3 Common Threats to Avoid Being Played in Business

3 Common Threats to Avoid Being Played in Business
There's nothing better than operating a successful business. It is a rewarding experience and one that allows you start out every day with a feeling of accomplishment.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people across the world who wake up in the morning looking not to build something of their own but to steal what is yours. As a entrepreneur, you need to be aware of these threats and establish defenses that will protect you from the many different scams, schemes, and tricks that have become so prevalent today.

1. Insider Threat

Most executives and business owners are weary of trusting new associates. There is always a feeling out period, and hopefully you have developed a sixth sense that starts to go off when you run into a shady actor.
But do you have the same ability when the threats comes from the inside? Unfortunately, scam artists, embezzlers, thieves and many of the other crooks looking to raid your company are often already on the payroll. You don't want to live in a constant state of paranoia. You must, however, learn to spot red flags and establish protocols that don't allow employees to have more access to financials, accounts, and networks than they need. Otherwise, you may end up giving the house away to someone you gave too much trust.

2. The Silicon Con

There is a reason that so many of today's biggest companies come from the tech world. Amazon, Google, and Facebook have in many ways earned their titanic reputations, with the income statements and industry-reshaping innovations to prove their worth. But many other Silicon Valley companies — even those getting good press — do not warrant such acclaim. They are riding the wave of disruption but really playing something resembling a shell game. Their big hairy audacious goals, and sometimes their entire business models, are all sizzle, no steak.
As a potential partner, client, or investor, you must be careful not to be duped. Because as Theranos and Juicero have shown us, there is now a culture where firms can grow into the next big thing without proper vetting. These startups will talk a big game and try to attract interest, knowing all the while that there foundations are shaky but hoping to push through their fundamental flaws by conning enough people into believing a fairytale. Steer clear of businesses engaged in activities you don't understand, and always make sure you don't get caught up by the next house of cards that is about to tumble.

3. Head in the Sand

Most high-profile companies do face criticism and complaints. This is just par for the course of being a successful organization. And as a potential partner or client, you need to be able to differentiate when these claims are valid or simply just much ado about nothing. 
One good piece of advice is to look at how the company responds. If they bury their head in the sand and try to pretend that criticism doesn't exist — or try to downplay the significance of an accurate critique — then that is a good sign to steer clear. If they won't even respond, where there's smoke, there may be fire. On the other hand, there are companies like Amway that have been falsely accused of bad business practices. Accused of operating like a pyramid scheme, Amway has dispelled scam rumors and set the record straight. Such a willingness to fight back with objective facts is one indication that the company has nothing to hide.

Staying Vigilant

The vast majority — more than 99% — of the people you will ever interact with in business are stand-up characters. They will treat you right and you should be open to any fair dealings presented that make sense for your company.
There will, however, always be con men and outright criminals trying to bilk you out of your hard earned money. The key is to stay alert and watch out for the insider threat, make sure high-tech hucksters don't pull the wool over your eyes, and look for partners who stand up for themselves to protect their reputation.

If you keep your eyes open to the most common threats and tricks played on the unsuspecting, you will be well on your way to staying out of trouble.

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