Business is an activity through which profit is achieved through mutual consensus among two or more than two parties. It is the activity of exchange of goods and services.
Cloth and Fabrics
Business to Business
In these types of solutions, businesses sell to businesses. They include these products and services; Materials, Products, Services for Resale, Utilities, Property, Marketing, Computing, Software, Information & Data, Networks & Communications, Management, Logistics, Maintenance & Support, Waste Management, Production, Creative Services, Intellectual Property, Consulting, Professional Services, Research, Engineering, Standards, Training, Finance, Insurance, Travel, Events, E-commerce, Office Supplies, Food Services, Quality of Life
These are offered by companies and businesses. They are comprised of intangible characteristics of a business such as a result orientation, professional experiences, in-depth knowledge, management skills, and effective customer service. They include these services but they are not limited to; Outsourcing, Consulting, Professional Services, product as a service and software as a service, infrastructure as a service, Leasing, Finance, and Security.
Business problems are current or long term challenges and issues faced by a business. These may prevent a business from executing strategy and achieving goals. In some cases, business problems also threaten the long term survival of a firm. The following are illustrative examples of business problems.
Financial issues such as an inability to refinance debt due to tight credit conditions.
A business model that has been disrupted by a new way of doing things. For example, an energy company based on products that pollute the environment when cleaner and cheaper alternatives emerge.
Reputational issues such as poor customer service that receives media attention.
A firm that doesn’t align to the changing values of a society in which it operates. For example, a business model, product or operational process that harms the environment.
Costly or burdensome regulations. This can particularly impact small businesses as it can drain limited resources.
Brand issues such as a small business that has difficulty establishing brand recognition in a market dominated by widely recognized brands.
Product positioning issues such as an organic coffee that looks much the same as the other products on the shelf except that it is more expensive than the competition.
Changing customer needs, preferences, and perceptions that reduced and for your products and services. For example, a cultural shift towards healthier food may negatively impact brands that produce junk food.
Increased supply by your competition or a substitute product. For example, a short term property rental service that increases the supply of rooms may negatively impact hotels in an area.
Price competition that lowers your sales and/or reduces your profit margins. This is particularly a problem if you are facing competitors with lower unit costs such that they can keep prices low and remain profitable.
Rising costs such as your cost of capital, labor, materials, parts, overhead, and obligations to partners.
Sales problems such as an inability to recruit salespeople who have many connections amongst your target customers.
Customers who are unhappy with your products or services such that they are likely to cancel services and/or generate negative word of mouth.
Promotional problems such as an inability to generate demand or interest in a new product launch.
A new product or service that is poorly received by customers or the media. For example, a hotel that undergoes an expensive renovation only to see reviews plummet as customers feel room interiors are visually unattractive and uncomfortable.
Time to Market
A product launch that is slower than you need. For example, issues setting up a production line.
Time to Volume
A product launch that takes longer than expected to reach your sales targets. For example, an innovative new streaming media service that finds that their target audience is uninterested in changing their media viewing habits.
A firm that lacks the knowledge to get something done well. For example, a high-speed train manufacturer with product reliability issues due to a lack of reliability engineering know-how.
Technology issues such as a costly service outage due to a failure of IT infrastructure.
Information security attacks or vulnerabilities.
An inability to change such as a project failure or business transformation that fails to achieve its objectives.
Employees who lack motivation, talent, diligence or professional standards. For example, a retail location with poor customer satisfaction due to poor management and employees who aren’t friendly, helpful or reliable.
The habits, norms, and expectations that have evolved in your organization over its history. For example, a call center where employees openly complain that customers have negative traits such that negativity towards customers is commonplace.
Low output in an hour of work. For example, an office where people are spending as much time on personal social media as working.
Low output for a unit of input. For example, a factory that produces 200 units an hour with $1 million in equipment versus a competitor that produces 2500 units an hour with $1 million in equipment.
A firm that isn’t able to detect problems because their measurements and benchmarks fail to detect significant underperformance. For example, a firm that aggressively reduces unit cost without properly measuring quality or product ratings. This may result in quality failures and a loss of brand reputation and market share.
A firm that can’t achieve its target level of quality. For example, a firm wants to release a hot chocolate mix that is perceived as higher quality than a major competitor. They have tested dozens of formulations and packaging designs but all score poorly with customers.
Problems with your end-to-end customer experience. For example, a mobile device brand that customers perceive as visually unappealing, difficult to use and unreliable.
Problems reaching customers with your products and services. For example, a restaurant chain that runs out of critical ingredients across an entire region due to a supply chain disruption.
Business process issues such as a single point of failure on a production line that is causing expensive downtime.
Business problems should not be confused with business risks. A risk is a problem that hasn’t happened yet that has some probability of occurring in the future.