The future is an abstract concept. If you want to be irritating you can argue that we are both [always and never in the future]( because the future can be tomorrow or even a second from right now. We can never catch up with tomorrow and that’s something that businesses need to learn. Ultimately, you should never be planning for tomorrow as a business owner, you should be planning for right now.

This is definitely true when you think about the future problems that your business might face because the reality is that they are already here. You might doubt that and this is what today’s article is all about. We need to explore the problems of tomorrow that are here today.

## Data Security

If you’re running a small business are you thinking about data security? Is it one of your top concerns? If you answered yes, then you’re lying and if you are telling the truth, we promise, you’re one of the few. Most SME owners don’t think about data security at all and why should they?

After all, it’s the big companies that are hit. They’re the ones that are targeted right? They’re certainly the ones that appear in the news after a particularly nasty hack.

We’re talking about businesses like Sony and Equifax, not Doris who runs a sweet little gardening blog. Hang on though because her blog isn’t as small as it seems. We bet you didn’t know it has a little e-commerce shop attached to it.

Well, it does and it’s quite profitable as far as e-commerce businesses go. In fact, it’s earning over $30,000 each year which is great for what is a gardening blog.

Of course, that number of sales means that there is a lot of customers buying. So, Doris is going to have a lot of data on her hands, but does it have the right level of protection?

Arguably, the answer is going to be no because Doris probably hasn’t invested in the same type of security as larger businesses. In fact, she might not even have an SSL certificate for her website. A surprising number of websites don’t.

Businesses like the website Doris runs are hit and they can be hit just as hard as small companies. That’s why you need to make sure that you are using the right secure data solution. You should even use a [database compare tool]( to ensure that you are making the right choice with the services that you use.

By 2021, one expert has suggested that there will be a hack on a business every 20 seconds. You need to prepare for this issue today.

## Transparency

You can find anything on the internet. Anything that you want about anyone. That’s a paraphrased quote from a movie that came out in 2003. It’s fair to say that since then things have got even more advanced. Indeed, while it might have been a stretch to say that in 2003, today it’s more or less true. Do you want to find out if your next-door neighbor has a criminal record? You can do that. Do you want to know if the guy you’re going on a date with has ever been bankrupt? Yeah, you can do that too.

Thanks to social media records you can also see what someone posted a decade ago. This is where things get tricky for business owners because it means that they have to be very careful about what they say online and what their employees say. Everything you do these days can be connected to [your business]( brand. It can either help or hinder your company. This also means that you need to be careful about how you hire and what their history is. You don’t want to be seen as a business that is either toxic or problematic. We think it’s fair to say that businesses have never been in more scrutiny than they are today. In many ways, this is a positive. It ensures that companies are held accountable for their actions. However, some would also argue, perhaps rightfully so, that things have gone too far. It also seems to be getting worse each year.

Of course, brands can survive as long as they react the right way. Unfortunately, this often means taking swift action against the individual. It doesn’t matter if the issues with them are firmly in the past they can still impact the future of your company.

## Automation

You might think that automation isn’t an issue. But it is going to radically change how businesses are run and managed. It’s going to impact the number of people that you are going to need in your business team. If you already have a large team, then you could need to cut some of the fat. It’s not going to be pretty for many [employees in the future]( which is why those who claim we need a universal living wage are absolutely right.

Of course, some argue that automation won’t lead to the end of jobs. It will just result in certain tasks being handled without the issue of human error. They’re right too but it’s still going to bring change to virtually every industry. You might think that you have five or ten years before automation starts impacting your business world. We’re talking about [advanced forms of automation]( But it’s already here. There is tech that can write an article just like this. Are you certain this was written by a human? How can you be so sure…?

Content creation is just one sector of business that is going to see radical changes in 2021 and beyond.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course. Advanced forms of automation are going to make it even easier and more affordable to set up your own business. So, if you have always dreamed of running your own company today could be your year.

You see, the challenges of tomorrow aren’t on their way, they’re here right now. It’s time for every business owner, large and small to take the right steps and prepare to face the storm.

**Collaborative Content**