Starting a business is no easy task, but maintaining one is even harder. The major achievement of starting a small business gets stressful quickly for most entrepreneurs, even if their business is small. That’s because maintaining a new business is a larger challenge. Hiring the right people and building your brand are just some challenges that come with small business ownership. While these challenges seem to fade as your business grows, they will remain if you are maintaining a small business. Let’s take a look at the 5 biggest challenges most small businesses face.
Most Common Challenges Small Businesses Face
No matter what industry you’re in, if you own a small business you can relate to these common challenges.
1. Client Dependence
As businesses start out, client dependence is a huge problem. If you only have one or two clients, they are of extreme value to your business. Even as you gain customers, one client may make up nearly half of your income. Gathering a variety of clients is vital to your business growth. But, it can be difficult, especially in the beginning. When you have a client who pays good money, on time, it’s easy to focus all your attention on them.
While it is completely normal to want to tend to your main clients when you start out, this practice can lead to failure to sustain long-term growth. If you can find ways to gain a diversified client base, you will not only see a steady growth over time, but you won’t be knocked out of business if a client stops doing business.
2. Money Management
So, you’ve got a great business idea, but where are you going to get the money to manage it? Having enough cash to cover the bills and startup costs is a huge problem for most small business owners. This is particularly difficult because people tend to pull money from their household resources. The longer you do that and don’t bring in an individual income, the harder maintaining your business will get. Juggling business and personal life often results in pressure from capital drain.
In today’s business world, you either need to be heavily capitalized or pick up an extra source of income to fund your business venture. This is why most small business owners work a full-time job while simultaneously building their business. But, this comes with a price as well. It often leads to burnout.
Money management is crucial when money does start coming in. While you may be great at managing your household cash flow, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to help with the money management of your small business. As you gain customers, dealing with the books becomes more difficult. That’s why getting someone to assist you is crucial to your business growth.
3. Business Owner Fatigue
All the stress of starting a new business and juggling the responsibilities often leads to business owner fatigue. The long hours, the piles of work, and the pressure of success can be difficult for individuals to handle. Most small business owners avoid taking any time off at all. They fear that their business will fail in their absence.
Fatigue leads to lots of problems for small business owners. From rash decisions to contemplating leaving the business completely, the effects of fatigue can be lasting. Finding a way to keep up the pace of a growing business and avoid burnout can be a challenge, but it’s crucial to the evolution of your business.
4. Founder Dependence
To tie it all together, all that time you spend running the business only makes the business dependent on you for operations and success. Founder dependence is often a result of the business owner failing to let go of smaller tasks and responsibilities as the business grows. They spend so much time and effort getting the business off the ground that it’s hard to walk away at some point and delegate tasks that can easily be done by others.
While it might be difficult to fathom, turning over some control to your employees, managers, and partners will actually help your business. Keep in mind that it might take some work to find the best employees to trust. When put into practice, quality of work sometimes takes a hit as employees learn to navigate their new responsibilities.
5. Balancing Growth with Quality
Even if your business isn’t trying to get away from founder dependence, balancing quality and growth can be a challenge. Many businesses struggle to maintain quality as their businesses grow. While it may seem that it’s better to just stay small and deliver quality, there are ways to maintain both. There’s a middle ground between poor quality work and an unhealthy obsession with quality. Business owners should find a compromise that allows them to scale growth without ruining the overall mission of the brand.
While you shouldn’t focus on these challenges as a small business owner, it’s important to consider them if you want to find success. While there’s no way to avoid them, you can navigate them by taking the steps mentioned above. Remember, every challenge presents an opportunity to overcome and improve.