Motivating Your Employees to Go Above & Beyond

Motivating Your Employees to Go Above & BeyondAs a small business owner, you rely on your employees. While finding the right people is the first step to creating the best infrastructure for your business, how do you keep them giving 110%? In this article, we’re going to explore how to keep your employees motivated and wanting to go above and beyond for you and your business. Even more importantly, make sure your business is backed by a NY Business Insurance policy.

Leadership.

If you want to create a positive employee experience, you’ve got to truly believe that employees matter in helping your business move forward and achieve its goals. From the employee’s point of view, this means providing clear direction about where the business is headed so your team understands how their jobs relate to the company’s overall goals. Business owners and managers also need to provide personal commitment and support for individuals and teams. Let your employees know you have their backs, explains Small Business Trends.

Positive environment.

Be the role model you want your employees to embody. Walk the walk, foster cooperation, and keep the lines of communication open to keep all of your employees on the same page.

Meaningful work.

Whatever type of business you run, your employees still want to feel recognized for their efforts and know that their work is meaningful. Provide incentives for your employees to work hard to grow professionally and give feedback regularly.

Balance.

Allowing your employees to have a healthy work/life balance is key for motivating employees today. Respecting their free time is a must, as well as allowing them the freedom to do their jobs how they see fit. Remember, allowing flexibility promotes morale and productivity.

About The Rubin Group

Based in New York, The Rubin Group provides insurance in most of the 50 states. Our full-service insurance brokerage provides insurance and risk management services to individuals in all income brackets and businesses of all sizes and types. We understand that every client has unique coverage requirements, and we are passionate about providing the ideal individualized coverage for each customer. Each member of our team takes the time to truly understand your situation, the particular risks you anticipate – and the very real risks you’ve not yet contemplated. For all of your insurance needs, you can call (212) 201-4500 to contact us at The Rubin Group!

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Monitoring Labor Costs in Your Restaurant

Monitoring Labor Costs in Your RestaurantLabor is one of the largest monthly expenses for any New York restaurant. While employees are the backbone of your success, it’s important to monitor your labor costs to protect your bottom line. Consider the following suggestions for understanding your labor costs and how to make data-driven decisions to cut costs. Next, protect your operation with a comprehensive and custom-tailored NY Restaurant Insurance program.

Gather data.

Making data-driven decisions requires more than just looking at surface level figures. Dive deeper, look for trends in your restaurant, identify peak hours and slow times, and evaluate whether you are over or understaffed for these times.

Too many employees can be off-putting for customers when they have nothing to do or are loitering at the front of the restaurant. On the contrary, not enough employees during the lunch or dinner rushes can cause delays in service, cold food, and unhappy customers. Analyze your data to make staffing and hiring decision thoughtfully.

Stagger staff schedules.

The National Restaurant Association suggests that instead of setting block schedules that have singular arrival and departure times per shift, consider spreading out scheduled clock-ins and outs by about 15 minutes for select positions. This can help eliminate the chance of not having enough employees on the floor.

Simplify scheduling.

Use resources and programs to your advantage. Rather than relying on paper schedules, utilize digital and mobile apps. These can help to ensure all of your staff are on the same page, find coverage for sick employees and create consistent communication between everyone in the restaurant. In addition, these resources help to:

  • Minimize confusion.
  • Allow management to approve changes.
  • Remind employees of their daily schedules.
  • Alert employees of any last minute changes.

 

About The Rubin Group

At The Rubin Group we know what unique risks the food service industry faces.  We have staff devoted to ensuring that you have the right  Brooklyn Restaurant Insurance Coverage and any other New York Business Insurance coverages you may need.  Contact us at (877) 806-7239 for more information.

