When you’re running a business it’s important for you to be aware of the risks – the things that could do you financial or reputational damage, and the things that could constrain your future growth and success.
Today we’re taking a look at some of these risks so you can make better, safer decisions for your business!
One of the big risks to your business is being outcompeted. Whether it’s a multinational corporation moving into town with resources that outstrip your own or a new business with new techniques and a greater hunger to expand, competition can strip you of customers and therefore revenue.
Learning who your competitors are is important, and what they offer, to allow you to emphasise your own unique strengths. It’s also useful to try and get some insight into what your competitors are planning: scheduling your own marketing pushes, new products and events around your competitor’s gives them space to breathe and find their own audience. Competitor analysis can help you reach that important insight.
Growth is normally taken to be an unalloyed good for any business, but if you’re not careful, the wrong kind of growth, or poorly considered growth can do you serious damage!
If you don’t have a long term strategy for your business and a clearly defined brand, then your growth could be almost random – adding product lines and services simply because you have the opportunity to, not because it’s a good idea. This makes it very difficult for customers to understand and relate to your business and makes it more likely they’ll go elsewhere.
If you grow too quickly, you risk attracting new customers at a rate that outstrips your ability to serve them. Whether you’re filling orders online, selling stock in-store or providing a service, you need to be able to do it reliably for each customer or client that comes to you. Unpredictable delays, poor customer service and inferior products all undermine your brand, and they’re all hallmarks of growing too fast, too soon.
If you want to make sure you’re growing in a healthy way for your company, try looking into growth consulting firms who can offer specialist advice.
The Costs of Doing Business
Every business comes with costs associated, from payroll and taxes to renting office space, shop premises or storage. We’re living through a time of high costs at the moment, with fuel driving increases to the cost of heating your premises, powering your technology and transporting goods. And of course your customers are experiencing these same pressures, limiting their spending power.
You can’t avoid these risks altogether but you can try to limit them – ensure you’re on the best fixed tariffs for everything from heating to phone bills, and check the contract for any rented accommodation to check for costs that could be passed on to you.
If the news is full of stories about rising prices, it’s a great time to find a way to express how good value you are for your customers, whether that’s simply emphasising your welcoming pricing structure or creating new products and packages tailored to these priorities.