Unreal as they may be, reality shows tend to reflect real life problems on a larger scale. Each mistake or success they make is magnified for entertainment value.
The magnification of events depicted in your favorite reality show is actually very helpful in terms of realizing where and how you are or could potentially be lacking. Especially when the pitfall involves business vulnerability and risk reduction.
Don’t believe me? Check out the three valuable business vulnerability tips I’ve picked up while watching my favorite reality TV shows.
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1. Liability Doesn’t End with Slip and Fall
"Undercover Boss" is a must watch for small business owners. The show follows CEOs of successful companies as they go undercover to see how their businesses are being run by the management teams and employees they trust. A particularly eye-opening episode featured the CEO of Hooters going undercover at one of his restaurants.
The issue of sexism is seemingly unavoidable at any Hooters location, but what he found was especially vile. The workers were forced to partake in demeaning competitions and follow strange guidelines that were not company policy. Needless to say, the CEO was horrified.
This is a pretty extreme case, but it drives home a good point—liability doesn’t end with slip and fall incidents. Take care of your employees and check in on a consistent basis to make sure they are being treated with respect. Enlisting the help of risk management software could be beneficial here as well.
GetApp’s Risk Management Apps for Small Business compares several software providers to help you streamline this process. Additionally, you should always have an open line of communication between you and your employers. Let them know that it is OK for them to come to you with problems that cannot be resolved through their managers.
Image via Pop Tower
Related Article: Keeping an Eye on Your Employees...the Ethical Way
2. Theft is not Always an External Problem
Although the Kardashian name is less than favorable to most, you have to admit that they know a thing or two about business. In a recent episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians," Kim sets out to identify and eliminate a serious theft problem going on at the family’s Dash clothing store in New York.
She sets up cameras to scope out the issue, and discovers that the problem could be avoided all together with the implementation of proper loss prevention. More specifically, training her employees to be more attentive to all visitors.
It may not be possible to be at your storefront or office to watch your employees all day every day, but installing a quality security system can help you keep an eye on things from afar. Do your research to find a security system that offers each feature you need at the best price possible. Comparison sites are great for this as they offer ratings and reviews.
There's a good comparison service from Safewise that addresses business needs specifically.
Image via E! Now
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3. Consumers Can Rename Your Brand
"Botched" is a show full of clients who are extremely dissatisfied at the beginning. It follows two famed Hollywood plastic surgeons on their journey to correct botched surgeries performed by other surgeons.
One of the most frightening episodes featured a women who had gone to another surgeon in LA for breast augmentation surgery. This surgeon provided the patient with a horrifying experience and botched result. Apparently, this was a common occurrence for the surgeon as the patient revealed that she later learned his office was known as the “little shop of horrors.” Fortunately, word of this surgeon’s terrible work started to spread, and he was shut down.
Once again, this is a very extreme example. However, it does show the incredible power of word of mouth. Your customers are talking, do you know what they’re saying? Even if you think your service/product is fantastic, a few dissatisfied consumers could be earning you an unfavorable name online and on the street.
Find out what your customers are saying about their experiences at your business by monitoring your brand online. You can use a variety of tracking tools and automated systems to do this without spending hours scouring the web. Social Media Examiner offers up some great suggestions for these in a post discussing online reputation management.
Image via E! Now
Points of vulnerability exist in every business at every level. Although there is no way to fully protect your business from its most significant threats, understanding where and how you’re vulnerable will help you come up with an effective preventative plan to minimize risks. The main takeaway here is that you should be constantly looking for new ways to learn from the mistakes and successes of others. What may seem like a typical Sunday of binge watching reality television is also an opportunity to learn important lessons on protecting your business from fellow business owners.