Whether you’re an experienced business owner or just getting started, understanding the different risks associated with running a business is crucial. While some business risks are ever-present, others arise and/or evolve — especially as elements of modern development, such as the ability to support remote work, gain more prevalence. Throughout this article, you will find common modern-day business risks, how they contrast from the risks of the past, and how to persevere through them.

Political influences

As a business owner, you have access to a social platform that not everyone has access to. You can take a stand and encourage your employees and customers alike to do the same. However, what some business owners may not be aware of is just how their beliefs — specifically politics — can impact the way they run their business.

Even if you oppose whoever is in office, it’s important to pay attention to how they’re choosing to run things. Everything from business guidelines and policies to taxes could be affected by legislation; if you aren’t paying attention, then your business may not be prepared to adjust accordingly.

Business owners should consider these political influences when creating a business and risk management plan. This includes having a plan of action for if any riots, boycotts, and/or protests because of political changes break out around your business — whether you are a part of it or not.

Evolving cybersecurity needs

As technology continues to develop, so does the threat of falling victim to a cybersecurity attack. This is why businesses, especially those that rely heavily on technology and IT, should be cautious — even remote employees who think they’re safe from cyberthreats because they work from home are at risk of a cyberattack. Especially when they’re communicating with their IT department about any tech-related problems.

This is because their company will more than likely interact with a third party who provides remote support for their system using remote access software. This way the IT tech can troubleshoot any issues without having to physically be there to do so. But, with the ability to fix any technical problem remotely, comes the ability to cause more damage remotely as well — particularly if the software you’re using isn’t secure.

When a third party — or any party at that — is in charge of technical support, they must take necessary precautions to ensure absolute network security. To do so means investing in trusted software to help protect not only the company’s information, but the information of the employees and customers/clients as well.

95% of cybersecurity threats are caused by human error. Meaning there is room for improvement, as long as companies are taking the necessary precautions to prevent threats as much as possible.

Complex data management

Data management is a valuable tool for every modern business. It’s a technological trend that’s transforming the workplace, allowing business owners to see a statistical breakdown of what they’re doing well, what needs to be improved, and their overall customer experience.

With more data you need to gather, you may feel overwhelmed or rapidly become unorganized. Without the proper tools like trusted network management software, the chance of you losing control over gathered data is more likely.

Rising interest in ethical practice

Similar to following industry trends, consumers often follow trends — particularly in regards to trends in sustainability. The increased interest in ethical products, services, and business practices continues to rise.

Consumers are becoming more aware of where their products are coming from and how they’re sourced. They’re paying more attention to whether or not everyday items they’re consuming are coming from a business that practices ethical standards. They tend to be drawn more towards businesses that have ethical standards regarding the environment. Statistics gathered by the WWF show a “71% rise in popularity of searches for sustainable goods over the past five years, with continuing growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To maintain a positive reputation, business owners should take into consideration these rising trends and implement them when possible. Even if they can’t do anything to their storefront or products physically, they can still find other ways to implement ethical standards, like digital sustainability. Refraining from doing so can result in a decrease in sales and a bad reputation.

Mergers and partnerships

Choosing to merge or partner with another entity can do your business good. However, if approached irresponsibly, doing so can also negatively impact your business. For example, if your business merger doesn’t go according to plan, it can cause damage to your reputation due to the actions of your business partner.

If you do choose to partner with another entity, it is crucial to ensure that they too have a good reputation. Make sure they share the same values, ethics, and business goals as you. If there is any hesitation or you feel that maybe they won’t be the best partner (for whatever reason) then it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t go through with the merger.

Social media gaffes

We’ve discussed trends in technology and ethics, now let’s discuss trends in marketing. This includes the importance of using social media as a marketing tool. Doing so opens up numerous advertising opportunities that you wouldn’t have access to without social media.

A few benefits of implementing social media into your marketing routine include reaching a larger audience, having more creative freedom, and using multimedia to spread the same message.

But with this large advertising platform comes big responsibilities. Remember that you’re speaking as your business, not you personally. This means you need to be sure to cater to your target audience. Remember who your target consumer is and create posts that cater to their interests. Refrain from making public slip-ups by educating yourself on social media ethics for businesses. Be sure you are refraining from making posts that are too controversial, offensive, spread misinformation, or anything else that may make your business look bad.

Consequences of network disruption

Of course, a strong network connection is crucial for any business — even more so for those in IT or that heavily rely on technology. Having a well-functioning and trusted network is a must for your business’s success. Not only does it help hold everything together, but it makes your systems more secure and easily accessible.

The consequences of having a network disruption can include everything from data breaches, data loss, a decline in productivity, and even financial loss — depending on the severity of the disruption. To avoid network disruption, business owners are encouraged to invest in a network that has a good reputation and is trusted amongst others.

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