If you've always wanted to be a small business owner, there has never been a better time to do so, as an increasing number of Australians are riding the entrepreneurial wave and making a good income for themselves as they do so. This can be an exciting proposition and especially if you have something unusual to sell in the form of a product or service, but you have to make sure that you are prepared for anything and cover yourself against all risks. You may realise that you need business insurance in some shape or form, but you might not know just how complicated it can be. Much will depend on the type of business you start, but you cannot afford to gloss over this subject either. What should you focus on?
Risk by Risk
Anyone who sells anything to anybody needs some type of insurance, but it's true to say that if you intend to open a physical structure where customers have access, you probably face the most risk of all.
Whether you rent the building or own the freehold, you need to engage a form of insurance to protect it and all of the "stuff" within. This will include furniture, fixtures and fittings as well as your stock and you need to be able to replace everything at commercial value in the event of theft, flood or fire.
You have to think outside of the box as well and protect yourself against totally unforeseen risks, such as an inability to access the premises due to a third-party problem. This will require business interruption insurance, so you can cover everyday bills while this issue remains.
You will need good quality staff in order to help grow your business, and under Australian law, you are responsible for their safety. Of course, you cannot always have eyes in the back of your head and cannot foresee every situation, so you will need workers' compensation insurance to make up for this. You may also need errors and omissions insurance should any member of your management make a foolhardy decision that has implications elsewhere.
Businesses that are open to the public should limit their exposure in the event of a significant problem. If somebody enters your premises, falls and becomes injured then this insurance will cover it. You will also be protected if anyone or anything linked to your organisation causes damage to a third-party property.
Many small businesses today operate as a consultancy, where they provide advice in one form or another to other parties. Remember, if these people take action as a result of your advice and it proves to be erroneous, you could face a lawsuit and should consider introducing professional liability coverage to help.
Touching the Surface
While these are the keynote insurance categories, there are very many others that could be relevant in your case. Always consult with an insurance broker before you open your doors so that you mitigate your risk.