The small business insurance journey: Creative agency

Lee Cullen, CEO and founder of creative agency No Brainer, discusses the key cover he put in place for the business.

Along with my colleague Gary Jenkins, I established No Brainer in April 2015. Back in December 2014, I left a full-time position at a Cheshire PR agency to become a freelance practitioner and Gary had done the same thing about six months earlier, leaving his role as vice president of communications at a leading UK financial services provider. In the months that followed we were able to collaborate on a number of projects as independent consultants, and in the background we started to develop the brand and ethos of our business.

When we decided to pursue No Brainer, we felt that our understanding of the convergence of PR, marketing, social and SEO – and the lack of traditional agencies delivering it – meant that there was a gap in the market. That’s where the left and right brain concept of No Brainer was born – intelligence-led communications and creative solutions to business problems or opportunities, or as we call it ‘Creative Intelligence’.

With our combined experience working with and for agencies of varying sizes, we’d often talked about how we’d do things differently if we ran our own business. I’d reached a point in my career where I genuinely felt I could do things better and we wanted to create an agency that really delivered for its clients and built strong and lasting relationships with them.

Getting covered from the beginning of the journey

Having the right insurance in place for our business was always going to be important, especially as we’re working with some major UK brands, so it was something we ensured was ready from the very beginning of No Brainer.

The key insurance policies we’ve had in place are employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.

We were taken through things step-by-step over the telephone to ensure we had the right policies and the right level of cover in place for our business and we review these every year to ensure they’re up to date and reflect where we are as a business. The process was quite straightforward.

We work in the insurance industry right now with a few clients of ours, so we understand the value of protection. You might say we would say this, but there are some fantastic deals out there if you look hard enough. I think it’s important – as with all policies like this – that you spend the time making sure the cover is adequate for what you need, whilst affordable and giving you peace of mind.

No claims as of yet

We’re fortunate that we’ve not had to call upon our insurance policies during our first two years in business. We’re an experienced team and we have a number of processes in place to ensure the accuracy of our work but of course we appreciate mistakes can still happen.

As we’re in the business of reputation management, a lot of our work involves the creation of content in the form of news releases, social media content, video, imagery and other formats. We’re sharing all of that with a range of key influencers and journalists across multiple industries on behalf of some major brands, which is why things like professional indemnity insurance are so important for us.

Our expertise lies in PR, social media and content marketing so like most other business owners in our sector, our time is much better invested in managing the day-to-day operations for our clients.

I think we’ve always been quite good at identifying the things we need help with and pulling in the right people when required. Business insurance definitely falls into this category and we took advice from a couple of trusted contacts before we considered the right policies, the right level of cover and the right way to go about sourcing them.

For small business owners in particular, I think there’s a tendency to try and manage everything in-house, which is probably down to our entrepreneurial spirit! But I’d definitely advise other business owners in our sector to seek the help of an expert to ensure the policies they take out match their requirements. Trying to self-manage something like that could leave a business paying too much in premiums or worse, exposed to unnecessary risk.

Further reading on business insurance

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