Basic Cents, Features

Keep Running

By Samuel Rosenberg

YOU cannot call in sick when you are the boss, the only person at work or one of a few running a small business. You must be available for work seven days a week and expect to miss holidays for several years as your business grows. What happens if you are completely unable to work?

Should you have chosen the employed route, for your job and income, you will know that when you are unable to work because you are ill, you can simply contact your place of employment and tell them when you expect to be back. Depending upon your eligibility, you will be allowed several sick days per year and will not lose any income because you are away due to ill health.

As a small business owner, your health can impact significantly upon your company’s finances. Should you take a few days off ill, you will not be earning money and your revenue may decrease significantly for that period.

Running a small business needs to be taken quite literally, as you will be running all the time to ensure your income is satisfactory, to support your business and to pay you a good salary for your family.

There must always be a Plan B in place so that you and your income can be replaced if you need to be away from your small business for any prolonged period. The early stages of this planning involves the way that you can run and manage your business while you take a holiday. Is there someone that you can trust, who will be able to come in and cover for you, while you begin by taking a short period away from your workplace, before trying longer time periods, later?

Where you are self-employed and running a small business, perhaps employing a handful of individuals, you should speak carefully with your insurance expert and consider which private insurances you should invest in, so that your business and your family will not suffer should you be away ill, for a long period. One insurance option is to provide you with private medical health cover so that you can be treated for any illness immediately, rather than suffering from delays for several months, where your business will be impacted because you cannot provide 100% of your time and effort.

You may be able to protect your income should you be off work for a long period. You may be sick or injured and the policy may provide you with sufficient income for a few months until you can return to work. Critical illness cover will pay you or your family a lump sum of money, should you suffer from a heart attack, stroke or serious cancers that may prevent you returning to your work, perhaps for several months, or maybe, forever.

Life insurance may be necessary so that your family can receive a lump sum of payment should you die while at working age. This will provide them with the money they need to provide stability to their lives as you and your income will have vanished.

When you are at the planning stages or are already running a small business, you must be prepared to run a marathon. Where you do not have the necessary cover in place, you should make plans to be able to afford and complete private insurance so that your company and family can continue, financially, should you be unable to provide the income.

Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to

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