Safeguarding Your Expanding Business
Small businesses, especially unprofitable business, seldom get targeted for business espionage and social engineering. It is the successful ones that are at the highest risk. The moment that you begin expanding your business, you place yourself in the crosshairs of digital thieves as well as increasing the damage from making mistakes based on misinformation. Protect yourself if you want your business expansion to be successful.
Mind Your Data
Your laptop is probably your business lifeline, containing all your ideas and customer information. It is the prime target of a hacker and the most important asset that your small business owns. To prevent loss of this information and protect it against malware attack, use a cloud service with encryption. Cloud storage is a way of keeping your files safe on an offsite server so that they do not get lost if your computer’s hard drive crashes or a virus takes it down. The encryption will keep the data safe from prying eyes while you are transmitting it to and from the server.
Monitor Your Online Presence
Social media and web based commerce have given small businesses a strong foothold in global markets. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are cost effective ways for you to get your marketing message out to a large, diverse population. Unfortunately, it puts you at risk for identity theft. To protect against this, use LifeLock to both monitor and fix attacks to your digital life. Remember that for small business retailers, there is a very fine line between person and business so protect them both.
Understand Employment Law
Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy. Making mistakes with federal laws can be costly. This is especially true when your expansion requires that you hire staff. The Internal Revenue Service has very specific rules regarding the number of hours that an employee can work, the way in which they are classified, and the minimum pay. You also need to pay payroll taxes quarterly for your employees. Messing this up will cost you 10 percent fees as the best-case scenario. Speak to an accountant to safeguard your most valuable asset; the employees.
Know When Assets Are Good
One of the logical sources of expansion is to find an office, store, or warehouse that is not your guest room. The choice between leasing and buying is not an easy one and it will have an impact on the way you report your income and equity. If you are thinking about getting an investor, this can be very important. Purchasing an asset like a building or equipment will increase your balance sheet but not affect your income. Leasing these things will not change your assets but will decrease your net profit and its associated taxes. So that you do not dig yourself into a hole during expansion, know your expansion goals and understand the difference between capital expenses and operating leases.
Be Globally Savvy
In the internet world, expanding your business means that you are entering a global market which comes with substantial risk. Local customs, government regulations, and political upheaval can put your business, your staff, and you in danger. (4) Insurance is a good way to cover your assets and safeguard traveling staff. Having a local expert is the best way to hedge against cultural and political risk.
Comments are closed.