As a business owner, you need to be always prepared for threats in the external world. If you do not have contingencies in place, these threats can endanger your operations, cut your profits or even ruin your brand image. On the other hand, proper planning and foresight can not only minimize the adverse effects of these threats but can help you turn around the situation so the threat becomes an opportunity.
Here are 5 threats every business owner should prepare for:
The weather is one of the most disruptive and uncontrollable forces you can face in business. With the looming threat of climate change, weather conditions have been quite severe and unpredictable in the last decade. These severe weather conditions can interrupt your operations, cause delays in your logistics, and even make employees sick.
While it is virtually impossible to control the weather, you can have contingency measures in place to reduce its negative effects. You can do this by keeping up with the weather news and making sure you have a reliable logistics system that can withstand sudden weather changes. Also, during flu season, you can make it easy for employees to get flu shots by having health professionals visit your company and subsidizing vaccine costs.
Changes in the economy can definitely influence a lot of areas in your business from your customer’s buying behavior to the prices of raw materials. Don’t just read the local news; keep up-to-date with international economics so you’ll have a firmer grasp about what’s going on with businesses around the world.
With your well-rounded insights, you can better create strategies that will protect you from forecasted economic downturns. For example, diversification is a tried-and-tested strategy for minimizing risks, especially during an unpredictable economic climate.
Security should be a top priority for you as a business owner. An effective and efficient security system protects you from possible theft, damage, and not to mention, longer-lasting consequences like disrupted operations and a compromised reputation.
Conduct a thorough security assessment of your company to find out what type of equipment and security measures you need to implement. The evaluation should let you know if you need to install additional CCTV cameras, upgrade to heavy-duty locks that will not be easily tampered by a set of lockpicking tools, or if you need to hire a security team to monitor your premises.
New technologies may sound like exciting news but for businesses these upgrades can become threats especially if they get left behind by their competitors. The cases of Netflix overthrowing Blockbuster and Nokia getting overtaken in the smartphone race are classic examples of businesses who were late in embracing technological upgrades.
You can stay up-to-date with the latest technologies by reading the news, speaking with consultants, and attending industry conventions. Adopting new technology can be expensive, and implementing it can be time-consuming, so always consider whether the upgrade is worth the cost.
Material shortages can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, harsh weather conditions can affect industries like agriculture resulting in lower yield and higher prices for produce. One way to prevent or at least reduce the effects of these shortages would be to strengthen your supply chain management.
Make sure communication lines are open and solid between all members of the chain so you are alerted when there are problems with the raw materials. Also, it’s important that you have several supplier contacts you can reach out to in case one is unable to provide the materials you need.
There are certainly other threats to look out for, so you need to be consistently vigilant. Also, regularly touch base with your workforce, customers, and stakeholders as well as conduct your own research so you will always be up-to-date with changes in the business landscape.