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5 Types of Business Insurance and Why You Need Them

No matter the size or nature of your business, one thing that remains the same is the need for business insurance. There are many different aspects of your business that you’ll want to take into consideration when looking for new business insurance – or reviewing your current insurance coverage. Since every business is different, each one will have different insurance requirements. For example, a company that produces physical goods may need different insurance than a company which offers services. In either scenario, there are some similarities, and listed here are a few types of insurance that all businesses should consider.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance – for your employees

Workers’ Comp insurance is required by law in almost every state. It can provide coverage for medical costs and a portion of lost wages for an employee who becomes injured or ill on the job. Typically, this type of insurance only covers injuries or illness that occur on the job site – for example, if an employee slips and falls on a wet floor.

Since the laws regarding Workers’ Comp can be different depending on where your company is located, it’s important to work with an insurance professional to make sure you’re getting the coverage that’s required, as well as what you need for your particular business.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is designed to protect you and your business from a variety of claims, including accidents, injuries, or claims of negligence. This type of insurance can help pay for things like property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, legal costs, and faulty products. No one expects to get sued, but the reality is that it’s always a possibility. You don’t want to leave your business open to these types of situations, and the broader the protection, the better.

Professional Liability Insurance – “Errors and Omissions” coverage

Professional Liability Insurance can also be known as “Errors and Omissions Insurance,” or “Malpractice Insurance.” It protects you from lawsuits that allege negligence in providing professional services, providing shoddy work, or making mistakes or omissions. This type of insurance is particularly important if you have a service-based business, but can also be necessary for other types of businesses as well. Mistakes happen – so adequate Professional Liability Insurance can be helpful, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Property Insurance

The definition of “property” is broad, and can mean different things to different types of businesses. That’s why it’s important to make sure you carry adequate Commercial Property Insurance. Without this type of insurance, most small businesses wouldn’t be able to replace their equipment should something happen to cause damage or destruction. Property covered by this type of insurance can include buildings, computers, inventory, supplies and equipment. There are two types of Property Insurance: “all-risk” policies cover just about everything, and is a good way to avoid duplication or overlap of coverage, as well as gaps in trying to cover your liabilities. “Peril-specific” policies, or “named-peril” coverage applies only to particular perils that are specifically named in the policy. They’re usually needed when there is a high risk in a very particular area.

Life Insurance / Key Executive Insurance – protection and benefit

Offering life insurance for employees can be a valuable benefit when trying to attract high-quality employees. A business can even offer additional coverage for executives. These employees are deemed to be crucial to the running and success of the business, and may sometimes require additional insurance, above and beyond what the normal employee benefits provide. This can be another benefit in attracting top talent.

A business can also offer special “Key Person” policies for employees without whom the business could not function. Key Person Insurance protects against a key employee’s unexpected death – often times the benefit amount equals the expected revenue loss and costs required to find and train a suitable replacement. The business pays the premiums, and the insurance is considered a business asset.

It’s possible to combine some of these basic coverages as a package policy, often referred to as a Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP. Many insurance companies bundle certain coverages, and this can save you money, as long as you make sure you get the proper type of coverage.

Even if you feel you have adequate business insurance coverage that meets all your current needs, it’s still advisable to review all your coverage on an annual basis, to make sure that your coverage continues to provide everything that you need. This is particularly important if you or your business have experienced any major changes, such as change in family status, or a significant increase or decrease in business activity. Additionally, be sure to work with a reputable, licensed insurance agent or broker, who has knowledge regarding business like yours.

The Key to Small Business Success Requires an Uncomplicated Commitment

Virtually every owner or manager will agree that operating a small business requires lots of hard work on the part of both managers and employees. It’s what is commonly known as “sweat equity”. Or in other words, hard work is required to bring the results desired.

Hard work alone is not enough. Additionally, the business owner must be prepared to make a commitment to building and growing the business. That translates to being on the job every day.

Unfortunately, some owners, such as those who purchase a franchise, assume that their on-the-job commitment is not necessary if they hire a manager to run the business. Sometimes that works. More often it doesn’t work so well. Nevertheless, operating a small business requires hard work by the owners and managers.

There are three fundamental steps in the process of the hard work that are not complicated, but necessary for success.

