero experience or knowledge about floral decor), or you can always opt to do the task yourself if you want to be more hands-on. Additionally, buying flowers and foliage can be quite pricey in certain seasons.

Most brides-to-be in Singapore have an idea of what they want their dream wedding to look like, and it is the responsibility of a wedding florist to help turn that dream into reality. Their task is to pull off the most beautiful wedding floral decor on your designated budget. They are also the ones to provide you with ideas regarding table centerpieces, bridal bouquet, ceremonial flower arrangements, and the like.

Booking the assistance of a florist spans way more than just getting help on arranging your wedding flowers. They also directly keep in touch with their suppliers and flower growers to ensure your chosen flowers are available, consult with churches and wedding venues, plan the wedding logistics, calculate costs, account for the temperature at the venue, be mindful of the whole duration of the event, and observe other intricate details.

Seeking the help of a florist generally enables you to get what you pay for, as with any other industry. If you want to make your weddings a little bit more magical and dream-like, consider asking the help of a florist to help you with your floral decor. However, this may also depend on the experience and expertise of your chosen wedding florist.

Planning for your wedding flowers doesn’t have to necessarily cost you a fortune. If you want to be more practical, here are some money-saving hacks for your Singapore bridal bouquet you can observe:

1. Simplicity is beauty

If you’re already splurging on a large, beautiful wedding venue – you probably won’t need large floral centerpieces. Chances are, your guests might even hate them! In Singapore weddings, it is common to couple or two groomsmen moving or completely removing a large floral centerpiece just so to see the people on the other side of the table. Simple and elegant bridal flowers are enough. You can also opt to make use of hurricane vases, candles, and lanterns as table centerpieces.

You can still have floral arrangements on your table, of course. This allows you to highlight pops of color without the effort and costs involved in a massive arrangement. Use varying heights of cylinder vases and have three stems of orchids or calla lilies.

2. Limit the variety of flowers you’ll be using

If you use a wide variety of wedding flowers for the big day, don’t be surprised to see how quite expensive the whole thing is going to be. Some flowers are more expensive than others, especially if they are only made available and sold during certain seasons. If you’re keen on reducing your wedding expenses, limit the variety of flowers you’ll be using in your bridal bouquet and other floral arrangements.

Stick to several specific blooms. If there are flowers which hold a significant meaning to both you and your partner, use them. We’re not saying variety isn’t good – but it also pays to be practical in today’s world.

3. Consider flowers that are easy to work with

Some blooms require extra effort on hand-wiring and special work just to be held together in a single bridal bouquet. The more effort it’d take for your bridal blooms to be put together, the more likely you’ll be charged with additional fee for the extensive labor. Keep in mind that somebody has to work on taping or wiring each individual flower.

To make the process easier for your florist, consider blooms with legitimate stems (roses, calla lilies, Gerbera daisies). You can count on these flowers to reduce your bouquet budget.

4. Consult with your florist

Your florist isn’t only there to help you with your floral arrangement needs, they can also help you with cutting costs when ordering your wedding day flowers. Consulting with your wedding florist in Singapore can greatly help you figure out ways to use your chosen flowers to their utmost potential. Keep your communication lines open.

If you’re hesitant about the price of a certain bloom, ask your florist if there are other alternatives or if he/she can give you a piece of advice. Don’t underestimate the importance of proper communication!

5. Avoid last minute changes

Planning for your wedding is done to ensure everything goes smoothly during the big day – so it’s unwise to end up not sticking to your plan. The costs of some blooms are often made more expensive if you order them during the last minute (or have additional requests when your wedding day is fast approaching). It might seem like a minor tweak to you, but your florist will be obliged to go back to the planning board and might even require extra help.

Keep your changes to a minimum. Before you even think of a little tweak, ask yourself if it’s necessary or you’re just acting on impulsive decisions.

6. Establish a budget

Before you go on browsing through different varieties of flowers for your grand day, it’s advised to establish a budget for your wedding flowers. Be honest with your florist. Establishing a budget also allows you to work around that certain amount and not exceed it. If anything, it will also motivate you to avail discounts and cut back on any additional costs. Your florist will also be able to give you an idea as to what you can expect for your budget beforehand.

*This list is compiled in no particular order.*

How are STDs and STD Complications Treated?

January 03, 2018

Fortunately, most of the common sexually-transmitted diseases can be cured with proper medication. Complications such an infertility can also be prevented when the infected person undergoes STD screening as soon as possible at any of the clinics throughout Singapore. There are infections that will go away after a while even without treatment, but it’s still important to get a prognosis after an STD test to determine if the strain can lead to complications. There are STDs that cannot be cured such as HIV, but there are available treatments to slow the down the progress of the infection.

Curable STDs

1. Gonorrhea. This infection can be treated with antibiotics. The medication, which can be administered orally or by injections, will work against the bacterial infection. Your health care provider will recommend that you and your partner get an STD testing and be treated at the same time to prevent recurrence.

2. Chlamydia. Chlamydia is often treated alongside gonorrhea. Both infections exhibit the same symptoms, if there are any, among infected persons. Chlamydia is also treated using oral or injectable antibiotics.

3. Syphilis. When the condition is detected during the early stages, syphilis can be treated with penicillin. After the STD screening, the doctor will be able to determine if the patient will need a shot of antibiotics. This single-dose drug is usually administered within the first year of the infection. If syphilis has significantly progressed, longer treatments at a Singapore STD testing center are needed but the medication cannot reverse the damage to the organs.

