Running a small business takes a lot of hard work, patience and determination. Most small businesses start off as ideas. As they grow into enterprises, these ideas become tangible solutions to various problems in customers’ lives.
With every step your business takes towards success and growth, it becomes more and more vulnerable to various kinds of threats. There are various potential risks that may harm your business. Therefore, you need to be protected at all times to ensure that your business doesn’t fall prey to any of these in the future.
You need to be prepared at all times to protect your business with every step you take. Protecting what you have worked so hard to build is one of the most important responsibilities. Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish this best.
#1. Protect Your Business from Lawsuits
Lawsuits can be quite expensive and can malign the company’s reputation significantly. Therefore, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to protect your company from lawsuits. It is wise to think twice before every step you take and watch your actions. You should avoid doing business with people with a bad reputation and unscrupulous behavior.
Conflict of interest in the workplace or with your clients or vendors can result in serious consequences. Handling such situations delicately is important. As a business owner, you would need to make your employees aware of the fact that these situations should be avoided as much as possible. Such situations can ruin your integrity as an entrepreneur.
#2. Protect Your Business from Cyber Crimes
Businesses are prone to a variety of cyber crimes every day. With most business operations shifting to the online domain, the risk of cyber threats has increased significantly. A cyber threat can be quite expensive. In addition to lost revenue, it also results in reduced customer trust. This is where investing in network security becomes relevant.
Did you know that infecting a company’s equipment with malware accounts for 29% of the cyber crimes that small businesses experience? In fact, 60% of the small businesses dissolve within six months of cyber attacks.
To protect your business from cyber crimes, it is important to design a security plan that is aligned with your business’s requirements. It is wise to put up a firewall, encrypt the WiFi network access, change passwords regularly, backup the data regularly, update aging IT networks and so on. Ensure that your employees are aware of the potential threats and implement the necessary steps to prevent them.
You can also consider hiring a cyber security professional for the best advice.
#3. Equip the Workplace With Necessary Alarms
One of the most common threats to a workplace is fire. With various kinds of electrical equipment stored and innumerable flammable materials lying around, the workplace is more vulnerable to fire accidents. Fires can spread quickly, aggravating the entire situation and turning it into a catastrophe. Not only does it result in damage to property, but also loss of lives.
Numerous fire accidents occur every year. Therefore, it is wise to equip your workplace with the necessary alarms to signal the danger. For example, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, etc. should be installed at the right places to signal any impending danger.
Additionally, fire extinguishers should also be present at every floor of the building. Your employees should be trained about how to use one and the steps that they should take in the event of a fire. Devising and implementing fire prevention strategies are crucial to eliminate the risk of fire.
#4. Hire a Competent Lawyer
You should always have a skilled and experienced attorney in your network while starting out. This is because your company could be at a legal risk at any time. Therefore, you would need a lawyer to be prepared for any issue that may arise. A lawyer can advise you about how to react to a certain legal situation so that it does not hurt the reputation of the company.
Before hiring an attorney, it is important to check his/her qualification and experience. Additionally, your employee should also be acquainted with the local laws and customs of the area. An attorney with expertise should be retained.
#5. Insure Your Business
Insurance is one of the major aspects of businesses. You should obtain liability insurance. This will come in handy if a client slips and falls in your business premises. An insurance regarding errors and omissions will provide ample coverage in case a customer accuses your business of not living up to the contract or agreement.
Apart from these, if your business has a board of directors, it is vital to get Directors and Officers liability Insurance (D&O). This insurance covers the personal liability or losses incurred by the directors and officers of the company owing to any breach in their duties or errors in their managerial capacity. This insurance covers criminal as well as civil offenses brought against the directors and officers.
Additionally, you would need to be extremely careful while creating contracts to ensure that there are no loopholes. Discussing the clauses and policies you include in the contract with your lawyer will help in eliminating any future problems.
#6. Develop a Crisis Plan
Unexpected disasters can ruin the future of your business. In addition to fire, other disasters may include a hurricane, an earthquake and so on. Therefore, you would need to stay prepared for such circumstances. Developing a crisis plan is important. Each business has different requirements. You would need to keep your business’s needs in mind while devising one.
The first step is to assess the ability of your business to withstand a disaster. You should always have a reliable backup of the valuable data and information about your business that you can access at the time of a disaster. You should also have an alternate work area in mind that you can shift your employees to in the event of crisis so that there is no interruption to work.
You should also have a plan on how to deal with your customers and vendors after disaster strikes. A backup plan will keep your business stabilized.
Implementing these steps will ensure that your company is well-protected and prepared to take on any risks for growth.