4 Tips for small business owners who have a fleet of vehicles.

Small businesses face many different types of risks depending upon the size, scope, and industry the business operates in. Some businesses face risk because they have an elevated number of clients coming and going from their location. Other businesses have employees who do physically demanding work. Still other businesses face risk related to the data they store about their clients. One common type of risk many small businesses face is employees who operate motor vehicles. When employees operate motor vehicles on the job, the amount of insurance claims for that business tends to increase in frequency and severity. Here are four tips to keep in mind to help your business manage a fleet of vehicles.

 

Make sure your safety program is well-documented. 

The safety program should start the day someone is hired and continue throughout their employment. The programs do not have to be exhaustive or time consuming. They can be a short 15-minute huddle twice a week about a potentially hazardous area of your business. Keep them documented and on file. This way if you have several incidents or a severe injury, you can use the documentation to show your business was taking the proper steps to prevent the injury from taking place.

 

Have strict Safe-Driving Policies

If you have to have employees driving as a part of your daily operations, you need to have strict policies and procedures in place that they must follow when they are behind the wheel. You should periodically pull their driving records, even on your most trusted employees. Never expect an employee to tell you they got a speeding ticket or something more severe. Pulling motor vehicle records on all employees periodically can help the next time you are liability insurance quotes.

 

Don’t underreport incidents

If you have an incident, report it If you do not report it and the injury comes back to be more serious than originally thought, it can cause the claim to not be covered. It can also cause your insurance carrier to raise your rate on premium or drop you from coverage altogether.

 

Talk about safety

Company culture starts at the top and moves down through a business. Any business owner should repeatedly talk about safety throughout the work day. If your employees know that you are concerned about their safety and well-being, they will make it a priority to go the extra mile to keep them and their coworkers safe.

 

 

6 Top Tips to manage your Cryptocurrency Risk

bitcoin trading exchange stock market investment, forex with trend of graph, price and candle stick chart, 3D illustration of stock crypto currency analysis graph, abstract background

Although cryptocurrencies don’t have physical properties, they are still financial digital assets that represent a store of value, a utility, and useful as a form of currency. Therefore they can be bought, sold, and traded like other financial assets.

Just like trading equities and securities (stocks and bonds), trading cryptocurrencies comes with risks as well as rewards. Here we will talk about the risks at a basic level. Keeping these at top of mind will provide a foundation for productive trading going into the future. Because these markets are still unregulated (a double-edged sword), more complex subjects like options, futures and margin trading are for a coming discussion.

1: Be constantly aware of security risks.

Cryptocurrencies, by their cryptographic nature, are very secure. But the supporting infrastructure for trading is not. In addition, the currencies themselves are volatile and unstable from a market standpoint. Storing your coins on exchanges is risky because the exchanges actually own your funds, not you. Wallets can add more protection, but they all present opportunities for savvy hackers to mount cyber attacks or intrude into individual accounts.

And beware of fake website URLs. Enabling two-factor authentication (2 FA) can provide an additional level of security on exchanges and wallets. Transactions can be tracked and even hacked while in process, and even hardware wallets have their vulnerabilities.

And always protect your private key; if it is stolen or lost you are just plain out of luck. Your cryptos are completely unrecoverable!

2: Decide on Your Trading Instrument

You need to decide on what instrument you would like to trade in order to get exposure to the cryptocurrency market. Would you like to buy the physical coins on the exchange and store them or would you like to take a position on a derivative instrument such as a CFD.

This is also fundamental to risk management as the different cryptocurrencies have varying degrees of risk.

There are a number of well known and established cryptocurrency exchanges. These include the likes of Coinbase, Bitstamp. These will allow you to buy the coins on their exchange and then to store them in your wallet off line.

Other options that are open to you are to make use of Contracts for Difference (CFDs). There are a number of respecatable cryptocurrency CFD brokers. One of the most reputable is IQ option. You can read more about them in this IQ Option CFD Review.

