If you have known your clients for years, have well-established relationships with them and take time to meet with them when you can, it might not be a challenge for you to retain these customers. However, sometimes it can take effort to earn and maintain customer loyalty.
6 Challenges Most Businesses Face
Each sector of the business world has its own set of demands and challenges. Some of these challenges span sectors and industries and are common among different companies and organizations. All businesses strive to maintain top-quality relationships with their customer base, to keep their brands relevant and to keep their employees happy. Facing and overcoming any obstacles that arise is what sets a good business apart from its competitors. In this article, we will discuss some of the common challenges that affect businesses today and share some ideas on how to address them.
In the business world, a challenge is a situation that threatens to hinder or derail a business’ pursuit of success. Here are some examples of challenges that businesses face today with suggestions for how to address and handle them:
1. Employee turnover rate
Deeper business issues
You certainly need to fix issues like that, but they likely aren’t the root of the problems your business is facing. In order to succeed, you need to get to the core of what’s really holding your company back. For most businesses, they fall into one of nine categories .
Nine most common business problems
Every business experiences problems, regardless of your industry, business size or the phase of the business cycle you are in. If your business is stagnant, you feel stuck or you’re not experiencing the growth you desire, be on the lookout for these nine common business problems .
1. You don’t know your purpose
Being a strong leader is synonymous with having a sense of purpose . When you truly believe you will be successful, you will see your business thrive. Your purpose gives you passion, drive and certainty. It gives you the ability to overcome towering obstacles.
2. You don’t have a strong brand identity
One of the biggest business problems in the growth stage is not settling on who they are. Developing your brand identity is vital to your marketing and sales success. Your identity epitomizes what your company stands for – your core values , mission and goals. It deeply affects your company culture, which in turn affects whether you can hire and retain the best employees for the job.
Your brand identity is what drives the emotional connection with your consumer and ultimately creates customer loyalty . Without a strong brand identity, you don’t actually know who you are or what direction you’re going . Without that direction, you won’t know what audience to target – and you definitely won’t inspire raving fan customers .
3. You’re not providing value
Shrinking profits is among the common business problems . Left alone, they can lead to bankruptcy. When this happens it’s easy to shrug it off and blame the market. But if the market shifts, it’s for a reason. If customers are going to your competitor because they offer a service or feature that you don’t, that is because they deem that service or feature valuable. When you don’t provide what the customer desires, you’re not providing them with value.
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 talkably different ? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to sit down and think about them.
4. You haven’t planned ahead
Purpose and identity are crucial to your success, but don’t forget about making a plan. And don’t just make any plan – make a massive action plan (MAP). Making a MAP instead of a traditional plan allows you to stay agile in response to business challenges while always keeping your eye on the prize.
For example, most business owners aren’t prepared for a recession despite the fact that the economy has spent over 60% of its time in a recession since 1879. It’s easy to feel confident during good times, but it’s the hardships that matter. A MAP acknowledges and addresses how your business will fare if there is a downturn in your income, whether it comes from a recession or the shifting valuation of your product or service. If you haven’t built your business stoutly enough to weather potential storms, you won’t sail far at all. Get prepared for a recession and other negative economic possibilities before they happen.
5. You don’t have an exit strategy
No one wants to think about the end of their business, which is why so few owners bother with developing exit strategies . But the goal of your business is for you to eventually leave. This could come in the form of arranging a leveraged buy-out , leaving the business to your children or selling the business to key employees. The point is, knowing what the preferred end of your company will look like helps you develop the best path to get there.
Forty-five percent of business owners spend over 40 hours a week in the office and never find a way to extricate themselves so they can pursue other passions. Sound like you? It’s definitely time to start working on your exit strategy.
8 Common ethical issues in business and how to address them
Note: Ethical issues are even more important for startups and small businesses since their reputations are not as well-established as a big corporation might be. What that means is, if there’s a lawsuit over an ethical issue at your business, the process of defending yourself could do some serious damage. It could even bankrupt your business! Take these ethical problems in business seriously and avoid the risk to your reputation and financial stability.
1. Sexual Harassment
More often than not when we discuss harassment at work the topic quickly shifts to sexual harassment. There’s no doubt that it is an ethical issue in business that should be taken very, very seriously – and if you’re not sure why then you need to read about the #MeToo Movement . While we shouldn’t forget that there are many forms of harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment is one that deserves to be addressed on its own.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in 2018 alone there were more than 7,600 allegations of sexual harassment made. Not only that but the resulting monetary benefits for those plaintiffs were in excess of $56.6 million – an indication of the validity of those claims.
When we take an even closer look at this ethical issue, we find that 54% of women report having experienced unwanted sexual advances in the workplace and 23% said that the instance of sexual harassment actually involved a superior.
What can your business do about sexual harassment?
The most important step in addressing sexual harassment as a serious ethical dilemma in business is to implement employee training. Start by making sure everybody who works for you is made aware of the rules, that those rules are posted around the workplace, and by enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment.
From there, you’ll want to ensure that leaders in your business are setting good examples, that you continuously monitor for inappropriate behavior, and that you provide employees with a safe and discrete avenue for reporting cases of harassment. Additionally, there should never be any fear of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment – victims, whether alleged or proven, should get your full support.
It’s also best to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of sexual harassment. That can include having employees sign agreements that they will follow company rules, not allowing the ‘little things’ to slide, by limiting the serving of alcoholic beverages during company events, and so on.
2. Diversity & Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace is essentially any aspect about the job itself or the duties related to it which are treated differently with respect to any of the categories listed below. Ensuring diversity and actively preventing discrimination are critical aspects of resolving ethical dilemmas in business.
Most of us are [unfortunately] aware that some people hold prejudices towards people of a certain ethnicity, race or color, religion, sex or sexual preference, people over a certain age, mentally or physically disabled individuals, and so on. In fact, a shocking 61% of American employees report having witnessed or experienced discrimination based on age, race, gender, or LGBTQ identity at work. On top of that, women currently make
Be and do your best
Ethical problems in business are something that most if not all owners will encounter at some point in their career. Even if you take all of the necessary precautions and follow the recommended steps, you should always stay prepared to handle ethical dilemmas in business in an appropriate and productive manner. When problems arise, use them as opportunities to learn as an owner and to build a better, fairer, and more ethical business.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter and should not be relied upon as such. The author accepts no responsibility for any consequences whatsoever arising from the use of such information.
.81 for every dollar that men earn.
Other categories like genetic information or retaliation might be discussed less frequently, but are important nonetheless. To quickly clarify, genetic discrimination in the workplace is when a business treats an employee differently based on their genetic predisposition to developing a certain disease or disorder (such as a family history of heart disease, for example). Far-out as it may seem, this sort of ethical problem in business is becoming more prevalent as advancements in science continue to make DNA sequencing easier, quicker, and cheaper.
Regardless of how familiar you are with the different categories of discrimination, you can use the set of guidelines for each type of discrimination published by the EEOC to ensure that you operate properly with respect to this ethical issue in business.
For example, Become has made huge strides in eliminating human bias from the loan decision-making process by using advanced technology to analyze a business’s financial health & stability. Your LendingScore™ will reflect your business, never your personal background or circumstances.
It’s particularly important that your business positions itself to respond quickly and effectively to any instance of discrimination especially given the current ethical issues in business specifically related to race.