As a small business owner, Josh Flanders has a lot to protect. When he and his three business partners opened Springfield, IL craft brewery, Buzz Bomb, one of the first discussions was about commercial insurance protection.
I sat down with Josh to discuss how he and his business partners took simple steps to protect what they worked so hard to build.
Tell me how Buzz Bomb got started. My friend-turned-business-partner, Bill, and I were home brewers, and we really enjoyed it. Our friends always complimented us on our home brews, but we never thought anything of it. But that all changed when we served our beer at a local festival – people loved it! After that, we created a business plan, got approved for a loan, and found the perfect location in downtown Springfield. Our dream was quickly turning into reality!
When you were creating your business plan, did insurance come up? Absolutely. We knew we needed insurance, but we also knew we needed to talk to an expert about what specific coverage we really needed. I know a lot about insurance, but commercial coverage is a whole different animal. It can be complicated. It was important to us to find a real person, not a computer, to talk through coverage with us. And when we did, that conversation uncovered a lot of needs we didn’t know we had.
Like what? Just like any business, craft breweries’ commercial insurance needs are unique. We needed coverage for the random weird things that can happen in a brewery, like spoilage and leaks. We needed liability coverage and workers compensation insurance. We did extensive research, but it wasn’t until we spoke to an agent that we understood what we needed to consider for our specific business.
Why was commercial insurance important to you and your business partners? Since we financed the building and equipment, some commercial insurance was required, but very basic protection. The primary reason we sat down with an agent to ensure we were properly protected, is because the four of us scraped everything together to build this business on our own – without investors.
And because we’re doing this on our own, also means we assume all the risk. So, if something happens, like we experience a fire, we need coverage so we won’t lose everything, including our homes. This business is everything to us, and we’re doing everything we can to protect it. Insurance will help us do that.
What advice do you have for other small business owners who are just getting started? The value of having someone to talk to about insurance protection for your small business is immeasurable. Unless you want to spend months learning the ins and outs of commercial insurance, you need someone to recommend what you need to consider for your unique situation. Our agent helped us prioritize what coverage was really important while we are getting started, and what we needed to consider down the road.
Learn more about carefully crafted coverage for your craft brewery, or any business for that matter! COUNTRY Financial reps are always ready to help chat with you to make sure your small business is properly protected.
Commercial insurance policies issued by COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, Bloomington, Illinois.