The Case for Business Insurance

If you own a home and carry a mortgage, chances are you have homeowners insurance. If you own a car and are licensed in any of the United States, except New Hampshire and Virginia, you must have automotive insurance. If you are a renter it’s a good idea to have renters insurance. Many people have either personal or employer-provided life insurance. In most cases, when issues happen, be it an automotive collision or a tree through the roof of a house, insurance is there to help recover costs and repair the damage. 

I own a home, own vehicles, get sick, and will eventually die. I also own a small business. I have homeowners insurance, car insurance, health insurance, a life insurance policy, and business insurance.

Every business owner should consider insuring their business, especially if it is a sole proprietorship or small company with few employees. A sole proprietor is the business and bears all the financial responsibility of the business – profit and loss. There are several types of policies that small businesses should consider.  

  • Professional Liability Insurance: Protects the business in the case of a lawsuit while performing services, even if no mistakes were made. Generally, these policies cover alleged negligence, defense costs, libel or slander, copyright infringement, independent contractors, claims and damages.
  • Commercial General Liability Insurance: Protects your business from another person or business’s claims of bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to property. These policies typically cover bodily injury, damage to third party property, advertising injury, electronic data liability, medical expenses, defense costs, and actions of full time and temporary staff.
  • Property Insurance: Protects your business assets including furniture and equipment as well as inventory and revenue.
  • Workmen’s Compensation Insurance: Protects the business by providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured on the job usually in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue.

We have a combo policy for our small business called a Business Owners Policy which includes General Liability, Property Liability, and Indemnity insurance. Specifically our policy covers:

  • Business Income: If something happens beyond our control that impacts our cash flow we can file a claim for that lost revenue.
  • Employee Dishonesty: If a member of our team causes financial harm, we can recover that through our insurance.
  • Medical expenses for injuries sustained while conducting business (1,000,000 per incident).
  • Personal and Advertising Injury (Slander and Libel).
  • Inventory and Operational Property (at our location and in transit, such as when we travel to conventions and events).
  • Damages to spaces other than our primary location where we conduct business, such as a hotel or exhibit hall where we are attending a trade show or event.
  • Employment / Fiduciary Liability back to 2012.
  • Building: While we have homeowners insurance, and operate out of our home, that policy will not cover our business – most will not. This policy protects our home against any claims resulting from our business operations.
  • Business Personal Property: Computers, Shelves, Displays, etc…
  • Electronic Data Processing: Our website. If our site goes down and causes us to lose revenue we can file a claim to recover not only the site but the sales lost during the outage.
  • Sudden Equipment Breakdown
  • Fine Arts: all the artwork we have commissioned over the years is insured at replacement cost.
  • Business Record.
  • Damage caused by sewer or drain backups.
  • Acts of Terrorism.

It’s a pretty extensive policy and only costs less than $100.00 per month. In my opinion, it is a good use of business capital. Any of the above would be far more damaging to the business than the deductible.

I would not drive my car without insurance. I will not operate my business without insurance. I hope never to have to make another claim against our policy, but I know that it’s there if I do.

If you are looking for a small business policy, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with our insurance agent.

Why Your Financial Institution Should Use a .BANK

Repost from https://blog.dnsimple.com/2018/12/why-use-bank/

Previously, we talked about why financial institutions partner with DNSimple to meet their .BANK domain hosting compliance needs in Why Financial Institutions Migrate their .BANK Domains to DNSimple.

In our second installment, we’ll go over why financial service providers – banks, investment firms, payment providers, and other verified financial institutions – should use a .BANK TLD. You’ll love the mix of branding, exclusivity, and security offered by a .BANK domain.

Exclusive branding

Internet users associate specific TLDs with expertise – .IO for technology companies, .INSURANCE for insurance providers, .EDU for schools, and .BANK for financial institutions. Using .BANK with your branch name provides a higher level of user confidence without needing to educate your audience, and the opportunity to brand yourself like never before.

It’s an exclusive name without exclusive costs. There’s also the added bonus of a premium domain name, and the security of multiple levels of verification. Using .BANK domains assures customers that their financial institutions are technically savvy, and serious about security, branding, and consumer trust.

Security

In our previous post, we talked in detail about the security requirements. Let’s talk a little more about why those matter.

A .BANK domain has certain requirements to ensure security. Of course, you could have a similar security level with a .COM, but that doesn’t mean you can always trust them. A .BANK has to undergo verification, and providers can’t have a .BANK without this rigorous process. These technical requirements are mandatory to protect financial institutions and their customers, and by using .BANK, the registry guarantees the provider adopts these techniques. A .BANK domain is a win/win for financial institutions and their clients.

Get started

.BANK DNS management through DNSimple provides financial institutions with the tools for secure online communication and dissemination of information. You’ll have increased cyber security protection, a global AnyCast network with real time DDoS defense, multi-factor authentication, and SSL security certificates.

