Insurance Jargon Explained and Decoded

Accidents happen. It is just a fact of life. Safety is the best prevention, but sometimes the inevitable cannot be avoided. Having insurance is a worthwhile investment for protecting you and your loved ones. However, getting insurance of any kind can involve a lot of jargon that is not always easy to grasp. Before taking the leap into monthly payments, educate yourself so that you get a plan that works best for you. An insurance agent can help fill in the gaps, but below is a group of terms to become familiar with. Even if you already have a plan, this guide can help you better understand the terminology.

General Terms

A premium is the amount of money that must be paid to the insurer who provides coverage. This fee is usually due on a monthly basis. To achieve a lower premium, shop around for the best possible quote and try to maintain a good credit record. The deductible is the portion of money that you, the policyholder, must pay in the case of an accident. The insurer is then responsible for covering the remainder of costs. Generally, higher deductibles result in lower premiums. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you have enough money set aside to cover your higher deductible. A claim is a request made by the policyholder if an accident occurs. This request is for costs to be covered by the insurer. The adjuster is the person who analyzes a claim and provides recommendations for a settlement based on the damage and policy. Preferred Risk is the term for when an applicant shows lower risk for accident or injury than the average person. These applicants tend to be eligible for rate discounts.

Auto

Accident forgiveness is an option provided by some companies to protect drivers. This option prevents the driver’s premium from increasing after their first at-fault accident. It is especially helpful when the company extends this forgiveness to others on the policy, such as teen drivers. Other potential discounts to look into include low annual mileage on your vehicle, having no accidents in three years, and having multiple cars on the same plan.

Health

There are several different ways of getting health coverage. Group Health is when an employer provides health insurance plan options for its employees and their dependents. The policies are normally at a reasonable or discounted rate. Many people take advantage of this opportunity because it is convenient and secure. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is when the insured person pays a fixed membership fee ahead of time. In return, they receive comprehensive health care from a list of approved providers in a certain area. HMOs are usually more affordable, but they do not provide as much coverage. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a health plan that lists preferred health care providers. When patients visit the preferred providers, they may receive incentives such as a lower copay. Copay is a flat rate that the patient must pay each time they receive services from their healthcare provider. Another way to lower copayment is through a cost sharing reduction subsidy that lowers out-of-pockets expenses.

Hopefully, this guide has helped to clarify some of the terms that can be found in the fine print of policies. Although insurance can be expensive, there are options available to help lower premium rates. For example, if you are a college student who gets good grades, you may be eligible for a good student discount on your auto policy.



Source by Andrew Stratton

What Are the Major Disadvantages of Medical Coding That You Need to Know?

Now that we are fully aware of the benefits and advantages of medical coding, I believe that many of you out there have the urgent urge to get your hands around this field because of the great prospect which this job might bring them in the future. However, before any harsh decision is made from your end, it would definitely be worth-while for us to review and understand what are on the other side of medical coding? There are always pro and cons in almost everything, therefore it is beneficial for us to review and understand both sides of medical coding for good.

Below are some of the key common disadvantages which have been shared for medical coding;

1. Difficult to be breaking into this medical field. This is especially true if you are a fresh graduate with a certificate or degree in medical coding looking for your first job. Most employers preferred medical coders with experiences because they can save up some extensive training cost and time required to provide hands-on trainings to the new hire. Thus, it is really a challenge for new hire with less or no experience in this medical field to gain their market value and competitiveness.

2. Once you find your way into the coding world, it is up to the respective personnel to make it to the top or stay where they were as in the start. It is the diligence and effort from the individual himself which will drive him to succeed as a great medical coder or otherwise. However one thing about medical coding is that anyone who wishes to be a medical coder will need to be patience, hardworking and possess of self-discipline during the process of becoming a qualified medical coder. There is no short cut in getting your way into the related coding field except going through the proper path of education and training which require at least 2-3 years to obtain the prestigious certification to lead your career path to be a successful professional medical coder.

