When it comes to our business, we don’t tend to focus all that much on the downsides, especially in the early days. You have to go into any new venture with positivity and optimism, and that will be difficult if you’re all too aware of the potential pitfalls. Or is that wrong? Wisdom says that a business owner that is aware of the common mistakes and threats that a business faces can do more to prevent them than a business owner who only sees the good things. Below, we take a look at some of the common threats, as well as offer advice on how to best keep them at bay.
Lack of Direction
If you’re trying to get to the top of the mountain, then it’s important that you know how you’re going to get there. You need to know the right way to hike. The same can be applied to your business. If you’re trying to find success, then you can’t just wing it and make it up as you go along, and hope that it all eventually clicks. You need to have direction. One mistake that business owners make in this area is that they create a clear step by step path. While this might sound like a sensible option, the truth is that it’s too limiting — it can lead owners to ignore other, better opportunities that come their way. Instead, look at creating a company mission statement. This will make sure you’re steered along the right path, while also keeping you open.
Oh, the costs that a bad hire can bring. Business owners usually realize once it’s too late, by which point, the money has been lost. It costs a significant amount of money to bring an employee on board, but it’s nothing to the costs that a bad hire can bring. The threats of a poor employee stretch beyond just the money factor, too. They can also damage your reputation with your customers, and create friction with your other employees, which can cause a dip in morale and productivity. Make sure you’re developing a robust hiring policy that ensures that only the best candidates make it into your company.
It’s always healthy to have a normal dose of realism in your life. And realism will tell you that crime exists, and that if you’ve got something that a criminal would want, then there’s no reason to suggest that your business would be spared. Why would it be? As such, it’s important that you’re taking steps to reduce the chances of being a victim of crime. Keep in mind that crime is committed in increasingly sophisticated ways. It’s not just physical crime, such as when a criminal breaks into your office (though you do need also to be mindful of this); cybercrime is increasingly common, too, and especially against small to medium sized businesses. You can help to keep this threat at a distance by working with an IT company that specializes in cyber security.
It’s unpleasant to think about, but you also need to be wary of internal crime. You’ll have hoped that you could trust the people that you bring into your business, but the stats show that companies are ripped off to the tune of some $50 billion each year. So it’s worthwhile taking steps to protect yourself. You can set up systems within the workplace that monitor your employees and so on, but the easiest way to prevent workplace crime is to be sure of who you’re bringing onto the team in the first place. Make sure you’re checking up on the references that they provide during the application process, and also consider conducting a criminal background check, especially if the job involves handling your sensitive data and documents.
Lack of Safety Measures
There are some companies that have had to call it a day all because of something that happened in the blink of an eye. An accident at your workplace can have a damaging effect on your operations, your team morale, and, ultimately, your business. If the accident is serious enough, it can spell the end of your company — it’ll never recover. As such, it’s important that you’re taking the time to ensure that your safety measures are on point and up to date. It’s not the most exciting thing you’ll do during your time in business, but it is important.
It’s often overlooked, but if a business is going to be hitting the heights that it’s capable of reaching, then it’s crucial that you — the business owner — are working at your best. While you’ll naturally want your business to be a success, there is a correct and an incorrect way to go about achieving the goal. You might think that working twelve hours a day, six days a week is going to help your venture. And it will, but only a short-term basis. After a while, you’ll find that your energy has been drained and that you’re no longer able to deliver your best work for your company. For this reason, it’s important that you’re looking after yourself. IT’s much easier to put your awesome ideas into practice if you have bags of energy to spare.
You might think that the success of your business depends on the strength of your ideas and how well you’re able to engage with your customers. And it is, for the most part. But there are other external threats that you need to be aware of. Take natural disasters, for example. In the space of a night, your worksite could suffer damage that seriously damages your ability to provide your customers with the best experience. There are some things you can do to keep the threat of weather damage at bay, but there are never any guarantees. One smart way to protect yourself is to get covered with the help of Krywolt commercial insurance brokers. That way, you’ll have a level of coverage even if the worst case scenario occurs.
Your business faces existential threats, too. For example, the state of the economy. If things are going well, then you’ll find that it’s easier to win customers and generate profits. If it’s not, then you could be in trouble. The economic crash of 2008 put an end to many businesses. Of course, some industries — such as construction — are more vulnerable than others. If you’re in an industry that is commonly affected, then make sure you’re keeping an eye on projections. There may be steps you can take to put a buffer between your business and economic collapse.
We live in a competitive age. Indeed, this is the nature of running a business: you’re in competition with other businesses. While you might be at the top of the food chain right now, there’s always the chance that a new outfit will come along and blow you out of the water. It has happened before, to giant companies. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid resting on your laurels. There will always be ways that you can improve your company, so do it. You want to make it as difficult as possible for a newcomer to knock you off your perch.
As well as new companies, you’ll also want to keep AI in mind. The rise of the machines is projected to take as many as 40% of jobs, and it’s not unthinkable that entire businesses (such as say, trucking companies) will go out of business. You can innovate, and go along with the change, or be ready to fall.
Lack of Productivity
It doesn’t matter how many hours you’re working in the office, it really doesn’t. What counts is how productive you are when you’re working. A lack of productivity can kill your business, so it’s important that you find the best way for you and your employees to work effectively. Taking some time to identify what might be holding you back, and which changes need to be made, can seriously increase your output.
If you take a look at the successful companies, you’ll find a common thread that links them. And that is, while they didn’t have success initially, and suffered hard times, they didn’t stop when the going got tough. They kept going. Your business will have all the potential in the world to become successful (providing you’ve done your market research correctly), but it will take time. The difference between a failed venture and a profitable, long-term successful venture is sometimes something as simple as endurance. If you can ride out the tough periods, you might just find that success comes your way.
You can never be totally sure of what threat to your business is going to strike. All you can do is try your best to be ready for whatever comes your way. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be able to repel any potential harmful aspects as and when they arrive.