Most small businesses are begun as simple ideas, and grow into successful enterprises because of the motivation and entrepreneurial enthusiasm of their owners. As your small business becomes more successful, it also becomes more vulnerable. There are many potential disasters that can harm your business, and you need to be prepared to defend yourself as you grow. Protect your small business from technological and financial threats as well as threats to its reputation by being prepared and vigilant about prevention strategies.
1. Protect your small business from potential lawsuits.
Lawsuits can be expensive, even if you are confident that you will win. You will still have to pay for legal representation and spend a lot of time defending your company.
Watch your actions and words. Avoid doing business with people who have a reputation for unscrupulous behavior and do not engage in questionable business practices.
2. Assess your ability to withstand a catastrophe
An unexpected disaster such as a fire or a hurricane could destroy your business, leaving you without income or a plan to rebuild.
Talk to your insurance agent about what is appropriate for your small business. Each business has different needs.
3. Watch your cash and profits
Keep checks and balances and other controls in place to avoid being robbed or losing your hard-earned profits.
Be careful who you hire. Conduct background checks and screen all employees and consultants, especially those with access to company finances.
4. Understand cyber crimes and your company’s vulnerability
Hackers often target small businesses because they have less computer security than large corporations. Keep all of your data and intellectual property protected. Use antivirus software and install a firewall for your network.
5. Hire an IT expert to perform a risk assessment and recommend additional measures
A data breach could be damaging for your small business, especially if a hacker can access your financial information, or that of your customers.
6. Use social media responsibly
While most small businesses can benefit from Facebook pages and Twitter profiles, remember that the digital dialogue can include people unhappy with your business.
7. Develop a crisis communications plan
If something happens that can damage your reputation, you need to be prepared. Prepare a plan to respond to customers, the media and any other stakeholders.
8. Consider working with a public relations professional
Keeping a PR team on retainer might be prohibitive for your small business. However, talk to PR professionals about engaging their services on a per-project basis.