3. Relocation is one of the option to advance in your career as a medical coder. However relocation can be an advantage for some people while at the same time it can be a disadvantage for others. Not everyone is willing to move to a brand new city or town with unfamiliar faces and places for his career advancement. Therefore, relocation can be a disadvantage for medical coders who are staying together with their family.

4. As the name of the profession tells it all, any students in this coding field have to deal with a lot of coding and abbreviations. It can be pretty torturing if you are not good in memorizing words or names and it can turn out to be a terrible nightmare for anyone who has to give up on his/her medical coding education because of the complexities in remembering and digesting the coding required to excel in the medical coding field.

5. It is very normal for medical coders to be working for long hours in the hospitals, clinics, doctor offices or even in the insurance companies. There are a serious lacking of work-life balance for most of the medical coders today.

6. Also, medical coding is a stressful job considering the accuracy that these medical coders will need to enforce in their job because any mistakes made will lead to no payments or long pending claims from the insurance companies itself.



Source by J.J. Yong

Self Defense Weapons – What Is The Best Weapon For Self Defense?

If you are thinking of purchasing a gun, or other “self-protection” device such as pepper spray or an alarm, then you are obviously concerned about your personal safety. You know it is essential to learn how to defend yourself, now more than ever! Today, not only do you have to worry about criminals, but now terrorists as well! What is this world coming to? Would you know what to do?

You may be thinking, “Well, I’ll just get a gun!” Unfortunately, real-world tests have shown that overall , weapons (or other “self-defense” products) are often ineffective when it comes to self-defense. Why?

There are many factors that contribute, but the main reason weapons are ineffective is, if the weapon is not in your hand at the moment of attack, you will never get the chance to use it! But, the law does not allow you to walk around with a gun in your hand, and most studies show that people soon forget to carry the various types of self-protection devices they purchase.

Even if you have a stun gun or pepper spray in your purse or pocket, if caught by surprise, you won’t have a chance to get it out before you get decked! Mace does you no good if it is still in the purse that just got snatched out of your hand! Tests prove that 90% of the time, you will never get the chance to reach for your weapon before you are hurt too severely to use it.

FBI statistics and Police reports from all over the country show that in more than half of all instances where the victim was able to get to a “weapon” (usually sprays are mentioned), the attacker knocked it out of their hand before they could use it. Police files are filled with tens of thousands of incidents of weapons taken away from the victim and used against them! It is estimated that almost one third of all gunshot victims are shot with their own gun! The figures are even higher when it comes to stun-guns and sprays.

This doesn’t even include all of the incidences where the victim shoots themselves! Accidental discharge is the leading cause of gunshot wounds in both crime and non-crime reports. You may think that wouldn’t happen to you, but the reports prove that it happens to even experienced gun owners.

I know of a Police officer, even after extensive training , the first time he tried to use Mace against an unruly suspect, ended up spraying himself.

Unfortunately, most people have little or no training as to the safe and proper use of the weapons in their possession. Inadequate, or even improper training is the leading cause of accidental discharge involving guns, stun-guns and sprays. What do you think will happen when they attempt to use that weapon under the stress of a real attack?

There are literally millions of incidents reported where the victim couldn’t get the weapon to work at all, mainly because of inadequate training! Even the most basic principles of weapon usage are often overlooked by owners. The figures are stunning (pun intended) of the number of incidents of stun guns that didn’t work when needed because of dead batteries!

There are thousands upon thousands of reports of guns that wouldn’t fire because the safety was on, and the user didn’t know, forgot, or was too panicked to figure it out in time. In at least one incident I am aware of, the victim couldn’t get his weapon to fire before the criminal took it away from him. Lucky for him, the criminal couldn’t figure it out either.

Defective or Fraudulent Products

I’m sure you have purchased products that didn’t quite work as advertised. How can you be sure that the pepper spray you buy will work as well as advertised, if at all? How will you test it? Spray yourself? Spray a friend? We’re not talking about perfume! I doubt you will get any volunteers to help you.

When the criminal attacks, it is too late to find out that the pepper spray is really just vinegar, or that the 10 million volt stun-gun doesn’t deliver much more of a shock than shuffling across the carpet and touching a doorknob.

