This month we have been focusing on challenges faced by entrepreneurs and business owners. I like to view all challenges as opportunities, because that is exactly what they are. Each new challenge presents an opportunity to grow, to learn more about yourself and your business, and to assess the situation in a new light. Maybe things need to change, and only through change is there growth.
In talking with my clients I have come to realize that there are five challenges that are most prevalent today.
Challenges Opportunities in Business Today:
1. Managing the growth of your business.
Often the prosperity of the business can outpace the ability of the business to maintain that success. I have seen it time and again, a business grows too fast for their abilities or the abilities of the team. My number one piece of advice, is systems, systems, SYSTEMS. If you start your business with a strong business plan and systems in place, you will have already accounted for a rapid growth. One of the worst things a would-be-business owner can do is to go into a small business without considering the challenges ahead. Making sure that your systems are running at full capacity is also critical. I find that it is very effective to use daily and weekly checklists to make sure individuals are performing their assigned tasks in a consistent manner.
2. Getting your message out.
Anyone can get their message out there via a plethora of social media avenues. But how do you get your message heard? How do you get your audience to view your message? Educating customer about what you do is the most important aspect of your business. If you know where you are going and what your vision is, it is going to be easier to relay that message to your customers. I advise my clients to put their mission statement in a place where they can read it regularly, and so can their team. When the whole team is aware and on board with the mission and vision of the company, educating customers becomes a snap.
In this great video Seth Godin talks about whether or not your idea is spreadable.
3. Pace at which everything is changing.
Every day there is a new app, an updated device, new software… How do you keep up with it all? The fact is that it is impossible to stay on top of everything. You can hire people to do that for you, or if that is not an option, you can choose to focus on a few areas of interest. Learn everything you can about LinkedIn, for example, and then make that your driving force. We offer regular trainings on social media because we feel like that is an essential component to business today. But whatever it is you choose to focus on, make it a goal daily to learn something new about it. Make it a habit. Motivation is what gets you started habit keeps you going.
4. Finding work-life balance.
While smart phones and tablets enable small-business owners to be connected to their businesses like never before, being in touch with the business all the time isn’t necessarily a good thing. We often stress the importance of keeping realistic work hours, of leaving work at work so that you can unwind when you get home, and of taking real vacations (which means unplugging!). You must take time to rest and recharge your internal battery so that you can be your best self for your family and your business.
5. Getting stuck in the thinking phase.
We all have great ideas. But what separates great ideas from great action is initiative. Get out and do something! Take risks. If you want to succeed you must take risks. Albert Einstein says insanity is doing the same thing over and over and being surprised at the lack of results. When you take risks you try something new or you try a new approach. By taking that leap of faith, you are ensuring that you won’t say, “I wish I would have…” There is no place for regrets in business. Make a list of your best ideas and take the first step towards your great idea today!
Challenges are good.
These are challenges, but not deal breakers. We’ve looked at some things that can help make these challenges easier, but there is no avoiding them. Being successful isn’t about perfection, it’s about consistently overcoming adversity and failure. A competitive drive is often why people start their own business. These challenges represent another opportunity to test that drive…and to succeed!
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” ~ Fred DeVito