Not all businesses are created equal but, one thing’s for sure, they’ve got some pretty similar obstacles in the beginning stages. Only one-third of businesses will see their 10-year anniversary. Don’t get tripped up. Here are some common business challenges and how you can crush them.
Lack of Money
Sometimes the roughest part of launching a startup is finding the funding to, well, start the business up. Welcome to America, the land of credit. If you’re not fond of the idea of going into debt because you’re not sure you can make up the interest and get ahead, then take a step back.
If you don’t believe in your business, who will? That alone will create obstacles for your business. Refuel your fire and hype yourself up. If you’re still not a fan of using credit, consider crowdfunding to find the money. Don’t let the dollar bill stop you from taking the leap. Scared money doesn’t make any money.
Another option is to bootstrap your business. For service-based businesses, bootstrapping your business is easier as opposed to product-based businesses. This is a great approach for a few reasons.
For starters, you are personally vested in the business, so you’ll be sure to grind even harder to make your company a success. Also, you’ll learn to work with less. Because you’ll be more protective of your bottom line, you’ll be sure to make the tight, financial business decisions that make sense to keep the company successful.
Short on Time
We’re all guilty of saying this next phrase one time or another: There isn’t enough time in the day. Talk about a terrible excuse for not succeeding with your business.
The truth is, there will never be enough time. Don’t let time be a roadblock. Do what you can and outsource the rest. Hire on some added help or enlist the assistance of an intern.
If you feel like manpower isn’t what you need, take the 24/7 digital assistant route and get an end-to-end Customer Experience Management (CXM) software platform to simplify your tasks.
Having a CXM takes the pain out of running your business, saves you tons of time, and allows you to:
- Separate leads and customers
- Organize communication
- Store and share documents
- Automate campaigns
- Schedule social media posts
- Schedule appointments
- Create and organize invoices
- Collect payments
- Monitor reviews
Clinging to Status-quo
We are creatures of habit so change can get uncomfortable, to say the least. You’ll want to get out of your habits and make sure you’re adapting to the things changing around you.
Perhaps you were raised in the age of newspaper ads and the idea of getting onto social media makes you twitch. Sorry, but it’s time you hop on board. People who adopt new practices early on get ahead. If you want to be a leader in your industry, you need to try something new and get innovative.
Growth. Everyone wants to see their business blossom to the point where it’s a full-time job and they can hire employees, find more clients and continue to build out. This can be rather difficult. Don’t rush to get through this obstacle, overspend, and create more trouble for your business.
If you’re looking to scale:
- Identify the vision of your company. Constantly analyze where your business is to be sure you’re staying on course with the vision.
- Find motivation outside of money.
- Get sales-minded. Regardless of what your products or services are, you are in sales. Never stop selling yourself.
- Ask for advice. You don’t know it all. Find others who have surpassed where you are and get their guidance.
Failure to Plan
Don’t ruin your business before you can launch by failing to plan. Even the simplest form of planning can be vital to your success.
What will you do when you realize you’re in over your head? Well, the first plan you can make begins there — ask for help. Running a business is no easy feat. Because every small business has its challenges, it’s important to know your strengths and be honest about your weaknesses.
The Wrong Motivation
Before you jump into the world of running a business, take a hard look in the mirror. How motivated are you? What motivates you? When you are the head, hand and heart of the company, you can’t afford to get lazy.
Those who are strictly money-motivated have a different issue — quitting. When money is the driving force of why you go into business, you may find yourself leaving the world of entrepreneurship to head back to your 9 to 5 where the money is handed to you and the company owns you.
Find a motivation outside of money. Would you like to pass your company down to your kids or feel accomplished by running your business successfully? If you don’t have a clear idea of why you’re doing it, and don’t have the motivation to succeed, then it may be best to save your time and energy.
One of the greatest challenges of being your own boss is overcoming waves of productivity. There’s no looming CEO to threaten your job if you slack off. If you can become more productive, you’ll get more output, which could result in a major return on investment.
Put your productivity back on track with these quick reminders:
- Take a break. This might seem even more unproductive, but you might just need a break from your work to get back on track. Try going for a walk or doodling.
- Take on a different task. Rather than getting stuck or frustrated, shift gears and tackle other work while you separate from the projects that are killing you.
- Search for inspiration. Read a book, enjoy some music or just find a new space to work. Sometimes a new location can ignite a spark.
- Turn unproductive time into planning time. If you can’t seem to get anything done, plan for the future. No, it doesn’t eliminate your list but, looking toward the future can motivate you in the here and now.
- Wipeout any distractions. Sometimes it’s not you, it’s your environment. Try cleaning your desk or turning off your phone.
- Gauge why you’re unproductive. Did you miss out on a few hours of sleep or skip breakfast? Pin point the core issue and find a solution.
- Work hard when you feel productive. For some people waking up at 6 a.m. and diving into projects works for them. Other work best later in the evening. Work around when your body and mind decide it’s easiest to work — unless you have a deadline.
- Make a rough draft and then make it perfect. Just push something out. Anything. Once that outline is done, you can go in and complete it during your peak productivity hours.