July 4, 2022

5 Big Problems Commonly Encountered In Business Operations

discussing operational issues and solutions

As a business owner, a key objective is to see your business succeed in growing profitably. But to achieve this, it is important to understand what the factors are that really impact profitable business growth.


As with anything, there is a range of variables that influence growth potential. Access to finance, human resources, management skills, creativity, and the ability to spot an opportunity can all truly drive profitability. 


However, as a small business, where can you apply pressure to maximum effect? Which are the best levers to pull without wasting time and energy trying to do everything? We'll cover the problems commonly encountered in business operations and how to solve them. 

What Are Operational Issues in Business?

Operational challenges in business are problems that can create waste and affect profitability. Further, they can drain company resources, impact operational performance, and hinder growth.

business development

Typically, such issues fall under the following categories:

  • Waste
  • Quality
  • Delay
  • Control
  • Culture

Given that operations play a major role in increasing the value of your company and helping you earn a profit, these issues must be tackled sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you'll never reach the level of success you deserve. Worse, you could end up having to shut down the business you've worked so hard to build. 

Common Operational Issues in Business

Though businesses face a wide range of operational issues, the ones listed below are some of the most common. 

Chances are you've encountered one or more of these issues in your own company, which is why it's so important to learn how to solve them now before they can cause further damage. 

Disorganized or Lack of Planning 

Another one of the most common operational issues in business is a lack of planning, particularly for periods of uncertainty. Neglecting to account for downward trends, slow seasons, and even economic downturns can put your company in a precarious position.  

Solution: To ensure that your company is able to survive hard times, make planning a top priority. Create both short-term and long-term goals for your company. Plan for multiple outcomes, and try to be as flexible as possible. Further, make forecasting a key part of all of your decision-making.

Lack of Performance Monitoring 

When you don't monitor performance, there's no way to measure how well your company is doing accurately. Further, it becomes easier for staff problems to go unchecked. As a result, your company's profitability could experience a decline without you knowing the root cause. 

Solution: To ensure that your staff and processes are set up for success, you need to create performance indicators. Additionally, those on your team should be informed and reminded of expectations. By evaluating performance at regular intervals, you can identify where improvements need to be made.

High Overhead Cost

Every company has overhead costs, though the amount can vary depending on size, industry, etc. If you allow overhead costs to get out of control, they can have a negative impact on your company's profitability and lead to a significant net loss. 

Solution: The first step in controlling overhead costs is to make sure you're keeping a detailed record of all expenses. Once you know exactly what overhead you have, it's much easier to find ways to reduce it. For example, you could set policies for spending, outsource certain positions/projects, and review vendor contracts. 

Unstable Cashflow 

Failing to maintain a healthy cash flow can make it difficult (if not impossible) for your company to survive. Without the proper funds, you may find yourself unable to pay your utilities, cover staff salaries, or afford materials. In short, unstable cash flow can prevent your company from being able to function properly, especially in the current landscape.

Solution: It's vital that you create a budget for your company and plan for all expenses. Look for opportunities to fix costs, such as those related to overhead. Further, you can stabilize your cash flow by adjusting your offerings. For example, you could offer prepaid retainers, ongoing payment plans, or maintenance contracts to clients. 

Excessive Waste 

Excessive waste is one of the most common operational issues in business. When time, labor, and materials are either being used ineffectively or being wasted, it can impact your company's bottom line. Additionally, too much waste can prevent you from scaling your company, focusing on the bigger picture, and increasing productivity. 

Solution: The best way to combat waste is to implement lean processes. Look for activities that require a lot of time or money but provide little value. Then, eliminate those activities for the health of your company. Some good places to start include inventory, downtime, and transportation.

1. Managing Factors that Affect Business Growth

There are numerous factors that affect the growth and development of a company that fosters a position in the lead. Let's go through some of the major aspects that influence the growth of a business.

Business Structure and Management 

The organizational structure consists of hierarchical levels, departments, and divisions that contribute to the business operations. As a business owner, you will need to determine how you want it to look and who will do what. A good structure will focus on the common goals and aims of particular departments while empowering them to make decisions on their own. 

The key is to ensure that all parts of the business work in harmony while being efficient and effective. In order to achieve success, you will need the right kind of people on board. This can be done through good recruitment practices, but the ongoing training and development of your people is also an essential factor to bear in mind.


