4 Types of Insurance Coverage Your Business May Need

If you operate a business, you likely already know there are many insurance products available. The number of options can prove to be confusing. However, it is important to remember that your business doesn’t necessarily need coverage from several different insurance policies, depending on the state you’re in, whereas some policies are law, such as how in Georgia you need to provide worker insurance for part-time staff.

Another example on how these rules fluctuate is, if you operate as a sole proprietorship or run a small business from home, you’re not going to require the same type of coverage as a mid-size organization with multiple employees. As a result, you have to pay particular attention to the type of insurance your company needs.

That’s where this article is here to help. Instead of dropping money on policies that aren’t necessary, you will have a greater understanding about which coverage is best. Here are four types of insurance your business may need.

Workers compensation insurance

If your business does have employees on its books, you will most likely require workers compensation insurance, as every state in America requires businesses to have some form of this coverage. However, the extent of your cover can be drastically different depending on where you’re based, with your requirements being dependent on the number of employees working for your business, as in Georgia you don’t need have this cover if you employ less than three workers. There are also plenty other rules specific in Georgia, so be sure to learn what’s required if you have a business there.

However, even if you fall under the mandatory total of employees, it still makes sense to acquire workers comp insurance as it supplies vital financial protection for not just your staff, but also you and your business. If an employee is a victim to a workplace injury, the insurance can cover emergency treatment, lost wages, medical bills, and even death benefits.

General liability insurance

For many small businesses, general liability insurance is a must. This policy protects a company from common claims that revolve around:

  • Property damage
  • Bodily injury
  • Copyright infringement
  • Advertising injury
  • Reputational harm

Did you know that the average slip and fall settlement sits at around $30,000? For many small businesses, trying to cover this expense would lead to them having to shut up shop for good. Yet if you have general liability insurance in place, you won’t have to deal with this type of cost on your own.

Professional liability insurance

To be protected from client claims, you must be covered with professional liability insurance. This policy covers the likes of copyright infringement, negligence, and personal injury. It can include damages resulting from something you did, or something you should have done.

While many business types can benefit from this type of policy, professional liability insurance is particularly essential if your company supplies:

  • Clients with contractual services
  • Clients with professional advice
  • A professional service

Commercial auto insurance

If you operate with business-owned vehicles, you need to have these covered with commercial auto insurance. This policy will cover you and your employees in the event of a vehicle-related incident. As a result, it can help cover expenses related to property damage, injuries, and more.

Commercial auto insurance is especially important for vehicle-based businesses like delivery companies and taxi firms. Yet it can also help you out if you use your car for work-related tasks and end up with unexpected expenses due to an accident.

 

 

10 Steps to a Successful eCommerce Business

Are you considering starting an eCommerce business? Running any business gives you the chance to manage your own time and make your own way in the world, but when that business is online, the possibilities are endless. Many people at least consider the advantages of selling products via the internet, as when done well, it can be a highly profitable venture. However, there is a difference between an eCommerce business that turns a profit and an eCommerce business that enjoys significant success.

If you are hoping to start an eCommerce business, here are ten key steps to a successful venture.

  1. Register the business

When shopping online, people are more cautious than ever before. Customers want to know that they are buying from a reputable and legal business, so it is important to officially register your business. When choosing a name for your business, you should ensure that it is recognizable and, ideally, tells customers what you sell. Your website domain should be as close to your company name as possible. You will also need a bank account for your business where payments can be deposited.

  1. Do not rush your launch

It might be tempting to rush your eCommerce business launch, but this is usually a mistake. Think of the launch of your website as the launch of your storefront and generate interest in your brand in the days and weeks leading up to it. The most important point to remember is that your website should be completely ready to operate before it goes live.

  1. Decide on your shipping courier

When selling products via the internet, you need a way to send your products to your customers. To do this, you will need to partner with a reputable shipping company that will handle your products with care and efficiency.

