Running a business is filled with difficulty. You must cater to the needs of your clients, but you must also look after your own interests. If you sell and ship goods retail or wholesale through an online website, you must take measures to ensure that each transaction is safe and secure.
Protecting Sensitive Information
It is right for individuals and companies to have concerns about the theft of their information. A number of well-established and highly visible companies have been hacked over the last few years and the credit card details of their clients stolen. You cannot afford to have this happen to you. Most of your corporate clients will be other small business owners who do much of their purchasing with credit cards. Your retail customers are in a similar situation. None of them want to make themselves vulnerable to cyber thieves.
If your business is based entirely online, if you own no facilities or capital equipment of any kind, you cannot afford for your system to be down for any amount of time. Nor can you afford for it to be penetrated by unauthorized users. To protect your business you must have security software installed that has been thoroughly and rigorously tested—a transaction security system that has never been hacked or broken through. You want to be able to offer this kind of guarantee so that clients and prospective clients feel more comfortable giving you their card details.
It can be difficult to know how vulnerable your online system is. The methods and means of hackers evolve as quickly as the technology to defeat them. You may have had your security system installed by a company with a solid reputation and an excellent record. However, you must still have your system tested and validated by an independent body. An approved scanning vendor can provide you with such service. An approved scanning vendor is a company that has been certified by the PCI Security Standards Council to carry out system vulnerability assessments so as to ensure compliance with the Payment Card Industry and Data Security Standards. This is the kind of certification that can give your clients more confidence in your online systems.
Keep Costs Low with Accurate Inventory Keeping
You must also ensure the accuracy of your inventory and shipping. As you grow and scale up to meet greater demand, the number of items you ship and the places you ship to will increase. You will need to use a greater number of transport and distribution intermediaries. This will add to your costs, which means you must put a freight bill audit system in place to verify that shipments are timely and correct.
It is also important to maintain the management of your inventory. You must be able to track what you have in stock, what you have shipped out, and what you expect to receive.
Customer Service: The Key to Survival for Your Business
One of the most important matters to consider as you expand is the means by which you increase customer service and satisfaction. This will involve enhancing responsiveness on your end. It will also require you to work with suppliers and distributors that can meet more stringent deadlines. You cannot offer better and more flexible delivery times to your clients if you do not have vendors you can rely on.
Running an online business requires you to form strong partnerships with your suppliers and distribution vendors. The way to manage these relationships successfully, and to look out for your interests and those of your clients, is to put into place sound verification and accountability systems.