Congratulations, your hard work now has paid off (finally!), and your small business is growing. As you begin to achieve even greater success, it’s time to take a closer look at what steps you must take to protect all that hard work. Here are seven business growth milestones that should trigger a call to your insurance agent.
1 – Upgraded office space
Many business owners start their business from a spare bedroom or a garage in their homes. Then, they remain in those spaces until they’re bursting at the seams or it’s time to hire an employee.
If you’ve recently upgraded to your first physical office space, your insurance needs are going to be very different.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy isn’t going to cover your business needs so you will need a separate plan called Commercial Property Insurance. This protects you from devastating losses of your equipment, inventory, and the physical building.
You will need not only to cover your bases in case of loss of equipment, but you will also need to protect your business from liability when customers visit you in your new space by obtaining General Liability Insurance.
2 – Carrying new product lines
Now that you’ve expanded and are enjoying a little more elbow room, you may be carrying a more extensive inventory of goods to sell.
Stocking all that extra merchandise in a stockroom might mean greater discounts up front when you purchased, but it also leaves you open for more significant losses.
Unforeseen events such as tragic fire or a burst pipe flooding your stockroom can leave you in the red if you’re not carrying the appropriate amount of Commercial Property Insurance.
3 – First employees onboarded
Have you onboarded your first employees or jumped from one or two employees to several because of your recent success?
Employees are essential as they allow you to work on your business rather than in your business so you can sustain growth. However, the reward of those extra hands doesn’t come without risk.
At the very minimum, you’ll need to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
4 – Attracting the best employees
It’s challenging for small businesses in super-competitive fields to attract and retain the best employees. Skilled and licensed workers have many employment opportunities.
To attract—and retain—the best of the best, you need to sweeten the pot. Part of what will attract these specialized workers to your business is the relaxed, family-like atmosphere of working for a small employer.
However, as great as that is on the surface, these employees also expect a fantastic salary and benefits package. Offering health insurance and prescription coverage as you grow is a must to remain a competitive employer.
5 – Company car
Does your business growth now require you—or your employees—to drive anywhere?
If you use your company vehicle for sending outside sales reps off to their appointments, shuffling over to the post office to send out a letter or package, or making product deliveries, the roads are a dangerous place.
A vehicle accident can be catastrophic for a small business. You could feel the financial burden of the physical loss of your company car if it’s wrecked. Additionally, you could be open to lawsuits for injuries to your employees or other drivers.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance will protect you should this unfortunate situation occur.
6 – Cyber-security
Automating processes opens you up to cyber-attacks.
Most businesses today run receivables, payroll, payables, employee data, and credit card payments electronically. That’s a lot of data that you are responsible for securing. Should a hacker break into your systems and destroy your systems or steal all that confidential data, you could be held accountable.
One underutilized, fairly new insurance product is Cyber Liability. The more data you handle digitally, the more you need to check into this coverage.
7 – Your income has increased significantly
Your diligence is paying off, and your business is earning more revenue than ever before. In the blink of an eye, you could face unexpected losses. You need Business Income Insurance to protect your business when it suffers a property loss caused by a covered peril that results in your business closing or requiring reduction.
This coverage helps you cover your bills and pays you an income should an unthinkable situation occur. Your insurance agent can guide you in choosing the proper coverages for your specific needs.
The Bottom Line
You’ve worked very hard for years to shape your business into the thriving entity it is today. Don’t let your hard work be stolen away by unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances. While you can’t predict disasters, you can prepare for them.
Carrying the right business insurance means that you will be able to bounce back if the worst case scenario does happen.