If you own your own business, you’ll want to do everything in your power to protect it. Whether it is your sole income, a family firm or a side hustle, it’s vital to safeguard your enterprise. In today’s climate, however, businesses face a number of different threats. If you want to ensure the survival of your organization, you’ll need to take a multipronged approach to keeping it safe and functional.

To ensure you’re safeguarding your enterprise effectively, take a look at these essential ways to protect your business.

Incorporation

One of the benefits of owning your own firm is the freedom and flexibility to run it how you like. Being self-employed and registering as a sole proprietor is, perhaps, the most flexible option when it comes to running a business. However, this business model can leave you vulnerable. While sole proprietorship may be appropriate when you’re first starting out, you should consider whether you want the added protection that comes with incorporation.

When you incorporate your business, it officially becomes a company. By giving your organization its own legal identity, you distance yourself from the firm personally. Of course, you can still remain as the director of your firm and manage the day-to-day operations.

Once incorporated, however, your business will benefit from tax benefits that are only available to registered companies in the U.S. Furthermore, you can alter your own payment structure to minimize your tax liability. In doing so, your company’s costs are reduced, and profits are essentially increased.

Other benefits associated with incorporation include:

  • Enhanced credibility
  • Easy to transfer ownership
  • Easier to introduce employee reward schemes and 401(k) schemes

However, incorporating your enterprise doesn’t just offer financial benefits. In addition to this, you’ll find there are personal benefits too. As a sole proprietor, your personal finances are inextricably linked to the business. Furthermore, your liability extends to the business too. If your organization owes money or is sued, your personal assets could be seized when you’re a sole proprietor.

As a company director, however, you’ll limit your own personal liability and separate the organization’s finances from your own. This is a major benefit associated with incorporation and one which should be carefully considered. As well as giving your business tax advantages, incorporation can protect your own assets and finances.

Background Checks

As a business owner or company director, you should spend a considerable amount of time carrying out due diligence. This essentially means that you’ll undertake in-depth research in order to determine the legality and commercial benefits of entering into a contractual agreement. In terms of business ownership, however, it can be advantageous to undertake due diligence at every opportunity.

If you plan to hire employees, for example, you’ll want to ensure you carry out thorough background checks before you offer them a job role. While a resume and interview can give you an impression of a potential employee, it is important to verify what they’re telling you.

Similarly, prospective business partners and investors should be thoroughly researched. If you choose to find bankruptcy records, for example, you can gain an insight into the individual’s financial background. With PublicRecordsReviews, you can access the information you need to help keep your business safe. From bankruptcy records to criminal background checks, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the people you’ll be doing business with. Obtain consent before you run a background check and abide by Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines so that your prospective investors and partners know that you’re looking after their best interests as well as those of your business.  

However, learning more about prospective employees, business partners and investors isn’t the only way to keep your organization safe. If you rely on a small pool of suppliers or serve a select range of clients, for example, your income may be dependent on their performance. By carrying out relevant checks, you can learn more about the people at the helm of these organizations. In doing so, you’ll be able to determine whether you can rely on them.

Insurance

All businesses require some form of insurance, regardless of what industry you operate in. Public liability insurance is particularly important, as it will cover you if a member of the public is hurt as a result of your organizations actions. Similarly, employee liability insurance will protect your business from members of staff who make a claim for an injury which occurs whilst they’re performing their duties.

In such a litigious society, it is vital you have adequate coverage in place. For smaller businesses, in particular, it may seem tempting to take out the smallest policy available, simply to cover your legal obligations. However, just one compensation claim can equate to a pay-out of millions of dollars. For the vast majority of businesses, this kind of legal action would prevent them from operating. With adequate insurance, however, you can ensure that people are appropriately compensated for any harm you’re responsible for while still protecting your business.

Of course, there are many other types of insurance you need to consider as a business owner. With professional indemnity insurance, for example, you can protect your business from claims that your advice or services have caused losses or harm. With business interruption insurance, you can protect your cashflow if your company is unable to trade due to specified reasons.

With various levels of cover available and numerous types of insurance to consider, you may want to access specialist advice. Gaining help from an experienced financial or insurance advisor will help to ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations and maximizing the protection afforded to your business.

Online Reputation Management

Your organization’s value isn’t solely tied up in physical assets and cashflow. In fact, your corporate and commercial reputation can be a significant factor when determining the value of your firm. As many business owners have discovered, damage to your reputation can be disastrous for your business.

In today’s digital era, protecting your reputation is more important than ever before. Anyone can go online and leave reviews about your business, regardless of whether they’re true or not. For companies, there are limited options when it comes to refuting untrue or spurious allegations. Despite this, their impact is all too real.

A damaged reputation can shrink your customer base and cost you a lot of business. In some cases, severe damage to your commercial reputation will be enough to bring your business to a close. Due to this, it is essential that you take a proactive approach to reputation management. Instead of aiming to deliver exemplary service and hoping for the best, you need to take control of your company’s reputation and shape it.

Managing an organization’s reputation isn’t always easy. When billions of people have access to the internet, you need to be vigilant about what’s being said about your business at all times. For the majority of companies, attempting to manage your online reputation inhouse is simply too time-consuming and labor intensive.

Fortunately, there are other options available. With specialist online reputation management agencies, you can:

  • Monitor your brand online
  • Remove harmful and untrue content
  • Counteract misleading claims
  • Refute false allegations
  • Minimize the impact of negative content
  • Bury negative content using SEO tactics
  • Protect your search engine rankings

Remember – it isn’t only online businesses that need to manage their online reputation. Bricks and mortar businesses have an online presence too. Even if you don’t trade online, you’ll still need to monitor and manage your online reputation effectively if you want to succeed.

Website Security

Your company’s security is critical to your ongoing success. If your vehicles are vandalized or broken into, your company can’t operate. If your premises are burned down, your assets and intellectual property could be lost. If your building floods, you could lose valuable equipment and miss out on trading opportunities.

However, it isn’t just your physical security you need to be concerned with. Your online security is critical too. From malicious hackers trying to bring down your website to third parties attempting to steal customer data, there are new threats cropping up all the time.

Due to the range of risks to your firm, it is vital to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity policy. By pre-empting IT related attacks, you can protect your inhouse systems, your confidential business information, and your customers data. As governments implement more serious regulations and sanctions for data breaches, you could also be protecting your business from legal issues and financial losses.

While security software can go some way to protecting your business from the online threats it faces, you may benefit from a more advanced approach. By working with cybersecurity specialists, you can incorporate a range of protections into your inhouse processes. This will make it more difficult for anyone to harm your company and make it easier for you to identify potential threats.

Keeping Your Business Safe, Secure and Functional

If your business can’t operate, it can’t generate income. Without any turnover, your profits will be non-existent. To prevent your turnover from dropping and your profits being decimated, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your business

Given the range of threats facing today’s companies, it isn’t always easy to predict where the next threat will come from. By seeking expert advice, taking a proactive approach and carefully considering all available options, however, you can protect your business, your employees and yourself.