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Marketing to Millennials: Home Selling Strategies

Marketing to Millennials: Home Selling StrategiesLast year, millennials were identified as the nation’s largest living generation. As this demographic, aged 16-36, enters the real estate market, it’s time for agents to focus their efforts on selling homes to them. Understanding what motivates these adults to buy and identifying how they differ from the Baby Boomers and other generations can give you the edge over your competitors.  These 4 simple steps can help you tailor your selling strategies to meet millennials’ needs and boost your business tenfold. Even more importantly, protect your firm from the common industry-specific risks you face with a NY Real Estate Insurance package.

Utilize social media.

It’s almost impossible to come across a millennial who does not have some sort of social media page. Facebook and Twitter are two main platforms that your firm should implement to interact and engage with this demographic. As most millennials use social media to regularly communicate, this is the best platform to grab their interest.

Focus on the neighborhood.

According to HomeSpotter, Millennials tend to be much less interested in finding the perfect home and much more interested in finding the right community that can align with and support their interests, passions, and needs. This is a group of people that cares deeply about supporting local businesses and causes, prefers public transportation over owning cars (in urban areas), and would rather be eating dinner on a patio at a restaurant down the street than cooking a meal in their own home.

Show the home, then sell the neighborhood. Mention any hiking trails, outdoor activities, local breweries, hot restaurants, and top bars. Remind them of the lifestyle they are buying into, not just the home itself.

Go mobile.

People use their smartphones for everything these days- and real estate searches are no exception. Ensure your firm’s site is mobile-friendly and allows visitors to read up on your listings, view plenty of photos, and even take virtual tours from their phones.

Be responsive.

In a digital age, customers want instant gratification. If your firm takes days to respond to a request, that lead could potentially be lost by then. Make responsiveness a priority- here’s how:

  • Set up email alerts to your phone. If a request comes in, you’ll be notified immediately.
  • Set up alerts to check your email or text messages hourly. This might take some practice at first, but setting aside a few minutes each hour to respond to eager customers can help you make the sale.
  • Embrace technology. For more traditional agents, this might be a hurdle to overcome. However, responsiveness is another way for your firm to set itself apart from the rest. If you respond to their query, they have less reason to search elsewhere.

About The Rubin Group

Based in New York, The Rubin Group provides insurance in most of the 50 states. Our full-service insurance brokerage provides insurance and risk management services to individuals in all income brackets and businesses of all sizes and types. We understand that every client has unique coverage requirements, and we are passionate about providing the ideal individualized coverage for each customer. Each member of our team takes the time to truly understand your situation, the particular risks you anticipate – and the very real risks you’ve not yet contemplated. For all of your insurance needs, contact us at The Rubin Group!

 

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Preparing Your Small Business For Flu Season

Preparing Your Small Business For Flu SeasonBetween January and end of March, the flu virus runs rampant across the United States. As affected employees can cut down on productivity and efficiency, it’s time to take the necessary precautions to prevent it from hitting your office. Keep in mind that although the flu season hits hardest around this time of year, it’s been known to affect people year-round. In addition to equipping your operation with a NY Business Insurance policy, heed the following advice.

Keep it clean.

Organize common areas such as the break room and restrooms. Keeping them spotless can help to mitigate some of the inherent germs that populate these areas. If you don’t have the resources or time to do it yourself, hire an outside company to regularly clean these areas.

Set up a flu drive.

Organize a drive to have certified healthcare officials conduct flu shot clinics. This is an ounce of prevention, almost literally. If you can’t offer your team full benefits packages, an event like a clinic could compensate at least partially, states Small Business Trends.

Educate employees.

Remind your employees of the peak flu season and the symptoms they could face. Encourage healthy eating habits, provide healthy snacks, and supply them with plenty of fresh water throughout the day. Send an email to them each week to remind employees to take care of themselves during this time period, as well.

Have a plan.

There’s a good chance one or more of your employees will be affected by the flu in the next few weeks. In a small business, this could severely impact your operation. Devise a plan for how you will tackle the day’s work if one or two people call out.

