• Running a Business is an Ongoing Process
  • February 17, 2015 | Author: Donna Ray Berkelhammer
  • Law Firm: Sands Anderson PC - Raleigh Office
  • I was reading a bulletin from the FTC, which just closed an investigation on whether certain Verizon data security practices constituted unfair trade practices. The closing letter in part reads:

    “We continue to emphasize that data security is an ongoing process. As risks, technologies, and circumstances change over time, companies must adjust security practices accordingly. In the past, defaulting consumer routers to WEP may not have been unreasonable, given concerns about compatibility with older computing devices. However, what constitutes reasonable security changes over time as new risks emerge and new tools become available to address them. As most all consumer devices on the market today are compatible with WPA2, it would likely be unreasonable for ISPs or router manufacturers to continue to default consumer routers to WEP encryption. We hope and expect that all companies that provide consumers with these products will ensure reasonable and appropriate default security settings.”

    It got me thinking: running a business is an ongoing process. Yet, often business owners cross something off their list and it is done forever in their minds. They never even consider revisiting issues like:

    Is your insurance coverage amount still adequate? Are there new products or services that bring more risk? Are there more competitive sources now? Read here about a new threat to your business - cyberliability.

    When you hire your third employee (full or part time, including yourself as a business owner) you are required by law to carry workers comp. Do you have it?

    Are there new owners in the business? Is there an adequate buy-sell agreement to get a partner out of the business? Does the existing agreement need to be changed to reflect current realities of the business and revenues? Is life or disability insurance funding a buy-out? Are the policy amounts enough to actually complete the buy-out?

    Did you hire contractors when you first started to grow? Are they truly contractors? The IRS and Labor Department are cracking down on misclassified workers, both as independent contractors and salaried.

    When is the last time your form contract was reviewed by an attorney? Did you draft it yourself? Steal it from a friend or friendly competitor or the internet? There may be some loopholes you have accidentally created that could prevent you from getting paid or enforcing a contract.

    The takeaway is savvy business owners don’t every completely cross things off their list. Running a business is an ongoing process.