Life has been difficult since the recession hit. Even something as routine as an overdraft has become difficult, bigger loans are impossible without adequate security. Then customers and clients have been cutting back on their discretionary spending. Yet overheads continue increasing, none the least being insurance premiums. So this creates pressure to review the insurance portfolio to confirm exactly what is covered and decide whether it’s still good value for money. When money is tight, it focuses the mind on the nature of the risks you are prepared to run without full cover.
As you sit at work, watching how the different tasks are performed, it’s not unusual to think of a way in which one particular task might be made easier or safer. If inspiration does strike you, what should you do about it? The first problem is your contract of employment. Most have a standard clause that requires you to hand over the intellectual property rights of anything you develop as an employee.
Following the 2005 hurricanes that rocked Louisiana, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the tsunami in Japan, many businesses shut down because of flood damage. Of course, they might not have had to, had they had better insurance.
If we’ve learned anything from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it’s that disaster can strike at any moment. Of course, we should have learned that from the hurricanes that hit Louisiana, and the earthquake in Haiti, and any number of catastrophes that strike very regularly on this earth. Yes, it is hard to prepare for natural disasters. However, there is one thing that is tremendously clear coming out of these things: having the right insurance is absolutely essential.
When you start your own small business it requires a lot of effort, dedication and a clear vision of what you want to do about it. And as you’re precise about your goals the same level of perception is required when discussing the possible risks your business can face.
When you decide to insure your business in Texas there are a lot of questions that pop into your head as a business owner, especially if you’re just starting out. Things can be quite confusing and you risk making a lot of mistakes that you’ll regret later on. However, there are some questions you can ask yourself in order to make the right insurance decisions for your business and keep everything covered to the right extent:
With the recession, there’s something quite strange happening to established businesses. Ten tears ago when our labor was expensive and China and india were cheap, there was a move to outsource all the major work to China and India. Now the recession has hit our industries and China has grown more expensive, our industries are discovering it may now be cheaper to bring the work back. There’s just one problem. Most of the people with the right skills have now grown older and moved away. It’s a challenge to find enough people to work the machines again.
Even some of the biggest and best branded products we now take for granted, started out being produced in garages and spare bedrooms. Unless you have the money to buy separate business premises from day 1, most people do most of their planning at home. When it comes to running a service, many people are based at home and travel out to meet customers. Even simple manufacturing can be done at home, whether it’s baking cakes and cookies in the kitchen, making designer clothes or some other low impact activity.
We live in cynical times so perhaps we should not be surprised when judges criticize businessmen for not taking legal advice. Judges want to encourage a smooth flow of work to those still in private practice. Warning people of the dangers of relying on nonprofessionals makes “good” business for everyone. So let’s apply this to insurance and be as honest as possible. Insurance companies stopped acting like charities long ago. They are run by directors with their eyes firmly on the bottom line so they want to collect the maximum possible in premium installments and pay out the least possible in claims.
This week in May has been National Small Business Week as our country does its best to honor the entrepreneurs who are trying to pull us out of recession. Except this event has not exactly made the headlines. Instead our newspapers and magazines have been concentrating on poor employment numbers, house prices continuing to fall, and LinkedIn demonstrating the continuing bubble in tech stocks. This has been the trend for the last few years. Big businesses grab the headlines and, although politicians say they have the interests of small business to heart, there’s no one on Capitol Hill to speak for small business interests. The money is not there to pay for the lobbying to give them the priority they deserve. Why do they deserve priority?