There is not a shortage of information on how to be successful in business. We have endless books and resources providing tips on how to succeed. Many of the solutions are timeless. The challenges business owners face has not changed, the tools and how we approach things have changed with technology.
- Cash Flow Management
Cash flow management challenges are not new. For small businesses, it can be a challenge to have your budget set up to handle the delay in payment of invoices. The aspect of owning and running a business requires business owners to wear many hats. Be sure that you stay on top of your invoices. There are many ways to help with cash flow, for example, instead of having a 30 days payment, offer a small discount by reducing the days. Such as the vendor can save 5% if they pay within 10 or 15 days.
- Hiring Employees
In Southern Idaho, we have an all-time low unemployment rate. This makes finding and keeping qualified employees a challenge. The risk to businesses is the time and cost it takes to train new employees. Examine your package, is your wage and benefits attractive? Is there a problem with the business culture that makes people leave?
When you are advertising a position be exclusive, do not use vague terms and qualifications, save yourself the time of sifting through a lot of applicants by having the duties, hours, etc. laid out. People want to feel like they make a difference. Be honest and forthright in the interview. For example, when I was interviewed by the board of directors to come to Jerome, I was told upfront about the challenges and the rebuilding needed. Many job seekers want and desire a challenge.
- Time Management
Time management is something everyone struggles with. The biggest challenge in today’s world is the fact that we are never unplugged. It is easy to start a task such as invoicing and then be distracted by emails, phone calls, vendors, etc. The solution is to make time, set goals and block of time on your calendar to accomplish specific tasks. If you have tasks that you can delegate, do so.
- Delegating Tasks
When it comes to something, we are passionate about, our baby, something we built from the ground up small business owners and entrepreneurs has a difficult time delegating tasks or outsourcing. When it comes to delegating, remember everyone starts at the bottom, we all have to learn and mistakes happen, if you delegated something to an employee and they make a mistake use it as an opportunity to mentor them and train them. If it is a task in which you are not very knowledgeable or just don’t have the time to accomplish yourself, outsource it. We can’t all be good at everything, be sure to use your time wisely and that includes delegating and outsourcing as necessary.
- Marketing Strategy
Today, social media makes it easy to start a marketing campaign. I have met many business owners who think they can rely on social media alone. This is a great jumping-off point but to be successful there is more to the marketing strategy than just utilizing social media or word of mouth.
The goal is to maximize your return and to find the most efficient way to reach your target markets that will bring in results. As the business owner you need to identify your niche, what are you selling, identify your target market, plan a marketing budget, network and build your brand visibility.
John D. Rockefeller said, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to for the great”. Challenges in business and life are what make us grow.
Cheryl Viola, Executive Director
- Entrepreneurs today. (2020, February 7). The Top 10 Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs Today. Retrieved from https://www.deluxe.com/blog/10-challenges-entrepreneurs-face/
- Levy, M. (2019, February 26). Five Ways To Overcome Common Entrepreneurial Challenges. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnycouncil/2019/02/26/five-ways-to-overcome-common-entrepreneurial-challenges/#43ef9d2d21a6
- Muli, D. (2018, October 19). Six common challenges faced by entrepreneurs. Retrieved from https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001299480/six-common-challenges-faced-by-entrepreneurs