As soon as a company is up and running, it’s your job to keep it alive and expand into the market. Unfortunately, 80% of startups fail at some point and it’s not because of an inhospitable environment. In reality, a company’s shutdown is often due to an internal or external misfortune or a piece of bad luck. Disasters are everywhere and SMEs aren’t exempt from their impacts. The key to stopping them from hurting your business is to spot them coming and put defences in place. However, it’s tough when you don’t know what form they will take.
Here are four common disasters bosses never see coming for your information.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Although they happen to other business, personal injury accidents are something you may not anticipate. Sure, they will be basic rules in place, but they are only to comply with the HSE’s rules and regulations. But, a court of law will see almost every accident as the fault of the employer even if there are safeguards in place. And, that could cost you millions of pounds if the lawsuit escalates. Investment in equipment is essential as personal protective equipment reduces workplace injuries. Also, training employees is important too as it gives them the tools to avoid potential risks.
Intellectual Property Lawsuits
IP claims are nowhere near as common as trips and falls and accidents in the workplace. The only time you’ve experienced one is when you read about two massive firms going back and forth in court. For SMEs, they don’t apply… until they do and cost the business a fortune. It’s important to realise that intellectual property takes many forms from videos, images and brand names. So, if you use a picture without permission, you may end up in court. Be safe and always clear material before including it within your company’s strategy.
Customers, client, and employees are liable to steal if they get the opportunity. It’s worth noting 99% are honest, yet there’s 1% that will get a mile if you give them an inch. Fraud, serious or not, takes many forms and costs businesses thousands of pounds in damages. For example, a worker with control of the accounts may skim off the top and damage the firm’s cash flow. Or, a customer may claim their package never arrived and order a second when it did. Not to sound cynical, but you can’t trust anyone which is why secure checks need to be put in place, such as an accountant.
Mother Nature is a cruel mistress and She can put your business to the test. From floods to fires and gale force winds, the exterior and interior of the property may take a battering. When it does, the result can be thousands of pounds’ worth of damage that you need to repair before reopening. Floods and fires are the two main culprits. You can never trust the weather, so it’s worth taking action by storing data offsite and investing in a comprehensive insurance policy.
To ensure you’re never caught off guard, you need to plan for every possible scenario.