Monitor – Action – Protect

Most businesses don’t want to suffer a loss – even if they have insurance.  It’s a hassle to resolve, distracts them from the day-job and can impact their future insurance premiums should they make a claim.  Prevention should be their first line of defence. 

Here are 3 steps to set up some defences, save time in the long-run and maybe help small businesses owners sleep a little easier…

1. Understand what could catch you out 

Small businesses wouldn’t say they do ‘risk management’ in the corporate sense.  However taking a few minutes to make a list of what a business really depends on and what could go wrong that could really floor them is what they probably already have in their head.  We aren’t talking complex risk analysis – this is practical:  Real-life risks that we probably should be doing something about.  Simple spreadsheet versions exist, or tools like Brisk have a built-in Compliance tool which has a default checklist of items you can configure and add to.

o   Building a checklist of things small businesses need to stay on top of

o   Setting reminders for key tasks and maintaining an audit-trail with supporting evidence

o   Completing company checks or individual AML/KYC checks on a client that could catch you out

Brisk Compliance tool

2. Set up some ‘sentinels’ to watch your back

Risk monitoring is starting to get smarter – especially if you let trusted platforms like your Accounts, Bank Account and connected devices talk to each other.  Here some examples:

o   Website monitoring – software can detect security loop-holes in your website and alert you to these gaps that hackers could exploit should they find them before you do 

o   Identify theft monitoring – software can monitor your ID, Credit card, passport online and alert you if they are being used or shared (on the web or dark-web)

o   Email monitoring – monitor if your email has been found in a data breach (meaning that someone may have your username and password)

o   Be alert! Over 90% of cyber crime comes from human error.  Clicking on that email link or inadvertently entering your Office 365 login credentials to access a shared document ‘someone’ has sent you.  Phishing attacks are on the increase. 

o   Set up a phishing-awareness service to keep you on your toes with links to training if you need it

o   Monitor your own company Credit rating (if you are a limited company and file accounts).  If someone spots your rating has dropped or something negative, this can impact your ability to win new business or get financial services products

o   Keep track of news about your business, customer ratings & reviews

o   Keep an eye on cashflow: Whether it’s clients paying late (or not paying at all) or suppliers failing to deliver the product or service you have paid for.  It’s worth credit-checking and monitoring the companies you work with and keeping an eye on news items that might indicate a potential problem

o   Stay ahead of supply issues: If you rely on suppliers to do your job – a supply failure could cripple you.  Identify where you have key dependencies and line up alternate suppliers that you could switch to at a moments notice.  Monitor these suppliers and get alerted to potential issues

3. Get the right protection, tailored to you

o   If relevant to a particular trade, get some appropriate quality accreditations

o   If you use technology, get a Cyber Essentials certification

o   As an sole trader or freelancer, protect your own financial health

o   Get insurance cover to meet your need and risk appetite

o   Show your commitment to sustainable business and use social media to help you show it off

o   Evidence the measures you have taken to your insurance provider so you stand out from your peers and are not treated as an ‘average’

Bottom-line:  Insurance is not a silver bullet.  There is more we should be doing to protect our own financial security and our business’ resilience. 

To find out more, please visit www.getbrisk.com or contact us at hello@getbrisk.com 

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