Running a business is hard work. Maybe that’s why only one-third of small businesses stay open over ten years, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA.) For the one-third that do last their first decade, they learn to overcome even the most burdensome challenges.
Here are some of common problems that occur for all small businesses:
Business Owner Burnout
Operating a small business is not for the weak. It takes a strong person to handle the immense pressure and long hours with grace. The utter exhaustion can make business owner irritable, forgetful, and disorganized. It’s nearly impossible to manage expenses, employee issues, clients and customer service without burning the candle at both ends.
Entrepreneurs suffer from fatigue without delegating tasks to specialists. For instance, hiring accountants or business law experts can help busy business owners catch up on the important things in life (like sleep.)
Another thing business owners need to remember is to not over saturate their time with work. Work-life balance is absolutely essential to your mental wellbeing as well as physical health. Scheduling and segmenting time for particular tasks is essential.
Since small businesses have few employees, it’s of upmost importance to motivate employees to do a greater scope of work and to make a bigger impact. Employees that are working for more than just the paycheck are likely to perform better than ones without such high company engagement.
Companies that have a more laid-back environment tend to retain happier and are more productive. Also, putting small budgets into things like free coffee or an annual office party can build strong morale. Having your employees feel positively about your small business will reduce turnover, too.
In an ever-changing modern landscape, there’s always a new ways to stay relevant. The easiest way to keep your small business fresh is by keeping your eyes glued on the social media of your biggest competitors or industry influencers. Little things like setting up a Google Alerts to show you the latest niche news to share on your pages is an example of keeping your brand current and engaging with an audience of a digital age.
Software and apps can assist small owners immensely too. Whether it be a paid customer service solution like ZenDesk or downloading an app for inner-office communication like Slack, using innovative technologies can save a lot of overhead and make the workflow smoother.
If you’re paying for things that aren’t adding real value to your business, you need to rethink it. Strong small businesses know that cutting costs should never impact the quality of service they offer customers. Running an expense audit on costs can help you start to eliminate things that are not being utilized or find cheaper alternatives.
No matter how great your company’s product is, it’s not going to make it without the customers. Savvy business owners start going after targeted audiences that are likely to be highly profitable. First they look at what demographics are spending the most with them and then they hit those hard through outside sales or targeted internet advertising.