The holiday season is officially here, and it is always a crucial time for a small business! With economic uncertainty and a global pandemic continuing to loom over us, the past ten months have required a leap of faith. And the holiday rush could not come at a better time.
Many small businesses are using this time to bounce back from financial strains, boost sales, and end the year strong. Luckily, 60 percent of consumers will look to local retailers this holiday season. And many have more money to spend on tangible goods instead of travel, concerts, restaurants, and other activities cut off by the pandemic.
To help make your holiday season less stressful, here are a few areas worth focusing on to keep your small business protected during this hectic period.
Protect the Health and Safety of Your Customers
If you have a small brick-and-mortar business, you will likely encounter fluctuating in-store traffic. With more customers coming into your small business, there is a greater chance for something to go wrong. Whether it is a slip and fall at the door or a crowd running amok, how you prepare for these incidents will help you minimize your risk.
As business begins to pick up, health and safety should remain paramount. Keep walkways and pathways clear to eliminate perils. Err on the side of caution and put in place ample measures to stop the spread of COVID. You can encourage social distancing and reduce the chances of Covid-19 transmission by extending business hours to reduce crowding, limiting the number of customers allowed in the store at one time, and offering curbside pick-up. You can also provide disposable masks, set up a hand sanitizing station, and place safety precaution signs in high-traffic areas.
Shopping activity will continue to take place online, with e-commerce sales surging over the holidays. By providing the option of online purchasing, combined with curbside pick-up, you can make it easier for your customers and reduce foot traffic within your small business.
And lastly, check on your liability insurance or review your coverage with your agent to ensure you are prepared for crowds this holiday season.
Prevent Theft with a Lock-Up Protocol
Unfortunately, a crowded business could lead some opportunistic thieves to steal. To help reduce your risk of theft, evaluate daily transactions, and validate voided or deleted sales. Also, get into the habit of locking everything and create a lock-up protocol to ensure the building is secure.
A security system can deter thieves and prevent claims to your business insurance policy. However, it only helps when active and working. Therefore, jumpstart your holiday security plan by thoroughly testing the system. You can also hire security staff trained to spot suspicious behavior.
And do not forget to add your business computers to the security plan. While you are testing out your physical security system, check your cybersecurity setup. Having the latest updates helps ensure that you are not at risk for a network breach or cyberattack.
By implementing these security tips and acquiring commercial theft and cyber crime coverage to protect your small business, you can be confident that this holiday season will be a happy one.
Focus on Your Employees’ Well-Being
It is not uncommon for a small business to need seasonal help to keep the shelves stocked, make deliveries, take care of customers, and keep your business’ operations running smoothly. As you ramp up for the holiday season, start the hiring process early!
An inexperienced employee can be more prone to injuries and accidents. One in four employees suffer injuries within the first year of employment. Theft, administrative and paperwork errors, vendor fraud or error, and unknown causes accounted for the remainder of losses. Therefore, taking steps to properly onboard seasonal hires and prepare well before the holiday season begins can help businesses avoid these common problems. It can also create an environment for workers that value and promote safe practices.
Training around health and safety is especially important. Whether it is lifting a heavy shipment box, climbing a ladder to access more merchandise, or being exposed to COVID by a customer, if your employees could be injured or infected on the job, it is worth developing protocols to lessen risk.
Having the appropriate insurance coverage is essential in protecting your business. Speak to your insurance agent about workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Also, ask if your policy can carry an influx of employees, should you have to file a claim.
Make It or Break It with Insurance Coverage
The holiday season can be a make-or-break time for small businesses. The best way to protect your company is through prevention, and having the right insurance coverage in place makes a difference to the bottom line if something goes wrong. A consultation with DRS Insurance Group can help make sure your policy is up-to-date.
The more you can get done ahead of time, the better prepared you will be to make this your most successful holiday season yet.
CONnect with us
DRS Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency located in Indialantic, Florida. Our team is here to help you with a quote, analyze your current coverage, and answer any questions you have.