The junk status effect on small businesses

The recent downgrade of South Africa’s debt to junk status and news of another recession spells tough times for business, with SMEs likely to be the hardest hit.

As a business owner, you will be tempted to cut costs as things get tougher - however, insuring your business has never been more important. Don’t succumb to the pressure and skimp on your business insurance - being properly covered is critical to long-term survival.

In general, depressed economic activity will put pressure on all business. With shallower pockets than corporates, SMEs will inevitably look for ways to cut overheads. For many, business insurance is already seen as a grudge purchase and so it is often a seemingly obvious target for cost-cutting.

Even in these looming tough times, don’t make that mistake as risks are always present.

Continue to be a wise businessperson and take proactive steps to ensure that you understand the risks your business faces - and mitigate them. Business insurance remains the best and cheapest way for a small company to mitigate risk and ensure that the materialisation of one of those risks does not result in business failure.

With fewer resources behind it, one could say that an SME is more dependent on insurance than a large corporation. There are many likely scenarios that could leave you in a financially strained position should you go without insurance. More so, one needs to add that the likelihood of many risks materialising — such as theft — actually increases when times are tough. Having the right sort of insurance cover in place would obviously spell the difference between survival and bankruptcy for many an SME when disasters such as these strike.

There’s no doubt that trading conditions will be tough for the foreseeable future.

SME owners are resourceful and tough – as can be expected. Using insurance wisely will make your chances of surviving and prospering much greater as a business owner, while a lack of adequate business insurance could give fate the upper hand.

Finding the right insurance partner can be a challenge; however, finding the right business insurance partner can play a much more strategic role than simply providing insurance cover.

A reputable insurer recognises that it has a vested interest in helping its clients’ businesses to succeed. MiWay’s business insurance advisors are available to consult at a client’s premises to help assess what the risks are and what the specific insurance needs are. MiWay also offers a value-added service that offers other types of business assistance - HR, tax, BEE accreditation, legal assistance and so on HR, tax, BEE accreditation, legal assistance and so on.

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