We often think about how best to grow our small business, but what about protecting it from predictable risks?

Many large businesses will have disaster recovery plans, consultants on hand to advise on mitigating against risk and some even experts working for them to make sure they plan as much as possible. So what can small businesses learn from big business when it comes to risk?


Here are our top three risks to protect your business from in 2018:



  1. Risk from cyber threats

It’s not just big business which could be at risk from an online threat. Anyone’s website could go down or files could be corrupted. At the very minimum, make sure you have up-to-date virus protection and internet security on all of your equipment and that you make regular copies of your data in case the worst happens.

There was a received wisdom that Apple tech was somehow safer than a standard computer, but with the recent news that there’s a potential gap in Apple security, it’s best to make sure all of your kit is covered.

There are many programmes which can automatically make sure you always have copies of your files, running in the background to save you having to remember to do a manual back-up. A belt-and-braces approach would be to do a manual back-up to an external hard-drive once in a while too!



  1. Risk of actual loss

A fire or a break-in might feel like the kind of thing that will never happen to you, but what if it does? The right insurance will cover you for any losses of stock, equipment and repairs, so speak to an expert broker who can make sure you’re getting the right type of insurance with the right level of cover.

You probably don’t need a full disaster recovery plan, but it’s always good to think about a plan B if your office or premises were affected. If you work from home, you could take advantage of one of our hot desks in the short-term or if you need more space, our tenancy-at-will contracts create flexible rental terms for our office spaces.



  1. Risk of prosecution

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you will have heard of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which have a final deadline of May 2018.

In short, they mean businesses can no longer email people or other businesses marketing or promotional messages of any kind without their express permission. In practise this probably means you have to do something with your data, whether that’s ask for permission or start a new list only including those who have given it.

There have been a number of high profile prosecutions under the regulations, including Morrisons, FlyBe and Honda.

While you’re thinking about data, you probably need to check you’re registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller.

While thinking about risks isn’t the happiest of topics to start 2018 with, as Benjamin Franklin said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”