As a business owner, one of your most important responsibilities is to protect your business. There are lots of things you must guard it from, including theft, market volatility, and violent crime. Whether you’re running a retail business or an office-based company, you can protect your company if you abide by these 5 guidelines.
1. Secure Your Networks
Nowadays, one of the most common forms of theft is cyber theft. Hackers frequently try and gain access to business networks to steal information. If you have customers that make digital transactions through your company, hackers might be able to steal credit card information, names, and contact information—which could result in you losing customers and getting sued. Or, the hackers could gain access to private company information, like business and marketing plans, and leak them on the internet or hold them for ransom.
To protect your company’s and your client’s data, you should make sure that your business is using a reliable and secure network with advanced encryption and firewall security measures. The most secure Wi-Fi networks for business incorporate separate employee and customer access and user authentication. Setting up a secure network should be your first security priority as a business owner.
2. Verify Prospective Employee Identities
It’s important that when you hire employees, you’re truly hiring the person you think you’re hiring. Many businesses have suffered after hiring employees with fraudulent identities. In some cases, these fraudsters didn’t do much harm other than doing a bad job at a position they were severely underqualified for. But in other cases, fraudsters stole money from the organization or stole valuable corporate information for another company.
There are a variety of identity verification solutions you can choose from, the best being a simple employee background check. Background checks can tell you whether a prospective employee is really who they say they are. By preventing fraudsters from being hired at your business, you can prevent incalculable financial damage from being done.
3. Install Video Cameras
Whether you’re running a restaurant or corporate office, security cameras should be a must-have at your facility.
Security cameras are arguably most important where transactions occur, because where there’s cash, there could be robberies. There’s also the threat of shoplifting wherever products are sold on the shelves.
You can deter theft just by having security cameras on the property—most people will be afraid to trespass or shoplift where there’s cameras installed. On that note, be sure to make those people aware there are video cameras by placing “SMILE! YOU’RE ON CAMERA” signs by them (you probably only need those in liquor stores). If theft does, occur, you might be able to catch the incident and the perpetrator on video.
Security cameras are important in an office environment, too. Regardless of where your workplace is, make sure you get business security cameras that you can control no matter where you go. These types of cameras enable you to access live recordings on your phone so you can keep tabs on the workplace even while you’re away from it.
4. Pay Attention to the Markets
As a business owner you’ve also got to protect your business from market upheavals. Even if your business is very profitable and has a strong cash flow, you never know when there’s going to be activity in the marketplace that turns the industry on its side. An impending recession for instance, could drastically reduce consumer spending and dent your profits. Foreign policy might affect your access to foreign-imported resources that your company needs, or new market regulations could place higher costs on your company.
It’s your job as a business owner to pay close attention to what’s going in economics and to get your business prepared for the worst-case scenario. It’s important for you to read the financial news everyday and prepare a business plan to counteract any of the possible situations that could affect your profits. Not all of these are bad; some of the things that happen in the market are good. But if you’re not prepared for the bad or the good, your company won’t be ready to absorb the hit or reap the rewards.
5. Encourage Workplace Awareness
One of the most frightening scenarios to imagine is a hostile person entering the workplace and threatening your customers or employees. Nobody wants to think about that happening, but it can happen and has happened.
On a monthly or quarterly basis, train your employees on how to respond to an active shooter situation. Also encourage your employees to be aware of strange behavior in or nearby the workplace, and encourage everyone to report any suspicious behavior to the authorities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Remember that threats to your business could come from the digital sphere, the market, and through individuals. But if you find safeguards for these 5 threats, your company is bound to remain safer and more profitable.