As we say goodbye to 2015, it’s a good time to start thinking about next year. There will be a chance to plan for successes, of course. But, there are some contemporary problems that all companies – no matter their size – should be thinking about, too. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues your business can expect in 2016.
As strong as it might seem right now, there is an enormous problem facing western businesses in the not-too-distant future. It’s called China. The Chinese economy has been responsible for much of the success of the UK economy, particularly in manufacturing. And, also, it has helped many technology businesses source excellent services for a much smaller cost. However, as the giant of the east begins to groan a little, it’s going to have an adverse impact on these shores. If China is a big part of your business planning, then you are going to have to account for a drop off of some description.
The recent security breach at TalkTalk proves that we still need to focus on security – especially in technology terms. The second you launch a website, you will be hit by hackers trying to gain access. They are all after your customer’s data, of course, as it is valuable to sell on, and there is an awful lot of money in it. While most hackers target the big wins of larger companies, all businesses of any size are at risk. Make sure that your systems are locked down, and update them regularly to ensure you reduce your risk of suffering from an attack.
The fact that this is such an important issue as to be raised by the G20 in November should tell you a lot. Industrial espionage and intellectual property theft are on the rise. And, many fledgling businesses are suffering because of it. There is a fine line between making something better, and ripping it off entirely. And, of it happens to your business, you might find yourself in the unusual position of needing a private investigator or legal team to help you out. Make sure that all your latest developments have protection through patents, copyrights, and trademarks, have a trademark attorney help you with these.
Hiring employees is going to be another major hurdle for companies in 2016. There are more people than ever opting out of the workplace and starting their own businesses. If the rate continues, there will be a lot more competition for workers. Your recruitment process will have to be watertight to get the best people. And, of course, employers are going to have to deal with the gradual rise in the minimum wage, which starts next year. The OBR reports that because of the changes, there will be 60,000 fewer jobs by the time the changes are wholesale in 2020.
What challenges do your businesses face in the coming year? Why not let us know about – and what your plans are for dealing with them?