Honoring Veterans

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In recognition of our United States veterans, last week was National Veterans Small Business Week. The Kansas SBDC at Washburn University together with the U.S. SBA Wichita District Office and Veterans Business Resource Center in Kansas City held events in Manhattan, Kansas and Milford Lake, Kansas to help support our veteran-owned business community. Together, we help with access to capital, government contracting and advising on a wide range of topics for small businesses.

Thank you, veterans, for your service. We wish you success in your endeavors and are honored to assist you with your businesses.

National and Local Resources

America’s SBDC – Use this link to find your local SBDC (small business development center) for workshops and one-on-one business advising anywhere in the country.

America’s SBDC Kansas: Washburn University KSBDC (the MACC Outreach Center is closest to Ft. Riley), University of Kansas KSBDC (closest to Ft. Leavenworth),  Wichita State University KSBDC (closest to McConnell Air Force Base), plus Fort Hays State University KSBDC, Pittsburg State University SBDC, Emporia State University KSDBC, Johnson County Community College KSBDC and Seward County Community College KSBDC. Centers offer one-on-one business advising, speciality consulting, workshops, training events and conferences for small businesses.

SBA Contracting Resources – Information about training on government contracting and programs to support the competitiveness of small businesses in contracting. SBA Wichita District Office: (316) 269-6616

SBA Veterans Advantage  – Information about loan programs to assist veterans access capital for their businesses.

Veterans Business Resource Center  (VBRC) – Also called Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC), this center conducts training for transitioning military and veteran business owners, helps connect veterans with resources and counseling.   KC Office (877) 825-4190

Boots to Business  This is a 2-day intensive introduction to entrepreneurship for transitioning military and/or their spouses. It is part of the Transition Assistance Program. In Kansas, it is offered Ft. Riley, Ft. Leavenworth and McConnell Air Force Base. Presenters from the SBA, SCORE, KSBDC, and VBRC teach the modules at these Kansas installations.

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) – You can get assistance in registering for government contracting here and also training on government contracting. PTAC has offices at Wichita State University and in Topeka.

VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization – You can register for verification as a veteran-owned business here, plus this website has information about training events and networking opportunities for government contracting.

Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) – This office promotes veteran entrepreneurship through use of SBA programs. This website has information about SBA training programs, SBA loan programs, and government contracting.

 

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view from Milford Lake Conference Center at Acorns Resort

Thank you to Acorns Resort, Iron Clad and Della Voce Restaurant for helping to host the National Veterans Small Business Week events in Manhattan and Milford Lake.

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Washburn University SBDC

America’s SBDC Kansas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sugar Creek Country Store and the Kansas SBDC

Thank you to Dan Hohman from Sugar Creek Country Store for sharing his story about working with the Kansas SBDC and to Harvest Video for producing the video! It is a pleasure and honor to work with such talented people!

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

Washburn University Kansas SBDC

America’s SBDC Kansas

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SBA Disaster Assistance

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Thank you to Michael Aumack from the Wichita District Office of the SBA for providing information for this article.

Update for Clay, Geary, Marshall, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee and Washington counties. 

Passages quoted below are from the U. S. Small Business Administration News Release Number:  KS 15692-01, dated September 17, 2018.

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Kansas businesses and residents affected by flash flooding, flooding and severe storms that occurred Sept. 1-3, 2018, announced Administrator Linda McMahon of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D. on Sept. 11, 2018.”

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 18, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Garfield continued. The center will be open on the days and times indicated below. No appointment is necessary.

 

RILEY COUNTY

Disaster Loan Outreach Center

City Park

(Former Parks and Recreation Office)

1101 Fremont St

Manhattan, KS  66502

Opens 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18

Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Closes 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept 27

 

“Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.”

“For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.”

“Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.govfor more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.”

 

The deadline to apply for property damage is Nov. 13, 2018. The deadline to apply for economic injury is June 14, 2019.

………….

(Original blog post below.)

