July 15, 2003 Issue #12


IN THIS ISSUE

  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Solving the health insurance dilemma
  • Last 2 weeks of summer special!
  • REVIEW: How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less
  • FREE DOWNLOAD: Anti-virus scan
  • Write to us / pass it along / article reprints

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Solving the health insurance dilemma

Near the top of the list of concerns in nearly every survey of small business owners is health insurance. Expensive premiums eat into profits and coverage often does not meet the needs of the insured.. Many choose to do without health insurance. Others carry just the bare minimum.

The inability to have a good health insurance plan creates a number of problems that go beyond the risk of a serious illness or injury wiping out your ability to do business and eating up your financial resources. Small businesses with no health coverage find it harder to hire qualified people which can have a profound impact on their ability to succeed. If they do have small group coverage, they have to be careful about hiring only healthy people lest their premiums are increased. Premiums also go up for older workers in most cases. So employers are faced with having to defy age and handicap discrimination laws to protect their health insurance coverage.

Solutions to this problem are not easy. Small businesses with employees often cannot afford to pay high premiums. Small group plans frequently offer no relief because of high prices and stringent clauses prohibiting coverage for “pre-existing” conditions. Just sorting through what each plan will and will not cover takes the intelligence of an Einstein and the patience of a saint.

Some entrepreneurs, especially “sole practitioners” and those just starting a business, can solve this dilemma by taking a part time job with health benefits. These jobs are not easy to find but there are a few industries - such as banking - that rely on good part-time employees and offer some benefits. While this solution limits the time that you can devote to developing your business, it will give you a chance to get off the ground before you have to shoulder this expense yourself.

Another option is to take advantage of a spouse’s coverage. If you have this available, it is probably the best option.

There are a number of organizations that cater to small businesses. They often offer benefits that are sometimes comparable to those enjoyed by employees at major corporations. Some also offer workers’ compensation management programs, retirement benefits, discounted business services, training, and other benefits. Many lobby on behalf of small business. Several organizations that specialize in meeting the needs of smaller businesses are listed below.

Be sure to also check out any trade organizations that you might already belong to. Many of them also offer health insurance options.

Don’t forget to check your local Chamber of Commerce. Many offer group health care plans and other benefits. To find one in your area, go to http://www.uschamber.com

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NOTE: Business Odyssey does not endorse any of the organizations or insurance plans listed in this article. This information is provided to give the reader an opportunity to evaluate a variety of programs and make an appropriate selection that meets their specific needs.


Last 2 weeks of summer special!

If you have plans to spruce up your marketing materials or launch a prospecting program this fall, you can save 20% by starting that project NOW! There are just 2 more weeks remaining in this special offer.

Start your project by July 31 and get the first hour free and 20% off our standard hourly fee for 5 or more additional hours.

Call 216/221-8970 today if you are thinking about ~ Newsletters. Brochures. Prospecting programs. Follow-up marketing programs. Business & marketing plans. Business coaching. Strategic planning . Market research. Special projects. In-house strategic planning or marketing retreats & seminars.

REVIEW: How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less

So many people I talk to avoid networking events because they are intimidated and don’t feel that they can establish the connections that they need. I’m embarrassed to admit that I am one of these people even though I often tell my students and clients (and myself) that one of their most powerful tools is networking.

Over the years, I have forced myself to attend various group meetings and have developed a strategy for “surviving” them. It usually involves making a beeline for the food and asking anyone standing nearby “What do you think is in this stuff?” This is an ice breaker but, needless to say, not much business gets transacted that way.

Well, there is a better way. Nicholas Boothman, in his book How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less not only lays out a very useable strategy but also explains the reasons why we behave the way that we do in our interactions with people.

For example, he explains that each person takes in the world through different senses. If we want to connect with them, we must figure out which sense each person favors. Boothman explains exactly how to make that determination and how to adapt our behavior accordingly.

He also explains ~ • Why the word “because” is a powerful motivator and how to use it to increase your “yes” response from people • That the brain is programmed to respond to positive messages and how to use that fact in connecting with people • How to identify personality types by observing not only what people say and how they say it but also by noting their behavior and how they dress • How to deliver messages in the most effective way possible

According to Boothman, making subtle adaptations to another’s communication style can help you establish an instant rapport, engender trust, and elicit communication. This skill can have an impact on all phases of business - supervising employees, getting a new job, landing new customers, solving problems, gaining consensus.

The book is well-organized and easy to read. Boothman peppers his theories with real life examples that illuminate the lessons and keep things lively. Succinct summaries are provided at the end of each chapter for quick review.

If you find networking an uncomfortable experience, or if you just want to get more out of your encounters with people - personally or professionally - check out How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less at your local library or at Amazon. For a direct link to Amazon, go here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=businessodyss-20&path=tg/detail/-/0761125957/qid%3D1058458800/sr%3D1-1


Happy Independence Day

Summer has finally begun, I think. Even though the temperature is more like April than June. At any rate, I hope that you all take time to enjoy our all-too-brief summer.

Because of the July 4th holiday, there will be no July 1 Odyssey Chronicle. Our next issue will be in mid July. Until then, have a great summer.


Write to us; pass it along; reprint articles

If you have questions, comments or an idea for an article you would like to see in The Chronicle, please drop us a line at info@businessodyssey.com.

Feel free to pass this newsletter along to anyone you think might find it of interest. If you do, be sure to forward it in its entirety and include the copyright notice.

To use an article in your own publication, just send me an e-mail telling me which article you want to use. I will e-mail you the complete article with an information block which MUST be included.


Copyright 2003 Kathleen Thompson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Business Odyssey

Cleveland, Ohio

www.businessodyssey.com