Running a business is not easy, and there are hazards lurking around every corner. While it may not always be possible to avert every disaster or avoid every obstacle, there are ways to reduce risks. Here are some tips to help you protect your business.
Cybercrime is a growing threat. Many of us automatically think about news headlines and stories involving large, high-profile businesses when we talk about data breaches or cyber attacks, but in reality, small businesses are most at risk. Cyber attacks have the power to make operations grind to a halt, but they can also be incredibly costly in terms of your finances and your reputation. The good news is that it is possible to minimise risks and protect your business by implementing cybersecurity policies, seeking expert help and advice and monitoring your systems and devices.
Data is the life blood of any business so taking the time to do your research in this area will pay dividends in the long term. There is much research available online in this area, for example a guide we have found very helpful is the Keeping data secure 2021 guide . If you don’t have an IT team or department in-house, it’s wise to consider outsourcing IT support or seeking advice from IT professionals to identify and address potential weaknesses.
Providing staff training, introducing policies for employees who bring their own devices and using software to protect systems are excellent places to start.
Technology and IT faults
Most businesses are heavily reliant on technology and IT systems. Glitches, outages and downtime can cause financial ruin for small businesses. To lower the risk of technical issues, it’s beneficial to ensure that all equipment is tested and updated regularly and to make sure you have access to expert help if you encounter problems. If you outsource IT support, for example, you’ll have round-the-clock access to assistance if there are issues with your systems or your devices stop working. Monitoring can also help to flag up problems before they start to cause disruption. Encouraging staff to undertake training can also be helpful if you’ve bought new equipment or you’re using new software.
Business premises can be enticing targets for thieves. If you own physical premises, such as stores or warehouses, or you have equipment or vehicles stored at a site, for example, it’s important to be aware of the risk of burglaries and vandalism. Take steps to protect your assets, such as using CCTV or a construction site camera, hiring a security firm to carry out night patrols and securing valuables in areas with restricted access. Visible deterrents are often effective, as they make premises less attractive to thieves. Examples include cameras and alarm systems, fences and gates and security lighting. If you are physically on site in a business that could be high risk or a target for burglaries, it might be worth looking into level 4 body armor plates to protect yourself in the event of a physical altercation!
Bad reviews represent an increasingly significant risk to business owners. Today, more than 90% of consumers read reviews before contacting a business or making a purchase. Low scores can affect your reputation and encourage customers to choose rival firms. To lower the risk of receiving poor feedback, make sure you deliver on promises to your clients, offer customer support, prioritise customer service, keep in touch with clients and contact customers as quickly as possible if there are any issues.
Every business owner will encounter hurdles or setbacks. It is impossible to prevent every problem, but there are ways to protect your business and avoid issues.
Note: This is a collaborative post