Starting a small business can be one of the most rewarding experiences, especially when you’re passionate about what you do. As satisfying as it is, maintaining one can be a challenge in itself.
It’s no secret that wearing many different hats in a small business can lead to increased stress and reduced work/life balance. If you’re struggling to keep the wheels turning, you’re not alone. So what are keeping small business owners up at night, and how can you overcome these challenges?
Diversify your client base
This is the key to expanding your business. Relying on just one client can leave you vulnerable if, for any reason, the income stream dries up. This arrangement may work if your main client has a consistent need for your product or service. However, to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future, it’s best to have a diversified client base to pick up the slack in case a client quits paying. See here for some ideas on how to diversify and expand your customer base.
Investing in marketing initiatives
You can have an incredible product, but if no one knows about it, you’re going to struggle to grow. The most common response in regards to marketing is that there is not enough time or money to invest in this area properly. Marketing is an excellent opportunity to tell your story and grow your business. Think strategically about where to focus your time instead of trying to tackle everything at once. Ask yourself what you feel confident handling and where you need extra help. Make sure you invest in refining your brand positioning so you can get your products or services in front of the right people. Here are some great marketing ideas you can try during the off-season.
Managing your cashflow
Making sure you have enough cash to cover your bills is essential for any business. Small business owners must be heavily capitalised or pick up extra income to shore up cash reserves when needed. Money management becomes critical as money is going from the business to the owner. The complexity of a company’s books goes up as you take on more clients and hire new staff. Getting professional help can prevent it from becoming a reason not to expand. See here for 7 tips on how you can improve your cash flow management.
Prioritising and delegating effectively
It’s normal to feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. When you’re engrossed in the day-to-day details, it can feel impossible to dedicate time to big-picture tasks to drive your business forward. Think strategically about which activities will move the needle forward and which ones will take up your time and energy. You can start by making a list of the tasks you need to do and rank them in order of priority. Try automating as much of your list as you can through tools such as Zapier. See here for our pick of the best free online tools for your small business – they’re sure to save you time and energy.
Building a great working culture
Poor team management and communication can hold a business back. Effective leaders can positively impact a company in various ways, i.e. reducing turnover, improving employee morale and productivity. It is the management’s responsibility to lead by example and create a positive working environment. Make sure your team are clear on the principles for communication/performance and hold each other accountable. Actively let employees know they’re valued and acknowledge them for their contribution.
Prioritising your wellbeing
The constant pressure to perform and the long hours can wear out even the most passionate small business owners. Many small business owners struggle to find a balance between work and life. When you’re working long hours, you feel you’re neglecting your personal life or family, and when you’re relaxing, you feel like you should be working. Make sure to set clear boundaries. Fatigue can lead to rash decisions about the business, including even a desire to abandon it altogether. Making time for yourself will not only benefit you, but it’s also essential for the long-term success of your business. Take a proactive approach by turning off all technology before bedtime and block out time for yourself to exercise or catch up with loved ones. Being in great mental and physical shape will improve your productivity, and it can also be the key to taking your business to new heights.
For more information to help you run a successful small business, check out the following articles:
- Guest Post: The Ultimate Guide To Decide Your Digital Marketing Budget In 2019
- Small Business Marketing Tips to Boost Your Holiday Sales
- Tips for Surviving Your First Year in Business
- Working Capital: What is it and Why Does Your Small Business Need it?
- 25 Ways to Grow Your Small Business Fast
If you’re looking for funds to help give your venture the boost it needs, a small business loan could be the solution! Call 1300 00 LUMI or visit our website to see how an unsecured business loan can help you.