12 Self Storage Tips For Business Owners

Unused office furniture, old equipment, excess inventory, product samples, office supplies, seasonal decorations, electronics and piles of archived paperwork tend to pile up over time, making day-to-day business operations more difficult. Public self storage units can provide convenient extra square footage at significantly less cost than commercial or warehouse space.

Many business owners make use of mini self storage not just for long-term, but also short-term solutions:

• During expansions, redecorating remodeling or downsizing your business
• When staging an office space to sell
• During relocations to help keep things running smoothly
• Storing seasonal furnishings such as outdoor kiosks, patio furniture, grills, etc.
• In preparation for trade shows / conventions
• Storing excess inventory for the holiday season

These tips will help you maximize your investment both short and long term:

Selecting a self storage unit and facility

1. Determine the amount of space needed – Using an inventory list (see Tip #4 below), calculate the square footage you will need. Use Extra Space’s size estimator. Your storage needs may require one large storage unit, or several smaller storage units strategically located within an area.

2. Compare cost per square foot – Renting a self storage unit is generally quite a bit cheaper than leasing retail, office or warehouse space. When every square foot can be used for profit, for example in retail or restaurant space, the savings can be even greater.

3. Look into climate control – Climate control uses central air conditioning and heat to keep the temperature and humidity level within the unit similar to the temperature in your office. It’s a necessary extra cost if you will be storing computers, copiers, printers, scanners and other electronic devices. Climate control is also important when storing furniture, important paperwork or pharmaceutical samples… or anything else that may be damaged by extreme heat, cold or humidity.

4. Choose a location within the facility – Balance convenient access with cost savings. If you will be accessing the unit regularly, consider a location closer to the entrance which may cost a bit more. Garage-door-style storage sheds and storage units that are climate-controlled will usually cost more than other units as well.

Preparing to store in a public self storage unit

5. Keep an ongoing inventory – Make a list of all of the items you’ll be storing in your unit, and consider keeping a running inventory on a laptop, PDA or website that any employee who accesses the space can update easily. This not only helps with staying organized, but is important for insurance purposes.

6. Store documents and data safely – Always back up data using a couple different methods, and store backups in separate geographic locations. Fire safes should be considered for storing critical data and original documents. Password-protected CDs or DVDs can be used to store copies of documentation.

7. Pack electronic equipment properly – If planning to store computers and other electronic business equipment over the long term, avoid wrapping them in plastic which traps moisture, encouraging mildew and mold growth. Pack smaller devices with paper towels or newspaper in boxes, and use a cotton sheet or canvas as a cover for larger equipment to prevent dust buildup and allow for air circulation.

8. Go vertical – Floor-to-ceiling shelving can be used in storage units to make good use of space (as long as they are not attached to walls, floors or ceilings). Stand office furniture on end for more vertical space as well.
Getting the most out of your mini self storage facility

9. Save on moving transportation – Some storage facilities have trucks available for rent or free use.

10. Deliveries – Most facilities will receive deliveries on your behalf, notify you of the arrival, and hold packages for 24 hours. A standing “hold harmless” arrangement allows the facility staff to provide access to delivery companies who can then unload shipments directly into your storage unit.

11. Billing – Invoicing services are available from most storage facilities for convenient billing.

12. Be sure you’re insured – Commercial insurance policies may not provide sufficient coverage for stored items, or additional coverage may be expensive. Storage facilities frequently offer insurance that offer low cost / low deductibles and in-transit coverage that can function as supplemental coverage with a separate deductible.

Self storage units can help keep things running smoothly during the ups and downs of business growth. Using these tips, and asking your storage facility manager for additional guidance, will allow you to focus less on storage over the long run, and more on your primary tasks.

Mobile Phone Insurance Is A Good Idea

Do you really need mobile phone insurance? The answer depends, of course, on a number of different factors including which mobile you have and how likely you are to lose or damage your mobile – not to mention how many mobiles you’re talking about.

If you favor top of the line trendy models, or have children who do, mobile phone insurance could be a worthwhile investment. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to pay over the odds for it. There are many reasonably priced options for mobile phone insurance cover.

Why insure my mobile phone?

“I’m always careful”, you might be thinking. “I won’t leave it behind anywhere.” According to last year’s crime statistics, there are over 10,000 mobile phones stolen in the UK each month. Another 3,500 or so get left behind on buses and trains or in cafes, and an astounding 1,200 are dropped down toilets or knocked into sinks. In all, about 15,000 mobile phones are reported lost, stolen or damaged each and every month.

And the cost can put quite a dent in your budget. While you may have got your mobile free with your phone plan, the phone companies won’t replace your mobile for free or for £29.95. If you want to continue using your contract minutes – and you will be responsible for paying out the remainder of your contract – you’ll need to fork out the full price for a replacement phone. In addition, you could be liable for any call charges if your mobile was used before it’s loss is discovered. The cost of losing your mobile phone can easily top £500. Have you got a spare £500 sitting around?

