Three Types of Liability Insurance You Should Consider

As much as we try to prevent them, accidents are a part of life. Thankfully, a lot of them are minor and inconsequential; however, serious harm to someone or their property could occur at any time.

Damage caused by you or while on your property can lead to fines, lawsuits, or even jail time if you’re not properly insured. The smart decision is obvious: protect yourself with adequate coverage or suffer the outcome.

Let’s examine some common types of insurance the average person should have.

Automotive Liability Insurance

Besides being involuntarily mandated by the state, there are a lot of other good reasons to insure your ride. We hope to never be in an accident but they are, unfortunately, common, so it’s best to be prepared. Cars are worth a lot – the people inside more so – and they’re hurtling across the land at 60+ MPH or more; when an accident does happen, it’s going to cost a lot to fix. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage or you could be liable for costs yourself.

Any adult knows how expensive car insurance can be on a valuable car because of the inherent risks native to driving. If you don’t want to risk lowering your coverage to save on insurance, consider driving a less valuable car when a fancier alternative isn’t necessary. Craigslist has a ton of great used vehicles: you can use Zoom The List to make your search even easier by combining several states in one search.

Personal Liability Insurance

A personal liability insurance plan, otherwise known as an umbrella policy, can provide additional coverage beyond what you may already have through your home or auto coverage. If someone falls off your deck and needs $450,000 worth of medical care and your home insurance only covers $200,000 in damages, you’re going to be liable for the extra $250,000 that isn’t covered. Those who open themselves up to more risk should definitely consider supplemental umbrella coverage.

You might think instinctively that an umbrella policy must be prohibitively expensive or they would be more common, but they are actually very reasonable. It’s hard to put a price tag on peace of mind, but it could be a lot lower than you think.

Business Liability Insurance

While not always mandatory, if you’re considering operating a business without insurance, you should re-evaluate your plans before proceeding with them. Anything that relates to business is going to cost two or three times what the same thing costs in the personal realm, so if you get sued, prepare to pay out big bucks.

The relatively low cost versus the large amount of protection you get makes business insurance a no-brainer. Protect yourself in the event that you accidentally damage a client’s home or possessions.

It may be hard to see the benefit of insurance when we go years paying it without an event, but when something does happen, it will be worth every single cent that was spent on it. Don’t leave yourself open to expensive lawsuits or legal action: look into the appropriate insurance packages for your family and business!

10 Tips for Accurate Website Load Testing

If traffic to your website suddenly explodes, what happens to the user experience? You can’t know until you perform load testing. As defined by Wikipedia, load testing involves deliberately demanding more of your website to “determine [the] system’s behavior under both normal and anticipated peak load conditions.”

Accuracy is essential when figuring out how many users your site can handle at one time and identifying where performance suffers as loads increase. Follow these ten tips to set up and execute precise load tests and collect data you can use to improve the onsite experience for end users.

Test with Real Browsers

Some tools available for load testing use virtual browsers, and although it’s possible to get usable results in these simulated environments, you’re better off doing your tests in the browsers your site visitors actually use. This information is readily available on the platform through which you monitor site statistics, and using a load testing tool like LoadView can help you test with a variety of real mobile and desktop browsers. Determine the most popular browsers, and make these the main programs your use for testing.

Know Your Baseline

The length of time it takes a page to load when it’s being accessed by a single user is the baseline number against which to measure other performance data from your load tests. Use a tool designed to record page load times only after every element on the page has been fully rendered, and compare these times to your own manual tests. Since test results will differ, you’ll need to repeat the process a few times to get an average on which you can rely.

Use Your Analytics

Website analytics offer invaluable data for load testing, including measurements of peak traffic in the recent past. Take a look at your busiest days, and note the highest number of visitors your site had at these times. Add 10 to 50 percent to these numbers so that you can simulate extreme conditions when testing. Increasing the expected peak traffic allows you to see how your site would perform should traffic exceed predictions at any time.

Determine Key Metrics

What should you look for when determining the load your site can handle? User experience is at the heart of this type of testing, so the metrics you measure should focus on ensuring a smooth experience even when the site is under stress.

Look at average response times, peak response times and error rates for all pages. Putting these together creates a clear picture of what an actual user would encounter when site traffic is heavy. You should also take note of CPU and memory use to see what peak traffic demands from the systems supporting your site.

