Bobcats, Bosses and Breakups – Lyneta Grenier
Updated: Feb 23
Welcome to the Tax Talk Podcast and episode #1 of the Bobcats, Bosses and Breakups series.
Before I provide some background for this series of episodes, let me introduce my guest.
Lyneta Grenier is a Commercial Insurance Advisor with BrokerLink Inc. in Red Deer. She provides insurance solutions to address all of your commercial needs.
As a broker, she feels that it's essential to not only provide you with the comfort of knowing you have proper protection, but also to insure you can easily reach out, should you have any questions or concerns, or have to navigate claims.
Lyneta, thank you very much for joining me on today’s episode!
What is Bobcats, Bosses and Breakups?
Breakup, spring 2007. I was 22 years old, with lots of potential but no real direction.
I had just finished another winter season of work in Alberta’s oil and gas industry and was looking for something to keep me busy until the snow returned and the lease roads froze again.
Luckily, I found a job working as a labourer in a flat work concrete business (mostly prep, place and finish of basements, driveways and garage pads).
It couldn’t have been much more than a few weeks after I started working in this industry and I found myself branching off and starting a flat work concrete company with a business partner.
The business operated for two years and ended in a bitter breakup.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, come along on a journey with me as I look back at these two years of my life and the hard lessons I learned.
We’ll explore three general topics:
- Bobcats: business operation issues
- Bosses: business management issues
- Breakups: business legal and financial issues
Keep an eye out for blog posts and new podcast episodes where I sit down with business professionals to discuss solutions in these unique areas of business.
Who knows, you might be able to avoid some of the same mistakes that I made.
Topic #1 – Do I Really Need Liability Insurance?
Our business started out small. In 2007, just I and my business partner were involved with the business operations.
We found a niche in the market that saw us provide services to other concrete contractors which allowed them to focus on pouring and finishing concrete, while we handled dirt work, forms, rebar, etc.
We started out with a few tools that we personally owned and quickly worked to sign a lease agreement for a skid steer (bobcat).
It wasn’t long after we signed the lease that I found myself driving out of an empty lot in Vanier (Red Deer), onto the residential roadway. The bobcat rocked on the edge of the sideway and tilted forward just as a van passing by. The teeth of the bobcat bucket clipped the front quarter panel of the van and ran all the way down the passenger side of the vehicle, cutting the van open like a can of sardines.
No worries, right? We’re running a business, we had liability insurance, right?
Unfortunately, having jumped into business and having no real understanding of the responsibilities this carries, we weren’t carrying liability insurance at the time of the accident.
The result? While I don’t remember the final bill (a couple thousand for sure), the repairs came out of pocket and really impacted the initial growth of the business.
Lesson learned? When starting a business, contact a commercial insurance broker and ensure you have proper coverage to avoid significant cash flow issues due to an at fault accident or worse, a lawsuit.
- When should a business get insurance?
- Should I get a quote prior to starting a business?
- What is the standard liability amount?
- Are there times I may need further coverage?
Topic #2 – I’m Hiring Employees, How Will This Impact My Commercial Insurance Policies?
Heading into year two of operations, we decided we need to hire on employees in order to expand. I knew about payroll issues that would arise, but I was completely unaware about the impact that hiring employees would have on our auto policy.
Without disclosing specific details, I remember one employee was unable to be added to the policy due their poor driving record. The cost to the company would have been prohibitive.
The result? This was unfortunate because this individual excelled in their role in the company and the inability for this individual to drive company vehicles made scheduling difficult. This problem was largely avoided during peak summer months when jobs usually required more than 2 employees. However, when outdoor work slowed down in the fall, it became difficult to keep this employee on staff as we started to make seasonal layoffs.
Lesson learned? Take the time to complete thorough employee background checks, especially driving record checks if needed for the job to ensure you are hiring someone that can truly be an asset for your business.
- Again, should I get a quote before starting a business? What if I don’t plan to hire employees in the immediate future?
- What should a business look for in an employee to help keep premiums low?
- Will my business premiums be lower if employees have their own personal vehicles?
- Do I need to register and insurance my vehicles commercially?
Lyneta I just want to say thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to hop on the podcast with me.
I know that you provided a great deal of value that our listeners can immediately implement within their current business operation or reflect on before they decide to jump into business for the first time.
If the listeners want to touch base with Lyneta you can find her through the following links:
403-358-6062 ext 45732
Call to Action
There are a significant number of details that a small business owner needs to be aware of in order to ensure that their business is successful.
Having the right professionals on your team will help you meet your business, wealth, retirement and estate planning objectives.
If you’re in need of these services in order to see your business reach the next level of success, I highly recommended the following guests of the series.
Feel free to reach out to them as I know they would be excited to work together with you and help you preserve your legacy!
Bobcats, Bosses and Breakups Guests:
Chelsea Zimmerman - Team Zimmerman Real Estate (Century 21) http://teamzimmerman.c21.ca/
Caleb Henry - Johnston Ming Manning LLP https://johnstonmingmanning.com/team/caleb-t-henry/
Chrystal Saxby - ATB Financial https://www.atb.com/resources/find-a-location/red-deer-north-gaetz-crossing-branch/
Kelly Barber - B^2 Bookkeeping https://www.b2bookkeeping.ca/
Stephen van Santen - Bridgeline Wealth Strategies https://bridgelinewealth.ca/
Garth Epp - Garth Epp Professional Coach https://www.garthepp.com/
Lyneta Grenier - BrokerLink Insurance https://www.brokerlink.ca/locations/alberta/red-deer