Do I really need mobile phone insurance?

Perhaps not. Mobile phone insurance can cost you anywhere from £25 to £150 annually, depending on the insurance carrier that you choose. If you can reasonably replace your mobile phone for less than that, then mobile phone insurance is probably not a worthwhile expense for you. If you hae a replacement phone – perhaps left since your last upgrade – and your mobile provider still supports it, you may be fine without mobile insurance. In most cases, though, you’ll find that it can be worth the expense – especially if you shop around for competitively priced mobile phone insurance.

Tips for getting the best value mobile phone insurance

1. Don’t automatically accept mobile phone insurance when you buy your mobile. Those tend to be the priciest premiums of all.

2. If the salesperson or web site promises “Free Mobile Insurance” with all phones or with selected phones, be sure to check the details. In many cases, the cover is free for the first month. After the first month of cover, the regular premium will be tacked onto your mobile account charges, where you may not even realize you’re paying it.

3. Speaking of not realizing – are you already covered? If you’ve had the phone a bit and are just now thinking of insuring it, check the itemized details for your last account statement to be sure you’re not already paying for insurance.

4. Shop around the independent insurers. You can get economy cover for a mobile worth up to £150 for as little as £2.49 per month – less than half what most of the major insurers are charging.

5. Consider an increase to your home and contents cover if you have many electronic and mobile devices that you carry with you. You can extend your contents insurance to cover your mobile devices, including your phone, PDA, PSP and other electronics when you take them out of your home.

6. Got a family of mobiles? Nearly 80% of the phones reported stolen or lost belong to teens. If you’re insuring more than one phone, look for a company that will cover multiple mobiles on one policy.

Answering Service – A Must Have For Your Online Business

Every day you miss calls from customers who need your products or services. But now you can get rid of all these problems, your call will be answered by a live answering service with your company name. Representatives at answering services will provide you services like answering phone service, answering message service or even enter data into your web form.

But finding an answering service company is not easy, after all you are going to trust one of your assets i.e. your customer or prospects or clients or patient – to a third party about whom you know a very little. Hence, it is very important to choose a perfect answering service suitable for your business. We recommend you to take a glance of this article before taking a decision regarding answering services.

If you are serious about growing your business and providing superior customer service, you need a solution that provides 24/7 answering services with live operators that handle every call correctly and professionally. Some big companies are available for you to assist you in the regard. These service providers not only serve you with answering phone services, they also assist you with other services like answering message service, pager, voice mail, PDA, live operator and even via web portal to fit your schedules and needs.

People at answering services are consultant. They recommend right products and services to help you accomplish your goals. These answering services are working from the 1980’s and developing cost effective, customized answering services to meet your specific objectives.

There services include:

•In-depth, 24/7/365 customer service support
•Dispatch of service, emergency, or technical support personnel
•After hours, weekend, holiday, overflow coverage.
•Dedicated receptionist during normal business hours.
•Live operator answering service.
•Medical service bureau.
•Message delivery service.
•Toll-free telephone answering service.
Whether you are a corporation, an independent professional, in the medical field or related to any other profession that demands round-the-clock answering service and telephone support, companies can deliver the coverage you need and the professional care of your clients, patients and customers.

Leading answering service firms are continually search for pioneering technologies and services to help you better serve and improve your business.

While dealing with leading answering service companies you will be sure about:

•Answering services appoint courteous, professional and knowledgeable agents for your service.
•Dialer systems used at answering services are of good quality so that you can hear crystal clear voice quality.
•Customized answering service with your personalized greeting.
•Round the clock nationwide answering telephone service will give new horizons to your business.
•Multilingual answering message service is also available at answering services 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

If you are a physician or businessman related with medical field, Medical Answering Services are for you, which is a full-service professional answering service. Medical answering services are medical call center that provides answering phone service, e-mail and fax messaging and other telecommunications services to doctors and other healthcare providers. Medical answering services also help in reminding your appointment, insurance verifications, data management, event registration and custom scripting.

Electronics Insurance – Are Your Electronics and Computers Covered by Your Insurance?

There is a lot of misinformation today about consumer electronics and how it is treated by insurance companies. Most people I talk to think that if they have homeowners or renters insurance, their consumer electronics are covered.

But they usually find out that their assumptions aren’t true… at claims time.

Sure, some of the property is covered. But there are a bunch of limits and exclusions that will surprise you if you have a loss and file a claim.

Don’t wait until claim time to learn about this important coverage. Read this article carefully and make good decisions about your coverage.

