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City Builders The Role of a General Contractor

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General Contractor

In many ways, the glory of mankind is our ability to coordinate, use tools, and construct something. While other forms of life create habitats for themselves, like birds who build nests or spiders who sew webs, our habitats undergo change brought on by innovation, artistic expression, and pragmatism. Anthropologists are able to draw a clear line through the architectural record and pinpoint not only when a building was made, but even the industry and philosophy of the civilization that made it. 

But despite the differences in materials, design, location, size, age, and function, each one of these buildings from the sandstone Pueblo dwellings of Mesa Verde to the White Tower of London has at least one thing in common: the projects were the collaborative effort of numerous builders, all following the directions of an overseer. In ancient times, these individuals were called “master builders” or “chief architects.” Today we call them general contractors.

The Role of a General Contractor 

While the titles may have changed, the basis of the role remains the same: a general contractor coordinates the efforts of construction teams, ensuring that the project is ultimately finished on time and within budget. Like a film director who Marshalls the heads of various departments, they are aware of all the moving parts of a build and are the keepers of the “final vision” of the project. The general contractor not only acts as the central figure to whom everyone must ultimately report and receive feedback, but they also liaise between the various civic entities that concern the project.

A Master of Coordination

One of the most important responsibilities leveled at a general contractor is managing the hiring and job fulfillment of various trade contractors, subcontractors, and vendors. Typically, even though a construction company wins a contract to build a skyscraper, they themselves don’t have all the materials needed to actually construct it, and so the general contractor makes a deal with vendors to procure the steel, wood, and concrete needed for the project. And once the frame is built and it comes time to install the utilities, the general contractor oversees that process as well. 

Of course, managing all of these teams can feel like spinning plates, especially since an average general contractor manages multiple building projects at once. That’s why they are always looking for the next best tool to aid in tracking and coordination. These tools are essential to finishing a build; otherwise, a project could be stalled for a number of reasons, including: 

  • Labor and Payment Disputes
  • Laxidaesical Budget Control
  • Bottlenecking Action Items and Approvals
  • Poor Interdepartmental Communication 
  • Subpar Scheduling

As difficult as it is, a general contractor must keep all of these things in mind to avoid liquidated damages. 

An Eye for Diversity

Thanks to the sheer volume of construction projects going on every day, a general contractor could find themselves overseeing the work of multiple builds at once. This is good, as the diversity of a construction company’s portfolio means that they will have an easier time being considered for a project in the future. One way that a general contractor keeps their team in business is by working hard to be the “go-to” option in a city or state. A Nevada-based firm might find itself winning contracts to build an addition to a college, a religious temple, and a beautiful new Vegas hotel, all at the same time. After a few years, this hypothetical team becomes synonymous with building in Nevada, and the company moves on to ever more prestigious jobs. A good general contractor will keep their eyes peeled for these opportunities, and make competitive bids to win the project.

Of course, all of this can go the other way if a reputation of shoddy work and unreliability should precede them. To avoid this, a general contractor picks their partners well, plans minutely, and is familiar with all of the building codes, local laws, and client concerns that accompany the building site.

Not Just for Businesses

A general contractor is often thought of as the quarterback of only the highest-profile construction jobs in the area; surely anything less than a skyscraper, stadium, or concert hall is more the realm of a local tradesman. While divisions do exist within construction companies that handle big projects, ultimately the professionals on site are adept at doing any type of job and are led by an experienced project manager. This means that the project manager overseeing the construction of an office building might assign a junior colleague to handle the building of a local church or a residential renovation

In spite of the numerous duties that compete for their attention, a general contractor with the right team members and the right tools will find themselves building things that will last generations. The master builders of yore from Amenhotep to Marcus Agrippa stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the contractors of today, and by exercising the same discipline a modern builder’s work will be tomorrow’s ancient Wonder.

Business

Talk of the Town Using the Marketing Machine to Your Advantage

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There has likely never been a more dire time for new businesses in America than during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to recent reporting on the economic impact of the coronavirus, a control group shows nearly 300,000 businesses have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with closures happening in greater numbers month-over-month. Of these nearly 300,000 businesses that have closed, 60% are not planning to reopen. Of those that are still open (or that plan on reopening), many have admitted that they likely won’t return to pre-covid conditions for at least six months. 

In light of all that small businesses have to contend against right now, effective marketing has become more crucial than ever before. Luckily, the audience is there, and in a volume heretofore unseen. One of the strangest instances of societal dissonance is that in a year of mass closures and mounting medical devastation, businesses great and small with a substantial internet presence have posted record gains during the pandemic. Understanding that the internet is the greatest tool for communicating in the history of mankind, those businesses that properly utilize it have the best chance for survival, regardless of the crisis.

