3 Smart Ways to Handle the Unexpected

by Laurie Hayes

A lengthy illness, accident or unexpected death could mean the collapse of your business. Although you can never be one hundred percent certain you've covered every contingency, here are three simple steps you can take today to give yourself the best protection possible.

This week I've been tied up in discussions with lawyers, accountants, investment advisors and insurance agents making sure every "i" is dotted and "t" is crossed as far as protecting my financial interests and business are concerned.

Over the years, things change and if you've recently left your job to run your home-based business, or if there has been significant growth or change, it's important to make sure your personal and business protection reflects those changes.

One of the biggest concerns in running a home business, however, is preparing for unexpected events. These three smart ways home business owners protect themselves will give you a good place to start and should add to your peace of mind.

Get Proper Insurance
If you were to take ill and not be able to work for three months, would you still have money coming in to your business? If you went one month without earnings, what would this mean to you?

There are various types of insurance for home-based businesses and the best action you could take on this matter is to speak with a professional who can help you determine what type of insurance would best serve you.

Requirements will vary from country-to-country and state-to-state, so this is why speaking with a professional is so important. Some insurance companies require you to be in business for at least three years so they can see your historical earnings in order to estimate future earnings.

If you're in your first two years of business and cannot get insurance, there are alternate ways to protect yourself. Again, this is where a professional can give you invaluable advice.



Aside from covering your financial needs, you may also need to explore added liability insurance if your customers visit your home, product liability insurance if one of your products fails and a customer files a claim, malpractice insurance (even dog groomers and hair stylists need this!) and so on.

Make Sure Your Will is Up to Date
None of us knows when our number is up. We may be here today and gone tomorrow. I don't mean to be so blunt, however this is a reality of life.

By investing a couple of hours of your time and approximately $275, you can have your family fully protected in the event of your passing. Neglecting this critical responsibility can tear the rug right out from under your loved ones and leave them destitute.

Do you know what would happen to your business in the event of your passing if you haven't assigned it to someone in your will? If you don't, find out today.

Have an Operations Manual
Even a short-term absence on your part could mean serious harm to your business. By having an operations manual with important contact information, banking access, policies, procedures and other important operational data, someone can step into your shoes and keep things running until you're back in the saddle.

Something as simple as a common cold can put you out of commission for several days and if appointments are missed and customers are neglected, you may realize the effects in lost sales and ended relationships. Having someone who can simply access your operations manual, check your appointment list and reschedule appointments if necessary can mean the difference between a lost customer and a loyal one.

These three simple action steps require a small investment of your time and money, but can mean the difference between success and failure of your business and protection or hardship for your loved ones.

Copyright 2007, Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source

About the Author:
Laurie Hayes, founder and visionary behind The HBB Source helps government and corporate employees break free of their jobs to live their dream of entrepreneurship. http://www.thehbbsource.com

 
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