6 Challenges the B2B Sector Will Face

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What a ride the last 12-months has been, especially for anyone working in the B2B sector of business!

 

It seems like all of the changes that have been discussed for the last 5 or 6 years have suddenly been accelerated and implemented in the last six months. This is both an exciting time and a scary time for business owners because they need to be more flexible and adaptable than ever before.

Business is Challenging

Being flexible and adaptable in business is not always a bad thing. In fact, for most business owners, this is the part of the role that they cherish and enjoy; the reason they got into owning a business in the first place

However, the challenges come when business owners do not have the foresight to see what is coming in the distance. While there are very few people that can claim to be psychic, having your finger on the pulse in your own industry and in the wider business context is an essential skill for business owners that want to help their business survive and thrive in the coming years with all of the changes we are expecting.

With that being said, here are six things that are likely to challenge B2B business owners in the near future.

Finding Employees with Diverse Skills

The future of business depends on employees who have a wide and diverse set of skills and experience, and the problem therein is finding somebody to hire who has both experienced and skill as these are usually mutually exclusive.

Many old hiring managers will prefer to hire new candidates who have a wealth of experience and tenure rather than specific skills. Still, in today’s world of rapidly changing technology and rapidly changing attitudes, a focus on skills and skills development will be more useful for businesses in the future.

Sadly, many businesses won’t survive longer than 5-years, which means hiring somebody who has 15 years’ experience in your industry could mean that they do not know the latest techniques and methods. That could prove useful and effective for your business which will inevitably cost you money in the long run.

The good news is that more employees are looking to take further education courses, such as a degree course or an online diploma course, to boost up their skills and make them more employable across a wider range of sectors. Hiring people with different skill sets, especially in business, is a clever move for forward-thinking businesses.

This is why an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) is a great degree for people to take. Hiring managers can see from the course structure that this is a diverse program full of topics that are relevant for today’s business world. If you’re considering doing an MBA for yourself, or if you’re undecided as to whether it’s right for you, click here for more information.

Building Relationships with Remote Partners

2020 and 2021 will go down in history as the years that remote work took off worldwide.

As the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the world, businesses have needed to adapt very quickly to new ways of working, and that usually means any employee who can do their job from home has been asked to work from home to minimize the risk of transmission of this deadly disease.

One of the lasting knock-on effects that have happened due to this is that some businesses have found it difficult to maintain their remote relationships with partners, leading to a dip in sales and also in interpersonal trust.

Building relationships with partners can sometimes be difficult to do when you are unable to meet them in person. Still, through clever use of video technology and video conferencing, companies who are focused on the future have invested in their relationships and found new ways to communicate with their partners to ensure that the relationships are fostered and continued to flourish -even in difficult times.

Security Issues and Privacy Issues of Remote Teams

As the world moves away from specific workplaces and the traditional 9-5, one of the main issues that all companies are going to face -whether they work in the B2B sector or the B2C sector- is the question of security, especially when it comes to remote teamwork.

Pre-pandemic, companies would spend millions of pounds on IT teams and IT technology to combat the risk of a breach of data security or spread viruses and malware within their network. With more of their teams working remotely, however, this has become much more difficult to do, especially when some team members are asked to use their own personal devices due to the lack of portable IT technology.

For businesses in the B2B sector, this provides a useful opportunity to expand their business and reach out to new customers who may never have needed their services before. Providing a house call quickly to employees who need it assistants could be one of the newest and most useful roles to come out of this pandemic.

Managing Job Performance of Remote Teams

 

Many of the challenges that businesses are going to face in the future have to do with remote teams’ prevalence.

Over the last five years, being a remote team worker, a flexible worker, or working from home has been something that more and more candidates are requesting; and something that more and more employees are requesting their managers.

As the question of work-life balance and working mental health has become ever more prevalent, more employees desire to work from home where they can have only grown. During this epidemic, where employees have been asked to work from home that may never have considered working from home before, there has been a big shift in the attitudes of nearly everyone who has had to manage the work-from-home atmosphere.

Remote working requires a great deal of trust from the employer to the employee and a good deal of autonomy from the employee to the employer.

This can be difficult to manage if you are used to seeing your team all day every day, and if you are not very good at using the technology that is there to assist you in building these relationships, your working life is likely to get more and more difficult.

If you are serious about helping your business to survive, it is worth investing the time, effort, and money it will take to understand assistive technologies. When it comes to team building and teamwork, video conferencing and instant messaging software will be big business in the coming years.

Selecting the Right Digital Tools for Your Business

Speaking of the right technologies, now more than ever, it is time to invest in technology for your business and your employees.

Technology doesn’t just end at giving your employee a laptop and a work mobile phone; technology also covers having the right software and equipment.

As equipment and computing become more specialized, it is vital to make sure that every member of your team has the right equipment to do their job and the right IT technology to do their job.

For example, there is no point in your marketing team giving your video editor the same laptop that your business administration support operatives use because the two jobs have hugely different requirements. 

Your video editor will need a laptop with an incredibly capable graphics card and a fast processor, whereas your finance and business administration employees are more likely to be using office packages like Microsoft Word and Excel; they won’t necessarily need the graphics processing power of a more specialized role.

There are more companies on the software side these days offering specialist software for specific business areas than ever before. Automation and artificial intelligence, AI, will be big businesses in the coming years, and a business has the opportunity to invest in specific software that does specific roles very well, which can help their business.

The caveat here is that it’s all too easy for businesses to sign up for multiple subscription service software and eventually end up spending a lot of money a month to do a few automated tasks; it may be cheaper to hire a real human being to do the tasks.

Breaking Down Complex Ideas to Be Understandable and Marketable    

As the world and technology gets more and more complicated, the need to break down complicated ideas into more understandable and market of ideas will become ever more prevalent

It takes a special kind of person to be able to look at a very complex idea and break it down into its smaller, more simplistic tasks.

This is a skill that has been noted in people who have dyslexia, the ability to take big level ideas and communicate them in a way that is simple, effective, and to the point,

As the requirements for complex businesses move on, it may be the case that hiring people with a different outlook on life, or people whose brains work differently, could be very cost-effective for businesses as long as they are willing to support those people to be the best that they can be.

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Adam Tanton

Adam is a partner in B2BNN with over 15 years experience in the enterprise technology field.