4. Trichomoniasis. This infection can recur, but trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics. Make sure that you and your partner get treated at the same time. Pregnant women are given suppositories or creams to treat trichomoniasis. You will also have to set an appointment for another STD testing while you’re being treated.

5. Human Papillomavirus. There are many types of HPV, but the most common is genital warts. The warts will disappear over time even without treatment but you will still be a carrier of the virus. The warts can be treated using topical creams or agents or by freezing.

6. Hepatitis A, B and C. If the type of hepatitis the person has acquired isn’t chronic, there are treatments available in Singapore today. Hepatitis A sometimes will not need any treatment, but it’s still important to get an STD screening to avoid long-lasting damage to the liver. Some types of hepatitis B and C need lifelong treatment using antiviral medications. Hepatitis B vaccine will only work if you haven’t contracted the disease yet.

7. Molluscum Contagiosum. The virus might disappear after a while even without treatment. Although it’s harmless, you should still get an STD testing to determine if you need treatment. The doctor might prescribe laser therapy, cryotherapy, curettage or topical treatments to remove the bumps.

Incurable STDs

1. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 or Oral Herpes. Oral herpes can be caused by HSV1 or HSV2, so be sure to get an STD test to determine the best treatment. Oral herpes cannot be cured but the doctor can prescribe medications to prevent recurring outbreaks.

2. Herpes Simplex Virus 2 or Genital Herpes. This type of herpes cannot be cured but there are medications that can treat the symptoms and limit the severity and length of each outbreak. The virus remains dormant in the person’s nerves for the rest of his/her life. The symptoms are treated with antiviral medication.

3. HIV/AIDS. Currently, there is no cure for human immunodeficiency virus. The infected person will be given antiretroviral drugs to slow down the progress of the disease to AIDS. Symptoms of other infections caused by a weak immune system are treated at the same time.

4. Human Papillomavirus. Some strains of the virus can be cured, but others will stay in the person’s body for life. Other strains can cause cancer and might not even show symptoms. That is why it’s important for women to get a Pap test to determine if there are abnormal cells in the cervix. Unfortunately, there is no standard HPV test for men yet.

5. Chronic Hepatitis B and C. Persons with chronic hepatitis B and C need to watch out for chronic liver disease. Sometimes the symptoms will not appear years after the acute phase or initial phase of the infection.

Fertility and Cancer

If STDs are not diagnosed and treated, you are at risk of the following: ectopic pregnancy, infertility, infection of the newborn, cervical cancer, penile cancer, throat cancer, oral cancer and anal cancer.

Other Non-Cancer Complications

1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. You need to get an STD screening to treat chlamydia and gonorrhea, the most common culprits. PID can be treated with antibiotics or surgery.

2. Chronic Liver Disease. Most types of hepatitis attack the liver and can lead to cirrhosis. The liver is replaced by scar tissue and will no longer function properly. Sometimes hepatitis can even lead to liver cancer.

3. Bacterial Vaginosis. This might be caused by a sexually transmitted disease, so women should look out for the following symptoms: abnormal discharge, unusually foul odor, irritation and discomfort in the genitals. Bacterial vaginosis can be treated with antibiotics.

4. Epididymitis. Men can suffer from inflammation of the epididymitis or inflammation of the tube that stores and carries the sperm. Sometimes the testicles can also swell. Epididymitis is treated with antibiotics.

5. Reactive Arthritis. Chlamydia can cause inflammation of the joints, eyes, and the urinary tract. Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which can be treated with antibiotics and NSAIDs.

HIV/AIDS and Opportunistic Infections

HIV itself will not kill the infected person, but it will open up the body to other diseases. These are called opportunistic infections because they take advantage of the person’s inability to ward off diseases. Opportunistic infections can be fatal when the person’s CD4 count is below 200 cells/mm3. The most common opportunistic infections are cervical cancer, tuberculosis, recurrent pneumonia, wasting syndrome, herpes simplex and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. HIV will also increase the risk of developing sarcomas and lymphomas.

Common Plumbing Problems That Can Easily Get Expensive

December 08, 2017

Plumbing problems may be simple household issues, but it can potentially drain your pocket. That’s why it’s best to make sure that your home’s plumbing system is always in its best shape. Here are the most expensive household plumbing repairs that homeowners in Singapore typically experience.

1. Clogged Drains
It’s very common to experience clogged drains from time to time. However, the severity of the clog depends on the things that caused the stoppage. Some causes of clog can simply be removed with plumbing tools like plungers, but there are also cases when stock-ups happen deep down the pipes, and solving such problems require professional plumbing services.

2. Leaky Faucets
Constant dripping noise is enough to drive you insane, but so is receiving a water bill that’s twice higher than your usual bill. Did you know that an unattended leak in your faucet can waste around 10,000 gallons of water a year? It’s like throwing away water that can do 270 loads of laundry. That’s a lot of water, and therefore a lot of money you are wasting. Although you can’t feel the slight increase in your monthly water bill, it can cost you hundreds of dollars each year.

3. Low Water Pressure
This may not seem like a big deal, but low water pressure can end up costing you more. The effect might not be on your water bill, but often in the cause of the problem that makes this plumbing issue expensive. The cause of the low pressure could be leaky pipes, malfunctioning water heater or underground piping issues. For plumbing in Singapore contractors to accurately detect the problem and prevent it from getting more expensive, have it checked by a professional and reliable plumber as soon as possible.

4. Running Toilet
A toilet that doesn’t stop from flushing is obviously a very costly problem, which can raise your water bill for up to thrice its usual rate. Running toilets can be because of a number of reasons. Sometimes, it can be fixed by simply adjusting some parts such as the flush handle, while other times some parts needs to be replaced. However, regardless of the cause, leaky toilets need professional plumbing services, so make sure to have it checked by a professional plumber.

