There are some truly wonderful things about running a new business. You’re going to be in the middle of an exciting period of motivation and passion that can help you create something truly successful. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also come with a whole host of different challenges as well. In fact, the early days of your business’ existence are likely to be some of the most difficult that you’ll ever face. There are a number of different reasons for this, but it’s incredibly important that you know how you can deal with these obstacles.
There’s no way that you can get over the hurdles that will present themselves to your business without actually knowing what they are. With that in mind, here are some of the most common hurdles that you will face in the early days of your business’ lifetime.
No one knows that you exist
This is probably the most significant and common issue that many small businesses find themselves coming up against. How are you supposed to compete in a market where nobody knows that you exist? This is even more significant in the modern era since, thanks to the Internet, there are more businesses vying for the attention of customers than ever before.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to wallow in obscurity forever. In fact, there are a number of things that you can do to get your name out there.
The first is to understand how customers might go about finding you. Where they might once have relied on recommendations from friends or perhaps the local phone book, the first place customers look these days is, of course, Google. If you want customers to be able to see you, then you have to make sure that you’re at the top of Google’s search results. This might sound like a pretty gargantuan task, but there are plenty of SEO services out there which can make the whole process much easier. Without well-integrated SEO you’re never going to be able to climb those ranks and get yourself seen by any customers.
You don’t have the same resources as bigger companies
This ties in somewhat to the previous point but also applies more generally. Almost everything that you can do, larger and more established companies can do with a bigger budget. This often makes the whole process seem somewhat pointless for a lot of new businesses. After all, why bother trying at all if you’re constantly going to be overshadowed by larger businesses?
Well, the truth is that you can’t compete with those businesses, so stop trying. That might sound like giving up but it’s actually not. Instead, think about the things that set you apart from those larger businesses. One thing is your proximity to your customers. Think about it this way: customers aren’t always going to be that interested in giving their money to huge, faceless corporations. Instead, they might be more inclined to connect with smaller businesses that feel more personal. By leveraging the fact that your business is very small, you find yourself able to connect with customers on a much more direct and personal level than a huge corporation ever could.
When massive companies try to act like they are a customer’s friend, it always comes across as disingenuous, even cynical. However, as a small independent business, you can create a much more genuine, sincere relationship with your customers.
Managing people is a struggle
If your business is relatively new, then it stands to reason that you aren’t hugely experienced in managing other people. After all, most businesses start with one or two people at most a lot of the time. However, as a business grows, even in the early days, you’re going to have to start interacting with more people.
You’ll need to hire employees as well as bringing in freelancers to help with certain aspects of the business. Being able to manage all of those people can be an incredibly difficult task for someone who isn’t used to it. If you find yourself in this position, then it’s important to remember that this is your business and there is nothing wrong with you needing to lay down the law. After all, a business can’t succeed unless everyone is on the same page. However, you want to make sure that you’re not being tyrannical at any point. There’s a surprisingly fine line between ‘stern but fair’ and ‘borderline dictator’.
You have limits
It’s incredibly easy, in the early days of your business, to attempt to do everything yourself. This often comes from a couple of places. For one thing, the struggle of managing other people can make it seem as though you’d be better of doing things yourself — ‘if you want a job done right’… etc. The other side of this is that you probably have a great deal invested in your business, both financially and emotionally. This means that the idea of handing things over to other people can be rather difficult. However, if you attempt to take on everything yourself, not only is that going to make your life harder but it’s going to negatively impact the business as well.
Fortunately, there are always things that you can do to reduce the pressure on yourself and your employees. From things like live chat software to shore up your customer service, to outsourcing certain elements like marketing and SEO, there are always things that you can do to take the pressure off.
It’s incredibly dangerous to overwork yourself to the extent where you become exhausted, not only because your health will suffer but because it will lead to tasks being half finished or not done at all. There is also the potentially disastrous impact of you needing to take time away from the business altogether to recover.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not about whether or not you come up against obstacles. No matter what you do, hurdles are going to appear in your way. The only thing that you can control is how you handle them.
The only real difference between a business that succeeds and the dozens of businesses that fail, is the way in which they deal with the things that get in their way. Make sure that you’re thinking carefully about how you’re going to overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of your business’ success.
There’s nothing wrong with taking your time and considering all of your options as carefully as possible. Rushing forward is just going to make things even worse.