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  • Colleen Watson

5 Essential Steps to Insure Your Small Business: A Beginner's Guide

Hello friend!

Ever have forces from above (whoever you presume that to be) poop on your brilliantly planned day? Of course you have. We all know when luck sticks her tongue out at us. Fortuna, the ancient Roman Goddess of Luck, was defined as amoral. Why? Because they understood that luck never cared about your virtue or lack thereof. Everyone gets their share of both good and bad luck. We also recognize this to some degree and try to do things to mitigate it. One modern invention in this area was the creation of insurance. If you own a house or car (or both), you have some. Maybe part of the reason you stayed at your W2 job was because of the benefits, but it makes sense that crossing into entrepreneurship should include a visit to your insurance agent to make sure that you insure your small business right.

mother and son sitting on a couch having a talk with a third person

Step 1: The Talk, Continued

Before you call your agent, you need to have a conversation with your significant other(s). We spoke in the last blog post about the need for a serious talk about an in-case-of-emergency talk. Figuring out who is going to run things for you and keeping them up to date is something to regularly go on your calendar is a form of insurance. In order to ensure that this ‘insurance policy’ is as effective as it can be, you must schedule regular talks with your point person so they know the state of the business they may one day need to run.

Step 2: Review the Options

Now you need to shift to the more traditional form of insurance. What types do you already have? If you have a car or home, odds are good that you have coverage for them, but what about others? Do you count on your significant other for health insurance? Did you buy some life insurance when you had a child?  Now look at your bills and your emergency fund. How long could you keep your life and business going with the protections you have? 6 months? 2 months? A week? 

Insurance can help, as it’s designed to take over when you cannot work and can be a worthwhile addition to your monthly budget. Some types you might want to consider adding are:

  • Short-term disability/in case of illness or injury

  • Long-term disability/in case of illness or injury

  • Life insurance/in case of death

  • Extended homeowners' insurance/when you run the business from your home

  • IP insurance/to protect your product from lawsuits

  • Long-term care insurance/extended illness in old age

  • Key person insurance/backup for important employees

  • Malpractice/for certain professions

After reviewing the list, do you feel you need to add a policy or two? Let's get that going.

A weekly agenda book with a pair of glasses on top

Step 3: Make An Appointment

It’s time to make an appointment with your insurance professional, present your current and your future plans and discuss how to get the coverage you need. Look, I understand. Maybe you cannot afford everything you feel you need right away, but cover what you can, and add to it when you can. Start with your current agent. If you do not have one already, ask around. People love helping and if they love their insurance agent, you’ll want to talk to that person. Oh, and although this might seem obvious, keep the appointment. I’ve tried to talk myself out of doing things I needed to do but trust me, you’ll feel better for having done it.

Step 4: Mark Your Calendar for More Talks

Sadly, one talk with your spouse, business partner, key person and/or your adult children isn’t enough. To make sure that your beneficiaries know what is going on, you’ll need to schedule meetings periodically. If things are steady in your business, then perhaps you could meet only once a year. If, however, you’re working to grow and taking on new people or a loan for equipment, then a quarterly review is called for. But those are not the only meetings you’ll need to schedule.

Step 5: The Yearly Review

After you see your insurance professional, and I mean in the car after you get done meeting, create a reminder in your calendar to have a yearly check-in with your agent to review your coverage and where you'll add or subtract things as needed. Face it, life can change fast, and we often forget to update things as we go along. Having this talk with your agent once a year will ensure that you cover what gets added or subtracted from you life within that year. Repeat every year until retirement. 

Our lives change, sometimes joyfully and sometimes tragically, but it always changes. Making sure your plans and policies change along with them is crucial. It is a form of protection against the realities of luck’s plans for us.

Picture Credits

Polina Zimmerman on Pexels

MableAmber on Pixabay

No-longer-here on Pixabay


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