Challenges are opportunities hiding in plain sight.
Many businesses perceive their challenges as very real threats to their long-term health, but they are just opportunities to transform the company into something better. Today’s uncertainty brings leaders new challenges they may not have had to manage before. The absence of a stable future can wreak havoc in any leader’s planning!
If you have been running a business for some time, you know that there are specific challenges that can impair or derail even the most crucial activity. There are three that leaders find most challenging to navigate, particularly for small to mid-size businesses:
- Economic uncertainty
- Attracting new customers
- Retaining current customers
The key to transforming a challenge into an opportunity is to turn it on its head by using its leverage.
The Economic Uncertainty Challenge: “I can’t believe how much the economy has changed things, and negatively affected our business finances!” First, recognize that some economic problems are beyond your control. You can’t hold yourself responsible for the world’s financial difficulties! Opportunity: Identify specific programs and projects that you can invest in to build confidence that produces sales.
The Attracting New Customers Challenge: “I’m worried I’m not going to attract new customers.” Businesses often experience a back-door problem because they have not put in place a way to respond to new customers, so they tend not to engage. Opportunity: Realize that first, second, and third touches with new customers drive successful relationships. If you take the time to develop strong relationships, customers will want to continue their engagement with your business and ultimately will remain loyal to your business.
The Retaining Existing Customers Challenge: “I’m worried that we are or will begin losing customers because of reasons we can’t control.” There is a disquieting fact that the longer someone has been a customer of a business, the higher the likelihood they are apt to find an alternative. We have seen this data validated while surveying our clients’ business customers. Opportunity: Ensure that all of your customers receive your very best service all of the time. Even the most faithful customers need to be acknowledged and served well throughout the year. Never take a customer for granted!
Whatever challenge your business is experiencing during difficult times, shifting your focus toward finding new opportunities will help move your business from a position of weakness to one of strength and action.