I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of crowd sourcing.

I’ve compiled a list of business challenges that are all somewhat related but stated in different ways for people in different situations. We are looking at getting some feedback to support some of our marketing and product development efforts. Leave a comment or contact us directly, we’d love to hear from you.

Which of the following can you relate to personally the most? Which do you think are the most prevalent and compelling for businesses in general?

  1. 80% of businesses fail within 5 years. That number repeats again for the next 5 years.
  2. Many business owners work long hours yet do not feel their business brings them fulfillment; they achieve that elsewhere.
  3. The people in the business are so busy with serving customers and keeping the business alive they don’t have time to work on the business, let alone a strategic plan.
  4. Business plans are made once a year (or less) and then seem to disappear off the radar.
  5. Business planning is necessary but we also need to be agile and lean to survive in today’s business climate.
  6. You’ve been running your business for 20 years and it has earned you a good living but you don’t feel engaged with it anymore and now wish to go off and do something meaningful.
  7. You want to retire or reduce your work week and need to do succession planning and ensure your vision continues to be followed; without having to be present all the time.
  8. Communication of the strategic vision from the board of directors to the management team and down to front line workers is not as good as it could be. Visibility the other way is almost non-existent and filtered through a select few.
  9. We run a distributed organization and keeping everyone heading in the same direction is a challenge.
  10. Coaching is individualized and not fully aligned with the overall business vision. Or coaching is at the owner level but not flowing down to the frontline workers.
  11. People are busy every day, but the important long-term work keeps slipping.
  12. Business coaches and consultants want to spend more time on the value-add and less time on documentation and tracking.
  13. Business coaches and consultants want tools to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.
  14. Crowdsourcing: Businesses want more creative input, on all facets of their business, from all of their stakeholders including employees and key customers; real time and distributed.
  15. Our business needs to become more of a learning organization; one that constantly reflects, learns, implements, measures and repeats in continuous cycles.

Additional Challenges from the Crowd (Updates)

  1. After a few years of long hours you are so burned out you are ready to let it all slip away (and join a monastery, move in with your parent/children or make a drastic change in careers).
  2. Two or more key people are not getting along and the division is threatening to take down the whole organization.
  3. Having the business survive the sudden loss of a key person; risk management and succession planning.
  4. Hiring good people and long-term employee retention; having the right people.
  5. All of your eggs in one basket (product/service/customer) leaving you very vulnerable to a change.
  6. The opposite, chasing too many baskets; a lack of focus.
  7. Finding the proper balance between serving and growing existing business relationships and obtaining new customers.
  8. Being aware of changing markets and competitive forces without being obsessed by them; don’t copy your competitors.
  9. A business plan tells you where you are going from a big picture perspective. What is missing is the part where you build a business; the process and systems that incorporate your best practices and learning.
  10. Could you clone your business and have someone else run it or does it depend on a few key people (i.e. a turnkey or franchise model)?