But one challenge that that often slips under the radar is unexpected occurrences that could potentially threaten your business.
You need to identify what these could be, think about how likely each potential hazard is, and how serious the impact might be, says marketing professional and owner of AP Marketing Works Ailsa Page.
Page spoke at a recent StartupSmart and Business Victoria webinar and provided SMBs with the strategies to increase your protection from the unforeseen pitfall.
Assess and manage your risks
There are a wide range of potential risks involved in any business, some obvious and others less so - but they don’t have to be threatening managed properly, says Page.
“For example, think about if you had a café and someone has received food poisoning, or if you have a shop and something happens outside of your premises, such as road works - these could have real negative impacts,” she says.
If you’re a one person business and you are injured or prevented from working, then your business will suffer. You will need to consider what you can do to either prevent it from happening, or reduce its potential impact.
“As a consultant my biggest risk is brain injury,” says Page. “I make sure I look after myself and have personal injury insurance, so if something happens to me so I still have an income coming in.”
This extends to taking precautions throughout everyday activities.
“I wear a bike helmet to protect my head and when I’m driving I get out of my car every 45 minutes to minimise health risks or the risk of a car accident,” says Page.
If you’ve not sure of the risks around your business, go to an insurance broker, a business consultant or mentor who can provide you with ideas on what might be some of the potential issues, says Page.
For example, if operating a business from your home you will still need separate business insurance - home insurance doesn’t carry over to the business, she says.
Other insurance considerations:
- Public liability: Covers situations from interactions with the public, such as damages or injury to a third party that occur on your premises as well as damages or injury resulting from showcasing your products in public.
- Product liability: If someone is injured or incurs property damage as a result of your product.
- Professional indemnity: Suitable for professionals who provide advice as a function of their business.
- Motor vehicle insurance.
- Personal injury and income protection.
- WorkSafe Injury Insurance is required if you pay, or expect to pay, more than $7500 in wages, salaries, benefits and superannuation for employees or contractors you employ apprentices or trainees.
Assessing your business with good risk management will safeguard your brand, help plan for contingencies, and ensure the longevity of the company, says Page.