When you think about investing in your company, most business owners will think about what steps they can take to guarantee a return on investment. You might think about the most effective marketing methods or the right tools or software to complete certain processes. Monetary return isn’t the only kind you should be concerned with, however. In return for the following investments, you can get protection for the business, peace of mind, and fewer encounters with existential risk in the future.
Most businesses have stock, equipment, and other assets that are worth something financially. You’re aware of that, but so are potential criminals. Businesses are not an uncommon target for burglars and other criminals, so you need to invest in the safety of the premises. Security systems and reinforced entries are the most effective way of keeping people out, but a little deterrence goes a long way, too. CCTV cameras, for instance, not only help you better surveil the business premises. They also serve as a very visible warning to potential criminals. Most thieves are risk averse and won’t target a business that doesn’t look like it’s an easy target. Employee security is important, too. CCTV and powerful lighting for parking spaces around the building can help them get in and out more safely.
Criminals don’t just operate in the real world anymore, of course. More and more of them are turning to careers online. Data can be just as valuable to your business. It can contain financial details and sensitive information that can do a lot of damage in the wrong hands. What’s more, malware like ransomware can lock your data and delete it, causing significant damage to the business. You need to minimize digital risk to the business by forming a multi-pronged defense. The right anti-malware software and paid firewalls can protect it from most smaller risks, but a digital security consultant and even ethical hackers can help protect larger networks from threats. Ethical hackers, for instance, intentionally attempt to breach your system in order to highlight weak points in your defenses that you can then cover.
Potential criminals aren’t the only threat to the safety of your employees, however. In fact, their chances of being injured or being made ill by the workplace are many times greater. Again, it is the employer’s responsibility to do as much as possible to ensure this doesn’t happen. If an accident happens in the workplace or someone is made ill by their job, there’s a very high likelihood you are liable. Learn details about accident protection to figure out when you are and aren’t liable and start putting together a safety policy for the workplace. Whether your work in a workplace, construction site, factory or otherwise, the risks might be different, but they are always there. A firm approach to safety training, clean housekeeping, and risk management is necessary.
There are some kinds of insurance that all businesses are legally required to have. For instance, if you have employees, you need insurance to cover them in the event of an accident or illness. Liability insurance is essential if your business is open to the public. But what other kinds of insurance can protect you from the risks your business is most likely to face? It depends on the industry and the kind of work you do, but vehicle insurance, equipment insurance, property insurance, and even data breach insurance can offer some help. These packages help mitigate the financial damage caused by a risk to be business and without them, such a risk can sink the whole enterprise.
Speaking of finances, there comes a point when handling all the pennies and dollars yourself simply doesn’t make any sense. For general bookkeeping, your keen financial sense might be enough, but taxes are an entirely different story. As a business grows, its taxes get much more complicated, and few individuals without the proper training can keep up with it. Hiring an accountant is hiring more than just a bookkeeper. If they are chartered, they are trained and qualified to give legal advice regarding taxes, as well as standard advice about potential investments, financial risks, and other big events that can impact your finances.
As mentioned before, not all thieves are after the physical assets that the business owns. Some are after the very ideas behind the business. Whether it’s a unique product on the market, a logo, a brand look, or even a company name, your intellectual property deserves a little protection. Without enforcing copyright law, it’s all-too-easy for competitors to steal the elements of success in your brand. As you grow, copycats are going to grow right behind you. If they are given free reign to shamelessly rip off your brand, then it can cause reputational damage to your own business. The sooner you start protecting your intellectual property, the better.
We’ve mentioned protecting your employees from external and internal threats to their health and safety, but what about threats to their other rights? The right to work without discrimination, harassment and bullying, for instance. An employer can be sued for the emotional or mental suffering of their employees caused by others on the team. An HR policy can help you protect the business in a few different ways. For one, you set the limits of acceptable and unacceptable behavior officially, as well as the disciplinary measures taken to punish infractions against those rules. Good HR policies also include channels for employees to be able to safely air their grievances, allowing you to do more to prevent toxic behavior in the workplace. By taking action and providing the right protection, you’re less likely to be found liable.
When thinking about the next investment to make in the business, be prepared to make a loss now by spending on the protection the business needs. Otherwise, you could be making a much larger loss when an injury, a data breach, or a copyright dispute forces you to spend several times more than you would have in the first place.