What to Look For In a Shop Insurance Policy

The first thing you need to do when selecting your retail shop insurance is to assess what aspects of an insurance policy your business will require. Choosing the most appropriate insurance policy for your needs is essential for a number of reasons, and the wrong coverage can cause your business a great number of problems in the undesirable event of requiring a payout. You may find it easier to hire an insurance agent, who will guide you through the array of information available. However, insurance agents need to receive their compensation, which means they are not likely to be able to offer your business the most competitive prices out there. It is up to you to choose whether the saving of time, or the saving of money, is most efficient and beneficial to your business.

So what should your shop insurance cover? If you are looking for retail shop insurance there are particular items on the agenda that require inclusive protection. The first and perhaps most obvious item, is building and contents cover. This will not only protect you in the event of theft of money, stock, or equipment, but also from the threat of flooding, fire, and storm damage or other natural disaster. This is usually included as part of any insurance policy, but always check to ensure the extent of coverage available to you.

Another very important section in your shop insurance policy is that of liability. Liability can be divided into two sections: public liability and employer’s liability. Again, when you are looking at retail shop insurance, you need to have coverage for both of these items. Let’s look a little more closely at each of them.

Public liability insurance is the coverage provided in the event of a personal injury claim of a third party whilst on your property. Say, for example, a careless employee has mopped up a spillage but forgotten to leave the ‘Caution: Wet Floor’ cone somewhere easily visible. A browsing customer slips on the slick floor surface and breaks her arm. She now has a case against you to claim financial reward for her injury. If you do not have public liability insurance, your business needs to front the cost of her claim. Some insurance providers will also offer legal assistance; as an uninsured, this would also be a higher financial responsibility to your business. This is adding up to a significant dent in your profit, particularly for smaller businesses, and especially in the event that said customer could then bad-mouth your store, damaging your reputation.

We can use the same example for one of your employees being injured while at work. Employer’s liability insurance will protect your business against a claim of negligence should it be an employee falling and injuring themselves. Another key area where employer’s liability insurance is important is in circumstances whereby employees must use machinery or other equipment to perform tasks for your business. If a piece of equipment is faulty and its use results in personal injury, the business is liable. Your insurance policy will cover your business against this claim.

The last element of coverage your business will require is that of ‘business interruption’. This clause is required to cover the possibility of a wide range of events, including, but not limited to, electrical failure, flooding, fire, gas leak, or other occurrence that will result in a loss of profit because the business is temporarily inoperable. Often, this will also cover loss of income due to loss or damage of goods in transit.

A comprehensive retail shop insurance policy will assist your business in staying in operation should the worst happen. In particular, small businesses cannot afford the loss of income or additional expenses that can arise due to a variety of potential events. Your insurance coverage is there to protect your business. You’ll often find the best deals for shop insurance or public house insurance are available if you go online.

Time Management – Agendas and Overviews

Time management is a big issue for adults with ADHD. Difficulties include keeping track of time, organizing and planning ahead. However, I have seen ADHD clients go from “no clue” to “super clued-in” in relation to time management. They become more organized than most people on this planet with or without ADHD.

Perhaps the biggest tip is to stop relying on your brain and start using external prompts. There is no shame in using agendas, lists, a calendar, even knots in handkerchiefs (ok, so that might not be THE beset strategy, but it is A strategy).

Below are three tools and resources to help you with your time management challenges.

