You have worked hard on your business plan, came up with a catchy name for your company, launched a website and won the first customers.

What, according to experts, too often misses out on starting entrepreneurs, however, is making a plan to protect themselves against disability or long-term illness.

Four in ten self-employed entrepreneurs have not taken any measures in the event that they become incapacitated for work, according to a survey by Statistics Netherlands in 2019. "I notice that entrepreneurs do not consider disability insurance the most important," says KVK advisor Henk Herkink.

"They often think, I'm going to start things up first and then see later."

Tip 1: Don't think, I won't get sick anyway

The preparation of a plan to protect themselves against incapacity for work is often pushed forward by entrepreneurs, says Herkink.

"They gamble that they will not become ill. Only when they become incapacitated for work do they think about measures. And then unfortunately it is already too late."



For many self-employed workers, the danger only really becomes tangible when they see in their own environment. what can go wrong.

Herkink: "Then they see that it is not such a bad idea to arrange something. It may be hard, but delve into the stories of people who became incapacitated for work while doing business and therefore no longer have an income. Learn of their experiences. "

Tip 2: Know what the options are

You are best protected with disability insurance, says Herkink.

"But there are also other options, such as building a piggy bank. You can also choose to take out something collectively through sector or professional organizations, or to take out voluntary insurance with the UWV."

“Once you are ill, there is no insurer or bread fund that will take care of your healthcare costs” Henk Herkink, Chamber of Commerce Advisor


Entrepreneurs who are not willing to participate in a bread fund.

Herkink.

"All participants - including entrepreneurs - put money aside every month. When one of them falls ill, the person from the pot receives a kind of donation."

Whether it's taking out insurance or setting up another safety net, think carefully about what suits you best.

"Once you are ill, there is no insurer or bread fund that will take care of your healthcare costs," emphasizes the advisor.

Tip 3: Map your risks

Research what risks you run as an entrepreneur is the advice of the FNV trade union to entrepreneurs.

When you know what your risks are, you also know what measures you can take to protect yourself.

"These risks depend on the situation in which the self-employed person finds himself," says Yolanda Aartse, business coach for self-employed workers.

"An entrepreneur is very quickly affected by his income when he is sick. But the annoying thing is that it is the most difficult for starting entrepreneurs to be able to pay for it."

It is therefore good to seek advice, says Herkink.

"Enlist the help of an insurance agent or an expert in your area. Ask critical questions. What are the consequences of such insurance? When do you get paid? When do you need insurance? That way you save money by only pay premium for what you need. "

In addition, deal with your costs in a businesslike manner, Herkink advises.

"We always say: in the end your customer pays it. Add the costs of your premium to your hourly rate. You take out the insurance with that money."

"Trade unions and organizations such as the Platform Zelfstandig Ondernemers usually have agreements with insurers, allowing members to take advantage of discounts."

Yolanda Aartse, business coach for freelancers



Also find out which other ways you can save on your premium, Aartse suggests.

"Several health insurers offer packages for this," she explains.

"Trade unions and organizations such as the Platform Zelfstandig Ondernemers usually have agreements with insurers, allowing members to take advantage of discounts."

Tip 4: Make sure you have a good work-life balance

The most important thing is to prevent disease where possible, says Aartse. "The disadvantage is that as a self-employed person you tend to keep going", she explains. "So you have to keep a close eye on yourself and ensure a healthy work-life balance. Take your rest on time and reserve blocks of time in your diary where you cannot be disturbed."



Fortunately, being a self-employed person can also be an advantage, the coach emphasizes. "The moment you don't enjoy your work and you continue to struggle, a burnout is lurking," she explains. "But if all goes well, most self-employed people have work that they are passionate about. When you get to that point, your work will give you energy instead of it consuming energy. That is also good for your health."