As a business owner, you need to do everything in your power to protect yourself from legal fallout. And by fallout we mean damages to both your financial stability and your reputation. Considering the implications on both a professional and a personal level, here are our tips to protect your business from any future legal problems
- Don’t engage in criminal activity. It sounds obvious, but standards do slip. You may be tempted to take money from the cash reserves, for example, or you may be tempted to work with a client with shady practices. Your plea of “I didn’t realise” may be laughed out of court, so adhere to good morals.
- Watch what you say. Don’t make any potentially slanderous statements, as these will land you in hot water. Be respectful to both staff and customers in your relations with them, and bite your tongue when you are tempted to be less than your usual polite self.
- Have a lawyer on standby. You may not be in trouble yet, but having somebody to advise you on such things as contracts and policies is always a good idea. And besides, something may happen in the future – you may get sued by somebody – but already having a lawyer at your disposal will save you a lot of unnecessary hassle.
- Get the right insurance. A key way to protect your business interests is to get the right insurance. As a business owner, this means looking into public liability, crime insurance, and worker’s compensation. These will cover most bases for a legal fallout, but speak to your own insurance company for further advice.
- Protect your files. If your business comes under cyber attack, you risk sensitive customer and data getting into the wrong hands. You can take cautionary steps to manage this by loading your system with antivirus software and firewalls. You should also protect sensitive files from anybody else who may have the opportunity to use them for nefarious purposes, such as visitors to your office. Password everything securely, and backup your files off-site as an extra measure.
- Communicate carefully. Not only do you have to contend with snoopers listening to your phone calls or reading your emails, but the messaging apps and tools you use can also be used to gain private info that could hurt your company. Follow the link to find out what is the most secure in your office space.
- Improve your knowledge. Knowledge is power, so by reading up on business laws, you will stand yourself in good stead for the future. As examples, consider financial, employment, advertising, and IP laws to get you started. Yes, we appreciate they will be a headache to get through, but you don’t want to make any stupid mistakes down the line.
- Educate your staff. Sometimes, the buck stops with you, even if your staff are to blame. As leader, you need to put safeguards in place to ensure the unthinkable doesn’t happen to you. This means putting policies in place for staff to read, and holding regular training (IT, diversity, customer support, etc.) to ensure your staff members don’t put themselves or your business at harm.
We can’t guarantee your business won’t face a legal fallout in the future, but by following our tips, you are putting safeguards in place to better protect your company and your reputation. We hope our advice helped, but let us know if there is anything of importance that you think we may have missed.