Running your own business is no small task. As a business owner, you’re constantly shifting priorities, juggling tasks, and making moves to increase your bottom line. But in addition to your day to day responsibilities, you should also be thinking about your business’s security in the long term.
Every business is vulnerable. From theft and data breaching to litigious employees and financial issues. As an owner, it’s your responsibility to do what you can to protect your business from potential threats. In this article, we’ll be discussing some high-level tips to help you protect your business from all sorts of vulnerabilities.
1. Manage your money efficiently
Budget concerns are a big part of running your own business, especially if you’re working with a limited one. A sudden hike in material cost, a mandatory increase in employee wages, or a drop in demand could quickly put your business into a tricky situation. The best remedy to deal with money issues? Plan ahead.
That old saying, “plan for the worst, hope for the best” definitely rings true when it comes to dealing with business budgets. Be sure to build an emergency cushion into your budget and always be thinking about how you might handle financial stress. The other part of this is being diligent about how you manage your finances. Use accounting software to help you monitor invoices, watch profit margins, and create budgets.
2. Hire exceptional employees
Not only do your employees help you make projects move forward, but they also lay the groundwork for your company’s culture and ultimately, your business’s success. Conversely, hiring bad employees can seriously jeopardize your business and cause complicated issues like theft, litigation, etc. But being able to identify the questionable ones isn’t always easy. To find the right employees for your organization, you’ll want to make sure that your hiring process is polished and professional. Here are some tips to help you fortify your hiring procedures:
- Post open positions on reputable job posting sites
- Screen applicants over the phone before bringing them in for an interview
- Have candidates complete test projects if it makes sense for them to do so
- Use panel interviews to get a broader perspective on candidates
- Conduct an identity check on your top candidate(s) before sending your final job offer
- Designate a predetermined trial period for the candidate to make sure they’re a good fit
3. Protect your tech
Data breaches have become one of the main threats to all brands these days, no matter how big or small. Even huge corporations like Target, TJ Maxx, and Home Depot have experienced large-scale data breaches where customer data was hacked, costing them millions of dollars in settlements.
While your small business might not have to deal with cybersecurity threats to this extent, it’s still important to do what you can to protect you and your customers’ information. A breach not only costs money, but it can also be very damaging to your company’s reputation.
Here are a few ways your business can better protect everyone’s data:
- Use data encryption and a VPN to keep data and browsing secure
- Make customers aware of their privacy and your data usage
- Don’t grant everyone data access, only allow employees who need the information to retrieve it
- Take complaints and concerns seriously and adjust your process as necessary
4. Be forward-thinking
Another potential threat your business may encounter is a decrease in demand or a change in the market. Remember Blockbuster? The family video store was practically ubiquitous but as soon as streaming services like Netflix and Hulu came along with a more convenient product, the stores practically vanished into thin air.
While there isn’t really a way to predict these kinds of changes, your business can—and should—have a plan in place for growth. Can you introduce a new technology to make the customer experience more seamless? Or perhaps there’s a way for you to expand your services? Make sure to keep up on industry trends to help you establish a growth mindset.
Running your own business is constantly challenging and sometimes nerve-wracking. But by using these best practices, you can fortify your business against potential threats.