10 Business Operational Challenges Companies Face

2021.02.22 12:49 PM By Joshua Taddeo, Principal Consultant
meeting addressing busines challenges

Small business owners face a number of challenges every day. How you respond to them can determine your business's success or failure. Each type of business faces its own unique challenges and knowing that other companies are going through the same can make it easier to deal with. As a company grows, there must always be operational problems associated with progress. Many companies face problems that seem difficult to overcome. But, what seems to be a stumbling block for many entrepreneurs, regardless of industry, always has a band-aid solution to overcome these challenges. As companies address the ascension of problems, it is important to have solutions to overcome this growing pain to cease problems from developing further. The main areas that challenge businesses involve financial, operational, and customer service. Here we present some of the most common operational problems businesses face as they grow and what companies need to do to overcome them. In all types of companies, operational problems are the kind of problems that can arise and make a company less profitable. Operational issues in the economy are a major concern for companies of all sizes, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large companies.

We'll look at the common challenges which often lead to the demise of businesses and examine the solutions: 

Managing Cashflow

This may be one of the biggest problems for new entrepreneurs, but it is a reality for all businesses. Whether it's an outstanding payment, an unpaid bill, or a lack of cash, the lack of funds can be a big problem. If a company does a job and pays for a month, it can cause a lot of problems for the rest of the year. Given the many challenges you face, maintaining healthy cash flow is key to the survival of your business. It can be a challenge, especially for small business owners who try to get out of the gate without going bust. 

Small businesses cannot survive if they do not adhere to cash flow guidelines, and financial challenges are a reality in any business. It can be a bit scary, but it is often hugely exciting and incredibly rewarding, and you should always be ready to learn when your business goes through a period of growth. It may be advisable to look at your cost settings wherever possible and to eliminate large overheads such as energy costs. 

There are many money management tools to track your cash flow, and some of these apps can warn you when unusual spending occurs. Look for apps that can create a budget, calculate VAT, track payments and notify you when they occur. 

Managing Overheads

Business Teamwork

Excessive overheads are a problem for any small business, but they can be particularly damaging if they are not managed over time. Overhead can increase due to a variety of factors, such as the size of the company or the number of employees. If there are too many or too few employees or payments are not made, there can be a spiral of additional costs.

Look at your spending and see what you can save, and any expenses that do not benefit your team or your customers' needs should be reduced. You should also look at spending in the context of other business areas such as marketing, sales, and customer service to see where you can save if you aren’t seeing the proper return on investment. Never to stop spending a dollar if profitable multiples are returned just to solve a temporary issue. That being said, if you haven’t been tracking the returns or savings the expenditure affords you may not be able to make an informed decision.

Finding the Right People

The biggest problem we see in small businesses today is the inability to hire people who can really contribute to the growth of the business. Finding the right team members to grow the business to ensure that the functional aspects are met is a big challenge for SMEs. If a company wants to work, grow, and earn money, the company needs good management to make it work.

Not everyone is the right person for a particular company, but in small businesses, skills and personality tend to be preferred to other traits. As companies grow and you see their success grow, you get a better idea of what kind of person is right for your business.

Some like to work in a group, others are more satisfied when they do tasks alone, and don't mind a combination of both. Before, during, and after the recruitment process, it is important to align the leadership style with the different personalities in the office. See which people work best for you and hire someone who is suitable for your company. You don't have to go through a long recruitment process just to find the right person for a particular job or even a specific position.

Once you have established how this dynamic can work for you, you can introduce the candidate to your team. It is also important to create an environment in which your employees can thrive in a way that suits the culture and values of your company.

Measuring and Tracking Performance

How do you measure performance, and how do potential indicators show whether your team is performing at its best? How does your potential indicator show that your teams are performing at their best, and if so, how is that performance measured? The poor performance of an employee can affect the morale of the rest of the team, which, in turn, affects their own productivity. If certain members of a team don't work as hard as they should, your business will suffer.