  1. Buy an agenda. If you have tried them before and they haven’t worked for you, simply try again (even if the only reason is to humor me). You cannot be the organized person you are striving to be without an agenda. Whatever the time of year, they are always available in bookstores and office supply stores. Choose one that appeals to you, both in looks (bright pink, brown leather, etc.) and format. You might like a format with the whole week laid out on one page to get an overview of what your week looks like. Or you might prefer the page-a-day format. There is not one right answer, just your personal preference. With your new agenda, start writing down appointments that are with other people. These appointments could be work-related, personal self care (dentist, etc.) or fun personal dates such as seeing family and friends. When you start writing your appointments down, it gives you peace of mind since you know you aren’t going to forget anything. Seeing everything in black and white will also help you to organize your time and reduce your habit of being overly optimistic in what you can achieve.
  2. Day to Day. I recommend clients write down in a separate notebook from their agenda, their “things to do” list. This list would include errands, shopping and other things that do not need to be done on a particular day. If you need to get a few staples from the supermarket but ended up working late, you still have the list for the next day. The list doesn’t include appointments as they are written in your agenda. If you are ready for something a little more advanced than a paper and pen “to do list” then check out http://www.rememberthemilk.com/. This is a great tool as it can be used on practically any digital device known to man. Whether you are a Blackberry lover or a Gmail fan, this will work for you.
  3. Overview. As well as knowing what is happening every day and weekly, it is also good to have an overview of the next six months. This is good when you are planning a vacation and larger projects, either at home or at work. Home might include painting the deck and a trip to the East Coast. Work might be creating a new website or preparing for a conference. To do this, print out a calendar from http://www.free-printable-calendars.com/. Again, choose your favorite format. You can print a few different calendars on different colored pages. For example, a green paged calendar for work, a pink paged calendar for your home projects or a gym schedule, etc. Use these calendars to plan and brainstorm your big picture stuff, when you would like to do what, but remember all your appointments with people, no matter what area of your life go in your agenda.

When you start to plan your time, it feels less constraining and more exciting. By planning your time, you get to choose what you want to do and make time for what is important to you.

Strategies For Growing Revenues in a Recession – Eliminating Costly Hidden Agendas

If you make a lot of personnel decisions, or give advice to a wide range of people, then you are bound to run into a few that don’t agree with your viewpoint and I’m OK with that. It comes with the territory. What really frosts my bacon, though, is when you get feedback that is so out of context of what you are trying to communicate it has to make you wonder. Now, it is good at the end of the day to get this feedback even if you totally disagree with that other person’s viewpoint… it’s as American as it gets to give and get advice regardless of how contrary it is.

I am no exception that I am thankful at least somebody is listening and thinks strongly enough to send a note or call you up to say they think you are a moron. But, you would have to be a moron if you take these sometimes “left field” criticisms lying down. Which is what this week’s blog is about. How can some people totally misunderstand your message when the plethora seems to get it but yet, where did these others come from. More importantly, should the real question be “did they not get it, or is there something run amok here?” I am going to file it under the “hidden agenda” department.

Ah, hidden agendas. How many times has someone’s personal intent sucked the true potential out of a business deal, a merger heck even a marriage I guess you could say? We all have personal agendas, but what I don’t like are the ones that run contrary to the overall success of the mission. The vision. And the values of your company or your organization. The kind of personal agendas that are so contrarily strong and so focused that they cripple an effort. I don’t care how many strategic planning sessions you have or how many action plans you update still seems to cripple the goodness that these plans meant to deliver.

Thank heavens I had none of that in my company or where I was the leader of a department. Right, who would I be kidding if I did not admit this kind of thing goes on everyday and everywhere to some degree .BUT I do think that I was able to manage the “hidden personal agendas” and even manage to get them to the surface so that they were hidden no more and I could deal with them. To keep personal agendas, hidden or not, from running contrary to the mission, vision and values is what leaders and managers need to dedicate time and energy to. When I go in to conduct training workshops and especially when I take on a consulting assignment, it is the second thing I focus on because if I don’t, it could lead to a less than stellar result. The first thing I focus on is what leadership is asking me to do what is the ROI they expect from me? This brings to mind a few previous consulting assignment stories, and I share them so that you can reduce the amount of hidden agendas that can destroy what you are trying to accomplish:

1. There was the client who called me up and said “Farrell, we have a cutting edge, world class sales organization. We want you to come in and not take them to the next level, but we want you to take us 20 years into the future with our selling efforts because we think we are ready for that”. Now who wouldn’t want to take on that kind of a challenge…especially me. So I ask the woman who called “what makes you think that your salespeople are ready for that kind of adventure?” She went into explaining how many weeks of intense training each of her salespeople had undergone and how they spend months in the real world with expert sales people learning their trade and honing their skills before they were finally ready to be cut loose and sent out to conquer the world.

