Market changes present many challenges for business owners. As the challenges differ depending on the specific changes the market is facing and many specific factors regarding individual businesses, leaders need to be aware of the changes taking place and understand how to deal with them.
From talent acquisition to production issues and everything in-between, today’s leaders face a host of challenges. Below, 13 members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss the challenges that leaders are facing right now and offer their recommendations for overcoming those obstacles.
1. Talent acquisition and retention.
The biggest challenge right now is talent acquisition and retention. On the acquisition side, always be recruiting. Many companies are only looking for people when there is a need. You should always be looking for great people. Even if there is not a pressing need, you can always upgrade. On the retention side, one simple rule is to put your people first, especially the really really good ones! – David Barbeito, De La Hoz Perez & Barbeito PLLC
2. Service model changes and updates.
As the market changes, businesses need to keep an open mind. For instance, restaurants that were not able to adapt to the takeout model of dining experienced rough times during the pandemic. On the other hand, businesses that recognized the need to update their service model experienced tremendous growth in their business. Being open to change is a key mindset in adapting to market environments. – Tony Sablan, Ultimate Wealth Strategies, LLC
Burnout from change is an issue. People pushed past a certain point will burn out and leave the company. If managers aren’t cognizant of this, this pattern is likely to repeat with new sets of employees. Like a good coach, a leader needs to know how to set the pace for a team. That slower pace can allow people time to rest and come back to the challenges of work refreshed and more creative. – Mark Hohmann, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Inc.
4. Business management flexibility.
Be prepared for constant changes. In this current environment, things continue to change at rapid rates more and more, so flexibility is key in business management as well as quickly being able to pivot no matter what the macro environment throws at you. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
5. Supply chain account prioritization.
An obvious challenge is the supply chain. No products or materials mean it is hard to generate revenue. Rather than first in/first out, I encourage companies to prioritize their accounts. Take care of A-clients and be very transparent with them to protect longer-term revenue. Put facts on the table and then work together to come up with creative solutions. This will build even stronger relationships. – Gary Braun, Pivotal Advisors, LLC
6. Rising payroll and compensation costs.
Employee payroll costs are on the rise. Stay ahead of the curve by actively discussing compensation with your employees. Money is not the only answer. For many employees, there are other incentives that they would prefer. Examples include more flexible working hours, better benefits and new opportunities for growth. Work on an individual basis with your team members to understand their needs. – Jared Knisley, Fizen Technology
7. Increase in product/service demand.
A challenge many leaders face is how to best handle growth and increasing demand for services or products. A specific aspect of that is staffing; not only in finding qualified people willing to work, but also in a changing wage environment, which not only affects new hires but the pay of existing employees. To meet this challenge, companies should review pay structure, PTO and job perks. – Joe Reilly, National Drug Screening, Inc.
8. Employee expectation changes
The great resignation is no joke. Employees are expecting more from their employers; more equitable compensation, more flexibility in their day and the ability to decide where they want to work – be it at home, the office or a combination of both. Employers have to meet these expectations to stay competitive. We have to listen, empower people to do their best work and then trust that they will. It’s a cycle: adjust, assess, adjust. – Joelle Nole, Larj Media
9. Consumer behavior shift post-Covid.
One challenge that business leaders face today is navigating the post-Covid-19 environment as well as understanding the shift in consumer behaviors. Listen and stay in touch with the problems the world is facing today in order to meet the demands of a changing marketplace in the future. – Jack Smith, Fortuna Business Management Consulting
10. Customer engagement with value.
One challenge is staying close to your clients as the market changes. Seek to understand the impact of these changes on your customers. Determine the way your customers prefer to communicate and the cadence they prefer to stay engaged. When you do engage, bring something of value to them so that they appreciate the engagement with you rather than being frustrated by it and considering it an intrusion. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates
11. Inflation mitigation and containing costs.
While inflation has had a nominal effect thus far, it could become a much bigger challenge for many businesses. There are a host of strategies to mitigate inflation, but containing costs and increasing prices are the most common solutions. – Kent Lewis, Anvil Media, Inc.
12. Team focus on purpose, vision and goals.
Keeping the team inspired. Your employees are constantly asking what the “why” is and what the vision is. As a leader, it’s your job to keep your team focused on that vision and help them understand how they fit into that vision through accomplishing their goals. It goes with the territory to keep your team focused on that purpose and to encourage them as you accomplish your goals together. – Scott Scully, Abstrakt Marketing Group
13. Presence and collaboration needs.
The biggest challenges are reconciling the growing need for presence with the preferences of employees about where and when they are in the office. The need for more presence and collaboration is growing. Finding equilibrium to drive presence and satisfaction in order to foster a great workplace for retention is essential. – Peter Prodromou, Boston Digital