Three Ways to Protect Your Business From Bad Actors
When you’re in business, you’ve got a lot of risk factors. You’re trying to fight in a competitive market, hoping to stay above in the economy and needing to stay above water when it comes to the daily struggle of building your company. These risk factors don’t even consider the havoc that can happen when you’re dealing with a bad actor in your business –especially when they cause significant trouble without your knowledge.
Knowing how to protect yourself needs to start with the basics. It’s always a wise idea to run a background check on anyone who’s going to be a major player in your business. Professional websites like CheckPeople can help you identify any risks an individual plays within your company, without notifying the other person of your investigation.
This service is helpful if you’re considering a new business partner, hoping to secure new distribution channels through a private channel, or wanting confirmation a new hire is the ideal candidate for the job. It gives you a detailed report of any past problems they may have encountered, from a criminal record to financial blunders.
But that’s not all you can do to safeguard your company from additional risks. Here are a few tips for protecting your investment as a company:
Always watch your Supplier Contracts
A supplier is a person or organization that offers a product or service that benefits your company. Without a reliable source, your business is going to crumble. When you’re considering a supplier, negotiation needs to happen immediately.
Talk to them about any potential costs you’re going to be responsible for, from administration to any taxation. It’s crucial to determine what liabilities you’re assuming when you sign up, and what’s going to happen long-term if problems arise.
You’re also going to want to discuss any potential risks of business; although we’d like to assume risks aren’t the reality of our business, it’s easy to miss a payment due date, and occasionally products end up arriving late or going missing entirely. Negotiate the terms of interest (if any) for any accounts past due and talk to them about how missed deliveries are going to be handled. If they push a narrative that it will never happen, it’s wise to find a new supplier who understands accidents happen.
Minimize Client Risk Through Expectations
One of the easiest ways to minimize your client risk is setting clear expectations from the beginning of the contract. Make sure you discuss the project entirety in full, before committing to any deadlines or deliverables.
Scope creep often occurs when everything is not discussed before starting, making customer satisfaction increasingly difficult. Once you’ve fleshed out the contract, always set any deadlines, deliverables, and costs, in writing and have both parties sign the agreement.
If you offer a retainer or milestone payment schedule, outline the costs associated with running those options. Will you charge interest on late payments? Perhaps you require the retainer to be filled after a certain percentage is used? Make your invoice crystal clear ahead of time, to prevent conflict later.
Always Secure Confident Business Partners
While you can’t always know a person 100%, it is possible to ensure any partnerships in business are mutually beneficial. Take the time to write out partner expectations, roles, and financial contributions, before completing your agreement, so everyone understands their role within the company.
It’s also wise to discuss any conflict resolution steps you’re willing to take in the event you don’t see eye-to-eye on a situation. By clearly defining all boundaries ahead of time, you’ll minimize your risk as a business partnership. After all, running a business isn’t always going to be smooth sailing, if you both know your roles in the event of a storm, you’re more likely to recover quickly and efficiently.
Although running a business isn’t always the easiest task, the steps outlined above can help you minimize your risk of running into bad actors. By reviewing your supply chain, improving your client interactions, and carefully considering business partnerships, the risk of potential problems will substantially decrease. Every company has specific risks, rewards, and considerations they must consider; identifying and analyzing how to address those risks will make all the difference in the functioning of your daily routine.