Instead of using simplistic financial indicators, it can be extremely beneficial to identify, clarify and agree on the expectations of the respective teams. Create a set of performance indicators that show how well each team in your organization performs. How do you measure results, what progress is being made and what performance do you assess at the end of each management cycle?

Managing Reviews and Brand Reputation

In the modern business world, a negative online rating can easily damage your image and reputation. Customers also expect fast and effective customer service, and it is up to companies to listen to the feedback they receive to enable them to deliver satisfactory services to their core audience. Invest in an adviser or third party who can monitor how you are perceived online and spot where you are wrong about customer service. This helps you to select the right customers and streamline the transfer process. ‘You should also check if the usability of your website affects the traffic your business  is receiving so you can avoid these customer-related issues and complaints.

Keeping an Eye on Competitors

This means that in today's world, starting a business is more realistic and achievable than ever. Your competitors offer the same product or service at a lower price and take advantage of a significant proportion of your customers. In theory, you could see more competition in the same market, but if your competition is focused on a single service in a broader market, you stand out from the rest.

Dealing with Uncertainties

Most companies have some sort of future goal, but it is surprising how many fail to plan for periods of uncertainty. The economic climate is changing, and you never know exactly what will happen in the future, so you need to prepare for customer and market trends with wise forward planning. If a company oppresses itself, it risks causing discomfort to its employees.

overcoming business operational challenges

Have a five or ten-year plan, but balance it out with short-term goals to keep your business under control. When uncertainty is at the helm, the short-term goal can take precedence; but the importance of the long-term goal should never be overlooked.

Coping with Government Regulations

As markets and technologies develop, they bring new rules and regulations. Regulation and compliance can lead to serious issues if not handled properly. Unfortunately, companies often do not know or understand what is being asked of them, and this is where fines and penalties come in, and something that could easily have been resolved becomes a problem. Trying to understand the complex wording of new rules such as the GDPR and COVID measures could be a struggle, as could everything else going on in your business, depending on the industry. If necessary, you should hire an advisor to help you comply with the rules.

Managing Security

If cybersecurity is not managed properly, companies face an increasing number of threats that can lead to data theft, hacks, and other attacks. Theft of data leads to the disclosure of important customer information, which arouses customer distrust. Cybersecurity frameworks are available to businesses, but many take a utilitarian approach that covers only one aspect of cybersecurity, such as data protection. It is recommended that this approach be integrated into cyber protection in all aspects of the company, from training its employees to managing data and data management systems to cybersecurity training. 

Finding Strategies That Work

For many successful entrepreneurs, listening and getting the right advice is one of the most difficult challenges. This is where a strategy consultant can help. They provide guidance and assistance along with their expert advice from years of experience and ensure that the greatest challenges facing companies today are being met and addressed. Operations consulting aims to help you identify and address the biggest challenges facing companies today and equip companies with the right strategies to combat them and ensure business success. 

Solving Business Challenges

Given the major challenges facing companies in 2020, ever newer challenges have surfaced and commonly include issues around switching to an online platform, government regulations related to the pandemic, and the need for a new business model. There are many different categories that make up operational issues, each of which has its own undesirable results. 

calculating business costs

If not treated correctly, they can affect operational performance, hinder the growth of the company, cause problems in implementing strategies, and even affect profitability; the best way to deal with any business problem you face now is to anticipate it and prepare to solve it before it arises. The problem to solve is there, but knowing the problems and challenges your company faces and what business problems you will have in the future are the foundations needed to solidify and grow the business.

When you identify the problems your business is currently facing, you can better manage these problems by sorting them as current issues, which can be resolved quickly, and the deeper business problems, which require more intensive repair. You need to be strategic about how you solve issues in the company to make sure you are solving them efficiently and effectively without affecting the company's chances of growing exponentially. These concerns are more common than you think and can be costly if you delay solutions and do not address the root of the problem, especially when you consider where the company is headed in the future.