Plan with Your Team

Load testing is a bigger job than one person can handle. Meet with your IT team, web developers and anyone else involved in working on your site to create a plan for handling the tests. If everyone isn’t on the same page regarding which tools and browsers to use, the timing of the tests and the chosen metrics, you’ll wind up with useless results.

Include a Deliberate Crash

Finding out what it takes to push your website’s system into a state of failure may seem like an extreme goal for a load test, but it’s helpful to know the absolute upper limit of what the site can handle. Gradually increase the load as you test until the site gives out, noting what happens to page load times and the types of errors you receive. Even if you never expect to have enough traffic to crash the site, pushing the envelope reveals points of weakness and potential errors you may not discover when testing lower traffic levels.

Time Tests Right

The best time to conduct load testing is when users aren’t likely to be visiting your site. Just as you looked at analytics for peak traffic times, you want to determine the hours of lowest activity and schedule your tests during these windows. Taking this approach ensures the network environment doesn’t skew test results and your tests don’t interfere with the experience active users have on the site.

Use a Performance Environment

Testing in a simulated environment instead of a duplicate of your site’s performance environment or on the site itself is a recipe for inaccuracy. To get reliable results, you need to see the real errors users might experience and identify performance bottlenecks on your actual site. A test environment may lack elements necessary to understand how the site really behaves when traffic spikes.

Record Everything

Conducting tests correctly in real browsers on your actual site should yield the most accurate results possible, but the feedback you get is only helpful if you make sure to capture the data. This is why it’s important to ensure your team knows what metrics you’re testing for and how these measure up to your baseline for performance. Compare results from team members, and use the numbers to identify areas on which to focus efforts for improvement.

Test Again and Again

Load testing isn’t a one-time deal. After your initial tests, it’s time to make changes in the areas where performance clearly suffered with the goal of minimizing errors and improving page load times. Once this has been done, repeat the testing using the same browsers, metrics, timing and environment. Weigh your new results against the initial outcomes to see if the changes helped and where new tweaks need to be made to further reduce the risk of problems for end users.

Better site performance makes for a happier audience, and this should be your main goal when load testing. Even the slightest delay in page load times or a single error during an e-commerce transaction can cause you to lose customers to the competition and damage your brand image. Conduct regular load testing to ensure performance remains favorable and your site environment can handle the levels of traffic you expect.

Things to look for in an e-commerce SEO Agency

SEO has come a long way since its inception and is now considered as one of the foremost tools needed to market a business today. As a newbie in the field, you may have some apprehensions about choosing the correct e-commerce SEO Agency for your needs. Here is a quick roundup of the important factors you need to consider when choosing a company that provides SEO services.

Experience Counts

When choosing an e-commerce SEO company, make sure you check the number of years the company has been in the industry, as well as its expertise in the field. It may be very easy to fool customers using a decent looking website and some SEO lingo.

It is considered wise to avoid SEO companies that have been in the industry only for two years or less. While you may get a fantastic deal from a company that has only launched its service in the previous year, you may end up becoming a guinea pig for a company’s experimental business. Go for a company that has been in the industry for at least four years or more. If you still insist on working with a comparatively younger firm, insist on speaking to previous customers and ask for references you can check out before giving your nod.

Complete Information

A company that deals in e-Commerce SEO services but does not follow the first basic step of a successful SEO campaign itself is something you need to be wary of. It is imperative that any company you deal with for that matter has complete and authentic contact information on its website as well as in Google local listings or yellow pages. With social media being instrumental in an SEO campaign, an active online presence is also considered a must. A company that has none of this information and does not provide you with the same when asked is surely an imposter.

Proper SEO Design

What is the first thing you would look for in a company that claims to provide stellar e-Commerce SEO Services? How much they incorporate their own ideas and principles in their website of course! A company that offers help with SEO must have spotless SEO itself. And one way to identify this is on the company’s website. A properly designed website that is kept up to date is a sign of a company with good SEO. A lazy design, however, with incomplete, outdated information is a sure shot sign of a company that has the least interest in its SEO let alone yours.

Performance Guarantees

The search algorithms commonly used in SEO keep on changing, which means understanding them completely is next to impossible. The best possible way to work with these algorithms is to create optimistic goals framed with a small lens of uncertainty. And this is what you need to look for in a company that offers e-commerce SEO Services.