5. Gas Leaks
Gas leaks can cause serious damage to property; therefore, it’s an expensive issue if left unattended. If you suspect that there’s gas leakage in your premises, evacuate your place and call a professional 24 hours plumber immediately. In some cases, people try to tamper gas lines for the purpose of sharing or tapping. These activities are illegal in Singapore, and can ultimately result in loss of property or even life. Do not attempt to fix gas plumbing problems without the help of a plumbing contractor certified in gas plumbing services.

6. Clogged Sewer Line
Clogged sewer lines are a major problem for homeowners to tackle on their own because sewer lines are oftentimes inaccessible. Even if you can access your sewer line, it requires special equipment to have your line unclogged. If unclogging is done incorrectly, the clog can cause sewage back-ups. This can be dangerous to your health as the noxious odour and toxins in the biological wastes from the sewage will enter your home through the toilet, sinks and/or drains.

Some tips to prevent plumbing repairs:
• Avoid Hanging Things on the Plumbing Line
This is a problem often found in basements, where plumbers are surprised to see wet clothes hanged from exposed pipes. These pipes may feel sturdy, but they are not designed to support weight. You would be surprised how heavy a few shirts can get, especially when wet, which can cause the pipes to destabilize and burst.

• Do Not Flush Sanitary Items Down the Toilet
The toilet is meant to hold things that we would rather not mention. If you throw anything else in the toilet that you think will not flush, such as tissues, cotton balls, wet wipes, cotton swabs, napkin and other sanitary items, you are setting yourself for a major toilet disaster.

• Inspect Leaks Right Away
A few drops of water under the kitchen sink may look harmless, but not inspecting the cause of the leak could end up more than just a few drops in a short span of time. When you find even just a small leak, call a 24 hours plumber right away. Do not wait until a few drops turn into a paddle of water, as water can potentially damage surrounding structures and fixtures, leading to more extensive and expensive plumbing works.

• Hire a Professional Plumber
Hire a reliable plumbing contractor to inspect your home’s plumbing system at least once a year. A highly skilled plumber can detect and fix complex issues that ordinary DIY-ers cannot. A clogged sewage and a damaged underground piping are just two of the many issues that are impossible to fix on your own, since such issues require advanced skills and plumbing equipment. To ensure your property’s safety and plumbing system’s functionality, only work with a certified and experienced professional.

Spending on plumbing works is never fun, but it’s necessary to protect your home—your investment. The thing you really don’t want to happen is spending way more than you want to for fixing piping issues. By being aware of the most costly plumping repairs and ways to avoid such problems will help you save money in the long run.

How to Make Your Office Printer and Copier Machine Last Longer

November 30, 2017

Any type of business in Singapore cannot function without paperwork, that is why the office printer and copier machine are essential items in any enterprise. But even with improvements in the hardware and software, some machines have longer lifespans than others.

How do you make the most of your office printer or copier machine? What are the steps that should be taken to reduce the cost of major repairs and replacements? Are there factors your company should consider before you buy printer in Singapore office supply shops?

1. Buy the Right Equipment. When you buy printer from a manufacturer, make sure that you get an estimate of the print volume per day so you can determine how many printers are needed in the office. Even a high-end laser printer or copier can get overworked if it’s printing nonstop for the duration of the day. Get to know what features are included in the machine to make the workflow in the office much easier, then divide the users according to the number of copiers or printers and specific printing needs. Special printers like the graphic art printer or the colour printer should only be used for quality and colored documents, but if you can print in standard quality, always choose that option.

2. Train Personnel in Proper Use of Equipment. All the employees who need to print documents will have to be briefed about the proper usage of the laser printer or the copier. If you have a multifunction device for example, the users should know how to utilize all the features, so that minor incidences due to lack of knowledge about the machine can be reduced. This includes not just the operator but even the remote users. Each office printer or copier machine will have a limited number of users, so that the machines are not overworked.

3. Assign an Operator. Even if you train all the users, you will still need to assign at least one operator for the machines, so that the employees have someone to turn to when something goes wrong. The key operator should be an expert or a technician from the copier leasing from Singapore company who knows how to solve office printer and copier machine problems.

4. Position the Printer and Copier Properly. The office printer and copier should be placed in an area away from traffic, open windows and doors, direct heat or cold, food and plants, and other office equipment. The machines should be accessible to everyone and must have adequate room to operate. If possible, there should be one area in the office specifically assigned for the laser printers and the copier machines.

5. Read the Product Manual. Before using the new printer in Singapore, the key operator and end users should read the manual to make sure that they know how to use the office printer or the copier properly. The manual will also include a list of compatible paper or printing materials, correct toner or cartridges for the machine, and instructions for troubleshooting.

6. Use Quality Materials. A lot of offices in Singapore often try to save money by purchasing low-quality printing materials and ink cartridges, but this is doing more harm on the equipment. Read the manufacturer’s specifications about the type of materials that are compatible for your laser printer model or your copier. Low-quality printouts are often the result of low-quality paper and ink, not a faulty machine. This is crucial with special printers like the graphic art printer or the colour printer that need the right photo paper to save ink and produce quality printouts.

7. Use Standard or Economy Mode. If you don’t need high-quality printouts, switch to standard mode to conserve ink. This will also speed up the printing or copying process.

8. Load the Paper Properly. Paper jams are common because the end users do not know how to load the paper properly. This can be reduced if the employees are trained in the proper use of the machines. Place instructions near the office printer or the copier about proper paper loading. Paper jams also leave some paper in the machine, that is why it should be carefully inspected before proceeding with any printing job.

