Is Your Business Prepared for These 4 Threats?

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( — June 12, 2022) –When launching and growing a business, it’s easy to get so caught up in the opportunity side of things that you forget about the flip side of the “coin.” While there’s something to be said for an optimistic approach, you can’t ignore the threats your business faces externally.

4 Big Threats You Must be Aware Of

If you’ve ever taken a business class or read one of the classic business books, then you’re familiar with the SWOT Analysis. This is an exercise that involves listing your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And while threats might be listed last in this exercise, they must be accounted for.

As entrepreneur Lisa Furgison explains, “A threat to your company is an external factor, something that you can’t control, that could negatively impact your business. A threat is different than a weakness, which is internal, or part of your company as it exists right now.”

Identifying the big threats your business faces is one of the most important and powerful steps you can take toward long-term stability. It’s the only way to effectively neutralize and/or prepare for them before they eviscerate your company.

While every company faces unique threats, let’s take a look at some of the common ones that are threatening most (if not all) businesses today.

1. Supply Chain Issues

Supply chain issues are a huge problem for any business that relies on physical materials or inventory. (Which is almost every business.) Unfortunately, this is an issue that’s likely to get worse before it improves.

While you can’t do anything about what’s happening further down the supply chain, there are several things you can do to reduce some of the risk you face. For example, you can order ahead and invest in more storage space. Secondly, you can find some backup suppliers so you have multiple sources to pull from.

2. Data Breaches and Ransomware

According to a global survey of thousands of business leaders, 44 percent of respondents believe cyber incidents are a huge risk to their companies in 2022. That makes it the number one perceived threat for the year.

Cyber incidents can take on any number of shapes and forms. However, you could argue that ransomware is one of the biggest cyber threats.

​​”Ransomware is a malware designed to encrypt a victim’s information or lock the victim out of their device’s basic functions until a ransom is paid to the attacker,” Box explains. “Many  attackers threaten to release, sell, or delete an individual or organization’s data if demands are not met by a certain deadline.”

The best approach to ransomware is to avoid it altogether. This means implementing strong security solutions that (a) keep threat actors away from your business and (b) encrypt your data so that hackers can’t access sensitive information and use it for leverage.

3. Inflation and Price Increases

While inflation often gets discussed in the news in terms of how much extra it’s costing consumers, the reality is that businesses are often the ones left absorbing a lot of the costs.

As a business, you have to choose between keeping your prices the same and losing profit margin or increasing prices and potentially losing a percentage of your customers. It’s a tricky place to find yourself.

The key to successfully navigating inflation and price increases is communication. Good communication with both suppliers and customers will help you stay ahead of whatever issues may arise this year.

4. Pandemic Outbreak

It’s amazing the difference a year can make. In 2021, the pandemic was the single biggest threat facing businesses. Today, it’s arguably the fifth biggest threat. But don’t let declining virus numbers lull you into thinking this is no longer a threat. The potential for another pandemic outbreak should absolutely keep you honest.

The good thing about this threat is that your company is more prepared today than it was two years ago. Now that you’ve been through a large-scale outbreak in the past, you have some idea of what to expect if one re-emerges in the future. For now, your main objective is to keep your eyes and ears open (so that you can respond as quickly as possible).

Adding it All Up

Don’t let this article scare you. Instead, let it motivate you to do everything within your power to strategically plan ahead and protect your business from external threats. In doing so, you’ll effectively strengthen your company’s future and put it in the best possible position to succeed.