3 Ways To Improve Your Curb Appeal

curb appealWhether you are trying to increase the value of your home or list your home for sale, curb appeal has a big impact on potential buyers. The first thing anyone sees when they arrive at your house is the physical structure and beautifying it can go a long way. Here are three ways you can increase the curb appeal from the front to the backyard:

  1. Landscaping. One of the easiest ways to improve your home on the outside is manicured landscaping. Since the seasons have changed and we are embracing the fall weather, consider placing some mums around your front door or on your porch. Mums are easy plants to take care of and come in a plethora of colors that are vibrant and really bring in the autumn well. Additionally, you can still mow your grass a few times before the first frost, so be sure to keep it trimmed and neat. Along with other yard work, trim shrubs to give them a clean cut look.
  2. Walkway. If your home doesn’t have a walkway leading to the front door, invest in pouring a concrete path to your home. You get the flexibility of designing its flow and to further benefit your design, consult with a Seament specialist like Charles Bouri who can give you some tips. After you have completed the project, you can strategically place solar powered garden lights along the walkway to give it a nice lighting effect at night.
  3. Patio. Don’t forget the backyard of your house because it may be just as important as the front! If you have a back door leading out to the backyard space of your home, you can add a concrete slab to create extra living space. Jazz it up with lawn chairs and some weather-resistant end tables to create a comfortable environment to enjoy outside. If you want to take it a step further, install a fire pit that you and your friends and family can utilize on cool, autumn nights.

Taking on these three simple tips could significantly add value to your home and give you more enjoyment overall!

How to Hire Effective Employees

Ask any business owner and they will tell you that hiring efficient employees is one of the hardest parts of their job.  Just ask Alex F. Bouri, owner of Seament, a global company that has to hire reliable and competent employees in the United States as well as Istanbul, Greece, and Albania.  Use the tips below to help you find a staff that will help keep your company strong and growing.

 

  • Don’t Hire Friends (unless they’re qualified).  Sometimes when people start a business they want to be helpful and loyal by hiring friends and family.  In some cases the fit is perfect, however, other times it turns into a huge nightmare.  It’s important to only hire friends and family if they’re qualified for the position and have a successful work history doing the job. Things can get very ugly if you have to let go of a family member or friend because they aren’t able to fulfill the job duties of their position due to inexperience.
  • Ask Experts to Get Involved in the Hiring Process.  If you’re hiring for a position that you’re not an expert in, then it’s highly suggested to ask someone who is to get involved in the hiring process. For example, does an engineer really understand the job responsibilities of a marketing executive?  Work with a field expert to help develop the job description and ask them to sit in on interviews (or help you come up with interview questions). You’re likely to get highly qualified and dedicated employees when you get experts involved in your hiring process.
  • Look for a Good Fit.  Although it’s important to hire people who are established in their field, it’s just as important to hire employees that will be a good fit for your company.  Consider the staff you already have and try to figure out why the team works so well together.  Further, think about what your team is missing.  Perhaps you’re looking for someone who is a good cheerleader if your team is lacking a motivating personality.  The “right fit” is going to be different for every company but it’s important to consider because a positive team environment is the number one way to retain great employees.

 

Owner of Seament, Alex F. Bouri, understands the importance of a faithful staff, which is why he keeps the above tips in mind each time he hires a new employee.

Seament: An Industry Leader

As you now know, Seament is a company that began in the 1950’s and offers cementitious goods and services to clients all around the world. The company was founded by Alexander F. Bouri and is still owned and operated by Alex and his family.

The company is known for their expertise in manufacturing and shipping cement and other bulk materials. Seament is single-handedly responsible for the materialization and use of floating terminals, which makes it possible to deliver building materials even to countries without ample ports. This has helped many countries in crisis re-establish their ability to industrialize. Due to their innovations, consistency, and quality, Seament is now the highest-ranked independent cement group in the world.

They perform a number of quality services:

Cement Manufacturing

Manufacturing quality cement products is a specialty of Seament. They offer many different mix designs to satisfy many different types of clients, and a number of their products are both CE and ISO certified. They also create custom cement mixes at the customer’s request, which contributes to the reason that this group is so highly regarded in its industry.

Floating Cement Terminals

A major issue for countries like Nigeria was the fact that they needed to industrialize, but because their ports were not large enough to facilitate the import of bulk materials, their endeavors were hindered. Seament created the floating cement terminal as a solution to this issue, which helped to bring countries like Nigeria out of their cement crisis. In fact, this innovation helped to put more than 60 cement shortages worldwide to an end.

