With the news that UK economic growth forecasts have been revised up to 2.3% for the remainder of 2014, businesses nationwide are making confident plans for their short and long-term future. It is important that entrepreneurs do not become too confident or complacent, however, as this can cause significant issues that ultimately underline even the most carefully laid growth and development plans. There are threats that lurk around every corner for business owners, especially those that work exclusively in the Information Technology or online sectors.
How to Protect Your Online or IT Business
Remote, online businesses are unique in the modern age, and there multiple risks that entrepreneurs need to be aware of. With this in mind, let’s consider the practical steps that you can take to safeguard your IT or online business: –
1. Invest in Intellectual Property Protection
While your online venture may be devoid of physical assets, you should not underestimate the value of intellectual property and its importance in protecting your revenue stream as a business owner. Online data and ideas are extremely vulnerable to the threat of cyber theft, so it is imperative that you safeguard those that are central to your business or its long-term growth. This type of intellectual property can make or break your business, so be sure to invest in patents and trademarks where appropriate.
2. Invest in a Constant or Back-Up Power Source
For businesses that operate solely online or deliver a comprehensive range of IT services, a loss of connectivity means lower turnover. There is a direct correlation between your time spent online and your bottom line profit, so the threat posed by power surges, adverse weather conditions and serve failure is significant. To negate these risks, you should invest in a reliable and uninterruptable power protection solution that will provide you with consistent connectivity even during total system failure. Although this requires an upfront investment, this can save you considerable sums of money over time.
3. Partner with a Viable Web Hosting Service
On a similar note, online and e-commerce orientated businesses tend to rely heavily on the performance, accessibility and loading times of their website. These can fluctuate, however, and any website down-time can have a highly detrimental impact on both your ability to generate revenue and the reputation of your business among consumers. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense to partner with a reputable web hosting firm that provides 24 hour network support and secured server encryption. Without this, you may lose crucial business and pivotal times of the day and year.
4. Backup everything
Perhaps the number one most overlooked must-do when it comes to protecting your business is data backup. For some reasons, business owners think that backup is expensive and a waste of time and money. Unfortunately, in reality, backup is a life saver for business.
You should view data backup as insurance: You just do it and hope that you won’t need it. But when you do, you have a safety net – something that many don’t have, and realize they need one when everything is too late.
How to backup? You can consider backing up your data on external drives, in your servers or in the cloud – your choice. Consult with your IT guy to learn more.
Please bear in mind that external threats will always be there: It’s important that you respond by setting up a backup system, as you will never know when bad things happen to your business.
It’s better safe than sorry.
Photo credit: BagoGames / Flickr