Taking basic steps now will allow you to focus on working and growing your business.
Owning and operating a business can be incredibly rewarding and risky. The time to discover that is not amidst a crisis. It is just as prudent to take steps to mitigate those risks as planning for growth; providing more security to your business, your employees, your family, and your own retirement.
While it seems an avoidable expense when things are going well, putting the right protections in place will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your business.
You are the heart and soul of your business. You are the business! While it is rewarding to feel that way, what does that mean if you could not work? What if you got sick, injured, or worse? Or maybe it’s not you, but a key talent on your team? It is not a safe idea to have the success of your business depend solely or predominantly on one person, even when that person is you. Sometimes as a sole proprietor, it might be unavoidable, but you still take steps to mitigate the impact.
A number of measures can help, such as succession planning, cross training, and third party options. There are also insurance coverage options, such as key man insurance, health, accident, and life insurance. Make regular consultations with your insurance advisors part of your business cycle.
Are you considering taking on a partner or shareholder? There is more to consider than their upfront investment. Consider what happens when they want or need to leave? Putting an agreement into place when everything is going smoothly that addresses these scenarios can make transition much less stressful. Your wealth advisor and lawyer will help you through the process.
You can do all the planning, training, double checking, and audits; but alas, mistakes happen. This is one more potential pitfall to address upfront to help you sleep better at night.
The type of business you are in will help determine the appropriate liability coverage. Professional Liability insurance will cover—you guessed it—professional services. Most any business will want to consider commercial general liability. The types of mistakes it covers are anything from hitting a customer’s car in your parking lot, to an employee leaving the water running in a customer’s home, to claims arising from advertising, and more. Your insurance advisor will help customize coverage to your business.
How are you supposed to plan for the unplanned?
You don’t. You get insurance.
Okay, so that is planning for the unplanned. We do it personally and you need to do it for your business. Whether it’s a flood, fire, or tornado, be sure you have sufficient coverage to sustain your business after disaster hits.
Depending on the nature of your business and where you live, this is also an area that sometimes people go overboard on. There is a good level. Know the value of your business, your buildings, your equipment, and outstanding receivables always. Then consider the likelihood of a disaster. Talk to your insurance advisor to get the right type and level of coverage for you.