Below are five small business tips from Hiscox, a global specialist insurer serving the small business community, for small business success in 2014.
Small Business Tips
1. Join Google+ - Social media is a great and inexpensive way for small businesses to advertise, interact directly with their customers, and create evangelists for their brand. With Google increasingly factoring a company’s Google+ presence into search results, this site also works in tandem to increase SEO ranking. If a business is only on Facebook and Twitter, they’re missing the boat. Google+ now has the second highest number of monthly users and is predicted to be one of the top social media marketing trends of 2014.
2. Maintain an updated disaster plan – Hurricane Sandy, the Polar Vortex, tornadoes popping up in New England… with natural disasters occurring more frequently and all over the country, small businesses should be prepared for the next storm. Have a plan that covers employees who aren’t able to make it to work, vendors who could damage the supply chain, and keep an up-to-date inventory of assets and IT equipment ahead of time. Of course, a general liability business insurance policy can help recover lost time and equipment if there’s a storm.
3. Make training a focus – It’s not a secret that incorporating training into a business will help ensure success. According to Hiscox’s 5th annual eDNA of an Entrepreneur report, training isn’t a primary focus for small business owners. Last year, over half (55%) of U.S. small businesses took zero professional development days. Business owners should take the time this year to strengthen their skills and knowledge (as well as that of their teams) by attending a single day conference or at least logging into a few webinars from the office!
4. Understand Obamacare – The Affordable Care Act includes a variety of measures for small businesses to help lower premium costs, and increase access to quality, affordable health insurance. However, it’s harder for small businesses to follow all the new rules than it is for large business with big human resources departments. The Small Business Administration offers webinars for small business owners to learn the basics of the new health care reform. Education now will enable business owners to stay ahead of the curve when the employer mandate for the Affordable Care Act happens January 1, 2015.
5. Know how to read a cash flow statement – At the Hiscox virtual summit Setting Your Small Business Up for Success in 2014, small business expert Barry Moltz stressed the need for business owners to manage cash flow. Business owners should know as much about their business financials as possible. Not only should owners review financial statements more than monthly, but they also shouldn’t outsource the math. To prepare for the year ahead, business owners should ask their accountant for help on learning how to read these statements. Click on the link for more small business tips to help you succeed. For more information, please visit http://www.hiscox.com/small-