Do You Need Insurance for Your E-Commerce Products For Website

The reality of the e-commerce is every order won’t be perfect and every customer won’t be satisfied. Products can be damaged or defective and your bottom line will suffer from this over time. So, do you need insurance for your e-commerce products? That question could have different answers depending on your product line.

Value Impacts Insurance Decisions

If your e-commerce outlet sells products for small price tags, odds are your profit margins on each product are not too high. If you’re selling expensive products, then you have more at stake. Losing out on $2 profit versus losing out on $200 profit are two vastly different situations. Product insurance on something with a low profit margin will rarely pay off in the long run but protecting yourself against large losses is a shrewd move.

Many e-retailers don’t have an established reverse logistics process to handle damaged or defective products and this can lead to a profit-sucking black hole in your supply chain. Reverse logistics process management can improve profitability as well as help meet sustainability goals. If your e-business doesn’t have an established reverse logistics process an insurance policy is a must-have. Even if you do, insurance for your more expensive products is still in your best interest as it will insulate you from total product loss.

Poor Shipping Issues

Fulfillment is an area in which most e-retailers should protect themselves with insurance. The USPS, FedEx and UPS generally offer some form of coverage for a small fee for e-commerce businesses shipping smaller products. If your merchandise is low-value, the extra cost for product insurance may not be worth it. On the flip side, if your wares are small but expensive, insurance from the parcel carrier is a must. According to the USPS, you can purchase insurance coverage for your mail pieces for up to $5,000 in indemnity to protect against loss or damage.

The size of your products can limit your shipping options, so a parcel carrier may not be in the cards for your e-business. If you sell furniture online, you’re probably going to be shipping in a semi-truck. Whether you use a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or work directly with a trucking company, coverage will vary greatly, depending upon the quantity you ship.

Most 3PLs and trucking companies carry cargo insurance policies of up to $100,000. They can also purchase additional coverage if necessary. Shipping a single piece of furniture won’t fill up a truck, so some 3PLs or freight companies offer a certain amount of insurance per item with the ability to purchase more if necessary. Make sure you’re fully aware of the transportation insurance options before shipping your products; if you’re not fully covered, you could end up with a total loss and an unhappy customer.

Insurance and Product Warranties Show Transparency to Your Customers

Product insurance and warranties can be a win-win for you and your customers. A product warranty shows your customers you’re willing to protect them if the product doesn’t work as intended. While you never want your product to show up broken or defective, it’s an opportunity to build a relationship with your customer. The way you handle their return or product replacement process can determine if they buy from you again.

If you offer a product warranty, you’ll need to have a plan in place to cover yourself. In addition to losing profit, you could face a lawsuit if your product injures someone. Product liability insurance is helpful in these cases. Many people are quick to sue because they know they can make a quick buck. If you have the proper product liability insurance, your insurance companies will fight for you in court and pay any lawsuits.

There are many situations where an e-retailer can take advantage of insurance on their products and shipping. Yes, this entails additional costs but making sure your e-business is adequately covered should be your primary goal when considering insurance.

Smells Like Success: The Secrets Of Running An Aromatherapy Business From Home

If you love to help people and sooth away their stresses, aromatherapy is a great choice for a business that you can run from home. Aromatherapy is about working with essential oils to help improve the emotional and physical state of your client with all natural products that can lift mood, help concentration, and soothe them off to sleep, among other benefits. Of course, before you start in this area you need to know about essential oils and get stocked up with good quality supplies first. Something you can find out more about in the post below.

Knowledge

There is lots and lots of information on essential oils and aromatherapy out there, a great deal of it being online. However, while this is often a great starting point to spark your interest, you do have to understand that not all the information will be of the highest quality. That means some it of it could unreliable, and when you are dealing with people mental and physical health, this is something you must be very cautious of.

With that in mind, when you are just starting out it is best to invest in some of the better-known texts on the subject and always refer to those before treating anyone. It is also worth bearing in mind that essential oils can interact poorly with other medication that your clients are on, so it’s wise to educate yourself on the contraindications and well as the benefits before you begin.  

Practice and qualifications

You will also need some real life practice before you start your aromatherapy business, and having a qualification in the field as well will only serve to reinforce your credibility and get you more clients.

With this in mind, it can be very useful to take a practical or online course that insists you perform several real-world case studies before they award you your qualification.

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Regular supplies

Like any business, you will also need to get stocked up on the day to day supplies you will need for your aromatherapy treatments. Obviously, therapeutic grades oils will be first on your list, but you should also consider things like the digital tear pads that you can get at Got Oil Supplies business tools and download to your own computer. These are particularly useful because you can print them for your customers, allowing them to continue their treatment at home in between sessions.

