Everything in life carries with it some kind of risk. That’s true of taking your dog for a walk, and it’s true of owning a business. Small businesses, such as tree services, are more vulnerable to risks because they often don’t have the resources to recover from them. That’s why having insurance for your tree business is crucial. And the same is true with all other types of small businesses. If the unthinkable does happen, your business will be able to survive and move forward. Here are 10 of the most common risks that small businesses face, some of which you may not have realized.
Your property where you run your business is crucial to its success. Maybe it’s a storefront out of which you operate, or it could be the place where you manufacture your product. If your property is damaged, you could have serious trouble getting it refurbished, repaired, or even rebuilt. Commercial property damage can protect you from this risk by compensating you for your losses and getting you back to work again.
Injury Liability Risks
Injuries can happen at any time, and in just about any place. A client could slip on your carpet, or on the ice outside your front door. Or, one of your workers might run over their foot with a rolling ladder or a shopping cart. Whatever the cause, you could be held liable for the medical bills if they are injured. You need general liability to protect your business in these cases. If you have a retail business, make sure to have retail insurance, or if you run yoga classes, be sure to have yoga insurance. This will ensure that you are protected against the relevant risks for your specific business.
Injured or Sick Workers
If you have employees, then there is a high likelihood that at some point someone will be injured or get sick while on the job. When this happens, you will be responsible for their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. Workers’ compensation insurance will provide you with compensation for these costs.
Small businesses are often targets of fraudsters who think they don’t have the resources to protect themselves. You can add crime insurance to your policy in case you are a victim and find yourself at a financial loss as a result of fraud. This can include losses from cybercrimes, or even from an employee who steals money from the till.
Business Interruption Risks
If you are suddenly unable to operate your business as normal, then you could be facing massive financial losses. This can happen, for example, if a natural disaster damages your place of work and makes it unsafe. The right insurance will make sure that you can recover some of those losses and be able to hit the ground running when you are able to open again.
For a small business, the reputation of your brand is everything. If something negative comes out about your business, you could find yourself losing clients fast. It’s never been easier for someone to post anything they want about any business or person. It can get shared widely within minutes, and the damage is already done at that point. Make sure that you monitor social media for any talk about your business and that you manage negative reviews and issues as quickly and effectively as possible.
Contracts and Legal Risks
Let’s face it, we are all human, and you might sign a contract after missing something in the fine print. As a result, you could be faced with legal action from the other party in the contract. The right insurance will ensure that your legal costs are covered if this ever happens to you. In some cases, terminating contracts legally might be the best solution to avoid legal disputes, and having the right insurance coverage can also help mitigate the costs involved in such situations.
Automobile and Vehicle Risk
There are millions of accidents on the road every year, and many of those involve commercial vehicles. If you have a fleet, or even just one vehicle, then there will probably come a time when you need your insurance to cover damage or injury caused by your vehicles while conducting business on your behalf.
Data Breach Risks
Everything is digital now, and so much of our data is stored on servers and in the cloud. If you handle sensitive information, including that of your employees, you could be vulnerable to a cyberattack that accesses it. Make sure to have a strong security culture in your workplace so that everyone takes care to protect that important data.
Employee Legal Action Risks
Unfortunately, you could also be subject to legal action from your employees. They may feel that you have committed harassment of some kind, failed to pay them wages they were owed or terminated them unjustly. Make sure that you work with HR professionals to keep your workplace safe for everyone and to protect yourself.
As you can see, owning a small business comes with a lot of risks. However, it can definitely be worth the reward. Just make sure that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your staff, and your clients and you will be fine.