When we think of workplace injuries, thoughts of falling off ladders, slipping on a wet floor, or tripping down stairs as the most common. But what if we told you that 70 percent of all non-fatal injuries that cause days off work were ones that women suffered, and that they are due to assault? It’s a sad and true statistic, according to analysis by the National Safety Council. Continue Reading →
Small business trends for spring and summer.
Businesses will further adapt to the modern customer.
When customers have more choices than ever, they lean towards businesses that provide a fast, seamless and personalized experience. A small startup that offers better service can take the lead against a large legacy company. This is true for all types of business whether you’re buying a hot dog or financing a house.
The human touch is still important.
Technology will undoubtedly continue to improve, but AI and predictive analytics will not replace the human when creating the customer experience. AI will fill some gaps and create opportunities, but we have a few years before it’s a true game-changer. Think of AI as augmented intelligence – it adds to the human, giving more information, great insights, but not replace the human. (Hard to believe we’re at this juncture.)
Authentic relationships will win when paired against technology.
Relationships continue to drive commerce so people will find more ways to connect in person and build the trust that’s necessary to have a winning relationship. Establishing several different pathways to talk to clients and get to know them. You’ll only learn so much by algorithms.
Marketing will continue to grow more personalized.
The trend is for marketing to be increasingly personal. Stock images, generic campaigns, and impersonal calls to action aren’t going to cut it. You’ll have to provide a continuous window into the culture of your business. This means real photos, and high-value personalized content.
The modern workplace: Businesses will prioritize employee happiness.
“Businesses [will be] focusing on employee engagement and happiness. Because unemployment is at historic lows, keeping employees engaged and happy is critical to retaining good people. Keeping them happier at work … boosts productivity 10 to 25 percent.” – Scott Crabtree, Chief Happiness Officer at Happy Brain Science.
Evaluate your customer service flow and create new processes to give your customer the best possible experience. They are the roots of your success.
Looking to start a new business?
Here’s what you need to get started.
Perhaps a hobby has planted a seed. You have knowledge and passion about something, and you can see a gap in the marketplace where your idea would fit in perfectly. You want to turn this into a business.
Where do you start? Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.
1. Refine your idea. Do a quick search for existing companies in your industry of choice. Learn more following those that are doing well. How can you improve on their ideas? You’ll need to do it better or faster or a little differently that would attract consumers. This is the start of your business plan.
2. The business plan. Ask yourself the right questions? Who are you selling to? What is the intended result? Really look at your demographics and get as much insight as you can. The business plan is directional, and you can find templates on line that helps you start.
3. Money. Assessing finances is key. Every product or service has a price and you need to figure out what that price will be and how you will pay for it. Are you planning on leaving your current job? Most business fail due to lack of resources. Simply put, businesses run out of money before they turn a profit. There are a variety of ways to fund, from a traditional bank loan to crowd-funding. Reviewing your numbers with a CPA is a good idea.
4. Determine your legal business structure. The legal structure of your company will determine how you file your taxes to defining your personal liability if something goes wrong.
Ultimately, it is up to you, the owner, to access your current needs and future goals. Review the different structures and consult your CPA and insurance broker for added information.
5. Get insurance. Having the right insurance is an important step before you officially launch. Difficulties can occur on day one, including property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit. If you plan on having employees, you will, at minimum need worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance. Depending on your location an industry other types of coverage may be needed, but most small businesses are advised to purchase general liability (GL) insurance or a business owner’s policy. GL will cover property damage, bodily injury and personal injury to yourself or a third party.
Feel like sowing the seeds? Let’s get started and next month we’ll cover the next five steps, including registration; building your team, choosing vendors, branding/advertising, and the launch.
You’ve probably heard the terms “side hustle” or “side gigs” being bandied around, but what it really is is a “side business”, a business that is not the owner’s primary source of income. And 25 percent of Americans, roughly 57 million people, have a side business, according to a new survey from the insurance company The Hartford. Continue Reading →
One of the best parts of being a family business (and we at BMR Insurance would know), is working alongside loved ones and building a legacy. It’s a rare find in the business world, not found in the corporate workplace. What we’re beginning to realize is that despite these levels of trust, that trust can be, and often is, shattered. But what if love for the family members one gets to work alongside day in and day out becomes a destructive force of its own? Continue Reading →
The first of May is more than an embracing of summer, a welcoming of May flowers. Today we celebrate the day as a hybrid of the holiday’s origins and the story it took on following an industrial revolution in Chicago. We can follow its path through the centuries and the continents, to tell you a bit more about the May Day we celebrate every year. Continue Reading →
April and the spring season are seen as times of renewal, a fresh start — and with this comes the deadline to file your taxes, which is right around the corner! Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of the reductions available earlier on in the year, but we’ve gathered together some last minute tips to help you in the process. Whether veteran or amateur tax filer, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra tips for 2017 tax filing. Continue Reading →
Various workplace traditions have shown to be beneficial to employer and employees alike– casual Fridays, bring your kid to work day and so on. But what about bringing your pet to work? As a small business owner, this kind of decision depends on your particular ambient and workplace policy. Welcoming pets into the workplace has proven in many cases to lower the stress of employees, and encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle. Continue Reading →
Shopping is at its peak during the holiday season– and so is the rate of identity theft through credit card use. Fraudsters find ways to steal credentials and compromise your identity regardless of where you shop: online, in-store, or on your cell. But we don’t say this to make you lose hope; instead to give you hope that you have just as many ways to protect your identity, and get all that holiday shopping done! Here’s what you can do: Continue Reading →
The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it the onslaught of houseguests, and if you’re a small business owner, potentially an increase in business volume. Many small businesses find it useful to hire seasonal workers, especially in the holiday season. If you’re finding yourself at the end of your rope whenever the holidays come around, it might be time to pull out a “pro and con” list and decide if hiring a seasonal employee will help relieve that stress. Seasonal employees bring in the extra hands you need without the added costs of providing benefits. Continue Reading →