Small business owners have to make many decisions each day. Most of these decisions are small and have minor impact. However, there are some big decisions that have to be made as well. And, this is where the challenge lies for small business owners.
Today, we live in a rapidly changing world, and this is especially true for businesses. In this day and age, businesses have to decide how to invest in and utilize new technologies, adapt to entirely new marketing channels, and compete on a global stage—all at the same time.
In today’s competitive world, the theory ‘survival of the fittest’ fits really well. There are 150 million startups in the world today with fifty million new startups launching every year. This means that an average of 137,000 startups emerge every single day. If these numbers don’t make you anxious, I don’t know what will!
For small businesses in the U.S, times are tough, as they face issues that are unique to their situation in an economy that still looks and feels as if it’s suffering through a recession. Today, small businesses face a number of key challenges that recur over and over as major problem areas. Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you: running a small business is anything but small.
Getting off the ground requires dedication and lots of hard work, but creating your own profitable business can be beyond rewarding. However, to transition from ‘small business’ to ‘large enterprise’, you’ll have to face some growing pains. If you’re small business owner or even an aspiring entrepreneur, start planning for some of the potential obstacles ahead if you want your venture to be successful.
Businesses, in particular small businesses, face a myriad of challenges today. Throughout the course of managing their business, small business owners encounter many problems. As a small business owner, you must be prepared to take on and solve the problems that come your way. However, this is easier said than done.
Generally, small business owners, in particular new entrepreneurs, are not prepared for the problems coming their way. If you’re one of them then you need to understand that problems are an everyday part of every business and you need to face each problem with determination and a proper solution.
So, what are the problems that you’ll need to overcome as a business owner? Following are 3 big challenges that small businesses face today.
Your Finances are Numero Uno!
Cash is King! Businesses exist to make money and most small business owners run their finances without adequate planning or oversight. While they do monitor expenses, accounts receivables and bank balances, many small businesses today don’t have a basic financial forecasting and reporting/monitoring structure in place.
Also, many of them don’t have the luxury of a line of credit or other funding sources to help them remain creditworthy when the inevitable financial speed bump occurs. To overcome the challenges in the financial area, consider using the following ‘best practices’:
- Use QuickBooks or accounting software of your choice to create a basic financial reporting structure
- To assure timely reporting and item entries that you and your employees will follow, document financial reporting guidelines
- Create a forecast of all important financial data, such as key expense types, accounts receivables, and revenues.
- Commit to a set schedule to review the reports, comparing your results to forecasts and previous time periods
- Research short-term financial options such as a line of credit, silent investors, credit card, or other personal funds
Customers Can’t Find You Online
People are turning to the web for just about everything and there’s no denying it. Without a professional online presence, your business is already a step behind. The good news is that putting your business online and developing a strong online presence isn’t as difficult or costly as it was five, ten, or 15 years back. Following are some easy and inexpensive ways to create a strong online presence, allowing customers to easily find you online.
Get a Professional Business Website
To create a strong online presence, one of the most important things that you need to do is get a professional business website. Now, you can create your website yourself, even if you have little or no technical knowledge. But, it’s better that you get your website made by a professional web designing service that’ll optimize your website for mobile and beef up its SEO. This will ensure that, no matter what device your customers are on, they’ll be able to find you.
Have a Social Media Presence
Find out which social networking sites your target audience frequently visit, and set up a professional account on them. To help drive traffic to your website and ultimately grow your business, creating and maintaining a social presence is crucial. Engaging audiences is the name of the game now, and social media is your ticket for doing just that.
Try Email Marketing
Using e-newsletters, keep in touch with your contacts and customers. By using e-letters to keep in touch with them, you’ll remind customers about the online presence of your business.
A Fast-Paced Market
Technology moves at an incredibly rapid pace, and keeping up with the changes can be a challenge for many small business owners. In today’s competitive world, small businesses must be able to anticipate the next wave of major opportunities that technology will create for the customers. And then build into that future with new products that delivery truly unique value.
While you should strive for innovation, you can easily become distracted by new technology, projects and markets, losing sight of your niche market that makes your business valuable. So, the key is to stay ultrafocused on the core.
Small businesses face a myriad of challenges today. If you don’t take a step up, you could drown in the noise.