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It’s never easy to be in the business game. Even when everything’s going rosy -- which of course, isn’t always the case -- there are no guarantees that they’ll continue to be so positive in the future. Of course, you’re aware of the more obvious threats, such as, say, losing a grip on your cash-flow, or offering substandard customer service, or whatever. But what about the broader threats that hang over all businesses? Below, we take a look at some of the threats that you might not have thought of, but, as a business owner, are always there.




Changing Climate


We tend to think of the effects of climate change in pretty simplified terms. We think that the only impact will be rising sea levels and so, if we don’t live near the coast, then we’re in the clear. This is not the case! The effects of climate change will stretch far beyond those rising sea levels. It’ll affect crop growth, the movement of people, and the sourcing of goods and services. Even if your business isn’t directly related to the climate, it’s likely that one of your suppliers is. How will you fare if they can’t get you the materials you need to do your work efficiently?


Shifting Demands


The world is ever in flux. Demands and expectations are always changing. There have been companies who were considered too big to fail, who, yes, then failed because the world moved on without them. We’re not just talking about, say, Blockbuster’s lack of foresight when it came to streaming videos. It’s more general than that. Take, for instance, the demands that customers have when it comes to which companies they give their money to. In the old days, it was about whoever offered the cheapest or best service. Now, customers are increasingly likely to only give their money to businesses with a social conscious. If you’re slow to adapt to the new way of thinking, you might find that customers move on to other companies.


The Government


The government should work with business owners in order to develop their company. But this isn’t always the case. The government can actively harm a business, via direct or indirect means. Directly, we have things like government acquisition of land, which lawfully allows the government to purchase property that it needs, even if it’s not for sale by the owner. You’d get paid for the space, but it wouldn’t necessarily be market value, and in any case, it takes a lot of effort to build a company back up once it has changed location. If that’s a direct way the government can harm your business, then indirect harming comes through things like enacting policies that make it harder for small businesses to hire people, or pay a higher tax. Sometimes, it can feel like the government works for large corporations, rather than the benefit of small business owners.


The Rise of AI


Business owners do often get excited about the possibilities of artificial intelligence and robot, because it allows them to produce more, and cut staffing costs (otherwise known as firing people). But the only ones who should truly get excited are the ones who are manufacturing the technology. For everyone else, who knows what will happen? A business might be able to boost their productivity once they get the technology, but what if the businesses they are selling to find a way to automate their work? Suddenly, the rise of AI and robots might not seem like such a good idea. It’s a case of “be careful what you wish for!”


Losing Team Players


It takes time to develop a team of staff that can help take your business to the next level. When you’ve built that team, you expect to enjoy many years of prosperity. But of course, you can’t predict what’s going on inside people’s heads. If one or two key staff members leave, then you might find that you’re suddenly bumped back a few spaces. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to never take your staff for granted, and to treat them well. Make sure you’re paying them a fair wage, give plenty of bonuses, and get to know them on a personal level. Treat them well, and they’ll take care of you. Simple!


Your Ego


Finally, remember that a major threat to your business is, in fact, you. Or, to be more specific, your ego. Take steps to keep that side of you in check, and you’ll avoid many a business error.


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