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Protect Your Assets – Purchase Insurance For Your Business

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When you own a business, you have assets that you need to protect. The right insurance has a big impact on your success. There are many different types of coverage to choose from. Here are some factors you need to consider if you want to purchase insurance for your business.

Your Risks

Assessing your risks can help you figure out what kind of insurance you need to get for your business. Insurance companies determine the level of risk they are willing to accept when reviewing your application. During this process they will determine whether they will provide all or a portion of the coverage you are requesting. The premium is the price you pay for your insurance. Premiums vary on the type of insurance you get and on risk factors like location, building type, local fire protection services and the amount of insurance purchased. A deductible is the amount of money you agree when making a claim. For most insurance companies, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. However, agreeing to pay a high deductible could mean high financial risks. Therefore, it is important to assess your risks before going to purchase insurance.

Shop Around

There are many different kinds of insurance and even more insurance companies. Make sure that every part of your business is covered when you purchase insurance. The cost of coverage differs from one insurance company to the next. There are some companies that specialize in covering specific areas of the business. For example, there are companies that specialize in fire insurance while there are also others that are good in business car insurance.

Consider BOP

Business Owner’s Policy or BOP can be purchased separately and usually results in higher premiums. BOP covers property, general liability, vehicles, business interruption and other areas of business. BOP simplifies the insurance-buying process and can help save money. However, be aware of what is covered in any BOP you are considering buying because not every aspect of your business could be included. If you have unique risks, you should consider buying other insurance.

Assess Annually

As your business grows, so does your assets and liabilities. You don’t want to be caught uninsured should disaster strike. If you bought new assets, replaced equipment or expanded operations, call your insurance agent to let them know of these changes. Discuss how these affect your insurance coverage and how you can get them insured the soonest possible time.

Reputable Licensed Agent

Insurance brokers can help you find the right kind of coverage your business needs. Brokers make money by receiving commission from the policies they sell which is why it is important to look for an agent that has your best interest (and theirs) at heart. Before buying, make sure that the broker understands the nature of your business or the coverage you need to find the best matching policy for your business.

Finding a reputable insurance agent is just as important as finding a good doctor or accountant. Always look for one that is licensed by the state. Many states have a directory listing licensed insurance brokers so this is a good place to start.

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10 Benefits Of Working In Co-working Spaces

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Virtual Office Spaces and Co-working Spaces is the place to be for startups and budding entrepreneurs. Increasingly however, more established companies and professional service providers are viewing this type of space as part of their business needs. Whether it is as a satellite office or an alternative to fixed office space and the associate overheads, the flexibility and lower level of commitment involved, combined with our growing ability to run a business from our laptops, makes this business tool increasingly attractive for everyone. Another growing trend is that these types of facilities are popping up outside the traditional downtown locations and are now serving the needs of people who do their business in or from the burbs. Yes, suburbans can be cool too! Let’s examine some of the advantages:

1. Cost

You only pay for what you use. Let’s face it. How much time do you need to be in an office anyway? Why go to the expense of renting or leasing dedicated space when you only absolutely need it for perhaps 10-20 hours per week? Oh, and then there’s the cost of furniture, phone lines, Wi-Fi, printer, coffee, electricity, heating, cleaning, etc.

2. Low Commitment

No long-term leases involved. Most places will allow you to just give 30 days notice. Ever enter into a three-year lease and realize after 6 months you don’t really want to be there or it’s now too small for your needs? If you think your new business is going to grow quickly, consider virtual office space for a while until things settle down.

3. Technology

If it’s not working, it’s someone else’s problem! No having to deal with bad Wi-Fi, broken printers, changing light bulbs, projectors, cables, etc.

4. Administration

Have someone answer your calls, do your basic admin, newsletter, etc. Most virtual offices provide optional Admin Service.

5. Flexibility

You book the room size you need when you need it. You now have access to meeting rooms, conference rooms, workshop rooms, interview rooms, reception space, kitchens, etc. You typically also have 24/7 access. If you have a virtual business team, you can elect to all meet physically from time to time to keep up the camaraderie and help develop your unique company culture.

6. Professionalism

No more meeting clients at Starbucks, no more using your home as your business address. There is also a sense that you are ready for the next bold step when you join co-working spaces. It’s a chance to turn over a new leaf in your entrepreneurial life

7. Community

You don’t have to feel isolated at home with the dog and a great business idea. Hang out with other like-minded people who are experiencing the same issues and challenges as you. Each member may know hundreds of other people. Most locations have a continuous calendar of events and useful workshops. These act as an opportunity to network and learn. Most importantly is the opportunity to work with amazing people who are prepared to share their greatest triumphs and greatest fears, people who are open to new ideas and always ready to give back more than they receive. That is the power of co-working and the energy that drives it forward.

8. Pool of Expertise

You will bump into people who know things you don’t know, people you can leverage to solve your problems. These are people who have made mistakes and learned from them. They will be able to give you tips and you will find yourself closer to the bleeding edge of technology adoption and the latest marketing techniques. There’s the opportunity to get to know about the latest gizmo or trend or just an easier or more cost effective way to get something done. “Hey have you seen this app? Did you know this platform integrates with Quickbooks? What do you use to manage your contacts?” These are the kind of quick conversations you won’t be having in your home office anytime too soon!

9. Collaboration and Referrals

If you are willing to make an effort you will get to know many people at co-working spaces. The people you meet are invariably only too happy to help out and this often means referrals. We have seen businesses double their sales within months of joining our community. Word of warning, get to know people socially as well as professionally.

10. Adventure

You just don’t know what is going to happen. Certainly, being in co-working spaces give you a heightened chance of meeting the perfect connection, attending a direction-changing workshop or just meeting new friends. It beats sitting at home looking at the dishes!

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‘Or Die Trying’ Webseries Empowering Millennials

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Or Die Trying Series

Inspiring millennials across the nation, Or Die Trying is sharing a story about four women living in Hollywood pursuing their dreams in the entertainment industry. In this exclusive interview, they reveal the truth about LA, crowdfunding, and feminism. The passion behind the webseries stem from the lives of the creator Myah Hollis and producer Sarah Hawkins. They are the masterminds behind Or Die Trying, and this is how they’re doing it.

 

What is Or Die Trying about?

MH: Or Die Trying is about four millennial women living and working in Hollywood. When it comes to their careers in the entertainment industry, they know what they want and they have an idea of what it will take to get there, but they struggle with making all of the pieces of their lives mesh seamlessly. While they’re strong in one area, they’re lacking in another. It’s a story about their journeys as they develop as women and try to come to some type of equilibrium, while not compromising who they are in the process.

Tell me about the characters.

MH: Amelia Tinsley is a journalist, struggling with her identity and her sense of purpose, and trying to get herself back on track. Bailey Rosenberg is a comedian who is totally in tune with who she is and what she wants, but is having opposing expectations forced on her by her mother who wants her to live more traditionally. Ellie Hansen is an indie actress who is disinterested in the idea of fame at the expense of art, even though she’s constantly being pressured to “sell out.” Raegan Thomas is the creator and co-showrunner of a TV show who, although she’s doing very well professionally, is dealing with things in her personal life, and she doesn’t really have the ability to compartmentalize the two. Each character is trying to achieve a sense of balance between two dueling aspects of their lives.

How did you ladies meet?

SH: Myah and I met a few years ago in Philly where we both lived and worked. We both made the leap to LA within months of each other in 2013, Myah moving here for writing, and I sought to pursue acting. Being friends and fellow film industry ladies, we wanted to create something together that we could call our own, as if you wait for the perfect role or opportunity to come to you, you’re never going to find it. We’ve been work wives ever since!

Why LA?

SH: Los Angeles is like Mecca for artists and those striving to put one’s dreams into fruition. Most everyone is here with purpose, and that alone can be incredibly infectious. Who wouldn’t want to feed off that type of energy every day?

MH: If you’re seriously pursuing a career in TV or film, this is the heart of the industry. It’s where you need to be. It also helps that it’s sunny all year and there’s a ton of sushi.

What is your day to day like?

MH: Every day is hectic in its own way, but not extremely exciting to be honest. It’s just a marathon of checking things off of checklists, chugging gallons of caffeine and trying not to sink into the warm comfort of an unproductive Netflix binge.

SH: I’m not sure I can really echo Myah’s sentiments enough on the coffee bit. Coffee in an IV and an obscene mountain of emails.

What inspires you?

