Ian Preston is the Managing Director of IJP Consultancy Ltd and has been an FSB member since the start of his business six years ago.
We caught up with Ian to find out about his experience of FSB Insurance Service and networking events.
What challenges did you face with your business insurance and how did FSB Insurance Service help?
I had been with another company beforehand, but they kept putting their prices up and their services became less personal. I had tried FSB Insurance Service previously when they were effectively subcontracted outside of the organisation and they weren’t very competitive. Then, I was advised that it had been brought back inside as an integral part of FSB and when I tried again they were far more competitive.
I have basic business insurance with FSB Insurance Service - Public Liability and Professional Indemnity. I don’t need anything else as I don’t have any employees. But, because I work with a lot of local authorities and in the education sector, they insist that I have certain business insurance.
I’m fortunate that I haven’t had to use the service to claim yet, so I don’t know what paying out would be like. The one fear people have with insurance, whether business or personal, is that insurance companies are very good at taking your money in but will find every reason not to pay out. I’m sure FSB Insurance Service isn’t like that because their reputation depends on it. I’m pleased to say I haven’t had the chance to test it out yet!
Have you joined any online networking events? How have they impacted your business?
Yes, I’ve joined loads! They’re a very good source of business, especially before Christmas and into the new year when I was attending several meetings a week, sometimes twice a day. I’ve joined others, but FSB ones are so easy to access across different parts of the country. I was getting lots of one-to-one calls and business off the back of them.
What advice do you have for other small business owners and the self-employed during this time?
The most important thing now is knowing why you’re in business and why you’re going through this. It gives you the grounding of ‘this is why I do this’. Things have changed with marketing and you attend networking events online now, but your approach is still the same. You have to adapt and be flexible. For example, I can’t go into businesses and deliver my training, but I can deliver the training online.