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Three threats companies face in 2017

2017 brings in a new suite of business threats. We’ll outline some of the biggest ones you should keep you eye on.

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The economic landscape is changing rapidly, and it’s anyone’s guess if it’s good or bad for the populace at large. The consolidation of wealth into the hands of a powerful few is reminiscent of the era of the Robber Barons, and it feels as if the average American is powerless to stop it. Business doesn’t exist in a vacuum,  which means your company isn’t immune from the winds of change. Following are three threats businesses face to their ongoing existence along with how they affect the future of a business.

Economic Instability

Consumers are feeling better in general on the state of the economy, and moderate growth is expected. This sounds like good news except for the fact that it doesn’t take much to turn the tide in the opposite direction. A condemning Tweet from a highly placed politician is enough to sink a company’s stock or change public perception. Impacts like these may be short-term, but if a few words can turn opinions against a business, it’s not a good economic climate to be in.

Another issue at stake is stagnant salaries. Prices always increase, even if it’s just a little, and salaries have done little to keep up. The average consumer winds up having less buying power and has to stretch his or her money to make ends meet. When consumers spend less money, fewer products get sold and there’s less money flowing through the local and regional economies. Businesses see lower profits as a result. 

Smaller Labor Pool

Low unemployment numbers mean fewer qualified people to hire. Also contributing to the shrinking pool are Baby Boomers starting to retire en masse. Businesses face the challenge of attracting and retaining talent in this environment, which means hiring packages need to be more attractive, pay commensurate with experience, and a commitment to thorough training. 

Companies may not enjoy the thought of having to put a time and financial investment into their new hires, but it’s necessary to stay competitive in a tight labor market. Relying on older employees to stick around won’t work as a strategy, either. Baby Boomers are not putting off retirement more than a few years, which means a massive brain drain in all sectors is on the horizon. 

Persistent Threat of Data Breaches

Hackers around the world are always looking for ways to gain access to databases in wealthy countries. They go after the information in order to sell it on the black market and make a quick profit. If a hacker finds a business has poor protection, he’ll keep targeting the database to get information until his activities are caught. Businesses need to get proactive by using two-tier authentication methods, cloud access security brokers, and monitoring who has access to what on the cloud servers.

Businesses need to stay nimble, aware and focused on the ever-changing landscape of employment, finance, and data security. Prevention, investment, and appreciation of employees goes a long way toward helping the consumer drive the economic engine that keeps businesses afloat.

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