About The Rubin Group

Based in New York, The Rubin Group provides insurance in most of the 50 states. Our full-service insurance brokerage provides insurance and risk management services to individuals in all income brackets and businesses of all sizes and types. We understand that every client has unique coverage requirements, and we are passionate about providing the ideal individualized coverage for each customer. Each member of our team takes the time to truly understand your situation, the particular risks you anticipate – and the very real risks you’ve not yet contemplated. For all of your insurance needs, you can call (212) 201-4500 to contact us at The Rubin Group!

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Identifying Foundation Damage: 4 Signs

Identifying Foundation Damage: 4 SignsFor homeowners, foundation damage can lead to quite a bit of financial loss. While this is the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with, facing the facts and fixing the issues now before they become more severe can save you money in the long run. In addition to acquiring the best NY Homeowners Insurance to protect your investment, look out for the following 4 signs of foundation damage.

Cracked or crumbling foundation.

This is a tell-tale sign of foundation damage. Scan the underlying structure for signs of crumbling, cracking, sagging, or moisture damage.

Warped floors or ceilings.

Look for uneven flooring and ceilings. If the interior walls have space between the baseboards and the floor, this likely means that there is settling and foundation damage.

Water damage.

According to Property Casualty 360, improper water drainage is one of the leading causes of foundation failure. When soil surrounding the home rapidly expands (during wet spells) and contracts (during dry ones), this can lead to unnatural soil shifting — a process that places tremendous pressure on the underlying foundation. Cracks within the foundation and interior structure can prevent water from draining properly, which will cause more damage.

Improper window and door fittings.

If your windows and doors are jammed or hard to open and close, it likely means that the foundation has shifted due to damage. Over time, foundations are built to “give” a little, but ill-fitting doors and windows means the damage has gone beyond the leeway limits of the building materials. Further, gaps in windows and doors can lead to increased costs in heating and cooling bills.

About The Rubin Group

While foundation damage might cause stress and financial hardship, addressing these concerns immediately can prevent further damage and protect your wallet down the road. At The Rubin Group, we proudly offer comprehensive home insurance solutions for New York homeowners who seek the best coverage to protect their assets from all the unexpected hazards they might face. Give us a call today at (877) 806-7239 to learn more about how we can help protect you.

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ADA Compliance and Interviews

ADA Compliance and InterviewsFor any business, vetting and hiring qualified candidates is a must. While many business owners hardly think about the implications that their interview questions have on their liability risk, the truth is that your business likely faces additional exposures without your knowledge. The ADA works to ensure compliance across the board, from interview practices to hiring and employment procedures. Therefore, protect your business with a customized New York Employment Practices Insurance policy and heed the following advice.

Err on the side of caution.

It’s never your intention to discriminate against a candidate because of any physical limitations. Therefore, refer to the ADA regulations regarding interview questions in order to avoid asking violating questions, even if you do so unknowingly.

Real life examples.

Here are examples of situations that could violate the ADA, according to FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

  • Telling an applicant that the job requires heavy lifting on a daily basis is lawful. However, asking the candidate if they have any disability that would prevent them from being able to lift heavy boxes is considered discriminatory, and therefore, unlawful.
  • Never ask directly invasive questions such as “Do you have epilepsy?”
  • If an applicant divulges that they have some type of disability, do not ask if they are expected to recover.
  • You are permitted to ask if the candidate has ever used illegal drugs and if they drink alcohol. However, you are not permitted to ask whether or not they have been treated for any addictions and how much alcohol they consume on a regular basis.

This information might seem overwhelming, and it can be. Therefore, it’s important to speak to a well-versed lawyer who specializes in ADA compliance to reduce your risk of claims. Refer to the above-mentioned compliance guide as a template for structuring your interview questions.

About The Rubin Group

Based in New York, The Rubin Group provides insurance in most of the 50 states. Our full-service insurance brokerage provides insurance and risk management services to individuals in all income brackets and businesses of all sizes and types. We understand that every client has unique coverage requirements, and we are passionate about providing the ideal individualized coverage for each customer. Each member of our team takes the time to truly understand your situation, the particular risks you anticipate – and the very real risks you’ve not yet contemplated. For all of your insurance needs, contact us at The Rubin Group!

