For 2015 I’m going to be posting weekly blogs aimed at helping small business owners achieve success – whatever that might look like. Some weeks will focus on helping owners understand what insurance should do for their business through plain talk on coverages and asking the right questions. Other topics will include my experiences with social media outlets and how they can help marketing, public relations, networking, etc. while not becoming time wasters. The last set of topics in the mix will be management related like employee motivation, customer service, and how to keep you as business owner – sane and happy.

As you plan for the new year here’s my top 5 recommended resolutions regarding your business insurance:

5) Know what you have. Yes that means getting out your policy and reading it or making an appointment to sit down with your insurance agent to go over what you have. I suggest making an appointment because I promise your insurance agent will appreciate the opportunity to get your file out and read it again themselves. See, we all forget what you have and at least once a year you need to look at it and make sure you understand what it does.

4) Tell your insurance agent what has changed. Take a minute and make a list of the major stuff you’ve done this year in the business. Fire someone? Hire someone? Add to your line of products or services? Get a new contract? Move your office? Add a warehouse? Start doing online sales? Start selling in a new storefront? ALL of this stuff matters – some of it might not be covered by your current policy or maybe it is but needs to be listed on the policy to make it official.

3) Consider paying your insurance premiums online or in full – this could help you avoid a billing fee. Or better yet for you busy business owners, it could help you avoid late fees. We all know you aren’t bad pay, you just have a lot going on so maybe using an automatic draft could keep you from possibly risking cancellation or reinstatement.

2) Ask your insurance agent what you can do to prevent claims. Can your agent or a company risk assessor review your employee manual, safety guidelines, and even your workplace to make sure its in good shape? Does your agent have recommendations on how to handle customer or employee injuries to minimize the claim?

And the number one resolution for your insurance in 2015 – if you don’t have an insurance agent who can advise you properly on the 1st 4 resolutions then FIRE your agent. You are a business owner not an insurance expert, so you need that expertise from an agent who you trust and gives you the attention you deserve. If you don’t have that kind of expert in your corner then ask around in your local Chamber of Commerce, your civic groups, or industry associations for suggestions if you need to find a new insurance agent. Check out the prospective agent on LinkedIn and Google their name – not just their agency name. I could write an entire blog on what to look for in an insurance agent but I’ll stick to the topic and urge you to take the time and resolve to make your business insurance a priority in planning for 2015.

I hope you’ll follow my blog for support in a successful 2015!