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Knowing Your Business' Vulnerabilities

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

/ by Nurdin Budi Mustofa
As a small business owner you are uniquely vulnerable, as the business’ success or failure is intrinsically linked to your own. While there’s no denying that entrepreneurship is a refreshing au revoir to the drudgery of nine-to-five, it comes with a heavy price tag.

Is it rewarding? Yes.
Is it exciting? Yes.

Is it safe? Absolutely not!

The entrepreneur must court failure, liquidation and bankruptcy on a regular basis. If you operate in the tech industry, this is compounded as you are dealing with the inherent unknowns of creating, testing and developing new technological solutions to an ever expanding set of problems created by the digital workplace.

Let’s look at some ways in which your business may be vulnerable and what you can do to mitigate the risk.

Employee dissatisfaction

Knowing Your Business Vulnerabilities
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, and when you recruit them you do so on the basis of their skills and personal traits and how they can help you and your business. The trouble is that every now and then the day to day matters of operating your businesses can get to you both and place s strain on your working relationship and the health of your business.

This can be as mild as a minor but very verbal disagreement in the heat of a difficult moment or it could be a legal claim against you. Defamation of character can be extremely damaging to you and your business and in this instance you will need to secure excellent legal counsel (we recommend Pinder Reaux & Associates) to ensure your business’ survival. Of course it’s important to ensure your employees are safe and well looked after. It’s also vital to document your interactions with them to ensure that there is traceability and accountability in your interactions to help refute false claims.

Product failure

Knowing Your Business Vulnerabilities
When developing and testing software, many developers still use a cascade (or waterfall) approach. This is a linear approach in which the testing phase comes at the end of the design phase, leaving the developer vulnerable to setbacks or unforeseen issues in the testing phase that could delay product launch.

Incorporating an agile approach, builds testing into each phase of the product’s development, allowing issues to be identified quickly and collaboratively. It’s by no means perfect. It requires a physically close working relationship that not all tech startups have initially (and this can be difficult to simulate with remote collaboration). It also can require frequent refactoring that needs to be built into the initial architecture and design, but it’s still a workable way of ensuring compliance and mitigating against product failure.

Endangering your own health

Knowing Your Business Vulnerabilities
While you may have eluded the nine-to-five there’s no escaping the fact that many entrepreneurs work punishingly long hours that could endanger your physical and mental health as well as damaging your relationships with your family members. In this light, it’s important to take a regular step away from the business, if only for a few hours and setting aside time for social interaction and rest. Many entrepreneurs feel guilty about this but it’s absolutely essential in ensuring that you have the presence of mind and capability to steer the ship in the right direction.

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