Viewing entries tagged
Running Your Business

We Just Redesigned Our Website, Should You?

Technology moves fast... The way the public searches, views and consumes information is rapidly changing as well. If you have not made changes to your website in the past three to five years to keep up, now is a good time. We just redesigned www.bayrisk.com here are the reasons:

The Perils of Multitaking

The Perils of Multitaking

Multitasking is usually considered a good thing. Many job listing will ask for and many applicants will claim to have multitasking abilities. When looking at your employees and operations, you should make clear what your definition of multitasking is.

Employee Fatigue a Silent Risk In the Workplace

How Employers Can Help Prevent Employee Fatigue

Employee fatigue issues should be handled with the same care and attention as other job-related hazards. Here are some helpful tips to keep employees awake, alert and safe on the job.

  • Vary work tasks throughout the day.
  • Offer regular breaks during the workday, so employees can reenergize and refocus on their workload.
  • Switch to blue-enriched white lighting in the office. Research indicates that cognition-enhancing blue light during the day improves mood, concentration, productivity, and the quality of sleep at night.
  • Create a company sleep challenge. Talk about a fun way to engage in friendly competition. Employees can use an activity tracker (e.g., Fitbit) or an app (e.g., Sleep Cycle) and log the number of hours slept each night.
  • Always encourage employees to notify a department manager or supervisor if they feel fatigued during the workday or otherwise not able to complete their work.

Meetings on the Move

Statistics show that when people walk 45-60 minutes per day, they sleep better at night. With this is mind, many companies conduct employee meetings while walking on an indoor track. This novel idea not only increases workplace productivity and employee engagement, it also creates a healthier company culture.

Educate Your Employees

Employers can also minimize the risks of workplace fatigue through employee education. Explain to employees the dangers posed to themselves and others while working when overly tired. Encourage them to develop and maintain a healthy sleep routine with the following tips.

  • Make sleep a priority. Go to bed at the same (and reasonable) time each day.
  • Eat light, nutritious meals and avoid eating or snacking right before bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Minimize their consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice relaxation techniques after a long day and before going to sleep.
  • Resist the temptation to read or watch TV in bed.
  • Turn off smartphones, tablets and laptops well before turning off the light.
  • Seek immediate treatment of sleep disorders from a licensed physician.

Employees are likely your most valuable asset for your business. Make sure you take care of them by helping them take care of themselves. Not only will you be helping to avoid work realted injuries, but you will be improving productivity and likely overall job satiffaction. If you can't do all the above yourself as busy business owners, consider bringing in outside consultants to help. 

Five Reasons Bay Area Businesses Fail

Most entrepreneurs go into business thinking they are going to have a jump start, be successful and build their empire. Reality dictates that this is a rare occurrence. Even young companies require time to incubate and grow into thriving businesses, profitable or not... If you are a visionary starting your business you are likely taking time to make the right decisions. At BayRisk Insurance Brokers, we have the opportunity to see many businesses come and go; to succeed and fail. In speaking with some of our clients that have succeeded and learning from those that have failed we have concluded that most wish their hindsight was better in these areas:

  1. Doing Enough Research Before Launching- Every new business is excited to show themselves off and hit the ground running, but without the proper research you could be making a premature move. Your business has plenty of brain power, but hiring independent consultants that are experts in market research and demographics could be the best investment you could make early on. Not only will you learn how to market and to whom, when and why, but you could learn that yourr your demographic is not quite ready for your product or service. Don't be the next Apple Newton (yes, even Apple can make mistakes).
  2. Paying Enough Attention to Market Trends- So you've done your research and launched because the world is ready. All too many businesses have failed because they do not prepare themselves for market trends. If you are selling a product or providing a service, be ready to change. It's easy to get tunnel vision when times are good, but not paying attention and adapting to change is a recipe for failure. One day your widgets may be talk of the town and you go through rapid growth, but unless you plan for constant improvement or added products or features, you may be hosting a garage sale to make money with your widgets in it.
  3. Investing In the Business- Some businesses get off to a great beginning then start spending on new staff, new office space, fixtures and furniture.Before they know it there is no retained earnings and no capital toreally grow the business. They may look for private or angel investors, but then make themselves vulnerable to losing equity and possibly control of their company.
  4. Hiring Practices- Many business owners make great visionaries. However, just because they can start a company doesn't mean they make good Human Resources managers. Hiring the right people can be a science and this is a costly area to make mistakes. Consider using a staffing firm or hiring one person as your HR manager that can assist with hiring, management and firing if necessary. Employees are your most valuable assets, but sure you hire wisely and manage just as wisely.
  5. Having the Right Insurance- Come on you had to know I would throw that in the mix. Many businesses fail because they fail to protect themselves. The cost to defend your company in a lawsuit could be enough to put you out of business. Smart business owners work with smart insurance brokers to get the right coverage. A local and knowledgable insurance broker can help you avoid accidents from happening and protect you if they do.

We rarely see a Bay Area startup go from Bootstrap to Bugatti overnight, but love to see it happen. Don't let hindsight get the best of you and keep you from being the next success story! 

5 Steps For Managing Your Start-Up's Hyper Growth

Growth is good, but without properly managing your company's growth you could be setting it up for disaster. Use these steps to control your "hypergrowth."

1. Build a project team. 

If you want to change these three S's, you can’t do it alone. You should assemble a team of your key direct reports, and you might want to include representatives of your leading customers and key suppliers as well.

2. Interview start-up CEOs and experts.

The next step your project team should pursue is to pick the most burning issues your start-up faces when it comes to managing growth.  

For example: Do you have the right organizational structure, or is it slowing down decision making? Are you measuring and rewarding people on the right variables? Are you hiring people who fit well, or are you suffering from high turnover?

3. Analyze research findings and develop a diagnostic tool. 

One you’ve conducted the interviews, you should analyze the results and use the insights to generate ideas for how you can improve your start-up’s structure, systems, and shared values.

4. Compare diagnostic results to best practices and identify improvement opportunities.

Once you’ve completed those interviews, you can assess where your start-up’s structure, systems, and shared values are strong and where there are opportunities to improve them. You should benchmark your start-up against the best practices that you identified through the interviews with other start-up CEOs and experts.

5. Develop and implement improvements.

Finally, you should work with your project team to develop ideas for how to improve your start-up’s structure, systems, and shared values. Here, you should use the ideas from best practices to brainstorm many new ways to make your start-up’s structure, systems, and shared values more effective.

Read the complete article here...