Every business, no matter if new or well established, must take measures to protect itself. This includes protecting your staff, your bricks and mortar building, and any online data or confidential information. Below we share the top 5 ways you can protect your business.
1. The importance of insurance
If you own your own business, then you must have the correct business insurance. This cannot be emphasised enough. A specific business insurance will help to protect you against theft, adverse weather conditions and those unfortunate incidents such as floods and fire. You need to ensure that you have a business insurance policy that is specific to your business needs and services that you provide. For example, if you run a cleaning company, then you need to search for cleaner insurance policies, as these will be tailor-made for your business. You need to protect both your staff and customers. If a customer injures themselves because they slipped on a toilet floor due to a flood, then this could end up costing you a lot of money.
2. Know what to do in an emergency
If you own a virtual or physical business you need to make robust plans in case of an emergency. This could be when there’s an electricity cut, storm or when the Internet suddenly goes down. No matter what happens, you need to know what to do. An emergency plan can help protect your workers and your income because no work time will be lost. If an emergency occurs that is completely out of your control, then you must have a plan in place to alert both staff and customers in a safe and concise way. Additionally, it’s essential to have clearly signposted fire escape routes for staff members and customers. In some countries or states, there are legal requirements surrounding the issue of health and safety. It is a good idea to research the requirements in your country to make sure your organisation is up-to-date. These emergency exits should be kept clear of rubbish or stock at all times, as being careless could cost lives. When a new member of staff joins the team, the employer is obliged to instruct them what to do in the event of an emergency and show them the location of the fire exits.
3. Protect your data
Many business owners forget the importance of protecting digital property, forgetting that it needs the same protection as a physical building. The best way to do so is to back-up your digital data via the cloud. Dropbox and Google Cloud are good options, as both are free to use, but they may not provide enough storage for a large business. A cloud back-up system is a much better option. Just research the various platforms out there, and find the best that suits your business needs. Just remember that an encryption facility is a must.
4. Protect your building
As already mentioned, you must protect your bricks and mortar building. Tight security measures must be in place, such as a sophisticated alarm system, security lights, CCTV and security staff. This will not only protect your property, but your staff. You also need to ensure that all exits, doors and windows are fitted with secure locks. It’s important to make sure that only authorised personnel have access to the keys and security codes used to access the buildings or spaces where secure information is kept.
5. Intellectual property protection
Finally, many business owners forget the importance of protecting their intellectual property. This includes using the appropriate trademark, patent and copyright for your intellectual property. This is important, no matter how big or small your business is as you could be vulnerable to having your businesses’ identity stolen without it. You also need to check that any contracts and written arrangements with contractors and other outside agencies are correct and up to date. You should have a clause within your contracts that protects your intellectual property.