SMEs & Sheds

Whilst listening to the radio today, I heard the DJ read out an email from a guy who said he was self-employed and for that reason, couldn’t afford to miss out on a day’s work and so was busy working in his home garden shed office, whilst unfortunately having to listen to families all around having a thoroughly good time.

So, yes, he has to work on holidays and probably has no fixed pattern of working and most likely does a lot more hours in the average week than someone who has a salaried position and contracted working hours. Of course, I don’t know what type of business he’s in, so I can’t be sure about this, but I wouldn’t mind betting he won’t have to be up with the lark tomorrow morning and slogging along a  motorway or trying to get a seat on a train on his way to an office.

All those of us who run our own businesses are only too aware that it’s something of a trade off – lots more freedom in exchange for losing financial certainty and probably having unpredictable hours too. It’s fair to say that most business owners do in fact work very hard and may (I only said may!) have to work harder than those who answer to a boss in an employed position.

It’s also true that there are a lot of businesses starting up right now as people are made redundant, particularly from public sector jobs and this is probably a trend which will continue. It was great to see in today’s “i paper” that a DHL survey shows that 61% of SMEs (small to medium enterprises) are optimistic about the economic recovery. It is precisely this attitude which will pull us out of the current problems.

But you know there is something that still worries me and I see it all the time. It is absolutely essential for business owners to make sure that they protect themselves against the risks they face. Why on earth would you work so hard to develop your business and then risk losing it all because you were not adequately insured? I’ll bet the same people wouldn’t even contemplate buying an expensive new car and then failing to obtain comprehensive cover.

Not purchasing the right insurance policies is a false economy which can all too easily lead to complete disaster. It’s probably even worse than failing to advertise your business (if that’s possible!).  Even if you haven’t got premises or stock, you still need to be covered against the risk of a claim being made for a laibility you might incur due to causing damage or through faulty workmanship. Even a virtual business can incur a claim through, say, a breach of copyright or a misstatement. There’s all sorts of other things to consider, including Commercial Vehicle insurance, Commercial Property and Professional Liability. It’s impossible to say exactly what any one business or even those in any one trade, profession or business sector might need without having a full understanding of who they are, what they do and how they do it.

A chat and a review with a good insurance broker is just so important. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste – get protected. We would be very happy to discuss all your business insurance needs with you – just give us a call.

And next weekend, try to make time to enjoy the holidays!

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