If you have been running your own business for a while, you may have fallen into the trap of believing that you know exactly what you need to do to keep your business secure. While that may be true to an extent, if recent years have taught us anything, it is that nobody can predict the future. There is always more that can be done to protect your organization from unforeseen circumstances or problems, especially if you are an optimist who has never given the matter much consideration. Whether protecting your business from legal action, inefficiencies, cyberattacks, or natural disaster, here are five simple but smart ways to protect your business.
- Incorporate your business
Many businesses begin as sole proprietorships and stay that way even when they have grown into a small to medium-sized business. The problem with this is that this set-up treats all your personal and business assets as one. If you accrue business debts or find yourself the target of legal action, your home and car could be at risk. The best resolution is often to incorporate the business to separate your personal and professional finances, which can also lead to tax benefits. Of course, it is always best to get bespoke legal advice on your situation before making the decision to incorporate.
- Take out insurance
If you do not already have business insurance, you should act on this today. Every business should protect itself with some level of insurance to protect its interests. For example, general liability insurance will cover costs should you cause damage to a customer’s property while carrying out a service. Professional liability can provide protection if your business is accused of wrongdoing or negligence. Not having this protection in place could leave you open to the costs of hiring legal representation as well as any compensation the accuser may win.
- Secure your IT network
The internet has plenty of advantages for businesses, but it can also leave them vulnerable to modern types of criminal. Cybercrime affects businesses of every size in every sector, and the impact can be devastating. Cybercriminals use a wide range of tactics and techniques to damage or hack into a business’s IT network for financial gain or to steal sensitive data. There are lots of ways to reduce the likelihood of a successful attack, but at the very least you should be investing in small business network security.
- Hire a bookkeeper
If or when disaster strikes, you will need to be able to access your data and records quickly, whether they are stored online or in a traditional filing system. When a business is well organized and backups are in place, they are much better equipped to respond to a crisis efficiently, which minimizes the damages. It can be helpful to employ an administrator or bookkeeper to take responsibility for this.
- Reduce your outgoings
Of course, the quickest way to destroy a business is to spend more than you are making, so it is vital that business owners track and record every penny leaving their account. From office supplies, to the costs of keeping the power running, to funding new equipment, business costs should be monitored and reassessed regularly. It is also wise to pay off debt as soon as you can, as the interest fees can quickly spiral out of control.