The 11 Steps to Start your Small Business!
Starting a small business can seem overwhelming at first, but if you are reading this article, chances are you are brave enough to consider it or already have. Since small business make up 99.7 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it seems like you aren’t the first and won’t be the last. But, if you have that entrepreneurial hunger, what you probably want to be is the best.
Whether you want to start a business with five employees or 300, the fundamental and basic steps are essentially the same. The SBA lays out the 10 steps to starting a business that might just be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between you and your dream.
- Write a business plan
- Get business assistance and training
- Choose a business location (We found a great list from CNN naming the 10 most entrepreneurial states in the US)
- Finance your business
- Determine the legal structure of your business
- Register a business name “doing business as”
- Get a tax identification number
- Register for state and local taxes
- Obtain business licenses and permits
- Understand employer responsibilities
Whether you’re starting a flower shop or an auto body repair shop, having the right insurance for your business and following these simple and fundamental steps is bound to set you up for success.
As with most types of insurance, rates for a business insurance policy vary greatly depending on your business and coverage needs.
While you don’t want to cut yourself short, you also don’t need the highest priced policy to ensure coverage. The key is finding the right insurance that fits your budget while still protecting you.
Before you buy business insurance, consider what you need. If you’re buying far more coverage than necessary, you’re paying too much.
Consider Your Coverage Needs
Anytime you buy a business insurance policy for your Colorado based business, you have to consider what amount you’d need to take care of liability issues and damage to your business and property. For instance, if the value of your entire business is $100,000, you wouldn’t need a $500,000 policy to cover you in the event of property damage.
On average, rates for general liability insurance range from $500 to $2,000 per year for small businesses. This gives you a good idea of how much rates vary based on your industry.
Bundle When Possible
Depending on your needs, you may be able to bundle multiple types of business insurance policies into one business owner’s policy. In most cases, the rate is lower than purchasing each policy individually. This can help you avoid paying too much and having a more budget friendly option.
It’s important to look at what policies are available with a BOP. Sometimes you may still need additional coverage and policies based on your type of business. Talk to your local insurance agent about any possible differences.
As your business changes, so do your business insurance policy needs. For instance, if you’re a service provider, such as an electrician, you may need additional coverage if you’re taking on larger jobs, such as going from electrical repairs for homeowners to large businesses.
A policy right now might be too much because it offers more than you need. A year from now, your business may have grown and you’ll need that larger policy.
Think About Your Business’s Future
If you have a tight budget, every policy might seem like you’re paying too much. However, think carefully about what would happen if you didn’t have coverage. When your business is just getting started, it may be impossible to recover if there’s a natural disaster, break-in or liability case.
Before you think you’re paying too much, look at the peace of mind you’re getting from knowing that your business will survive if the something does happen.
You’re not required to buy a business insurance policy at the first insurance agency you speak with. Talk to multiple companies and compare rates. You should be able to see an average policy rate. You’ll likely find a few that are much higher or lower than the rest. In most cases, it’s best to stick to the average quote to avoid paying too much for the same type of coverage.
When you talk to an agent, you’ll need to provide extensive information about your business in order to get an accurate quote. The more details you have, the more likely you are to get a quote that’s perfect for your exact business. Leaving out anything could result in you paying more than you should.
Ready to discuss insurance options for your business? Contact our team today at our Denver office at 303–388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303–688-1251. You can also send us a message any time and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Why You Need Liability Insurance For Your Business
One of the most important things you can buy for your business is liability insurance. Hopefully, it’s something you’ll never need to use, but you’ll be glad to have it if you need it.
No business is perfect and when something does go wrong, you want to know you have some form of protection on your side. This is why you need liability insurance for your business.
From property damage to bodily injury, anything could happen. No business, big or small, is immune from liability issues and it’s always best to be prepared.
What Is Liability Insurance
Liability insurance is also referred to as general liability and commercial general liability insurance. It’s designed to provide coverage for legal defense, damages and other expenses related to liability suits. These policies typically cover damages to property if you rent, injuries related to advertising, physical and bodily injury and slander or personal injury.
People Love To Sue
People love to sue businesses and each other. If someone was to slip inside your place of business, they could sue you for medical expenses, lost wages if they couldn’t work and general pain and suffering. If your advertising could be misinterpreted and someone is injured as a result, you could face a lawsuit. The lesson is no matter how small your business might be or how hard you try to keep everyone happy, people love to find reasons to sue and it could easily happen to your business.
Things Do Go Wrong
Having liability insurance for your business means you have protection when things go wrong. Perhaps an employee didn’t secure a shelf properly and it fell on someone when they walked by. Even though it was an accident, you’re still responsible for your employee’s negligence.
What happens if someone’s microwaving something on a break and the microwave catches fire and burns down part of the building you’re renting? Liability insurance can help cover the damage and prevent costly out of pocket repairs. Trying to predict what might happen is like trying to predict the weather – it’s not a perfect science. It’s better to be repaired than wish you were after the fact.
You Can’t Afford A Lawsuit
Think about the cost of medical expenses. A simple broken leg can cost thousands. Add legal fees to this and you’re looking at an expensive lawsuit. It’s not uncommon for a lawsuit to cost well over $100,000. Legal fees, medical expenses, settlements and more all add up quickly. Could your business honestly afford to pay out of pocket for all of this?
Most liability insurance policies for small businesses are under a few thousand dollars a year. Obviously, that increases for higher coverage limits for larger businesses. However, annual premiums just a fraction of the cost of a lawsuit. Paying a little now helps ensure that you can afford a lawsuit if it does happen to you.
Protect Your Business’s Future
Sadly, many businesses look at the cost of premiums and feel like it’s an unnecessary expense. Instead of seeing it as an expense, look at liability insurance for your business as an investment in your business’s future. You already invest in maintaining a nice business, hiring great employees, marketing products and services, securing your business and more.
Why not invest in protecting your business’s future too? A single lawsuit could bankrupt your business if you’re not prepared. Even if you could handle a single suit, what happens if multiple incidents happen at once? Consider this – if annual premiums seem expensive, imagine how you would pay for a lawsuit? Hundreds of thousands of dollars could spell the end of your business. With liability insurance, lawsuits still aren’t fun, but they won’t mean your business is done and over with.
Want to learn more about liability insurance for your Colorado business? Contact the friendly team at Insurance Town & Country today to discuss your coverage needs. You can also call us directly at our Denver office at 303–388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303–688-1251.
Keep Calm and Save Money
We’ve all heard the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned” — but sometimes it’s almost impossible to think about savings when most of your earnings are already accounted for. If bills, rent, student loan debt, credit cards, and the like are exhausting all of your current income, putting any amount into savings may be the last thing on your mind.
But, what happens when your car suddenly needs an emergency repair? Or your beloved pet gets sick and has to be rushed to the ER? Or what if your comfortable salary gets cut in half? These are the unfortunate moments when any amount in savings (small as it may be) will help to prevent you from going even further into debt.
Regardless of any other debt, it is important to start building a buffer of savings, ideally enough to cover several months of living expenses. Start small, even a few dollars can build up over time.
- Just Get Started. It’s important to do your due diligence first. This means setting a budget that includes paying yourself. Determine how much you can realistic set aside from every paycheck. Whether it’s $2 or $200, it needs to be an amount that you can stick to. It helps to automate this process too! If your savings is removed before you even see your paycheck, it will eliminate the temptation to spend.
- Under the Mattress is Not a Good Place to Save! If you are making the effort to create a budget and set aside some cash, you want your money to work for you as best as possible. Instead of a low-interest savings account, save your cash in an account that earns at least 1% in interest. Keep an eye on monthly maintenance fees and FDIC insurance. It’s also a good idea to keep this savings account in a bank that is separate from your checking account. This will prevent constant visibility and further temptation.
- Be Sure with Insurance. Once your savings process is under control, it’s a good idea to review the rest of your expenses. Your emergency fund can only go so far. Various insurance policies — auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, etc. — can help protect you and your family without draining the bank.
Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can review your current insurance policies and make sure they fit with your current budget and life needs. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!
Business Protection with General Liability
Owning a business is no small task. Seemingly ordinary day-to-day business operations can lead to a multitude of mishaps and accidents, which ultimately could result in a lawsuit. Protecting yourself and your business from these claims is the primary purpose of general liability insurance. Having “GL” coverage will help protect your business from claims such as property damage or bodily/personal injury.
It is common to combine general liability insurance with property insurance. As a BOP, this policy has the potential to cover a wide variety of scenarios. GL insurance can be purchased as standalone coverage. Ask your local insurance agency to determine the best course of action.
WHY DO I NEED GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Protecting your business means protecting your livelihood. As a small business owner, even the slightest of mishaps could result in a claim being filed that your company is simply not set up to handle. Having general liability is a good way to help protect your business against these types of lawsuits. Carrying GL insurance can offer coverage against liability risks both bodily injury and property damage.
Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We will discuss the various commercial insurance policies needed to keep you and your business protected! We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!