DNSimple makes it easy, and less intimidating to set up and manage .BANK domains. We take care of everything for you, so you can take care of your clients.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with our Sales Director, Andrew, and we’ll get you up and running.

Have more questions? Visit our .BANK hosting page, or take a look at our previous post.

Creative Data Mining with zone.vision

Your DNS records reveal more about your company than you think, especially if you’re using cloud services.  To verify your identity, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Atlassian, Docusign, Dropbox, SalesForce, and more use a TXT record to make sure you’re an administrator on a company domain.

As a sales engineer, you can use this information for those meetings where you’re headed in blind.  It happens!  Sometimes you don’t have enough discovery to really have a quality conversation with a customer.  Here’s some tricks to use https://zone.vision (from the folks at DNSimple) to see what DNS is announcing to the world. Continue reading “Creative Data Mining with zone.vision”

Products over the years…

Back in 1999 I accepted a position with Uvex Safety Eyewear as a marketing assistant. During my time we launched the Uvex Genesis line of polycarbonate safety spectacles. This product revolutionized the industry as it had all the adjustment features of other styles, replaceable lenses, and multi-material technology for comfort.
Why do I bring this up now? The products I’ve marketed in the past crop up everywhere in my day to day life. Every time I go to the oral hygienist for my cleanings they wear Uvex Genesis. Every time I go to Home Depot I see fend-all emergency eyewash – who could forget the Pure Flow 1000. I helped grow the fend-all product line over 10% in my first year as product marketing manager.
After leaving the world of personal protective equipment I moved into food safety. I also relocated my home to a place sixty miles from Uvex, or I would still be there today. Though VICAM I helped farmers, packers, regulators, shippers, and universities screen foodstuff for mycotoxins; the byproduct of fungal molds known to cause harm to humans and animals.
Every time I go to the grocery store I see the various brands that I know use the VICAM mycotoxin testing system to ensure that harmful levels of toxins don’t end up in the food supply. All tree nuts, ground nuts, corn, cereal grains, milk, wine, beer…all tested using VICAM to ensure the global food supply is free of dangerous levels of mycotoxins.
Ten years ago I relocated and again changed career paths to be closer to my new home. I accepted a position in the marketing group at Psyche Systems, where I worked with an awesome team to improve patient outcomes by providing physicians accurate and complete laboratory reports. Psyche develops software for medical laboratories hand in hand with doctors…doctors who I see on a regular basis use Psyche software.
Currently, I’m working with the team at DNSimple, who provides enterprise-class DNS management through automation. DNSimple allows you to buy, connect, and operate your domains at a professional level using powerful domain automation or their intuitive web-based application. Every time I visit a host of websites I take pride knowing they resolve with DNSimple, and that I’m contributing to the inner workings of the internet.
From safety eyewear, emergency eyewash, mycotoxin testing, and laboratory information systems to domain management tools I see the products I’ve marketed since leaving university almost on a daily basis. I am proud of the products I’ve worked with over the years. From protecting people through the best personal protective equipment, protecting the global food supply through mycotoxin testing, individual and community health through LIS software I’ve done much to improve people lives.
Now I am working to make people’s domain name management simple. I’m looking forward to 2019 with a renewed spirit and am setting myself up for a successful career path.

Adventures in a Ford Focus Electric

Back in July of 2017, I picked up a brand new Ford Focus Electric. This was the second brand new vehicle I ever bought – every other car had been used. There were some issues which reminded me why I don’t purchase brand new cars…but that’s a well-documented story and not what this post is about.

We’ve had the car for about a year and have been getting between 100 and 124 miles per charge just driving around town running errands. Armed with this data we thought it would be a fun idea to take the Focus EV out on a trip to Modesto, California and back (about 525 miles each way).

Our plan was simple, make our way out to Turlock, California over the weekend, do a customer site visit, and make our way back by Tuesday afternoon. It turns out that simple things, even well-planned, can lead to great adventures.

Our route was easy enough. We would start from the house with a full charge, hit the new EVGo Station in Baker, then the station at the Mall of Victorville, the free charger at the Honda dealership in Lancaster, then to the Walmart station in Bakersfield, overnight at the Holiday Inn in off the 99 with the fast charger, and finally to Turlock for our meeting the head home hitting different chargers along the route with an overnight to be determined along the way.

 

From Vegas to the World’s Tallest Thermometer was easy. We hit the Alien Fresh Jerky place and the Mad Greek while the car charged then made our way to Victorville.

   

Here is where our first issue came arose. We fought a massive headwind while going uphill the entire way, which depleted the battery around Barstow. This wasn’t a huge problem as there was a standard charger at the Mall of Barstow so we plugged in, had a picnic lunch then hit the Starbucks for coffee.