Twenty years ago, consumer computer usage and ownership was not all that common. If you owned a cell phone, you carried it in a bag the size of a small purse. There were few home fax machines. Answering machines were pretty common, but voicemail was still on the horizon. Scanners were non-existent. Printers and copiers were huge and expensive, and you didn’t see them in most homes. If you were the rare person who had satellite TV, the dish was about eight feet across and sat out in the back yard. And Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and MP3 players had not been invented yet.

But today…

In our home we have:
o two desktop computers with monitors
o four laptop computers
o four printers
o one stand-alone fax machine
o one combination fax, scanner, copier
o three TVs
o two VCRs
o one digital video camera with tripod for our home recording studio
o one audio mixing board, one microphone, one amplifier, two external soundcards, and a 500GB hard drive, all for our home recording studio
o two DVD players
o two cell phones, one smartphone, each with voicemail
o one satellite TV system with a 24″ dish on the roof
o two Ipods

Your home may not have that amount of electronics, but then again, you might have more. The way that consumer electronics prices have tumbled over the years makes ownership much easier for more and more people.

But… is it covered? Does your homeowners or renters insurance cover your electronics?

We run three separate businesses out of our home. Most of our electronics are used in our businesses.

Do you have a home business? There are millions of home businesses… everything from home daycare to a service business to multilevel marketing businesses. Many times, those entrepreneurs own office electronics for their home business. Do you use your computers and other electronics for any kind of home business? Even if you’re answering office email on your home computer, it could be considered “business use.”

Are they covered by YOUR homeowners policy?

Are they covered if they are business-related?

What happens if your desktop or laptop computer is stolen, either from home or away from home? Is the theft covered by your homeowners insurance policy?

If you’re carrying your laptop through an airport anywhere in America, your laptop is at huge risk for theft. (See more below) What if your laptop is stolen while you’re in the airport?

Here is the answer to those questions…

MAYBE!!

In the Homeowners or Renters Policy, Coverage C, Contents, there are special limits of $2,500 for “property, on the residence premises, used primarily for business purposes.” The policy says there is a $500 limit for “property away from the residence premises used primarily for business purposes.” Of course, you will have a deductible to pay first, so if your deductible is $500 or more, you won’t get ANY money from the insurance company for this loss.

Are your personal electronics covered? Yes, but only for the following perils:

o Fire or lightning
o Windstorm or Hail
o Explosion
o Riot or Civil Commotion
o Aircraft (not in aircraft, but if aircraft fall on your stuff.)
o Vehicles (not in vehicles, but if vehicles crash into your stuff.)
o Smoke
o Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
o Theft
o Falling Objects (stuff falling onto your stuff)
o Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet
o Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water or Steam
o Sudden and Accidental Tearing Apart or Bursting (of a steam or hot water system).
o Freezing
o Sudden and Accidental Damage from an Artificially Generated Electrical Current
o Volcanic Eruption

As I said above, the policy limit for business electronics at the residence is $2,500.

If your laptop or other portable electronics are stolen from your car, there is no coverage under your Auto insurance for the theft.

Also remember, that under Coverage C, Contents, payment is made on an Actual Cash Value basis, not Replacement Cost Value. The only way to get RCV is to add the Contents Replacement Cost endorsement to your policy. It’s not automatic, you have to request it.

How about other kinds of damage that your computer might sustain?

o Accidental damage, such as dropped equipment, falls, liquid spills and auto collisions.
o Water damage

Those kinds of damages are not covered under your homeowners or renters policy.

And what about the software and sensitive data in your computer? Is that covered, too?

Not likely. In the Homeowners and Renters policies, under the “Property Not Covered” section, “business data, including data stored in computers and related equipment” is not covered.

So, to be fully covered, you’ll need to buy some additional coverage.

COMPUTER AND PERSONAL ELECTRONICS INSURANCE

The leading company in the world for computer and portable electronics insurance is Safeware Insurance. They have programs for students, individuals, small and large businesses and schools at very competitive rates.

Let me take a few minutes and tell you about their outstanding insurance product.

If you own:

o Desktop or Laptop Computers
o Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
o Smartphones
o Digital cameras
o MP3 players
o Scanners/Faxes/Copiers
o Printers
o DVD players
o Flash drives
o Servers
o External hard drives
o Digital camcorders
o Peripherals that connect to your computers through an USB port, Firewire, PCMCIA or another input

All of these electronic products need special insurance coverage not provided in Homeowners or Renters policies.

Did you know these facts about computers?

o Accidental damage is the number one cause of loss
o Theft is number two cause of loss
o Power surge is number three
o Manufacturer warranties do not protect your computer from accidental damage or theft
o Even though some manufacturers do offer special “damage only” coverage, they do not offer coverage for theft, power surges, natural disasters or vandalism.

You already know how easy it is to have electronics with replacement value in excess of $2,500. There are loaded desktops and laptops that easily exceed $2,500 EACH.

