Running a business is not an easy endeavor because many obstacles can weigh you down. Small businesses experience unique problems that hinder progress by opening the entities to intense competition from established organizations. Furthermore, many entrepreneurial challenges can get in the way of a growing enterprise because of the dynamic working environments. In this context, small business owners must identify viable ways to overcome obstacles because it affects their growth. Here are some of the unforeseen obstacles that small businesses need to navigate through.
Threats due to recession
Many times, small businesses fail to foresee recession because it is difficult to ascertain when it strikes. Nevertheless, businesspersons must develop strategies to overcome its effects. To prepare well for the recession and its impact, organizations should focus on core competencies that will carry them through such periods. Some may take risks during the recession, but they will yield the most significant rewards. Conversely, some approaches may be detrimental to progress and should be avoided at all costs. Small business owners should scale back and dedicate their resources to those activities that generate the greatest returns on investment. Financial resources should not be spent on weak products that customers will forego due to financial constraints. It is also crucial to embrace the generation of multiple streams of income that will shield the business.
It is also important to invest more in marketing so they can stay in the minds of their customers. In the wake of globalization and the advancement of technology, it is advisable to bring the business online by creating social media pages and websites. A company can boost its online presence by sharing regular and content-rich messages to customers on their email lists. It also pays to follow up with prospective customers that have been ghosted because most of them are ready to buy from other vendors. Businesses should not compromise the quality of their goods and services to reduce prices.
Fraud is a major unforeseeable obstacle that can threaten the future of an entity because it causes financial instability. Unfortunately, some mall businesses ignore this issue because they do not understand that fraudsters do not discriminate based on company size. All sizes of businesses are vulnerable to devastating schemes such as email compromises and insider payment frauds; hence they should implement proactive measures to control losses. Digital transformation comes with unforeseeable risks because it exposes growing enterprises to fraudsters. To navigate this challenge, small businesses should create fraud management policies to offer their customers secure purchasing experiences. Fraud rules such as pre-configured settings can enable an organization to remain tolerant of risks.
Additionally, it is crucial to develop fraud detection techniques by harnessing appropriate technology for validating transactions. An organization that lacks proper fraud control mechanisms will lose customers, thus reducing sales.
Startups and growing businesses should also be wary of culture shocks hindering progress and expansion. There are many paths that a company can take to protect its culture during growth. First, it is important to learn about a business’ prevailing customs. For instance, firms operating in foreign countries should research aspects such as etiquette because it varies significantly from region to region. Discussions on such issues as health and family may be unacceptable in some work settings, but others consider it an appealing way to foster relationships with employees. In this context, business owners should acquaint themselves with international business etiquette to understand how to transact politely and avoid the loss of customers.
Another strategy that can be used to navigate the culture shock problem is raising awareness about the variations in cultural practices. Due to globalization, organizations are likely to interact with international customers such as tourists and diplomats. Thus, employers should educate employees on how to connect with international customers properly. They should be equipped with diverse skill sets that boost engagement and productivity. Small business owners must embrace open-mindedness and initiate discussions on how cultural differences can influence business practices because they influence growth.
Wars create unprecedented problems for growing entities because they create several uncertainties. For example, the war in Ukraine has caused tremendous disruptions to trade, especially in the food and fuel sector. The war in Ukraine alone has caused a reduction in world trade by one percent. The most affected businesses are those that are energy intensive. Fortunately, responsible companies can convert conflict risks into unmerged opportunities. The initial step to reaping immense benefits from war is to engage in corporate social responsibility by promoting peace. Many businesses shy away from engaging in peace-building, thus affecting their acquisition of customers because they are perceived as profit-oriented and less interested in the social welfare of prospective clients. Participation in peace-building initiatives improve the general public outlook of a growing entity, and it will pay back in the long run. It is also advisable for small business owners to avoid engaging in political controversies during wars because it will affect their prospects. Ideological clashes are detrimental and can prevent an organization from expanding to foreign markets. In this context, companies should seize opportunities to shun conflict and promote peace because a peaceful environment enables businesses to thrive.
In conclusion, entrepreneurs encounter unforeseen workday challenges and should know how to mitigate them. Maintaining a committed workforce will help the business overcome these challenges because they understand how to address customer-related challenges and ensure that the company delivers what it promises without delay. In all their work, small business owners should be committed to their course by determining the best ways to deliver value and satisfaction to their customers. Finally, the obstacles may change over time, thus preventing new issues for business owners. In that case, it is recommended to refine the business approaches to ensure they comply with customers’ changing needs and expectations.
Christena Garduno (www.mediaculture.com) is chief executive officer of Media Culture, a multichannel brand response media agency that drives growth for global clients with innovative and performance-driven media campaigns. Christena spent her career building the company from the ground up, leading with forward-thinking vision for the agency. With her dedication to leadership and excellence, she has led the agency through expedited growth, continuing to navigate the rapidly changing industry and pilot the path to unwavering success. She is a member of Forbes Agency Council and the recipient of an Echo Award for her work with Turbo Tax.