“That’s horrible… But it would never happen to my company.”
We’ve all heard startup urban legends, or mind-bending stories of companies that suffered legal, operational or internal nightmares. And it’s easy to assume that potential problems are out of sight and conveniently out of mind. But unintentionally, your blissful business could be harvesting potentially devastating horrors … small missteps or blind spots that could cause unnecessary frustration down the road.
Preclude potential business horrors by paying close attention to these four danger zones:
1. Prevent data loss and move everything to the cloud.
Move business data to cloud nine. When it comes to access and peace of mind, cloud-based services are priceless.
If you lack the infrastructure to manage and protect company data, bring in a specialist. Google Drive, Dropbox and MediaFire Express are three of the tools we use to ensure that if anyone has a PC meltdown or a sad Mac experience, all is not lost … because it’s in the cloud.
2. Disarm your marketing mine field and prove your message.
Do your products and services live up to your marketing claims? If not, regroup and revise. We live in a notoriously litigious society, where consumers can and do sue companies for some of the most preposterous things.
If you’re caught making false and misleading claims, a class action lawsuit may not be far behind. Preclude such horrors and ensure your marketing messages are backed up by data or legal due diligence.
3. Curb chaos and protect confidential customer data.
How do you keep track of your customer’s sensitive data and information? Protecting customer data should be a priority. It may seem like a hassle, but most small businesses can’t afford to be responsible for someone having their identity stolen. Large organizations have publicly disclosed breaches that have quickly put a dent in their bottom lines; and small businesses are at an even higher risk.
Avoid costly legal fees and stay compliant with simple steps such as purchasing laptops with encrypted hard drives and using encryption software to protect files containing sensitive information. It’s your responsibility to ensure that confidential customer data is not stolen or abused.
4. Shield your business from lawsuits with liability insurance.
Imagine if someone has a slip and fall at your place of business, or an employee is injured on the job and files a claim against the company for neglect.
Basic small business insurance coverage is a necessary cost of doing business – and it is available for every imaginable risk your business might face. Consider general liability insurance to cover legal issues that could arise due to accident, injuries and claims of negligence and put everything in writing. Let’s not forget 81-year-old Stella Liebeck, who became infamous for successfully suing McDonald’s restaurants for serving her hot coffee.
What are some other simple ways small business owners can minimize their risk? Let me know in the comments section below.