So, you have some choices:

1. Call your agent and buy a Personal Property Endorsement to add coverage to your homeowners or renters policy. Downsides to this choice are (a) many endorsements only pay the Actual Cash Value of the damaged property, not replacement cost, and (b) perils like Accidental Damage, Drops, Falls, Cracked Screens, Liquid Spills and Auto Collisions are not covered.

2. Buy a custom policy that just adds special coverage for your computers and other electronics, like:

o Desktops
o Laptops and notebooks
o Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
o Smartphones
o Digital cameras
o MP3 players
o Scanners/Faxes/Copiers
o Printers
o DVD players
o Flash drives
o Servers
o External hard drives
o Digital camcorders
o Peripherals that connect to your computers through an USB port, Firewire, PCMCIA or another input

Safeware’s policies cover Accidental Damage, Drops, Falls, Cracked Screens, Liquid Spills and Auto Collisions.

Business Electronics

In May 2006, burglars stole a laptop from the home of a data analyst at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The laptop contained the sensitive personal information of over 26 million veterans and military personnel. The FBI said that the laptop was recovered after an informant “snitched,” motivated by a $50,000 reward.

But it’s not just organizations that deal with consumer data that are concerned about thefts. Companies whose employees have laptops are naturally concerned with the value of the computer when it is the company that owns the laptop.

The Ponemon Institute, a privacy risk management think tank, released an extensive study in June 2008 entitled “Airport Insecurity: The Case of Missing and Lost Laptops.” They studied laptop security at 106 American airports and found that there is an average of 12,000 laptops lost, missing or stolen at American airports PER WEEK! The airport with the worst record is Los Angeles International, with about 1,200 per week. The nation’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield, was in eighth place with 450 per week.

Further, the study found that only 33% of the laptops within the airport’s Lost and Found Departments are ever reclaimed! That means that the remaining 67% of unclaimed laptops are either sold or disposed of by airport authorities. Can you imagine the amount of sensitive personal and business data contained in those laptops? No one knows what happens to that data, but it is ALL at risk. The Identity Theft risks are astronomical.

Safeware’s policy covers business electronics for the hazards the homeowners, renters or business insurance policy does not cover.

Education Coverage

Students face a higher risk of damage or theft than a normal adult user. Students can experience accidents when they’re putting their stuff into their locker, or accidentally get bumped in a busy hallway, or when they’re running to the bus. A soft drink could be spilled on the keyboard, or they could sit their laptop bag down somewhere and later find it missing.

This policy protects students’ computers against Accidental Damage, Theft, Vandalism, Power Surge, and Natural Disasters at any location within the USA, Canada and while in transit.

Small Business Coverage is for any sized business with electronics property values up to $49,999, covering Accidental Damage, Theft, Fire, Vandalism, Power Surge and Natural Disasters.

Commercial Coverage is a group plan for organizations that have electronics property values in excess of $50,000. Coverage can be one of the following: Comprehensive (Accidental Damage, Theft, Fire, Vandalism, Power Surge, and Natural Disasters); Theft ONLY, or Accidental Damage ONLY.

The Commercial policy can benefit organizations such as:

o Schools and colleges that want to make their student’s notebook computers more safe and less at risk.
o Corporations issuing notebooks and laptops to their workers, and wishing to minimize their risk of capital loss.

In these organizations, the equipment is owned by the corporation or school and used by the employee or student. Experience has shown that if an individual does not own the computer, he or she is likely to take less care of the item than if they owned it themselves. Schools and businesses need to insure their equipment against the perils that could turn their expensive equipment into unusable junk.

Safeware Insurance policies do not depreciate for age and condition of your electronics. If you have a claim that requires replacement of your equipment, they pay for like kind and quality of the equipment you had. That’s a HUGE difference from the Homeowners and Renters policies, and could mean thousands more dollars to you in a claim.

Worldwide Coverage is an endorsement that adds global coverage to your policy for a very low price. Standard coverage is for the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Mobile Advantage insures PDAs and smartphones. You likely purchased your unit at a big discount when you signed up for a service plan. If your device is damaged or stolen, you’ll have to pay full retail for another unit. However, with Mobile Advantage, you’re only responsible for the $50 deductible per incident to get a brand new device.

For more information about Personal Electronics Insurance for your student, yourself, your business or your school, contact Safeware Insurance at: safeware.com

LAPTOP RECOVERY COVERAGE

Can you get your stolen laptop back?

There is a way that you can protect your laptop, and then retrieve your laptop after it’s been stolen.

Three burglary suspects were arrested on February 1, 2008 by Albuquerque police, thanks to a stolen computer loaded with tracking software. The software is called LoJack for Laptops(TM), developed by Absolute Software. The tracking software told the police exactly where to find the suspects. The police were also able to recover thousands of dollars in other stolen property at the location.

