As a small business owner, the threats that you are facing are various and challenging. And one of your main tasks is to protect against them in any way that you can. Before you have any chance of doing this whatsoever, you need to know what the threats you are facing are. And while we can’t promise to discuss all of them in this blog post, we can take a closer look at five of the most common, as well as what you can to to protect against them. In fact, just one of these striking your company in a big way could end up threatening its future. So, let’s go into some more detail here and now.
In the modern world of instant controversy and reputations being ruined over social media, your company is probably at a greater risk of a PR crisis than ever before. The most obvious way of getting around this is by watching what you say and do. The owners, employees, and anyone who is directly associated with the company need to have clear guidelines of what they can and can’t say. This means not conducting any business which could be considered questionable or making any public announcements without thoroughly checking them through. So, it is worth putting in place some company guidelines of what can and can’t be said in relation to the business.
If you do find yourself in any sort of PR difficulties, you need to make sure that they are handled in the right way. You can do this by hiring a PR professional or external agency who is adept at dealing with these type of issues. The last thing that you want to do is risk making the issue any worse than it needs to be. We mentioned at the start social media outrage, and while it can be challenging, if it is properly dispelled, the Twitter mob will be onto the next issue in no time at all.
There are all sorts of common legal issues which your business could end up facing – and the best way to handle these is by hiring a competent solicitor. First of all, they can help to stop you from landing in any legal hot water in the first place. But if something does happen to go wrong, they are best-placed to help you get out of it again. Obviously, there are various different areas of the law which could pose a problem for your business, and you may need a legal expert who specialises in that particular area. Ideally, to find a solicitor to suit your business, you will get a personal recommendation or else go on reputation.
Tying Yourself in with the BusinessPhoto Credit
Many people are so closely tied in with their businesses that their personal lives come under threat if their business is at risk in some way. Company owners who operate their business as a sole proprietorship tend to be the ones who are most at risk in the first instance. One way of getting around this is by having a trust own the business, meaning that it is only the assets of the trust which are at risk should the company come under the threat of a lawsuit or something similar. At the very least, you should make sure to separate your personal and business accounts so that you can keep track of what is going on financially in your business. Proper fiscal management is one of the fundamental principles of running a successful company.
There are all sorts of sudden and unexpected disasters which can impact your business in various different ways. And just like in your personal life, in the world of business, there is a wide range of insurance options which can protect against all different types of eventuality. Perhaps you find yourself at the wrong end of a lawsuit from a former staff member or customer. In which case, liability insurance can go a long way towards making sure that you stay protected. It could be that a fire or other type of natural disaster leaves your company in disarray. In this situation, disaster or contents insurance can help you out in this difficult situation. If you don’t have the proper insurance provisions in place, you can end up finding that your entire business future is under threat. As well as this, it is worth having a contingency plan in place which you can spring into action. Going back to natural disasters, if one should strike, do you have a secondary location from which you can operate your business? Which are the most important parts of your business which you need to keep running? Do you have access to emergency funds should you need them? These are all questions which are worth asking to protect the future of your business should the worst happen.
As businesses have continued to pour more and more of their valuable information online, criminals have developed more and more intricate methods of extracting this data. The first line of defence which will help to protect you against issues of this nature is making sure that you have updated antivirus and firewalls on all your computers. You should also make sure that you are using a recognised provider which is proven in protecting against a wide range of different threats. In the event of a big tech breakdown or data breach, you need to make sure that all your files are backed up and accessible. One of the best ways of doing this is by using the cloud. File sync and share should be turned on which means that everything backs up automatically without you having to think about it. You should also train all your employees on online safety – such as strong password protection etc.
Protecting against all five of these threats needs to be at the forefront of the minds of all business owners.