Advertising
Advertising

10 Reasons You Should Have Business Insurance

10 Reasons You Should Have Business Insurance

Every business is different, and therefore the insurance needs of every business are notably different. However, there are practical rules about the general insurance needs of a business.

The Small Business Administration devotes several pages to advising business owners on the types of insurance they can purchase, and suggests that, at a bare minimum, small businesses of varying legal structures should carry liability insurance.

4129417663_425f8b78ee_z

    So what does the term “business insurance” cover? While there are a wide variety of types of insurance that fall under this designation, the SBA defines it as insurance that “protects your investment by minimizing financial risks associated with unexpected events such as a death of a partner, an injured employee, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster.”

    Advertising

    Business insurance offers a spectrum of coverage that includes protection for liability issues, property loss, vehicle use, fidelity (such as bonding), workers’ compensation, business interruption insurance, and key person insurance, as well as other less well known options. Here are 10 reasons for you to get business insurance coverage today:

    1. You can’t protect yourself from lawsuits happening.

    You have great clients. In fact, your clients are the best in the world and they would never sue you. If this mindset sounds familiar to you, you may be erroneously reaching the conclusion that you don’t need business insurance. Lawsuits have many causes and effects. Unfortunately litigation is often used strategically to protect or identify liability.

    If the work you do for a client is a part of a larger contract, your client might be obligated to sue you in order to eliminate their liability. In other words, your client may have no other legal option than to initiate a lawsuit against you. Without proper insurance, you might find yourself paying hefty legal fees to defend yourself.

    2. You have substantial investments in equipment, property, or inventory.

    Most businesses require some sort of infrastructure to keep them moving. A boutique retail location might need significant tenant upgrades or investment in merchandise. A graphic designer or photographer might invest heavily in equipment or technology. A carpenter or artisanal chef will probably have considerable financial investment in necessary tools of the trade. A business insurance policy offers protections that a personal insurance policy will not and may protect your business in case of theft, damage, or other disasters. This type of coverage ensures that your business can replace or repair property in a timely manner.

    Advertising

    3. You have contracts with your clients.

    Many business owners believe that their contracts are so solid and ironclad that courts of law will be avoided completely. Unfortunately, even arbitration can require costly legal representation or advisement. While responsible business owners will continue to depend on contracts as a method to delineate expectations and agreed-upon outputs, contracts do not solve every conceivable problem. Complications happen and sometimes lawsuits are unavoidable. Business insurance may includes errors and omissions insurance to protect your company in times of need.

    4. You had business insurance, but let it lapse.

    Due to other priorities, you let your coverage lapse. Gaps in coverage are almost bad as no coverage at all. Insurance works best when there are no gaps in coverage. While your efforts and expertise contribute to your success, the reality is that there are too many variables you don’t and can’t control. Insurance protects your business when and if those factors go sideways.

    5. You have employees depending on you.

    Once you have employees, your responsibilities become more substantial and there are types of insurance that your business is legally obligated to obtain, including, in most states, workers’ compensations insurance. There are other forms of insurance available to businesses that can protect your employees’ livelihood such as liability insurance, which can offer financial protection by making payment on a judgement, removing the financial burden from the company’s concern.

    6. Your business model depends heavily on the experience or knowledge of one person.

    Just when you think that insurance offerings could not get any more diverse, you discover key person insurance. This insurance provides assistance if a key employee (such as you as the business owner) becomes ill, injured, or deceased. This insurance product protects the business while the key person recuperates or in the event a search for a successor becomes necessary.

    Advertising

    7. You don’t think you have enough assets to make it worthwhile.

    In the case of sole proprietorship or even a corporation — this business structure may not completely shield personal assets — you may be on the hook for judgments against your business and those findings can follow and hinder you until they are paid or discharged. Even with limited assets, a determined assignee could wreak havoc on your credit, making it difficult to begin anew.

    8. You want peace of mind.

    You’re a pretty lucky person and you don’t live in a part of the country where disasters are likely to hit. Unfortunately, wishful thinking does not provide as much coverage as a real plan. There are many factors outside of your control and the best way to assure peace of mind is to take responsible action. An experienced agent can help you discern what is vital and essential for the longevity of your business.

    9. You want to reduce your business risk.

    The main problem with this mentality is that accidents happen. There is simply no way to prevent every possible permutation of calamity from occurring. While an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure, the best prevention can be to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Then instead of pouring energy into avoiding the unforeseeable, you can divert that energy into building your business.

    10. You are considering securing a loan for your business.

    Your company is ready for expansion, but you hit an obstacle when you apply for the business loan that will help you build your venture. Your lender either balks at your business loan application or wants to charge your company an unwarranted interest rate due to your lack of business insurance coverage. Business insurance is an established way of managing risk and demonstrates to lenders that you value protecting your investment over saving a few dollars.

    Advertising

    As you can see, there are ample reasons to invest in business insurance. Simply wanting to protect what you’ve built and invested in should be reason enough.

    Featured Photo Credit: EDMONTON ALBERTA STREETCAR ADVERTISING PLACARD 1926 —PIC 1 by Jerry “Woody” via Flickr

    Featured photo credit: A Better Business/Jo Jakeman via flickr.com

    More by this author

    10 Reasons You Should Have Business Insurance

    Trending in Entrepreneur

    1 How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs 2 How to Become an Entrepreneur (Advice from a Serial Entrepreneur) 3 30 Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Make an Impact 4 How to Learn Business as an Aspiring Entrepreneur 5 How to Start a Small Business That Thrives (From the Ground Up)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

    How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

    Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

    To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

    1. Digital Savviness

    As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

    Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

    Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

    For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

    How to Develop This Skill

    For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

    From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

    Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

    2. Financial Forecasting

    Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

    Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

    Advertising

    However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

    Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

    3. Video Production Skills

    The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

    If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

    In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

    • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
    • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
    • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

    4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

    As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

    Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

    Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

    Advertising

    5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

    Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

    Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

    For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

    Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

    6. Honing Pitches to Investors

    Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

    The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

    You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

    Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

    7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

    In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

    Advertising

    Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

    8. Automating to Your Advantage

    The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

    Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

    9. Managing Millennials

    Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

    In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

    Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

    A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

    Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

    Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

    Advertising

    Offer Constructive Feedback

    Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

    Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

    10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

    Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

    By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

    Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

    As the African proverb goes:

    “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

    Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

    More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

    Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next