It may seem like a very pessimistic attitude to adopt, but in business, it pays to be prepared for the worst. There’s every chance that you may never need to face up to a crisis, but if disaster strikes, it’s best to make sure you’re ready to take swift action. If protecting your business is a priority, here are some tips you may find useful.
Did you know that the global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach more than $6 trillion by the year 2021? We tend to hear about large-scale breaches in the papers, but the reality is that businesses of all sizes are vulnerable. If you don’t already have robust measures in place to protect your systems and provide your customers with peace of mind, it’s time to think about ways you can minimize the risk of cyber threats. If you don’t have an IT department in-house, look for an agency that specializes in this area that can help you with business continuity planning. Make sure any networks you use are secure, encourage your staff to use passwords that are virtually impossible to guess, and update your systems and software on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to offer staff training.
Running a business isn’t as simple as making sales and closing deals. You have to ensure that everything you do meets legal criteria. Legal issues can be incredibly damaging for companies, both financially, and in terms of their reputation. Work with legal experts to ensure your policies comply with legislation and make sure you respond to potential issues as quickly as possible. If you’ve got a damaged floor that poses health and safety risks, for example, arrange for it to be fixed immediately. If that issue has been reported, you haven’t taken action, and somebody slips on your watch, you will be liable for legal action.
You tend to think about giant corporations when you see the word scandal, but in this day and age, when every story has the power to go viral, small businesses are not immune from the spotlight. If you find yourself in a situation where a customer complaint has turned into a social media sensation, think carefully about how you’re going to handle the scenario. Issue an apology if you were at fault, explain how you’re going to rectify the situation and work on restoring your reputation and building trust among customers again. Of course, the best ways to avoid scandal are to ensure you fulfill promises and prioritize customer service. Put your clients first, listen to the feedback they provide and don’t offer services or perks that you can’t deliver.
It’s no secret that in business, things can go wrong. You only have to read the papers or look at social media to see stories focused on PR disasters, security breaches or negative reviews. Staying out of negative press can make all the difference to your bottom line. Focus on attracting attention for all the right reasons, but prepare for the worst. This way, you can act urgently to protect your business and your reputation.
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