9 Powerful Strategies for Protecting Your Small Business

There is always a threat to your business, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And while some dangers and risks are omnipresent and tangible, just as much is looming yet obfuscated. 

For example, natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms are common in many places. They can cause severe damage to physical infrastructure. 

However, some disasters are less eminent such as cybercrime, liability and sudden workplace violence. 

The unforeseen and unpredictable nature of any type of incident means you need to implement specific protection strategies. Strategies should aim to protect yourself, your business and your employees whether you operate from home or in a store.

Employee Management

I'm no expert but from experience of course, the ability for any business to survive lies almost entirely on the effective management of employees. As part of your human resource planning and organizational strategy, you should include a refined interview process, performance reviews, and matching the most suitable employee for the job. Employee retention is also an effective strategy and can be achieved with bonus schemes, fair pay and adequate conditions.

Financial Planning

We can argue all day about what a business means on an ethical and moral scale. Still, essentially your company exists for two reasons: 

  1. Provide a service.

  2. Make money from that service. 

However, any honest and legitimate business owner will tell you that making money isn't easy, and managing it is even more challenging. Therefore, if you hope to run your business well, you need to learn accounting basics. Fortunately, modern apps like Quickbooks (excellent for smaller, home-based businesses) which I'll be starting an online class on this Fall, and more comprehensive programs such as Sage are relatively easy to understand and don't cost the Earth to purchase. 

Disaster Recovery Procedures

While it's a good idea to back up paper documentation to digital copies, digital copies themselves can be lost. It is therefore vital that you back up any digital copies of documents. 

This can be done via external hard disk storage and over a server. Cloud-based backup is relatively cheap, and some of the best managed IT services can have you back up and running within a couple of hours should the worst happen.

Risk Mitigation

Even the most outstanding business owner cannot foresee risk from all angles, and anything can happen at any time. While disaster recovery procedures are an excellent start for risk mitigation, the concept is much broader in scope. 

World financial crises such as the 2008 crash, terrorism like 9/11 and the current Covid-19 pandemic are clear examples of unknowable events that can harm your business. Therefore, a risk mitigation strategy that encompasses avoidance, control, and transference is crucial. 

Insurance Policies

To compound the effects of your risk mitigation strategy, you can adopt numerous insurance policies to protect yourself, your business and skilled employees. 

However, the art of insurance is a vast and complex subject. Most procedures are optional, but some are required by law. For example, employer's liability insurance is required by law in most countries. It covers you in case an employee is injured while using hair dye chemicals, for example.

Ongoing Education and Training

The evolution of business is guaranteed and extends across every industry. Technological advancement, amended legislation, and socioeconomic changes require that you stay informed about various matters. Additionally, you are ultimately responsible for the action or inaction of your employees. This means that you are also responsible for any incidents incurred by an employee due to inadequate training or expired licenses, such as when applying botox or machine-based treatments like lasers.

Technical Innovation

As mentioned, with ongoing training, technological advancement drives many industries forward. Because of this, you cannot sit idly by while your competitor embraces change and accelerates their business while you suffer. A perfect example is that of Blockbuster. The international video rental chain declined a relatively small financial investment offer of partnership by Netflix, only to be entirely out of business a short time later. Yet, on the other hand, Netflix is now one of the most profitable businesses in the world.

Cyber Security

Our reliance on computers and the internet as a means of doing business means that we are always at risk of a cyber-attack. But you might be surprised to know that even in these times of constant malicious threat, only 30% of SMBs have a solid cybersecurity plan in place. 

Of course, you can start by purchasing good antimalware packages. Still, disaster recovery procedures can be implemented by a managed IT service. Managed IT companies offer adequate protection against all threats through network monitoring, software updates and password policies as standard.

Traditional Security

Of course, the natural world also poses a significant threat to your salon and its employees. Depending on the location of your salon or parlor, you may or may not be responsible for the security procedures of the site. 

However, you have a responsibility to your employees to ensure their safety. That includes both internal and external threats. While it's natural to presume an intruder is a threat, workplace incidents of violence amongst coworkers is always a real danger. Trained officers, CCTV systems, ID cards and workplace seminars regarding bullying, violence and sexual harassment effectively reduce the chances of an incident.

Please note that these are all helpful tips from personal and other sources's experiences, I'm far from a financial advisor or professional but hope these strategies come in handy for any small business owner as ourselves.

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It always makes me happy that you're here and hope that these ideas inspire you. 

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