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There are a number of risks that you’ll face in business – from employee theft to a competitor using your intellectual property. It’s your responsibility to safeguard your business from anything that may impact your survival and growth.
Like most things in business, prevention is better than a cure; a little planning now could save you a significant financial cost in the future. Review the following list of some of the common issues faced by businesses.
To safeguard yourself and your business from being affected by employee misconduct it’s important to take proactive steps to ensure opportunities for fraud are limited. A written policy of accountability and robust cash-handling systems will reduce the risk of theft or fraud.
Here are some examples of employee misconduct that could have a significant effect on your business:
Here are some practical solutions to start safeguarding your business:
Customer payments fraud is simply any kind of customer deception that leaves you paying for losses out of pocket. Here are some threats to be aware of:
A person commits fraud by writing several checks in a short period, knowing there are insufficient funds to cover all of them.
When someone illegally uses another individual’s credit card or uses a stolen card.
A person could attempt to pass counterfeit cash or counterfeit checks at your business.
Here are some top tips for preventing customer payments fraud:
As competitors come into the market, you may find people copying any success you’ve had. Make sure you have your intellectual property protected. You don’t want others to piggy back on your hard work. The main forms of intellectual property are:
Finally remember that you may have ‘trade secrets’ that you also want to protect such as the way you do business or customer budget cycles. In these cases, protect this knowledge by ensuring it’s kept secret.
Intellectual assets are things that you can’t always protect legally, as it’s too hard or too expensive. For example, it could be a relationship with a client, knowing customer buying cycles, or the time you’ve spent understanding the needs of your customers. This information is hard to protect but a valuable asset all the same.
Make sure and implement these risk reduction tactics as part of your operating procedures.
As with most things in business, protection from theft and fraud comes down to being proactive, prepared, and having good systems in place to both discourage and detect theft and fraud. It’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your business, since it can save stressful, costly and time-consuming processes down the road. Remember the saying: it’s better to prevent fires than it is to fight them.
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