If you had to choose, which business do you think faces more risks? Online or brick-and-mortar stores? Well, this can be tough to answer because both online and brick-and-mortar stores face their own set of unique challenges and risks. Online stores have certain risks that brick-and-mortar stores just won’t experience, and as a business owner, you want to be prepared for any and all risks your business has the potential of facing.
With online businesses, whether it’s your side hustle or your full-time gig, protecting it and keeping it safe should honestly be part of your daily routine every time you work, in every aspect. Because it’s an online store, people tend to think that the biggest threats to online stores are hackers… that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, hackers threaten online businesses every day but online business owners also have to worry about spam, phishing, lawsuits, computer crashes, equipment damage, etc… and those are just a few risks that online stores face daily, granted, some of these risks are the same as brick-and-mortar business bur with online businesses, the likelihood of these risks doing harm to a business are considerably higher for online businesses than brick-and-mortar businesses.
Despite all the potential risks, the great news is that there are ways to protect your online business before any of these risks can do any damage to your business. Things like fraud prevention and business insurance are a few ways to keep your business safe. Let’s dig a little deeper into how you can protect your online business from harmful threats.
Invest in Business Insurance
Again, both online and physical stores have their fair share of risks and potential dangers and that’s why for either business, you want to invest in business insurance. With online stores, there are three major reasons as to why business insurance is so important.
Reason 1: Product Liability
With product liability, if the products you’re selling online bring on or cause any harm or injure a customer, you’re going to be held liable for those injuries or damages… this applies to the reselling of products too. With business insurance, you’re going to be protected.
Reason 2: Brand Reputation
As hard as it may be to believe, everyone isn’t going to like you or your business and because of that, they may say or do things to destroy your brand’s reputation (libel or slander). Whether it’s a previous employee or a disgruntled customer, it’s just as important to protect your business reputation as it is to protect your inventory and supplies. You, of course, can implement various strategies to improve your brand’s reputation but there are also business insurance policies that cover this as well.
Reason 3: Damaged Products
When selling products, you have to store them somewhere. Lots of e-commerce owners will store their inventory in their own home or rent a storage unit but wherever you store your products, you’re running the risk of your products being destroyed or damaged.
Before going with any business insurance company, do your research and find a business insurance policy that meets the needs of your business type because business insurance provides coverage for all three of the listed risks.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
As an online entrepreneur, that means that you can travel all over the world and work… as long as you have access to the internet. Lots of people use public wifi to work and that is probably the worst thing you can do for your business unless you have a VPN.
The issue in using public wifi is that using the same shared network allows hackers the ability to use software to hack the login credentials of people using that wifi, giving them access to sensitive information like passwords and social security numbers. By using a VPN, your internet connection will be encrypted, protecting your business from dangerous hackers. This is just one of many ways, according to 101domain, that a VPN can protect your data.
Be Aware of the Signs of Fraudulent Orders
The protectin from fraudulent orders stems from a preventive point of view. According to practicalecommerce.com, there are tell-tale signs that let you know a fraudulent order is being made and the sooner you know the signs, the easier it will be to pick them out and prevent any losses.
These are the signs to look for. Some of these signs might seem legit like a customer requesting express shipping but just to make sure, look at the other signs too. If a customer has more than one of these things on their order, it’s probably fraudulent.
Get a Business Phone Number
With online business owners, most work from home, meaning the only phone/phone number they have is their cell phone. Aside from being a business owner, you’re also a person and won’t want random people and businesses to be calling your personal number all hours of the night… To prevent that, invest in a private business number.
The process of doing this is quite simple, actually… it can all be done with an app. Apps like OpenPhone and Hushed allow you to send and receive calls through the app from your same cell phone, just through the app from your business number. Plans typically start as low as $10 a month. So there’s no adding a new line to your phone service or getting a new phone… these apps take all the hassle out of that.