Monthly Archives: November 2020

4 Questions to Ask When Looking for Small Business Insurance

 

Protect Bookkeeping Office

Do you have a small business? If so, you will quickly come to realize that business insurance is essential to safeguard your investments and your enterprise as a whole. Here are a few vital questions to ask when looking for quotes.

What type of cover do I need?

This is the most critical question to ask when searching for the right small business coverage. The reality is that business insurance requirements vary dramatically from enterprise to enterprise and are usually based on the size of your business, where it is located, and the nature of what it does. Most organizations operating within the same industry will have similar needs when it comes to commercial coverage.

It is recommended that all small businesses consider signing up for General Liability insurance which protects against any unexpected accidents or property damage that may occur on the company’s premises.

If you are uncertain in terms of what you need and you are looking for some expert advice, it can help to approach experts such as those at Next Insurance online. They are able to guide you in terms of how to ensure maximum coverage and peace of mind.

Should I get General Liability insurance or Professional Liability insurance?

You should consider getting both, as they are quite different. Professional Liability insurance protects against negligence claims and any mistakes made by you or your employees when on the job. In contrast, General Liability insurance protects against accidents and damage to property.

If you have both working in your favor, you can be sure that your business will be sufficiently protected against most threats. Luckily, several reputable insurance providers will offer business owners package deals that include both General and Professional Liability insurance at a lower cost.

Do I need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

If you have any employees, the chances are good that you will need Workers’ Compensation. However, the requirements surrounding this type of commercial insurance vary somewhat from state to state. Texas is currently the only state in the United States that does not require a business to take out Workers’ Compensation by law.

Workers’ Compensation insurance provides protection for both a business and its employees relating to situations revolving around accidents in the workplace, employee illness, etc. It covers costs such as loss of income if an employee suffers an injury that renders them unable to work for a specific time, as well as medical expenses brought about as a result of a workplace accident.

How do I Obtain a Certificate of Insurance (COI)?

In the past, it was extremely challenging to get hold of a Certificate of Insurance. Now, a few insurance providers have streamlined the process so that you can get your proof of insurance quickly, affordably, and online for maximum convenience. Remember – you will need a COI when approaching financial institutions for funding, leasing a property, or partnering with another business. Plus, it also plays a significant role in building trust among your employees and clients, so be sure to display it proudly where it can be seen and acknowledged.

You will also most likely need to provide your COI to your landlord. Most leases require a certain amount of liability insurance with the landlord co-insured. Others may even require casualty insurance. A good tenant rep, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder can help you negotiate the insurance clauses in a new lease.

Hope this helps in finding the perfect insurance fit for your business!

 

Employee Rights Every Employer Should Know About

Can you imagine finishing four years of university, getting a dream job, and realizing that working is not what you imagined? Well, a lot of people feel this way, but luckily, there are employers who are aware of how it was when they were at their first job. Many first-time employees are told never to settle for a bad workplace that don’t treat them well and and grant them their basic employee rights. Here are some of the most important employee rights all employers should be familiar with if they want to keep them for many years to come.

Wage and Hour Law

For many inexperienced employees getting their first job can be exciting, but also terrifying because they don’t know their basic rights – they might even settle on the horrible treatment – like working overtime ALL the time and not getting paid, or not having paid leave days. Experts at ECLaw state that employees can file a claim if your company is unable to provide them with their basic rights. But you as an employer have a duty to provide them with a strict schedule of set working hours and a minimum wage. This is both for full-time workers, and part-timers such as interns.

Discrimination Law

A workplace shouldn’t be like going to high school, with the only difference being that the adults are bullying you. If your employees are faced with any form of discrimination due to their race, sexuality, age, religion, or disability at the workplace, this is breaking the basic human rights law. In no circumstance can a colleague or an employer make remarks or treat one employee differently than the rest simply because they are different. If this happens, they have the full right to take this matter to court, so try to always be aware when such issues occur and listen to your employees when they reach out to you with such sensitive matters.

Workplace Safety Law

Regardless if you are working in an office or if you are working with hazardous chemicals – you as an employer have to provide your employees with a safe environment! It’s too common for workplace injuries to happen, but some are more preventable than others. This is especially for those who work in a dangerous field, having faulty or old gear can double the level of danger you can face. So it’s up to the company to provide the employees with the best possible equipment to do their jobs properly, and on top of that to be safe. Nobody would like to work in an environment where they are terrified for their safety all the time! If you can, gather your colleagues and discuss this with them, see if they suffered any workplace injuries, and try to figure a way to prevent these problems from reoccurring.

