From their inception, most small businesses struggle. They are likely in a highly competitive industry, trying to take some of the marketshare away from titans. Some succeed through innovation and sheer willpower. However, many also crumble due to lack of revenue and other universal struggles. Here are the top 5 most common struggles for small business owners, and how to overcome them.
5. Employee Retention
As a small business owner, you likely struggle to even pay yourself a decent salary, much less offer perks like health benefits and vacation time. Though employees may be excited at the prospect of getting in early at a small startup, that excitement only goes so far. Though you likely can’t offer the same packages as large corporations, there are strategies you can use to retain your best employees. Offering leadership training, mentoring, internal recognition and even small bonuses can let your employees know you value and are invested in them.
4. Time Management
Despite what small business owners may wish, there are only 24 hours in a day. When your time is consumed by small tasks, it becomes difficult to carve out time to focus on the big picture. Necessities like budgeting, research and development, marketing and others are left to be taken care of tomorrow… then the next day. If you are unable to hire more employees to handle some of the workload, outsourcing some tasks like tech support may be a major help.
3. Financial Strains
Even if you have a whiz of an accountant (or are one yourself), trying to budget for all your business needs can seem impossible. On top of payroll, rent and other expenses, finding money for tasks like marketing might feel like a pipedream. However, there are ways to make sure everything is covered. For instance, your marketing could be as simple as having a strong website and relying on social media for a while. Getting another infusion of capital from investors or from a bank loan may also be highly beneficial.
2. Adapting to New Technology
Though new technology is great to have, it is almost always pretty expensive as well. While big corporations can buy and implement new tech as they see fit, small businesses are left at a disadvantage. Though there is not a lot that can be done to match big companies in this arena, that may be an advantage for small businesses. You can attract more customers by focusing on the fact that you are a small business who actually cares about the people who walk in the doors, unlike the big corporations who use technology to get ahead.
1. A Lack of Communication
When you and your employees are working on multiple projects or jobs, it can quickly become confusing who is working on what and when. Having an effective team collaboration system can quickly tear down silos and ensure everyone is on the same page. If you need to go away on a business trip, you can still keep up with what’s happening in the store — and make sure everyone is still working on what they need to.