Whilst there are some elements of business insurance that are required legally, there are also many additional options that may seem as though you are paying over the odds while your business is running smoothly. That is of course until you are faced with a situation where you are thankful to have the financial backup provided by good business insurance. Whilst it would be nice to predict the future, no one can tell when these disasters may strike, and it is much more comforting to know you can carry on with business as usual in such situations.

Here Doug Kelly, Director of Bluedrop Services insurance brokers, discusses some of the main benefits of having business insurance and why is it needed.

Providing protection against being sued

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself caught up in a liability claim, business insurance will cover the significant costs involved. Even if you are not at fault the cost and damage to your reputation could be fatal to the continuation of your business. Whether it be from an accident, disgruntled employee, or a product safety issue, there are so many potential scenarios that can land you in this situation particularly with liability claims being so common these days. As any astute business owner knows, operating without insurance isn't a risk worth taking. About claims and other legal disputes that may occur during performing a business, here is a useful resource: defencesolicitorslondon.co.uk.

Keeps your employees protected

Whilst you do legally need to keep your employees protected with employer’s liability insurance, it is also important to remember they are your best asset and deserve additional compensation protection. Employer’s liability insurance doesn't just protect those on your payroll, but also covers any contractors, interns or freelance staff while working at your offices too. It's worth noting, when taking out this policy that employer's liability insurance is a legal requirement and that £5 million is the legal minimum cover level for employer's liability insurance.

Good business insurance and additional benefits such as health insurance will help to keep your team in good health as well as attracting and retaining your staff. Perhaps there are also key personnel that you should consider insuring individually should something happen to take them out of the picture when their presence is crucial to the business.

Some client contracts will demand it

If your business provides a professional service, there may be some clients that will require you to have specific insurances such as professional indemnity insurance. This provides them with the peace of mind that they will be compensated should anything go wrong or they be advised incorrectly. It provides a guarantee that you have the financial means to back up your professional work and makes relying on your services less of a gamble. Professional Indemnity, otherwise known as Errors and Omissions insurance, will ensure you are covered for legal and defence costs as well as court costs and any settlement fees that may be involved.

It can help prevent business closure

In the event of a disaster or claim, business insurance will help to recover your property and equipment whether it be from natural disaster or theft. Often it can take months or even a couple of years to recover following this type of disaster and in those situations business interruption insurance will cover your loss of income during the period it takes to get you back up and running. Without this, many businesses (up to 40%) fail to re-open.

Business interruption insurance is a key component of any business continuity plan. Whilst your standard commercial insurance will cover you for your premises and contents should disaster strike, business interruption insurance is there to cover your loss of income suffered during the period it takes to get you back up and running.

Protects your physical assets

All too often a business can suffer loss from natural disaster such as burst pipes or weather damage or even theft of your equipment. With a good insurance policy to cover your buildings and contents insurance you won’t need to worry about replacing or repairing your much needed and relied on assets.  

Whether you run an office, retail outlet, pub, restaurant, hotel or factory, the value of your business contents is likely to be substantial, with a great deal of your assets being tied up in your premises. If these assets aren’t insured correctly, this could affect the day to day running and the immediate revenue of your business.

Properly insuring your business will mean you can rest easy knowing you are protected. By approaching an experienced broker they will ensure you are fully covered, have access to top rated insurers and can guarantee you aren’t paying over the odds. 

For more information read our guide to deciding the right level of business insurance

Taking care of your oral health is essential to good overall well-being – after all, a bright and healthy smile will make you feel more confident and comfortable in everything that you do. Having a good dentist that you feel happy about seeing regularly is a key part of that, but choosing a practice to sign up to isn’t always straightforward.

If you’re not sure about what to consider when looking for a dentist, read on for some useful tips to help guide you.

1. Location and schedule

A key part of having a dentist is being able to schedule appointments easily. You don’t want to choose a practice that involves a lengthy commute, or one that has awkward hours that do not fit with your own work or life timings, especially in cases where you have a sudden dental emergency, and need to see someone as a matter of urgency.

Start your search with those that are in a comfortable distance from you – this may mean somewhere you can walk, drive or get public transport to easily. Make sure you review their working hours and any particular policies they have about booking appointments, to ensure they suit your needs.

2. Friendliness and approachability

A good practice will be happy to advise their patients on what to do to take care of their teeth, and explain any procedures or issues calmly and clearly. While you can stock up on Kent Express dental supplies to make sure that you have everything you need, having some professional advice on what to get is always going to be helpful.

You can often judge from the reception desk to see how communicative and welcoming the practice is. If you have particular dental concerns, it’s always a good idea to chat to the practicing dentist before joining.

3. What kind of dentist are they?

Different dentists may specialise in particular areas of oral health, including orthodontists, specialist surgeons, cosmetic dentists and general dentists.

If you’re looking for general oral health care, then a general dentist will serve you well. However, if you have specific concerns, such as wanting to achieve a specific look, or help with a particular condition, it’s worth choosing a more specialised practice for your treatment.

4. Check their accreditations

Dental practices must be registered with the General Dental Council in the UK in order to practice. This includes dentists and other therapeutic staff, including dental nurses, hygienists and anyone else you might see.

They will normally have their certificates displayed clearly in the main reception area, and you can also check online. If you’re not sure, then steer clear.

5. Personal recommendations

Recommendations from trusted family or friends are always helpful, as you know that they will have had a good experience with someone.

However, remember that everyone has a unique dental health experience, and what works for someone else may not necessarily be the best option for you. It’s always worth reviewing closely before making a final decision.

Starting your own business is a great way to achieve financial independence and become your own boss, though it is full of challenges and can involve a lot of investment.

Basing a business around a vehicle is a great way to start out, and can often be very lucrative. With just a driving licence and a small amount of start-up money, you can change your life and run your own business.

Here is a quick guide to five of the most in demand businesses that you can start with a vehicle. It will still take a lot of hard work and dedication, but very quickly you can become your own boss, and work for yourself and choose your own hours.

Work as a Taxi or Uber Driver

Working as a taxi driver can be very profitable, especially if you live in a large city with an airport and people visiting for business or tourism.

Services like Uber and Lyft have become very popular in the last few years, and working for one of these companies is a great way to start a business with a vehicle. 

Operate a Recovery Vehicle

Recovery vehicles are always in high demand to help rescue stranded vehicles that have broken down, or help the emergency services clear the roads of vehicles after an accident.

You don’t need to have mechanical experience, just a large recovery truck with the right equipment to help you get the job done safely. You can buy things like light bars and hydraulic lifts from companies like RVL. The vehicles can be expensive, but they are a great investment that pay for themselves very quickly.

Be a Man with a Van

If you have a large vehicle like a van, or the means to buy one, then starting a ‘man with a van’ service is a very profitable way to start your own business.

Every day, thousands of people find themselves looking for a man with a van to help them move house, and businesses often need help transporting large goods or orders to their customers. If you offer a reliable and helpful service, word will soon get around, and you will find yourself with more clients than you can handle.

Transport Medical Supplies for Hospitals Services

Hospitals use a number of private services to move supplies and equipment to their various sites, or pick up emergency supplies from central storage facilities like blood banks.

Contracts for these services can be very lucrative, and you also get a personal reward from helping our hospitals care and provide for the community. A motorbike can be all you need to start transporting blood supplies and samples to where they are needed most.

Become a Private Driver for a Limousine Service

Thousands of companies across the country use private driving services to get their executives to meetings and conferences around the country.

With a high-quality vehicle that is comfortable and well equipped, you can find yourself travelling the country on long trips with powerful elites who need to visit their company’s various sites.

Hopefully this quick guide has given you some inspiration and useful information to take control of your finances and start your own business to become your own boss. The keys to your vehicle may open the door to the next chapter of your life.

5 Types of Online Tools That Will Save Your Business Money

If you’ve taken the initiative to start your own business, you probably possess many of the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur, be it confidence, discipline, passion or creativity. These are important and valuable qualities to have. But in the frenetic digital age, keeping up with the competition requires more than just an effective human input.

Knowing how to leverage the power of today’s online tools can save your business an invaluable amount of time and money. It can help you find insights into how you can optimise, grow and become a leader in your industry. Let’s take a look at 5 types of these online tools and what they can do for your business. 

Quotes Comparison

Overpriced monthly bills can quickly eat away at your bottom line. From insurance to internet to licensing, chances are that there’s at least one you can cut down on. Online tools make this easy. For instance, Utility Bidder offers cheap electricity for small business by allowing you to compare prices between different suppliers in the UK.  

Finance and Accounting

Modern finance and accounting tools can help you get a better picture of your company’s financial health and streamline or even automate many daily operations. For instance, Gusto improves the efficiency of tasks such as tax reporting, payroll and benefits. The app can also automate payments and manage employee onboarding processes. 

Wave is aimed at sole proprietors and independent contractors who need an expense tracking, invoice management, receipt scanning and general accounting tool that will save them time. Freshbooks is another popular accounting tool with features such as automated billing, custom report creation and the ability to accept mobile card payments.

Communication Tools

With the variety of communication tools available on the market today, particularly those that are cloud-based, you can leverage them to commute less often, employ remote workers and develop more effective communication channels within your business. A great example is Slack, a messaging platform that aims to improve collaboration between teams. 

Email Marketing

According to Statista, there will be 4.3 billion email users by 2022. Email marketing also happens to offer an unmatched return on investment potential. So, if you aren’t already using it, now is the time. Even if you have no experience in email marketing, there are many tools available to help you set up an effective campaign.

This includes the likes of Constant Contact, SendinBlue and Mailchimp. These tools will help you create powerful templates, stay in touch with subscribers, dispatch newsletters at optimal times, set up automatic responses, and increase your conversion rate. They also provide an array of statistics that will help you improve your campaigns. 

Project Management 

Traditional project management solutions are nothing more than paperweights compared to today’s digital alternatives. The likes of Accelo, Smartsheet and Zoho Projects allow you to keep your daily operations on a single platform, helping you monitor and allocate your resources more effectively. 

There’s a lot more out there to discover. From file sharing to customer relationship management to content marketing tools, utilising them is a sure-fire way to help your business prosper. 

The eCommerce landscape is a tough place. It’s saturated with other retailers that may be targeting the same niche audiences you are, which means you have to work extra hard to make your name known and draw the attention of potential customers. How can you give yourself an advantage in such a competitive space? Here are a few things you can do to increase your online business’s sales:

Make the checkout process smooth

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Open your own website, pretend to shop, add a few items to your cart, and proceed to pay. What was the experience like? Was it quick and easy, or did it take several minutes?

According to Barilliance, cart abandonment rates rose to 78.65 percent in 2017. This means that over three-quarters of site visitors intended to purchase something from an online retailer, but decided against it at the last second. There are multiple reasons why, but a significant one is that the checkout process took too long.

Customers want to purchase their goods quickly, which means they appreciate entering minimal information, clicking “confirm,” and moving on. No making accounts with passwords. No entering an abundance of personal information. No pages after pages of details that make people give up in frustration—the product isn’t worth it. Use electronic point of sale systems to make your checkout process more straightforward. You may also be curious to know how ePOS can help you manage your inventory and provide insight into your sales patterns.

Make your website easier to navigate

On a related note, pay attention to how easy your website is to navigate while you are pretending to be a shopper. Keep in mind that what makes sense to you (because you probably had a hand in building it) might not make sense to others. Make sure that your site is easily navigable with clear directions and an aesthetically pleasing interface. People will find you more trustworthy if your website is modern and sophisticated—and don’t forget to secure it by switching from HTTP to HTTPS

Personalize your calls-to-action

You already know the importance of calls-to-action, but the standard “buy now” buttons are trite. It helps to personalize your CTAs. Not on an individual level, but you want to account for where people are in the buying process. Some people are simply browsing out of curiosity, others are comparing your products with those from another retailer, and others are ready to make a purchase.

While it’s challenging to tell the difference when people visit your website, you can implement personalized CTAs through your marketing. For instance, you can email potential customers something different than your regular customers with links to unique landing pages.

Make your reviews accessible

As they say, word-of-mouth marketing is the best kind of marketing there is. People are more likely to trust other consumers than anything you have to say—of course, you are acting in your own best interests, but genuine, honest reviews speak volumes. Store visitors will want to see customer testimonials, so make them easily accessible on your website.

Reviews are a powerful tool when it comes to converting browsers into buyers. Even if they are not 100 percent positive, potential customers will notice the honesty (it would be suspicious if you had thousands of reviews and all of them were five stars). And, of course, never ever falsify a review.

Be honest in your listings

Be honest in your listings, too. The last thing you want is all sorts of unhappy customers messaging you saying that the product was not what they expected or had something wrong with it. Answer every question you can imagine a consumer asking in the website copy, and invest in high-quality photography from different angles. One of the caveats of eCommerce is that people cannot physically touch an item and imagine the role it would play in their lives, so give them the next-best thing and be detailed with your value propositions.

Use ad extensions

You may also have already invested in pay-per-click advertisements with Google AdWords. These are useful, but you can optimize them with ad extensions. Ad extensions make the online banners larger with more places to click. It doesn’t cost extra money, and it increases your ads’ click-through rates.

For example, instead of creating an ad that simply includes a link to “Relaxing Massages,” use two links to “ Professional Hot Stone Massages” and “Professional Aromatherapy Massages.”

Optimize your site for mobile

Barilliance also notes that over half of all eCommerce traffic is mobile, which means you need to optimize your site for people searching on their phones and tablets. You don’t want to frustrate people by forcing them to use their desktops in order to buy from you—they may not have been home and decided to buy something on the spot.

Make sure your checkout process is just as easy on mobile so you can appeal to consumers who prefer to shop online anytime, anywhere.

There are countless ways to increase your store’s sales, but these tips are an excellent place to start. How do you plan to improve your online business?

Pages