Running a small business is anything but small! Growing businesses face a range of challenges. As a business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions – what worked a year ago might not be the best approach now. The first thing to do is to understand that problems are an everyday part of every business and then face each problem with determination and a proper solution.
Here are some of the biggest challenges that small businesses need to overcome:
- Finding talented people – The biggest problem is see for small business today is in hiring employees that can truly help your business grow. It’s difficult to compete with the larger businesses for the same talent when you have such limited funds. You need to find more creative ways to tap into the talents you need. Give them a sense of ‘wanting’ to build and grow with you. Research what employees want other than the pay check! You can’t compete with money and that’s a challenge.
- Cash flow issues – Money problems in their various forms are top of most lists of company woes, and for small businesses the major worries are clients stalling payments, unexpected outgoings, and outstanding bills that won’t wait to be paid. You can take help of apps to automate bill payments etc. Online invoices and reminders is a powerful way to persuade reluctant clients to pay money.
- Finding and retaining customers – Research your existing customers and analyze them based on their characteristics – highest volume of sales, low credits, number of repeat orders, associated costs etc. This will give you a clear idea about where to focus your energies. To understand what customers want, you can ask for feedback from current best clients.
- Staying current – Small business owners can be so busy they forget to keep up with what’s current in their sector. It takes so much time just to keep on top of the work. When you’re scheduling your week, don’t forget to allocate time to track competitors and undertake awareness-raising activities such as reading blog posts.
- Lack of marketing knowledge – When you start your own business, you don’t get a handbook explaining the ins and outs of marketing. While there are plenty of resources to help small businesses learn these skills, it’s hard to find the time to filter out workable marketing tips and techniques. You can hire a marketing company to handle your workflow. If you really don’t have the time to market your business, it’s likely worth the investment to make sure someone else is marketing it for you.
- Lack of direction and planning – This problem prevails because of not creating a thorough and detailed business plan. Many young entrepreneurs are so excited about setting up their very own business that they fail to prepare a proper business plan. It helps in focusing on the goal and mission of the business. It determines the financial situation of the business, the roadmap to follow, market research and analysis of the competition. A business plan is basically an investment to your business.
- Trying to do it alone – Coping with everything alone is also one of the most common mistake new business owners make. They believe that they can manage everything and don’t need any advice or help form anyone. Initially, they do seem to be successful in this strategy as the cost is low since they handle everything. However, as the work starts growing gradually, the workload takes a toll on the new entrepreneur. Hiring two to three employees is more beneficial for a start-up business. It is better to pay a small amount to your workers than lose double the amount in the future.
The key for small business owners is to recognise these challenges and take counter measures accordingly. Cutting overheads in every way may seem like the only right thing to do, but “attack” is also the best form of defence. Small business owners should constantly look for opportunities and take their advantage in timely manner.