What you need to know about commercial flood insurance

Commercial flood insurance

Commercial flood insurance

If your business is in a coastal area, you may be fully aware of the benefits of commercial flood insurance. However, even if you’re not in a flood-prone area, there are still tons of factors that could cause your business to flood. The worst part is, your standard commercial insurance policy won’t cover the damages due to this unforeseen incident. But how much of a risk does your company really have of flooding? Why aren’t you covered for flooding in a business insurance policy? And how can you protect your business and livelihood from flood damage? Here’s where we’ll give you a rundown.

What is commercial flood insurance?

Commercial flood insurance is a type of business insurance policy that can help you repair damages to your company building due to flooding and help you replace your inventory or office equipment because of flooding.

You may be thinking, “Doesn’t my regular business insurance policy cover the structure of my business location and my commercial property?” Yes, it does. The big BUT, though, is that business insurance policies specifically exclude flood damage. A regular commercial property or liability policy doesn’t include coverage for certain types of water damage, including flooding.

What does commercial flood insurance cover?

We’ve learned that a typical business insurance policy won’t cover damage due to flooding. So, when you add flood insurance to your coverage, what exactly does it cover? Well, flood insurance for a business can cover expenses like:

  • Replacing inventory & merchandise
  • Replacing or repairing machinery
  • Helping with 10 percent of the cost of improvements to a building that your business doesn’t own.
  • Debris removal
  • Mold (evaluated on a case by case basis)

Note that a commercial flood insurance policy may not cover costs that you may have to pay still while you’re out of business. Those expenses could be taken care of by your business interruption insurance. Commercial flood insurance also doesn’t cover anything outside of your business building. So, any landscaping systems, sewer systems, or company vehicles won’t be covered under your building’s commercial flood policy.

Do I need commercial flood insurance?

Again, if you’re not in a flood or storm-prone area, you may ask yourself, “Why would I even need flood insurance?” However, statistics show that all 50 states have experienced floods and flood damage. Data also shows that:

  • 25 percent of businesses shut down from flood-related natural disasters and never reopen.
  • The average amount of a flood claim from businesses in the past 5 years has been $89,000.
  • The average amount of commercial property damage sustained due to flooding totals to more than $3.5 billion each year.

Plus, flooding isn’t only a result of hurricanes or heavy rains. Floods can happen because of:

  • Overflowing bodies of water
  • Mudslides
  • Melting snow
  • Ice jambs
  • New construction & Land development
  • Improper drainage

So, yeah. Flood insurance can be an extremely important addition to your business insurance.

How do I get flood insurance for my business?

Valid flood insurance can come from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, you can’t buy it directly from the organization. You must purchase a policy from an agent or agency that participates in the NFIP (like us! Give us a call today to start getting customized flood insurance quotes for your business.)

There are a few things to keep in mind before you buy, though. If you’re in a high-risk area for flooding, you may be required to get commercial flood insurance for your building. If you’re in a low-risk area for flooding and you still want to get flood insurance, you may qualify for a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy, which can cost and cover a bit less. Flood coverage also may have a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. So, buying flood insurance at the last minute before a storm or hurricane could still mean trouble for your business.

How much does commercial flood insurance cost?

Flood insurance policies can vary. This is because the cost of flood insurance will be different from business to business, depending on certain factors. Usually, carriers determine the price of your commercial flood insurance from factors such as:

  • Your building’s height and age
  • Your building’s maximum occupancy
  • How many employees you have
  • Your company’s location within a building (if you’re renting a space in an office complex)
  • The location of your lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the NFIP flood map
  • The deductible and amount of coverage you choose for your building and contents coverage.

The good news is that NFIP commercial flood insurance policies can cover up to $500,000 of your building’s contents and $500,000 for the structure of the building itself.

How can I prevent my business from flooding?

You can also save money on your commercial flood insurance by taking preventative measures. Some of the most effective are:

  1. Buying flood boards to install over your doors when a flood may be coming
  2. Sealing floors to prevent water from seeping in through the ground
  3. Installing non-return valves to drains and pipes inside and outside of your business
  4. Checking and raising electrical sockets to a full foot above the 100-year flood level in your area
  5. Keeping a water removal pump handy
  6. Stockpiling useful materials like plastic sheeting, plywood, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels.

Additionally, you’ll want to form a flood emergency plan for your business to make sure your employees are safe and that damages to your company are minimized. Some tips you may want to consider are:

  1. Know how to turn off your utilities

In a pinch, you’ll need to know exactly how to shut off your company’s electricity, water, and gas. This way, none of these power supplies can cause more damage to your property and the flood water damage to those utility lines.

  1. Have a list of important phone numbers on hand

You should already have a contact list of numbers and other ways to reach your employees in an emergency. Additionally, your flood plan should include a list of useful phone numbers for your company posted in an easily found location. Include the numbers of your local government, your insurance carrier, additional flood warning systems, services for your building, your building manager, your suppliers, and any emergency contacts for your business overall.

