New year, New Risks: Is your Business Properly Protected?

Successful business owners are constantly looking for ways to improve their business. One type of improvement may be by changing a supplier. Another improvement might be improving the safety programs to prevent employee injuries. Still another to improve your business is to offer a new service or product your customers can benefit from. Wise business owners usually give top priority to the types of improvements that benefit their business in multiple ways.

Business protection

Of all improvements a business owner should focus on, there’s one that should never be taken lightly – risk management. Risk management is not sexy and it is difficult to put a number on how exactly it impacts your business, but when an accident happens you will quickly learn how important risk management is.

With the technological advances currently taking place in the business world, risks are springing up all over the place. Many of those are risks that most business owners could not have imagined just a decade ago.

There is no other choice for a business owner other than managing risks better.  It’s a challenging endeavor, but to help you in getting started, here are four risks businesses now face that are more important than ever to address.

Social media presence for startup

The need to be present online

In 2018, more and more shopping process will be done online. The number of people shopping via their phone and over the internet continues to grow.

Depending upon the industry and area you operate in, this more than likely means your business needs to have a presence on the internet. This presence can be as simple as designing a website and setting up a Facebook Page. It may include several more social media accounts and a blog. It may even include adding the ability to accept payments online. No matter what type of presence you decide to have digitally, each place you are present brings with it additional risks.

The need to assess those risks has never been greater. One part of assessing the risks of an online presence should include the risk a business is taking by not having an online presence. This needs to be part of your discussion when you are determining if you should move online and in what way.

Managing remote team members

The rise of the remote workforce

The rise of the remote worker has been growing steadily over the past few years and that trend should continue in 2018. In 2016, 43% of Americans reported working remotely at least some of the time. The amount of time that people are working is becoming a larger portion of their work week.

Now with remote workers, like with many risks, there are both positives and negatives to working with employees who are not present in the office. On the positive side, this can help your organization attract better talent and hang on to highly qualified employees longer.

Using a remote workforce can also help your organization by only having to pay contracted employees for a set period of time. In some cases, you only need their work for a project that lasts a certain period of time. After the project is finished you can allow the remote worker to move on to a new project elsewhere and you can than hire new remote workers whose skills align more with your organizations current needs.

Commercial property insurance

Property Loss

Many first time business owners assume commercial property insurance is the same policy as their home owner’s insurance. This is a reasonable assumption, because many people have purchased home owner’s insurance at some point in their life. Far fewer have ever purchased commercial property coverage.

One big difference between Commercial Property Insurance and a Home Owner’s Policy is that a commercial policy is in one of two ways. Those ways that it is sold are on the basis of Actual Cash Value or Replacement Costs – policy that is sold as an Actual Cash Value refers to a policy that covers your property and some possessions for an agreed upon fair market price.

A Replacement Cost Policy refers to the amount it costs to replace what is destroyed and may be a substantially larger amount than an actual cash value. This is because a replacement cost policy will pay to tear down a piece of property, haul off the damaged material and repair or rebuild the property to its original state even if the construction costs are higher now than when the building was constructed.

Either type of policy that you go with will need to have your property inspected to get an accurate value for the property. Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors can help you and your insurance carrier come to an agreed upon value for your property. This is a good reason why you should partner with an independent insurance agent who can help you through this entire process.

Cyber security

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is becoming a larger threat for most small businesses. Spending on cybersecurity products and services will exceed $1 trillion from this year through 2021. $1 Trillion is an enormous sum and many small business owners make the fatal mistake of thinking hackers only go after big businesses.

In 2018, everyone is at risk of being hacked. Criminals will come up after anyone no matter if you are an individual with $200 in your checking account or a fortune 500 business. Large hacks that happen to big businesses like Target and Home Depot certainly make the headlines, but there are thousands of smaller businesses that are hacked who never make the newspaper.

Those businesses still take on enormous losses that enormously impact those businesses. In many cases, whether the business has the proper insurance in place is the difference between this being a difficult few weeks or months in the life of the business and a hack causing the business to close its doors permanently.