Essential Things to Change in Insurance Training

Insurance services use knowledge related to finance, regulations, analytics in general and everything else in specific. For example, take project insurance. The insurer needs to evaluate various risks associated with the project. He should be able to make use of project management documents to understand the measures being taken by managers to manage the risks identified by them. He should be able to assess loss in case of claim. He need to use the knowledge of project management techniques in project insurance.

Again, if it is agriculture insurance, an insurer has to get idea about the crop yield, soil quality, farming practices etc. to do a meaningful insurance. So, knowledge of agriculture science need to be applied. Since insurance extends its services to every possible activities in the world or even in space, it has the potential to use every kind of knowledge.

Knowledge gained by insurance professionals during training are to be used. They are not for answering few questions in examination and then forgetting them. There is no end of values that insurance service can add in risk management in any kind of activities. And that is through the use of knowledge related to risk management techniques and also the knowledge related to activities. It may not be expected that every insurance professional will gain knowledge of every activity. But, he will do better if he is able to identify what knowledge to be used from where. This where can be external too.

There can be such training courses that are related to existing practices. But these are at the most basic level. It makes sense if there is a need of organized training on existing practices. There are regular changes in standards, regulations etc. that may create need of organized training to make them known to insurance professionals in formal way.

However, since Insurance service by nature is futuristic, there has to be emphasis on such topics that empowers the professionals to understand the future in scientific way with greater nuance. Such training prepares insurance professionals to go much deep in their profession and make the profession richer.

So, one thing that definitely need to be in the insurance related training is something about the future, something latest, something new, something that make the participants come out from the routine thinking and dive deep into topics related to finance, regulations and analytics or related to the special area of insurance.

Did You Make The List Of The Worst Passwords?

Doesn’t it seem like everything we do today requires a password? I would say that forgetting a password is like forgetting your keys, but it’s probably worse. We all know how important passwords are, but honestly, strong passwords that are impossible to guess are also impossible to remember. This is why some of our passwords aren’t as strong as they need to be.

That being said, there is a difference between a weak password and a worthless password. And, far too many people are using worthless passwords. Obviously, no one deserves to be a victim of online fraud or identity theft, but some people are almost inviting criminals to ruin their lives.

If you think this is being too harsh, think again. Look at SplashData’s Worst Passwords of 2016, which is based on over 5 million passwords that were posted or advertised for sale on the Internet.

123456
password
12345
12345678
football
qwerty
1234567890
1234567
princess
1234
This list makes it easy to understand how passwords can be rendered virtually worthless by being weak. It’s absurd to think anyone is actually using these passwords, but it’s true. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like people are learning their lesson.
123456 and password remain atop the list of worst passwords for the third straight year.
Though eight new passwords cracked the top 25 in 2016, including hottie, loveme and flower, seventeen of them made the list in 2015.
But wait, it gets even worse. These passwords are actually being used to protect a different kind of sensitive information. The kind of information that the world can know, but a spouse cannot.
Millions of passwords were leaked during the Ashley Madison breach. If you thought people would use strong passwords to conceal their infidelity, if not their account numbers, you’d be wrong. Here are the top 5 passwords revealed by the breach:

123456
12345
password
DEFAULT
123456789
Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to our personal and professional lives. Passwords that are memorable are typically weak. They must be strong to be effective. According to Microsoft, a strong password:
Is at least eight characters long.
Doesn’t contain your user name, real name or company name.
Doesn’t contain a complete word.
Is significantly different from previous passwords.
Contains uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers and symbols.
There are various insurance products specifically designed for identity theft and other cyber threats. Quite frankly, we’ve gotten to the point where everyone should have this kind of insurance coverage. Nevertheless, even though insurance can help you recover after an incident, preventing incidents from ever happening should still be the goal.

Know the Several Types of Insurance

All of us are well accustomed to the term “insurance”. The term stands for insuring or giving cover to an individual or a group for a specific purpose. On the basis of the function, an insurance policy can be classified into several types. Let us study the types to get a detailed knowledge of the policies.

Home Insurance- our home protects us round the year, but it also needs protection against the rude side of nature. Home insurance can protect your residence from both natural disasters and man-made accidents. They offer a compensatory price for damage to property and life in the home.

Health Insurance- If you are taking a health insurance then that is going to give cover to you and your family. This can be on the basis of the type the health insurance is. This gives one the ability to fight sudden medical emergencies owing to hospital bills, medical expenses, specialist charges, etc.

