Australians have long been a nation of small business owners.
There were more than 2.5 million actively trading businesses in the Australian economy in June 2022, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Many workers like the idea of swapping paid employment for the financial and personal rewards that running their own show can offer.
And while the upcoming year may hold challenges for businesses and consumers alike, there are still plenty of opportunities for individuals looking to make the switch.
In fact, many of the country’s biggest and best-known businesses were founded during times of economic uncertainty.
Those include JB Hi-Fi and Billabong, which launched in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, and Cotton On, which began selling affordable casual wear during the recession of 1991.
“Not having adequate cover for your enterprise may make it hard for you to recover and remain viable”
Exploring the opportunities
Starting a business in a sector or industry where work is plentiful and skills are scarce can make it easier to secure a profitable customer base.
The National Skills Commission’s Skills Priority List released in October 2022 showed technicians and trades workers were in scant supply, as were professionals and community and personal service workers.
That could be an opportunity to strike out for yourself, if you’re currently working in one of those sectors and have the appropriate qualifications or experience.
Opportunities for sole traders and small businesses are also plentiful in the transport postal and warehousing, scientific and technical services, and finance and insurance sectors, according to research released by small business software vendor Xero in late 2021.
Safeguarding your new business
Having the right insurance policies in place can help to protect your new enterprise and its assets, should something go wrong.
Underinsurance is an issue for many fledgling businesses, with other seemingly more pressing financial priorities taking precedence, according to Steadfast Broker Technical Manager, Michael White.
“This is often an area where owners look to save money, especially in the early days when money is tight, but it can be a false economy,” White says.
“Not having adequate cover for your enterprise may make it hard for you to recover and remain viable, should you experience an early setback.”
Getting the basics in place
As a general rule of thumb, all businesses should have public and product liability insurance. The former provides cover for accidents and injuries caused by your business activities while the latter can protect your business if a product it supplies has caused harm to a person or their property.
If you intend to lease premises or invest in furniture, equipment and IT systems, property insurance can safeguard your assets against theft, malicious damage and natural disasters.
And if you’re planning to take on employees or contractors, you’ll need a workers compensation policy to cover your business against work-related injuries and illnesses.
Cover that can keep you in business
If you’re not sure what type of cover is right for your new business, talking to a specialist can help. Contact a broker today to discuss your options.
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