Things are difficult for today’s small business entrepreneur, especially with the ongoing Brexit negotiations and how it might impact the market.
There are some common challenges small businesses face and they tend to come up regularly in startup conferences. If we can resolve most of these problems, a significant part of the work is covered.
While there are dozens to consider, we have picked the 4 biggest challenges and how we can overcome them.
1. Cash flow issues
This is by far the biggest challenge every small company will face. They need money to scale, to conduct new product research, promote existing products, pay staff, compete in new markets and so on.
As a small business, it is not unusual to have clients stalling payments or unexpected outgoings and bills that are outstanding. Be sure to use money management tools for business, to manage your finances and reduce complex cash flow problems. You can also use online invoices and automated reminders to persuade customers who are yet to pay.
2. Fatigued and overworked
Most small businesses are usually understaffed. As a result, the owner/founder (and partners) spend long hours working and wearing themselves out. In the long run, this can affect the ability to perform, including productivity levels and serving clients’ needs.
Embrace strategic delegation methods. Start by hiring experts to manage key areas of your business portfolio. Of course, it means compartmentalizing them to ensure every function is adequately served. Learn to stop micromanaging as this does not only discourage staff, but reduces your own productivity.
3. Winning over and retaining valuable customers
Most startups are torn between investing in new customers or managing existing ones. The truth is both decisions need not be mutually exclusive. You can focus on business development while serving you loyal clients effectively. To do this, research your consumer base, find out where you connect most with them. Identify these pain points and serve them accordingly.
Once you have developed a strategy for winning new customers, you will need to ensure you can keep them. It is common knowledge that it is cheaper (and easier) to retain to retain existing customers than win new ones. Therefore, a good part of your efforts should be focused on this endeavor.
4. Motivating your staff
Your human capital is one of (if not the most) important asset of your business. It is essential to make sure everybody keys into the vision of the company. Know what they want (besides more money) and try various team building exercises.
For example, organise regular programs as a team outside of work. Make everybody feel comfortable with each other. Is the work environment a happy place? Is your staff equipped with the relevant work solutions? You can motivate them in many ways without necessary increasing their salary.
Finally, look out for your overhead. Excessive cost is one way to drain a business’ revenue very fast. Switch to more sustainable energy sources and watch your overhead reduce drastically. Running a business is not easy, but tackling each issue one at a time can take you to the desired next level.