When you start a business, you have high hopes that it will be around for a long time. You know it will take hard work and dedication, and you also know that there are no guarantees.
But what exactly are the biggest risks to your business?
The answer is different for every brand, but there are some things that can sneak up on your business and result in its demise that you may not have considered seriously—but you should!
An IT Disaster
Technology makes today’s world go round, but it can bring yours to a halt if you aren’t careful.
IT equipment can be expensive. You can spend thousands of dollars on things like computers and routers, but if you aren’t taking care of that equipment, you could find yourself replacing it more often than you should. Take care of your equipment so you don’t find yourself in the red.
A systems crash can be even more devastating. From hackers to the loss of company data, you could lose important information, including the personal information of your customers and employees.
An IT disaster recovery plan is vital to prevent an IT event from annihilating your business. It includes creating a plan for restoring your systems, protecting backups, and making sure your service agreements have a disaster recovery clause in place.
You shouldn’t ignore customers. In some cases, the implications are obvious. For example, you should always take feedback and reviews seriously. If customers complain about a particular product or bad customer service, you should get to work to make it better right away.
However, ignoring customers can be much more insidious because their actions say more than their words. If you spend all your time gaining new customers because you have very few repeat customers, there’s definitely a problem you need to address. Customer loyalty makes your job easier, and it results in more money, so it’s well-worth your time to try and figure out what your customers want, and give it to them, so they will return to your brand time and time again.
Don’t assume you hire someone to work for your business and they will automatically be productive. There are things you have to do to ensure they are productive. That includes things like:
- Creating a culture that emphasizes transparency
- Getting to know your employees on a personal level
- Letting employees know when you appreciate their work
- Encouraging autonomy and risk taking
- Supporting them when they take approved time off
If you don’t do these kinds of things, you can bet that your employees won’t stick around long. If they don’t feel appreciated if they feel like you’re too controlling, or if they are feeling burnt out because they don’t think they can’t take any time off, they aren’t going to work hard, and they will eventually quit. Worse than that, word will get out that your company isn’t the kind of place where people want to work, which means your prospects of finding good workers to replace the ones who are leaving are slim.
Growing Too Fast
Scaling your business is the key to growing and making more money, but scaling up comes with plenty of risks. If you try and grow your business too fast, you’re much more likely to fall victim to those risks.
Growing your business requires you and your team to learn more skills, you have to acquire the capital to make it happen sustainably, and you’ll need more managerial support within your own organization, as well as the suppliers and manufacturers you work with. If you don’t put in the time to get your ducks in a row before you take the leap, you could be jumping your business off a cliff.
Focusing on Productivity
Productivity is important, and it’s something you should strive for, but you can’t focus on it exclusively. That means doing things like creating set hours so you and your employees don’t burn out, planning important training, even if it takes them away from their work for days at a time, and focusing on quality over quantity.
Although selling more product sounds like a great way to make more money, no one wants to feel like they bought a lemon. Slow down production and focus on quality to build a brand that will last through the years.
There are many ways your business can fail, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed from the start! Simply being aware of the things that can sabotage your dream can help you ensure they don’t sneak up and destroy your company.