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P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
Business Protection Bulletin
Instagram Tips That Improve Holiday Sales And Protect Your Company
Your successful business probably utilizes social media to build relationships and boost sales, especially as the holidays approach. Over 400 million users access Instagram every month, making it one of the most effective social media tools you can use. Maximize your company’s Instagram presence and protect your company with these tips.
Involve Your Audience
Because social media is meant to be social, interact with your audience as much as possible. Ask questions and take polls about holiday-related content as you motivate more people to talk about your brand.
Start a Debate
With a friendly debate, you increase interaction on Instagram. Center the debate on the holiday and your brand, and keep the content light. For example, ask fans of your electrical repair business if they prefer white or colored lights.
Keep Posts Short
While you should include words and hashtags in your posts, keep the written content short and sweet. Focus on posting high-quality and engaging photos instead.
Call on last-minute shoppers to make a purchase when you create urgency. Mention a deadline for a promotion or sale, or share how much of each product you have left on the shelves.
Utilize User Content
Instagram users enjoy participating with brands they like, especially if they get a shoutout. Create a special holiday hashtag, and put the word out for your viewers to share a picture with the hashtag. This campaign builds emotional connection and engagement.
Mention Pop Culture
Reference pop culture to increase the number of viewers who actively engage with your Instagram account. Be sure your pop culture posts are authentic, timely and fresh rather than outdated.
Advertise Sales and Discounts
If your company offers a sale or discount on your products and services, advertise the special on Instagram. Invite your viewers to share the sale with their friends, too.
Host a Contest or Giveaway
Give your audience the opportunity to win one of your products or services when they like your Instagram account or “like” or “share” the contest post. You could also sponsor a giveaway to improve engagement and increase sales.
Partner With a Charitable Cause
The holiday season and charitable giving go hand-in-hand. Choose a local charitable organization, and use Instagram posts to raise awareness or solicit donations. Your efforts demonstrate your company’s commitment to goodwill and the community.
Take Protective Measures
As you use Instagram more this holiday season, take several steps to protect your company.
Honor sales, discounts, contests, and giveaways.
Get permission to use customer photos before you post them online.
Follow copyright laws for images.
Update your insurance policy to include liability coverage.
Are you ready to boost sales this holiday? Use these tips as you maximize your Instagram account and protect your company.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
What Is Rock Hauler Insurance?
Rock haulers carry loads of rocks between locations. They may haul rock from one area of the quarry to another or drive on the road as they deliver rocks to and from construction sites. Purchase rock hauler insurance to protect yourself, your truck, your business and your assets.
Why You Need Rock Hauler Insurance
The trucks that haul rocks are typically heavy-duty commercial vehicles. They could weigh as much as 55,000 pounds before they're loaded. Rock hauler drivers are trained professionals who are skilled at operating the truck. However, there are dangers in rock hauling.
The trucks are heavy and require longer stopping distances, especially in inclement weather.
Back-up accidents are common due to limited visibility.
The large trucks could easily roll over under certain conditions.
The load of rocks can shift or escape the truck and cause property damage or physical injuries.
Because of these potential hazards, rock hauler insurance is essential for operators. Whether you own and operate a single truck, drive for a delivery company or own a fleet of rock haulers, protect yourself and your assets with insurance. It covers your liability in the case of an accident.
What is Covered by a Rock Hauler Insurance Policy?
When purchasing a rock hauler insurance policy, look for a comprehensive policy. It can include:
Primary liability for at-fault injuries or damages the truck causes to other people or property.
Physical damage if the truck is damaged from a collision, overturn, vandalism, fire or other peril.
Medical payments or personal injury protection for the driver or passenger's medical and other expenses if they are injured during an accident.
Pollution due to greater emissions from large trucks.
Workers' Compensation for truck operators.
General liability for injuries or property damage that occur on your premises.
Umbrella coverage that safeguards your assets.
Cargo coverage for the load.
Always be sure to purchase enough coverage to meet your state's requirements. If you haul rocks to other states, purchase adequate insurance to meet their requirements, too.
How Much Does Rock Hauler Insurance Cost?
Expect to pay between $4,000 and $14,000 annually for rock hauler insurance. Your premium will depend on several factors, including:
The amount and types of coverage you purchase
How many trucks you insure
Where you operate the trucks
The driver's history and experience
While price is a consideration when purchasing insurance, it's more important to purchase adequate coverage that protects your business and assets.
