Category Archives: Business

Hurricane Preparedness for Your Business

phh insuranceIs your business prepared in case of a natural disaster?  Here are some tips from IBHS that can help your business be better prepared.

Businesses of any size can suffer a disruption at any time; however, small businesses have it tougher. While large organizations have more financial and physical assets both before and after a disaster, smaller businesses often lack the financial resources for recovery, the ability to spread risk across multiple facilities in different locations, and ready access to alternative suppliers. Yet, Mother Nature, man-made threats and other extreme events are not particular about who they strike, damage or disrupt. Recognizing this reality, one of the keys to survival for small businesses is preparing and planning for potential business disruptions of any kind.

Prepare a business continuity plan. Having an emergency plan in the event of a natural disaster will help your business quickly recover.

  • Verify employee, supplier and vendor contact information so you can check on their well being and communicate next steps for resuming normal business operations. Use the downtime before the storm hits to update your supplier and vendor contact information, as well as other important contacts, such as your bank or insurance carriers.
  • Identify an alternative site for business operations should your facility be unavailable following the storm. Be sure the location is equipped with any special supplies or equipment that will be needed to continue business operations.
  • Secure your vital records and data and be sure all your important information is backed up and accessible should you not have access to your computers or network.

Another measure to being prepared for any disruption from weather is having the proper Connecticut business insurance.  Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance can help you decide which coverage is best for your small business to keep you protected.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

 

 

Simplifying Business Coverage

Entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere have questions about business insurance—and to answer queries about everything from business interruption to product liability and beyond, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has released a new video going over all the in’s and out’s of business coverage.

So much more goes into business insurance than getting the lowest business insurance quotes. It means understanding your business’s unique needs and the potential risks that can threaten its success. For example, 25 percent of all businesses do not reopen after a disaster, the I.I.I. noted. Fortunately, business income insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred.

“Too many small business owners fail to think about how they would manage if a fire or other disaster damaged their business premises so that they were temporarily unusable,” said Worters. “A business that has to close down completely while the premises are being repaired may lose out to competitors.”

Watch the short video provided by Insurance Information Institute.  If you have any questions regarding your business insurance coverage let us know at Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance. We are here to assist you with all your business insurance needs.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

source info: III.org

Is Your Business Prepared for a Data Breach?

data breachWith all the talk in the news over the last several months on data breaches, we obviously are a bit nervous about the safety of our information.  As a small business you need to make sure that your customer’s information is safe at all times.  A data breach for a business can tarnish your reputation and relationships.  Is your business prepared to deal with a breach if it were to happen?  Most businesses are not.  Here are a few case examples from small businesses that experienced a data breach and the cost.

  • A burglar broke into an accountant’s office and stole a computer with the tax records of 800 clients. The accountant’s clients were in four states and the owner needed assistance complying with the variances of state notification requirements.  Clients were urged to contact their banks and place fraud alerts on their credit files.  Cost to company for notification and services: $28,000
  • A box of rental applications with the name, address and social security numbers of 2,600 individuals was stolen from an apartment building office.  Cost to business for notification and services: $91,000
  • Three external  back-up hard drives with private personal records for 300 patients were stolen from a local physician’s office. Cost to business for notification and services: $10,500.

These are just a few examples how a data breach can affect your business.  But what can you do as a small business to help prevent a potential data breach?  Here are a few guidelines from Travelers to help keep your business protected.

  • Set up an incident response team to create a plan that outlines how your company will address any data breaches; establish clear roles and responsibilities for team members.
  • Be sure your anti-virus protection is installed and kept up to date. Designate a limited few within your company who will be responsible for downloading and installing programs. Only download programs from trusted sources, and instruct all employees to stay away from software ads or links on email or pop-up ads.
  • Email is the most prevalent way of spreading computer viruses. Inform employees to never to open an email that looks suspicious or contains odd spellings or characters. They should only open emails from people they know or with whom they have communicated in the past. Explain phishing and hacking techniques. Have them fully shut down their computers at the end of the business day.

Read the full article here from Travelers.

Having the proper business insurance is important as well.  Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance can help decide which business insurance is best for you.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

 

 

 

 

Is Your Business Prepared for An Emergency?

small business preparedness planYou never know when an emergency might arise.  Has your business made a plan if one was to happen?  Do your employees know what to do if there was an emergency?  It’s not something we often stop to consider, but we all should have an emergency preparedness plan for our businesses.

According to Ready.gov there are five steps in developing a preparedness program.

  • Program Management
    • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
  • Planning
    • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
  • Implementation
    Write a preparedness plan addressing:

    • Resource management
    • Emergency response
    • Crisis communications
    • Business continuity
    • Information technology
    • Employee assistance
    • Incident management
    • Training
  • Testing and Exercises
    • Test and evaluate your plan
    • Define different types of exercises
    • Learn how to conduct exercises
    • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
  • Program Improvement
    • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
    • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
    • Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements

For more information on how to prepare your business for any emergency check out Ready.gov. Want to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for your business?  Give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call.  We are happy to sit down with you and go over what insurance fits your businesses needs.

Protecting YOU is our Job

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Are you getting the most out of digital media for your business?

digital media for businessWhere is digital media headed?  Do you only use Facebook for your business?  Are there other digital media avenues you should be using?

These are all questions you should ask yourself as a business owner.  In order to stay ahead of the game, you need to know what’s coming down the pipeline and how this will benefit your business.  What can you do now to help increase your business through digital media?  Well if you are currently have a Facebook business page, than you’ve already started.  But’s there is more you can do. Have you considered blogging or pod casts?  If you have expertise in your field share them with others.  Right a blog once a month or even weekly share your expertise in your field.  Don’t use this blog to sell your business or product.  Look at it as a way to reach a wide audience who is interested in knowing more about your expertise.

Another way to promote your business is through visual marketing.  What will be most popular and trending in the next twelve months will be visual marketing. Have you been on Pinterest lately? Everything is visual.  You don’t need to be an expert graphic artist to make this happen.  There are a variety of platforms to help you with this including Canva and Picmonkey. Both of these can help you produce stunning visuals that you can use in your blog, on Facebook and Pinterest to promote your business. We personally use both and have had great success with them.  People are more apt to pay attention to a picture you post versus just text.  So make a visual presentation that will catch your audience’s attention.

Another option that many may think is in the past is Pod cast.  Yes a pod cast.  Again, another option to talk about your expertise.  Now with a blog which is always a great tool you, need to be sitting somewhere to read this.  A pod cast allows your audience to listen wherever they are.  They can take you with them anywhere they go.  So you increase your chances of gaining more followers when it becomes easy for them and doesn’t take up a lot of their time.

These are just a few of the tools you can use to help continue promoting yourself and your business.

And for all your Business Insurance needs, Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance is always here to assist you.

Protecting YOU is our Job.

Does Your Business Have a Business Plan?

small business planSince so many small businesses start in a spare bedroom or a garage, they may not have ever developed a formal business plan. But once your business begins to grow, a formal, expanded business plan is essential—especially when you apply for financing). Here are its basic components:

  • Executive Summary. The first section, typically written last, gives an overview of all other sections in the business plan.
  • Company Description. Outlines vital facts about your company, such as your location and size, what you do, and what you wish to achieve.
  • Products or Services. Describes products and/or services you’re selling, emphasizing their value to customers.
  • Market Analysis. Overviews your marketplace and industry, including statistics to support your claims.
  • Marketing Strategy. Explains where your business fits into the market and how you’ll price, market and sell your product or service.
  • Management Summary. Describes how your business is structured, your team members and external resources, and how the business is managed.
  • Financial Analysis. Shows your business’s revenues, how it’s financed, the funding you’ll need to grow, and an estimate of your operating expenses.
  • Appendix. Graphs, charts, statistics, research and other relevant data that supports statements in the other sections of your business plan

Developing a business plan is an excellent start to take your business to the next level. Your most important step, however, happens between your ears. It’s your mindset. Before crafting your business plan, start thinking big—like a company, not just an entrepreneur.

  • Set a meeting with your core team or partners to discuss your business plan.
  • Assign someone to draft it, and ensure that everyone takes the time to review it.
  • Once created, revisit your business plan often—especially as your business and opportunities grow and evolve.

Once you’ve completed your business plan, give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call to help you with providing the proper Business Insurance to protect your business.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

source info: The Hartford

Which Business Insurance is best for you?

retail business insuranceOver the next couple weeks we will go over a variety of types of businesses and discuss which type of insurance fits your business needs.  This week will cover Retail Businesses.  Each business is different and you always want to make sure you are properly covered.

This weeks information comes from I.I.I. which does a great job explaining all you need to know about Retail Store business insurance.  Remember for any questions on you business insurance give us a call at Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Small Retail Stores

Whether selling jewelry or garden plants, bicycles or lingerie, retail establishments typically have some features in common.  For one, they usually have inventory that needs to be protected from physical perils, such as fire or theft.  They also have a good deal of store traffic from the general public, raising the risk of third-party bodily injury claims.

Generally, the most cost effective and efficient way to provide property and liability insurance for your small retail business is with a Businessowners Policy (BOP) specifically tailored to small retail stores. Though marketed under a variety of names, policies will typically have provisions similar to the property insurance and liability insurance sections of the BOP, with the option to add various other coverages that you may need.

PROPERTY COVERAGE

The BOP covers real estate your business owns. If your store rents or leases its premises, the BOP provides coverage, in the event of a covered cause of loss, for tenants’ improvements and betterments. These are fixtures, alterations, installations, or additions that you have put into the space that cannot legally be removed from the landlord’s premises.

The BOP insures your other business property (in addition to real estate) and your inventory. The policy recognizes that many retailers experience seasonal variations in value. For the majority, Christmas is the big selling season, but for others, the biggest season may be summer. The BOP accommodates seasonally fluctuating inventory value with an automatic 25 percent increase in your policy limit for business personal property, which includes inventory. The seasonal escalator applies only if you have insured business personal property to at least 100 percent of your average monthly values during either the 12 months preceding the loss or the period of time you have been in business as of the date of the loss, whichever is less.

The higher your inventory’s value, the more attractive a target it is for thieves. Risk management can help reduce this risk, but can never entirely eliminate it. To protect from potential losses, you will probably wish to add Burglary and Robbery Coverage to your BOP. Employee dishonesty is another risk for which you can add protection. The BOP already covers your risk of accepting bogus money orders and counterfeit money, although you may want to add higher limits.

Depending on the nature of your retail business, other coverages that may be appropriate to add include:

  • Spoilage: If you sell items—such as cut flowers or food—that must be kept under controlled temperature conditions to avoid spoiling or perishing, you can add spoilage coverage for the value of property spoiled as a result of a breakdown of the temperature control system due to conditions beyond your control.
  • Food Contamination: If you sell food, there is a risk that it could cause food poisoning or transmit a communicable disease from an employee of your business. You can cover this risk with a Food Contamination Endorsement.
  • Mechanical Breakdown: This option provides coverage for mechanical or electrical breakdown to your boilers, pressure vessels, refrigeration systems, piping and mechanical and electrical machines, and apparatus that generate, transmit or use mechanical or electrical power.
  • Outdoor Signs: The basic BOP doesn’t cover an outdoor sign not attached to the building, but you can add this coverage as a separate endorsement.

Another thing to consider is insuring your merchandise while it is in transit. Although it will usually be insured by the transportation company that is delivering it, the limit may not be high enough nor the coverage sufficiently extensive. You can add more coverage with a “transportation floater.” This form of insurance covers your property while it is being transported from one point to another or in the care, custody or control of others.

LIABILITY COVERAGE

The liability coverage in the BOP protects your business from many liability loss exposures. For most stores, a frequent risk is that a customer could be injured in a slip and fall accident. While the BOP covers your liability in such accidents, up to the policy limit, it’s also important to manage the risk to keep insurance claims down.

As a seller of products, there is also the risk that someone could sustain bodily injury or other harm from something you sold. This risk, too, is covered by the BOP.

If your business involves selling on the Internet, you can find out more about insurance issues on the e-commerce page of this Web site.

BUSINESS VEHICLE INSURANCE

Your personal auto policy probably provides coverage for some business use of your vehicle. A personal auto policy is unlikely to provide coverage, however, if the vehicle in question is used primarily in business. It will not provide coverage for any vehicle owned by a business. For those vehicles you must have a business auto policy.

Should you be driving your personal auto for a business purpose and get into an accident for which you are liable, an injured person could sue you personally. Will your personal auto policy have enough coverage to pay all the damages? If not, a lawsuit may be filed against your business. If you use personal vehicles for business, you want to be sure you have high enough limits to protect your business. You should discuss this with your insurance agent.

WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE

States have varying rules about when an employer must provide workers compensation insurance. If you have three or more employees, you should check with your state department of workers compensation to see if you are required to provide workers comp insurance.

source info: I.I.I.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job