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IRS Toughens Rules on Small Business Insurance

Small businesses are one the most ignored financial sectors in the country’s economy. Government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) often come up with regulations that target only large corporations. Due to constant tendencies to overlook this vital sector of the economy, there is increasing levels of business malpractices, especially in the small business insurance platform.

New Measures from the IRS

In what could be an unprecedented attempt to control the sector, IRS recently came up with new stringent measures to tame the rogue small business owners. The agency is targeting small business insurance providers who take advantage of its leniency to engage in schemes designed to evade taxes.The agency came up with the new rules amid an ongoing investigation where an in-house insurance provider, which provides micro captive insurance, unknowingly fell into the trap of abusive tax evasion schemes. Such companies are highly prone to malicious programs formed by small business owners to shelter themselves from paying taxes.

Program Details

These programs can accumulate deferred taxes, unlike conventional insurance quotes. Small businesses can protect their products from risks that are costly for traditional insurance companies. In the process, the companies enjoy tax-free limits set by IRS.

What the New Rules Mean for Businesses

IRS announced that it is making the rules more unfriendly based on increased cases of tax evasion resulting from the questionable transactions recorded by micro captive providers. However, there is a brewing legal tussle between IRS and interested parties. Those against the new rules claim that IRS acted without considering the possible outcome of an ongoing tax case known as Avraham v Commissioner, which is at an advanced stage in the court. Most of them feel that the agency acted too soon.

The Current State of Insurance for Small Businesses

Many insurance companies provide small business insurance policies ranging from liability insurance to disaster and health insurance. However, insurance companies treat small business insurance policies like any other cover. They do not consider the scope of service delivery or the business portfolio of the company at stake. As a result, most small businesses opt for unconventional insurance covers such as micro captives. With the increasing difficulty to do business due to fierce completion from well-established companies, small businesses go for cheaper alternatives to help them cut costs, especially in risk mitigation.

How Small Businesses Can Be Insured

Through captive insurance, small businesses can insure themselves at incredibly lower prices. Many businesses prefer this type of insurance because of the planning advantages that come with it. Before a particular business qualifies for the advantages, it must produce a detailed document showing the risks insured.

History of Captive Insurance

Micro captive insurance was started in the 1950s. Today, more than 500 companies have at least one captive policy. Through the policy, many small businesses can now avoid the volatility of the insurance market through self-insurance. According to financial analysts, insurance for small business will never get better without captive insurance in it. Visit TruShield Insurance and learn more from their online resources.

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Enterprise Content Management Strategy- Keys to Success

In recent years enterprise content management (ECM) is gaining greater significance and becoming more complex for a number of reasons. The truth is that the majority of organizations’ ECM involves maintaining important documents in a shared drive or in personal computers that gets pushed around using e-mail.

Managing content is not enough. What is more critical is the ability of accessing the correct record or document version when it is needed. Enterprise content needs to be managed in a way that its usage helps in achieving your organization’s business goals. A primary ECM goal is the elimination of ad hoc internal processes that could expose your company to existing regulatory compliance risks and other associated problems.

Analyzing Current Status

An important step towards achieving the desired enterprise content management in the future is an understanding of your current ECM status. Employing a best-practice approach begins by mapping the current end-to-end business processes in use across your entire organization.

Document the flow of information from people, apps and systems, and how that is creating content within your enterprise. This is what will provide you with useful insights into the current organization’s information ecosystem.

Define the Scope

ECM program scope defination is critical to user adoption and successful implementation. Considerations must be given to organizational and geographic requirements, timeframes, legacy content, information types and classes, and the customer communication management platform. The enterprise content management capability must include resilience in managing the growth of documents and also facilitate adaptability of emerging technology trends.

New Strategy Implementation

For ECM, change management goes a bit further than controlling software and managing hardware, and how they are affecting your network. It’s more about people, training, culture, and communications. It must also have a customer communication management platform that addresses the possible effects of the new changes and also anticipate user resistance.

