16 Business Challenges: A Guide How to Consultatively and Digitally Solve Them.

From North to South, East to West, no matter where you are globally, it is most likely that as a small, medium, or large business owner, you are facing the same traditional and currently emerging business challenges as those of your counterparts around the globe.

Yes, perhaps what might differ is the industry, size, location, products, and services of your business, but be rest assured, most of the business challenges you are struggling with, are essentially the same as those of most.

But before you react, just what is a business challenge to you?

Well, we believe a business challenge is a matter of perspective and perception of what rightly is just that, a challenge-a test or trial to you and your business’ development-which must be confronted and overcome.

Unfortunately for most new entrepreneurs, a challenge is a fatal problem to their fledgling business. For such ones, a business challenge is seen not as a test, but as a permanent problem to a business’ development, growth and success.

One either to be nursed and left to worsen, rather than be stood up to and strategically tackled-either by the business owner and management, or with help from a business consultant or team of consultants.  

It is most entrepreneurs’ attitudes and failure to strategically stand up to challenging business situations, that leads to the closure of most businesses.

Consequently, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.  

As an aspiring entrepreneur of numerous years myself, I can relate.

My Business Challenges From Age 5

I started my entrepreneurial journey with a bone-picking business at age five, growing up before the era of weed-killing chemicals, my second business was weeding people’s lawns at age 10.

That was then followed by a car washing business at age 12 and eventually an ice lollipop-selling business at age 14.

Five years later, while still in university, I engaged my first two employees to sell luxury goods and electronics in office parks. This last experience introduced me to the trying world of human resource management.

Throughout those early entrepreneurial days, I encountered and experienced what, now as an adult entrepreneur and business development strategist, I have come to perceive and acknowledge were not business problems, but rather, mere business challenges.

That is in so far as challenges demand finding and working towards solutions. While a problem suggests the acceptance of defeat by a difficulty.

For this reason, we strive to seek solutions to common global business challenges companies face in their operations and development.  We do so primarily in the hope that entrepreneurs never be cowed into perceiving and accepting business challenges as permanent business problems.

As such, from a global perspective, this qualitatively researched article identifies and lists a general overview of the main business challenges faced by most companies and entrepreneurs internationally. At this point, it separates them into what it considers traditional and modern-day emerging business challenges, explores, analyzes and discusses them alongside some available consulting and digital solutions.  

Main Business Challenges: An Overview

Below is an overview of business challenges faced by most companies in today’s business environment. There are:

  • Financial Management
  • International Expansion
  • Human Capital Acquisition and Retention
  • Competitive Marketing
  • Sales Fluctuations
  • Technology Innovation and Integration
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Cyberattacks
  • Risk Management
  • Supply Chain Disruptions
  • Changeable Customer Expectations
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Going Online

These main business challenges can be divided into two types- traditional and modern-day emerging ones. All have consultative and digital solutions.

Traditional Business Challenges

While each business sector experiences has its own set of challenges, there are some business challenges that have traditionally affected most business sectors, industries, companies and organizations-no matter their location on the globe.

Below, I briefly explore, analyze and discuss such traditional business challenges alongside some currently available consulting and digital solutions to them. 

Disclosure : This article contains affiliate links. I may earn commissions if you appreciatively purchase digital solutions through them. Thank you.

1. Strategic Leadership

In as much as a business does not start itself, and “a fish rots from the head”, often, a business’ founder and whatever managerial team is in place have traditionally been its biggest challenge.

Although no one expects you as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or founder, nor manager or employee, for that matter, to be an expert at every aspect of business, unfortunately, most businesspeople do.

While this might perhaps be true and unavoidable during the initial stages of your bootstrapped business, it however is not so once rapid changes and growth start taking place.

Continuing to be the be-all and know-all of a business has been and continues to be one of the main challenges of business.

While, as founder, you must initially manage the day-to-day of the business, once your business starts showing strong growth, it is advised that you “transition from operations to strategic leadership”. At such stages, delegation and freeing up time on strategy and growth are paramount and outsourcing comes in handy.

It is for this reason, that we strongly believe that if a business is to side-step or overcome some of the biggest challenges businesses face today, its founder or/and management team need to acknowledge that some of their challenges are best confronted, addressed and solved by qualified consultants.

Consultative and Digital Solutions

From a strategic business perspective, contracting a consultant helps you as CEO/Founder add to the expertise and skills you need to address specific, seemingly insurmountable challenges as well as provide you with the best possible outcomes at a particular time of your business’ journey.

Doing so, is in our view, a true mark of strategic leadership and makes you available to define your business’ roadmap for your business’ growth through,

  • ideation and execution.
  • envisioning trends.
  • seeking and identifying opportunities.
  • breaking processes into actionable items.
  • recognizing valuable skills and team building.
  • delegating tasks and supervising.
  • motivating your team members.
  • Innovating and integrating.

Such effective strategic leadership improves company morale and progressively moves the business forward. Being a strategic leader who can engage in strategic activities such as the ones outlined above is easier when you work with a digital or business consultant.

More so, when said strategic leader combines consultancy with digital productivity solutions like Teemyco and Flowshare.

