Last editedJun 20212 min read
Starting a business is never easy, and even when the teething pains have passed, there are endless challenges ahead. For small businesses, these issues can seem all the scarier, so it’s important to know precisely what you’re in for if you’re thinking about launching your own business.
What are the biggest small business challenges?
Small business challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Take marketing, it’s not so much a challenge as a regular business function, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the cause of many sleepless nights. Plus, if you fail to answer your marketing needs correctly, your business will fail too. Here are some business challenges you should prepare for:
1. The economy
Number one in everyone’s mind in the wake of COVID-19 is the state of the economy. While it may seem like the worst possible time to start a business, there are nonetheless entrepreneurs who have flourished under the unique circumstances of the pandemic and all the business challenges it presented. One of the other silver linings is that government assistance has also been reviewed to match the needs of a struggling business. Even prior to this, SBA loans were available to help provide a buffer between companies and events that threaten struggling business owners.
2. Reaching customers
A business without customers isn’t going to last very long – but how do you find them? Gone are the days when a shiny new storefront and word-of-mouth would do the heavy lifting for you. In the digital age, you need to put a lot more into your efforts if you want to get loyal customers. Just some of the ways you can go about this include:
Know who you’re targeting, and tailor your marketing to them
Create a solid brand identity and voice that stands out
Be proactive – network with other businesses, run social media like clockwork, be on top of email marketing
Taxes will never not be a business challenge. When it comes to your business, taxes can (and will) cut right into your profit, so it’s important that your finances are healthy enough to take the hit. What taxes you pay and how much you have to pay will vary depending on all sorts of factors (most importantly, the state in which you are based). So, make sure you don’t get into hot water with the IRS.
4. Finding employees
As a business grows, it needs more people to help support it, but finding the best people for the job isn’t always easy. There are lots of costs to consider when it comes to talent management, not only in hiring, but in creating an environment that keeps employees happy and fulfilled. This can be one of the most trying small business struggles in that it directly impacts your team. Be sure to take a close look at who you are hiring and if you really need a full-time hire for the position. Accountants, marketers, designers, even PR people can all be hired on a remote and freelance basis, freeing your small business from the financial constraints of supporting a full-time team member.
5. Staying up to date
You’re a new business, how much more up to date could you be? You might be surprised by how much more your processes could be optimized, not only to make you more efficient, but also meet the expectations of your customers. For example, are you using the best accounting software? Not only will this give you the best modern solution to finances, it also helps build a modern brand. Take digital invoices: they’re part and parcel of many software options, and clients will be much more pleased to see these arrive in their inbox than a traditional written invoice landing in their “in” tray. With so many digital tools available, all sorts of small business struggles can be easily solved through adopting a new, modern approach.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.