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What Small Businesses Need to Know About Risk and Insurance for the Holidays

Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are all this week – the holiday season is here! What does the holiday rush mean for your small business?

The holidays can help boost business for small retailers, but crowds and increased activity come with some unique risks small business owners should keep in mind. Being prepared for common small business risks and readying your business insurance for the holidays can help you make the season less stressful.

Here are some common risks that small business owners face during the holidays:

Increased traffic

More people coming to your small business can create a greater chance for something to go wrong. Whether it’s a slip and fall outside or big crowds running amok in your space, preparing for more people this season will help you minimize your risk. Keep walkways and pathways clear to eliminate perils. Consider hiring extra staff to keep an eye on your store and to help customers and avoid customer frustration.

Check on your liability insurance or review your coverage with your agent to make sure you’re ready for larger crowds this holiday season.

Shoplifting

If you’re a local shop or retailer, you are likely expecting a spike in business over the next few weeks. More customers means your staff will be more occupied and distracted, which could lead some opportunistic shoppers to try and steal your inventory.

To help reduce your risk of shoplifters, take steps to protect your small business. You can consider hiring security staff who are trained to spot suspicious behavior in your place of business. You can also make sure you have enough seasonal help to keep an eye on things around your shop. More eyes on your inventory will discourage thieves from attempting to take your items.

Seasonal hires

Extra staff can help make the crazy holiday season run more smoothly, but only if your new employees have proper training! Makes sure to schedule training especially for your seasonal hires and allow time to answer their questions. Training around health and safety in your business is especially important, particularly if you run a retail shop. Whether it’s lifting a heavy shipment that just came in or using a ladder to access more merchandise, if your employees could be hurt on the job, it’s worth developing protocols to lessen risk.

Talk with your insurance agent to ready your business insurance for the holidays. Makes sure your policies can support this influx in staff, should you have to file a claim. Having the appropriate coverage for your employees and the right limits to support your staff is important in protecting your business. Coverages to check on are worker’s comp and unemployment insurance.

Winter weather

As winter begins, it brings with it winter weather. Ice, snow and cold temperatures can do a number on your business’ location if the building is not properly prepared. Take care of seasonal maintenance as soon as possible and make a plan for removing snow or ice when bad weather strikes.

If you have inventory or a workspace that could be damaged by extreme winter weather, be sure to check with your insurance agent to make sure you have the proper small business coverage to cover damage to the physical aspects of your business. You should ask your agent for clarity around winter weather events to better understand what types of events would be covered.

 

This time of year can be wonderful for your business’ profits, however, the increase in customers and transactions can lead to more risk for your business. As Christmas shoppers and holiday party goers stop into your business in search or gifts or while running errands in preparation for holiday parties and gatherings, makes sure you’ve prepared your business and business insurance for the holidays!

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