Protecting Your Business Reputation From Defamation

One of the many wonderful things about the internet is the way in which it gives everyone a voice. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to use that voice wisely, fairly or responsibly. When someone starts a business in today’s climate they will struggle to do so without the aid of the internet for digital marketing, interacting with clients and customers on social media or using content marketing to promote yourself. While the internet offers numerous tools for you to build your business up, it offers others as many opportunities to tear it down by posting misleading, inaccurate or falsified information about you and your business. However groundless these accusations may be they can be severely damaging to your business’ reputation and…

Your business IS your reputation

In the hyper-competitive, digitally led globalized marketplace of the 21st century reputation is more important than ever in the business world. Your reputation is what draws customers to your business and keeps them coming back again and again. Your business has enough threats to contend with without having to defend its reputation from defamatory allegations or libelous accusations. Unfortunately it requires neither evidence nor proof nor even coherent logic to make a statement on the internet and even the most groundless statement can damage your business’ reputation.

If, let’s say you or a senior employee in your industry is arrested in connection with a crime or misdemeanour you will need to worry not only about bail bonds but the potential damage to your reputation. Even though a court of law may degree that you or they are innocent until proven guilty, the court of public opinion is another matter.

Thankfully there are ways in which you can insulate your business from damage caused to its reputation…

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Sometimes damage may come to your business’ reputation from within. You or an employee may post something that could be considered incendiary or offensive which could in turn become defamatory to your business. In circumstances like this, Professional Indemnity Insurance can protect you if a defamation case is made against you. Defamation claims can, after all, be complex and costly to navigate.

Use social media to your advantage

If a defamatory comment is made against you or your business on social media you can nip things right in the bud by reporting the comment as inappropriate or offensive and requesting that it be taken down. However, this is damage limitation and by the time the comment or statement is noticed a certain proportion of the damage may already be done.

You can use social media as a platform from which to defend yourself. Meet the comment head on and call out the person that made it. If you can prove its falsehood this is your opportunity to do so.

You should also keep a close eye on what your employees are saying on social media and even consider building clauses into their contract that prevent them from saying and sharing material which may be considered offensive in ways that could be associated with your business.

Up To Date With Technology: How To Continue Improving Productivity

Do you feel like your business has not been keeping up to date with the recent industry standards? Keeping yourself well equipped with the latest tech is essential, but what is even more subject to regular change is the kind of software that is used to run businesses around the world. New and improved software with the newest features and quality of life improvements gets pumped out by the truckload for a good reason, it is still a growing market, and everyone wants to be the next best thing. From the perspective of a business owner, you should take full advantage of this, if you have not already, and provide both yourself and your staff with the most up to date software to maximise their efficiency. Not to mention, often make it easier for everyone involved. Let’s have a quick look at some of the more recent software that could easily improve your

Office tools

Even if your business does not have any necessity for everyday office work, chances are you’ve heard of Microsoft Office before, or even use it yourself at home. Just about every establishment uses some sort of text formatting software other than notepad, mostly Microsoft Word, same goes for Excel. As you probably already know, spreadsheets and Excel go hand in hand, and spreadsheets are a common method of storing data in businesses. Be it customer info, upcoming tasks, or stock levels, they have been doing a good job for many a year. In order to provide yourself or your staff with the best tools for the job, keeping up with the Microsoft Office releases is very helpful. With the somewhat recent release of Microsoft 365, you are now able to use online versions of the long-running desktop programs you’ve come to love over the years. Powerpoint, Word, Excel, Publisher and many more, now have their own web-based counterparts making them useable on more or less anything which uses a browser. Definitely something worth upgrading for, if you weren’t too sure about it beforehand.

Communication

If you happen to work in a team of people, or your company comprises of a few groups which work closely together, sometimes e-mails just are not enough to stay in touch and on top of everything. E-mails are slowly starting to show their age as they are still relatively clunky and “rigid” compared to newer instant messenger clients. Many exist, but one which easily stands out and especially for businesses, is Slack. Slack is a wonderful piece of software which manages to create a workflow like no other. Features such custom channels for discussing specific topics, file uploading, app integration, quick and effective search, voice calls as well as text chat. It really is  as great as it sounds, and best of all, you can start using the free package for as long as you like, and as many people as you like, even now. That’s enough gushing about Slack for now, but it is genuinely a great communication tool and definitely deserves your attention if you want to improve your staff’s workflow.

What to Do When You Need Money Fast

Sometimes you will find that you are suddenly in need of emergency cash. Perhaps your car has broken down and you need to pay for it to be towed and fixed. Maybe you’ve had a trip to the emergency room and now have a large medical bill to pay. It might be that this month you are stretched a bit too thin and can’t make it to the next payday. Whatever the reason, when you need cash fast, you need to know what you are doing.

Though unexpected large bills are likely to make you feel panicked, try to slow down and think it through. If you can negotiate the cost, there is no harm in trying to reduce the bill. If you can’t, don’t just jump on the first loan you see, shop around for the best deal with the lowest interest rate.

Taking out a loan without much consideration could leave you with years paying off a debt you didn’t think through. Take your time.

Get a Credit Card

If you need to make a large payment, a credit card is a good way to make it. However, as you will be charged interest on your credit card debt, you must make sure that you can meet minimum payments and do your very best to pay it off as quickly as possible. Shop around before you settle for a credit card to make sure that you get the best deal with the lowest credit. If you have a low credit rating, you might find this process difficult and be forced to choose a card with a higher interest rate as you are regarded more of a risk.

Medical bills should never be paid using a credit card. Though you might think that it is the most logical solution, medical bills can be negotiated and you can pay them off over a series of months with little to no interest charged. If you miss a payment on a credit card, you could do yourself some serious financial damage so negotiate other methods first.

Borrow Against Your Assets

Your assets could be a good way of borrowing as they won’t usually require a good credit rating. A pawnshop loan can be taken out against lots of items in your house, but be aware that if you fail to make your repayment, the shop won’t come after the loan money, they will simply sell your deposited item.

Another item you can borrow against is your car. You can get approval for a car title loan online and you don’t need to have any credit rating to do so. Again, be wary of high interest rates and the possibility that you could lose your car if you fail to make payments. You should see these types of loan as a last resort, or only take it out if you are confident that you will be able to repay.

The final asset you can consider borrowing against is your house. Refinancing is a good way to achieve a better deal or to shorten the length of time it will take to repay your mortgage. However it can also be used to consolidate your debts into a relatively low interest mortgage. As with all loans, you should not treat this loan as a solution to all your problems if you are regularly finding yourself in debt. Though refinancing can be a good solution, you need to work hard at bringing your finances in line to avoid spending the rest of your life trying to pay off your mortgage.

Ask Your Employer for an Advance

If you are really stuck and you would prefer not to take out a high interest loan or risk your possessions, there is one more thing you can try. Ask your employer for an advance on your paycheck. This won’t always work, because in many ways, this will just delay the problem by a month. However, it will buy you time to consider how you are going to plug that financial hole.

Family and friends could also be an option, but you must be wary here. Nothing breaks relationships like the lending of money and you might find that your friendship is strained by the loan, especially if your friends and family can’t really afford to help you.

Though borrowing money is sometimes unavoidable, you should always endeavour to build up an emergency fund for yourself while you can. Insurance is always a good idea too, and should help you if you get into a sticky situation. Furthermore, if you are able to claim compensation for things like injury or damage, you should pursue these claims as a matter of urgency.