How to Overcome the Risks of an Online Business
Never has there been a time when people relied the most on online solutions than they do today. With the ongoing pandemic, everyone is looking to the internet for their needs, such as food, groceries, clothing, and just about anything.
This is why many businesses have tried their luck and transitioned online. The bad news is that 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year. With the risks involved, entrepreneurs have to fight tooth and nail to survive and reach success.
The good news is these obstacles are not unbreachable. Here are the most common risks of launching an online business plus tips on how businesses can overcome them.
It may not seem likely, but hackers actually love targeting small businesses. After all, they’re the ones most vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches.
A lot of small businesses won’t find the need to bulletproof their cybersecurity until an actual attack happens to them. This can be in the form of phishing, disrupting their site traffic, and accessing sensitive client or company information.
What to Do: Boost Your Cybersecurity
Businesses need to arm their website and online assets with stringent cybersecurity measures. This includes the following:
- Install a firewall to boost network security.
- Enlist the help of their web hosting provider in checking their servers for malware.
- Add a two- to three-factor authentication to payment schemes and system log-ins.
- Only sell products on a reliable e-commerce platform.
Cybercriminals can make purchases on an online store with stolen credit card information. This is a common risk for any e-commerce business. It won’t only cost them financially but will also waste their time and effort trying to deal with the issue.
What to Do: Install SSL
Business owners can’t prevent hackers from making their move, but they can protect their business before it happens through the following tips:
- Install the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol on their website. This encrypts information shared between a customer and the e-commerce site, keeping online transactions safe and secure.
- Be PCI compliant. Following the requirements set by the payment card industry ensures that all businesses handling credit card information maintain a secure, breach-proof environment.
Online businesses will deal with many types of customers along the way. One of them will be angry customers. This can be due to a variety of reasons, which may include not receiving their order, receiving a bad product, or their credit card getting charged twice.
Whatever their reason is, online businesses need to deal with customer disputes with patience and transparency.
What to Do: Choose a Trusted E-commerce Platform
Entrepreneurs may find ways to resolve the dispute, or from the get-go, they should just choose a trusted online marketplace where they can sell their products.
- Apologize for the mistake, and respond with a solution.
- Craft and publish a reasonable return and refund policy that customers can agree to.
- Sell on an e-commerce platform with a stable inventory management system to avoid issues with order processing and customer transactions.
- Choose a platform that partners with reliable third-party logistics companies to ensure smooth and prompt deliveries.
Since everyone now has information at their fingertips, it’s easy for anyone to accuse a business of stolen intellectual property (IP). This can be in the form of plagiarism of website content, visual elements, and product features.
When legal action is taken, it can lead to a huge loss for any company. On the flip side, others could be taking advantage of a business’s assets without the company’s consent.
What to Do: Protect Your Intellectual Property
Companies won’t have to deal with IP violations by applying the following practices:
- Avoid copying others’ IP. Make sure to double-check any content published for plagiarism or copyright violations.
- Register their copyright, trademark, and patent. It will be easier for businesses to take legal action if their works, branding assets, and products are registered.
- Purchase several domain names. If a business only registers johndough.com, others may get dibs on johndough.biz and use it with malicious intent.
Preparedness Is Key
There are always risks in every business undertaking. It’s only a matter of weighing the pros and cons and finding solutions to potential problems. With the abovementioned tips, budding online entrepreneurs will be able to set aside their fears and face the challenges of eCommerce head-on.