So, you think your small business is protected?

By Henry Brown

Many small businesses start out with a fear of someone stepping on their toes and beating them in their industry. It’s true that almost half of all new businesses fail to make it to their fifth anniversary and often this is down to inadequate funding or unanticipated shifts in the industry and economy. The thing is, many small business owners don’t realize the risks of crime and other threats, such as natural disasters, that could affect their company. Small business owners have a responsibility to ensure that they have been vigilant about the company they have set up. It doesn’t matter whether you have any staff, business protection is important.

Did you know that crime is a big concern for smaller outfits? Cybercrime costs the global economy $450billion in 2016, and you can read more about that figure here. Criminals will always look for ways to fleece hardworking business owners out of their money, and it’s up to you to make sure your company stays protected. It’s not just crime, either, that you have to protect yourself from. Natural disasters are also something that every small business owner has to consider. The costs of disaster recovery can put a small business out of pocket, but if you have already covered all your bases, you can significantly reduce those costs. Businesses have to cope with loss all the time, but if you can reduce the risks of loss to your business, you should. We’ve listed some of the ways your small company can protect itself from outside risk:

Hire a great legal team. Every business should have an attorney they can consult with regarding any company issues. Interviewing attorneys should have been your priority when you first set up. You need someone who is going to be familiar with all local, state, and federal laws and customs, especially those that are related to your industry. Lawyers versed in taxes would also be an advantage, as they can likely anticipate any tax challenges you are likely to face. Legal teams are there to protect you and help you keep your business going.

Have the right insurance in place. Companies that do not cover themselves with the correct insurance are simply asking for trouble. Put in place the appropriate liability insurance for your industry and, of course, property and casualty insurance. As added protection, include clauses into contracts to protect you from being sued if there are circumstances beyond your control preventing you from completing work.

Have adequate data protection. Most businesses work online, so it’s imperative to emphasize the safety of your intellectual property and data online. Software should be secured properly, and any documentation or files that are stored in an IT cloud should also be covered with good, difficult-to-crack passwords. If there was to be a fire or flood in the office, you need to know that you have back-up and contingency plans for everything so that you are not left in the lurch. You also need to ensure that criminals cannot get their hands on your information via hacking, so the correct protection is necessary.

Will putting all of this in place cost you time and money? Of course, but having your business protected is better than risking it all. Big businesses around the world work hard to protect themselves from exposure and theft. Small businesses are no different and have to be just as vigilant.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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