Planning to Insure Your Business? – Know What to Consider

Every business, regardless of its size and industry, needs insurance to protect itself from various financial losses that can arise due to unfortunate events such as natural disasters liability, theft or litigation. Business owners today know the importance of insurance, but many of them fail to plan properly while insuring their business.Business owners should make sure that their business is covered for all the possible events that can lead to financial loss. Here are some key things every business owner should consider while purchasing insurance policy.Risks associated with your business type
Almost every business faces risks. Depending on the industry and size of the business, risks can vary. In order to provide full security to your business from financial losses, you need to purchase insurance policy that covers all risks related to your business. But for that, you should identify and evaluate risks specific to your business. It is not an easy task to find out the risks associated with a business. Hence, it is better to take experienced and professional help.Assets which require protection
Identify your business assets that might face risk and require an appropriate protection. Your business assets may include your company’s building, vehicles, business equipment like PCs, important files or documents, patents, copyrights, business products, and the most important assets of your business – your employees.Types of business insuranceSome of the important insurance policies that may be required by a business are:Property insurance – Physical properties such as building, furniture, machinery, electronic devices, involve a lot of investment. Mishaps such as fire accidents, earthquakes, floods, etc. can damage your property and may lead to huge financial losses. Hence, insuring these things is very important for any business.Public liability insurance – This insurance is very important for businesses, where their customers or general public visit their premises. If any customer or any person gets injured or dies at your business premises, you will have to pay for their claims. Public liability insurance protects you against the legal suits and claims resulted from the third-party.Product liability insurance – If your business involves in manufacturing or selling any physical products, then you must consider taking product liability insurance. Since they are your products, you are legally responsible for any damage or injury they cause. If any person claims for the damage, you have to pay for it.Employer’s liability insurance – If you have employees, you should have employer’s liability insurance. This insurance offers financial support when your employees fall sick or die in course of the employment.These are the general insurance policies you need to include in your business insurance policy, so that you can protect your business from various types of financial losses.Choose comprehensive policy from a reliable insurance broker
Now that you are aware of the common types of insurance policies, it is the time to choose a policy that covers all your business’ requirements. As discussed earlier, it is better to take professional (reputed broker or agent) help when choosing an insurance policy for your business.Advantages of buying insurance through a reputed brokerage firm:•Insurance brokers provide reliable, fast and professional service•They understand your business and the specific type of risks associated with your business. So after getting clear idea about your business’ needs, they tailor your business insurance policy to exactly match your business requirements•They offer sound advice. They estimate the amount of coverage required for your business•They not only offer you a competitive price, but also provide you with the wide cover•In case of liabilities, they also deal with the legal issues, without having the need for the owner to interfereThe essential characteristic of an effective insurance is to cover the business against unforeseen hurdles that might occur. So, depending on your business requirements get a right and complete cover by considering all the above mentioned factors.

