If you own a business, it’s likely that it is precious to you. When you’ve invested time, money and effort into getting a venture off the ground, expanding it and turning it into a success, it’s natural to want to keep your business safe. Sadly, there are threats and hazards around every corner. If you’re looking for smart ways to shield your company, you’ve come to the right place.
Online security and cybercrime
Did you know that it is estimated that cybercrime will cost the global economy $6 trillion per year by 2021? You may assume that cybercrime is an issue that affects multinational corporations, but you’d be wrong. This should be a subject of concern for every single business owner regardless of the size of the company. We often read about threats to large-scale businesses because we’re familiar with the brands and the impact is likely to be greater. However, assuming that online security breaches only affect the giants of the business world is a mistake. If you run a business and you use computers, you manage and handle data, or you offer services online, it’s imperative to consider your approach to cybercrime. Even a minor, short-lived security issue could have incredibly damaging consequences for a small business.
If you’re not au fait with the latest methods used to clamp down on cybercrime or you don’t have procedures or guidelines such as a company password policy in place, now is the time to step up your online security. Offer training to staff members to enable them to spot potentially suspicious messages, sites or emails, use passwords to protect sensitive information and invest in software that will protect your network and the information provided by your customers. If this is not your area of expertise and you don’t have an IT department on site, look into working with external agencies and getting expert advice.
Protecting your reputation
Your reputation can count for everything in business. In this day and age, more and more of us read reviews and testimonials to find services and customers are more engaged with businesses than ever before. Good reviews and positive feedback can help your business grow, but bad PR, negative reviews or a critical write-up in the press can damage your reputation and affect sales. As a business owner, it’s beneficial to do everything possible to protect your reputation and ensure that you have plans in place if you find yourself in a situation that is not ideal. If you make mistakes, admit that you did something wrong, try and limit the impact as much as possible and identify and publicize a solution. If you’ve got a bad review from a customer, don’t bury your head in the sand. Contact that customer to discuss their comments and use the feedback to prevent similar scenarios arising in the future. Always try and turn a negative situation into something positive. It’s very common to make mistakes, but if you can learn from them, this will help you develop a better business going forward. Remember that it is almost always possible to bounce back.
Securing your business premises
Security threats don’t just come in the form of viruses and hackers. If you own a business, you may also wish to take steps to secure your business premises. Whether you own a studio, you have an office, a garage, a bar, a shop or a hotel, it’s important to protect your assets. If you have equipment stolen, for example, you could be faced with the prospect of paying out to replace it as well as the possibility of having to turn away clients for a period of time. If you own premises of any kind, it’s wise to take out insurance. Your insurance policy should cover both the building and its contents. If you have these policies, this will ensure that you can make a claim if the building is damaged or anything is stolen or broken inside.
They say that prevention is better than cure and it’s a good idea to try and deter thieves in the first place so that you don’t ever have to make an insurance claim. There are various ways to do this. Firstly, consider the basics. Don’t leave windows and doors open and use secure locks to make it difficult to breach the access points. Secondly, think about what would put burglars off. CCTV, alarm systems, gates and outdoor lights can all act as deterrents. Look at security systems that are available, and choose a solution that suits your budget. It’s also wise to look into neighborhood watch schemes and to avoid leaving money or valuable equipment on the premises overnight. If you need any more advice about security, contact your local police force.
The weather is an unpredictable entity. Although it’s impossible to prevent damage in every scenario, there are some steps you can take to make your business more resistant to damage caused by natural disasters. Consider the location carefully before you make a decision about where to base your business. If you’re in an area prone to flooding or storms, invest in measures that could help to make the building stronger and more robust and make sure your insurance covers problems such as water damage. Listen out for weather warnings and if there is a hurricane or torrential downpours on the way, remove valuable items.
For many entrepreneurs, their business is their baby. If you’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears, it’s natural to want to do everything possible to keep the company safe. There are many different types of threat out there, and it’s wise to be wary of the risks associated with cybercrime, theft, a damaged reputation and natural disasters. If you understand the risks, you can take steps to try and prevent issues before they even arise and ensure that you have a plan B if you do need to resort to backup plans. Invest in the right online security measures for your business, make sure you have insurance, protect your business premises and your reputation, and try and minimize the impact of obstacles you encounter along the way.
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