If you want your business to thrive for years to come, it’s integral that you protect your assets.
Having your own business isn’t easy, as there are so many things to think about – it’s unlikely you’ve even thought about how to protect your assets, especially if you’re just starting out.
Assets include everything from the stock on your shelves to building to your initial unique product idea. As such, there are several different ways to secure your assets to ensure you’ve protected whatever the future has in store.
Understand the risks
So why do you even need to protect your assets? Who are you even protecting them from?
In order to create a protection strategy for your business assets, you first need to understand the risks.
There are different types of risks that are a threat to your business. Risks could include anything from damage to your premises, a security breach, or even being sued by a disgruntled customer.
Even worse, if an employee feels they have been wrongly dismissed, you could have yourself a lawsuit on your hands.
Whatever trouble you end up in, the risk could be towards both your business and your personal assets, meaning you need to be careful to ensure everything is protected.
How to protect business assets
Get an attorney
Not every business will get itself into legal issues; however, it is a good idea to put a business attorney in place. They can be a helpful consultant for ensuring your business is fully compliant, with all the right permits and patents in place.
For those that haven’t yet set up their business, an attorney will also be able to advise whether you should set up as an LLC, sole proprietor, or another classification. They’ll also be able to help you navigate the complex vocabulary used when comparing asset protection.
Protect your premises
Of course, a business should always have insurance. This insurance should protect you, your intellectual property, and your physical assets.
Premises liability insurance
One type of insurance you’ll need is premises liability insurance. If someone gets injured at work or on your property, this type of insurance will help to protect your finances if you do need to pay out to cover the cost of treatment for the victim.
If you do have a shop premises or an office, security could stop you from ever needing to claim on your insurance. CCTV and alarm systems in place will ensure the premises are safe and secure out of office hours.
Keep entities separate
You can gain additional asset protection by keeping different entities (properties, etc.) separate. For example, if you have a physical store and a different building, keeping them separate will potentially prevent you from losing both in the unlikely event that you are sued.
Protecting your physical property (stock)
Warehouse security is an important factor in protecting your business’s assets. From contents insurance to ensuring warehouse staff are compliant and trained in heavy loading and equipment, the warehouse has plenty of opportunities to create risk for your business.
Obviously, physical assets are a huge part of your business, as they can be stolen, damaged, or lost by poorly trained staff.
This is why you should spend a considerable amount of time researching or speaking with your attorney to understand everything you need to protect your warehouse and physical assets. It is also a good idea to implement a stock checking schedule to keep tabs on inventory.
Protecting intellectual property
Physical security isn’t the only system you should have in place, either. Ensuring your computers and other business devices are secure is integral for both your business’s longevity but also for confidentiality reasons. You need to make sure none of your clients or customer information gets into the wrong hands.
All of this can be secured through the right IT infrastructure. To help you understand exactly what you need, it might be worth speaking to a cybersecurity consultant or outsourcing an IT department until you can hire a full-time employee.
Proper training for staff
Some businesses will be based entirely on the intellectual property rather than physical products or stock. Intellectual property can include confidential information about clients or data about your business.
Protecting intellectual property is a little more difficult than gaining a bit of insurance (although intellectual property insurance is available). First, you need to implement policies into your business to ensure that only the right people have access to the right content. Data breaches, cyberattacks, and other threats are all a massive risks, but a risk that is incredibly easy to fall into.
As well as policies for authorized access etc., you should provide training for all staff to help them identify spam emails, the importance of two-factor authentication, and other security processes.
So, as you can see, there’s a lot to think about. The good news is, there’s plenty of information online to help you understand what your business needs. Research into your industry, or speak with other business owners to get a better picture.