Privacy Law

Your employees are human beings above all, and if there’s something they deserve –  it’s privacy over their personal information. Just because your employees had to disclose details about their personal lives to get a job, that doesn’t mean that you as an employer can spill that information around. Their personal information should stay between you, them, and your company. Private information is not required for a job in every state, it also all depends on the type of job you are applying for, but regardless of that, any confidential information like someone’s physical or mental health should not be disclosed to anyone.

The Freedom to Make a Claim

Working in a giant corporation, employees might feel like an ant compared to the company itself. But you shouldn’t let that scare them away from voicing their opinions and asking for better treatment at your workplace. You, as an employer, have an obligation to protect your employees, while they have full right to sue the company if they don’t follow the basic employee rights and regulations have been respected. Many such huge cases have been happening over the years, regardless of a business being small or a giant company. Employees can make a personal claim, or even go one step further and gather all their colleagues to file a class action case against your company. At the end of the day, you want to be the one on their side, not the one they wish to sue.

When candidates apply for a job, they are devoting their time and energy to it, and with that, they expect the bare minimum when it comes to their rights. These include a safe environment to work in, but many companies seem not to care when it comes to these types of things. That’s why it’s up to the employee to speak up and know their rights, and why your job as an employer should be to protect them. No job is worth the discrimination and suffering, jobs are hard on their own and you want to experience a safe space around you. So speak up for your employees and never let yourself be associated with bad treatment!

And if you want to find a great office space for your great emloyees, that is what we can help you with. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you. Contact us today for your no obligation consultation.

 

6 Surprising Things You Need to Know About Office Jobs

It’s always exciting when your first job interview goes as expected. The first few months can be filled with both realistic and unrealistic goals, ambitions that might seem far-fetched, or anxiety. It’s only afterwards that you’ll start missing your old job or sleeping in every morning. These are universal truths no matter the work environment you might be exposed to and office jobs are no exception. But at some point, especially when the paycheck comes in, you’ll come to agree that it was worth the grinding. But aside from the orientation part and learning new skills, below are six surprising things you need to know about office jobs.

1. It Can Be Stressful

Working 9-5 hours of office work is no easy thing. The long sitting hours can take a toll on your once healthy back. The sedentary nature of office jobs could slowly be destroying your body. Apart from the poor food habits, the everyday rush to meet tight deadlines, and not to mention the demands that come with it all, you could be subjected to repetitive strain injuries, also known as cumulative trauma. These are injuries that will happen as a result of repeated motions.

The thing is, such injuries will only be realized way down the line and when it might be too late to reverse the damages caused. This means that you might be in need of medication, treatment, or therapy. These are costs that could eat into your finances. It’s at this point that you might consider talking to an experienced attorney to help with your cumulative trauma claim. The reason to work with an experienced personal injury attorney is that they’ll help towards proving that your injuries resulted from your work. Let’s take a look at the various causes of repetitive strain injuries and how to prevent them:

Causes

  • Too much strain on the nerves and blood vessels due to poor posture and long sitting hours
  • Repetitive movements that cause fatigue to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  • Exposure to poor air quality

 Preventive Measures

  • Consider using ergonomic chairs
  • Exercise regularly to boost blood circulation
  • Frequent stretches will help to keep your tendons, muscles, and ligaments healthy
  • Taking breaks can help break the monotony
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Keep your body hydrated at all times
  • Invest in comfortable outfits and shoes

2. Time is money!

This is a labor aphorism that has been used since time immemorial. While it might contain some truth in it, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to work non-stop. Today, working smart is the new labor slang. Rather than working nonstop, find time to maximize your efficiency by using efficient equipment, taking short breaks, and improving your work skills. The key takeaway is to use your time wisely, resisting gossip at the office, and prioritizing your deadlines.

3. Get Used To Passive Office Aggression

If you thought that you’ll have an easy pass in the office, then you’re mistaken. But then again, it all depends on how well you handle and deal with co-workers who demonstrate aggressive behaviors. While it can be frustrating, avoid the urge to overreact or lash out as this could exacerbate the situation. You might consider reporting such co-workers to your supervisor or your employer.