Absolute Software is the leader in Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking(TM) solutions. It works this way: You install the LoJack for Laptops(TM) software and register it at the LoJack website. If the laptop is stolen, you notify your local police and notify the LoJack Recovery Team. The next time your computer is connected to the Internet, the laptop secretly notifies the Monitoring Center of its whereabouts. The Recovery Team can track its location, and provide police with the information they will need to get a search warrant and recover your laptop.

Pricing for LoJack for Laptops(TM) starts at only $39.99 per year.

My friend here in Atlanta, Cole Harrison, had his laptop stolen from his car recently. He had the Lojack system on the laptop, and notified them immediately when he discovered the theft. Lojack located the laptop the next day… in Thailand.

If you want protect your laptop so you can get it back after it’s been stolen, contact Lojack for Laptops at: www.lojackforlaptops.com Lojack boasts a 90% recovery rate for stolen laptops.

CONCLUSION

For only a small price, you can have the proper coverage you need to protect all your personal and business electronics. Be the smartest person on your block with the right protection. Be the hero to your business with the best coverage. YOU CAN DO IT!!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1669004

PDA Insurance – 3 Sneaky Ways to Save Plenty of Money

I almost fell off my chair when my local mobile phone shop (I won’t name them!) quoted me an outrageous amount for my PDA insurance. It was about a third of my monthly tariff which to me didn’t seem right. I flat out refused to pay, and then forgot about it. That was a big mistake. I left my new Blackberry in the back of a can the following week and had to fork out a lot of money to replace. Please don’t be stupid like me! Check out my tips below:

PDA INSURANCE – TOP 3 TIPS

1. Go with an independent online company

At the time of writing this article, the best online PDA insurance company could save you between 20%-22% on the high street prices. And you know what, you get exactly the same cover. So why would you pay more if you don’t have to? You must be 100% sure that the company you are using are legitimate and FSA (Financial Service Authority) regulated as there are quite a few cowboys out there. As an absolute minimum, your cover should include the following:

Fraudulent calls – protect yourself against calls made by the thief!
International cover – When you lose your phone on holiday
Water damage – protect against dropping your phone in your pint!
Theft – Did you know that 1.3 million mobile phones were stolen in the UK last year?
Loss – many online companies do not offer this protection. its a must
Extended warranty
Accidental damage

Another important factor to be aware of is that many companies will not get a phone or the cash out to you immediately. As a bare minimum you should be looking at 48 hours.

2. Make sure you receive a ‘No Claims Bonus’

This is very important. The reputable and respectable companies out there on the internet actually offer a ‘no claims bonus’. This means that if you don’t make a claim within a certain period of time you will be rewarded. As a minimum you should be offered something like a free PDA battery after 12 months, and a free upgrade of an equivalent handset after 24 months. That’s pretty cool! And not something I expected when I started out my research. The high street providers definitely don’t offer this little PDA insurance bonus!

3. Try insuring with your bank

Who would have though in this day and age that a banks will actually offer you something for nothing. I spent a lot of time researching PDA insurance and one of the pleasant little surprises I discovered was that banks will insure your PDA for free. Not many people know this! If you bank with Lloyds TSB and have a premium account then you will be covered up to a certain monetary value. I think last time I checked it was £350. Please be aware though that you will have to fill out a mountain of paperwork, and probably wont have your money or new phone within the 48 hours offered by the independent insurance company (in point 1)

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3853268

Insurance matters: Why you need to review your insurance policy in the last quarter

When it comes to owning a car, there are a few elements that you need to take into consideration – from finance to insurance. Not only do these elements ensure that you are able to afford, maintain and care for your vehicle, but they also offer up reassurance in the form of a safety net.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
With the festive season quickly approaching, it is important to take into consideration the various elements that come into play during the last quarter of the year – from an increase in car accident statistics to theft. Not only do South African roads become more hazardous, but the chances of vehicle theft and vandalism take a steep climb. Did you know that during the 2015/2016 festive season, South Africa saw an increase in road fatalities by 14%, and that car theft and vandalism increased by almost 8%? When it comes to protecting your vehicle, regardless of whether it’s from the fluctuating summer weather patterns or from theft, it is important to review your car insurance policy to ensure that you are prepared for whatever the last quarter of the year may hold.

