It is serious business to talk about things, events, or even persons that can put the company at risk. The nature of these threats can be straightforward, evolving, or unforeseen but can wreak havoc in a business’s operations one way or the other.
Small businesses are understandably up in arms to protect their hard work. It would be a significant loss for you and your employees to experience the adverse impact of circumstances that could have been avoided or mitigated.
So what are the common traps that small-business owners face in the course of day-to-day operations? And what can they do about each of these threats?
Physical Property Losses
The threat: offices and commercial spaces are hot picks for intruders because of computers, laptops, and other appliances that can be disposed of in the market quickly.
The trick: while you can rely on building security, fortify your doors and vaults with heavy-duty locks and deadbolts. Check their efficacy to protect your space with a reliable lockpick set. Install security cameras that you can monitor round the clock. Also, set clear guidelines about accepting visitors and unknown persons.
Disruptions and Interruptions
The threat: natural calamities and weather disturbances can damage the office and render it unusable and unsafe. The worst scenario is to suspend operations while you contemplate the next move. Even unreliable internet connection can force you to work from home or outside for days or weeks until the service is restored.
The trick: research business-interruption insurance because it can cover bills, lost income, and costs associated with the move and relocation. You can set up this coverage as part of a business owner’s comprehensive policy. For the internet connection, always bank on a backup plan.
Changing Customer Patterns
The threat: customers can leave your product or service for a better or cheaper option or when they have no need for it. Your sales and revenues will take a hit and, if the situation gets protracted and unaided, can threaten your business’s existence.
The trick: revisit your marketing campaign, and check that the message still speaks to customers. If not, tweak how you convey your expertise to them, and match it with what they need. Be honest in your assessment to get a realistic result.
The threat: cyberattacks can target your business or customers’ information. The impact of data breaches is far-ranging, from financial losses to lawsuits with affected individuals claiming for compensation.
The trick: get up to speed on cybersecurity threats and technologies that can prevent them. Ask an expert (if you have no IT personnel) to scrutinize your network and spot vulnerabilities. Make sure your employees know about the best and safe practices when using their computers and the internet.
The threat: the National Safety Council says that a worker gets injured every seven seconds. What’s more, as the nonprofit organization notes, is that these incidents are preventable. Service or office employees are not exempt from sprains, sores, and cuts that keep them away from work.
The trick: disseminate information about safety tips when bending, storing objects, or keeping the place clean from spills and obstructions. Tack reminders about office hazards and safe practices on conspicuous areas or those prone to trips and falls.
The threat: according to this article, businesses worry about attracting and retaining talents who possess the experience and skills they value. They also express concerns relating to getting qualified new hires and the resources needed to train them.
The trick: as for the first point, you have no control over the labor market, but you play a role in building the company culture. The University of Oxford’s seven moral rules read into human nature and, possibly, hold the key to keeping talented people in your team.
On the hiring process, streamline the process by contacting for interview only those whose résumés stood out. Ask them to bring references, and interview them for other positions as part of a long-term talent pool, The Balance Careers suggests.
As you look into hiring, training, and keeping these people for a long time, screen them for drug use. This precaution on the preemployment stage is a necessary step toward a safe workplace.
Urine testing is one of the popular ways to detect substance use. For candidates, they will naturally find ways to pass the drug test or not take the substance in question at all. You have the discretion to run another round of testing during the probationary period or as required as part of a comprehensive workplace safety plan.
Always Be Ready
Threats are part of running a business, but there are also opportunities to explore. That’s why identifying and listing down these business threats is a critical component of planning and preparing for contingencies.
The economic climate, weather, and behavior of employees are some of the external factors beyond your control. However, you can make the necessary preparations and use your foresight to survive business uncertainties.