Having a local insurance agent for your small business can save you a lot of time, money, and headache
In 2020, over four million new businesses were formed in the United States—a 24% increase from 2019. A new venture faces countless challenges in its early stages: hiring, inventory, advertising, making payroll, and more. Oftentimes, insuring for the unplanned and potential liabilities your business may cause doesn’t make the list of “need-to-haves,” though it should.
Business owners, especially new ones, often face three categories of risks:
- Risks that they can mitigate on their own (do-it-yourself or DIY)
- Risks for which they need outside resources to mitigate.
- Common risks faced by every business, regardless of industry.
Can you identify what would fall beneath each category? If not, that’s okay! A local, independent agent looks at risks from the perspective of the business owner. We’re familiar with the risk possibilities of any small business, such as auto accidents, theft of funds or vehicles, and commercial building fires. We also understand internal risks like fluctuations in cash flow and employees not showing up for work.
Let’s break down a few subcategories of the risks above to give you an idea of what we review with small business owners.
- Integrate safety as the highest priority. If the business isn’t operating safely, that can lead to negative feedback and poor community relations, which affect profitability.
- Keep things organized. Don’t invite clutter into business operations. For example, cramming inventory in bathrooms instead of a storeroom.
- Look for hidden costs. Review turnover and the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training.
Risks requiring outside resources:
- Leasing agreements. An attorney reviewing the contract is vital. Too often, the landlord will pass on liability that the business owner shouldn’t be taking on.
- Workers’ compensation regulations. Refer to OSHA’s website to find specific regulations.
- Assess the property. Reach out to the local fire department to have the property inspected from a building fire prevention standpoint.
Small business risks:
- Protect and check employees. If the business has employees out on the road driving, it’s vital that they are protected.
- Keep up with property. Timely inspections on the building’s roof, electrical system, and plumbing are also excellent risk mitigation steps. Better to bring in an expert sooner than when it’s too late.
- When something happens, document it. A business owner must establish a process to document problems that occur. Take time to gather evidence, take photographs, and provide video footage where possible.
While businesses want to make money as soon as possible, cuts that compromise safety should never be made. In fact, doing so might cost more in the long run. We understand the positives that business owners want to have happen, and we’re here to help mitigate the risks that might sideline their journey to growth and success. Call us for a tailored risk assessment on your business today.
BDI. Insurance advisors you can trust.