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Five Business Tips for 2023 & 2024 from insurance expert Katherine Letten – BusinessWise

Katherine Letten from A-Plan Insurance, who is a member of the not-for-profit business referral group BusinessWise shares her thoughts about business success and resilience for the next year.

At A-Plan it’s our job to talk to businesses about how things are going for them and their challenges. With over 50,000 business clients across our 40 commercial offices, that’s a lot of conversations so we like to think we’ve got a decent understanding of the main themes.

Here are some tips which I think will aid business resilience and growth.

1. The effect of inflation and underinsurance –the cost of everything has gone up dramatically over the past couple of years. Whilst we know this raises all sorts of challenges in terms of the cost of raw materials and therefore your pricing strategy, a lot of businesses are unaware of the threat of underinsurance i.e. the value of your business ‘assets’ – your business premises in particular. Yet it is also applicable to stock and contents so it’s worth speaking to your insurance broker to review your sums insured.

2. The benefit of getting specialist advice –many small business owners are experts in their chosen trade but are found wanting when it comes to the other aspects of running a business such as tax, accountancy or insurance. We have seen business clients suffer because they have not got specialist advice from a qualified professional.

3. The importance of ‘local’ – it sounds obvious but you know the local market in which you operate the best even if the markets in which you sell your goods and services might be much wider geographically. There’s nothing like being able to sell face-to-face to people and businesses in ‘your patch’ and it’s the same for us at A Plan. It’s why we have local offices.

4. Networking can help your business – it’s the thing many clients say they don’t have time for. We get that there’s huge time pressure on business owners, but our experience is that it doesn’t have to be particularly time-consuming. Often a network can be informal, associated with a social opportunity (and who doesn’t like a complimentary drink…) and can not only lead to new business opportunities but can give you ideas and insights into how to run your business more efficiently.

5. Inspiring the next generation – how did you come to start your business? What was the inspiration? At A-Plan we love entrepreneurialism and it’s encouraged internally from top to bottom. Each of our branches works with a local educational establishment to spread the word that insurance can be a force for good, and to encourage curiosity about a career in the sector. What can you do to encourage the next generation? You might find that the time you put in pay dividends when it comes to recruiting quality, like-minded young people later on.

Katherine is an assistant branch manager at the A-Plan Swindon branch and can help with all aspects of commercial insurance.