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Business

How Insurance Protects Your Business

When it comes to running your own business, there are certain things you simply can’t go without, insurance being the major one. You absolutely need business insurance to protect your company, and some states and city governments even require it before allowing you to open your doors. You might think that at your company, no mistakes will be made, and thus, no one will be put in danger. Unfortunately, reality states the complete opposite. But mistakes and accidents are unpredictable, and bound to happen no matter what precautions you take. Here are some ways business insurance protects you.

Reduces Your Liability

No matter the structure of your workplace, whether it’s an office-only layout or traditional retail, you will always have liabilities. So what are liabilities? These include anything that can get your company sued. For example, if you place a large statue in your lobby, and it falls on a child, you may be liable and get sued. Thus, it is your responsibility to procure business insurance to not only reduce your liability, but also to protect the company’s image as well as your personal and business assets. According to eHealth, there are different kinds of liability insurance, so make sure you do your research and find the types that cover what your business needs.

Protects Your Employees

Again, no matter what type of workplace you are running, risks are still present. One of the most common issues involves your employees. If they are working on ladders or simply moving documents around, there is a chance of injury. These types of injuries then warrant some sort of compensation for missed work. According to Darras Law, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory in most states and helps protect your employees from lost wages. In addition, a vast majority of states require business owners to have workers’ compensation insurance on hand in order to reduce litigation time and provide workers with almost instant financial security for their time off work.

Helps You Get a Loan

One of the most overlooked reasons for getting business insurance is due to the fact that banks also want to feel protected. When a bank offers you a loan, one of the first things it will ask is if you have the proper business insurance. This is because banks want to know that even if something bad happens to your company, such as a lawsuit or a fire, it will survive long enough to repay the loan. So if you are inquiring about a business loan to start or expand your organization, be prepared with your business insurance information.

If you are starting your own business, insurance must be at the top of your list of things to do. Not only can this save your business in the event of a lawsuit or another type of emergency, but it can even help it expand. Thus, it is important to adhere to the list above in order to make sure that your company is fully covered.

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Business

Advocating for Employee Happiness

It is no secret that a delighted employee correlates to being a productive employee. When an employee is happy they are more dedicated to their work and will be more motivated to be productive, and will ultimately stay working at that company for longer periods of time. These employees that are in a better mental state will also be able to provide more innovative and creative ideas. So the question is; how to create an atmosphere that will make your employees happy.

Human Interaction

Collaboration is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. When employees are unhappy it is harder to have effective collaboration. It is important that employees are able to build relationships with each other so they feel comfortable working in their team. To help build these relationships within the company, one might consider hosting team building exercises or social events where employees can communicate and get to know each other through non-work related conversations.

Work/Life Balance

Having a work/life balance is crucial for a healthy state of mind. When work and life overlap too much, it becomes very difficult for employees to stay happy and motivated. One way to help encourage the separation between work and life is offering flextime. With some activities employees may want to participate in outside of work it would be beneficial for them to start their day earlier and end earlier. To give employees a way to channel their energy, it would be important to consider the benefit of offering a gym membership. Exercise is healthy for the mind and body, and can give employees something outside of work, that will make them feel better when they are in the office.

Company Mission

Taking pride in their work, and knowing the bigger picture behind their efforts can generate an employee’s happiness at work. Having a company mission that every task and assignment works towards is very motivating as long as the employees themselves believe strongly in the company vision. When the vision is powerful employees want to hear meaningful feedback from their supervisors and employers to know how they can shape their work to become what the company needs to achieve its goals. Knowing the impact of a project is one of the major driving factors. When employees want to improve themselves, they might want to further their education to be able to support the company. By offering education reimbursements employees will feel charged to stay within the company after gaining experience that will make their work better, and they will be happy as well. 

Every Employee is unique, so find out what makes your employee happy. By taking the steps to improve the happiness of your employees you can greatly increase the productivity within your company.

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Business

Making a Comeback—Tips to Help Your Business Control a PR Disaster

Running a successful business is not always smooth sailing, unfortunately. Providing terrible customer service, low-quality or faulty products, or simply offering a product that does not deliver can all lead to potential PR disasters for businesses, regardless of the size of the business and brand. Knowing how to effectively implement damage control while making a comeback positively for your business is essential when faced with a PR downfall or unexpected disaster.

Connect Openly and Honestly With Your Customers and Fans

There is nothing worse to loyal customers and fans of a brand than a fake presentation or a voice and message that is simply inauthentic. Brandwatch suggests considering how you want to be viewed as a business and as an entrepreneur yourself when creating a PR solution for the incident you are experiencing. Remaining open and honest with customers is essential. Transparency can help with building loyalty and trust necessary to truly operate a successful business, even with a recent PR disaster.