6 Steps to Creating The Perfect Business Loan Package

Bank lending has really been tight over the last few years. Most business owners now think that the only word their banker can say is “no.”The reason: This last financial crisis has changed the lending game. Banks and other lenders will not just provide you a business loan because you have a great smile or a novel idea. You have to get in there, roll up your sleeves and really entice them to lend to your business – make them approve you!Know that when lenders do begin to approve more loans again, the flow of new business loan applications will really flood in. Thus, to ensure that your loan application gets funded, you have to find ways to get your business noticed – making it not only stand out but stand above all the rest.Here are a few tips to get your business loan application moved to the top of the pile:Pick the right bank or lender: Not all lenders will emerge from this financial mess in the same position they went into it. Some will have changed their entire lending philosophy. Some will no longer loan to small or mid-sized businesses – focusing only top tier/low risk companies. Some will only provide loans based on companies in certain industries or that have specific collateral. And, some may be out of the business lending arena altogether. So, start with your current bank or past lender and see if or what they have changed in regards to their business loan policies.Further, all banks and lenders have changed their loan approval criteria. This was not done to hinder businesses from seeking loans but more from the threat of new governmental regulations. Thus, if your business was able to get a business loan or working capital line of credit prior to the financial meltdown – that does not mean that it will qualify for one today or even tomorrow with the same bank or lender.Collateral and Guarantees: Banks are now more focused on repayment and not just one form of repayment but several. Banks and other lenders always look to current positive cash flow as the first source of repayment. But, that is no longer enough. What happens if you have a slow month or if the economy tanks again? Lenders will start looking for additional (complementary) forms of repayment from sources like personal guarantees or large amounts of and/or highly valued collateral.Collateral will be key in this new lending market. If you are serious about your business’s future prospects, then you should have no problem putting up collateral against a business loan request. Not only does collateral provide your lender with an additional source of repayment but could really show your banker or loan officer that your business is serious – essentially helping you close the deal.Keep in mind that different collateral has different value. Banks and other lenders don’t look at how much you paid for a piece of equipment or a piece of property. They look at its value as how fast they can sell it at fire sale prices to recoup their losses.The best collateral – where your business would get the best value against a loan – is collateral that has high liquidity – like accounts receivables, investments, purchase orders or even personal liquid assets of the business owner or of the management team.Make sure your business loan application clearly states what collateral and/or guarantees you or your business is willing to provide as well as its current, conservative market value. Providing this information up front will demonstrate to your lender that you are here not to fight with them over this hotly contested issue but are willing to play within their rules. Plus, banks like easy deals and deals with tons of collateral are usually the easiest to get approved.Remember, if you don’t show and won’t demonstrate that you are serious about your business and that you have not taken the time to understand your lender’s collateral or guarantee policy, then your banker or lenders will treat you the same way and move your application to a bottom drawer or the round file in the corner.A Clear Story: Make sure that your loan application tells your story. Not just what your company does but also why it does what it does, who (your customer segment) it targets and satisfies, how its current management can build value in the future (based on what it has done in the past) and what the funds will be used for – specifically. Putting in your business loan application that you will use those funds for general business purposes just will not fly any more. Banks and other lenders want to be repaid and must be satisfied that you and your business will deploy this new asserts (the loan funds) in such a way to generate enough new revenue to pay back the loan and interest as well as grow your company.Financial Statement and Tax Returns: Banker and lenders will not just take your word for your financial condition or be satisfied with a quick printout from your accounting program. Stated income loans are a thing of the past. Lenders will be looking for both audited financial statements and/or completed and filed tax returns – at least 3 to 5 years worth. These financial statements not only provide additional information to help your lender make their decisions but can really validate your business’s potential; both of which will further your ability to receive that sought after approval.Further, many lenders today will contact both your customers and suppliers to back up some of the information provided in your financial statements. While this may seem like a huge hassle – it is just the way the game is played now. If you go into this process knowing what financial documentation is required and planning for it (also taking to your customers and suppliers before hand) then the burden will be lessened on both you and your loan officer.Forecasts: Combined with financial statements and tax returns, your loan application should include well-formulated financial forecasts. Not only will this show the strength of your management ability to direct the company moving forward but forecasts (if done properly with a best-case, worse-case and most likely-case scenarios) can help your lender determine if your business will still be able to repay their loan under different market conditions. Additionally, these forecasts should show most likely scenarios both with and without the loan proceeds.As always, tie your forecast to your expected loan term and make sure that all numbers trend with past results – if not, make sure you have a detail explanation of why.Network: Lastly, do your homework on who your bank or lender has worked with in the past. Most banks or financial companies have their core customers – those businesses that can just pick up the phone and get whatever they want. If your business can receive references or introduction from them – that is likely to put you over the top and get potential lenders knocking on your door.If that is not possible, look to those who you have dealt with in the past (like other lenders or suppliers) or to those who provide your business revenue (like customers) for references. These groups will show your lender that they will continue to support your business in the future – making you a better candidate for a business loan.The bottom line here is that if your business really needs outside capital to grow then make sure that you put the same intensity into your business loan application as you do into your business. Walking into your bank and asking for a business loan is much different than walking into your butcher and asking for the cut of the day.Not getting what you want from your butcher may disappoint you but not getting what you need from your banker or lender could destroy you.As we emerge into this new economy, you as a business owner, must understand that business lending has changed and if your business needs outside capital to prosper and grow then you must make sure that you have a well prepared business loan application before you even consider walking into your lender’s office.

How To Select The Right Hardware For Your Home

Most people are not aware of how much decorative hardware is used in their home.
If they did, they would see many possibilities to impact their home décor and upgrade the look of their home in a very stylish and easy way.Take an accounting of your own home.To get an accurate count make a list of the following decorative hardware in or on your home:
Door handles, door knockers, bell pushes, decorative hinges (not the concealed kind), clavos nails or decorative nails used for show, lever latches, pulls, decorative mortise locks, window hardware, cabinet hardware, gate hardware, garage door hardware, shutter hardware.Prepare your list in the following way: Down the left side of the sheet list the types of hardware as in the list above. At the top make one column for each of the locations of where the hardware is located (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, outside front of house, outside back of house, and so forth, in one column note the condition the hardware, in the next to the last column make notes of your sense of how that hardware works with the look of your home and in the last column make notes on a wish list.Next, check out some hardware sites on the web or go to your nearest decorative hardware store. Note the differences between styles, modern, colonial, old world, Creole, western, a truly wide variety of period styles and the list goes on. So take time to evaluate your choices. Now also note the different finishes available.Also, you may want to consider the Library of Congress. There you can find lots of information on decorative hardware styles and ideas.Become aware of how much decorative hardware you have in and around your home. And see the many possibilities decorative hardware has to impact your home and upgrade the look of your home in a very stylish and easy way.