A lot of people work very hard to build their businesses, yet it doesn’t take much for all that hard work to fall apart, if you don’t keep your business safe and compliant. Indeed, there are countless stories of entrepreneurs and even social entrepreneurs that are trying to do good in the world, ending up going out of business, being made bankrupt, or even ending up in prison on the charge of corporate manslaughter for issues relating to safety.
When you have worked hard to build up your business, the last thing you want is for it to be destroyed by a safety, security or compliance issue. In the majority of cases, these risks can easily be foreseen and therefore managed.
However, it’s only usually in hindsight that business owners look back and wish they had done something differently, particularly when it comes to online security and how easily preventable data loss can be. Indeed, it usually requires a disastrous situation to trigger the business owner to take the necessary steps to make their business safe, complaint and robust.
This article therefore looks at a number of ways to proactively keep your business safe and compliant.
From a security perspective, your employees should be taking care of your business rather than being viewed as a security threat, but you should make no mistake – a lot of times, particularly within retail, it is the staff themselves that account for a large proportion of theft.
The other thing to consider, with regard to protecting your business is that an employee can have your best intentions at heart but still be negligent; and this negligence can open you up to a huge lawsuit that could end up destroying your business. It’s therefore vital you focus on staff training, and also put some measures in place to ensure your staff are acting in your best interest.
Did you know that most security breaches happen due to staff being complacent? It can therefore be a good idea to incorporate aspects of security into your regular staff meetings, no matter what your industry, as by educating your staff on common security threats these threats can be tackled as a team and neutralised.
Be Compliant with All Relevant Codes and Laws
This might seem like an obvious point, but if you are failing keeping up to date with your taxes or there are accuracy issues, this could land you in serious hot water; whether it was intentional or not.
That said, being compliant isn’t limited to obvious issues such as health and safety at work, tax compliance, or discrimination issues. There are some entrepreneurs operating a legitimate business without the correct formal registration – meaning, they are technically falling foul of the law and are incredibly vulnerable from a legal perspective.
For this reason, it can be helpful to use a professional company such as Your Company Formations to help you form a limited company – this way, they take care of all the initial administration for you, so that you have everything you need to operate legally and above board with regard to your company status and registration with Companies House.
Get Good Insurance
A decent business insurance policy is worth its weight in gold, as whilst it can feel painful to part with the monthly premiums, in the case of an emergency having this safety net has an incredible amount of value; particularly if you are running a small business or are just getting started as this means you often don’t have the cashflow security of larger businesses in order to weather the storm.
Protect Your Data with the Cloud
Protecting your data in the modern world is extremely important, not just from a compliance perspective, but on the basis all your work is usually stored on a computer – whether this is marketing material, business plans or customer records. You might want to think about using a cloud storage application such as Google Drive in order to keep files safe.
Whatever line of business you’re in, the last thing you want is an accident to happen at work, be this in a kitchen environment where someone accidentally slices off one of their fingers, perhaps unintentionally poisons one of your customers due to poor hygiene, or in a more high risk environment such as building work, where there are all sorts of risks with regard to construction accidents that can take place. Prevention is often better than cure, in this respect, and ensuring you have adequate warnings in the forms of signs in place along with adequate training of staff is the best way to prevent accidents.
Have Good Legal Representation
The benefit of having good legal representation, is twofold, firstly, a good lawyer will make sure there are prophylactic measures in place such as privacy policies on your website and ironclad contracts that protect your interests against most foreseeable risks.
Then, there’s the remedial measures they are able to offer. For instance, if a customer were to sue your business from a vexatious or money-grabbing perspective, a good lawyer will be able to shut that situation down very quickly without it ever reaching court. Then, if it did reach court, he or she would be able to represent you in a way that truly represented your interests – as they have a long term relationship with you, and understand your business holistically, rather being called in at the last second to try to get you out of hot water – but not really knowing the nature of your business or you, as the business owner.
Protect Your Gadgets
Today, within most businesses, we have so many gadgets of such great value, yet we take their value for granted both in economic and social terms.
Mobile phones, for instance, have become are so prominent in our daily lives that they are almost an extension of who we are; they have gone from being a mere phone to something akin to a personal assistant, bank card, mobile office, a camera, a video camera and a personal organiser. Indeed, your smartphone is the modern equivalent of a swiss army knife and contains so much of your important information that’s vital for your business it must be protected.
See, our gadgets play a huge role in our lives and even more so if you are a business owner that manages a business, yet we take these gadgets for granted and unconsciously assume they are somewhat indestructible – when in truth they are incredibly fragile technological devices.