This week we decided to cover a relatively broad small business sector – the insurance industry. Now, the insurance industry is a heavily regulated, slightly complex field to work in. There are tons of hoops that independent agents and brokers have to jump through before they are even allowed to open their doors. But it is a vital industry – in some cases insurance is required by law – so a business could do quite well within it. So how do you start a company in the insurance industry? And is it worth all of the effort?
How do you get started in the insurance industry?
Insurance is a regulated field, which means you need to be licensed before you can begin. You also usually have to take some sort of course as well before the state will issue you your license. Continue reading
As the owner of a small business, you have a lot of freedom in deciding how things are going to be run. If you wanted to, and you felt it wouldn’t impact your business negatively, you could give yourself and your employees a winter break, elementary school style! Each business tackles the holidays a little differently when it comes to taking some time off in a season infamously known for traveling away from the office. We asked 15 of our small business experts how they tackle their holiday schedule and this is what they had to say: Continue reading
Why does a customer buy a product? The logical reason is because it solves a problem for him. But in reality, the value of the product is actually created in the mind of the customer. Continue reading
Today’s H is for the hospitality industry! The Hospitality Industry is a broad industry that covers the spectrum of hotels/motels, event planning, theme parks, various vacation methods, and, sometimes, dips into the tourism industry. Continue reading
Are you a business owner? Are you interested in using social media to market your company, but aren’t sure how? Then be sure to join Deborah Sweeney tomorrow, October 29th, at 11:00 AM PST/2:00 PM EST for a ‘Fireside Chat’ on how entrepreneurs can use social media to grow and brand their business, hosted by our good friends at Grasshopper! Deb will joined by Lauren Hogan of HomeAdvisor and Farbod Shoraka of BloomNation for the hour-long conversation, and will share the tips and tricks learned on her own road to social media success.
The chat will be hosted live on Google Hangouts, so be sure to RSVP so you don’t miss it. And don’t forget to follow #FRSDCHAT on Twitter to watch the conversation!
In the latest study put out by Marketing Sherpa, data showed that nearly 97% of all consumers search for a local business online and that business owners in their 20s and 30s are twice as likely to go out and look for advice on a product or business via social channels. Combine this with the 61% of adults in the United States with smart phones and you can start to see how large the mobile market is. With each major iPhone, Android and tablet release, consumers everywhere are spending more and more time on mobile devices. Continue reading
This morning I was asked to speak in my son, Benjamin’s, 5th grade class. It was career day and it was my true honor to speak in front of such a fabulous group of inquisitive, interested students. Their school is highly focused on what they call “Career Paths.” The students are learning about the college education experience as well as career goals and the paths people take to get there. Ben’s fantastic teacher, Mrs. Smith, really encourages them to think outside the box and is engaging in a way that makes the students truly enjoy the learning experience. Ben and his classmates are so fortunate to have such a committed and dynamic teacher. Continue reading
Every good employer wants to protect their workers from harm, but when financial pressures mount, it can be tempting to let risk management policies slip.
However, failing to engage in effective health and safety is a big mistake. Not only can this lead to tragic human consequences, it can also cause firms to suffer a range of financially ill-effects. The fact is, there is a strong business case to be made for good workplace safety. Here are just some of the reasons why it makes sense to prioritize risk management: Continue reading
In our line of work, we are introduced to hundreds of small businesses on a daily basis- and we LOVE it! Each entrepreneur brings something so drastically different and special to the table. Though when we stumbled upon Campus Enterprises recently, we couldn’t help but be intrigued by their unique story.
Campus Enterprises is a company completely run by Duke University students. Though, going beyond any typical student-run business that provides “for the students, by the students,” Campus Enterprises also has a large presence in the community surrounding Duke University. They offer such services as food delivery, laundry, note-taking, screen printing, cleaning, marketing, and expansion. As their website states, they’re a “one-stop shop for your daily needs.”
We had the pleasure of interviewing Campus Enterprises about their inspiration for the business, its history, and what the students who participate, as well as the community, gain from this unique venture. Continue reading
This week we’ve chosen to cover a very important sub-sector of the construction industry, general contractors. Now we did previously cover construction companies in an ABCs of Small Business Industry post. And you may be asking yourself if there are any differences between the two – don’t worry, there are. General contracting is a very specialized industry, with its own host of regulations and policies to follow. So how do you start a general contracting firm?
First, you need to be a licensed general contractor
Contractors are licensed, typically by the state. And without that license, you can’t offer your services as a general contractor. Licensing requirements vary from state-to-state, but most states maintain a database of active licenses, which the public can search through. Most of the companies looking for a general contractor will also want to see some sort of college training. Continue reading