Every entrepreneur knows that big challenges are part and parcel of doing business. No one ever launched a company thinking that everything would go perfectly and smoothly. We prepare ourselves, we do our research, and we expect that there we are going to be in for more than our fair share of late nights on the laptop. However, there cannot be many managers and leaders out there who would say that the last couple of years have delivered what we would normally expect in terms of challenges. We have all been put through the wringer, and just when it looked like we were out on the other side of everything that 2020 threw at us, it soon became abundantly clear that we were in for more tough times.


The last few months have shown us that the future is going to be rocky. We have seen so many news stories about the difficulties that are headed our way that it can all feel overwhelming. However, we know that we must keep moving forward if we are to keep our businesses afloat. We have come this far, and we can keep going. One of the best things that any manager or team leader can do is to educate themselves on the issues and challenges that are coming our way. With that in mind, we have put together a list of some of the biggest challenges facing UK businesses, with some tips for how you can overcome them. Let’s get started.


The Rising Cost Of Living

Right now, the issue on everyone’s minds in the UK is the rising cost of living. Despite earlier reassurances from the UK government, it is abundantly clear that we are all going to be facing serious changes in our daily lives as a result of this problem. Costs are going up across the board, from the petrol pumps to the supermarket shelves.


For businesses, this means that you are going to have to think about ways in which you can create a financial cushion. You need to be talking to your financial advisor about the best ways that you can create some insurance for the slow months that may come your way. But it is not just about what you need to do for your company.


Everyone out there is going to be thinking about how they can tighten their belts and limit their spending. That means that you are going to have to work twice as hard to convince your customers and clients that you are the business that is worth their money. You are going to need to look for ways that you can keep your costs down, and you are also going to need to work on your messaging. This brings us to our next point.


The Marketplace Is Still Extremely Competitive

The optimistic business owner may have hoped that we would be past the “tooth and nail fight to stay afloat” era of competition by this point, but the incoming financial hardships mean that we are still going to need to battle to stay ahead of other businesses. The truth is that you are going to be competing with businesses that are simply bigger than you, in financial terms and otherwise. If you are going to stand out from the crowd, then you are going to need to be resourceful and clever with your time and with your marketing.


One of the best things that you can do is to look for ways you can learn more about how the marketing landscape has changed over the last couple of years. We have seen some enormous shifts and changes in recent months, and there will be more ahead. A digital marketing and strategy course can teach you about the disruptive changes that we are seeing and give you a firm handle on how you can use data and analytics to ensure that your messaging is finding the right audience.


Sustainability Is A Must

When it comes to issues that go beyond the business world, and which will continue to be a major factor for generations to come, there is nothing more important or urgent than climate change. The news stories about extreme weather events, rising temperatures and era-defining changes have been coming at an incredible rate. This is something that is impossible to ignore, and when it comes to businesses, it is an issue that must be reckoned with.


Something as enormous as climate change may seem like the kind of thing that is too big to be dealt with by any one company, but the truth is that there is always something that we can do. As an owner or manager, it is your responsibility to set out a green plan for your business, to look for ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and commit to a more sustainable future. It is also worth keeping in mind that your customers and clients will be actively looking for companies that have a clear green strategy, so this is a financial imperative as well as a moral one.


You can start by talking to any suppliers and business partners about their environmental strategy. Look at using recycled and recyclable packaging for your business and find ways to reduce the fuel consumption that you are responsible for. You should also look to include your team in this process. Could you offer public transport funds to cut down on people driving to work? Encourage them to come to you with ideas for local charities to donate to and green activities to take part in.


Supporting (And Keeping) Your Employees

Last year, it seemed like talk about the Great Resignation was everywhere. While the discussion about this movement does seem to have died down in recent weeks and months, there is no denying that its impact is still being felt. There are vacancies everywhere in the UK job market at the time of writing, but there is also a skills shortage. One of the main reasons why so many people chose to reconsider their employment situation was that they felt like they were either not being supported at work, or that they were not being given the opportunity to progress.


We know how tough the months ahead are going to be and we need to know that we can count on our teams. So, show your teams that they can count on you. Instead of bringing in new staff members, think about ways that you could train your existing staff to take on those roles. Talk to your employees about the areas that they would like to grow into. Offer them opportunities to shadow your senior employees. You should also think about the challenges that they will be facing in their personal lives and the ways in which you can provide support. Mental health support packages are a great way to demonstrate that you are as concerned about burnout as they are. Think about offering flexible working to allow people to handle their responsibilities outside of work. Remote working is also going to continue to be important, as your employees may have very good reasons for not wanting to return to the office just yet.


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