There are plenty of challenges involved in running a small business including getting funding, making a profit, and managing employees.
On top of all that, the last thing you want to worry about is the potential risk of someone making a claim that could be a serious financial blow to your business or even put your whole business in jeopardy.
So how can you minimize the risk of receiving a claim? Here are some of the main preventative tactics to use.
Protect Your Data
You should make a big effort to protect any personal data that you collect from customers and clients including addresses, telephone numbers, and credit card details. Even data that does not seem to be too sensitive should be protected.
Hackers often target small businesses. If you are hacked and data is stolen, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a large fine, especially if you have not taken all possible measures to protect that data.
Steps to take include encrypting your data, not leaving any sensitive data on a laptop unencrypted, using antivirus software, using strong passwords, and more.
Get Comprehensive Insurance
No matter how many precautions you take, you cannot protect yourself against every eventuality. It’s not worth the risk, and that’s why businesses usually have some form of insurance in place.
It doesn’t matter how small your business is. You might run a photography business on your own, for example. If you cause damage to a property while on a shoot, or one of your customers gets injured, this could end up in an expensive claim.
Next Insurance offers great coverage for photographers to protect against exactly this kind of problem.
You can get professional liability insurance no matter what type of business you run, and it can save you a lot of problems. While you’re at it, don’t forget the other types of insurance you can get, such as cover for your equipment.
Know the Rules and Stick to Them
The best way to reduce the risk of being faced with a claim is to know the rules very clearly and follow them. If you are unsure about your responsibilities, get legal advice so you know exactly what you should be doing.
Put a series of checks and procedures in place. For example, if you are providing a service to clients, make sure you check and double check the final product before you deliver it, and minimize the risk of mistakes.
Of course, mistakes happen, hence the need for insurance. But you can certainly reduce the risks by being cautious and sticking to the recommended standards.
Look After Your Premises
If you have your own business premises, whether you own it or not, make sure that it is safe to use and find out everything you need to know about premises liability. If an employee, a customer, or a client trips over a cable or slips on a wet floor, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a claim.
Again, insurance can give you peace of mind. Some things you will struggle to prevent even if you follow all the best practices, and mistakes happen, so don’t risk it.
Hire an Attorney
It’s also a good idea to have an experienced attorney who can advise you on what you need to do and the steps you need to take to avoid problems. They can also help you if you end up in legal difficulties.
Look for one who knows about the local laws and has experience in your industry. A good attorney is a valuable asset, and it’s well worth finding one at the outset.
Treat Your Employees Fairly
Employees can also sue you, even if you just have one for your small creative business, so make sure that you provide a safe environment for them to work.
Know about discrimination law and make sure you don’t do anything that can end up causing problems, including discriminating on the basis of age, disability, race, gender, etc.
Do Your Best to Avoid Claims
These are just some of the ways that you can help to reduce the risk of facing a claim in your small business. A claim can end up being very costly and disruptive to your business, so don’t take the risk.
Take all the measures you can, and make sure you have safeguards like adequate insurance in place to cover you should you find yourself on the wrong end of a claim.