Potential Business Risks in 2024

Arturo Alvarez

Arturo Alvarez

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The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks report for 2024 highlights disinformation, rising conflicts, and economic uncertainty as among the most widespread risks facing businesses globally.

As we step into 2024, the business world is facing a landscape filled with both promise and peril. The rapid evolution of technology, geopolitical shifts, and emerging global trends have created a complex web of potential risks for businesses across various industries. There is a need to explore some of the potential business risks in 2024 and how organizations can navigate these challenges to uncover opportunities for growth and success.

Potential Business Risks in 2024

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Cyber Security Threats

With the increasing reliance on digital technologies, the risk of cyber threats continues to loom large in 2024. Cyber attacks, data breaches, and ransomware incidents pose a significant risk to businesses of all sizes. The potential financial and reputational damage resulting from a cyber security breach cannot be overstated. A survey of U.S. small businesses found that only 17% have insurance to cover costs in the event of a cyber breach. Additionally, 47% of businesses with fewer than 50 employees have no cyber security budget. In fact, 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyber attack. Beyond the financial consequences of a breach, network security is also hugely important for any business because an attack can compromise the trust of customers.  As a proactive measure, businesses need to invest in robust cyber security infrastructure, conduct regular security audits, and educate employees about best practices for data protection.

Case Study

 Cybercrime can have devastating effects on businesses, impacting them in various ways. Here’s an example of a company that was affected by cybercrime:


In 2010, hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks retaliated against credit card giants Mastercard and Visa by conducting attacks that temporarily crashed their websites.

This example illustrates how cybercrime can directly impact the operations and reputation of major companies, leading to disruptions in service and potentially damaging customer trust.

 

Geopolitical Uncertainty

The volatile and unpredictable nature of international relations directly impacts global business operations. Geopolitical uncertainties encompass a wide range of factors, including trade wars, economic sanctions, political unrest, and environmental policies, all of which contribute to the complex geopolitical landscape. This uncertainty poses challenges for companies as they navigate through unfamiliar territory without a clear roadmap, requiring smart planning, adaptability, cultural understanding, and strong stakeholder relationships.

Case Study of Countries Affected

Geopolitical uncertainty can have a significant impact on businesses, leading to disruptions and challenges in various regions. Here are some examples of businesses that have been affected by geopolitical uncertainty in different countries:

Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain disruptions can have a devastating impact on businesses, leading to various challenges and setbacks. These disruptions can arise from a variety of factors, including shortages of inputs, natural disasters, civil unrest, and even traffic jams. The impact of supply chain disruptions on businesses can be severe, ranging from delays in shipping to complete stoppages of production. These disruptions can result in financial losses, customer dissatisfaction, and inventory shortages, ultimately affecting the overall operations and performance of the business.

Evidence Based Fact

The most affected industry affected by Supply Chain disruptions and is likely to be affected in future is manufacturing industry, as evident in the past by the following report:

Industry

Manufacturing

Country

United States

Report

Impact of COVID-19 on Supply Chain Disruptions in the Manufacturing Industry

The facts focused on the challenges faced by the manufacturing industry in the United States due to supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlighted the significant impact on production, shipping delays, and shortages of essential inputs. The report also delved into the strategies employed by manufacturing businesses to mitigate the effects of these disruptions, emphasizing

Regulatory Changes

The evolving regulatory landscape, including changes in data privacy laws, environmental regulations, and tax policies, can create compliance challenges for businesses. Staying informed about regulatory developments, engaging with policymakers, and ensuring proactive compliance measures will be crucial in mitigating regulatory risks. Regulatory capture can create the potential for agencies to come under the control of the industries they are supposed to regulate, potentially increasing the power of dominant and abusive firms.

Is There Any Action Plan to Protect Businesses?

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided trillions in relief to support employers and employees, including tax credits, PPP loans, and unemployment benefits, which may protect businesses from the effects of regulatory changes.

Regulations on AI and Employee Experience

In 2024, it is expected that legislation and regulatory action around AI is expected to impact businesses, with a focus on advancing the employee experience, worker safety, workplace retirement plans, and new overtime rules

Economic Volatility

Economic uncertainty, inflationary pressures, and fluctuating commodity prices can pose challenges for businesses across various industries. In 2024, businesses must maintain financial agility, conduct scenario planning, and explore innovative revenue streams to navigate economic volatility effectively.

How Economic Volatility Can Affect Businesses?

  • It can cause financial difficulties and increased debt.
  • It can lead to consumer uncertainty and reduced spending
  • Higher market prices can contract business options too
  • It can severely impact market stability

Ways to Overcome Business Risks

As businesses navigate the potential risks in 2024, it’s essential to adopt proactive strategies to mitigate these challenges and ensure operational resilience. Here are some ways to overcome business risks in 2024:

  1. Manage Cyber Risk: Businesses can manage cyber risk by implementing robust cybersecurity measures, conducting regular security assessments, and providing comprehensive training to employees on cybersecurity best practices.
  2. Diversify Supply Chains: To mitigate supply chain disruptions, businesses can diversify their sourcing, establish alternative suppliers, and develop contingency plans to ensure continuity of operations in the face of unexpected disruptions.
  3. Embrace Sustainable Practices: Addressing climate-related risks involves integrating sustainability into business operations, adopting environmentally friendly practices, and proactively preparing for the impact of extreme weather events and regulatory changes related to climate action.
  4. Enhance Business Resilience: Building resilience involves developing agile business models, conducting scenario planning to anticipate economic volatility, and exploring innovative revenue streams to adapt to changing market conditions.

By proactively addressing these key areas, businesses can enhance their ability to navigate the potential risks in 2024 and position themselves for sustainable growth and success in a dynamic and uncertain business environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Financial Risks, Cybersecurity Risks, Operational Risks, Reputational Risks.

In 2024, businesses may face potential obstacles and uncertainties that could intensify challenges. Unseen issues, analogous to rogue waves, could unexpectedly amplify otherwise manageable difficulties. Navigating these obstacles requires awareness and preparation.

A dynamic risk management plan can be broken down into three components: detecting potential new risks and weaknesses in existing risk controls, determining the organization’s appetite for risk-taking, and deciding on the appropriate risk management approach. It’s important for businesses to proactively detect risks, control weaknesses, and reevaluate their risk profile.

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Arturo Alvarez

Arturo Alvarez

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