No matter what line of work you’re in, constantly expanding upon your knowledge and skills is the best path to reach the next level. I’m a firm believer that mistakes are a great learning opportunity, but you don’t have to pay the high price of learning the lessons in this article. Read on for three mistakes people make that can kill their small business for good!
You built something great.. now learn how to keep it that way.
How many countless long days, late nights, and thousands of hours have you invested into planning, building, and running your small business? You may have invested every last dollar in order for your dream to become a reality. I’m right there with you, and I sure as heck don’t want to have to do that all over again! With some simple planning and preparation, your business can be prepared for nearly anything, and will be ready to quickly and efficiently respond when something does happen.
Three Mistakes you can learn from:
- Neglecting Legal, Insurance and Regulatory risks / requirements
Compliance fines can be huge, depending on how far off the mark your business is in addressing requirements. If you’re in an industry where this is required: become an expert, or get one that can help you navigate your regulatory landscape. In addition to avoiding fines, exercising Due Care and ensuring that things are up to snuff with your security and privacy will help you when your business files an insurance claim or has to deal with a lawsuit. If you ignore your insurer’s requirements (often very aligned with regulatory requirements), your claim can be denied, forcing you to shoulder the entire burden. If you weren’t exercising Due Care, you can be found negligent, and on the hook for damages.
- Ignoring Risks to Your Reputation
Does your small business have a plan for how to properly deal with an incident? Have you practiced it? If you have an incident like a data breach, a robbery, or a medical emergency, how your business responds will be in the spotlight. You might even make it onto prime time local news. Train your team on what to do, and who should be designated as a spokesperson to customers and media. Incident response plans are simple to develop, and training your team on them takes only a couple hours each year. Screwing up leads to lawsuits, a terrible public reputation, and possibly law enforcement getting involved. Things DO happen, and people DO hear about it. Be prepared to respond- for you, your employees, and your customers.
- Inadequate Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
Modern small businesses are driven by technology, and rely on a connection to the internet. Many small businesses do not perform adequate planning and training in regard to business continuity and disaster recovery. What will your business do if you lose that file server, which has your financial records and project data from the last several years’ worth of work? Are you going to recreate it for free if a customer comes back asking for a modification? If your website blows up, can you get it back online in less than a day? With some pretty simple planning efforts ahead of time, you can avoid scenarios like that. Many small businesses that experience an extended outage or huge data loss end up closing their doors permanently. Be prepared- get a routine backup process going in your operations, and have contingency plans in place so that you have a “Plan B” for your data, systems, and operations for when stuff hits the fan.
You can absolutely do the research yourself, and come up with simple solutions that address these issues and risks. If you need professional expert advice on the matter, contact us! Our team will help you quickly and efficiently get things in place to mitigate risk, so that you can return to focusing on growing your small business.