Learn From Other Organizations

As with anything in life, learning from the mistakes of others and the mistakes in history can help to prevent them from happening again. Spend time learning more about how organizations relevant to your own have dealt with past PR disasters or issues that have appeared. Consider the Statute of Limitations on any charges your business may be facing, depending on the PR disaster that you are experiencing. According to WM & T, the Catholic Church has created a Statute of Limitations regarding the clergy sexual abuse scandal, which gives victims better opportunities for justice and will hold clergy members more accountable for their actions. Working with a lawyer is optimal if you have yet to face backlash for your company or a PR disaster for your business in the past.

Curate and Disperse Your Message

An important part of recovering from a PR disaster is deciding what message you want to send to your customers and fans. You’ve disappointed them, so it’s important to take special care in what you say and how you say it. According to Talkwalker, it’s a good idea to appoint a public relations response team to help with formulating a message and viewpoint you intend to share with the world after a recent public relations disaster. Make sure that your message is clear and communicates all the things you want to say tactfully.

Facing and overcoming a PR disaster for your business does not have to feel like the end of the world. With the proper PR response team and a complete understanding of the effects your PR disaster has had on your customers and followers, a good comeback is possible. With the right tools, you can learn how to better spin stories, narratives, and soundbites into your favor as a business owner and successful entrepreneur.

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Business

Protecting Your Startup From the Beginning

Startup culture is often focused on fast and furious growth. That’s why it’s important to know how to protect your startup from the very beginning. Here are three things that you should focus on when you’re looking into the first things that you need to protect within your startup from the start.

Your Name and Brand

Most startups tend to hit the ground running. They don’t even consider that before they start telling people about their business and what they do or discussing partnerships with other brands, they need to protect the name of their business as well as their brand.

Branding isn’t just a logo. Branding is a message, which can include a slogan, and it’s also specific colors at times as well. For example, Tiffany & Co., the well-known jewelry company, has its very own specific shade of blue that is trademarked by them. If your startup’s brand is known for a specific set of colors or a specific shade, remember to include them when you are protecting your brand through trademarks and copyrights.

The IT Side of Things

No startup should ever begin without considering what an information technology company can do to protect the business. Your system security might need a risk assessment before you expand. With some of the most significant data breaches happening between the years of 2015 and 2019, having an IT professional by your side as your company grows is imperative to your startup being taken seriously as a professional company. Before your startup even begins its first day as an official business, do your homework and find a strong IT professional to work with you so that your company’s information and your customer’s information stays secure.

NDA & Contracts

To keep your startup protected from those who may want to take your ideas without your permission, have nondisclosure agreements and contracts ready for workers to sign from day one. Having the right legal protections at the beginning stages of your startup is one of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your company from its inception. While some people shy away from nondisclosure agreements, the wording and process don’t have to be threatening. Hire an attorney that you trust who can walk you through creating an NDA that fits with your company culture and goals.

These are three of the most important things that you should focus on when you are protecting your startup. Make sure that each person within the company is on the same page as you. Do this and you’ll find that your startup success will be much smoother sailing than you thought.

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Business

How to Increase Efficiency in Your Business

In order to truly achieve success as an entrepreneur or business owner, developing a variety of life skills is a must. Knowing how to improve efficiency while maintaining productivity in your workplace and with all of your employees is essential for long-term success, growth, and scaling opportunities. Once you are familiar with various tactics used to increase efficiency in all businesses, you can then use them in your own business model and daily decisions.

Maximize Employee Skills

Maximizing the skills of your employees is one of the best ways to increase the overall efficiency of any business. When your employees are able to perform at their highest level, your business will thrive and experience more success. Hone in on the individual skills and abilities of each of your employees and team members to provide proper tools, resources, and assistance to them as they continue to build onto the necessary skills for your business and brand.

Reduce Production Time

If you provide physical products to customers, consider seeking out methods of reducing production and lead time to improve the overall experience and satisfaction of your consumers. Ultimately, reducing the amount of inventory on hand when lead time is short will reduce waste. Working with alternative producers, manufacturers, printers, and product managers can significantly reduce the turnaround time you expect for each of the products you produce, stock, and sell.

Consider the opportunity of automating some of the processes involved in running and managing your business. Electronic and digital automation solutions can help to drastically increase the overall speed in which you are capable of completing tasks.

