When most people who have never owned a business think about owning one, they often picture business owners giving instructions and making decisions. However, that is usually not the case as business owners and leaders have to deal with challenges and obstacles that need to be tackled in their businesses. This is especially true when you consider just how much businesses have changed in the past two decades or so and how much business owners and leaders have had to adapt to these changes. Below, we will look at some of the challenges and obstacles presented by these changes as well as ways in which business owners can tackle them.
An Unpredictable Future
While businesses have always had to grapple with an unpredictable future, it is becoming more of a challenge seeing how many things are happening and how fast the world is changing. Apart from the usual business activities, businesses now have to think about predicting customer trends and market trends as well as a global supply chain and workforce that could become a source of very complex problems.
The two main ways of dealing with an unpredictable future are leveraging technology and hiring the right consultants. We now have technology that allows us to collect historical and present data so we can predict the future with some degree of certainty. The right consultant should be able to read important trends and make accurate predictions based on them. Many of these consultants leverage the power of today’s technology and are usually the difference between a bright future and a terrible one for many businesses.
Businesses have always collected some data on their customers, the market, and other areas. However, as businesses have found more ways to use the data they collect, they have gone on to increase the amount of data they collect so they can have as much data as they need. Dealing with terabytes and petabytes of data is something every business must deal with in today’s business world lest they be left behind.
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Keeping this data safe and extracting the insights businesses need from it is also a challenge due to the sheer amount of data collected. The ever-increasing amounts of data businesses collect should be handed off to professionals who will clean the data, sort it out, organize it and analyze it so it makes sense for those who need the insights extracted from this data.
Businesses can also save a lot of time and money by auditing their data collection strategies to ensure they collect only the most relevant data. The result is collecting a lot less data that will be a lot more useful for the business.
Technology changes so fast that businesses have to keep up so they do not get left behind. However, keeping up with these technological changes has become challenging for business leaders and the enterprise they own or control. Enterprises that fail to innovate will see their competition grab market share. To avoid being driven out of business, every company must have a strong technological integration strategy. The good news is that there are so many tools to help businesses keep up with the latest technologies.
The main challenge when it comes to these integrations is that many CEOs and business leaders started their careers before these technologies had even been conceived. While consultants can be very useful in helping with technological integrations, business leaders can also prepare and stay ahead of these changes by completing a business degree which arms them with the skills and knowledge that will help them use technology to address today’s business challenge. Completing the Doctorate of Business Administration with a focus on business intelligence at Marymount University puts business leaders in a great position to prepare for today’s changing business and economic world that is driven by technology. It also arms them with the skills to use technology as part of their data-driven business decision strategies.
Communication Barriers and Breakdowns
Despite having the technology to ensure proper and productive communication, many businesses still struggle in this area. The main reason is a lack of coordination between all parties involved as well as extended chains of common. Another reason for the breakdown is when upper management gives instructions to employees without considering their input. This lack of collaboration then becomes an issue.
Overcoming these communication barriers and challenges starts with opening up the lines of communication and ensuring communication passes through as few channels as possible. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, once said that the greatest barrier to productivity at Tesla was long chains of command. Instead of doing it the traditional way, he urged Tesla employees to pass communication to whoever needs it as fast as possible utilizing as few communication channels as possible.
It may not be obvious why customer service would be a challenge for modern businesses, but it mostly stems from customer expectations. We live in a world where most people expect instant gratification, which means customers expect fast replies when they get in touch with businesses. If they do not get the level of service they expect, they can use the power of social media and the wider internet to cause problems for these businesses.
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Finding better ways that customers can reach businesses as well as hiring more customer service agents are just two of the proposed solutions for this challenge. For businesses that do not have the resources to handle this challenge, a combination of a chatbot using artificial intelligence and a well-documented frequently-asked questions page can work as well. Using the latter solution, customers can find the answers they need through the chatbot and only have to be routed to human agents if they cannot find the answers they need. The result is customers finding the answers they need quickly, having a human step in if customers cannot get the answers they need, and businesses not having to incur the cost of hiring additional agents.
Today’s business environment is very challenging due to a combination of technological advancements, customer expectations, and competitor pressures. Businesses have to deal with each of the challenges they encounter using novel solutions as no challenge presents the same for two different businesses.