One-off items

Apart from the day to day stock, you will need, it may also be worth investing in some one-off items for your business. A therapy couch can be useful if you are going to offer essential oil massage. An essential oil diffuser is another good purchase for your treatment room at home, or to take with you for the benefit of your mobile clients.

You will, of course, need all the more mundane stuff, like a laptop and printer, and once a year you’ll need to sort your business insurance too. Just to ensure that you are covered in all eventualities, and your aromatherapy business is a long-term success.

Important Details Your Business Shouldn’t Forget

Detail is everything when it comes to running a company. If you’re at the helm of operations, maybe because you’ve started it up yourself or you’re in a partnership with a friend over something you love, there’s a lot to get ahold of even without thinking of the small things. This is where a good business plan and a bit of advice can work a whole world of wonder: if you know a challenge can pop up, you can prepare and face it with more grit and wisdom!

So we can all agree that business is a big thing to run by yourself, and whether you have a startup or a home business, or you’re the manager of a chain store location, there’s some details that you can’t miss out on when it comes to practicing your own brand of business. Here’s some ideas you may not have considered in your original business plan that might need some picking up before you start; use this advice for your own ends if you need it!

 

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Having Useful Experience in Your Chosen Area

It’s a little considered fact, but a lot of people start off in jobs that they have no idea how to do, and learn as they go along. This is true for floor staff, managers, and CEOs across the globe, as when it comes to doing a job well, everyone has their own method of practice. So if you’re not doing something the same way someone else has in you chosen area, that doesn’t have to be an immediate red flag.

Of course you can take tips from other industry professionals, but if you have a practice that’s been proven to get results from a customer base or an investor, use this to your advantage. It could give you an edge over the competition, and this knowledge is good experience to use for other areas of your profession.

It can be shared amongst your workforce if you have one, and you can impress at conventions and conferences if you have your own business stall or speaking time. A lot of little known revolutionary ideas can be found at these places! This article that can be found at www.forbes.com has a few good ideas on sharing the expertise you’ve made yourself from years of working in and out of your own area of business.

Do You Know How to Use Excel?

Computers make business in the modern world a whole world of its own, as there’s international opportunities that didn’t exist in the past, and there’s more and more availability for people to start off of their own backs. That means you need to be sure you’re working with computers in the best way you can!

So it’s not just excel you’ll need to get to grips with! Being proficient in everything IT makes running your own business a lot easier, and means you can properly monitor your cash flow, for one. If you have a data point system that plenty of the big businesses use to take them far means you’ll have the same kind of quality in your accounting department (even if that just consists of you!).

You can always bring in someone to help with the IT matters, and let’s be honest, it’s good to have someone else around to man the online customer service desk. It’s better than a phone line, you’ll get more traffic via it, and it garners you a better reputation amongst your customer base.

Make Sure to Give Out Your Business Cards

Business cards make you look professional; being able to whip one out whenever the opportunity presents itself is useful and so good for business! Similarly, they give people a good contact point to reach you from. So if you don’t have any card to hand out when necessary, you’re going to need to print out some to stick on a front counter or take to conferences with you.

Despite us living in the information world, the globe isn’t entirely digital like a lot of people think, and traditional methods still matter for a lot of people in business big and small alike. Handing out a business card is a good physical reminder that people can hold in their hands and look at whenever they need to, as memory is incredibly unreliable; there’s no way around that with a computer implant!

It’s also a good way to show off your brand and what you can do. If you have a professional design that looks and feels artsy for a business that creates digital media, for example, you’ll look like the kind of person who fits the part, rather than having a blank card with just the contact details on. Yes, business cards are a practical part of work, but they still need to show off who you are and what you’re capable of in your service!

Be Sure to Foster Creativity for a Better Business Service

Employees are the cornerstones of business, so finding and keeping talent is the best way forward. If you’re running a company off of a hobby you practiced freely in the past, and there’s a huge creative element to it, make sure you seek out people who have a similar investment as you.

That’s hard however, and holding onto someone who is versatile and passionate in this way can be hard. People have ambitions, and you can’t blame someone for wanting to follow that. So, you need to be versatile and passionate in return, and look for potential for business growth everywhere you can find it. Keep an eye on job boards and even do a recruitment drive for people in your area, and beyond if you fancy, to build up a roster of talent and train people in a craft that could help both their career prospects and your business.

Potential is the main thing for a business to have if it wants to grow good talent. If you can expand at a steady rate, and you can search out new opportunities for handmade products you like to spend time on and perfect, you can take your employees to bigger and better heights.