Meet and Communicate Regularly

Meeting and communicating with your employees, partners, investors, and customers regularly can go a long way when it comes to increasing the overall efficiency of your business. Take the time to schedule regular meetings and conferences to help facilitate conversations between your employees and members of your team as you discuss new ideas, projects, and current tasks. Businesses with engaged employees are more successful, so make this a priority. Meeting and communicating regularly is a way to create a workplace culture that is welcoming, optimistic, creative, and free of judgment.

When you want to increase the overall efficiency of your business, it is important to assess your company’s current needs. You also need to assess the wants and needs of your own employees, partners, investors, and consumers. With the right tools, tricks, and tips, learn how to quickly increase the overall efficiency in your business in just about any market, industry, or niche.

For more ways to improve the workflow of your business, read on here!

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Business

3 Biggest Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make When Building Their Teams

Being an entrepreneur is freeing and a way for individuals to create their own wealth and financial independence. As an entrepreneur, there are a few tips to keep in mind when hiring new employees or creating a team for your business to prevent hiccups or a total loss of your business altogether due to poor decision making.

Hiring the Wrong Number

Hiring too many employees at once can significantly cut into your funds while also interrupting your ability to remain productive if you are not properly equipped to handle the current number of employees you have. Staffing too few employees can also cause your employees to feel stressed out or overloaded, resulting in a decline in productivity or the quitting of employees. Striking a fine balance when hiring employees is essential for maximum success potential.

Treating Them Like Cogs

Avoid treating your employees as if they are simply cogs in a machine. Keep in mind that your employees have families, friends and lives outside of work. Consider implementing new methods of training your employees, and never scold or put them down, especially in front of their peers and colleagues. Maintaining a positive and optimistic workplace environment is key to long-term success and retention when it comes to building a solid and reliable staff.

Provide your employees with incentives, contests and various challenges to help them earn more at work while simultaneously boosting your workplace’s morale. Depending on the kind of challenge, this could improve your employees’ health as well as their morale while also incentivizing them to remain productive and optimistic at work.

Hiring Family and Friends

While it may seem tempting to hire relatives and close friends, it is highly advisable to steer clear of hiring people you know, especially if you are starting a business for the first time. Business conflicts have the potential to overlap into relationships that you hold close to you, which is why it is recommended to avoid hiring anyone you know personally with a new company or brand you are building.

Understanding the three biggest mistakes that new entrepreneurs typically make when building their new company and hiring employees can help you to prevent making the same mistakes during your new venture. With the right outlook and a plan of action in place regarding the hiring of future employees, you can create a work culture that is productive and not personal for optimal results.

Here’s another article you might find helpful: 5 Ways a Marketing Agency Can Help Your Business

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Business

What to Know About Common Office Job Injuries

Workplace safety awareness isn’t reserved for people working in warehouses or factories. If you work in an office, you can still do damage to your body whether through one-time accidents or prolonged strain. You need to do all you can to keep your body protected and help others in the office from putting themselves in harm’s way. These are some of the most common injuries office workers sustain and how they can be prevented.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

If you slightly bump your head once, not much is going to happen. However, if you keep hitting it, a bruise is likely to occur. That’s why you need to be aware of repetitive strain injuries when working in an office. According to Abels & Annes, repetitive strain injuries generally happen over time and can range from carpal tunnel, tendonitis, tennis elbow, trigger finger and focal dystonia. You could be spending hours at a time staring at your computer screen only to suddenly find yourself pained by severe eye strain. While all these injuries can range in their severity, you should listen to your body and take a break whenever you’re feeling concerned about your wellness whether it’s a limb, extremity or organ that’s bothering you. Talk to your doctor for advice that can help you from putting your body in serious danger.

Slips and Falls

It only takes one thing in the wrong place and one person not paying attention for a slip or fall to happen. The supposed natural calmness of an office can be turned on its head when someone slips and hurts him or herself as a result. There could be a spill in the break room that isn’t cleaned up immediately and marked with the proper warning signs. There could also be an object that ends up being an obstacle that someone falls over because it’s in the way of his or her normally clear path. While the hope is that everyone will watch where they’re going at all times, injuries can be best avoided by taking proper precautions. You don’t want to be offering trite phrases like watch where you’re going as a solution for someone who’s been hurt.

Improper Lifting

Heavy lifting isn’t a daily concern for office employees, which is why they can take for granted the effects it can have on their bodies if not taken seriously. Hurriedly leaning down to hoist a heavy piece of equipment or a box full of documents without getting in the proper position with your legs bent could cause intense damage to your back and/or your neck. Focus on picking things up with total intention and both hands. If you sense that something will be a strain to pick up alone no matter what, you should get assistance from another employee.

