Biggest Challenges To a Small Business

Owning and operating a small business can be a fulfilling experience. Years of hard work, risk-taking and financial investments have allowed you to turn your dreams of opening a business of your own into a reality. However, many business owners don’t realize how many exposures they must address to keep their business operating smoothly.

Depending on the specific type of business you manage, there are a number of exposures to consider, including risks related to property and merchandise damage, general and product liability, crime and business continuity. The list below provides an overview of these retail industry risks and more—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and small business insurance programs.

Small Business

Protect All of Your Business Property

As a business owner, you’ve invested your own money into your building, signage, merchandise and equipment. Just one incident involving any of this property can significantly impact your business’s chances for survival. In fact,property exposures in retail operations can come from many sources, including natural disasters and extreme weather (e.g., lightning and torrential rain), customers, employees and vandalism.

Keep All of Your Business Equipment Maintained

Retail stores depend on functioning equipment to service their customers effectively. In the face of an equipment breakdown (e.g., a power outage occurs or your point of sale system goes down), retail operations can experience business interruptions or even prolonged closures. Specifically, a business owner’s computer, mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems all have the potential to break down, causing major disruptions that can impact your reputation and bottom line.

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The Challenge of Crime

Crime can be a challenge for small business, especially as they are the target for a variety of different types of scams. Business owners can have product stolen or damaged by shoplifters. In addition, criminals can easily steal money through robberies, money fraud (e.g., using illegal methods to pay for goods), checkout fraud (e.g., swapping bar codes), refund fraud (e.g., returning a stolen item for cash or credit) and online scams.

Keep Your Business Safe From Falls and Injuries

Because of the high number of individuals entering and exiting your small business, property liability exposures are significant and, when injuries occur at your business, you could be held responsible. Accidents related to slips, trips, falls, equipment and unauthorized access to your building are common and major sources of concern. Something as simple as a wet floor or an uneven surface can lead to costly insurance claims following an incident.

Any time one of your employees is injured on the job, your business could be subjected to expensive workers’ compensation claims. Common sources of on-the-job accidents for retail operations include slips, trips, falls, musculoskeletal injuries caused by repetitive tasks, sprains and strains. Normal, everyday tasks related to stocking shelves, unloading product and climbing ladders can all lead to accidents and, in turn, increased costs for your business.

What You Sell Matters

Your customers expect you to have safe and reliable products, and failing to meet these expectations can lead to huge financial losses. If one of the products you sell harms a customer in any way, they can sue your business, leading to costly legal fees and settlements. These costs can easily reach six figures, making product liability a major concern for retail owners. While you may do everything in your power to ensure your products (e.g., goods, medicines and foods) are safe, mishaps can still occur without warning.

Keep Your Business Open

Continuity is critical in business, and there are few things more important than continuous revenue and cash flow, particularly for small to medium-sized organizations. In fact, just one brief business interruption can be incredibly costly for a retail store, often leading to serious reputational damages or long-term closures. Common interruptions for retail operations can include natural disasters, fires, product recalls, cyber events, staff shortages and supplier issues.

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Cyber Crime is Hard on Small Business

Retail operations are a common target for cyber criminals, as these businesses often process a high volume of credit and debit card information. In addition, employees who are improperly trained on computer and data safety could put your organization at risk to ransomware, viruses, phishing scams and malware.

Depending on the services your store offers, employees may be required to operate a vehicle on behalf of your business, creating automobile exposures in the process. While important for daily operations, the improper use of a vehicle can lead to potential accidents and major insurance claims.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive small business insurance quote!

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