  1. Train your employees on flood safety

As a part of hiring or continuing education for the employees of your specific business, include proper flood safety measures for individuals, flood protocol for your company, and evacuation procedures. Make sure everyone knows where to find pertinent phone numbers and establish a meeting place is everyone suddenly needs to evacuate.

  1. Create a stockpile of important supplies

Finally, create an emergency supply for your business. It will look a little different from your personal home emergency kit, but there are still some vital pieces you’ll need to have stocked at your commercial location. Stock up on materials like first aid kits, plastic sheeting, plywood, flood boards, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels. That way, the materials you need are on hand, and no one is running out to get an important supply in dangerous conditions.

Keep your flood plan in an easily accessible location so everyone can refer to it at any time.

Make sure your employees are trained on proper flood safety procedures. Designate an emergency flood contact and a safe meeting place if everyone suddenly needs to evacuate. Create a flood continuity and contact plan for your suppliers and clients.

You can get started on business insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

8 website tips for your business

Check out these tips for your business's website.

Check out these tips for your business's website.

Building a website for your business now can be a lot like putting your name out there on a billboard or print advertisement a few decades ago. However, it’s not enough to place information on the internet. Just as there were certain practices and key points to include in traditional advertising, there are just as many factors to consider when curating your company website. So, here are some tips on just how to make the best digital footprint for your company.

8 tips for your business’s website

1. Pay attention to SEO

If you’re not paying attention to search engine optimization (SEO), your website is as good as nonexistent. Optimizing your business’s website for search engines is the main way to have your brand seen over everyone else’s. However, SEO is much more than loading up your webpage with keywords. In fact, doing so could hurt your website more than help it.

Instead, optimize your content by:

  1. Using variations of words and phrases to describe your product or service, and
  2. Using more specific keywords to draw in the exact clients you want.

For example, a “website developer in Chicago” is a lot vaguer and will have a lot more competition for the top search result than “a full-stack PHP developer in Naperville.”

2. Make your website easy to navigate

If people don’t like using your website, they’re not going to stick around to learn more about your company. Heavily loaded navigation bars and demanding plugins can make a website look complicated and run at a snail’s pace. People don’t hang around waiting for things to load – every second of speed counts.

So, check your website speed with an online tool every so often. Make sure the information you want your clients to find is easily visible and/or readily available. If you add a navigation bar at the top of your page, everything should be clearly labeled without too many drop-down menus stemming from one section. Use plugins as sparingly as you can, and use picture resizing tools to make larger images load quickly.

3. Make your website easy to read

Most people only skim websites for the information that they’re looking for. If there’s a huge block of text, most people probably won’t read it at all.

To create content that’s easy to digest, use header tags to break up bits of information and draw attention to important points. Doing so gives potential clients a way to more readily find the information they need. Plus, header tags are a vital part of how Google determines the main ideas of your site to rank your webpage higher in its search results.

Additionally, if you must put a large amount of text under one header, break your thoughts into smaller paragraphs, lists, or graphics. The less intimidating your text looks, the better.

It's important to build a strong website for your business.

4. Don’t get too design-happy

With the ease and accessibility of website builders, it can be tempting to go a little crazy with templates, designs, fonts, etc. However, this can be a kiss of death for a website. Not every element available for a webpage compliments the other. If you include too many different pieces, your webpage could give your potential clients too much visual “noise.” Too much visual “noise”, and your clients can’t determine which information is relevant to what they’re looking for and what isn’t.

Instead, choose two or three colors that compliment your web design. Color schemes shouldn’t be too bright, but not every color has to be neutral. Go easy on using different font types, too.

5. Make it mobile-friendly

We have the power of supercomputers in the palms of our hands. It’s no wonder that most people today use their phones to access the internet. Therefore, not having a mobile version of your site severely cuts down the number of clients you could reach.

Meet your potential customers where they are by making your website mobile-friendly. It may sound super complicated, but these days, most website builders can do it automatically. It can be as easy as adding a mobile-friendly website to your regular webpage domain, or it may be included in a design template you’re already using.

6. Make sure your visitors know how to contact you

Your business website doesn’t do any good if people don’t know how to contact you to actually buy your product or service. So, make sure that your contact information is readily available throughout your website. The easiest way to do that is to include the name of your company, your business address, your company phone number and your email in the header and footer of the site. If your business has social media channels (and it should), include icons for people to engage with you on those platforms as well.

7. Add valuable content

Having valuable content on your website can be a great way to build your brand and keep your website active. The more active your website is, the more likely Google is to recommend and rank your page highly. Google wants to show people current information because it’s usually more relevant. Think about it – would you be more likely to visit a website that hasn’t been updated in 15 years or 1 year? Of course, there are some bits of information that will remain true throughout the years, but for the most part, Google recognizes the types of content that stay updated regularly.

