It’s no secret that running a profitable business can come with some risks.
No matter how hard you work or the time you spend on your job, running a company will always come with threats that need extra attention.
It can be all too easy to fall into the trap of ignoring these areas when your business is small, only to find them causing serious issues for you later down the line. Of course, though, this can all be solved with a little bit of forward-thinking. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the work that can be done to reduce the threats your business faces.
Privacy & Data
Handling data is one of the biggest challenges a modern business faces, with strict laws governing this area and the organizations that administer them giving out harsh fines if you don’t follow the rules.
Not only do you need to make sure that you have permission to collect data from people, but you also have to make sure that you look after it correctly. You can find some of the most crucial areas you need to cover with this below.
- Encryption: Encryption is used to make it impossible for outsiders to be able to read data that is transmitted over the web. SSL handles this on your website, with a valid certificate being essential to handle user data. Alongside this, though, you also need to make sure that the network responsible for storing the data is encrypted and secure.
- Accessibility: While employees should access the data they need with ease, criminals and those outside your business should find it nearly impossible. Doors on the outside of your property should always be locked, and the spaces used for your storage servers should only be accessible once a person has gotten through several layers of physical and digital security.
- Policies: The policies your business uses to control and manage data are crucial to your success with something like this. These policies need to follow the law, making it crucial that you have someone to help you understand the laws that need to be followed.
- Employee Training: Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the training you give your employees. This sort of action can be a huge help when you’re dealing with sensitive data, ensuring that your team knows exactly how to handle data without the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.
Businesses often have to deal with significant fines when they ignore data protection rules. This makes it crucial that you have the right provisions to show that you have done everything you can to protect the data you look after. Alongside this, though, you also have to be prepared to report breaches as they happen.
The law can be a tricky thing for businesses, especially when it comes to liability. You must have legal support behind you, even if you’ve never experienced legal issues before, as this will protect you from the threat that they can pose. A few different steps can be taken to ensure that you don’t find yourself struggling with legal disputes when you are running a business.
- Insurance: Insurance can be a saving grace for court cases, giving you the chance to avoid the costs that come with this process. Even relatively small court cases can end up costing tens of thousands, and this isn’t the sort of money that a small business can afford to lose. You can almost certainly afford insurance, though.
- Legal Support: Having the right support behind you can make it much easier to avoid the mistakes that could result in legal disputes for your business. Legal advice comes in many different forms, and you often don’t have to pay a small fortune for help like this. Instead, you can use the internet to your advantage, looking for all of the free support you can find.
- Employee Training: Much like dealing with data protection, employee training can be a good way to overcome the issues that come with legal disputes for a business. You can teach your team to follow the right laws while also giving them an idea of the legal risks your company faces, enabling them to keep their eyes open for trouble.
Ensuring that you are always following the law can be very hard, especially when your business works in various fields. Much like data protection, though, the best way to overcome this is to prepare for the very worst. This makes tools like insurance invaluable, but you have to make sure that they cover every facet of your business.
Public relations can be crucial to businesses of all sizes, with more and more companies working online and lacking the protection that small companies often receive from operating locally. This means that it only takes a small knock to your reputation for people to start avoiding you, ultimately costing a small fortune in missed customers when you could have halted this issue in its tracks.
- Customer Services: Providing excellent customer service is just about essential nowadays. Not only do you need to make sure that your business is giving people the right products, but they also need to have advice, support, and aftercare to make sure that their experience is perfect. It’s well worth looking at companies like Microsoft to learn more about customer service.
- Social Media/The Public: Companies often take the wrong approach with social media, posting opinions or other damaging content regularly. You have to look at platforms like this as if they are the same as public spaces. Would you attend a political protest in the name of your business? Probably not. And this needs to extend to your work online.
- Making Statements: Making statements can be a hard but good way to solve PR problems. While many companies will work as hard as possible to shift blame in situations like these, it’s well worth being honest and open, explaining the issues that have impacted your customers and showing how you will change in the future.
A lot of people are tired of working with companies that feel soulless and unwilling to help them. This makes it well worth spending the time to make sure that your business feels friendly and easy to approach while also providing information to customers as soon as they need it. Of course, while this will be a challenge, your great reputation will be well worth it.
Avoiding the issues that can cost your business money is a great way to save. People often ignore these areas when they are first getting started, but this is rarely the best approach. Instead, it would help if you worked as hard as possible to ensure that you cover all of these areas when your business is small, ensuring that they don’t slip as you grow. This doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds once you’ve put some work into it.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to start improving the precautions you take for your business. This process can be a tricky one, but there are loads of professionals available to help with this if you take a look around the web. Of course, though, it can take some work to make sure that you’re handling this properly, even when you have the right tools the help you out.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.