  1. Make sure you have IT support

If your business relies on your having access to a computer so you can manage your website and online payments, it makes sense that your IT system is crucial to your success. When you run into a problem, you could find your business is unable to operate for a period, which could lead to lost sales and reputational damage. Rather than employing an IT professional on a full-time basis, consider using a remote IT support company that will respond quickly when you need them to.

  1. Put your customers first

There is a misconception that running an eCommerce business does not demand the same level of customer service as running a brick-and-mortar store. In reality, you need to prioritize your customer satisfaction levels, ensuring that customers can use your website easily and quickly and place their order without difficulty. The product should arrive within your specified timeframe, and you should be available to answer queries and resolve complaints efficiently. Online reviewing is a powerful force that can make or break a business, and it is unwise to get a poor reputation by neglecting customer service.

  1. Invest in your website

Your website needs to be secure, easy to navigate, attractive, and stable, with user experience at the top of your list of concerns. There are professional website designers and developers who will be able to create the best possible website for you.

  1. Embrace social media

Maintaining a presence on social media by publishing content that is engaging and informative is key to success in the world of eCommerce. This enables you to build an audience of followers (potential customers) you can interact with and promote your brand to. When you create content, make sure it is easy to share, like, or comment on.

  1. Make your website mobile-friendly

In the past, people could only view the website when they sat in front of a static desktop computer or laptop. Now, most people are using their tablets and smartphones to browse the internet and make online purchases. For this reason, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, i.e., easy to view and navigate on a mobile device.

  1. Build a marketing database

It is far easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new customer, so you need to nurture your customer relationships. Customer relationship management software may help you to do this, and you should give customers a way to subscribe to email updates and marketing promotions.

  1. Keep evolving

One of the most challenging parts of running an eCommerce business is that the internet, technology, and digital marketing are always changing. To stay ahead of your competitors and ensure that you are following best practices, you need to be prepared to adapt and evolve in line with digital marketing trends.

Tips for Empowering Employees in Digital Transformation

As companies both big and small transition to a digital approach in terms of conducting business, it is vital to ensure that employees are sufficiently supported and guided throughout the journey. While some employees (namely, those who have been utilizing technology for much of their lives) will adapt rather seamlessly, other employees (particularly those from older generations) may have a slightly more difficult time when it comes to making the necessary changes.

Here are some tips for successfully empowering all employees in digital transformation.

Transition gradually

It can be quite jarring for an employee to completely change the way that they have been doing their job for years in a matter of a few weeks. Therefore, if you are keen to make the switch over to digital, do your best to introduce the new technology and ways of working in a slow and steady fashion, giving your employees time and space to get comfortable and to ask all of the necessary questions.

Enroll them in online courses

What better way in which to learn how to navigate the digital realm than through the digital realm itself? There are countless online courses available to aid your team in mastering the art of the internet and technology in relation to business. For example, Computergaga.com offers world-class Excel online courses, most of which are well-suited to beginners.

Be patient and understanding

Communicate to your employees that you do not expect them to become digital experts immediately. Let them know that it is alright to make mistakes and to let you know when they are struggling. In fact, you should encourage this! Making mistakes means that they are actively exploring what works and what doesn’t, and coming to you when they are having a difficult time means that you can guide them in the right direction and get productivity quickly back on track.

Adopt a culture of ongoing learning

The digital world is continuously evolving, so it is important that your business, your employees, and their skillsets are too. Adopt a culture of ongoing learning and do your best to constantly keep your team in the loop, encouraging them to do their own research and make their own recommendations regarding industry- and technology-related advancements. At the very least, strive to set up regular ‘refresher’ courses or workshops relating to core digital skills and competencies within your business.

Pair employees up with mentors

There are certain to be a few employees who are more tech-savvy than others. Take advantage of this by pairing up the digitally advanced employees with the technology-challenged team members. Employees will always learn better and faster when guided by their peers – plus, it will free up your time as a business owner to focus on other pertinent aspects of your establishment rather focusing solely on digital transformation.

