So many issues that create chaos in a business aren’t identified correctly. Often, they are placed in the same group, which results in solving only one aspect of all the existing problems while ignoring the others. Here is a scenario:

You find that your profits are eroding, margins are deteriorating, and customers are moving away. What do you do? A. Calmly assess the situation recognizing that you need a flexible planning model, a 12-month profit plan and a better understanding of your cost of goods. B. You panic, lower your prices, which further erodes your profitability and start assuming you have the wrong people in place.

Many businesses fall for type B behavior, because it’s not easy to take the time to articulate what is occurring when you are bombarded by different issues every day. Through the 27 Business Challenges blog series I will get to the root cause of top issues that can help business owners focus on the right things at the right time.

The list below represents 27 Challenges based on research done with over 650 successful entrepreneurial companies across 35 industries.

  1. Profits are inadequate to grow the business.
  2. An improved profit design.
  3. Customers are migrating away from your products/services.
  4. Continual cash flow.
  5. Limited capital available to grow.
  6. Employee turnover.
  7. Hiring quality staff.
  8. Staff morale and voltage challenges.
  9. The need for a flexible planning model.
  10. The need to have better staff buy-in.
  11. Project management & resource coordination challenges.
  12. Leadership & staff communication gap.
  13. New staff orientation.
  14. Staff training.
  15. Unclear values throughout the organization.
  16. Dealing with the cost of lost expertise or knowledge when employees leave.
  17. Chaotic periods destabilize company.
  18. Organization needs to understand how the company will grow in the future, not just the leadership.
  19. Impact that staff satisfaction has on the company’s profitability.
  20. Company culture is generally resistant to change.
  21. The marketplace and your customers change too quickly.
  22. Difficulty forecasting problem areas before they surface.
  23. Difficulty diagnosing the real problems or obstacles to growth.
  24. Too slow getting new products/services to market.
  25. Not able to quickly get systems and procedures in place as the company is growing.
  26. Weak product/service development and differentiation in market.
  27. Expanding sales.

Successful companies usually focus on five of these challenges at a time. This way leaders can identify existing and potential problems in detail and come up with effective solutions. Taking stock of the challenges every six months for their specific stage of growth proved to be a key factor in companies staying alert to the changing environment around them.

I will be covering different groups of challenges more in-depth in my monthly blog. Follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter to see when it gets published!

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