For any small business owner, there are constant risks you have to face every day. Running a company is like spinning plates. You need to keep a close eye on all areas of your business, and if you make a mistake somewhere it could all come crashing down.
You could come under threat from cybercriminals, or you could even succumb to the much more traditional crime of breaking and entering. Your office could be destroyed by fire or flood, or you could make a costly mistake on social media which destroys your brand reputation within seconds.
As the owner, it is your job to keep an eye on these risks and do what you can to minimize them. Here are the biggest risks to your company and the steps you can take to avoid them.
Most offices are full of valuable computer equipment and stores of petty cash. This makes them prime targets for opportunistic criminals. They know your office will be empty at night so there’s a lot to be gained from breaking in and taking what they can. Installing a security system will deter intruders and alert authorities if a break-in does occur. Keep any valuable items and cash in a safe to prevent theft, but make sure it is large enough that it can’t be carried off.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in: all businesses are susceptible to cybersecurity threats. You could be a global bank, a healthcare IT services company, or a small ecommerce store selling novelty hats. Either way, you need to take steps to protect your business. Make sure all of your antivirus software is kept up to date, and that you protect your log-in details with a password management tool. It’s essential you train your staff in best practices around keeping safe online, particularly if they use their own devices for work.
Loss of reputation
All it takes is one tasteless advert or misjudged tweet to create a social media storm. So many brands have made this mistake, and upsetting your followers could damage your reputation and harm your business. Try to stay away from contentious topics like politics or religion in your marketing, and never share your personal viewpoints or opinions on behalf of your company.
Sometimes things happen that you can’t predict. A fire could spread from a neighboring office, or a sudden burst pipe could flood your entire workplace. While you can ensure all your appliances and utilities are well maintained, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent a natural disaster. What you can do though is take steps to minimize the damage in the event of such an occurrence. The best thing to do is to take daily backups of all your business data onto an external hard drive. At least one hard drive should be kept in a secure location outside the office at all times, so if a fire or flood does destroy your entire computer system, you can still retrieve most of it.