It’s during such moments that your emotional intelligence is tested. It might drain you emotionally but keeping your cool can help to manage the situation as well as help you to maintain your sanity. Remember, your productivity is highly dependent on managing your rationality.

4. Professional Allies Will Get You Far

Working in an office requires that you form healthy workplace relationships. You might be familiar with this African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Now, these are the same principles that will apply if you want to succeed in an office job. It will help to boost your efficiency, reinforce your commitment to excel, boost your morale, and to top it off, you need your co-workers to climb the career ladder.

5. Don’t Hate The Office Clown

Don’t get it twisted, there are limits to the amount of fun you can have in the office. Office clowns help to lighten the mood and in a way, they come in handy to humanize the workplace, putting other co-workers at ease, and healing rifts between co-workers.

Nevertheless, Being on the receiving end of an office clown’s bad jokes can at times be hurtful and damaging. This is why setting boundaries will spare you the trouble of having to deal with such characters. But don’t hate them, they are the same class clowns you had to deal with in junior high; only that they’ve grown to be the office clowns!

6. You Have No Option But Stick To The Rules

Unless you are the boss, stick to the rules. You have no place in suggesting or amending the rules you found others abide by. The least that you can do is write a suggestion and dump it in the suggestion box like everyone else. You don’t want to start a revolution at the office as this could damage your good reputation and ruin your chances of getting a second job.

The above are unvarnished truths about office jobs. While it might seem like a daunting task to work in an office, one thing to note is that you are not expected to know it all. Just stick to your lane, be kind and respectful to your co-workers, and you’ll do just fine.

If you would like some help finding the right office space with a great working enviroment for your employees, contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you.

5 Ways to Manage Multiple Offices

5 Ways to Manage Multiple Offices

It’s great when your business is thriving and successful when there are a positive cash flow and a steady increase in your profits. These are the times that you begin to think about expanding and possibly opening another location or locations. But are you ready for such an endeavor? Do you have what it takes to be able to manage multiple offices at the same time? The idea is exhilarating, but the work can be overwhelming. 

It can be done. With hard work and dedication, you can manage to operate more than one business at a time. By following these 5 guidelines, you can handle multiple offices with relative ease and efficiency. 

Simplify your operations

Running a successful business is all about using the right tools for the right job. When managing more than one office at a time, using property management apps like Proptech, could be quite effective. Apps for time-tracking and inventory control can easily save you money and time, allowing you to focus on more immediate problems. Accounting programs and project management software allow you to handle your affairs seamlessly between offices. By training your employees on how to use such tools, you allow yourself to be more available to visit and review your business’ operations.

Organize your SOPs

The first step to a successful management process is to organize your standard operating procedures (SOP). Review your working manuals and handbooks and devise a program to keep all functions running in the same manner. For example, make sure all employees are interviewed and hired in identical formats. Your customer complaints should be handled similarly throughout any office you have. Also ensure that your customers continue to have a fantastic experience in each of your locations, not just one or the other. The purpose is to keep everything on the same successful level so there is no deviations or exceptions.

Good Managers

In your primary office, you developed good and reliable employees who know their job and do it well. When expanding and opening new locations, it’s just as important to maintain the same bar of excellence with new employees. If it’s possible, promote someone from your original business to work as a manager in your new place. Apprentice the new people so they may learn from your older ones. You should feel confident to leave your managers in charge on a daily basis. They need to be able to supervise all operations, so you don’t have to. Only then can you oversee all your offices and bring your business to greater heights.

 Communication

Communication is the link that keeps business working, and many businesses working well together. When you have more than one office open at a time, communication is key. Your managers need to know where to locate you and how to contact you in case of an emergency. They also need to know when they can handle a problem on their own. To maintain their confidence, be sure to visit the office on a steady schedule and be available for conversations by phone, email, or one-on-one chatting. Hold meetings for your managers and your employees to confirm what you expect and what kinds of issues may be coming up in the near future. Share how each location is performing and allow your people to have input into their own. 

Once your communication system is in order, make sure to use it to the best of your ability. Try to eliminate repeating the same information from one office to another. Set up a group chat or website to share common data to all your employees and managers. Allow everyone to view it and check for company updates and announcements. Take the time to communicate your company’s information in the most efficient way possible. It can save you more than 15 hours a week of repetitive explanations and clarifying comments. That will save you money too. 

