Business Blog

Protecting Your Assets: Beat The Burglar in Your Small…

As a company owner, you work hard. You’ve likely poured your blood, sweat and tears into your venture and your entire life depends on its success. You’ve put in the work and established something that’s gone on to do well and that doesn’t come easy. So of course, the idea that someone could jeopardise this and steal it away from you is terrifying. Here’s how you can protect your assets.

 

Online

Online security is of the utmost importance to businesses, getting targeted by an online criminal could lead to the end of your venture. If your bank account is wiped you could be left bankrupt, or if customer data is stolen it could damage your reputation beyond repair. Most elements business are run online these days, so this is something to get right. One thing you can do is secure everything with very strong passwords, in so many cases businesses that are hacked, are done so using this method. Use a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation. It’s best to make your password expire regularly and changing it for a new one, the longer it remains the same, the longer a hacker has to guess it. You should also be careful about who knows the passwords. Stick to just one or two very trusted senior staff members only. Make sure your computers are protected by firewalls and regularly scanned for malware. Using an SQL system to store data online, as opposed to on physical computers and disks can also be helpful and prevents criminals from accessing your data if the physical computer is stolen. You could find SQL training courses online to educate your team if you wanted to switch to this kind of system.

 

In The Workplace

Burglars don’t just break and enter into houses, many will target offices as they know there are lots of valuable items and also that no one is likely to be there after office hours. A good burglar alarm and CCTV are important, with lots of companies offering these kinds of security measures specifically for businesses. Use lockable window shutters every evening to secure your premises which will prevent burglars from breaking windows or prising them open with a crowbar and entering. Another thing to think about is if your business takes cash from customers or clients, it should be put away properly. In a locked safe that’s bolted down and hidden from site, with regular cash collections so you never have too much on the premises.  

 

Just In Case

Sometimes, despite your best efforts things can go wrong and your business can become a victim of crime. Make sure you are protected if this does happen. Business contents insurance means that if any physical items that are used for your business (such as computers and laptops, smartphones, printers etc) are taken, you will be reimbursed. You can also purchase insurances such as online identity theft insurances for companies. Work out what the best options are for you, and run some quotes.

 

Business Blog

A Great Impression: Ensuring Your Business Has Plenty Of…

Online shopping is always evolving and expanding, and an increasing number of consumers are choosing to buy goods through their devices, and having them delivered. The growing success of online retail is making the running of a physical store more challenging for their owners. However, there are still plenty of customers who enjoy a trip to the shops to look and feel items and to purchase them in-store. Independent and artisan businesses are an appealing alternative to mass produced items found online, so there’s definitely still an opportunity for success on the high street. By ensuring that you’re proactive and implementing some of the following steps to the best of your store’s ability; you’ll have a queue of loyal patrons waiting to get in before you know it.

 

 

A Welcoming Exterior

If your shop-front looks unkempt and dirty, then it won’t be a very appealing option for shoppers to enter. Check that your paintwork is kept clean and fresh, and that any signage you have, on your building or on the street outside, is clear and clean. You want the outside of your shop to look as good as it does on the inside, as people will already get a sense of what to expect when they walk through your commercial doors. Pot plants, benches, and a roll-out covers are all excellent ways to adorn your store and welcome everyone inside.

It’s worth checking to see if the street your shop resides on is well maintained; see if the road and curb need any work, and ensure that road lights and signage are in good condition. A tatty pavement can make any row of shops look unappealing, and people will avoid walking or driving there in the first place. If you’re worried that the street outside is negatively affecting your footfall; speak to your neighbouring stores and organise contacting the right people to fix what’s needed.

 

An Appealing Interior

Ensuring everyone in your premises or store  are motivated and happy each day, will keep them smiling and moving around the space to complete tasks. If a potential customer looks through the window; they are more likely to be inclined to enter if there seems to be a cheery and bustling atmosphere. However, if the staff look unhappy, still, and bored; there will be a gloomy and awkward portrayal of your shop’s ambiance, which nobody will want to walk into. It’s worth getting your friends and family involved by offering them a discount is they come and visit your shop in their free time; ensure that they have a thorough look around at all your merchandise, and encourage people to touch and pick up items.

Constant movement within your shop will make it seem even more tempting to passers-by, and they’ll often pop in just to see what everyone else is looking at. If you have paperwork and admin to do; set up a suitable and neat space within your store to complete it in. Behind the cash register or a counter is an excellent place to sit and finish any tasks, so that you can offer your help as soon as somebody walks inside.

 

Business Blog

Financial Disasters That Could Ruin Your Small Business (And…

Whichever way you look at it, money will play a crucial role in the successful running of your business, but what should you do when you come across a financial problem? Well, knowing how to handle a financial issue ahead of time is the best way of minimising any damage that it may cause. To that end, read on for some advice on how to do just that.

There has been a mistake in staff wages.

Mistakes in staff wages are not good news. They can create problems with motivation and morale, and if they happen on a regular basis, they can also eat away at the trusting and positive relationship that you work so hard to create with your employees.

If at all possible, it is preferable to prevent this issue from happening in the first place. Something that you can do by using suitable payroll software and giving enough time to your accounts team to process and authorise payments in the correct way.

If you do find yourself in a situation where a mistake occurs, it’s better to inform your employees of this rather than letting them find out for themselves. Also, if possible it can help to make a small 0% loans available for those that are struggling to pay their bills until the neck cheque is issued.

 

Your tax code gets changed.

Tax codes can easily turn into a financial disaster.

Tax codes can cause a raft of financial issues in your business, and if you are not on the right one, you could be paying way too much or way too little tax. Something that can then be hard to reclaim, or you could end up paying back out of future profits!

One way to deal with tax code issue is to spend hours and hours trying to get through to and then on the phone with the HMRC to clarify that you have the correct one.

However, a more straightforward method of dealing with this may be to use an invoicing company that deals directly with the HMRC for you. Then they take on the responsibility of getting this part of things right, as well as even answering your more detailed questions such as what is ir35, and what can I do to avoid being stung by it? After all, haven’t you got enough on your plate already running a small without having to worry about things like tax codes as well?

 

You get landed with a lawsuit.

 

Often time when your business has been landed with a lawsuit that you have not been successful in rebuffing, you are left with a hefty bill as well as compensation to pay. Obviously, this is something that can quite easily eat into your profit margins and affect the success of your business in the long term.

Of course, running a tight ship is a good way to shrink the risk of this happening. Although, if it does occur then attempting to negotiate a deal with the court where you don’t have to pay the sum all in one go can be a useful way of making this financial burden less of a disaster.