It’s no secret that mistakes happen in business every day. Human error, issues with automated systems, and customers not following instructions are just some of the things that can cause problems to firms of all sizes everyday.
Unfortunately, some issues can end up becoming catastrophic to businesses, and problems at the extreme end of the spectrum can result in organizations shutting down for good due to bankruptcy, theft, and damaged brand reputation.
It’s easy to think that your firm is unlikely to get affected by something that could lead to such severe consequences, but complacency has no place in the business world.
You’re probably reading this article right now because you worry that your business isn’t equipped to deal with any potential disasters that are likely to cause significant disruption to its daily operations.
That’s why you need to know what to do if your organization could get affected by extreme issues, no matter how unlikely they are to occur. For example, one such way is by conducting a business impact analysis process.
Take a look at the following 12 examples that may illustrate your business isn’t quite ready to deal with any potential disasters, irrespective of their likelihood:
One of the most significant threats to any business is physical theft. It can occur in many different ways, ranging from the theft of stock (products) to equipment and machinery necessary to operate a business each day.
The last thing you want to happen is for any of your firm’s assets to get stolen, so it makes sense to ensure security is a priority in your business.
For example, ensure your premises have several layers of security, such as strong locks, 24-hour surveillance cameras, and so forth.
Theft doesn’t have to happen on a physical level. Did you know that many firms experience digital theft from nefarious elements of society, typically intending to cause as much pain and disruption to companies as possible?
Digital theft can include customer data, such as names and addresses, payment card details, and other sensitive information that businesses don’t want falling into the wrong hands.
Some hackers steal such information and sell it to the highest bidder on the black market, whereas others hold businesses to ransom and threaten to make the information public knowledge unless they get paid a crippling sum of money.
No business wants to face the threat of litigation from customers, employees, suppliers, or any third parties. However, the sad truth is that it’s an everyday occurrence and your business isn’t immune from the threat of lawsuits.
You should always check that your organization isn’t operating illegally – knowingly or not – by conducting regular audits of your processes.
Doing so ensures that any potential issues get logged and resolved immediately and that you pre-empt any likely scenarios that could result in legal action in worst-case scenarios.
There’s only so much your local weather reports can tell you about likely conditions in your area for the next few days. As you know, such reports are only forecasts, and sometimes they can be inaccurate.
What would happen if your business premises faced extreme weather conditions that could jeopardize the future of your operations? What might happen if such conditions impacted your suppliers?
It’s always worth having a “plan B” in place in case of such issues. For example, keeping your stock spread across different parts of the country, or using multiple suppliers in a broad geographical area.
Does your business have physical premises where you and your employees, and where you sometimes receive customers and visitors? If so, you must ensure that it gets maintained, with any repairs getting carried out in a timely fashion.
Lack of building maintenance might be an oversight to some business leaders, but it can sometimes lead to devastating consequences and cause disruption or even sound the death knell for some firms.
Ensure you’ve got a building maintenance plan in place for your premises, including weekly, monthly, and bi-annual checks on various systems and processes.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got just one employee working for you or there is a whole army of people that ensure your business operates smoothly each day. If those individuals don’t receive the right training for their roles, chaos will inevitably ensue!
Each team member in your business must know how to carry out their duties correctly, safely, and efficiently. The only way that can happen is if they receive full training when they first start with your firm.
It’s no secret that the Internet provides a lifeline to many businesses in today’s digital switched-on world. It offers companies and other organizations many new ways to communicate with team members and customers.
The Internet also enables customers to place orders electronically 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your Internet connection stopped working for whatever reason, do you have a backup plan in place – such as setting up a temporary 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for each team?
The sad truth about much of the business world is how little progress has been made relating to diversity inclusion. Your firm should welcome employees from all walks of life, irrespective of their skin color, gender, or religious affiliation.
Diversity inclusion training is something many business leaders should undertake if they want to grow their firms without alienating people from any particular background or persuasion. It’s also a type of training team managers and coordinators should also take.
Despite companies having policies on workplace bullying, it’s a problem that still occurs even in the most forward-thinking of organizations. Even large corporations like Google have a problem with workplace bullying, even though they might not like to admit it!
Your business should have a strict no-bullying policy in place and employees dealt with as appropriate. Don’t run a company that brushes workplace bullying under the carpet or dismisses any examples as banter or a bit of fun between like-minded colleagues.
Insurance policies are useful for mitigating any unexpected issues or losses. Most businesses have several types of insurance coverage, depending on the type of work they do and how they deliver their products and services to customers.
You should review your existing insurance coverage and check that it meets your firm’s specific needs. Address any insurance coverage holes to give yourself, your employees, and your customers peace of mind knowing that you’ve got everyone’s best interests at heart.
If you thought theft of physical products, equipment, and machinery was bad enough, you should also consider the fact that some people are simply hell-bent on causing as much destruction of your property as possible for no particular reason.
Vandalism and malevolence are two issues that impact businesses every day, so it makes sense to ensure you’ve got appropriate levels of security in place to protect your firm’s assets.
Last but not least, you need to make sure that your employees are safe when carrying out their work each day.
As a responsible employer, you must make reasonable provisions to ensure that each team member won’t injure themselves or other people in the course of their duties.
For example, enforcing the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) and having safe loading, unloading, handling, and storage procedures for physical items will greatly reduce the risk of employees injuring themselves and others.