9. Practice Preventative Maintenance. Regular service checks are essential to extend the lifespan of the office machines. Schedule these checks with a professional technician who will look for minor repairs and can clean the machines. It would also be better if you have an in-house operator who can do these for you.

10. Keep the Office Clean and Organized. The office should be kept clean to prevent buildup of dust and debris on the office printer, copier, and the other equipment as well. The employees should be reminded not to touch the copier glass with their hands and to clean the paper tray before printing.

11. Get the Most Out of Ink Cartridges. Change the printer’s settings if your company does not have to print high-quality documents all the time. Choose the grayscale and change the resolution to low-quality or draft and use smaller fonts, photos, and illustrations to save on ink. The cartridges should also be kept clean by the technician with a cotton swab or warm water to prevent clogging and drying.

12. Regular Cleaning of Equipment. The glass of the copier machine should be kept clean using a non-abrasive cloth, while the other parts should be dusted off with fine-haired brush. The ink nozzle will need occasional cleaning with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. When not in use, the office printer and copier should not be used as a shelf or table for other items.

13. Turn Off the Copier or Printer. Make sure to turn off the copier or the printer before any maintenance and cleaning can be done. If there is no need to print or copy anything, the machines should also be given time to cool.

Get to Know the Logistics Laws in Singapore

November 20, 2017

Picking the right freight forwarding services for your company can help you focus on improving and expanding your business, but besides considering the types of services that a logistics company offer, you should also be aware of some of the laws in importation, exportation, trade and clearance documentation and permits, licensing and warehousing, the free trade zones, the fees, offences, errors and penalties, and the list of prohibited goods. On top of that, you should at least have an idea about international transportation if you need air freight or sea freight for your international freight needs.

Sounds complicated, right? But knowing all these can also help you find the right freight forwarder in Singapore, because you understand what your company specifically needs. Let’s start by defining the terms you will often hear from your logistics company.

    1. Freight Forwarder

    A freight forwarder is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that want to transport goods that will fit in one full container. This is much easier than utilizing postal or delivery services which will cost you more if you need to deliver more goods. Freight forwarding services after all is affiliated with shipping lines, air freight, and both local freight and international freight. They can arrange all the paperwork for you and negotiate prices for the transportation of goods with other logistics services. They can also perform other tasks for you, such as Customs clearance, insurance, warehousing, and inventory.

    2. Shipping Line

    The shipping line should be obvious. It is a freight forwarding Singapore company that operates ships and containers to transport goods around the world. Shipping lines are mostly employed by large companies, although small-time clients can book one container for cargo. So, why not contact a shipping company directly instead of going through a freight forwarder in Singapore? The shipping company usually charges full for each container regardless if you can fill each container or not. Through freight forwarding services, however, you can get competitive prices instead.

    3. Shipping Company

    A shipping company, also called an exporter, is the party responsible for the transportation of your goods, but they could also be the manufacturer, the seller, or the company where the point of origin of the product is to be picked up.

    4. Consignee and Customer

    The consignee refers to the party that receives the goods at its place of destination and is also called the receiver or importer, while the customer is the party that is responsible for booking and paying for the shipment of items. The customer contacts a freight forwarder in Singapore and the freight forwarder in turn arranges the shipment with a company that offers logistics services to move the merchandise efficiently from one place to another.

Defining which is which is important when fulfilling the requirements for importation and exportation of goods, because that will also determine your rights, responsibilities, and liabilities. Don’t worry though, because the freight forwarding services is well-versed in both local freight and international freight, and it is their task to make the process easier for you.
 

 
How International Shipping is Done

Singapore imports goods from various parts of the world, whether it’s for a small-time business or international corporations. This is also perhaps the most complicated part of the transportation of goods because a lot of parties are involved to complete it.

The logistics company is trained to deal with the shipping company, Customs brokers, air freight, sea freight, and other parties to make the shipment of goods easier. Small shipments that will fit in one standard ocean shipping container (less than 20 cubic meters), also called Less than Container Load (LCL), go through the following process: haulage (origin), handling (origin), Customs clearance (for exportation), sea freight, Customs clearance (for importation), handling (destination), and haulage (destination).

It should be clear in the contract which one will be paying for each step (yes, there are fees and documents for each), as well as establishing which one is liable for the items transported. That way, if something happens to cargo, someone will pay for the damage.

Import Procedure in Singapore

The Singapore Customs website contains all the necessary information needed for importation in Singapore, so this section will just be an overview of what you should expect during the freight forwarding process.

All the items that are imported into the country are subject to the regulations of the Customs Act, Regulation of Imports and Exports Act, and Goods and Services Tax Act.

The importer or the receiver of the goods is required to get a Customs permit regardless if the importer is an individual or a company. The receiver is specifically required to prepare the declaration requirements and the taxes for the goods, whether it’s a non-dutiable goods or dutiable goods, based on the insurance, cost, and freight values.

Import Requirements in Singapore

Besides the Customs permit, the commercial invoice is also needed to determine which party is the consignee and the importer of the items. You are also required to do the following:

    1. Check if the imported merchandise is prohibited
    2. Pay for the GST (Goods and Services tax) and other duties
    3. Deposit the merchandise in free trade zones in Singapore, regardless if it was transported through sea freight or air freight
    4. Provide containerised cargo documents for clearance

Documents should be kept within the next five years as reference if any issue arises. These will include the books of accounts, commercial invoice, packing list, air waybill, bills of lading, certificate of origin and analysis, insurance certificate, and other related documents.

