Informative articles on insurance, safety and risk for you, your family or your business. Each article includes a link for you to share with anyone who may benefit.
Home sweet home is an obvious place to give a good scrubbing once springtime in Minnesota arrives. It's time to wipe the grime out of every nook and cranny, wash the carpets and curtains, and pack away the space heaters and down blankets.But what about your business? Have you considered giving it a spring-cleaning too?
Doing so can revitalize your business and put a new spring in the steps-no pun intended-of all your employees. Here are some tips:
- Declutter: Rid your business environment of all extraneous, unnecessary stuff: papers, broken supplies, ancient inventory that you can't seem to sell, etc. When doing so, remember to be earth conscious: recycle everything you can, dispose of all chemicals in the appropriate manner, and take used electronics to a facility that can repurpose or restore them, or make tax-deductible donations of still-useful items to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill.
- Liven Up the Landscaping: Consider planting some brightly colored flowers and lush plants around the exterior of your place of business. This may help to attract new customers, and is a natural mood-lifter. If you can't make these alterations to your business's outdoor environment, bring some potted plants and flowers inside. Let their fragrance and hues breathe new life into your business!
- Improve Functionality: Spring is a good time to upgrade and purchase tools, equipment, or technology for your business that is more functional and efficient. For example, consider replacing outdated cash registers or credit card machines with a multi-tasking computer system. Get rid of bulky file cabinets and scan all your documents into digital files that can be stored on a hard drive.
- Go Green: Spring is a time when we tend to appreciate the earth's beauty and bounty, so it makes sense to do what we can to preserve it. Consider making your place of business greener by installing a solar heating system, putting energy-efficient light bulbs in all fixtures, using recycled rainwater to hydrate your landscape, or designating special bins where employees can deposit their recyclable waste.
- Re-Evaluate Relationships: Relationships-between employees and between the business and its customers-are really what make a company thrive. This spring, re-evaluate the way your business approaches relationships. Do you have healthy relationships with your employees and do they get along well with each other? How do you maintain positive connections with your current clients? How to you attract new clients? Consider incorporating community-building activities into the workplace, such as potlucks, picnics, or sports events. Create a newsletter to stay in touch with your existing customer base, and try new forms of advertising to gain new customers.
For any of your insurance questions, Contact Loretz-Johnson Agency today.
If you are a business owner in Minnesota who pays for your employee's health coverage and sick leave, you have good reason to motivate these employees to stay healthy. Good employee health translates to good financial health for you and your business!
Promoting employee health can be tricky, though. After all, your employees are generally neither your family nor your friends, so it may not be appropriate for you to discourage Mabel in Accounting from eating those jelly doughnuts for breakfast, or to comment on Jack in Human Resources about his recent weight gain. How can you inspire your employees to take care of their health while remaining professional and providing alluring incentives? Here are some ideas:
- Make Money the Reward - Enlist the help of an incentive-based health engagement company-there are a few different ones out there-which will set up a program for your employees. In a typical set-up, employees receive points for engaging in different healthy behaviors, such as using the stairs instead of the elevator, and each point has a monetary value. Employees can earn a maximum amount of dollars per year through the accrual of their points.
- Create Company Sports Teams - If you employ enough people, you can create two or more teams and have a weekly game of basketball, soccer, softball, or any other sport after work hours. If you have a small number of employees, ask another local business to form a team to play against yours once a week. In addition to promoting fitness, this activity can create more camaraderie among coworkers-always a good thing!
- Make Small Changes to the Environment - Post a picture or sign near the door of the elevator that will inspire people to use the stairs. For example, a simple graphic showing a person walking up a stairway with the words "Stay Healthy" printed on it can be motivating without having the effect of a shaming lecture. If your business has a snack or drink machine, keep it filled with healthful options like whole grain crackers, fresh fruits, juices, and waters. Even better, have a well-equipped kitchen available for your employees so they can prepare their own healthful lunches and snacks each day rather than ordering less-healthful options from restaurants and fast food chains.
- Exercise to Benefit Your Community - Does your community ever have walks, races, triathlons, or other similar events to raise funds for non-profit organizations? If so, encourage your employees to participate. If not, consider creating an event-like a 5K walk to raise money for your local animal shelter. Doing so will have many benefits: it will be good for employee health; it will increase the visibility of your business; and it will benefit the organization for which the funds are being raised
- Host a Healthy Recipe Potluck Invite all your employees to participate in a company potluck. Make the theme of the potluck low-fat, low-calorie, healthful recipes. Use this as an opportunity for employees to share healthy eating tips and recipes. As an incentive for participating in the potluck, have the evening culminate in a "tastiest dish contest"; employees can sample each dish and vote on their favorite one, with the winner receiving a prize or cash reward.
For any questions about employee health coverage, Contact Loretz-Johnson Agency today.
Resolving to make improvements to your health and habits in 2013 can do more than just improve your longevity, your quality of life, your appearance, and your attitude; it can also work to put more money in your pocket! How? Well, in addition to all the cash you'll save by foregoing that daily double mocha with whipped cream, you can also reap the benefits of having decreased insurance rates. That's because many insurance providers will give you a break if you make changes for the better. For example:
If you resolve to improve your credit, you may eventually see decreased home and auto insurance premiums. This is because, in some states, home and car insurance providers look at your credit report and score before determining just what your monthly premium will be. So, by keeping credit card balances under 30 percent of the credit limit, paying bills on time, or, better yet, paying them off, you can improve your credit rating and possibly get a lower rate on your insurance. To request a free copy of your credit report and check it for any factual errors (which are not unheard of), visit annualcreditreport.com.
Quit smoking and see your life insurance premium go down. Quitting smoking cannot only add years to your life; it can also drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on term and permanent life insurance, along with disability and long-term care insurance. Though the majority of life insurance companies require you to have been cigarette-free for at least a year before endowing you with "nonsmoker" status, some offer quit smoking incentive programs that enable you to save money sooner.
Shed excess pounds to save on life insurance. As is the case with being a smoker, being overweight can add digits not only to the numbers you see on your scale, but also to your life insurance premium. It's possible to save as much as fifteen percent on your life insurance costs if you get yourself into shape; this can be true whether you are applying for a new policy or are already insured. Some life insurance providers will reconsider your policy rates if you prove you participate in a health diet and exercise program. Talk to your insurance agent for details.
Decrease your home insurance costs by increasing your home's safety. Some homeowners' insurance providers offer safety and security discounts. Call or contact Loretz-Johnson Agency to see if this is a possibility for you. This could be the easiest New Year's resolution of all: simply vow to install deadbolts on your doors and better locks on your windows. In some cases, this is enough to see a decrease in your premium. To take things a bit further, you can also install a home security system, or upgrade to a fire-safe roof.
Bike to work and save on auto insurance. Getting out of the car and onto a bicycle can do wonders for your heart health, your physique, and for the environment. Moreover, it can also decrease the cost of your auto insurance premium. You already know that the less you drive, the less you pay. This is even better now with the pay-as-you-drive plans that some auto insurance providers are offering. They install a special device on your vehicle that records how much you drive, as well as how good of a driver you are (Braking too hard? That's a no-no.) In order to determine the fairest possible premium.
So, if you make a change, you might save some change-and it may be more than mere pocket change. Happy New Year! Here's to sticking to those resolutions!
Contact Loretz-Johnson Agency to discuss these and more ways you can save in the New Year.