Starting a business, even if it never makes a penny of profit, is a massive achievement in terms of courage. First of all, congratulations! Now that you’ve made it over that first hurdle, it’s time to look ahead at the other obstacles between you and successful growth. There are a range of universal challenges that all small businesses face. Being aware of these and taking steps to mitigate them can pay off massively in the long run, so read on…
Obviously, having enough spare capital to cover recurring costs is a must for any business. However, as a newbie entrepreneur, you’re going to need to balance your business’s cashflow out with your personal finances. Whether it’s your business or personal expenses, pretty soon one of these is going to emerge as a significant drain on the other. To fix this issue, start-up owners need to either secure a lot of funding, or be very adept at tightening belts and trimming down expenses. There are many guides for this on sites like http://rezzable.com, and a range of financing options you can tap into to dig your business out of a rut. Whatever tactic you decide to use, don’t let your business run out of capital and grind to a halt!
If only one or two clients represent more than half of your business’s income, then you’re closer to being an independent contractor than a typical business owner. If you’re starting out in a B2B niche, and have very long sales cycles, then diversifying your current customer base is essential for your future success. However, this can be tough when a single client pays well. Even if you’ve got one great client, total dependence on them will handicap your business for longer. Even when you’ve got a large workforce that gives great performance, leaning on a single client like this can often lead to you acting as a subcontractor for a larger company. In this kind of arrangement, the client can use you to avoid the risks tied to adding payroll in an area where work could dry up at a moment’s notice. That means that you and your employees are going to be taking the risk, rather than them!
This is one that’s mainly an issue for sole traders, and business owners who only have a couple of employees. The constant pressure to perform, and the hours and work it takes to meet your targets, can be a real strain on even the most passionate of entrepreneurs. A lot of business owners, even the objectively “successful” ones, can wind up having to work much longer hours than any of their employees. Many of them will also avoid taking any time off, fearing that the business will stall or come apart when they’re not around to check on it. It’s important to have a good work ethic as an entrepreneur, but not when it’s wearing you too thin. Keep an eye on how hard you’re working yourself, and whether fatigue is affecting your judgement.