As a small business owner, you may be so focused on growing your business, finding customers, making sales, and seeking financing that risk management falls by the wayside. But you must prepare and protect your business so you don’t lose all your hard work.

Protect your business from disasters, theft, and more with this checklist to identify and minimize risk.

The checklist includes several ways to prepare and protect your business, such as:

Inspect your physical business location

  • Look for trip-and-fall hazards such as uneven pavement, potholes, and cracked or crumbling sidewalks.
  • Regularly inspect the roof, gutters, and exterior cladding for water damage or breaks in the seal.
  • Ensure workers follow safety protocol and use equipment properly.

Prevent burglaries and customer and employee theft

  • Make sure your business is well-lit, both inside and outside.
  • Install an alarm system. Look for one with motion detection that will automatically alert the police.
  • Train employees in shoplifting prevention tactics.

Protect your business in case of fire

  • Keep your space free of clutter. Set a regular schedule for cleaning and taking out the trash.
  • Inspect fire extinguishers and sprinklers once a year.
  • Invest in a fire alarm system.

Prevent injuries

  • Educate employees on ergonomics and safely operating machinery and equipment.
  • Provide protective clothing, such as gloves, goggles, and back braces, if necessary.
  • Inspect and maintain all equipment regularly.


  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for internet access, especially when off-site.
  • Identify data vulnerable to a breach, such as customer credit card numbers or addresses.
  • Get a cyber insurance policy to cover costs of a data breach or cyber theft.

Learn more in Progressive’s eguide, “Prepare and Protect: The small business owner’s guide to identifying and managing risks.” You can never be too safe.

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