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Business Protection Bulletin
Why And How To Host A Blood Donor Month Event
January is National Blood Donor Month. To support employee wellness and your community, your company can get involved by hosting an event.
Why Host a Blood Donor Month Event
The need for blood donations across the country is often high in the wintertime due to an increase in illnesses and accidents and a decrease in blood drives. In addition to boosting your local blood supply, consider hosting an event during Blood Donor Month to:
Earn recognition as a community leader.
Attract customers who appreciate supporting businesses that prioritize charitable giving.
Empower and energize employees to give back.
Build teamwork within your company as employees work together to host a blood drive.
Promote leadership skills among the employees who organize the event.
Support your brand values.
Different Types of Blood Donor Month Events
Your company can host one or more events during Blood Donor Month.
Host a blood drive at your location.
Partner with other local businesses to host a blood drive.
Offer a discount to blood drive participants.
Donate snacks for an upcoming blood drive.
Raise money for the Red Cross through a bake sale, variety show or formal dinner.
Contact past blood donors to thank them for their service.
How to Host a Blood Drive
If your company decides to host a blood drive, you’ll work with your local Red Cross chapter. In general, you’ll follow these tips.
Choose a location. An on-site conference room or lunch room can serve as the blood drive location, or ask the Red Cross to bring a mobile bus.
Set a date, preferably during the evening or weekend when donors are typically available. Also, keep in mind that you will need a few weeks of planning to host a successful event.
Become educated about what happens during a blood drive and how the donated blood is used. Use your education to encourage potential donors to participate.
Advertise the event. Utilize your company’s website, social media pages and newsletter, local newspaper ads, and display signs.
Sign up donors. Successful blood drives often require a minimum of 20 donors. Ask employees to contact customers or other potential donors and set up appointments.
Provide snacks and beverages for donors whose blood sugar drops after their donation.
Schedule helpers for the event. Ask employees to sign up to register donors, replenish snacks or write thank you cards.
This January, your company can host a Blood Donor Month event. For more information, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS. Talk to your commercial insurance agent, too, to ensure you have adequate liability coverage for the duration of your event.
What You Should Know About Performance Bonds
In the construction industry, performance bonds serve as a guarantee that the contractor will finish the project correctly and satisfactorily. As a contractor, you must knozw the details about performance bonds as you protect your business.
What is a Performance Bond?
A performance bond is issued by your insurance company or a bank and guarantees to the project owner or manager that you will meet your contractual obligations. You’ll need to put up real estate or another investment as collateral.
After you purchase a performance bond, you’re ready to complete the construction project. If you don’t follow through on your commitment, the bond company pays out the bond, and you must repay the bond company.
Who Needs a Performance Bond?
Contractors who perform private sector or government work need a performance bond for each project. It ensures that contractors do the job right and don’t waste taxpayer money.
Documents Required to Request a Performance Bond
Insurance and bond companies require different types of paperwork depending on the cost of the project and its difficulty. In general, you will need to assemble the following documents before you request a performance bond.
A copy of the contract
Completed surety application
Detailed CPA-prepared financial statements from the past two years
How Much Does a Performance Bond Cost?
Performance bonds cost a percentage of the contract value. For large projects, the percentage is usually one percent. Smaller contracts may require a bond of as much as three percent.
Your creditworthiness, type of job and state in which you live also affect the bond’s cost. You’ll add its total cost to your project bid.
What Happens After the Performance Bond is Cashed?
When you don’t complete your contractual obligations, the project manager can file a claim against the performance bond. The bonding company will evaluate the claim. If it’s legitimate, the company will pay the bond amount to the project manager. Remember that the contract for each project must be specific. A vague contract with terms that are open to interpretation could void the performance bond.
The only person who can receive the performance bond payment is the property or project owner. With that bond money, the project manager can pay to complete the project or hire a replacement contractor who will finish the job properly.
If the bond company pays out a claim, you are responsible to repay the debt. You can cover the cost with your collateral or another form of payment.
Performance bonds protect project owners and ensure they receive quality work as outlined in the contract. Before your next bid, be prepared with a performance bond.
How Small Business Owners Can Use Facebook Marketing In 2019
Facebook is one of several social media sites your small business can use to connect with customers and market your company. Start 2019 off right with these Facebook marketing tips.
