Export Experts Magazine spoke with Insurance protection expert and ex- Rock Star, Martin Byrne who is a Director at Business Protect. Martin gave us a few pointers and some rock-related analogies to help focus our minds on what are the important things we need to look after in our business.
Insurance never pays out, right? I’ve never had anything go wrong with me for the last 20 years, so why do I need it? I don’t plan on getting ill, we’ve got a shareholder’s agreement, I’ll go to the bank after the disaster happens and they’ll lend me some money … won’t they?
Well as the old rock ‘n’ roll saying goes, you’re only as good as your last gig. Break your arm and can’t play the guitar for eight weeks – your band and fans will potentially drift apart depending on what you’ve had to cancel – and the financial implications of your accident will have a dramatic effect.
Maybe it’s not even you. Maybe your drummer breaks a leg, your bass player catches Malaria, or your manager jumps ship for a better offer, (more money, a bigger band), or your sound man breaks up with his girlfriend because she’s no longer any commercial use … do you get the picture?
There are so many factors that can have a financial impact on you and your business, which are totally out of your control. If you don’t think about mitigating the risk – whether its a business, band, banking or Bonsai cultivation – you’re on a risky knife edge that means one unplanned event could see the whole show crumble, like Ozzy Osbourne after a 24 hour bender!
You cover your house, your car, your pet, your contents, your phone, your tablet … and of course your guitar! And what about the ‘thing’ that pays for all of it? that’s you!
That’s what business protection is here for – to protect YOU.
The upshot is this, there is no difference between your personal assets or your business assets. You have to cover your ass(ets)! Most people think business protection is complicated and expensive but the truth is the principles are simple.
The four golden rules for business protection
1. It has to be to budgeted. There is no point putting things in place you can’t afford on an ongoing basis. Six months or three years down the line if you hit a tough patch and cancel, then you may not be able to get the same cover again if your health or circumstances have changed.
Before I even look at products I try to find out what is a realistic budget for business protection.
2. Something is better than nothing. Prioritise, cover the basics first, most people can’t afford the ‘ideal world’ when it comes to most things.
Yes I’d like that Vintage 1964 Chet Atkins Gretsch guitar, but it’s unaffordable and my ’64 reissue Fender Strat guitar will do the job for now. When I’m a rock star I’ll get the Gretsch, the personalised plectrums and the titanium flight case!
Sort the following into a list by order of priority (following a conversation with your adviser): Share Protection Insurance (to make sure your family is ok if disaster strikes); Key Person Insurance; Income Protection; Private Medical insurance, and start with the top of the list for now.
3. It has to be fit for purpose. It needs to do the job it is designed for, don’t buy the nice, bright shiny effects pedal because it looks good, and then find out that it doesn’t work with your other gear. When you find out whether it’s fit for purpose or not isn’t at the beginning, it’s at the painful end when you have to claim. The only way to know for sure before that event is to use a professional adviser.
4. It has to be reviewed regularly. Six months is a long time in business, a year even longer, so what is fit for purpose now may not be so in a year. Get it reviewed, the same way you do (or should do) with everything else you’re paying good money for. If your house contents now equal £50,000, the £30,000 insurance won’t cover it.
It’s like making sure your kit is road worthy. You don’t want to turn up at Wembley for the biggest gig of your life, only to discover your amp has given up the ghost and you don’t have the money or time to get a replacement – all because nobody checked. You’d sack your roadie right!?
A key to business success is to make sure you stay on the road (to success) and don’t end up in the ditch thinking, “yeah, I really should have taken care of that!”.
Business Protection Expert