Business hazards of all forms come into view
When driving my child around town, I find myself gripping the wheel just a bit tighter and keeping a closer eye on the cars ahead of me. I keep my mind from wandering, and I assume that at every intersection ahead, someone will be running a red light. Because when precious cargo is involved, defensive driving becomes reflexive. The challenge is incorporating these practices all the time.
What a lesson this is for the business owners and their teams—especially those in our channel. Within each business rests the precious cargo of months and years of strategic planning, proprietary product development, and, most precious of all, a family of employees and distributors that depends on the company’s success and financial health.
The headlines of late have included no shortage of hazards, obstructions, and even some acute dangers on the road ahead for business in general, and direct sellers in particular. A new FTC chair is signaling her eagerness to restore some formidable weapons to the agency’s armory; secondary blowback from a company’s problematic product is being reported as the direct seller’s insurer files suit against it; and a seemingly endless occurrence of ransomware attacks are increasing the threat of financial loss for multinational corporations and small businesses alike.
We cover these topics in this issue, and I hope that, in addition to providing news updates from the past month, this information will serve as a reminder that the further up the road companies can spot these potential business-killers, the more time they will have to make adjustments to avoid them.
I want to say a special word of thanks to Alexander White, principal and managing director of The White Group & Company, who contributed a detailed and highly informative Special Report on the topic of ransomware and the best practices to adopt in the face of this increasingly common and potentially existential threat to your business.
In the past three months alone, cybercriminals have attacked the Colonial Pipeline, a critical infrastructure component; Acer and Quanta, two major computer manufacturers; Brenntag, a chemical distribution company; and many others. Please do not miss Alexander’s expert advice on page 12.
I am also grateful to Colt Passey, SVP of business development at Nexio, for providing an excellent review of an often overlooked threat to direct selling businesses—fraud. You can find this edition of Risk Roundup on page 8.
I hope you all are having a wonderful summer, making time for some well-deserved vacations, and remembering to drive, work, and live while keeping a close eye on the road ahead.