If you buy a police radar detector that is guaranteed to work, but doesn’t, the result is a speeding ticket. If you buy “self-protection weapons” that don’t work, the result can be severe injury or even death. Relying on someone else’s guarantee is only a false sense of security that will only have bad results!

If you are serious about Self-Protection, your best self defense weapon is your mind . If you think about what has just been discussed, you will realize that ‘weapons’ will only help you in ideal situations, and even then, you need to keep a clear head to be able to use them properly.

But, crime doesn’t happen in ideal situations!

Being able to think clearly, and knowing what to do, is your best weapon when it comes to self-defense. Second best is being able to use your feet. Now, that doesn’t mean to start kicking! It means that at the first sign of trouble, you need to RUN! Escape is always a much better self-defense tactic than getting into a struggle or a fight.

However, if you can’t get away, your body is your best self-defense weapon! Since you cannot always have a weapon in your hand, it is essential that you know how to defend yourself without weapons. But mindless flailing against an attacker does you no good at all. You need to learn the most vulnerable points on the human body. But even that isn’t enough if you don’t know the most effective ways to strike them. You need to learn how to kick, not just where to kick.

Everyone should at least take a basic self-defense course .

What about Martial Arts?

Traditional Martial Arts are great for disciple, self-confidence, and exercise. They can help to produce the correct mindset needed when faced with a self-defense situation. But it usually takes several years to become proficient in the more complex techniques.

If you have the time to commit to a long-term training program, by all means, a martial art will provide the most comprehensive training. However, just as in choosing a self-defense weapon, you must do your homework before choosing a martial arts program. Many don’t deliver the comprehensive training they promise, and most don’t train you for realistic self-defense.

Far too many martial arts programs focus greatly on sports and competition. Sports and competition oriented martial arts are worthless as self-defense. They teach you to follow rules, and for the most part, there are no rules in a street fight. If you are conditioned to follow the rules, you can’t do what is necessary in a dangerous situation. In fact, you will probably do the wrong thing, and get yourself hurt or even killed.

Seek out a training program that focuses almost exclusively on realistic self-defense scenario training.

Knowing how to handle yourself when confronted with violence is your only insurance against becoming a victim, or just another statistic in a police report. You have car insurance, home-owner’s insurance, life insurance, health insurance…

What insurance do you have against being the victim of a violent crime? That type of insurance is only available through proper training. A long-term self-defense program offers the most comprehensive training, and therefore, the best opportunity to learn to handle almost any situation that may occur. However, if you don’t have the time to commit to a long-term program, at least some form of weaponless self-defense training is better than none.

Summary

If you are serious about self-protection, your best bet is to first learn weaponless self-defense. Then, if you still want to purchase a weapon, do your homework before choosing the best weapon for you, and don’t just read the instructions that come with it and think you are ready to use it.

  • Take a class on how to use it effectively, how to handle it safely, and how to maintain it so it works when you need it.
  • Take regular refresher courses so you don’t forget anything about the weapon.
  • Follow all maintenance procedures on a regular basis.

Your best bet is to learn weaponless self-defense and get the best weapon for you. Remember, you will never feel safe until you have all the tools necessary for self-protection. And the most important weapon of all is your own mind and body!

Resources:

