Minimise bad business debts: Here’s how

Bad money management – regardless of whether you’re at fault – can leave you wondering where it all went so wrong. Taking precautionary measures ahead of time is the best way to avoid debt becoming an issue down the line.

1. Credit checks

Before getting a new client, credit checks are a relatively simple and quick way to assess their ability to pay you.

While it isn’t particularly well known, Australian companies can access a company or individual’s credit history. Extensive real-time information and databases can be viewed through Equifax’s Business Credit Express or Illion Express.

When it comes to verifying information about a business you are considering working with, ASIC Business Checks app is the place to go.

2. Invoice properly

How can you be sure you’re sending out invoices correctly? A great source is the Australian government website, which details how to create an invoice, what you need to include, the different types of invoices and similar.

Equally as important as knowing how to invoice is keeping solid records of what invoices have been paid. SMEs across Australia are collectively owed $26 billion, and nearly three-quarters of all business invoices are paid late.

Selling products on a credit basis exposes businesses to even more risk. And if enough customers fail to pay, this could significantly impact your business’ ability to operate. One way to protect against this is trade credit insurance, which could prevent your business from grinding to a halt as you wait for payments.

3. Debt recovery

Resolving enduring payment issues through debt recovery is usually a situation you would rather avoid. But by following an effective process, you can hopefully achieve a good outcome sooner.

The first step – as advised on the Australian Government’s Business website – is reviewing the terms of your contract and the stipulated payment conditions. Then send an initial friendly reminder and several follow ups, which eventually lead to a formal letter of demand.

If you reach this point and all efforts have failed, you may want to contact a debt collection agency or service. This is usually a last resort, as it will often lead to a breakdown in the relationship between your business and the involved client.

4. Scam alert

For some time scammers have been impersonating businesses, sometimes claiming that clients must pay a recent invoice into a new bank account. The account is that of the scammer, which leaves the business and client out of pocket.

Preventing these incidents can be difficult, but relies on maintaining good relations with your clients. They need to be well informed on how your business operates – specifically that you will never change your payment details via email.

With technology becoming a fundamental part of how many businesses operate and a rapid increase in digital scams, many organisations find peace of mind in cyber insurance.

5. Insurance options

While there are plenty of preventative measures that can be taken, there is always still some level of risk when operating your business.

Inadequate cash flow and debts could hold your business growth back and even lead to insolvency. Insurance protects against this, so you can get the financial support you need when you need it most.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance adviser.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

The shift to working from home: What you need to know

The number of employees working from home – and expecting to have flexible work options in the future – has been accelerated by the pandemic.

For many, being forced to adjust to working from home has been a challenge. But it has also given them a new perspective on what remote work – even for a day or two during the workweek – could look like for them. 

When working from home, employees have found they can often achieve a better work-life balance. Not to mention, the added benefit of avoiding the morning rush and a long commute into the office.

What are the implications for businesses though and how do they need to change to accommodate this shift?

Should your employees have the option to work from home?

An employer will usually set up an office space in a way that protects the physical and emotional health of employees. When employees work from home, this can’t necessarily be done to the same extent. There are different risks involved, which means reviewing your insurance coverage is a must.

Under fair work arrangements, some Australian employees can only be denied flexible work options if their employer has reasonable business grounds. Even if it is not mandatory, work from home can still be a viable option that greatly benefits your business.

  • Stanford University research endorses the idea employees who work from home are often more productive than when they’re working in the office – even though they are unsupervised. They are also said to be happier and this makes them less likely to quit.
  • Flexible work arrangements demonstrate that as an employer you are not only receptive to the needs of your employees, but that you also have trust in them and their capabilities. This breeds greater satisfaction and loyalty.

In some situations though, work from home isn’t a plausible option, whether that’s because of the nature of the employee’s work or the actual individual. This is why it’s important to take into account factors like:

  • The level of supervision required
  • The cost of setting up a safe work environment in the employee’s home
  • The amount of teamwork their role requires and whether it can be done remotely
  • If the employee has demonstrated their ability to work autonomously
  • If the employee’s role requires access to equipment that could not be transported to their home for use

Health concerns

When you think about employees working from home, occupational health and safety is often one of the first concerns to come to mind. As an employer, even when staff work remotely, you bear the same responsibility as in the office.

Before employees start working from home, meeting OHS standards needs to be a top priority. This starts with completing a safety assessment, where you look at the environments staff work in and consider manual tasks they carry out, tripping and falling hazards, electrical safety and similar. The findings then form the basis of a formal agreement with the employee that details preventative measures.

