Category Archives: Business
To succeed in business, it is often said that you must be a people person. Many truly successful business owners and those teetering at the very heights of corporate ladders do not in fact have two brain cells to rub together, but they do appear genuinely interested in other people, the lives of those that work for them and the plight of their customers and have found success because of that trait.
It can reasonably be declared that people are the reason your business will succeed. You need customers to spend money with you and strike up trade relationships with you no matter what you’re doing. Even if you have some form of remote work, there will be some human-driven angle to what your doing.
Unfortunately, people are also probably your biggest risk when it comes to business.
A force of nature
There are certainties in this life that we are all aware of. There are the oft-quoted death and taxes, but there is also the certainty of stupidity. Even if people are not themselves stupid by nature, you can guarantee that otherwise perfectly normal individuals will from time to time do stupid things.
This does indeed apply to everyone. This applies to those super-smooth people-savvy business owners, this applies to, dare I say it, yourself and it most definitely applies to me. We all have bad days. Unfortunately, somebody having a bad day in the wrong place can be devastating if that wrong place happens to be your place of business.
There are all manner of things that you need to be on the look out for as a business owner and several things that you need to be constantly on your toes about. You can plan for most of them, but you can never really plan for someone being an idiot on your property and injuring themselves.
If a member of the public trips, slips or falls, or even has something trip slip or fall onto them, if it’s on your property, it is likely to be your responsibility and could easily end up in a lawsuit. A public liability lawsuit of this kind can get wildly expensive if you are found to be in the wrong and has the potential to set you back millions.
Many will bemoan the fact that they don’t believe people are careful enough and that they should take more responsibility for their personal safety. In many cases this is absolutely fair, but sometimes it isn’t. Some places of business are indeed un-sprung fully baited man-traps waiting for hapless customers to try and reach that one particularly juicy morsel placed atop an eight-foot-tall rickety shelf. Other times however people will just fall and blame you for having steps that aren’t clearly sign posted, marked in yellow and black tape and emitting a frequent warning klaxon.
You might not be exposed to third parties on your site that often. If you run an office that very rarely receives visitors, you are definitely less susceptible to people having bad days, but if on the other hand you run a busy shop, then it’s not a matter of if but more a matter of when someone is going to hurt themselves. No matter where you work, if you trade for long enough, something like this will happen eventually.
You can definitely mitigate the risk of people injuring themselves on your property. You can ensure that everything is always stowed away properly, you can make sure that floors are regularly mopped clean and dried before anyone enters the premises and you can make sure you clearly signpost anything remotely approaching hazardous.
Unfortunately, the misplaced ingenuity of some people means they will still find a way to critically injure themselves. With your efforts, you also reduce the risk of being found responsible for a person’s mishap, but that still doesn’t negate the fact that you could face a lengthy court case. Even if it has limited merit, a lawsuit can eat up a lot of your resources.
You’ll be pleased to know there is an answer to all of this and utterly unsurprised to know I’ve been building up to offering an ideal solution. As well as implementing good housekeeping standards in your place of work, the best thing you can do is take the financial risk out of the equation entirely with a straight forward public liability insurance policy.
This will simply cover an amount of money you are required to pay out in the event of a public liability court case going against you and means you don’t have to worry about a potential careless customer or client bankrupting you in compensation costs.
Public liability insurance is not compulsory and no one will punish you for not having it, but it can simply stop you worrying about encountering that one clumsy customer. With an insurance policy like this in place, it can let you get back to focusing on people from a business point of view and not as a form of risk management.
Written by Richard King for YOUR Insurance, a broker specialising in public liability insurance for small businesses.