Strong, Sanford – Strong on Defense ; Simon & Shuster, Inc.; 1996

Federal Bureau of Investigation – Uniform Crime Report ; 2000



Source by Mark A. Jordan

Top 10 Travel Advice

  1. Always ensure that you have checked the latest travel advice for the destination you wish to travel so subscribe to any free email notifications each time the travel advice is updated.
  2. If need be opt for travel insurance and make sure this is arranged before hand to cover any activities you wish to participate in as well as insurance for all your baggage.
  3. Check to see if you are in need for a visa for the countries you are going to visit, however be aware that you may need more than just a visa to enter the country so find this out by contacting the Embassy or High Commission before hand.
  4. Confirm you flight details and all reservations for cars, hotels and activities before you leave.
  5. Organize your money. Make sure you are sure of which credit / debit cards you will be taking and find out the best rates for converting currency and purchasing travelers checks.
  6. Make a list of all emergency contact numbers, for example lose and stolen credit cards, and leave a copy of your travel itinerary with a friend of family member so they can contact you if need be.
  7. Check the weather at your travel destination so that you can pack the appropriate gear to suit the climate.
  8. If you are going to be flying then make sure you have an essential carry on bag just encase you bags get delayed.
  9. If you are going to be driving then make sure you have a road map, GPS handy so you can look up any directions when needed.
  10. Pack you camera and video equipment atleast 24 hours before you leave, so that you can check and charge any batteries beforehand.



Source by Zimo Myles

Advantages of Email Encryption

The most popular use of the Internet remains to be the email. Providers now have complicated additions like attachments and spam blockers but the point of email remains the same-instant correspondence. From connecting to friends and relatives on the other side of the globe to delivering information to mass recipients, internet users continue to find purpose in electronic mail. As internet dependence increases, so does the kind of information people attach in their emails.

The technological age thought about new kinds of criminals who perform destructive activities. Whether you are an important member of an intelligence group or a civil, email encryption can prove useful in safeguarding the information the recipient separately should see.

How does email encryption work?

Depending on the kind of encryption you acquire, the process differs but the goal is the same. Encryption protects the actual message in your email with the intended recipient knowing how to decode it to reveal the sensitive data.

Most encryption for emails is asymmetric where the sender uses software to encrypt an email, send the message to the recipient who knows how to decrypt the email. Another method is by installing email encryption software. For this to work, the same program should be installed in the receiving unit.

Why should you encrypt your emails?

For businesses in competitive fields, the advantage of encryption is more pronounced. This avoids competitors from intercepting information they can use for corporate espionage. You can protect confidential data, ranging from employee names to plans for expansion.

For private individuals, encryption is similarly as necessary. Basic personal information like your home address or private mobile number should be kept private. Identity thieves can use your financial details like credit card information, social security numbers, and insurance details.

People who send private messages, videos, and photos will simply benefit from email encryption. This is especially important for public personalities like politicians who need to keep their work life and private life separate. Many careers have been ruined by private emails made public.

What should you look for in a security company?

There are businesses now responding to the demand of safe email exchanges. Security companies are now expanding to document destruction and email archiving solutions. If you are thinking of hiring a company for added security, there are qualities you should look out for.

Being at the top of the field in terms of technology is an important consideration. They should always be a couple of steps ahead of IT criminals who are always improving their own technology. A company employing professionals with backgrounds working in intelligence and security is a plus.

Similarly, find a company offering more than simple email protection. Some companies have spam blockers or additionally provide security in other aspects like physical security through alarm systems. When it comes to securing data, electronic or physical, choose only the best no matter the cost.



Source by Mae D O'Connell

Advantages of Email Encryption

The most popular use of the Internet remains to be the email. Providers now have complicated additions like attachments and spam blockers but the point of email remains the same-instant correspondence. From connecting to friends and relatives on the other side of the globe to delivering information to mass recipients, internet users continue to find purpose in electronic mail. As internet dependence increases, so does the kind of information people attach in their emails.

The technological age brought about new kinds of criminals who perform destructive activities. Whether you are an important member of an intelligence group or a civilian, email encryption can prove useful in safeguarding the information the recipient singularly should see.

How does email encryption work?

Depending on the kind of encryption you acquire, the process differs but the goal is the same. Encryption protects the actual message in your email with the intended recipient knowing how to decode it to reveal the sensitive data.

Most encryption for emails is asymmetric where the sender uses software to encrypt an email, send the message to the recipient who knows how to decrypt the email. Another method is by installing email encryption software. For this to work, the same program should be installed in the receiving unit.

Why should you encrypt your emails?

For businesses in competitive fields, the advantage of encryption is more pronounced. This avoids competitors from intercepting information they can use for corporate espionage. You can protect confidential data, ranging from employee names to plans for expansion.

