Four Vital Insurance Issues for Your Cleaning Business

Many people establish a cleaning business as a part time venture and before they know it, they have expanded without considering the different but vital cleaners insurances they need.

Failure to have adequate insurance can be a costly lesson and could compromise your business before you even get fully off the ground.

Therefore, it is important to consider the vital insurance issues and address them to ensure that your business is safe and viable in the long term.

1. Liability Insurance:

Liability cleaner insurance is not just needed for property damage. While there is the potential for damage to be caused due to the harsh chemicals often used, the most pressing need for liability insurance is for accidents or injuries. For example, if you are cleaning floors in a clients home or business premises and someone slips on a damp floor, you could be liable for any medical bills and pain incurred. This could range from basic hospital treatment through to a covering more serious medical issue which could require months of rehabilitation. This is the main reason why liability insurance is mandatory for all businesses.

2. Tool Insurance:

Whether you are using basic cleaning tools or more specialist equipment, you should consider your tools when purchasing cleaners insurance. Collectively, your tools may cost a large sum, which may be extremely difficult to replace in the event of damage or theft. Additionally, without your tools, your business would grind to a halt, leaving your customers disappointed and looking for a replacement service. This could lead to a long term detrimental effect on your business, costing you a fortune. Insurance provides the protection and reassurance that should your tools be lost, damaged or stolen, they can be quickly replaced to allow you to continue working with the minimum of disruption.

3. Workers Compensation:

Once your business begins to expand and you take on employees, then you will need to purchase workers compensation insurance. All of the Australian states require businesses to obtain adequate workers compensation insurance, whether your workers are part time, temporary or voluntary. This insurance provides you with financial protection, should your employee be injured or become ill due to the job.

4. Income Protection:

When you are running your own business, it is very easy to forget that you are your company’s number one worker. This means that you will need to protect your income in the event that you are sick or injured and unable to work. Whether this is related to an on the job injury such as a slip or fall, or related to a medical issue, income protection will ensure that you do not suffer financially from being unable to work.

7 Confidence Building Business Issues Women Leaders Must Learn to Succeed

Women leaders need the confidence to keep learning about organizations and being effective in their leadership abilities. Identifying and getting information on some of the issues is not always easy to find. Yet, without this insider information, women leaders can find their confidence remains low when it comes to being able to be a real power broker who gets things done. This article presents 7 business related issues women leaders must learn about in order to build real confidence as a leader.

Organization Development: Leaders must have the confidence to know how an organization is put together in order to be able to lead all parts of the organization. To simplify this concept, think of an organization like an automobile. You might know that you put gas in the tank when it’s empty, but if you don’t know that you also have to keep the oil clean and fill other fluids your automobile is not going to run correctly. The organization doesn’t run by one unit. Knowing how the organization functions as a whole is true organization development. Many leaders are not clear about this concept and find their companies and organization suffering as a result.

Organization Growth: Similar to knowing how an organization is developed, a leader needs to have the confidence to properly grow her organization. Organization growth patterns differ according to the different types of organizations. It’s important to design methods to forecast future needs of your organization or company in order to make right decisions for growth. Leaders without knowledge of how growth affects all aspects of the organization will find that some decisions result in dysfunction instead of increases.

Systems Concepts: Another concept that few leaders have strong confidence in is really understanding systems concepts. This lack of understanding is easy to see when a leader seems to get hit by what seems like sudden changes in the economy or society that negatively affects their company. While it sounds complex, the basic explanation of systems in organizations is that every organization or group that exists is effected by what goes on around it. Another concept of systems is that whatever you do to one part of the origination will affect the rest of the organization.

Power Issues: Women leaders must have confidence to know how to use power to get things done. Power can be gained through position or by having resources others desire. One resource is your knowledge base and knowledge really is power in organizations.  Having power means being able to reach goals, quicker and easier than those without the power. Gain power by being willing to use your leadership to take on high profile positions. Get your name out and take calculated risks that let you gain visibility.

Politics in Business: Acting politically takes a lot of confidence. It means knowing when to speak and what to say when you speak. You have to understand change of command and when to approach one person over another in a business. Being politically savvy is important to advance your career as a leader. It’s important to understand business politics and be able to use your skills to influence others in a positive and effective manner.

Build Networks: Women leaders need strong networks of influence makers who can get things done. This is a part of the power and politics of leadership. Knowing people who have power is a key confidence builder for women leaders to use in order to move ahead.  Go to the right gatherings where you can be in the company of people who have contacts and information you need to get your goals met. Be willing to stand out from the crowd and make your mark as a risk taker worth knowing.

Look the part: Your physical appearance is a visual way to show your confidence as a leader. You have to look like a leader to be considered a leader. That means dressing for the part at all times; and even a trip to the grocery store means dressing to impress. That doesn’t mean having to wear high heels all of the time but it does mean being well groomed with a style that says “professional.” Take time to create a professional wardrobe that you can count on to take you to any occasion at any time of day.

Each of the issues presented above can be quite complex in nature. Some can take years to master when you try to do this alone. But taking time to learn important organization issues will build your confidence to be a leader who gets things done in an effective manner. You will feel less intimidated by others, you will move easier in the high powered world of leadership and your self confidence will greatly increase in your role as a woman leader.

How to Learn About Small Business Law Issues for Maryland Business Owners

No matter where a business is located, there will be many different and unique small business law issues based on your geographic region or locale.

When it comes to Maryland small business, the same certainly applies, and it’s important to be familiar with some of the common issues you may run into, as well as some of the specific legislation which is out there and can affect your business’s operation.

ChooseMaryland.org is the official online home of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development. This website provides a huge range of resources which can be incredibly helpful for a Maryland business owner, including a guide to small and medium-sized business law issues for Maryland businesses.

This guide is entitled “The Guide to Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Maryland”, and it’s an 88-page document filled with a hefty load of legalese. It’s certainly hard to sort through, or make sense of. That’s one of the many reasons why working with a Maryland small business lawyer will prove to be a smart decision – he or she will be completely familiar with all issues, legislation and more which will have an impact, and will know the right way to set your business up, protect your business, file all documents appropriately, and much more.

However, the document is useful in and of itself, and you may want to know some of the common small business law issues which could arise.

One of the major, unique areas of concern will be state and local taxes. To begin with, all businesses need to file the Combined Registration Application, which is available online.

Maryland businesses do not separately pay local taxes though, it’s all handled through the state. Meanwhile, sales and Use Tax in Maryland is currently 6%, while the Maryland corporate income tax rate is at 8.25%. In addition, estimated tax payments to the state are required for all corporations whose tax liability is projected to exceed $1,000.

Beyond the guide and seeking assistance from a Maryland small business law firm, business owners can contact state departments directly for more information. These include the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health unit (MOSH), Maryland Commission on Human Relations, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, and more.

There is a great deal of information available for you when it comes to Maryland small business law issues, so be sure to seek it out, and seek legal advice or protection when you need it most.

 

Are Organisational Integrity Issues Damaging Your Business?

The word “integrity” in the world of business is often associated with preventing corruption when in fact Organisational Integrity has much broader connotations.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” Aristotle

In the English language the definition of integrity has two meanings; the first is concerned with reputation, honesty and trustworthiness and the second about internal cohesion, consistency and connectedness. Although presented as two distinct meanings, when considered in an organisational context the two are very much related.

Organisational Integrity embraces all aspects of the organisation successfully integrated to achieve the organisation’s purpose. Business reputation and trust is therefore built upon the successful cohesion and consistency of the organisation as a system.

In contrast businesses that are fragmented and dysfunctional very quickly earn a reputation for failing to deliver acceptable levels of service or performance.

While discussing service experiences recently it was apparent that a lack of organisational integrity is regrettably now commonplace in many organisations, representing a significant personal and organisational cost for customers, suppliers and employees. One of the most common themes that surfaced was conflicting messages received from organisations while attempting to do business.

I have recent experience in this area having resorted to engaging the services of the Financial Ombudsmen to resolve a long running banking issue concerning a simple request for Internet Banking.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the experience was that overall the staff that I spoke with (and there were many) were behaving in a polite, consistent and truthful way. However in spite of this the organisation as a whole consistently let me down often to the disappointment and frustration of those I was speaking with.

The failure of the bank to get to the root cause of the problem and resolve my straight-forward request was at no point disputed by the bank and yet it took nine months and the support of the Ombudsmen to resolve the issue.

I have not been surprised to learn this type of issue is commonplace and considered somewhat the norm. Many I have spoken with wrestled with the stress of complaining while empathising with the position of the individual within the organisation.

This lack of internal cohesion results in employees suffering stress in terms of the conflict between the integrity of the business and their own personal integrity.

In broader terms the effects can range from frustrated and disappointed customers or suppliers who choose to take their business elsewhere through to the collapse of the organisation.

“You can’t solve a problem with the same reasoning that created the problem” Albert Einstein

Whatever business we are in, conducting business depends on trust between all parties involved. Where such trust exists interactions are more reliable and can, where necessary be reduced to a simple and efficient transaction with the reasonable expectation that there will not be an issue. Where trust has been damaged there is an increased need to focus on the relationship, providing assurance and re-building trust.

When exploring trust there are a number of trust formula available that are broadly similar. The following model was developed by Charles H Green

Trustworthiness = (Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self Orientation

Credibility refers to the words that one speaks or one’s knowledge of a particular subject or field of study.

Reliability has to do with one’s actions, or one’s level of dependability.

Intimacy refers to familiarity and the degree of access.

Self-orientation has to do with the focus of the person in question.

Unfortunately many organisations adopt a policy, where trust has been damaged, of just elevating the level of intimacy.

This was very much apparent in my banking example with the appointment of a complaints representative and an increased dialogue. For the organisation it is often easier to increase the intimacy element than it is to understand and resolve the fundamental issues that underpin credibility and reliability. The likelihood therefore is that without intervention problems will recur.

There are many factors that may contribute, to a greater or lesser extent, to the breakdown in organisational integrity. These include structural issues, processes and controls, partner organisations, employees and culture and values.

What gets measured gets managed – even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organization to do so.” Peter Drucker

A clear strategy and practice of monitoring with a selection of appropriate measures implemented with the necessary tact and sensitivity reassures managers, drives the correct behaviour and provides staff with the confidence that managers understand their problems.

A call centre for example may boast high productivity and low cost per call but that’s irrelevant if a sizeable amount of the activity is processing customer complaints about poor service. Such activity measures obscure managers from seeing that rather than pursuing cheaper calls it may be better to improve the service to reduce the need for a call centre with all its associated costs in the first place.

Don’t Let Unforeseen Issues Ruin Your Business

They can help you to find any loopholes or problems you may not think about. It can be hard to guess what may unfold with one of your employees, customers, or even a venture you work with. Perhaps there are issues on the horizon with a business partner. You need to be on your toes and a business law attorney can help you to be ready for anything.

They should look through all of your documents to make sure they are legitimate and there aren’t any concerns. They may ask you to make additions to certain documents before you and the other parties involved sign them. This is all to offer you an added layer of protection. They have been around long enough to know when something slips through the cracks it means trouble!

Evaluate your Needs

It is important to forge a solid relationship with a business law attorney. They can be in your corner from the time you start until your business ends. They can make sure you have the right insurance coverage and other elements in place. They are experts in these areas and they can find anything that is shifting and changing so your information isn’t outdated.

You can count on them when you have a legal question or any type of issue arises. You will feel confident you can trust your business law attorney to help you decide on the best possible solution to get a desired outcome. Such issues can be complex and they can take plenty of time to resolve. You can’t put your entire business on hold to look into them so get available help.

You need to be able to continue moving your business forward. Yet behind the scenes your business law attorney can help you to check choices and make the best possible decisions. If you aren’t working with one yet, you need to get busy finding an outstanding one you can trust. Otherwise, you may be in for a shock when a legal issue does arise. It can be expensive too!

You may be very vulnerable both personally and from a business point of view. The last thing you want is to lose your business, your home, and all you have worked so hard for because you didn’t have the right elements in place to offer plenty of protection. Now is the time to get it all in place if you don’t already.

Make the Connection

The business law attorney you work with needs to be able to help you with everything you need. They should be an expert in all areas of business law and they should be able to explain information and how it applies to your specific business. They should make time to answer your questions and help guide you with new information so you make excellent choices.

They should check the coverage you have in place and make sure your personal assets are separated from your business liabilities. Take your time to find a great provider with wonderful things being said about them. You want a seasoned professional who is passionate, who continues to learn and takes the time for their clients to make sure they get the help they need.