Regardless of the factors that play a role, the question remains, why should South Africans review their insurance policies in the last quarter of the year? The simple answer is to ensure that you remain in a stable financial situation during the last quarter of the year which, for many South Africans, requires concentrated financial focus and attention. Reviewing your insurance policy will also give you peace of mind that your valuables are adequately covered – from laptops and jewellery to your cell phone and sunglasses, or all items that regularly travel inside your vehicle. If you have reviewed your insurance policy carefully, it will ensure that you do not have to dig deep into your pocket in the event of an incident, leaving you cash strapped during the festive season – a season that brings with it social and school commitments, the requirements of new uniforms and stationary, and gifts and entertaining. If you’re looking for more information that will (hopefully) nudge you closer to a review of your insurance policy, take a look at the following:

1. Why do I need to do this?

It is important to remember that fact that car insurance is not simply a safety net for car accidents. Investing in a reliable car insurance policy serves a greater purpose than simply providing cover in the event of a collision. Firstly, reviewing your policy is the smart and responsible thing to do because it ensures that you don’t come short in the event of an incident. An insurance policy allows you to protect your finances, your future and your assets from the unpredictable. If you happened to invest in a car insurance policy when you first bought your car, and you have never again contacted your insurance company, the chances are high that your cover (and your premium) is relatively outdated – at the time of your purchase, you may have opted for certain car insurance products which provide limited cover.

2. Surely I am already covered?

The chances are high that, if you happened to buy a car in the last five years, you would not have been able to drive the car out of the dealership without having first signed for a comprehensive car insurance policy. However, there is also a chance that the insurance policy you signed five years ago is vastly different to what you need today. Keep in mind the fact that when you sign up for car insurance, you may be able to choose the various products that best suit your needs – from accident and theft cover to chip and dent, and hail damage. If you happen to experience a severe hail storm, you would want to ensure that your insurance policy covers the damage on your vehicle.

3. Doesn’t it take time?

A review of your insurance policy requires a simple phone call to your insurance provider where a consultant will be able to assist you, or you may even be able to do it online! Ensure that you have your policy or identity number at the ready before you make the call.

While the last quarter of the year may cause some financial anxiety, it is important to remember the fact your insurance policy should provide reassurance. Be sure to review your car insurance policy, and you can enjoy the best of what the last quarter of the year has to offer!

Factors that will define B2B e-commerce

The future of B2B e-commerce should be of interest to every single serious businessman out there. Just look at the top businessmen you should follow and you will see that they often talk about B2B and e-commerce innovations. No matter how we look at things, the biggest impact will appear because of the evolution of cloud technology, which allows so many interesting features to be added to e-commerce software. At the same time, businesses manage to receive, store and analyse so much data in order to offer better services in the future.
High-quality customer experience expectations

Customers now want to receive high-quality services and they want to be sure their experience is always enjoyable. Alibaba and Amazon are innovators in this field since they always offer a great customer experience, thus increasing the number of repeat sales generated. Modern e-commerce platforms always offer extras that can be used to increase customer satisfaction. However, when referring to open source e-commerce software, this is not always something that is included, thus bringing in a need to modify and add new features to guarantee that perfect customer experience.

TCO (total cost of ownership) is increasing

Companies now seriously think about unifying cloud platforms since there is a need to keep adding improved catalogue management, partner portals, payment gateways, storefronts and much more. B2B is all about quality and innovation. Those companies that offer something new will stand out but this automatically increases TCO.

Flexibility needed for all selling channels

B2C vendors normally cannot move towards B2B selling because of the need to have high price optimisation and CPQ (configure price quote) flexibility. Every smart businessman understands that the selling decisions that are made when the quarter starts will most likely be different than what is seen when the quarter ends. Selling teams do a lot of manual work to keep improving what is offered and having B2B e-commerce options that offers this naturally is great and required. Those B2B e-commerce providers that will offer more flexibility will stand out and will be preferred.

The need to have access to synchronised data

In many cases the e-commerce systems will be connected with a system that exists and a legacy order management system. There is a disconnection that appears between systems used. This is highly damaging and should be avoided as much as possible. The future of B2B is clearly focusing on being sure that data is as synchronised as possible. If a sale is made, everyone should know about it. This is just an example but it clearly highlights what is needed.

Offering unique buying experiences in multi-tier channels for distribution

B2B selling moves across so many different gadgets at the moment and everything is even more complicated when dealing with partnerships and selling through other retailers, resellers, partners or distributors. It is really important that you always think about creating a B2B commerce platform that can easily bring in diversity in terms of selling channel customisation. This is in fact why cloud-based options are preferred since they allow such a technological development.

JP Pietersen signs with Anyoption – Your company needs a brand ambassador too!

No matter where you turn you will see some of the biggest stars in sports endorsing brands and in return, those brands sponsor the player, the team, the league or sometimes even the sport itself. Sponsorship is huge and extremely important in the world of marketing for a number of reasons. But on the flipside, that brand ambassador speaking for your company is huge in the world of marketing as well, so it becomes a two-way street, a sort of give-and-take relationship. Here are a few things you should understand when looking for a marketing strategy, especially in your local market, that will work every time.
Why sponsorship is so important

Sponsorship, especially of a team, is perhaps one of the very best things you can do for your brand. Why? Because no one is more loyal than the fans who go out in all kinds of weather to support their home team. In their eyes, the brands that sponsor their teams can’t be bad, right? After all, they are on ‘our’ side and are rooting for ‘our’ team. If you want to quickly build a local following, sponsor a local team. It works every time.

