Criminal activity isn’t something you are likely to think about when you plan out your startup ideas. However, it’s something you need to consider if you want to protect your business.
There are many different ways that criminals can target your business, from inside and out. So, we thought we would put together this short guide on everything you need to know. Read on to find out more – and feel free to leave any tips in the comments section below.
Your intellectual property
First of all, let’s look at your intellectual property. You will need to cover yourself from the moment you have your idea, because as soon as you put yourself out there, it is open to theft.
Find a business lawyer that specializes in intellectual property law. Make sure that you take out patents, too, and copyright everything that needs protection. Industrial espionage is a real thing – and it would be a tragedy for you if someone stole your idea and made a lot of money from it.
Make sure that you have robust security, wherever you work from. Offices should have lockable windows and doors, as well as security lighting to ward off burglars. CCTV is an excellent option, but above all, it’s important to train your staff to be more secure.
Get them into the habit of closing and locking doors and windows whenever they leave the room – not just the office. You will reduce the chances of an opportunistic thief taking a chance.
If you sell products, then you will have a stockroom to hold your inventory. It’s important that you track this accurately and ensure that all your stock is accounted for. There are many ways that thieves can get hold of your property, so hold regular audits and stock takes to make sure you know where you are.
It’s also a good idea to tag all of your working equipment, from computers to fax machines. All of them are valuable to thieves, but much more valuable to you. Make sure that you give yourself the best chance of finding them if they ever go missing.
Unfortunately, people can go through difficult times, and they can become more open to the idea of committing a crime. It could be as simple as stealing something off the shelves of your shop, or as complex as money laundering.
Make sure you learn about compliance. It can help protect your business from the threat of employee theft, bribery, and other criminal activity. It’s not a nice thought to think that all your employees might be thieves; that much is clear. But, compliance will help you lay the foundations that make it hard for any of them to give into any urges.
All businesses have a lot of records about their customers; that could prove to be fruitful for criminals. Make sure that all your databases and computer systems are secure. Also, shred any papers with confidential information before disposing of it.
As you can see, there are plenty of areas where crime can affect your business. It’s important to take the subject seriously, even when you are just starting out. Put a good plan in place, and it will be much easier to control and deal with. Let us know your thoughts…