Teemyco is an online platform that provides you with your own office, virtually. With Teemyco, you can

  • work efficiently and build culture.
  • integrate with your existing office setup.
  • invite external guests to visit you.
  • see who is available
  • and what they are up to in the office.
  • hop into a room and start ad-hoc conversations.

Interesting right, try out and buy Teemyco HERE to set up a virtual headquarters for your business.

Alternatively, if you are more into memorializing your workflows for current and future employees, then check out Flowshare.

FlowShare is a desktop application that works on Windows. It runs in the background and documents every step and action you take in any software, then delivers a branded step-by-step guide you can use to train your staff.

That way, whenever there is documentation to be done: IT projects, or ERP migration – FlowShare makes it easy for your team.

Try out and buy Flowshare HERE or by clicking on any of the Flowshare links above.

Unfortunately, while there are so many resources available to challenged businesspeople than ever before, either due to leadership or financial challenges, some business leaders never seek the help and advice of business consultants, let alone invest in digital productivity solutions such as Teemyco and Flowshare.

2. Financial Management

Since the dawn of business, financial challenges have overwhelmed would-be entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Primarily coming from the absence of start-up capital or, its limited or inconsistent availability, inadequate funding or loans have traditionally been most businesses’ biggest challenge.

To worsen matters, Allianz Trade, a global leader in trade credit insurance and a recognized specialist in the areas of surety, debt collection, fraud insurance, structured trade credit and political risk, reports that ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, “Securing and controlling liquidity has become more challenging in the U.S. business environment”. The same can be said of most global business environments.

Our financial consultants highlight that, if your financial records are in order, or your business plan is bankable, then alternative financing is any entrepreneur’s best asset when cash flow is slow.

However, such alternative sources of finance for your business must be from a reputable lender that is registered on your country’s financial services register.

Unlike your traditional bank loan, alternative financing can take the form of:

  • peer lending
  • angel funding
  • crowdfunding
  • venture capital
  • leasing
  • government grants

On the other hand, when capital is present, financial challenges have taken the mold of financial challenges opening the door to financial management issues for most businesses.

Financial management is the organization, administration, and supervision of finances and financial matters.

For most businesses, some financial management challenges include, but are not limited to:

Most businesspeople are not experts at developing a meaningful set of rounded Key Performance Indicators (KPI). As such, the lack of meaningful KPIs that provide the business with profitable financial insights inevitably contributes to financial mismanagement and misinformed decision-making.

More often than not, the result is excessive debt, late invoice payments, poor corporate reporting and their partners-financial stress and distress.

money, indebted, debt-1248598.jpg

Consultative and Digital Solutions

While small and medium businesses do not require a full-time financial officer, it is always advisable to periodically contract a financial consultant. This can be a bookkeeper, auditor or accountant to assume a financial role as and when needed. 

However, should finances be so stretched engaging a part-time or temporary financial consultant is not an option, then we at Comecinc recommend you try and purchase a digital solution like Joiin, a financial reporting platform.

Joiin simplifies the complex process of group financial consolidation to create great-looking financial, sales, and KPI reports quickly and seamlessly.

Joiin also works with Xero, QuickBooks, Sage & spreadsheets and is built for in-house finance teams and advisors and is trusted by over 32,000 companies worldwide.

Give Joiin a try by clicking HERE or any Joiin link above. We would most appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

3. Regulatory and Compliance Issues

To be in business means a range of compliance tasks and regulations. From start-up to growth, your business requires that you be compliant and remain up to date with several rules and regulations.

In South Africa, it generally starts with the Companies Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and ends with the South African Revenue Service (SARS). While in the U.S., such regulations and compliance as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S. have influence.

Meeting existing rules, regulations, and standards from which you are not exempt can be quite a challenge, and if not followed, costly.

For example, after the adoption of the GDPR in 2016 and the CCPA in 2018,   Amazon was reportedly fined $877M in 2021 and Facebook $275M for not strictly limiting sensitive and personally identifiable information.

Start-ups and financially struggling or poorly managed businesses often must steer through complicated regulations and compliance obligations, which vary by industry and location. Consequently, they miss tax submission deadlines, become tax incompliant and end up adding tax penalties to their fledgling business.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

Though it helps, being an entrepreneur does not necessarily mean you need to know about regulatory and compliance issues.

Put a business tax consultant on retainer to help you and your business navigate the treacherous waters of regulatory compliance.

If going the tax consultant route is beyond your reach, to avoid missing regulatory submission deadlines and incurring penalties, well-known and respected accounting firm Sage advises ensuring “everyone in your workforce is aware of regulatory demands and their day-to-day significance.” After all, your loss is theirs too.

Is it simply about being reminded of submission dates? We remind all our clients of pending submission deadlines or the expiry of regulatory requirements.

From a digital perspective, integrate free reminder software options like Remember the Milk, Any. do, Microsoft to Do, Asana, Notion, Todoist, Google Calendar, and Apple Reminders, to help remind you to stay in compliance with the latest legislation.  

Indeed, thanks also to bots, like Geekbot, you can now automate recurring tasks such as regulatory and compliance issues.

Geekbot runs workflows for daily standups, surveys, custom responses, and posts updates to your Slack or MS Teams channels at a time and pace that suit you. You do not need any developer skills to use Geekbot.