Social Media is a Megaphone

While traditional advertising can reach a much larger audience on the internet just by utilizing sidebar and banner ads, or by sending marketing emails to the nearly 4 billion daily email users, social media is the ace-in-the-hole of any small business. Of all the typical marketing tools on the internet, social media offers something that none of the others are capable of doing: engagement. In fact, the ability to interface directly with their clientele means that businesses can bring up important topics concerning their industry and carve out a lucrative corner for themselves, even in a competitive market. If you want to talk with your fans about the pros and cons of weighted blankets for your Minky blanket start-up, and make a killing every FB Live, social media makes it possible. 

This type of control over your industry is a far cry from how the same process was done in the past. In the golden age of printed media, the most effective advertisement capable of capturing the humor, outrage, wonder, or envy of an audience was still at the mercy of an entire interlocking web of businesses and systems working in sync in order to be seen, let alone discussed. 

  1. A writer would come up with a tagline and some copy. 
  2. The art department would bring it to life visually.
  3. The advertising coordinators then buy ad space to be featured in newspapers, magazines, and billboards.
  4. The printers would then copy the master ad.
  5. The distribution department coordinates the sending of these newspapers and magazines to newsstands and paperboys all over the country.
  6. The finished product makes its way to the consumer, and the advertisers pray that they’ve come up with something that would lead the person holding the paper to turn to someone they’re sitting next to and discuss the ad.

With social media providing the tools, the distribution, and the potential audience, a new business can have more confidence in the control they have over the fate of a particular ad. They can instead focus on the all-important task of getting to know better their clients and the market. 

The Growing Relevance of Waning Attention Spans

One important piece of information for every business attempting to curate a presence online: the smartphone has seen attention spans in humans drop drastically. Whereas the average attention span topped out at 12 seconds in the year 2000, now studies show that the average person can only focus on something for 8.25 seconds. That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. This means that a great marketing campaign must be all the catchier, all the more relevant, and all the more succinct if a business hopes to keep a person grounded long enough to sell them something.

One way around this is to invest more in video production. On average a person will watch a video for 2 to 3 minutes before clicking away, and a majority of people would rather watch something than read the same information if they had the chance. As such, the desire for a competent and professional video production team is on the rise

These days, the most competitive production companies offer not only space to film commercials with the latest technology but also handle all the sound mixing and ADR in-house. These businesses pride themselves on being the first to properly interpret your vision for an ad and then making it happen for the rest of your audience.

The Marketing Potential of a Great 3PL

Once the audience is found, the ad is created, the engagement is underway, and the orders are made, the next step in leveraging the internet to your advantage is arguably the most important. All the other (admittedly important) work done thus far is merely a preamble to the most crucial part of keeping a small business alive: fulfillment.

In the year 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon posted record-breaking revenue by both internal and external metrics. In the third quarter alone they had cleared over $96 billion, a 37% increase from the previous year. How was Amazon able to do this? Ultimately, it’s because they have already achieved recognition as the global marketplace, and when people are quarantined and are using less of their income on going out, they end up spending more money online. But the underlying reason for their success and why they are considered the most ubiquitous place to buy anything is because they have mastered the art of fulfillment. 
When thinking about order fulfillment, it’s difficult to determine which link in the supply chain is most important. Therefore, a solution that makes your business good at everything is the logical, albeit difficult, answer. Finding a 3PL partner who can master order fulfillment may be a daunting task for a small business it’s an extra expense, and knowing the right company from another can be hard but being reliable is the best type of marketing a company can do. If a business has the reputation of being quick, accurate, and helpful, word will spread and the people will come.

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Installing Synthetic Grass on a Slope

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synthetic grass

There are many guides on installing your artificial lawn; however, doing so on a slope is considerably different and has a different level of difficulty. If you follow through with these steps, you can successfully install your synthetic grass on a slope.

If your yard is hilly, it can be difficult to mow, weed, water and keep in good condition. 

If laid correctly on a slope, artificial grass is the ideal solution to keep your garden well maintained because of the little to no work required to look after it. However, getting it right is the first step, and to do this, you need to follow the instructions below.

1. Have a clear area

Remove any grass or debris from the area you wish to lay your turf before you begin.

2. Lay hanging timbers

To stop your turf from sliding down the slope, the best way moving forward is to install 4″ x 2″ treated planks along the bank. For these planks to remain in place, they are best concreted in so they don’t move at any time during or after the process.

3. Install more timber around the perimeter

Once the hanging timbers have been laid, the next step is to place 3″ by 2″ timbers around the perimeter’s remainder. If there are shrubs or trees of any kind, create boxes around them with timber.

4. Add an even layer of Type 1 aggregates

The next step is to put a 2-3 inch distribution of type 1 aggregate across the whole slope. You may need to do some of this by hand. This is likely to be the most time-consuming part of the job but will be worth it on completion. 

5. Granite dust application

Following on from here, dust across the surface granite which you can bind by using a piece of timber. A waker shouldn’t be used for this part.

6. Add the membrane

You will begin seeing more progress from here by adding the weed membrane over the granite dust. This will help keep the aggregates in place and stop it from sliding down the slope.