Something being common shouldn’t turn into it being condoned. The reason things like carpal tunnel are common among office workers is because of how easily people who work desk jobs can overlook the toll the job is taking on their bodies. By spreading awareness of office injuries, you can help combat the rate of accidents and bodily harm, at least in your office.

Here is another article you may find interesting: How Can I Become a Better Business Professional

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Business

How Can I Become a Better Business Professional?

While there are some talents that people are born with, becoming great at business is a skill that requires practice. The more that you engage in your business, the more you will learn, and the better you will become. Here are some tips that can help you grow as a business professional.

Set Goals and Reach Them

Having goals helps you focus, remain engaged, and feel a sense of accomplishment when they are achieved. Specifically, goals in business can help you to measure your progress and better understand what areas you need to work on. The best way to set and reach goals is by writing them down, stating them clearly, and giving them a timeframe. By placing a deadline on your goals, you will be able to stay on track, remain focused, and have a better chance of achieving them.

Continued Education

When deciding to continue your education, it can be difficult to manage professional and personal obligations. Class schedules can be especially difficult if you have a full-time job or children. However, the benefits of continuing your education can help you become better in your field as well as open doors and increase your income. By increasing your skill set, you also increase your options, which can allow you more freedom to choose how and when you work. Many professionals who continue their education by acquiring degrees or even certificates are then able to work as freelancers or even remotely.

Watch the Clock

While it is important to perform a job accurately, clients also want the work done as quickly as possible. By providing a quick turnaround, clients will be more willing to work with you over someone else. One of the best ways you can help to increase your work speed is to be mindful of the time you are allocating to certain tasks. You should give yourself small deadlines for each task so that the overall project is done within the desired timeframe.

Whether you’re continuing your schooling or working on your project speed, having set goals will help you to become better in your field. Setting goals will require you to be organized, be mindful of your time, and pay attention to details, all of which are qualities that will help make you a better business professional.

Ready to launch your own business? You will need a social media management and digital agency team to help boost your audience.

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Business Strategy

Why Businesses Need to Look Beyond Historical Data When Doing Forecasts

When it comes to growing and maintaining a healthy and successful business, leaders understand that it is vital to have a well-crafted prediction of their company’s financial future. This involves many factors, but one of the most important to focus on is the historical data that you may possess. The following list entails some of the most important things to keep in mind about not only the importance of historical data but how to use it properly as well.

The Value of Historical Data

Ask any successful business leader — what do they do before the end of their current quarter? More likely than not, they will reply by saying that they will be preparing their future forecast by utilizing their past data. This is because the value of historical business data is so important in determining your potential success. Historical data has been a commonly used tactic by business owners because of its almost exact prediction of your business variables. These would include an estimate on your factory overhead costs, client acquirement, and loss, etc. Historical data does have its limitations. One of the most obvious ones includes considering the current business position, such as additional locations or work-in-progress projects.

Source: http://blog.chartbeat.com/2017/09/12/the-historical-habit-when-and-how-to-use-your-historical-data/ 

Taking Current Events Into Account

Earlier the limitation of historical data was brought up. Although it provides plenty of good information, it does not consider any current events. Current environmental factors can have a significant impact on performance, so it’s wise to take those into account when forecasting for a business. On-going international business relationships such as finding new overseas factories to produce your product can greatly change the numbers on your business forecast. Implementing historical data into the equation when current events are drastically different or soon to change must be avoided or at least omitted from most of the forecast.

Source: https://www.visibleequity.com/blog/qualitative-and-environmental-qe-factors-in-cecl

The Value of Big Data

There’s a reason why businesses have, for many years, used historical data to predict their financial growth or loss, and that’s because it was a great predictor. However, we’ve now come to understand that although it does provide business leaders with good information about potential events, it is not the most accurate. Big data include information gathered from your current email subscribers, clients, and marketing team. Both new and experienced business leaders are catching up to this trend because it is a great predictor of a company’s future. It gathers both older and present information to be used for a more accurate approach to business. 

Source: https://halobi.com/blog/descriptive-predictive-and-prescriptive-analytics-explained/ 

Historical data still has its place in business, but it must not be the only medium to look at if you’re hoping to develop a well-crafted forecast for your company. Simply adhere to the list of recommendations above to begin truly looking beyond the traditional historical data.

Social media and content make a big part of marketing strategy. If your hands are too full to do it yourself, let our experts do it for you!

