IN OUR latest Business Start Up column, Angela Fitch asks ‘How secure is your business?’
ONE of the big issues for today’s small business is security.
A problem with: premises, fleet, supply, environment or data can seriously impact on your business continuity.
There are insurance products available to help businesses recover from an unforeseen accident or incident, however, prevention is usually better, and cheaper, than cure, so it pays to include business continuity in your business plan.
Consider the potential threats to your business survival, the following list will apply to the majority of businesses, but it’s not exhaustive:
Change in market trends
Potential loss of customer base
Drying up of supply chains
Increased costs of raw materials or components
Decreased availability of raw materials or components
Increased tax and VAT
Changes in the law affecting your supply or routes to market
New or improved competition
Can you diversify? Reinvention, modification or new products/services may be needed to keep your business in business.
How nimble can you be in meeting the changing demands of customers? Household names such as Woolworths and British Steel have vanished without a trace.
Closure of such businesses is always complex, but Woolworths failed to compete with the new names in the high street and online and British Steel fell mainly due to cheaper imports, something they could do almost nothing to counter.
You are only as secure as your supply chains! If you rely on raw materials or component parts ensure contracts outline terms and conditions to meet your needs.
Pay particular attention to delivery and payment and check your suppliers’ cyber security company policy, a cyber attack at their end could impact on your business.
Continual Professional Development (CPD). Staying ahead of the competition is vital. New products, qualifications, manufacturing processes and customer demand can all have a positive or negative impact, so be alert and up-skill where necessary.
Legal and tax. There is little that you can do to control this, but you can employ legal and financial or tax advisors, which can save you more than their fee!