Updating your website with articles about your industry, office activities, and insight is not only an easy way to keep your webpage updated, but an amazing way to market your business as a whole. No one else has your perspectives on your industry or your specific experiences. Creating articles and content around these aspects allows potential customers to see your passion and expertise, distinguishing your company above the rest and adding a personal touch.

8. Take notes from other businesses

Even if you have a unique business, there may still be several others in your industry who you could learn from. Look at other successful businesses in your industry to see how they’ve laid out their websites, how they’ve optimized their online presence, and what kind of content has proven valuable to their customers. Seeing examples could give you a better idea of what your target audience will search to find you. That way, you can put your own spin on what works.

Overall, your online presence could take some time to curate, but building a webpage that works for you can be well worth the time and effort. A professional looking site builds a trustworthy image for your business before you even communicate with a customer. So does having the right business insurance. Our agents have decades of experience under their belts to help you grow your company and protect you and your customers for whatever comes your way. To start getting free, customized quotes on affordable business insurance, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Which Atlanta neighborhood is right for your business?

Which Atlanta neighborhood is right for your business?

Which Atlanta neighborhood is right for your business?

Atlanta has no shortage of things to do, places to be, and community personalities to uncover. But what if you want your business to be the place to be? Where in Atlanta is the best place for your business? Let’s find out.

What is your business’s brand?

First off, you’ll need to know your business’s brand inside and out. What are your business goals? What message do you want your company to add to the city? Who are the groups of people you want to cater to? These are all important factors in not only starting your business, but developing a company voice and marketing it. Once you’ve got an idea of your brand, you can start thinking about choosing an Atlanta neighborhood.

What Atlanta neighborhood is right for my business?

Now that you’ve determined your business’s brand, which Atlanta neighborhood shares the personality of that brand? These are some of the most popular locales for new businesses and their distinct vibes.

Doraville

Doraville is located just on the northeast outskirts of I-285. When you cross the city limits, you can immediately tell that it’s a cultural hub to the melting pot that is Atlanta. There are a good handful of chain restaurants and establishments, but there are plenty of local businesses with Hispanic, Eastern Asian, and even Greek roots. The most well-known place to find these businesses is Buford Highway, which also offers a host of international food and farmers markets. If you have a company with international flair or a restaurant with regional or fusion tastes, you’ll definitely want to consider Doraville as your location.

Decatur/Little 5 Points

This area is where little-known, cozy, offbeat businesses thrive. The Decatur/Little 5 Points area is still within Atlanta’s perimeter, so there’s no shortage of traffic. The difference is, you’ll find more foot traffic than cars. The area is entirely walkable and home to one of Atlanta’s most famous eateries, The Vortex Bar & Grill. However, as well known as it is, The Vortex only has two locations, which reflects the personalities of the small businesses surrounding the burger bar – even if the location itself is huge. Even larger chains like Starbucks have modeled their Decatur/Little 5 locations after the feeling of the locale. If you’re a specialty shop in things like records or jewelry or a business with a local coffeehouse feel, you’d probably do well in Decatur or Little 5 Points.

West Midtown

West Midtown is an up-and-coming industrial part of the Atlanta area. Shops and businesses have either a minimalistic feel or an old-style brick exterior. In parts of West Midtown, you may actually miss a restaurant, shop, or café entirely by mistaking it for a warehouse. The area also hosts the Georgia Tech and GCSU campuses closer to the center of Midtown. So, when moving toward and past the universities, the area is, again, very walkable. In fact, with all the foot traffic of college students and the winding, confusing roads of Atlanta, it’s probably best if you walk or bike around. If your business has an industrial feel with elegant undertones, West Midtown is probably the Atlanta neighborhood for you.

Downtown Marietta

Downtown Marietta is very much the small-town version of Little 5. Since the area is in the suburbs of Atlanta, shops are a bit more spread out and a little quieter, with just enough hustle and bustle to keep things interesting. You’ll find a ton of cool specialty shops and restaurants around the historic squares while still being able to find a place to park. There are also regular events that draw people to picnic, bike, play, and generally enjoy the green space among tons of things to do. If your business would be a cute place to happen upon on a beautiful day, you might enjoy the customers that downtown Marietta will bring.

Alpharetta/Roswell

Alpharetta and Roswell may be one of the best examples of high-class suburbia (along with Vinings, but more on that in a minute). The area is full of large department stores, as well as two huge malls/shopping centers, North Point Mall and Avalon. Nonetheless, this neighborhood hosts tons of suburban gems for shops. As much as people are drawn to large shops for their knee-jerk shopping needs, they’re also willing to check out any new specialty shops that come around. If you’re willing to cater to the occasional shop adventurer looking for items and foods a little off the beaten path, Alpharetta and Roswell might be for your company.

Vinings/Cumberland

Vinings and the Cumberland area may seem like an upscale option for chain stores, but rest assured, there are tons of hidden treasures to be found. A lot of businesses in the area gather their customer base through word-of-mouth. Don’t worry if you don’t have a loyal fan base built up. People in this area love to explore new companies that seem to pop up overnight. There are also numerous national and regional chains around to draw customers closer to your location. If you don’t mind doing a bit more advertising and want a quiet, but busy place to draw customers in, the Vinings/Cumberland area could be the best to start or grow your business.