The bottom line? Slow and steady wins the race. Give your employees time to adapt and take action to ensure adequate support throughout the transition phase and beyond. You will have a well-oiled digital-friendly business on your hands before you know it!

Five types of digital tools you need for your business

There are so many different factors to think about when it comes to ensuring that your business runs smoothly. From your online presence and marketing to managing your staff and your own workload, it can feel a little overwhelming at times. Luckily these days, there are plenty of digital tools out there to help you not only cope with these issues but do them more successfully.

Here are five different types of software that you should check out because they’ll almost certainly make your work life easier.

Website building tools

If there’s one principle we can say for definite is true, it’s that every business needs a website nowadays. With very few exceptions, this is the case regardless of your company’s size or the industry you work in. However, for those with little or no computing experience, the idea of creating one can seem extremely daunting. If that sounds like you, try using a platform such as Wix or WordPress that guides you through the process step by step, enabling even the least tech-savvy people to create something that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. 

Communication tools

If you work with a team, online communication tools are invaluable – especially with many of us working from home these days. Whether it’s video conferencing software or instant messaging, the ability to quickly and easily ask questions, raise issues, and share ideas is a vital part of the workplace. There are a wealth of options out there, so be sure to check out a range of different ones, like a Slack self-hosted alternative, before committing.

Email newsletter tools

One of the best forms of marketing and staying in direct contact with your customer base is through an email newsletter, and these can give a genuinely impressive ROI (return on investment). Again, there are plenty of different tools out there that can assist you with factors such as email templates, automatic responses, analytics, and even images. They vary quite a lot in terms of price, power, and functionality, so there’s sure to be one that suits your company’s needs perfectly.

Collaboration tools

Like communication tools, if you work with others, then collaborating effectively and efficiently is key. From services such as Google Docs and Microsoft 365 that allow team members to work directly on the same documents to project management software such as Trello, there are a wide variety of tools on the market that address specific collaboration needs to make your business more productive.

Organizational tools

Need some help getting organized? Unsurprisingly there’s help for that too. Classics such as Evernote enable you to take notes – including with audio, video, and images – wherever you are, whilst Hootsuite is ideal for managing your social media work, and Asana assists you in looking after your calendar. Whichever aspect of organization you particularly struggle with, you can find a tool specifically aimed at making it easier to manage. Alternatively, you can go for a more general type of software that has many different functions to cover all your bases!

The Best Colors For Amazing Web Design

There are a lot of aspects that go into designing a visually appealing website to represent your business’s brand.

Not only do you have to put into consideration SEO fundamentals, but you also need to factor in the color scheme of your company website.

Thus, choosing a suitable theme for your website shouldn’t be done haphazardly and without careful consideration. You need to understand that the color you select for your website helps to communicate with your potential customers on an emotional level.

Sure, your site’s content and testimonials can play a major role in communicating your brand’s message to users, but your color selection helps to accomplish the job of captivating your viewers just as much.

Importance of Choosing the Correct Color Scheme for Your Brand’s Website

Since this article is aimed at providing its readers with information pertaining to choosing an appropriate color scheme to help boost customer lead conversion rates, it is vital to comprehend the importance of choosing an appealing color scheme for your website.

  • Generates Brand Recognition.

You need to understand that your website is a visual representation of what your business brand advocates for.

By selecting a color scheme that appropriately matches your brand, it will make your site memorable to site visitors.

Studies have also indicated that website color boosts a brand’s recognition by up to 80%, which can also contribute towards improving your sales margin.

  • A Good Color Scheme Can Help Influence How Users Interact With Your Website.

Were you aware of the fact that 90% of visitors’ first impression based on your website is dependent on its color?

A thorough understanding of the psychology of color is key to help build psychological connections with potential customer leads.

In summary, you can seek the expertise of web design agencies such as Bluelinemedia.co.uk to help come up with colors that can help elicit positive emotional reactions from your site visitors.

3 Top Colors to Select for Your Next Web Design Project

  1. Warm Colors

This selection of colors is known to illicit an energetic reaction from website visitors, however, when they are solely used on a site.