SH: My fellow women in film. I feel like there is such community within our little network that is just pure of heart and down to earth, so much that at times it can kick your own ego-butt every now and then. This industry can be just absolutely brutal, but when I see like-minded, passionate, badass women who just want to help level each other up, I get incredibly motivated to do the same and progress the conversation further.

MH: I think I’m most inspired by the statistical improbability that I should be successful as a writer in this industry. When I first decided that I would pursue this instead of going down one of the many roads that would lead me to a stable job, I was very aware of the fact this is something that I should fail at. More people fail than succeed, that’s just a fact. You know this going in but you do it anyway. The idea of being successful despite those odds is what drives me.

Or Die Trying Cast

Why a story about women?

MH: There aren’t enough stories about women told by women. There’s a unique perspective that’s missing in Hollywood because women are not telling our own stories, therefore the stories that are being told are not representing us properly. It’s a systemic problem that will only change if we make it our responsibility to create more complex, realistic female characters.

Who are some of your role models? Why?

MH: Shonda Rhimes is my main professional role model, for reasons that feel really obvious to me but I’ll just go ahead and lay them out. She has knocked down so many barriers and has become the epitome of a woman building her own empire and playing by her own rules. She has beat the odds in every way, and that’s really inspiring. My role models in my personal life are my parents and my family and close friends. I’m just surrounded by so many strong, resilient and talented people, it’s insane.

SH: Amy Sherman-Palladino for the creation of Gilmore Girls, which is probably some of the best feminist writing on TV and on a personal level, my dad. He has been a huge influence on my career as an actor and as a producer, and is a constant source of inspiration.

What advice can you give to people chasing their dreams in LA?

SH: Find your “person(s)”. LA can be extremely lonely and competitive if you let it. Surround yourself with people who push you to be better, to think outside of yourself, to keep the end goals in perspective when the day-to-day gets muddled and messy. That’s what I love most about Myah’s & I’s relationship. She keeps me in check and we push on together.

MH: Don’t listen to people, listen to your instincts. Listen to your gut. Succeeding in this city takes stamina. Only you know when you’ve had enough. Don’t stop going after what you want until you’re sure you don’t want it anymore.

How did crowdfunding through Seed & Spark help you?

SH: Seed&Spark was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences. Crowdfunding is never easy, but the folks at Seed&Spark vet you and prepare you on a level that is incredibly empowering. Really cool filmmakers came out of the woodwork to support us, not only financially but with loans of goods, services, promotions, etc. Our project became a community through Seed&Spark, and we’re excited to continue to build that village through production this October.

How are you trying to make your audience feel?

MH: I don’t ever want to tell people what they should feel. I’m kind of a psych nerd, so I can get a little hippie-dippie at times, but I really think that everyone is at a different point in their lives and different things resonate with you depending on what you’re experiencing at the time. I just want people to be able to empathize on some level, but whatever feelings our show ignites is fine with me as long as they’re engaged.

What is your message to your audience?

MH: You have to trust your instincts, regardless of the backlash that may cause. You also have to be willing to put in the work to become whoever it is you want to be, both professionally and personally. Those are the main things that I want people to walk away with. Other than that, I just hope people take what they need from it and that they’re both inspired and entertained.

What sort of person is going to love the show?

SH: We sought to really hone in on our fellow millennial women in film, because they are our community, our niche; the ambitious, driven women who know what they want and are actively doing everything they can to make it happen. I know ODT echoes universal truths far beyond that demographic, that dreams are worth fighting for, and given by the reaction to our trailer, our Seed&Spark Campaign, and other press, I can’t wait to see who latches on to it, as both men and women alike have been extremely anxious and excited for us to get it out there.

Or Die Trying Myah Hollis

What was the happiest moment?

MH: Finishing the scripts was a huge relief. I tend to pick at them compulsively until they’re exactly the way I see it in my head, so when they were officially locked in and ready to go I felt like I could finally breathe.

SH: For me, it’s the seeing the community we are beginning to build with Or Die Trying. A distinct moment was at our ODT Networking Party, and looking out into the crowd to see all the amazing people who not only came out to support our series, but came out to connect with fellow filmmakers and level each other up by networking with one another. It was so cool to witness!

How has pursuing Or Die Trying affected your lives?