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What You Need To Know About Employee Dishonesty

What You Need To Know About Employee DishonestyIt’s unpleasant for employers to think about, but Employee Dishonesty is surprisingly common. Dishonesty runs the gamut from the relatively innocuous (an employee calling in sick when he’s actually planning to play golf) to the criminal. You may choose to overlook employees’ occasional white lies. However, you cannot afford to let your guard down when it comes to identifying employee dishonesty that’s criminal in nature!

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, employee theft costs businesses as much as $40 billion annually. Employee theft is so problematic that it contributes to almost 30 percent all U.S. business failures. Another shocking statistic? According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the median loss suffered by small businesses is almost $100,000 more than the median loss suffered by large employers. Here’s how to handle employee dishonesty that threatens your business.

Employee Dishonesty Insurance: The Most Important Coverage You May Not Have

As a business owner, you undoubtedly have a general liability insurance policy, workers compensation coverage, and business interruption insurance among other coverages. Do you have employee dishonesty insurance? If you’re concerned about how to insure against employee dishonesty, this coverage could be the best way to protect your interests.

What You Need to Know

Employee dishonesty insurance sounds straightforward, but there are prerequisites that must be met before a policy will compensate you for employee dishonesty losses. As noted in an article in Property Casualty 360°, these include:

  • You must be able to prove that the employee’s harmful act was intentional, dishonest, and fraudulent. This type of policy does not protect against losses due to employee accidents or negligence.
  • You must be able to prove that the employee committing the act did so with the goal of reaping financial benefits for himself or someone else. Under this prerequisite, the employee’s salary, commissions, bonuses, fees, promotions, awards, or other reasonable benefits that can be rightfully earned do not qualify as “financial benefit.”

Additionally, employee dishonesty policies have very specific “prior-knowledge” exclusions. If these exclusions exist in regard to a specific case, the policy won’t pay out. As with any insurance policy, it’s smart to discuss the pros and cons with a licensed broker before deciding if it’s a wise investment for your business.

About The Rubin Group

Based in New York, The Rubin Group provides insurance in most of the 50 states. Our full-service insurance brokerage provides insurance and risk management services to individuals in all income brackets and businesses of all sizes and types. We understand every client has unique coverage requirement and we are passionate about providing the ideal individualized coverage for each customer. Each member of our team takes the time to truly understand your situation, the particular risks you anticipate – and the very real risks you’ve not yet contemplated. For all of your insurance needs, contact us at The Rubin Group!

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The Holidays are Here! Is Your Business Ready?

The Holidays are Here! Is Your Business ReadyDespite the fact that you can buy Christmas ornaments before Halloween at many big-box retail stores, the week before Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season. The holidays are here! Is your business ready? Don’t underestimate the importance of your New York Business Insurance policy this time of year. Increased traffic equates to increased risks. You’ll also need a strategic plan to woo customers and end the year solidly in the black. Here are some tips!

Tailor Your Message

Merry Christmas? Happy Holidays? Season’s Greetings? Happy Hanukkah? Joyful Kwanzaa? You may assume that you simply need to pick one and run with it. Actually, you should consider your customers and your target customers, and ask yourself, “If they were to use a greeting, what would it be?” Does your audience skew to the secular or to the religious? Believe it or not, some customers will opt not to frequent a business that uses a secular holiday message. Others are offended by a religious holiday message. In this case, the “know your customer” business commandment is more important than ever.

Be Strategic about Black Friday

Black Friday: Most consumers either love it or hate it. Don’t assume that you must be open on Black Friday, must be open round-the-clock or at least early, and must have selected items at ridiculously low prices. Sometimes opting out of Black Friday sends a more appealing message to customers. In 2015, outdoor retailer REI took the bold step of announcing it would be closed on Black Friday. The company encouraged its customers to follow suit and avoid the Black Friday madness and spend the day enjoying the outdoors. Analysts noted this strategy was brilliant as it was in line with their customers’ core values. What worked for REI won’t work for every business. Again, know your customers! If you do choose to participate in Black Friday, make it count. You’ll have tons of competition, so make your door-busters irresistible.