Buckhead

Buckhead is known as one of the ritziest neighborhoods in the area. You’ll notice tons of skyscrapers full of big-name financial companies and headquarters of well-known brands. Even big-name stores like Target and CVS have supersized locations to match the feel. But there are also a handful of elegant spaces to get away from the suit-and-tie atmosphere. The bars, lounges, and small shop spaces are undeniably high-class and high-fashion. Nonetheless, Buckhead is a skip, hop, and a jump away from Brookhaven and Atlantic Station, where just as many big and small shops light up the Atlanta skyline. If your shop or restaurant is going for a low-key, after-work refuge kind of vibe, this area might be for you.

We could go on and on about the different neighborhoods of Atlanta, from the elegant, indie feel of Ponce City Market to the hustle and bustle of a city outside the city, John’s Creek. The only way to truly get an idea of the best vibe for your business may just be to visit. In any case, it’s always a good idea to explore! But hopefully, this list will give you a good idea of what the city has to offer and which Atlanta neighborhood could be a good fit for your business.

Wherever you choose to start or spread your business, make sure you have the right business insurance by contacting our experts. We’ll get to know your company to determine what you need and give you free, customized quotes on the right coverage. To start getting affordable rates on business insurance, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent today.

6 tips for getting great online reviews

Get great online reviews

Get great online reviewsTraditional marketing can sometimes seem impersonal or kitschy. It seems much more genuine if a potential customer hears a glowing review about your business from someone with first-hand experience. These referrals used to only happen by a customer telling someone that they knew personally. However, now that we have the internet, there are tons of ways that a customer can get the word out about your company – good or bad. The most popular way is through online reviews. So, how can you make sure your customers give you great online reviews to boost your business? Find out here.

6 tips for getting great online reviews

1. Focus on providing great customer service

If you provide the best customer service you can, people can’t help but want to spread the news! So, if you sell a product, create a rigorous quality control process so that the product can last as long as the customer needs it. Back up your product with a warranty or with a great customer service team that can address any concerns that come up.

If you provide a service, make sure your team is polite, resourceful, and helpful. Actively listen when determining the needs of your customers. Be transparent and helpful when things are going well. Be responsive and show your client that you’ll go above and beyond to help if they have an issue. You’d be surprised at how much someone can change their impression of you if their problem is handled with great care.

2. Just ask!

In general, the best way to get anything is to ask for it. So, ask for the reviews you deserve! There will be a few people who just can’t keep word about you to themselves, but a majority of customers will leave with a smile and continue about their day. Remind them to tell a friend (or the internet) by asking for an online review.

3. Make sure your review process is straightforward

Just as you’re busy running a bustling business, your customers are busy leading their own lives and running through their days. So, they may forget to specifically search for your company to leave a review. Instead, make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review. Email them asking to rate you five stars on Google, but actually include a link that puts them on Google’s review form with five stars. Try including a QR code on your business card or somewhere visible within your building. Then, people can simply snap a photo with a QR reader to leave a review.

If you’re using a phone survey or a proprietary questionnaire, make sure it’s short, sweet, and to the point. People don’t usually have the time or want the hassle of dealing with a drawn-out survey. So, make it easy for them to get in, give their feedback, and get out.

4. Be consistent

Decide on the review platform or platforms that work for people to find your business, and stick with it. Make a habit of asking for reviews somewhere in your sales process. If your customers allow you to contact them after you’ve provided their service, include an automated system that asks them for a review. (Just don’t be pushy.)

5. Consider different platforms

Different types of clients find the services they need in different ways. So, if you get a new client, ask how they found you. If you hear a lot of the same answer, consider asking for feedback on that particular platform going forward. An easy review platform to start with is Google, but your particular industry might have more success with Yelp or Facebook or Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. Just find out what works for you and focus on the platform that can benefit you the most.

6. Engage with your reviews

One way to get more online reviews is to show customers that their feedback really matters. So, if you spy new reviews, thank your customer for taking the time to provide feedback. If you see low ratings or issues that people are reporting, respond asking to contact them and resolve the issue. Take reasonable feedback into account to better your business for a grumpy client or any new customers. That way, you have a clearer idea of how to grow and improve your customer service.

Having the right business insurance can also help boost your business. It shows customers that your company can cover the worst-case scenario, whether for your business or for them. Our experts can make shopping for the right business insurance easy. We’ll get to know your company and find customized quotes on affordable, quality coverage. To get started, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today.

Source:

https://ducttapemarketing.com/local-business-reviews/

https://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/how-to-get-online-reviews-for-your-business-02086035

10 budgeting tips for businesses

Business budgeting tips

Business budgeting tips

One of the biggest things that can put someone out of business is failing to properly budget. In a city like Atlanta, setting up a business can seem entirely too expensive. However, business in the big city doesn’t have to have a big budget if you know how to plan. So, we’ve put together 10 tips for proper budgeting.

