10 Tips for Small Business Owners

Small businesses owners should conduct an annual assessment of their personal finances. Owners of small businesses have much the same concerns as everyone else, except they are personally responsible for the fortunes of their enterprise. In a sense, a small business is like a family. And these are important families in American economic life. After all, small business is vital to the U.S. economy, employing half of private-sector workers and creating two-thirds of net new jobs, according to federal data. Here are 10 tips to follow in weighing a small business owner’s financial plan: 1. Budget/Saving. The general financial planning rule is that you should save AT LEAST 10% of your income on an annual basis. You should also review short-term and long-term goals to ensure you are saving enough to meet your objectives. 2. Maximize Contributions to Retirement Plans. Depending on the size of the company and number of …

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Assessing Business Risks

Business insurance and risk management programs are designed to help reduce and control costs. In assessing the risk exposures particular to your business, consider what can go wrong and how such events might affect your business. Risk exposures generally fall into three categories: direct and indirect property losses; loss of income attributable to property losses; and liability losses of a general, statutory, or contractual nature. Renewing policies without re-examining risk exposures may prove costly. For example, if a business has grown, coverage limits that were adequate at one time may not meet current requirements. Furthermore, changes in the nature of your business may mean that additional coverage is needed. Enlist both management and employee input when evaluating your business. Daily familiarity with specific areas of operation may make one person aware of potential risk exposures that may seem insignificant to someone with a different perspective. Also, examining past loss patterns …

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Challenges of Managing Certificates of Insurance for Homebuilders

Homebuilders are in the business of trust, relying on their good name to grow their business as they build new homes for families. But while they’re focused on the specifics of developing a neighborhood, the administrative challenges can sometimes derail operations. In particular, managing and tracking certificates of insurance can be a big issue. Subcontractors come and go, and when people are focused on delivering results on deadline, administrative tasks can fall through the cracks, putting companies at risk when they least expect it. “Certificates of insurance, on a large scale, impact the environment for commerce to occur,” says Lee Roth, vice president of Ebix BPO. “People need to know there’s protection should there be a need for it down the road.” Here are some of the issues that can arise when homebuilders manage COIs. Gaps in Coverage In other industries, when companies collect certificates and separate endorsements, the additional …

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How to Manage Your Commercial Construction COIs

Time is money for commercial construction contractors. If your crews aren’t on the job site raising walls and finishing off projects, you’re not succeeding as a business. That goes for the back office as well: A commercial construction contractor relies on straightforward, accurate processes to protect the organization. Unfortunately, one of the most important processes can turn into a time sinkhole: managing certificates of insurance. For many construction companies, managing COIs is a complicated venture. “Construction is one of the more challenging industries to manage compliance on incoming certificates of insurance,” says Lee Roth, Vice President of Ebix RCS. Making COI management an important priority and not an afterthought can help. Here’s how to put together a system that works. Dedicate a Manager One of the biggest challenges that arises when managing certificates of insurance is deciding which functional area within the general contractor’s organization is best suited for ownership …

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How to Make a CRM Work for You

Common CRM Implementation Failures to Avoid The uptake of CRM software is growing at a steady rate of approximately 13% each year over the last few years according to reports from Gartner (2014; 2015). And with good reason – CRM software enables companies to grow loyal relationships with their customers by allowing a better understanding, segmentation and tiering of their customer base, improved targeting of promotions and cross selling, and the implementation of alerts that signal a customer is about to depart. CRMs are a complex software that can deliver what many refer to as a ‘360 degree view’ of their customers. Unfortunately, some firms view CRM systems as a Customer Relationship strategy rather than a tool for facilitating successful Customer Relationship strategies. We’ve put together a list of the most common CRM failures, as well as solutions that can take this sophisticated software to its full potential. 1. Thinking …

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