Key Elements to Business Insurance

Key Elements to Business Insurance

Rather than a single policy, business insurance is more of a collection of coverages designed to protect a specific business. Put together, the business insurance plan should address the particular needs and risks of a business, whether it is online, brick and mortar, or a service industry. Business insurance can also help professionals like doctors, lawyers, and financial advisors protect their businesses. Here is a closer look at some of the elements of a business insurance plan.

General Liability

This critical part of a business insurance program covers you from liability claims from those who may feel they have been harmed by your business or its employees. This can include slip and fall, and employee-responsible damage. It can cover legal costs of representation as well as settlement or judgement expenses.

Commercial Property

Generally, commercial property insurance protects against losses of physical items like property, inventory, equipment, and more.

Business Income

If your business experiences a loss of income due to a covered calamity, business income insurance can help you keep your business operating while you recover.

Professional Liability

This is sometimes referred to as errors and omissions insurance or malpractice insurance. It is generally most valuable for professionals, like medical professionals, lawyers, and those who offer financial advice.

Workers Compensation

Workers’ compensation protects both workers and employers by assuring employees will be compensated should they be injured on the job. This also protects companies from being sued out of business by an injured employee.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Many businesses are at risk by not providing business or commercial auto insurance. There are plenty of risky situations that can be avoided through a business commercial auto insurance policy.

Data Breach Insurance

As a business owner, you are responsible for the information your clients provide to you. Data breach insurance can help ensure claims from a digital attack.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is beneficial coverage that can help provide protection above and beyond what you may have for individual areas. It is an added layer of protection.

If you would like to discuss your business and your business insurance situation, please contact us. We can discuss your business and your specific risks. Contact us today.

Work From Home Side Hustles

Work From Home Side Hustles

Although the term “side hustle” has some negative connotations, more people than you think have one. “Side hustle” is, of course, the term given to a part-time activity used to generate extra income. From ride sharing to pet-sitting, it is estimated that about 34% of us have a side hustle.

If you are thinking about doing something to earn a little cash but delivering groceries or restaurant food isn’t your thing, here are some alternative options.

Pet Care

Families love their pets and are often willing to pay to have someone check in on them when they go on vacation or head out for a long weekend. Pet sitting can be an easy way to add to your bank account, especially if you love pets. Dog walking is another side hustle that is fun, easy, and good exercise.

Tutoring

You don’t have to have a Master’s Degree to provide some additional help for students. Tutoring can be enjoyable, especially if you enjoy the subject you are helping with. Students can be tutored one-on-one or in small groups, or even through video streaming. There may even be opportunities to tutor adults in a craft or skill you’ve developed through the years.

Start a Blog

It may take some time to build an audience, but if you are good at expressing yourself and have an interesting subject matter, you can begin making some spare cash by blogging or creating video blogs. Make sure you add new content at least weekly.

Sell Homemade Items

Do you have sewing, knitting, or woodworking skills? Selling hand-crafted items allows you to express yourself creatively while making some extra money. You can really improve your sales and profit margins by offering personalized and one-of-a-kind items. There are plenty of online resources to market items.

You should be aware that, at some point, a side hustle can become a business or activity that can put you at risk. Renting out a room, for example, could impact your home insurance. If you deliver food or ride share, it could affect your car insurance. If you use your home for business, you should see if you should have business insurance. We can help. Coverage for your home-based business is frequently very affordable. You can get a no-obligation quote by contacting one of our business insurance agents. Make sure you aren’t taking any unnecessary risks and contact us today.

The Biggest Threats to New Businesses

The Biggest Threats to New Businesses

You may have heard a time or two, that starting a new business can be challenging. But why? What makes starting a business so difficult? What are the biggest threats to a start-up?

Under-Financing

Perhaps the biggest threat to a new business is not having access to sufficient funding. You may have a great concept and a good business plan, but if you lack the cash to keep it running to a point where it takes hold, the rest may be pointless. Make sure you have enough cash or financing to keep you afloat for at least two years.

Lack of Sales/Marketing Expertise

Most new companies have products or services that need to be sold. This can be done one-on-one or through marketing and advertising. How will potential customers learn about your company and its products or services? Lack of knowledge and expertise in this area poses a big threat to start-ups.

