Running any business is really hard! I know this first hand because I have my own insurance business and my wife recently started an online baby shop. Stressful? You bet ya!
In my opinion, small business owners have the toughest job in the world. Trying to juggle everything without too many resources at your disposal, is the really tricky bit. Add to this the continuous stress and strain of trying to make enough money to make ends meet and you have a real challenge on your hands. I tip my hat to anyone who’s started and runs a small business. With so many crucial, quick decisions a small business owner needs to make and so little time on their hands to make those decisions, who do they place their insurance business with? It is after all a critical decision.
I have a wonderful client who owns a small Interior Decorating Business. What I really enjoy about her is the fact that she is passionate about what she does and is extremely creative. But Janet is a big picture type of gal and isn’t really fussed with the detail.
I love that personality type, don’t you? Stay focused on the big picture and shoot for the stars!
But while I firmly believe you need a clear vision if you are going to succeed in business, sometimes the devil is in detail.
And trust me when I tell you than Insurance is all about the detail.
As a small business owner, you’ve probably entered into a commercial insurance policy with an insurer. Perhaps it’s a small policy which only includes insuring your car and laptop. It doesn’t matter, it’s still a contract.
Your policy contract is full of detail. It details your responsibilities as the insured, the insurer’s responsibilities, the types of cover you enjoy, the applicable excesses you will need to pay at claim stage, the security requirements that need to be in place before you can claim.
The list goes on and on and on.
Now don’t get me wrong. Insurers are not trying to trip you up or find ways not to pay, but they do expect you to know the detail in the contract you have entered into.
And that’s the biggest problem. Small business owners generally don’t have a lot of time for detail.
“Brendan, I don’t have time to spend hours and hours looking through an insurance contract I really don’t understand in the first place. I have a business to run.”
How many times have a heard that?
Ok, I get that. But if you don’t have the time or inclination to look at things like insurance contracts and to make sure that you are insured correctly, perhaps you should outsource that to a professional. Get someone else to take responsibility for that.
Up until two years ago my partner and I handled absolutely everything in our business partnership. I mean everything. The problem was that we were being stretched and starting focusing on things that weren’t necessarily making us money. Non-core business functions. One of those non-core business functions was the accounting within our business. It was obviously important but it became onerous and helluva time consuming.
Guess what. We outsourced it and it was the best thing we could have done.
Now we pay a professional to handle our book keeping and to deal with SARS on our behalf. We trust her to do the job, she charges us a fair rate for the work and we have saved a bundle of time. Oh, and now we have a little piece of mind that the work is also being done correctly.
My client Janet has also recognized that she can’t be an expert at everything.
She knows her business, doesn’t like boring contract details and that’s why she has a relationship with me. When it comes to insurance and financial planning matters, I am her go-to-guy.
She understands the importance of being insured correctly, but would rather give the responsibility to a professional, reliable, honest 3rd party. That’s me.
It’s my job to make sure that all the right insurance bits and pieces are in place.
And I’m accountable. You better believe it.
When Janet’s car is involved in an accident, I’m on speed dial. When she moved into her new showroom and needed someone to look at the lease agreement she had signed, I’m on call. When she needed some to pop around to the showroom to have a look at the risk, I was available to drop in with fresh coffee and a box of muffins for her staff ( I figured she hadn’t had a chance to have breakfast that morning)
So that’s my point. As a business owner you have a lot to lose. More than most!
Perhaps you’ve borrowed some start-up capital to get your dream moving in the right direction. You cannot make mistakes with insurance, so don’t try and be everything. Focus on what you do well and surround yourself with quality people to handle the rest.
One of those people is an expert insurance and financial planning specialist.
Remember the devil is in insurance detail, don’t let your business go to hell and back because you failed to recognize that perhaps you needed professional advice.
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Until next time.
The InsuranceFundi Team