Due to recent flooding in Manhattan and surrounding areas of Kansas – with some vicinities receiving almost 9 inches of rain overnight – our office has received inquiries about SBA Disaster Assistance. Hopefully, this post will shed light on the process of how an area becomes eligible for SBA Disaster Loans and the loan application process.  SBA Disaster Loans are available to businesses of any size, nonprofit organizations, churches, homeowners and renters in eligible areas. These direct loans are long-term, low-interest rate loans to help with disaster recovery.

The Declaration Process

A Presidential Disaster Declaration for the flooding in Manhattan would would trigger both FEMA and SBA-Disaster assistance.  Both FEMA and SBA-Disaster Assistance (ODA) require the state’s governor to declare an official disaster with a request for federal government assistance. One a disaster declaration has been made, if Governor Coyler issues the request, FEMA and SBA-ODA will go to the affected areas to review the situation and set-up a disaster recovery center(s) where people can go to apply for assistance. Disaster recovery centers are generally set up in easily accessible locations for people who do not have computer access; but the SBA-ODA encourages people to apply for a disaster loan online, when possible, to save time.

As of this writing, it is our belief that processes are being followed, though the Kansas Adjutant Governor webpage that lists disaster declarations does not yet list the flooding in Manhattan. Here is where one can check declarations at the state level for Kansas:  http://www.kansastag.gov/KDEM.asp?PageID=434

In addition, here are two websites with national-level information that can be searched to review when a disaster declaration is open/active for SBA assistance:

•  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/Index

•  https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

The Application Process

Once a declaration and state’s request for aid are official, affected business owners, nonprofits, churches,  homeowners and renters should go to either of these webpages to get more information and, if needed, to apply for assistance:

•  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

•  https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

The application-review-funding process is described in detail in this document:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Documents/Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf

Funds are generally available within 5 days after the SBA has received the signed closing documents.

…..

For assistance with on-going processes involved in disaster recovery, affected businesses in Manhattan or elsewhere in Kansas, should contact their local Kansas SBDC office. Businesses in the greater Manhattan area should contact ksbdc@washburn.edu.

Small businesses and the people who work in them are vital parts of our local communities. For the sake of the business owners, their employees, and those who depend on their products and services, we at the Kansas SBDC do what we can to assist with business continuity and recovery.

Our thoughts go out to those who suffered losses during the recent weather event.

Related Articles

Developing a Small Business Continuity Plan

Understanding Business Insurances

National Preparedness Month

 

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Washburn University Kansas SBDC

America’s SBDC Kansas

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Government Contracting for Women-Owned Small Businesses

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Contracting opportunities with the world’s largest consumer of goods and services offer tremendous potential for financial growth to women-owned small businesses.

As part of the Federal Government Resources Streamlining Act of 1994, the U.S. government set a goal of awarding 5% of its contracts to small businesses owned by women. To help reach this goal, in 2011, the Small Business Administration (SBA) instituted the Women-Owned Small Business Program. This allows federal government contracting officers to set aside contracts for competition exclusively among women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or among economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) in industries in which WOSBs and EDWOSBs, respectively, are deemed underrepresented. (Note: only industries on these lists can qualify for such set asides; but these are not the only contracts for which women-owned businesses can compete and win.)

To put the 5% goal in context, the U.S. federal government spends an estimated $500 billion annually on goods and services and of this about $260 billion are contracts on which small businesses can be prime contractors. That means about $25 billion should be going to WOSBs and EDWOSBs with close to $13 billion eligible to them as primes.  The Small Business Dashboard shows federal agencies’ spending on contracts awarded to small businesses.

These opportunities mean that  WOSBs and EDWOSBs should know what steps to take to get started in government contracting and then take them when they see an opportunity! 2015 was the first year in which the 5% goal was met and there are still plenty of opportunities for WOSBs and EDWOSBs to capitalize on sales to the government. SBA and its partners – PTAC, SBDC and SCORE – have advisors who can help small businesses, including WOSBs and EDWOSBs, get started in government contracting.

The first step for eligible businesses is getting certified as a WOSB or EDWOSB. The second is competing for  contracts.