Personal Accident Insurance- This kind of cover is recommended to one to cope with accidental deaths. Life insurance already covers this part. But when a person gets disabled and losses his or her earning capacity either partially or totally, then the personal accident insurance can be helpful.

Motor Insurance- This protects one against vehicle damage and third party cases of accidents. You would have a mutual contract with the insuring company that on payment of a certain amount as premium, the company will pay you a certain amount if any accidents occur. This type of insurance offers medical coverage, liability and property damages. The property damage covers the theft or damage of the car and the liability coverage maintains the legal aspects in terms of property damage and bodily injuries.

Travel Insurance- As the name suggests the policies gives cover while one is on a trip. So, when you are on the trip all your worries will be taken care of by the insurance from sudden medical expenses to loss of passport, baggage, delay of flight, etc. You can have a safe and trouble-free journey with them.

Commercial Insurance- In a company there are several needs of insurance policies. Most companies have several policies that are specifically designed to protect the assets, vehicles, machines, business, employees and other unseen losses. These policies help them to fulfill the immediate requirements.

These are some of the most common types of insurance that one can find in the market. If you are in need, choose the one that best suits your requirements.

Types Of Insurance

Insurance is an agreement, spoken to by an arrangement, in which an individual or element gets money related security or repayment against misfortunes from an insurance agency. The organization pools customers’ dangers to make installments more reasonable for the guaranteed. Protection arrangements are utilized to support against the danger of money related misfortunes, both of all shapes and sizes, that may come about because of harm to the guaranteed or her property, or from risk for harm or damage brought on to an outsider. There are a huge number of various sorts of protection strategies accessible, and for all intents and purposes any people or organizations can discover an insurance agency willing to guarantee them, at a cost. The most well-known sorts of individual protection approaches are auto, wellbeing, mortgage holders and extra security strategies.

Most people in the United States have no less than one of these sorts of protection. Organizations require exceptional sorts of protection arrangements that safeguard against particular sorts of dangers confronted by the specific business. A fast food eatery, for instance, needs a strategy that spreads harm or damage that happens accordingly of cooking with a profound fryer. A car merchant is not subject to this kind of hazard but rather requires scope for harm or damage that could happen amid test drives. There are additionally protection approaches accessible for particular needs, for example, abduct and emancipate (K&R), medicinal misbehavior and expert risk protection, likewise called mistakes and oversights protection. Protection Policy Components While picking an approach, it is imperative to see how protection functions. Two of the most critical parts of all protection approaches are the premium and the deductible. A firm comprehension of these two ideas goes far to helping you pick the strategy that is best for you. An approach’s premium is just its cost, regularly communicated as a month to month cost. The premium is controlled by the insurance agency in light of your, or your business’, hazard profile. For instance, in the event that you possess a few costly vehicles and have a past filled with heedless driving, you pay more for an auto strategy than somebody with a solitary mid-extend car and an immaculate record. In any case, unique back up plans may charge distinctive premiums for comparable arrangements, so finding the value that is ideal for you requires some legwork.

The second critical strategy part is the deductible. At whatever point you make a claim, you are required to meet a base out-of-pocket cost, or deductible, before the insurance agency pays for your misfortunes. Deductibles can apply per-strategy or per-guarantee contingent upon the safety net provider and the sort of arrangement. Arrangements with high deductibles are commonly less expensive on the grounds that the high out-of-pocket cost implies insureds are more averse to make little claims. With regards to medical coverage, for instance, individuals who have interminable medical problems or need normal therapeutic consideration ought to search for strategies with lower deductibles. In spite of the fact that the yearly premium is higher than a similar strategy with a higher deductible, less expensive access to restorative care during the time might be justified regardless of the exchange off. Insurance is an agreement between an individual (the policyholder) and an insurance agency. This agreement gives that the insurance agency will cover some bit of a policyholder’s misfortune the length of the policyholder meets certain conditions stipulated in the protection contract. The policyholder pays a premium to get protection scope. In the event that the policyholder encounters a misfortune, for example, an auto collision or a house fire, the policyholder documents a claim for repayment with the insurance agency. The policyholder will pay a deductible to cover some portion of the misfortune, and the insurance agency will pay the rest. For instance, assume you have a property holders protection strategy. You pay $1,000 every year in premiums for an approach with a face estimation of $200,000, which is the thing that the insurance agency gauges it would cost to totally reconstruct your home in case of an aggregate misfortune. One day, an enormous rapidly spreading fire envelopes your neighborhood and your home consumes to the ground. You document a claim for $200,000 with your insurance agency. The organization favors the claim. You pay your $1,000 deductible, and the insurance agency covers the rest of the $199,000 of your misfortune. You then take that cash and utilize it to contract contractual workers to modify your home. When you purchase a protection approach, you’re pooling your misfortune chance with the misfortune danger of every other person who has bought protection from a similar organization. On the off chance that you get your mortgage holders protection from Server farm, which offers significantly a larger number of property holders protection approaches than any of its rivals, you’re uniting with a great many different mortgage holders to altogether secure each other against misfortune. Every mortgage holder pays yearly premiums;

