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Don’t Forget Administrative Professionals’ Day!

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National Administrative Professionals’ Day is on Wednesday, April 27th this year. It is a day that recognizes the professionals who keep our office running smoothly every day.

The day recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals. Whether a contracting business or any other type of business, these professionals keep the office organized and efficient.

Administrative professionals have a lot of different tasks that they handle each day. They need to be organized, flexible and able to think on their feet and handle the unexpected with professionalism.

These professionals are invaluable to businesses everywhere. They let you free up your time to focus on the things that only you can do, while they take on the responsibility of keeping the business running whether you are available or not.

Responsibilities may include managing appointments, drafting letters and memos, coordinating appointments, and planning meetings among many other tasks. They also may compile data and research information, too.

Some of the ways you may show your appreciation could include a small gift such as flowers, a gift certificate, a gift basket, candy or lunch.

Show your gratitude and you will keep your administrative professional happy and loyal for many years to come.

Here at Contractors Insurance Agency, we truly appreciate our own administrative professionals. They are usually the first person our customers talk to when they are calling in and often can answer general questions to free up our agents to help in the ways that they are best.

If you have any insurance needs for your contractor business, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you.


In Honor of Small Business Owners

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We know that contracting businesses are usually small operations. You love what you do, you work hard, and you do excellent work on your projects. You are a great business owner.

Did you know March 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day?

We are also a small business like you, and we understand the effort and time you put in.

We don’t want you to worry about the things you don’t need to so if you have any insurance questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Contractors Insurance Agency. That is what we are here for.

Small businesses are a big part of the economy but sometimes they can be overlooked. People know the big corporations by the branding, but the little operation is almost always friendlier, has better customer service and really cares about the people they work with.

Some ways to honor these small businesses in the community include:

  • Gifting gift cards from your favorite small businesses to others that may not have tried it yet.
  • Tell others about your great experiences and share the contact information if someone asks for it.
  • Be a repeat customer.

Small businesses are often the places that support local school and sports events and really care about their community.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports over 27 million small businesses now and you are fortunate to be one of them.

Many people strive to be business owners, but you are doing it.  You don’t mind the long hours, hard work and dedication it takes to grow your contracting business and keep your stellar reputation. We see you and are proud of you.

Our business has been handed down through the generations as many small businesses are. Is your contracting business a family legacy?

We thank you for trusting us with your insurance needs and we promise to keep you well protected so you can focus on growing your business for years to come.

Keep Your Computer Files Up to Date To Ramp Up Your Business

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As a contractor, you are always busy on job sites, but you may also have to deal with the administrative side of things as well.

When you have automated systems in place, software that makes your work easier and processes in place that help you to be efficient that is great!

Another thing we don’t always think about is keeping our files up to date.

Have you ever needed a document and wasted a ton of time trying to figure out where you filed it, or what you named it? If your computer files were up to date, you would be able to click a few times and have what you need right away.

This not only saves you time but also frustration.

Some of the things you want to consider cleaning up monthly would be:

  • Removing old files and clutter
  • Save to the cloud, not the hard drive. If you have it on the hard drive, take time to move it to a cloud-based service and delete it from the hard drive.
  • Clean off any old programs you have on your computer as well. Make sure you have any updates or latest versions for programs and your operating system.
  • Organize your files and folders and make sure you know what is in them and they make sense to you.
  • Review your emails and delete any that are no longer needed

If you are currently doing everything on your own, you may want to consider hiring an administrative person to help you or even a virtual assistant to help you for a few hours each week.  This will free up your time and energy so you can focus on bringing in new business and ensuring your current projects are running smoothly.

If you need any support around your insurance policy, please reach out to us here at Contractors Insurance Agency. We are happy to help.


Contractors – Tips to Save on Electricity

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We are a small business too and we know that electricity can be a large part of your overhead. A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that energy costs are a top-three business expense for more than one-third of the nation’s small businesses.

You can make this expense a little less of a hit though.  We have some great tips to share with you.

