We know fall kicks off the busy season for entrepreneurs and small business owners. That's why we focused this edition on benefits that can help as you are "on-the-go."
Staying on top of the latest developments or ideas, as well as communicating them, are both critical to the success of any small business. In our Business section, we've highlighted a newer education medium, Podcasts, and the ones worth listening to, as well as starting a podcast for your small business. And we've noted some free Apps for organizing your favorite podcasts. There is also a section dedicated to helping you prepare your small business for disaster as we are deep in the hurricane season.
Find out how to stay healthy in the busy life of an entrepreneur in the Health & Lifestyle section. There are even ideas on how to prepare meals and the types of fast-food lunches that can help you stay true to your health goals.
This edition highlights Teladoc, a virtual telemedicine benefit found on many AWA membership plans. Designed to help you when your doctor isn't available or while you are traveling, Teladoc can help with non-emergency issues. Brush up on your dental care with an AWA Dental membership plan too. Learn more in the AWA Benefits section.
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Telemedicine at Your Fingertips
For AWA memberships that include Teladoc, telemedicine can help when your doctor is not available or after hours, as well as during vacations or businesses trips, for non-emergency medical issues like cold/flu, allergies, sinus problems, ear infections and more.
The first step to using your AWA Teladoc benefit is creating an account and completing a personal health questionnaire. Only 1% of our AWA members with a Teladoc telemedicine benefit have completed this important first step. On the registration page, when asked "Do you have a Teladoc ID?" - select No. Then select "My employer or insurance provider offers me access to Teladoc." Then enter PHSDOC under "Who is your employer or insurance provider?" If your membership is eligible for Teladoc, you will be able to continue registration.
It only takes a few minutes of your time to provide all the details needed, so that when you are sick, you can get help right away through the Teladoc network of physicians.
Once your account is set up, you can now download and activate the Teladoc Mobile App with these easy steps:
- Answer no to "Did you receive a username or promo code?"
- Enter "PHSDOC" when you see "Do you have Teladoc through your Organization?"
- Fill in any additional profile details.
- Create a unique Login ID and Password.
- Review Teladoc's Terms and Conditions and Select "Sign Me Up."
Teladoc's Mobile App offers the ultimate convenience when you need a US Board Certified physician at a moment's notice. Visit www.teladoc.com to get started today!
Brush Up on Your Dental Health
Don't let your oral healthcare get brushed aside. With AWA Dental 1000, AWA Dental 1500 or AWA Dental Plus, AWA members have access to dental care options that were created to provide flexibility at a great price point and designed to meet a specific lifestyle need.
AWA Dental 1000 & 1500 are fixed indemnity plans that pay for services and procedures based on a schedule of benefits, so you can know exactly what the plan will pay before you visit the dentist.
AWA Dental Plus is a fully insured plan that uses a graduating scale of benefit percentages that increase over a period of three years. AWA Dental Plus also includes an orthodontic benefit for dependent children to age 19.
If you are interested in adding a membership plan that features AWA Dental, please call (855) 351-7536.
Preparing Your Small Business for Disaster
Last summer, many small businesses were dealing with the aftermath of a major catastrophic event with three big hurricanes striking within a short time frame - Harvey, Irma and Maria. This summer, Hurricane Michael and others have caused problems. Preparing for natural disasters, as well as other unexpected events is critical and may mean the difference between going out of business and running a successful one. Sign up for a Ready Business Workshop and learn about the following ways to prepare:
- Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
- Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
- Gather information about hazards and assess risks
- Conduct a business impact analysis
- Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
Your preparedness plans should include:
- Resource management
- Emergency response
- Crisis communications
- Business continuity
- Information technology
- Employee assistance
- Incident management
Testing and Exercises
- Test and evaluate your plan
- Define different types of exercises
- Learn how to conduct exercises
- Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
- Identify when the preparedness plan needs to be reviewed or updated
- Discover methods to evaluate your plan
- Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements
If You Have Been Affected by Disaster
The Small Business Administration offers disaster loan assistance through two loan programs. One helps to fund repairs of actual physical damages with interest rates not exceeding 4 percent and terms up to 30 years. The second one is for economic impacts, which apply to expenses normally covered before the disaster struck. Loan amounts are up to $2 million. Also, be proactive and let your lender know about the situation. Most of the time, they will work with you on deferring payments, as well as waive fees while your business is recovering.
Sources: Ready.gov, Forbes.com
Podcasts With a Purpose
Relevant, timely content at your fingertips. Small Business experts sharing ideas. Learning while you drive or travel.
Podcasts are increasingly becoming the go-to for content. A recent Google Trends keyword review shows that searches for podcasts have now surpassed searches for blogs. Apple devices have a free app, as does Google Play.
