Most entrepreneurs start their own businesses from the comfort of their own home. Not only does a home-based business cut down on costs (i.e., rent, utilities, taxes), but it also gives you flexibility on when you work. The resulting hard work will pay off big time! That being said, while you are working, you should try to anticipate and mitigate any possible problems or risks. Failing to plan ahead is a recipe for disaster that can cripple your business, especially from home. Here are the top three home business threats you should be aware of.
1. Digital security
If you’re like most small or medium businesses in Canada, the internet is an indispensable tool to succeed in today’s digital economy. Getting online allows you to reach new customers and grow your business. And even if you don’t have a website — or a Facebook/Twitter account — you probably depend on the internet for everyday business operations, like banking, payroll or ordering supplies. One of the top threats to home-based businesses is your digital security. With the amount of cyber-theft increasing, small businesses are especially vulnerable to digital hackers. Whether it’s your database of clients, payment information or private data, most small businesses have a responsibility to keep their clients’ information protected. To mitigate this threat, you should:
- First, invest in a business level internet router. Consumer routers are not designed with security in mind.
- Secondly, ensure your computers are protected with a firewall, anti-virus and internet security products, such as Kaspersky.
- Lastly, look into encrypting the most sensitive information on your computer with a service like Folder Lock, which is trusted by the government and even military, to keep data secure.
Did you know that many home insurance policies do not cover you for business-related issues? Liability is the greatest risk for home-based businesses. If you operate a sole proprietorship or small business from your home, be aware of, manage and mitigate your business risks. A separate business insurance policy for your home-based business can provide peace of mind.
In the event of a fall, property damage, or other situation where you might be liable, home-based business insurance provides you with an added layer of protection. We highly recommend you get a quote from us today so you can have that peace of mind and coverage. For some additional information on why you might need home based business insurance, read our blog post here.
One of the most common ways a home-based business finds itself in trouble is robbery. This is why having adequate home business insurance coverage is important, as your home policy may not cover your business. In addition to insurance, consider upgrading your home security. Today, home security products are affordable, offer great features and have low or no monthly fees.
- Invest in a couple high quality home security cameras to watch the front and back of your property.
- You should also look at smart door and window sensors, which will alert you on your phone, email or tablet in event of a breach.
- Trade a bit of privacy for added security. Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. High fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, but can also be an asset to a burglar.
- Shine a light. Force any would-be burglar out of the shadows. Exterior lights and motion detectors, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness shielding a would-be burglar.
- Consider storing easily stolen items that are vital to your business (such as laptops, smartphones and documents) out of sight and in a locked safety box.
A home-based business is a great way to take control of your career. In the same breath, it is crucial to consider the threats that can interrupt your business and take steps to mitigate them. Protecting yourself through digital security, home-based business insurance, and home security products are a great place to start.
Are you a consultant that doesn’t relate to the above?
Even if inventory, employees and visiting clients have nothing to do with your home-based business, you will want to consider Errors and Omissions insurance (otherwise known as Professional Liability Insurance) for coverage of contractual liabilities.
In most cases, you will want to consult your isure broker for advice on the type of insurance that best meets your needs. An important point to remember is that when conducting business in your home, there is always an increased chance of losses. To protect you, your family and your business, ensure your home-based business and residence are properly covered.
If you want to reduce the risk of home business threats and up your coverage, contact us today!.