Online business opportunities have grown at an incredible rate over the past 20 years or so. Nowadays, the world of digital commerce is soaring like never before. Thousands of entrepreneurs are achieving their goals thanks to those possibilities. However, while the digital arena is a rich environment, it can be a dangerous one too.
All digital entrepreneurs should appreciate the importance of protecting their companies. If you are the owner of an online SME, there’s a very strong chance that you’ve already invested in the right firewalls and data protection features. Sadly, taking care of these elements alone simply isn’t enough.
Here are the other areas that must be addressed to give your online business the comprehensive protection it deserves.
#1. Building Protection
As an online business, you’ve already stepped up your web security. But in overcoming those threats, many digital SMEs overlook the importance of protection in the physical world. But even if deals take place exclusively online, all commercial premises must be kept safe too. After all, they are still home to some very valuable assets.
Investing in remotely monitored surveillance is a great way to battle back against the threat of modern burglars. Meanwhile, you should also utilize advanced alarms, voice intercom systems, and automated gates. Finally, your most precious assets should be kept locked away in safes or similar resources.
Burglary isn’t the only threat to your business assets. Prevention is the best form of protection, and you can avoid a lot of damage by employing greater organization. Nevertheless, preparing for the worst scenarios is essential too. Equipping workspaces with fire extinguishers and safety items could be priceless in an emergency. Aside from financial rewards, they could save lives too.
#2. Intellectual Property Protection
In business, you soon realize that your products are only one crucial aspect of the overall model. For the vast majority of modern companies, intellectual property is just as valuable as any product. Therefore, gaining the necessary copyright documents to protect the brand and its character is key. Meanwhile, it’s important that website domains are set to renew automatically so that you can avoid domain parkers.
Branding elements are the only intellectual property that needs to be considered. As a digital business, you may well be dealing with software licenses and agreements. If you aren’t careful, you could leave yourself vulnerable to having code stolen or manipulated. Using software escrow services to protect yourself from those threats is advised. This way, you’ll keep your business safe while honest clients gain an extra sense of assurance too. You can trust Saas Escrow for such services.
Aside from outside dangers, you need to consider the threat posed by your team. Whether it’s stealing assets, or leaking vital data doesn’t matter. Those malicious activities could cost your business dearly. Using thorough employment contracts is the only solution to ensure this doesn’t become a problem. The chances are that you wouldn’t be in danger on this front anyway. Nonetheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
#3. Staff Protection
When you think about staff protection, avoiding accidents is the first thing that comes to mind. As well as having safety devices installed in the workplace, you should invest in the right safety clothing for your team at all times. Similarly, all employees should complete the necessary safety training courses. However, the concept of staff protection doesn’t end there.
As the employer, you must also pay attention to ideas such as workplace bullying . Fail to maintain a positive work atmosphere, and productivity will soon fade. Moreover, it could result in a worse experience for the customer. The majority of those interactions are handled through email, social media, and telephone. Nevertheless, clients can still pick up the overall vibes, and your team is the key to keeping them in a positive mood.
Early detection and response are imperative for those issues. Otherwise, you’ll find that the repercussions eat into your time, productivity, and profits. That’s an outcome that no entrepreneur can afford to face.
#4. Consumer Relations
Clients have already been mentioned heavily in this blog post, but they truly are the focus of your attentions. Without their trust, support, and transactions, the business simply cannot succeed. Maintaining those positive relationships is the only way to keep your business in a healthy position.
In addition to the points already mentioned, it’s important to build a rapport. This can be achieved through smarter marketing and greater social interaction. However, you also need to remove their fears by ensuring that all contact details are easily accessed. Adding Live Chat to your website can be a very useful method as it offers an instant response. Essentially, if clients can see that you are actively trying to solve their problems, they will usually forgive the mistakes you’ve made.
Perhaps more importantly, they need to feel that they are playing an active role in the company’s development. Ask for their opinions and evolve your business based on those developments. Communication is the foundation of success. Without it, the company will be in a very vulnerable position.
#5. Financial Spending
Ultimately, the point of protecting your business is to ensure that it lasts. Unfortunately, the statistics regarding the success rates of modern digital SMEs don’t make for good reading. A lack of CCTV cameras or strong data encryption is one contributing factor, but it certainly isn’t the biggest. In reality, the company is far more likely to fail due to poor financial control. Therefore, protecting properties should remain a priority forever.
You will need to spend money before making it. However, this shouldn’t be a signal to start spending frivolously. Finding cheaper energy rates , supplies, and delivery services can all help the cause greatly. Not only will it maximize profit margins, but it also reduces the strain for quick results. In turn, this should buy the business more time, which could make all the difference between success and failure.
Savings on direct protection facilities can be made too, most notably through better insurance quotes. Even marketing, a tool used to actively generate sales, can be made more efficient with advanced solutions. One way or the other, keeping your finances protected will ensure the entire business remains that way also. And once you’ve achieved that goal, the digital world is your oyster.
Maria Fonseca is the Editor and Infographic Artist for IntelligentHQ. She is also a thought leader writing about social innovation, sharing economy, social business, and the commons. Aside her work for IntelligentHQ, Maria Fonseca is a visual artist and filmmaker that has exhibited widely in international events such as Manifesta 5, Sao Paulo Biennial, Photo Espana, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joshibi University and many others. She concluded her PhD on essayistic filmmaking , taken at University of Westminster in London and is preparing her post doc that will explore the links between creativity and the sharing economy.