3 super easy startup marketing tips for 2017

Looking for more ways to market your startup?

Below are some 4 easy tips that will help you take your business to the next level!

1)   Video marketing

Video marketing is a trend that was evident even before 2017, and still going to continue in many years to come. When it comes to attracting and keeping customers’ attention, there is no doubt video performs the job. Why use video marketing?

  • Is a guaranteed way of increasing trust in your brand
  • It enables you build a relationship with your customers
  • It increases your search ranking
  • Helps make purchase decisions

You can just use a regular acted video, or use an animated video to showcase your products, announce your offer, introduce your business or do just about anything else you need to do to market your business. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to have a professional company create a top-notch marketing video for you, you can just do it yourself with a GoAnimate account.

2)   Listen to your customers

As it goes, ‘the customer is always right’. Although this truism sometimes defies logic, you should really pay attention to your customers. Marketing has everything to do with understanding what the customers’ wants and do the impossible to satisfy their needs. Listening to your customers makes you understand what matters to them and what negatively and positively impacts they experience.

3)   Think outside the box

Innovation always leads to tremendous growth and success for a startup business. Every startup owner should challenge him/herself beyond the norm.

  • Always be ahead of your competitors analyze them and try to do something different.
  • Survey your clients, current and past.
  • Tell your personal story and use it to your advantage to build your brand.
  • Always have a plan B.

If everyone is thinking alike, then for sure somebody is not thinking. For you to rise above or standout from your competitors, you have to think outside the box.

Why hybrid long term care is making sense to more Americans

Long Term Care - Hybrid Plan

Hybrid life + LTC insurance is the SUV of long term care insurance today.

Buyers of traditional policies are swapping to hybrid policies, which package LTC coverage together with another form of insurance. Perhaps the comforting thing about hybrid plans is that if the policyholder doesn’t ever need long term care, the benefits are transferred to their beneficiaries. This is a win-win situation and a far cry from the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ approach of traditional long term care plans.

Drew Nichols, co-founder of LTCTree.com, one of the largest virtual shops for comparing long term care insurance on the internet today, has said that buyers of traditional policies have become more concerned, “Over the last few years, we have seen a major shift in how Americans buy LTC coverage. A few years ago, everyone was going for a traditional plan. But our statistics reveal that sales for hybrid policies are 420% up, while those for traditional policies are 20% down. As you can see, the appeal of traditional plans appears to be decreasing as more people choose hybrid.”

But Drew is quick to point out that each plan should be based on its own merit. “To be more realistic, though, there’s no blanket traits that make either traditional or hybrid policy appealing. While a hybrid plan will work ideally well for one customer, traditional LTC coverage will be the best choice for another customer. It all depends on the particular circumstances surrounding each client. We have noted that people who have no need for life insurance, and who are looking for more comprehensive LTC coverage are better served by a traditional policy.”

long term care

More than 200,000 hybrid long term care insurance policies were sold in 2015. This increase in the number of policies sold is coherent with the fact that more Americans will need long term care services. A survey done by Genworth Financial reveals that 70% of people over the age of 65 will use long term care services at one time or the other. Given that medicare doesn’t pay for anything, people are becoming increasingly consciousness of the need for LTC insurance.

The same Genworth study also points that people want to buy LTC so that they can receive care at home for as long as possible. More than half of policyholders who filed LTC claims in 2015 are receiving care at home. Another reason that’s obviously pushing people to buy LTC protection is surging care costs. The average annual care cost in a nursing home is over $90,000. Given the likelihood that you’ll need care for a couple of years, the total bill can be devastating to your savings or assets. By investing between $50,000 and $100,000 in a decent traditional or hybrid long term care package, you can protect your asset and get the peace of mind that you’ll receive proper care when you need it.

1 in 3 American workers is emotionally, physically or financially burden by a parent or relative who needs care. This just demonstrates the massive impact that long term care has on our economy. But by purchasing a good insurance plan, American workers can concentrate on what they do without having to worry because they know that their aging parents are receiving top quality care.

When it comes to hybrid long term care, there are two general types of plans available, an annuity-based plan, and a life-LTC rider plan.