Competitors

The odds are you are competing with others for similar customers. You must be able to compete on quality of products, excellence of service, and, of course, pricing. If you have weak competitors in your business space, it can make it easier. Make sure you understand who you are competing against and learn their strengths and weaknesses.

Theft

One of the biggest factors contributing to the failure of businesses is theft. This includes outside and employee theft. You can put security systems and policies in place, but one of the best ways to protect your business from this issue is by acquiring business insurance.

A good business insurance plan can not only help protect your business against theft but also vandalism, storm damage, loss of income, liability claims, and more. When your new business is protected by business insurance, you can have more confidence and sleep better.

There are significant threats to any business. Business insurance can help provide protection. Contact one of our independent business insurance agents for a business insurance evaluation and price quote. There’s no cost or obligation, and you may discover business insurance is more affordable than you realize.

Why an Independent Agent is a Smart Choice for Business Insurance

Why an Independent Agent is a Smart Choice for Business Insurance

Business owners can appreciate the value of smart decisions. So, when it comes to business insurance, why is an independent insurance agent a better choice?

Insurance agents are generally captive or independent. A captive agent represents the products of a single company. An independent insurance agent, on the other hand, has the freedom to work with a wide network of companies. If you believe choice and options are a good thing in business, this alone makes choosing an independent agent the superior choice. But it goes even deeper than that.

Since an independent agent can work with a variety of companies, they can shop for better coverage and rates. This is critical in business insurance.

You see different companies have different management and profit strategies. Some may advertise a lot, believing big advertising drives customers and keeps costs down. Some smaller, lesser known companies may not advertise at all, passing those savings on to policyholders. We just believe in the bottom line and seek out great coverage at affordable prices.

Finally, when it comes to business insurance, each company has their own experience with the type of businesses they insure. If a particular company has had good experiences insuring your type of company, that may translate into better rates. Alternatively, if an insurance company has had bad experiences or suffered more losses from insuring companies similar to yours, their quoted premiums may be higher.

Other factors could include their experience in working with small, medium or large businesses, their own credit rating standards and more.

In the end, the coverage you can get for the rate you pay will likely be the deciding factor, and we are more than willing to do the legwork.

Contact one of our independent business insurance specialists and start the process today. With some basic information about your company, we’ll get started seeking out quotes for you to review.

You are always in control and the final choice is yours. We believe, however, that when you experience the value of working with an independent business insurance agent, you will remain a client of ours for years to come.

Help in Building Your Business Insurance Plan

Help in Building Your Business Insurance Plan

Business owners are constantly building their companies. They make adjustments in pricing, add products, change strategies and look for new markets.

They know their businesses are living, breathing entities that evolve with time and market conditions. Yet, some fall prey to thinking that once they have business insurance they are good to go.

The reality is that your business insurance should change as your company grows and changes. If you are building your company, your business plan should be constructed to reflect that growth.

Getting Started

When starting your business, funding is always a concern. You may think there is simply not enough cash flow to fund business insurance. You may not be able to get the full coverage you desire, but you should start with something, and our business insurance experts can help. Even basic coverage can help protect your business from a devastating liability claim or other financial loss. The point is to start somewhere with something. This will provide a basis to build upon.

The Next Step

As your company begins to grow, you should begin to improve and grow your business insurance plan. This may include adding income protection coverage, coverage to insure against cyber crimes and increased levels of liability coverage. You may find adding coverage adds to your peace of mind when it comes to your business.

Starting with some basic business insurance coverage and building from there is far superior to foregoing business insurance all together. A basic policy provides some protection while you build your company and your business policy plan.

Few businesses are perfect from the beginning. Don’t expect your business insurance to be either. It is, however, important to get started and build from there. Before you know it you will have a finely tuned business insurance plan designed just for your specific business.

Let us help you get started. Contact us for some basic coverage that can begin protecting your company, so it can grow. You just may be surprised at how affordable starting your business insurance plan can be.

Connect with an independent business insurance professional, get a quote and make a decision. There’s no stress, no hard sell tactics and no pressure. You make the final decision. We are simply here to help.

We look forward to assisting you.