Why brand ambassadors are vital to your marketing strategy

Have you ever thought why most of those major corporations pay sports stars to become their brand ambassadors? Again, it’s a trust factor such as how fans trust a brand that goes out of their way to sponsor the home team. It’s the same marketing psychology behind brand ambassadors. For example, let’s look at the recent deal struck with JP Pietersen, the South African rugby star, who signed a deal with anyoption.com.

Now then, how much do you personally know about binary options? Unless you are a pro trader, you probably don’t know a lot. This makes JP’s endorsement (as a brand ambassador) vitally important. If JP trades with South Africa’s only regulated broker, it must be legit – and of course it is, but not being a trader, how would you know that? In return, JP gets paid for his endorsement and quite often the brand also sponsors the athlete’s team. You see? It’s a two-way street. The brand wins and so does the player and his team.

A few conclusions you can draw from this

If you concluded that building on the loyalty of fans in your market is an effective way to promote your brand, you are absolutely correct – 100 percent! Also, if you concluded that sponsorship is an effective way to draw on the power of their loyalty, you are again correct. However, going one step further, if you sign one of their beloved players like JP Pietersen to be an ambassador for your brand, you now have that added edge that the competition simply can’t meet.

You are sponsoring the local team and in return they are, for all intents and purposes, sponsoring your brand. After all, their star player endorsed you, so you must be great. You love the team and the team loves you. A two-way street where everyone is a winner – what could be better? If you concluded ‘not much’ you are again 100% correct.

Four strategies to manage excess cash in your business

It is rare to hear of an SME with excess cash considering most SMEs fall out of business due to liquidity problems. However, on the rare occasions when your business happens to have excess cash, the situation can be as depressing as the time when you are cash-strapped. This is due to lack of exposure to different strategies available to utilise your excess cash and still keep your business running.
Four strategies to manage excess cash in your business
Your options could vary depending on your risk appetite and the amount of excess cash you have. For the risk-averse they might decide to save the cash in a fixed deposit account; while for the risk-takers they might decide to venture into risky investment channels such as forex trading. Others may venture into online trading by devising optimum binary options trading strategies that optimise their return while keeping their risk exposure in check. On the other hand, some business owners may decide to redistribute the wealth among their employees and shareholders in a number of varied strategies.

The list of potential ways in which you can utilise your excess cash is long, depending also on your personal preferences, and includes the following:

Savings

For the risk-averse, having the money safe in the bank account gives you peace of mind and the sense of financial security. The fact that you can go back to the bank the following day and find your money intact helps to budget for your operations with a high level of assurance that the funds needed to fund those planned operations will be availed as and when needed. The flipside of saving your money in the bank account is that you earn a very small interest income which in some cases might be lower than the prevailing inflation rate; hence your money will be losing its value when left in the savings bank account during a rising inflation period.

Invest in low-risk investment vehicles

Four strategies to manage excess cash in your business
With the time value of money put into perspective, other business owners decide to invest their excess cash in low-risk investment avenues in order to earn an interest rate that is equal to or slightly higher than the prevailing inflation rate. If you are this type of business owner you will find treasury bills issued by the South African Reserve Bank suitable for you due to their risk-free nature since their repayment is guaranteed by the government. You will also find mutual funds and unit trusts being safe investment vehicles with higher returns than the treasury bills and interest returns earned from fixed deposit savings accounts.

Invest in high-risk investment vehicles

For risk-takers, the motivation to earn higher returns pushes them to venture into more risky investment instruments such as trading on stocks and bonds in the capital markets. Others get into forex trading, while those with a wider experience in financial markets dive into derivatives trading. Online trading is also becoming a common alternative investment strategy for the high-risk-takers who want to get into the market and move out fast while making huge returns in the process. As business owner you need to be very cautious though before venturing into the high-risk investment instruments since you might end up losing huge amounts of cash if you do not design and execute winning strategies. Advice from market brokers is highly recommended before venturing into trading of any of the complex financial instruments in the markets globally.

Distribute the wealth to employees and shareholders

Some business owners prefer to distribute the excess cash to employees and shareholders as a way to motivate them to continue creating more value and growing the business further. To the employees, you can choose to distribute the cash to them as a bonus at the end of the year or distribute it in form of increased salaries and wages. Bonus is the most common strategy used since it is usually a one-off payment that does not have much financial implication to the business cash flows. An increase in salaries and wages would result in bulging your business expenses going forward and reversing the process in gloomy economic times might be a challenge.