To top it all, Geekbot speaks plain English and will provide you with quick replies, chat history, and surveys to handle your every need.

Click on any Geekbot link in the description to get started. All the best and do keep us updated on how it goes, won’t you?

4. Supply Chain Disruptions

Often linked to financial mismanagement and sometimes even regulatory incompliances, supply chain disruptions are quite a common business challenge to which both start-ups and established businesses are not immune.  

Originating from such events as labor shortages at docks, COVID-related backlogs, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, work stoppages, traffic jams, supplier bankruptcy and customs incompliance seizures, supply chain security continues to be a challenge for product-based businesses. 

Apart from impacting businesses’ production and finances, the knock-on effect has been a rise in energy, grains, computer chips and oil prices.  

In 2022, Accenture projected that supply chain disruptions would potentially upwards of €920 billion loss to European economies in 2023.  

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

While investing in digital supply chain management technology is always wise, it does little to lessen supply chain challenges.

For this reason, both our business consultants and Forbes’ contributor, Bernard Marr advise:

Basically, the payment of invoices on time is one thing as a business owner you can proactively do to ensure supply chains are not interrupted and negatively impact a business’s operations.

5. Occupational Health and Safety

Workers are a crucial human capital resource to any business. Despite this, however, it is often a challenge for business owners to safeguard the dignity of their human capital resources and health.

Often, workers’ health and safety are not prioritized.

From mental health to depression issues to pollution, workplace health matters have been a challenge for both workers and business owners since the last millennium. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution causes 4.2 million deaths every year globally.  

So, while workers’ skills and capabilities are utilized to the maximum possible extent, providing a proper and safe environment for work and health development is often overlooked.

Yet, illness affects business because a workforce with health challenges affects productivity.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

The cost of unhealthy employees steadily eats into your business’s bottom line. These days, good health insurance plans have become a factor for many people seeking employment.

Ensure that your business’s health benefits are as attractive as possible to attract and retain the healthiest workforce.   

On an emotional level, employees also like to be heard, feel valued and appreciated. Once they do, this enhances both their mental and emotional well-being, leading to their healthy outlook, loyalty, and positive outlook, which in return drives their productivity and raises retention rates.

Digitally keep your finger on the pulse of your workforce with Nailted, an employee engagement platform.

Nailted is a platform where your employees can share their insights through frequent feedback loops. Detailed people analytics with real-time reporting and metrics, along with the employee mood map, will allow you to always be up to date on the impact of your actions in building a world-class employee experience.

6. Changeable Client Expectations

Human beings, especially clients are by nature changeable beings. More so if they are paying for a product or service. While this rightly should be so, often businesses cannot keep up with their expectations and demands.

So, while a business might strive to put their customers first, and strictly follow the proverbial “The customer is always right policy”, that is not always enough to satisfy some clients, let alone win their loyalty.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

For some clients being put first is not the only thing they value. Rather, it is more regular communication about your business’ products and services, their convenience and that added personal, experiential touch.

Fortunately, on the communication score, digital solutions like Socios, a client communication tool enable your business to regularly communicate with all your clients.

To ensure you stay in touch with your clients, Socios comes with SMS/texting, the ever-helpful Bulk SMS, Bulk voice calling, SMS notifications, and even automated chat translation.

Google Maps chat, WhatsApp & Telegram chat, online reviews management, web chat plugin, and online forms, are also available with Socios. The whole team can share a single tool.

Notably, as we move further into the 21st century, clients are now demanding more immersive customer experiences in the real world as well as in the metaverse.   As Forbes’ Barr explains, no longer are “in-store customers simply just looking to buy products — they want memorable in-store experiences.”

As such, if your business is still brick and mortar, then consider adding more immersive experiences and assess their performance with a user experience management digital platform like Qwary.  

Qwary is an omnichannel CX platform. It helps businesses capture customer feedback and measure NPS, CSAT, and CES with beautifully designed, professional surveys.

Qwary generates powerful insights on how to improve the shopping experience and product performance, whilst engaging with customers and visitors.

If you would like to know how best to keep in touch with your clients, get their feedback and keep them immersed in memorable in-store experiences, then consider adding Sociocs and Qwary to your arsenal.

Sadly, however, changeable customer behavior and businesses’ desire to please often open the way for other challenges like competitive marketing and sales strategies to enter the room.

7. Competitive Marketing

Comecinc Communications 16 Business Challenges and How to solve them. Figures show the competitive marketing   as a traditional business challenge

It’s often said that “Finding a good marketing plan can be like kissing a few frogs before meeting Prince Charming.”

Competition for customers among businesses often leads to competitive and expensive marketing strategies which do not always pay off. These range from how best they can differentiate their products or services to how they can maintain market share and defeat their enemies’.

From print to television advertising, marketing wars have more recently gone online in the form of Pay Per Click (PPC), paid display and video advertising.

