How to Reduce the Risks of Doing Business

How to Reduce the Risks of Doing Business

Regardless of the type of business you run, there are risks involved. You could be faced with anything from accidents to lawsuits to financial trouble. Keep the following in mind as you take measures to avoid risk in your business.

Don’t Go Underinsured

Life is unpredictable and preparation is vital to handling any potential disasters. The first step is buying insurance for your business. The type of insurance you purchase is dependent on your type of business, but a few places to start would be insurance against death, disaster, or any general liability. If something unexpected comes up, you can put your mind at ease knowing you’re protected.

Avoid Lawsuits

It may seem like a daunting task to avoid lawsuits. In many businesses they’re inevitable, but there are still precautions you can take. For example, you can write out your company policies, make employees aware of them, and enforce them. It’s also important to keep accurate and consistent records. These could include records of when contracts were agreed upon, when regulations were given to employees, etc. If you have accurate records, they can help you make your case during a lawsuit. Additionally, you can limit the risk of lawsuits by hiring employees certified in your field. This ensures that they are qualified and will meet the professional standards and regulations.

Save Money

While insurance can be good protection against the unpredictable, it’s still smart to be saving. If there’s an accident, insurance has you covered, but one hard truth is that sometimes businesses aren’t successful. There’s no predicting it and often there’s no stopping it. Because of this, you should try to have a nice cushion of money in case your business starts to go under.

If you have a large sum of money saved, then perhaps you could even revive your business. You could hire a business consultant or invest in new methods. Having money saved is always a smart choice and it can give you more options if things start to go south. Aside from helping if your business fails, a savings account can have many other benefits.

Preparation is the key to succeeding in your business. Plan for any outcome and then take the necessary measures to avoid risk. Buying insurance, taking steps to avoid lawsuits, and saving money are only some of the best ways you can prepare for the unexpected.

Need some extra help managing your business? Try one of our coaching programs!

What You Should Know About Instituting a Workplace Safety Initiative

What You Should Know About Instituting a Workplace Safety Initiative

In your workplace, it’s imperative that you consider the safety of yourself and your employees. Creating a workplace safety initiative is an excellent place to start. It will be a process to determine all risks and adjust to any changes, but it will ensure the well-being of everyone in the workplace.

Determine Your Risks

Before creating a workplace safety initiative, you need to know what to include by determining the risks in your workplace. First, you should have a professional assessment done of any hazards. These hazards could be related to the building itself, the environment (such as air quality), or the activities done on the job such as operating machinery. Along with a professional assessment, survey your employees on any risks they are aware of. Your employees are the ones who are in the working environment every day. They will be more in tune with the risks associated with the job. Determining risks can also be done by thoroughly investigating any accidents or injuries. It’s likely that many are preventable and keeping track of these incidents will help you know what risks to look out for.

Make Education a Priority

In order for your workplace safety initiative to be successful, it is essential that everyone is aware of the regulations made. Make sure you put your initiative in writing and have all of your employees sign once they’ve read it. Go over safety training regularly to ensure your employees are still aware of regulations. Go over the regulations with new or transferred employees. It’s also a good idea to go over the initiative if there are any changes made such as new equipment being added or new hazards being noticed.

Measuring Success

In order to maintain safety in the workplace, you will need to evaluate the success of your initiative. One measure is to see if the rate of incidents changes. The OSHA Incident Rate offers a useful metric for how often injuries occur in your workplace. This incident rate will measure your workplace against other businesses in the same field. Doing so allows you to see how your workplace compares with the national average and then you can adjust your workplace safety accordingly.

The process of creating a workplace safety initiative may be long, but it will be very inclusive of your employees. You can get their feedback and show that you value their safety. Make sure you make education and evaluation a priority as you begin the process.

