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The Importance of Business Interruption Insurance

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Hurricane Harvey is serving as something of a cautionary tale, and not just for the people who have been directly impacted by what is proving to be one of the most catastrophic storms in the history of the United States. Hurricane Harvey is also sending a message to people across the country, including small business owners. Part of that message involves underscoring what business owners need to do to ensure that they are prepared for some sort of event that might somehow interrupt the operations of their business enterprises.

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A business owner is wise to give serious consideration to obtaining a business interruption insurance policy. This type of insurance coverage can prove beneficial to a business in a number of different ways.

Definition of Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is a type of coverage that provides compensation for losses sustained by a business in the aftermath of some sort of disaster. Coverage covers certain revenue losses associated with the closing of a business because of some sort of disaster. In addition, a policy can provide coverage during the period of time in which a business is involved in the rebuilding process.

You need to bear in mind that this type of insurance coverage differs from that associated with property damage. In addition, you need to understand that business interruption insurance is not a part of a traditional policy of insurance covering property damage or loss.

Type of Coverage in a Business Interruption Insurance Policy

As is the case with all type of insurance, a business interruption policy sets forth specifically what is covered. With that said, there are some types of losses that typically are included within the coverage provisions of a business interruption insurance policy.

Profits represent the type of loss that is included in the coverage of a business interruption insurance policy. In order to determine what is to be paid in the way of lost profits, an examination is made of the financial history of the business. This may include looking at the profit from the most recent month or taking into account more than one month in making the calculation.

This type of insurance typically covers what are known as fixed costs. These represent expenses a business will continue to face even when it is shut down because of some sort of disaster.

In some cases, a business can pick up operations by moving to a temporary location. Some policies will provide coverage for the costs associated with a temporary relocation of a business.

Time Period Coverage is Provided

As is the case with the extent of coverage provided, the specific time period in which compensation will be provided is set specifically by the terms and conditions of an insurance policy. With that noted, as a general rule, a business interruption insurance policy will provide coverage for the time period that starts on the date of what is known as the covered peril.

Using Hurricane Harvey as an example, the commencement date of coverage for a business would be the date on which a business’ facility flooded and became unusable. As a general rule, the term of coverage will run from the date of the peril to the date when repairs are completed and operations can resume. An insurance policy usually reference that operations must result under the came conditions that prevailed or existed prior to the disaster that caused the shutdown.

Some business interruption insurance policies will include a waiting period before coverage kicks in. For example, a business needs to be nonoperational for a specific number of days before coverage commences pursuant to a business interruption insurance policy.

Pay Attention to Exclusions

As a business owner, if you elect to seek business interruption insurance, you must review the insurance policy closely. You need to pay particular attention to what are known as exclusions that may be included within the policy.

Exclusions eliminate coverage for certain types of disasters or events. In order for this type of insurance coverage to be beneficial to you and your business, it must provide suitable coverage for the type of disaster that you are most likely to experience.

Hurricane Harvey provides a solid illustration. A business interruption insurance policy would not prove helpful to a Houston, Texas, business owner if it excluded coverage for a business interruption caused by flooding or wind damage.

Keep in mind that exclusions in a property damage insurance policy do impact coverage in a business interruption policy. As noted previously, these are two separate and distinct contracts of insurance.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

Best Way To Tell Your Boss You’re Quitting

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Deciding to quit your job is not an easy decision. There are finance headhunters in Chicago waiting for your start date to begin the next phase in your life, but you have unfinished business at your current company. There are things, good and bad, that have to lead you to this decision, and now it is time to convey that information to your boss. Speaking belligerently, saying nasty things about your co-workers, quitting on the spot, or simply never showing up again are completely unprofessional, and horrible ways to quit your job.

If you are working with a temporary agency or a headhunting company to find your positions, you can be sure accounting recruiters, and recruiters of any kind, will be hesitant to bring you on board for fear you will do the same thing to them.  Whether in a letter of resignation or in a face-to-face conversation, these are the elements you need to include when telling your boss you are quitting your job.

  • Thank them for the opportunity. – An expression of gratitude can go a long way. Thank them for the opportunity to work at the company, and whatever other benefits you have received from being in that position.
  • Explain why you are leaving. – You do not have to go into details about your next move, or the problems you had with the job. You can be very general and express that “another opportunity has arisen,” or you are “relocating”, but make sure you stay away from any negativity about your coworkers or employer.
  • Express a willingness to help with the transition. – If applicable, let them know you are willing to help the person who replaces you in their new position.
  • Give a date you are leaving. – Give a specific date you are leaving so your boss can be as prepared as possible for this time of change.