In the process, however, most small businesses sometimes find themselves financially and overly challenged by the need to successfully connect with their target audiences. Let alone converting them into leads and then loyal customers.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

As the public’s attention spans shorten, you must market strategically to attract potential customers. This means you need to do some of the following:

  • engaging savvy and creative marketers (like those at Comecinc Communications).
  • being innovative and bold with your strategies.
  • creating curiosity through unique methods that will drive the audience to learn more about you.
  • winning and capturing your audience’s attention
  • shooting a video can make an instant visual impact that you may not necessarily get through copy or even photos.
  • communicating your core message in your headline or within the first few seconds of a video.
  • explaining your message simply but memorably.
  • Buying television commercials.
  • using video-sharing websites.
  • Posting brand-related clips on social media platforms

Moreover, according to Nicholas Rubright, digital marketing specialist and expert content creator at Mvix and Digital Signage. “Understanding your audience is key to figuring out which marketing channel will generate traffic that actually converts into sales.” It is not traffic from all social media sites that will convert.

In some cases, it is all about the design and placement of important elements such as the navigation bar, tabs etc., on your website. Where these elements are, can significantly impact your conversions and sales because your user interface contributes to the customer’s experience on your site.

On the digital marketing solutions front, there are various. For now, however, we recommend those that will save you money. Like the aptly named, Eliminate Wasted Spend is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool that will reduce your marketing spend.

Eliminate Wasted Spend will save you money by regularly monitoring and analyzing your ad performance, implementing click-fraud protection, and detailed industry techniques like placement/keyword management.

Campaigns managed by Eliminate Wasted Spend have a reduced risk of fraud and are provided with monthly click fraud reports that detail the amount of advertising dollars saved from fraudulent clicks.

However, if email marketing is more your strategy, then consider Direct IQ Email Marketing.

DirectIQ offers an easy-to-use email marketing interface that delivers results.

Click on any of the Eliminate Wasted Spend or DirectIQ hyperlinks above to check out the two.

8. Sales Fluctuations

Over the years, market trends, customers’ ever-changing buying patterns, seasons and entwined global economic conditions have negatively impacted a business’s stability and growth potential.

Often, it all shows up in sales fluctuations, adding to a business’s challenges.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

At Comecinc, we advise identifying the cause of fluctuations in sales. For instance, if it is a seasonal product or service that’s the issue, then diversifying to or introducing a solid perennial product and service range that can carry or close the gap when sales fluctuations occur is a possible solution.

Sometimes it is as simple as occasionally visiting or sending a newsletter and engaging.

To solidly improve your business’ sales performance, however, we would recommend such marketing solutions as Upscale artificial intelligence to help you reach and surpass your revenue targets faster.

Upscale is an artificial intelligence sales engagement platform. Use it to build a consistent pipeline for sales teams with multi-channel sales prospecting. If you have been using random prospecting processes, it replaces them with structured & automated sequences.

With Upscale, your sales teams can engage prospects through multiple channels, including email, phone calls, LinkedIn, and more. Achieve your revenue goals faster with actionable insights on the next best actions.

Try or buy Upscale HERE and ensure that sales fluctuations are a thing of the past.

Alternatively, if the choice is what you are looking for, a platform that helps businesses comfortably achieve sales targets by navigating and engaging new markets with ease, then consider Outbase.

Outbase is a powerful platform with an intuitive interface that optimizes every aspect of prospecting.  

Try out and buy Outbase HERE to maintain the upward rise of your sales.

Modern-day and Emerging Business Challenges.

In recent years, due to technological advancements and their impact, new business challenges have steadily emerged as distinguishably characteristic of the 21st century.

Understandably, one of the foremost business challenges for many entrepreneurs has been awareness of, understanding and keeping up with rapid technological innovations, let alone their integration into their businesses.

9. Technological Innovation and Integration

Given the rapid pace of technological development the last 5-10 years have witnessed, adopting, or adapting new technologies has become a major challenge for many businesses.

From 4G to 5G to terabytes to blockchain to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), technology as we now know it has been rapidly changing. Businesses have had to innovate or simply be left behind.

To keep technologically up-to-date, we recommend staying informed about technological innovations and integrations for business happening around the globe by signing up to technology newsletters, being on our email list, visiting technology fairs and of course, recruiting a tech-savvy workforce, to name but a few.

But where to find a tech-savvy workforce, you ask?

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

True, there is currently a shortage of Information Technology (IT) personnel. In the meantime, IT consultants, particularly those conversant in mobile, app, software, AI development, as well as cloud computing services are most businesses’ best bet to filling in knowledge gaps and integrating them with new technologies.

To assist with businesses’ staffing requirements, you will be happy to know that there are now several software solutions to assist you with the recruitment and management of your human capital resources.

Some such examples are from Zeel Solutions Ltd.

Zeel Solutions is a Cloud-based, end-to-end recruitment agency software. It helps you automate and manage all your staffing requirements. It also comes with Customer Relations Management (CRM), Timesheets, Attendance, Vendor Management, and Payroll.

Get Zeel Solutions HERE and get help with your staffing requirements.

Alternatively, in the absence of humans to assist businesses with technological innovations and integrations, as you might know, technology is slowly replacing humans with Artificial Intelligence (AI) like TimelinesAI.

TimelinesAI, is a unique artificial intelligence service that helps businesses automate and control WhatsApp communication. No WhatsApp Business API is required and 100+ WhatsApp numbers can be used. Making it the ideal solution for large sales teams.

