An Unusual Christmas Present: Finding a Property to Renovate

Renovate Alerts is an online company that finds properties that range from needing cosmetic updating to a full scale renovation. Having found the properties Renovate Alerts email subscribers alerts which links the subscriber to the property details on the estate agents websites. So your friend would only get properties that require work and are ripe for their DIY enthusiasm. Alerts are sent out every few days and contain only properties that are new to the market.

The cost of this unusual present would be either £10 or £20 per month per region and each region covers a large area e.g. Wales, South, Scotland, Greater London, etc. So you could give an original, thoughtful present of £10 or £20 and start your friend on a new line of investigation and even a new career in property development!

The subscription is on an ongoing automatic monthly basis so if you want to give your friend just one month then do remember to email Renovate Alerts to cancel the subscription after the first month.

Here is some feedback that Renovate Alerts has recently received from satisfied customers:

“Your service is excellent, and I will recommend you to other people”

“Your website is amazing. I am in the process of purchasing 2 properties as a result. I have started a new business..”

It should at least give your friend something more to go on. A subscription to Renovate Alerts is surely more exciting than chocolates, pens or socks. In fact you might find it so intriguing you subscribe for yourself!

For more information and see a sample of a live alert visit:

How to Choose First Birthday Presents

A child’s first birthday is undoubtedly cause for celebration, even though we all know that first birthday parties are as much a celebration for the parents as they are for the birthday babe! Still, getting a fantastic first birthday present for a niece, nephew, a friend’s baby or even your own, should be a pleasure in itself, and not something to get in a muddle over.

First birthday presents can be a little tricky to buy sometimes, as you find yourself pondering over the cuddly toys or the foil balloons in the local supermarket, wondering if grandma has already bought them. It’s also hard to choose something that the parents will appreciate, as every parent has their own idea about what they want their kids to play with, especially when they’re babies.

Luckily there are great alternatives to the usual high street toys and gifts, and all you have to do is get online and click a few buttons to use the power of the Internet. The very best online children’s gift stores have a great range of options that include innovative and educational toys that every parent will love. Timeless classic toys made to high standards are a thoughtful gift for any child, and parents will appreciate gifts that have genuine quality.

One of the best new online concepts for children’s gifts and toys is gift bundles, which are the perfect choice for the indecisive shopper, especially when you don’t have time to get down to the shops. There are some extremely well-crafted options available, with some delightful first birthday gift ideas brought together in beautifully presented gift hampers and boxes.

Children’s gift hampers take the difficulty out of choosing the right balance of gifts, wrapping them up nicely and handing them over, because everything can be handled by the supplier. The benefit of buying online is that you can have a beautiful hand-wrapped first birthday gift sent directly to the parents, ideal for friends and family members that have moved away.

Another benefit of buying pre-packaged children’s gift hampers for a baby’s first birthday is that they are often themed, a nice touch that makes the whole package come together as something special. A lovely collection of Peter Rabbit soft toys or Paddington Bear themed gifts is a nice thing to keep as the child grows up, and presents further ideas to add the collection on subsequent birthdays.

Small Business Owners – Master the Art of Negotiation

As a small business owner, you will need to negotiate on a regular basis. This could include negotiating contracts, getting better deals from your suppliers, as well as settling disputes between your employees and clients. So it definitely pays to have strong negotiation skills in your entrepreneurial arsenal. Let’s look at how you can do a better deal.

1. Determine exactly what it is you want

Before you enter into any negotiation you need to do a little bit of homework upfront. This includes being very clear and very precise about exactly what it is you want. Then prepare a bottom-line compromise position. Have very clear outcomes defined i.e. I want this outcome, by a certain date at x price. This gives you room to move in your discussions, starting with your ideal position and stop at the line in the sand that you have drawn.

It also pays to know what you can’t accept. Being aware of your limitations ensures that you will not, in the heat of the negotiation, accept a position that will put you at risk.

2. Ensure you are negotiating with the person who has the authority to say ‘yes’

There is nothing worse than going through a negotiation and then find out that the person does not have the authority to sign off on the deal. Simply ask at the outset, “who has authority to sign-off on this deal?” and go directly to that person.

3. Aim for a Win-Win outcome

Negotiations do not have to be adversarial. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when negotiating. If you go into them with a mindset of win-win, and aim to satisfy each of the parties involved, you are much more likely to be successful and the deal is less likely to come back and haunt you.

4. Apply Proven Strategies

There are a few strategies you can employ to help you negotiate a better deal. But bear in mind, when employing these strategies, that you don’t want to make the party you are negotiating with feel like a loser. Win-win should always be top of mind.

Some excellent strategies include resisting your first offer – unless it is exactly what you want (sometimes simply putting your request on the table is enough). Another is to act reluctant and the other party may be inclined to up the ante based on your perceived resistance. Pretending to flinch can help you gain concessions. You can play dumb by saying you need to run it by someone else in higher authority and come back the following day saying that the ‘higher authority’ wants certain concessions. Another is to simply walk away.

If you are new to negotiating, try your newly learned skills out on smaller deals first. Preferably ones that don’t have much pressure attached. Then continue to build your skills so you are able to deal more effectively. Your business will be much better for it.