Read this next: Questions You Should Ask Yourself as Workers Come Back to the Office

Areas of Your Business Overdue for Simplification

Areas of Your Business Overdue for Simplification

It might surprise you how easily different areas of your business become overly complicated. Complicated processes have a tendency to slow things down and reduce efficiency. Simplifying them can provide greater clarity and make them easier to get through. If you’re not quite sure where to start, there are some areas of your business that are likely overdue for some simplification.


Hiring has the potential to be frustrating for prospective employees as well as employers. There’s the collection of applications, sorting through applicants, conducting effective interviews, following up, making an offer, the paperwork, and the onboarding process. It can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. Make things simpler by having a clear idea of what you’re looking for in an employee and conducting the interview in a way that allows you to quickly identify whether or not a candidate is worth your time. Also consider leveraging online programs that can streamline your paperwork and onboarding process, which can help speed things along.


Keeping customer communications clear and simple is key to keeping them happy. The more complicated and difficult to understand you make things, the more frustrated they will become and the more likely they are to go somewhere else. Simplifying customer communication means taking a look at the way you say what you say and the methods you use. If you identify deficits or overly complicated processes, address them. Don’t forget to look at how fast your response time is either. If you take too long to respond because your processes are too complicated, look for ways to simplify them. Consolidating messages makes it easier to respond quicker to customers. Make sure you put plans in place to prevent messages from being overlooked as well.


Few people actually enjoy business meetings unless it’s because it’s a break from the day to day functions of their job. Meetings have a way of getting off track and taking longer than needed, so make sure they are done in a simple, efficient manner. Identify who actually needs to be at a meeting and don’t include anyone else. Have a clear agenda, send it to attendees ahead of the meeting, and stick to it. Keep Q&A sessions short and sweet. Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if a meeting is really necessary or if a simple email will do the trick. This will help you keep your business meetings simpler.

As a business owner, it can be tricky to know what aspects of your business really need to be simplified. Look at your hiring processes, how you communicate with your customers, and how your meetings go. For other ideas on aspects of your business that are overly complex, consider talking to your employees. They probably have a few ideas worth your consideration.

Need a little bit of extra help leading your business to success? Try one of our coaching programs!

Questions You Should Ask Yourself as Workers Come Back to the Office

Questions You Should Ask Yourself as Workers Come Back to the Office

As your employees begin trickling back into the office, there are several important questions you should ask yourself to make sure you are doing enough to promote the safety of your employees and business as a whole. Take a moment to ask yourself these five questions.

Are You Practicing Social Distancing?

Social distancing in the workplace requires maintaining six feet of physical distance between employees at all times. This can mean having to make significant changes in how you run things. You may need to implement a new, more flexible work schedule, such as one with staggered shifts to prevent overcrowding, or increase the flexibility of the worksite, like providing more opportunities for employees to work from home.

Something that can help your employees with social distancing is requiring (and even providing) face coverings for your employees to wear while in the office to slow the spread of germs. You can also mark six-foot distances with tape to illustrate to employees where they are allowed to stand or sit in the office.

Are You Doing Enough to Clean?

You should ask yourself about the cleaning standards in your workplace and whether they are enough. When it comes to cleaning surfaces, for example, are your procedures effective? You should be cleaning surfaces in your office every day. If you are outsourcing, ask things like, are cleaners wearing disposable gloves while cleaning?  Are the products that they are using effective against COVID-19? Surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water, then with a disinfectant in order to kill all germs. The most frequently touched surfaces should be routinely cleaned even more than once a day. These surfaces include light switches, door handles, desks, phones, keyboards, etc. Check to see if you are following pandemic-specific recommendations for keeping your office clean. There is often local guidance that should be followed.

Are Your Employees Staying Home When Sick?

Thankfully, gone are the days of bravado, forcing yourself into work even when you feel absolutely awful. Your employees should not come to work if they feel ill and/or exhibit any coronavirus symptoms. Make sure employees are carefully monitoring their state of health. You could enforce this through mandatory temperature and symptom checks, or you can ask them to keep track of their health on their own.