They become a bit too over-stimulating; thus, it’s always a great idea to pair them up with neutral color schemes in order to achieve a sense of balance. A few examples of warm colors include Pink, Red, Orange, and Yellow.

  1. Cool Colors

Cool colors tend to create a calming effect on users of a site, which makes it clear why they are frequently used in numerous web design projects.

Nevertheless, if the cool colors are overused, they can create an impersonal feeling on your website. This may make your brand seem cold and aloof. Some examples include Purple, Blue, and Green.

  1. Neutral Colors

Neutral colors are fantastic when mixed together with cool or warm colors in a web design project.

Web designers who use neutral colors strive to bring about a sense of balance in the web design projects that they work on.

A few examples of neutral colors are Brown, Gray, and Black.

Business Security Trends in 2021

Business trends come and go, but when it comes to security you need to pay attention. There will always be security concerns, and a business needs to be aware of the new techniques criminals are using to break into businesses both online and offline. Protecting your business is a full-time job, and that means it’s always valuable to keep aware of the latest business security trends. By knowing more about those trends, you will be better able to identify which ones are most relevant for your brand.

2020 saw major changes for businesses, but security remains of paramount importance. If you want to keep your business safer in 2021, here are the security trends that you need to know about.

A Shift in Security Architecture

It’s no secret that 2020 saw millions of people working from home for the first time. Without the need to go into offices, those remote teams were productive and happier. The problem for security is that cybercriminals suddenly had potential access to the security architecture that you want to keep them away from. That’s because most employees working from home do not have the robust online security tools that they do in the office, making them easier prey for thieves.

In 2021, security architecture will need to focus on the endpoint rather than the traditional ‘walled perimeter’ of the workplace. The result will be a more cloud-based security process and a security system that protects users at that all-important endpoint.

Physical Security

The stereotype of the cybercriminal is that they all sit in a darkened basement scrolling through code to find gaps in a security network. That’s a far cry from reality. Cybercriminals can vary, but they are increasingly likely to prefer having physical access to business property. That’s because they can find weaknesses much more easily, and that means your physical security needs to be as much a priority as your firewalls and passwords.

Even a simple burglary could be too much for a business to handle in 2021, so property security is essential. This year, having Access Control systems is the proven way to keep a business safer, with biometric options being the big new trend in the physical security sector. Don’t dismiss physical security just because we live in the digital age.

Phishing and Ransomware

Most employees have some kind of training about the importance of being able to spot phishing scams, but they remain one of the more popular forms of cyber-attack. As office workers started working from home, those phishing and ransomware attacks became even more popular, often using Covid-related messages to encourage people to click on hostile links. Education is going to be the key here, as employees who remain working at home are going to need to be regularly updated about potential security risks. The use of VPNs and edge-based authorization tools are likely to be one of the big shifts in business security in 2021.

Protecting your business means addressing a wide range of potential issues. As always, the key is awareness. The more that you and your teams understand the methods that criminals use to harm your brand, the easier it will be to ensure that you stay safer. From remote workers to new scams, protect your business and your 2021 will be much more likely to succeed.

Are Instagram Stories More Engaging Than Instagram Posts?

Did you know that approximately six in ten users log into Instagram at least once per day? That makes it the second most logged on social media site; how unbelievable! With so many users, which makes your content stand out Instagram stories or an Instagram post? 

With this guide, you can find out! For your convenience, we provided a thorough guide on when to use each post and the outcome of each posting. That way, you can determine the best content to post for your brand. 

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s a quick look at the differences between Instagram story vs. post: 

Instagram Stories  

If you want to increase your Instagram engagement, Instagram stories are the way to go. After all, Instagram stories are short, 15-second snippets of fun and engaging content. They often feature face filters, stickers, and links that can’t be used in a normal Instagram post. 

Stories tend to present a more casual tone. For example, they often express breaking announcements, polls, discounts, or sales, and even behind the scenes videos. 

