No one can predict the future, but there are a few things that it just makes sense to prepare for when you're a business owner. If they don't happen next week, they might very well happen next month or next year, and being ready can help you weather these storms until they pass. Here are just four common problems faced by business owners that you should know.

Economic Changes

Businesses live and die by the economy, so don't let any sudden changes in the market upset your profits, leads, sales or networks. Find a financial planner who can help you prepare for dips in the stock market, and set aside some capital to ensure that you survive hard times and dry spells. When supply and demand isn't going your way, the only thing that you can realistically do is wait it out. Unless, of course, you’re prepared for such a down turn.

If you’re able to, you should make sure that you are putting enough away into savings that will allow your business to function even when the economy is going down and businesses around you are flailing. This will allow your business to keep operating and be there for the economical surge that is sure to follow when the economy stops taking a dive. You can see the need for this by taking a look at The Great Recession that went from December 2007 to June 2009. Many companies went out of business during that time, but few were probably prepared for such an event.

Natural Disasters

Many people get so concerned about their homes during natural disasters that they forget about their offices, too. This is a mistake: Commercial buildings are just as likely as personal residences to suffer damage from storms, winds and water damage. If your place of business has already been wrecked by some kind of tornado or flood, reach out to public claims adjusters, such as those with Great Lakes Public Adjusting, who can help you when insurance companies are dragging their feet.

Competitors

You should always keep an eye on your competitors, especially when they move closer to you. Poaching customers is quite common among rival brands, and so is price-slashing and price-gouging in response to whatever the other company is doing. You'll need to prepare for these possibilities and figure out how to counter them. While there's no way to stop a competitor from becoming your neighbor, you can ready yourself for the day and lessen its impact.

Reputation Damage

Maybe you've gotten a few less-than-stellar reviews. Maybe your company was dragged through the mud because of the actions of one of your employees. Whatever your reasons for receiving bad press, you'll need to have a game plan for getting back on track. For example, one option is a renewed search engine optimization (SEO) campaign that will push good news and sales announcements to the top of Google's results.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that business will always be good. Ups and downs are a fact of life, and part of running your own company is dealing with the difficult times as they come. Look on the bright side: You just prepared yourself for these four.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.