There is nothing quite like the excitement and the challenge of being a business owner. No two days are the same, and you are always looking for new ways to deal with things and make a difference. However, sometimes a problem comes up that seems a little tricky to solve, and you sit there scratching your head.
Here we look at five of the most common problems that small businesses face and ideas for solving them.
Cash flow and money problems
Cash flow is by far the greatest challenge facing start-ups and other small businesses. So many times, entrepreneurs are not starting out with enough money. Start-up expenses are frequently over the budget. Before starting out, get several quotes for large-ticket items and also set up a contingency fund for potential overruns.
The other challenge here is cash flow. It is easy to be wildly optimistic when anticipating a break-even point. Be cautious about forecasting unsustainable sales figures or cutting the operating budget too thin. Many business experts advise business owners to have enough liquid cash to sustain the business for a minimum of two years.
Not planning properly
Spontaneity is a great thing in many aspects of your life, but not when it comes to business. Flying by the seat of your plants is not the way to run a successful business.
If you want your business to be successful, you need to plan. You need to run it in the same way that a big corporation runs theirs. Have a clear strategy in place, with all of your visions, goals and analysis. You need a structured business plan with a detailed budget, projected break-even point and cash flow.
The pressure to cut corners
It can be really tempting to cut corners in business to save time and money. You will possibly find that other people whose advice and input you value may encourage you to cut corners because it worked out okay for them. That is down to pure luck though – you may not be quite so lucky. Cutting corners can very often lead to a more expensive, or even dangerous issue copping up in the future. For example, if you manage a fleet of vehicles and try to get around having an OPTAC3 tachograph, you can find yourself in deep trouble if something goes wrong – which it inevitably will. Don’t cut corners for the sake of saving a little bit of money or time – it really is not worth it in the long run.
When you run your own business, time management is vital. If you end up taking too much on, you can end up doing everything poorly. Instead, prioritise what is important and focus on those tasks. There are plenty of tools available, both free and paid versions, online to help you to manage your workflow and keep you organised and still have a work-life balance.
This is only a few of the problems that a business owner faces; there are plenty more. However, if you seek out solutions and act on them, the impact on your business will be negligible.