Try it HERE before buying. TimelinesAI comes with a demo account that you can open for free to first learn and see if it is what your company needs.

10. Human Resource Acquisition and Retention

As you might agree, the dawn of automation, innovation and AI has demanded and continues to call for changes to human resource acquisition and retention.  

Hiring, training, and educating employees who can learn, adopt, and adapt requisite soft skills takes time and resources. Consequently, in recent years, good soft-skilled employees have become an even more valuable investment and asset. 

With a significant portion of soft-skilled employees switching jobs as often as every five years, the challenge for many businesses has become not only that of finding the requisite talent to employ or train, let alone retain once they have become skilled and experienced employees.

In developing countries like India, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, the demand for skilled labour has notably led to the emigration of skilled labour from those countries to the West. The result has not only been a high turnover rate but also a “brain drain” from the global South to the North.

Given the current human resource climate, once a highly skilled employee is hired, now more than ever before, businesses need to work on employee retention.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

Retention of quality human resources can be done by:

•    appreciating their work (e.g., acknowledging their accomplishments and contributions, listening to their feedback, and praising them for a job well done.) 

•    supplying them with appealing benefits (e.g., paid time off, employee discounts for company products, wellness programs or office holiday celebrations, extra perks)

•    offering them a competitive, market-related salary for their position (a valuable employee to your company, should always be paid accordingly.)

If digital solutions are more you, then consider trying the talent intelligence software, Pluckd.

Pluckd is a B2B skill management application for companies with more than 100 employees.

To try and buy Pluckd, click HERE or any of the highlighted Pluckd links above.

11. International Expansion

The global expansion of businesses into international markets has been a competitive challenge for local businesses. Subsequently, some local businesses have had to close shop.

On the other hand, international expansion has equally presented challenges to aspiring multinationals going into a foreign market. Some of these have been around cultural differences, legal and regulatory compliance issues, as well as, in some cases, logistics.

In the online Harvard Business School (HBS) course, Global Business, HBS Professor Forest L. Reinhardt notes that “Although international business is extremely exciting, it can also be risky.” This is largely because since every country has its own government, policies, laws, cultures, languages, currency, time zones, banking systems, exchange, and inflation rates, navigating the local business landscape can be difficult for an outsider and newcomer.

As if the above were not enough, once some of the expanding business has successfully migrated, they have been faced with labor, productivity, local market penetration and pricing challenges.

A common challenge to international business is language barriers. Involvement in international business requires that you consider “the languages spoken in the countries to which you’re looking to expand.   Does your product messaging translate well into another language?” Or is it being lost in translation?!

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

Ideally, hire a team of business consultants to help you navigate the legal and regulatory requirements of your business’ host country.

At Comecinc, we take a customised approach to dealing with would-be foreign investors by providing them with well-researched business consultancy services on set-up, corporate structuring, business management, customs procedures, translation, and interpretation services, among others.

When it comes to business translation and interpretation matters, contract and consult a qualified and experienced local native speaker and professional interpreter from the country or countries where you will be operating.

To digitally assist you in managing your multinational remotely from one platform, consider PeerBie.

Seamlessly collaborate, team manage, and performance track your multinational team with the All-In-One tool PeerBie.

It transforms the way you and your team work with one super app for everyone and everything you need to get work done.

PeerBie also comes with messaging, tasks, projects, products, customers, and employee performance capabilities.

Virtually run your offshore company remotely from one platform with PeerBie.

Try and buy it HERE, or by clicking any of the PeerBie links above.

12. Cyberattacks

With business processes increasingly moving online, the rise of quantum computing which can reduce the defences of existing security systems has made cybersecurity a major challenge for most businesses.

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As Bernard Marr, world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity, explains, this is also because as businesses become more digital and accumulate more data, they are “highly attractive to cybercriminals that intend to steal it and hold organizations hostage to monetary demands.”

So, whether for individuals or businesses, “Cyberattacks are on the rise, and ransomware and phishing scams are now a common occurrence.” With even mobile devices defenceless against cyberattacks, cybersecurity has become a major modern-day business challenge.

Consultative and Digital Solutions

To protect businesses open to cyberattacks, Comecinc’s IT consultants encourage companies to put in place or have put in place, such “proactive measures as evaluating their data backup and recovery processes, conducting penetration testing and vulnerability scanning”.

Putting protective measures in place before sensitive data is stolen or a cyberattack happens is one of the best cybersecurity responses to cyberattacks and data breaches in our digital age.

According to cybersecurity expert, chief information officer and co-founder of Proven Data, Victor Congionti, small e-commerce sites in particular need the proper cybersecurity practices and tools in place.  “Small businesses that focus their attention on the e-commerce space need policies and procedures to create a solid cybersecurity framework for the organization,” advises Congionti.

Since some small businesses depend on online income, Congionti advises business owners to improve a small business’s cybersecurity against cyber risks by,

  • having a proper cybersecurity framework to keep data safe and secure.
  • putting in place tech to combat cyberattacks.
  • securing access control and data security software to strengthen defences against weaknesses.
  • establishing an incident response plan that outlines what to do in the event of a cyberattack.

In line with the above, several digital tools and software have come onto the market to provide cybersecurity for businesses. Some we can recommend are Orangedox and mSafe.