Team Camaraderie

 When expanding your offices, you also want to maintain your brand. This may be harder with a wider variety of employees to deal with. A cohesive brand requires a cohesive business. To keep your company all on the same page, bring them together for company wide meetings (or zoom meetings in the time of pandemic) and get-togethers. Let one office meet up with another to promote the bigger picture. Help them with motivation by employing inter-office competitions or games. Set up off-site excursions to stimulate and inspire your employees. When a group of people can work together for a common purpose, the outcome can be phenomenal. 

Conclusion 

When your business is doing well, it is quite natural to think of expanding your services to different locations and reach more customers all at the same time. When that time comes, it’s vital that you have the resources to fulfil this venture. Whether it involves managing your SOPs or utilizing property management tools, you can successfully travel the path of expansion by familiarizing yourself with the helpful tips listed in this article. 

If you are looking to expand, we can help finding the right office space at the best price. Contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you.

 

5 Ways to Stay Connected With Your Clients

Kim hakui and choi soon sil

As a business owner, it’s essential that you still connect to your clients even after they have availed and purchased the goods or services your company offers, as it strengthens the business-to-customer relations. Importantly, when you provide the customers’ demands and earn their trust and loyalty, it entails a significant positive sudden shift to your business. Potential customers would know your firm and products through prior clients’ word of mouth.

Hence, it’s vital that you adapt to the emerging technology and software to put your business at pace. With the power and influence of technology, your business’s parameter would reach further, which enables your clients to keep on track with all the best-deal goods you offer. And to help you reach your customers and all the way to the top, we enumerated five effective communication methods below.

1.   Text Messaging

Today, there’s an estimate of 5 billion people who have mobile phones, and most of them typically spend an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes on their device. By considering the massive amount of people who own a mobile phone and the length of the time spent on the device, you can grab this opportunity to utilize text messaging for your business’s sake.

Text messaging is one of the most beneficial communication tools that humanity has received. This communication method provides numerous benefits to both consumers and businesses.

As a business owner, this tool enables you to track the transactions with your customers: reminding their appointments, notifying them of their current bills or best-deal offers, and keeping on track with the transactions, which are necessary for record-keeping. But remember, it’s appropriate that you observe texting etiquette to avoid customers being offended or misinformed.

Meanwhile, as a customer, it would be more convenient for you to set or reschedule a missed appointment. Also, you’ll receive notifications from the business firm with their current offers. And most importantly, it’s another way to release feedback based on the quality of the goods and services.

2.   Social Media Platforms: Facebook and Twitter

Nowadays, almost everyone has a social media account—from young to young at heart. They see social media as a tool for communication with important people afar. Although numerous social media sprung throughout the years, three social networking sites rose: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And these sites have already covered billions of people and still amass until now, which is perfect for business ventures.

Facebook

Launched by Mark Zuckerburg in February 2004, Facebook now has approximately 2.7 billion active users of all ages. Before, Facebook was just used primarily for photos, chats, etc. But, in recent years, it’s used for business ventures and transactions. With that, Facebook recently launched a business-service platform, which is a beneficial option and avenue for businesses. Small and big businesses can post and promote their products, and it has an automated response on messenger for convenient purchasing and transaction.

Instagram

With almost 1 billion monthly users and 500 million daily users, Instagram made it the top popular and most-accessed social media site. This free-photo video-sharing site highlights photos and videos on the wall, which users could easily slide through.  Further, it has become a platform where businesses show their products by posting pictures and videos with details. Thus, it’s an excellent way to notify your clients about your firm’s whereabouts and updates.

Twitter

Twitter already has 1.3 billion accounts and 145 million daily users. This social media site is popular with teenagers and adults. Considering the enormous amount of active daily users, it’s suitable for promoting products for thriving business ventures.

3.   E-mail (Electronic Mail)

The email you use and receive today is still similar to the first email in the 1970s, but with a little bit of modification for improvement. This online-messaging tool is primarily used to notify the client or customer regarding his/her current standing and transaction and a way to promote products and recent best-deals.

Importantly, since it’s done on the internet, you must have a set of quick-response teams to respond to the customers’ inquiries and feedback. With that said, you could avoid unnoticed and mismanaged emails that’ll badly affect your record-keeping. Therefore, an efficient and effective quick-response team must compromise the quality products and services you offer.

