11 Tips to Negotiate a Contract Like a Pro

11 Tips to Negotiate a Contract Like a Pro

Negotiations — you either love them or hate them. In either case, you will have to do it when you’re in the business world. For those who would rather not deal with them, it’s a necessary evil. The good news is that once you learn how to negotiate effectively, you won’t dislike it as much anymore. You may find it to be the most fun part of your work.

For those of you who love negotiating, you know that knowledge is power. Consider using these tips to negotiate a contract when you’re back at the table. You may just get a […] Read more

Your Insurance Agent is Usually Not Responsible for the Coverage Amounts on your Policy

Your Insurance Agent is Usually Not Responsible for the Coverage Amounts on your Policy

In most cases and in most jurisdictions, the insurance agent is not responsible for the coverage amounts that are selected on your policy. What does this mean exactly, why is it important and what can you do to make sure that you are properly protected?

First, let’s recognize that there is no such thing as “full coverage.” If you think that you are covered for everything, the bad news is that you are not. The insurance policy contract has coverage limits, exclusions and conditions that determine when and how much coverage applies. Unfortunately, this is often when a dispute occurs and […] Read more

Preventing Employee Fraud

Preventing Employee Fraud

One of the most serious problems for small businesses today is employee theft. The National Federation of Independent Business says that employees are 15 times more likely than people who are not employees to steal from their employers. The NFIB said that employee theft counts for almost 45 percent of losses at stores. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 30 percent of business failures are because of employee fraud or theft.

Many business owners are concerned about this serious issue. Employee misconduct can take a wide variety of forms, which include the following:

Skimming
Larceny
Embezzlement
Stealing business opportunities
Fraudulent disbursements

Insurers are alarmed […] Read more

Protecting Yourself From Communications-Related Lawsuits

Protecting Yourself From Communications-Related Lawsuits

Media companies – those companies that routinely engage in the publishing or transmission of information every day, day in and day out – usually take out specialized media-industry-specific coverage to protect themselves from the unique risk profiles of that business. But what about other businesses? After all, no business is immune to being accused of media and intellectual property related bad acts or negligence. Any business that has a website or creates advertising and marketing materials of any kind is potentially at risk of being sued for any of these possible media or IP-related torts:

Certain Copyright or ‘trade-dress’ infringements
Invasion of […] Read more

What Business Owners Need to Know to Classify Employees and Independent Contractors

What Business Owners Need to Know to Classify Employees and Independent Contractors

Employees and independent contractors are different, so it is important for employers to be clear about the difference between the two. This will help them determine what to do when hiring people to help, and it will also affect how they withhold taxes to avoid legal trouble.

Independent Contractors
Independent contractors have their own employees and usually have their own business name. They typically have a separate checking account for business, and they advertise their own business services. When work is completed, they normally send an invoice or have an agreement for payment. Independent contractors have their own hours, tools and clients. […] Read more

7 Effective Ways to Drive Customers Away

7 Effective Ways to Drive Customers Away

According to Business Insider, personal income and spending are increasing again in 2015 at rates that haven’t been seen in nearly a decade. They further quote economist Paul Ashworth as saying, “We are finally seeing signs of consumers beginning to spend the gasoline savings they have been sitting on since the start of this year.”

So, it’s a good time to be in business and to expand your customer base. Unless, of course, you figure on using these bad business practices as ways to drive customers away.

Customer Gouging

The “customer is a lemon — see how much you can squeeze out of them” as a way […] Read more

Employers are Required by Law to Keep the Workplace Safe

Employers are Required by Law to Keep the Workplace Safe

Small business owners have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees. This responsibility is crucial to the survival of the business and for optimal revenue. If the workplace is unsafe, employees may suffer injuries or be unable to complete their jobs optimally. For example, a workplace where the the lighting is inadequate may result in employees being unable to see clearly and injure themselves as a result. In addition to this, the poor lighting may make the employee take longer to complete the job. The employee may also suffer from eye strain that leads to eye […] Read more

Your Primary Commercial Policy Won’t Cover Floods & Earthquakes: Know Your Options

Your Primary Commercial Policy Won’t Cover Floods & Earthquakes: Know Your Options

Many business owners are confused by the seemingly endless array of different insurance policies and premiums. But an understanding of what your basic commercial property insurance covers and doesn’t cover is critical to any risk management strategy. Furthermore, any responsible risk management plan must include a risk assessment for flooding and earthquake damage, and a plan for insurance protection, where needed.

Does commercial property insurance cover flood damage?

No. Standard commercial property insurance will not reimburse you for flood damage, including flooding related to hurricanes and storm surge. Neither Commercial Package Policies nor Business Owners Policies include flood coverage as standard.

Where can […] Read more

Employers: Have You Updated Your Social Media Policy?

Employers: Have You Updated Your Social Media Policy?

If it’s been a while since you updated your employee manuals, or you don’t have a coherent policy regarding the use of social media, it’s time to get serious. Unfettered use of social media accounts by employees could expose the company to embarrassment, loss of credibility, disruption of business relationships and in some cases liability.

At a minimum, your social media policy should have the following attributes:

1.)    It must comply with applicable laws. While courts and regulators have generally recognized employers’ legitimate interests in monitoring employee activity on company social media accounts and from company computers and devices, a few have […] Read more

How to Detect Possible Workers’ Compensation Fraud

How to Detect Possible Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Twenty-five percent of all United States insurance fraud claims are related to workers’ compensation. Employees throughout the country report about $7 billion worth of personal injuries occurring in the workplace or while they are on the clock but off the premises. Although small businesses are least likely to be able to cope with the ensuing expenses, they are the ones that are hit the hardest each year by workers’ compensation claims.

It is important for every small business owner to evaluate his or her plan to stay protected from workers’ compensation fraud. There are several ways to detect it, and these […] Read more