Do your employees feel comfortable staying home if they are sick? Do you have protections in place such as paid sick leave and the option to work from home to ensure your employees do not feel pressured to go to work when feeling under the weather? You do not want one sick employee to risk the health and safety of your entire office.

Are You Providing PPE?

I’ve seen the wild debates about making employees wear masks and for me, there is no debate. Wear a mask. Require that your employees wear a mask. Provide masks. It is important that you train your employees on the proper way to handle and wear masks. Pay attention to any local laws and guidelines. If employees don’t want to wear one or have a disability and can’t wear one and they can work from home, allow it. If they can’t, remember to use the interactive process for looking into reasonable accommodations. Now isn’t the time to bring down the hammer, try to work through things. Ultimately, you have to do what is right to keep your employees safe and healthy. Have you put the right policies and procedures in place with PPE in the workplace?

Are You Putting Employees First?

Other than just the risk of getting ill, employees may be worried about their financial stability, social injustice, homeschooling their children, and a myriad of other issues. This is most often the part that leaders forget to address, but it can make or break your entire organization. Treating people as people and helping them be OK with not being OK is important.  One great resource to put in place is an Employee Assistance Plan. These are typically inexpensive plans that help your employees by giving them free access to counseling and other services that can help with some of the major issues that they are facing in and out of work. What are you putting in place to help ease the burden that your employees are facing right now?

Think carefully about your responses to these five questions. Are there things you need to add or change to your business’s procedures? Making sure your employees are protected through PPE, social distancing, cleaning, staying home when ill, and helping your employee’s mental well being will benefit your office as your employees begin to return.

For more tips on how to be a better executive, sign up for some leadership coaching with us!

How to Keep Your Employees Safe When They Can’t Work From Home

How to Keep Your Employees Safe When They Can’t Work From Home

Most things in life run circularly. This is especially the case during these unprecedented times of COVID. If you take the right steps to protecting your employees, they will ensure the safety of your customers. If you ensure the safety of your customers, you ensure the safety of your company—and ensuring the safety of your company ensures YOUR health and success. You can do this by following these protocols:

Increased Safety Protocols

One of the best ways you can ensure the safety and health of your employees is to increase safety protocols. You can do this in a number of different ways. First, make sure that your employees are kept physically apart from each other as much as possible. Only bring employees into your physical location when essential.

Encourage cleanliness amongst your workers. Companies should use signs that alert employees to new rules and hygiene practices. You should also set up hand sanitizing stations or provide each office space with cleaning wipes to remind your employees to frequently wash and sanitize themselves and their areas. Furthermore, provide your employees with masks and gloves, especially if they frequently come into contact with customers.

Stagger Employee Shifts

To best follow safety protocols and social distancing during COVID, choose to stagger your employees’ shifts so that there are not too many people working within the same area at once. Since business is slower than usual anyways, there shouldn’t be much of an issue in decreasing your number of employees on shift. However, if you are still receiving influxes of customers, you can always implement different systems that either encourage customers to shop online or enforce only a certain number of customers in your physical location at one time. This will help reduce traffic while maintaining business and low employee numbers. It’s time to be innovative and creative!

Sick Leave

Many of your employees may feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to being honest about their health. Many employees fail to request sick days until after it is too late, either because they don’t understand the severity of the situation, minimize their symptoms, lack of paid time off, or fear losing their job entirely.

For this reason, you must take the time to educate your employees about the current situation and ensure paid sick days if symptoms arise—especially if an employee is found to carry the virus or is showing virus symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. While it can be frustrating losing hours and employees over false alerts, it is worth the extra precaution and associated costs to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Keeping your employees safe is your number one duty as a business owner and leader. The consequences of not taking COVID seriously within your company can be devastating—not only for your employees, but for both you and your customers. Implement these safety protocols and take employee safety off of your worry list.

It’s always good to keep learning about how to be a better leader so you can better serve your employees. For more leadership advice, try one of our coaching programs!

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