Cement Shipping

A subsidiary company of Seament is called Seabulk Shipping, and it was brought about by Alex Bouri and his employees when the global demand for cement increased at an exponential speed. For a while, Seabulk Shipping was the only company able to ship to certain nations, but other companies in the industry have since adopted their strategy.

Three Tough Things Every Business Owner Has To Do

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If you started your own business so that you can take it easy and be your own boss, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening.  Alexander Bouri didn’t start Seament Holding because he wanted to the boss, he started Seament because he knew he had a good business idea.  Running your own business doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want.  You’re going to have investors, other employees, and other facets of your management team coming to you with their own thoughts and opinions for your big decisions. 

Running your own company involves making a lot of tough decisions, and those decisions are going to be the toughest part of your job.  There are a few things bosses have to do that most people think are fun and empowering, but they’re actually stressful and difficult to do.  If you’re starting up your own business, be prepared to handle these tough decisions and activities.

Firing an employee

A lot of new managers are surprised to find that firing someone in real life is nothing like how it’s shown in the movies.  There are no big speeches, there are usually a lot of conflicted feelings over firing the employee and question, and most employees don’t end up leaving the office without getting saying a word.  Letting an employee go will be one of the toughest things you have do to, and it’ll also be one of the most time consuming things you’ll do at your job.  You can’t just fire someone on a whim.  If you lack proper reasoning and a hefty paper trail about why the employee should lose their job you could have a lawsuit on your hands. 

Making your own decisions

When people see managers and business owners in movies and television shows they see people who do what they want, when they want, however they want to do it.  They rarely show shots of the boss consulting with board members, talking to employees about their changes, and submitting paper work to other departments to get the okay from them to implement changes.  Charles Bouri and Mark Bouri run their father’s business, and even they make sure to talk to other people involved in the company before they make big changes.  Having an “I’m the boss so what I say goes attitude” may seem cool in theory, but practicing that is a good way to hurt your business. 

Creating a new product or service

When people think about how business owners came up with their award winning products and services, they imagine the CEO just sitting around when their next big idea popped into their heads.  Every good product and service starts with an idea, but it takes a lot of work and trial and error to turn their idea into what it is today.  The latest model iPhone wouldn’t be available if it wasn’t for the work of test groups, product developers, and marketers. 

The Bouri Family and Seament: How it All Came to Be

When Alexander Bouri started trading cement in Nigeria, he could have never imagined that he’d end up founding one of the largest cement distributing companies in the world: Seament. Also known as Seament Holding, this company single-handedly revolutionized the cement industry as we know it, combating the cement crisis that took place in several countries around the globe.

Seament was started virtually from the ground up when Alex F. Bouri was a young insurance salesman in Nigeria. When he noticed that the country was having issues industrializing due to the fact that it did not have easy access to building materials, he decided to seize the opportunity. He took a chance, took out a $50,000 loan, and put his salesman skills to the test. It wasn’t long before he was aptly titled the Cement King by the locals.

The business expanded at a rapid pace, and Bouri quickly realized that Nigeria wasn’t the only country in desperate need of bulk building materials. Nigeria and many other countries were, in fact, in a state of crisis in the 1970’s, and thus, the demand for cement was extremely high. It was difficult to address the issue considering these countries didn’t have the necessary ports to be capable of importing bulk materials, but Bouri wasn’t about to give up that easy. He began purchasing specialized cement vessels, and shortly after, he conceptualized a solution to the port problem: floating cement terminals. These terminals didn’t require capable ports in order to ship cement; instead, they floated and acted as their own ports.

Seament was the first company in the industry to use the floating cement terminal, which helped the company’s reputation gain value in the eyes of other cement giants. Before long, those other companies began to ride on the company’s coattails, using the floating terminals to deliver their product around the world as well. This new invention was a huge game-changer in the cement industry. It allowed Seament Holding to produce over 12,000 metric tons a day and ship to countries that had never been able to receive cement before. These countries were now able to industrialize and develop – a feat they had been struggling with in the many years prior. Nine countries were pulled out of their cement crises with the help of Alex Bouri and his invention.

The company is still going strong today, with Bouri’s sons, Charlie Bouri, Mark Bouri, and Maurice Bouri managing it. It continues to be one of the industry’s most highly-respected and competitively positioned businesses.