In the modern age, obstacles seem to appear everywhere when conducting business. From language barriers when exporting abroad to staff shortages back here in the US, the presence of obstacles is a permanent business challenge. The most successful entrepreneurs and company bosses, however, attain that status by building a track record for themselves as people who convert obstacles into opportunities. This article will explore three key ways in which firms can do just that.
Import and export
Just a few short years ago, the idea of trade barriers increasing in number rather than decreasing would have seemed laughable to many given that free trade appeared to be embedded into the global economy. However, the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump have changed that, and now several major nations and trading blocs around the world have had to face up to the reality that the cost of importing and exporting could go up in the coming years.
As a business leader, the added cost of importing and exporting could be interpreted not as a barrier but as a reason to develop your internal, domestic market. If your firm exports primarily abroad, why not do some market research and see if there is any demand for your products and services here in the US? You may be pleasantly surprised!
Legal and regulatory barriers
On the topic of exporting and expanding abroad, one hurdle that can often come up is regulatory differences. Business leaders in the finance field may struggle to get permission for certain types of investment funds in foreign jurisdictions, while Chinese drug registration processes may require a medical firm to get specialist help. Instead of letting this be a barrier, a savvy business leader might see it as a learning opportunity – and use the knowledge gained from this first tough expansion to make the next expansion proceed more easily.
Staff shortages can affect any industry, and they can also creep up out of nowhere. Firms which hire a lot of junior-level seasonal workers may find themselves with a high turnover or a recruitment problem, while more senior staff members can be hard to find simply due to scarcity of relevant qualifications and experience. The way many businesses respond to this problem is to look into automation: with everything from bookkeeping to cleaning now able to be automated to one extent or the other, a staff shortage may be the time to think about what tech can do for you.
Getting obstacles out of the way can be a tough ask for many who are looking to expand their businesses – and if your sector is suffering for any reason, it can start to seem like an insurmountable mountain of challenges. However,by thinking creatively and following the advice outlined here, it’s possible to convert those challenges into positive changes for your firm.