Standard Trading Conditions of Freight Forwarders

The Singapore Logistics Association website contains details about the standard trading conditions that are practiced by the freight forwarding services in Singapore.

The document includes the obligations of the customer, instructions in the handling of goods and the services, indemnities and charges, rights of the company, liabilities, compensation, and laws and jurisdiction. There are currently over 500 members which follow these standards of logistics services.
 

How to Find a Reliable Aircon Contractor

November 03, 2017

Find a reliable aircon servicing contractor that will ensure quality service to your air conditioning unit needs. Other than that, you need to find a reliable AC contractor to ensure that any repair made to the unit will be safe to you and your family. Faulty installation can be very costly and dangerous. Secondly, in Singapore a reliable and honest contractor will give you fair quotation for aircon maintenance and all-over system cost. So, if you’re thinking of having your Air Conditioning units repaired or checked, here are some tips and guidelines in looking for reliable air conditioning contractors.

1. Look for a contractor that belongs to a well-known company or organization

Well-known air conditioning companies (e.g. Carrier, Goodman, Rheem) follows strict guidelines that their every member must follow. Therefore, you can be sure that the contractor knows he’s doing very well and ensure safety repair and installation of your air conditioning unit.

2. Ask for reviews from clients who have had aircon maintenance done for them

Call a few aircon servicing contractors and ask for references from their previous clients. Do not just listen to their promises. Listen and hear directly from their clients the feedbacks and experiences they’ve been through from the company.

3. Verify if the contractor is using the most recent procedure and equipment

The contractor that does aircon servicing in Singapore should have well-adopted the modernization of technologies. He should also be asking about your air-conditioning needs and whether and use up-to-date guidelines and procedures in practicing aircon repair. If you have had your maintenance done by someone else, your new contractor would probably want to know about that also.

4. Verify if the technicians have sufficient on-the-job experiences

Look for certifications from different seminars and trainings they have undergone related to their work. Ask if they have been to skill enhancement schools or if they are part of any related organizations. This will ensure that you are working with highly skilled operators in Singapore.

5. Verify how long the contractor has been working in the same company

Know first how long the contractor has been working in the aircon servicing company and check whether he has an office in the area. This is for you to know where you will be able to find him in case something goes wrong with your AC unit or if you need AC maintenance. Also, ask for his office contact number and personal number where you can reach 24/7.

6. Verify whether the company is a licensed distributor

Licensed distributors are more reliable, can offer better warranty services, and have higher expertise in aircon repair. They have direct contacts and very well-versed to the air con unit brands they are selling.

7. Ask for quotations

Call a few aircon servicing companies and ask for their prices. By this, you will know who is overcharging you. If you don’t have any idea about this matter, seek help from your friends. The quotation should state all the prices with its designated description for clearer explanation. If you have doubts, don’t hesitate to call and clarify with the contractors.

8. Do a background check

Search at the Singapore licensing office for any complaints held against the contractor regarding their aircon maintenance and other services. Check also the company’s history, where the contractor works, for any irregularities. Also, check their websites and validate whether the contractor’s information are timely and accurate.

How to Choose a Good BBQ Caterer

November 02, 2017

Finding a good caterer is an important part for holding large-scale events like corporate events, wedding, and even on small affairs like parties and family gatherings. Unfortunately, a standardized grading system for caterers hasn’t been established, and anybody can put up their own catering business. But there’s nothing to worry about, here’s how you can choose the good – if not best – caterer in Singapore that will make your event memorable, for the right reasons.

1. Get and listen to word-of-mouth recommendations and suggestions.

No amount of advertising can equal or replace a good suggestion of someone you know and trust. If your friend or acquaintance recommended an excellent caterer based on the services that were provided for their event, then that caterer might be someone that you should consider making business with. Conversely, it’s also important to heed any bad reviews about a particular bbq catering company.

2. Schedule a food tasting session with the caterer.

If the caterer that you’ve chosen provides meals for large events, then it shouldn’t be a problem to them if you want to schedule a food tasting session. Do remember though that the bbq catering from Singapore food that you’ll be tasting will be the best meals that the caterer can produce. If you’re planning to go for a bbq catering service then it’s important to check on what kind of satay or barbecue they are offering. You should also understand that there’s a huge difference between the qualities of the meal that’s prepared for two persons compared to a meal for 500 people.

3. Put the specialty of the caterer into consideration.

There are some caterers that specialize in handling big events, while there are those that can only cater to small intimate events. The former have the expertise and equipment that can professionally handle large numbers of guests, while the latter can only deal with a limited number of guests or might only offer services like delivering the catered food to your venue. Keep these things in mind and be wary of caterers who claim that they can do all the services that you want.

4. Consider the kind of services you’ll need for the event.

Since you’ve already considered the services that the catering companies can offer, it’s now time to consider the kind of services you’ll need for your affair. Do you need services that only includes food preparation, delivery and set up? Or do you want to be provided with trained staff and support personnel?

To decide on this, consider the kind of event that you’ll be having first. If you’re event will be more of a formal affair that requires plated service then choose a caterer that specializes in handling big events. If you want to be more laidback and go for a barbecue party instead, then that’ll need a different catering service. You could also go online to check and get a rough idea about the services of each catering company in Singapore.

5. Ask for references from previous clients.

Since you’re entrusting a catering company to provide the food for your event, it is important that you ask for some references. Ask the caterer to provide you with the names of their clients as well as referrals of the events that they worked with.

6. Contact the local health department in your area.

Catering companies in Singapore are subject to regulation and licensing by their respective local health department, so there will be records in case there are any complaints or issues about a particular catering company. If the catering service that you’re considering have any reported issues or complaints then we suggest that you get another catering company instead.