Whilst your business structure can be fully controlled, external factors that have a significant effect on your business' success can, unfortunately, not be influenced. These factors include the cultural, political, and economic conditions of the region in which you operate, but also such conditions on a global scale.

So while you don't have control over these factors, what you can do is ensure you carry out regular environmental monitoring and market sense to stay on top of market developments and understand how these will affect your business now, in the next few years, and over the longer term. 


Don't limit this to your immediate market, as something that happens in a related (or sometimes even unrelated) market on the other side of the world can impact your business – and if you're the first among your competitors to respond to this, there's your competitive advantage. 


A business owner's behavior, personality, and attitude can definitely impact the growth of the business. Your management ability and leadership style deeply affect the performance and outputs of the team, not to mention the retention of your best employees. 


solving operational challenges

Furthermore, evaluate whether your capabilities - including education and training – are important in your industry sector, and recognize that your social capital influences your extent of access to resources. 


Also, think about the 'personality' of the business. What is the culture like? To achieve success, you need the right kind of people on board. This can happen through good recruitment practices but also benefits from the ongoing training and development of your people.


Depending on your industry, location will have varying levels of impact on your business' growth. While internet-based businesses may not feel the effects as much, retail and manufacturing, for instance, will notice the difference. 


Where your business is based will affect the buoyancy of demand in the market on the one hand, while on the supply side, variation in the cost and availability of labor, premises, and services will also be a factor. 


Other factors to consider are ease of access for customers and suppliers, visibility among the target audience, branding association, and access to support such as industry clusters.


New Opportunities 

One of the most effective ways to grow your business is by taking advantage of opportunities. When setting up a business, there are certain things you can expect from it, but some are and will remain, like the economy or political situation in your country. Due to this uncertain air, every entrepreneur needs to keep an open mind to make the right decision when required. Recognizing patterns earlier than your competitors is one of the most critical factors determining whether you'll achieve success.

New ideas can also mean services provided by others, which can make running your business easier. If you're working with international companies, for example, hiring a translation company that owns proper translation equipment might be suitable for your needs. While transactions keep the world moving, brands don't have time to focus on language challenges getting in the way of their funds.


How you spend your money determines whether or not you'll achieve your goals for the next quarter or year or even five years down the road. You need to make sure that you have a solid financial plan that has been appropriately implemented into your operations. Your first step should be creating a budget – outlining your expected profits for the next six months along with possible expenditures related to marketing, advertising, payroll, office space, utilities, etc.

The second step would be deciding how much money is going towards each category as well as writing down some basic financial principles such as using a free check stub maker to write checks as soon as possible and avoid losing track of them. Paying bills immediately after they arrive is also crucial, so you don't rack up late fees. Another thing is being organized to avoid unnecessary spending. An organized office will save you a great deal of money over time because you won't lose any documents or information that might be useful later on during tax season or when trying to figure out what happened with finances during a certain time.


A successful marketing strategy is a must if you want your company to get more recognition and push it ahead of competitors. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, you need to make sure you're targeting the right audience. If you're not getting the desired results from your campaigns, you might want to reassess your strategy and try something else.

common operational issues and challenges

One of the most efficient ways to get more customers is by implementing a solid digital marketing strategy. Social media marketing is an excellent way of getting more exposure for your business. Regularly posting short promotional videos and visually interesting photos or interacting with people in the comments will boost engagement and help create a bond with your customers.

Moreover, you will need to consider the overall look of your website and its usability. The fact that you have a good product is not enough; you need to make sure potential customers will be able to find it. Pay close attention to the design of your website, the mobile version, and the way you're using social media. Confusing text, banners, pop-ups, and calls to action that don't engage users will only send them away. In this case, consider marketing operations consulting or marketing consulting to help you fix issues in your current marketing strategy. 

Goal Setting 

Every business owner has specific goals that they want to achieve. Having clear objectives is essential if you want your company to grow and expand its horizons. It would be best to make sure that everyone in the company understands what you want them to do to understand their roles and responsibilities.

You can achieve it through working on your communication skills and organizing meetings with professionals who will help lead you and your workers. It will also allow for better cooperation between employees and other companies involved in your business operations. If you want to achieve the best results, you must remain realistic about your goals and expectations. This way, you will know for sure what should be done to fulfill your intentions.