Orangedox is arguably the leading virtual data room provider for Google Drive. With it, you can create secure data rooms synced with your Google Drive.

With Orangedox, you retain control all the way. From the minute you send your sensitive data, it allows you to control access in real-time and track whenever participants access files.

Data rooms are ideal for finance and due diligence specialists who need to create data rooms and track file compliance.

Orangedox’s secure sharing offering ensures that sales reps and professionals securely share and track documents sent via email.

For your peace of mind, Orangedox offers you the opportunity to explore all its features for 14 days, NO credit card required!

Go on, give Orangedox a try by clicking HERE or on any of the Orangedox links above.

However, should Orangedox not be what you are looking for in cybersecurity solutions, then maybe mSafe is.

mSafe is a user-friendly file-sharing and signing software. It offers you the safest solution to transferring your business files as well as signing them.

Coming with two-factor authentication and tracking, sending your files with mSafe guarantees their safe arrival.

Akin to when the internet started, initially used only by banks, railways, law enforcement, law firms etc., for over 10 years, mSafe is now available to businesses and the general public!

Be among the first to try out and buy mSafe for your business by clicking HERE, or on any of the mSafe links above.

Safely do business out there!

13. Environmental Sustainability

Climate change has resulted in an increasing awareness of the environment and the need to sustainably use it. While good for humanity, this has particularly added pressure on businesses.

Undeniably, the issue of climate change is today one of some businesses’ biggest challenges.

The continuous decline of natural resources and pollution of the natural environment due to increasing industrial production has quite rightly resulted in more consumers demanding sustainable production and the use of more eco-friendly products and services.

Business needs and some have responded to this call. However, for some, doing so has not been easy.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

To assist your business with this challenge, environmental consultants associated with us advise that companies can respond by, among others:

  • exploring various new sources of raw materials.
  • re-evaluating business practices for sustainability.
  • auditing full supply chains with environmental sustainability in mind.
  • switching to renewable energy.
  • moving to more sustainable packaging.
  • permitting their workers to work remotely when appropriate to lower emissions.
  • becoming demonstrably more sustainable to consumers’ satisfaction.
  • implementing sustainable practices to reduce business processes’ environmental impact and carbon footprint.
  • maintaining a balance between industrial development and the environment for the sake of future generations.

Does anyone know a digital tool for promoting or measuring environmental sustainability?

14. Risk Management

Linkages among global businesses ensure that events in one corner of the world have a direct or indirect impact on the whole world of business. For instance, the war in Ukraine has impacted global inflation and business risk upwards.

 It is a trend that is likely to continue for as long as the war drags on.

As late as October 2022, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva announced the organization’s fourth downgrade of its 2.9% global growth forecast for 2023.

Rising risks of financial instability and recession were cited as the IMF’s reasons.   

Consultative and Digital Solutions

In response, business consultants have advised that businesses “face inflation by establishing end-to-end, actionable visibility of spending by business process, function, cost category, and business unit, as well as reducing spending.” That way, financial officers can ensure their companies’ cash flows remain firm and healthy enough to sustain business operations.

Another way of lessening risk has been closely assessing and managing third-party risk.

For instance, as most economies and companies shrink, businesses on and invested in the stock market need to monitor and manage possible risks to their portfolios. Fortunately, digital solutions are available to assist them in this regard.

One such digital solution is Tykr.

In these highly volatile economic times, Tykr will help you manage the risk that comes with investing in the stock market by assisting you and your business in making better stock investment decisions.

Try Tykr HERE and tell us how it goes.

15. Growth and Scaling

From growing a brand to growing and maintaining a customer base, growth and scaling it can be any business’ major challenge.

What the world needs more than ever are not just businesses, but businesses that grow and are able to scale. Unfortunately, that just isn’t happening.

A 2016 research by the United Kingdom’s serial entrepreneur, former CEO and technology Angel Investor, Sherry Coutu CBE found that only “3% of U.K. start-ups survive for a decade and enjoy a single year of high growth.”

In addition to growth challenges, once the desired growth has been achieved, scaling operations, infrastructure, and teams effectively, becomes yet another.

So just how can you grow and scale your business?

Writing about how you can grow and scale your business is not something that can be covered in a blog article. It ideally requires a book, if not books.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

However, to ensure that your business grows and scales, our business consultants advise, among others:

•    drawing up a combination of short and long-term visions that will ensure your business continues to innovate, attract new clients, and stay on top of the latest innovations and integrations.

•    outlining an effective business strategy that can scale and evolve with time.

•    designing business systems and processes “to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve, optimize, and automate your business processes.”

•    building effective marketing strategies to capture new markets.

•    efficiently allocating marketing resources to grow market share and your brand.

•    managing market competition and transformation.

•    maintaining quality while growing and scaling to brand and financial success.

•    getting solid business consulting assistance from the beginning, and whenever else possible.

As for how best to scale, it has been found that “a business cannot scale if the founders work in the business instead of determining and setting the direction for the entire organization. This is in so far as strategic leadership also covers the business needs through developing new opportunities for growth.  

Scaling Digitally and Over Time

Similarly, strategically handled, outsourcing or franchising has also been known to lead to growth and scaling opportunities. But these come with time.

