Are you struggling as a small business owner? Trying to make ends meet or maybe just having issues expanding your business?
In my years working with business owners, helping them strengthen, streamline, and grow their businesses, I’ve noticed there are some common challenges that many small business owners face every day. As a strong believer in the philosophy that every problem has a solution, I’ve found that if we take a step back we often see simple solutions that can really change the game. So, if you’re struggling as an entrepreneur, just know you’re not alone and read on to discover 10 key solutions for overcoming 10 common issues entrepreneurs face.
Problem 1: Hiring and Retaining Great Employees
One of the biggest problems for small businesses is having enough money to hire additional employees. In order for your company to grow, you may need to hire extra talent and sometimes that can be difficult when you’re competing with larger businesses that have more resources.
Solution: Give your potential employees the sense that “they” will be helping the business build and grow with you. Make them feel like partners. Let them know they will be a vital part of the team. Take the time to identify their individual strengths and show them how they will be given the chance to work within those strengths, develop and excel with your company. Many job candidates see the opportunity to develop their talents and work where they are appreciated as a bigger plus than just more money.
Problem 2: Keeping Customers Happy
Getting new clients can be a challenge. Keeping clients can be an even greater challenge. We’ve all heard the expression “the customer is always right” and keeping your clients happy should be a daily goal.
Solution: Create a system that will help you not only obtain, but also retain your customers. Engage them regularly (but not too often), offer them products and services that improve the quality of their lives, and build a network that sustains the constant flow of business. Genuinely show how much you value them and they are more likely to be your customers for life.
Problem 3: Securing Working Capital
I’m not an expert on what financing options are available today, but with my background in accounting, I can offer some advice on how to position your business to be a great candidate for securing working capital if needed.[wpob id=”5″]
While there are many incentives and economic programs for small businesses, many do not qualify. This can make it difficult to build up credit or secure business loans and lines of credit needed to expand your business.
Solution: Educate yourself on all of your financing options, the pros and cons of each and how to qualify. Consider how you keep your books; is it to minimize tax liability or make your business more attractive to lenders?
Also, consider adopting the Miracle Money Method system for revenue allocation. It will not only make your business look more solid on paper, it will actually make it stronger! Lenders will see that you have a plan and a system in place to keep your business financially healthy as you grow.
Problem 4: Staying Focused on What You Can Control
It’s easy to lose your head over things that are out of your control. Not knowing the impact of current legislation, trends, or world events can create instability and uncertainty. But those are variables that are out of your control.
Solution: Revisit current business plans and determine where course corrections can and should be made. Focus on the things you CAN control instead of the things you can’t.
Problem 5: Blaming “The Economy”
Many people allow a slow economy to dictate decisions they make in their business and blame the economy if business is slow. This can be a cop out though. Millionaires are often made during times of recessions. The problem is that it’s easier to accept defeat and play the blame game than to embrace the challenges and think through ways to turn obstacles into opportunities.
Solution: Make a conscious decision not to allow “the economy” to hold you back. Instead, harness your creativity, come up with a strategy to overcome (or even put a positive spin on) obstacles, and see your plans through. Often, the difference between success and failure is your outlook and approach to obstacles.
Problem 6: Increasing Sales
A big challenge facing small businesses is increasing sales, without significantly increasing overhead.
Solution: Approach this problem strategically. Pay attention to what your customers are saying and looking for. Actively seek their honest feedback. Ask how you can do better or what can be added. Find ways to put better bundles together so that, even though the ticket price might be higher, value is added for your customers — while not adding much increase in your overhead.
Problem 7: Trying to Do It All Yourself
Break free from the mentality of “I have to do it all myself.” I know it’s your company, but there’s no way one person can possibly do it all. And pushing yourself beyond what you can realistically manage can lead to increased stress, health issues and burnout.
Solution: The art of delegation and asking for help when you need it are actually strengths rather than signs of weakness. Issues that might’ve taken me all day to address on my own have cleared up quickly when I’ve asked for help in my business. So, don’t resist seeking out the expertise of others, because you’re afraid of imposing.
Problem 8: Utilizing Social Media Marketing Effectively
This could be a whole page in and of itself. The social networking game can be challenging for small business owners, especially those that aren’t familiar with social media or have trouble keeping up with the trends. They often question whether they should be doing social media as part of their marketing. The answer is YES!
Solution: Know your target audience – your ideal customer base – and determine which social media platforms they use. Start interacting with your target market by giving them valuable information through these channels – both curated and original content. Learn to use it well or consider hiring someone to manage this for you. Word of mouth is a powerful ally and you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to reach potential customers.
Problem 9: Attracting New Business
One of the biggest problems facing small businesses is assuming that, because they have a website, customers will just find them. They often fail to do enough marketing to capture the attention of potential prospects and clients.
Solution: Have a plan and always continue your marketing. There’s no such thing as too much marketing and, these days, there are so many ways to have a presence in your industry without spending a ton of money on old-school advertising. You may not have enough money to air a commercial every other hour, but try to get your name out there as much as possible so people will know it. This is a great area to consider getting help with if marketing is not your strength.
Problem 10: Creating an Environment of Accountability
Successful businesses are the ones with high performing employees. With that said, the biggest impediment to high performance is lack of accountability for results.
Solution: Establish accountability by outlining a clear vision, objectives and goals for employees. These goals should define the results they are expected to achieve. Make sure they’re well aware of expectations, so they can be reviewed during their evaluation process and be sure to reward good employees with the appropriate praise or promotions.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of the issues many small business owners face, these are some of the big ones. Don’t let it discourage you. With some slight shifts in thinking, some awareness of effective business practices, and the willingness to draw from the expertise of others, you can overcome these 10 common business problems and make your company the company of your dreams. Good luck!