How to Protect Your Small Business
Many people associate business openings with elegant red ribbons, oversized scissors, and corked bottles of champagne, but few recognize the challenges that business owners face leading up to these celebratory moments. You have to obtain business licenses, hire a staff, get insurance, and make sure your business is operating in compliance with various state and federal business regulations in order to protect yourself and your business.
In this post, we’re telling business owners everything they need to know about looking after their business— from buying insurance policies to implementing an HR program.
What kind of insurance do I need?
There are so many types of insurance in both the personal and professional sphere, that many people find themselves wondering where to start, what kind of coverage they need, and how much all this is going to cost them.
For small businesses, the reality is that it’s generally better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting yourself and your assets. What this means for you is that you’ll likely want to opt for a few different insurance coverage plans so that you’re prepared in the event of a natural disaster, accident, or loss.
Business owners can get covered with a single insurance provider like Mitchell International, or choose to go through individual vendors based on their needs. Depending on the type of business you run, you might need more or less coverage, but here are a few major policies that apply to most small businesses.
General liability insurance
General liability insurance is one of the most common and most important types of insurance plans for businesses. General liability helps cover you and your company in the event that someone experiences bodily injury or damage to property in connection with your business’ products or operations. For example, liability insurance may cover a fire caused by a production incident, or other legal issues such as copyright infringement.
Even if you don’t own the space your business uses, you should consider investing in property insurance. Property insurance protects you as the business owner, as well as the property in case it is damaged by a natural event or suffers losses due to theft. Unfortunately, insurance can’t cover every instance. Generally, earthquakes and floods are not covered by property insurance, so it’s important to take other precautions to protect your business. A disaster preparedness kit for businesses is a great start.
If you have anyone in your company driving your vehicle or any company vehicles, auto insurance is a must in order to protect yourself, your employers, and other drivers out on the road.
If your company handles sensitive information such as medical records, financial information, or employee details, you will want to be sure you’re protected in case any data is compromised in connection with your business.
In addition to insuring your company, you should also consider taking preventative measures by using an antivirus and internet security service such as Norton.
Worker’s compensation insurance
Whether your company works in hazardous conditions or not, it’s generally a good idea to invest in worker’s compensation insurance so that you and your employees are taken care of in the event of a workplace accident.
How should I handle HR?
Having a strong human resources department is a huge part of protecting your small business and your employees. HR departments are the ones who handle a lot of the most sensitive workplace issues and topics such as conflict resolution, payroll, and employee satisfaction.
You can hire an HR team internally as part of your payroll or you can hire an outsourced organization such as Justworks to ensure your business is operating in compliance with employment regulations in your area.
Sometimes, employee issues just escalate no matter how many conflict resolution sessions you impose. In the event that your business faces a more serious HR issue, you may need to hire an employment lawyer to address the problem with your business’ best interests in mind.
Being a small business owner isn’t easy, and there are a lot of steps you need to take to keep your assets and integrity safe. Follow these insurance and HR best practices to ensure your business has a prosperous and compliant future!