It is no surprise to anyone that money is the lifeblood of businesses of any size. One of the leading small business problems is maintaining a healthy cash flow. The best way to keep on top of this is to invest in some kind of application or software that lets you keep accurate track of exactly where the money is currently and where it needs to go.
2. Economic factors
It is no secret that the economy is not in the best state at the moment. Also, given that no-one really knows what the future will hold making any major investments in terms of equipment or property can seem like a risky proposition. The good news is that there are particular loans that you can apply for that will help protect against rising rates. This keeps finance costs down and in turn, lets you benefit from improved tax rates.
For many small businesses, all that stands between success and failure is the ability to successfully network. For a start, clients are always going to wish to do business with people they feel they can trust and the best way to start to develop that bond with them is to keep networking.
The key lies in finding any local events that are being hosted in a convenient location and turning up. Even if it does not seem like it should be particularly relevant, there is always a chance that any connections made will pass on your details to people they know are in need of what you provide.
4. Staying positive
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but if you cannot maintain a passion for what it is you are doing then the quality of your products and/or services will suffer as a direct result. Those that care are always going to be able to find more opportunities to further both themselves and their business than those that view it is a chore. This is not to say that a positive attitude will magically solve several of the small business problems, but it will lead to finding solutions and opportunities that may not have been obvious otherwise.
5. Streamline everyday processes
So much of what goes into running a business can form part of a repeatable process. Everything from placing orders, to hiring staff, to fulfilling orders and so on can be simplified into a broad list of tasks. Identifying these processes and learning to deal with them in an efficient manner instead of treating every single one as a unique identity is a key part of creating a more efficient work method. If ignored, then the everyday minutiae may consume the time of people who could be better using their time an energy elsewhere.
A great way to streamline the everyday process of signing in and out of work is by using a visitor management system such as VisiPoint. Our system takes the fuss out of checking in to your small business every day, while also allowing you to keep track of staff and visitor sign-in activity.
6. Diversify your clients
As a small business, one of the traps that is easy to fall into is growing complacent with your current client list. It may be that you have a positive relationship that works well for everyone involved and going through the trouble of finding additional clients seems like more trouble than it is worth.
However, if you do not and something happens to one of your few, stable clients then it could spell disaster. Even with the best will in the world, things can come up and your clients may fail you because they were simply failed in turn by their clients. The best way to stop this is to diversify and not become too dependent on an individual or small group for your orders.
7. Research and develop new ideas
This follows on a similar note to the previous point. Maintaining a comfortable list of methods for completing your work is an easy solution, but one that is very dangerous. Of all the small business problems one of the easiest to forget is that other small businesses are going to be in direct competition with you. If they manage to provide the same service as you but come up with a more efficient or cheaper method of doing so then you may find yourself struggling to compete. The solution is to keep an eye out for new developments that can give you an edge without overcommitting to untested methods or technologies.
Something that you are probably already acutely aware of is that when it comes to running a small business, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Sometimes, what is needed is to step back or get some outside assistance. Find out which tasks can be simplified or streamlined and what is taking up more time than it is really worth. There may be a particular order or client that consistently makes a nice profit, but if it simply takes too long to complete these orders then it may be more trouble than it is worth in the long run. The key is to constantly ask yourself whether or not what you are doing is worth the time you are being asked to invest in it.