  • Annuity hybrid plans – an annuity is a lump sum investment that’s made with the goal of earning steady income from it. Annuities are a common tool for retirement planning. Some companies now allow annuity holders to add an LTC rider at a small fee (usually paid as a percentage of the annuity). For instance, if you purchase an annuity for $100,000, you might be required to pay 2% annually (which calculates to $2000) for LTC benefits. By the time you need care let’s say in about 7 years, the value of your LTC benefits will have doubled or tripled. If you ever wish to do away with the whole arrangement, you can recover your money.

But given the current low-interest rate market, annuities aren’t doing very well.

  • Life-LTC rider insurance – this is usually a typical life insurance plan that has an LTC rider. If you ever need care, the death benefit is accelerated to pay for it. But if you won’t need care, the death benefit will be given to your appointed beneficiaries after your death. There’s no risk of premiums getting wasted with this approach. Most hybrid plans of this type require you to make a single lump sum premium deposit. This excludes you from any risk of future premium increases, which is quite common with traditional LTC plans.

Not to forget, applicants of traditional long term care insurance who have poor health are often rejected. But they are easily able to qualify for hybrid plans, especially annuity-based plans. This is yet another reason why more Americans, especially those who are elder and are worried that their health might be an impediment to a traditional policy, are going straight for hybrid coverage. More insurance companies have introduced hybrid plans, which mean consumers now have a wider variety to choose from.

If you’d like help finding the best long term care insurance package for you, there are several comparison tools available online. For instance, LTC Tree’s comparelongtermcare.org tool makes it possible for you to make side-by-side comparisons of policies from at least 5 of the top 6 insurers’ right from the comfort of your home.

5 Top Tips to Buy Insurance

So you’re thinking about buying insurance? Well, many businesses and individuals dread the insurance purchasing process. There’s a chance that your insurer will ask for tons of information, only to decline your policy request. This way, you end up wasting a lot of your precious time. But since insurance is a crucial risk management tool, whether at the personal, professional or business level – you still have to go along and find the best policies available based on your custom needs. This article highlights the 5 main tips that can help make the ride smooth for anyone who’s on the shopping for insurance.

1.      Shop Around

This is one of the most important things you ought to do when buying insurance. And don’t just compare different providers based on the price – there’s more that goes into it. Think about the level of cover that you’re getting. One of the key strategies that you can use around this pointer is to seek information from comparison sites, as well as online insurers. You can also get brochures and online information from banks and building societies to learn what they have in store for you. Last but not least, most people will work with a skilled independent financial adviser or insurance broker. This is someone who’s been in the industry for a long time, and who knows the rules of the trade. They have most likely worked with dozens of providers and know the best policies available based on your needs.

2.      Look More Closely

When comparing insurance policies, it’s important to look more keenly at how the levels of cover, types of cover, different charges and excesses are calculated. You want to compare insurance policies only based on similar features. Some insurers will set their voluntary excess higher to make sure that they rank cheapest on comparison sites. Essentially – dig below the surface.

3.      Read the Policy Document

Another important tip for buying insurance is that you have to read the policy document. At least, you want to check for features that are important to you. The last thing you want is to waste money on a cover that doesn’t come to your rescue when you need it. Most providers give you a two-week period within which you can change your mind if you realize that the cover you went for won’t suffice.

4.      Answer Questions Truthfully

Now, whether you’re applying via phone, online or through an application form, you want to make sure that you answer the insurer’s questions honestly, and to the best of your knowledge. Failure to do this and your policy could be considered, in which case any future claim will either be rejected, or paid partially.

5.      Get Expert Advice

If you have still looked but can’t seem to make your mind regarding where to buy your insurance, it helps to seek expert advice. Consider bringing in an insurance broker who has the potential to get you a better deal. Of course, sometimes of insurance (e.g. critical illness) widely vary and have tons of complex terms and conditions. If you’re looking to buy this kind of insurance, it’s wise to seek the advice of an insurance broker so that you get the best policy for your custom needs.

There’s no understating the importance of being covered, whether for your health, your car, your retirement, your property, or anything else for that matter. The insurance buying tips above should get you started on the right note.