Commercial Insurance For Your Big Toys
No longer are the days of tricycles and scooters. You are a grown-up. Your toys are much bigger now.
ATVs, snowmobiles, golf carts, personal water vessels. Whatever your extracurricular vehicle of choice is, it is important to make
sure you have the proper coverage for it. Unless you have a separate garage with lock and key for your big-kid toy, you run a higher risk of damage or even theft. Having commercial insurance will ensure that your weekends of boating or off-road won’t be ruined.
With specialized ‘toy’ commercial insurance, you and your motor vehicle of choice may be covered regardless of your location. If you bundle it with your homeowners insurance, you could end up facing costly repair bills should an accident occur away from home. Having a stand-alone, specialized policy will provide coverage beyond the basics and ensure you don’t get caught paying out of pocket for things like towing or accessory theft.
No one wants to have their toys broken or taken away from them, so remember: if you can’t afford to insure them, you probably can’t afford to have them!
Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can help you determine what kind of coverage and services you need to keep your toys intact!We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!
SMART AUTO INSURANCE SHOPPING
We all know that buying a car is a big deal. The first step is generally surface level decisions — make, model, color. After that, it is important to think about what’s “under the hood” — price, gas mileage, features.
But don’t stop there.
It is also important to consider the cost of auto insurance into your total budget. Every driver needs it, and there are no short of options out there for buyers. Insurance Town and Country can help. Below are some topics to consider when you are doing your auto insurance homework.
Types of Auto Insurance
- Liability Coverage — This will pay for damage to other vehicles or injuries to other people that have been caused by you.
- Physical Damage Coverage — This will pay for you damage to your vehicle.
Amount of Coverage
- Every person is different in their driving needs. Some may only want the bare-minimum coverage, while others want insurance coverage for just about every one of life’s roadside surprises. The state you live in will determine the amount of minimum coverage required. From there, it will be up to you to consider your own budget, lifestyle and comfort level to determine which auto insurance suits your needs.
Rate of Coverage
- This will be based on several factors, including information about your vehicle and previous driving record. Let Insurance Town and Country give you very competitive auto insurance quotes in Denver. Depending on your personal driving information, we will be able to help determine the appropriate level of coverage and rates for your lifestyle.
Insurance Town & Country is available to help you make informed decisions regarding your auto insurance. Our experienced business insurance and insurance professionals will help you consider your options and assist you in selecting the coverage that’s right for you. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation for business insurance, and let there be one less thing to worry about when you’re buying a car!
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This year you’re going to do it! You’ve made your resolutions and you’ve already hit the gym a couple of times, but you’re not in the greatest shape. You’re in a vulnerable position where you could easily overwork yourself, strain a muscle, or hurt yourself on one of the machines you’re not quite sure how to use. Not to mention that it’s super cold and icy, what if you slip and fall on the ice or get sick because your immune system is compromised? How are you going to pay to visit the doctor? Let us help.
Insurance Town & Country offers several flexible health insurance policies that fall into various plan categories. Each type of category has its pros and cons, but we’re sure that there is one that meets your needs and fits in your budget. The coverage definitions are listed below, read over the short description of each and contact us at either of our locations listed below for a more in-depth assessment of your needs to find the plan that makes sense for you.
Copay - The copay is the amount of money the insured must pay out of pocket for a particular visit or service.
Coinsurance – Coinsurance means that the insured pays a certain percentage (usually 20% or 30%) of the total cost of medical care. A coinsurance plan may or may not be combined with a copay provision.
Deductible – The deductible is the amount that the insured must pay before the plant starts paying. These plans always cover preventative care services even before the deductible has been reached. A wide range of deductibles are available, depending on whether the coverage is for an individual or family.
Health Savings Account - Health Savings Accounts (HSA) must accompany a high-deductible plan. Participants qualify for a tax deduction on the money they deposit in the account. Preventive care is always included in these plans without having to reach the deductible first.
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1735 E. 17th Ave. #3 513 Wilcox St. #200
Denver, CO 80218 Castle Rock, CO 80104
Phone: 303–388-7216 Phone: 303–688-1251
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Merry Christmas to all of our friends, family, clients, and strangers! This December 25th is about much more than exchanging gifts. It is the day Insurance Town & Country, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
This holiday season we at Insurance Town & Country want to do more than just wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We want to thank all of our clients for their business and we want to encourage those of you who are not clients, to give Insurance Town & Country a chance to earn your business. We wish all of you the best in 2016!
Joan, Jeremy, and the whole Insurance Town & Country Team