Your business is your baby. You’ve invested your time, energy and money into bringing your dream to life. And while it’s worth every stressful moment, there are also safeguards that need to be put in place to ensure that you aren’t vulnerable to risk.
Being an entrepreneur means that you are responsible for the success of… everything. When you’re the founder, you’re also the gatekeeper. And while that can be a lot of pressure, it also means that you need to protect your investment.
3 ways to protect your business
secure your intellectual property
As a business owner, you have the responsibility of protecting the sensitive data provided to you by your employees and customers. Some information may seem insignificant. However, names, addresses, identification numbers, Social Security numbers, and of course payment details – can all be used by hackers to create and use fake identities.
Tip: If you’re just getting started, you want to implement ways to protect information early. It’s not only good business — but in many cases, it’s also the law. Don’t get fined by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for not adequately protecting sensitive data.
If you’re a social media entrepreneur, you’re not exempt. You may not collect highly personal information like social security numbers or credit card data, but keep in mind that even email addresses have to be handled properly. Check to make sure the customer database program, POS software, and even your email marketing service is protected and features the necessary safeguards. If you’re considering using cloud computing solutions for businesses do your research on risks and vulnerabilities to ensure that you’re storing information on protected servers.
have legal protection
It’s easy to not have ‘find a good lawyer’ on your list of things to do when you first get started in business. And like with most complex topics, it’s easier to avoid the subject altogether. But when it comes to being legally protected, working backward can often mean leaving your business vulnerable.
Finding a suitable lawyer means finding someone that is familiar with local laws and restrictions. Look for a qualified attorney that is experienced in working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. They should be able to guide you in setting up your business within the proper legal framework – ensuring that you’re complying with any applicable laws.
Tip: Not all lawyers are the same – which means that you may need more than one. For example, you will need a tax attorney for tax-related issues. If you’re purchasing property for your business, you’ll want to find a reputable real estate attorney. Or… you’ll want trademark and patent attorneys if you are trying to protect an original idea or concept.
secure your reputation
Your reputation and brand identity in the marketplace can make or break your business. Word of mouth is still king when it comes to attracting new customers. With people being able to review their experience with you in real time, it’s important that you stay on top of your business’ reputation.
It doesn’t matter whether the information is true or not. People trust reviews, complaints, and the opinions of others that have done business with you.
- Be sure that you are creating a corporate culture centered around amazing customer service.
- Respond to customer concerns quickly.
- If you’re unable to fully rectify the situation for unhappy clients, make sure they feel validated and appreciated.