7. Apply the artificial grass

Now is the time to fit the artificial grass as you would in any other conditions. This will be challenging because of the slope; however, get your grass lined up well before nailing it to the timber.

8. Nail the joins together

Once you have all your joins together, use galvanised nails to keep everything in place until the glue has had a chance to dry.

9. Sand the synthetic grass

Once the grass is nailed and glued down, sanding it will help push the grass into the bank for a seamless finish. It’s best to sand heavily to get the best and most consistent results.

10. Brush the grass

The last step in the process is to brush the grass. This is really the only thing you need to do to upkeep the synthetic turn on a semi-regular basis.

If you have any further questions, please ask our professional team at Super deck, talk to us about how we can help you move forward. Installing synthetic grass can be relatively easy. However, when installing on an incline, it adds another level of difficulty, where you may require the assistance of a specialized team. 

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Coinbase’s success ‘will likely lift valuations’ across crypto companies: CEO

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MICHAEL SONNENSHEIN: It’s amazing to be here. In light of everything, in particular, a colossal congratulations to Brian and the entire Coinbase bunch. I accept they’re really setting the standard for what I accept will open a huge load of blue chip crypto associations to go to the public market. I think this has been unreasonably commonly invited by the theory neighborhood. BRIAN SOZZI: All right, what about we dive by and by into crypto and Coinbase. Michael Sonnenshein is the CEO of Grayscale Investments and is here with us now. Michael, incredible to see you–so what are a segment of your takeaways from two days prior?

I trust it’s presumably going to lift valuations across crypto associations. Also, behind that, you may see another surge of VC interest into crypto associations looking for kind of that next Coinbase, and a while later moreover in a perfect world persuading another time of money managers to keep on working inside the crypto economy. Story continues

Exactly when you see associations like Coinbase, when you see associations like Grayscale, there’s really a possibility for us to continue driving by working proactively with regulators. Likewise, from the legacy financial associations, a huge load of them are right now genuinely working, or some of the time scrambling, to guarantee that they’re making things and organizations to have the alternative to have cryptographic cash receptiveness for their clients and sort out techniques for how to get included. BRIAN SOZZI: Michael, nothing goes up in an organized design. If there a couple of elements that could trap crypto’s rising this year, what do you figure they will be?

MICHAEL SONNENSHEIN: I think it verifiably is. Coinbase is really motioning to the market in everyday a particular level of improvement, a particular technique for doing things the right way. I saw Brian gave a gathering this week talking about rule possibly being a threat here. Nevertheless, we also believe it to be an opportunity. MYLES UDLAND: So, Michael, you know, it’s charming, considering the way that you’re talking about the imaginative side of the crypto market. I think from our vantage point covering public business areas, everyone has to realize the sum more dove in tremendous associations, existing public associations will get with crypto. Do you believe Coinbase to be a defining moment, in that it’s telling colossal banks–the water has been warm, right, anyway it’s uncovering to them that it’s perhaps safer than they presumed it was to really start slanting up client transparency, such things–creation markets, so on, and so forth

We genuinely accept that it’s a once during a time opportunity that you see an inside and out new asset class considered. In any case, we have a lot of work to do, it’s as yet the beginning. We contribute a huge load of our energy teaching monetary sponsor on the advantages of cutting edge cash transparency inside their portfolios. Additionally, we moreover work to dissipate a lot of presumptions about crypto. MICHAEL SONNENSHEIN: I mean, the one that reliably torture me the most is just instability. Likewise, that can show up in numerous constructions. I trust it’s critical that we remember that crypto as an asset class, Bitcoin without anyone else didn’t exist 10 or 12 years earlier. Along these lines the way that it has come as far and as speedy as it has is in reality entirely unfathomable.

What are a couple of locales directly since you’re looking at inside the space thoroughly that to you have all the earmarks of being a little around there? Is it the advancement around NFTs? What is it today that feels like something that is riding on the crypto energy anyway presumably will not have the foundation of, hi, I need to put 2% of a tremendous institutional portfolio in Bitcoin, something along those lines. MYLES UDLAND: And, Michael, it was a significant part inside Coinbase’s S-1, and it’s something that we’ve examined beforehand, which is the crypto market has cycles. In addition, it has had various cycles. Moreover, I induce this would now be fundamental for the fourth cycle inside the market. On the contrary side, we see certain–I mean, the ICO exposure train, right–that was to some degree what ended up getting let out the back in 2018. We don’t figure people will use Bitcoin to buy a latte soon. We endeavor to ensure people grasp that crypto isn’t an instrument for doing terrible things or for unlawful development a unimaginable backwards. Consequently I accept we’re by and by on the grade of really seeing that standard gathering. Likewise, with Coinbase opening up to the world, monetary supporters very get another opportunity to participate in the crypto economy, rather than before it, just genuinely having the alternative to get to advanced cash directly whether that is through Grayscale things, or buying coins clearly on Coinbase, or various stages.

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