Category Archive : Business & Tech

What Kind of Insurance Is Best for Entrepreneurs?

As any entrepreneur might know, insurance is a tricky subject to tackle when you employ yourself or a small group of people. Obtaining health insurance is a must, but it’s vastly different from signing up for a corporate insurance plan. When you are employed by a company, you sign up for insurance when you start and you renew your plan during open enrollment.

Pretty simple, right?

But when you are self-employed or run your own business, there are a lot more considerations in front of you.

Insurance for Solopreneurs

Self-employed? You still need health insurance for yourself and your family. Although self-employment has its benefits, one drawback is finding insurance. Most insurance carriers want to charge a higher premium when you are not on a group rate. Unfortunately, you might end up paying more for an individual health insurance plan versus signing up for a plan as a group even if the plan includes your family.

You’ll want to check rates from several different carriers and evaluate your current health situation to decide which plan is best for you. Be sure to consider pre-existing health conditions as they can drive up your monthly premiums.

Insurance for a Small Company

Every entrepreneur starts on their own and eventually hires a team. Once you begin hiring new team members, you’ll need to decide how you want to offer insurance to them. Like a desirable salary and bonuses, insurance benefits are a major attraction for those seeking work. Unlike individual health insurance, you’ll provide your employees with a group health insurance plan. And lucky for you, group health insurance plans have lower monthly premiums. Again, you’ll want to review plans from a variety of carriers to find one that fits best for your company.

Health Insurance Can Be Regional

As you shop for new insurance plans, you’ll also discover the plans can be somewhat regional. For instance, a health insurance plan in Manhattan, New York will likely cost you more than an individual health insurance plan in Bend, OR. It’s best to consult with an insurance carrier or individual insurance provider to understand what is best for you and your business.

Think About Long-Term Costs

Insurance isn’t a one-time investment for your business. You’ll need to consider the cost accrued for insurance over the next 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. The insurance plan you select should be part of your overall business plan. Determine where it fits into your costs and how you can scale it over time.

Other Considerations

Before you begin to tackle health insurance for your business, you’ll want to be sure your business is correctly established first. You’ll need to properly register your business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, s-corporation or c-corporation. Depending on the assets your business has and how you want to approach taxes, you may choose one entity over another. If you haven’t done so already, consider hiring a business lawyer to review your articles of establishment. While it may be costly, an attorney will advise you on what you need to do to properly and legally establish your business.

If you have recently purchased insurance for yourself or your business, let us know how it went in the comments.

Hiring An SEO Company? Ask These Questions First

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of helping website pages show up higher in Google’s search results. To small business owners, this type of marketing is huge for driving new business. As potential customers search keywords related to your business, an optimized page with information and contact details can show up in search results. The small business gets the click from Google and eventually earns the business of the customer who is searching.

While SEO is a complex form of marketing, there are a few things to consider before hiring a company to handle this for you.

Does the Provider Write Copy?

One of the biggest areas of a successful SEO campaign is copywriting. Writing copy for a website’s content, social media channels and other outlets is key for Google to recognize a website. For this reason, it’s highly important to work with an SEO provider who writes their own copy and doesn’t outsource to a foreign country. Google is able to understand semantics, spelling and grammar, so it’s in your best interest to work with a company who writes in near perfect English.

Transparency with Reporting

Transparency is another key area of an SEO campaign. You never want to hire a provider who takes your money and doesn’t provide results. It’s not good for business and it’s not good for your marketing budget. Ask a potential SEO provider what kind of reporting you’ll receive from the campaign. Is it weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? It’s important to measure progress of the campaign and have the results be shared with you. Additionally, ask them what kind of tools they use to measure success.

What Color Hat Do They Wear?

When it comes SEO, there are three “hat” colors providers may have:

  • White Hat SEO: this type of SEO provider abides by Google’s rules and rarely strays into anything not recommended by Google. The results are slower to obtain, but they are at a low risk of being penalized by Google.
  • Gray Hat SEO: this type of SEO provider bends the rules slightly in order to get results faster. The tactics aren’t promoted by Google, but they aren’t necessarily bad either.
  • Black Hat SEO: this type of SEO provider goes completely against Google’s quality standards in order to “game” search results. These tactics are not long-lasting and can get a website in deep trouble.

If you plan to keep your business running for a while, avoid working with someone who dabbles in black hat SEO.

What About Links?

Another major component of SEO is developing quality links. You should ask a potential provider to show you the type of placements (backlinks) they can achieve for you. If you notice the links they acquire are coming from low quality, untrustworthy sources, just know you won’t see the progress you are wanting. Strong SEO campaigns include links coming from real websites with actual traffic and statistics.


Lastly, you should ask questions about what kind of budget you will need for an SEO campaign. SEO is a technical skill, takes time and hard work to get it right, so you’ll need to be prepared with a realistic budget. However, if an SEO provider asks you to pay $5,000 a month for a small business, you’ve gone past a realistic budget. Shop around with a few SEO companies to get the best gauge of what budget you will need.

If you have recently hired an SEO company to work on your website, let us know about your experience in the comments.