An online startup provides great opportunity to be your own boss and really get hands on with your work and building your fortune. But it’s also a significant risk. We’re not just talking about the usual struggles of competition or getting visibility.
There are a lot of dangers out there to your business, your employees and your money.You have to prepare protective measures for all of them. You don’t want to get caught where you least expect it. Here’s what to consider.
First, you need to think about the actual security that’s protecting your business. Specifically, the physical side of it. If you have an office, then it’s at a higher risk of burglary than other buildings. After all, criminals expect it to contain something of worth. The two-pronged approach is deterrence and surveillance. Deter criminals by reinforcing any entry-ways you can to make them harder to break into. Spot and report them using a network-connected alarm system. CCTV can do both, capturing evidence as well as making it obvious that your premises have some security to them.
Health and safety
There are a lot of reasons to be concerned with the health and safety of your employees. For one, you don’t want them absent or costing you money through workers’ comp. Secondly, you should care about their well-being. Both in the long-term and short-term. So you need to take both approaches. Have an employee act as a safety officer. Inspect fire hazards such as frayed wires and overloaded sockets. Clear dangers of slips, trips and falls. Then look into how to make the premises more comfortable for long term health. Use ergonomics to fight the risk of threats like eyestrain and repetitive strain injury.
It should go without saying that mental health matters as much as physical health. The most prevalent form you will encounter visibly is stress. Learn to recognise the signs of stress in your employees. In a work environment, it can manifest in a panicky or angry demeanour along with an increased rate of making mistakes or missing details. If someone is showing signs of stress, try to help them change their work environment. Change their responsibilities for a while. Ask yourself if their talents could be better used in a different part of the business. If you believe they need time off or to see a professional, recommend it. It’s your responsibility to care for the office’s effects on their mental health as well as their physical wellbeing.
As an online business, you’re also going to have to worry about digital security. Your network is going to have a lot of very sensitive information. Personal details like names, addresses and date-of-births. Financial details like credit card numbers. Not to mention all the data that’s sensitive specifically to your business. If you want any chance of succeeding, you need to protect your business digitally. Secure your site as best as possible. Use services like an IT security team to make sure things are as protected on your end as they can be. Investigate exploits before they’re taken advantage of.
Every business needs a layer of financial protection. Money that they can rely on to get them out of a tight spot. Without being able to put some aside to improve and fix your business, the holes will start to appear and the ship will start to sink. The key is to maintain and keep a close eye on your finances. Always make sure that you are tracking what money comes out of the business. Put a share of the profits back into it. Don’t mix up personal and business finances of you might find your spending causes it all to run out.
Of course, there are some risks to the business that can have big financial ramifications. Such big issues that dealing with them head-on can be almost impossible. It might be liability for an accident or injury at work. It could be a random disaster causing damage to your equipment or premises. Whatever is most likely, you need to be protected in the event of it. Take a close risk assessment of your business and use it to find what kind of insurance you might need to invest in. There are some kinds of insurance that are necessary. For example, employer’s liability. Or if you use vehicles as part of your delivery, you need to insure them too. It’s all about finding the level of cover that fits your needs for the best price.
Part of taking care of an online store’s inventory is making sure that it isn’t going missing. Besides the obvious occurrence of burglary, there’s also the chance of internal loss. That someone from within the business may very well be the culprit. Make sure that your employees are highly trained in loss prevention. Then track your inventory closely with an electronic system. This can ensure that people have to sign in and sign out individual items. That way, if something goes missing, you can track down when it went missing and who was responsible for it.
You can’t future proof your business entirely. However, planning for its future can be just as important to its success. A lot of businesses fail in the scaling process. In trying to grow to handle new levels of customers, demand and success. There are a few different ways you need to scale. You need to look over your business plans and reconfigure the infrastructure. To make sure that you’re able to organise efficiently, not just bring a lot more people in. Then you need to focus on the brand and the service you provide. Customers have higher expectations of a bigger company. You need to be prepared to meet them.
We hope this guide helps you prepare for some of the risks your business may face out there. Of course, there are risks that we haven’t covered. So long as you have the vitals covered, the rest should easy to adapt to.