4 Common Struggles for Small Business Owners
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you probably daydream about the different businesses you’d like to open, focusing on the freedom and potential financial rewards. In reality, the road for successful small business owners isn’t usually a smooth one. Chances are, your business will hit a few bumps along the way. If you know what to expect and how best to respond, you’ll be able to navigate these bumps expertly, avoiding the most common struggles when starting a business.
1. Don’t Bite Off More than You Can Chew
When you’re starting something new, it’s easy to get overexcited about all the great ideas zooming around in your head. But, it’s important to focus on just a few things at a time, especially when starting a business. If all goes well, you can always add more to the mix. This advice can be used when it comes to many important elements of your business. For example, don’t offer too many products at first – Just provide the basics and add specialized or complementary offerings once you see positive customer responses. The same goes for markets – Focus on one market to start, and consider others as your business becomes more stable. Starting a business is hard. If you have too many things going on, it can become overwhelming and difficult to identify how best to resonate with potential customers.
2. Find the Right Team
Often, when new entrepreneurs start a business, they turn to family, friends, and other connections within their immediate network for help. While these supporters can provide invaluable assistance to new small business owners, they might not make the best employees. Don’t settle and have your sister’s boyfriend design your logo because he’s the only graphic designer you know. Don’t hire your cousin as your operations manager because you know she needs a job. Take the time and find the right people who are qualified to do the work you need done. Be picky and craft a team that will benefit your business.
3. Keep the Cash Flowing
One of the most common struggles when starting a business is keeping cash flow on track. At the beginning, you’re still learning about seasonal ebbs and flows and potential obstacles that might keep you from being able to cover your monthly expenses. This is usually exacerbated by the fact that most small business owners invest all they have into getting the business off the ground, leaving nothing to tap when a cash flow emergency comes up. A number of business financing options, from a small business loan to a line of credit to invoice factoring, can help ensure the cash keeps flowing so this worry is off the table.
4. Adapt to New Marketing Channels
The marketing game has totally changed with the advent of social media, smart phones, and always-on Internet. While this can be a good thing – you can orchestrate an effective marketing campaign for very little money – if you’re not up-to-speed on the latest tactics and technologies, you can have a hard time connecting with would-be customers. It’s important to present an authentic brand voice and face to the company. If you’re not true to yourself and your business, your audience will see right through you. Engage with your audience; marketing is no longer a one-way street.
It’s impossible to avoid all challenges on the road to business success. But, if you persevere and treat them as learning experiences, your ultimate destination as a small business owner will be in reach.