Overcoming Common Challenges of Running a Business

Fri, Feb 24, 2012


Due to the state of the economy and the rate of unemployment, if there ever was a time to consider taking the initiative, as well as the risk, to start your own business, now would certainly be the time. However, with reports of over fifty percent of new start-ups failing within the first year, before you begin, it might be a good idea to consider some of the potential challenges that come with running a business (MixEnergy.com is a great resource with successful entrepreneur interviews, by the way!).

Check Your Motivation

If you’re starting a business to get rich, while high capital may be in your future, don’t forget that the first five years if a very fragile time for a new company. It requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice to keep it going. Therefore, you’ll probably be spending more money than you’ll actually be taking in. If you’re starting a business because you don’t want to work for someone else, there is nothing like the feeling of building your own dreams, but when you work for yourself, there tends to be no clock-out time. You’ll probably discover that you’re working harder than you ever did for someone else. Without a doubt, when it comes to overcoming the challenges of running a business, knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing is the most foundation thing. A good “why” will get you through all of the tough times; the ones that the “get rich quick” people sometimes don’t have enough strength to get through due to their lack of patience and seasonal feelings of defeat.

Make Sure You Have Enough Cash

There are small business grants. There are bank loans. There’s even invoice factoring. Yes, there are many options available when it comes to getting money to start up a business. But if you consult with someone who has been able to sustain a profitable business, they will probably tell you that if they knew it would cost them so much money, they probably would’ve planned better. You must not just budget for how much it will cost to start the business, but how much will be needed to keep it running as well. Websites like BusinessKnowHow.com have built-in business start-up calculators to help you figure out how much your expenses will be. It’s also a good way to keep track of the monies that you’re currently spending if you have already started your company. It’s not a bad idea to hire a financial advisor at least to consult you from time to time, either. It’s their job to remind you about things that you may not have thought about like property taxes, higher winter month bills, new staff, business insurance, etc.

Plan Consistently

You know the saying: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” One of the most dangerous things you can do is run a business based upon assumption: that people will always want the services that you provide, that inventory will always be stocked and available, that deliveries will always be made on time, that the weather be, at least relatively cooperative. When starting a business, you need a clear and concise business plan. To maintain a business, you need to revisit and update that plan as much as needed (quarterly at the very least). Be sure to make the time to reevaluate goals, to prepare for any foreseeable potential challenges so that you can find the solutions for them, and to keep track of your business’s budget and growth.

Grow with Your Company

Speaking of growth, supply and demand doesn’t just apply to product and services. As more people patron your establishment and as more revenue ends up coming into the company, your vision will need to expand with it. Your marketing budget will probably need to increase, you may find yourself needing to hire more staff and eventually, while it’s a good sign if you need to add on more space, that still requires additional capital. Some businesses fail because they didn’t prepare for the first year. Others suffer because they didn’t expect its exponential growth. Both, oftentimes, can be avoided by staying a step ahead.

Stay Trendy

According to several studies, as much as 500,000 new businesses are started each year. This means that no matter
what the focus of your company may be, somewhere out there, you have competition. If it’s a physical store, décor is important; so is the appearance of your staff and the marketability of your products and services. For instance, if you have a linen shop, more and more people are becoming eco-friendly. Look into sheets and blankets that are made from organic materials. If your business is online, be sure to keep your website fresh and update your applications as much as possible. The Internet has introduced the world to a greater level of instant gratification. The longer it takes to get to what they want, the bigger chance you have of losing a sale. When it comes to running a business, “in style” simply means doing what keeps a customer interested.

Carolyn Dillingham is a contributing writer for Merchant Maverick, where you can find merchant account reviews and comparisons of sites like Elavon Reviews.

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