As a small business owner, it is important to identify the risk factors that could derail your business. When you know what they are, you will then be able to manage them, and steer your business into success and away from the possibility of failure.
In this article, we will list just a few. Read them, heed them, and follow our suggestions for the betterment of your business.
Risk #1: Falling foul of the law
Larger business owners probably have legal teams working on their side to mitigate this risk. As a small business owner, it is unlikely that you have the finances to hand to pay for such a privilege. And because you will be working hard trying to keep your business running day-to-day, you might have spent less time than you should looking into the various business laws that you need to be aware of. The upshot of this? A greater chance of you falling foul of the law, and this could result in hefty fines that could cripple your business.
Tip: The onus is on you to educate yourself, so research any legalities that you are subjected to, including those that relate to employment, software licensing, and health and safety. And while you might not have the funds for your own legal team, you should still speak to a business lawyer for advice, as they will give you the heads-up on the laws you need to get to grips with. By having them on speed dial, you can also call on their services should you need them in an emergency situation.
Risk #2: Hacking threats
Why would somebody bother hacking into your small business computers? Well, unlike larger business owners, you are less likely to have the funds for the high-end security resources that they have at their disposal, and you might also suffer from complacency, assuming that your little business is safely off any cyber criminal’s radar. Hackers know this and are therefore more likely to target you. Should they gain access into your systems, not only can they steal your financial information, but they can also steal the info pertaining to your customers too. As a small business owner trying to build both your profits and a solid reputation, you can understand the problems your business will then face after being hacked.
Tip: Okay, so you don’t have the funds for the iron-tight security measures larger companies have at their disposal, but there is still much you can do to protect your business from harm. On a very basic level, you should install antivirus software and firewall technologies onto your computers. You might also transfer your data to a more resilient and secure IT environment, using cloud migration to migrate to AWS or any similar platform. You should also consult with an IT professional, as they will advise you on other steps you need to take to protect your valuable data, and will give you the heads-up on the latest hacking threats currently in existence.
Risk #3: Losing a key employee
Unlike larger business owners, you probably don’t have a massive workforce at your disposal. You will, therefore, be heavily reliant on the people you do have in your employ, and if you lose one of them, perhaps due to sickness or injury, then the day-to-day running of your business might be severely compromised. Just what are you supposed to do?
Tip: Our first piece of advice is this: Take care of your employees. They are less likely to fall ill, get injured, or even quit your business if you focus on their wellbeing. Secondly, manage the risk by taking preemptive steps. So, you might research firms where your employee’s job duties can be outsourced to. You might also sign up to a temping agency, so if you do need somebody to cover your key employee at short-notice, you should be able to access another skilled individual reasonably quickly.
Risk #4: The threat of your competition
Not only is your business under threat from the bigger boys in business, but you are also under threat from other small business owners, each one trying to gain a foothold in the customer marketplace. If you don’t do anything to counter these threats, then your business will be quickly overshadowed by those businesses that have taken the relevant steps to jostle you out of position.
Tip: Firstly, find out who your nearest business rivals are. Then look into what they might be doing better than you, and take measures to up your game. So, you might make changes to your product or service to better attract potential customers, and you might improve your website to give your business that excellent first impression. You should up your marketing too, ensuring that word gets out about what your business has to offer. And you should focus on excellent customer service, as by doing so, you will guarantee customer retention and positive word-of-mouth about your business. By taking these steps, you will safeguard your business from the threat of your rivals.
Thanks for reading.