With the advent of new technology and business models, starting a business has never been easier. However, staying in business has become a lot trickier also. The folks over at www.findmyworkspace.com share a list of the 10 challenges entrepreneurs must face- and survive- while growing their business.
We live in an age of rapid economic and technological changes. This is an exciting but a very challenging time for businesses as companies have to adapt quickly. Otherwise, your flourishing venture today may end up an outdated disaster by tomorrow.
Know the 10 challenges entrepreneurs face nowadays and be ready to overcome them:
Financial and Resource Management
Money is important. You have to have the funds to pay for your company’s fixed and variable costs, as well as to finance your investments.
A venture may start with a bright idea, but it requires a healthy cash flow to keep it going. A company with inadequate funds will not be able to stay in business for long.
Make sure that you have enough resources to see you through slow months and emergencies that may arise. Build up your cash reserves and invest in liquid assets. You can also arrange a credit line with your bank to improve your chances of getting immediate funds when you need them.
Finding the Right People
Most businesses struggle to find the right employees with the right skills set for their organization. The dynamics of your team and how the members work together have a huge impact on the direction and productivity of your company.
As your business grows, you may have to add more people, which will definitely have a positive or negative influence on the team. Recruiting and maintaining the right people require a lot of patience, effort and reflection.
A small business is like a family- each member has his own personality, way of thinking and work style. As the leader of your company, you have to be able to bring out the best from different types of people and to be able to adjust your management style, as needed.
To achieve good synergy, make sure that you hire highly-skilled people in the functions where you are weak.
Government Regulations and Compliance
As trends and markets change, government regulations and policies might continue changing, as well. Some new policies require immediate compliance, so you have to be very careful and detail-oriented in understanding the meaning of your industry’s regulations.
It would be helpful to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with various policies and their implications to your business, or you can seek the help of someone with such expertise. You also need to pay special attention to mandated employee rights and benefits, minimum wage amount and other requirements.
Non-compliance might lead to heavy penalties for your business, as well as loss of credibility for your company.
As an entrepreneur, a great test for you is how you respond to the temptation to cut corners, omit or edit reports; or keep more income that is not legally yours.
Many businessmen reason out that “It is part of business” or “Everyone is doing it, anyway” or “If I don’t do it, my business might suffer.”
Just remember that trust is a very, very important factor in doing business with someone and in winning your team’s loyalty. Trust might be your competitive edge against others.
There are more startup companies now than any other time in the recent years. The boom of selling platforms has led to the emergence of numerous online stores. The competition is fierce!
Allot ample time to study your competitors and their moves. Have concrete strategies on how to respond to your competition to put you on top of the customer’s mind.
Related to the increase in number of companies hankering for a big slice of the same pie, it is becoming harder and harder to retain your existing customers. Communication and social media channels are making it easy for businesses to get their voices heard and products seen.
Review your marketing plans- are you reaching your target market in the most effective way? Are you addressing their needs better than your competitors? Research, research and research on how you can provide more value for your customers. Maximize each channel to reach more clients.
It is best to ask yourself- what makes my company different from my competitors? What is our greatest strength? Then emphasize it with each transaction.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
But what is that one thing that can set you apart from other companies? Excellent customer service. Everybody is talking about it. People will pay more for it. Social media platforms are stronger than ever, word of mouth (positive or negative) travels faster than the time it takes you to log on to your email account.
Customer service can make or break you. Aim to make every customer’s experience with your company a positive one- regardless whether or not you make the sale.
Your company’s reputation
However, as you expand your operations and your customer base, it is just a matter of time before you realize that you indeed can’t please everybody.
The good news: If you focus on providing good customer service, you can keep your dissatisfied customers to a minimum.
The bad news: Dissatisfied customers tend to talk more, posting about poor quality service in their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, or on your website and social media pages for everyone to see.
Based on market studies, a dissatisfied customer will tell twice as many people about their negative experience compared to a satisfied customer.
No matter how hard you try, you might not be able to evade a negative review forever. Do not ignore or attempt to delete it- this will just earn the ire of your dissatisfied customer. The best thing to do is to respond- apologize sincerely and take prompt action. When handled correctly, this can turn the encounter to at least a neutral one.
Encourage other customers to share their positive experience with your company to bring up your rating.
New technologies are being introduced almost every month. To maximize the use of technology for your business, you have to be updated on each development.
Be wise in deciding which new tools to invest in. Make sure that each software or hardware you use have been tested and come with available support.
Knowing when to implement changes
Keep in mind that not everything new is better. You have to be very discerning on which changes to embrace for your business.
However, being too averse to innovation can soon make your business model and practices ineffective and obsolete.
It takes a lot of careful thinking to balance the advantages and disadvantages of new methods you introduce to your organization. Keep in mind that you need to review and analyze each change to be sure that it is indeed helpful to your goals and productivity. Provide the needed support to your team as some people might have more resistance to change.
Every entrepreneur goes through these challenges and even more. Fret not, for it is now also easier to connect and receive advice from experienced businessmen and industry experts through the online world.
With each challenge that your company survives, you become stronger, wiser and more capable. So take a deep breath, overcome those hurdles and stay the course!
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace