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Small Business Blog

Our blog is designed to be a "go to" resource for your small business. Here you will find valuable information and advice on launching, running, protecting and making your business a huge success.

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Essential small business insurance for personal trainers

Essential small business insurance for personal trainersMaking sure your personal training business is properly insured is important. Read on to learn why.

It’s an exciting time to be a newly-certified personal trainer.  You’ve put in the time, studied for and passed the personal trainer certification exam and are ready to start changing the lives of clients for the better.

While you’re focusing on your clients’ wellness and your small business growth, be sure you don’t suffer from Pollyanna Syndrome.  There are risks associated with running a personal training business, some you can control, but many you can’t.  For those you can’t control there’s small business insurance.  As a personal trainer, your focus will be on the two types of liability insurance: professional liability and general liability. Read More »

How to choose a modern point-of-sale for your small business

How to choose a modern point-of-sale for your small business

Michelle Yuan, Director of Sales and Marketing,

Guest blogger Michelle Yuan, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bindo, shares tips on purchasing your next point of sale system.

Let’s face it: Running a small business with a legacy point of sale (POS) is tough. I know this first-hand as Director of Sales and Marketing at Bindo, a cloud-based iPad point-of-sale with a web and mobile storefront enabling online shopping for the end consumer. Not only are retail stores and quick service restaurants spending hours, and perhaps even days, updating the information on their systems, they’re also wasting capital upgrading their machines – or just making sure they work.. The demand for better modern POS systems is very high at the moment. But as a small business owner faced with so many choices, choosing the right one is key.

1. Make Sure it’s Tablet and Cloud-based

After letting go of your legacy POS and making the decision of switching to a modern POS, you’ll need to find one that operates on a tablet and is cloud-based. Ideally, you want an iPad point of sale over an android-based one because of the stability of the platform and the abundance of iPad POS systems in the market. Tablet-based POS solutions are ideal because you and your staff will be able to process transactions anywhere in your store. You’ll also be able to use the tablet POS at pop-up events, street fairs and just about any location you want. This brings me to my second point: Finding a cloud-based solution. The best tablet-based POS systems operate on a cloud and allow you to operate it from any location you want. They even enable you tokeep tabs on the performances of your other store locations in real-time using any one of your devices: tablets, desktops or smartphones. Using a cloud-based system also protects all the data that’s stored in your point of sale so you don’t have to worry about losing your data or, even worse, getting it stolen. Read More »

Delete that tweet or get out of your seat

Delete That Tweet Or Get Out Of Your SeatSmall businesses and individuals need to be smart when using social media.

Social media is the great equalizer between consumers and businesses.  A customer who has a bad experience with a product or service can now immediately broadcast it to the world over social media.  That’s just what one man did last week when he tried cancel his Comcast cable and ran into a particularly unhelpful customer service rep.  The result?  Comcast apologized, his service was cancelled and the company was put on notice that aggressive account retention techniques are no longer hidden in the confines of their call center.

Now that the goliath corporations have thousands of Davids with megaphones exposing their faults they need to be on notice – and many businesses big and small are constantly monitoring social media networks for criticism and swiftly responding to protect their reputations.

Read More »

Webinar recap: 8 tips for reducing social media legal risks

Social media use has become essential, but there are some legal risks you should be aware of.

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The Hiscox Media and Entertainment Liability Insurance division recently hosted a webinar highlighting the legal risks associated with using social media. By now we’re sure you know the importance of using social media for business. And you’ve probably even started using several social media platforms. But have you thought about the implications associated with copyright and trademark infringement, contests and sweepstakes or even security risks? Read More »

TweetChat recap: Making the most of summer months

TwitterChat recap - Making the most of summer monthsMake the most of the remaining months of summer.

Our second TweetChat with Hiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran took place last week. Our first TweetChat focused on small business efficiency and this month’s chat shared tips on how small business owners can make the most out of the remaining two months of summer.

Brian’s most recent post for the Hiscox small business blog highlighted 5 steps to making the most of summer months. The TweetChat expanded on this topic and provided tips on work-life balance, scheduling summer vacations and much more.

See the TweetChat recap below for Brian’s tips on making the most of the remaining weeks of summer.

The summer is a time to relax, but why should small business owners still be cautious on how they spend their hours?

  • It’s hard for small business owners to relax, even in the summer. They are always solving problems and putting out fires.
  • You can delegate responsibilities, which empowers your employees and gives you some time off.
  • The key to enjoying your time off is doing some work in advance of your vacation.

Read More »

Summer insurance tips for real estate agents

Summer insurance tips for real estate agentsBusiness picks up for real estate owners during the summer. Make sure you’re insured with the proper small business insurance coverage.

The last few years have been tumultuous for real estate, to say the least.  The pendulum-swing shift from a sellers’market to a buyers’and back again, seems to happen faster than ever, so small business owners in the real estate industry must remain vigilant about market micro-trends.  This summer’s biggest news?  It’s estimated that 60% of all homes will be bought and sold from May to August.

As a real estate professional you’re in the thick of this busy season and your time is consumed with work.  Maybe you’ve begun offering related services, like property management, to increase your income potential –further stretching your time and attention.  Be sure your real estate business and career as a real estate agent aren’t in danger of being harmed by a lawsuit, which may be more likely due to your increased activity. Having liability insurance in place could help make sure you’re protected.

Read More »

Liability and equipment coverages your photography business needs this summer

Liability and equipment coverages your photography business needs this summerPhotographers should keep small business insurance top of mind as they create memories this summer through their pictures.

Everyone loves the beginning of summer – especially entrepreneurs and small business owners experiencing increased sales as warmer temperatures motivate people to do things they put off during colder months.  Photographers in particular like summer because the season brings demand for wedding photography, outdoor family portraits, graduation headshots and other seasonal shoots.  As you’re busy scheduling these or other types of work, traveling to location shoots and having clients into your studio this summer, don’t forget to take the time to review your small business insurance needs.

Some owners of photography businesses haven’t considered the need for insurance because they believe being a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation protects them.  And while this may be true to an extent, business insurance can better protect a small business owner from potential liabilities, possible losses and unforeseen mishaps. Read More »

Lebron James scores a communications win with his Cleveland return

Lebron James scores a communications win with his Cleveland return

The front page of James’ hometown newspaper, The Plain Dealer, after he announced his return to Cleveland.

Lebron James now understands the true value of his name and what it represents.

Taking my talents to South Beach

What a difference four years makes.  After the ill-conceived LeBron Decision in 2010 tarnished a personal brand many thought was untouchable, Lebron James learned his lesson, got better advisors and did it the right way this time.  It’s not just about the feel good story of him returning to Cleveland, and Northeast Ohio where he grew up, though that also helps.  It was how he handled the whole communication this time around.

Four years ago NBA executives in private jets descended on Cleveland to kiss the ring and try and convince Lebron why he should sign with their team.  Most had no chance, as a lifelong Knicks fan I knew we didn’t really have a shot, it was all just free agent theater.  The free agent Lebron of 2010 was impetuous and demanding, isolated in a tight bubble of advisors and childhood friends.

And then LeBron “took his talents to South Beach” and the hometown hero, boy done good turned into the free agent mercenary, too scared or lazy to try and win on his own, pairing up with two other superstars far from home.  He traded the grit of Cleveland for the glitz of Miami and suddenly the Lebron James brand meant something different. Read More »

Join us for a TweetChat on making the most of your summer months

Join us for a TweetChat on making the most of your summer monthsHiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran shares tips on making the most of the summer months as a small business owner.

In May, the Hiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran, hosted a Hiscox TweetChat on small business efficiency. Tips from the chat included outsourcing non-essential work, completing tasks correctly the first time in order to avoid having to do them again and to always ask yourself if an opportunity will bring you closer to your goals.

This month, we’re hosting another TweetChat with Brian next Tuesday, July 15 at 8:00pm ET. The chat will discuss in further detail the tips highlighted in Brian’s most recent post for the Hiscox small business blog, 5 steps to making the most of summer months. The chat will also share tips on how to best connect with others at any summer networking events you attend. Read More »

5 steps to making the most of summer months

5 steps to making the most of summer monthsHiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran shares how to make the summer months within your small business count.

With the July 4th weekend behind us, I’m starting to see a lot of work-life balance blog posts, tweets and status updates from my social network. It doesn’t seem to matter where you live or what type of company you own, most small business owners struggle with separating work hours from vacation time.

I am no different. There is always a project or deadline that needs my attention when I’m trying to find quality time outside the office. Two years ago, when I started my second company, I wrote down five steps to making the most of my summer months. To me, this is one of the great benefits of entrepreneurship—deciding how I would spend my time when my kids were out of school.

The most important lesson I learned in setting up the five steps is that it’s not enough to write them down, I have to remind myself regularly to stick to the plan. There are too many distractions that can keep me from making the most of my time in June, July and August.

If you are already worried about salvaging the 2014 summer, follow the five steps below. The key to your success will be in properly executing the plan. Read More »


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