For private individuals, encryption is similarly as necessary. Basic personal information like your home address or private mobile number should be kept private. Identity thieves can use your financial details like credit card information, social security numbers, and insurance details.

People who send private messages, videos, and photos will similarly benefit from email encryption. This is especially important for public personalities like politicians who need to keep their work life and private life separate. Many careers have been ruined by private emails made public.

What should you look for in a security company?

There are businesses now responding to the demand of safe email exchanges. Security companies are now expanding to document destruction and email archiving solutions. If you are thinking of hiring a company for added security, there are qualities you should look out for.

Being at the top of the field in terms of technology is an important consideration. They should always be a couple of steps ahead of IT criminals who are always improving their own technology. A company employing professionals with backgrounds working in intelligence and security is a plus.

Similarly, find a company offering more than simple email protection. Some companies have spam blockers or additionally provide security in other aspects like physical security through alarm systems. When it comes to securing data, electronic or physical, choose only the best no matter the cost.



Source by Mae D O’Connell

Mexican Dentists Pros and Cons

When an American citizen has a toothache and can’t afford traditional dentists, crossing the border is one option. Our neighboring country of Mexico offers less costly prescription drugs and other medical services including dentistry. Many U.S. residents would not be able to afford certain types of health care without this less expensive option. But is it a good idea? There are pros and cons to leaving the country for dental work.

Some of the positive aspects include:

Less costly: If a person doesn’t have a hefty bank account balance or insurance coverage, American dental work can be out of their price range. A crown, which may cost up to $4,000 in the states may cost less than $1,000 across the border. That’s a huge savings!

Same day service: Mexican clinics are usually able to see patients right away. The labs are quicker to make crowns and other items than our country’s labs. In the United States, the wait for a porcelain crown may be a couple of weeks, but Mexican crowns may be ready by the next day.

Vacation at the same time: Many oral health care practices in our sister country are located close to the beach. What better place to wait for your appointment time to arrive? Some patients are combining a waterfront vacation at the same time as accomplishing their oral health care goals. With all the money saved on the less expensive services, why not?

Technology and training has improved: Initially, the dental and medical communities across borders were substantially inferior to the rigid standards set in the states. This has been changing over time and the foreign countries’ practices have greatly improved, especially in major cities.

Some of the negative aspects include:

Drug Traffic Criminals: Unfortunately, drug trafficking has reached an all time high which has caused more crime to occur. Some innocent by-standers have been caught in the crossfire of these unsavory criminal activities.

Not all practitioners are well qualified: A citizen needs to thoroughly check out their prospective dental health care workers. This is true in all countries, but the U.S. has stricter regulatory practices that promote a broader range of safety standards and well as trained, high quality practitioners.

Far away if anything goes wrong: The unfortunate side of traveling to a far-away locale to have any type of medical service performed is the fact that it IS far away. Should something go wrong while you’re outside your home nation, your own docs are unavailable. If something goes wrong after you’re back home, it’s a long way to travel to have the problem remedied. An ill-fitting crown or botched root canal can become a serious issue that will need to be tended to by a local doctor. Trying to save money can sometimes cost a lot more in the long run.

Are dentists in Tijuana or Chihuahua a good idea? This is an individual decision every person must make for themselves. Weighing the pros and cons as well as talking to friends and relatives who’ve traveled for health care would be a wise idea.



Source by Andrew Stratton

Why OpenEMR Has Bad Customer Service Reviews

Everyone is entitled to their opinion which comes from their experience with a particular product, service, or in this case software package. In reviewing the remarks that were left about the OpenEMR software, it is the intent of this article to highlight a few things about OpenEMR and rebut a few things people have said the software did not do.

The rating is on these five things:

Ease of use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

At the time of this writing, there are only 5 reviews showing on the site. I will be commenting on those.

Ease of use:

Two people gave the software five stars, two people gave one and a half stars, and one person gave 3 stars. If you look at the diversity of entries, you can see a wide range of business types that have tried the product. One out of the five is a billing service. The rest are practices. The billing service gave the lowest score of all five.