Contact your commercial insurance company to discuss rock hauler insurance. You'll receive a customized quote that's based on your personalized needs and offers adequate protection
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Essential Insurance Products For Your Startup Business
Starting a business is rewarding, but it’s also expensive. In your haste to pursue your passion or make a profit, you may decide to forgo insurance. However, you need at least basic coverage as you protect your assets and help your new company succeed. Purchase the right insurance products for your startup, and invest in your business and yourself.
General Liability Insurance
Although your business is brand new, you could be sued. Someone may suffer an injury while visiting your property or while using a product you sell. Or you could be sued for libel or slander. General liability covers your financial responsibility from a lawsuit, claim or settlement. This protective coverage is one of the most important insurance policies you can buy.
Commercial Property Insurance
Protect your physical assets with property insurance. It insures your building, inventory, office equipment, and other assets. This insurance product also protects your business from vandalism, theft, fire, and storms. You can purchase property insurance for the items you own, rent or lease, and you can alter coverage limits as your company grows and expands.
Business Owner's Policy
A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines your general liability and commercial property insurance policies. With a BOP, you can save money while ensuring your business remains protected from theft, fire, lawsuits, and other risks. While all startup businesses do not qualify for a BOP, you can talk to your insurance agent to confirm your options and find the right coverage for your needs.
Commercial Auto Insurance
With your fleet of automobiles, you and your employees can visit clients, make deliveries and perform other company tasks. Your personal car insurance won’t extend to company vehicles, so purchase a commercial auto insurance policy. Otherwise, you risk losing important assets if your company cars are involved in an accident, cause property damage, injure someone, or are damaged due to a theft or vandalism.
Protect employees with Workers’ Compensation insurance. It pays for medical treatment, short-term disability, lost wages, and other expenses employees incur after they suffer a work-related illness or injury. You’ll only need this coverage if you hire employees, but it’s essential coverage in this situation.
Whether your business sits in a known flood zone or at the top of a hill, you could lose valuable assets during a flood. In most cases, your commercial property insurance policy won’t cover flood-related claims. Purchase flood insurance to protect your company.
Now that you know what types of insurance you should buy for your startup company, contact an insurance agent. He or she can verify that you purchase the right coverage for your needs as you protect your financial and personal assets as well as your new business.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
External and Internal Factors of Financial Risk
Every small business faces financial risks. However, you can lower your risks and improve your chances of success when you become aware of several external and internal financial risk factors.
Economic downturns or failures as well as economic changes within certain industries, geographies or demographic groups play a role in your business's success. Any of these changes can decrease income and increase expenses.
While you cannot eliminate or even control economic risks, you can prepare for them.
Strategize ways to combat economic downturns.
Boost savings during good economic seasons.
Diversify investments, products and your customer base.
Pay debts quickly.
Look for new financing options regularly.
Continue to innovate.
Safety regulation updates and tax law changes can happen at any time. You may find yourself facing a mandatory safety system upgrade, an unexpected property tax increase or a government ban on a product you produce.
Prepare for legal risks when you save a cash reserve. It can pay for unforeseen regulation or tax changes. Be sure you stay up-to-date on industry trends, too, so you are better prepared to shift your business model, focus or products based on legal changes.
Part of your business strategy may include extending credit to your customers. You give them the product and they have a set time to pay the invoice. Sometimes, though, those customers cannot or will not pay their bills on time. As a result, you will not be able to pay your expenses.
Consider requesting payment up-front or build a cash reserve that covers unpaid invoices and all your regular expenses. These steps allow you to continue paying your bills, and they protect your business.
You have a great deal of control over performance risks even though they vary based on your specific business and its structure and products. Some typical performance risk factors that affect your bottom line include underperforming quarters, bad investments, new competition, planning errors, personnel challenges or quality issues.
These performance risks are often avoidable. Consider implementing several helpful suggestions.
Save enough cash to cover a slow quarter.
Decrease expenses and debt where possible.
Maintain consistent high quality standards.
Improve your hiring process then take measures to retain quality employees.
Focus on doing the best job possible so you can confidently face competition.
Evaluate performance regularly with a mentor and financial advisor.
As a small business owner, you will face financial challenges. However, you can prepare to face both the external and internal factors of financial risk. Make an appointment to meet with your financial advisor and discuss ways to combat these risks and help your small business succeed.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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