3: Take large long-term positions and hodl.

Currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Dash, and others can be held for long periods of time as the market continues to grow. Even in a bear market, like the current one, there is a large amount of interest by institutional investors, VCs and developers percolating under the surface that is set to drive the market in the future. This is a way to get rich slowly and steadily.

4: Take large long-term positions and hodl.

Currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Dash, and others can be held for long periods of time as the market continues to grow. Even in a bear market, like the current one, there is a large amount of interest by institutional investors, VCs and developers percolating under the surface that is set to drive the market in the future. This is a way to get rich slowly and steadily.

5: Hedge Positions with Options.

Holding a position in a cryptocurrency without managing your risk can be quite risky. Hence, it makes sense to hedge your risk with the appropriate instruments. One of the most attractive risk management instruments that one can use are options.

These are instruments that will payout only if the price of the cryptocurrency is below or above a certain level. You also have to make sure that you are finding the best binary crypto broker before investing. There are a number of them that can make use of.

6: Don’t try to time the market

There may be a few wizards among us who can do that, and if that is you, you’re not reading this. For the rest of us, the best thing we can do is pay attention to charts and patterns, keep up to date with the market on a daily basis, and make your trade when it feels right. Over time you will develop a better sense of this, and you will sometimes fail, sometimes win, and always just keep on keepin’ on.

7: Do your homework and buy quality

This is one the most effective things you can do to minimize your risk. You want to evaluate the completeness of information on the whitepaper and the currency’s website, the reputation and history of the developers, the conversations occurring on Reddit and Twitter, the security of the platform, which exchanges offer the currency.

Also view the quantitative data like the market cap, monthly and yearly returns, trading frequency and levels of volatility. Answering these questions before investing can save you pain and loss by jumping too quickly. A parting comment; governments also pose ongoing risks to the trader, with threats to anonymity as they bring exchanges under their heel, crackdowns on the exchanges like the ones that occurred in China in 2017, increased regulation of ICOs (not necessarily all bad) and the intrusion of taxing authorities.

As the cryptocurrency space expands, all nations will be taking similar actions to either join the party or try to end it. In these uncertain times, make sure you know whom you are partying with and that they want to keep the party going.

Success Stories & Reviews Of Andrew Argue CPA Training

A certified CPA and entrepreneur, Andrew Argue has dedicated his time to teaching other CPAs, EA’s and bookkeepers how to grow their client base. The program, designed by Argue to help intrapreneurs boost sales, increases confidence and helps organize client lists. Since he began this project, Argue has worked with hundreds of individuals and companies. Here is what the Andrew Argue reviews are saying:

Increased Client Base: All Argue reviewers report an increase in their client base. For many, signing new clients has become easy and they are eager to put the skills that they learned with Argue towards the expansion of their own business.

Signing Better Clients: Not all clients are equal. Sometimes, having fewer good clients is better than having more clients who are difficult or pay poorly. Reviewers of the Andrew Argue method report being able to sign an increased number of high paying clients and clients who offer attractive projects thanks to Argue’s tactics.

The Business Mindset: Many reviews credit Argue with a renewed confidence in business and marketing strategies. While many professional programs for finance focus on numbers and trends, few give a solid foundation for running an individual business. This is where Argue helps new companies and individuals trying to create their own business alike. Argue helps fill the essential gaps to help his users gain confidence in their business skills and achieve success.

Smarter Marketing: Not all marketing strategies are suited for CPA and some may even prove to be a waste of time and money. Argue has worked for years to develop sound marketing strategies that are both efficient and high yielding. Many of Argue’s clients praise his marketing methods.

While individual reviews list many various benefits, all users who write a review of Andrew Argue agree that the program is worth the Andrew Argue price.

 

How Bitcoin Can Evolve

Everyone is down on Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has been hovering around $10,000 for a long time, occasionally popping up and then dipping back down below. The roller coaster valuation is troublesome, but it is more in line with historical commodities. The original cryptocurrency is just going through  what many financial instruments have gone through over their life spans, from invention to adoption to mainstream acceptance. The bubble fears could be real, but that can happen with any currency or security or financial product.

