It goes without saying that protecting your business is important. Be it your employees, your brand, the technology you use or even your future, your money needs to be in safe hands. Part of that safety planning is down to you, some of it is up to luck, and the rest is going to be in the hands of your employees. However, it’s safe to say that a good boss is the foundation on which your business is built.
If you don’t keep these investments safe and protect them from adversity, then you could be out of the business game sooner than you think. So to give you some advice, here are a couple of common business investments, be they bought with time, effort or money, that you should always keep an eye on and protect with all of your power.
Protecting Your Brand
Your brand name is arguably one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s the name, the logo and the feeling that people get when they hear your company name. Let’s assume that you have a growing business and people are starting to recognise your logo. If you suffer some losses and do something controversial that tarnishes your name, then your logo and name are going to be associated with something negative and whenever people see it, they’ll think that you’re a company that isn’t worth noticing.
However, on the contrary, if you promote your brand and maintain integrity, then that growth will spread quickly and you’ll be seen as a company that is worth taking notice of. This is why it’s important to maintain public appearances especially if you are a growing business. Most people in the world will have a first impression of you if you appear in the media, then that impression will stick for a long time if they don’t see your name again.
When you start building success, other companies are going to try and copy your products, mirror your marketing campaigns and maybe even shamelessly copy your logo. These are the types of companies that you need to protect your brand from, the fraudsters. Ensure that you invest money in a well-trained legal team that is capable of defending your brand, and remove all the copycats from your tailcoat in order to give your brand safety.
Employees are arguably one of the most complex investments you’ll ever make in your business. They’re not static such as a computer. They have emotions, needs and dreams; things that need to be provided in order to nurture a good employee.
The first thing you protect is their safety. Are they using dangerous machinery? Then make sure they have sufficient training, practice and safety equipment before they operate it. The last thing you want is for an untrained employee to injure themselves using your machinery. It could seriously harm their well-being, you could end up being taken to court for neglect, and there’s a chance your business will shut down all because you didn’t take proper care with an employee. Staff safety is a major concern even in places like an office. Long work days at the computer can lead to complications such as back strain, eye strain and long-term fatigue. Don’t overwork your employees. Give them some time to recover and make sure they’re not pushing themselves over the limit.
Next, you want to protect their future. Employees have lives and they want to progress up the career ladder just like you. While they might be content with working for someone instead of starting up their own business, it doesn’t mean you should completely neglect their future. Give them a path up the career ladder, promise them promotions for working hard at your business, and nurture them so they grow alongside your company. If you don’t give your employees some peace of mind, then they’re more likely to leave and their skills will be taken from you and handed over to your competitors.
Customers aren’t typically seen as investments, but there are ways to invest your time, effort and money into them in order to see a return. For instance, think about how you change your products to meet consumer demands. If you operate a bakery and customers say that your cakes are too sweet, then you might consider taking out some sugar in your recipe. If you make a smartphone and your customers say that the buttons are a little stiff or the software is slow, then you need to make changes in order to appeal to their needs.
These are the types of investments you should be making in your customers, but it’s important to remember that you need to protect these changes. For instance, if you’re going to make a change to your smartphone, then make sure it’s tested thoroughly unless you want an accident to happen such as an exploding phone. If you don’t, then your customers could seriously injure themselves due to your neglect, your brand could suffer a lot of negative feedback, and your business will plummet as a result.
Let’s not forget that your workplace is also a place that needs protection. Be it security systems protecting your assets or fire extinguishers near possible fire hazards, you need to ensure that everything in your business is safe, secure, and fit to work in. For starters, plan your surveillance equipment. A security specialist could help you with this, but you generally want to keep an eye on entrances, storage rooms and main office working areas. Get as much coverage as possible with your CCTV cameras so that in the event there is a problem in your office, you can easily deal with it by looking back at the footage.
In order to give your assets even more protection, you might want to consider locks, security cases and even sturdy shipping containers for when you need to move expensive machinery or items around. You can find more details here about shipping cases, toolboxes and other kinds of storage boxes that will help you protect your assets. It can be expensive to invest in these types of containers or security measures, but it’s definitely something to consider due to the importance of protecting your business-critical machines, technology and equipment.
Now we’ll move away from physical things and focus on information technology. One of the most common things that a business has to protect in terms of data is customer information. Things such as credit card information, addresses, names, passwords and emails are all sensitive information that has to be protected with professional software, security specialists and a lot of dedication. If you fail to protect this information, it could land you in a lot of trouble and it could cause catastrophe within your business. Clients and investors will pull out, customers will be wary about joining you, and their trust in you will be wiped away.
Ensure that you have business-grade virus protection ready and that you also have a hardware firewall installed in your network setup. This is to ensure that all attempts at hacking are completely nullified. Make sure your staff are careful with entering or saving their passwords and other information. The most common reason for a security breach is usually down to social engineering. For instance, one of your employees might get a fake call about their account information, or they might accidentally save their password in an easily accessible or even public text file.
Not only can your information be stolen by hackers and viruses, but it can also be destroyed because of hardware neglect. If your network storage is old and falling apart, then the chance of a hardware failure happening are fairly common. Storage devices aren’t rated to last forever, after all, so make sure you constantly upgrade your storage devices, monitor their health, and ensure you have plenty of redundancy in the event that one of your drives fails due to a hardware defect. You also want to use cloud storage services or an off-site backup location to save your data. This is because if your data is corrupted or destroyed for some reason, you’ll always have a recent backup to restore to, ensuring that your business can continue operating even if your network devices burn down in a fire or completely fail because of a power surge.
Lastly, we should protect the future of our business. Your company itself is a massive investment of time, effort and, of course, money. If you want your business to survive, then you need to ensure that it’s prepared for the future. Embrace the latest technology, make sure you adapt to the latest trends (or set your own) and continue to grow your business so that you have a place in your industry. Falling behind and neglecting to diversify or specialise in a certain product can be fatal to any business, so keep up with the winds of change and adapt your business by planning ahead.