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John Scott Insurance Agency

PSA: Administrative Professionals Day is April 21, 2021

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We know you are busy so we wanted to make sure that you knew Administrative Professionals Day is on April 21st.  You will want to thank anyone that performs duties in this role for you. They are the ones that help you get through your day and stay on track.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals defines the career path as individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordinate information in order to support an office environment. They are dedicated to furthering their growth in their chosen profession. Administration includes a wide variety of duties including office management, answering the phone, clerical work, speaking with clients, data entry, and record maintenance.

Here are 5 job titles that fall under the category of Administrative Professional:

Administrative Assistant – An administrative assistant essentially keeps an office running. General job duties include bookkeeping, planning and scheduling, and documentation. Administrative assistants are often the ones that plan events in your office and take care of all the coordination that goes along with it.

Human Resources Administrator – Manages the people in a company and helps their business gain competitive advantage. They help maximize employee performance and keep up primary policies. They specialize in finding, recruiting, training, and developing employees as well as maintaining benefits

Secretary –Duties include supporting management and executives, through the utilization of project management, communication, and organizational skills. The secretary has similar functions to the administrative assistant. They also help to manage budgets, bookkeep, answer phone calls, and prepare expense reports.

Office Manager –The success of a business depends heavily on the efficiency of its office. Responsibilities include monitoring and reviewing systems, supervising or managing a team of administrators, distributing roles, training and recruiting, and dispensing assignments and projects.

Receptionist – Often the very first point of contact for clients and customers. They answer phones, greet customers, and answer common questions about the business.

Here at Contractor’s Insurance Agency, we don’t know what we would do without our administrative team members! We know you feel the same way about yours!

Don’t forget to thank them on this special day and if we can help you in any way with your insurance coverage please reach out.  Our team will be happy to direct you to the appropriate person you need to speak to!

 

11 Tips for Growing a Successful Contractor Business

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Building a business is so rewarding.  You have the privilege of working in an area you love, and you have the accomplishment of growing something you are proud of. You provide a service that is widely needed by many people.

Here are 11 tips to build or grow a successful contracting business:

  1. Best business practices are important. Implement systems to handle bookkeeping, scheduling, invoicing, training, and project management.

Teach your employees what they need to know (step by step) to use these systems efficiently. Having systems in place allows you to maintain your current level of success and scale in the right way when you are ready to expand.

  1. Assess your business. Things that you want to take into account are whether or not your business is stable financially, if you are getting repeat sales and referrals, how your ratings and reviews are showing up and what your employee turnover rate is.

To accurately assess these, you want to review your books, pay attention to reviews people are posting online, talk with employees and customers. If you need to make improvements, be sure to do that before attempting to grow your business further.

  1. Customer Support is key to growth. Your prospective customers want to talk to a person during normal business hours. You can hire someone to handle phone calls or you can send calls to your cell phone or promise to return calls on your voicemail within a certain time frame.

Also, be sure to set up automated email and social media messages during off-hours. A simple message informing customers that their message was received, and they’ll receive a response within 24 hours should be enough to keep them satisfied.

Be sure to follow up, return calls, and handle any issues in a timely manner.  Don’t make your customers have to do the follow up.

  1. Join an association. Industry associations, such as the Associated General Contractors, aren’t just great for networking. They can also help you develop essential business skills and recommend products you should use for different jobs as well as other resources you may need.

A quick Google search in your particular area will let you know local and national associations you may want to check out or join.

  1. Always be marketing. Marketing isn’t just to land a few new customers. It is how you get the high paying jobs and how you keep customers happy.

Marketing isn’t just sending out a postcard in the mail.  It means having an online presence, interacting with your audience through email, social media and blog posts and sharing your expertise in valuable ways.

Make sure your address, phone number and hours are available online and easily searchable. Network in your community both online and offline by attending chamber of commerce meetings or answering questions in a local forum.

