When owning a business there is always the possibility of getting sued, so it is important, as an owner, to protect yourself as best as possible. Here are five tips to help keep you and your business safe against being sued:

  1. Watch what you do and say, this could be used against you. This means owners and their employees should not make any public announcement that may be questionable.
  2. Hire a knowledgeable attorney. There are several good resources to help you find the right attorney including professional references.
  3. Separate yourself from your business so that way if your business is sued, your personal assets could be attacked or attached in a court of law.
  4. Insure your business with the correct amount and kind of insurance in case of any accidents.
  5. Protect your files with correct security software (if on the computer); have back up files in case the others are lost for some reason, and additional safeties depending on where you live and the risk of hurricanes or other natural disasters.

Most people build their business from nothing, so it is important to protect it because of all of the work you put into it. By following these tips your business should be safe if a lawsuit occurs.

You have your business plan created and you are to the part where you need to get a website URL but the first one you wanted is already being used, how do you know where to go from here? Well don’t get too upset, here are some tips to picking your perfect URL:

  1. Keep it simple and sweet. Your domain name is your best advertising sound bite.
  2. Avoid numbers. People could be confused by numbers. For example, if you use “4” in shirts4you.com, this would lead to explanation for some people.
  3. Avoid the same letters that end one word and start the next. For example, ceasarssalads.com, it makes it more difficult for people to enter the name into the browser.
  4. Try to get the “.com” name instead of “.net, .org, .biz, etc.”
  5. Register other domain names. If you purchase a .com name, check to see if the .org is available as well & then register it!

The internet is a great form of marketing, so you want to make sure that your audience can view your page easily. Increasing your number of domains is a great way to get more people to your site.

Do you want to go out on the town but feel bad leaving your furry companion at home? Well you can do both, below is a list of 17 summer fun activities that you and your dogs can enjoy together:

  • Visit a vineyard, most welcome the dogs, just call ahead of time to ask.
  • Find an outdoor movie at local parks.
  • Pick a beautiful day and take some pictures of or with your pup.
  • Road trip!
  • Treat your companion to a homemade treat.
  • Check with local SPCA’s or other pet places to do a class with your dog.
  • Go on a camping trip with your pup, KOA and Jellystone are dog-friendly but not all are so, check ahead of time.
  • Hiking with your dog will keep you both fit and happy.
  • Many towns and cities will have doggie events; so, keep a calendar of when these are.
  • Soak up the rays with your pup at the beach. Don’t forget the Frisbee!
  • Dog dock flying. Go see dogs (and even enter your dog) compete to see who can jump to longest or highest distance into a pool or lake.
  • Doggie’s need spa days too. Pick a day to pamper your pup.
  • Kiddie pools are great to keep dogs entertained.
  • Dog days baseball games!
  • Check out a new neighborhood with your pup, your dog is sure to have its sniffer on the whole time.

These are just a few of the many activities that your can partake in with your pup, remember to keep an eye out in the newspaper and pet stores for local doggie and pet friendly events.

I recently became aware of a TNR program that had a volunteer allegedly place a trap on private property and when the volunteer was confronted on this by the owner of the property, the property owner alleges the volunteer became verbally abusive, intimidating and pushed him.  As a result the organization may suffer a lawsuit.  What are other TNR programs doing to reduce or eliminate this exposure that can result from volunteers placing traps?

Every human has different survival mechanisms and everyone acts differently when they get hurt, some want to have someone close to them and others feel apprehensive to having strangers help them. This is the same for animals. When you see a hurt animal, you need to remember some tips to keep the pet, loved ones, and yourself safe:

  • Approach the injured or ill pet vigilantly, even if it’s your own pet.
  • Don’t do anything that may startle the pet, such as loud or sudden movements and noises.
  • If required, use towels or blankets to control cats or small dogs.
  • Keep your veterinarian’s number and address handy somewhere in your home.
  • Keep a number and address for an after-hours veterinary clinic, and try your best to call the clinic before you leave or on your way.

Although we all hope this never happens, it does not hurt to be prepared. And remember, you can have the sweetest pet in the world but when it’s hurt, you still need to be cautious, after all, when we’re hurt, we are vulnerable and wary of others.

Do you have a dream of starting a nonprofit but aren’t quite sure where to start? Well, good for you! Taking your time is definitely a better choice than just jumping into opening a nonprofit. To help you get started here are a few tips:

  1. Do your research on the type of nonprofit you dream of. This should be something you are passionate about.
  2. Develop a business plan. You can find sample of a nonprofit business plan online in our Nonprofit Research Center.
  3. Make sure the legal requirements are taken care of before starting your nonprofit.
  4. Develop a fundraising plan that will bring in more money than is takes to do the fundraiser.
  5. Build an efficient board. The board is responsible for keeping you on track with your mission, helps you to protect your funds, and provides a great deal of expertise that you will need.

Starting a nonprofit may seem frustrating but these tips may help ease the frustration and get you to open your dream nonprofit.

Is your emergency/disaster plan up to date for your assisted living facility? If not, your facility could be at a major risk and if an emergency or disaster arises, you will not be prepared. Preparedness is essential to helping your residents in these stressful times.  Your plan should include preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery instructions for all natural and man-made disaster possibilities. Think of these questions and many more when creating your emergency/disaster plans:

  • Is all essential resource information regularly reviewed and updated for your staff and community?
  • If your facility has a generator, does it adequately address power loss for all building services?
  • Do you have an emergency shelter where you, your staff, and the community can be self-sufficient for at least seventy-two hours? (food, hydration, sanitation, keeping cool and warm)
  • Does the facility regularly conduct drills and exercises?
  • Are your residents health considered under stressful situations like these?

What questions would you add to this critical list? Post them here!

Overcoming Challenges

May 4, 2012

Life is filled with obstacles and challenges that seem impossible for us to endure. Every individual has their own unique challenges to overcome. We could either sit back and let those challenges walk all over us or we can strive to take down these challenges. Here’s some insight for overcoming those challenges:

  1. Change your perception. Instead of thinking of it as a task, think of it as an opportunity.
  2. Welcome change. You need to embrace change to feel a better sense of fulfillment.
  3. Expand your vision. You need to understand what the challenge is teaching and giving you.
  4. Declare your power. If you were in a battle you wouldn’t just stand there and let your opponent win, you would fight.
  5. Remember your dreams. This will give you confidence to get over your challenge because a dream is envisioning something you love and a challenge is something you envision as well.

All of this is much easier said than done of course, so, if you can’t talk yourself into doing a challenge then do it for someone you love and adore like your child.

Meet Lita Horvath!

May 1, 2012

Lita Horvath brings over 19 years of experience to the AWOIP team with a positive, happy attitude. Some of Lita’s hobbies include spending time with her four dogs and her parrot, visiting her coffee club in the mornings before work, and participating in her religion. Others would describe Lita as a fun, happy, and giving person with a smile for everyone.