4.   Email Newsletters

In order for your business to grow and prosper, it’s important that you show to your current and potential clients the updates and new products you offer. One way of keeping them in touch and updated is through sending emailed newsletters. It’s also essential that the client agrees to the terms, which will permit your firm to send the emailed newsletter regularly.

5.   Blog

Online readers could now have access to online-review write-ups, also known blogs, in just one click. From thousands to millions of readership daily, it’ll definitely affect the performance of your business. Therefore, while you improve and maintain your service, you must also influence prominent bloggers to gain positive reviews to persuade potential clients.

Takeaway

In a nutshell, no matter how exceptional the services you offer to your customers, it’ll be a waste if you miss or fail to ask how to communicate with them further. Since communication is one of the significant keys to earn trust and loyalty, you must utilize the power of emerging technological innovations today. After all, business-to-customer relations don’t end after purchasing and leaving.

How To Find The Best Local Movers To Move Your Office

Local Movers

Moving your office physically is a very challenging task to take on. It takes a lot of preparation, so you can be sure that you’re not committing any mistakes. After all, there’s so much at stake. You can’t delay or lose anything, as this can also adversely impact your business operations. This is why it’s very important for you to make the right choice and not settle when it comes to the quality of the movers that you’re entrusting to move your office.

One of the most important aspects of finding movers for hire in your area is how easy they are to use, and how they can truly make your office move a breeze. But it’s important to consider several factors before you decide on one. That way, you can end up working with the best company that can handle your relocation.

Here’s how:

Ask Around For Recommendations

If you know of others that went through a relocation or office move, ask them for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is usually a good indicator, as suggested by one of the best local movers in Annapolis MD. Ask them for any complaints they may have with other movers they’ve worked with. Chances are because these are people that you know and trust, they’ll give you unfiltered recommendations on the reputation of a moving company.

Check The History Of The Moving Business

When you’re narrowing down your search to include only local movers, it’s easy for you to check the history of the moving company, particularly how long they’ve been in business. When a moving company has survived the test of time, this often means that they’re good at what they do. Moreover, with an office move, you can’t take any risks with a company that just opened yesterday. Otherwise, you might lose some of your office equipment to thieves or damage along the way.

Pay close attention to the manner that they answer your questions or even how they deal with you, as their clients. Any red flag that could indicate poor professionalism, it’s best to move along and work with a more reliable local mover instead.

Make Sure They’re Reputable Movers

There are certain factors that are truly indicative of a mover’s quality. Take special notice of these as a part of your checklist. If you don’t want to end up hiring an unreliable or unscrupulous mover, the one you hire must have the following:

  • They offer a free quote, and have a comprehensive list of moving services;
  • They don’t have regular, or repeated complaints;
  • They comply with the safety standards set by the law;
  • They’ve got a good experience in handling valuables and other belongings.

Take The Time To Really Go Through All Of Your Options

There are many great companies that offer great services. You just need to know where to look. The great thing about going with local movers is that you’re limiting your research area. So, there’s no reason for you not to do deep and thorough research.

It’s important to have an open mind when you’re doing the research into companies to entrust your office move with. You’ll be comparing different moving companies and the different services they offer to see if any of the options really are the best for your needs. Technology is also on your side, as so many movers now have websites. It’s easier for you to make comparisons before first visiting their physical office.

Check For Their License And Insurance

The best and most reputable local movers are those that have all the legal requirements and license necessary to operate. Beyond that, they also have an insurance policy to cover your move.

This is very important for you to check through, as with an office move, you’ll be taking with you valuable business assets that you can’t afford to lose. The last thing you’d want is for your business to go through financial losses all because of a simple mistake when moving.

Remember that relocating also has a lot of risks associated with it. No matter how careful a mover is, there’s still outside forces such as highway robbery and theft. You never know when these risks can happen. But if you fall victim to these, having an insurance policy can help you start over again.

Weigh The Price Quoted With The Services They Offer

Working with the best local movers doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay more. While moving can be expensive, there are so many quality movers that can work with the budget you have. They key is for you to balance the price quoted with the services that they offer. You shouldn’t have to pay anything more than you have to.

Conclusion

Choosing the right moving company to move your office is crucial before you move. Moving is already stressful enough in itself, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re working with a moving company that’ll make it hassle-free for you. Once you set up new office, it’ll be nice to open up the moving boxes and see that everything is still intact and present. 

If you would like some help finding the right office space with a great working enviroment, contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you.