Whether you work from home or a dedicated office space, your business is your baby, your pride, your purpose. It was probably a vision in your mind and a hope in your heart before it became a tangible reality, complete with customers, employees, revenues, and the products and services that are making your name. But if you’re running a digital enterprise, it can often feel like you’re working without a net, at least in comparison to traditional brick and mortar businesses.
After all, online business means there are few if any, physical assets to monitor, maintain, safeguard, or ensure. However, operating an exclusively online business doesn’t mean there is nothing you can, or should, do to protect your company’s property, both the tangible and the intangible. Read on to learn the best strategies for insuring and ensuring the future of your digital business!
Expand Your Insurance Policy
There are a lot of benefits to operating your digital business from the comfort of your own home, but the security of your homeowner’s insurance may not be one of them. If you’re a home-based business owner, you may assume that your home’s insurance coverage will also protect your business from losses due to theft, fire, or other damages incurred in your home. The reality is, however, that most standard home insurance policies do not protect many aspects of the home-based business, from intellectual property losses to missed revenues due to work stoppage. So it’s important to plan ahead with your insurance provider to ensure your policy covers your business needs.
A Little Added Security
If you are running a digital business, chances are you’re trading in the development of intellectual property, from creative product and service design to software development and pretty much everything in between. However, as the recent controversy over the supposed attempts of Chinese companies to appropriate and exploit the intellectual property of American businesses shows, IP is notoriously difficult to define, let alone protect. A great strategy for staking your company’s claim to its own proprietary content is to secure multiple layers of legal protection. For example, you might protect your business’s intellectual property by getting both a patent and copyright on that content. Such overlapping protections will not only extend the life of your claim but will also guard the content against multiple types of incursions.
It’s also important to remember that intellectual property isn’t just about those groundbreaking innovations your company has produced. Even content that seems more “mundane,” such as social media posts and related content, can be copyrighted!
Dive into the Digital Deep
Owning an online business means you’re probably already sold on the power and potential of the digital world. However, habit and familiarity may be compelling you to do a lot of your business in hardcopy. If that’s the case, then you should consider the immense benefits of going paperless.
Making the move from paper to digital isn’t just going to save a few billion trees, it’s also going to make your company more efficient and productive. Best of all, paperless operations are not only cheaper, but they’re also far more secure, especially with the advent of easy-to-use, secure, and high-performing cloud technologies that enable you and your stakeholders to store and access essential data from pretty much anywhere in the world. You can even instantly send and receive sensitive, signed, and password-protected documents online, with just the click of a mouse or a swipe of a screen.
When the Worst Happens
No matter how careful you may be in protecting your business, mistakes happen, and problems arise. That’s okay. It’s all a part of doing business. What matters most is how you respond to it, and that all begins with keeping calm and having a plan. To mitigate any damage to your company, partners, or customers, you have to be proactive. Address the problem quickly and strategically. Denial and delay will get you nowhere but deeper into trouble.
As you’re working to resolve the issue, though, it’s also crucial to keep your staff, partners, and customers in the loop. Trying to hide or minimize the issue will only make matters worse, fueling rumors and panic and compromising the trust your employees and clients have in you. At the same time, of course, you don’t want to exaggerate or inflame the problem. Instead, focus on providing clear, comprehensive, and accurate information. Assure your staff and customers that the issue is known and will be resolved. Project confidence, calm, and competence in your communications. Let your clients and stakeholders know that, no matter how grave the situation may be, you are on it.
Insuring your digital business is not easy. Online businesses require special care and particular strategies to protect the business, its employees and partners, and its clients. This ranges from extending your insurance policy or adding new coverage, to going paperless, to securing multiple layers of legal protection for your company’s intellectual property.
Guest post courtesy of Beau Peters