Running a small business can undoubtedly be very rewarding, but as I’m sure you’ll now, with rewards come a number of risks.
From data hacking to natural disasters, there are so anything that can go wrong, and when they do, take your business down with them, that you need to be prepared.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common business risks and how to minimise them:
An Interrupting Event
An interrupting event is an event that causes your business to stop trading for a period of time, or even permanently for whatever reason. One example of an interrupting incident would be a fire. Should your premises burn down, then you might have to shut up shop for weeks, months even to sort it out and that could make it difficult for you to stay in business at all.
The obvious way to deal with interrupting events, other examples of which include equipment failure and theft, is to sit down and think through every scenario that could interrupt your business and then invest in equipment and software that could minimise their impact. The could include sprinkler systems, fire doors, anti-theft bars – you get the idea. As well as this, you should make plans and share these plans with your employees in the hopes that, should an interrupting even start to happen, you can collectively prevent it from getting too bad.
IT System Failures and Hacks
In this digital age that we are all living, the threat of being hacked and having your company’s data stolen, or your It system going down, and taking your ability to run your business with it, is very real and can be totally devastating should it happen.
We’re lucky in the UK that the weather rarely gets too bad. We don’t really suffer from devastating hurricanes or anything like that, but the threat of a natural disaster to your business should still not be understated. What would happen, for example, if your office was to become flooded and your equipment ruined, not to mention the loss of all your files? It could be pretty expensive to come back from, not to mention tough to do without the physical day you need.
To minimise against floods and other natural disasters first and foremost, you should carry out checks on your premises, looking for weaknesses. If there are any, have them fixed or install equipment like flood doors to keep the place as safe as possible.
Next, you’ll want to ensure that you have a good business property insurance policy that covers weather-related events.
You’ll also want to ensure that you have, at least. Your most important data backed up in the cloud. Even better, go digital and store everything in the cloud, use virtual servers and stop printing things out, then if you do lose your equipment, your data won’t be lost with it.
The risk of one of your employees being injured at work is a very real one, and one which could cause you to lose your business, especially if you’re a small company with little capital to spare. Why? Because workplace injuries often attract compensation claims and these can run into the tens of thousands, even millions of pounds if the injury is severe.
The obvious way to minimise this risk is by ensuring that you adhere to all health and safety rules and regulations relating to your business. You should also train your employees so that they do the same, and ensure that you have an insurance policy that covers workplace injuries too.
Of course, it isn’t just digital hacking and theft that you have to worry about. As a business, you need to be mindful of the fact your workplace could be broken into at any moment, and that could mean that criminals get away with, not only property worth a lot of money, but also your important data and the sensitive data of your clients.
You can minimise this particular risk by installing burglar alarms, hiring security guards, taking out insurance, and, again, keeping your data stored in the cloud instead of on site.
If you take all this onboard and take the time to implement these measures, your business will be a lot more secure as a result.