Regardless of whether you deal in physical goods, intellectual property or intangible services, it’s important to protect your offerings. Keep reading to discover five ways you can go about doing this.
Insurance is often one of the first things to come to mind when you think about protecting assets. Paying a monthly or annual premium seems very reasonable when compared to forking out potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for lost inventory after a natural disaster, fire or theft.
Make sure you do your research and find an insurer who covers everything you need and watch out for potential loopholes that could excuse them from paying out if the worst should happen.
2. Personal Properties Security Register
More commonly referred to as the PPSR, the Personal Properties Security Register is an optional service run by the government which keeps a record of security interests in personal property.
It can be used by consumers as well as businesses, but it is particularly handy for finance companies and businesses who sell personal property on credit or consignment. These companies could use it to check that there are no current security interests on the personal property nominated. It is also important to register any goods that are secured – if a debtor that you are loaning to goes into bankruptcy and the goods you have secured are not registered, you are not prioritised when payments are made or assets are distributed, putting your investment at risk.
If you run a financial institution or other business that may need to regularly make use of the PPSR, you may want to use a search and registration specialist who can streamline services and efficiently manage and track your security interests to ensure best practice due diligence.
3. Physical security
Never underestimate the value of a good security system – physical measures often completely deter vandals and thieves. Whether you invest in an alarm, sensor lights, a guard or obvious protections like bars, screens or locks (or any combination of these), these can often give you peace of mind. Don’t forget fringe benefits either; insurance premiums are often lower when physical security is established.
4. Protecting intellectual property
Obviously not every business will have warehouses holding valuable inventory. For many, the threat of theft is not just a threat, it is a daily reality that can be difficult to combat.
There are many methods to protect intellectual property, from formally registering for a patent to utilising a trade secret, as well as taking advantage of automatic rights like copyright.
If you deal with intangible products more than ideas, it will be different again. Generally it is best to create a strategy that focuses on your specific property. For example, as a photographer or visual artist, your methods to protect your work online will differ to a poet or musician.
5. Confidentiality clauses in staff contracts
Depending on your business structure and offering, your staff may pose a risk to the safety of your product or service. If you have any systems, processes, ingredients or ideas that are unique enough as well as being key to your success, chances are you don’t want them getting out. Including a confidentiality clause in staff contracts will give you a bit of extra security and a point of recourse if someone does spill the beans.
Protecting your assets can be stressful and difficult, but it is worthwhile putting in the time to make sure you have done everything you can. In the end, prevention is better than cure and the costs involved if you aren’t fully protected can have far reaching implications. Do you have any tips for protecting specific goods or services?