In that regard, always consider Time- most importantly, manage it and give your business enough time to grow and scale.

So, whether you are currently building, growing, or scaling your business into a strong, effective, and reputable brand, one thing is for sure, it first comes from an awareness of the main challenges facing the future-and sometimes that takes visionary leadership to see what the future holds. 

From a digital perspective, given the importance of marketing and sales to growth and scaling, FIVE marketing tools your business might want to try and buy on your journey are:

  • Yarnit (Marketing)
  • EmailWritr (Marketing)
  • CallPage (Sales)
  • Delta Sales App. (Sales)

When it comes to marketing, branding and email results mean hope. Increase your business’ branding marketing hope with Yarnit.

Yarnit is an AI-powered content creation platform which allows you to create personalised content aligned to your brands and audience. Yarnit AI enables teams and companies to write, design, audit and publish content- all under one app, 10X faster and better.

Try and buy Yarnit HERE, or by clicking on any highlighted Yarnit link above.

Alternatively, consider EmailWritr, a software that allows you to automatically generate high-converting email sequences that boost open rates, engagements, and sales, simply by answering a few questions about your products or services.

To give EmailWritr a test drive, try clicking HERE or on any EmailWritr links highlighted above.

Did you miss a potential client’s call or want to schedule a sales meeting? Then CallPage is just what the business doctor ordered.

CallPage is a lead generation software that converts website visitors into leads. It comes with a personalized widget that actively encourages visitors to provide their contact information using four convenient options: instant callback, order a call, leave a message, and meeting scheduler.

Sounds like something you have been looking for?

Well, try CallPage HERE or by clicking on any CallPage links highlighted above.

If you have one, then your field Sales team is certainly the lifeblood of your business and Delta Sales App is just the digital application to have in your arsenal.

The Delta Sales App is a B2B field sales management mobile app used by hundreds of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and sales teams. This app helps companies track field employees & their activities, boost the efficiency of the field force, and automate the sales ordering process, thereby reducing administrative and manual tasks.

Try the Delta Sales App either on your phone, laptop or desktop.

Lastly, a sales-related site you might also want to visit, try, and consider buying a growth marketing tool, is Prospectss.com.

Prospectss.com will supercharge your marketing and sales with its growth marketing tools. It finds contacts, generates leads, and extracts data.

Prospectss.com also has automated outreach tools for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media.

Click HERE to sign up for free and get started with Prospectss.com  

16. Going Online

Over the last thirty years, businesses have technologically had a difficult time. From brick-and-mortar operations to adapting to entirely new marketing channels, from web to social, it has not been easy for most.

As a result, the biggest challenge for some businesses today remains that of going online. Many are still to, while others have simply decided they are going to remain brick and mortar operations till the cows come home.

online sales, ecommerce, technology-2108028.jpg

So, what are some of the biggest challenges for most businesses when going online?

Deciding to go online often comes with its own unique but familiar set of challenges. Among them are:

  • timing (i.e., when to go online, over-analysis/procrastination)
  • lack of technical know-how of basic e-commerce technologies.
  • developing an effective online strategy
  • visibility and attracting website traffic.
  • conducting online marketing
  • client relationship management
  • customer experience
  • customer satisfaction
  • customer service support
  • cross-border logistics
  • reputation management
  • visitor conversion
  • customer retention

Fortunately, depending on how you perceive your biggest going online business challenges, there are either consultative or digital solutions to them all.

  • Consultative and Digital Solutions

In business as in life, no one ever got started by not starting. Procrastination and over-analysis are the thieves of time. Plan, or get an e-Commerce business consultant to help you how best to move your business online. Then get started by going online and taking things a day at a time.

Lisa Chu, owner of Black N Bianco, “emphasizes the importance of having a “modern, clean, user-friendly, trustworthy, and virus-free website in order to effectively convert website traffic into paying customers.” These qualities are essential for creating a positive online experience for visitors and building trust, which can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates and increased sales.

Regarding getting online visibility, Shirley Tan, developer partnership manager at Yahoo Small Business, points out that “if I build my online store, customers will somehow discover its approach. Today, that is no longer the case.” As she explains, before there were fewer e-commerce businesses, early e-commerce businesses got away with it.

To stand out in the e-commerce space in the 21st century, Tan advises that, as in any business, there is a need to understand who your target audience is if you are to create a customer base that will be their constant source of revenue and loyal online shoppers.  

A CSA Research survey of 8, 709 consumers found that 76% of online shoppers prefer to purchase products with information in their own language, 92% would prefer shopping in their local currency, and 33% might abandon the cart if pricing is only in U.S. dollars.

It appears that to maximize your chances of having a successful e-commerce business, you must be inclusive and consider other languages and cultures likely to visit your e-commerce.  

Luckily, for those going online currently, since e-commerce happens online, as never before, there are numerous digital products that are available to help you on your online business journey.

Some Digital Solutions to e-Commerce

These range from the Google Tag Manager App for Shopify, to Koongo, a market integration and data feed management software.

The Google Tag Manager app is an easy way to automate analytics and conversion setup for Shopify stores with 30+ pre-built tags. Enabling you to keep track of your e-commerce site visitors and conversions.

