Business as usual has taken on an entirely new meaning. In the past year we have gone from endless boardroom meetings to endless Zoom calls, smart business attire to ‘formal up top, slippers below’ and from trying to spend more time with our children, to trying to find a few minutes alone to complete important proposals.
Lockdown has squeezed many businesses to breaking point with SMEs being the hardest hit. Companies have had to quickly move all of their systems online while also dealing with the unexpected changes, regulations and interruptions brought on by the pandemic.
The economy is slowly opening up once again and we have begun the journey to recovery. However there are still a number of key concerns facing businesses in 2021.
At Shomang, we know that in these complex times, what managers and owners really need is some simplicity. We aim to simplify risk to help you preserve what matters most in your business. In light of that, we look to explain three of the year’s biggest risks to business and share insights on how to minimise their impact.
Business interruption is a wide-ranging phrase and one that captures many different situations. It includes any disaster that results in a loss of income or operations for a company.
Almost every business has suffered some form of business interruption over the past year and according to a global survey, this will continue to be the number one risk to businesses in 2021 and the second highest risk to South African companies. This means that companies cannot operate at or near full capacity, worsening the tough economic conditions that have been experienced recently.
Primary causes of business interruptions
Even if these events don’t directly affect your business, they can still have a devastating impact if one of your suppliers or customers experience them.
To help lessen the impact of business interruptions, there are a number of useful strategies that can be followed. These can best be summed up by the phrase: “Preserving Optionality”. As the term implies, Preserving Optionality is all about keeping your options open. It refers to planning for a range of future scenarios rather than assuming that the best-case scenario will occur. In an uncertain world that is changing so rapidly, this is an essential task.
Each business and industry will need to take different steps, but some general themes apply:
In light of our current global situation, make sure your policy includes the appropriate cover. This will provide important peace of mind and act as a safety net to limit losses.
Taking the time to address the above will not only help you build a more resilient business, but could even grow it in new areas.
Covid-19 still poses a large and unpredictable threat to business operations. It has blocked supply chains and travel, isolated employees and caused many companies to either close their doors or change focus dramatically.
During these extraordinary times, there are a few important steps you can take to keep your business running:
Some actions you can take to effectively manage this are:
Cybercrime is currently perceived by South Africans as the largest business risk factor in 2021. This should not be a surprise considering that South Africa has the third most cybercrime victims in the world, resulting in a loss of R2.2 billion a year.
The possibility of cybercrime has increased due to the pandemic, with distributed working acting as a double-edged sword. On the one hand the office is accessible from home, but at the same time it introduces new risks. With employees connecting to work networks from personal devices, sensitive company information is more vulnerable than ever.
Data breaches and ransomware are the biggest threats in this space and businesses need to take urgent steps to limit these risks:
How can Shomang Brokers add value?
While we have discussed 2021’s leading risks, every business is different and has its own set of unique challenges. Shomang Brokers is a company with strong entrepreneurial roots so we truly understand this. We also know that while having comprehensive insurance is vital, the technicalities can be tricky to grasp—especially when you add in a pandemic and all its implications. That’s why we are driven to simplify risk and provide much-needed clarity. Our experienced team can assess your company’s individual risks and provide expert advice. With comprehensive knowledge of a variety of insurance products, we can also equip you with the right decision-making tools to build a sustainable business and ultimately preserve what matters most.
Contact us today
Tel: 011 452 4662
 Study by Euler-Holmes that found that 94% of business experienced interruption as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
 Farnam Street Blog – https://fs.blog/2020/03/preserving-optionality/