Awards & Engraving

December '17

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A&E DECEMBER 2017 • 73 Sales & Marketing INSURE AGAINST THE UNEXPECTED Despite the tendency to think "nothing bad will happen where I am," it is important to be vigilant about ensuring that when things do not go as planned; as many preparations should be in place as possible. Relative to this, business owners need to think through their insurance needs properly. A meeting with an agent should be both productive and relevant. Make sure that all of the basics are covered and then think about what-if scenarios. Attempting to save money here and there is the wrong way to go about creating insur- ance coverage. Instead, make sure that you have viable protection that covers you in the event that something real happens. Explore loss-of-business insurance to make sure you are covered in the event that something hap- pens to prevent you from opening your doors. As far-fetched as you think this may sound, as we have seen recently, there are a multitude of factors that can cause this. About 12 years ago, we had an employee steal over $180,000 worth of brass from us. This was done over a period of months, a little bit at a time. He would take a few cases (six pieces per case) of plates out of the building each day, hiding them in a jacket or shirt. He then had an "in" with a scrap dealer, who paid him for the brass and melted it down. By the time we discovered what was happening and began the process of prosecuting him and recovering our losses, the damage had already been done. Unfor- tunately, since he chose to pilfer finished goods, our insurance coverage, although adequate, only covered the cost of raw materials and not our labor. BUILD OFF OF YOUR EXPERIENCES That whole experience was a surprise to us, but it taught us an important lesson. Expect the unexpected, and take measures to ensure that the same thing never hap- pens again. You can be sure that we now have more cameras than ever before, and we protect our brass and other valuable raw materials differently and more vigi- lantly than we did before the incident. We also have learned to take for granted that unpleasant surprises are a normal part of business, and as a result, our "eyes" are everywhere. Another important area to focus on is data. Today, most of us do everything on computers, and with that comes the potential for disaster if certain measures are not taken. The most obvious is daily backups of all critical data. This can be done by hard copies, or in the Cloud. We do both today. Maybe that is overkill, but I would rather know that we have more than less if there is ever an issue. Secondly, and equally important, make sure that your computers are protected from viruses and other infiltrations that are prevalent today. Again, solid preparation in advance will avoid nasty surprises down the road. If your business operations go down for any reason, it is a good idea to have a com- munications strategy so all employees are kept in the loop, and those who are able to work remotely can access key files to allow this to happen. In many instances, this can also allow communications with your customers. There are multiple options for accomplishing this, and in the event of an outage, you are not caught completely dead in the water. Once again, this takes some money and advance planning. Hope- fully you will not have to experience this in action, but it is nice to know that you are protected in the event that there is a crisis. These illustrations are just a few exam- ples of how to shore up a business in the event that nasty surprises befall it. Although there is a price tag that comes with every solution, the ultimate cost of not taking these measures can be geometrically higher. Responsible business ownership includes solutions such as these. Ignoring them can potentially leave a business in an irrecover- able spiral from which it may never prop- erly recover. Eric Priceman is President of Victory, division of Planter Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. In his over three decades in the awards and engraving industry, he has traveled extensively, both domestically and internationally, visiting customers and suppliers. He is happy to share his unique perspectives of the industry, both past and present. Please feel free to contact Eric by email at or by phone at 773-637-7777 ext. 228. A&E

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