The overall strategy must address areas of change that include processes, technology, procedures for technology version-control, retention periods, as well other areas that relate to the future desired state of ECM. Considerations must cover how the ECM strategy is going to impact employee interactions and activities plus how the benefits of the new procedures, systems and practices will be conveyed. Most importantly, it must address the drivers or reasons to implement this change.

An all-inclusive record management capability has to be part of the organisation processes and systems. ECM software tools may be employed for identifying duplicate or near-duplicate content. A vibrant enterprise information security classification scheme has to be developed.

Conclusion

Accomplishing all the above demands a cross-functional organizational team effort; executives must give the corporate vision, heads of departments sharing their operating goals while the user community continually documents challenges encountered daily. Ultimately, a well-designed ECM strategy will help you achieve goals such as eliminating bottlenecks, streamlining access, and minimizing organization’s overhead. You may be able to learn more information at GMC Software.

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Copywriting Tips for Generating Leads Through Email

Lead generation software is very helpful for increasing and managing your leads. However, you’ll still need the art of copywriting to send out compelling emails to your subscribers that direct them back to your website or landing page for a product you’re selling. If you want to improve your B2B marketing and email lead generation, implement the following copywriting tips for generating leads through email:

Write Killer Subject Lines

The most important aspect of your email is the subject line because it determines whether or not someone clicks on your email. If they don’t find the subject line irresistible to click, then they’ll likely delete it without ever seeing what you have to say. You can improve your subject lines by personalizing them, speaking to problems your target audience is facing, and occasionally adding fun emoticons for personality. When you add emoticons, make sure they will show up correctly on all devices.

Include Images in the Email

People are visual by nature and will feel more motivated to read your email when images are included. Some people will back away if you send a text-only email that doesn’t have any visuals. Images in your email copy can also help your audience quickly understand your message.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Most target audiences prefer shorter emails because they have busy lives and don’t want to spend too much time in their inboxes. Cut any unnecessary words from your copy. Not only will this shorten your emails, but it will boost your clarity.

Convey What Value They’ll Receive from Your Email

The subject line of your emails should convey what value they’ll receive from your emails. Will they save money on their PPC marketing? Will they eliminate stress during tax season? Or will they receive a discount on one of your products? Value must always be communicated in the subject line to encourage clicks.

Use Second Person

Some businesses write their emails in first person, but it’s better to use second person in email marketing. As you’ve probably heard before while learning about marketing, people don’t care about you. They care about themselves. By using second person, you place the focus on them.

Write Effective Calls to Action

Every email you send in your email marketing should have an effective call to action. Just as you should spend time writing a great subject line, you should put thought into your calls to action. A good call to action contains action words, communicates what you want the reader to do, and is relevant.

Lead Generation Software

A combination of using a good lead generation software with excellent visitor tracking features and writing better emails for your email marketing will help you boost leads through email. Implement the above copywriting tips to improve your email lead generation. Visit Clickback Inc. and learn more information from the available resources.

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How to Take Your REALTOR Marketing to the Next Level

As a real estate agent, your efforts may be regularly focused on trying to find new leads to follow up on. After all, without leads, you simply cannot generate sales and close deals. Real estate agent marketing commonly includes direct mail marketing and generating leads from yard signs in front of listed properties.

 

However, you may be looking for REALTOR marketing that goes a step above and beyond these common methods used to generate lead. With your effort focused in the right direction, you can get more leads without breaking the bank with a huge marketing budget.

 

home-blue-circle Update Your Website
Your website is one of your most significant tools available when it comes to REALTOR marketing, but you may not be using in the most effective way possible. Some real estate agents believe that simply having an online presence is enough to generate great business, but this unfortunately is not always the case. First, you need to update your website so that traffic is driven to it. This may be by incorporating a blog or RSS feed into the website, and both of these will keep fresh, relevant content on the website. This promotes great rankings with the search engines. In addition, you can also incorporate videos into your website, and this is great because YouTube is owned by Google.

