The Small Business Companion Blog Space
10 Challenges....Have You Met Them Yet?
- Digital Strategies Development
Like it or not developing a digital strategy is essential in today’s world. With both potential customers and competitors constantly online, digital marketing is the only way to stay ahead. When you’re a small business owner the online world can seem intimidating. Whatever the case may be, starting with a solid goal in mind greatly increases your chances of success. Digital marketing strategizing is a great way for small businesses to prosper, but beware going into the process blindly can leave you with a jumbled mess.
- Financial management
Many business owners I know are ideas people; that means they’re great at the big picture and disruptive thinking, but less good with things like cash flow, profit margins, reducing costs, financing, etc. Small and medium businesses may not require a full-time person to help with this but if you are able to budget some money for reading your finances it can change the way you run your business.
- Monitoring performance
Using a meaningful set of rounded performance indicators that provide the business with insights about how well it is performing is key. Most business people I know are not experts in how to develop KPIs, how to avoid the key pitfalls and how to best communicate metrics so that they inform decision-making. In most cases business just go by the amount of money coming in and the amount going out. Integrity, data analising and benchmarking can turn a business that is going downhill or even an average business into a highly profitable organisation.
- Knowing when to embrace change
Early adopter or late to the game? Consultants can help business owners determine when to embrace change and when to stay the course. Not everything new is always better, however avoiding any change runs the risk of becoming obsolete. A professional outside opinion can make all the difference in these decisions. We are living in an era of constant change for the foreseeable future: change is the new normal. Preparing for and embracing that change by investing in the right kind of advice is the best way to meet these challenges head on.
- Regulation and compliance
As markets and technologies shift, so do rules and regulations. Depending on your industry, it can make much more sense to bring in a consultant to help with these areas rather than trying to understand the complexities yourself — and risk fines or worse for non-compliance.
- Competencies and recruiting the right talent
Again, a small or medium-sized business might not need full-time human resources or recruiting staff, but during peak growth periods, finding the right people and developing the right skills and competencies is the key to a sustainable future. Bringing in a consultant with the expertise to find exactly the workers you need would be a wise investment. Have the outsider help you with system (process is great however having a supportive coach and creating a coaching culture is also helpful)
- Technologies - Websites
As technologies change practically at the speed of light, it’s vital for companies to innovate or be left behind — but in many cases businesses have started up before many of these technologies even existed! Integrating new technologies to help suite your individual needs and help to grow your business in the direction you want can be a vital process.
- Customer service and social media pressure
In a world of instant gratification, customers expect instant customer service — and they can take to the web to share their displeasure at less than satisfactory service just as quickly. Keep yourself up to date with the latest customer service ideas and techniques so you don’t find yourself a target on social media with online pressure.
- Maintaining reputation with online pressure
In a similar vein, because customers can voice any displeasure so much more publicly and loudly than ever before, businesses have to monitor and maintain their online reputations. It is important not to take the online pressure personally or to heart and stay professional when answering comments and customer questions on social media. And while it’s an important task, if a third party who can monitor and mediate with a certain amount of distance, thus taking the pressure off you would help immensely.
- Uncertainty about the future
Being able to predict customer trends, market trends, etc. is vital to a changing economic climate, but not every business owner has Warren Buffett-like predictive powers. Understanding those all-important trends could be the difference between a bright future and a murky one. Remember Benchmarking and Researching is something we can help you with.
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