In good times and bad, business owners typically reach out to their lawyers and/or accountants. Although these are both knowledgeable trusted advisors, it’s the business insurance agent that truly has your back.
Business Insurance Agents are More Than Brokers
The business start-up checklist can be long and always includes insurance. Business insurance agents are the place to turn to make sure your business is covered. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship, or at least it should be.
Business insurance agents, especially independent agents, spend their time focusing on you and your business. A good agent does more listening than talking, so they understand what makes your business unique. They even come up with ideas that may not have occurred to you yet. This is a great foundation, and you should keep the conversation going as your business changes, either for the better or worse.
Add Your Business Insurance Agent to Your Trusted Advisor List
A successful business insurance agency has experience working with many different businesses. Although every business is unique to a degree, each industry has its known issues that are common to all businesses in that industry, and your independent agent should be familiar with them.
As your business grows, you’ll inevitably encounter something that’s new to you. For example, hiring employees for the first time, negotiating a contract to buy or merge with another business, or creating sales forecasts for seasonal work. These scenarios typically involve lawyers and accountants and should also include your business insurance agent.
The paperwork and compliance with hiring your first employee can be overwhelming. Business purchase and merger contracts can make anyone’s head spin! And forecasting sales in a seasonal business includes cash flow, inventory levels, and possibly employee layoffs. All these may be new to you, but it’s “been there, done that,” to your business insurance agent. Use their knowledge to better understand your situation so you’re more educated during the conversations with your lawyer and accountant.
Things Your Business Agent May Know Before You Do
Same thing, different day. Business trends can be cyclical, both in industries and geographies. Business insurance agents keep an eye on these trends as they’ve seen previous ramifications. Agencies with longevity have literally lived through what you are about to face and will help you stay on top of it.
For example, a dramatic weather change can affect certain industries, driving up the price of some goods. Obviously, it will affect the bottom line of businesses purchasing those goods, so a phone call to the accountant is going to happen. However, it also increases the value of the goods, and if your business buys in bulk, you may need to also increase your insurance limits. Time to call your business insurance agent.
Business insurance agents have not only witnessed but participated in countless business scenarios, with countless variables. This means they know the mistakes other businesses have made and can steer you out of danger.
A Real Business Partner
Your business insurance agent is at your side whenever you need them. The value of working with an independent agent is that their loyalty is to you, not a specific insurance company. You don’t want your agent trying to fit your business into their policy, you want your agent finding the right policy for your business.
They want to see your business succeed, already know most of the obstacles you’ll face, and are ready and willing to help you through them. So the next time you grab your phone to call your lawyer or accountant, make sure you call your business insurance agent first!