Next was the Mall of Victorville follow by the free charge at the Honda dealership where, while waiting for the car to charge, we ended up visiting the ‘Bark in the Park‘ going on and seeing lots of people and their dogs. After charging we headed up to Tehachapi for dinner (and a quick Level 2 Top Off) before making our way down the mountain to the Walmart in Bakersfield.

From there it was easy sailing to the Holiday Inn for our overnight. In the morning we discovered that the hotel had a lovely little train that did a 20 minute loop. Of course we took a ride.

Next day we made our way to Turlock and the Days Inn where they had a ChargePoint Level 2 charger for our second overnight.

Monday we did our session in Turlock then made our way south.

Instead of using the same route we took the 5 down to Tejon Pass and ended up having a picnic dinner in Santa Clarita while charging. We did an overnight in Lancaster, then made our way home the next day reversing the route we took the first day.

Overall some things we learned:

– Plan for elevation. Massive uphill climbs zap the battery range. This can be minimized by keeping the speed around 65 mph, but for every 1000 feet in increased elevation, we lost about 10% battery range. Of course, for every 1000 feet in elevation decrease we regained some of that range, I’d say about 7%.

– Plan to stop more often then you think. Due to the changes in elevation that we hadn’t considered we ended up stopping in both Barstow and Tehachapi for a couple of hours charging at the Level 2 stations. There are no Level 3 stations in these cities. We made the best of it by having our meals during these stops. Basically, the hills added these two unplanned for stops.

We changed our route home to avoid having to stop at any Level 2 chargers. It added 20 miles to the trip but saved three to four hours of charge time.

Stop to smell the roses. We saw some amazing things while charging.

I will do this again. Sacrament, San Francisco, Reno, all are possible… Even Seattle…

Social media and future employment…

I’ve been on social media since the early days of LiveJournal – the days where you needed to be invited by another community member. I joined FaceBook in the fall of 2007. I’ve been on Twitter since March of 2008. Over the years I’ve said many things that I would not say today.

Times have changed.

According to CareerBuilder more and more employers are reviewing potential employees social media to help the company’s selection process.

Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates at All-Time High, Finds Latest CareerBuilder Study
– 57 percent are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online
– 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles
– Half of employers check current employees’ social media profiles, over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content
– 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates, up from 11 percent in 2006

I know the above is true as I’ve been on teams where social media of applicants has been reviewed.

Like a resume, CV, phone screenings, interview, or skills assessment social media is another way for an employer to determine if an applicant will fit the culture of the organization looking to fill a given position. Personally, I’ve been publishing and distributing books, comics, and novels for many years. My company is well known and respected in our narrow market niche. When I apply for jobs I am sure to include works from my hobby business. This has helped my land at least two positions, one that lasted almost ten years, and the other I still do work for today. I was hired not only for my ability to sell and market the products I published for my contributors, but because I show an entrepreneurial spirit that my employer saw value in bringing to their team.

Do I curb my tongue on FaceBook, Twitter, Mastodon, Telegram? No. You get the whole me on my social networks.

There is more to say on this topic…just not today.

Plan B

It started back in the late 90s, my habit of reading Exhibitor Magazine. Two sections were always of interest to me, the annual salary survey, which I would leverage in performance reviews for salary justification, and the articles about event horror stories, which included a Plan A and a Plan B. It was the Plan B that always got my mind moving. What would I do if I needed a Plan B?

Over the last twenty years, I’ve been lucky enough to plan ahead and almost always run with Plan A. This weekend due to several uncontrollable circumstances Plan A didn’t work out as expected and Plan B was formulated and employed.

Plan A:
This should have been a simple one table sales event in Orlando, Florida. The week before the show I packed up the inventory, display items, signage, and table covers into four boxes and shipped them via common carrier to the destination. Easy as pie. Done this thousands of times over my career. I noted the tracking numbers and tracked the packages the first few days to make sure they were on their way.

The day before the I leave for the event I load up some additional inventory in my luggage and check on my packages. One of the four boxes didn’t leave California…The other three made it safely to Florida.

No reason to panic just yet, I called my logistics company and started a trace and claim – just in case.

Since I didn’t know which box was missing (the weights and dimensions were all similar) I didn’t know what extra to bring – and my flight was in three hours. If it were an inventory box, no big deal, I have lots of inventory. If it were the supplies box, I would be in trouble. No reason to worry until I get there and find out what was missing.

It was the supplies and display box.

Fork me!

Plan B (Watch the Good Place show to understand inside joke):
Step One – call the shipping company and modify the claim to include a details list of what is in the box.

Step Two – prepare a sign to be printed at the on-site print shop at the venue.

Step Three – alert the team back in the office and see if what items were in the box could be economically shipped to the event (they could not).

Step Four – Implement the plan.

– A blanket from my hotel room solved my table cover problem. I’ll return it after the show.
– The UPS Print Shop on site solved my signage problem by printing up some company logos on 11 x 17 paper (their largest size).
– I’ve got pockets to keep change in, so that solves the missing register drawer problem.

Problem solved.