Four Business Practices for Resilience in Turbulent Times

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps: Small Business ResiliencestrategyRisk Management

Since the Pandemic, the world has worked to recover from the impact of supply chain and socioeconomic interruptions. In 2024, global economies can expect more turbulence caused by a variety of interconnected sources.

If you own a business, focusing on resilience will prepare you to navigate the evolving risk landscape. Here’s what you need to know.

The Risk Landscape

The current risk landscape, as outlined in World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report, consists of an array of environmental, social, technological, and geopolitical factors causing instability. Among them are:

According to the World Economic Forum, disinformation and misinformation have moved from 16th to the top concern for short-term risks since last year’s report. The article states that this is due, in part, to the rapid growth of generative AI. “At a societal level, generative AI contributes to mistrust in institutions and elections, as voters face campaigns by domestic and foreign actors seeking to influence outcomes.” Because of this and other concerns, the article stresses the importance of organizations having serious discussions about how and when to use AI, as well as mitigating its risks. 

Resilience Strategies for Small Businesses

Focus on Adaptable Resource Management

In turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to plan carefully and avoid reactionary thinking in order to grow your business. Take time to evaluate your resource needs and long-term objectives, and cut unnecessary costs where possible. Stay informed and adjust your strategies to mitigate delays caused by supply chain interruptions. 

Embracing flexibility while planning ahead increases resilience for organizations and employees alike. For example, providing remote and hybrid work options can reduce your overhead while giving you access to a wider pool of qualified applicants. 

Recruit and Retain Adaptable Talent

As you evaluate your team, focus on hiring and retaining talent who can adapt and upskill effectively. A recent EY article argues that recruiting and retaining talent should be an entrepreneurial business’ number one priority in 2024. In practice, the article states that this looks like prioritizing candidates who demonstrate “digital skills and competencies, including skills in data analytics, as well as leadership capabilities.”

Support your team’s growth by providing accessible documentation for key processes, and invest in developing “soft skills” in management alongside technical ones. Too often, teams fail to live up to their potential because of flawed communication and documentation practices. 

Create an Intentional Cybersecurity Culture

Choose Cybersecurity Partners Carefully

When choosing cybersecurity services, proceed with caution and be prepared to do your homework. A recent Ars Technica article revealed that eScan, an antivirus firm with headquarters in India, had been delivering AV updates to customers via HTTP since at least 2019. 

This insecure protocol allowed unknown hackers to exploit the vulnerability, interrupting the update process and downloading malware on users’ devices through a complex infection chain. According to the article, the hackers may be tied to the North Korean government. It explains that “Over the years, North Korea’s government has generated billions of dollars in cryptocurrency through malware installed on the devices of unwitting victims.”

Cybersecurity Checklist

Automate Strategically

Generative AI is rapidly changing work environments, and risks associated with some types of use shouldn’t be ignored. Regulatory bodies will take time to respond and adapt guidance for responsible AI practices. Still, AI undeniably has the potential to streamline tedious processes and support more effective teams. Taking an informed, gradual approach to integrating AI tools is the best way to avoid common automation pitfalls. 

According to World Economic Forum, “Resilient organizations can prepare for AI risks and opportunities by assessing their digital and cybersecurity footprints, instituting best practice controls and guidance, and stress-testing their growth strategies.”

Center User Experience and Shared Values

Creating seamless user experiences (UX) between your various online platforms is a great way to reduce frustration and retain interest. Consulting a UX expert during a website refresh can make a big difference. Start with the basics:

Identifying the changing needs and priorities of your customers is a critical piece of the resilience puzzle. Global trends indicate a growing awareness of the intricate ways purchasing decisions impact society and the environment. These personal revelations, combined with socioeconomic factors, are prompting a growing number of consumers to seek organizations that align with their values. 

Prioritize solutions that support accurate analytics to understand these factors, and fine-tune your messaging accordingly. Effectively communicating how your organization lives its values can be the nudge that turns prospects into loyal customers in a highly competitive market.

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