What are the most common pain points that businesses have to face?

The nature of the work we do is that we get to speak to A LOT of businesses. We speak to businesses of all sizes from all sectors right across the UK, trying to understand the issues they face so we can help solve them. 

What is abundantly clear is that most businesses we speak to – regardless of size or sector – share common issues – “pain points” – albeit to varying degrees, but the themes are very similar. 

So what are the most common pain-points we come across? Well here are our top 6 – and see if any of these resonate with you.

1. Cashflow

One of the most common issues businesses face is cashflow. Infact, a study in the US revealed that 82% of businesses that fail is due to cash flow management or poor understanding of cashflow. 

The saying is that “cash is King” – and it’s so true. Ensuring you have revenue coming in consistently to cover your outgoings is obvious. And yet for many businesses the struggle is real. 

Unpaid invoices, chasing money, poor forecasting, lack of sales pipeline or seasonal fluctuations and a lack of attention to detail can quickly leave businesses vulnerable. 

There are various ways you can help mitigate these issues. Some of the common practises include;

  • tightening up payment terms for getting paid on time
  • focussing on building a continual sales pipeline using CRM’s, direct marketing and other sales strategies
  • finding additional revenue streams that can provide consistency utilising residual income models
  • looking into funding options such as grants, loans and other options to help provide a platform for stability and growth.

It all sounds pretty obvious and yet so many businesses struggle with it – which is why sometimes working with a third party to cast a second set of eyes and ears over your business can help tackle issues head on – or better still, help prevent them in the first place.

2. Recruitment / Staffing

The “R-Word” is so painful for businesses, a whole industry has developed around it.

“Talent Acquisition” is now the buzz term for finding new staff, whilst keeping staff happy and productive is a role in itself for those in HR – or “People & Culture” – departments of companies up and down the land. 

Staff are so important though.

From customer-facing to those ensuring processes are implemented and followed through all departments, a company’s staff are it’s lifeblood – a happy workforce is a more productive workforce. 

But finding staff (and then keeping them) is an expensive business. From the advertising and selection process, to providing competitive wages and benefits solutions, to understanding the issues and communication within the organisation –  it’s little wonder recruitment is such a continual pain point for most businesses we speak to. 

When it comes to tackling these issues, there are lots of options available to support a business. For example, we can help by putting you in touch with partners who; 

 

  • specialise in benefits solutions to help attract, retain and motivate staff
  • specialist niche recruitment services
  • offer employee engagement consulting to help bridge communication gaps between staff and business management – and business management and business leaders.
  • coaching and wellbeing to help improve performance and productivity.
recruitment is a common business painpoint

What is important is that companies recognise the ever-broadening priorities of it’s workforce above and beyond regular salary and pensions. Investing time and / or money into it’s staff is an absolute necessity for any business.

3. Embracing Innovation

The saying goes that, in business, there is no such thing as standing still. You are either moving forwards or falling behind. 

Innovation is a large part of this – or at least embracing innovation.

From new technologies such as AI, to focusing in on other technologies that can help streamline processes or provide substantial cost savings or introduce new revenue streams, businesses can quickly become overwhelmed with what they should be doing. 

It’s easy to resist change and carry on as you always have because it works, but in doing so, you risk falling behind those willing to adapt. 

Conversely however, it’s just as easy to be “too” embracing, diving head first into any new technology and innovative idea because it’s felt it’s the “done thing” – or keeping up with the Joneses, without ever really understanding HOW to embrace innovation in the most appropriate way. 

It’s easy to see why many businesses just do nothing.

Luckily, we get to speak regularly to businesses who recognise they have to embrace change and new ideas – and that they just need support with finding the best fits for them.

4. Cutting Through The Noise (Marketing)

With so many marketing channels, I would argue that whilst marketing has never been as sophisticated, it has in many ways never been harder. 

Cutting through the noise and being heard is a major issue for many businesses. So much so this pain point warrants an article in it’s own right, and is something we will bring to you in the coming weeks. 

What is important to note though is that having all your eggs in one marketing basket can be problematic. Having multi-channel marketing targeting the various “buying” stages is the key to successful marketing. 

Marketing also doesn’t need to be expensive. Indeed, effective marketing isn’t a spend, it’s an investment.

 

marketing pain points

5. Keeping up to date with compliance

I can hear your groans from here.

Compliance though is an important part of running a business – whether you see it as a necessary evil or not.

Having spoken to many businesses about this topic it’s rather interesting that they cited the main pain point wasn’t so much in knowing what compliance is required, but rather the keeping up to speed with current requirements. 

It’s a serious concern, because there is always a potential litigation time-bomb just around the corner. 

Being able to understand the latest regulatory requirements, from industry specific to global compliance, is almost a full-time job and many SME’s in particular are often left in the dark – until it’s too late. 

Carrying out regular reviews of specific compliance requirements for a business are a must. Making sure all paperwork is up-to-date and that the relevant information is captured and stored appropriately are essential.

6.  Business Reputation & Culture

How are business looks, feels and behaves is important to it’s customers and it’s staff.

We’ve already touched on marketing and HR issues, but as a wider pain point, how a company manages it’s reputation in a world where feedback can be given so freely can be a delicate plate to keep spinning. 

Similarly, for it’s employees, developing a positive, inclusive culture is a vital component of it’s overall process and productivity. 

The behaviours a business encourages and tolerates is often a key defining factor in it’s ability to succeed. 

Having a strong, consistent message based on your company’s goals and beliefs are central to a strong business culture. Doing business is one thing, but customers also want the companies they use to do things the right way too.

In summary.

There are literally 100’s of specific business pain points, many of which fall into these or similar categories. What is important to note is that whatever pain point your business has, the answer is out there, support is out there. 

If you have a particular painpoint you wish to discuss or feel we’ve missed an open goal on, then please feel free to leave your comments below.

 

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