When employees work from home, it can become more difficult for employers to gauge their emotional wellbeing. Signs that a staff member is struggling with their workload, workplace bullying, job satisfaction or stress may be less obvious when you’re not regularly seeing them throughout the work day.

Property and equipment

Typical business equipment – like mobiles and laptops – is usually covered under general property insurance. It can be useful to keep track of the equipment each employee has with an inventory. There are some caveats to take into account:

  • Monetary limits in your policy
  • An employee’s property isn’t usually covered by your business insurance
  • Loss of company information on an employee’s personal computer often isn’t covered
  • If damage is caused to an employee’s home or property while they are working, this likely won’t be covered by your business insurance

Insurance considerations

There are three main insurance considerations when employees are working from home.

  • Injury to an employee: even when employees aren’t working on your premises, as an employer you need to provide a safe work environment. Under workers compensation insurance, physical or psychological injury are both claimable. This insurance is compulsory, but you need to ensure your level of cover is suitable.
  • Injury to a customer: as a part of their role, some employees continue to see customers while working from home. If this is the case, you need the required level of public liability insurance. While it’s compulsory, policies will vary and you need to ensure you have the appropriate level of cover for your situation.
  • Safety of property and equipment

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries about your cover, get in touch with your insurance adviser. We can work with you to make sure you get the appropriate level of protection.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Does your business have sufficient cover for flood?

Does your business have sufficient cover for flood?

When La Nina hit in March, thousands of New South Wales and southeast Queensland residents were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses.

While heavy rain was anticipated, the true impact of the flooding that followed had an all too real impact on local communities in Eastern Australia. 

Recovery efforts are underway, but for many getting back to ‘life as normal’ still feels like it won’t be until well into the future – particularly those that don’t have flood cover to fall back on. 

It has been nearly a decade since a standard definition of flood was adopted to assist insurers and consumers in the aftermath of the 2011 Brisbane floods. Yet confusion over the term and what it means for risk protection in the event of a flood continues to flummox the public at large, especially for those who reside in low-lying areas that are most prone to such disasters.

Automatic flood cover is now included in standard home insurance policies unless the customer chooses to opt out. For commercial policies, flood cover is provided only if the insured opts for it.

Cost is usually the reason given by people who choose not to have flood cover. That’s all well and good if the day never comes when they need to make a claim. But the New South Wales/Queensland flood disaster has again demonstrated the risk of going without such protection. 

The cost of reinstating a flood-damaged home or business will far exceed the cumulative cost of annual insurance premiums. And while the affordability of flood insurance is an issue, it should be recognised that the premium reflects the very high costs insurers face in returning a home or business to the state it was in before. 

So what exactly is a flood cover and how does it protect you and your business?

The insurance industry defines flood as the “covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reservoir, canal, or dam”.

Policies can differ in the level of cover that they offer. Even if flood damage is excluded, storm and rainwater damage could be included. These complexities can be confusing to navigate, but it’s important that if you’re paying for cover, you fully understand what’s in your policy.

While you will ideally never be in a situation where you need to make a claim, the day may come, so being prepared is your best option when it comes to protecting your business. The ongoing flood threat is very real, and ignoring it isn’t by any means the solution to ignore this.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries about flood risk mitigation cover, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance adviser. We can work with you to make sure you get the appropriate level of protection.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Keep your business’ income protected as government support ends

Keep your business’ income protected as government support ends

While things are looking up, the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic is still being felt by businesses across Australia. For many, the lockdowns and restrictions have had a lasting effect, even months down the line.

The good news is that economic recovery has been better than first thought, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. This paired with a low unemployment rate has made for improvements Matt Comyn, Chief Executive at Commonwealth Bank, has called “miraculous”.

But the momentum has been fuelled by billions of dollars in state and federal government spending and concerns remain that some parts of the economy may begin to wobble as programs fall away or wind back.

The $90 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, a critical support measure accessed by many firms to keep staff employed and their businesses ticking over, expired at the end of March. Some temporary insolvency relief measures have also come to an end.

The reduction in assistance has increased the risk that firms previously able to meet financial commitments may no longer be able to do so, and there could be cascading effects on the enterprises with which they engage.

Some analysts say government measures may have kept alive “zombie” firms that otherwise would have ceased trading, and there may in coming months be a surge in companies unable to pay their debts.

Which is where trade credit insurance comes into play. The cover ensures a business can protect itself against the risk of invoices not being paid by those customers facing challenging circumstances and unable to meet obligations.

