Business owners invest a huge amount of time, money and energy into getting companies off the ground and keeping them afloat. It’s natural to want to shield your business from threats and minimize risks. In this guide, we’ll look at some steps you can take today to protect your business in 2021.
Insurance policies provide peace of mind for home and business owners. If you run a company, it’s vital to ensure you have the relevant insurance cover in place. From auto insurance for company vehicles and public liability cover to protect against natural disasters and theft, investing in insurance will minimize disruptions and save you a fortune if you need to make a claim. It’s easy to assume that you’ll never need to make a claim, but the truth is that nobody knows what is around a corner. If a fire breaks out, and you need help with paying for smoke damage experts, or there is a flood and you’ve lost equipment or your premises have been damaged, insurance could prevent you from going out of the business. Check your existing policies, explore options you could add to enhance your cover and shop around for the best deals. Often, providers reserve their best offers and incentives for new customers, and this means that loyal clients lose out. If you have policies that are due for renewal, or you’re looking to take out new plans, compare prices online before you buy.
There are many different types of security that can help to keep businesses safe. The most important for the majority of companies are security to protect business premises and cybersecurity. If you own a store, a cafe, a hotel, a warehouse, a factory or an office, for example, it’s beneficial to look into security options to reduce the risk of burglary. Using alarm systems, cameras and CCTV, foot patrols and deterrents like high fences can make your business a less appealing proposition. It is also advisable to lock valuable items away and to avoid keeping large amounts of cash on-site.
Cybersecurity is an increasingly crucial consideration for business owners. Forbes estimates that the global cost of cybercrime will reach $6 trillion in 2021. We often see stories about high-profile breaches in the media, but small and medium-sized businesses are the most common targets. To lower the risk of security issues, business owners should enforce robust security measures, provide training for employees and enforce additional policies to cover potential risks, such as bringing your own device. If employees can spot red flags and you have systems in place to detect suspicious activity or threats, this will reduce the risk of downtime and lost sales and protect your reputation. If you don’t have an in-house IT department, it’s wise to consider working with an external IT agency. Experts can analyze and assess your current defenses, recommend modifications and upgrades and monitor your systems and networks to ensure that any warning signs are identified as early as possible.
Shielding your reputation
Statistics suggest that over 90% of people read reviews in 2020. With customer ratings and recommendations playing an increasingly influential role in consumer decision-making and customers having access to social media and 24-hour news, it has never been more important to think about your reputation. As a business owner, you want people to form a positive association with your brand. If you have an excellent track record, customers give you positive reviews and people trust you, they will use your business again and recommend you to others. You can enhance your reputation by providing first-class customer service and support, delivering on the promises you make to your clients, focusing on quality and ensuring you comply with regulations, such as data protection. Make sure your website is secure and go the extra mile to connect with customers. It’s also an excellent idea to get involved in schemes or to back initiatives that matter to you. If you’re passionate about the environment, for example, investigate charities you could support, start donating a portion of your profits to conservation projects or plant a tree for every purchase. Increasingly, consumers want to buy from brands that give back and those that have a cause and a conscience.
There are several threats that business owners have to dodge and avoid to stay afloat. It may not be possible to avert every disaster or danger, but being proactive in setting up defenses can reduce risks significantly. Secure your business premises, invest in cybersecurity measures, make sure you have robust insurance cover and take steps to protect your reputation.