Know What You Are Saying No To

Know What You Are Saying No To

Operating your own successful business takes a variety of skills, talents, knowledge and abilities. It can take a certain amount of vision, bundles of commitment and a willingness to be open-minded. Going into business for yourself also has its contrary aspects. Business owners have been known to take risks while not gambling unnecessarily. Unfortunately, far too many of America’s businesses are taking risks that may be putting their very businesses at risk.

They are operating without business insurance.

This is not an insignificant issue. There are almost 35 million business in the country, about 98% of which could be considered small business. Of those small businesses, it is estimated 44% are operating without business insurance. That’s about 15 small businesses operating without the protection of business insurance. This may not just be a problem for the business itself, but could negatively impact customers and clients.

What isn’t known is how many businesses consciously decide not to secure business insurance and how many never take the time to consider it.

If you have been proactive at pursuing business insurance, and for one reason or another, decided not to move forward, that’s one thing. It is quite another to never look at business insurance at all. After all, shouldn’t you know what you are saying no to?

Business insurance can help protect even small businesses from fires, weather-related disasters, employee theft, vandalism, computer crimes, loss of income, slip and fall and other liability lawsuits, inventory and equipment theft, liability claims against your employees and so much more.

Yet, many small businesses don’t pursue it for some reason or another, sometimes without even learning about their options.

If you own a small business, we invite you to contact us. Go ahead and call even if you’ve never looked at business insurance coverage before. We’ll take a few minutes to learn about your business, your risks and where coverage may be the most critical. Our professional business insurance agents will go to work shopping for plans to fit your needs.

Why “Targeting” Prospects is so Important in Business Advertising

Why “Targeting” Prospects is so Important in Business Advertising

Does your business have a target market? Is there a group of consumers that seem to fit your product or services? If you sell dog biscuits, for example, you target dog owners. If you sell real estate your market probably is a bit wider. If you sell luxury cars, you likely are in search of high net-worth consumers. But even products with wide appeal can benefit from narrowing consumers down to a “target” market. Why?

Because if your target market is “everyone”, you better have a pretty large budget for marketing. There is also the problem that can occur when your message is designed to reach everyone. It may not hit a chord with anyone.

This is why when you see or hear a commercial and just don’t “get it”, it probably was not designed to target you.

This can be valuable for small to medium business owners to take time to better target who exactly they want to reach. Sure, anyone with money could potentially be a customer, but the point is without an unlimited marketing budget, you will be much more effective targeting the most valuable consumers for you.

Face it. Marketing to 21-year-olds is far different from marketing to those approaching retirement. It is best, therefore, to narrow it down. Who would you RATHER have as a customer, a 25-year-old, 35-year-old, 45-year-old or 55-year-old? Do you prefer males or female customers? What would be your target education level, income group or other lifestyle or psychographic group?

You can start by considering your most valuable group of current customers. What do they have in common? Your website, social media content, logo, messaging and imaging should all target a similar group.

It has been said if you try to appeal to everyone, you may end up appealing to no one. It is something to consider when thinking about your advertising and marketing.

As a business owner, protecting your business can be every bit as important as growing it. That is why a well-designed business insurance plan is so important. Connect with one of our business insurance experts to discuss you business, its risks and your goals. For many, business insurance can be surprisingly affordable, and it provides significant peace of mind. We look forward to shopping for the best business insurance plan for your company.

The Dangers Within: Inside Threats to Your Business

The Dangers Within: Inside Threats to Your Business

Most small business owners spend a great deal of time and effort thinking about and protecting themselves from outside threats. They are on the lookout for new competitors, being mindful of the dangers of slip and fall incidents and other legal, financial, and competitive threats to their company.

In this atmosphere, it is easy to lose track of internal threats to your business. Here are a few.

Employee Injuries

Worker injuries can damage your reputation and be costly. Workers’ Compensation provides protection from some financial losses, but business owners need to be conscious of providing a safe, secure workplace.

Employee Theft/Embezzlement

In spite of improving background checks and applicant screenings. Employee theft is still a problem for many organizations. Thefts can be in inventory or valuable cash assets. Security and camera systems can be a deterrent but meticulous bookkeeping and inventory control is critical.

Employee Misconduct

Your employees represent you and your business when working for you. You can be held liable for their misconduct or incompetence while on the clock.