Server farm gathered more than $15 billion in premiums in 2011, as per information from A.M. Best, a noteworthy protection appraisals organization. Just a little rate of mortgage holders will encounter misfortunes every year – 5.3% of safeguarded property holders recorded a claim in 2014, for instance. What’s more, a large portion of those misfortunes will be generally little; the normal mortgage holders protection claim was for $11,402 in 2015, which is more than a great many people could easily pay out of pocket all alone, however a long way from a most dire outcome imaginable. Advance, the normal mortgage holder just documents a claim once every 9 or 10 years. Insurance agencies are along these lines ready to utilize the premiums from mortgage holders who don’t document a claim in an offered year to pay for the misfortunes of property holders who do record a claim, which is called hazard pooling. It just bodes well to buy protection to cover huge misfortunes you can’t without much of a stretch bear the cost of all alone. Couple of drivers who are found to blame in a noteworthy fender bender can stand to pay a huge number of dollars in another person’s doctor’s visit expenses, so they convey accident coverage that accommodates restorative installments to others. We have medical coverage on the grounds that in the event that we get a costly disease like malignancy, protection is the main way we’d have the capacity to pay for our treatment. It doesn’t bode well to buy protection where the cost of scope is high to the point that you’ll likely wind up paying for your whole potential misfortune in premiums whether you encounter that misfortune or not. Nor does protection bode well when you can easily stand to cover the misfortune yourself, which is the reason specialists for the most part exhort against protection strategies or service agreements for essential shopper hardware like cell phones and TVs. Insurance is accessible to give budgetary insurance against a wide assortment of misfortunes:
• auto body harm from a pile up
• house fires
• apartment robberies
• medical installments to inhabitants harmed in a fender bender
• long-term inability
• death of somebody that others depend on for budgetary or caretaking support
• emergency room visits
• surgery
• a claim brought by a guest who slips and falls on your frosty entryway patio
• help with essential exercises of every day living
• and some more.

When you convey the correct sorts of protection in the correct sums, you’ll be secured against possibly disastrous misfortunes that could send your life veering off kilter and pulverize your funds. In the following segment, we’ll clarify a couple of more essentials of protection: the distinctive sorts of hazard and how to oversee them, what an insurable intrigue is and why you require it, how to purchase protection and how protection guaranteeing functions.

10 Steps on How to Develop a Business Properly

So you want to develop a business, huh? Well, you’re just in luck. This article will help you whether you are planning to start up new or have an existing business that you would like to expand. This is a step by step guide on how to start, improve, and expand a business while minimizing loss on your part. If you are starting new, please read this article carefully from the very beginning. For those, who already have an existing business and would like to improve or expand, the latter part of the article will be more useful.

Every business starts with an idea. You will find that throughout the article, I have emphasized the mental aspects of people rather than physical or financial aspects. Call me philosophical, but the mind is where everything happens. I have seen and experienced it time and time. When your mind is fully committed, there is literally nothing that you cannot do. Let’s begin.

Step 01: Find Your Passion

To start a business, you need to find out what it is that you are truly passionate about. “Why is that important”, you say? The answer is simple. You really do not want to get yourself stuck into a kind of work that you hate. There are plenty of planning and executing involved in a brand new business and if you are passionate about it, they would not feel like work at all compared to a kind of business you do not care for. After all, happiness is the end result of anything that we do in life. Why not choose a business that would make you happy while doing it?

“When your vacation becomes your vocation, you have succeeded in life”.

Step 02: How to Sell It

Now that you have found your passion, let us figure out how to use it to bill people who are in need of the kind of service you can provide. Even though yours is the most ridiculous passion ever, believe me, there are millions of people who would be glad to have your services. As a matter of fact the stranger and more unique your passion is, the more likely you are to succeed simply because that type of business doesn’t exist yet. That also doesn’t mean that if your passion is something common or usual, you shouldn’t do it. Even if it is something common, if you really love it, you will always find ways to do things differently than the others and that itself is the winner.

