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Biggest Challenges Faced By Small Business Owners

– Contributed content –

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(StockSnap, Pixabay)

31 Dec. 2018. No one can deny that running a business is a struggle. While there are certainly rewards to reap, both emotional and financial, there are also many challenges to face along the way. Unlike employees with typical nine-to-five jobs, small business owners need to build their work and processes from scratch, complying to a myriad of rules along the way. They also have to juggle a lot of different tasks, many of which they may not be completely familiar with. To ensure you go into this venture prepared, here are ten of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face.

  1. Deciding what to sell

Before you can do much else in business, you need to work out exactly what you want to sell. Whether this is a product or service, it should be profitable and stand out among similar items on the market. To identify a prosperous niche, you can conduct some market research and look for problems with no solutions. You can also take a look at issues you face in your own life for inspiration. If you start to struggle with this, then you could delegate the work to a researcher.

  1. Planning effective marketing strategies

Unfortunately, even the best product or service in the world will make little profit if no one knows that it exists. This is why you need to invest both time and money into planning and launching effective marketing strategies. The issue with this is that, unless you are a marketing expert yourself, it can get quite confusing. Thankfully, there are lots of agencies and skilled freelancers out there for you to turn to. You can also research your competition for a few ideas.

  1. Finding the right staff

As much as you may try, no business owner can do everything on their own. Because of this, there will come a time when you need to start delegating work. Most companies begin by outsourcing certain tasks to qualified freelancers, other businesses, or offshore employees. You can consult with companies, like Full Scale, to help you with this. When it comes to permanent team members, you must ensure you spend time with hiring and always check references.

  1. Retaining your best employees

Once you have a team of skilled and qualified individuals, you won’t want them to move to another company. After all, this will cost you time and money that you can’t afford to lose. With that in mind, you must find ways to create a happy work environment and give employees a reason to want to stay with you. You must offer a competitive salary, attractive employee benefits, and show your appreciation by offering thanks and rewards for hard work.

  1. Performing the administrative work

Payroll and bookkeeping probably aren’t your favorite tasks, but they’re crucial to your business nonetheless. Because of this, you need to find some way to ensure that they get done when they should. If you have more important or exciting work to be getting on with, then consider leaving this to someone more qualified for the job. You can delegate the work to an expert internal employee or consider hiring an outside resource to take the task off your hands.

  1. Lack of cash flow

Money is the fuel that keeps the business world moving. You can never have too much of it, but, if you were to have too little, everything could come to a halt. You wouldn’t be able to pay your bills or employees, and, as such, wouldn’t be able to get any work done at all. For this reason, proper budgeting is absolutely vital. You can also ask for prompt payments from clients and build up an emergency fund for times when you are struggling with cash flow.

  1. Maintaining work-life balance

With long work hours and an even longer to-do list, it’s no surprise that most entrepreneurs struggle to maintain a work-life balance. Working every hour that you can simply isn’t healthy, so it’s crucial that you set yourself reasonable work hours and try to stick to them regardless of what’s going on in your business. To make this a little easier, you can delegate and outsource work so that you have less on your plate. You can also aim to improve your productivity at work.

  1. Poor employee workplace productivity

As important as it is for you to remain productive, it’s even more crucial that your employees do. However, without watching them every minute of every day, this can seem difficult. Thankfully, it’s not quite as challenging as it first appears. Instead of scaring your staff into speeding up, you should show that you appreciate the work that they do. This will make them want to help you. You can also invest in better technologies and consider allowing employees to work from home.

  1. Sticking to the laws

Starting a business is so much more complicated than working out what you want to sell and selling it. You need to comply with a host of rules, regulations, and laws, many of which are specific to certain types of business or different industries. You can find out a lot of information on business law online, but, unless you’re an expert, it can get pretty overwhelming. For this reason, you should find yourself a lawyer to teach you about your obligations.

  1. Relocating to another office

Relocating can be an incredibly beneficial move for your business, but that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. You need to find the perfect location and space, consider your team, plan the budget, and so much more. To take the pressure off a little, you should start to plan the move as soon as possible, informing employees when the decision is definite. You should also consider assigning a project manager so that the work you do isn’t disrupted at all.

Running a small business is challenging at the best of times, but some struggles are that much harder to handle than others. Hopefully, with the advice above, you can prepare for these problems and avoid any further stress.

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