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Business

What Businesses Need to Know About Arbitration

The word arbitration is being heard more and more in the business world. The term is commonly used concerning issues like retail contracts, credit card agreements, and employee contracts. Arbitration is also becoming a go-to method for solving business disputes. If you ever become involved in an arbitration hearing, it is important to understand what this means for you and your business.

Arbitration Agreements

Arbitration is a dispute resolution method that does not require a lawsuit or legal proceedings of any kind. In order for a business dispute to be settled by arbitration, both parties must be part of an arbitration agreement. These agreements are usually a few sentences long and written into a business contract before a dispute of any kind takes place. An arbitration clause will oftentimes stipulate any future disputes that will be decided by a third-party arbitrator. Other times, an arbitration clause will contain language identifying specific disputes that will come under the jurisdiction of an arbitrator.

Time Commitment

Arbitration is generally less time-consuming than the litigation process. The process of arbitration also costs less, is less public, and is not as adversarial as dealing with the court system. The focus of arbitration is oral hearings and both sides of a dispute will have a chance to voice their concerns. Part of the premise of arbitration is that arbitration should take less time than litigation. The process is less formal than a court and arbitration proceedings can begin in as little as a few days after contacting an arbitrator. Witnesses for both parties will be called, and these disputes are often settled in under a week.

Parties to Dispute Enjoy More Control

The parties to an arbitration proceeding can make decisions regarding their dispute even before the process begins. This differs from a court proceeding where everything will be governed by laws and statutes. Agreements can include who will arbitrate the matter, how many arbitrators will become part of the process, and what language can be used at an arbitration hearing. The parties to a dispute can also determine what set of arbitral rules will govern their arbitration proceedings.

Expertise of Arbitrators

Arbitrators are often lawyers who possess a measurable degree of expertise in the business sector the disputing parties are involved with. This knowledge of the industry makes it simpler for the parties to an arbitration dispute to explain the nature of their dispute to an arbitrator. Many times, in a court proceeding, a judge will have to consult with a specialist to gain an understanding of important aspects of the case. This will add a significant cost to the proceedings.

Confidentiality

When two parties agree to settle a matter by arbitration, they can expect a much higher level of confidentiality than can ever be expected with traditional court proceedings. Court proceedings are public matters that anyone can view or research while arbitration hearings can be handled as privately as desired by the two parties involved. An arbitrator will take no position as to how confidential the details of an arbitration hearing is handled. However, he or she will honor the wishes communicated by the parties to the dispute. This means the parties are also allowed to make public any information that results from arbitration on which they agree.

More Comfortable

Legal proceedings take place in a courtroom. These environments can be intimidating for some people. On the other hand, the arbitration process can be conducted in informal settings. Information gathering conversations between party representatives and the arbitrator can take place over the telephone. And the arbitration hearing can take place in a conference room. The parties, their representatives, and any witnesses can sit together at a table. There is no need for a judge to wear a black robe. There is no jury and the level of tension will be much less than what is common in a courtroom.

Streamlined Discovery Process

During the discovery process, both parties to a dispute must provide information that is pertinent to the dispute. There are a number of ways a party can obtain the information it desires including document requests, interrogatories, property inspections, subpoenas of third parties, and depositions. The discovery process is the most expensive part of traditional court proceedings and often causes a business to disclose information that is detrimental to its operations. Arbitration agreements allow businesses to limit discovery efforts. For example, it can be written into the arbitration agreement that only a predetermined number of interrogatories, requests for documents, and deposition hours are permissible. In some cases, arbitration agreements disallow discovery altogether.

Recover Attorney Fees

Arbitration agreements can include a condition that the party which prevails in the settlement of an arbitration dispute will receive compensation for the monies spent on attorneys and other costs to settle the dispute. This provision is especially important for a business considering the possibility of filing a lawsuit against another business entity. Laws differ slightly from state to state regarding these provisions and it is probably best to consult with an experienced attorney before adding this to your arbitration agreement.

The Weight of an Arbitrator’s Decision

Arbitration decisions can either be binding or non-binding. This is usually decided by the language used in the initial arbitration agreement. Binding agreements are final and enforceable by law. They can only be overturned in rare circumstances where the misuse of power or fraud has taken place. Non-binding arbitration means the decision of the arbitrator is not enforceable and is given as a guide to the parties involved with the dispute. Parties often treat these types of arbitration decisions as an assessment of their position if a lawsuit was filed and can choose to litigate the matter even after the arbitrator’s decision.
The popularity of arbitration in lieu of litigation is a trend that is only expected to increase. Yet, many business owners are still unsure of how this process works. The savvy business owner would do well to gain a working understanding of the arbitration process and how it can be used to protect the interests of their business.
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