We are now equipped with tools, knowledge and platforms that make starting a business easier. But sustaining and growing a business can be quite tricky, amidst all the rapid economic, technological and political changes happening all around us.
It is wise to be aware of hurdles that you will probably face along the way and make plans to how to overcome them. Otherwise, you might have to spend all your time fire-fighting instead of engaging in more important brand-building initiatives.
Take a look at these 10 scenarios below. Some of them may actually already be familiar to you:
1. “We need more flexibility.”
Your workforce is getting younger and more hip. And as much as 77% of these Millennials believe that flexible work arrangements would help them work better and feel more fulfilled.
Remote work arrangements have several advantages, including savings in your fixed costs and increased productivity. Unless you are in the retail business where employees have to be present, you might want to look into this option.
This can open the door for your organization to hire skilled workers from remote locations next time.
2. “The company next door is offering higher pay.”
With more information available online, people are armed with more knowledge about the salary range of other companies. If your organization is not competitive in terms of pay, you might have a hard time hiring and retaining good employees.
Consider carefully if you can match the industry standard, as you don’t want to short-change the effort of your strong team members.
Of course, the greater challenge is how to explain to employees who are not really great performers why you cannot give them what they’re asking for.
3. “Explain to me why I should work for you.”
Recruiting and hiring the right people have always been challenging for most companies. More so now when there are more opportunities for qualified professionals to start their own businesses or to work as independent contractors, instead.
This need for manpower is especially pressing for businesses that require physical employees such as retail stores and restaurants.
The good news is that it is now easier and cheaper to outsource services. Experts are more accessible and you can work with almost anyone all over the world.
To achieve good synergy, make sure that you hire or work with highly-skilled people in the functions where you are weak.
4. “Is our company secure?”
Political unrest caused by changing leaders and global policies has a significant impact on businesses.
The economic and business environment operate based on forecasts and outlooks and these uncertainties have a negative bearing on many companies, especially who work with foreign counterparts.
5. “Your loan has been turned down.”
There are more and more startups now than ever before. As more entrepreneurs line up in banks to request for a loan or funding, banks are becoming more conservative in granting loans.
A venture needs a healthy level of funds to be able to stay in business. Ensure that you have adequate funds to see you through slow months and emergencies.
6. “You received a 1-star rating.”
In an age where praising or criticizing a merchant or service provider is just one click away, a negative feedback from a dissatisfied customer might be displayed prominently on your social media page.
Do not attempt to delete a negative review, as that will make your company look guilty and defensive. Do not ignore it either. The best thing to do is to try to find out what the customer didn’t like about your product or service, apologize and offer a plan of action (refund, return or exchange). It would be good if you reply directly to the review or comment so that other visitors of your page can see that you handle concerns in a timely and friendly manner.
Consumers nowadays rely heavily on social media platforms and online sites to get information about brands. It is important to have a competent and well-mannered social media manager who can respond to inquiries and concerns effectively and diplomatically.
7. “You seem a bit old fashioned.”
You have to keep up with the times- the trends, technologies and new ways of doing business. Otherwise, people might see your company as an old-fashioned organization headed towards obsoletion.
Strive a good balance between maintaining effective practices while being ‘in’ with trends, new technologies and tools. Not everything new is better. Be discerning on what changes you want to implement and allot the proper time to review their effectivity before going full force.
8. “I just don’t feel that connection with you.”
These are fast-paced times that customers have become just a number for some organizations. Online businesses are booming but customers crave a personalized touch and to see the ‘human’ behind the product or service.
Stay focused on the customer and remember that your goal is to serve them and to meet their needs. When your clients feel your genuineness in dealing with them, you can win their loyalty.
9. “The policies have changed.”
One thing that you absolutely cannot be left behind on are the changes in the government regulations and policies. You might incur heavy penalties for non-compliance, as well as find yourself in a sticky and embarrassing situation.
You might want to assign someone to focus on government and industry regulations to be sure that you meet all the requirements.
10. “Your competitor does it better.”
As it becomes easier for you to reach your target market, your competitors can connect with them faster too. If you are not careful, your competitors might be getting ahead of the game through innovative ideas, better prices, exciting promotions / deals and good customer service.
To survive, you need to have a very strong marketing plan to back you up. Study your competitors and their moves and improve your strategy game.
Being an entrepreneur is hard work. But do not lose heart- remember that the more obstacles you overcome, the stronger you and your brand become.