A Checklist for Being Squared Away
There are a number of things an entrepreneur can’t afford to have happen while busy building a network of investors and partners. Some, of course, are trivial, while others are critically important.
Since it’s impossible to be perfect, your main focus is to avoid the big mishaps that could wreck your business and forget about the smaller issues that won’t matter much at the end of the day.
Here are three things that should probably top your list:
1. Safeguard your telecommunication channels.
Your business depends on an easy exchange of information, ranging from making appointments to receiving incoming calls. Your smartphone can be considered an indispensable piece of communication technology, and it’s vulnerable. It can slip out of your hand and break, get stolen, or be hacked. You need to protect against all these threats: Purchase a high-quality screen protector like BodyGuardz, install antivirus software, and always password protect access to your phone.
2. Protect your data.
While the biggest threat is from digital data loss, you should also take steps to protect important files and documents.
Data breaches put millions of small businesses at risk every day for identity theft and fraud. Breaches now cost American businesses an average of $7 million. Unfortunately, the rate of breaches isn’t decreasing but increasing.
Here, for example, is an IdentityForce description of a data breach affecting InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in February 2017, “Malware was found on servers which processed payments made at on-site restaurants and bars …”
To protect your data, only keep relevant data for easy access. Archive data that you don’t need in a safe place, allow, never allow vendors or temps to gain access to your data, secure your computer systems and network with the latest safeguards, backup all your information to an offsite location, and encrypt all your data transmissions.
3. Preplan your business negotiations.
Not all your vulnerabilities are technological. You can also make blunders that could cost you a small fortune. Here are two ways to increase the security—and possibility of success—of your negotiations:
1. Rather than simply presenting investors with an idea, give them a business plan to help them envision how the idea will be profitable while at the same time stamping the idea as your own.
2. Be very clear on what you want and need from an investor or partner. In many cases, you’ll only have a limited amount of time to make your presentation and they will make counter offers. If you’re clear, and have a deal breaker number in mind ahead of time, you won’t walk away with less than you want and you won’t be talked out of giving away a larger percentage of the business than you had intended.