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Choosing Business Coverage: The Goldilocks Method
One bed was too small. One was too big. Goldilocks didn't rest until she found just the right size.

It's important that you do the same for your commercial insurance coverage. A variety of policies are available, and yours should be customized to suit the needs of your business. These needs are different depending on whether your business is home-based, small, medium, or large. Your agent can walk you through the many options to determine what is best for your company. Use the following overview to get started.

Home-Based Businesses

These companies are based out of the owner's home and typically have zero to one additional employees on the payroll. This scenario is extremely common, as many businesses start out this way. Often, the business enjoys success, grows, and relocates to a commercial setting.

In the meantime, it's important to have appropriate insurance coverage while the business is in the home. Too often, owners assume their homeowner's policy will cover their home-based business. This coverage may offer some protection, but it will not necessarily provide the full coverage you need. It's important to discuss the operations of your business with your agent to determine whether you need additional limits or a commercial policy.

Small Businesses

A small business is loosely defined as one that employs fewer than 100 personnel and generates annual revenue of less than $5 million.

If this describes your business, you probably qualify for a BOP. This "business owner's policy" combines several policies. It offers the basic coverages you need as a small business owner in one convenient policy. A BOP generally includes property insurance, general liability insurance, and business interruption insurance. Additional options are available to customize the policy further for your specific needs. This BOP provides adequate protection at an affordable rate.

Medium-Sized Businesses

If your business has outgrown baby-bear size but hasn't reached papa-bear status, you are running a medium-sized business. This sized company typically employs more than 100 but less than 1,000 staff and earns annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.

Because your needs are different than those of small or large businesses, insurance providers generally offer specialized policies for medium-sized business. You may still be able to combine your property and liability coverage, but you may also need extended coverage for equipment or multiple locations. Your agent can review the specifics of your business to customize a policy that offers just the right coverage for your company's needs.

Large Businesses

Most businesses that have more than 500 employees are considered large businesses. Their revenues vary based on the type of business. What they have in common is multimillion-dollar risks. Many have risk management professionals on staff to assess these risks and develop plans to minimize them. An insurance professional can also assist with this task.

Large businesses often require multiple policies, and coverage must be tailored to the industry. Industry leaders often have greater liability risk. Factory-based businesses may have greater personal injury risk. Your insurance agent can customize your coverage to ensure your business has the protection it needs.

Make the Most of Networking Opportunities with Some Practice
We all know people who are charismatic, interesting, and fun to be around. These individuals have a knack for making others feel comfortable and relaxed, and always seem to know just what to say. They seem to have an innate gift that enables them to make friends easily and connect effortlessly with others.

If this doesn't come naturally to you, you aren't alone. The good news is that with preparation and practice, you too can be that interesting person. Here are some tips and conversational topics that will help you make the most of your next meeting, social encounter, or networking event.

Listen actively: Make eye contact and use positive body language to show that you are listening attentively and actually hearing what is being said to you. It's amazing how being a good listener equates to being a good conversationalist in people's minds.

Do some research: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms can provide a wealth of information about people's interests and activities. Use shared passions and interests to strike up a conversation and connect. You may also discover that you have mutual friends or colleagues.

Ask, ask, ask: Most people love to talk about their jobs, their families, their pets, their hobbies, their vacations, and their favorite hangouts or restaurants. With a little prompting, people will often open up, and a rich conversation can flow from there.

Every successful business encounter starts with a conversation that grows into a connection - which may eventually become a solid relationship.

Branding Essentials: What Your Logo Says about You
Your logo speaks volumes about your business - its identity and position in the market, and the personality of your firm. Before you get down to the nitty-gritty of selecting the design, think about your target market and the essential message you want to convey to them. Also, take time to research the logos of other companies, particularly those of your competitors.

Next, give careful thought to these important elements:

Colors: Colors elicit emotional responses, so you should try to align the color(s) of your logo with the image you want to convey. For example, blue conveys trust, dependability, and strength; red is a color of action, energy, and passion; yellow suggests warmth and optimism; green evokes nature and serenity; purple speaks of creativity and sophistication; pink suggests femininity and youthfulness. It's best to stick to bold colors and use no more than three colors in your logo.