Let’s say that you are passionate about cars. You are more likely to succeed in an auto shop, auto parts shop, or a repair and modification shop. Sure, there are plenty of those out there, but if you love it, it is going to be one of a kind. Maybe your shop has a nice waiting area where your customers can have a seat and a free beverage when they come to drop off or pick up a car, or you may have free stickers complementary to having their breaks fixed. Once you’re in the business, you’ll figure that out.

Step 03: The Planning

Write down your unique ideas and prepare a presentation. Take some time to do it. You should not rush this part. If a new idea comes while you are in the middle of the planning stage, do not hesitate to change. Edit and modify until you are fully satisfied and you can see a clear mental picture of your business. I cannot emphasize how important this is. You have to be absolutely clear and certain. If there are parts that are hazy, leave for a while, do something else, and come back to the planning table again when your mind is clear. You will see later how we will reuse this step over and over again.

A thing to remember here is that I am not talking about the “Hows”. At this point, you’re not thinking how you will start the business. That will come later. Your focus at this stage is the “Whats”. If you start thinking about the “Hows”, you will ruin your plan because you will start to think about things such as “How do I get the capital”, “How am I going to find an ideal place” etc. The “Hows” will show up later when you are clear about the “Whats”.

Step 04: Visualize Your Success

Now that you have had the clear picture of your business, visualize how it would look and feel when it is fully operational and successful. You must be able to taste the success. This again is another important stage. Why-you ask? There will be obstacles on your way to success. This is the picture that will keep you going. It will also help keep your team motivated in the future should you need to inspire them in times of hardship. You, the leader, must have that picture of success handy at all times.

Step 05: The Needs

You are clear about what your business will be and you have a clear picture of success. By now, you are mentally ready, so let’s get physical. The physical needs of the business include 3 things: infrastructure, personnel, and finance.

Infrastructure: If your business is local such as an auto repair shop, you will need a space, an office, a storage area, and some furniture. If your business is virtual, you will need a website or other computer based applications. In any case, you have the clear picture (Step 03), so you can create a list of infrastructural needs.

Personnel: If it is a kind of business that you can do totally on your own, then you are it. If not, you are going to need assistance. Use Step 03, and find out how many people you will need and what their jobs and qualifications should be. You may also look among your friends, relatives and acquaintances that may have those qualifications and would be happy to help you in the beginning. Having a good friend or partner at this stage is very helpful. If you have a friend who shares almost the same vision as you, you have hit the jackpot. Things are a lot easier with a good friend beside.

Finance: This part is slightly uncomfortable for a lot of people. For this reason, a lot of great ideas never see the light of the day. Many would give up at this sector because they believe there is no money. If you feel that, please remember that the financial industry was built on great ideas. It is their purpose to invest. How else do you think the Empire State Building was built? One person didn’t put all his money into it. The idea was great and was simply backed by several financial institutions. The truth is there are numerous banks, lending agencies, and investors who are looking for a great idea to invest in.

However, ideally you, as the owner of the business, should have at least half the initial capital you need. If you are currently in a job, you can start saving up. If you already have the money, begin at once. If you do not have anything, use your Step 03 presentation to attract a wealthy relative, friend or an investor.

I have mentioned in the beginning of the article how important the mental aspects of the people are. I would like to elaborate on this a little bit more since finance is a huge issue. Fear is your only true enemy here. This is the only one thing that you have to overcome, and you have to face it no matter what. I will help you with a few tips on how to do it, but you have to walk this path.

First of all, it is okay to be afraid. It is a part of who we are. Just remember that “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is having fear and still doing the thing you are afraid of”. In other words, FACE IT. After all, “At the end of our lives, we only regret things we haven’t done or chances we haven’t taken”. What is the worst that could happen? We all die, and it is better to die quickly doing something we love than live a long boring life doing things that are safe and comfortable. Use Step 04 and have that taste of success, and get out there. Here are a few types of fear that you may have and how to overcome them:

Fear of Rejection: Yes, you will be rejected. Not a lot of people would understand what it is you are trying to do, so do not take it personally, and move on to the next. When you do your presentation, prepare your best and do it with passion. People invest in sincerity. I know I would. I would invest my own money if I saw a person who was genuinely passionate about a project even though I didn’t understand the business. Why? Because he would not give up on this until successful, so it pays to have your Step 01.

Fear of Loss: There is always a possibility of loss. After all, it is a new business and you do not know all the pits and falls. Trust in yourself that if you make a mistake and have a loss, you will also know how to get out of it. It is your idea, and you know best. Loss will happen when it happens, and you will know what to do then- no need to worry now.

