What are some of the biggest challenges small business owners face? Money? Time? If you asked the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, they’d probably say they face those concerns, too. But the truth is this: Small businesses face obstacles daily that don’t usually plague big companies.
Don’t worry, you can still help your organization thrive if you address these challenges in a proactive way:
Lack of direction
A well-known passage in Proverbs tells us that without a vision, the people perish. The same is true for your business.
You must decide your company’s long-term strategic priorities, and set goals to get there. Take time to evaluate those priorities and goals at least once a quarter, and adjust as necessary.
Lack of knowledge and skills
Even the very best leaders have strengths and weaknesses. A smart leader understands this, and does something about it. Recognize your weak areas, and find additional training to improve yourself.
Hiring the right team members
Every hire matters. Period. That’s why you need to invest significant time up front, and take the interview process seriously and slowly.
Create a list of the must-haves, and don’t settle for anything less. Wait for the person who’s the perfect fit, then set them up for success by training them very well.
Too much information!
Not all sources of information are created equal. And today, some aren’t even accurate. The first article you read on a topic could be the result of marketing manipulation.
Don’t trust every popular article or emerging trend. Ask trusted peers and mentors which information sources they trust. Try them out, and stick with ones that have proven, factual track records.
A refusal to innovate
Sometimes you need to break what’s not broken and create something completely new. Taking your business to the next level may depend on your willingness to change the status quo.
Be willing to try different approaches and take calculated risks. Move into spaces where others won’t go. You may need to sacrifice good so you can work toward great.
The owner of a small business is often the CEO, accountant, salesperson, marketer, and copy writer. But running yourself into the ground will also run your business into the ground.
Neglecting personal needs is not an option. Get regular exercise, and pursue outside interests completely unrelated to your work. Set aside time for family, too.
Finding and retaining clients
Building your customer base is one of the most challenging aspects of a small business. It’s hard to compete with bigger companies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win against the big guys.
You’re in the perfect place to offer one thing huge corporations usually don’t: outstanding customer service. Give clients an over-the-top, professional experience, and you’ll cultivate a loyal following. Remember, it’s all about building relationships.
Don’t rely on just one
A big client can provide a positive emotional impact—and a huge revenue stream—when your company is in its infancy. But sooner or later, that stream will dry up. Don’t build your budget around one client. That means getting the word out.
In today’s world, a social media presence is a must. On the flip side, networking is just as important. Face-to-face encounters outperform pictures on Instagram 99% of the time. Balance the two, and you’ll be unstoppable!
Leadership and small business expert Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored numerous best-selling books, including EntreLeadership. The Ramsey Show is heard by 18 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms.