As 2021 unfolds, many businesses are optimistic the year will bring stability and growth. As you continue to adapt and evaluate your processes, remember that protecting your business is a must-do task. Here are some key plans of action to consider.
Review Your Cybersecurity Plan
The most common fraud, according to the FCC, is digital information theft. Your company undoubtedly uses or stores some amount of data. No matter how much or how little you have, it's critical that you take measures to protect it.
Employee education is an essential part of any good cybersecurity plan. Your staff is the first line of defense against fraud. Teach them how to watch for phishing scams that can lead to data extortion. Hackers can access your information not only through computers, but also through your phone system or mobile accounts. Teach your staff not to give out sensitive information over the phone to unknown callers. Their personal data can be at risk, too, as social security scam calls are increasing.
Backing up your data and storing it in the cloud is a great way to maintain an offsite backup system. It also allows you and your employees to access your digital information from anywhere, which can come in handy when people are working remotely.
If your staff carries smartphones and laptops offsite, it's possible for your mobile equipment to get lost or stolen. You can protect company devices through data encryption. Consider giving each employee a separate account for tracing purposes in case there's a data breach.
Use Marketing Strategies To Stay Relevant
Companies needed to adapt to new ways of doing business in 2020. Those that survived learned how to handle challenges like:
Decreased in-person services
Increased online presence
While it remains to be seen how much businesses will need to continue these practices into 2021, many procedures will likely remain after the initial circumstances are gone. Online shopping, for example, increased dramatically in 2020 and is likely to remain very popular. As consumers conduct business online, your marketing strategies need to adjust to meet customers where they are.
Social media platforms are more relevant than ever for businesses, as more than half the world's population has a presence on social media. If you aren't there already, now is the time to join. Study your market to see which platforms your customers are using and increase your presence there. It's important to remember your posts don't have to be directly related to sales.
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Social media is a great way to educate your customers and provide content that is fun and interesting. Consider behind-the-scenes information, employee interviews or how-to posts that are pertinent to your industry. You can also tap into the power of influencers to help you increase your online presence.
Evaluate Your Insurance Policies
Do you have adequate insurance in place to protect your business? If you're in doubt, make a call to your agent to see what your coverage is. Chances are, if you've grown, you need to increase your coverage or consider new types of insurance you didn't need before. If your fleet has increased, for instance, you may need to update your vehicle insurance. If you've experienced a peril, you might already know the value of business interruption insurance.
Other types of coverage you might consider are:
Workers' compensation insurance
Professional and product liability insurance
Assess Your Budget
Like other aspects of your business, your budget may have experienced some ups and downs lately. As business methods evolve, so must your budget. Now is a good time to look over your line items if you haven't done so lately. Do you have enough money allocated for marketing? Have your utilities decreased as employees work remotely? You can answer these and other questions during a budget review.
Protecting your business is always a smart idea. As you move further into 2021, keep any eye out for aspects that might be vulnerable and you can be prepared for whatever the year brings.