Many new and established entrepreneurs expect various issues to arise throughout their company’s lifespan, such as recruiting the wrong member of staff, acquiring new customers, or competing with large industry rivals.
Yet, they may one day face obstacles they might never have considered before. Here are six unexpected challenges for business owners and the best solutions.
1. Eminent Domain
If you have never heard of eminent domain, it is the federal government’s ability to acquire your company’s private property for public usage. For instance, the land might be wanted to make way for a highway, a school, or a park, to name a few purposes.
If your business receives an eminent domain notice, you don’t need to accept it. Instead, you can contact an eminent domain lawyer for representation, as they can fight to protect your rights and help you receive more compensation than the original offer. Any business owner who has received an eminent domain notice would be wise to reach out to a qualified, experienced law firm to understand their rights and secure their finances.
2. International Marketing Issues
After enjoying success in their home country, a business owner might not expect to face marketing difficulties when expanding to other nations. Yet, different countries will have different advertising tastes, cultural references, and branding expectations.
Before launching a campaign overseas, take the time to learn about your desired market. For instance, you must learn about the following:
- Cultural faux pas
- Your target markets’ wants and needs
- Political conditions
- Economic stability
- Average price points
- Popular trends
Research past unsuccessful campaigns in the country to identify what doesn’t work for its audiences. Also, seek insights from locals to identify potential marketing problems and gain a deeper understanding of your target demographic.
3. Retaining Loyal Customers
Most budding entrepreneurs are eager to secure as many new customers as possible to grow their businesses. Yet, they might never consider that the real challenge will be customer retention, which is one of the best ways to secure your company’s profitability and growth.
As you may know, retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones, but it is one of the biggest challenges you may face as an entrepreneur. You might believe a quality product and a dependable service are enough to secure customer loyalty, but they aren’t.
After all, you’ll need to compete with many industry rivals for products, pricing, and perks. If you want your business to secure a customer’s loyalty, you’ll need to develop the best possible customer service experience by:
- Shipping orders on schedule
- Responding to customers’ questions within 24 hours or less
- Launching a rewarding loyalty program
- Sending exclusive deals and discounts to email subscribers
- Acting on customer feedback
4. Fraudulent Activity
Fraud is an issue you might never expect to encounter as a business owner, but it can happen in many ways. For instance, your company might fall victim to fraud when a client fails to pay for your services. Alternatively, an employee may misuse or steal company assets for their gain, which is known as asset misappropriation.
Other types of fraud your business may encounter include:
- Account fraud
- Inventory theft
- Cash theft
- Payroll fraud
- Credit card scams
Protect your business from fraud by educating every employee on ethics and signs of fraud, performing surprise audits across departments, monitoring the company’s finances, and ensuring one person doesn’t have access to financial information.
5. A Health or Financial Crisis
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught business owners one thing, it’s to prepare for the unexpected. Most entrepreneurs never expected a global virus to shut down their operations, but it became a sad reality for millions of businesses across the world.
A health or financial crisis can strike at any moment, and your company must prepare for the worst. In addition to investing in insurance, your brand may need to pivot its operations to ensure its survival.
For example, many fashion retailers added face masks to their collections to increase sales and ensure their company’s survival during the pandemic. Think about the potential crises that may occur and identify an appropriate solution for each issue.
6. Developing a Positive Company Culture
When starting your business, you might not have given the company culture a second thought. Your priority was likely to hire qualified, hardworking, and dependable employees to run your operations.
As you may have had control of the hiring process at the start of the company, you may have naturally picked personalities you wanted to have on staff. Yet, as a business grows and you delegate recruiting to a hiring manager, the workplace dynamics and personalities may change, which could affect productivity, morale, and profitability.
Avoid losing loyal, talented, and hardworking employees by establishing a vision for the company culture. It is vital staff members have a similar work ethic and passion for the industry, which will prevent conflict, boost productivity, and increase the company’s revenue.
Also, you may need to create a more positive working environment for your employees, such as expressing appreciation, rewarding success, providing professional opportunities, and protecting their well-being. If you fail to do so, you shouldn’t be too shocked when an employee resigns from their role and secures a position with an industry rival.