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Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Extra Points: Family and Friends Plan

September 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Part 1 of a four part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. While this may not seem to be the sexiest of topics, you need look no further than the wreckage left by Hurricane Harvey to understand the life and death issues faced by you, your family, and your business.

Week 1 focuses on making a plan for yourself, your family, and your friends. Step 1 is to create a written emergency plan that responds to evacuation from your home; staging areas to meet; first aid and medications; food and clean water supplies; how to shut off water and electricity; emergency power and connectivity, and pets (to name just a few).

Step 2 is to assure your insurance protection is in place and accessible. Do you need earthquake or flood insurance? Note that about 80% of homeowners affected by Harvey did not have flood insurance (CNBC article). Flood insurance programs have a 30 day waiting period after you make payment…like a time deductible. With winter coming, now is the time to get it if you are in any path of rivers, lakes or other water tables. No matter what, you must know how your insurance will respond to crisis and have Internet access to a copy of your policy.

Step 3 is to plan financially for a disaster. I recommend you have at least $300 of cash in your house at all times. This is even hard for me becasue it’s easy to rob from yourself with the”promise” of putting it back! However, in an emergency, access to your bank or other funds may be delayed. Cash still works to buy food!

Step 4 is to once a year (now would be good), practice your plan. We all went through fire drills in grade school to know what to do in case of a fire, right? Why my school always chose the days it rained is curious to me, but disaster rarely sends advance notice.

Step 5 is to share with your family and friends so they know how to contact you and can build their own emergency plan and kit. Communication is essential for saving lives; make sure your most important network connection is strong.

Next week, we focus on planning to help your neighborhood and community. Being “safe out there” is incumbent on planning ahead.

P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days.

Quote of the Week:

”Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson (American Journalist)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me at dan@danweedin.com

 

The Shrimp Tank: Michael & Kathy Oskouian on April 5th

April 12, 2017 Leave a comment

The latest episode from The Shrimp Tank. You won’t want to miss husband and wife team Michael & Kathy Oskouian discuss their insurance brokerage model and how to balance business and life.

The video wrap up:

The entire podcast (40 minutes)

http://seattle.shrimptankpodcast.com/michael-kathryn-oskouian-founders-of-first-underwriters-inc/#more-2799

© 2017 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Seattle Shrimp Tank Episode #8

January 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Listen to the Podcast (45 minutes) – LINK

Here are both the audio podcast and video wrap up to our great interview with Ryan Fournier. Ryan is President of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA. In fact, Ryan has five locations around South Puget Sound. Ryan and his sister Kendra are second generation owners of the agency. Listen to Ryan give some age advice on running a family business and how business insurance is so critical to small business success.

Ryan also played football in college with former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna. Listen to hear if he shares any “dirt” on Jon!

You can subscribe on our website or on iTunes to never miss an episode. The next one is on January 25th at 3 pm PST with our guest Nick Johnson from Cima Creative.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Enemy Within Your Walls

December 16, 2016 Leave a comment

He is ready to fight for success

This past week, Wake Forest University had to deal with a very unsettling matter. It was revealed that a former assistant football coach turned team radio analyst for the Demon Deacons football program was found to have passed on game plan information from his team (provided to him as part of his job in preparing for games) to opposing teams prior to games.

Let’s make it clear. This guy (for ease of the example) was an assistant coach for the Wake Forest football team. When a coaching change was made, he was not retained as the new head coach brought his own team of assistants with him. This guy was a Wake Forest supporter through and through, seemingly accepted his fate, and then immediately was brought on to the team as the color commentator for the games. Unbeknownst to many, this is akin to be a member of the team. He has access to practices, gets private information on game plans, and is trusted with this material.

After a game against Louisville, it was discovered that game plans had been distributed to Louisville prior to the game. Further investigation found it wasn’t an isolated incident. Long story, short, This guy was implicated and fired. We still don’t know the reasons for this betrayal, but let’s just guess.

Here’s This guy that was terminated. He was allowed to stay in the program because he was deemed “loyal.” Turns out he harbors a grudge and gets on the inside to sell team secrets to opponents. Who knows how long this would have continued if This guy hadn’t been caught.

I know this isn’t national security stuff, but let’s not minimize that these are organizations that employ people. These people keep their positions based on wins and losses. Families are impacted; students are impacted; and the university is impacted. I’ve worked with many small and mid-size businesses that have had similar issues. In fact one small painting business – about 15 employees – had their bookkeeper (acting with CFO functions) steal $25,000 over a 3 year period and used that money to fund her wedding! My client said, “I would have never imagined she would do this.” No kidding! If he had, she wouldn’t have been working there. Problem was, she had done this to a previous employer and my client had not checked references prior. (Yes. She listed the company she stole from. You can’t make this up.)

My question to you is this – could this happen to you?!

The answer is YES. It can and may be to some of you reading this now. While you can’t prevent this in totality, you can greatly minimize the risk to it. Here are three things to consider:

  1. If you terminate someone – or they leave on their own accord, like retirement – the escort them out the door nicely. Do not let them leave with anything that is yours. Cancel their log-in information.
  2. Take care of your client list and proprietary information. That means check their phones for addresses and other important information. If you don’t know how this works, call me and we can discuss.
  3. Be aware of anything that can harm you, including social media.

Bottom line – terminated and disgruntled employees can cause great harm to your company. It happens all the time, yet we rarely hear of it when it happens to small businesses. Protect yourself with a resilience plan that includes this very important issue.

