The pandemic years were pretty grisly for everyone. Small businesses took a serious hit during lockdowns. The survivors were mostly businesses that could delay a remote workforce.
Just as we thought things were getting back to normal, the political tinkering with the economy over the last decade has caught up with policymakers. Years of stimulation have finally led us to inflation.
The cost of living prices is a cause for concern for multiple businesses. As usual, the reverberation will mostly be felt in the offices of SMEs. The only way to survive is to cut costs or increase prices.
1. Inflation challenges
Depending on the nature of your business, and the strategies used by your rivals, inflation can make or break a business. Over the next few years, most will simply have to ride it out and hope for the best.
Rising prices trap businesses in a Catch-22. With costs rising in every facet of life, consumers have less to spend. The danger some SMEs face is that if you increase your prices, your existing customers may decide not to spend anything at all.
By cutting costs in other areas of your business, however, there is an opportunity to retain existing prices. Whilst your competitors are increasing theirs. The most likely outcome is that the customers of your rivals will find their way to your door.
2. Creating a Company Culture
The leading strategy for cost-cutting at the moment is to switch to a hybrid working model. This enables businesses to downsize to a smaller office and pay lower rent or move into a co-working environment to reduce costs even more.
Deploying a remote workforce is a learning curve we all had to get used to during the lockdown. The hybrid model, at least, gives employees more choice in how they would like to work.
The challenge for businesses is keeping everybody happy. Whilst some people prefer the office environment, others prefer the flexibility and convenience of working from home.
Creating a company culture when your workforce is stationed in different locations is arguably the biggest challenge for HR and team managers. Building a digital-first culture could be the way forward.
Hackers pose one of the biggest risks to business continuity. Whilst cybersecurity has been a growing concern for some time now, it has become doubly risky for firms that have adopted the hybrid model.
Cybersecurity firms report that ransomware attacks increase by 13% year on year. As more sophisticated hacking tools become more readily available to hackers on the dark web, businesses are constantly having to adopt new cybersecurity strategies.
Despite the effectiveness of cybersecurity technologies, one of the most crucial ways to prevent a data breach is to ensure your staff is aware of the latest hacking techniques.
Over 90% of data breaches start with a phishing campaign that arrives through email channels. Phishing attacks naturally target employees – so if your employees are not aware of cyber threats, you’re more likely to suffer a data breach.