Prepare Your Property for the Colder Months

Prepare your property for colder months…
Summer is ending, and the season change is a good time to review key items on or around your commercial property. Keeping tabs on these items each fall will help you avoid claims year-round. For healthy maintenance of your property, don’t head into storm season without checking:

The roof. Summer storms often cause roof damage. If it’s minor, it can go unnoticed – for now. But if missed, that minor damage can become a large problem over the winter. Take the opportunity to stop trouble before it starts. Give your roof a thorough inspection for potential problems down the road, then take care of any issues right now.

The HVAC system. Regardless of your heating needs, fall is a good time to check your HVAC system. In warmer climates, your AC probably had a good workout this past summer; it’s wise to ensure your system is still going strong as you end the season. For those in chillier regions, a professional tune-up will ensure you’re ready for the coming winter.

The trees. Is it trim time? Trees promote energy efficiency and add natural beauty to your property, but they should be properly pruned to remain healthy and safe. Look for any potential property damage or safety concerns. Did spring and summer growth bring limbs too close to roofs, windows, or power lines? Do your trees have any dead limbs that should be removed? Improve their structural integrity (and their aesthetic appeal) by trimming them each fall.

And be prepared. Now you can face fall.

Entrepreneurship, Like Love, May Be Wasted on the Young

Contrary to popular belief, creating a start-up is not just for the young.

As the headline for a May 2017 article in CNBC suggests: “Boomer entrepreneurs are making it big by doing what they love.”

Referring to research data from the Kauffman Foundation, CNBC reporter Kate Rogers notes that “boomers were nearly twice as likely to plan to launch businesses than their millennial counterparts.”

And their numbers have grown; the Kauffman Foundation’s 2016 Index of Startup Activity indicates a 24% increase in new entrepreneurs aged 55 to 64 last year, compared to a 14.8% increase in 1996.

As consultant George Deeb points out in Forbes: “… people over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth start-up.”

While we all know that Silicon Valley is the purview of the young, research shows that tech entrepreneurship among seniors is an emerging reality – a reality that can be seriously profitable.

As Roya Wolverson writes in Time magazine: “There’s no question that starting a business is easier when you’re younger,” but, she adds, “… start-ups in some industries, such as biotech and business software, gain an edge from the experience that comes with a founder’s age.”

Many boomers are returning to the workforce out of pure passion for an idea they believe in. Some go back when they identify a problem for which they believe they have an innovative solution. And others return simply for the paycheck. Whether for necessity or invention, the number of older entrepreneurs is on the rise.

Data You Can Use, Delivered Fast – What a Concept!

Memory-driven computing is new. It’s fast. And it’s offering tremendous opportunities for problem-solving and innovation.

In the age of big data, the volume of available data has surpassed our ability to process and use it. But information technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has developed a new approach to computing that turns massive amounts of data into secure, actionable insights instantaneously.

The secret sauce? Upgrading processing from the current slow silicon to hyper-fast memory – an approach called memory-driven computing. This technology gives every processor in a system access to a high-performance interconnect protocol, which is essentially a humongous shared pool of memory.

Based on this new approach, in which memory is central to the system and not simply tethered to a processor, the company has rolled out a prototype known as “The Machine” that is up to 8,000 times faster than processor-based computers.

According to HPE (and supported by enthusiastic reviews in many tech publications), memory-based computing will unleash new opportunities for companies of every size in virtually all fields. Consumers can improve the performance of their Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, and analysts will be able to predict and quickly respond to situations in health care, transportation, retail, and other industries.

For example, a memory-driven computing system could enable doctors and researchers to come up with personalized diagnoses and treatments, as well as predict and head off major epidemics. First responders could simulate emergency situations and prepare for crises. And smart transportation systems could optimize traffic flow. It’s a whole new world. Again.

Small Businesses Need E&O Insurance Too
Companies aren’t perfect. As much as we’d all prefer our businesses run like well-oiled machines, even the most finely tuned organization can make a mistake. If humans play a role in your business, the occasional mistake is virtually inevitable.

The good news is, that’s OK. It’s why we have insurance. Specifically, it’s why you should have errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Knowing there is a strong likelihood of errors, you can establish proper coverage beforehand.

Here are some FAQs on E&O insurance:

What is it?

Errors and omissions insurance, also called malpractice insurance or professional liability insurance, covers you and/or your business in the event you’re held responsible for an undesired outcome of your services. If you or someone you employ makes an error or omission (or a perceived error or omission), this policy will cover you.

Who needs it?

E&O insurance is not just for professionals like lawyers, doctors, or accountants. If you provide a service for a fee (and that includes small businesses such as commercial printers, contractors, and Internet hosting companies), you should have this coverage in place.

What is covered?

If an error or omission causes financial loss for a client, E&O coverage provides protection. It pays for judgments, settlements, and defense costs. Without E&O insurance, companies leave themselves open to significant financial risk. And keep in mind, these losses are not covered under your general liability policy.

Even if a client’s allegations are eventually dismissed, you’ll spend thousands of dollars defending a lawsuit. If you must pay a settlement, you will pay defense costs plus the judgment amount. Such suits can bankrupt small companies and cripple larger ones.

When should I get E&O insurance?

The sooner the better. Don’t wait until you’ve experienced a significant loss before taking action. It’s always best to get insurance established before you take the risk. For some companies, this coverage can even be a selling point to clients.

What E&O policy is right for my business?

As with many aspects of business ownership, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The E&O policy must be tailored to meet the demands and risks of your industry and the specific services you offer. For example, the same policy is not appropriate for a doctor as for a plumber. Work closely with your agent to determine your exposure and the E&O policy that is best for your specific circumstances.

How much does E&O insurance cost?

Because these policies are business-specific, E&O insurance premiums vary greatly. Your location, claims history, exposure, payout limits, and other variables all affect the cost of E&O insurance.

Consult with your agent today if you don’t currently have E&O as part of your insurance portfolio. He or she can help you review your needs and decide what coverage is appropriate for your company. As you review options, bear in mind the losses your company could suffer without this coverage. Ultimately, the cost of not having this policy far outweighs the premium cost.