The practice of risk mitigation within businesses comes from the understanding of the crucial business processes the impact your employees, partners, supply chain and customers. Understanding the cycles within your business is critical in mitigating exposure to potential risk. You must be prepared for potential exposures and have trained employees to assess and respond. Constant monitoring and training are key elements as you look to uncover potential dangers within your company and look to protect your business from outside threats.
As you start or grow your business you will be hiring employees. Proper onboarding, documentation and screening is necessary to get a true picture of your team before they can impact your company and customers in a negative way.
The partners, consultants and contractors that you engage with to deliver products or services to your customers can expose you and your company to unnecessary risk. While many companies screen employees they often fail to properly screen their extended workforce.
Creation and registration of value Intellectual Property assets (trademarks, copyrights, patents and domain names) can play a critical role in the growth of your company and brand. Understanding how to properly register, monitor and enforce your Intellectual Property is crucial to protect your supply chain, customers and overall brand reputation. The legal and business challenges associated with managing your Intellectual Property portfolio becomes more complex as you expand outside of the US and or license your IP rights to partners/licensees.
Your growing workforce and product offerings can give rise to insurance claims. Safety training with your employees and contractors is the first step in protecting your employees from accidents and injuries. Avoiding accidents is the first step in minimizing your exposure to Workers’ Compensation claims. Training your managers on how to detect and report accidents and workers’ compensation claims in a timely fashion is also one way to minimize costs associated with claims and litigation. Documentation of your training processes and certifications is a great way to reward employees for taking the proper safety precautions.
The question is not if, but when your company, principals and employees will be named in a lawsuit. Be prepared for litigation by having excellent documentation of your processes and procedures. Consult with Human Resources professionals to be sure your on-boarding and screening processes are compliant with state and federal (FCRA) laws. Product liability claims can result from the negligence of your suppliers and distributors, so efforts should be taken to conduct background research on them before signing any contracts. Periodic audits and inspections should be conducted of your suppliers as well. Trademark infringement and counterfeiting litigation often arises because of rogue suppliers that are selling your product out the backdoor.
Growth through acquisition is a strategy that many businesses utilize to increase their business. Locating and evaluating acquisition targets are key elements of this strategy. Once you identify possible acquisition targets, gaining intelligence on them very quickly can aide your team in asking the right questions and help them to be aware of red flags. Due Diligence background investigations should be conducted on companies, owners and key executives to make sure that your acquisitions are successful.