Tips for Starting a Business as a Woman

How to launch your own company.smiling business woman

With International Women’s Day right around the corner, you may be feeling inspired and motivated to get your business off the ground.  To help you launch your own business, here are some of the suggestions you should keep in mind.

  • Focus on Marketing

While many start-ups do not have the budget to launch major marketing campaigns, you should still do whatever you can to announce your business’s presence.  When money is a concern, it’s best to focus on quality rather than quantity.  By creating specific marketing materials and distributing them to your target audience, you can make the most of your small marketing budget.

  • Outsource to Address Your Weaknesses

Many entrepreneurs try to handle everything on their own.  However, this isn’t reasonable or sustainable.  One of the first things that new business owners should learn is how to delegate and outsource.  By hiring other people to handle things you aren’t good at, you can save yourself time, effort, and avoid serious mistakes.

  • Focus on Customer Service

When your business is small, you can’t realistically think of competing with big-name, national corporations.  However, there are some advantages to being a smaller operation.  By being responsive, polite, and ready to go the extra mile, you can attract a base of loyal customers.  This can help you generate a stable income that will help your business grow and succeed.

These are some of the suggestions that female entrepreneurs should keep in mind when launching their own business.  Remember, your business cannot get off the ground without comprehensive commercial insurance.  For assistance with all your business insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Helping Your Teen Get Out of an Unhealthy Relationship

Helping your child escape a bad relationship.sad teen curled up in corner of dark room

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  As the name suggests, this month is all about educating teens to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, and offering them the support to get out of this toxic situation.  As a parent, the idea of your child in an unhealthy relationship is terrifying, and you want to do everything in your power to help them.  If you suspect that your teen is in a harmful relationship, here are some of the ways that you can help.

  • Listen and Offer Non-Judgmental Support

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get your teen to talk about a bad relationship.  The best way to get them to open up is by offering gentle support without judgment.  If your teen does want to talk, then be a good listener.  Do not interrupt to offer advice or make accusations.  Let your teen lead the conversation and only offer insight when prompted.  Of course, if your teen is in immediate danger, then contact the necessary authorities or emergency services.

  • Don’t Impose Ultimatums

As a parent, you may have to resist the urge to order your teen to break up with their abusive partner.  While you are doing this out of concern, your teen may see this as interfering and shut you out again.  For a breakup to be successful, your teen needs to want it for themselves.  While it will be difficult, you have to accept the situation and trust that your child knows how to manage it.  Continue to offer support until your teen can find the strength to walk away.

  • Create a Safety Plan

Having a plan of action can help your teen feel safer and can empower them to break up with a toxic partner.  If your teen seeks your help, then ask them which steps they would like to take and discuss ways that they can accomplish this.  If your teen is not comfortable discussing a safety plan with you, then help them find the support they need.  Encourage them to speak to a trusted friend or counselor to help them with this process.

These are some of the things to keep in mind when helping your teen through an unhealthy relationship.  Want another way to take care of your children?  Then make sure they are protected with the right insurance.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

How to Can Manage Work-Related Stress

Try out these stress-management tips at work.employee looking stressed at work

For most people, work stress is an unavoidable part of life.  Unfortunately, constant stress can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health.  To protect yourself from the negative effects of stress, try out these stress-management strategies at work.

  • Take a Time Out

Everyone has moments where their job feels too overwhelming.  If you notice yourself starting to get panicked, then it’s important that you take a moment to calm yourself down and assess the situation rationally.  Momentarily step away from the stressful situation and take a bathroom break, have something to eat, or simply clear your mind.  Once you feel your anxiety ebb away, revisit the issue that is triggering your stress.  Now that you are calmer, you will have an easier time thinking of productive ways to deal with the problem.

  • Delegate

Having too many responsibilities on your plate can be stressful, even for the most efficient employee.  If you find yourself overwhelmed with work, you need to think about things rationally.  Rather than attempting to handle everything on your own, think about the tasks that you can pass on to a co-worker or subordinate.  Once you have taken some of the smaller things off your schedule, you can handle the remaining tasks more carefully and efficiently.

  • Be Flexible

No one wants to hear that they have a major assignment due in a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, getting hit with last-minute assignments is often part of the job.  Rather than wasting time lamenting the unfairness of it all, it’s best to accept the situation and start thinking about how you will complete things in the given time frame.  By being flexible and making things work, you can keep a cool head and earn the respect of your peers and superiors.

These are some of the things that you can do to manage work-related stress.  Are you looking for another way to reduce your stress?  Then turn to the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Service for the easy insurance experience that you deserve.  Our experts are ready to help you get the coverage that you need today.

Protect Yourself While Using Public Wi-Fi

Safety suggestions for connecting to public W-Fi networks.student on phone

While you might not think twice about connecting to the Wi-Fi at your local café, it’s important to remember that using public Wi-Fi networks are can be risky.  To ensure that you protect yourself, make sure you employ these public Wi-Fi safety tips.

  • Moderate Your Actions While on Public Wi-Fi

When you are using public Wi-Fi networks, scrolling through social media and watching YouTube videos is pretty harmless.  However, you should avoid activities that require you to insert payment information, access password-protected accounts, or deal with your sensitive data.  These online activities should be saved for when you are at home and can use your own private, protected network.

  • Use Secure Connections

Another way to stay safe while on public Wi-Fi networks is by only browsing sites that have an “https” URL.  Https sites are encrypted while the normal http ones are not.  In other words, https sites offer an extra layer of security that protects your data and keeps you hidden from hackers and online criminals.

  • Activate Two-Factor Authentication

Many websites now offer users the option to take extra security steps to prove their identity before accessing the site or the user’s personal account.  For instance, before accessing your Facebook account, the site will ask for your password before emailing or texting you an additional code that you need to enter before allowing you to log in.  While activating this extra step takes more time, the extra security is worth it in the end.

