Secure Your Business Online & Off

The world is changing and with it there also come changes in security threats and how businesses are handling them both online and off. It is important to be mindful of securing both digital and physical business assets to prevent a cyber-attack or theft. Here are a few tips to help secure your business!

Create Strong Passwords

Having password-protected devices and requiring employees to create strong passwords could keep your digital information safer. Strong passwords typically include a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. Additionally, ensuring no password is the same across platforms/accounts and enabling two-factor authentication can help increase your business’s level of online protection.

Use Antivirus/Anti-malware Software

The Small Business Administration reports cyber-attacks are a growing threat for small businesses and the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2018 alone. Installing antivirus and anti-malware software could help protect your devices in case of phishing attempts or other digital threats. According to the SBA, employees and emails are a leading cause of data breaches, so consider scheduling annual training or sending periodic emails to employees about safe digital practices. 

Backup Data 

Another way to prepare for a data breach or online attack is to back up your business data. Regularly backing up data on an internal network or a cloud-based service is recommended. Critical data could include documents, spreadsheets, databases, files, personal information and more. Regularly backing up data could help you recover quicker if the business does have a breach that corrupts the live data. 

Prepare for Emergencies

Create a plan for different seasonal scenarios, like the possibility of a tornado, fire, snowstorm, flood, power outage, etc. to help keep your business prepared and assets secured. Post the emergency plans and evacuation routes in a visible location inside the business so that employees and customers can see the plans and safely exit or take shelter in the event of an emergency. 

Protect from Liabilities 

Accidents can happen, and one way to prepare your business for accidents is to add liability or umbrella insurance coverage. These coverage options provide protection for your business from potential lawsuits that could arise from accidents with customers or employees. You should also proactively reduce any potential accident risks on the business premises, including removing any tripping or slipping hazards, fixing entry stairs and stair railings, etc. 

Install Security Systems

Another way to help secure a business is to set up security systems. Installing security cameras could help reduce theft and give you the opportunity to monitor inventory. Additionally, installing a burglar alarm and fire alarm could help keep employees and customers safe from potential dangers. Finally, consider using multiple locking mechanisms, including deadbolts for exterior doors. 

Planning for the unexpected could save you time and money. We are here to be your partner in securing your business. Contact your OKFB agent to review your Commercial Insurance policy to ensure it is up-to-date to protect your business.

Make the Most of a Business Slump

With most businesses, there are busy seasons and slow seasons. If your business is seasonal and usually experiences a slower season, don’t let the slump get you down! You can take advantage of the time to prepare and better your business for what is ahead. Check out these ideas for maximizing the slow season: 

Put Time Towards Your Biggest Investment – Your Employees

During a slow down is the perfect time to refresh your employees on training. This could mean adding a new requirement that will boost customer experience or even offering more advanced training for your veteran employees. Putting time towards your employees can help boost productivity, job satisfaction, and morale. 

Interact with Customers/Use Feedback

Your business likely responded to feedback, both positive and negative, in real time, but now with this extra time you can focus on using that feedback to make any necessary improvements. You can also take any positive feedback you received and post it to your social media or website. Lastly, many customers appreciate the personal touch they get from small businesses they work with – now could be a good time to reach out to customers to check in, provide updates, etc.  

Promote Your Business/Sales

This is a good time to assess your marketing strategies from the past year and to see what is working and what isn’t. You can also refresh your website and social media channels. Social media marketing can take a lot of effort, so you could use this time to build up a large bank of content to use for the rest of the year. It may also make sense for you to promote an off-season sale, to help move merchandise during the slump.   

Prepare for the Upcoming Busy Season

Planning ahead now can help ease burdens and stress when things become hectic again in the future. Preparations can look different for each business, but consider checking your inventory and stocking up, planning for future sales and promotions, reviewing your budget and employees’ schedules, etc. This is also a good time to prepare for any hiring you will need to do to be fully staffed during the busy season.

At the end of the day, all of these efforts tie back to protecting your business for the future. OKFB can be your partner in protection, check out our commercial policies and our newest addition of the businessowners policy, specifically crafted for certain types of small businesses.