Since they do disappear in 24 hours, they’re seen as in the moment videos that are perhaps less polished or marketed. However, you can save your best Instagram stories at the top of your profile permanently. That way, you can share some of your best moments with your followers. 

Thus, stories are used for real-time engagement. They are meant to be watched by your current active followers to react to. In fact, most people will watch stories with the sound on just to hear the latest personal announcement or sale.  

Instagram Posts  

Unlike Instagram stories, Instagram posts are created to appear on your feed indefinitely (unless deleted). Posts often reflect your brand image, mission, and level of quality your followers expect. With that in mind, Instagram posts often include professional product pictures and high-quality videos. 

These posts are generally targeted to reach new audiences that might find your content interesting and worth following. Since posts are marketing to a range of audiences, they tend to receive more views over a period of time.

It can spread brand awareness and help cultivate a good reputation for the influencer or company. However, engagement tends to be lower due to the direct interest a person may have for a new influencer or organization.  

To enrich your feed and spark interest, use this free photo editing tool for Instagram. It will elevate your posts by making them look trendy and professional. 

Instagram Story Vs. Post: Which One Do You Prefer? 

Determining whether to post an Instagram story or post can be challenging, although it all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. After all, posts are intended to look polished, professional, and meet your brand’s mission. They do get more views since they reach a wider audience; however, they lack engagement. 

Stories, on the other hand, are a casual and fun way to update your followers on personal announcements or discounts and sales. Stories are posted for your current active followers to engage with and react to. 

So what are you waiting for? Upload a story today! 

For more information about Instagram story vs. post, visit our website. We look forward to helping you! 

E-Commerce Tips for Small Businesses

The world of e-commerce is ever-changing thanks to the developments in technology. Therefore, business owners need to keep on top of the trends to ensure their online platform is a success. Regardless of whether your business is large or small scale, it’s crucial to keep on top of the key trends and advice to retain longevity in the business world, especially in such a competitive e-commerce market. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the best tips for running an e-commerce store for your small business. Take a look below to find out more.

Have a mobile-friendly interface

Most of your customers are going to be accessing your website from a mobile device. Therefore, if your e-commerce store isn’t mobile-friendly, you have already met your first hurdle. User experience is essential in retaining your customers, and if they struggle to access what they’re looking for, they’re likely to move on and find a website that makes their shopping experience much more streamlined.

Hire an IT solutions company

There are times when your e-commerce store will endure technical difficulties, meaning your website could be inaccessible to customers for a period of time. This is not only inconvenient for uploading content and retrieving data but may also mean you could lose out on a large number of sales. Unless you are experienced in IT, it can be near enough impossible to know how to tackle technical difficulties, which is why you should have an IT solutions company such as Data Cube Systems on-hand to analyze the situation and get your e-commerce store back up and running.

Provide self-service

We live in a day and age where customers strive to find out information by carrying out Google searches. In most cases, they always find what they’re looking for. With this in mind, you should be including vital answers to questions that are likely to be asked within your e-commerce platform, without the customer having to resort to phoning customer service. This not only saves your customers time but also that of your employees. Some top tips you may like to take on board include:

Adding an FAQ page

In the early days of setting up your e-commerce store, you may find that customers are asking the same questions repeatedly. Therefore, it would be worth adding these questions and the relevant answers on an FAQ page. It may also be worth adding a search bar where customers can browse a question and find the answer they’re looking for quickly to prevent having to resort to direct contact with your team. 

Develop a knowledge base document

It would be wise to produce a document of content that may come in useful for the customer to find out key information on the products and services you offer, as well as shipping and returns, etc. This will ensure that all the information they need is in one place rather than having to navigate their way around the site to find separate pieces of information. 

Steps to Take to Increase Business Efficiency

Successful businesses are the ones that run like a well-oiled machine, but efficiency is something that many companies struggle with, especially when there are a lot of moving parts and industrial businesses. Inefficiency could be holding your business back in several different ways in both the short and long-term, so it is important to be aware of the key steps to take in order to increase efficiency. This, in turn, could increase your output, improve morale, and even help the company to make more money, just to name a few perks. Here are the main steps that you should take if you are looking to increase efficiency in your business.

