Running a small business is a huge investment of both time and money. Here are three aspects of your business that you can’t afford to leave unprotected.
Your business location is where most of the work happens: your transactions with customers take place there, your employees report there for work, and it’s where you receive inventory shipments. Protecting your brick-and-mortar establishment is just common sense. There are two main kinds of protection your business location needs.
Protecting Yourself from Property Loss
Evaluate your current security measures. If you are renting, talk to your property manager about the surveillance system to see if there are any blind spots that need to be taken care of. If you own your business location or are responsible for security measures at a rented facility, plan to install locks or keypads on the doors and security cameras.
Consider hiring a loss prevention team if you have any kind of retail. Keep track of your inventory so that you will know if anything goes missing and restrict which employees can access stockrooms without supervision.
Protecting Yourself in the Case of Property Damage
Read your insurance policy carefully. Are you covered in the case of burglary or forced entry? Consider beefing up your policy if your current insurance does not provide enough coverage. For example, if you run a business that requires state-of-the-art computers, you may need better coverage against flood and fire damage so that you can replace any damaged equipment adequately.
It is important that you take steps to protect your business from legal issues before they happen. Start with diversity and sensitivity training for your employees, and enforce zero tolerance policies on sexual harassment and drug abuse. Then, look at these two other legal protecting yourself in these two other legal areas.
Protecting Yourself from Personal Injury Liability
Have your property inspected for trip-and-fall or slipping hazards such as loose paving stones, potholes, or chemical spills. Always post wet floor notices after mopping. Reparations from falling caused by a business’ negligence are some of the most common kinds of personal injury lawsuits.
Protecting Yourself from Other Kinds of Lawsuit
You may want to consult with a business law attorney when you’re drawing up contracts, signing leases, and handling any employee complaints. A business law attorney can help with the following:
- Business formation and corporate governance documents
- Business tax elections and issues
- Commercial Lease Agreements
- Contract negotiations and disputes
- Employment law
- Regulatory compliance
- Sales, closings, and mergers
(Information from TorbetLaw.com).
3. Online Presence
Your business’ online presence has never been more important. Taking the time to develop a user-friendly, up-to-date website can have a huge positive impact on your business. However, you need to protect your business from outside online threats or misuse of your online presence within the company.
Protecting Your Data
A high percentage of cyber-attacks target small businesses because they are less likely to have updated online security systems than larger corporations. Have an IT expert evaluate the threat posed to your business and take the needed precautions. Some aspects of your online business you will want to have checked out are:
- Online employee records such as clockings and paystubs
- Your clients’ cyber transactions and information
- Your intellectual property
Protecting Your Online Reputation
Be conscientious when you are establishing your business’ online reputation through social media, public statements, and backlinks to your website. Only allow authorized employees to post via the company’s official social media accounts. Limit use of company internet to business interests and establish clear guidelines about engaging in political, religious, or social discussion via company web accounts. Make your policies about internet use on the clock, cyberbullying, and misrepresentation of the company very clear to all of your employees.
No business venture is without risk, but by evaluating these three aspects of your business you can protect your company from some of the most financially devastating risks.