The key is to manage the short term volatility while still staying hip to the long game. The underlying value of Bitcoin is in the blockchain technology. And its uses will evolve greatly as we see the market create new uses for the tech and the tools emerge from behind the shiny new toys.

Blockchain can be a very effective tool for organizing and verifying digital rights management. That could offer a great new way of creating and monetizing media. When you combine private key cryptography with the right incentives and a shared, distributed ledger, you can keep track of ownership in a very secure and efficient manner. That has all sorts of ramifications for creating media, keeping the ownership benefits with creators and making sure that the network is protected from outside forces.

Bitcoin dreamers will believe till the very end. The idea of a decentralized currency with no fiat properties and a viable transaction speed may be a pipe dream. But the process of working towards that and the market doing its work will result in tools and technologies that otherwise would not have existed. That is the process that the growth of the world wide web and digital tech has revealed to us. There is always going to be a use that others did not think of.

Staying on top of the Bitcoin news cycle can be valuable for traders and for enthusiasts. If you are looking to take advantage of the ongoing volatility, you can keep track of the markets and how the various cryptocurrencies react against each other. That can give you profitable insights that might not hurt your bottom line. The key is to be familiar enough with the various exchanges and be able to move money around without incurring too many excessive fees. Day trading crypto is possible, but it is harder than day trading more traditional financial products.

Popular culture has a complicated relationship to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Many in the entertainment industry regard the markets with skepticism and thinly veiled contempt. That is often how people that don’t’ understand the nuances tend to regard new things. A popular comedian on HBO recently compared Bitcoin to Beanie Babies and gambling, capitalizing on the association with unsustainable valuation and improper risk management.

While that may be funny to some, the truth is that Bitcoin can be the beginning of something much more substantial. Learn as much as you can about the blockchain, so you can be ahead of the naysayers and the skeptics.

 

Best Mac Apps for Home Finances

Every family tracks their personal finances in some capacity. If a household did not keep track on their spending and savings than their life would be in shambles. The key to keeping an organized household when it comes to finances is to find the best resources that work best for you and your family. For me, I like to do everything electronically on my phone or laptop. I came across an app by the name of Setapp that offers many resources of this nature. Setapp is an app available to Mac users that gives you access to dozens of  top rated mac apps in one spot for a small monthly fee. At first I was a skeptical of the fee, but when you see the advantages that is provides than you will not be disappointed and will want to register as soon as possible. Below is a brief description of a handful of apps available on Setapp that I found helpful for personal finances.

Chronicle

One of the biggest obstacles with personal finances is timing. You have to make sure you pay all of your bills on time! With the app Chronicle which is available on Setapp you are able to track and pay bills in an easy manner by having due date reminders, payment scheduler, bill checker and budget planner. Having all of these functions in one spot is a key to personal finance success for me.

MoneyWiz

Similar to Chronicle, MoneyWiz is a great budget and bill organizer app. It allows you to track what you spend your money on and even lets you sync the app to your online banking to make things easier for you. By syncing instantly across all of your devices, it makes it real simple to quickly check your financial position at the touch of a button. It also offers specialized reports like forecasted spending to help you plan out your finances.

Home Inventory

Besides money in the bank, your net worth can include physical items. Physical items and belongings can be worth money and need to be catalogued. With the Home Inventory App available on Setapp you can keep track of the inventory in your home in an organized fashion. Cataloging your belongings with this app can be beneficial in many situations, for example you would be able to run reports to see if your home is properly insured or if all items were moved while moving homes.

Setapp allows you to access these apps as well as many others for the small monthly fee of $9.99. It simply allows you and your family to become as organized and efficient as you always hoped you could be by making it easy. Setapp can help you get a hold of personal finances, education, organization, business and many elements of your life. Try it today!

