If the past 3 years has taught us anything, it’s that disaster can strike at any time, and businesses could suffer. It’s never been more obvious that you need to do whatever you can to protect yours. Whether it’s from a natural disaster, a lawsuit, or even a globe-spanning pandemic, your business is at risk in many ways. However, there are ways that you can protect your business and yourself from many things that might come your way. Here are some tips for you to rest your head at night knowing your business assets are safe.
Separate Your Personal Assets From Your Business
If you are operating as a sole proprietorship, it can seem pretty simple. There is no need to worry about employees, and you can do whatever you want. However, if you don’t separate your personal from the business, either one could suffer unnecessarily. For instance, if someone brings a lawsuit against your business and you are not able to cover it, then your personal assets could be at risk. This can happen in the opposite direction as well. You do not want to lose your home and your car because of something that happened related to your business.
Get The Right Insurance
No matter what kind of business you are running, you will need insurance. This includes at-home businesses. Just because you are working from home, it does not mean that your personal homeowners’ policy will protect you. If you have a fleet, you need to have commercial automobile insurance. You should also have general liability insurance to protect against lawsuits if someone gets injured while on your property or as a result of an employee. Entering into certain partnerships will require providing proof of insurance, so if you don’t have it, you will lose out on opportunities along with being financially at-risk.
Have An Expert Do The Books
You may be very good at numbers, and decide to do bookkeeping yourself to save money. Even if you have the time to do it, it might be worth it for you to hire a professional bookkeeper or to have an accountant look over your books. You may not be able to keep up with seemingly ever changing tax laws, and a mistake can cost you. Not only that, but an accountant will be more likely to find ways to help you save on your taxes. With a skilled bookkeeper or attorney, you can also trust the data you pull from your accounting service, so you won’t have to worry about suddenly having cash flow problems. They will be accurate and spot issues well before they become crises.
Have an Emergency Plan
Along with financial threats to your assets, there are also physical ones. If you have an emergency on your premises, it’s crucial that you have a plan for you and your employees to follow. Being prepared will save lives and property.
Assign someone to coordinate your emergency response and make sure that everyone knows their roles. You need to have a meeting area away from the building, an easy place to get emergency contacts, and everyone should know their tasks should disaster strike. Your emergency plan should also include how your business will continue in the case that your premises cannot be used for an extended period of time.
A data breach could be devastating for your business. Your reputation will be damaged, and you may find yourself facing lawsuits from customers or employees who were affected. Every company needs to do whatever is necessary to protect their data.
In the past that meant having locks on storage room doors and on filing cabinets. However, you need to keep people from accessing your cloud storage and your local network. You should have a password standard throughout your business so that employees do not use weak ones that can be exploited. Provide regular training and updates to keep security at the top of everyone’s mind, and to remind them of threats.
Protect Your Employees
Along with getting insurance to protect your business, you should also be protecting the best interests of your employees. If they get injured or sick as a result of working for you, then they deserve assistance. Almost every state requires workers compensation for these situations. This will make sure that your most important assets, which are your people, will get compensation for lost wages and medical bills while recovering from their injuries. This also helps to protect your business, since you will not have to pay out of your pocket for these expenses.
Look For Ways to Cut Expenses
There are several ways that you can cut expenses. If your costs get too high, then you could find yourself in trouble, especially if you suffer a dip in your revenues. Make sure that you keep a close eye on the thermostat and your energy bills so that you can keep your bills as low as possible. You can also save on paper by saving more to your computer instead of printing them off. If you’ve signed up for free trials of software, check to make sure that you have canceled them, otherwise you could end up paying for things you aren’t using and have already decided you don’t need. Return on investment is what your business should be focusing on, and cutting costs is an important part of that.
One of the main things you can do to protect your business is operate honestly and honorably. If you are true to your word, you will be at much less risk of lawsuits, angry customers, poor reviews, and many other negative effects of being a poorly run business. Being dishonest can also land you in legal trouble if you break certain laws. There is no benefit to operating without integrity.
As you can see, there is a lot of risk when it comes to running a business. However, there are also many ways that you can protect your business, yourself, and your employees.