What are the biggest challenges facing businesses today?
Six experts in their field impart their opinion and knowledge
The need to react swiftly to change is even more vital for success today than it was say, 10 years ago. There is so much competition between bricks and mortar retailing and e-Commerce, making it more challenging to continue to have a unique product and selling point. Your Online Store is becoming the Flagship store of your business and is the first thing many customers see these days. Hand-in-hand with e-Commerce is Social Media. This ever changing environment continues to be the number 1 challenge of our business. The entire arena changes overnight and it can change your business overnight too. We love it! We are constantly trying to align ourselves with partners who complement our brand and philosophy.
I believe that all challenges are opportunities and should be embraced. We are always excited to see what a new idea or direction brings. I love being in business and the wonderful challenges it brings.
JGI INSURANCE BROKERS
As an owner of two businesses, I feel the biggest challenges sometimes come from within. Trying to find the elusive work-life balance people talk about. Business owners usually work in excess of 60-80hrs per week and sacrifice almost everything they have to make it successful. Just recently I had my first holiday in over 4 years!
I also feel that social media trends and market changes would have to be one of our biggest challenges as a business. Trying to keep on top of our competition is now a full-time job.
Let’s not forget client expectations which have increased incredibly over the years and in many cases clients want their needs attended to immediately. I feel this stems from smartphones and fast-paced internet speeds which offer services almost instantly. To keep up with market demands, we had to implement same day service to ensure our client’s expectations were being met.
ADVANCED WELLNESS CLINIC
Getting noticed. Being seen in your industry, and standing out to your target audience through the right marketing, being understood for what you have to offer, while displaying the benefits for your audience in an ever expanding and evolving marketplace. Educating your target audience through varying forms of media that have the capacity to express what you do, while representing accurately how you can benefit them, in a succinct manner, can certainly be a balancing act. Choosing the right forums can be quite unique for your type of business. Accurately testing and measuring your chosen forums and their responses to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Testing and measuring your marketing material can be one of the most fundamental components of any small business looking to expand and grow successfully.
LUXE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
Staying up-to-date and in front of market trends is one of our biggest business challenges. If you do what you did yesterday, you won’t continue to attract customers.
The market is forever evolving and if you don’t stay ahead of it, then you’re no longer relevant to vendors, investors, buyers or your peers. Personally, the prime example of that is in real estate marketing; as online options increase and override the success and penetration of print, we need to utilise that space and make it as effective as possible.
Identifying your target audience is one thing but how to reach them, catching their attention and finally motivating them to act requires strategies and a level of understanding that continues to change.
THINK INVESTMENT REALTY
Getting the right people in your business who have the same focus and passion for the business that you do as the owner is one of the biggest challenges a business can face today. The first and most important part of looking after your business is to look after your staff. Having the right ethos as an employer includes ensuring your staff are happy. Happy staff equate to happy clients, as when they are happy and fulfilled at work your staff can concentrate on looking after your clients to the best of their ability.
It is also vital to ensure your staff have access to the right support and training to be able to deliver their best.
Another challenge is to take the time to ensure you have a clear direction of where you want your business to go, and to review your goals regularly. Keep a close eye on the fundamentals; review your costs and profits; and test and measure your marketing – it’s vital.
THINK BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Business Development Manager
The perennial challenge of employee engagement has only been made harder as Generation Y (people aged between 22 and 39 years) have become more dominant in our workforce. Why? Often put down for being programmed for instant gratification they have also been described as difficult and unrealistic in their career ambitions. Whether this is true or not, there is no doubt they have been responsible for changing people management practices in the workplace.
So how do we take advantage of this? Change the way you manage. One way to manage all doesn’t work anymore. It has to be one-to-one management. You must learn to how to relate individually to your people, creating rapport, building trust and identifying their goals and passion. Then when you can align these with your business goals, that’s when the magic happens and you can unlock all of their energy for your business.