ABCs of Small Business Industry: I is for Insurance

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. Insurance Industry 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

3 Ways to Insure Your Home-Based Business

3 Ways to Insure Your Home-Based BusinessListen up, especially if you run a business from your home: About 60% of home-based businesses lack adequate coverage, according to a survey from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Don’t be part of that 60%.

Here’s why it matters. What if a deliveryman slips and falls on your front step while delivering parts for an order? What a child gets hurt at a home daycare? In either scenario, the business owner could find his or her finances on the line because of a lawsuit. Many home-based business owners leave their livelihoods to chance because they believe their ventures are covered under their home insurance policy – a big misconception. A typical homeowner’s policy, for example, provides only $2,500 coverage for business equipment, which is usually not enough to cover everything a business owner might use. Additionally, the homeowners policy won’t provide any coverage for liability issues associated with the venture.

If you work from home or own a home-based business, keep the following are three basic options for insurance coverage in mind.

Continue reading

How to Motivate Your Employees When Benefits Aren’t an Option

Employee motivationFor many employers, benefits are often relied on to retain the company’s most qualified employees; insurance packages and paid holiday/sick leave are ways to show workers that their hard work is time well spent, and it also helps a business hold onto their valued staff members as losing those benefits would be a major drawback for most individuals. However, not all companies are in a position where they can offer an extravagant benefits package; start-ups just starting out often lack the proper funding that would allow them to do so. If your business is in a similar boat but still wants to attract great talent, here are few ways to motivate your employees to stand by your company’s side.

Continue reading

The Best Insurance Type for Your Small Business

By Katherine Wood, HomeownersInsurance.com

Unexpected events, even seemingly minor ones, could hit your small business much harder than you expect. That’s why you need to protect your hard work by purchasing the right type and amount of insurance. For a new small business owner, the insurance landscape can be difficult to navigate.

Here’s a guide to the basic requirements and other options available for safeguarding your successes.

Continue reading

The Skinny on SHOP: The Small Business Health Option Program

Under the new laws, affordable healthcare is right around the corner.

Is it me, or do you feel like all of your business expenses are going up? Rent is higher, payroll fees are up, taxes in California, healthcare costs. These are all fixed costs, meaning that they don’t go down. They stay where they are and that means less money flows to your bottom line.

Check this out. I’ve got a fixed cost for you that could go lower! Like 10-30% lower — now that’s a ballpark.

Your healthcare costs. Yep! Whether you are self employed, a small business with employees, or an individual, you need to know what is coming down the pike on Jan 1, 2014.

Continue reading

6 Things Small Businesses Almost Always Forget To Insure

Given the stress of starting and running a business, it’s not surprising that small business owners often forget about some lesser-known types of insurance, or try to cut corners by foregoing the basics. Without the right insurance coverage, your business could lose a ton of money in an instant with nothing to back it up financially. Here are some areas small businesses almost always forget to insure.

1. Business Interruption Insurance: Because Disasters Wreck Your Bottom Line

Could your business survive a week or even a month of inactivity? Most can’t take that much lost revenue. Business interruption insurance protects you from losing money when your business cannot operate for a certain period of time.

If, for instance, your building was damaged, business interruption insurance would pay for areas including: Continue reading

What You’re Missing By Not Having a Server Maintenance Plan

It’s an insanely busy day in the office with everyone called in to work extra hours just so you and your company can keep up with customer demands and all of a sudden… total server shutdown.

It’s a nightmare! Not only can you not get any work done, which means you’ll be behind and possibly lose clients, you’re paying extra for people to just sit around. If only you had a server maintenance plan, you might have been able to avoid this problem.

What is a server maintenance plan? At their most basic, these plans are kind of like warranties or insurance plans, but describing them that way doesn’t really do them justice. With a server maintenance plan, you can make sure that your network is always running optimally, that data won’t be lost, and that you won’t have to suffer through downtime and outages that aren’t scheduled. Continue reading

5 Emergencies That Business Owners Should Prepare For

Owning a business often seems like jumping from one crisis to another, but there’s a difference between putting out fires around your business and actually fighting a fire in your business. Being prepared for the emergencies that will occasionally rise up can mean the difference between succeeding or failing as a business. As a business owner, it is vital to be ready for some of the most common business emergencies, which can range from physical to financial.

Cash Flow Interruption
Continue reading

4 Issues I Encountered Owning and Operating a Small Business

Opening your own business is so immensely rewarding. For me, it was the fulfillment of a dream. Working a 9-5 job, making someone else successful and working “my fingers to the bone” on behalf of another person simply wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, I started my own company. However, I quickly encountered several problems that threatened to make me lose my sleep and my sanity. With luck and perseverance, I overcame them – here’s what you need to know if you’re ever faced with a similar situation.

No Insurance

Continue reading