While often discussed in the global context or for the top end of town, there are a number of trade credit policies designed for smaller firms that include a range of features to mitigate the risk of loss.

Some may provide protection in export or imports contexts, while others deal with local trading. They may require a firm to specify particular debtors, or provide a more general cover. Policies may be triggered by insolvency or a certain period of non-payment.

Whether you have insurance or not, it’s of course important to take appropriate precautions to keep your business protected against risks. But unfortunately, sometimes the unexpected does still happen, so it’s a good idea to have cover that gives you peace of mind for the future.

While challenges inevitably lie ahead, now that some normality has returned, many businesses are starting to feel hopeful for what’s to come. There is still plenty of value in getting suitable cover though, and a broker can help you do just that.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance adviser.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

More businesses turning to brokers in troubling times

More businesses turning to brokers in troubling times

An unsettling year has left many businesses concerned about what the future holds. After seeing firsthand how difficult economic conditions can leave a lasting impact on firms, an increasing number of SME owners are looking to insurance brokers.

This year, Vero’s SME Insurance Index marked its 10th anniversary. The new report revealed that 40% of respondents used a broker for their last insurance purchase, up from 35% last year.

While 34% of direct customers were thinking about making the move to a broker in 2018, this number has since risen to 54%.

Vero believes the trend is partly to do with the uncertain world we now find ourselves in thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many small businesses are worried about the future, with one in five saying they don’t feel confident about their business prospects for the year ahead, and an economic downturn topping their concerns.

This could be sparking SME owners to search for additional support for their insurance needs.

But what the index also shows, is that seeking out a broker could be the best decision a small business ever made.

Brokers can help steer clients through the complex process of arranging the best insurance cover for a range of risks, giving peace of mind during difficult times. 

What’s more, we can keep you abreast of key industry and regulatory developments, and we’re there to help come claims time should the worst happen.

This year’s index shows the vast majority of broker clients are satisfied with their broker, with just 8% dissatisfied.

Satisfied clients like their brokers to carry out tasks such as providing in-depth analysis on their insurance options, checking up on business changes, giving information on changing requirements, and advocating on a client’s behalf with insurance cover and claims.

Claims are an area where the broker’s expertise and negotiating ability are particularly valued by clients. The index shows broker clients who’ve made a claim are much more satisfied with the claims process than their direct counterparts. This year 72% of broker clients were satisfied, compared with only 37% of direct customers.

Importantly, the most satisfied clients have collaborative relationships with their brokers.

Some 51% of SMEs that have a collaborative relationship are highly satisfied with their broker, marking them and 8 or 9 out of 10. But the corresponding figure for those with minimal interaction is just 24%.

That’s why it’s so important for us to keep in touch, and maintain two-way communication with you. You need to know about the latest industry trends and regulatory requirements, and we need to know what’s happening within your business. Only then will we be able to get you the very best cover, at the very best price.

Your business’ circumstances can change drastically over time, so it’s paramount that you update your insurance to reflect this. When you’re allocating money to getting covered, you want to make sure it’s sufficient and is actually providing you with the insurance you need.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance adviser.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Insurance broker or go it alone, what’s best for your SME?

As a small to medium-sized business, you may be tossing up whether you need an insurance broker to help keep your company protected.

Large companies are often expected to be more inclined to seek out assistance from an insurance broker, while SMEs take care of their cover needs themselves. Recently though, Deloitte Access Economics prepared a report that details the risks of going it alone.

The findings

This research was commissioned by the National Insurance Brokers Association, with one key finding being that around 40% of SME clients were under-insured or not insured at all. Before enlisting advice from a broker, about 33% were paying more on their insurance. It was also found that 41% of SME clients agreed their claims process would have been “much harder” without their broker’s support.

One business owner who is quoted in the report says she made the right move to seek advice from a broker. “People don’t understand the risks of going to the standard, cheapest policy. They might have saved, but they didn’t know what they were covered for.”

The business owner has a farming property, which was severely damaged in the 2019 Townsville floods. The claims process was unfamiliar, but with a broker by her side every step of the way advocating in her best interest, she secured an additional $10,000 on top of what was originally suggested by the insurer. Her broker also got repairs underway, appointing a project manager to lead this process.

“You could talk to them about what you’re going through; they understand and they are emotionally involved,” she says. “Without their support it would have been a totally different journey.”

Getting an insurance broker in your corner

Often, the true value insurance brokers bring to the table in the event of a crisis is misconstrued. The responsibilities of a broker go far beyond arranging a suitable insurance solution for your business. In the event of the unexpected, they take a level of stress off your hands – negotiating with insurers and representing your best interests throughout.

