Want to know how to overcome the most common business challenges? We’ve highlighted five typical obstacles and simple ways to beat them.
Founding, building, and growing your own small business can be hugely rewarding for many entrepreneurs. But the road ahead isn’t always straight and smooth; it could include some hairpin bends and potholes.
There are common challenges that crop up and ongoing issues that need to be factored into your business plan, strategy, and personal thinking.
What can you do to beat these bumps in the road and make the journey as frictionless as possible?
Five proactive ways that SMEs can overcome their business challenges
When it comes to the future path of your business, we’d all love to know what lies around the corner. The truth is that every business journey is unique. But there are common challenges that every owner-manager or CEO faces – and being prepared for these hurdles is the best way to leap over them and take each in your stride.
In no particular order, we’ve highlighted five common challenges and a few simple ways to tackle them.
No-one has a crystal ball, but there are ways to prepare for unknown circumstances. Although you can’t fully predict the main external threats like government policy, economic conditions or freak weather conditions, you can use forecasting and scenario-planning tools, so you have a Plan A, Plan B and even a Plan C. Forecasts of your business data, finances and industry trends, mean you’ll be ready to react, pivot, and take positive action.
Small businesses often face stiff competition from larger, more established companies. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to be nimble and agile. Finding your niche and knowing precisely why your customers value your offering is vital. By ploughing a unique furrow and keeping your customers happy, you can give yourself an edge over larger, slower-moving corporate-size competitors.
3. Access to capital
It can be a struggle to secure funding as a start-up, especially if you have limited financial resources or a poor credit history. Having a detailed funding strategy is crucial to overcome this problem. Keep your finances in order, and have in-depth financial reports to show banks, lenders, and potential investors. It’s also helpful to focus on paying suppliers on time, keeping debt levels under control and ensuring your cashflow is in a positive position. These are all excellent ways to improve your business credit rating and show you’re a stable, risk-free prospect for lenders.
4. Hiring and retaining staff
Attracting and retaining valuable employees is difficult, especially with the ongoing talent shortage. Offering competitive salaries or benefits packages is one way to attract people. But it’s also important to consider your brand reputation, sustainability credentials and CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy – all things that Millennial and Gen Z workers value alongside decent remuneration and perks. Employees want to be proud of where they work, so make your company a progressive, satisfying and rewarding environment.
5. Keeping up with technology
Business technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Trying to keep up with all the available apps, tools and software solutions aimed at your business can be daunting. The trick is to be informed but selective about the apps you use. Start with your operational and financial needs and look for apps that can automate, improve efficiency or provide improved data and management information. Talk to other business owners and your professional network to find out your industry’s essential apps. And do your research and homework before you add any software solution to your app stack.
Talk to us about being an agile small business
Any ambitious and informed business owner must look to the horizon for upcoming pitfalls. As your advisers, Pathfinder Solutions can help you generate insightful management information, to keep you agile and ready for what lies ahead.
We’re also on hand to discuss your ongoing strategy, how to react to upcoming risks, and look at the most effective ways to access capital and manage your company’s finances.
Contact our team to arrange a meeting, and let’s see what the future may bring for your business.
About Pathfinder Solutions
Pathfinder Solutions advisory team members have either owned or managed businesses, or are investors themselves, so we know first-hand the challenges you face in your world.
Sure we’re Accountants, but the best solutions in business come from focusing on more than just the numbers. Our real-world business experience delivers just that.