If you decide to open a small or medium-sized business in 2022, you should know that now is a great time to do it. Many companies had to close due to the pandemic. While that’s sad, it also means that there are market gaps you can exploit now that Covid-19 is more manageable.
You can choose a niche to get into and start on the path toward a successful small or medium-sized business, sometimes abbreviated as an SME. That stands for small or medium business enterprise.
When you do so, you’ll need to protect your business endeavor. We’ll talk about how you can do that in the following article.
Set Up Hosted Email and a Firewall
SMEs have 30% of employees working remotely now. That is great news for individuals who enjoy working from home. They can sit at their desk and work in their pajamas, and they won’t have to drive to work or take public transportation.
While working from home is wonderful for employee morale, it comes with particular challenges. For instance, you want to keep your network secure, even when you have workers using it all over the city or even all across the country.
One way you can protect your business in the face of these challenges is by getting hosted email. You can get this as part of a standard software as a service package, which some people abbreviate as SaaS. With SaaS and hosted email, there is much less chance of a phishing scam succeeding.
You can also get a firewall for your business to protect your remote workers from faulty websites. Once you have that firewall in place, it will block out websites that contain malicious code.
Get a Lawyer
You never know what will happen when you open a business. The first day you’re open, you might have a potential customer walk into your store, and the next thing you know, they slip on a wet patch and fall. That could mean you’re dealing with a lawsuit within moments.
That’s a rather extreme example, but having a lawyer ready to go to bat to protect your business is almost always a wise idea. Even if there’s no impending lawsuit, there are probably more mundane tasks your lawyer can assist you with on a weekly basis, if not more often than that.
You might want to have a lawyer on retainer for your small or medium-sized business, or you might have one on speed dial, even if you have not retained them. Establishing a relationship with a reputable business lawyer will help you operate with a lot more confidence than you would otherwise have.
Find an Accountant
Like a lawyer, having an accountant standing by should help a smaller business as well. You will always need accounting help, and you might have questions that accounting software like Intuit QuickBooks cannot necessarily answer.
You might start out thinking that it will be easy to handle your accounting, but it might get pretty complicated in a hurry. You can try doing the bookkeeping yourself up to a certain point, but having an accountant ready so you can ask them about any issues you’re having is always a smart idea.
An accountant can definitely keep you up to date on tax law changes. They can save you some money on your taxes, but they can also give you additional advice about how to set up your company, how much to pay yourself, and how to finance your expansion when the time feels right. You can consult your accountant before you move forward with any significant business decision.
Get Business Insurance
This next one is an absolute must. You’ll need to get the proper kinds of insurance for your business. You will need to look into general liability insurance before you do anything else.
If you provide customers with any kind of professional advice or services, you should also get professional liability insurance. In the insurance industry, they also sometimes call this E&O insurance. That stands for errors and omissions.
You will likely need worker’s compensation insurance, depending on the state in which your company operates. You will need to look into vehicle insurance if you have company cars or trucks.
You might need business interruption insurance, especially these days when the pandemic is still an issue, and supply chain shortages can occur. You can also look into cyber insurance if you operate online at all. It is there to protect you from any online-based risks, like hacker attacks, phishing spam incidents, and so forth.
You should also have worker protections in place. We have talked about insurance, but you should have fire safety drills regularly if you work out of a central location, like an office building. You can also have tornado or other natural disaster drills if you live in a part of the country where that sort of thing is possible.
You can set up an emergency action plan and appoint someone to be in charge of the building safety if an incident ever takes place. Unfortunately, we live in a time when active shooter drills should also occur. You can appoint someone to be in charge on each floor and to take control of the workers in these situations.
You can also have a wet-pipe sprinkler system in your building that should protect workers if there’s a fire. You can have fire extinguishers on every floor, and you can check them regularly to make sure they are working.
You can also distribute ID badges that your employees can scan. That should keep anyone unauthorized out of your building, and you can have security in the lobby.
If you have all of these protections in place, your small or medium-sized business has a much better success chance. There are always incidents you did not expect, but being ready beforehand is one of the best ways to protect yourself from them if they ever occur.