While the U.S. economy has been growing strong, there’s no shortage of headwinds. And small businesses often bear the brunt of them—along with all the other challenges of running and growing a business.
We asked business owners the biggest challenge facing their business right now and how they’re trying to solve it. Here’s how they responded:
Having online orders delivered on time
We are a smaller family-owned jewelry business with a brick-and-mortar location as well as an online store. The biggest concern we have in 2022 is with shipping and delivery. We had a ton of issues recently with getting packages delivered on time. We plan to potentially start offering free 1-to-2-day express shipping to help guarantee better delivery times for our customers. Most of our orders are gifts, so it is very important that they are delivered in the time that is promised
—Steve Moriarty, president, Moriarty’s Gem Art, Crown Point, Indiana
Managing supply chain strains and inflations
As a roofing company, our biggest challenge at present is supply chain bottlenecks and the corresponding material prices that continue to rise. We are combating the supply chain issues by educating our customers on the front end, so they have the right expectations set—as some materials are on backorder until mid-2023. On the other hand, the material scarcity is causing sharp price increases that are affecting our gross margins. So far, we have been able to counter that by including price-escalation clauses in our contracts.
—Kyle Shirley, owner, Sol Vista Roofing, Denver
Balancing internal growth with market demand
There’s a tremendous amount of market demand for our recruiting services right now. So our biggest challenge has been managing that demand at the same time as we’re hiring more people to support that demand. We need to onboard these new hires properly, but also as quickly as possible. What we’re doing is over-communicating with the new hires to get them up to speed as quickly as possible and getting them involved with operational decision-making, despite their early tenure with our organization. So far, we’ve seen great results from doing this.
—Kathleen Steffey, founder and CEO, Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, Tampa
Bringing employees back to the office
Due to the pandemic, I moved my business activities completely online over the past few years. Now that the pandemic has gotten better in the U.S., I have reopened my headquarters in New Jersey. To my surprise, most of the workers—in order to avoid commuting costs—are reluctant to return. As an in-office workplace is essential to collaboration and innovation, I had to find a way to convince my employees to return. What I did: I hired a transportation agency that provides them with free pick-up and drop-off services, or I will pay gas money for those who prefer to commute on their own.
—Joshua Rich, founder and CEO, Bullseye Locations, Branchburg, New Jersey
Not doing everything myself
The top challenge I’m facing right now is dealing with a multitude of tasks by myself. When I became an entrepreneur, I knew that I would have to deal with many tasks simultaneously, but I had not quite anticipated the workload to be this great. Currently, I’m responsible for executing business plans, onboarding new clients, dealing with vendors and suppliers and filing paperwork, among other things. Some days, I work over 12 hours and come home completely drained. To deal with this challenge, I am thinking of hiring two assistants. They’ll be tasked with handling the paperwork and answering phone calls on my behalf. These are two of the most tedious tasks, and I believe delegating them will take a great load off my shoulders, and I’ll be able to focus on tasks that require greater creativity.
—Matt Wooldridge, founder, Invision Roofing, San Antonio, Texas
Navigating an uncertain environment
Right now, my top challenge is uncertainty about the future. With all that has transpired in the last few years—pandemic, mandates, political upheaval—it’s tough to predict what else might be coming our way. Before this, we were able to predict customer trends fairly easily, but the changing economic climate has made it difficult. To help, we’ve brought in consultants who are trained in reading and predicting trends.
—Adam Rossi, CEO, TotalShield, Gainesville, Virginia
What’s the top business challenge you’re facing right now, and what are you doing about it? Share your insights in the comments section below!Print this article