When choosing a retail energy supplier, be sure to look into all the information. Visit a variety of provider websites to view pricing and plan options. Look into the supplier’s credit rating, their customer service, and technology offerings.

The Financial Fraud Research Center estimates that a whopping $40 to $50 billion are lost to fraud each year in the United States alone. Know your utility and energy supplier, safeguard your personal information and call them back when they call you so that you know you are getting to the right place and person.

Solar power can be a valuable tool in your overall energy strategy with little or no up-front costs.

Your business can take advantage of the investment tax credit (ITC) with solar systems. There are also other tax incentives for investing in your business’s energy efficiency so be sure to look into those as well.

Saving energy should be across the board.  It is not just the responsibility of you as the owner, but also of your team. Get everyone involved.  Tell them where you are at, be open to their ideas and suggestions and work together to save on your energy costs.

An annual maintenance on your HVAC system will ensure it is running the most efficiently it can. Also keeping your filters clean makes sure it isn’t working too hard throughout the year.

Natural light can be great if you are using it to warm up your office in the winter.  You can also use blinds to deter the sun from beating on you in the summer so your office stays cool.

Setting your thermostat so that it stays at a certain temp when you are in the office and out of the office will help too.  This will ensure it kicks in automatically if it is too hot or cold in your office based on what you have it set as.

Turning off machines such as your computer monitor when you are out of the office can save a fair amount of energy.

Ever hear of energy vampires? This is equipment that is still plugged in when not in use that sucks energy up in smaller amounts.

By improving the fuel economy of your business’s vehicles, you can significantly reduce costs.

You may want to talk to other local business owners also and see if they have additional tips that may help, and share some of your own with them.  We are all in this together.  If you need us, we are here at Contractors Insurance Agency.

How to Delegate Effectively in your Contractor Business

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When you own a business, you wear many hats and to grow and to get more done, you need to have people you trust to delegate some of the workload to.

Delegating is great for your team.  It shows you are trusting them to be responsible to do tasks and it builds trust with them.  You are helping them with professional development and teaching them new skills which shows great leadership.

While the benefits of delegating are clear to many, (save time and money, get more accomplished, grow your business) many business owners still fail to delegate effectively because they are their own bottleneck.

They don’t want to take the time to teach the skills to someone because it’s easier to do it themselves. What if the other person doesn’t do it like they would, what if things fall through the cracks? There are so many reasons business owners come up with to keep their own plate overflowing and themselves feeling overwhelmed. And their team is looking for more and maybe even moving to a different company because they are not being challenged where they are.

Keep in mind that your team wants to do a good job for you, and they want to be successful.  The right team knows that the better the company does the better everyone on the team does.

While initially when you delegate it is a little more time consuming to get someone else up to speed, in the long run it will take you less time when they know the skill and can take on the task.

Some of the tasks to delegate would be administrative tasks such as scheduling meetings, answering calls, checking/responding to emails and invoicing. If you are sending emails out such as newsletters or posting blogs to your website, you can have an administrative assistant take that on as well.

Another time to delegate is when you are not skilled at the task yourself.  You may be taking three times as long to complete a task that you could hire someone else to do.  Think of what your own time is worth and look at the cost of hiring someone for that task and figure out how much you could be saving and even bringing in with new business that you have time to focus on.

Here are 7 tips to delegating effectively:

  1. Be sure you have the right person doing the task
  2. Know why you are delegating the task
  3. Provide complete direction on how to do the task
  4. Be available to answer questions and provide resources/training to get things started
  5. Delegate responsibility but also the authority to make decisions needed regarding the task
  6. Check over the work initially and provide constructive feedback
  7. Be sure to thank the person and let them know you appreciate their work

Over time you will get better and better at delegating. In turn, you will have more trust, commitment, and loyalty with your employees. You will improve productivity and be able to grow your business as well.

If we can help you with any of your contractor insurance needs here at Contractors Insurance Agency, please let us know.

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