This is not only a professional obligation for brokers, but also a legal one. Your broker works with your business to pinpoint risks and, based on this, provides tailored solutions.

Brokers bring expertise that is backed by both highly specific qualifications and accreditations and prior industry experience. By leveraging this knowledge, they can go above and beyond to protect your company against possible threats – so you can continue doing what you do best, even in the face of crisis.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Does your business need interruption insurance post-pandemic?

Shutting down indefinitely is a financial nightmare for business owners.

Last year, in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, governments introduced trading restrictions. This severely impacted many business owners, which in turn ignited a lengthy legal battle over business interruption insurance.

This court battle is ongoing and is expected to remain unsettled for some time. At the forefront of this dispute is the question of whether small business owners can claim for losses caused by the pandemic.

While the responsibility of resolving this matter lies with the courts, if you are looking for guidance, an insurance broker may have some helpful advice. They can keep you informed on potential risks and the types of insurance solutions that are available to you – including business interruption.

If you have been keeping up-to-date on the court proceedings, you may be put off business interruption insurance – but this could be a costly mistake. Business interruption covers you for loss of income, so if the unexpected does happen and triggers a claim that is within the policy terms and conditions, your company has a safety net to help you make it out the other side.

The importance of business interruption insurance

Even if your business is forced to close indefinitely, you will have ongoing fixed costs that need to be paid. This includes everything from rent and wages to loan repayments, all of which can add further pressure when a business’ revenue stream has been disrupted.

In one instance, a client’s property had to undergo repairs for water damage. During this time, his business interruption insurance provided him with rental income payments, alleviating stress in what was already a challenging time.

If the client did not have cover for temporary income loss, he would have had to increase the loan value of his mortgaged property.

When it comes to deciding on a policy, considering your options and ensuring you fully understand what they cover is crucial – as there will be exclusions.

When COVID-19 led to the Wimbledon tennis championship being cancelled last year, the organiser experienced the benefits of insurance first-hand. They had taken out an insurance policy for pandemic risk prior to this and, as a result of this, received a payout of almost $200 million.

If you want to protect your business against the wide range of risks that could threaten your ongoing viability, business interruption insurance is essential.

For more information on business interruption insurance, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Virus challenges carry into the New Year

During the recent summer holidays, many people across Australia enjoyed living under lightened restrictions after a tumultuous year. That said, this time brought more than just good news – the challenges of COVID-19 are not over just yet.

At a time when much of the country have travel plans, the New Year proved to be an exercise in dodging border closures and virus hotspots. The situation can get out of hand all too quickly, even after just one case is identified. 

Functioning in such a volatile and albeit unpredictable environment cannot only prove challenging for holidaymakers, but also the businesses at which they are employed. Workplaces need to closely monitor the ever-changing situation, even more so as employees continue their assimilation back into offices.

While risks may seem low, employers need to remain diligent, taking proactive measures to keep their staff and customers safe as the pandemic ensues.

The rollout of vaccines is seemingly fast approaching, with some already hitting Australian shores and groups at the greatest risk being at the head of the queue. While vaccines are giving individuals across the globe a sigh of relief, even after having it administered, people are urged to continue taking suitable precautions.

Steps to avoid becoming complacent

Shortly after welcoming in the New Year, the Queensland Government locked down an area of Brisbane, as a highly contagious strain of COVID-19 was detected. It was found to have originated from an overseas arrival quarantine hotel, and its detection led many states to swiftly shut their borders.

In the workplace, it is important employers and employees alike avoid becoming complacent as the pandemic continues to pose a risk in the months ahead. In particular, workers’ compensation authorities have again stressed the need to keep work environments safe and clean.

There are simple yet effective changes businesses can make, such as facilitating social distancing by restricting the number of people in offices at one time and reducing potential congestion in areas like lunchrooms. 

Supporting good hygiene practices, such as through making disinfection supplies readily available to staff in the office, is also essential. Make sure to check in with employees and their well being as well amid the ongoing challenges.

State laws may require registers of every person who attends a workplace, including employees, clients and visitors, while firms should be aware of their responsibilities if a staff member contracts the virus.

Now is the time to consider both how your business will manage any virus-associated disruptions and how your insurance can support you during this.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

UK Ruling On Business Interruption (BI): Will Australian Businesses Be Impacted?

