Starting your own business is a big challenge and if you have achieved that, congratulations on that!
But the thing is that small business and challenges are like two magnets who love to attract each other, and as you are the owner, you have to face them all. And believe me, these challenges are a lot to handle.
Bigger challenges are simpler to solve as you are aware of that challenge and you will take out time to solve it. On the other hand, there are many common challenges that are hard to address and they hurt your organization by decreasing your productivity slowly, while acting as factors affecting productivity, but on a steady rate and if these challenges are left unsolved, they can have a major effect over your business.
According to a study, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small businesses fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business. Finally, 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business.
This figure is the result of everyday problems, struggles or challenges that you face in your business. In fact, these struggles can be magnified or reduced depending on how you approach them. If you pinpoint the issues now and solve them, you can definitely reduce the challenges, which will, in turn, increase your productivity and will help your business grow.
As you continue to grow, you will face numerous unforeseen obstacles that will cause decreased mental energy and exaggerated stress levels.
Therefore if you are experiencing some growing pains, finding ways to eliminate the challenges could be a great start. Therefore, here are some of the most common problems that small businesses face and how you can overcome them.
According to a recent report, 67 percent of small business owners report a lack of capital as a major challenge.
Moreover, there is no small business that does not face this problem. The truth is that most small business owners have a difficult time getting capital when they need it.
One solution to this problem is to find some financial options and then figure out which way is best for your business. You can go for a traditional loan or for a partnership. If you don’t wish to opt for financial help, you can try by keeping your hard-earned cash in your pockets.
Provide incentives and cash discounts to lure creditors for timely payments or even an advanced one. If your connection or bonding with the customer is good, you can also take advantage of that and you can get their payments earlier.
One important task that you have to take care of is your Contract Risk Management. Make sure that all of your contracts have good ROI and positive results. You can easily manage this with Gatekeeper’s Contract Management Software.
Another solution would be to work on your marketing. To improve your sales, you have to market your business and for marketing also, you need money to invest in marketing outreach. Therefore you should start with free or low-cost methods. These methods will cost nothing other than your time. Create your brand’s Facebook page and pages on other social media platforms. Post to your blog and set up your email list. You can also invest in cheap marketing strategies like pay-per-click or local publications.
You can also create videos, webinars or podcasts. Therefore, you can opt-out for any or all of the marketing strategies mentioned above, according to your marketing project scope.
Too few hours a day:
Do you feel that while you are working, the clock runs?
This is what most small business owners feel. Due to lack of capital, most of the small business owners themselves do most of the business activities, but by doing so, you are utilizing your precious time that could be used to complete some more important task.
Money and time are two major resources and you should try to make a balance between the two.
Try to do the main tasks on your own and if there is time left, then only you should pick up the less important tasks. If you are not able to cope-up with the main tasks, it is a signal that you should hire someone, outsource some work or automate some tasks.
As I mentioned earlier, you should work on your marketing strategy, and you should invest your time in doing so, but you should only do this if you are free. If you have other work to do, you should hire someone, or you should outsource your work to some agency. Outsourcing your work would be much cheaper and you get the benefit of getting your work done by an expert. You should also include automating some processes in your steps in planning daily business chores.
Trouble with hiring and retaining excellent employees:
The heart of any business is its employees.
The productivity or output of any employee depends on how the owner treats them. A happy employee can keep you and the customers happy and thus can boost the business’s productivity. So how can you attract and retain the right employee?
It’s not hard to hire a few people, but it is hard to hire the right and talented employee. Let’s say you have an interesting prospect, but there are chances that you may not agree on the salary. But remember that the right talent will cost you more. You should at least try to be on the market norms in accordance with the salary that you offer. You should provide them with a robust salary and benefits packages.
To retain an employee, you should treat them as a family. Have a personal connection with them. Appreciate their hard work and reward them for the same. At least you should pay for their snacks and beverages. Make them feel valued by providing a bonus, extra leave, or anything that you think is right for them.
Make them work according to your daily work project scheduling only. You should respect their personal lives and you should provide them with enough time so that they can live their personal lives too.
Deciding where to focus:
There are so many methods now to promote your business that choosing on which platform you should promote your business is becoming difficult.
There’s social media, SEO, PPC, content marketing, mobile marketing and so on. While it is great that you have so many options, you should refine the options and you should focus on the one that will give you your desired results.
When you decide to pursue marketing on one, you should stick to it. The results that you want will take time and the key here for you is to be patient. You are investing your time and money on it and in the next moment if you will think that another option is better, then you are just wasting your time, money and energy and with frequent switching, yo0u can never achieve your desired goals.
You must identify where you should invest your resources. Most of the people are on Facebook, therefore Facebook could be the best platform for your social media marketing. However, if you are selling to a crowd where images are important, you can choose between Instagram or Pinterest. If your customers are other businesses, you should opt-out for LinkedIn.
To target your audience, you have to learn where they spend most of their time and thus you should market over that platform.
In order to measure your success, you should not compare your success with the actual goal, because it will take time. If you wish to measure your success, you should set project milestones and thus you should measure your success according to the milestones set.
Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that’s helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who’s doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team’s productivity.