One thing you’ll learn rather quickly about being a business owner there’s always some obstacle to overcome. As rewarding as owning a company can be, the process of getting and keeping it successful isn’t always a simple one. Often possessing very little money, time, and resources, many entrepreneurs aren’t prepared to handle daily challenges which can result in the demise of their dreams.
The only way to prevent it from happening to you is to be proactive and find innovative ways to overcome some of the common small business problems.
Common Small Business Problems
Problem: Cash Flow
No matter what kind of company you own cash is necessary to keep it afloat. However, as most entrepreneurs probably already know, obtaining cash from traditional outlets like banks or online lenders is easier said than done. As you need money to pay for everything from your website to your inventory, and commercial property expenses, when the money runs dry, the business tends to follow.
There are a lot of reasons that cash flow becomes an issue. However, one of the most common is held up in accounts receivable or customer invoicing. When billing customers for products and services already rendered, waiting for them to pay can hold up funds. To decrease the number of outstanding payments from customers it is important to develop a strong system. This includes drafting clear invoices sent out in a timely fashion and having multiple methods of payment, such as cash, credit cards, and online payment solutions. You should also follow up with late customers. You might also consider offering incentives like discounts for timely payments to encourage faster returns.
Problem: Not Enough Assistance
Another challenge small businesses face on a regular basis is staffing. Many entrepreneurs wear several hats and try to take on all the responsibility. Though this may work for a while, eventually, being overworked can decrease the quality of your results. Trying to complete everything on your own whether you’re skilled in that department or not can greatly hurt your company’s success.
Even the most successful business owners didn’t reach the top without some assistance from others. Though budget constraints may prevent you from hiring a team that works full-time, there are more affordable options to get you the help that you need. This includes outsourcing certain tasks to companies or independent contractors, hiring temporary or part-time staff, and if necessary bartering your services to receive assistance from another business professional.
Problem: Trouble Getting New Customers
Getting your first few sales feels great. It lets you know that people are interested in what you have to offer. However, what many new business owners will find is that obtaining new customers and building a client base can prove challenging. For many small companies, they become dependent on a few key clients to stay afloat. While these few customers may be helping you to get by now, at any moment they could decide to take their business elsewhere leaving you in the hole.
The key to avoiding becoming dependent on a few clients to cover your expenses is to diversify your client base. This means accumulating more customers who are equally as interested in your brand. Though there are a lot of ways to go about this one is to expand your outreach in marketing. Marketing is your avenue to reaching your ideal clients. It is imperative that you know your target audience, what their needs are, and what marketing channels (like social media, blogs, websites, emails, etc.) speak best to them. In doing this as well as employing effective marketing strategies you can essentially draw in new business. As the little guy in a huge market, there’s no denying there will be hurdles for you to overcome.
There are challenges that small business face that larger organizations won’t. As a result, you must be creative in coming up with affordable and easy solutions to continually compete with the best in your industry. Though there are a lot of obstacles you’ll have to deal with as an entrepreneur the above-mentioned are some of the most common and important to deal with. Be proactive and begin considering solutions that will reduce your chances of failing.