 

Do you own a small business? Here are 10 questions you should be asking your insurance agent.

If you own a small business one of your largest expenses is commercial insurance.  In most states general liability and workers’ compensation are required by law.  Other coverages are dependent upon the industry you operate in and the amount of risk your business is willing to take on.  There are many aspects that go in to this decision and partnering with a trusted and experienced independent insurance agent can help you save immensely on commercial insurance.  Taking some extra time to speak with this agent about all aspects of your business is important as well.  Here are 10 questions you should ask any potential insurance agent.

What is your experience and do you have any credentials? 

Experience and credentials can be used not only as a litmus test, but they can tell you a little about the experience and the knowledge of your broker.  You should not discredit a young or inexperienced agent automatically.  An agent with limited experience can make up for that with enthusiasm and energy.  A more established agent might not be as hungry for your new business and as a result they may not give you the specialized attention you need. The main thing is to get to know your broker beyond the basic information on her card or website.

Do you personalize policies?

Depending upon your industry this can be extremely important.  Many insurance carriers offer cookie cutter business owner packages and they do not deviate from those packages.  This is good for some businesses because carriers have insight through their history of claims what policies each industry may or may not need.  If you are a start-up or you have no employees this may not be necessary.  For instance, if you are a photographer who works from home you may not have a need for workers compensation coverage.  If you are in another industry where you do not own or operate any vehicles you do not need commercial auto.  Some agencies and carriers are more flexible with you when it comes to adding or subtracting coverages.  This is important to know before you purchase coverages you do not need.

Are there flexible payment options?

Pay as You Go Workers Comp Insurance Coverage is one option that can help businesses pay for their coverage monthly based on payroll instead of in one lump sum.  Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation benefits businesses by freeing up cash for more immediate business needs, by preventing over or under paying and by drastically lowering the likelihood of a mid-term audit by your insurance carrier.  This is especially helpful for cash strapped or seasonal businesses.

How much does my policy cover?

What you are actually asking your agent is, “What are my policy limits?” A limit is the total amount your policy can pay out. For General Liability Policies there are two ways in which limits are paid:  Aggregate limit is the most your policy will pay in a single year for all claims.  Occurrence limit is the amount your policy can pay for any single claim.  Which type of policy you want for your business really depends on the types of risks you face and how much risk you are willing to take on.  Taking on more risk will help lower your premium, but will make you have to foot more of the bill when a claim does occur.  This is why it is important to take some extra time to speak long and honestly with your agent about your business and what types of risks you are comfortable with.

Can I get more coverage?

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is the best way to supplement your General Liability Coverage.  This policy will kick in when the limits of your other policies have been reached. You can purchase Umbrella coverage in increments of $1 million, and it’s often a cost-effective way to fulfill liability insurance requirements in client contracts.  It is crucial to understand that an umbrella policy only kicks in for a covered loss.  If you live somewhere with a common risk of natural disasters, like hurricanes or tornadoes, those disasters have to be covered separately. An umbrella policy will not kick if the claim is not covered by the initial policy.

Is it worth my time to implement an in-depth safety program?

The simple answer to this question is yes, it is always worth your time and effort to implement and effective safety program.  Having a safety program in place will cut down on the number and severity of injuries to your workforce.  The safety of your workforce should always be at the heart of your businesses mission.  A healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce.  This program can also keep down what your business pays for workers compensation premium.   The program does not have to be excessively time consuming.  Including this in a weekly or monthly huddle can make a difference in the injury outcomes of your employees.

Do I really need Commercial Auto Insurance?

The answer to this question really depends on the operations of your business.  If you own and operate cars as a part of your daily business than yes, you absolutely need commercial auto coverage.  If you have employees who use their own cars for work or who drive rental cars from time to time you can cover them with a hired and non-owned auto policy.  If you have employees who drive their own car as part of their job duties, their personal auto policies will cover the damages to their car, but not the liability to other cars if the accident is there fault.  That liability falls on the business because the reason the car was at the location of the accident was because of an action of the business.

