Unfortunately, the relaxed atmosphere you enjoy while working from home can also lead to safety and security lapses.
Home Office Safety and Security Week runs January 13 through 19th this year. It’s a great time to review your safety and security measures for your home-based business so you can protect you and your business well.
Organize Your Office
Set up an administrative system and stick to it. If you just toss papers into a pile, you’ll have to weed through many documents to find what you need and you’ll waste valuable time.
Use folders to store bills and correspondence and deal with them regularly. Update your client database as you receive new information so it remains current.
Organize your electronic files and backup your data too. Make an emergency list of contacts for equipment and software readily available so you know who to talk to if something goes wrong.
Remove clutter from pathways and use power bars with fuses for equipment. Don’t overload circuits or run extension cords across doorways or walking areas.
Safeguard personally-identifiable client and supplier data by routinely updating system, anti-virus, and anti-malware software. Privacy laws demand you protect confidential data. Otherwise, you’ll pay dearly for the costs associated with a data breach or hack.
Use complex passwords and change them frequently. At the very least, use different passwords for banking, communications, social media, etc. If you need to use many passwords, consider using a password manager. Once you input the data, you’ll have a single password you can update at any time.
Focus on Profit Generation
Every business owner has tasks they need to get down that don’t generate money. This could be anything from tidying the office to going through your emails.
Consider delegating these tasks to someone else so you focus on improving your bottom line. Virtual assistants can sort your emails and cleaners can come in once a week. However, you need to decide what you want to delegate to them and it factor in that it does take time to train. Nonetheless, your initial efforts can pay off later.
Business owners that operate from their home often spend time reacting, instead of planning ahead. Dedicate time each week to business planning and set both short and long-term goals. Make yourself accountable and you’ll achieve more.
Don’t Forget Insurance
Just because you run a business out of your home it doesn’t mean your Rhode Island homeowner’s insurance policy protects you. Most policies exempt claims for business-related activities.
You’re especially at risk if you heavily rely on your home-based business income, clients visit your home, you employ personnel, or you store inventory or supplies at home or in an off-site job location.
If something unexpected happens, you could find yourself without an income and possibly financially responsible for data loss and any lawsuits for injury or property damage.
Your insurance agent will tailor a policy to your business needs. Most owners choose a Business Owner’s Policy since it includes general liability and property coverage under one premium. They may also suggest an endorsement for cyber liability and business interruption coverage to pay your overhead should a covered event make it impossible to conduct business in your home.
Depending on your industry and business model, they may also suggest employment practices insurance to protect you from employee lawsuits for discrimination, harassment, and more. Errors and omissions coverage is important for professional business owners who provide advice or recommendations to their clients.
Running a home-based business requires similar skills to running an office elsewhere. Keep your office tidy and secure and protect yourself from risk. Proper insurance coverage is more affordable than you might think.