Running a successful business involves a lot of troubleshooting, preemptive action, and strategic planning, especially in the fast-paced, technology-driven world we live in today. Many problems can arise in the course of a business day, and as a leader, you might have to come up with innovative solutions under pressure.
Here are five common challenges faced by enterprises and businesses alike, with actionable solutions for each.
1. Supply Chain Breakdown
Most businesses rely on a complex global network of suppliers, transporters, and warehouses to run effectively. Delays on one end of the chain can cause a lot of problems for your business, and you need to take quick action if this happens.
One thing about supply chain breakdowns is that the effect tends to cascade. Late delivery of raw materials from your suppliers means a delayed manufacturing schedule, which means you might not have the goods your customers want when they want them.
A solid way to handle supply chain breakdowns is to have alternative plans. Have secondary suppliers or delivery workers or warehouses that you can divert your operation to if your primary one develops a problem. Also, create a feedback channel that allows you to quickly identify the source of problems in your supply chain. Once you can quickly identify where the problem is, all you have to do is replace it with your alternative.
2. Cyber Attacks and Site Crashes
The company store is down? Instant panic attack. If you run an enterprise that depends heavily on your online presence (which is most businesses nowadays), a cyberattack or site crash is guaranteed to instantly ruin your day. And your week. Possibly even your entire year. Dissatisfied customers and possible litigation might result, and the bottom line of your business takes a big hit.
To deal with this when it happens, you need to first identify the source of the problem, whether it be hackers, a dependency failure, or a bug in your systems. Enlist a security professional if this is necessary. Then fix it.
Most importantly, after recovering from such an incident, it is vital that you take protective measures against future attacks by beefing up your digital security. Consider partnering with a professional cybersecurity company such as Sectigo. It provides proven technologies including SSL certificate management, a PKI infrastructure management platform, and state-of-the-art digital security tools for businesses of all sizes.
3. Legal Battles
Every business that interacts with customers and employees in any meaningful way might one day have to deal with a lawsuit. Preemptive measures are paramount in this case, but there are a few things you can do that might improve your chances of coming out on top in any such case.
First, your company’s finances will come under scrutiny in any legal battle. So it is important that your books are in order. The best way to do this is to retain an accountant or an accounting firm and make sure all your finances are handled by one person or firm. If you have to do your accounting by yourself, then make sure you use software like Quickbooks or Zoho to make your books more accurate.
It is also a good idea to have a company-wide protocol that you and your employees follow when confronted with a delicate situation like a lawsuit. The last thing you want is for your employees to divulge critical information or reiterate a particular company line that might jeopardize your chances. Also, make sure you seek legal counsel before responding to any lawsuit.
4. Employee Management
Staffing and human resource management is an enormous challenge for a business of any size, and a mistake can have costly and long-lasting repercussions. However, many standard practices have been developed to mitigate these risks.
Proper candidate screening and interviewing is a must, as this helps weed out potential bad hires. Interviewers should be sourced from across the company, as this might help highlight broader traits in a good candidate that you might not have noticed. Even better, you can use recruitment software like Workable or BambooHR to create a recruitment funnel that self-eliminates candidates as they advance through an online screening process. This ensures only the best candidates actually get in front of you.
5. Public Relations Crises
This is among the most difficult problems to manage in today’s corporate world. PR crises can come in so many forms: management crises, production issues, company image issues, stock crashes, etc. With social media, there’s nowhere for you to hide when it happens.
When it does happen, the best thing to do is to get out in front of it. Don’t let social media control the narrative. Rather, address the issue promptly and publicly. Designate one of your employees as the company spokesperson for all PR issues and make sure they are putting out a consistent message when addressing any such issues. Transparency is usually the best strategy in a PR crisis.
Getting Ahead of Business Challenges
Can you run a business without running into problems? No. Can you take preemptive action to mitigate the fallout from common challenges as a business owner? Definitely. There are so many ways your business can fall apart in the course of a single business day. However, there are just as many ways to handle these problems. The most important thing is to take action as soon as a problem occurs. Get ahead of it and you might just get ahead of the competition because if you are facing it, they are facing it too.