Whether you’re just starting a company or you’ve been running one for quite a while, you’ll need to look after it. A few obvious things could come to mind with that, like making sure you don’t break any laws or regulations. To properly protect your business, though, you’ll need to do more than that.
Running a company involves quite a few risks, after all. While many of these can be relatively small, some of them could threaten the success of your business. You could even end up failing if you’re not careful enough.
Thankfully, that’s not something you need to settle for. You’ll just need to implement a few strategies and take a few specific steps. Seven of these can help more than you’d think, so they’re worth implementing in your business.
You’ll have much less to worry about once you do.
Protect Your Business: 7 Practical Steps To Take
1. Pick The Right Structure
One of the first decisions you ever make about your company plays a large role in how protected it is. Your business structure deserves a lot of time and effort into considering. Make sure you go with the right one for you from the start. While you can change it in the future, that’ll be complicated.
You’ll have several options to pick from, each of which offer their pros and cons. Spend some time actually comparing them before making your decision. It could even be worth talking to a professional before you make your decision. It’ll help more than you’d think.
2. Get Business Insurance
Every business needs to have some kind of insurance for it to operate legally. Usually, that’s general liability insurance or professional liability insurance. You could’ve already gone for one of these, and you might think you’re set going forward. That mightn’t actually be the best approach.
While you’ll have the legal minimum, it doesn’t mean you’re completely covered. More than a few things could go wrong that your insurance mightn’t cover. If they’re large enough, these could threaten your business. At a minimum, you could be out quite a bit of money. Avoid that by getting the right insurance.
3. Keep Sensitive Information Safe
Your business obtains a lot of sensitive data over time. Some of this is related to business operations, while others could be related specifically to customers. All of this needs to be protected. It’s not just a legal issue, but it could be a threat to your company if some of it gets out.
Take the time to protect all of your information. Redaction is a great way of doing this if you need to send out some documents but want to keep specific information safe. Be as safe as you can be with this.
4. Protect Your Employees
Your employees are one of your most important assets, and you wouldn’t be able to get much done without them. Then there’s the fact they’re people who need to be looked after. You wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to them, so it’s always worth doing what you can to keep them safe.
It’s worth investing in an emergency plan while you’re at it. It lets employees know exactly what they should do if anything happens. Regular training also helps with this, and you’ll keep them much safer than you otherwise would have. A lot of this is legally mandated, giving you no excuse not to.
5. Be Smart With New Clients
There’ll be plenty of times when you’ll bring in new customers and clients. When these are for small purchases they pay for straight away, this isn’t anything to worry about. Where you’ll need to be careful is if there are longer payment terms with relatively large amounts of money on the line.
Make sure there’s some form of contract in place that everyone signs. It makes sure they pay when they should, and gives you a means of recovering due funds if they don’t pay. It’ll protect your business more than you’d expect. You’ve no reason not to.
6. Manage Your Cash Flow
Speaking of making sure people pay when they should, you’ll always need to look after and manage your cash flow. It’s how you’ll pay for running your business, after all. You’ll need it to be above a specific point for you to be profitable. Almost everything below that means you’re losing money.
Aim to at least break even and have enough cash on-hand to pay for everything. Knowing when clients will pay and how much they’re expected to pay helps with this. Make your cash flow as positive as possible, and you shouldn’t have much to worry about.
7. Have A Lawyer On-Hand
While you mightn’t need to use a lawyer regularly, there could be more than a few times when you do. The last thing you’ll want when something happens is needing to scramble around trying to find one that can actually help. It’s worth spending a little time finding one beforehand.
You can even have them on retainer for a relatively small fee. By taking that route, you shouldn’t have to worry if any legal threats come up. With how much of an impact they can have on your business if you’re not protected, you’ve no reason not to take this path.
Protect Your Business: Wrapping Up
You need to look after your business if you want it to succeed. Looking after the legalities is a part of this, but it’s far from the only thing you need to do. Instead, you’ll have to look after quite a few things if you really want to protect your business. While that seems complicated, it shouldn’t have to be.
Some strategies protect your company by default, but you’ll often need to do more than that. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about it, however. By taking the right steps, you should be more protected than you’d think. Doing these early means your company will be much safer than it otherwise would be.