By Alek S.
One of the benefits of graduating debt-free is that it allows you the freedom to forge your own path, business-wise. If you decide to go into business for yourself, there will be plenty of things that you have to learn after college in order to stay ahead of the game.
Starting a business can be a nerve-wracking experience. Not only is your own livelihood at stake, so you must also worry about the futures and families of each of your employees, who could be left high and dry if your business goes bottom-up. However, without risk, there is no reward. The good news about this is that there are ways you can go about protecting your business, and ensuring that you build a foundation of stability to keep you and your employees away from risks. The first steps to doing this, though, are to actually address the concerns that could cause major damage to your business. Although this can vary, greatly, depending on your specific business and industry, here are some common existing threats to a small (or any) business…
Lack of security measures
One aspect of business that should be a major priority for every company is to protect itself from external threats, whether digital or physical. The solution to this is simple: protect your stuff. If your company utilizes tons of data, then it is super important to utilize cyber security to protect from nefarious threats that could expose information for you or your customers. Heck, even if your only digital asset is a company website, you should work to ensure that it is properly protected. At the same time, you need to make sure that your physical assets, such as your business’ location, or worksites that your business is using, are also secure by setting up security systems that protect your employees and your company’s valuables (you may also want to utilize security personnel, who can protect a wide variety of assets, as shown here).
Having a poor business image
This is a rather broad category, but a business’ image is the crux of how they will interact with consumers. Having this image become tainted is a huge existential threat that could cut a business off from consumers and, thus, its main stream of revenue. There are two major aspects of your business’ image. The first is your company’s public image, which is handled by PR and marketing. The second, though, is your business’ actual location. If your location is dirty or in disarray, it will lessen the image of your business and push away customers. For this reason, always strive to have a highly presentable business location. Also, absolutely never allow your location to become filthy, such as from poor work conditions, or even infested with pests (find a company like this one, if that ever happens).
Supply chain issues
Problems that arise with your company’s supply chain can put a serious dent in the overall revenue that the business is able to generate. As a company grows, it will need to find ways to manage a supply chain that grows with it, or else deal with transportation problems and inventory shortages. This can put a business on ice, if they are not careful. Many times, if businesses who grow quicker than their supply chain capabilities are able to adapt to, they will experience a major bottleneck that will deal a serious blow to their company’s image and income (this is a serious issue for service companies, as explained in this article here).
A business is made up of people, at its heart. Having the right personnel at the right positions inside of a business can make the difference between mediocrity and success. However, one issue that can plague a company and generate nothing but failure is extreme turnover. No matter how excellent of employees a company has, unmanageable turnover cycles will put a business in a perpetual transition state. This can be highly expensive, due to training and other costs. On top of that, you will never get the efficiency or innovation that you need from your employees to truly grow.
Poor data management
As a small business grows to the point where it becomes more of a midsize business, the data management that is required by the company will begin to increase to levels that will necessitate a new system. Data management problems can result in issues with customer information, and can make it difficult for your business to gain insights that may be necessary to make important decisions.