Four strategies to manage excess cash in your business
For shareholders, you distribute the excess cash through dividends at the end of the year. This can be paid out in cash or through a bonus issue whereby the existing shareholders are issued with additional shares on a pro rata basis with the share purchase being paid for from the excess cash available to the business. The bonus issue is a preferred method since the cash is retained within the business for other investments and expansion purposes in the long run, while at the same time incentivising the shareholders for injecting capital into the business.

None of the above four strategies is better than the other. As a founder and business owner you will need to determine which one is best suited for you based on your short-term and long-term financial obligations, as well as in consideration of other business and stakeholder priorities.

Life Insurance, Insurance Policy, Income Protection, Cover Austral, Lialife Insurance Policy, Income Protection Policy, Insurance Advisor

Death remains one of the most fundamental realities people face. It elicits different emotions in different people. People experience grief, sorrow, anxiety, apprehension, trauma and in some cases, even joy. However, the one emotion that accompanies each death remains the feeling of uncertainty. Coping with an uncertain future can be quite a handful. It can be so especially if it succeeds the death of a loved one. In these situations, the onus of looking after those left behind, usually falls on the eldest family member. With several things to manage, you must avoid loading yourself with additional problems. For example, you need to manage the finances to meet your monthly expenses. This is true especially if the deceased is the sole earning member of the family. This is why you need to buy life insurance. Buying a cheap life insurance policy is not difficult nowadays. A helpful and skilled insurance advisor can help you buy life insurance. The insurance advisor can assess your needs and then advise you accordingly. However, a good life insurance policy will provide death benefits to those left behind. Therefore, the life insurance policy remains worth it if you have dependents. Nevertheless, merely having a life insurance cover will not cover all the gaps. For example, consider this situation. Imagine a situation where you suffer from an illness or an accident that prevents you from working. You might have a leave balance at the office, which will come handy in giving you paid leave. However, leave balances are not inexhaustible. Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation like this, you would have to use money from your savings in order to pay all expenses. Your savings too, might last for a few months. Thereafter, you will struggle to find the money to meet your daily needs. In situations like this, an Income Protection insurance policy can be very useful. Some people also call it the Salary Continuance insurance policy. This policy provides you with up to 75% of your current income, in situations such as the one illustrated above. Therefore, if you find yourself unable to attend work because of an illness or injury, this policy can help you meet your monthly expenses. Before purchasing the income protection policy however, you must note the definition of the term “disability”. Each life insurance company has a different definition for this term. For some insurers, it represents time-based disability; for others it represents income-based disability. It could also denote duty-based disability. Hence, it remains worthwhile to understand the definition of this term, to avoid unpleasant surprises later. When you purchase an income protection policy, consider a few factors. These include: • Benefit Payable: This comprises of three types of benefits, namely: • Agreed Value: This is the best type of benefit available. In an Agreed Value policy, you would need to prove that your income was sufficient or equivalent to the benefit claimed. You would need to prove this as being true for a period of twelve months prior to applying for this insurance. In this situation, if at the time of making your claim, your income was lower, you would still receive the benefit agreed at the time of inception of the policy. • Endorsed Agreed Value: Under this policy, you need to provide evidence of your financial income at the time of applying for this policy. Typical examples of evidence could be financial bank statements and tax returns. Under this policy, the insurer will not seek any further financial evidence at the time of the claim. Further, if the insurer deems the claim as being medically acceptable, you will receive the entire benefit. • Indemnity: Under this policy, you would need to prove that your income at the time of the claim is equivalent to the benefit claimed. Thus, if your income dipped at the time of filing the claim, you would not receive the entire benefit. Because of this, these policies tend to be cheaper. • Benefit Period: Some policies provide benefits for the duration of a lifetime. However, most insurance companies limit the term for paying benefits until the insured reaches the age of 65 years. • Waiting Period: This denotes the period after the disability when the insurance company will not pay any benefits. Income Protection policies usually have a waiting period that ranges from two weeks to two years. • Inflation: Ensure that your policy covers you for inflation. For policies of short terms i.e. a few years ahead, this factor will not make much of a difference. For example, if you are 63 years, then you do not need inflation indexing, as you will receive benefits until you are 65 years. However, if you are 36 years, you would need to have a policy premium linked to the inflation index. This would ensure that your money is worth the investment at the time you need it most. Regardless of whether you need income protection or disability insurance, Cover Australia has a policy for you. An unparalleled expertise and knowledge acquired over 27 years, gives us a perfect understanding of your insurance needs. Hence, it comes as no surprise that behind the smiles of several Australian families lies Cover Australia’s cover of protection. Therefore, when you think of life insurance and need security, remember that we cover Australia. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=1849030&ca=Finances