Starting up your own company is a highly risky business. Becoming self-reliant, with the pressure to generate a steady income, and frequently all the exposure to problems resting solely on your own shoulders. This is the life that entrepreneurs sign up for, in exchange for reaping the rewards when things go successfully. Many of us don’t like to consider the alternative – and while it’s only right to keep the power of positive thinking on your side, it’s also worth considering how to insulate yourself from the worst of the consequences should things go wrong.
There are plenty of areas where it can be tempting to cut corners – time and money are at a premium, and you’re being pulled in so many new directions – but mark a day out of the calendar to really consider risk prevention for your small business. Not only will this cover you in the eventuality that something goes wrong, but it will also give you the peace of mind to concentrate fully on growing your business without any niggling doubts. Here’s the main points that you need to consider:
Professional Liability Insurance
Running a business means dealing with others – offering them a service or goods, which may have the potential to go wrong through no fault of your own. Having professional liability insurance is a prerequisite in some industries where you are dealing directly with members of the public, but may also be worth considering for any business.
Honest mistakes can and do happen, things go wrong, and a costly lawsuit defending a negligence claim – however erroneous – can easily consume your finances and end up shutting your business down, even if you aren’t in the wrong. A customised policy will address the concerns that you face and provide backing for you to do business, safe in the knowledge that you are covered should the unexpected happen.
Comprehensive Health Insurance
This is one thing that many fledgling solo traders discard as an expense – a fully comprehensive set of health policies. But when you are self-reliant, it’s madness not to have these in place. You are the engine of your business – so if you develop health complications, the whole thing falls apart. You cannot run the business, offer service to clients and take care of all the many daily tasks if your health is suffering, or you are ignoring persistent problems believing that you’re too busy.
Your health cannot take a backseat when you’re self-employed. Put in place a full set of cover, from general medical insurance to Dental Implant Insurance as dictated by your own specific health conditions and requirements, and you don’t have to worry about being hit with a huge bill, or avoiding treatment and making things worse in the long run. You are your own most important resource, and you must look after yourself.
If you are using your personal vehicle for business – client visits, going to trade shows, visiting suppliers – then you need to insure that car against accident or breakdown. Don’t be tempted to cut corners with third-party cover only – a comprehensive policy will serve you far better and cover the eventuality of any accidents. If you are using your wheels to deliver goods or services, the vehicle will need to be registered for business use rather than SDC (social, domestic, commuting) as it won’t be covered otherwise.
Interruption of Service
Unforeseen events which mean you cannot deliver on contracts can be a huge potential source of stress for small business owners. The loss of income can be absolutely huge, and there is potential for costly disputes with clients or customers if you are unable to deliver. Business Interruption Insurance means that you can breathe easier if life throws you some curveballs.
The type of cover you will need depends upon your individual set up – for example, if you have physical stores which may be affected by natural disaster, preventing trade from that location. Even if you work from home, events such as a spouse becoming seriously ill can prevent you delivering services and is largely out of your control. Covering yourself against these eventualities could mean shielding your company from major financial loss.