You just may then be able to assure that your “game plan” is safe and secure from This Guy in your own house.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Gator in the Grass

April 2, 2015 Leave a comment

This video was sent to me by my colleague and friend Noah Fleming. Noah was vacationing on beautiful Kiawah Island Resort in South Carolina a few weeks ago. He knows I’m an avid golfer and sent me this video via text. Take a look, it’s only one minute long…

I viewed it for the first time on my mobile phone. What do you think my focus was on? You would be correct if you said the tee shot. I was looking at the lush green fairway, the clear blue sky, and the danger on either side of the fairway. As a golfer that hits the ball right to left, I was wondering, “How the heck would I play this hole?”

My myopic view completely missed the alligator strolling right in front of me. It wasn’t until later that I watched it on a larger screen that my focus changed to the reason Noah sent it me to begin with.

Do you have a myopic view of your business, your company, and your career? Are you not seeing the gator in the grass?

In my consulting practice, I hear constantly from people that are so focused on increasing sales that they miss the peril that might actually put them out of business that is right smack dab in front of them. An example is the cyber liability peril that goes along with their mounting technology exposure.

In my coaching and mentoring practice, I talk to consultants and other professionals about increasing their peripheral vision. Many become so laser focused on their methodology and what they do, rather than how they are actually improving the condition of their client. The peril in this is that you miss the mark on engaging new prospects so they never engage with you!

Here’s the deal…

It’s easy for all of us to miss the gator in the grass. It’s human nature to become so overly focused on what we like to do and what we are good at doing, that we forget the perils lurking waiting for the unsuspecting. You have exposures to all sorts of crises just becasue you are in business – economic, physical, and reputation – and that’s part of the risk and reward of your craft. However, you can avoid a lot of gators if you slow down enough to identify your perils, assess how you can best prevent and mitigate them, and then go out and do what you do best.

For me, if I could only hit a nice easy fade like Jack Nicklaus…

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Core Strength

March 5, 2015 2 comments

I’ve started changing how I work out. The reason is quite simple…my core strength stinks.Dan Weedin Unleashed-19

You see, I’ve been working out since being a high school athlete. For the most part, I’ve focused on the “fun” exercises; the ones that show the quickest results and you get to most enjoyment performing. For me, that was upper body work and strength. When you’re young, it’s easier to get away with that because a lot of other things I used to do (e.g. play competitive basketball) kept me in overall good shape. As I’ve begun to “mature,” some of those fun things have either drastically changed or stopped entirely. The regrettable result is that my core strength is exposed because it has been neglected. To that end, I am now humbling myself to learn new “tricks” to do the work that I’ve never found fun…abs and legs. I am writing this today since this morning I was focused on those two areas. We will see how agile I am later this afternoon…

For your business to stay agile and resilient as it matures, you’d better have a good core strength. In your case, that’s a strategic plan to deal with anything that can hurt you. Allow me to explain…

I’ve watched people age well into their 80s and 90s. Not just my parents, but the people around them. I’ve observed how poor balance, decreased strength, and loss of perception wreaks havoc on their bodies and their ability to function. By being intentional and strategic about my exercise regimen, I’m giving myself the best chance of avoiding or at least mitigating that peril when I get to that age.

Your business will face crisis. In fact, it’s most likely that you will face many crises over the years, all different in size and scope. Those executives and business owners that don’t build up their core strength – their planning, preparation, and practice – are in a clear and present danger situation. In the event of a serious crisis, they are as likely as a 93 year old to lose their balance, stumble, fall, and not be able to get up. For both, the consequences can be catastrophic.

So here’s what you do…

Take a cue from my revised exercise plan. Create your own plan on building up your core by creating a comprehensive strategic crisis and disaster recovery plan; include a communications plan to apprise your employees, customers, supply chain, etc.; implement and practice regularly; get help from experts to assure you’re not breathing your own exhaust; and repeat annually. This way, you’re giving yourself the best chance to avoid the calamity of not being able to survive a “fall.”

Your health can’t be delegated to someone else. Crisis leadership can’t be delegated, either. If you’re the boss, it’s your job to strategize. You can delegate tasks, but not the global planning and strategy. And just like brushing off regular workouts, this is the biggest mistakes business leaders make in their company. It’s time to get real and get serious to protect your business and all those that count on you. And it only starts with a few situps…

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

New Rave Review and Why It’s Important to You

January 7, 2015 Leave a comment

umbrella_risk2014 ended with a cyber bang…of sorts. Major businesses like Target and Home Depot were hit by cyber attacks. Then in December, Sony was hacked due to outrage from North Korea over an upcoming movie, The Interview. If you think that cyber crime is unique to Fortune 500 companies, you’re wrong. In fact, over 60% of cyber crime is perpetrated on employers of less than 100 people. It’s the low-hanging fruit theory. If you’re a small business, you need a plan.

I’ve worked with countless small businesses to help them protect their assets and their lifestyle. I understand you have an insurance broker or agent, and you should have a good one. I help with that, too. The bottom line is you need someone that isn’t interested in keeping their commission. I help my clients make tough and smart decisions on their insurance, risk management, AND cyber protection. If you’re not prepared, you may just be that next ripe piece of low-hanging fruit.

Don’t believe me just because I said it. Read what my clients say…

“Dan helped us realize just what insurance — and what an insurance agent and company — could do for our small business. I mean, everyone knows that insurance is important, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that we really only think about it when going through the renewal process or submitting a claim. Working with Dan in advance of our renewal was an educational (and fun) experience: Dan’s a great guy and he really took the time to get to know us and our company. He shared with his us general expertise about insurance as well as many astute insights and observations on our existing insurance policies, including his recommendations for areas of potential change or improvement. Dan made the renewal process a breeze and we appreciated his guidance in selecting the agent that was the right “culture fit” for our company. Months later, all continues to be great: we’re more confident than ever in our insurance and in our relationship with our agent. Thanks, Dan!”
– Darcy Gray, CEO, TOM BIHN 

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved