Going into business is a tricky thing. Around ninety percent of them fail in their first year. It isn’t easy, in fact it is incredibly hard and tricky to navigate. You need guts, determination and sometimes just that little bit of luck too. There are all kinds of risks that face businesses. As the owner, it is your job to do all you can to mitigate these risks and stop them before they can hurt your business and your livelihood. Some of them cannot be stopped, which is why many fail. Yet if you do all you can you can sometimes stave off business destruction. Acting before the threat arises can give you the ammunition you need to stop issues from bringing your business crumbling to its knees. There are of course things you simply cannot plan for. Things so strange and out of this world that you wouldn’t expect. An example of this can be crazy weather that destroys stock or your premises. Acts of god, some call them. All you can do is prepare for the things that you can envisage. It is all about being proactive instead of reactive. By sticking to that philosophy you can succeed. Hunt out the threats before they land. You may already have some of the following basis covered, and that is great! If some stick out though it may be worth addressing them.
In this day and age many businesses use computer, or some form of computer software to run. Offices, travel agencies, call centres, the list goes on. Whatever business you operate you need to think about what issues can affect your computing systems. If your business if reliant on these systems then the issue becomes even more serious. There are different companies offering managed services to help out when any issues arise. It costs money, but the expertise provided can keep you in business. They key to IT longevity is in prevention, not in reaction. So first, you obviously need a great anti-virus software installed throughout your network and on each individual computer. You then need to ensure that all people using the computers are training and know how to use the software in a way that won’t ruin it. Then you need to ensure you workforce are generally aware that certain browsing and behaviour can welcome serious IT issues. Just look at emails for example. It is well known not to open up attachments from unsolicited senders. It can cause a world of trouble for you and your PC. However, some people don’t know about it. Spend time with your workforce and make sure they know about the issues they can face by browsing dodgy sites and opening strange emails and it could just save your business a few days of down time as you try to get the systems cleared.
You also want to ensure that your data is backed up securely. If it isn’t you could be in for a world of trouble. For a start you’ll look unprofessional contacting clients and asking them for information all over again and if you had certain work saved you would need to start on it afresh, wasting many man hours in the process. Use solid hard drives, or even consider the cloud. Back up everything, don’t let a foolish mistake be the end of your business.
You also should be careful with tax. You have to pay tax and the right amount of time, otherwise you could be fine debilitating amounts that see your business stutter. A tax consultant can help you here, ensuring you pay the right amounts on time. They can also inform you as to any government tax breaks or refund schemes that are in operation that you can take and use yourself, thus saving you a lot of money in the process. Always be clear and on time with your tax, otherwise you could be facing issues down the line and if these issues are made public your image will be sundered.
Issues with numbers can continue. If you aren’t so good at maths you should pay extra care at working out your profit margins. One mistake could mean you are actually taking a loss instead of making a profit. Everything needs to add up and make sense. You can consider using a credit controller or an accountant to help you out here as many of the bigger companies do. Just take extra care when going over your books and ensure everything is worked out right. If you are doing it yourself be sure to double and triple check the maths.
There are legal issues too. If you ever come into dispute with one of your workforce and are thinking about letting them go you should contact a lawyer first. This is because you could be doing something that is illegal. For example, if you need to make redundancies you need to be able to show you have explored other avenues before enacting upon it. A good consultation with a lawyer before making the move can be the right way to go. You will pay for the privilege, but it will be less than a lawsuit and the resulting payout for unfair dismissal. The same can be said with other businesses. If you have a dispute with another company, for whatever reason, maybe they’re a supplier or a competitor then consult with a legal professional before acting on anything. It can save you from a huge blowout and repercussions.
The key here is always to think things through before acting upon them. It can save you money, time and loss of respect. Think about everything that can hurt your business before it does and you will soon have procedures in place that can stop further damage occurring. Of course, sometimes you do have to be reactive to differing situation, but when you are in charge of a business you need to be smart, think things through and weigh up all consequences before going ahead. This is how great businesses stay great, by stopping the risks before they begin and being calm, calculated and most importantly, aware.