Business Owners Policy Insurance News

Good and Bad Choices

From birthday presents to business choices, not all decisions are good decisions. We all make bad choices, your insurance agent doesn’t have to be one of them. Make the choice you won’t regret. 

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Tax Filing Checklist

Tax season is around the corner! To save time and money, and alleviate stress caused by this time of year, refer to this checklist of five items to keep in mind while filing your taxes.

1) Confirm The Basics

Making mistakes on basic information while working on tax documents can happen to anyone. Be sure that everything, including your name and the names of your dependents, is spelled correctly. Also, check that all social security numbers are accurate.

2) Report Your Income Correctly

Take your time and make sure that all wages, dividends, bank interest, and other income you received are accurate. Additionally, remember that unemployment benefits must be reported because they are taxable income.

3) Enter The Right Bank Account Number

Choosing the direct deposit option will most likely result in receiving your refund faster. In addition, providing the correct account and routing numbers will help alleviate any holdups with the IRS.  

4) Review Your Return

Avoid spelling errors, misplaced punctuation, or entering the wrong numbers by rereading everything before you send in your return. For example, unintentionally entering $3,500 as your IRA contribution rather than the $5,300 you actually contributed can result in less money for your deduction.

5) File Electronically

While your method for filing taxes is ultimately your decision, filing electronically decreases the potential for making errors. Choosing this method will also help expedite receiving your possible refund. 

Extra tip: Make a copy of your signed return and proof of filing for your records

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4 Step Credit Building Plan for Business Owners

Almost every business owner (who is still in business) has experienced the opportunity to grow… alongside the need to borrow. This is the point our credit comes into play. Here are a few ideas for a business owner to build up their personal credit, in order to create then grow your business’ credit. 

Your Credit can communicate Your Worth in today’s business world

For any legal advice, please consult your attorney. For any tax advice, please consult your tax professional. This article is about your credit, and if you’re not already working to improve it, and own a business, you probably clicked on this blog for a reason. 

1. Pay your bills on time, every month, without fail. 

If you are not able pay your bills every month, that is probably because you have too many bills. One of the great lessons a small business marketing consultant once said was that the trick to enjoying being an entrepreneur is having low monthly bills. That is not a universal truth, but over 1/3 of your FICO score is based on whether you pay your bills late or not. Besides, this is one of the main reasons they’re checking your credit… to see if you are creditable in that when you say you will pay for something… will you do it? A solid first step at building your credit is to pay your bills on time. 

2. Shop Smart

While shopping smart could apply to the thoughts in the last paragraph, the act of shopping smart in building your credit has to do with knowing and selecting the credit partners who are best for you at this point. 

The internet is full of options of entities who are willing to loan money. Some of them loan money using good business practices, and other are what we call predatory lenders. They are identified as predatory, because they are out there in their own interest, and if they find you — they will eat you. They will take all they can and leave you as little as legally possible (and sometimes beyond what is legally allowed). 

Shop the partners you choose to do business with, when it comes to building your credit. 

3. Know your score

You are able to get a free credit check from a number of websites like: , mint or even . When you get your credit report, you can read it and see every company who says you have made a borrowing/credit business agreement. There are timelines and stipulations, but we are insurance brokers, and these are just ideas we think could help our business owner clients and friends. 

A credit score is not a static description you check once, and know for the next decade… or year… or month. Tracking your credit score is a part of building your credit. Some may say that it could hurt your credit to check your own credit, but that is not true. This is called a soft inquiry, and shouldn’t affect your credit score at all. 

4. Be Patient

After you start tracking your score, you will see that it feels like you’re running on freshly waxed linoleum with new socks… like you’re giving a lot of effort and not going anywhere. Don’t start closing old accounts. It’s a false tale which states that closing your unused credit will help your credit score. If you have old cards which are being properly managed, it will actually help your credit. As long as you keep the balance lower than 30% of your credit limit, you will be on your way to better rates, more options on rent or a mortgage, better phone plans and people will even start letting you take stuff for free, because they have a pretty good idea you will pay them back on time — because you credit says so by its score. 


Heavy snowfall, ice storms, and… tips to be safe

If your clients have been impacted by this weather, here are some tips you can share to help them stay safe and protect their property:

  • Stay alert. Continue to monitor local radio stations and media outlets for the latest updates on power outages, water/health advisories, and other important announcements.
  • Use flashlights, not candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Use flashlights instead of candles, which can get knocked over and increases the risk of fire.
  • Store water for you and your family. Each day, store at least one gallon of water in containers or the bathtub for each person in your home, as well as an additional gallon of water each day for cooking use.
    • For drinking water, if bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for one minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for three minutes), then allow it to cool before use.
  • Keep water trickling. If your water is running, keep water trickling out of faucets to help prevent them from freezing.
  • Locate the main water shut-off valve. In many southern states, the main water shut-off valve is often located outside the home, especially if there isn’t a basement. If you can access the shut-off, and if it’s safe to do so, consider shutting off the main water supply to your home. For more help finding your water shut-off and turning it off.
  • Keep at least one car outside the garage. If you are using a car to charge your electronics and devices, be sure to keep the car outside the home garage in an open area to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide build-up.

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