In the wake of the widely reported Heartbleed bug, there is a pressing need for small-business owners to proactively safeguard their online consumer data and intellectual property. With an estimated two-thirds of all websites compromised by vulnerability in open-source encryption software OpenSSL, this is a widespread issue that has captured international media attention.
Along with the drive to utilise big data and analytical CRM as pivotal marketing tools, small-businesses are becoming increasingly preoccupied with their intangible, online assets. While this is understandable, however, it is important that you do not neglect your businesses most valuable physical assets and look to afford these comprehensive protections.
Small Business Advice: How to Protect your Physical Assets
While there are a number of physical assets that may belong to your small business venture, there are some that are more valuable than others. The commercial space in which you operate is probably the most relevant case in point, as this is something that most small businesses will own and it usually requires a significant financial investment. With this in mind, how can you protect this tangible asset and safeguard it against the risk of theft, damage and less obvious threats? Consider the following: –
1. Invest in Adequate and Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
As a starting point, it is crucial that your property is fully insured and protected against multiple risks. While this cannot prevent break-ins or any damage that may be caused by adverse weather, it at least prepares you to cope financially and creates a contingency should the worst case scenario unfold. If your venture started out in the home before being relocated to a larger commercial space, however, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of failing to invest in additional insurance for their new offices. Even if your office space is located within the home, standard coverage will not protect this and may even invalidate your policy in its entirety. On a similar note, it is often better to invest more when initially purchasing insurance, as this allows you to include relevant, non-standard features that may ultimately save you money.
2. Consider the Benefits of Digital Wireless CCTV
When it comes implementing preventative measures to safeguard commercial property against the risk of theft or vandalism, many business-owners look to spend far less than they should. This is because they believe that the mere presence of an alarm or CCTV camera should be enough to deter potential thieves, regardless of its age, functionality or the quality of images produced. This is a false economy, however, as these items are no deterrent to professional thieves who have an in-depth knowledge of security equipment and its performance. According to the JMC Secure blog, this issue can be negated by investing in digital wireless CCTV for your offices, as this technology is known to produce higher quality imagery and resolution in contrast with grainy and often distorted output captured from analogue cameras.
3. Think Carefully about the Type of Location that you Require
If you are at a stage where you may need to relocate your business, it is crucial that you have a clearly defined asset management strategy in place from the beginning. Investing in a long-term commercial lease may be beyond your financial means, for example, and stretching your budget to enable this may ultimately place your capital and other tangible assets at risk. You may therefore want to consider the benefits of sub-letting surplus office space or purchasing temporary structures on a rolling contract, as while this means that you do not own your workspace it minimises the risk in the event of an economic downturn. This is represents a delicate balance to achieve, and it is in the best interests of your business to make a clear choice between investing in fixed assets such as long-term commercial leases or more flexible options that minimise the risk of loss but deliver less value.
Read More: Protect Your Online Assets.