The Top Barriers to Business Growth in 2020 and How to Overcome Them
For many businesses, growth is the major factor that they look toward when they think about the future and their success as a company. However, there are many barriers that can affect your ability to grow as a company and to excel for many years to come. To make sure that you are able to transition from a small to a mid-sized or large business before long, here are some of the best ways that you can overcome the common challenges that can prevent companies from achieving the business growth that they deserve.
1. The Skills Gap and Talent Retention
The skills gap is one of the major issues that is affecting all industries in 2020, with many companies struggling to find individuals with the skills that they need to employ within their company. Not only can this lead to businesses being understaffed and unable to function, but it can also lead them to produce products and services to a much lower standard. What’s more, the skills gap can also create major issues by preventing businesses from being able to employ the skills that they need in order to grow their business and offer a range of new services.
To make matters worse, once employers do find the appropriate team, they can find it difficult to keep them due to the vast range of progression opportunities on the job market. If you are struggling to combat the skills gap, click here to find out more about Global Health Education’s services. Their services can allow you to offer improved educational opportunities to your team. This can both increase their skills and give them the progression that they are looking for.
2. Digital Transformation
However, not many businesses will be able to grow and survive in the modern world anymore without starting a digital transformation scheme. Digital transformation is integral to your business’s future as it can improve its efficiency, allow you to stay interconnected with your industry, and can help you to communicate with both customers and your supply chain. Not only can it allow you to complete tasks quickly and to a much higher standard, leaving room for you to grow, but it can also help you to understand your customers and how you can improve your services to give them what they need. What’s more, being able to open an online store can allow you to generate more sales from across the globe, and can even allow you to offer online products that can appeal to customers.
3. Keeping Up With The Latest Technology
Even though you may have finished your business’s digital transformation, the hard work does not stop there. One of the major problems with technology in business is that it is always changing. In fact, as soon as you install a gadget or software application, it is likely that a newer and more improved model will have arrived. To make sure that your business can grow, you need to keep up with the latest technology and improve the tech in your business as much as possible. This will allow you to keep up with the competition and to fulfill tasks to a higher standard. It will also ensure that you can complete new tasks and offer new services that can meet customer demand.
In order to keep up with the latest tech, you need to conduct regular research, which you can do by following digital business and tech journals.
4. Following the Latest Trends
When you are concentrating on the success of your individual business and its growth, it can be difficult to look outside of your company to see what is going on in the wider world. However, following the latest trends is paramount to be able to stay relevant and to bring your company into more customer’s purchasing spheres, especially if you own a retail business.
In order to do this, you should stay active on social media and watch the products that seem to be getting the most attention, especially if they are being shared by influencers. You should also consider visiting industry trade shows on a regular basis to see what is most popular and what other brands are offering. You may also be able to discover the latest trends simply by chatting with your employees, particularly young people or those that have worked in a different business before coming to your company.
5. Poor Funding and Cash Flow
Cash flow can be the biggest nightmare for businesses, particularly in the first years when you might be deciding to reinvest more money into your business, and when you might be working to pay off start-up loans and other fixed expenditure. However, if you are not able to get the funding you need, this can seriously hinder your ability to expand, whether you want to put money into new product materials, or you want to rent or build more retail space.
In order to boost your cash flow, you should consider hosting a limited-time sale and trying to make your customers worth more in value through bundles and add-on products. If you are still struggling for cash flow, you could try to get the right amount of funding through government grants and small business awards and schemes, as well as through angel investors or partnerships with other companies.
6. The Wider Economic Situation
Not every barrier to your company is within your control, however. For instance, the wider economic situation in 2020 is not ideal for start-ups and business growth, especially since the coronavirus pandemic is keeping many people indoors or leaving them reluctant to make costly purchases.
However, with every economic downturn also comes a host of new opportunities for start-ups and small businesses, and you need to learn how you can utilize these. For instance, in order to overcome the situation, you should consider adapting your products to meet current demand, for instance, by offering digital services. You should also make sure that you plan ahead for every eventuality, that you cut your costs, and that you are able to show your customers that your business is a worthy investment despite the current global situation.
7. Getting the Right Advice
Although you might believe that you have to make your business grow alone, this is not the case. In fact, it may even be the wisest decision available to you to get advice from a professional, especially if you are growing your first business or you are establishing yourself in a new industry. Getting the right advice can improve your decision making, help you to see gaps in your business plan, and can even open your business to new growth opportunities. However, getting the right advice can be extremely difficult, especially if you are looking for low-cost or free guidance. Although there is a large range of business consultancy services out there to help you, for a more personal approach, you should opt to get advice from a networking group or a mentor. Finding a mentor can be difficult. However, by attending industry events and digital forums, you will be able to connect with professionals who have much more experience in your sector. They may be able to help guide you, using their own experience as a background for their tips and tricks.
8. The Competition
In 2020, more than ever before, there is extensive competition in all industries, and this can stunt your business growth by making you unable to get the customer base that you need. Then, you should make sure that you keep up with your competition. You can do this by conducting extensive market research into their practices and the products that they sell, try to build on the services and experience that they provide, and by reading industry interviews to find out how your competition is operating. However, your research need not be complicated, and can even be as simple as checking their website to see what new products they are selling.
9. Cybersecurity and Customer Protection
If your customers do not trust you, it is unlikely that they will be willing to buy from your company or to promote your business to others. This means that it is integral that you are able to protect your customers at all times. One of the top threats to business security in 2020 is cybercrime, especially since digital transformation has led more companies to operate online stores.
You should make sure that you create sound policies so that you can show your customers your dedication to their safety, and you should also take the right precautions, such as installing a firewall. However, some security breaches, and even accidents such as slip and falls, are outside of your control. If they happen, your ability to grow depends on how you handle the situation. For instance, you should contact all customers affected, make a statement in a public forum, and put your customer’s needs and happiness before your own.
10. Lack of Direction
Your business will not be able to grow without direction, as this can stop the forward motion of your business and leave it to grow stagnant. To promote business growth and ensure that all of your colleagues are working to the same target, you should create business goals and step-by-step plans that will allow you to continue to make progress every day of the business year.