A lot of focus is placed on protecting businesses from outside intrusions and happenings. Yet, internal threats are often the death knell for small businesses. It can be a gutting experience considering the great amount of trust given to employees and their routines.
Be on the lookout for these potential internal threats to your business:
Lackluster Resource Management
Do you know how much time employees waste at work? Are there frequent disruptions to logistics? Could better deals be struck with suppliers? If these aren’t tracked and optimized, then your business is bleeding money. All is not well in resource management.
This waste of time and resources threatens the viability of business growth since less capital is spent on essential drivers for reaching goals.
Solution: An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software creates a different approach to resource management. The software houses multiple modules within a centralized hub to improve management in distribution, supply chains, project planning, redundancy, and other vital activities and tasks.
What if an employee or manager goes rogue in their press release, social media usage, or business meetings? Those moments when they lose their cool and attack someone – verbally and/or physically – go on a shocking rant, or sabotages a business relationship?
It’s hard to recover reputation & trust once it has been broken. Even the individual lowest on the corporate ladder can create a substantial, negative impact on the brand & reputation.
Solution: Create a positive work environment that boosts morale and teamwork. Allow the employees and management to cool off by giving them free time and outlets. Dictate the PR, social media, and meetings only to those that are well-trusted and experienced.
An astounding 64% of small businesses have experienced employee theft (according to Fox Business). Most of these instances are never reported. This theft leads to billions of dollars in lost revenue and inventory each year. A small business cannot afford this – let alone the damage it does to employee morale.
Solution: Monitor employees (without going too far with privacy concerns) and create an anonymous tip line to leave reports of theft from employees and management. Encourage speaking up and come down harsh on those that commit the act to set an example.
Data Breaches & Third-Party Providers
Each time your business takes on a third-party, it creates a new point of fault in security. Third-party providers may have access to employee and customer records, sales & marketing data, and research & development as part of their ability to provide the service. If their company has lax security protocols, your information is at risk by proxy.
Once this information is out there it’s going to be a difficult task to regain the trust of customers even though the breach wasn’t your fault.
Solution: Be stringent with the validation and vetting process when working with third-party providers. Understand their security protocols and limit information & access to business records. Otherwise, incorporate the needed service into the business by building it from the ground-up.
What would happen if a key employee unexpectedly departed from your business? Did the employee document their procedure or does the position have an overview on record? Many small businesses simply don’t have more than a general idea of what their employees do in their day-to-day.
Without documentation, it A) creates extended downtime to train new hires, and B) disrupts other departments that are reliant on their work. The internal struggle and stress can create a threat to the well-being of the workforce.
Solution: Create a monthly, required routine to document the work procedures and objectives that each employee will fill out and save to a cloud-based backup for safe keeping.
What internal threats do you feel are bound to happen in a business? How would you deal with them?