Fear of Embarrassment: Yes, there are those who would always have something to say especially when you are having a hard time. You will be ridiculed and laughed at. However, wouldn’t that be sweeter when you come around triumphant? How could you win if you have never been defeated? Prepare to take the embarrassment and defeat, use Step 04 through these times, and come back a winner. People remember a hero- not an average person.

I hope the tips on fear would help you overcome it. Now that you have found the capital provider/s, there is one thing you should consider. Find an investor who is willing to wait for the business to properly run, which is ideally 6 to 8 months. There are investors, banks or lending agencies that would loan you the money but would want their interests or return of investment (ROI) almost immediately. This is short sighted. A wise investor knows that if the business isn’t fully operational and he starts to claim his money, neither will the business succeed nor will he get his money back. Therefore, choose someone who will wait. That way, the business is safe and the investor gets his full ROI.

Step 06: Start

Find your place, find your personnel, and go for it. Use your partner as a right hand man and divide jobs. One can find a place and buy the furniture and the other can do the hiring. Hire the best quality people you can. Keep in mind that the first set of employees will be your core team, and you must be comfortable working with them. Remember Step 03, so you will know how many people you need and what qualifications they must have.

Step 07: Employees

Make sure everyone knows clearly what they are doing. Create a fair employment policy where good jobs are rewarded. Also, make sure that employees that are not really up to the job are given chances and training before you let them go. It sometimes helps to pair up one good employee with another bad one so that the bad one can learn from the good. You may also create a profit sharing plan. This makes employees take care of your business as if it is their own.

Step 08: Market

Market your business and do it professionally. Once you have established your business, you must reach as many customers as possible. You may ask a professional photographer to take pictures of your facility, and ask a graphic designer to create brochures.

Online presence is also important. Create a good website. It is easy nowadays, but if you have the means, give it to an IT professional. See if you can create an app for smartphones for the services you provide. Offer promotions and discounts on your brochures and website.

Regularly meet your core team to discuss how to improve services or reach more customers. Have an open mind, take all their ideas and pick the ones that best suit you, and execute. These are several ways to market your business: Door to Door Marketing, Telemarketing, SEO, API (Create an app), Advertising.

On my next article, I will solely focus on Marketing Strategies.

Step 09: Expand

Expand your business. You already have one business model now, so all you have to do is copy and paste, so do not refuse a chance to expand. If it is a local business that serves only the local customers, open another branch or start franchising it to other cities. At this point, financing should not be a problem. Plenty of investors and financers will gladly give you the money. If it is an online business, expand your SEO or Customer Support team, and the whole world will be your market.

Step 10: Balance

Last but not least, create balance in everything you do. From the very first step to the last, balance is the key. The lesson on balance is huge, but I will discuss it briefly.

Too much of anything is bad. Do not work so hard that you lose your family, friends or health. After all, money is no good if you cannot share it with people you love, or if you have to spend most of your money in the hospitals. You have to keep the balance between your business and personal life. Also, no good idea can come out of you if you are overworked and tired all the times. When you feel stuck, get away for a while and come back later. You will find a solution.

There are ups and downs in life as well as in business. The lesson on balance also tells us that you should be cautious when you are succeeding and patient when you are failing. When you are succeeding, do not spend money unnecessarily on things you don’t need. Also, when you are failing, do not give up because success is just around the corner. It is the darkest before dawn, so “This too shall pass”.

You must also create a balance between you and your employees. You are their leader. If you are too hard on them, they will quit or even worse sabotage the business. If you are too soft, they will play more than work.

At the end, all businesses are about people. From your employees to your investors to your customers, balance all relationships. Share and enjoy your success.

3 Indispensable Things to Know When Starting a Business

I’ve been speaking to people, and I don’t know if it’s because we’re in the first quarter of a new year or if there’s more confidence in the economy, but I’ve realized that many more people are looking to start their own businesses. As a business owner and social entrepreneur, I think that’s a great thing.

I’m often asked about my thoughts about starting a new venture, and candidly, I love the adrenaline rush, vision driving and strategy development of a new business opportunity. If you’ve been thinking about beginning a new company, there’s no time like the present to start to get yourself into the entrepreneurial mindset to consider if it makes sense for you.