  1. Be flexible. When you go above and beyond for a customer, you will most likely have earned a customer for life, as well as many referrals to their friends and family.
  2. Have a mentor. A mentor is someone that has already reached the goal you are striving for and can guide you. They will help you to not make the same mistakes they did and can teach you how to manage all the different aspects you need to such as managing money and customers and introducing you to vendors or investors.
  3. Hire people that know more than you. By hiring people who are smarter and more talented than you are, you can rest assured that they can handle assignments without your supervision. This frees up your time to do the things that only you can, in order to grow your business.
  4. Watch your finances. Don’t become a statistic because you couldn’t cover your overhead expenses. When sending out bids, be sure you factor in all the costs involved with the project and give the customer a ballpark estimate. Make sure you are invoicing regularly and staying on top of what is coming into your business and what is going back out.
  5. Outsource. There are only 24 hours in a day so you can’t do it all yourself. What can you delegate to someone else, so you free up more of your time? Consider delegating admin and accounting tasks first. That way you will ensure they are getting done and you don’t have to spend hours of your time doing them yourself.
  6. Staying small is OK. Don’t feel like you have to expand if you don’t want to. If things are working well as they are and you are happy with the workload and the income you are making, stay small. This will help you to continue to have a positive cash flow and low expenses.  It is also much less stressful since the workload is easier to manage.

If you would like to review your insurance policies to make sure they are covering what your business needs, the Contractors Insurance Agency would love to help.  Just give us a call and let’s make sure you are covered for anything that may come up.

 

Annual Coverage Review for Your Business

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You work hard each and every day to make sure your business is a success, and your customers are happy and want to refer you to others.

We know this because we are the same way!

You invest a lot of time and energy into your business and here at Contractors Insurance Agency we want to be sure you are protected from whatever may occur.

We can’t predict the future, so it is better to be overprepared than underprepared.

Does your company have insurance coverage that is up to date?  Do you even know what is in your policy?

It’s time to review it and make sure you are covered. We would be happy to review your existing policy and give you recommendations based on what you have shared with us. It may have everything you need, and you luck out.

If that isn’t the case, you can be grateful that you were able to update it before you had any major (or minor) issues that needed to make use of your coverage.

Insurance for your business is one of those things that you want to revisit often to make sure it is still up to date and valid.  Call us today and let’s make your coverage something that will protect you no matter what.

 

 

 

Are Your Insurance Policies Working For You?

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You spend a lot of time and effort working on your client’s projects and putting your all into them so the results are great.  It’s time for your insurance policies to put in that same effort for you!

Here are 5 tips to get the most out of your insurance policies:

Choose the Right Policy

When multiple policies offer overlapping coverage, choosing the right one can be tricky. Let’s say you are at fault for an incident that results in structural damage. You are covered under the builders risk policy for unexpected events that occur during the course of construction. You also have a contractor general liability (CGL) policy that covers you for property damage that you cause.

You may think that you should use your CGL policy for this, but that could end up costing you a lot more money. Talk to your insurance provider to determine the best route to take so you can keep your premiums affordable in the future.

Know What Your Policy Covers (and doesn’t)

Do you know what your insurance policies cover and what they don’t? By spending a little time reviewing the policies and asking questions about items you are unsure of, you can ensure that there are no gaps in your coverage.

If you see some obvious gaps in our protection, you can reach out right away to make sure that is covered.  You may need to add an umbrella policy in order to increase coverage in the event of a large claim.

On the other hand, if you notice coverages or endorsements built into your policy for risks that don’t pertain to you, give us a call at Contractors Insurance Agency and let us help you get that removed and reduce your premiums.

Protect Yourself from Theft

A high percentage of insurance claims come in due to theft or burglary. More than 75% of stolen equipment is less than 5 years old.  Make sure your equipment is covered adequately with the following coverage:

  • Commercial property insurance: Protects your tools and equipment stored at your place of business from burglary or theft.
  • Builders risk insurance: Protects your tools and equipment from burglary or theft from a project site.
  • Inland marine insurance: Protects your tools and equipment from burglary or theft when you are transporting them to and from storage, project sites, or even your home.

In the event your equipment does get stolen, the above policies can help you cover the cost of replacing what you need to.

