Many times, entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in the day-to-day operation of their business they forget to take a step back and protect what they have built. Here are 5 things you can do to protect your growing business.
- Financial Planning – Sound financial planning has many aspects. It ranges from having a trusted accountant and accurate records, to having a financial advisor that acts as an accountability buddy on investment goals. Entrepreneurs should rely on these trusted advisors to make sound decisions for growth into the future. Are you considering hiring an advisor but not sure which is right for you? Accountants typically deal with the overall financial, tax, and succession picture. Financial advisors often deal with retirement plans, insurance policies, and other general investments. When choosing a trusted advisor, it is important that you make sure they offer the service that fits your business’ needs.
- Develop Processes – Businesses survive based on the client service they provide. As the entrepreneur expands his or her role and moves away from the day-to-day operations, processes can break down and in turn, so can client service. It is important to build and implement sound processes as you go to ensure a consistent level of client service. This is a low-cost way to protect your business.
- Industry Education – Depending on your business, you may be part of a volatile industry. Even if the industry in which you operate is relatively stable, new regulations, laws, or consumer trends can make a business obsolete in a matter of days. It is important that an entrepreneur seeks the appropriate education and stays abreast on many of the issues that affect their industry.
- Cyber Security – Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing industries today for a good reason. Cyber threats continue to rise as technology becomes more prevalent. It is important to consider cybersecurity for your business. A cyber-attack resulting from vulnerabilities in your system could expose you to significant liability. Lost or stolen client data can lead to irreversible damage to a business’s reputation. You can help curb this threat by hiring a qualified cybersecurity specialist and by implementing changes that they recommend. Many of these services can be rather expensive. When consulting with cybersecurity professionals it’s important to communicate what security is important to you and ensure such projects to do not exceed budget.
- Succession – As entrepreneurs build a business, they often forget to focus on succession planning. Proper succession planning can assist in the transfer of the business and its operations to new owners while providing income to you during retirement. Succession planning is typically a joint effort between business owners, accountants, and attorneys. Accountants will help in the valuation of the business by assisting you in determining its value. Attorneys will help draft the paperwork to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and to assist in the protection of both parties.
Not all businesses are the same, and as such not all these areas of protection are right for each business. It is important to consider the size of your businesses and to perform a risk assessment on what you believe to be the most important areas to your business’ success. Relying on trusted professionals is a prudent approach to protect the things that matter to you, while allowing you to continue to grow your business.