Eligibility for WOSB

Size: To be eligible to qualify as a WOSB for the purpose of federal government contracting, a business must, of course, be a small business according federal standards. This is determined, on an industry by industry basis, differentiated by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. (Read more about NAICS.) The limit will pertain either to the annual gross revenues (e.g., only $750K for strawberry farming – NAICS 111333 – but $36.5 M for commercial and institutional building construction – NAICS 236220) or to number of employees (e.g., only 250 employees for solar electric power generation- NAICS 221114 – but 1,250 employees for manufacturing chocolate and confections made from cocoa beans – NAICS 311351). When bidding on a contract, additionally, the business must be a small business according to the NAICS code for the job if more than one NAICS code applies to the business. This tool from the SBA can be used to determine size-eligibility. (Note: WOSB and EDWOSB have separate NAICS codes for determination of industry-specific underrepresentation for set aside contracts.)

Women-ownership: One or more women must have ownership with at least 51% of the business owned and controlled by a woman or women; and these women must be U.S. citizens. This means that up to 49% of the company’s ownership can be men.

Women-management: Women must not only manage daily operations of the business but also be responsible for making long-term decisions affecting the business. This means that the 51% women owners cannot be uninvolved owners or even play just a minor role in the company.

Eligibility for EDWOSB 

In addition to meeting the requirements for WOSB, EDWOSB are subject to the following economic restrictions.

Annual Income: The women who own and control the business must each have an adjusted gross income  (averaged over 3 years) of less than $350K.

Personal Net Worth: The women who own and control the business must each have personal net worth (i.e., worth of assets minus liabilities) of less than $750K.

Personal Assets: The women who own and control the business must each have personal assets  (regardless of liabilities) of $6M or less.

Getting Certified

Before starting the process, a business should have a profile in the System for Award Management (SAM). It is important to set this up correctly. Businesses that have been in existence for at least one year can receive assistance with the process from an advisor at their local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). PTAC can also assist with steps such as getting a Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS), a Commercial And Government Entity Code (CAGE) and a notarized letter listing ownership of the company.

Self-Certification: For now, women-owned small businesses can still self-certify at certify.SBA.gov. The process involves answering questions and uploading documents. It is a good idea to review the preparation checklist before starting. (Due to potential abuse of the self-certification system, the ability to self-certify may change in the future and so it is a good idea for certified businesses to stay current on changes in certification requirements.)

Third-Party Certification: In the future, some sort of third-party certification may be needed for eligibility for federal contracting and it is already required by some smaller government agencies and private companies. There are currently four organizations that have SBA approval to do certifications which can be found toward the bottom of the SBA webpage on WOSB.

Competing for Contracts

The main place to look for opportunities is FedBizOpps.Gov . This is the website where government contracts for $25,001 –  $150K are posted. The website has a FAQs page and training videos for using the site. Use this to search for potential contracts. Respond to sources sought notices for jobs that you are capable of performing. If two or more women-owned businesses respond, the contract might be set aside for WOSBs or EDWOSBs; but if there are not responses from WOSBS/EDWOSBs to sources sought notices, or if the responding firms are not capable of performing the jobs, the contracts cannot be set aside.

Contracts of $5,001 – $25K do not need to be publicized but must receive at least three bids. For this reason, it is a good idea to attend government contracting events, such as contracting open houses, to make connections for learning about opportunities.

It is important that bids submitted be reasonable, i.e., you need the ability to perform the contract, perform it at a reasonable price and still be able to make a profit. It is also important to understand the mission and goals of the federal agency and of the project for which it is soliciting bids.  Proposals should reflect familiarity with this background. Further tips can be found on the SBA blog.

If this sounds promising, the SBA has a 30-minute online course that small businesses can take on preparing proposals for bidding on government contracts. The SBA and its partner organizations also offer in person workshops on government contracting.

Bid contracts, however, are not the only avenue for selling to the federal government. Jobs for $5K and under do not have to go through the bidding process but may be filled on the open market. Even for these, certification as a WOSB or EDWOSB can be advantageous because even jobs under $5K, when filled by certified businesses, help fulfill the government’s 5% goal and there are a lot of jobs that fall into this category.

