One of the most popular ways of investing your money and giving back to the community is to create a business. Perhaps a humble coffee shop in an area that lacks a cafe, or maybe a global business that specialises in providing a niche service for other businesses in your area. No matter what kind of business you run, you’re going to be contributing to your economy in one way or another.
But it’s not just a simple case of starting up a business and going with the flow. By owning a business, you’re throwing yourself into a cutthroat league of entrepreneurs and CEOs that want to shut you down or assimilate your business. It’s a greedy industry, and there are many pitfalls that you could drop into and destroy your business.
Luckily, many of those pitfalls have been documented in various blogs and articles, and the situations are often very common no matter what type of business you run or what industry you specialise in. Most business owners try to handle these challenges on their own, but when your business is on the line, you’d better look for help and get expert advice on how to overcome them. For example, getting sued by a disgruntled employee happens to many business owners around the world, but if you try to handle it on your own or try to coax the employee into working with you again, they can just use your failed attempts as fuel to add to the fire and sensationalise your case with the help of the media to tarnish your name.
Here are a couple of examples of the trials and tribulations that your business will face on your pace to greatness. Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines on what could happen and how to avoid it. Every situation is unique and a delicate matter, so take care when dealing with sensitive issues such as employee or client relations.
Catastrophic Loss of Data
Whether it’s an accident such as a natural disaster or fire caused by employee neglect, there’s a chance that all the data on your computers and servers could be destroyed within a matter of seconds. It doesn’t matter how much digital protection your files have because there’s no way they can withstand the heat of a blazing inferno or being splashed with liquids from a coffee cup or leaky roof. There are some very strong and sturdy cases that you can keep network storage on, but these are usually extremely expensive and still require the use of external services to recover the data afterwards.
The first method of prevention is to install sprinkler systems around your office. It sounds unproductive to use sprinklers around electronics, but most modern computer systems and hardware aren’t affected by water from sprinklers because of the low volume of water being sprayed out. In addition, it’s far more important to worry about the safety of staff members, damage to the office and recovering important data as opposed to breaking electronics due to water damage.
Secondly, cloud services are a popular and inexpensive method of preserving data. There’s a small monthly subscription fee to use cloud storage services and you have to pay more for more space. This can get rather costly if you transfer a lot of large files, and a good internet connection is required to constantly upload and download large files. However, since there’s no physical equipment in your building that houses the data, your sensitive files are safe at another location and can always be retrieved after an accident.
Most computer hardware that has been certified for daily office use has a long lifespan. A computer often doesn’t need to be upgraded for at least a decade if it’s used correctly, maintained well and receives an upgrade now and then. The core of the computer is the CPU which has a low rate of failure. Hard drives, however, are more prone to failure. Although it’s not a catastrophic loss of data like the previous point, a hardware failure can still be a concern. As a result, it’s a good idea to switch to cloud services if each individual computer stores valuable information. This isn’t recommended, however, and most business owners would recommend that you store all important information on a central server with plenty of security measures and protection.
Other technology failures, such as peripherals and monitors, can seriously harm the workflow of your office if you don’t prepare replacements. Keyboards, mice and other inexpensive input devices are great to have around in bulk because they’re prone to breaking. If one of your employees has a faulty keyboard and you don’t have a replacement, then it’s going to be very difficult for them to continue working. In contrast, an expensive device like a photocopier has to be repaired because it’s not cost-effective or feasible to replace it. You and your employees need to understand how to use the photocopier properly, how to manage it and be careful not to ruin it or damage the parts.
It’s a good idea to get in contact with a local computer support business that you can rely on whenever a tech-related issue pops up in your office. Whether it’s a computer that refuses to turn on or a printer that doesn’t print, they’ll be able to help with big and small issues alike. Make sure they’re trusted, build a business relationship with them and you’ll have a reliable way to fix any issue you encounter.
Bad Customer Support
Good customer support is the pillar that every startup business should be built upon. Without a solid relationship with your customers and clients, there’s no way you’ll become a successful business. Poor customer support usually leads to customer outrage. For example, if one of your employees mistreats a client over the phone or through internet communications, they’ll most likely start a storm about it on social media. A lot of websites now support star rating reviews for various businesses and companies, meaning that your company could be victim of a low rating that will put off many people from using your services or products.
Businesses should always welcome criticism of their products. Feedback is important because you need to know where and how you can improve the customer’s experience, but it’s impossible to do so if you don’t lend an ear to the audience you are aiming for. Instead of giving snide remarks, make sure your employees are patient with angry customers and can support their needs and solve any problems the customers may be having.
With good customer support comes good reviews, and with good reviews comes more business. There’s no denying the effect a star rating has on your business, or the impact social media can have on promoting or tarnishing a brand. By effectively managing your customer relations, you can catapult your business into a globally recognised brand. Very few businesses are praised for their customer service, but the ones that are praised usually become very popular brands because customers and clients love to know that their business is appreciated and, in many cases, support that follows after the purchase is crucial for electronics and computer-related products.
Any business, regardless of its size, is susceptible to legal threats and lawsuits. The most important thing to remember about legal action is that if you’re considering hiring a lawyer after being sued, then it’s most likely too late. By the time you finish with the initial meetings with your lawyer, they’ll likely recommend ways to reduce the damage on your business as opposed to battling the case. The earlier you get help from attorneys and legal professionals, the better.
You always want to have people ready to deal with legal battles because the law is a complicated subject. Dealing with a simple dispute can sometimes take months worth of legal battles and a lot of fees. Having a team of lawyers on deck at the beginning is a good way to deter potential legal threats. For example, if an employee that works for you ends up becoming frustrated and threatens to sue your company for something, they’ll be reminded that you have a team of lawyers ready to swat away their demands and complaints. So whether it’s a disgruntled staff member or a customer who believes they’re entitled to more than they are, having lawyers on board with your business from an early stage is a good idea.
Lawyers can also help with other problems that might crop up in your business, and they aren’t limited to just dealing with legal action. For example, if you plan to create a new product, a lawyer that specialises in trademark and copyright law can offer you advice on how to separate your product from the rest of the competition and how to avoid infringing on other business trademarks. They can also advise you on employees to hire, how to handle internal disputes and even work with marketing teams to create effective campaigns that won’t damage your reputation.