Typography: Typography is another important element. There are three main types of fonts.

Serif fonts are those with little lines at the end of each stroke; they convey a traditional or professional sense. By comparison, sans serif fonts look clean and modern. The third type, script, can look creative, elegant, or casual, but script typefaces can also be difficult to read.

Beyond these essentials, keep the following basics in mind as you develop a logo:
  • Study all design components carefully - both singularly and together.
  • Use clean lines and simple shapes.
  • Make sure your logo is scalable, easy to reproduce, and multifunctional.
  • Compare samples of your desired logo in color and in black and white.
  • Avoid anything trendy. Remember, your goal is to use this logo for many years to come.

Three Crowd-Control Tips to Reduce Risk at Company Events
Summer is often a time for company picnics and business conventions. As you schedule these events, keep crowd control in mind. A lack of organization and structure can increase risk of injury and property damage. Use the following tips to keep your outing running smoothly and avoid any unnecessary incidents that could result in insurance claims.

Control the flow: From parking to food lines to dance floors, use methods to manage the crowd and keep people moving efficiently. This will help avoid congestion, which can cause accidents. It will also create a more enjoyable event. Mark entrances and exits clearly. Control how many people flow through small areas simultaneously. If the event is of a significant size, provide staff or security to direct crowd flow.

Put a plan in place: Before any event, establish an emergency response plan. This should include evacuation procedures as well as responses to individual medical emergencies. Be prepared to respond to crime, too. Your plans should include what to do in case of theft or violent incidents.

Communicate clearly: It's not enough to simply have ideas or create a plan. Communicate all information to staff and guests of the event. Be sure all staff who are helping run the event are well-versed in the emergency procedures. Let guests know what is expected of them concerning crowd control. This clear communication will help keep things running smoothly and reduce the risk of incidents.

For additional tips on how to reduce claims at events, contact your insurance provider.
How to Win Big in Today's Economy
The altered economic landscape presents innovative and nimble businesses with opportunities to thrive.
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Worth Reading
Science Has Some Suggestions for Making Meetings Productive
By John Rampton-Chan
We've all been to the company meetings that drag on for too long and feel like a waste of time. But your meetings don't have to feel like a chore that your colleagues dread attending. Scientific research has pinpointed five actions you can do right now to boost efficiency, increase productivity, and make your important meetings matter to your team. Learn the five steps here.

Want to Be a Better Leader? Stop Giving Orders and Do This Instead
By John Eades

You might be surprised to learn that "command and control" is not the most effective leadership style for today's workplace environment. Instead, the most successful leaders are those who inspire, empower, and serve their team. One way to do these things is to connect with your team on a human level and focus on helping each person reach his or her highest potential.

How to Know Whether That Business Book Is Worth Your Time
By Will Hoekenga


There's a reason you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Too often we find a book with an attention-grabbing title and glowing testimonials, and we think, "This holds the key to my success." But just as often, we learn that the book is full of fluff. So how do you filter out the books that are actually worth reading from the books that should have just been a blog post? These six techniques will show you.

Giving and Receiving Feedback
For many, the word feedback evokes feelings of fear and dread. No one enjoys receiving negative feedback, and few enjoy dishing it out. Even positive feedback can be challenging to give or receive. To enjoy business success, it's important to overcome these hurdles. Use the following guides to become a feedback aficionado:

Studies have shown that being a great leader means being great at feedback. Learn the secrets here:
Being A Great Leader Means Giving And Receiving Feedback

Negative feedback can be discouraging - or motivating. Discover how:
To Stay Motivated, Seek Positive and Negative Feedback

Want to give productive feedback? Use these five tips:
5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback

Want to receive feedback effectively? Use these five tips:
How to Receive Feedback Effectively

Feedback should make your workplace more productive and pleasant. Here's how:
Giving Feedback Boosting Your People's Confidence and Ability
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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