Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Lisa Anderson, President at LMA Consulting Group Inc.:
What does your company do?
Our company is a consulting firm that helps manufacturers and distribution organizations innovate, elevate and transform their end-to-end supply chain to align with customer demand. We are experienced in working with closely-held, private-equity backed, and multi-billion dollar organizations in industries ranging from aerospace, defense, building and industrial products to food and beverage, consumer and healthcare products. Our practice focuses on creating scalable, profitable growth by aligning the customers' needs with the optimal strategies, resources and systems infrastructure to maximize the customer experience, accelerate cash flow and increase profit.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm the president of LMA Consulting Group. I thrive on partnering with clients to create bold customer promises and profits simultaneously. I've always been interested in seeing connections and trends and employing organizational change initiatives in manufacturing and supply chain organizations in such a way that translates into not only bottom line results but also an engaged workforce. I have no doubt that manufacturers can contribute dramatic value to the U.S. economy and can outperform their global counterparts with Amazon-like service levels and an equivalent and sometimes lower total cost for value-add products and services. Thus, I enjoy working with organizations to turn this goal into a reality.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Our biggest challenge is identical to our clients' largest issue - how to scale profitably and successfully while delivering an exceptional customer experience. With virtually 0% unemployment rate, finding high-quality subcontractors and support resources can prove a significant challenge. I've found that the same solutions hold true for my business as my clients' businesses - value and nurture high-quality long-term relationships and it will pay off handsomely as top notch human capital is available. It is also a significant challenge to constantly innovate to provide exceptional value with lower levels of labor intensity.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Find a mentor (someone who has been there and done that) and make sure you develop a win-win relationship. Also leverage the appropriate mix of high-tech and high-touch by keeping track of all quality connections including notes about where you met them, what is unique about them etc. and by staying in touch on a consistent basis using varied media (visits, phone, email, social media) and sticking solely to providing value. It isn't a steady-income business on a month-to-month basis, and so become accustomed to volatility and find ways to remain focused with an eye to providing value to your connections and clients.