These are some of the things that you should do to protect yourself while using public Wi-Fi networks.  Are you looking for another way to protect yourself?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Protecting Your Pets This Summer

Keeping your furry friends safe this summer.dog sticking head out the window

Now that summer weather is here, you are probably excited to go out and enjoy the warm weather with your pets.  However, it’s important to remember that summer poses certain risks to your four-legged friends.  Here are some of the safety suggestions that you should keep in mind to protect your pets this season.

Know the Signs of Overheating

Cats and dogs can get overheated if they are exposed to direct sunlight or are running around in high temperatures for extended periods of time.  If your pets are playing outside, it’s important that you keep an eye out for potential signs of heat exhaustion.  Your cat’s temperature should be between 100.4° to 102.5°, while your dog should range between 100° and 103°.  Early signs of overheating include the following:

  • Heavy panting
  • Dry or bright red gums
  • Thick drool
  • Diarrhea
  • Wobbly legs

If you notice any of these signs, bring your pet inside or move them to the shade.  Offer them a drink and lay a damp towel over their body to bring their temperature down.  Avoid putting your pet in cool water as this could put them into shock.

Never Leave Your Pet in the Car

If you are taking your pet with you as you run errands, it’s vital that you do not leave them alone in an unventilated car.  As a car can heat up to over 100° in a matter of minutes, you should not leave them even for a short amount of time.  Even if you leave your car running with the air turned on, there’s no telling what might happen.  Your battery could die, leaving your poor pet to suffer and potentially die.  So, either plan of taking your pet with you everywhere or leave them at home.

Apply Sunscreen

While surprising, it’s true that pets can get a sunburn.  This is especially common with breeds that have short, or light-colored hair.  If you are planning to spend the day out with your pet, then make sure that you protect them with sunscreens that are specially formulated for pets.  Reapply every 3-4 hours (more frequently if your pet gets wet) and focus the sunscreen in less furry spots like their stomachs, ears, and nose.

Here are some of the summer pet safety tips that you should keep in mind.  Want another way to protect your pets and other loved ones?  Then secure the right personal insurance coverages.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Happy Holidays from Miller Carlisle Insurance Services

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.Happy Holidays from Miller Carlisle Insurance Services

With the holidays finally here, we at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services would like to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season. Of course, being safe is extremely important this time of year. As experts in risk management and insurance, we know exactly how to keep our clients safe from all the risks they face. Try out these safety tips to protect the people and things that matter most to you this holiday season.

Fire Safety

  • If you want to light up your fireplace this winter, make sure you are taking all the necessary safety measures. Please refer to our blog “Winter Fireplace and Chimney Care” for some helpful safety tips.
  • Do not use real candles to decorate your home; having lit candles increases your home’s risk for fire significantly. Instead, try using electric or flameless candles to decorate.
  • If you want to decorate your home with lights, make sure you inspect each light for damages. Discard any strings of light with broken bulbs, frayed cords, or exposed wires, as they pose a fire risk for your home.
  • When cooking, never leave your stove or oven unattended while they are switched on.

Traveling Safety

  • Before you set out on a winter road trip, make sure you have your car inspected by a professional. This will reduce your chances of breaking down in the midst of your journey.
  • Check the weather conditions you will encounter on your drive. Then, make sure your car is properly equipped to deal with these conditions. For instance, if you are expected to encounter snow, make sure your car is equipped with winter tires, snow chains, and heavy-duty windshield wipers.
  • During your drive you are sure to encounter drivers who are behaving unsafely. Do not engage with these drivers or react in a fit of rage. Instead, do your best to avoid them and drive defensively when you are near them.

Home Security Safety

  • If you are going to be away during the holidays, keep your plans under wraps. You do not want to advertise that your home will be uninhabited for days at a time.
  • While you are gone, hire a house sitter or ask a friend to collect your mail and check on your home every day. This will reduce your chances of a break-in while you are gone.
  • Another way to protect against a home invasion is by installing a home security system.

These are some of the safety tips we urge you to take this holiday season. Want another way to stay safe? Make sure you have the right personal insurance protections in place. For assistance will all your coverage needs, contact us at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Smart Hacks for Defrosting Your Car’s Windshield

Here are some of the tips you should try to defrost your windshield this winter.Smart Hacks for Defrosting Your Car’s Windshield

If you cannot keep your car inside this winter, you will have to deal with a fresh layer of frost or ice on your windshield every morning. While this is annoying, having a clear windshield is essential for safe driving. To ensure you drive safely this winter, here are some of the suggestions you should try to quickly and effectively remove ice and frost from your car’s windshield.

1) Ice Scraper

Using an ice scraper is the most tried and true ice removal method. Most scrapers feature a scraper to remove thick sheets of ice while the opposite end features a soft brush that you can use to clear away snow. Make sure you use each side for their respective jobs to avoid scratches on your glass or paint.

2) De-Icing Fluid

If the scraping method is too time-consuming, you can facilitate the process by using a chemical de-icer. While you can purchase this liquid at your local auto or hardware store, you can also make your own with ingredients you already have in your home. To make your own de-icer, combine one part water with two parts isopropyl alcohol. Spray this mixture onto your windshield and the ice should simply melt away.

3) Warm Water

If the ice on your car is particularly stubborn, you can pour warm water onto your windshield to melt it down slightly. However, you need to be very careful if you are using this method. Applying water that’s too hot could cause your glass to shatter. Be cautious and only use water that is lukewarm at its hottest.

These are some of the suggestions you should try to quickly and effectively de-ice your car’s windshield this winter. Want another way to drive safety this season? Make sure you have the right auto insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.