The novel coronavirus has created many challenges for small to medium-sized businesses, such as increasing cybersecurity threats, fewer in-person customers, rising costs, labor shortages, and supply-chain issues. While the challenges have forced many small companies to shut down, others have endured through good fortune and by avoiding some of the following critical mistakes:
Related Post: 5 Common Business Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
Mistake #1 Not Taking Cybersecurity Seriously
Any business owner watching the news will notice the rising level of ransomware attacks. The attacks indiscriminately target companies of all sizes. While large organizations have the resources to move past a ransomware attack, many small businesses don’t survive a ransomware attack due to the loss of reputation and revenue. That’s why small organizations like yours must secure computers and devices with anti-malware software. But start with an online virus scan that detects unwanted programs like computer worms, spyware, keyloggers, and Trojan, that can help hackers execute ransomware attacks.
Mistake #2 Not Taking Internal Security Seriously
More hackers are exploiting employee activities to attack companies nowadays. Here are some quick tips that can help you with internal security:
- Teach employees to recognize and avoid phishing emails
- Secure network with complex passwords, firewall, and business VPN
- Segregate sensitive data on a need-to-know basis
- Backup your data every week
- Regularly use a paper shredder to protect confidential information
- Invest in security cameras to protect the premises
Mistake #3 Not Modernizing
With more of your customers spending time indoors, you must find new ways to reach and engage with them. Invest in a high-end website, develop an app, hire an SEO team, utilize social media, and learn digital marketing to take a more modern approach to your business. With the proper steps, you’ll boost your market reach and revenue.
Mistake #4 Not Diversifying
Diversifying your business can help generate a new income stream if demand for your core products and services decreases. The most efficient way to make a lateral shift is to offer a new service related to your core products and services. For example, consider using your kitchen for takeout services if you run a hotel losing demand from travelers during the pandemic.
Mistake #5 Not Considering Remote Working
In addition to improved safety, many companies have found another advantage to remote working: lower costs. Companies can reduce operating costs such as utilities and rent with employees working from home. Likewise, staff save money on fuel, food, and more with remote working measures. In fact, some organizations have found remote working so beneficial, they’ve made a permanent shift, selling their furniture, property, and equipment for more revenue.
Mistake #6 Not Joining a Buying Collective
It’s challenging for small businesses to bargain with vendors when supply is dwindling, and prices are increasing. However, by joining a group buying organization, you can negotiate better prices and more perks. Alternatively, help your supplier enter new markets or sell new products to improve the business relationship and reach a more favorable bargaining position.
With the world still in a state of economic uncertainty, your small business may need to steer clear of some of these mistakes to survive and thrive.