According to research, nine of 10 small business owners say that they’re still involved in the day-to-day activities of their business as opposed to truly focusing on the company’s future. Failure to make payroll, 60-hour weeks with years of no vacation, and employees who don’t want to work are just a few of the worries that keep the small business owner from focusing on how to increase profit.
As a business coach and owner myself, I’ve identified the four biggest challenges small business owners face and how each can be overcome:
1) Lack of Cash Flow – From manufacturers and law firms, to veterinary practices and construction companies, cash flow problems exist in every industry. It’s estimated that nearly 75 percent of small business owners have fears around not being able to pay employees. If fears about that, being the only ‘go-to’ person, or even overall business failure keep you up at night, you’re not alone. Small efforts like double-checking bills, adjusting employee schedules to avoid overtime, and creating workflows that decrease spending can improve your cash flow and, in turn, ease your stress.
2) Lack of Time/Balance – The number of hours clocked by business owners typically exceeds 60 per week. Many things take a back seat to the business, like family gatherings, relationships, and health and wellness. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, but recognizing the need for work/life balance is a step in the right direction. Learning who to delegate to and when, outsourcing effectively, improving systems and processes, and being religiously disciplined about checking email and other tech notifications only at designated times can give you back time and a feeling of balance
3) Burden of Leadership – While your company is small, it makes sense to do the business management yourself but as your business grows, a 1-person management team can find you stretched thinner and thinner. Constantly fielding questions, reviewing work, and putting out fires can cause you to be a bottleneck. Eventually you realize you can’t continue to oversee all the business management needs—operations, sales, accounting, fulfillment, marketing… and hope to also grow your business. By building a senior leadership team and management structure, you can grow employees to be responsible for the day-to-day while you focus on the strategic direction and future. Your job then becomes to lead, develop, and coach a team of managers that is collaborative, results-oriented, and profit-focused.
4) People Performance –There’s no sure-fire way to prepare for employee performance and behavioral issues, but understanding how to hire great people can lessen the risk of hiring employees who don’t follow instructions, lack initiative, and lack a genuine care for your customers. Three ways to avoid those headaches: Hire for values and train for skills, go for the best and don’t settle for a warm body… because your people are your company’s main asset, and use behavioral-based questions during all interviews.
With entrepreneurship, there are always going to be roadblocks and challenges, but with a well-designed strategy to manage your team and your internal processes, you can focus on growing profit. If you’re interested in learning how you can overcome your own unique challenges and plan for 2018, the time is now. I’d like to invite you to join Inspire Results Business Coaching’s 1-Page Growth Plan Workshop on September 28th where you spend a day with me to map out all of your goals for 2018 and break them down to monthly, weekly and daily actions so you can achieve the success you deserve. Click here to learn more.