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After an unpredictable 2020, we’re all acutely aware of how vulnerable small businesses can be in the face of disruption. And while many SMEs were able to think on their feet and adapt to the conditions, it’s made one thing abundantly clear - many need a safety net and insurance is more important than ever. 

When someone has worked hard to build a business, the smart thing to do is to protect it. Thinking that bad things won’t fly in the post-pandemic era. 

As we all know, small businesses were hit hard last year. Even ones that had been thriving struggled to survive. Take Atlas Dining in Melbourne. Once a flourishing fine-dining restaurant with a hatted chef, they were forced to rethink their strategy when the pandemic shut restaurants.

We went from a buzzing, bustling restaurant to one that was avidly being avoided, losing 80% of bookings in just one week,” recalls owner and head chef Charlie Carrington. “I was devastated.”

Things went from bad to worse when restaurants were forced to close altogether. Luckily, with some quick thinking and a little ingenuity, Atlas Dining were able to transform from a bricks and mortar restaurant to a virtual cooking masterclass in just two days. 

We literally started a new arm of our business from scratch that we knew little to nothing about,” says Carrington.

This transformation kept Atlas Dining afloat and brought fine dining to a new audience. It also meant that Atlas Dining were able to retain their staff during a time that many small businesses were laying theirs off.

Despite having a successful 2020 in the face of unimaginable circumstances, Carrington is aware of how lucky they were. “I learned quickly through this pandemic how fragile you are as a small business.”

It’s a lesson that many have learned over the last 12 months. Yet brokers deal with small business clients every day who begrudge to purchase insurance coverage at all. 

Another common mistake SMEs make is not having enough insurance. Some small business owners choose to cut down on premiums by only insuring a percentage of the replacement value, while others simply assume their policy covers everything. Underinsuring may save them in the short term, but it’s a massive gamble that will probably cost more in the long run. 

When considering the right insurance for a business, it’s a good idea for owners to research online, talk to other business owners in their industry and chat to an insurance broker. They should take time to think about what they need. There are many different insurance options available to cover things like vehicles, premises, tools and equipment.

Different businesses need different cover, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Getting a proper assessment is the best way to ensure they’re adequately covered. After the rough ride that was 2020, now is a good time to make sure businesses are properly protected.