That is not a surprise as that the software is not really written for a biller but a biller can do the billing out of the software. So, OpenEMR does not have all the bells and whistles that MediSoft has. However, it is fully capable of getting the job done when it comes to billing. A biller may have to think a little more than when using another billing suite that has not been around as long and is not dedicated to billing. But if the biller takes his/her time, they will find all the tools needed to keep the office flush with cash flow.

Ease of use:

This is a tricky thing because that really speaks to the state of mind of a person. It’s like the rivalry between MAC and PC. Some people use MAC because it fits the way they think. Others use PC because it makes sense to them. Everything in life is that way. So, for some, it will be hard for them to pick up on how the software work and others will get it right away. We have seen offices that never took a day of training from us and picked up and used the software right away.

Functionality:

There was only one that gave this a 5 star. On this one, let’s focus on two of the comments. Like least was this comment “Super slow and it doesn’t check insurance eligibility”. Let us address the super slow. Without more details, the speculation here is that the program moved really slow. In our experience, this comes from one or three things. First, the computer that the software was installed on did not have enough horsepower to run the machine. OpenEMR is a fairly large program and if it is placed an old slow computer it will run slow. Secondly, if the software is not configured for the software package, it will run slow. These have been the main two reason we found that when people report the software is slow is the cause of the slowness.

The second part of the comment “doesn’t check insurance eligibility” is false. All the person had to do is Google OpenEMR eligibility check and they would have found http://www.open-emr.org/wiki/index.php/Insurance_Eligibility_Check. Try it now yourself. This feature has been in the software since 2012. But if you don’t where to look, you can’t find it.

I have to admit. There are many things buried in OpenEMR. It has more features than I can keep up with.



Source by Sherwin Gaddis

Trading Large Cap Stocks – Beginning

Like many stock market investors / traders, I too, lost my shirt in the nineties. High-tech stocks always seemed to offer such huge returns, and when you analyzed the charts they looked like can not miss opportunities. But as the decade wore on my stock portfolio value went on a steady nose dive. Until it actually became non-existent.

At the time I was looking for stocks to hold for a few months, and then sell. Stocks that were likely to increase in a short time. I read all the books, learned fundamental and technical analysis, created and back tested stock trading systems. Subscribed to all the newsletters, the services, the gurus, and jumped around in my opinions so much, that even when I was right, I did not allow my correctness time to pay off. Self-doubt, gut wrenching anxiety, not to mention unnecessary stress on an already dysfunctional marriage all added to my panicking. And the inevitable loss of my entire account.

Through it all I made right buys and short sells, but my convictions was never very strong, I could not stand the fluctuation of hi-tech stocks, and had no idea when to keep my position and when to dump it. Usually I would dump winners at the exact worst time, and keep losers for way too long. I tried system trading, but great weary of systems that worked when back testing but not in real time. In short, I went broke, lost my marriage, my house, and my confidence.

Around 2001, I began sniffing around the market again. Now, though I had no money to trade with. However I remembered a time right at the end of 1999. When I had traded GE, several times successfully, it was in a nice up trend, with sufficient timely dips that allowed buying opportunities, and timely spots to also sell. I began wondering if I could buy and sell large cap stocks, and make a profit. I began, again pouring over charts, it was easier now, with the Internet, you could do it for free. I studied household names, and not so household names but always stocks over 5 billion in capitalization. In 2002, I began paper trading, based on a few quick judgments I made about chart formations, and using a few basic indicators. I did this in real time

I had no money to trade, now going through an expensive divorce, that was to leave me actually broke for 3 years. I, still was fascinated with the idea of ​​using large cap stocks, and the fascination kept me paper trading. I found these advantages to large caps; One they had real value, not blue sky. So often, hi-tech and biotech's only had future earnings to offer. Large caps had real value, real property, real learning, etc. Information on them was readily available. I learned during the nineties, I will never have the latest information on stocks. But with large caps you do not really need it. Large caps charts were also more predictable, more reliable, upturns and down turns were within parameters, that were almost always followed. High tech could drop like a rock from the sky on rumors, rumors that I would not even know about until the end of the day.

