Small business owners tend to have a lot on their minds. From running the company, to managing staff and encouraging growth, missteps could be common. Thankfully, there are a number of financial tips and tricks to pull it all together, and strong managers always plan ahead and prepare for every situation.
With this much on an owner's plate, it is important to manage risk and set the company up for future growth. A lot could go wrong from the start of a venture until it is on stable financial ground, and there is always room for improvement. One of the best ways to encourage expansion is by looking at other small businesses, and learning from their examples, thoughts and concerns.
Owners focus on risk management
According to The Hartford 2013 Small Business Success Study, optimism about the economy has been tempered by concerns related to the many risks associated with running a company. The study surveyed 2,000 small business owners, and the results provided an interesting look into the daily life of management professionals.
One of the biggest pieces of feedback from the study was about the economy. Out of the 2,000 owners polled, the majority believe that financial conditions will continue to strengthen. However, concerns about growth, taxes and other expenses still weigh heavy on many peoples' minds. The study found that 29 percent of small business owners think that slow economic expansion is a risk because customers and other companies aren't spending money.
A firm's financial plan could take into account current fiscal conditions, as well as other concerns common across many industries. In addition, some small business owners are also approaching risk in a new way. While 69 percent of the survey group responded that they took the same number of risks over the last six months, 16 percent said their risk taking increased, while 14 percent noted that it had decreased.
For some, financial investment advice might even require a level of risky behavior. According to the study, 11 percent of the small business owners say risk is needed in order to make money, while 22 percent stated that their business actually requires risk. As small companies evolve over time, their approach to growth and the economy could change as well.
Online risk management tips
A small business owner is tasked with a lot. One important aspect is the company's Internet presence, from online banking to a website. All of these elements should have the proper level of security, especially as risky behavior becomes more commonplace.
It is important to remember that a venture could be targeted frequently, if even if it doesn't seem like that is a possibility, according to Fox Business. Simply staying out of the spotlight or thinking that nobody is watching aren't smart defensive strategies. Instead, owners should be proactive about risk management and online security.
For example, one business banking threat is the Trojan, the media outlet reported. These programs can infect computers and allow hackers to easily access a system. These people can get emails and passwords, and then simply drain funds away from a company. One solution is to dedicate one computer or device for logging in. The key here is to use it only for that specific purpose, so it reduces the likelihood that a Trojan could find its way in.
Another threat to a small business is from the inside – employees. According to Fox Business, phishing emails and other methods can easily trick staff into downloading dangerous software. Therefore, the best defense is often education. Small business owners should instruct their employees on basic online safety, and put the proper tools in place to help secure business banking and other Internet activities.