Cyber-Security Threats

Some threats from within your company may be due to lack of awareness or training. Such is often the case with many cyber-security issues. Employees may inadvertently download malware or open emails with malicious content. Passwords may not be secure or left on Post-It notes on computer screens. Client or customer info may not be treated as securely as it should.

It is not necessary to become paranoid about these internal threats, but you should take prudent steps to protect yourself. This can range from improved training and security to a thorough business insurance review. Some businesses may not be aware that business insurance can help protect from some cyber crimes and employee theft. Contact one of our business insurance professionals to discuss your business and where you may be at risk. Allow them to design a plan to address the needs of your specific business and get price quotes that deliver value.

Protect your business from internal and external threats. Contact us for your free business insurance review and quote today.

Preparing Your Business for “Sickness Season”

Preparing Your Business for “Sickness Season”

If there’s anything we should have learned from the past couple of years, it is that we need to be better prepared for sickness season. This occurs every year, most frequently between October and March, when colder, inclement weather and holiday stress simultaneously arrive. We have no excuse not to be better prepared in the future. Here are some steps businesses can take to be better prepared.

Stock Up On Supplies

You may want to consider stocking up on items like face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays, and yes, even toilet paper. We may not get hit as badly as we have in the past two years, but you can count on the winter flu and cold season to have at least some impact annually.

Communicate With Staff

How do you want employees to react to being sick themselves and interacting with customers? Is it possible to conduct some tasks from home? Just making them once again aware of the approaching flu season can help them prepare themselves and their family.

Consider Flu Shots

Every year, pharmacies, clinics, and doctors offer flu shots, updated annually for the latest variants. Some choose to get them every year, others prefer to ride it out. Make everyone aware of their availability.

While the pandemic certainly caught our attention, the cold and flu sickness season shouldn’t be a surprise. It has been happening for generations. There is little excuse not to be prepared. You may even want to take some or all of the proactive steps listed above. You may even want to go so far as to let your customers know about the steps you and your staff are taking to keep everyone healthier over the season. You can let customers know via an email, your company newsletter, or even through an in-business notice or signage.

Taking steps to protect the health of your employees and customers is a responsible way to operate your company. So is having an appropriate amount of business insurance. Business insurance can help your company survive the unexpected, like a liability claim, storm damage, theft, or vandalism. It can even protect your income during a covered calamity. Contact us to discuss your business and your risks. A business insurance evaluation and price quote is free and there’s no obligation. We look forward to assisting you.

Why Some Partnerships Fail

Why Some Partnerships Fail

When you start a business, one of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on your business structure. It could be a sole proprietorship, a corporation, an LLC, or a partnership. A simple partnership often involves just two people who decide they can work successfully together to build a business. While partnerships can offer a sense of security compared to going it alone, it can have its drawbacks. This is why some partnerships fail.

Similar Skills

Partners should complement each other with different skills and talents. If partners come from similar backgrounds or education, their skills may not be diverse enough.

Unequal Efforts

Many partnerships fail because one partner puts in more work than the other. In some cases, partnerships fail because one partner FEELS LIKE he is working harder than the other. It is important to split and assign responsibilities so each is accountable.

One Partner Gets Distracted

Owning and operating a business takes commitment. It takes long hours and financial sacrifice. If one partner or the other feels like they have to supplement their income by doing outside projects, it can be the beginning of the end.

Personal/Family Stress

At some level, when you are in a partnership with someone, you are also in a partnership with their spouse and family. Be cautious if you don’t get along with a potential partner’s spouse. It could mean trouble ahead.

Fundamental Business Differences

It helps when both partners are on the same page when it comes to fundamental business goals and decisions. Where do profits go? How important is growth or expansion? What are your long-term goals? Of course, all this needs to be addressed before going into business together.

Starting, building, and maintaining a successful business can be a huge challenge. While having a business partner beside you can be reassuring, make sure you are compatible and that each of you brings something unique to the table. A failed partnership can be a financial disaster and damage relationships forever.

One thing you should be able to agree on is business insurance, including life insurance for each partner. Our independent business insurance professionals can help. We’ll discuss your goals and potential risks. We can help design a business insurance plan, especially for your organization. Reach out to us today.