Mind Your Own Business
September, 2014 - Issue #119
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Understanding the Common Link
Between Injury Cases

What kinds of cases does an experienced injury attorney work on regularly? The list is long and varied, but there's one commonality: the injured party needs the expertise and assistance of an attorney to ensure that their immediate and long-term needs are addressed so that they can heal - emotionally and physically.

Here are some examples: Fourth of July fireworks malfunction explosion, resulting in injuries; hot air balloon explosion, resulting in severe burns; skateboarder struck by a car on a private access road, inside private university property, resulting in the near-amputation of the client's arm; slip and fall at the mall, resulting in a knee fracture that required surgery; rear-end accident involving minimal property damage, resulting in serious neck injury that required surgery; trip and fall inside privately-owned store on unmarked step, resulting in knee injury that required total knee replacement surgery; slip and fall in dangerous conditions inside big-box chain store, resulting in serious back injury that required back surgery.

Each of the cases mentioned above were denied or disputed by the insurance industry. Currently, the Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus are fighting aggressively, litigating all cases in order to obtain justice - and fair, adequate, full and complete compensation for each client.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

Communication Pitfalls of the Professional World
Specializing in professional communications, especially in the era of social media, is truly eye opening - and how one utilizes it can be one of the largest boons or most dangerous pitfalls of the professional world. In my 12 years as a crisis communications and marketing specialist, I have witnessed a number of embarrassing mistakes made by business and political professionals that could have been avoided.

The most common mistakes that professional companies and politicians make in modern communications involve social media and/or e-mail between themselves and clients, customers, consumers, supporters and critics. I have had a number of clients over the years who came to me for emergency communications advice after attempting to communicate electronically without a filter.

It's a laudable goal to have open communications with the public but it is imperative that you understand the pitfalls that await such communications. Savvy professionals employ a contract communications firm or in-house guidance in all interaction with the public. A company is unlikely to approve an advertisement without a professional designer and a proofreader, yet misspellings, improper use of words like to, too and two and other common grammatical errors are rampant in informal electronic communications between professionals and the public.

You may think you are just having a simple conversation with a supporter or client when you take to Facebook but, in reality, dozens or even thousands of people are probably reading along. Make sure you are knowledgeable about social media protocols, are an excellent writer and that you are running your comments by a trained proofreader. Then if something goes wrong, you have someone other than yourself to blame!
Kevin D. Korenthal of KORE Comunications, LLC 310-0769

Need Capital?
Mission Valley Bank has Money to Lend
Every small business needs to remain competitive in its industry. However, a business may have certain challenges to overcome in order to thrive. It may be time to upgrade or purchase new equipment. It could be an ideal time in the real estate market to purchase a commercial building or office space. To fulfill these vital needs, an influx of capital may be required.

A range of financing options are available to assist small businesses, including traditional bank loans or equity financing. But these options aren't ideal or available for every small business.

A Small Business Administration (SBA) loan offers a unique solution. The US SBA is an independent agency of the federal government that aids, assists and protects the interests of small businesses. The SBA does not make loans directly to small businesses. Rather, the SBA sets the guidelines for these loans, which are then made by the SBA's preferred lending partners. The SBA acts as a guarantor while the bank provides the actual funding.

In some instances, qualifying for an SBA loan may actually be easier than qualifying for other forms of financing and can mean better terms for businesses. SBA 7(a) loans cater specifically to small businesses. SBA 7(a) loans can be used by qualifying borrowers to purchase or renovate or refinance owner user commercial real estate, or for acquiring fixed assets, such as heavy machinery or other equipment. SBA 7(a) loans can also be used for restructuring current debt and working capital.

While the loan is subject to both the lending terms of the SBA and each bank's individual policies, the division of risk can work in the borrower's favor. Consult with a business banking professional to determine if an SBA loan can give your small business the boost it needs.
Mission Valley Bank Valencia Office 775-4112
Centre Pointe Business Banking Office 753-5680

Protect your Home-based Business
More than half of America's businesses are home-based, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. But setting up headquarters in your home doesn't mean your homeowners insurance will adequately protect your operation.

"A typical homeowners policy provides about $2,500 of coverage," says Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for the Insurance Information Institute. That usually will cover equipment - but it won't offer liability protection or cover you for lost data or income.

Do your research to protect yourself and your home business. "An important thing for any business owner to do when starting out is to create a business plan," says Worters. "That includes having the right type and amount of insurance coverage."

Coverage Options
In general, home-based business owners have three basic options:

Homeowners Policy Endorsement This is added to a homeowners policy to increase coverage on business equipment. There also may be the option to buy a homeowners liability endorsement for protection in the event someone - say, a delivery person - is injured on your property.

In-home Business Policy An in-home business policy provides more comprehensive coverage for business equipment and liability than a homeowners policy endorsement. These policies, which may also be called in-home business endorsements, vary significantly depending on the insurer.

Business Owners Policy Also called a BOP, this plan offers the most comprehensive coverage for small- and mid-size businesses. It protects against many of the same things that in-home business policies do, but offers even more coverage.

Other Considerations
Being a savvy home-business owner is about more than having the right insurance. Other factors to consider include:

Additional Insurance Re-evaluate your coverage as your business grows and your needs change.

Zoning Laws Visit your local planning office to review restrictions that could affect your business.

Licenses and Permits Find out which licenses and permits you need to run your business legally.

Taxes Talk to a tax professional about tax laws for home-based businesses. Also research money-saving deductions, such as the home office deduction.

Is your Small Business in Financial Trouble?
A lot of business owners are facing severe financial challenges in this economic climate. Small businesses are undeniably a powerful force in the economy -creating jobs and opportunities for a lot of people- and yet they are not getting much-needed help from the government. With poor revenues and no access to additional funding, some are simply forced to shut down. Keep the following in mind as you navigate through this journey.

Keep current on paying your taxes, especially payroll taxes. You can be held personally liable for payroll taxes and you cannot wipe them out in bankruptcy. Cut expenses you can live without. If you're "bleeding" every month, figure out how you can operate at a bare minimum. It's difficult to lay off employees who have contributed to your good times but being a business owner involves making tough decisions. It's nothing personal. Your family's financial welfare should come first. Don't be embarrassed to seek legal help. It's ok; you're not alone. As they say, hope is not a good business strategy. Change can only happen if you take action before things get worse.
Free consultations are available. Ray Bulaon is a family finance lawyer and owner of Ray Bulaon Law Offices, Inc. 866-477-7772
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