Running a small business is like building a house of cards. It takes considerable effort and patience to put it all together; one small breeze and the entire thing comes crashing down. Owners invest months (even years) developing their business ideas, only to stumble upon an external threat that may well jeopardize their whole operation. That is why small business owners have to build a solid foundation, with robust security measures and proper insurance coverage, first; before going tall. Here’s a list of some of the most common threats small businesses face and some clever ways of dealing with them.
You can’t expect to win a marathon if you’re constantly making breaks mid-race. The same goes for running your small business; you need to keep a steady pace at all times in order to get results. In other words, business interruptions are by far the biggest threat for your small business. Roughly around 40% of businesses never recover from business interruptions caused by natural disasters such as fires and floods, according to FEMA. Of course, one cannot predict when the next earthquake will occur, let alone stop it from happening. Yet, what you can do is prepare your small business for the worst. For example, get some business interruption coverage, or have a backup location set up as a temporary base to stop the bleeding while your main location is being repaired.
The relationship between the government and businesses is an uncertain one. Much of it depends on the priorities and the agenda of the leading political party (or figure) currently in power. What’s more, business restrictions and regulations can be imposed on all government levels. For instance, your local government will mostly deal with the regulation of building permits, whereas the provincial government will deal with sales tax regulations; federal with environmental issues, and so on. Consequently, the passing of new regulations and restrictions can have a huge impact on your day-to-day business operations. That is why, as a small business owner, you have to be up-to-date with the latest happenings inside the government. Even if you dislike politics, if you’re unsure or unfamiliar with any (new) regulations, you need to contact your government officials and sort it all out, ASAP.
Theft and unlawful entry
This one is a classic. Ever since man opened his first shop, there was someone trying to break in and steal all the goods. Namely, the results of these attacks could prove devastating for small businesses where the loss of inventory and, or, damage to property can cause serious business interruptions. Not to mention the risk of exposing your employees to life-threatening situations during work hours. Now, the best way of coping with this problem is by upgrading your security systems to the latest design; as using geese, like they did in Ancient Rome, simply won’t cut it anymore. For example, JD Security offers 4G Wireless alarm monitoring plans— three state-of-the-art alarm transmission systems with Direct Wireless, Multipath, and Permaconn options — for small business owners with varying needs.
With the rise of the internet, small businesses have become susceptible to both offline and online attacks. Now, while offline attacks can be stopped with an effective alarm system, online cyber attacks cannot. What’s more, small businesses make ideal targets for hackers and cyber criminals, as many of them utilize poor security measures, or lack a dedicated IT department to deal with such threats. As a result, data breaches and even worse, ransomware are the bane of small business owners all over the world. With the ability to hijack critical business information, ransomware can effectively halt a business dead in its tracks. That is why regular backups, frequent anti-virus updates, and fast reaction times are essential for maintaining healthy cyber security.
Having outstanding lawsuits can be costly. Small businesses simply cannot afford settling both in and out of court with their limited resources. Yet, liability lawsuits are almost inevitable. The solution: get yourself some adequate liability insurance for your business. For example, General and Product Liability Insurance provide coverage for all kinds of bodily injury, personal injury, as well as property damage caused by your products and services, both on and off your premises. With decent coverage, you should be able to deal with most claims of negligence and malpractice declared against you. Additionally, depending on your type of business, you might also want to take a look at some Commercial Auto Insurance, Liquor Liability Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and so on.
Now that you have some proper safety measures in place, you can finally start expanding your small business. Stay vigilant and remember to always reinforce your business infrastructure with additional support as you grow in size.