6 Reasons Why Measuring Customer Satisfaction Is So Important

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Nowadays companies do not decide to measure customer satisfaction even though these are the greatest assets that any company may come to have. It is incredible that many companies neglect them. Customer Satisfaction is no more than the degree of conformity experienced by a person when making a purchase or using a certain service, this means that when a customer experiences a high level of satisfaction, the chances of him becoming a return customer increase. How to deal with this? What many companies turn to are customer survey questions which are meant to gather as much feedback by customers as possible in order to improve services and solve possible problems. Here are 6 reasons why companies need to measure customer satisfaction.

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  1. Dissatisfied Customers will not do business with your company again

Most people who do business with you expect excellent treatment or a product that fulfils what is promised, otherwise your level of satisfaction will be reduced drastically and therefore, the likelihood that they will do business with you again decreases considerably. The best way to prevent this is to take care of any details related to the product or service you offer. Another way to prevent your clients from being dissatisfied is to solve the problems that are presented or explaining each difficulty that has been had.

  1. 55% of consumers do not finish the purchase process due to poor service received

Convincing a consumer to make an important purchase is a process where many factors come into play. The most important of them, without doubt is the customer service, since the treatment that a company provides to its customers directly influences the feelings of any buyer. Thus receiving a bad deal causes the customer to have a bad perception of the company, contributing to the abandonment of the purchase process. If you treat people in a friendly and attentive way, always looking for their satisfaction, be sure that the success rate in the buying process will increase greatly benefiting your company. That is why it is important to provide the customer with the necessary channels to express and measure customer satisfaction periodically.

  1. 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer is treated

As we mentioned in the previous point, the customer treatment has a great weight in the feelings of the buyers. This influences them in many aspects related to the final purchase. A good deal can influence the perception of the product or service itself. Decide to measure customer satisfaction and take care of what happens during the client’s journey, in order to provide positive experiences at each point of contact.

  1. If you solve a problem in favour of your customer, it is 70% certain that this customer will do business with you again

Everyone who does business with you wants this process to be a pleasant experience, but this does not mean that they expect you to be perfect, there is a very popular phrase from Donald Porter which reads as follows:

“Your customers do not expect you to be perfect. What they do expect is that they solve a problem when something goes wrong.”

  1. Only 43% of dissatisfied clients who complained felt their problems were solved

Measuring customer satisfaction and listening to their opinions is an activity that you should take full advantage of. Sometimes it is necessary to seek feedback and opinions from your clients by using online surveys. Do not see the complaints as annoying. In the business environment they are ground gold. Expressions of unsatisfied customers give you the opportunity to improve what is wrong, and it is a vote of confidence to show that you are willing to find a solution. They are giving you a very valuable opportunity to show how worried you are about your customers being happy.

  1. 55% of consumers are willing to pay more if they are guaranteed a good experience

This data may be surprising to some, but reality is something that has been well present in the service industry for a long time. The clearest examples are the so-called “First Class”, “Premiere” “Deluxe” or any name that gives certain prestige to the service provided. Offering a good service involves making use of many resources that will surely raise the final cost, however more than half of consumers are willing to pay for it. You could ask how willing they are to make that payment through a satisfaction survey.

Create your market research plan and get better results

As you probably already have understood, the customer experience plays a very important role in the success of any company, so many companies make use of various technical resources to measure customer satisfaction and know the opinion of their consumers to improve their experience shopping. Usually online surveys are used to collect this kind of information; the most common way is to send a questionnaire to evaluate the shopping experience just after having provided a service or after receiving a product.

There are also other methods such as online communities or online panels to gather information, measure customer satisfaction and establish a closer relationship with your customers. Through these it is possible to obtain a great quantity of qualitative and quantitative data offering a series of incentives, promoting the loyalty between brands and consumers.

Landscape Design and Scaffold Safety

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You may be a true do-it-yourselfer when it comes the landscape at your residence. If you are like some people, your efforts include may include trees and other greenery or objects that require you to be off the ground. You may need to be significantly above the ground, and able to work with tools, in some instances.

With this in mind, you may have determined that utilizing scaffolding for some of your landscaping efforts makes sense. This decision may present you with your first opportunity to take advantage of scaffolding for a residential projection. As a result, you may have a variety of questions, including some centering around safety issues associated with the use of scaffolding.

