Whether you are a new entrepreneur or an experienced one, you should always approach your business with your eyes open. While it is exciting and empowering, there are also pitfalls and valleys to go through. Your business could face any possible hazards, and if you aren’t clear-eyed enough to see them coming, your business could be in trouble.
One of the most important things you can do for your business is to help it weather any storms it might be subjected to. There are many hazards that your company could face, and you need to be relevant not just to survive but to thrive as well. Here are some realities of owning a business in 2022 and what you can do to help minimize their impact.
Importance of Insurance
While you may be unable to prevent all of the hazards your business might face, one of the best things you can do is protect against fallouts. Having the right insurance in place is the most important step you can take to do that. There are several things that insurance will protect against. You need general liability in case you are sued for something like a personal injury on your property, or you are accused of defamation. You will also need workers’ compensation for any employees you have in case they get hurt on the job.
Every business has property, even if you are home-based. Your personal homeowners’ policy may not cover you for damage to equipment or inventory that you have at your home for your business. You will need commercial property insurance to protect it. On top of that, if you use your personal vehicle for work purposes, you may need additional coverage beyond your personal auto policy to ensure you are protected. Check with your insurance provider to make sure that you are covered for any potential risks.
We live in a digital world, and more and more businesses store data in the cloud or on their own digital storage systems. That opens up the possibility of being a victim of a cyber attack or making an error that leads to a data breach. If this happens, you will expose your clients and staff to the risk of identity theft. You may also leave your business open to a ransomware attack. This is when criminals hold data for ransom until the victim can pay up. You will either have to pay to access your data or pay for a specialist to come and fix it.
Most security breaches are caused by weak password standards or downloading a corrupted file from an email. Make sure you and your employees have strong passwords for any portals you might access. This includes portals that don’t contain sensitive information. If you have a weak password for one of those, a savvy hacker may be able to guess your password for others. You also must provide training so everyone can identify a suspicious email and delete it immediately. Cyber-attacks continue to rise every year, and you need to make sure that you and your clients aren’t victims.
Climate change continues to impact almost every aspect of our society. This includes your business. In a practical sense, depending on your location, you will have to protect your property against damage or destruction from weather events. This means making sure that your foundation is solid, and installing storm-proof windows and doors, for example. But, of course, your insurance will also help with this.
In another sense, climate change is on the mind of many consumers. As a business, you may feel it is necessary to demonstrate your commitment to the environment to your customers. Eco-friendly practices include manufacturing products with recycled materials, for example. By advertising any green initiatives you might be taking, you will draw in customers concerned about climate change.
Inflation is causing the cost of living to rise rapidly. Add in that there is currently a labor shortage, and workers are demanding higher wages than they have in recent years. Many reports show that businesses have to pay more to recruit and retain top talent. You may need to make tough choices in the coming months and years. Will you let someone go because they have become too expensive, or hire a less than ideal candidate? It’s important to have a strong team, so conventional wisdom would suggest that you pay up for talent. However, you will need to factor that into your budget forecasts.
Customer Service Is Essential
In the past, if a business was the only one in its area that offered service or product, it essentially had a monopoly. While they certainly wouldn’t encourage poor customer service, it might not have been a focus. However, customer service has never been more important in the global marketplace. Customers can shop with anyone, anywhere in the world. So you must find a way to stand out and keep them coming back to you.
Your staff should be fully trained in effective customer service practices, and you must develop a service culture. Personalization is also a plus, including how you market to consumers and treat them in-store and on your website. Customers need to be treated with respect and care since they are the reason that you have incoming revenue in the first place.
Running a business is hard, and it’s getting harder. There is more competition than ever, and big-box corporations dominate the landscape. However, if you make the right moves, you can still find your place in the market and achieve your desired success. However, you have to be prepared for some of the realities of being an entrepreneur in 2022. By paying attention to these factors, you can survive any downturns and grow your business into 2023.