Owning your own small business can be a gratifying experience. However, the risks are high when running your own business. Unlike being employed by a major company, your future depends solely on your own decisions and effectiveness in executing those decisions. For this reason, not all small businesses can weather inevitable rocky times. Luckily, being an entrepreneur isn’t all a game of chance. There are proven ways to help your small business survive and thrive.
Here are five ways small businesses can better protect themselves:
1. Let Professionals Handle the Taxes
There are few government agencies more powerful than the Internal Revenue Service. Unlike individual tax returns, filing tax returns for a business can quickly turn into a complicated and overwhelming affair. Business taxes filed incorrectly can have several negative consequences, such as overpaying in taxes, underpaying, penalties, or a detailed audit. Protect your business’s best interests by letting an experienced business tax accountant file and prepare your yearly taxes. Simply be sure to keep detailed financial records and let the professionals handle the rest.
2. Know Your Legal Rights
Another crippling event for many small businesses is legal disputes. Lawsuits and infractions can have substantial financial consequences for a small business if not handled properly. Besides, your legal concerns will vary dependent upon the type of business you own, as some enterprises present inherently more risks than others. Therefore, it is best to enlist a business attorney’s help even if you are not currently facing any legal concerns. For example, Cory Briggs is a San Diego attorney specializing in small business law. Attorneys like these can help clients navigate questions, disputes, contracts, and more.
3. Protect Your Information
A business’s most valuable information is often stored on a computer. For some small businesses, this could be financials, customer payment information, or confidential emails. A breach of this information could not only impact your business’ bottom line but your integrity to consumers as well. When utilizing a computer, always be sure to put security measures, anti-virus software, and backup hard drives in place. If a small business budget permits it, small business cybersecurity consultants can always advise on how to heighten your company’s information on the web.
4. Be Insured for the Worst Case Scenario
Sometimes, unfortunately, the unthinkable happens. Some “bad” things are simply out of your control as an entrepreneur, from natural disasters to damaging accidents. To help protect your small business during troubling times, be sure to have proper insurance coverage. The type and amount of coverage will vary from business to business. For example, a business with five employees who work with heavy equipment will need to be insured for employee accidents, property damage, equipment damage, etc. On the other hand, a small online business that sells hand soap would require much less insurance coverage. No matter your business, be sure to assess the risks involved with various insurance agents for the best protection.
5. Invest for the Good and the Bad Times
The heart of the success of a small business is cash flow. If a small business owner can master the art of balancing finances and cash flow, a company has a much greater chance of survival. Experienced business owners understand the importance of a “nest egg,” funds in savings for rainy days. No matter how early in your entrepreneurial journey you may be, it is always wise to invest and save as much as possible.
Owning your own business can be risky. At the same time, being a business owner can bring immense success and joy. Help protect your small business with the helpful tips mentioned above to keep your business thriving for years to come.