Scaffold Risks and Common Types of Accidents

Although statistics surrounding the use of scaffolding by do-it-yourselfers like you are a bit unclear, because of reporting requirements in the construction industry, the use of scaffolding can present some risks. Each year, thousands of workers, and more than a few passersby, are injured in accidents associated with the use of scaffolding.

If you intend to use scaffolding at your residence to perfect your landscaping efforts, you are wise to pay attention to what generally are the most common causes of accidents associated with scaffolding. These common accidents include incidents in when the planking or support associated with scaffolding gives way. This tends to occur primarily because scaffolding was not properly assembled in the first instance. This type of accident can also occur if too much weight is placed on a scaffold.

Another common cause of an accident involving scaffolding is a person slipping and falling from a scaffold. Yet another type of relatively common accident involving scaffolding is a person being hit with some sort of falling object.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, does not have jurisdiction over home improvement projects undertaken by a do-it-yourselfer. However, and as noted, with the significant number of workers using scaffolding as part of their jobs, information from OSHA can be helpful to you when it comes to using scaffolding for your residential landscaping efforts.

OSHA has made it abundantly clear that the vast majority of scaffolding accidents are preventable. These accidents can be avoided if scaffolding is assembled properly in the first instance. Moreover, these incidents can be eliminated if people would utilize scaffolding properly in the first instance.

One Size Can’t be Force to Fit All

When you read a sentence that states “when it comes to scaffolding, one size doesn’t fit all jobs,” you may be inclined to scoff. You may retort “but of course not.” And, if this is your response, you would be spot-on. The problem is, people say that the understand that when it comes to the use of scaffolding, one size does not fit all, but they do not put that admonition into practice.

Time and again, home improvers will obtain pre-assembled scaffolding that “almost” or is “close enough” to meet their needs, goals, and objectives. They get the pre-assembled scaffold home and promptly start using it improperly.

For example, a pre-assembled scaffold isn’t quite tall enough for the job at hand. A homeowner thinks the issue can be resolved by using a foot ladder at the top of the scaffold.

Yes, the do-it-yourselfer may be saving a dab of money by renting or purchasing a pre-assembled scaffold. However, an individual taking this approach and them trying to come up work-arounds is setting his or her self up for an accident, possible even for a major disaster.

Defer to a Pro

When it comes to assembling scaffolding for use on your landscaping efforts, this may represent one aspect of your project that you would be best served deferring to a professional. There are companies that specialize in renting quality scaffolding. These enterprises also maintain employees who are specialized in assembling scaffolding. These pros understand the ins and outs of ensuring that scaffolding is assembled safely in the first instance.

Brush Up on Scaffold Safety

Once you are certain that scaffolding has been assembled correctly and safely, you will want to take one more step before you go to work on your landscaping project. You will want to educate yourself more fully on scaffolding use safety.

As is the case with so much in the world today, the internet is a valuable resource when it comes to scaffold safe use information. One solid resource is the website maintained by OSHA. Don’t assume that you intuitively will know safe scaffolding use practices. Do your homework before you launch into your landscaping project.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.

 

5 Things to do if you’re a Business Newbie

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Stepping into the business world? Stop right there! You need to follow certain things before actually starting your business. Here are 5 considerations that will help you establish a successful startup. The sky is your limit now!

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  1. Start off with Careful Planning

Any work must be started with a sound plan. Although it does not give you any surety of success at all times, yet it helps you in determining how feasible your work or business is.

In doing so, you must be realistic and consider all factors affecting your business. It includes time management, clients dealing, market demand, your audience, sales/purchase and other expenses (inventory, transport, rent and bills etc).

For you are a newbie, it is recommended to consult with professionals or someone who has related knowledge. It will not only help you in developing a better plan, but will also enlighten you about the ways a business can be made successful and how things are estimated for a projected target.

  1. Gain Followers on your Social Media Account

For a successful startup, it is important you have a vast social network. A big network means you will have a number of potential customers, collaborating partners, and people to promote your work. Promote your business by advertising your products on free social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will help you in flourishing your business.

Hold on to your old, loyal followers and gain new ones by updating catchy posts and attracting them with your achievements and new products. Try to create your own unique brand and logo to makes an impression on the audience.