Create and Update your Business Page
Even if you have a personal Facebook profile, you need a Facebook business page for your company. It gives your business credibility and helps customers find you.
On the page, include important details about your company. Add an About Us description, your contact information, website and e-commerce links, hours of operation, and upcoming events. Also, remember to update your information when necessary.
Rely on Organic Marketing
Your company could buy ads to reach more people. Organic marketing tools are more effective, though, at building an audience of people who are genuinely interested in your brand. That’s why your page should prioritize authentic content and relationships.
Focus on Relationships
You’ll maximize Facebook when you focus on building relationships with your audience. To do that, monitor your page and interact with visitors. Respond to comments, answer questions and messages, and thank customers.
Share Content Regularly
It’s tempting to post a few times then forget about your Facebook page. You need to post content regularly, though, to use this marketing tool effectively.
Post a Variety of Content
No matter what business you’re in, plan to post a variety of different types of content on your Facebook page. Examples include:
Photos and videos.
Links to your company’s blog posts.
Offsite links to valuable content.
Event invitations and information.
Company staff bios.
Everything you share on your Facebook page should be interesting to your audience. After all, Facebook is a social platform that’s designed for your audience’s benefit, not yours, and more engagement means Facebook will share your content with even more viewers.
Maximize engagement when you follow the 80/20 guideline. Out of 10 posts, at least eight posts will include fun, informative, interesting, and thoughtful content, and only two posts feature sales information. You can measure how much engagement your page receives when you analyze the number of likes, comments and shares your posts receive.
Ask Customers to Like your Facebook Page
Invite your customers to interact with your company on Facebook. Include your Facebook page link in emails, on your website and in blog posts. Remember that it’s always best to grow your page organically rather than pay for customers to “like” your business profile.
Update your Insurance
Your business owners insurance policy can protect your company against a variety of advertising liabilities. Update your policy as you prepare for success.
Facebook gives your small business a way to engage with your customers. These Facebook marketing tips help you maximize your page.
Commercial Insurance Premiums You Can Deduct On Your Tax Return
Your small business tax returns may not be due until April, but now’s the time to start your tax prep so you’re ready for the big day.
As you gather documents and compile receipts, consider the commercial insurance premiums you can deduct as business expenses.
IRS Expense Deduction Guidelines
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), small businesses can deduct ordinary and necessary costs associated with doing business. Certain insurance premiums fall into this category of deductible expenses.
nsurance Premiums you can Deduct
Here’s a partial list of business insurance premiums you may be able to deduct on your tax return.
1. Auto insurance for commercial vehicles the business owns if you deduct the actual cost of the vehicles and not the standard mileage deduction.
2. Business interruption insurance that covers lost profit if a covered event causes a temporary business shut down.
3. Credit insurance that pays for losses caused by bad business debts.
4. Group health insurance premiums if the company’s employees, managers and owners benefited and the policy is written in the business’s name.
5. Liability insurance that covers accidents.
6. Life insurance for officers and employees if you are not the beneficiary of any of those policies.
7. Long-term care insurance available to employees, managers and owners.
8. Malpractice insurance for personal liability that occurs because of professional negligence.
9. Overhead insurance, which covers business expenses if you become disabled.
10. State unemployment insurance fund contributions if they are taxed under your state’s law.
11. Workers' Compensation Insurance that covers employees’ occupational injuries or illnesses.
Insurance Premiums you Cannot Deduct
IRS rules prevent your business from deducting several insurance premiums, including:
Certain life insurance or annuity premiums
Insurance premiums paid to secure a loan
Personal insurance premiums
Self-insured reserve payments
Sickness or Disability insurance premiums
How to Calculate Insurance Premium Deductions
To calculate your insurance premium deductions, gather your records and add all the allowable premiums you paid during the tax year. Include this figure with your other business deductions on IRS Form 1040. You can find additional helpful information about tax deductions in IRS Publication 535, the Business Expenses worksheet, and IRS Publication 334, the Small Business Tax Guide.
Insurance protects your business and offers invaluable peace of mind. Talk to your qualified professional tax preparer now as you prepare to file your taxes. He or she will evaluate your specific insurance policies and business circumstances, help you calculate your deductions properly and assist you in maximizing your tax return this year.
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