Most Important Types of Insurance

Protecting your assets and what’s dear to you is the most crucial step to stable financial status. Getting the right policies from the right insurance company is the only way to ensure that you are protected against unforeseeable but possible risks. Due to the numerous types of policies, it can be confusing figuring out just which ones to procure. However, here is a list of the most important insurance policies that you should have.

Long-Term Disability Insurance

The idea of a long-term disability occurring to someone is so terrorizing that we simply tend to give it a cold shoulder. We all hope that nothing of the sort will ever come along our way, but the hope is not good at all. This policy enables you to continue with your normal lifestyle even if you are unable to continue with your work

Life Insurance

If your children, spouse, and other treasured ones would face financial constraints if you died then the best way to protect them from this is by taking a life insurance cover to ensure that they are protected

Health Insurance

The rising cost of medical care has become a concern lately and hence the need to cover ourselves has become a necessity. Of late the cost of health insurance has been rising to a point of becoming a financial burden to almost everyone but when we come to think of it, it is worth than not having.

Automobile Insurance

This insurance has become a requirement by law.  If you are involved in an accident, and property is destroyed and someone injured, the possibility is that you will be subject to a lawsuit which will probably cost you everything. Taking an insurance cover is the only solution to your road problems.

Homeowner’s Insurance

This is very important as your home and properties may6 get damaged and you have nothing left. It also covers accidents that may occur in the house.

Business Owner’s Policy

Ranging from business interruption insurance, crime insurance, liability insurance to vehicle coverage are  among some of the losses covered by this policy.

Property Insurance

We do not have to worry about our personal property, all we need to do is take a cover against theft, damage, fire and many more risks that may be exposed to them.

Professional Liability

Also known as errors and omissions insurance, it covers the damages that may occur in case you improperly render your professional services. It is not covered in general insurance and it is only applicable to professional firms only.

Renter’s Insurance

If you have been having problems with your landlord about rent this policy has come to your aid. It also protects damage to property or personal injury within the home

General Liability Insurance

This cover protects your employees, you and your products. It also covers damage done to the third party.

Ways to Safeguard Your Business

Thugs busting in with guns to steal isn’t the only frightening risk facing your business. Ever heard of hacking? Cybercrime? Well, if you have, then you know that there are lots of smart crooks who can dismantle your internet-connected business right from anywhere in the world.  These individuals can access confidential information without your knowledge, and use it against you. Cybercrime or not, here are actions you should take today so as to protect your business.

Watch your Mouth

Business image turns to be the most important thing as it creates an impression to outsiders. Avoid defamatory or slanderous statements as well as doing business with the unscrupulous individuals. We all have heard of very famous company’s fallout just because they conducted business with individuals who do shoddy businesses so make sure that yours is not the next.

As the owner, you should limit any conflict of interest that may present itself and advocate for integrity.

Insurance. Insurance

Losing all your property? Well, this can be the most frustrating moment especially if your property was not insured. You can take the liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, general insurance liability among many others to ensure that everything in your business is covered.

Adopting Software and Hiring Professionals

Data loss prevention and risk assessment software is the best device that you can use to monitor the activities or detect any case of data breach before it’s too late.

Your employees should be educated on the risk of coming along with their devices to work as they can be used to track important information from the business by hackers.

Keeping Cyber Gangs at Bay

Cyber gangs are very smart and all they look for is an opportunity to hack your data. Why give them a chance? Here is what you need to do.

  • Fix and update your operating systems regularly.
  • Install firewall to detect virus and phishing attacks
  • Update your browser all times with the latest software version.
  • Your wireless network, folders, files and entire drives should be encrypted.
  • Use internet filters to protect your data from being hacked.

Hire a Competent Attorney

A loyal and competent attorney is the only person you can turn to for substantial advice if your company or business has been sued. The attorney should also be familiar with the laws and customs of the area within which the business operates.

If you are having the most common problem of taxation you can hire a tax attorney to look on that.

Separate Yourself from Your Business

A sole proprietorship is not advisable at all since in case you have any debts or you are sued your property will be the target.  Run your business as a separate legal entity from you and the best way to do this is to have a trust own the business and in case of debts or you are sued the trust will be liable for the debt

Take those precautions to keep your business safe and never have the mentality that nothing can happen to your business as it is only a matter of time before a hack.  Be on the watch out always.