Have Someone to Take the Rubbish Out!

If you’re in the hand made items business, you’ll probably be throwing away bags of rubbish at the end of each day. Usually these are thrown in the bins out back, but these can easily overflow!

Let’s face it, business can churn out a lot of waste, no matter what we do. Waste collection isn’t something we want to face up to, but it’s an important part of business. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or you’re churning out more than you can handle?; that means we need to turn to reliable rubbish collection services to make sure it all goes away, and at a good rate for our time and money.

Feel free to visit www.dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au to read more on this, as we don’t want junk cluttering up back alleyways and doorways. It’s bad for business, and abundant trash will just make anyone in the vicinity, employees and customers alike, feel bad about their surroundings. That doesn’t work out well for productivity or prospective sales!

Lastly, You’ll Need a Goal to Take You Further

At the end of the day, you want your business to go far, and often we’re not satisfied to stay with what we have. It got us this far, with a loyal customer base and a good local reputation, but now we need something else to take us even further. So you’ll need a goal to follow, and you can go back to your original business plan to see what the best option for that is going to be.

If you’ve made some good money, you’ll want to keep making it, but you don’t want to become stale and immovable along with it. This is once again where the potential element comes in, as when you can grow, no one involved is going to get bored. If we feel like we’re working towards something that is worth it, or we’re providing something people truly enjoy, we stay focused and on task.

It’s the same for customers. Conscience plays a big part in who we choose to buy from, and if a company we like shows off their sustainability and the good treatment of everyone involved in the venture, we’ll stay with them for a lot longer. Think of yourself as a customer, and what parts of your business you would like from this more objective standpoint, and also where you think you could be treated better.

So there we have it; a mini list on some of the details that we can’t miss out on! Stay in business for a long time when you think of the small things that make business so much better to run, as taking care of these from the beginning gives us the best start up!

5 Products To Help You Promote Your Business

When you have a small business, whether it is a physical store, an online boutique, or a blog, advertising and promotion can really make a difference in your customer reach and ultimate success.  There are a variety of ways to advertise on and offline, but if you are on a tight budget your advertising funds must be used wisely.  One fun way to get your name out there is through promotional products. People see hundreds of ads each day, from online popups to signage; they see them for a moment and often forget them instantly, but the use of promotional products puts a physical item in a potential customer or client’s hand, and this will not only help to raise awareness but also help them to remember you.  Here are a few popular promotional items that may be worth your investment.

Business Cards – No matter what kind of business you have, it is important to have a card.  As a blogger and Etsy shop owner, I’m always being asked, “What’s your web address? How do I get to your site.”  In those events, it is great to have a card on hand to give people, and it is also very essential if you attend conferences or sell your items at live shows.

Magnets – In lieu of a traditional business card, a lot of people hand out magnet cards.  Often people are more likely to keep a magnet card they can actually use on their refrigerator or file cabinet, than a traditional business card.

WristbandsPromotional wristbands give you the option of handing out something wearable, and people love them!  In fact, my son has two or three wristbands that he wears daily.  Not only does it give the wearer a physical reminder of your business, but it is something that other people around the wearer will notice.  These are great to hand out at conventions, use in swagbags, or hand out as a freebie when someone purchases something from you.

Tumblers and Coffee Cups – Who doesn’t love drinking from a cool tumbler or coffee cup?  A lot of people invest in tumblers and coffee cups to promote their business because they do cost a few dollars a piece, but at the very least it is something you could buy for yourself and close family members or friends.  When your spouse walks out the door with his morning coffee, he will be a walking advertisement for you.  Tumblers and cups also make great prizes for promotional giveaways and swag bags, and a cup with a really cool design could even be sold through your business.

Shirts – Shirts give you another wearable option for you, your family, and friends to promote your business.  You can wear them out in your daily life, or wear them like a uniform when your participate in craft fairs and vendor shows.   They also make great giveaway items for prize packs and swag bags and are great to sell online at your website.

With the use of a couple of these promotional products plus a little work on your part, you will be on your way to promoting a successful business.

 

Free Printable Blog Planners and Calendars for 2017

blog planners

At the beginning of each year I like to share a few blog planners and calendars that I’ve found for the new year.  Since it is mid January already, I feel this post is a little late, but I try to devote my entire month of January to organizing and reorganizing, as well as setting my goals for the new year.  If you’re like me, and you’re still trying to wrap your head around the new year and make plans, then these printables should be a great resource for you.  I hope you enjoy them! [Read more…]

Hand Stamped Ornaments and Jewelry + MY Black Friday Deals

Etsy Banner at 600

As many of you know, my other “gig” beyond this blog is my Etsy shop, where I sell hand stamped jewelry and ornaments.  It’s truly a “mom and pop shop,” as my husband and I work on the business together, from coming up with design ideas to manufacturing the products.

