Balancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business ServicesBalancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business Services

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Balancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business Services

My company is now over a decade old and I still outsource several key functions. It isn't that I can't afford to keep them in house. It is just that outsourcing is the most financially responsible decision I can make. I outsource all sorts of support services. One company manages my IT needs. Another partner takes care of the payroll and remitting taxes. I even have a cleaning service that comes in at night, does the windows, and in general keeps everything spotless. If you think outsourcing might benefit your business, let's talk. I'll tell you what I outsource and why. From there, you can decide if my strategy would also work for you.

Beginner's Tips for Buying Antique Rugs

You've always admired the antique Persian, Oriental, or Iranian rugs in your friends' homes, but were too intimidated to shop for one of your own. Aside from being attractive, durable, and well-made, antique rugs are also a great investment that will add color and style to your home. Before you hit the antique malls, flea markets, or estate sales in your area, here are a few tips to help you find the ideal antique rug for your budget:

Before You Begin Shopping

As a beginner, one of the first things you need to understand what makes a rug an antique. According to Nazmiyal Collection, for a rug to be classified as an antique it must be at least 80 years old.

In addition to factoring your budget and determining the right size for your living room or master bedroom, it is also important to learn about a rug's KPSI. A rug's knots per square inch is one of the factors used to determine the price. The higher the KPSI, the more expensive a rug will be.

In the case of antique rugs, the value of the piece is not only determined by its KPSI. The rug's age, appearance, condition and whether or not it fits with the current design trends are other factors that will come into play.

Inspecting the Rugs

Once you determine your budget and the size and style of rug you're after, it is time to learn how to properly inspect a rug. Here are a few tips to help you learn how to inspect the condition of an antique rug like a pro:

  • Check for cracking: In the world of antique rugs, cracking is the term used describe mildew damage and rot. To check for cracking, flip the rug over and check the back for any patches that appear lighter in color. These spots of discoloration are signs of mildew. Additionally, if you hearing a cracking noise when you pull on the rug or if the rug feels brittle, these are also signs of cracking. If you notice considerable cracking, do not purchase the rug.
  • Look for wear patterns: Look for even wear patterns on the rug. The wear patterns should be even and balanced over the whole of the rug. If the wear patterns aren't even, it could be a sign the rug was aged with chemicals.
  • Check for repairs: One of the biggest things you need to watch for are noticeable repairs. To check for repairs, lay the rug down and gently rub your hand over the entire surface. If you feel a large area that is raised and bumpy, this is a sign the rug has been repaired. Reconsider purchasing a rug with several noticeable, large repairs. However, if the repairs are small, few, and well done, the rug is potentially worth buying.
  • Look at the edges: Examine the edges of the rug and look for considerable fraying. If the edges of the rug are severely frayed, consider looking for another piece. Frayed edges on a rug are very expensive to repair, which might make purchasing the rug a bad investment.

Finally, many times a rug will be painted to restore its original color, or provide the rug with an entirely new design. Don't be afraid to get down on your hands and knees to examine the rug for noticeable signs of painting.

From examining the rug for wear patterns to making sure the piece fits your budget, there are many considerations that come into play when shopping for an antique rug. However, while you're examining a rug at an estate sale or antique store, make sure to remember that the most important aspect of buying a rug is choosing a piece that you like! For more information about antique rugs, speak with a specialist or the person running the estate sale.