But was there enough volatility to trade in large caps. I was always bored with buy and hold and hope for a 7% return over the next ten years type strategy, I wanted some action. But what I found was there is enough volatility, if you can figure out how to predict it. Consider my first real trade of this year, I bought All-State Insurance ticker symbol ALL. I bought it in March of 2005, at that time its 52 week low was 43, and its high was 52. If you had bought it at the exact low and sold it at the exact high you would have made, 20% annual return. Not bad for such a safe investment. Of course it is impossible to do that. But what is very possible is to hold it for about 39 days, and make around 3%, in that time. That is almost a 30% annual return while holding a very safe stock for a very short time. And that is what I did.

I paper traded large cap stocks for 3 years, averaging over 50% return on investment for 3 years. While I scrambled and saved, and hid money until I had a whopping total of $ 3000, to open a stock account. And then I bought All State. This year I again hope to make over 50% return on investment, only in real dollars. Which let me tell you is much more exciting, than paper trading. Oh, I have started a successful side business, which profts I place into my account. But more on this later. You can read my trades as they occur on my blog http://livingonlargecaps.blogspot.com/ . And watch as in real time I attempt to prove you can make huge profits on large cap stocks.



Source by CT Larsen

Build Your Startup Business Infrastructure on a Budget

There are quite a few steps to take when building a business from the ground up. This article assumes you have already gained a basic knowledge of these steps and are at a point where you have some funding and you are ready to put the building blocks of your business in place. If you are not familiar with the basic steps to build a business, I encourage you to go check out the multitude of publications you can find on the web and then come back and revisit this article.

In most cases, it is paramount to build your business in steps, being very careful how you spend the precious funds that are available to you, regardless of the source of your capital. By now you should have a list of components that need to be put in place, such as the IT infrastructure, including but not limited to email accounts, a website, internal software systems (both “canned” packages as well as custom software) and more. On the creative side, you will need to decide on your branding (logo and color theme). Then most likely you will need business cards, brochures, letterhead, fliers, signage and the like.

Building a business in steps (or increments) can be done, but you need to look for the right talent. At the beginning, you will be much better off finding individuals that are competent in several different areas. The less resources you have to employ, in most cases, the lower your spending outlay will be. If one individual can perform the duties of six or eight people, your budgetary savings should be significant. Later on, when things are taking off, you can replace these multi-talented individuals with dedicated resources, as each duty will likely become a full-time job. Over-staffing too soon can put you out of business in a hurry or put undue pressure on your business to perform sooner than it is capable of.

Let’s turn the clock forward and assume your business is gaining traction. Let’s say your multi-talented individuals just helped you get your business off the ground and now you are going to replace them with employees dedicated to specific business segments, or departments. It will be painless to replace them because they will be expecting it. Why? Because you brought them in as contractors. You have a lot of flexibility with contractors. If it’s in your interest, and the contractor’s interest, you can propose a contract to hire arrangement. Then if things work out well, you could bring them in as part of your senior staff since they will have such a good understanding of your business. Or, they could simply move on. There are many advantages to using contractors in a case like this. If things are not moving as fast as you hoped, you can reduce the contractor’s hours to stay within your budget. You can cut them loose if they are not performing as expected. You will also save money because you will not be providing benefits, and in many cases, not providing a work-space for them.

Another smart move may be to secure certain essential services on an outsourced basis. These days, you can even outsource your human resource department. Outside services are becoming more popular these days. Such services take the worry out of keeping up with ever-changing legal requirements, minimizing the exposure to your brand new, fragile business. The cost is normally a lot less than in-house staffing for comparable services. A good service company will come with a guarantee (they will have an insurance policy) that protects your company should the service company fail to keep up with current legal requirements, unintentionally creating a liability for your company. It is not practical for in-house personnel to make such a guarantee. In that case your business is assuming the risks for your hired employees.



Source by Carl Herkes