7. Ask for the quotation of the services that you’re asking from them.

Asking for the quotation of the catering services should be the first step in hiring a caterer. It’s important to ask for the bottom line price as the charge for getting a wedding catering service is different from a bbq catering service. But be cautious when your caterer drops the price of their services as it could mean a drop in the quality of food and service as well.

Hiring Contractors for Your Rental Property

October 17, 2017

Whether you’re a property owner in Singapore or a newly hired property manager, when it comes to handling a rental property, keeping every unit in tiptop condition is a number one necessity. Therefore, it really pays off to hire a professional contractor.

Before you start scanning the yellow pages and asking family, friends, and neighbors around, find out first how you should hire a qualified contractor to take care of your investment property.

Professionals Are a Must

Professionals provide quality work, and it is the most important matter in making sure that your rental units are in their best condition. Professional contractors vary mainly in knowledge and skills, and a little research beforehand can ensure that you hire the best worker.

When hiring contractors for property management, you need to consider the quality of work and the completion time. Though the cost must be considered as well, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Look for someone who is an expert in a specific task, and not someone who claims that he knows how to do various things. For instance, if you need someone who does property management in Singapore to fix your electric lines, hire an electrician. If you need someone to fix the pipes and faucets, hire a plumber. Never be fooled by a contractor who claims that he “specializes” in 10 different jobs.

Require Certifications and Licenses

Singapore has a public database for licensed and certified workers related to property management and construction industry. Hiring someone with valid license and/or certification will ensure great work and protect you from great loss if in case the hired worker damages your property or himself. Countries have created regulations to protect property owners from scammers that agree to contracts that will never be fulfilled. When you choose to hire professional contractors, estimations are often free of charge, and all works are invoiced and well-detailed after problem inspection is completed.

Payment System for Contractors

An initial payment of 20 to 30 percent is typically required by contractors to get the work started. This enables your workers to purchase all necessary materials and start the work. If your managing agent employs separate workers, the salary of those employees are already included in the down payment. Your managing agent should not require you to pay an additional amount because additional workers are required when the job starts. Always be mindful with the expenses and never fail to check it every after major purchase. Your remaining balance should only be settled after the work is done, and the contractor should be able to provide you with a warranty in case of component failure or workmanship error.

Hiring a reliable contractor for a rental property can be difficult, especially when you’re not informed with the right things to do. Following the tips above will help you avoid scammers and ensure that your property is maintained professionally. Lastly, if working with a management company, you can ask these experts for recommendations for hiring quality contractors.

Kahuna Ho Tram: Prime Investment Opportunities by the Beach

October 13, 2017

Big waves are set to take Vietnam in terms of real estate. Property investment opportunities have recently opened up, and they’ve never looked better with Kahuna Ho Tram, the newest addition to The Ho Tram Strip. Currently, it holds the title of the largest foreign-invested development in Vietnam, with over US$1.1 billion dollars’ worth in investment.
Having only been unveiled in the fourth quarter of this year, Kahuna Ho Tram sits as the hottest growth area in Vietnam, attracting investors looking to invest in condo units far and wide, with so much to offer and more.

The Condotel

The Kahuna Ho Tram condotel is conceptualized and designed by the leading firm in Ho Chi Minh City, Korn Architects. The design resembles a luxury liner about to make its maiden voyage across the open waters, with sleek, nautical lines capturing the essence of the perfect holiday beachfront experience.

This twelve-story beachfront tower has 244 keys divided among 164 condotel units. Of these units, fourteen have their own private Jacuzzis, and eight of them are penthouse units, each with its own indoor pool.

Surrounded by water from both the sea and the resort’s swimming pools, kahuna ho tram resort offers an amazing view of southern Vietnam and the vast field of The Bluffs that owners can wake up to every morning in the comfort of their own prime Vung Tau condo unit in Dur an Ho Tram.

Villas

Kahuna Ho Tram boasts of thirty-six double-key and eight beachfront villas, situated in the very heart of the development area with their own pools and private gardens. To add to that, each villa is fully furnished and in good turn-over condition.

The crown jewels are of course the eight single-key beach villas. Every single-key beach villa for sale not only has their own walkway and direct access to the beach, but also comes with maximum security to ensure the privacy of each guest.

Investors looking for a villa beside golf course will surely be delighted, as each beach villa for sale sits not far away from The Bluffs Golf Course, designed by golfer Greg Norman, which made Rank 78 in the world’s Top 100 golf courses.

Amenities

The Kahuna Ho Tram Strip and Kahuna Ho Tram Resort come with endless amenities for an enjoyable time. Complementing the view are the different restaurants, bistros, and bars lining the strip, making for an endless selection of fine food and drinks to indulge in by the sea.

Recreation and entertainment is never in short supply with Ho Tram, with multiple swimming pools, cinemas, karaoke, mini-golf, and so much more to choose from.

For an even more enjoyable time, guests looking to spend their holidays here can also make their way to the Grand Ho Tram Casino, which now services Vietnam nationals as well as foreigners. The Ho Tram Project currently leads the country in offering an international-level experience for enthusiasts.

Investment

First-time and veteran investors of all kinds looking to invest in condo units need not look further than Kahuna Ho Tram. There are several advantages to be gained in investing here, such as a minimum of eight percent guaranteed return within the first two years.
Throughout the ownership of the unit/villa, the net rental revenue is split sixty-forty in favor of the lessee. To achieve a twenty-year extension, the balance of the current lease is 41 years with the company’s resolve.

