Small business owners wear many different hats. From product development and customer service to marketing and sales, there’s always something that needs your attention. While you can hire people to handle some of these tasks and outsource others, you’ll likely want to have input on the process.
This is fairly understandable, especially when your business is new. It’s your vision, your goals, your livelihood. It’s also for these reasons that protecting it should be one of your highest priorities.
Not sure how to go about it? Read on for our top tips for protecting your business!
It’s important that you have a general understanding of the business laws that pertain to your business. When it comes to legal matters, ignorance does not play in your favor. Become familiar with laws and ordinances that may affect how you market and advertise your products; employment and labor laws; intellectual property and trademark rights; and sound financial practices. Don’t leave it to chance and put yourself and your business in a vulnerable state.
If you have a team, your employees’ safety should be at the top of your list of priorities. Even if you think you run a low-risk business, make sure you’re covered. Do regular risk assessments. Identify and minimize areas of concern as much as possible.
If you’re not sure where to start… or if you want to make sure your risk assessment is thorough, look into using operational risk management software, like one from Symfact. It’s always better to be proactive on the front end than it is to be caught unprepared.
Maintaining paperwork is not fun, but in business, keeping up with records, receipts, and proper documents, can be the difference between being above board and being accused of fraud. No paperwork (literally) means no proof. So, when you don’t have the proper documentation to back up employee records, tax filings, or accounting processes, you put yourself at risk.
Don’t leave this to chance.
If you struggle with maintaining paperwork, hire a professional. It may be an additional cost for you, but the benefits far outweigh the fee.
Business insurance policies aren’t just hype. If your business has employees, you are likely required to have certain insurance policies in place. Failure to have the proper coverage can be costly, if not detrimental, to your business. From workman’s comp to health insurance, do your research. Talk to a professional and find out exactly how much coverage and which types of policies you need to have in place.
Don’t just get the minimums.
Your policies (and coverage amounts) should reflect the true value of your assets, inventory, equipment and physical property. Make sure that you’re also protected against theft or loss of property due to natural disasters, unscrupulous business practices, or crime.
You’re the expert in your line of business, but attorneys are the experts at making sure you’re fortified against vulnerabilities. Before you sign anything, always have it reviewed by a lawyer. Even if you think you’re crystal clear on what you’re agreeing to, there could be hidden language, in contracts, that doesn’t work in your favor. Make sure you have a second set of trained eyes to protect your interests.