Federal government contracting can be complicated; but, because of the vast array of opportunities and the potential value they hold for small businesses, there are resources for assistance available through the SBA and its local partners:

Wichita SBA Office Phone: 316-269-6616

Kansas City SBA Office Phone: 816-426-4840

Wichita State University PTAC Office Phone: (316) 978-6788

GO Topeka PTAC Office Phone: (785) 234-2644

Johnson County Community College PTAC Office Phone: (913) 469-8500 x. 2313

Kansas SBDC Locations and Contact Information

SCORE Chapters in Kansas

Small businesses interested in government contracting are encouraged to make use of assistance available from the resources!

Links to further information:

 

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

Kansas SBDC at Washburn University

America’s SBDC Kansas

SBA PoweredBy with statement  kansaslogoWUKSBDC Logo

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Uncorked Inspiration

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Owned by Neal and Andrea Wollenberg, Uncorked Inspiration is a creative arts venue, offering “paint and sip” classes and more.  It opened doors in downtown Manhattan on May 1st. 

Neal Wollenberg describes himself as having an entrepreneurial spirit. He says that he has always felt the urge to be his own boss and had the hope that someday he could turn his artistic interests into a business. His wife Andrea, who describes herself as the more business-like of the two, did not share that desire initially. The Wollenbergs, however, started an “entrepreneurship journey” together during the summer of 2015 when they conceived of the idea for Uncorked Inspiration. They considered the possibility on and off as Neal showed his paintings at regional craft fairs, meanwhile working at his full-time job. By chance, a local business owner spotted Neal’s work at one of these shows and, after talking with him about the Wollenbergs’ idea, invited Neal to teach paint and sip classes at her winery, Liquid Art.

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(photo courtesy of Neal Wollenberg)

Neal taught classes once a month at the country venue for half a year and then the Wollenbergs made the decision to set-up business at Iron Clad, a local co-working space. The downtown location provided them with a visible venue where they were able to host events more regularly – setting up and tearing down materials for each. Of equal importance, utilizing the co-working space helped the Wollenbergs to minimize the fixed costs of the business while they built up capital and assessed the market.

During this timeframe, Andrea and Neal contacted the Kansas SBDC. As a start-up business, they had lots of questions (e.g., about sales tax) and needed assistance getting answers. Also, as their paint and sip classes were becoming more popular, Neal and Andrea felt the desire to pursue the additional things that they could offer if Uncorked Inspiration had its own space. The Wollenbergs had a vision for the business but not yet a fully developed plan for how to get there. While working on this with their SBDC advisor, as Neal describes it, “there was one moment – almost cathartic – when Laurie asked us, If the perfect space became available for you to open your business out on your own, would you do it? And honestly, that scared us to death.”

As scary as the question was, it also prompted the Wollenbergs to assess what they really wanted and what it would take for them to get it. The question opened their eyes to the possibility that what they wanted might be within their reach much sooner than they had realized. A few months later, Neal and Andrea found an ideal space at 121 South 4th Street and couldn’t stop thinking about that question, If the perfect space became available… would you do it?  The answer: they signed the lease and stepped out into their own space.

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The step wasn’t a leap of faith, though. After having worked on a business plan, created a budget for the cost of expanding into a brick-and-mortar location and produced a cash flow projection, the Wollenbergs felt comfortable that the change in business model was feasible.

“We have been incredibly careful in how we’ve built our business,” says Neal. Nevertheless, committing to the step from utilizing a shared space to renting their own location felt like a big deal. “Well, leasing a space is pretty scary, so that was a challenge. When you decide to make a leap from a co-working space where you pay a relatively small amount to leasing your own space where you’re not only paying a larger amount per month, but you’re also contracted for a year… that definitely can be a challenge. However, we felt that with the paint and sip as our anchor, we could manage this financial transition.”

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The Wollenbergs had ideas for offering more than paint and sip classes. They envisioned an art gallery featuring local artists, a crafting space for make and take items, and the possibility of more workshops and art classes. As much as they loved Iron Clad, they needed their own space in order to realize these goals.

Asked how they are feeling about the step, the Wolenbergs say, “We’re excited. Scared. Worried. Optimistic. We love our space!” The Wollenbergs find it rewarding when people have fun in their classes and get to relax and enjoy themselves. It is a “therapeutic outlet” for patrons and business owners alike. Neal and Andrea are also taking pleasure in being able to hang works by local artists on the walls of Uncorked Inspiration and have already started seeing sales from the gallery.

