What Options Do you Have When Faced with a Business Challenge?

A business challenge can make or break your company. Fortunately, there are more ways than one to drive your company forward in rough times.

 business challenge

People running businesses are extremely capable. Whether you’re a business owner or a CEO, you’re leading the company for a reason. Experience, talent or just plain passion could be the reason you’re at the helm and perhaps the only ingredient you need to drive your company forward. While it keeps you going most of the time, there are particular business challenges that can make you pause or stop.

We talk with business owners and CEO’s daily about what is going on in their businesses and the types of business challenges and needs they have. There are some situations you simply can’t handle by yourself either because you don’t have the time, the expertise or an outside perspective to consider options. Fortunately, there are more ways than one for getting some additional talent to assist you and your organization in making the best decisions.

Bring in a Consultant or Interim Executive

A consultant or interim executive is a great option when your company is going through a rough patch. Especially if nobody in your company has been through the kind of situation you’re facing before. Consultants bring lots of experience with them and have experience with a variety of situations, in and out of your industry. They know the possible outcomes of most cases and can recommend what the best choices are for you. Using their guidance and support, you can navigate through the worst of storms.

Another common situation is when you have lost a key executive or are going through a transition. An interim executive can be vital offering minimal risk and a significant advantage over most options. They can step right in and steady the ship until you find a replacement or pass through the turbulence. They not only keep things stable but work on ways to improve the company and its structure. Rather than quickly replacing an empty executive position with the first qualified/semi-qualified person who applies, you can take your time finding the right person while your company keeps moving forward without any hiccups in the process.

Hire someone full time to deal with your business challenge

Some businesses see a new employee as an extra expense. But more often than not, the opposite is true. The right addition to your team can reduce overall costs if they are able to free up the business owner or CEO’s time and possess skills not already present in the company. By offloading work, managing directors can use their free time to work on ‘big picture’ stuff and focus on the growth of the company.

It can also be cost-effective to hire someone full-time for tasks you frequently outsource and see as longer term. You have the opportunity to hire someone highly focused with specific missing expertise or more of a generalist who can fill in as needed and has a varied background.

Try to work with an internal team to resolve the business challenge

You don’t always have to look outside for a solution. Sometimes it’s there in front of you. You can create a team specifically to counteract an issue, by recruiting employees who are familiar with the situation and have relevant skills. Gather your team and brainstorm for ideas. It can be surprising the untapped resources within your current team when they are specifically asked. The creativity and the solutions they can come up with can offer a fresh perspective from those who know your organization best. Provide them with some responsibility and accountability in the resolution to have a more lasting effect.

Do Nothing

Of course, as a leader you always have the option to ‘do nothing’. We see this more than we care to admit when a client comes back to us a year later with the exact same problem they chose to ignore originally and it has likely gotten worse rather than solved itself. We commonly see this when the answer or solution is not clear. You are used to having all of the answers as you have built your business, but there does come a time when they are beyond your perspective. This is when it is most useful to step out of your box and look for outside expertise from within your own team, a new employee or an interim executive.

One of the best results of the answers coming from someone other than you is the communication and execution are then not reliant on you. Others can begin to have the opportunity to lead, and your company will grow faster and more stable as a result.


Kristen McAlister

Kristen McAlister joined Pamela Wasley to purchase Cerius. She has spent most of her career helping companies establish and improve their infrastructure for high growth. She has grown companies and created optimal infrastructure from both an operational and client management perspective. Kristen has spent the last ten years teaching companies how to leverage executives for transitional situations such as high growth and turnarounds. She is a national speaker and is published on topics ranging from operations and productivity to talent management and the contingent workforce. Kristen is a mother, Ironman, and Marine wife. Click here to learn about Kristen McAlister and send her a question.

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