If I were speaking to someone right now starting off as a new business owner for the first time, there are three essential things I would suggest they keep in mind:

Do You Really Want to Be an Entrepreneur?
The first question is the toughest, but you’ve got to sit with it for a while. I’ve spoken to many people along the way who have started a business, and then have fallen flat on their face and returned to the safe embrace of a 9 to 5 job. Being a business owner is not as “glamorous” as it may appear.
Sure, you’ll have a flexible schedule (on occasion) and are the final decision maker on large and small decisions, but being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. The truth is you will never work as hard as you do than when you’re a business owner, particularly in the early years. Twelve hour plus days, including weekends, is not uncommon.

Being a business owner means it’s all on you. You may have other people working with you. You may be one of those leaders who allows his team of professionals to be the professionals they are, but as an entrepreneur, your responsibility is to understand every area of your business: sales, marketing, legal, finance and accounting, administrative, marketing, research and development, product development, etc. It takes a great deal of time to know all areas of your business and make sure they are working correctly. It’s an endless process.

Do You Really Want to go into Business with Your Friends and Family?
Many times, particularly with small businesses, you’ll have friends or family members decide to go into business together. It makes sense to want to go into business with people you know and trust, but do you want to do that? If there is anything that comes up your relationships can be affected.
A great scenario is this one: you’re working 12 hour days and doing great in your areas of responsibility. Your business partner, and good buddy, perhaps is not as hard working and as disciplined as you are and so resentment begins to build. That’s a recipe for conflict and the likelihood that your business will survive with internal friction exponentially decreases with the increase in tension.

Another possibility is that you don’t go into business with any friend or family as your partner, but perhaps you decide to hire that same good buddy to be one of your first employees because you trust him. Again, what happens if he’s not putting in the hours or work that you think is essential for business success? There have been countless examples of business owners who partnered or hired friends or family only to be in a situation where the business has suffered (as well as the relationship) because of anything from work styles to fraud. It’s very tough to separate your business from your relationships without potentially ruining them.

Decide if You’re the Cupcake Baker or the Business Owner
Many people have a passion for something in their lives, and that’s great. Perhaps they love making cupcakes, or they love music and want to sell instruments. Whatever is your passion or interest, if you have one, you will not be only doing that work. As the business owner, the most crucial part of your business is a vision, sales, etc. and the path the company as laid out in your business plan.
If you love painting and you decide to open up a paint shop, you will not be spending your day painting. You will spend your day selling paint, dealing with customers and managing the books. Same goes for cupcakes or even widgets. The business owner that wants to grow his or her company is not going to be baking cupcakes exclusively but also running the business.

If you’re looking to grow, you’ve got to focus on the total “business.” As a business owner, the cupcake making, painting, music or widget making will be only one element, but it’s certainly not the “business.” The business is the promotion of your product, the price point, finances, customers, cash register, accounts receivables and payables, and payroll, etc.

In conclusion, don’t get me wrong. For me, I wouldn’t change anything in the world for my life as an entrepreneur. I love being a business owner and digging into all elements of my companies and brands. It’s invigorating, exciting and no day is the same. Any business owner will tell you, however, that the points mentioned earlier are essential for seeing if the entrepreneurial path is genuinely what you want.

A Small Business Loan Is Easy to Get If You Are Doing the Important Things Right

When your business is in its starting phase, you need a loan to grow it. Yes, there are ways for you to start your business with very little capital, but even in the age of the internet you need loans for the growth and expansion of your business. Oftentimes, startup and small business owners are scared of taking loans because they believe returning the same loan with interest on it will hinder their growth. The fact is a loan is not such a big liability if you have done your homework before getting it. Hastily getting a loan without researching the market and knowing your business’ growth potential can be detrimental to the business.

Your Business Plan Matters Big Time

It does not matter how experienced your management team is when your business plan is weak. When you ask for a loan from lenders, they are trying to find reasons to forward you the desired loan. They want to be sure that the loan they forward is returned in time and according to the terms and conditions set at the time of loaning. Lenders will seldom gauge the potential of your business to return the loan based on what you speak. What they want to see is a solid business plan and that’s why you need to have an impressive one. A strong business plan will consist of the following and some more.

The company description
Management role and experience
The product description
Strategy for marketing
Financial projections
An executive summary
Documented cash flow
Keep in mind that banks often look at the cash flow in the documented form, and their scrutiny is not limited to what your projections are for the future but more importantly how you have managed things in the past. They will look at your company’s cash flow records for past couple of years to see if you should be given the loan you are asking for. So, keep your business plan in mind and make sure you have worked on every aspect of it to present something impressive to the investors.