Try and buy the Google Tag Manager appHERE or by clicking on any Google Tag Manager App links above.

Koongo provides easy and affordable marketplace integration and data feed management for your e-commerce site. It helps online stores to list products on marketplaces and advertising channels to reach new customers and grow their business.

Koongo also provides integration with 500+ channels like Shopify, Prestashop, WooCommerce, Magento, Wix, and others.

Try Koongo HERE or by clicking on any Koongo link above.

Once your site is set up and integrated, bring visitors in with the help of Search Engine Optimization. For example, optimise your website and e-commerce content with such digital tools as Morningscore Aps.

Morningscore is an all-in-one SEO tool that’s super easy to use, yet rich in data and tools. The tool works in every country and industry.

No integration is required.

At present, Morningscore Aps has subscribers in more than 30 countries. Its traffic-to-trial conversion rate is estimated at between eight and +10%.

Try Morningscore Aps HERE or on any Morningscore Aps link above.

To support your customers, digital software is also readily available and takes the form of such software as Simpu.

Make simpler your customer communication with Simpu’s Omnichannel Inbox. Simpu streamlines all your customer messages, enables you and your team to collaborate seamlessly and deliver superb customer service. Elevate your customer support experience and transform it into a key business advantage with Simpu.

To try and purchase Simpu for your online business, click HERE or on any Simpu links above.

Alternatively, you might be interested in something more AI-advanced like MyAskAI.

 MyAskAI lets businesses build no-code AI assistants powered by ChatGPT, and trained only on your content, taken from Notion, Google Drive, documents, or your entire website.

You can then deploy MyAskAI anywhere you like as a chat widget or embedded on your site, within Slack, Teams or via Zapier or even as a WhatsApp bot. My AskAIs are currently used for customer support, internal knowledge bases and research, among others.

Interested?

Try out and buy My AskAI HERE, or by clicking on any highlighted link of MyAskAI. Please feel free to share your experience of My AskAI.

Since it has been found that many customers find themselves feeling uncomfortable or dissatisfied with automated responses from chatbots or software applications. We would suggest you use a combination of software technology and human assistance to deal with customer support for your e-commerce.

You can do so by identifying and differentiating those customer issues that require human assistance from those that can be dealt with by a chatbot. 

Whatever you use for customer support, it is extremely important that your business maintains a good reputation, both on and offline. With digital communication at their fingertips, these days customers can quickly, publicly, loudly, and permanently voice any displeasure they might have with your business than ever before.

As such more than ever before, your business must constantly monitor, quickly and strategically respond to any customer dissatisfaction with expectations if it is to maintain its off- and online reputation.

Actually, it has also been found that receiving and reacting to customer feedback, online and in person, and being open to improvement is one of the best customer retention strategies for any business.

To be able to best serve your clientele, use analytics like Appmetrix to identify your visitors and provide demographic trends that give you more insights into your audience.

AppMetrix is a privacy-friendly web analytics tool for tracking pageviews, session replay, and heatmaps without risking user’s privacy and personal information. AppMetrix is GDPR and CCPA-compliant.

Try out and buy Appmetrix HERE, or by clicking on any highlighted link of Appmetrix.

Similarly, grow your online business by using the FoxyApps lead magnet generative AI application.  It provides instant FREE value to your website visitors without so much as investing in development resources.

Try FoxyApps HERE to grow your online business.

Finally, when in business or going online, always consider the latest tools (like all those recommended here) and trends (as discussed here).

When it comes to the e-commerce meta-trend, Augmented Reality (AR) is currently the latest movement. AR will enable your e-commerce business to show consumers what a product would look like once in their homes. For instance, if someone is purchasing a flatscreen television for their living room, then AR helps them picture that television in their living room.  Much like trying on a dress without going to the changing room.   

AR’s visualization often assists the decision to purchase, as consumers become confident the television will look good in their home.   

If the AR model will work with your products, then seriously think of integrating AR technology with your e-commerce store.  

It is expected that the “AR market will reach $198 billion by 2025.” So, a word to the wise, invest in AR for your sake and your business’.

Wrapping Up

Going into business, any business, anywhere for that matter, often means there will be challenges. So don’t let your business’ challenges get you down! 

Sometimes, it is how you perceive, approach them, and with whom, that in most cases will determine whether you successfully overcome them or they overcome you.

If you would rather DIY business by yourself, then at least try some of the 1actionable expert tips in this article and purchase the recommended digital resources to help you handle the challenges you and your business are facing.

Alternatively, CALL or EMAIL us today for a free, no-pressure business consultation to find out if we are a good fit, and how best we can help you overcome your business challenges and achieve your business aspirations.  

If not book a consultation, then to assist you use some of the digital products you have purchased.

Till then!

Author info:

Corwin L. Mhlahlo is, among others, the Principal Communications and Strategic Solutions Consultant at Comecinc C & SSS – a business consulting firm in Johannesburg, South Africa. His qualifications include certifications in Business Administration, Sales Marketing Management and Digital Marketing. Corwin is passionate and excited about the future of Software as a Service (SaaS) to business processes, operations and productivity.

Disclosure : This article contains affiliate links. I may earn commissions if you appreciatively purchase digital solutions through them. Thank you.

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