 

home-blue-circle Other Creative Website Marketing Ideas
You may have heard that SEO, or search engine optimization, can drive traffic to your website organically, and this is true. You simply select a few optimal key words, and you place them strategically in your text as well as in off-site articles that link back to your website. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so take time to research current SEO tips before you get started. In addition to this, consider adding some lead generator or capture tools onto your website. For example, you could have a mortgage calculator that requires the user to enter their contact information before seeing the results of their calculator query, and you can program the calculator tool to email the contact information to you in real time.

 

Direct mail marketing is effective, but it unfortunately is not enough to generate the results that most real estate agents desire. Your broker may already have a website for the company or team, but it can be beneficial to have a personal website for you as an individual agent as well. Simply having the website is not enough, and you can easily incorporate these tips into your website to generate incredible results from it. You can learn additional information at Morris Real Estate Marketing Group.

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Five Reasons Why Your Business Needs Business Cheques

When you have just started your own business, it may feel natural to simply write a cheque from your personal chequing account. However, this can be a major mistake that can make it very difficult to separate your personal finances from your business finances. In order to get in the habit of keeping your business and personal life separate, and to reap several other benefits, you will need business cheques.

 

1. Less Tax Hassles

Business cheques make it much easier to avoid tax headaches. Since all of your business-related payments will have been made under your business name, it will be much easier to claim these as business expense deductions for tax purposes. It will be much easier to substantiate the deductions you make in the event of an audit. Business cheques become a requirement when you have become incorporated.

 

2. Manage Your Personal Finances Better

All of your business income is sent to your business checking account. Then, you can designate a set amount that is transferred from your business checking account to your personal checking account. By keeping this set amount consistent, you will know how much you must budget for and will be less tempted to spend too much of your profits on better months. You will have a cushion to support you during less profitable months.

 

3. Take Advantage Of Limited Liability Laws

When you keep your finances separate, and your business is forced to file for bankruptcy, your creditors will be able to go after the finances in your business chequing account. However, the creditors will not be able to target your personal finances. One exception is if you are constantly mixing your personal and business expenses. If you are often using business expenses for personal matters and personal finances for business expenses, the courts will not necessarily see you and your business as a separate entity and you may be sued.

 

4. Delegate Tasks To Employees

Business cheques can have multiple signers. If you need to delegate purchasing and other financial responsibilities to an employee, having business cheques will make it much easier to do so. Employees can simply write checks for business matters. External accounting services can be given authorization to examine your business’s account statements.

 

5. More Professional

Ultimately, having business cheques makes your business appear more professional and established. This will increase the odds that customers are willing to do business with you. When a cheque has your own name on it, rather than the name of your business, some customers will wonder how serious your business is. More information can be found at D+H Cheques.

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Protecting Your Brand Name Online

Where will you be at midnight tonight?

May I suggest that you may want to consider being at your computer at that time?

Why? Because Facebook has something going on at that time that is vital for you personally and your business that’s far more important than sleeping ever will be!

As a PR person and marketer, you know the power of branding and controlling your brand name.

Tonight at midnight, Facebook is staging one of the greatest branding grabs ever – giving the opportunity to own your own name on Facebook.

But, you say, I already have my name on Facebook. But, what’s key here is not your name, it’s your URL.

Every time you want to send someone to your Facebook profile or page (remember profiles are your personal section on Facebook, pages are your business side, and you can have unlimited numbers of pages) you currently have to send them to a URL that looks something like this:

www.facebook.com/people/Your-Name/52446540 (That’s an inactive URL, BTW, so don’t click it.)

Wouldn’t you rather be able to send them to www.facebook.com/yourname ?

That’s what’s Facebook is making possible tonight – the ability to own your own name, or more importantly, your company or brand name on Facebook.(Can you imagine someone else owning your brand name on that vital site?)

And the fact that Facebook’s making this a first come first served situation, this is why it’s also vital that you’re awake and at your computer tonight, who needs sleep anyway?

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What Is Meant By The Terms Boilerplate Language And Safe Harbor Statement In A Media Release?