It was quite impressive and I had never heard of an organization spending as much time, money and resources to train their people as she had described. Long story short, I do what I always do I shopped these sales people to get a reality trip look at how they really performed. You guessed it, they didn’t exactly fail, but they sure did not sound a whole lot better than most of the thousands of sales presentations I had heard over the years. So, where was the disconnect here? Why did this sales leader think her people were ready for skill sets that were so much more advanced than they were ready for? One word E G O. An ego run amok I like to say. Her personal not-so-hidden agenda was to be able to say to her peers, her drinking buddies, her bosses, maybe even her clients that she had the best bar none sales force that one could find.

I’m good with that mission, but to be blind to the fact that her people still had fundamental selling issues that would have turned this “futuristic sales force” into a huge futuristic sales farce. Her agenda, although a good one needed to be tempered with a dose of reality, better planning and better executing. Lesson to be learned here is that it is good to want to be the best, but walking it and talking it are two different things. Leaders, egos are very good things when they are managed properly.

2. Not really a story here, more like my commentary on how employees (from leaders and all through the ranks) are not working hard enough understand that I am speaking very generally here. With technology as readily available as it is to most of us, how hard is it for you to send someone an e-mail and say “…hey, I know you called today and I’m sorry I did not get back to you. Can I call you after hours or sometime Saturday morning, because I’ve got one crazy week here”. Instead, we don’t call someone back, or we send them an e-mail saying “I’m traveling this week and will need to get back to you next week”. Now how stupid is that note?

Why don’t you just come out and say “…hey, you are not worthy of a phone call back so wait until the world does not need my services for awhile and I’ll squeeze you in sometime next week ” With companies struggling, with people being laid off, with wages being rolled back .people we all need to understand how valuable it is to take care of our current clientele and how important and hard it is to grow one’s business today. That’s why we have to all work harder and smarter. And leaders if you don’t do it then neither will the people that work for you.

So the hidden agenda here for me is that people that work for you, heck maybe even you have personal agendas that are getting in the way of sending that extra e-mail, making that extra phone call that extra effort to say to someone “you are important and so important I will take your call from my home or from my hotel room at night”. Now more than ever everyone needs to put in this extra effort. How impressed would a client of yours be to know that you were at your son’s soccer game and you made a call to them to follow up. I know I know work/life balance issues. If we all don’t make these extra efforts you may not have to worry about the work part of that equation.

3. Things we can do to root out hidden agendas:

a. Every department head meets with a direct report once a month: you are discussing action plans and scoreboarding (measuring results to plans); you are talking about strategy and making sure you are on target or better; you are prying out little issues that could jeopardize the mission and you are asking for HONEST input no matter how it may hurt your feelings. Lastly, you want to spend some time talking about those things that are most important to that employee.

Career plans, needed professional tools and yes even unavoidable personal issues that may affect their job even though they and you don’t want them to. Care leaders. Care managers. Help them when and where you can. Sometimes there is little you can do to help them with certain personal issues, but at least afford them the courtesy of showing them you care for them. If you have to fake it, go getter a different job because your hidden agenda of not caring is a cancer that will spread. I believe that employees take on the personality of their boss. True caring is what some of the best corporate and social cultures are made of, and that’s what will reduce your turn-over, and that’s what will help you to maximize in a recession and come out of it a much stronger company or organization.

b. Share the truth about your company/organization’s health: If you are experiencing drops in revenues and quality issues are hurting the company then let your employees know. Lead by example in asking each and every one of them that you need their help and their EXTRA effort in order to be able to continue to provide for them and their families. Show them how they can do their part to improve. They need to know that you and your company does not have a hidden agenda. Too many companies have left their employees in the lurch and they need to know you are not one of those companies and you as a leader will lead the way to a stronger company .but you can’t do it without them.

c. Be daring: One of my other beliefs is that employees want to work for a dynamic leader, a cool boss. Your employees are starving to go home at night and over dinner tell their husbands, wives and their children what crazy thing (in a good way) their boss did today. They want to laugh about it, want to share how they are a part of something very cool even though it is serious fun. Jobs are at stake, a company’s future viability is at stake but the company can still laugh, have fun and put people first. No hidden agendas here.

So back to finishing the story about this e-mail I received late last week that said her sales employees would not be attending any more of my webinars because they felt that some of my tactics were not ethical and I was too self promoting. Let’s tackle the easy one here first If you don’t promote yourself, who will? And as for webinars and even this blog .if I don’t get business as a result of writing them, then how long will I be able to write them? Of course I am self promoting but I don’t think I do it enough quite frankly. Now for the “not ethical enough for them” part read 3b and 3 c here.

These are tough times and for my clients to win, and their employees to win, and for these employees family members to win .then someone has to lose. There is only so much business out there today. I think I saw a statistic the other day that said hotel occupancy in America will finish at around 53%. That means someone will finish at a respectable 70% but that also means that others will have to finish at 25% occupancy. I want my clients to finish at 80%. They deserve it because they are spending good money on me that they could be spending on employee wages instead. If I can help my clients to steal business from undeserving competition, then so be it. I don’t fight fair and I don’t apologize for it.

Neither did our grossly outnumbered founding forefathers when they would hide in the woods and shoot at the properly aligned British troops who wanted to fight by the rules they wanted to fight fair. I don’t break the law, but I also know that I subscribe and promote what some would say going too far in the ethics department to secure business. Somebody better do it or else every client will finish at 53% occupancy which means they all fail. My advice to this corporate person who sent me the e-mail find out what their hidden agenda items are. Shop them to hear and see how good they are or are not. I am betting they need to listen to someone, maybe not me but someone who needs to make them better at what they need to be doing. That is the bigger issue here.

How to Take Control of Your Schedule and Stop Hijacking Your Own Agenda

Staying in control of your schedule isn’t easy – especially when you’re stressed out, pressed for time, or dealing with multiple deadlines and the demands of others.

But let’s face it: Sometimes the saboteur is you.

If you’ve ever created a great agenda for your day but found yourself doing something completely unrelated when you actually sat down to work, then you know exactly what I mean.

Having your agenda hijacked by someone else is bad enough, but when you’re the main culprit, the loss of control is even more demoralizing. But rather than play the blame game (haven’t you had enough of that?), let’s focus on solutions to the problem.

Here are 3 quick tips you can immediately put into practice to regain control of your schedule and stop hijacking your own agenda.

  1. Schedule Your Shadow Priorities. Shadow priorities are the things that you actually do even when you plan to do something else. These priorities are not listed on your agenda, but they exert a powerful influence on how you spend your time. So give them the attention they seek by including them on your agenda, but set clear boundaries around how much time you allot to them. For example, if your plan is to rethink your strategic objectives but you find yourself checking email instead, then incorporate email as a priority on your agenda and schedule specific time blocks to attend to it. You’ll find that scheduling your shadow priorities gives them the attention they crave – and the boundaries they lack.
  2. Schedule Your When and Where. It’s challenging to accurately estimate how much time you need to allot in your schedule for tasks that require significant thinking and planning – but just focusing on time is a mistake. When and where you schedule to work is just as important. For example, if you are most alert in the morning, and you do your best deep thinking away from your desk, then you’d be wise to put something like this into your calendar: “Strategic planning session, 8:30 – 10 am, at Joe’s coffee shop/diner.” When you begin taking your personal working style seriously, you’ll find that more gets done, in less time, with better outcomes – and you’ll be less likely to hijack your own agenda.
  3. Schedule Your Rest. Busy people often talk about burning the candle at both ends – but life isn’t a candle, and your health is not a replaceable commodity. The surest way to lose control of your schedule is to maintain a pace that leaves you chronically exhausted, so begin factoring rest into your schedule by setting a time to get into bed, and a time to get out of bed. You may not fall asleep (or wake up) right away, but resting isn’t just about sleep – it’s about a making a conscious decision to slow down and give yourself the sense of well-being that you deserve.

So if you’re ready to quit playing the role of saboteur, begin to schedule your shadow priorities, your when and where, and your rest. You may just find the results to be transformative.