Do I really need Cyber Insurance?

Again this policy completely depends on the operations of your business.  It is important to speak long and honestly with your insurance agent about all of the electronic devices any of your employees use.  There may be risks hiding in places you might not realize.  The great thing about a good insurance agent is that they not only interact with small businesses when they purchase insurance for their business, but they also speak with business owners when bad things happen.  They can use those experiences to help you prepare for those times when bad things happen to your business. They should be able to prepare you for risks you do not even know you face.

Am I classified properly for workers’ compensation?

This is extremely important for your business cash flow. Especially, if you operate in an industry with several different areas of operation.  If you do, you need to ensure the agent classifies your business properly.  They are in the business of analyzing risk.  If you do not tell them all of your risks, then it is in their best interest to assume your business is taking on more risk.  If you do not give your agent enough information they may place your business in a riskier classification code.  This can have an enormous impact on what you pay for general liability and workers compensation insurance.   Taking just a few extra minutes to explain exactly what your business does and does not do, can save you immensely when it comes to premium.

How can I lower my premium?

If lowering your premium is a priority than tell that to your agent.  Agents interacting with a lot of people who operate in a lot of different industries and who have a lot of different priorities.  Some business owners just want their policy and they want it quickly so they can get back to running their business. To that business owner price may not be at the top of their priority list.  Other business owners may want to insure their business to the absolute largest limits possible, while other business owners are comfortable taking on more risk.  Where ever you are on this spectrum, tell that to your agent.  Let them know what is important to you and they can better serve your needs.

Bio

Mitchell Sharp is a Marketing Associate for Workers Compensation Shop.com. Mitchell is a Missouri Boy and a Carolina Man. He has a deep passion for social media and content marketing. Mitchell would like to use his knowledge of these subjects to benefit small business owners.

5 Vital Things No One Thinks About When Starting a Business

Starting, running, and owning your own company is the American dream. Do what you love, be your own boss, work on your own terms: what could go wrong? Well, as you probably know, many small businesses fall short of their founder’s goals for them. For one reason or another, a new company might not flourish as expected. The good news is, if you’re interested in starting your own business, there are measures you can take to guard against early troubles. Here are five important things few consider when starting a new business, but can give you an early advantage all the same:

Location, Location, Location

You might be thinking that where your business is located shouldn’t really matter very much. Especially if your company isn’t a customer-based enterprise (restaurant, bar, hair salon, etc.) However, with the advent of mobile phones and the ever-rising number of people who exclusively use their phone to access the internet, where you set up shop is nearly as important as what you do. Ensure that your business has high visibility in the “real world,” and on search engines, if you want sustained success.

Scrutinize the Competition

Smart business people aren’t arrogant. Instead, they recognize what their competitors do well, and try to learn from them. Don’t become so enamored with your own product or service that you close your eyes to outside ideas

Financing is Paramount

Passionate entrepreneurs sometimes skip over one of the most essential aspects of their business: financial viability. There’s nothing wrong with believing in your project. But before any serious work can get done, you need to have the funds available to cover your expenses. Secured business loans and merchant cash advances can be helpful tools in this endeavor, but no matter your fiscal situation, you need to be honest with yourself about it.

Hire Smarter

It’s difficult enough finding people who share your vision and are willing to work as hard as you are to make it come true. And hiring the right employee can prove one of the most difficult tasks for any new business owner. However, truly great employers find coworkers who can bring different skills to the table. Hiring people who think just like you do won’t help your company grow, it’ll just add another voice to crowd.

Get Comfortable with Working

Everybody likes orange juice, but few are willing to go through the trouble of squeezing oranges to get it. Starting your own business is like squeezing a thousand oranges every day. When you’re the boss, everything at your company reflects back on you. So prepare yourself to work harder than ever before. Just remember though, those long hours will pay off in the end.