Brand Image 

Creating a recognizable brand image will help you connect with the customers, and it's essential for businesses that want to grow and expand. By working on your brand image, you will be able to boost your business, attract new customers, create a name for yourself, and make more sales.

As a business owner, you need to make sure that the company's brand identity is consistent across all of its marketing channels. This applies to both online and offline marketing efforts. By maintaining a particular look and feel of the brand, you will maximize your business growth and create a strong reputation.

2. Solving Business Communication Challenges

Good communication is at the foundation of every successful business. Your ability to understand and connect with your partners, employees, and customers make all the difference when it comes to delivering great products and services consistently. Yet many businesses struggle in this area. Let's look at some of the symptoms and solutions for communication issues.

Lack of communication

This one seems obvious, doesn't it? Many organizations, however, struggle with providing a sufficient amount of information, whether it's work-related info, available knowledge resources, news updates, or simply room for active discussion. 

business communication best practices

Lack of communication creates a sense of isolation which, over time, can lead to a sense of disassociation from the organization and decrease the engagement and the emotional investment in their work. Furthermore, lack of communication can lead to important information being lost or delayed and create a vacuum in which rumors and hearsay can further disrupt the environment. Most critically, lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings and breakdowns in individual and collaborative work. 

How to overcome lack of communication: 

Primarily, organizations need to provide a comprehensive communication platform that enables both active discussion and effective distribution of information. The role of organizations, however, is not limited to providing the means of communication. Instead, organizations need to make communication a habit, keeping everyone in the loop through company-wide emails and messages, newsletters, intranet updates, all-hands meetings, etc. 

Information Overload

Contemporary workplace communication requires a substantial body of information. However, organizations can easily cross the line between providing team members with all the necessary information and overwhelming them with excessive information. This leads to information overload — more emails, more company-wide memos, more meetings, more shared files, and questionably useful links. 

Team members need space for focused work, and constant distractions disrupt the individual work process. Requiring team members to process more information than is necessary is not only wasteful of their time and mental capacities but also leads to disengagement and demotivation, which in turn result in decreased productivity and general disconnection.

How to overcome information overload:

Finding the right balance between enough and too much information is an empirical process that's different for every team. As organizations strive to establish the optimal communication and information flow, they should prioritize quality over quantity, limit their content distribution channels, filter information for increased clarity, and continually assess the ratio of time spent on processing information and the value it provides. 

Lack of formal communication structure

Professional communication includes not only active discussion but also effective distribution of information. A clear structure of communication and information channels ensures that everyone has quick and efficient access to all relevant information. This includes everything from news and updates across policies, work tools, and knowledge resources, all the way to direct communication lines. 

The absence of structure leads to confusion and ineffectiveness.

Unstructured communication can create a variety of communication breakdowns. Important information gets lost, delayed, or overlooked, time is wasted seeking information, relevant connections aren't established, and so on. All of these issues impact not only the quality of communication but the performance itself. 

The organization of clear and efficient communication and information lines needs to be one of the top communication priorities for all organizations. 

The goal is to provide access to all relevant information, resources, and people as practically and efficiently as possible. This can be achieved by any combination of team chat apps, Intranets, newsletters, bulletin boards, cross-department workgroups, open-door policies, and other means and resources. 

The choice of these means and resources will depend on the preferences of an organization, and it is important to note that organizations don't need to utilize all of them. Instead, they need to focus on covering all the necessities with as few tools as possible in order to avoid information and technology overload.

Developing and Executing Effective Strategies

When it comes to developing and executing strategies, it requires operational alignment with your leadership. Having clear goals, boundaries, and communication between all levels of leadership is crucial. 

Universal Creative Solution offers operational consulting and strategy consulting services to help fix ineffective tasks or strategies that your company is using. We audit everything your internal team is doing and consider how it's affecting productivity and results. Schedule an appointment with us and learn how operations consulting can help your business grow. 

Our services

Leaders, Organizations, and Individuals come to Universal Creative Solutions with their WHY - their vision for the world, their company, their product, or their path in life.

We help them plan and achieve their WHY by coupling it with the HOW - a pathway to making that vision a reality. We clarify the concepts or objectives, break down the goals into the required assets, stakeholders, and key results, as well as provide or connect them to any needed resources and consulting services every step of the way.

Whether you need a structured plan or a dedicated partner to help you achieve your goals, Universal Creative Solutions is honored to work towards better solutions together.