How To Secure And Safeguard Your Online Business In An Uncertain Economy

Do you set up reasonable precautions for your business in the event of a major change in the economy or some kind of national event?

That’s what I’d like to discuss today for a few minutes with you.

This post is going to be a little bit different than the usual fare. But, I think it is rather important. And, it applies to you even if you don’t have a business yet. Basically, it applies to anybody with any money.

I’m the last person in the world to go into agreement with economic doomsayers in this world, many of whom have their own economic incentive to have you be freaked out and uncertain. But, we also have to be real.

Gross government spending, sky-rocketing national debt, extremely low interest rates propping up major markets… these things are real.

Most online business owners are so busy working on expansion and rockin’ that they don’t pay much attention to these other things. And, it is understandable. It isn’t something most of us feel we can do anything about. It is generally laced with alarmist bullcrap that brings us down and makes us less productive. And so, we’d rather ignore it and just focus on increasing our own incomes.

And, I’m TOTALLY down with that. 🙂 But, let’s still be aware.

Don't be this guy.
Don’t be this guy.

At the core, any common sense advice I could give you here is just smart anyway, regardless of the motivation. Whether you think it is all a bunch of hype, or whether you think we’re on the verge of economic collapse, the truth is that exercising basic common sense when it comes to safeguarding your business wealth only makes sense.

The Only Thing Constant In The World Is Change

And, that’s the point.

In our business, change has been great. The Internet has totally transformed the world economy, enabling people like you and me to make good livings doing something which was impossible not long ago.

But, embracing change also has to take into account other things. Like the fact that our businesses deal in U.S. dollars, which is inherently just a paper currency with variable value, subject to inflation and other things.

The companies our businesses rely on aren’t permanent. The money we use isn’t permanent. Nothing is truly permanent.

Many of us who run online businesses tend to be younger. And, the younger generation has never really experienced much hardship. The idea of things not looking like they do today isn’t something we generally think about.

The instruments set up for future financial plans… we tend to just assume they will be there waiting for us in retirement. Your 401(k), your IRA, your savings account… will they still be there with the same buying power when the time comes that you need them?

Again, just being real. Things change. And, it is good not to get stuck in a microscopic view of time and assume that things will always look like they do today.

Common Sense Tips For Securing Your Business Assets

Those of us working and/or running businesses, I assume that the goal would be to secure any wealth you create for yourself as much as possible, thereby providing wherewithal for your life even after your business ends.

To that end, let me share a few tips with you:

  1. Consider diversifying your assets. In other words, don’t keep all your cash in the bank. When it sits in your bank, it sits there in digital form, and in dollars. The dollar is a variable currency, and due to various economic factors, is subject to hyper-inflation. It is debated by economists when or if that would happen, but there’s no arguing that it could happen given the nature of a fiat currency. The birth of the digital currency, Bitcoin, only goes to show the true nature of any currency. It is worth what people think it is worth – nothing more. I would recommend switching some of your assets over to physical assets which aren’t tied to the value of the dollar. Could be property, commodities of some kind, or precious metals like gold or silver. These things have innate value, whereas the dollar does not.
  2. Keep some cash on hand. This means, for the cash you do have in the bank, I would recommend taking some percentage of it and keeping actual cash in your home or office. Perhaps one month of normal expenses. Reason for this, quite frankly, is the possibility of bank closures. It has happened historically, and it has happened quite recently in the nation of Cyprus. Cash flow is king when it comes to business. One needs to be able to cover expenses, and the idea of not having access to your own money because the bank closes… well, that would suck. 🙂 Plus, the interest rates being earned on our bank accounts is so pathetic anyway, there’s really no difference in keeping some of it inside the office if it can be done securely. Speaking of which…
  3. Consider getting a safe. Being able to securely keep assets in the office or home is important, so I would recommend getting a safe. You can use this for physical assets as well as important documents. And, I don’t recommend some cheap safe which is easily broken into. Something solid and bolted to the floor.
  4. Maintain data backups. Let’s face it… our online businesses (and most businesses these days) are pretty heavily reliant on digital data. And, that data is subject to loss. If something were to happen to the places where that data is stored and you don’t have reliable backups, that could be a pretty serious issue. Don’t rely on the promised backups of your web host. I recommend you keep full data backups of your websites and any data files. For good measure, I’d also recommend keeping a backup of those items in your safe.
  5. Diversify Your Income Streams. This gets into more of a business aspect that anything else, but having your iron in multiple fires provides more security. Markets change. Demand can change. So, from a business perspective, having multiple income streams and being in markets which could have a demand in good and bad times… that provides better business security for yourself.

There you have it. I don’t think this is anything too “out there”.

I think there is a lot of fear-based marketing out there these days. The survivalist, “prepping” crowd has definitely been active lately. You can see that, if anything else, just because of that show “Doomsday Preppers”. Funny show, sometimes. But, interestingly, it wouldn’t exist unless there was a demand.

Don’t fall into that trap. There is a line between common sense and paranoia. 🙂

But, I think the tips above are just smart for any business. And, I do know that those of us who work primarily on the Internet tend not to think about these things.

But, we should. No matter how successful our businesses get online, we are all still operating in a world with a lot of other influences. Not looking at it doesn’t make it any less relevant.

So, practice a little common sense.

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Responses

  1. David, this was a great post that was both different and important. Since we live in a large and somewhat stable country we sometimes forget that we should be taking steps to protect our business and our family. It is just common sense. Thanks for getting us to think outside the box so to speak.

  2. What are you personally doing to diversify David? I’m actively working on taking some of the assets out of my online business and putting it either into a brick and mortar business or investment real estate.

    Another thing you didn’t get into details, I’m also working on getting my online business setup so if something were to happen to me there would be people in place to either keep it running or liquidate the assets. This is important for those of us who have children.

    1. Yeah, planning for death is something we should all be doing with our businesses. I have kids, so it is important.

  3. Good, sensible recommendations.

    I think being internet marketers, we sometimes forget the value of hard assets.

    Frankly, I feel that precious metals are so inflated that there is a risk of losing too much value in them. Not to mention, should the currency collapse, they might be difficult to liquidate.

    I’ve been looking into other investments, such as vehicles (collectors cars or even just used cars that can be tarped and stored), livestock such as beef cattle which can often be run on other people’s land, and rental property.

    One thing I would like to learn is how to move assets off-shore, and how to become comfortable living in non-American culture. Look at Greece. The smart (rich) people have simply moved on.

    This is a timely post, and it is wise to stay alert, and have contingency plans.

    1. Yeah, that’s why I wrote the post… because I think a lot of online businesspeople don’t pay much – if any – attention to this stuff. It is often just written off as politically motivated crazyness. And, yes, some of it is. But, there’s also common sense.

      As for metals, yeah it is inflated. Especially gold. I think silver is a better buy right now. And thing is, if you look at it as an investment, it would suck. But, if you look at it as a hedge, it makes sense.

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