Podcasts Worth a Listen
What Works - Small Business Podcast with Tara Gentile
Provides firsthand insights into what really works for small business owners through interviews on marketing, hiring techniques, business models and more.
Interviews with entrepreneurs about their business journeys and updates on the latest business development news.
Budget and Cents
Addressing how to get the money needed to start your business.
Starting a Podcast for Your Small Business
- Identify the goals you want to achieve through your podcast. Whether it is growing your business, increasing your audience or making money, your content should reflect your goals.
- Make sure you have a content calendar that can support a new podcast every week. If you aren't posting regularly, you risk becoming irrelevant.
- Choose a name that reveals your company's voice and the type of topics you will be covering.
- Use the right technology for the best listening experience. Podcasts require a microphone, microphone stand, compressor, USB box, headphones and a big mixer if you have guests using separate microphones. With podcasting software like Adobe Audition, you will be able to record, mix your sounds, design sound effects and more.
- To host and post your podcasts, consider Libsyn - a publishing service that will provide links for sharing, as well as providing analytics on your performance.
Stitcher – Provides a clean, user-friendly interface to help build a playlist of your favorite shows, find new podcasts and connect with friends that use Stitcher to see what they're listening to.
Spreaker – This podcast tool includes channels that create a stream of episodes from different podcasts that all delve into a specific theme like entrepreneurs, comedy, U.S. news and more.
Overcast - Uses a simple, basic design that makes it easy to see your current podcast list, as well as search for new podcasts based on categories.
Podbean – Presents recommendations, top episodes, featured shows and other categories front and center; playback controls; and a setting to auto-download new episodes of your favorites.
Staying Healthy While Entrepreneur-ing
Entrepreneurs work crazy hours - often extended hours throughout the week - trying to get a new venture up and running and successful. Your health and well-being usually take a back seat to the priorities of a new business.
Here are some ways to easily focus on your health and still be a dynamo entrepreneur.
Don't routinely sacrifice sleep - try to get at least 7 hours consecutively - otherwise you may find yourself overeating, unproductive and unhappy. Use a smart alarm clock to help wake up during your lightest phase of sleep. Options like the SleepCycle app or an alarm clock that uses a gradually brightening light will help you wake up when your body is more naturally ready. Cut back on light at night, particularly the blue light that emanates from your smart device.
Prepare to Eat
Grabbing fast food or junk food when you are pressed for time is a common stumbling block to staying healthy. The key to healthy eating when under a time crunch is preparation. Schedule one or two times a week where you can prepare 4-10 meals and refrigerate them for quick access. Be sure to add plenty of water in your diet, especially as you feel your energy start to lag. But don't substitute soda, alcohol or juice for hydration - these liquid calories will hinder your fitness goals.
Work Out to Improve Health
It's easy to sacrifice a workout when you get too busy, but it's important to squeeze them into your schedule during a convenient time. Keep workouts short, intense and infrequent to benefit your overall health. Be sure to work out on an empty stomach and pick a time when physical and mental energy will be high.
By improving your sleeping, eating and exercising habits, you will have more energy and be more productive. Prioritizing your health can be critical to the success of your entrepreneurship.
Options for Healthy Eating
Speedy, Yet Healthy Breakfasts
Option 1: 2 eggs scrambled in half a tablespoon of organic butter, 2 pan-fried chicken sausages, a handful of mixed nuts, carrots and celery sticks.
Option 2: Omelet with 3 eggs, 2 slices of chopped ham, mushrooms, peppers and tomato. Made with a tablespoon of organic butter.
Option 3: One packet of pre-cooked lentils, one handful of mixed nuts, and 2 cups of mixed vegetables stir-fried in coconut oil.
Lunch Options When Eating Out
Subway Chopped Salad: Get your sandwich fix without the bread. To optimize nutrients, get meat, cheese and all the veggies you want, but only one fatty additive like oil, ranch or avocado.
Chipotle Salad: Get beans, but skip the rice, and choose only one added fat: avocado, cheese or sour cream.
McDonalds (and most other fast-food places): Opt for a salad, but use only half the dressing provided, and skip the croutons.
A good rule of thumb for most restaurants: Pick a steak or salmon with roasted vegetables. Try to avoid carbs like bread, rice or tortillas.
Pre-Cooked Meal Options
Meat and veggie stir-fry: One pound of meat and one pound of mixed vegetables of your choice, stir-fried in butter or coconut oil. Makes four servings.
Pot roast: Put two pounds of vegetables and two pounds of meat in a slow-cooker. Add a few sweet potatoes or a can of beans for variety. Makes eight servings.
Meat and vegetable soup: Chop up a pound of meat and boil it in a pre-made broth (either pre-packaged or made earlier). Once boiled, turn down to a simmer and add a pound of vegetables. Optionally, add two sweet potatoes or a can of beans. Makes four servings.