Your Loan Options Are Many

Sometimes, you have a solid business plan and everything else is in place, but your understanding of loan options is not at its best. Many small business owners live with the impression that the only institution available to them for obtaining a loan is a bank. That’s far from truth because there are dozens of other ways to obtain the loan or investment for your startups that’s much easier to manage than a bank loan. Some of the options available to you include SBA loans from the government, invoice financing, business equipment financing loans, etc. If you are just a startup and none of those options seem viable to you, there is online fundraising.

Online fundraising has become quite a popular method of getting investments for your startup from individuals who trust in your idea and concept of the business. Using funding website you have access to hundreds of thousands of investors located all around the world that are willing to help if you can convince them with your business plan and the team that’s behind your project. So, avoid making the mistake that many small business owners make when they think bank is the only place for them to get any money for their businesses.

Your Timing to Apply for a Loan Is Important

This is a huge mistake that small business owners often make and pay the price in the form of not being able to obtain the loan they want at the terms they want. See, you will always be told to have a strong business plan because that’s the only way investors will trust you as an entrepreneur or businessperson. When you create your business plan, you are not just jotting down random numbers on a piece of paper. Your plan should give you an idea of what your business’ needs will be in the coming times. That’s when it makes sense to apply for loans well in advance and not at the eleventh hour.

When you apply for a loan at the eleventh hour, you are seen as a business in trouble. Most investors will see your business as the sinking ship and they will never want to get on it. Obtaining a loan in these circumstances can become close to impossible. This is the reason why you should apply for a business loan in advance and not at exactly the moment you need it. You also have to keep in mind that loan approval process takes time too. If you need the cash on an urgent basis, every day that passes during the approval process will be causing more damage to your business.

The Right People Can Make the Difference

Delegating responsibilities to the right people is an art and skill that not many business owners have. Oftentimes, small business owners rely too much on their own skills and are scared to trust any other person to do things for them. This can be a grave mistake because you cannot be the jack and master of all the trades at the same time. For example, you might be great at crunching numbers and making accurate projections for the business but not very great at sales and pitching ideas. If you have to pitch your business idea, its marketability and scope to the investors, choose the person who can best present it. Despite your great business plan, you will fail to obtain a loan because of your nervousness and lack of confidence when it comes to acting like a clever salesperson.

You have to bear in mind that investors are not investing only in your business, they are also investing in you. It is very important for them to like your personality to invest in your project. Appearing unprepared or nervous in front of them will send an impression that you are not fit to lead the project, your decision making is faulty and that you cannot create strong teams.

A Well-prepared Presentation Can Win Hearts

It does not matter who is giving the presentation when the content is boring and does not address the points that investors are most curious to know. First, get your numbers straight and bring them into the presentation at the right points. Be the investor in your mind and think of the questions you would ask if someone presented the same product/service to you. Have your accountant, advisor and business lawyer by your side when preparing the presentation. You don’t want to give wrong figures during the presentation and fall for a bad deal at the end of it. The most important thing is to explain your business idea as clearly as possible. Many times the presentations are so all-over-the-place that investors can’t make heads and tails of it. If they don’t understand your business, they will never invest.

So, bear in mind that obtaining a loan is not that big of a challenge. Most of the times, it is just some small mistakes in the areas mentioned above that become the cause of lost opportunities to get the right loans for your business. Create a solid business plan, choose the right people to represent your business and use all the options that are available to you at the right time to grow your business at the pace you want.

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.
70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.
52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.
More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium
By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services
Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content
Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test
Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration
Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI
Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize
There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Final Thoughts
Social media for small businesses is definitely beneficial and fruitful. If followed correctly, small businesses can benefit tremendously from the power of social media promotions.

Business Coaching for Business Improvement

Business coaching can actually bring the much-desired changes to your business. Coach is a word which is derived from “kocsi”, a Hungarian name that means “carriage”. Today, however, the word has a wider use and it basically means transportation of people from one point to the other where they desire to be.

Business coaching, therefore, can be defined as a process that can be applied so as to move a business from its current position to where the owner envisions it to be. What a business coach does is to offer guidance and assistance to the owner in view of business growth, helping in the clarification of the business vision and how exactly it can fit well with the personal goals. This is a very important step and should be a point of focus.

Business owners should be made to understand the importance of reaching their goals for the business and how it can affect them personally. The business owner is responsible for the determination of the passion and speed in which goals are met. When the business owner has a passion for reaching a goal, he will be more determined to make it work by all means.

Usually, a coach will get to know the business owner desires and this helps in the prioritization of the goals and strategies that need to be put in place. It is the work of the coach to meet you with the owner on a regular basis so as to ensure they remain on track to all commitments that they may have made.

Accountability is a critical component of business coaching. It is important to understand that a business coach isn’t a consultant. This means that they don’t work for the business. The main aim is to help you with focus and keep on reminding you the importance of reaching the set goals. They also work to motivate the business owner to actually keep the commitments. They are the sounding board and can even hold a mirror so as to reflect all the blind spots that you may have missed.

Most of the success stories that you may have heard attributed it to amazing business coaches. For business owners who seek to have more time, more money and better relationships and health, it becomes important to have a business coach. The reason why the most business fails is that people are not really taught about ways in which they can actually win at life. Coaching, therefore, bridges the gap and enlightens the business owners in ways that only a coach can achieve.

It is the dream of every business owner to have a winning team around them. Also, anyone in business desires to have great profits in an effortless and exponential way. A winning business allows you to have time and money freedom. If you feel that you need to rethink your commitments and focus on the goals you had initially set out for your business, then getting a great business coach can actually help you and your business to a great extent.

Business coaching offers amazing coaching and can help the growth of your business in amazing ways. Other services that you can access include online business consulting. Business coaching can also be offered online making it easy for you to access.

5 Ways Drake Cloud Can Enrich Your Business Productivity

The main purpose of gearing up any business in the market is definitely to streamline a plan or desire into real life. Being a business owner, the main responsibility of handling the position is to turn every raw into a big profit. How often owners get success in their start examines the perfection of their initial plans. Any business actually doesn’t achieve success until get hundreds of temporary defeats. And, why most of the startups meet with temporary defeats is the real question that in reality, many few have raised. The one-n-only reason that brings temporary defeats is the not-so profound plan of the business owner.

This is very important for business owners to understand & confess range of solutions that will help their business to grow. The enchanting cloud technology has been already taken the whole business world by storm, offering complete new platform consisting of flexibility, reliability, scalability & most importantly security. Drake cloud, one of the most revolutionary solution which is bringing both profitability & productivity to businesses.

The benefits of allowing cloud techniques for tax preparations in business premises are not hidden from any of us. From robust security protocols to instant backups & data recovery functionalities, Drake cloud services are way more of just software to businesses which can be integrated by paying a reasonable fee to the provider. Since the times of its inception, Drake software hosting has raised many tosses of sustainable business growth. Though, the most effective benefit is of enhancing the productivity of businesses which can be understood by analyzing below mentioned 5 ways:

1. Seamless Connectivity: Be in the business environment or not-so workable surroundings or at home, precisely work on the same set of files or projects with fellow employees without any hassle of network, place, and platform. Cloud-enabled businesses are raising their profits to a large extent than businesses who are still working on-site. Usually flexible for both, SMBs and enterprises, the availability of remotely connect with business members to discuss, share or solve business complexities turns it to be a pure gold.

2. Reach to Big Data: One of the most extraordinary ways to minimize costs of resources & IT experts, Cloud-based networks offers cutting-edge technologies which are bringing accuracy to businesses. The Internet is full of unstructured data which is available to all but not transparent to those having lack of knowledge. The cloud technology also avails essential tools that will help businesses to form patterns of useful data that will maintain their integrity. The cloud itself makes businesses utilize the big data efficiently for their business productivity.

3. Employee Retention & Recruiting: The access to cloud-based seamless connectivity service has made it possible for businesses to hire talents from far countries as well. Previously businesses have to compromise with their acquisition process as the employee best-suited for the requirement might not reside in the nearby location and thus the company has to quest for others unwittingly. Thanks to cloud computing with which no business need to limit themselves due to geographic constraints.

4. Scalability: The vast IT world keeps on changing its landscapes in an infrequently manner which may cause harm to many businesses. But with the integration of cloud computing, businesses are capable of facing such changes efficiently. The strictly fabricated networks, protected platforms & round the clock support of experts make it easy for businesses to mark productivity even in today’s competitive world. Scalability is the major benefit one can have if mitigated data with the cloud.

5. Flexibility: Accessing files over cloud network, sharing ideas with fellow members, working in collaboration is the advantage of being integrated with cloud computing. Any business quest for flexibility which can help them to engage with as more people as they can or willing to. With on-site networks, the same process is quite hard and time-consuming as well. The instant solutions for business complexities offer flexibility to any business instantly.

The massive network of cloud-based services is generally a unique combination of three segments- protection oriented platforms, software, and infrastructure. As per the demand for a particular business, correspondence Tax software can be chosen onto which businesses can ask for cloud-based hosting. Providers are offering a choice between public, private, and hybrid cloud deployment from which businesses can select any, keeping their needs & security concerns in mind.