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(photo courtesy of Neal and Andrea Wollenberg)

As for what is coming up, the Wollenbergs say that they are very excited about introducing their new offerings: a BYOB DIY Bar (i.e., “bring your own beverage/booze” “do it yourself” arts and crafts space), Succulent Saturdays (workshops for potting succulent plants), varied art workshops, and private art lessons. “We have so many things planned! We’re truly looking forward to all of the amazing things we’ll be able to offer to the Manhattan community.”

Best wishes to Neal and Andrea and thank you for sharing your creative inspirations!

To find Uncorked Inspiration on social media:

Instagram  @uncorkedinspiration
Twitter: @totallyuncorked
Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.
Business Advisor
Kansas SBDCD at Washburn University
America’s SBDC Kansas
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Understanding Business Insurances

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In the general context of business planning, and also in the specific contexts of business continuity planning and succession planning, one of the topics that we at the Kansas SBDC frequently discuss with clients is the importance of having necessary and appropriate insurances.  Often, we recommend business owners confer with several members of their BAIL team about insurances. (BAIL is the acronym for Banker, Accountant, Insurance agent and Lawyer; but a BAIL team is a business’s group of  key advisors  which often will extend beyond these four individuals. It may include, e.g., a marketing consultant, a manufacturing consultant, and/or a freight forwarder – and, of course, in the case of our clients, their SBDC Business Advisors!)

Though not exhaustive, below is a lengthy list of types of insurances that small business owners might discuss with members of their BAIL team. Important topics to discuss include exposure to legal liability, exposure to financial risks, business opportunities, business continuity, risk mitigation and recovery, support services, mandatory areas of coverage, recommended areas of coverage, duplication of coverages, unnecessary coverages, recommended amounts of coverages, costs of coverages and how to contain them, deductibles, terms and limitations of coverages and exclusions. It is important for business owners to ask questions, to read and understand their policies, to have access to the document(s), and to keep them up to date.

Business Interruption Insurance (or Contingent Business Insurance) gives the business owner a defined amount of income for a certain period of time if the business is closed due to a catastrophe such fire.

Commercial Automobile Insurance on vehicles owned by or used for the business can include liability, medical, and comprehensive insurances and might also include industry specific coverages, e.g., for construction or for mobile-food- businesses.

Commercial Property Insurance  typically covers buildings and contents (e.g., equipment, inventory, furnishings, documents) and exterior fixtures (e.g., signage, lighting, fencing)  in the case of storms, fire, burst pipes, explosions, theft and vandalism. It is worth understanding the limitations of commercial property insurance. For example, inventory is typically covered only when it is on the insured property (or within so many feet of the property) and not when it is in transit. It should also be noted that home-based businesses may not be covered under their home-owners insurance policy and may additionally require commercial coverage for the business.

Cyber Liability Insurance (or Cyber Risk Insurance) is becoming more important with the devastating effects that cyber attacks can have on small businesses. This type of insurance can cover things such as business losses, the costs of investigations and notifications, and liability.  (Related reading …)

Defalcation, Embezzlement, and Fraud Insurances, Employee Bonds, and Fidelity Bond Insurance are types coverages against employee theft (internally or externally) and criminal or inappropriate behavior.  (Related reading on … defalcation, embezzlement, employee bonds.)

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (also called D&O Insurance) is available for the Board of Directors/Officers of for-profit as well non-profit businesses to reimburse expenses related to their legal defense against accusations of poor financial management and possibly wrongful acts. (Related reading …)

Employee Non-Owned Auto Insurance. Auto insurance is vehicle specific. This gives a business coverage if one of its employees gets into an accident while driving a personal vehicle for business.

Export Credit Insurance insures exporters who extend credit to foreign buyers against non-payment by those buyers due to commercial or political risk. (Related reading …)

Flood and Earthquake Insurance While property insurance covers structures, inventory and signage in case of events such as break-ins, fires, and storms, losses from wide-spread events such as floods and earthquakes are generally excluded and require separate policies.

Fiduciary Liability Insurance is liability insurance for fiduciaries of employee benefit plans. (Related reading …)

General Liability Insurance offers coverage of expenses related to injuries of non-employees on a business’s property, damages caused by the business to another’s property, and some claims related to intellectual property in advertising. (Related reading …) There are many things that are not covered by general liability insurance and so it is important to understand what other insurances one might need.

Health Insurance can help keep employees, including the owner, healthy and factor in to employee retention. In addition, by offering, or at least making Disability Insurance and Life Insurance availablebusiness owners can show that they care about the financial well-being of their employees and employees’ families.

Inland Marine Insurance (sometimes called Floater Policies) covers inventory or equipment while it is in transit – typically over land – or while it is being held by a bailee or being warehoused at another location. It can also cover moveable property (e.g, artworks, jewelry, computers), moveable equipment (e.g,  photography, medical or construction equipment), and items involved in communications (e.g., radio towers) and transportation (e.g., piers). This insurance generally offers coverage against theft and damages due to collisions, but may also offer coverage for damages due to delays. (Related reading …)

Key Person Insurance (also called Key Employee Insurance) is life or trauma insurance on any individual (e.g., the business owner) without whom the business would struggle to survive in the short-term. This insurance can be a component of the succession and continuity planning of a business. (Related reading …)

Ocean Marine Insurance covers goods while in transit over international or domestic waters by ship or plane. It also offers coverage for businesses such as marinas, marine construction, marine transportation, marine research, commercial fishing and, in some cases, water-related tourism.

Patent Infringement Insurance can cover the costs of a business’s defending itself against deliberate or accidental patent infringement.

Product Liability Insurance for businesses such as manufacturers, distributors, retailers and contractors insures against claims made for liability due to design, manufacturing or marketing and labeling defects in products. (Related reading …)

Professional Liability Insurance (also known as Errors & Omissions Insurance) offers coverage against a customer who claims losses due to dissatisfaction with the business’s work. This type of insurance is industry-relative.

Speciality Insurances are available for a wide range of specific industries and professions such as agriculture, equine-based businesses, aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles, healthcare, food-services, etc.

• Trade Credit Insurance is available for domestic and international transactions. It can be used, e.g., when a seller wants to extend credit to a buyer in order to allow the buyer time to raise cash to pay for the purchase. It insures against non-payment and is available on a per-transaction basis or over all sales. Export credit insurance, above, is a type of trade credit insurance. (Related reading …)

Workers Compensation Insurance This provides insurance provides coverage to cover costs of medical treatments, disability claims and death benefits in case an employee is injured or killed while working. (Related reading for businesses in Kansas …)

Some of these insurances are quite common and generally recommended (e.g., general liability). Others are not as common as perhaps they should be (e.g., business interruption insurance); and yet others are important only in specific circumstances (e.g., export credit insurance). Before making decisions about what insurance to get or not to get, it is important for business owners to educate themselves, confer with trusted advisors, consider what they have to protect, understand the ways in which insurances can help with risk mitigation and business recovery, investigate whether carrying certain insurance coverages might allow them to expand their business, understand what insurances won’t cover and their limitations, and evaluate how insurances fit into their general business plan, business continuity plan and/or succession plan.

 

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

Washburn University SBDC

America’s SBDC Kansas

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Cybersecurity Awareness: It’s Not Just for IT Professionals

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Many small businesses think of their IT professionals as their cybersecurity superheroes, their ever-vigilant line of defense.  True though this may be, talk to any IT professional  and he or she will tell you that cybersecurity is not just an issue for IT guys/gals. It is an organizational issue. Business ownership/leadership/management needs to be educated about risks and risk mitigation and involved discussions about cybersecurity in order to plan strategically and lead from a position of knowledge and preparedness.

The Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum – coming up on April 25th in Manhattan – is designed to help our extended small business community understand cybersecurity and related issues in order to mitigate the risks and stay strong in today’s ever-changing world.  If you are someone who reasons, “I’m not an IT person so I don’t need to know about cybersecurity,” this event should change your way of thinking. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about the Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum coming up on April 25th.

Register here to attend.

Related Post:

Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum

(Cartoon top, used by permission from Randy Glasbergen.)

Laurie  Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

Washburn University SBDC

America’s SBDC

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