  1. Apply for an EIN

Most businesses and areas make it mandatory for you to acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Protecting this ID is as crucial as protecting your social security number. If your business offers a product or service that is taxed in any way, then it is vital for you to have this federal tax ID number. So, how to get federal tax ID? You can either apply online, contact IRS (Internal Revenue Service) via fax or mail, or even get it by phone.

  1. Stay Updated with the Latest Trends

Modern techniques, methodologies and advancements in business have made it an evolutionary profession. Thus to adapt to these changes, it is imperative to stay updated with the latest trends. Networking is of paramount importance in this regard. Do not isolate yourself from others. You may lose a valuable piece of information. Keep your senses alive and explore new strategies. You never know they may prove more effective than the mainstream ones.

  1. Show Transparency and Gain Public Trust

Sometimes, the path is not as straight as it seems. If you are in a business, you will encounter ups and downs, but you should remain calm. If something goes wrong, don’t get flustered and don’t try to cover it. It will only reflect a negative side of you and your business. Remain true to your clients and regain their trust.

Be transparent and accountable for your work and gain public trust by confessing all your wrongs and assuring them to fix your mistakes by doing some promising acts.

4 hacks for running an efficient warehouse

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Efficient warehouses are at the heart of distribution networks that move essential goods from companies to consumers across the world.

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And as a company’s operational area extends, maintaining a ship-shape operation can become challenging.

But here are four hacks for running an efficient warehouse that should set you on the right track.

Location

Finding the right location is a no-brainer.

You’ll need to find a site with an existing warehouse or with sufficient space to house one you’ll build.

It should also be perfectly positioned for transport links so that goods can be delivered and dispatched swiftly.

Amazon’s one million square foot warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland, is the size of 14 football pitches — but its Central Belt location also brings excellent transport links to locations throughout the UK.

And if your facility will significantly boost local employment you may be able to apply for government assistance to help with set-up costs.

Layout

Your warehouse needs to be big enough to cope with the projected growth of your operation — so you’ll need to research how much space you anticipate is required.

And when you’re faced with a huge empty interior you’ve got the ideal opportunity to plan floor layout properly from the start.

A two-tier mezzanine warehouse allows you to maximise space through creating a second floor full of product shelving. But fixed and mobile shelving can also be useful, depending on the type of products you stock.

Product placement is also crucial — ensuring that your most popular products are easy for picking staff to locate saves time and money.

Inventory control

Knowing how much stock you have of every single product is vital — if you lose control of inventory chaos will ensue.

Colour-coded shelving with clear signposts is a good start, but larger warehouses might invest in supply chain management software to keep things running smoothly.

These systems can integrate with barcode or radio frequency identification technology in handheld devices carried by every staff member — simplifying large-scale picking and packing processes.

If technology is user-friendly then it’ll help staff to work quickly and accurately.

Staff

An experienced warehouse manager who can motivate and support staff is a must-hire.

Working in a busy warehouse is demanding and requires a specific skillset — but if your staff don’t feel appreciated they’ll eventually leave, taking their expertise with them.

Paying competitive wages is one way to motivate team members — but a healthy culture with useful perks might be more powerful.

And specialist training from experienced staff should be mandatory — a mentoring scheme and progress monitoring can help new talent cope with a steep learning curve.

It’s likely to be some time before the largest warehouses are completely automated — so happy and healthy employees are your greatest resources.

Without a dynamic and agile distribution network even the largest companies can fail and even short-term dips in service standards can severely dent profits and reputation.

But these four hacks for running an efficient warehouse should help you lay the foundations for sustained success.

Is your warehouse the key to your success? Share your stories in the comments section.

3 Advantages of Entrepreneurship to Keep You Moving Forward

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Perhaps you have been pondering of transitioning from being an employee to becoming your own boss but at the same time worrying if you will be making the right decision. Who wouldn’t be? Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job since you will be the one to overlook the business and it is your money that is at stake. However, there are benefits of entrepreneurship you will find interesting to know.

You learn and discover new skills.

If you are in a business start-up, you are on top of everything, from advertising to setting up your home office. You will also be the purchaser, marketer, finance manager and human resource personnel altogether. This is assuming you are putting up a small business and working around a small budget. The good thing about is learning new skills, say, in selling. You also get to negotiate with suppliers, thus, enhancing your business skills.

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You build your network.

In the course of operating your business, you get to meet people from other business sectors by attending seminars, events and short courses to learn more about the business. Slowly, you will be building your network which is significant to succeed in the industry. From your network, you get referrals and potential clients and business partners.

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You can be financially independent.