10 budgeting tips for businesses

1. Do some research

Just as there are with business plans, there are tons of resources on the internet to show you sample business budgets. Search for these types of budgets or the actual budgets of other companies in your industry to get an idea of how you’ll need to spend your money. Of course, you’ll need to customize your budget based on location, specific inventory or practices, etc. But those resources are a great place to start.

2. Learn what the average spending is for your industry

You’ll need to know exactly what you need for your business and your industry. So, when you look at the sample budgets you’ve found, list the things that you know for a fact you’ll need to account for. Make note of the things you need to buy right away and what you can save for later.

3. Make sure everyone is on the same page

Your team, especially your management team, should be on the same page when understanding where your money is going and why. Be as specific as possible when explaining the budget and answer any questions that arise. It can help bring up specifics that you forgot to address and help everyone abide by the master plan long-term.

4. Create a budgeting team

Similarly, it may help to have a team specifically for budgeting and accounting. Hire and partner with the people in your company who are good at numbers and money and all that fun stuff. Knowing that you don’t have to do it alone can help you think more clearly and get great advice from people with more experience. Make sure your budgeting team knows the specifics of your business too so that you plan a budget that fits your business, not just a generic outline.

5. Be realistic

It’s easy to get lost in big dreams about starting and growing your business. It’s also easy to buy or hire more than you need. So, make sure that you’re growing steadily and budgeting within your means. Use past data and make data-driven projections to make your budget, not just estimates.

Additionally, being realistic means being prepared for disaster. So, when things are good, make sure you’re saving some of those profits for when the going gets rough.

Budgeting can be a challenge!

6. Know that it’s okay to adjust

You probably don’t have the financial needs that you needed 2 or 5 years ago, so you shouldn’t expect your business to either. If you’ve been in business for a while and you haven’t revised your budget based on your current needs, it may be time to review and adjust the way you need to.

7. Shift accordingly

If you do need to shift your budget to different places, understand that you only have a certain amount of money. So, if you have to move money to one department or one resource, then you have to take it from something else. Everything about your business has to be about balance and flexibility. So, don’t be afraid of the changes you may have to make!

8. Be organized

Not being specific with your goals and where you put your funds can be a recipe for disaster. It’s okay to assign your budget generally, but then break it down to bite-sized pieces. If you have a budget for your Marketing department: How much will you dedicate to salaries? How much will you devote to materials? What amount will it take to build your brand? How much will you spend each month on supplies? Will you dedicate money to travel? Think about all of the little details that go into one large section before you plan for another.

Additionally, make a system to keep track of where your funds go. Whether it’s software, file cabinets, or something else, make a system to keep up with receipts, expense reports, etc. Designate a specific time to review your expenses. Don’t let things pile up during the year to cause a headache later. Create a quarterly or even a monthly schedule to go over your reports and adjust if needed.

9. Use the software that’s best for you

There are tons of budgeting software options. Many people use Quickbooks to balance their business budget, but that may not be the best system for you. Electronic systems are the best way to keep everything organized, searchable, and in one place. However, the most popular type of software used may not be the one that works for you. Do your research, schedule demos of different products, and learn which software would work best for how you operate on a daily basis.

10. Don’t forget insurance

One of the most important expenses you may have as a company can be business insurance. You’ll need to consider what types of coverage you need generally and for your specific business. Take note of your local laws for coverage, and how high of a coverage limit you’ll need for something catastrophic. Consider what would happen if your business shut down and you couldn’t pay rent. How much money would it take to replace your inventory after a storm? What would happen if a customer sued you because you unintentionally gave the wrong advice? These are some of the questions you would need to ask yourself or that your agent would ask you to get the right business insurance.

We understand that, as a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. That’s why our insurance experts take a bit of your time to get to know your business and its specific risks to get the best quotes at the best rates for you. To start getting customized business quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrencelight/2018/02/18/10-budgeting-tips-for-your-business/#4f160df6b331

How to build a brand for your business

It's important to build a brand for your business.

It's important to build a brand for your business.

Starting a business doesn’t just mean putting a price on your goods or services. It’s making sure that your customer base has trust in the things you sell above any other maker. But how can you establish this trust when you’re just starting out? You need to build a brand for your company. Here are 7 tips on how.

How to build a brand for your business.

1. Know what makes you unique.

The first step to building a brand is to know what makes your specific business different. Consumers can go anywhere for certain goods and services, so what makes your company the one they should turn to?  The easiest answer is usually your specific knowledge and industry experience.

No one can look at the world through your eyes. So, if you’re providing a good, no one can craft that object like you can. If you provide a service, no one else approaches things the exact same way you do. However, it’s important to be specific when identifying this difference as you build a brand.

2. Stay consistent.

If you’re constantly changing the voice and the image that you put out to the world, people will have a tough time remembering your business. To help keep your brand consistent, take some time to write down the core objectives, values, and mission of your company. That way, you have a solid foundation of beliefs and goals for your business even as it changes.

