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  1. Emergency Contact List

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    Creating a Comprehensive Emergency Contact List for Your Business

    Knowing who to call when an emergency arises at your business puts you in the best position to handle the crisis in a manner that protects you, your employees, your patrons and your business. That’s why it’s smart to think through the emergency contacts that should be on your list before the crisis strikes.

    Since we have assisted numerous businesses during their most critical moments, we’ve put together a list of recommended items you’ll want to include on your emergency contact list.

    1. Start With the Basics: At the top of your contact list, you should have your key business information including the business name, address, location, and phone number. Emergency services will immediately ask for this information, and you don’t want you or your employees to have to search for it and delay help arriving quickly.

    2. Facility Manager/Landlord: For emergencies involving your facility, like a fire or water leak, you’ll want to contact your facility manager or landlord without delay. They know your building better than anyone and may offer solutions that help prevent or minimize property damage.

    3. Employee Emergency Contacts: Should a medical emergency arise involving one of your employees, you need to be able to quickly contact whomever they have identified as their emergency contact.

    4. First Responders & More: This section of your list should include more than just 9-1-1. Also include the contact information for your security alarm company, poison control, and animal control.

    5. Utility Companies: For emergency incidents involving burst pipes, gas leaks, or a power outage, the utility company should be one of your first calls. Be sure to include numbers for your gas, electricity and water service providers.

    6. Odds & Ends: It’s also worth adding contact information for helpful services like a trusted locksmith or roadside assistance. That way if you need to have your locks replaced or help a customer or employee who is stuck in a ditch, you have those numbers at your fingertips.

    Remember, quick access to these emergency contacts ensures that you will be able to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis arises. So, post these numbers where you and your employees can get to them at a moment’s notice.

    Finally, as your insurance broker, we’re always here to help you navigate emergency situations, explain your coverage, and help you file a claim if necessary.

  2. Starting A Business In Ontario

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    6 Steps For Starting a Business In Ontario


    If you have the perfect idea for a new business but are not quite sure how to get it up and running, this helpful quick start guide includes six steps that will help set you on the road to success.

    1. Take a Personal Inventory

    The most important thing you should consider before starting a new business is whether you are ready to be your own boss. The benefits of being in charge are obvious, but have you considered the risks? By taking a personal inventory, you can figure out whether you are ready to start a business. A few of the questions you should ask yourself include:

    – Do you have time to commit to the business?

    – Are you confident that you have a good product, service or business model?

    – Do you have the management, accounting, and marketing skills to run a business?

    While you do not have to do everything yourself, you need to be aware of the responsibilities you will have as a business owner and have an idea of how you will get the support you need for areas where you lack the time, skill or resources to manage.

    2. Decide How You Will Structure Your Company

    You can elect to organize your company in 4 different ways:

    – Sole proprietorship

    – Partnership

    – Corporation

    – Cooperative

    You are the sole owner of the company in an unincorporated sole proprietorship. In this business type, you assume all the risks as well as all the benefits of the business.

    In a partnership, you and a partner share both the expenses and profits of the business. The exact terms of the partnership should be outlined in writing in a formal partnership agreement.

    A corporation is legally recognized as an individual or entity that is separate from its stockholders or owners. Cooperatives are comprised of individuals who run a business together according to cooperative principles in order to achieve the same economic or social need.

    3. Expand on Your Business Idea

    In order to create a budget and develop a business plan, you will need to expand on your business idea by deciding the following:

    – What products or service will you offer?

    – Who is your target demographic?

    – Who are your competitors?

    – How many competitors do you have?

    – What differentiates you from your competitors?

    – How much market share do you think your company will be able to capture?

    Being as specific as possible with your answers to these questions will help you create a more effective business plan.

    4. Create a Budget

    Even if you have a shoestring budget, you can make your dream of owning a business reality with proper planning and support. To determine your start-up costs, price the items you will need to run your business along with working capital for the first few years. Deduct any personal investment you will be able to make in the business to determine what your financing needs will be. Take the time to make your budget as accurate as possible to avoid financial shortages down the road.

    5. Understand Business Regulations and Liability Risks

    Depending on the products or services you will be offering, you may need to obtain a government-granted license or permit. Complying with all business regulations for your business type will ensure that you can do business with major suppliers and customers. It will also help you avoid costly fines or even the threat of being shut down for non-compliance.

    Your business may need to acquire government granted licenses and permits. This will not only help you avoid fines or avoid being shut down, but major suppliers and customers will then be able to do business with you.

    During this step, you should also consult with your insurance broker about the cost of business insurance. Business insurance can ensure that your business continues to thrive even if you face unforeseen challenges. By talking with your insurance broker about your business needs you can determine the best type of plan. Coverage can protect your business from devastating lawsuits, loss of business property, and even the loss of a business partner.

    6. Develop a Business Plan

    A good business plan will serve as your company’s roadmap to success. You will refer to your business plan many times as it should include your short and long-term goals as well as the steps you plan to take to achieve them.

    While starting a business will not be without its challenges – no matter how prepared you are – by taking the time to complete each of these six steps, you will boost your confidence and ensure that your business gets off to a successful start.


  3. Contractors Insurance

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    Are you a handyman, painter, cleaning service or licensed contractor (electrician, carpenter, plumber etc)? Have you thought of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business? If so there are a few things you should consider, starting with the proper insurance coverage to fully protect your new endeavor.

    As a contractor you know how important it is to create the proper fit, leaving no gaps behind. We look at your insurance policy the same way. A policy should be customized to fit your needs. The trusted expects at Safeway Insurance can show you how, at a very affordable cost.

    Coverages to Consider:

    • Commercial General Liability is a must, and the starting point for most packages.  A typical limit starts at $1,000,000. But can go much higher. Picture these situations: A plumber after soldering pipes leaves the premised too early and starts a fire. Or a pipe is not properly fitted and a flood ensues.  A carpenter leaves his saw out and the child of a client hurts themselves.  A lawn cutter accidentally runs over a piece of metal and it discharges into a client automobile.  All of these instances provide the client the right to chase the contractor for financial reimbursement.  Make sure you are protected.
    • A “Contractors Package” policy can also include an assortment of coverages that would apply to most contractors such as:
      • Tool Floater – to cover hand tools that you would carry to your projects
      • Installation floater – to cover the items that are at a job site (or in transit) for which you don’t own but are legally liability ie. Doors, windows, drywall and other materials
      • Business contents – the usual things that you need to run a business – desk, filing cabinet, fax/photo copy machines etc
      • Crime – to cover loss of money (theft, burglary, robbery) and also can include Third Party Bonding.
      • Contractors Equipment – larger items that you need for your work ie. Machinery like back hoe, excavator or items of higher value.  You can even get “Loss of Use” coverage for this that would pay for you to rent a replacement if your is damaged/destroyed in a claim

    Remember, It doesn’t have to be expensive as minimum premiums can start as low as $60 per month.

    To get a quote to suit your individual contracting business insurance needs contact Safeway Insurance for a customized package.