Getting work comes first. Whatever the business does, it must first promote and sell its products and services to the markets served. The business cannot depend on chance. To illustrate, if the business has the cure for the common cold, it must tell the market and provide a way for potential customers to contact the business to purchase the remedy. To get work or sell products and services, the business must make the market it serves aware of its presence and skills as well as how to contact the business. Fortunately, there are many affordable advertising and promotion options for small businesses that will contact potential customers who are likely to buy the products and services available for purchase.

Fulfilling and delivering customer orders is the second step. Whether designing, building, assembling or delivering products or services, small businesses do of good job of getting the work done. What they do not do so well sometimes is fulfilling the order or getting the project done on time.

There may be nothing more irritating or displeasing to a customer than a supplier or vendor who does not fulfill an order or complete a project on time. This happens far too often with small businesses. While it is desirable to get something done the right way even though it may take more time than originally planned, small business owners and managers must strive to meet deadlines or finish projects before the deadline if they want to be successful.

Paying bills and getting paid for the Work performed and delivered is the third step of the process.

Small businesses tend to pay bills to vendors and suppliers before the due date because they think the thought doing so will assure a good credit status with the vendor or supplier if the bill is paid before due. Paying the bill when due is good enough.

On the other hand, they will allow their customers to pay bills beyond the due date.

At the end of the fiscal year, most small businesses will complain that while sales were good, there was little cash in the company checking account. When asked why this is the case, Accountants and Consultants will reply that the cash shortage is in Inventory or Accounts Receivable. Usually the latter is the major contributor to cash shortfalls.

Small businesses do not do a good job of getting paid in a timely manner. It does not have to be that way and it should not be that way. In fact, it is very easy to assure timely payments when a consistent and uniform Accounts Receivable Collection Procedures Program is in place.

Accounts Receivable systems are a valuable asset to small businesses. The consistent application of Accounts Receivable collection activities will reduce costs which in turn improves margins and operation profits.

In closing, a professional Accounts Receivable Collection is not the dreaded last minute phone call to the customer that nobody wants to do. On the contrary, the process begins at the Point of Sale when buyer and seller agree to payment terms required and continues on professional and uniform communication between the buyer and the seller.

Learn From the Expert: Your Business Will Be on the Right Track

Business Coaching is all about GROWTH. Business growth. Personal growth. Career growth. As the CEO of your firm, growth is your department”. These are the lines of Suzanne Muusers, a Business Coach expert from Scottsdale, Arizona.

According to Suzanne, there are seven areas to cover in business coaching. When coaching businessmen, you need to persuade them to figure out the kind of future they want to have for themselves and for their company. You have to empower them to think strategically and work weekly towards their goals. Success is never an accident. Smart thinking and open-mindedness are essential.

Below are the 7 questions that you might consider asking your clients during the coaching session:

1. What is your strategy for business growth this year? Your clients should willingly think of their own strategies to make their businesses prosper. Guide them in determining a good strategy that can be long-term.

2. What is your strategy for personal growth this year? Learning and growing comes hand in hand. You have to coach your clients that they have to seek self-development programs or books that will aid them enhance their expertise. “Readers are leaders”; Suzanne says. Being a successful business coach is a reflection of one’s effectiveness. Persuade them that their knowledge and skills are important for their business growth.

3. What new target markets will you seek this year? Educating businessmen to target a market that needs their products and services is a must. Marketing everyone is not effectively marketing. They have to pinpoint their prospects.

4. How can you increase revenue from your top five clients? Enlighten your coaches that they have to keep their own customers. They need to establish a good working relationship; think of ways to improve their services. It’s far less expensive to keep a current client than it is to go after new clients.

5. What three things do you need to do more effectively this year to maximize your opportunities? Encourage your clients that there is always room for improvement. Even the CEOs of Top companies have been seeking for other alternatives yearly. As a business coach, it is your responsibility to get your customers’ commitment. Challenge them to never let go of opportunities that come their way.

6. What new resources or technology do you need for optimal growth? Inform businessmen that latest technology is an advancement to better manage their businesses. Ask them about their inputs on using new software. Inculcate to them the importance of improving productivity.

7. What three marketing tactics do you need to implement to achieve your goals? Ask your customers how they plan to achieve their goals. Help them identify and focus on specific ways to make their company grow. Make them visualize.

Using the 7 questions indicated above on your coaching sessions will help business owners to succeed not only in their businesses but also in their career and personal life. You can help them gain more confidence to becoming a better leader and be on the right track.