Unfortunately, small businesses are prone to a variety of risks that could have a big impact on things like business assets and operations. While many of these risks can be identified and protected, some can cause havoc when you least expect it. From cyber-attacks to natural disasters, without the right protection plans and strategies in place, your business can quickly become a victim.
But fear not! We’ve rounded up some of the top ways you can try and keep your small business safe from those nasty and unwanted challenges life can throw at us.
Plan for emergencies
A strategy to help minimise the damage and impact of a disaster involves creating an emergency plan. You can actively establish and implement an emergency management plan to place your business in a position where you are prepared if disaster were to strike.
These are some of the things which you could include in your plan:
- Continuity plan– details on how your business can be consistently informed of things to prepare for and keep your business safe
- Emergency plan– what to do when a disaster happens
- Recovery plan– a plan for the way forward when your business is recovering from a disaster
Run emergency drills
Now that you have an emergency management plan in action, take the time to go through the motions of what you would need to do if a real-life threat were to occur. Chatting to your staff about what they would need to do in different scenarios, helps to minimise the risk of confusion if danger were to strike.
Occasionally have a practical run through of the scenarios, like fire drills to check that everyone knows the evacuation plan and points to meet at safely.
Get an alarm system
Safeguarding your business with security measures like an alarm system shouldn’t be overlooked. Two of the common ones to consider are fire alarms and security alarms, both protecting your business from unpredictable threats and risks.
Make sure you do your research to find the right kind of system to suit your business as there are plenty on the market. Depending on the type of business you run, you may also need to contemplate installing sprinkler systems as part of your fire management plan. It’s a good idea to get expert advice on how to keep your business premises secure and also protect it from fire.
Keep these things in mind when you are viewing a potential location for your business to rent or purchase. These steps can help to ensure you are selecting the best new place your business can call home:
- Research the area- talk to other businesses in the around and ask what their experiences are like working there, look up crime rate details etc.
- Assess the layout of the building and look out for any potential risks and dangers. Things like having increased visibility from the street for example makes a less enticing for thieves.
- Check for other potential risks like over-hanging trees/branches, stream/creeks that could overflow and flood
An extra step you could take to secure your business is by considering installing a safe. This can be used to store things like important documents and cash in. Be sure to also limit the number of people who have access to the safe and know the combination code. You should also change it on a regular basis to minimise the risk of being robbed internally.
Lock and key
It may seem pretty basic but checking all that all the entry points to your business are locked after hours is something which can easily slip your mind. Try and instil a best practice of checking that your business is secured, locked and that no entry points are left open before you leave at the end of the day.
It may depend on the area your business is located, but you may want to add extra security by including window grills or cages to secure doorways from being broken into.
Mix up your routine
So things don’t get too predictable, it’s a wise move to mix up your routine occasionally. These days criminals can be very cunning and are known to often monitor the comings and goings of businesses, scoping out the opportune time to strike.
Mixing up your routine can help to throw them off their game, breaking the predictable movements and habits you may usually perform.
Be cyber aware
Cyber criminals can hit anywhere, at anytime and they don’t discriminate when picking the types of businesses in their sights. The reality is, any business that stores customer details or interacts online is faced with the threat of an attack.
When looking at increasing your online security consider the following:
- How important is the data you store? Do you store personal or commercially sensitive information?
- Do you have a vigorous IT infrastructure? If not consider employing measures to increase online security.
- Are all your systems up to date with the latest anti-virus protection software?
An extra measure you can take is by protecting your business is with Cyber Liability insurance*. Cyber Liability Insurance protects your business against both the legal costs and expenses (including compensation payments) relating to cybercrime incidents such as data breaches and theft or loss of client information.
Training and education
It’s important to have policies and procedures in place, but make sure you spend some time clearly clarifying these with your staff too. Educating and informing your staff helps to ensure that your workplace is safe and that everyone is aware of what they need to do in certain situations.
If needed, provide additional training on things like workplace safety, IT security and any other areas that may be essential to the running of your business.
An area of your business that needs attention and care to protect it for the long haul is your finances. Understanding the financial overlay from the get go can help your business stay on track, allowing you to forecast expenses, budget and know what to expect as an income.
If there is no financial plan in place, things might get messy very quickly, causing many SME’s to close their business a lot earlier than planned. But with a bit of time and attention, it is a risk you may not need to worry about.
Penny for your thoughts? Have a think about these money matters:
- Get advice from financial experts like your accountant, a tax agent or even a business coach to help provide some guidance and tips
- Considering having a chat to your banker about business loan options
- Have a look online to see if you are entitled to any government schemes or grants for small businesses
Insure your business
There’s plenty to think about when running your own business, but one thing which shouldn’t wait is getting your business insurance sorted. There are many different types of coverages available so you can protect your business from a variety of risks.
At BizCover, we understand many types of small businesses and their unique business insurance needs. Insurance products purchased through BizCover span from the basics like Public Liability and Professional Indemnity to Business Insurance and more.*
Our online platform takes the drama out of shopping around for your insurances, delivering quotes from selected leading New Zealand insurers in minutes. We don’t believe in making things difficult, so there’s no paperwork required or messy forms to fill out. Experience insurance made easy today and see how we can help protect your business.
* This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.