When you run your own business the last thing you want to be facing is unwanted risks that could threaten your business’ future. With so many areas of the business to consider, we’ve put together a quick guide on the top ways you can improve the risk management of your business.
1. Staff turnover
You invest a lot of time and money into your staff to help keep the cogs of your business turning. Looking after the work-life wellbeing of your employees is not only your responsibility as a business owner but is pivotal to the successful running of your business.
A lack of morale in the workplace can lead to a whole host of issues, like a lack of concentration and focus on the job at hand. This can then cause costly mistakes, accidents and even staff resignations if not addressed immediately–something which no small business owner wants to experience.
One of the first steps you can take to tackle this issue is listening to your employees. Find out what the issues are and what can be done to improve the situation. Taking the time to try and fix the problems is going to beneficial for all in the long run, saving the potential process of having to re-hire and train new staff.
Introducing things like new benefits, incentives and other slight changes can cause a significant change in attitude amongst your employees, something all business owners need to keep in mind.
2. Review your business insurance*
As a small business owner, you already know the importance of having business insurance, but when was the last time you really sat down and reviewed your cover? Time gets away very quickly, and things within your business change within the blink of an eye. Set some time aside and review your insurance policies to help prevent any issues if a claim were to occur.
Every business will have their own unique risks and types of business insurance in place. If changes in your business have happened, make sure you get in contact with your insurance provider to update the details. Some of the top things to keep in mind when going over and reviewing your policy.
- If you have Building or Contents insurance, remember to review any changes made by any renovations or additions to your building, as you may want to look at increasing your cover. The same goes for any additional portable equipment you may have purchased since taking out the your policy.
- Have you employed more staff?
- Has your turnover increased?
- Have you installed or changed any security devices?
3. IT security
For many businesses, IT systems and the internet are fundamental to keeping the business in operation. If you haven’t already got some sort of IT register and policy in place, now might be the time to consider one.
A register helps to keep track of the electronic devices used within your business, who has access to them, and when the latest software and security updates were done. This is a preventive step to help protect your business from cyber-attacks and crime.
An IT policy is another step which can help educate your employees on how the IT systems are managed within the workplace. It can also outline what to do if a cyber-attack happens and an outline on what is acceptable/unacceptable conduct of your business IT systems.
The effect of hackers or viruses on your system can have a devastating impact on your business. By having some measures in place, you can help keep reduce the risks of cyber-attacks within your business.
4. Be proactive by identifying risks
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. That’s why it is a good idea to set aside some time and look at your business. Take note and identify any potential risks which may impact it.
There are a mix of both physical and operational risks which could disrupt your business, some to keep an eye out for include:
- Any physical risks which could cause damage to your business premises? Things like overhanging branches and leaks in the roof for example.
- Is your workplace clear from hazards? Making sure items like stock or machinery aren’t causing any potential risks or trips, slips or falls.
- Is your security register up to date? Keeping a record of who has access to keys, safe combinations and security codes is essential. Staff can come and go, so ensure your access is regularly monitored and up to date.
5. Take care of your finances
Managing your financial risks should always be in the back of your mind. By setting up appropriate payment records and minimising outstanding balances you can help reduce your exposure to financial risks.
Identifying credit risks early on can help avoid seeking financial assistance in the form of business loans. Investing your money in creating great products and services will help with the continued success of your business.
6. Plans in place
Part of running your own business is having plans in place to stay on track, reach goals and grow. The unfortunate reality is, unexpected events can occur causing havoc to your business. That’s where having a disaster plan in place can help.
Having an emergency management plan is one step you can actively take to prepare your business for disasters. Some of the things to put in your plan:
- Continuity plan– details on how your business can be frequently aware of things to prepare and keep your business safe.
- Emergency plan– what to do when disaster strikes
- Recovery plan– steps your business will take to recover from a disaster
7. Practice safe security
You’ve worked hard to build your business, and that’s why it is important to make sure it is kept safe with the right of security measures in place. Different types of businesses will require various security measures but here a few generic ones to help reduce risks:
- Regularly check any security cameras or devices that you have installed to make sure they are all functioning
- Make sure your staff are aware of the process and who to contact if a security incident were to occur.
- Educate your staff about IT security procedures, for example protecting sensitive financial details online, not opening and reporting spam emails, locking computer screens etc.
- Keep valuable items out of sight. Leaving valuable items like smart phones, tools of trade and tablets unsecured can be a temptation to would be thieves.
Don’t risk it, get covered
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