As small business owners we all have 99+ challenges at various levels.
Do you know how to cope and master the problems you face in business? If not, here are five small business challenges we’ve all faced, and five smart ways to deal with them.
Having sufficient cash flow to cover small business bills, is a common place challenge for startups. The best way to manage capital drain is to “get scrappy!” Take time to line-item every single business expense and look for creative ways to cut those expenses in half. Also, take a closer look at your personal finances. Do you overspend in certain areas? What’s more important … feeding your business until it can feed you or shopping binges? Prioritize and cutback all non-essentials over the next 6-months and fuel your company. While delayed gratification doesn’t seem fabulous, the end result is.
While you may be brilliant – one superpower none of us have is unlimited energy. It’s not uncommon to exert so much time and effort into your company that you run the risk of compromising your health. Several ways to combat founder’s fatigue is to focus on a healthier lifestyle: eat better foods, exercise 15-30 minutes per day, take daily vitamins and recharge with adequate sleep habits. While you may think you can do it all, an unhealthy body will boldly disagree. Invest in your business by taking care of its most invaluable asset – you.
Are you having trouble identifying your customers? If so, you’re not alone. Often times, the buyers we identify at the outset are not the ones that we end up with. Deciphering the best marketing tactics and breaking through the clutter starts with focus. You cannot be all things to all people. Start by re-evaluating your customer demographic and incorporating lead gen with targeted offers to capture customer data. Taking a data-driven approach to your marketing efforts along with market testing is the best way to master your message and the marketplace.
It’s a Social Media World
Social media is one of many proven and effective tactics in your marketing tool kit. Should you spend all of your day tweeting, liking and pinning? No. But social media is important given that “one in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook, Twitter is handling 1.6 billion queries per day,” and Pinterest is “the third most-visited social-networking site in the United States.” If marketing is truly a conversation and social media sparks them, guess what happens when your brand is nowhere to be found in the social universe? Start engaging where your customers play in social media networks. Set up a profile, cross-promote your social media presence on your website, start sharing industry related tips, and spread other peoples tweets, posts and pins. While not every platform may be viable for your business – it’s highly likely that at least one is. “Sixty-two percent of adults worldwide and 53% of small businesses are using social media.” If you aren’t a part of the conversation, it will become increasingly difficult to remain relevant.
Many entrepreneurs think they need more time. That time is usually a result of locating the right people to delegate necessary tasks so you can focus on the bigger picture – business development. Ultimately if your company doesn’t acquire talent – it makes it much harder to grow. And therein lies the conundrum – if you’re dealing with capital drain (#1) it seems impossible to tackle the resource challenge. But where there’s a will, there is a way. It’s time to get creative and start looking for partnerships where you can receive and add value. Also, get comfortable with delegation from day one. Hire an intern immediately to lighten the load and focus on spreading your strategic wings.
How do you tackle these small business challenges? Let me know in the comments section below.
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