MH: It’s completely dominated the past year and a half of my life. Everything has revolved around this project for so long, that I don’t really remember what I was doing with my days before. It’s also made me really confident in my abilities as a writer and producer, and very thankful to be surrounded by such talented and creative people every day.

SH: Same! ODT on the brain 24/7.

What struggles are women facing today?

SH: I’m going to chunk this down to women in film because there are some pretty wild problems outside of this industry women have been and are currently fighting against. To put it plainly, there is unequal opportunity for women behind and infront of the camera, unequal pay above and below the line, and very little movement to illuminate the female perspective onscreen.

Would you consider yourselves feminists?

SH:  Yes. Men and women are equals, it’s time our society reflects it. Feminism shouldn’t be a dirty word.

MH: I honestly don’t understand how you can not be a feminist. There are negative implications about what feminism is, but it’s very simply the belief that women are equal to men in every capacity. I can’t believe that’s something that we’re still debating as a society.

How do you feel about the film industry today?

SH: I think we are in a unique time where collaboration and creation is becoming increasingly more welcome than competition. So much of this industry is cut-throat, but when it comes down to actually bringing a project into fruition on the indie level, I believe most people are in it for the right reasons. Maybe that’s naive of me to say, but at the very least, that’s been our experience with ODT. Everyone just wants to be apart of something bigger than themselves, and I believe our series speaks to that.

What obstacles have you faced?

SH: The proverbial “no,” and learning that it has no real merit on you or what you’re capable of achieving.

MH: The great thing about building your own projects and creating your own opportunities is that you don’t face many obstacles that you can’t overcome. There are always logistics that need to be figured out, but the fact that you’re not waiting for someone to tell you what you can or can’t do eliminates a lot of that hesitation and stress that can hinder you in this industry.

Who would you like to work with in the future?

MH: Shonda.

SH: Jill Soloway.

Is there anything you want to highlight?

SH: We’re headed into production of Or Die Trying this October, but you can stay tuned on our progress at odtseries.com and on social media @ODT_series and at #odtseries

 

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Make The Most Out Of Meetings

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Companies invest lots of time and energy to conduct business meetings. It can be frustrating if the meetings fail to bring the desired result. Meetings can be painfully boring and you may try to avoid it, but with proper steps, you can come out with a winning smile from the conference room.

Be prepared

You are invited to a meeting with a definite purpose. Be prepared to be an active participant in the discussions. Try to know the topic of discussion. Keep your notes ready. Plan how you want to execute your points. The more you do your homework, the more confident you feel about the proposed meeting.

Develop a plan and write a summary

Once you know what you want to accomplish in the meeting, you need to develop a plan to execute it. Write all the major points you want to communicate in the meeting on a paper. Avoid complex language. If you use lucid language, everyone can follow and understand you. If a written summary is ready in your hands, you feel more confident before entering the venue. Be prepared for the questions. Try to answer the questions patiently.

Network

Try to build a network for yourself when you participate in meetings. Arrive early and have some time to get to know the people. Mingle with all the participants of the meeting with some casual conversations. Building a good working relationship with the people outside your team can help you progress in your career.

Smart use of time

It is very important to finish your presentation within the time limit. Do not stretch the duration of the meeting with an unending series of questions and answers. People may not encouragingly listen to you if you extend it too long. Participants should not feel that their time is wasted.

Participate and encourage participation

Most people do not find meetings engaging enough. They either play with their phones or whisper within themselves. You can impress everyone with your listening skills. Do not distract yourself from the discussions. Ask appropriate questions after each of the presentations at the meeting. When you present, try to maintain eye contact with the participants. Appreciate when they ask you good questions. You can add some variety in the stiff environment of the meeting by arranging some creative games in-between.

Learn from the past

If you have been to business meetings before, you already have a clue how to go on with your idea. Learn from the mistakes you made before. If this the first time you are participating in a meeting, get some information from your team or review the past presentations made by your seniors.

Time to shine

When you are invited to an important meeting, make the most of it. Do not be apprehensive. Take it as a chance to show your potential as an employee. Your seniors will appreciate your efforts when you prepare yourself hard for the event. When you participate actively in the discussions and ask intelligent questions, you get a chance to impress your colleagues.

 

Meetings are a part of the modern corporate world. You cannot afford to miss all the meetings. If you can prepare yourself well for the meeting, you feel more positive and confident.

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