In The Current Economic Climate, SME Businesses Face Risks That May Feel Beyond Their Control
Tue Jan 17 2023
Travelers is dedicated to supporting you as you help your SME clients anticipate and manage different risk scenarios. Perhaps your client is a PR firm that suddenly must justify every line item on invoices in light of their client’s budget cutbacks. Or maybe it’s a business consultancy being held responsible for a client’s failure during a precarious time of transition. It could be a tech firm that faces new pressure to deliver products or guidance faster and more efficiently than before. Read Travelers’ article to learn more about how they can help your SME clients protect themselves against risks like these.
Running a small business isn’t easy – particularly in this economic climate. Ireland’s inflation rate hit a 38-year high of 9.2% in October and economists anticipate the country will see a slowdown in consumer demand in 2023. Understandably, many of your SME clients may also feel the need to tighten their belts – whether as a necessity or simply as a precaution. At the same time, SME businesses face new risks that may feel beyond their control – their end clients may suddenly be unable to pay for services. Other clients may try to avoid or delay payment, perhaps claiming that the business has not delivered a requested service on time.
Protecting against these risks can shield a small business from larger problems that can arise in a difficult economy. At Travelers, we’re dedicated to helping SME business clients anticipate and manage different risk scenarios they are facing. For example, our Professional Indemnity Combined product can support the effort by mitigating the breach-of-contract risks that tech businesses are more likely to experience in times like this. More brokers have been placing PI Combined business with Travelers in the current climate, particularly for marketing/PR, management consultancy and tech companies.
These are some of the challenges that businesses in these spaces have been facing and the actions they can take to best protect themselves:
Marketing companies: Right now, most small businesses are not in the position to increase their marketing spend; if anything, marketing is an area where businesses are likely to make cutbacks first. As a result, small businesses that specialise in marketing may suffer. If their end clients are experiencing a reduction in cash flow, they may scrutinise the company’s work and fees. But marketing businesses can minimise their risks by implementing strong project check-in processes to ensure the end client is in agreement every step of the way as work is being completed. PI Combined insurance can further protect the business in case their end clients cite ‘wrong or poor marketing advice’ in an effort to point blame if their business is failing due to financial reasons.
Management consultancies: These businesses shoulder a great deal of responsibility in a difficult economy. Their end clients are paying them for advice that could potentially make or break their business – particularly if their cash flow is low or they are in the midst of an important transition. Such scenarios are common at the moment and require management consultancies to protect themselves against claims of poor advice.
Tech firms: In the past couple of years, the drive to acquire technology to make businesses operate faster and more efficiently has become more urgent. If the implementation of new technology is delayed, or a tech firm recommends the wrong software to an end client, there could be devastating consequences for both parties. The ‘breach of contract’ cover included in PI Combined protects tech businesses in these instances, and the automatic worldwide cover also gives them additional reassurance that they’re covered wherever their end clients are in the world. Advice to tech business clients would be to ensure tight sign-off procedures are in place and to protect themselves by mitigating losses by capping liability and excluding consequential loss by contract.
In the current economy, it’s especially important for small business owners to define all parties’ expectations about the advice and service they provide and ensure clear communication from start to finish. Having the right risk management and insurance protections in place can help them focus less on their exposures, and more on delivering their best work for end clients.
Keep Travelers in mind for all of your clients in these spaces. Visit the MyTravelers portal trading platform for quick online quotes, and, as always, feel free to get in touch with questions about PI Combined and how we can partner with you to best protect your clients. In good times and bad, we want to help you set them on a course to thrive.
The information provided in this document is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Insurance coverage is governed by the actual terms and conditions of insurance as set out in the policy documentation and not by any of the information in this document.