3. Create your voice.

When building trust in your products, it’s important to know your audience and tailor your brand accordingly. Consider the type of voice that your potential clients will want to interact with. Usually, a company’s unique voice stems from its particular industry and its business location.  For instance, a craft beer brewing company in Oakland, CA will have a completely different way of communicating with customers than a five-star restaurant in Washington D.C.

Practice interacting with potential clients using your unique voice, and make sure you sound the same across all of your business platforms, not just your website. Carrying your brand voice throughout your company’s social media profiles, chat responses, and even phone calls will give people something to remember and find your business when they need it.

4. Get a website

Once you’ve established your core values and your voice, you’ll need a way to advertise so you can build your brand. The easiest method of advertising today is the Internet, where potential customers will most likely search for the services you provide. With tools like WordPress and Wix, it’s easy to make a professional-looking website.

Even if you don’t think you have enough time or skill to use those tools, there are tons of websites that allow you to connect to freelancers who will develop a website for you. Either way, make sure that the content, colors, font, and general aesthetic of your site matches your company voice.

5. Keep your promises.

Once you start acquiring customers, the easiest way to build their trust is by keeping any promises you may make about your business. Communicate promptly and clearly about your scope of work. Stick to turnaround times when making goods, offer proper assistance and guidance when providing services, and let your customer know as soon as possible if any hiccups happen along the way.

6. Create a stellar working environment.

There’s no better endorsement for your business than the ones that come from behind the scenes. If you have employees, firstly make sure that they are trained and onboarded properly – including safety training. Ensure that they understand the company’s mission and values in order to represent you in a positive light.

Create a pleasant and comfortable work environment and find different ways to build teamwork skills. When people see that your employees enjoy the company they work for, it shows clients that they could enjoy working with you on their needs.

7. Remember the importance of online reviews.

Similarly, get your customers to be your biggest brand ambassadors. Some companies have spent years and even decades relying on word-of-mouth marketing instead of traditional advertising. We’re not saying that this is the only method you should use, but word-of-mouth travels a lot faster these days with the rise of the internet. Plus, when people search for a new service, they look for the impressions that other people had about that product. So, if your customers are loyal and like the work that you do, ask them to tell the world!

Building trust by building a brand that’s consistent can seem like a difficult task, but it’s really quite simple. These are just some of the ways you can connect with your customers and build a great reputation before someone even walks through your doors.

Having the right business insurance can also help you build trust in your brand. Our experts can help you get the business insurance you need for your clients at the rates you deserve. To start getting customized quotes on affordable, quality coverage, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with and insurance specialist today.

Source:

https://ducttapemarketing.com/successful-small-business-brand/

Avoid property insurance claims at your Atlanta business with fire safety

It's important to be conscious of fire safety at your business.

Fire safety is important for any business.If you’re a business owner, one of your worst nightmares might be a fire striking and burning down your premises. Many small businesses never reopen after a disaster like a fire because the expenses are so high. You have to pay to have the premises rebuilt, plus there’s the lost income you face from the time that you were closed. To avoid a fire-related property insurance claim, check out these fire prevention and preparation tips – they’ll also help you keep your employees safe.

Read moreAvoid property insurance claims at your Atlanta business with fire safety

8 secrets to improving customer loyalty at your Atlanta business

Having a loyal customer base is important for any business.

Having a loyal customer base is important for any business.

As a business owner, your clients are what keep your doors open. You’re proud of your business and the services you provide. But the key to the success of any business, whether it’s a home-based business or a traditional workplace, is developing a strong base of loyal clients, people who will keep coming back and tell all their friends how awesome your business is. Loyal customers are vital because let’s face it – it costs less to keep people coming back than win over new folks. So, we’ve got some tips for keeping your loyal customers lined up at your doors.

1. Step up your customer service game.

Everyone wants to be treated right. It’s nice to feel like the person assisting you genuinely wants to help you and has an interest. Think about what you can do to improve the customer or client experience. Treat clients with respect and kindness, and make that the business standard. Make sure your employees are greeting and bidding farewell to your clients with a smile and warmth. Even the little things make a difference.

Customer service is a must because it can lead to referrals and recommendations, which are worth their weight in gold.

2. Be genuine.

It’s important that the atmosphere of your business is friendly and welcoming. People like likable people, so if your employees are a good mix of upbeat, friendly, and professional, they’ll win over some customers. Make sure that your loyal clientele gets the treatment and attention they deserve. Develop a relationship with your clients.

3. Do some research.

Take a visit to a competitor (or, if you’re an online or service-oriented business, cruise through some websites.) Find out what worked and what didn’t in your overall customer experience. What could have improved your experience? What would have won you over (or what did win you over, despite this business being your archenemy?)

It’s helpful to take a step back and approach customer loyalty from the perspective of a customer, then bring your observations back to your own company.

4. Amp up your employee morale.

Grouchiness is contagious. If your employees aren’t happy, your clients will pick up on it. Upbeat, smiling employees will make your customers happy, and happy people buy more stuff. So, think of what you can do to help your employees be excited to come to work. Another benefit of improving morale at the workplace is lowering the chance of employee theft at your business.

5. Know how to handle unhappiness.

Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Mistakes happen. Circumstances conspire against you to create an unpleasant experience for a customer. If that happens, you need to be prepared to handle the complaint professionally, calmly, and promptly. Don’t argue. Apologize, validate the concern, and explain what steps you’re going to take to correct the problem.

Sometimes a customer will be so impressed by the way you handle an adverse situation that you can win them back. So, make sure your employees are prepared to handle various scenarios in which a customer gets testy about something (whether the reasons for their grumpiness are valid or not.) Unhappy customers might not be on your business disaster response plan, but everyone should know how to handle that kind of situation.

6. Think ahead.

Learn to anticipate what your customer or client will need so that you can present it with a flourish when they come to realize the need for themselves. Going the extra mile to take care of a customer will never go amiss.

7. Don’t forget your loyal customers when you’re chasing new business.

Yes, chasing after new customers and trying to win people over is tough work, but it’s important that you don’t get so caught up in doting on potential customers that you forget about the customers you already have., Make sure to nurture the relationships your business has with your current customers so that no one feels like chopped liver.

8. Ask how you can help.

Greet people politely and ask how you can help them. Then, make a genuine effort to do so. Take the time to ask how their day is going and have an honest conversation with them. This will help people feel like you see them as human beings and not just money.

Keeping your valued customers coming back can pump life into your business. Maintaining and building a strong base of loyal clients will ensure that you never lack for people visiting your business and enlisting your services. Throw yourself into customer service. Treat people like human beings. Show that you genuinely care and want to help. Take pride in what you do and blow your customers’ expectations out of the water.

Need some business insurance quotes? Atlanta Insurance can help! We can help you save money on your business insurance rates by shopping around for the best possible price for the coverage you need. All you have to do to get started with your business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or call us today.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marccompeau/2011/10/03/nine-ways-to-build-customer-loyalty/#360ee874375c

How to save money on your Atlanta business insurance premium

You can lower your business's insurance premium.

There are a few things you can do to lower your business insurance premium.

It’s no secret that business insurance can get pretty pricey. There are a lot of risks out there that need to be covered, and as a business owner, you might be anxious about the price tag of your insurance. While you know that you need to protect your business and you want to get some peace of mind, you might cringe at the thought of what it will cost – a normal reaction, by the way. However, there are a few things you can do to lower the seemingly astronomical cost of your insurance premium, and we’re prepared to share them.

1. Raise your deductible.

Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay before the insurance company will step in to cover the remaining amount on the bill if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and a $5000 claim, you would pay $1000 before the insurance company would pay the remaining $4000. A higher deductible means that you have a lower premium and vice versa, so by raising your deductible, you can lower your rates.

Now, you have to consider how much you’re actually able to comfortably pay in the event of a claim. You don’t want to raise it so high that it would be problematic to scrape together the money – you don’t want it to be a burden. So, you have to do a bit of a balancing act.

2. Consider getting a BOP to get a lower premium.

A BOP (business owner’s policy) combines several coverages into a convenient bundle. Sometimes it’s less expensive to purchase insurance this way rather than as separate coverages, so you might want to find out what a BOP covers and see if your business qualifies for one.

If your business qualifies for a BOP, you need to ask yourself if the policy fits your business. Are there coverages included that you don’t actually need? Will you need to add any extra coverages that aren’t included in the BOP? These are both important things to consider. For reference, a BOP typically includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance.

3. Go shopping.

Not like at the mall. We mean insurance shopping. If you’re making a big purchase, you compare prices and look at several stores to make sure you’re getting the best price, right? The same rule applies to business insurance. Comparing rates can help you be reassured that you’re getting the best price for your business insurance. You can go through a reputable, trustworthy broker to shop for insurance rates. Try to find an agent who’s familiar with your industry and the risks that you face. They’ll be better able to advise you about limits and coverages that you might need. That might include workers’ compensation insurance or employment practices liability insurance, but you may also need other coverages that are more specific to your industry.

4. Do an annual checkup on your insurance.

Your insurance needs may change from one year to the next. To make sure that your insurance coverages still fit your business, you’ll have to review your policies carefully. This is also a good opportunity to see if there are any coverages that overlap or that you don’t need anymore. While you should never sacrifice coverage for the sake of saving cost, it can’t hurt to review your risks and your insurance needs.

5. Lower your risk and get a lower premium.

By reducing risks, we mean doing a few things. You can take measures to increase security. Creating a business disaster plan is another way to reduce risks, as is improving safety – for clients and employees – at your workplace.

There are many advantages to undertaking a risk-reducing campaign.