‘Tis the Season to Say “Thank You”

Without your customers, you would not have a business. It’s important to thank them during the holidays. Depending on the size of your customer base, you could send holiday cards, gift baskets, or promotional items. Those are nice touches, but customers will truly appreciate something they’re sure to use: a discount! Thank your loyal customers with a generous coupon or discount code. It will be a win-win for them and for you!

You’re busy preparing for the holiday rush, so let us make sure your insurance is sufficient to protect you during this hectic season. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239.

 

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Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Is Your Business Hurricane ReadyAs a New York business owner, you undoubtedly wear many hats. On the day to day, you oversee various business developments and administrative responsibilities that keep your business thriving. In addition to these responsibilities, however,  you also have to anticipate the possibility of a catastrophe affecting your business. In light of this hurricane season, it is imperative that you secure your investment with a robust New York Business Insurance policy. Furthermore, protect your business by adhering to the following hurricane preparedness checklist.

Hurricane Checklist for Businesses

According to the International Hurricane Research Center, it’s crucial that you do the following:

  • Safeguard windows and glass doors with storm shutters or plywood so they’re not shattered by airborne debris.
  • Well before a hurricane forecast, have your roof inspected to make sure it can withstand hurricane-force winds.
  • If a storm is forecast, place sandbags in areas that could flood.
  • Remove valuables and important documents from the building when a storm is on the horizon.
  • Move electronics to higher elevations and place furniture on risers or cinder blocks in case the building floods.
  • Turn off utilities when you leave the building in advance of the hurricane.
  • Have a battery-operated radio or TV, three-day supply of water for each employee, nonperishable food, batteries, flashlights, fire extinguishers, tools, first-aid kits, etc. on site in case you and/or employees must shelter in place in your place business during a hurricane.

Living in a coastal state, it’s especially critical to take hurricane preparedness seriously. Do what you can to secure your business and take steps to minimize damage should a hurricane hit. Also, make sure your insurance is sufficient to protect you in the event that you do suffer storm damage. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239 for assistance.

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Is Your Business ADA Compliant?

Is Your Business ADA Compliant?If you think your New York Small Business is immune from Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements because you have just a few employees or none of your employees are disabled, think again. All businesses are required to follow ADA requirements. These requirements exist to protect the huge percentage (about 40%) of Americans who are considered disabled. Is your business ADA compliant? If not, here are some ways to reduce the odds of being hit with a noncompliance lawsuit.

Take All Complaints Seriously

If someone alerts you in writing, via phone, or in person that your business is not ADA-compliant for one reason or another, do not become defensive. Instead, view the notification as an opportunity to bring your business into compliance with the law so you don’t find yourself in an expensive legal battle. Respond promptly and courteously to the information and outline the steps you’ll take to remedy the problem and become compliant. The expense of installing a ramp or adding more handicapped parking spaces pales in comparison to the expense of defending your business in a lawsuit – especially if you lose the lawsuit and the plaintiff is awarded damages.

Hire a Consultant

If you’ve given little or not thought to your business’s ADA compliance, it’s smart to hire a Certified Access Specialist to evaluate your business and provide feedback. This puts you in control and gives you the information you need to gradually bring your business into compliance on your terms and timeframe.

Focus on The Biggest Problem Areas

Most complaints about businesses not complying with ADA requirements focus on lack of access from the parking lot to the inside of the business. Make sure you have enough handicapped parking spaces, ramps or elevators wheelchair users can use as an alternative to stairs, countertops that wheelchairs can fit under, etc. You can find a list of requirements on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website.

In addition to complying with ADA requirements, make sure you’re covered in case a customer or employee (disabled or not) is injured on your premises. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239, for all of your business insurance needs.

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