Consider the rankings provided to each page by Google and other search engines. There is no guarantee to the rank a website can achieve. A company that helps you with your business’s SEO can only provide an estimate of the rank you can achieve via website optimization. A company that guarantees you a spot on the top of the search list or worst yet, the #1 rank is surely lying through its teeth.

The same goes for forecasting the amount of traffic, as well as the number of conversions, your website experiences. An SEO Company that provides a rough estimate of these numbers can be trusted while a company that provides specific numbers and guarantees them cannot.

Benchmarks for Success

So how do you go about choosing an SEO that does not guarantee performance with figures? Choose a company that believes in setting benchmarks for success instead of guaranteeing performance. SEO tends to be a long-term game, meaning the performance can be measured in the course of months or years. The SEO Company that you work with will need to identify the areas of optimizations that can increase the amount of qualified traffic to your website. It should be very clear on the strategy it would utilize for the same purpose and explain the same to you in a detailed manner so that you know what you are paying for.

Outsourcing to Foreign Firms

A lot of SEO firms outsource their work to foreign agencies these days owing to reduced labor costs and increased productivity. While it can be encouraging to think that your business’s SEO goals would be met by talented SEO experts from around the world, there are high chances for it to fall in the hands of novices and inexperienced SEO professionals who could waste your time and money considerably. If the company you approach for a Sun e-Commerce Package tends to outsource its services to a foreign firm, do not hesitate in asking about the credentials of the firm, as well as its expertise in the field. With SEO, you get what you pay for. Don’t be apprehensive about asking questions so long as it would help you land a deal with a great SEO agency or its foreign subordinate.

Switcheroo Tricks

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the one that almost every other business falls for. A company offering attractive packages like SEO for ecommerce Websites in 2018 can promote a renowned SEO expert as its lead and as the person who would be working for your SEO. However, unknown to many, the actual work may be handled by inexperienced SEO specialists. Hence, it is essential to ask the company about who would be working on your project and to possibly provide a contact number so that you can be in touch with the concerned individual on a regular basis. Make it a point that you would want to be informed about regular updates and sign on the dotted line only if you know the company’s work will match your expectations.

Summary

On the lookout for a company that offers e-commerce SEO services? Ensure that you keep these pointers in mind when scouting for the best possible SEO agency to meet your expectations and SEO requirements.

Author Bio

Vishal Vivek co-founded the leading digital marketing company of India, SEO Corporation. Vishal has been ‘shoulder’ deep in his responsibilities as the CEO of the company since last 7 years. In his free time, he’s found researching new non-fiction novels, reviewing new books, enjoying somewhat risky vacations and spoiling random stray animals with love.

Taking Your Business To The Next Level

What do we mean by the next level? Well, we are specifically referring to the next stage of your business life-cycle. Getting started in business is one thing, but you should never become complacent. To grow, you need to think about expanding your services, outgrowing a niche market, and capitalizing on changing industry and consumer trends. In short, you must always move forwards to succeed. Easier said than done, we know! But consider the number of businesses that are no longer in operation, such as all those closed doors on your local high street. The same will happen to you if you don’t take any steps to grow your company, as your nearest rivals will take you down while you’re still playing in the shallow end of the business pool.

To take your business to the next level, consider the following strategies.

Assess your current position

From the moment your business opened its door to the place it’s in now, consider what has gone well, and think about any mistakes you have made. How are you doing? To move forward, you need to learn from both your successes and failures thus far and use your experience as a starting point to propel you further. This might involve continuing and enhancing the things you are doing well, or it might require going back to the drawing board if you discover that your business is not going as well as you thought it would by this stage.

Think about the future

When you began in business, you probably formulated a business plan, with set goals to reach by various milestones, such as a year, five years, or more into the future. How far along your business plan are you? Have you reached the goals you set? No matter where you are, continue to refer to your plan, and if necessary, make some changes to better guide you onward. You may have come across challenges in your way, for example, so to move forwards you may need to veer away from them in another direction or find ways to hurdle any obstacles that have/will cause a hindrance to your operations.

Employ the skills of others

You will only get so far on your strengths alone, so to see your business grow, you need to grow a team of experts around you at the same rate. These are the people who will support you in your business plan. They will fill any gaps where there are currently weaknesses, and they will take on the increased demands that come with a growing business. How you employ others is up to you, even if you already have people working for you. There are the traditional hiring routes through job boards, although you could also hire specialists such as a website designer through outsourcing. You can also hire others on a global level, and allow for staff to work for you remotely, wherever they are in the world.