Another benefit is the ten-year rental pool agreement that applies to both the condotel units and villas, which when coupled with the 21-day-per-year free occupation per annum, means that owners too can fully enjoy the luxurious beachfront experience that Dur an Ho Tram has to offer.

10 Ways to Protect Your Children from Electrical Hazards

September 29, 2017

The moment you bring your baby from the hospital to your home, you should start thinking about child-proofing your entire house.

Do not wait too long. Before you know it, your child will start crawling around, exploring the house, investigating every single thing they can put their little hands on. The sooner you hide hazardous household chemicals and keep potential dangers away from your child’s reach, the better. Keep in mind that accidental injury is one of the leading causes of death among babies and toddlers, claiming more lives than health problems.

When setting up your home into a safer place for your little one, don’t forget about electricity. Other than blocking the staircases and using play mats in every room, you should also secure outlets within the reach of your child. Electrician services companies in Singapore recommend taking these precautions to ensure not just your baby’s, but your entire family’s safety from electrical hazards.

1. Install GFCIs

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are essential in rooms with water source, such as kitchen and bathrooms. Enquire with some electrician services in Singapore to hire a professional electrician install a few of these around your house to protect everyone, but most especially including your child, against electrical shock. These devices automatically shut off the power when they detect current leaking from the circuit to the ground.

2. Avoid Using Extension Cords

As much as possible, avoid using extension cords and power strips in your child’s room. Kids have the tendency to chew on things, and you don’t want them to chew on something electrical. Moreover, you don’t want your kids to play with cords and wires and knocking over appliances that are plugged into them.

3. Use Electrical Outlet Caps

The cheapest way to prevent your child from sticking objects and his fingers into outlets is to use a packet of electrical outlet caps. These outlet covers are made of plastic and can be plugged directly into your power outlets. The exposed area of the cap is completely flat, making it difficult for a child to grip on it. If your child cannot poke anything into outlets, the safer he is. It’s that simple.

4. Unplug All Appliances

Before going to bed, turn off and unplug all your appliances at home. Just in case your toddler wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to play, no live wires within his reach. However, do still keep outlets and wires out of their sight, just because they are never good toys for children.

5. Shorten Cords

It happens many times—a lamp (or any other appliance) sits a foot away from the outlet, but has 10-foot long cord attached to it. The excess cord can loop around your child’s foot and either cause him to stumble or pull the lamp down on them. Either way, there will be tears. The best you can do is to buy a cord shortener. It looks neater than a coiled cable and is much safer when you have kids at home.

6. Cover Power Strips

Power strips are common in residential properties here in Singapore. They are convenient and economical since they can power multiple appliances at once. The downside is that they sit on the ground, which for a baby, could look like something to play with. A power strip cover is the ideal solutions for this. The cover slides into the strip and has an opening for the cords to hang out.

7. Use Nightlights

Use a nightlight to provide illumination in the dark for your child’s safety. Perfect for your kid’s bedroom and bathroom, so they won’t stumble over on things when they wake up in the middle of the night to pee. These lights come in a variety of styles, such as outlet-mounted or table mounted. One practical style is an outlet-mounted nightlight that fits over the two outlets of a duplex receptacle, blocking the unused electrical holes from the prying fingers of your toddler.

8. Educate Them

Older kids and pre-teens are old enough to understand the dangers of playing with electrical wires and devices. Explain to your kids that outlets cannot be overloaded with extension cords and power strips. They should not be using the TV, laptop, video game console and phone charger all at once in a single outlet. Make sure to explain the same thing for their room. Check every night that everything in their room is plugged out.

9. Regular Electrical Maintenance

Take care of loose and frayed wires that are located in accessible areas of your home. At least once a year, have a licensed electrician check your home’s electrical works. Ask your professional contractor to get those loose wires fixed and loose cords fasten to walls to avoid electrical shock and accidents.

10. Replace or Repair Faulty Appliances

If you have appliances that are hot or feel tingly to the touch, have it checked by a professional electrician right away. You really wouldn’t want your kids to get their hands on these appliances and possibly cause an injury to them. A good electrician will be able to detect the problem and fix it immediately before anything severe happens.

If you have kids at home, regular maintenance and repair of your home’s electrical system will not only keep your entire family safe, but also enjoy the benefits of properly-working electricity. With the help of a reputable electrician services company, you can protect your family and property from the risk of serious injury, damage and fire.

Trends in VoIP

September 26, 2017

Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is a type of service that allows you to make phone calls for free or at a cheaper price than a traditional phone system. As the name implies, it uses the Internet, that is why it is also referred to as Internet calling, IP telephone or Internet telephony. VoIP is hailed as the most innovative way of communication not just at home, but also in different business sectors, especially companies that have offices overseas.

In Singapore, it is considered by the business and communications sectors as the best way to cut down communication costs and is also an opportunity to tap into features that are not available in the traditional phone system.

Types of VoIP

VoIP works by converting the analog voice signals into digital signals (communication experts call this packets) and then transmitting these through a network or the Internet. Below are the different ways to use VoIP:

    1. Phone to Phone

    Sometimes called analog telephone adapter (ATA), phone-to-phone communication will let you receive and make calls if your standard landline is connected to a computer network. The phone will need the ATA to be able to convert analog into digital signals and transmit the converted signals with the use of VoIP.

    2. Computer to Computer

    Using VoIP, you will now be able to make and receive calls through a computer if both the sender and receiver are connected to the same network. This replaces the long-distance calls that are expensive, because you will only be paying for the voip in Singapore Internet service. Both the receiver and sender, however, need to install and register for the same software and use a speaker and a microphone to be able to connect. These VoIP software are usually free and easy to use.

    3. Phone to Computer

    Sometimes called IP phone, phone-to-computer communication is now possible and is gaining popularity even among those at home and not just in business. An IP phone is similar to your smart phones, but it needs an RJ45 connector so that it can use a network through a router. The IP phone already has built-in hardware and software for such purposes and it can even connect to Wi-Fi so that you can make calls anywhere even outside Singapore.

    4. Computer to Phone

    The same is true for making calls from your computer to a phone as long as both devices are using the same VoIP software and are connected to the Internet. It’s possible to make video calls as well if both the computer and the phone have microphones and speakers installed.

    5. Mobile Devices to Other Devices

    It is now possible to make calls from your phone to other mobile devices and vice versa, as long as both devices are using the same VoIP software and are connected to the Internet.

VoIP in Business

A hosted VoIP system for your business in Singapore is an investment that allows the company to do more things efficiently with less cost. Why is it cheaper than a traditional telephony system that has been used in business for years? VoIP integrates all the phone, video, and data bundles into one service that primarily uses the Internet.

That is why VoIP is a cheap, fast, flexible, and secure communications system for your business. But how will you know which hosted VoIP system is the right one for your company? Most companies hire a third party to host VoIP and to provide the necessary hardware as well.

When looking for a company that will handle your IP PBX telephone system, make sure that their services will fit the needs of the business. The perks usually include services and products for computer networking, cloud VoIP, PBX phone system, data management, telephone/computer and cabling, and video conferencing options. Other host companies have different packages for business VoIP and those that need special and advanced features.

The following services are the trends in business VoIP:

    1. Cloud VoIP

    The cloud VoIP is a system that is based on the technology called cloud computing. It means that all the data that are received, transmitted, and stored are placed in the Internet instead of storing them in the computer or other hardware. You may be surprised to know that cloud has been around since the 1990s as a means of storing data from point to point. Nowadays, cloud VoIP is considered an efficient way of storing data that will allow all users from the same company to access files regardless of the device used and the location of the user, as long as there is Internet connection. Businesses in Singapore can use cloud VoIP or cloud PBX (private branch exchange) even without the use of an IP PBX telephone system that will be discussed below.

    2. Hosted PBX

    Hosted PBX (private branch exchange) is type of VoIP system does not require the business to have their own VoIP system, but they can hire a third party to let them lease equipment and services. The company’s current telephone system may be used or replaced, and other devices such as mobile phones can be used through the hosted PBX. Employees can work outside the office premises with the use of different mobile devices, but they are still connected to the same VoIP system.

    3. PBX Phone System

    Some companies prefer a separate network for voice communications and another for data communications. This system is called IP PBX telephone system, PBX phone system or hosted PBX, which uses a converged voice and data network so that each employee in the company has one line to access the Internet, phone, and other non-traditional communication systems. It works as a telephone switching system within the company, allowing the employee to switch between the local traditional lines and VoIP, and vice versa.

Learning the Proper Form in Tennis for Beginners

September 08, 2017

Once you have learned the basics of playing tennis, it’s time to practice consistency of your form when serving, creating a spin, and judging the ideal height and distance (trajectory) of the ball.

 

Although having the correct form will not matter in the number of points you’ll get in a match, being able to do it naturally will help you hit the ball faster and to control the ball with less effort.

 

Basic Drills

Learning comes from repetition. The correct form and movement should come as natural as breathing for you allowing you to concentrate on your opponent. It might sound easy, but those endless drills given by your tennis coaching staff during your tennis lessons in Singapore are the key. You might be itching to play matches, but techniques that could win professional matches are learned through boring, repetitive drills; such as grips, swinging your arm with the racket, running around the court, receiving, and serving.

 

Basic Strokes

These are the basic strokes that the tennis coach in Singapore will teach you. Later, you can vary your strokes to adjust to different attacks.

  • When practicing this stroke during your tennis lessons, the tennis coach will tell you to use your dominant hand while the other will load the racket before you hit the ball. Tennis coaching instructions will drill you to bend your knees while the torso and hips are coiled.
  • This can be either a one-handed or two-handed backhand depending on which one you’re comfortable with and your reach. Some younger players will be advised by the tennis coach to use two-handed backhand to add more power to the stroke.
  • This refers to act of striking a ball while it’s still in the air and has not yet reached the surface of the court. To do a volley, you need to practice backswings while hitting the ball in front of you or from the side.
  • An overhead will not need a ball toss, but your coach will tell you to practice proper footwork to pull this off. Balance and positioning are key when trying to anticipate where the ball will drop next so that you can make adjustments to hit the ball overhead.

 

Basic Grips

To learn tennis by developing your own style, you should at least be familiar with the construction of the racket and with all the grips, which are all based on where the heel pad and the index knuckle are resting in your hand. The basic grips you will learn in your tennis lessons are the continental grip, eastern forehand grip, semi-western forehand grip, western forehand grip, two-handed backhand grip, eastern backhand grip, and semi-western or extreme backhand grip. The tennis coaching staff in Singapore can help you find which one works for you best if you’re still a beginner.

 

Basic Serves

There are four types of serves you should learn as a beginner from your tennis coach in Singapore, such as; the flat serve, slice, serve, kick serve, and underhanded serve. But what is common among these serves are the proper positioning of the feet when you make a stance, the tossing of a ball, the backswing, weight transfer and bending the knee, the trophy pose, racket drop, leg push, and the swinging up to contact or pronation. All these can be learned during the drills in your tennis lessons, that is why the only way to get better in tennis is to keep practicing.