The reality is that being a small business owner isn’t as easy and exciting as it sounds. There are many daily challenges to work through and get past and the road to success isn’t always smooth sailing. There are a few hurdles, in particular, you can expect to face as you strive to manage and grow your business. What you don’t want to be is blindsided and pretend like it’s going to be a seamless ride when you know that in reality that is unlikely. Learn more about the pitfalls, so you’re prepared to problem solve and get past them in a professional and timely manner.
Taking on Too Much at Once
Biting off more than you can chew is a common problem among new businesses. You have a lot of adrenaline running through your veins, and you start to say yes to all the proposals and work that’s thrown your way. However, you need to know that you have to be more discerning in what you accept if you want to succeed. What will help is if you make a list of to-dos and goals and then put them in priority order, so you’re getting done what’s most important first. Take on too much at one time, and you’ll quickly find you and your team feeling overwhelmed and unable to get anything productive done in the long run. Put a business plan in place and make sure what you’re doing each day aligns with your long-term objectives.
Hiring the Right Employees
Don’t rush the hiring process and bring on friends and family because it’s the easy answer. Spend time reading through resumes and conducting interviews so you can handpick the right candidates for the job. You want to bring people onboard who are a good fit with the company culture and will be invested in helping you reach your goals. Avoid letting your emotions and anxieties take over and cause you to make poor decisions just because you want to fill seats. The talent is out there, but you have to be patient and willing to do your due diligence and recruit the employees who are going to be a good choice for the long-term. Remember that it can be costly to have to keep replacing bad employees, so this is another good reason why you should take your time hiring.
Handling the Demand
It’s possible that you’ll strike a chord with a lot of people when you first open your doors and demand will be high. Don’t run and hide in this instance, but instead be prepared to respond and answer the call. For example, if you’re the owner of a tax preparation business and have a lot of clients knocking on your door, then you’re going to have to make adjustments so you can take on more work. One idea is to visit www.ultimatetax.com and purchase the professional tax software you need that’s going to help you work efficiently and build a bigger book of business. You want to have solutions and ideas in place that will help you to meet the high demand you’re experiencing.
Not taking care of yourself is one hurdle you’re likely to face as you take on the role of being an entrepreneur. The reason for this is because you get so busy attending to your new venture that you end up not having time to care for your own needs. Know that it’s very important you put yourself first in this situation if want to truly thrive. Make time for exercise, eat right, get enough sleep and limit yourself to a certain amount of hours at the office each week. If you’re unhealthy and don’t feel well most of your days, then you risk not being able to run a business and manage your employees properly. Get your wellbeing on track and notice how much more natural energy you have on a daily basis.
Keeping Up with the Competition
Competition is fierce in business these days, both online and offline. You can’t sit around hoping that customers find you and ignoring what your competition is doing. Study them and do your homework, so you know where the gaps exist. This way you can step in and win over their customers because you’ll be able to meet all of their needs. Stop playing catch up and begin to be proactive about how you’re going to approach the industry and find ways to be more innovative with what you’re currently offering. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and stand out from the crowd in areas where you feel you’re the strongest.
Failing to Stick within Budget
Not properly managing your finances and overspending is one hurdle you may run into as a small business owner. You have to step up and be in control and make it clear to others that you expect them to stay within budget. Set the tone by doing so yourself and not lavishly spending money where it’s not necessary. You need positive cash flow if you’re going to be able to grow your company and experience success down the road. Expenses add up real fast if you’re not careful about knowing where your money is going and what you’re investing in. It’s better to be frugal then not pay attention and run into a lot of unwanted surprises.
Many small business owners soon find themselves facing a dilemma regarding not being able to find customers. One reason you’re struggling in this area could be because you’re not willing to dedicate time, money and resources to come up with a solid marketing strategy. You can’t open your place of business and automatically expect consumers to flock to you. Give them a reason and incentive to want to check you out and use your business. Offer special promotions, announce discounts and hold customer appreciation events to show you care about them. What will help you out the most is if you take the time to identify your target market and then engage with them directly.
Maintaining a Motivated Team
You may have the right team in place, but it’s possible they’re not acting very motivated to want to work hard. Be sure you’re rewarding them appropriately and letting them know you’re monitoring their performance on a regular basis. Get your employees involved in the goal-setting stage and helping you to brainstorm ideas for how you can improve the business. Ask for their input regularly and listen to their feedback when they offer it up to you. Know that your attitude and outlook is contagious, so keep your energy and language positive in the office and when working with others. Be good about offering up regular praise and compliments when you see your staff members going above and beyond. It doesn’t always have to be about money; sometimes your recognition is enough to get them motivated again.
Growth vs. Quality
One important hurdle you’ll likely face as a small business owner is trying to balance growth with delivering high-quality products or services. You may find yourself torn between trying to keep up with the latest trends and deciding what the best plan of attack is going forward. The key is to find a good balance and not sacrifice what you know you’re good at doing just because you want to expand your business. Take it slow and be patient as you work to figure out the right solution for you. Grow too fast, and you may find yourselves losing loyal customers who liked doing business with you because you always delivered on your promise.
Burnout is real, and it’s common among new small business owners who don’t know where to draw a line in the sand. Overexert yourself, and you may find you start to lose the passion you once felt for your business. Pencil in time to sit and think once in a while and simply clear your head. Rediscover why you took this job in the first place and all the reasons you strongly believe in what you’re selling. Find your love for what you do again and notice how much happier and more at ease you feel on any given day. People are looking up to you, and if they see you sulking or feeling frustrated, then they may take on your negative energy too. Care for yourself and don’t let a few obstacles get in the way of you building the successful business you always dreamed of.
Unfortunately, facing hurdles is a part of being in business for yourself, and there truly is no way around it. The good news is there are strategies you can put in place to help you work through them and come out a better person and company for it. Remain calm and patient and use your problem-solving skills when faced with adversity. You’ll likely surprise yourself at how well you’re able to manage difficult situations when you put your thinking cap on and take your time to maneuver your way through these challenges.