First, lowering your risks can help you save because insurance companies quote based on the risks they see – the riskier your business, the higher your quote will be. By actively trying to reduce those risks, you could get a lower premium.

Second, lower risk means a lower chance of having a claim. Having claims makes your premium go up, so you can avoid that unpleasant occurrence by lowering your chances of having a claim in the first place.

Third, improving safety and reducing risks could qualify you for a discount on your insurance. It might seem expensive to install something like a security system, but with the insurance discount you now qualify for it could pay for itself very quickly. Be sure to ask your agent about steps you can take to lower your risk and qualify for discounts. Discounts shouldn’t be the only motivating factor though – remember what we said about lower claims meaning lower premiums? In the long run, improved safety and risk management pays off for everyone. Yes, insurance and risk management might seem expensive, but so are claims and lawsuits.

Business insurance is not cheap, but there are ways that your company can reduce your premium. You can raise your deductible, get a BOP, shop around, review your policies, and reduce risk by increasing safety. If you’re inclined to despair about your insurance rates, take a deep breath. Make a plan to implement some of the above strategies. You’ll feel better knowing that you’ve got the insurance situation under control.

Speaking of business insurance, do you want to implement Tip 3 and shop for your business insurance rates? We can help with that! Out agents would love to help you save money on your insurance. All you have to do to get in touch is fill out our business insurance quote form or give us a call today.

How to create a disaster response plan for your Atlanta business

It's important to have a disaster plan for your business.

Many businesses faced with disasters never open again. There are many types of disasters, from big (think hurricanes) to small (minor fire or flood.) But even the less severe disasters come with a deluge of difficulties and problems for a business owner, even if they do have business insurance. It’s important to make sure that you have a plan to cope with a disaster so that your business can survive. Preparation is essential. To help you get ready for a disaster, we’ve got a few tips for planning.

1. Figure out what your risks are.

You can’t plan for something if you don’t know what it is. You need to think of what scenarios are likely to happen to your business, but don’t forget to plan for things that maybe aren’t super likely but are still possible. For example, what would you do if your business was faced with a fire? A severe storm? Flooding? Do you know how to lower your cyber risks? There are a lot of things that need to be planned for because it’s hard to know the odds of a particular disaster hitting your business.

2. Think about how your business would be affected.

What would happen if one of these disasters hit your business? What would you need to do to compensate and adjust? How would you cope with the losses? Would you have to relocate? How would you keep your business going while your facility is out of order?

3. Get some safeguards and procedures in place to lower your risks.

You’ll need to enlist the help of some of your employees and make them the disaster planning team. Their job will be to brainstorm some procedures to help you keep going in the face of a fire or flood. You should come up with some plans and backup plans for how you deal with the disaster situation. That might include figuring out a location that you can work out of while you can’t be in your building and knowing who to call to repair the damage. You should also know how you’re going to notify employees and customers about the situation, and make sure they know how you’ll be in touch.

Your goals should be to protect your customers and employees from risk and maintain customer service by reducing disruption as much as possible. Your procedures should also include steps to protect your facilities and assets – for instance, taking steps to prevent a burglary at your business. It’s also important to lower environmental contamination risks and protect your organization’s brand and reputation.

Be prepared for a number of disasters that could befall your business.

4. Test your disaster procedures.

It’s not just enough to talk the talk. Everyone has to be able to walk the disaster plan. You need to have an idea of how your procedures will unfold in practice. That might mean training your employees about the procedures and making some calls to find out about the feasibility of your plans. You need to make sure that your plan will actually work when it’s time for you to use it.

5. Keep the disaster plan up to date.

You also need to make sure to revise the plan as you need to. Things change. You need to take into account anything that could cause a need for adjustment or change in the disaster plan.

6. Know how to handle an evacuation.

Apart from planning on how to keep your business going when there’s a disaster, you need to know how to get everyone out of your building safely if there’s something like a fire. To do that, you need to…

  • Know when an evacuation is needed.
  • Have a chain of command.
  • Know who’s going to set the evacuation in motion.
  • Post evacuation routes and plans with multiple ways out of the building.
  • Have a place for people to gather so you can take a headcount.
  • Get a list of names and pinpoint the last known location of missing people.
  • Have practices and training.

Having a clear evacuation plan can help you limit injuries and organize the chaos of an emergency. If everyone knows what to do and how to proceed, they’ll be much calmer and safer in the event that they need to clear out of the building.

Make sure to have an evacuation route for your building in case of disaster.

If you have a small business, you need to know how you’re going to cope with a disaster situation. Take some time to think about how you’re going to keep the ship afloat and how you’re going to make everything as smooth as possible. Having a plan and knowing what to do will spare you from a lot of uncertainty when it comes to handling a disaster, and it’ll help your employees and customers feel much less stressed and frustrated with the situation. Being prepared never hurt anyone.

If you need insurance for your business, we would love to help you out with that! We can get you free quotes for your business insurance, including property, general liability, and workers’ comp. All you have to do to get started with getting your insurance is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.