A business law specialist, a debt collection specialist, a working capital specialist, and a brand strategist share their knowledge, experience and insights on navigating the known and unexpected risks to your business that keep you awake at night.
Get your four best practice checklists covering:
- How to manage unhappy customers on social media
- How to manage your cashflow and working capital to keep your business operating
- How to make sure your ticking all the boxes from a legal perspective
- The best ways to minimise bad debts
- And more
This month’s action plan
Best practice checklist for minimising risk in your business
For each item on the checklist mark it as: completed, not applicable for your business, or high/medium/low priority for action.
From an Legal perspective (Harvey Bowlt, Bowlt Commercial Lawyers)
• We have educated our employees about the risks of doing business on the Internet and cyber security issues and we have an appropriate data breach action plan.
• We have appropriate essential contracts for our business, including proper terms and conditions and other contracts with customers, suppliers and distributors.
• We have proper employment contracts and/or independent contractors agreements, which deal with confidentiality, intellectual property and non-solicitation of customers, suppliers and other employees on termination.
• We have appropriate business succession planning documents in place, in particular a shareholders or unit holders agreement.
• We have registered trade marks, patents or designs to protect our products and brand/s. (A business name is not sufficient to protect your brand)
• If we have an online marketing presence, we have checked that we are not infringing the copyright or trade marks of any other businesses.
• We have a written lease in place for our business premises.
• We have reviewed our insurance requirements to ensure that we have appropriate insurance cover for our business.
From a business working capital perspective (Martin Cattach, Finance for Business)
Managing your risk is very different from managing your Strategy. Risk management focuses on the negative-threats and failures rather than opportunities and successes
So you need to think in the negative, let’s look at the Five Steps of the Risk Management Process
- We have taken a step back and reviewed and identified the potential risks.
- We have analysed these risks and understand what they are.
- We evaluate and rank each risk and have set priorities focusing on the high risk where possible.
- Action is now being taken to treat the risk we are now managing and mitigating.
- Review. Review. Review and Revisit. We constantly review as we know it’s not over. It’s never over. we need to be constantly manage our risks.
And if it all seems too hard, engage an expert to help you out. The biggest risk you face is inaction!
From a debt management perspective (Jeanine Purdie, Business Credit Solutions)
- Our clients are familiar with our approval processes, costs and expectations whilst engaging with us
- I know the correct trading entity and contact details of my clients who I give credit to
- I know the credit history of clients I give credit to
- I have seamless processes from onboarding a client and throughout the credit process which includes outsourcing to a debt collection agency if required
- Our terms and conditions on our sales contracts detail the expectations for client payment and consequences for late or non-payment.
- I am aware and utilise cloud- based debtor management system to assist with debt collection
- I have a debt collection agency I can consult with if I am ever concerned about a debtor or an account
From a Brand Strategy perspective (Peter Engelhardt, Plan2Brand)
- I have a brand strategy plan, part of which outlines the values my company embraces and lives by everyday.
- I have a clearly defined point of difference that competitors can’t match and that my ideal prospects need
- I have a culture document that my team and I contributed to. This empowers my team and keeps us all on the same map.
- We consistently seek post service feedback so we are constantly improving ourselves and our service.
- I have a documented social media policy for all online communications.
- I have documented strategies to engage our customers across multiple online platforms in a way that seeks to learn from them and improve our products/services.
- I have Google Alerts set up so we are notified whenever our company and brand are mentioned so we can respond appropriately
- I have documented processes ready to respond to different types of customer complaints, feedback and comments.