If you succeed in your endeavor, you can earn more than the pay you get from working for someone else. This gives you a good shot on becoming financially independent in the future. Being a business owner teaches you to monitor your expenses and make good financial decisions since how much profit you will make depends on how good you are in managing your business. And if you want to succeed, you will be serious about being an entrepreneur.

The road to entrepreneurship will not always be a smooth one but if you play your cards right, you can reap the fruits of being your own boss.

How to keep the keyboard germs at bay

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Feeling the mid-afternoon slump? Taking a coffee break to get the juices flowing, to fire up your grey matter again?

Here’s some food for thought for you as enjoy your three o’clock biscuit break: that keyboard you’ve been tapping away on all day, replying to emails and drafting reports? It contains 3,295 microbes per square inch.

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That’s way more than you’d find on an average toilet seat (only 49 germs per inch, if you’re desperate to know).

Basically, your keyboard hosts a whole microscopic world of thriving and continually-breeding germs of which E coli isn’t even the most dangerous. And you move from typing, to touching your face, shaking hands, and eating food – all without stopping to disinfect your grubby paws.

It’s no wonder colds and infections pass so easily around offices. Luckily there’s something you can do to prevent outbreaks, and it’s not as drastic as you might think. The potential health issues are severe, but the solutions are much simpler.

We’ve highlighted three of the easiest ways you can significantly improve the hygiene of your office. Take a look.

Get your desk in tip-top shape

Since most of us eat, drink, work and procrastinate without leaving our desks, it’s not surprising that they’re one of the dirtiest areas in a typical office. Cracks and crevices of keyboards, screens and phones are the ideal breeding ground for germs, but they aren’t the only ones. Plastic and formica surfaces are also hospitable environments, meaning your entire work surface is at risk.

Supply your staff with hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes to clean down their desks. There are lots of handy tips for cleaning your grimy keyboard – although, in some particularly grim cases, you’re probably as well cutting your losses and buying a new one.

Take hygiene into your own hands

You might think it’s been thoroughly drilled into everyone since their school days, but plenty of people still don’t wash their hands properly. It’s a disgusting thought that’ll make you shy away from shaking hands with anyone in the future, but dwelling on it too long isn’t going to help.

You can’t force people into proper hand hygiene, but providing a clean and fully equipped bathroom is a good place to start. Always have antibacterial soap on offer, and install hand dryers – wet hands are a magnet for bacteria, and automatic electric dryers are much more effective than paper towels.

Have sick days when necessary

Coming down with a cold is one of those annoying situations where you just can’t win. You stay at home and everyone accuses you of skiving, come into the office and every time you sneeze or cough people will shrink away in disgust. And nothing will save you if someone else gets ill – the blame will be firmly at your door as they glare accusingly across their Lemsip at every opportunity.

You’re legally obliged to allow absences for illnesses, but make sure employees know that they can use them without judgement. A few under-staffed days is much better than a full blown epidemic. If someone has a contagious illness, encourage them to take a short break, or work from home if suitable.

It might be unpleasant to think about the bacteria and germs floating about your office, but at least there are a few simple measures that’ll quickly solve any dangerous health issues from surfacing. If you have any hygiene tips we haven’t mentioned, leave a comment and share your advice.

Important Tips to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

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There are people who seem to be born successful in entrepreneurship. In fact, they already have exhibited some traits essential for the success of business, such as leadership, passion, perseverance, and creativity.

However, there is more to it than just having the right personality, as it simply doesn’t guarantee success. For that reason, it will require basic know-how as well as entrepreneurial mentality in which both can be taught. Here are essential tips on how to become successful at this.

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Evaluating Your Skills in Identifying Gaps

It is best to take stock of the things that you already know. This can be done by assessing your skills, your stage of life, and opportunity in the market for such an idea. Likewise, it should be important to address potential shortcomings of the business by creating a team to fill in some of the gaps. Having a team should be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of people around them. They will be able to help the company as they understand the market better. This must be important to determine the skills you ought to improve.

Finding a Mentor

Needless to say, it is important to turn to a professional to guide you through the startup stages of the business in which an essential feedback in necessary. Mentorship is actually everything when it comes to business, so startup entrepreneurs require a board of people who show interest in their success.

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Knowing the Value of Listening

One of the best lessons that a business owner should know about is learning how to listen to his or her customers. It is often the lack of customers and not the failure of a product that a startup will suffer. Learning what the target market desires is crucial in avoiding this mistake.