Keeping Your Business Afloat

We can start up a business in no time, there is so much help, and we have easy access to all types of business information online and offline. While business expertise was once an expensive and time consuming exercise, now you can find many experts online for many questions that you might encounter, for example, an online store start up, there is plenty of marketing material available at a very reasonable cost.

However staying in business is much more complicated. You will have a broader level of competition, you will find different businesses competing for each product you sell, then you will have businesses that will spend all their time focusing on a single product and aim to be the very best at marketing the brand and take a good share of the market for that product. This way of doing business is increasing and will make it more difficult for business of all sizes to retain customers, who can change their suppliers at the click of a mouse.

These Three Areas; Perception, Focus and Marketing
Businesses who master these elements and provide a great customer experience will win the sale.
Customer Loyalty; your customers have a comprehensive selection of companies who are your competition.
The challenge is to market to potential customers effectively and retain your existing customers.
Social media, mobile phones, texting, email twitter are making it easy for businesses to get their message out. Getting to know the right marketing channels is the key for businesses to be successful in the future. Find out where your new customers are, how do you best reach them, and what is the right messaging?

Once you get a new customer how do you keep them when they are constantly barraged by competitors of all types, trying to convince them that they can do it better, or provide it cheaper. Good research and identifying what your customers want and doing a better job of giving it to them, will make a difference for your companies future.

We are still in a negative spending climate, adding to a shrinking customer base. Consumers are still careful on what they spend their money on. The concern is the growth from current and new customers is not growing as quick as businesses would like. Business owners are spending more time figuring out how to keep existing customers by coming up with new ideas to engage with their customers, also doing a cost effective research on reaching new customers.

Economic Struggles
This affects all of us, business leaders find great discomfort in uncertainty. Because of Global debt, businesses tend to put long term planning to the back seat, and go for short term goals, but businesses still need to strategically plan for five to ten years ahead, a balance between been reactive and putting long term goals in place keeps business on the right track. Short terms goals, without seeing the big picture could confuse a business plan and lead to uneasiness in the business this may lead to not getting things done, long term planning is important because it will help maintain the value of the business. All this uncertainty leaves everyone feeling a bit on edge, this may cause business owners to go for the safe approach and stay where they are for a period of time, this could end up with the customers stopping their spending with the business. You need to shut out all the negative news and get back to planning for the future. These are the biggest challenges to business today + all the financial reform and regulation.

Up To Our Neck’s in Regulation
It has always been a concern for certain industries. The uncertain energy, environment and financial policy is wreaking havoc for nearly all companies today, there is a big demand for companies to become more green, and the increased costs of the new carbon taxes. The issues we have is to understand the meaning of regulation in your industry, its implications for your business, you will need to develop the skills necessary to deal with it, two key areas of regulatory challenges are taxes, green environment, right now businesses have uncertainty on these issues, making it difficult to make intelligent decisions.

Risk Management/ Problem Solving
A major challenge for all companies is identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, including human and financial capital in addition to the macro economy. The lack of sophisticated problem solving competency among today’s business leaders is limiting their ability to adequately deal with risks facing their business, this is why corporate managers tend to jump from one fire to another, depending on which one their executives are trying to put out, and in many cases the fast-changing business environment is what ignites these fires.
So what is problem to be solved? For companies to do well in the future is to develop a robust problem solving capability at all levels. As companies proceed to identify risks they will have the problem solving skills to know best how to mitigate them.

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Article written by Paul Mc Cann Founder and President of CDG Brand.