The fallout from the UK’s High Court business interruption (BI) ruling has been felt across the country – and now Australian insurers are wondering what this could mean for them.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (UK regulator financial conduct)  ruling has seen a largely favourable outcome for UK businesses that took out BI policies and experienced losses due to the pandemic. If a similar outcome is reached in Australia and local companies start challenging their BI policies, it could cost the insurance sector as much as $1 billion

 

The Current Outlook For Australian Businesses

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) recently launched a test case, which was focused on Hollard Insurance and has been used to assess different exclusions. The case is seen as urgent in nature and; thus, was pushed forwards to be held by the NSW Supreme Court on 2 October.

The pandemic has significantly impacted those in Australia and beyond. With this in mind, the CEO of Insurance Council of Australia, Andrew Hall, has said he’s glad the test case hearing is progressing as quickly as possible. Recognising the importance of this judgement, involved parties are working to bring a ruling sooner rather than later, giving customers, insurers and regulators greater clarity around pandemic-related claims.

Alex Haslam, principal of the law firm Gilchrist Connell, believes the UK ruling will have very little impact on the outcome reached on Australian shores. The Australian test case is far from that conducted overseas. While it’s concerned with a specific form of infectious disease exclusion, which is included in property insurance policies, the British test case considered the wording in a broader range of policies 

However, not all Australian brokers are concerned about the flow-on impact of the UK’s business interruption ruling. Karen Hardy, principal broker at ACME Insurance Brokers, believes that clients understand general exclusions relating to infectious diseases aren’t specific to a certain disease and, rather, are intended to be all-encompassing blanket exclusions. She hasn’t had any clients pursue claims and doesn’t expect this to change anytime soon.

Business interruption insurance has been largely debated since the beginning of the pandemic. In the months and years ahead, it would be realistic to expect adjustments to BI and other insurance policy wordings in many Australian insurance firms.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

How To Target New Markets In A Recession As A Small Business

For many small businesses, it has undeniably been a testing year. With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe and disrupting typical operations, SMEs have had to overcome a plethora of new challenges. This considered, there are still opportunities for businesses to maintain their viability and plan for future success.

By developing an enhanced understanding of any problems with their business’ product or service, owners can refine their offering/s and target audience to improve the appeal of their offering. This is central in effectively marketing to prospects, as you can pinpoint certain pain points and, respectively, create targeted campaigns that convincingly show how you can solve them. 

 

Pursuing A Growth Strategy As A Small Business

Barker St., an online coffee marketplace and subscription service, is one small business that has managed to thrive in the midst of the global pandemic. This is largely because of their initial response. Rather than panicking when lockdown was becoming increasingly probable, they developed a strategic plan.

First and foremost, they invested in marketing, which drove brilliant digital results for their business. During the pandemic, 65 per cent of their revenue came from organic Google searches, while the remaining 35 per cent was from targeted paid online efforts, including Google ads and Facebook and Instagram retargeting campaigns.

Retargeting campaigns were a crucial component of their strategy. Whenever a user visited the Barker St. website or searched for similar products, they would start seeing targeted ads from the small business. This was used to capture their initial interest and, ultimately, to drive more conversions from promising leads.

When it came to their Google ads, Barker St. split their budget between promoting their marketplace and subscription service. In doing this, they could test which campaigns were more successful and; thus, which specific areas to invest in more than others.

Barker St. also diversified their offering, helping them appeal to a broader audience. Rather than purely selling coffee beans as they had in the past, they launched a new range of capsules and drip bags. Moreover, they welcomed customer feedback and, because of this, increased their number of roasters.

When pursuing a growth strategy, small businesses need to carefully consider whether their insurance policies are still sufficient. If you’re expanding your business, speak with your insurance advisor to ensure any new initiatives are covered under liability and other business insurance.

 

The importance of conducting research

In a rapidly evolving market, completing sufficient research to becoming familiar with changing conditions is imperative for businesses. It can help them understand different customer preferences and, respectively, cater to their audience’s expectations and needs.

When it comes to market research, there are various routes small businesses can take, including:

  • Appointing a market research company;
  • Getting feedback directly from members of the target market, such as on social media or with competitions or polls;
  • Asking existing clients you know and trust for honest feedback;
  • Looking at research completed by others, such as census data and industry trend reports;
  • Requesting benchmarking industry reports from your accountant.

By leveraging this data, your small business can work to identify and capitalise on growth opportunities and/or ways to further refine your offering. Regardless of your circumstances, it can be well worth investing in pursuing ongoing learning and development. 

In challenging circumstances, many small businesses find it beneficial to concentrate on what they can do better than their competitors, pushing this area of their business. By doing this, they can often drive growth – even when the market is far from ideal.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.