It is a New Year - Have you taken some time to plan out the year ahead for your business? 2017 was a challenging year for many business ventures. Running any business or enterprise can be difficult with so many different types of risks out there. While some of these potential hazards can complicate business operations, to many business ventures, risk lacks a place in their visibility even in life. That is why when a misfortune befalls any business, sometimes it is blamed on God that, “He does not like us” yet for others, when good things happen, they just claim to have been wise and successful.
When starting a business, it is all about opportunities, threats, confidence and promise. 2018 has just begun and as a business owner, you need to stop thinking that your venture does not have enough assets and liabilities to insure or never to consider insurance when kicking off mainly because risks are inevitable. There is no business immune to natural or man-made disasters and potential uncertainties.
Strategic risk management is becoming a recognised process that we all need to identify with both in the day to day running of our lives and business. Likewise, taking risks is one-thing we cannot afford to ignore. No one can either predict what the future will be like or prepare for it. But if you have invested a lot of your energies, time and money, why not manage the likely risk exposures through insurance, risk financing and any other risk management techniques? Even the smallest businesses can benefit from a business liability and property insurance coverage in case of a fire outbreak or a misfortune occurring.
Examine risk exposure
Your obligation as a business owner is to start by examining your risk exposures. Gone are the days when say a one-page document was enough to protect your company from liability. Undertake a risk management review; consider an insurance policy that will give you the comfort in the event of theft, vandalism, fire, public liability, natural disasters like floods among others. Such an All Risk policy that can help you replace your property and get (reinstated) back to work.
While conducting a risk management review for your venture (business, company, organisation, life), involve an unbiased, independent third party to help examine your risks. Seek the services of an insurance broker (the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda has licensed 32 firms), risk managers and adviser, they will advise you on adequate insurance coverage and procedures to undertake. Discuss with them other risk management best practices to avoid having a challenging 2018.
So regardless of the risk, taking an insurance cover for your business is such a lifesaver for your investment. For your business to stay ahead of any costs, you need to take a proactive approach to risk management. Probably you always thought about how your business will be growing and ways of improving it but may be you have never taken time to think how, where and when it could go wrong.
Insurance and risk management should become an integral part of your business culture and be actively managed like any other critical business process. Since we are all vulnerable to weather and financial uncertainties, in our minds we need to stay focused on risk since we never know if disaster is prowling around the corner.
So make a new year resolution and secure insurance for your valuable property and business to manage any risks before a hazard befalls as this will hold firmly in the new year and others yet to come ahead of 2018. Stand guarded and alert.
Ms Mariam Nalunkuuma is the communications officer at Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda.