3 Tips for Building your Startup

The first step is to come up with your business idea – now it’s time to build! In order for your new startup to be a success, you need spunk, determination and a strategy.

But where to begin?

From product, to employees, to clients, the responsibility can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a few of our tried-and-true tips to help you begin to successfully build your startup.

Networking is key

Identify your professional community and engage with it. Nowadays, you can successfully and efficiently network via social media platforms like LinkedIn. While this is a manageable day-to-day tool, we also suggest taking advantage of professional networking events for face-to-face interaction.

Networking also entails meeting the right people who can help you launch your business. The benefit of having strong connections is that they can turn into powerful allies.

When you interact with people who are already running a successful business, you may be able to gain a better understanding of the funds and number of shares to authorize that can satisfy investors, and you can offer to your future employees.

Find a balance

A startup is very demanding and can eat up the bulk of your time; however, it is important for you to give yourself (and your employees) a break. There is a reason Google’s offices have Ping-Pong tables, basketball courts and rock climbing walls. These activities help people expand there minds and think outside the box.

Moreover, bonding with employees outside the office can be essential to a company’s success. Mutual respect outside the office will transfer to exist inside the office and ensure that everyone feels safe in the work environment.

Ask questions

Even though you’re the boss, don’t feel like you need to have all the answers right away. Ask questions to people you trust.

People love to share their own experiences. Particularly at Cleary, we are happy to help with your startup questions and provide information about the various types of coverage that would be most beneficial for you.

The Ins and Outs of A Successful Employee Benefits Strategy

Most business owners prefer to recruit employees with proven talent in their fields. This instinct often encourages entrepreneurs to hire top talent quickly, offering competitive salaries and benefits—especially for employees with specific technical skills that may result in direct growth for the company.

But is paying high always the way to attract the best employees? After all, no business can pay its workers more than the value added to the business. At least, not long term anyways.

In order to maintain an ideal benefits strategy, business owners should have a clear picture of the type of employee they want to hire, as well as a firm understanding of their business’ needs. They should also keep in mind that if the compensation level is perceived as low, it will negatively impact both talent attraction and retention.

Again, offering high benefits makes sense in situations where the skills and ability of an employee has a direct impact on the revenue and success of the business; however, for businesses focused on customer intimacy or operational efficiency, a high compensation may neither be affordable nor required. Here, employees make the most impact through process excellence, teamwork, service orientation and discipline—rather than through individual innovation.

It’s also important to customize a benefits plan based on how the employees perceive value. Owners should therefore have a clear understanding of the demographic of its employees (age, skill level, etc.). Making the plan tax-friendly and having the right mix of fixed pay and variable (performance) pay will also bolster a high-performance culture.

Have any questions? Feel free to contact a Cleary representative and we’ll help you build the best benefits strategy for your business.

The Skinny on Life Insurance

If you have any dependents that fall under your responsibility – children, spouse, a special needs adult – it may be time to have the life insurance policy conversation. It’s not always a pleasant thought, but it’s certainly necessary to consider if you are the primary caregiver to another person. In the event of your death or serious illness, the money needed to support loved ones comfortably in your absence can hard to come by and having a policy in place beforehand will make it easier.

At Cleary, we make sure that a life insurance policy is tailored to your specific wants or needs. The two most common types of insurance are term and whole life insurance, both of which can benefit you and your loved ones in a variety of ways.

Term Life Insurance, often regarded as the simplest and least expensive plan, provides coverage for a fixed period of time and typically may be renewed after the initial contract term expires. However, this offering does not provide savings.

On the other hand, Whole Life Insurance provides life insurance protection for as long as you live. Whole life policies also provide for the accumulation of cash value on a tax-deferred basis which can be used when you need it, to help with life’s opportunities.

Again, we know it’s not the prettiest thought, but it can be a comfort to know that the money afforded through these plans can help your family’s daily living expenses, the mortgage of your house or debts, and so on.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Renter’s Insurance

When most people think about insurance, they associate it with buying a car or home. Renter’s insurance is often overshadowed in this way. Even though renter’s insurance is not always required, it’s still important when considering the net worth of your personal items.

At Cleary, we recommend renter’s insurance so that you’re protected against the damage or loss of personal property when you rent an apartment or house and have liability protection in case any lawsuits are made against you.

For example, if someone gets hurt on your rented property, and he or she decides to sue you, renter’s insurance will likely pay for both the injured person’s medical expenses as well as a lawyer.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you consider renter’s insurance:

  1. How much would it cost to replace my belongings if they were damaged or stolen?
  2. Could I afford to replace them?
  3. Do I live in an area prone to theft or other destructive forces?
  4. Can I afford Replacement Cost* coverage over Actual Cash Value (ACV)**?

* Replacement Cost refers to the cost of replacing lost or damaged items

** ACV involves the monetary reimbursement for what the item would have been worth by an insurance company.

If you’re still having trouble deciding, contact us and we’ll give you the skinny on renter’s insurance.