Expand your reach

Don’t rest on your laurels, even if you have already built up a strong customer base. To go to the next level, you need to keep reaching out, and finding new ways to market your product to others. Digital marketing has become the in-thing, especially because more people are now online than ever before. So use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the like, and send word out to every social network imaginable. You should also think of the marketplace beyond your local region. Many businesses begin to operate internationally, which is relatively straightforward if you are entirely online based. The only thing you need to worry about is shipping costs, although you should still research consumer trends in other countries to check the viability. Beyond the realms of the internet, you may want to think about hiring new staff and setting up premises overseas if your business is bigger than an online venture.

Keep an eye on the future

If your business head is stuck in the past, your business will become a thing of the past, so you must always have one eye (or indeed both eyes) on the future if you want to succeed. We have already advocated the advantages of digital marketing, and this has taken over the traditional route of print advertising. As it goes into the future, you need to consider the next level of digital marketing, which includes social messaging apps for your business, and the use of online influencers to spread the word about you. In terms of currency, we are now seeing the rise of bitcoin, and this is becoming more widespread among today’s consumers. Technology is changing all the time, so look for the latest developments, and hire a software development service to build any applications your business needs. Your rivals are keeping an eye on the future, so keep up with them to ensure you aren’t left playing catch up.

Look at customer behavior

As we have already said, your customers are online, so you need to follow suit. This includes having a range of eCommerce functionalities on your website. Consider the different methods of payment that are becoming popular, and offer various options to improve your customer’s experience with your business. People get bored easily and quickly move onto the next best thing, so look at ways to innovate your product, or re-brand it to maintain its appeal. Without customers, your business is going to fail, so research what they want through published statistics, customer surveys through your website and social media channels, and use focus groups to get a handle on public opinion. When you know what your customers want or need, you can better tailor your services to them, and you will profit as a result.

Closing comments

To get to the next level, your business needs to move and evolve according to the changes in industry and consumer trends. By doing so, you will beat your competitors, raise profits, and grow in reputation. The alternative is staying in one place and not moving at all, but as you can probably understand, this won’t take your business to anywhere of real value.

Keeping Your Business Selling For Another Day

Your business has one goal in mind: making a profit. But in order to do so, you have to listen to the needs of the market and the world around you. Because of this, people often focus on the wrong elements: the need to have control over every aspect of your company, which is going to drain the life out of it, as well as make sure your expansion is going to go a lot slower.

But there are some areas you’re going to need to keep a close eye on to make sure you can still operate until tomorrow and the day after. Mostly your profit margins, but there’s some more subtle methods to go along as well; read on below for some tips on handling the difficult parts of business, and keeping your sustainability high enough to be considered a business of the future.

Train Your Employees

If your employees aren’t trained to keep up with the day to day operations of your business, and thus cannot do any work off of their own back, you’re going to be losing a lot of profit on their paycheck, and some hard working skill you’re going to need to stay functional. Your employees are the heart of your business, and you need to start with them if you want to make a money saving and profit making change for the day ahead.

Put them through training programs, hold meetings, congratulate them when they do good work. And never be too hard on them; sales tactics aren’t always going to work, and unless you’re on the shop floor with them, you’re not going to know the ins and outs of every kind of customer. Listen to their opinions and adjust your operations accordingly; it’s where you find the best secret talent after all!

Know What Coverage You’ll Need

If you’re not an insured business, you’re going to go through the ringer a lot more than you usually should. Accidents happen at work every day, and customers can always come in with a complaint over something minor or serious; thus, you need to protect yourself and anyone working under you against such situations.

Look into insurance services for small business if you haven’t already got your feet on the ground with liability or asset protection insurance. Your inventory can often be the first thing to go when it comes to paying off a prospective lawsuit, or a lawyer you know is far too expensive but absolutely essential to keep you serving the public after the whole affair is over. Making money is hard when you’ve got a stain on your reputation, and ensuring customer loyalty is something you need to focus on with all your energy when you’re just starting out.

Keeping your business selling is something you learn to do as you expand your business, but you need to set yourself up with a good foundation. Not every problem can be solved with quick thinking, and long term solutions are best.