Review your Policy Annually

When was the last time you sat down and had a conversation with your insurance agent? If it has been awhile, you want to be sure to have that talk now. Checking in regularly with your insurance agent can help you ensure you always have the correct coverage in place to protect you and your business at all times.

Some changes that could affect your coverage would be if you bought or sold a vehicle, fired or hired employees, or changed the scope of work that you perform.

Advertise Your Coverage

Did you know your insurance policies also add to your marketing efforts?

When you are promoting your business, be sure to always say that you have insurance coverage. It shows that you are serious about your business, that you are a professional, and that you can pay for an accident, injury, or unintended occurrence that happens while you’re doing your work.

Make sure you mention it on your website, social media, blog, advertising, business cards, and any other marketing you do throughout the year. Let clients know that you are insured, and happy to provide a certificate of insurance as proof of your coverage. Your insurance coverage gives you a leg up on the uninsured competition.

Those tips should help you to ensure that you are always protecting your business fully and getting the most out of the premiums you are paying.

If you have any questions on your coverage or would like to talk to us about putting some in place, we would love to chat.  Call Contractors Insurance Agency today!

 

5 Tips to Work Safe on Construction Sites this Winter

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Working in cold weather requires some different preparation than in warm weather. Here at Contractors Insurance Agency we want to be sure your construction work can continue safely through the winter months so you can stay profitable.

Winter has a whole new area of incidents that could occur on a job site, such as slipping on ice, frozen fingers or toes, damage to equipment in storms, and more.

Here are 5 tips to help you work safely through the winter:

  1. Winter Inspections

Having a well-maintained road before winter starts will make snow removal and maintenance easier once worse conditions blow in. Any holes, etc. that can be filled in need to be marked or barricaded off so that they do not become hazards when it snows.

Keep any reserves of sand or salt for road surfaces readily available and have a procedure in place for how you will use them.

Make sure engine and hydraulic oils in your equipment are rated for the temperatures in your area, and replace them if needed. Make sure the heaters in your vehicles and equipment work correctly and get them repaired if they don’t.

  1. Snow and Ice Removal

Be careful if you are shoveling snow by hand.  Studies have shown cold temperatures can constrict arteries, which increases blood pressure and the chance of a heart attack.

Any workers that have risk of heart attack should not be participating in shoveling snow.

  1. Prevent slips on ice whenever possible

Slipping on ice is one of the most common incidents that occurs at a construction site.

Ice can accumulate on scaffolding, ladders, walkways, stairs and work platforms, so you need to be careful and instruct your staff to be careful and everyone that sees ice on a surface should be responsible for cleaning it off or alerting someone in management about the issue.

  1. Work Indoors as much as possible in Freezing Temperatures

Freezing temperatures cause skin and internal body temperatures to drop. This can lead to issues such as frostbite and hypothermia. If that happens, it can lead to permanent tissue damage or in some serious cases, death.

If work cannot be rescheduled, set up warm areas for workers, make hot drinks easily accessible during breaks and give frequent breaks to warm up inside if possible. You may want to also consider shifts that are shorter in time so that you can reduce exposure to freezing weather.

  1. Personal protection equipment

Because personal protection equipment (PPE) for winter is to help you and your staff to stay warm, they can be bulky and limit mobility.

Be sure you are balancing protective gear so that it is warm and safe but also allows mobility to complete tasks.

Choosing PPE that is insufficient for the task or conditions can lead to issues such as loss of peripheral vision, loss of clear hearing, fogged up eyewear, decreased mobility and inadequate traction when on the ground.

Selecting PPE that best suits the task and conditions will ensure the risk of injury is as low as possible while still allowing functionality.

Gloves need to be heavy and durable, but with the right fabric and texture to allow you to remain dexterous. They should also be durable and waterproof in case of rain, melting snow and ice.

Insulated boots keep your feet warm and dry. They need to be breathable, so perspiration can get out. Also important is the level of traction you have when walking on slippery surfaces.

 

We hope these tips are good reminders of the best way to stay profitable and efficient through the cold and sometimes dangerous months of winter.

 

If you need any help with your insurance needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Contractors Insurance Agency at any time.

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