Find Areas That Could Be Improved

The first step to take is to identify areas of the business operation that could be improved – there is no point in changing a process if it is working well. It can be hard to spot these areas, which is why you will find it helpful to use data and to map out each process, and then work through these will relevant staff members to see if there are any big or small changes that could be made.

Automate Tasks

When analyzing each process, you are likely to find that there are a few processes that could be automated either by machine or software. This can make a big difference to the operation’s overall efficiency as it will free up time for your team to focus on other areas while also speeding up processes and reducing errors.

Outsource

A smart way for a business to increase efficiency and output without putting additional strain on the team is to outsource instead of hiring new staff. This allows you to get work completed to a high standard by outside professionals, meaning that you do not have to pay a salary and other employee costs. This will also lighten the load for your team of employees and help them to be more productive in their roles.

Asset Management Software

An area that many companies fall down when it comes to efficiency is asset management, particularly in large industrial companies when they have many assets, people, and projects to manage. Advanced asset management software can simplify this by providing a centralized database of all of your assets, making it is easy to manage and streamline so that a business can work efficiently and get the most out of its assets.

Motivate Your Team

While tech and software are certainly important, you must not overlook the value of motivating your team as this will have a huge impact on efficiency. You need to keep your employees happy, motivated, and engaged so that they are performing to a high standard each day, which might include positive feedback, role variation, career development, and teambuilding events.

These are the key areas to focus on if you are looking to increase efficiency in your business. Combining a few of these could have a powerful impact on the business and help you compete at a much higher level.

The Importance of Cyber Security in Your Business

Millions of businesses are at a significant threat of cybercrime every single year; however, these threats aren’t always easily detected. Your business holds a great deal of data that is important to the company, customers, and clients. If this were ever to be at risk, you would not only lose your reputation but could also impact your financial security. Dependent on your industry, you may need to integrate heavier security barriers to prevent your business from being attacked by cyber threats. In this guide, we’re going to look at the importance of cybersecurity and why it shouldn’t be ignored.

1. Crime prevention 

First and foremost, paying attention to cybersecurity will prevent your business from being a victim of crime. Without putting the relevant barriers in place, such as strong passwords, firewall software, or anti-virus protection, you’re leaving your devices and data open to hackers. Personal information is regularly uploaded onto computers without thinking about the risk you’re opening yourself and your customers to, which could be sold on or even used to ac cess bank accounts.

2. Protects productivity

When viruses and malware infiltrate your system, it can cause devices to run extremely slowly and potentially even crash altogether. As a result, it can make working on them virtually impossible, which means your employees will be unable to complete tasks and may and hinder productivity throughout the whole company as a result.

3. Stops your website from shutting down

You’ll likely be hosting your own website, and while this can be beneficial to make the necessary changes and adaptations, it can become a real issue if your system becomes contaminated with a virus, which could eventually cause your website to shut down completely. Damage to your website caused by viruses can become long-term and may also cause you to lose out on sales temporarily while it is down. If you have no experience in website maintenance, it would be highly advised to hire a professional company such as Evolvtec to detect and eliminate viruses and maintain your website on your behalf to ensure worst-case scenarios do not occur.

4. Inspires confidence in your customers

Proving that you have thought carefully about cyber-security can truly instill a sense of confidence within your customers to do business with you. If customers have trust in your company, it’s much more likely that they’ll go through with making a purchase. It can be a nerve-racking experience to enter personal details onto a website when making an order but adding a button that proves you have covered all angles with cybersecurity will certainly work in your favor.

5. Reduces potential costs

Did you know that a breach of data could cost your business thousands of dollars? For small companies with very small budgets, this could be detrimental to the future of their business by thrashing the bottom line. Although you may be worried about paying for cybersecurity techniques, this is, in fact, much cheaper than if you were to be the unlucky business that is hacked this year.