Running your own business isn’t a walk in the park. With all the upsides to being your own boss come some serious downsides – like financial risk and responsibilities. The good news is that there are a number of protective measures you can put in place to safeguard your business, your employees, and your financial future. Here are three of the most important ways to protect your business.
Natural disasters? Theft? Injury? There are insurances for almost any business threat. Most brokers offer commercial packages, where individual insurance covers are packaged up in a comprehensive all-in-one solution. These usually include:
- Workers compensation: This protects your business from compensation claims made by employees associated with workplace injury. This is a compulsory insurance for any business that has employees.
- Public liability insurance: This protects your business from financial risks if it’s found to be legally responsible for personal injury, death, or damages to the property of a third party.
- Professional indemnity insurance: Particularly important if you give advice for a living, this insurance protects you if a client decides to take legal action after suffering a financial loss or hardship from taking your advice.
- Building and contents insurance: This covers the cost of general damages – whether from fire, disasters, or accidents – to your business premises, stock, and equipment.
- Income protection insurance: This insurance will pay out part of your normal income if you can’t work due to illness or injury.
- Business interruption: This protects your business against lost profits due to downtime caused by damage to your premises or stock.
2. Secure your data
Cybercrime has become a genuine threat to small businesses, and it’s important to put safeguards in place to protect your private data. You also have a responsibility to protect any personal data you collect from your customers, along with their financial information such as credit card details. Here are some important security measures you can take:
- Regularly back up your data to prevent data loss should your servers become damaged – and store it off site or in the cloud.
- Install protection software on all of your devices to prevent viruses, spyware, and malware damaging your files or stealing your private data.
- Use data encryption software to protect sensitive information from hackers, disgruntled employees or other unauthorised users. Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption software is included in most Windows operating systems.
- Use third-party payment providers, such as PayPal, wherever possible. This way your customers can pay you without directly providing their credit card details to you – and hackers can’t steal information you don’t have.
3. Avoid hidden debt
If you buy second-hand machinery, equipment, or vehicles for your business, make sure the previous owner doesn’t have any outstanding debt on the item. If they do, then creditors may be able to seize the new purchase from you, leaving you out of pocket. Before you buy expensive used goods, check the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), which will tell you if there’s a security interest or any other registration on the item you intend to purchase. With the right protection in place, you’ll be free to focus on what you do best – running your business.
For more tips on how to run your small business, check out these resources.