Running a business often involves juggling several balls at the same time and trying to keep multiple plates spinning. All company owners face obstacles and there are likely to be highs and lows along the way when you become an entrepreneur. In this guide, I’ll outline common hurdles and offer some tips to help you overcome them.
Technical issues and outages
The vast majority of businesses have become increasingly reliant on technology in recent years. There are endless benefits of investing in tech for your business, but there are also potential risks. Technical glitches and power outages can have a devastating impact on operations and cause backlogs, delays and widespread disruption. In many cases, there will be a quick fix, but it’s beneficial to be prepared. To protect your business against unexpected setbacks, you could consider buying a generator or UPS systems if you have a server room or data centre. If you have a plan B in place, you can keep disruption to a minimum and lower the risk of lost sales, customer service issues and problems for remote and office-based workers who utilise software and systems on a daily basis.
Cybercrime and downtime
We often associate cybercrime with high-profile, international brands because stories appear in the national newspapers, but small businesses are actually the most common target. Security breaches can be costly both in terms of your finances and your reputation. Consumers want to be able to trust businesses they share information and data with. If you don’t already have a robust security strategy in place, it’s wise to take steps to protect your company from hackers and scams. Provide training for your staff, seek advice from cybersecurity experts and consider outsourcing IT support so that you have access to assistance and expertise. You can also implement measures to enhance safety, including multi-factor authentication, phishing software and password guidelines. Reducing the risk of cyber attacks will help to protect sensitive information and prevent downtime.
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Logistics and supply chain
It’s virtually impossible to listen to a news bulletin or read the newspaper without hearing about supply chain issues and delays at the moment. Consumers are used to being able to buy products off the shelf or hit the order now button on their phones without any problems, but there is a long string of events and processes that have to be completed to make this possible. If there is a chink in the chain, there is a risk of delays. Sometimes, disruption is inevitable, but it is wise to have contingency plans. Check stock levels and consider increasing stores if the demand is likely to rise in the future, communicate clearly with clients if there is a risk of delays and figure out ways to transport and distribute items if the weather conditions impact deliveries.
Running a business involves overcoming barriers and avoiding potential pitfalls. If you own a company, and you’re keen to try and avoid as many obstacles as possible, it’s beneficial to draw up contingency plans and to be proactive in trying to prevent problems.