Overcome your business problems
Your business is chugging along delivering its products and services and then BAM! You hit a brick wall. Whether it’s an employee matter, a delivery problem, or a logistics issue, the impact spreads across the rest of your business. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. If you’re running a small company or startup, you’ve probably faced a range of common business problems – and if you haven’t, you most likely will soon. Solving business challenges requires preparation, early identification and a plan to address any issues.
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Identifying common business problems
Determining your company’s issues helps to break your business challenges into two sections: surface-level business problems (easy fixes) and core business problems (more intensive solutions).
Surface-level business problems
Surface-level problems in business typically affect day-to-day business management and manifest as employee or customer dissatisfaction. These issues can also occur naturally in the market. Examples of common business problems in this category include:
High employee turnover rate
Increase in competition
Falling sales or lack of growth
Supply chain issues
Poor financial management
Low customer loyalty
Core business problems
These arise when we dig deeper into the reasons behind surface-level issues, which – at first glance – seem easier to fix. However, they’re both related, and to fix surface-level problems permanently, you must get to the core of what’s really holding your company back.
Tony tells us, “Success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics,” which means failure is also about your psychology. Overcoming common business problems will take more than putting up an ad or increasing your marketing budget – dig deeper, take action, and amazing things will happen.
The 9 most common business problems
Every business experiences problems, regardless of your industry, business size or the phase of your business cycle. If your business is stagnant, you feel stuck, or you’re not experiencing the growth you desire, determine if you’re experiencing one of these common business problems.
1. Finding your purpose
Does your company feel adrift? Do you change your mission statement constantly? If so, you’re experiencing a lack of purpose, one of the most common problems in business. After all, how can you expect to create raving fan employees if you don’t wake up every morning excited for the day ahead? In addition, a lack of purpose can create employee retention problems.
Being a strong leader is synonymous with having a sense of purpose, and a genuine belief in personal success will help your business thrive. Your purpose gives you passion, drive, certainty, and the ability to overcome towering obstacles. A business is only as strong as the psychology of its leader – it’s up to you to do the work and bring purpose to your company.
2. Developing your brand identity
Developing your brand identity is vital to marketing and sales success, and struggling to establish an identity is one of the biggest business problems you’ll experience during the growth stage. Your identity epitomizes your company’s core values, mission and goals and profoundly affects company culture, impacting your ability to hire and retain the best employees.
Your brand identity drives the emotional connection with your consumer and ultimately creates customer loyalty. With a strong brand identity, you know who you are and your direction. Without it, you’ll be lost in the dark and struggle to inspire raving fan customers.
3. Providing value
Shrinking profits is a common business problem that can sometimes lead to bankruptcy. It’s easy to blame the market, but there’s always a reason for significant market shifts. If customers are flocking to competitors, then take note – you probably lack specific services or features they deem valuable.
To be successful in business, you must practice constant strategic innovation. Determine your X-factor – what sets you apart from the competition? How do you bring more value to your customers? What makes your company different? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to sit down and think about them.
4. Planning ahead
Purpose and identity are crucial to your success, but also remember to make a massive action plan (MAP), which allows you to stay agile in response to business challenges while keeping your eye on the prize. For example, most business owners aren’t prepared for a recession even though the economy is in recession 60% of the time. It’s easy to feel confident during good times, but it’s the hardships that matter.
A MAP outlines how your business will survive an income downturn, irrespective of whether it’s caused by a recession or the shifting valuation of your product or service. If your business isn’t built to weather the storms, it’ll be dead in the water. Get prepared for a recession and other adverse economic possibilities before they happen.
5. Creating an exit strategy
No one wants to think about the collapse of their business, which is why so few owners bother with developing an exit strategy. However, in many cases, leaving the business at some point is the ultimate goal, whether through a leveraged buyout, passing the business onto your children, or selling to key employees. Knowing your preferred endgame will help you develop the best path to get there.
Forty-five percent of business owners spend over 40 hours weekly in the office and never find a way to extricate themselves. Does that sound like you? If so, it’s time to start working on your exit strategy.
6. Controlling your fear
New business owners often allow the fear of uncertainty to affect how they run their organizations. Fear of failure, not being a good enough leader, and fear of the economy’s future can create a scarcity mindset and negatively affect decisions and behaviors. Hyper-focusing on these things will set your business up for failure and reduce the chances of achieving success.
If you have these limiting beliefs, it’s time to change them to empowering beliefs that can help you thrive as a leader. Use fear to push your business to greater heights. Decide that success will happen no matter what, and many business problems will resolve themselves along the way.
7. Harnessing the power of technology
New entrepreneurs often have an old-school mindset and make the mistake of thinking they don’t need technology. Others believe they’re in a business that doesn’t need technology to succeed. In today’s economy, it’s essential to harness the power of technology to avoid being disrupted by competitors.
From artificial intelligence to automation, emerging tech has a place in every business. Address these common business problems with strategic innovation team meetings to discuss incorporating new technology into your business to beat your competition.
8. Developing your skills
While it’s crucial to shift your mindset, control your emotions and be decisive in business, it’s also important to take a realistic look at your strengths and weaknesses. To be successful, business owners need skills like reading financial statements, hiring the right employees and scaling mindfully.
Your psychology and skillset are the foundation you’ll build for the rest of your business. You can’t build a sturdy structure without sealing the cracks and strengthening the base. You can personally develop these skills or outsource them to focus on other aspects of the business. Being honest about current and future challenges allows you to scale your business sustainably.
9. Asking for help
When entrepreneurs lack specific skills, the inability to reach out to available resources is one of their biggest problems in business. Being a great leader means using everything at your disposal to get the job done. Resourcefulness is one of a leader’s top traits. When it comes to business, the best leaders leverage what they have to fill in the gaps.
Stop convincing yourself that “strong leaders don’t ask for support,” and you’ll find that business help is out there. Sign up for a free CEO Strategy Session and discover new strategies to supercharge your success. You’ll find resources to solve your current business problems and create a blueprint for lasting organizational change.
Examples of companies experiencing problems
Even the most prominent businesses were scrappy startups at the beginning. Irrespective of industry, you’ll experience the same universal challenges businesses worldwide face. How you view these business problems is critical: Are they obstacles or opportunities for growth?
Apple overcame numerous business challenges – and near bankruptcy – before becoming a force of nature, and they didn’t do it by thinking small. When sales were down, Apple turned to marketing and innovation to solve problems, which led to the creation of the society-changing iPhone.
Starbucks is another household name that triumphed over business problems. During the 2008 recession, the earnings of this billion-dollar coffee chain dropped by more than 50%. In response, the company brought back CEO Howard Schultz, who showed exemplary crisis leadership. Schultz examined Starbucks’ practices and concluded they were in the customer business, not the coffee business. He put the focus back on customers and dragged the company back from the brink of failure.
Ready to crush your business problems?
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