Big question mark made from smaller question marks (retro colors)

Boilerplate language:

Boilerplate language is a media release refers to what is traditionally the final paragraph of the release, which provides generic information about the company. It usually tells whether the company is publicly or privately traded, its stock ticker, where it’s based, the brands it owns, what it does, etc. Basically, it’s a piece of copy that is designed to communicate the basics about the company that gets routinely pasted on the end of each media release.

Consequently, it’s usually the first thing that gets cut if the release gets run, but that’s a totally different discussion.

Here’s a sample of boilerplate language from a recent AT&T release:
About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation’s leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s lists of the World’s Most Admired Companies and America’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.

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The Power Of Bloggers To Increase Even Further

A team works together to pull up a growth arrow

“The power of bloggers to influence thought, to reach large numbers of people and even to eclipse the impact of traditional media is huge and will grow even larger in the near future,” Blogging and Social Media expert Don Crowther announced today at the 2007 Blogword and New Media Expo in Las Vegas.

“What the traditional media doesn’t recognize is that many bloggers, though unrestrained by traditional journalistic methods and ethics, have audiences and actual readership larger than many newspapers, television and radio shows,” Crowther said. “Plus this audience is often more loyal and able to be influenced than that of traditional media, giving bloggers tremendous power to shape opinions, actions and purchasing behavior.”

The implications of this power are far reaching. Crowther indicated:

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Removing Fear Through Effective Public Relations

I like my neighbor, with one small exception – he raises pit bulls. He’s got 8 of them, with 3-4 rotating in to live right next door all the time.

Justified or not, the entire neighborhood is scared of them, with parents being unwilling to let their kids play outside unsupervised (a first in my small subdivision.) My wife’s terrified of them, and if she’s outside when he lets them out to do their business she goes inside until they’re done.

It’s even gotten to the point where calls have been made to the police several times by various neighborhood members for various infractions.

So I admired the way he pulled off a public relations coup this week.

Most of the neighbors were out enjoying a summer evening (hey, when it’s too cold to go outside for much of the year, we Northerners take advantage of every nice evening we can get!), watching the kids play and enjoying parental conversation, when the neighbor walked out of his house carrying a laundry basket onto his driveway.

That attracted a few eyeballs. But when he reached inside and pulled out a 10″ long, 4-week old puppy, it took just a few minutes before the entire neighborhood was gathered around, and each of the 8 puppies had someone cuddling it.

They were awfully cute puppies and they did what puppies do naturally – they captured the hearts of everyone.

As I was holding the puppy, I mentioned to him that I should get my wife to try to remove some of her fear of the pit bulls. He not only thought that was a good idea, but told me to take a puppy to her. A few seconds later, my wife was right in the midst of the cuddle session.

It’s been interesting to watch my neighborhood ever since. Each night, the puppies come out, and everyone gathers around. Barriers are being broken, fear is being reduced, comfort is increasing.

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Creating Advertising That Offends Your Customers: I Dont Get It

I was shocked this week to see an ad by Ford for their Mustang. It shows a father and son in a dark parking lot. The son’s driving, he peels out, runs a bit, then stops. The father turns to him and says “That’s what I’m talking about. This is not a toy! Want to go again?” Both laughs and they peel out again.

Now I’m sure this ad strikes deep to the heart of a few fathers who want their sons to relive the father’s teenage streetrodding experiences. And, when they dragged those fathers into focus groups the ad was probably met with applause.

But what’s clear is that they didn’t test the ad with others – the moms, the families who have lost a child to being hit by a teenage driver, MADD members, and those who look for our teenagers to be law-abiding. To them, this ad is not only offensive, but it constitutes “fighten words”.

The ad has already been pulled in at least one market where recent highly-publicized teen accidents have raised awareness of the dangers of telling kids that it’s ok to drive cars recklessly “as long as they don’t get caught.”

Want to judge the spot for yourself? It’s the one with the grinning man’s face.

This ad is just another in a recent trend towards offending one market segment while seeking to attract another. Carls Junior’s Paris Hilton adwas one we recently commented on.

Sephora has recently done the same thing with coffee cups with a lipstick mark on the rim, making them appear to have been used.

Frankly, I don’t get it.

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