Facing New Challenges

Business owners fill many roles – as CEO or President – and as visionary, leader, and cheerleader. You make the big decisions, determine market strategies and tactical direction, the WHAT, WHO, HOW and WHERE of your business, and more.

As a business owner, you must do whatever it takes.

In most instances, you recognized a market need and worked day and night and most weekends … to launch your company and see growth in revenue and profitability. There were times of jubilation and moments when you questioned everything. Yet, you persevered and are enjoying more success. Challenges still exist and competition is a constant pressure, but now you are not alone. You have a team.

But you want more. Your original vision has grown as you have also grown as a business owner … with all the hats you still wear. Maybe business growth is flat of late. Maybe you see a new market opportunity. Or, maybe you need to transition the ownership of your business to a daughter or son, someone on the management team, or an outside entity. New challenges to face and overcome. You have big decisions to make.

As you assess your company’s financial and available expertise, and your bandwidth and that of your management team, there might be another maybe – you realize a need for outside experiences and expertise to  navigate the new challenges. So, how do you find the right expertise, the right set of experiences to provide the requisite guidance?

Ask your colleagues for referrals, and as you meet with candidates to discern their fit and competencies, be clear with them as to your present resources and challenges, and be absolutely clear on what you want to achieve. There are always details. Nail them down. Make the call. Trust your instincts and work to support their efforts on you behalf. Success will follow.

Important Questions

Do You Have Too Many Customers? This question was posed to a room of about 80 business owners and senior executives. Not surprising, there wasn’t anyone in the audience that said yes. In fact, there was a low chorus of chuckles and incredulity.

The presenter then asked: Are you making too much money? The collective response was the same, but noticeably even louder, with more laughter. The entire audience was fully engaged. EVERYONE wanted MORE customers and money. Go figure!

This presentation was about customer experience and journey mapping – very important topics for all businesses. Yet, it occurs to me that every business owner and executive charged to grow their business might reflect upon these two questions and arrive at completely different change initiatives to generate MORE customers and MORE money.  It might be improvements in IT infrastructure, operational efficiency, HR hiring practices, marketing communication, and/or a host of other critical business activities.

Our advisory practice helps businesses to improve “customer-facing” employee motivations, capabilities, and habits, and the company processes and business practices that support customer creation and customer retention. We help sales teams to sell more effectively and all employees to deliver customer services that keep more customers. Many business owners have concerns in this area.

While the challenges (we call them GAPS … hence our company name) vary in each company, it is important to frequently evaluate poor financial performance to determine what is causing the shortfalls.

For instance, if the challenge is weak revenue growth, the resolution of that issue may reside in the sales team, or it may reside elsewhere in the business. It may derive from dysfunctional company hiring or onboarding practices, or order processing procedures. Numerous factors can combine to have a negative impact on customer perceptions of the value delivered.

We believe all business owners need to understand the root causes of underperformance, the resources required to resolve those challenges, and how best to prioritize the resolution of those challenges.

The perspectives of independent expertise can help businesses in this discovery process, and implement specific initiatives that can move the entire organization to being significantly less forceful in answering the two questions posed in this post.

One final question: What are you doing about it?