As a business owner, it is imperative to stay positive since there are a number of risks that I must take in order to be profitable. Recently, I spent several thousand dollars to submit a proposal to an organization in hopes that they would award a contract to our company for consulting services. If we win the contract, the money spent is worth the investment. If we do not win the contract, we lose our investment. As you might imagine, keeping a positive outlook can be a tremendous asset when your proposals are declined. However, as a business owner it is hard to remain optimistic when a large amount of time and effort is spent preparing for life “in the event of” catastrophe. Let me explain.
It is required by most of my contracts that I carry Error & Omissions insurance in the event that one of our consultants makes an error.
I must pay unemployment insurance fees to the state in the event that a consultant performs poorly and has to be terminated or our business earnings are lower and we have to lay-off any employees.
I am also required to purchase full-coverage auto insurance in the event that someone driving our vehicle is involved in an accident. To make sure I also receive compensation in the event that someone without insurance damages my vehicle, I also purchase uninsured motorist insurance.
Because I realize that it’s important to maintain my health (and now thanks to the government’s insistence on taking care of me), I also purchase health insurance so that in the event I get sick, I can get treated quickly.
In the event my health insurance does not do the trick, I have also purchased life insurance.
I have also purchased insurance for my office in the event that a wild tree falls or a random spark ignite the nearly 100-year old building.
The great news is that as I do better in business, these insurance costs are immaterial, right? Wrong! As the business grows, I get older, and my vehicles get newer, these insurance costs increase annually (which is also the length of the policies). Granted, if everything in the world were to go wrong in the same year, I would be covered financially. The bad news is that the more I need insurance, the costlier it becomes.
Don’t get me wrong. Being your own boss and running an organization that does things you believe in is a wonderful experience. I love to take chances and try new things. It’s just the law and our culture make it hard to remain focused on long-term winning when we are required to purchase annual insurance policies that punish short-term failure. While the financial costs are definitely an issue for small businesses, I believe the annual obligation to evaluate the cost of failure wears on many business owners and discourages them from taking chances. It took Thomas Edison more than 1,000 tries to create a functioning light bulb. Would he have given up if he had to annually purchase insurance in the event of…
If you are a business owner or someone considering business ownership, keep your head up. Despite all the people requiring you to invest in your short-term failure, there are millions of us in the world who are counting on you and want you to succeed. Chances are you will fail and it is ok. Get up, learn from your failure, and go again. Without your unique product or service, the world is boring.
If you know a business owner, encourage them. They need it. Especially, in the event of…