The present ultra-competitive business scenario has left entrepreneurs scratching their heads about what to do next to satisfy clients and customers. However, today’s entrepreneurs, fortunately, have access to more resources- both technical and human- than yesteryear’s entrepreneurs ever had. But with resources, increasing responsibilities and problems!
Let’s look at the 10 top challenges faced by most entrepreneurs every day. Learn why and how those challenges arise and exist and get quick solutions to tackle such problems and operate your business successfully.
- Scheduling meetings and appointments
Scheduling internal meetings and appointments with clients amidst a busy timetable is terribly exhausting. Since each employee has a different work schedule, finding a common time for scheduling an internal meeting is difficult. In such situations, use an online appointment scheduler like Picktime that has an online calendar service where you can sync your calendar with Google/Outlook/iCloud calendar to avoid scheduling conflicts. Moreover, such online scheduling apps also allow clients to self-schedule appointments through an online booking page at their convenience without having to call up the reception to fix an appointment.
Picktime also takes care of managing meeting rooms through resource allocation, consultation fee payment through credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and auto-generates invoices and feedback forms that are mailed to the meeting attendees. This free scheduler is accessible via any internet-enabled device and does not require installation.
- Time and workflow management
Time management is arguably the most recurring trouble entrepreneurs face while maintaining productivity and aiming for growth. Small businesses have the burden to constantly prove to clients why they are worth trusting with work and focus on business development on the other side. A solution to this problem is creating a list of priorities and a list of goals. You may use apps such as Google Keep or Evernote to create such lists. Break down your monthly objectives into weekly goals. Ensure that employees update their lists and inform you about their daily task completion before logging out. Delegate tasks to employees instead of managing everything by yourself.
- Hiring and retaining talent
There are millions of businesses in search of the top talent. Many of them attract candidates with packages that cover house rent allowance, health insurance, quarterly bonuses, transport services, and much more. Therefore, it is a major struggle to hire people and convince the finest candidates that their work ethics align with the company’s culture. On the other hand, retaining the best people is much more challenging! Without proper pay and timely increments, people will consider changing jobs. Make sure you keep increasing your employee’s salaries from time to time and provide them added benefits to keep them in your company.
- The emergence of new competitors every day
Each business aims to provide high-quality products/services to their customers but face inevitable challenges every day from competitors. They also need to concentrate on expanding their user base, and every new competition emerging in the market is a threat! You will need solid and unique marketing ideas to stand out from the crowd. Never make the mistake of copying your competitors; find out and focus on your unique selling point. But, keep an eye on your competitor’s products, services, after-sale services, marketing strategies, and customer reviews; determine their weaknesses and try to make it your brand’s strength.
- Changing yourself according to the industry trends
The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way every business operates and raised rivalry to extreme levels. Businesses have been forced to rethink their strategies to survive and flourish in the market. Many of them have found out newer sources of income generation. Not just COVID-19, but the rise of environmental concerns has also influenced entrepreneurs to redesign their products and services to comply with environment-friendly standards. So, based on what products/services you sell, you will need to determine alternate ways of revenue generation. For instance, if you run a gym business, you have to think of taking your classes online and include more forms of exercising such as yoga, pilates, and aerobics to broaden your offerings and get more students on board!
- Retaining customers and building trust
Sales and marketing are the lifelines of any business that brings new customers and helps retain old customers. Managing a service-related business is very expensive because the duty does not stop after delivery. Post-delivery, there are often complaints of exchanging or upgrading tools that are crucial for the company. Therefore, retaining existing customers becomes a big challenge as untimely servicing can lead the customers to look for alternate options. When it comes to product-based businesses, you cannot afford a drop in the quality of the products or unreasonable price hikes. If you wish to increase prices, ensure that you offer added benefits and differentiators to stand out from your competitors. Another tip is to design customer loyalty programs like gift cards, special coupons and vouchers, and referral systems. It will also be beneficial for word-of-mouth marketing.
- Working on a tight budget
Small businesses have budget constraints since they have just begun operating and, as a result, have fewer clients and employees. Therefore, they are bound to look for cost-effective options to utilize their company’s full potential to market their products/services. A quick solution to this problem is meticulously working out your budget and only include strategies that fit into the budget. Understand that now is not the time to be overambitious. Rather than spending pools of money, spend on human talent and seek help from professionals for prioritizing your marketing efforts.
Skim certain areas to save money and do not spend in any initiative unless it is crucial for your business. You can even hire freelancers and interns for jobs such as content writing, graphic designing, website designing, and public relations.
- Managing cash flow and calculating available funds
Cash flow management is essential to predict the amount of money your business will have access to in the future. Many small business entrepreneurs struggle to pay the bills while they are already overburdened with upcoming transactions. This problem also arises due to the inefficiency in timely invoicing. After you complete your client’s job, quickly send the invoice so that they can pay you within 10-15 working days. Otherwise, if you run out of money, you won’t be able to pay your employees or vendors.
- Willingness to adopt new technical innovations
Many businesses get too comfortable with their obsolete applications and software and fear adopting new tools for their job. It produces a sense of rigidity and false efficiency since companies ignore the advantages of the latest applications over the outdated ones. However, identifying the correct technical solution is tricky. Therefore, companies need tech-savvy employees and leaders to encourage taking up new tools. But getting hold of new software also depends on your budget. If you are a small business owner and unable to afford applications such as Final Cut Pro for video editing, try out alternatives like Adobe Premiere Pro. Likewise, if you cannot afford the whole Adobe Creative Suite, go for Canva.
- Paying attention to cyber security concerns
Many small businesses and big corporations often become victims to cyber security criminals. These companies have big amount of user and client data including bank account numbers and contact information. It increases the risks of data theft and identity theft too many folds. As reported by IBM, ransomware attack cases almost doubled during the recent years after the pandemic began. The shift to the work-from-culture has also raised security issues for companies because homes rarely have firewalls or routers that are secure.
To curb this situation, opt for cyber security solutions such as MDR (Managed Detection and Response) or MSSP (Managed Security Service Providers). Getting an MDR will help you monitor your network with an ideal blend of human expertise and technology and detect active security threats like malware and fraudulent attacks, eliminate false alarms, and quickly generate incident responses in real-time to mollify such threats. On the other hand, MSSPs will monitor security networks and notify users when it identifies aberrations.
Facing challenges in your journey towards growth is inevitable. You may even face unprecedented obstacles in the future, but patience and readiness will be your allies. Intelligently set up your team to fight against all odds and work on strategizing methods to come out of trouble. Be aware of the resources you have and the resources you can get access to. Maintain cordial relationships with stakeholders and cultivate a healthy working culture. Follow these ten tips to overcome any challenge that life throws at you and you will surely reap immeasurable rewards.