Among the many things that belong on the founder’s personal radar, threats to your business rank high in importance. For the careful, risk averse founder, these factors must be carefully controlled to insulate your business from harm, and even the most bullish personality has to admit it’s important to do things like check for big, established competitors in the area you’re planning to open a new branch.
Today we’re taking a look at three things that can be big threats to your business so you can make informed decisions about how to contend with them.
This might be the obvious threat – other businesses who are consciously planning how to dominate your industry, starving you of customers and revenue. If you’re Netflix, you worry about Amazon Prime, if you’re a local hairdressing salon, you worry about the hairdressers on the other side of town – no business, big or small, is immune from competition.
The most important thing you can do is work out who your competitors are. That might be easiest to do if you are that bricks and mortar hairdresser, as the service is inherently limited by location – however miraculous the internet continues to be, no one’s downloading a haircut.
Retail and service based industries are much more susceptible to online competition, so your research has to take in your whole industry, not just your physical location. You can survey your customers, find out what options they’re weighing up when they choose your brand, but for a broader view market research can help give you a picture of the whole market your operating in, so you can plan from a position of insight.
An even greater threat than other businesses is your own poor planning. If you’re operating without a strategy for your business – a vision of where you want to be and some ideas about how to get there, then you’re risking everything. The individual decisions you make in the face of each challenge aren’t united by anything. Each is made in a vacuum, and that means the outcomes could conflict. It might mean a brand that fails to cohere and doesn’t act as an incentive for customers to shop with you. It might mean disastrous financial errors leading to the collapse of your business.
If you look in London strategic consulting options are relatively common. They help you devise a strategy to help unite all your individual decisions to ensure they’re all working together to create a successful future for your business.
We’re living in volatile times, with rising costs and global uncertainty causing difficulties for you and your customers. Your rent might be going up, along with the cost of raw materials and power – and your customers are facing the same issues, meaning they have less money to spend and less inclination to spend it.
It’s impossible to insulate yourself entirely from such global uncertainty, but there are measures you can take to protect yourself to an extent. Operational consultants can identify savings and efficiencies to be made in your processes, from purchasing to shipping to HR, and wargaming your response to worst case scenarios means you’ll have a set of plans and expectations for the worst times to help you survive.