Our main product lines include: Name/Word/Quote Jewelry, Team Spirit Jewelry, and Christmas Ornaments.  And we, of course, offer personalized and custom items.

Currently we carry 2 different disc sizes in shiny aluminum, which will never rust or tarnish, and we’ve also recently added a few products featuring washers and brass discs.  And we have a huge mix of charms and beads to make anything you like! [Read more…]

Getting Your Small Business Organized

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PutALabelOnIt #CollectiveBias

Getting Your Small Business Organized

As many of you know, beyond my blog, I also have at etsy shop where I sell hand stamped jewelry and ornaments.  (You can take a look at my creations here.)  Several weeks ago my business received a huge custom order from a school.  The order was a huge opportunity for me, but I was rushed to get it out.  Luckily I had my trusty husband here to help me expedite the process!  We ordered some new tools and supplies to greatly improve our manufacturing process, our products, and our business, and now we are currently renovating a room on our property, which is going to serve as a new jewelry and business studio!

So right now I am extremely excited at the thoughts of getting all my jewelry supplies, photo props, and other items moved in to their new home!  (As soon as the new room is complete, I’ll have a full makeover post for you!)  Till then, I’m trying to get all my stuff ORGANIZED so that it will be ready to go, as soon as we’ve put the finishing touches on the room.  One new tool I’ve invested in is the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Bundle Pack. [Read more…]

Help Make Mom an Entrepreneur: Support her MUMZY Project

The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean the giving has to stop!  In 2015, you can help give moms the gift of entrepreneurship by helping to fund their project on Mumzy.  Mumzy is new crowdfunding site especially for moms.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with crowdfunding sites, I’ll explain.  They are sites where people share their idea for a product, project, a business, or even a charitable cause, and try to raise money for the endeavor through donations on the site.  And apart from giving moms the ability to raise money for their projects, Mumzy also provides them with with other support and resources, so they can grow their business, even after their fundraising goals have been met.

The site was founded by mom and marketing expert Catherine Merritt.  Mumzy sees moms as some of the most innovative and inventive entrepreneurs and hopes to help this underserved population.
Mumzy Screenshot

I love this idea.  I’m a big fan of small businesses, and I applaud all women, especially mom’s, who are trying to better themselves through a home based business or other entrepreneurial efforts.

As someone who makes money through my blog site and Etsy shop, I know all about the limitations and restrictions a lack of funds can put on your business.  And I know so many people out there are just like me.  They have great ideas and are only limited by time and that little thing called the almighty dollar!

Without crowd funding a lot of us have no choice but to do what I’ve done, which is to build a business very slowly.  But still more people will be forced to quit due to financial constraints, and some may not start the business at all!

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Another great thing about Mumzy is that it allows for fundraising for charitable causes.  Currently there are two charitable projects to donate to.  One is for PCDH19 Epilepsy Research Funding and the other is for the Choc Children’s Hospital Screenshot 2015-01-08 22.46.17

Mumzy is still a new site, and they are very excited for you to be one of the first members of this growing community by posting a project or helping to fund another member’s project. To encourage this, one of the first 100 people to post a project will win $1000 toward their funding goal!  Mumzy also invites you to give feedback and make suggestions on how they can make the community better!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

My New Tablet with T-Mobile Free Data

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #TabletTrio

T-Mobile Trio AXS

I am so excited to introduce you to my newest toy….err blogging tool!  I’ve been wanting a tablet for the longest time, but our budget doesn’t allow for me to just go out and spend hundreds of dollars on something like this, especially when I already have my laptop and smart phone for my blog and Etsy business.  But when I heard about the new tablets at Walmart, featuring a free T-Mobile Data Plan, I immediately got excited! [Read more…]

Designing Business Cards for Your Blog

Simply Sweet Home Business Card

As a blogger and Etsy shop owner one thing I’ve learned about is branding.  It’s important to have a unique banner/logo at the top of your blog to help you stand out.  And you, of course, want to use matching elements or colors throughout your website to create a cohesive look.  Furthermore,  it is important to use your logo and/or head shot and other matching thematic elements on your social media accounts.  But what about print media, such as business cards?

How do you take the elements from your website and use them to create a business card or a printed media kit?  The easiest thing to do would be to hand your elements over to a designer and have them fashion a card for you.  Some web designers even include a card design in with your blog design package. [Read more…]