Running a business is hard work with constant challenges which makes it exciting and rewarding. No matter how hard you try, there are always problems to solve and fires to put out. It takes strength, passion and determination to push on and create something great. When you first start a business, you may be running a one-man show and be responsible for doing everything. However, learning to recognise and overcome the challenges results in a successful, scalable business.
Don’t avoid the hard things. The hard stuff often matters most.
Step away from what your business sells or the service you provide for a moment and think about the keys to running a business. Here are some things that could be causing you stress and some suggestion for what you can do.
Whether is is negative feedback, excuses or technical problems, challenges and road blocks are inevitable as you carve out a path for your business. Rather than let these get to you, think of how you can turn them around and gain from them. In difficult situations, the one thing you can control is your attitude.
For example, rather than making an excuse “It won’t work.”, think “It’s never been done before. Let’s test it!”
Recognise. Notice that you’re having a negative thought. Listen to that voice in your head. Does your body feel tense or sweaty? Do you have knots in your stomach? Are you procrastinating?
Stop/reset. Stop your negative thought, take a deep breath and reset your mind.
Replace. Replace your negative thought with a positive thought of something that is in your control.
Learn from your mistakes and then keep on trying.
Don’t be an entrepreneur if you can’t handle rejection. Use it as fuel to figure out how to win the next time.
It can be overwhelming to manage your time and stay organised. Who doesn’t think that if we only had more time, we could accomplish so much more? There is no single answer or method though and, like many aspects of your business, it takes trial, error and constant review. It comes down to creating a simple system to collect and organise your tasks and a good serve of willpower. After all the work isn’t going to do itself.
Set aside specific times for email, social media, phone calls, etc. Create a pattern of expectation at those times. If your time plan doesn’t work straight away, don’t give up. Spend some time to reflect on what happened. Make it work for you.
We cannot control time. Everyone has the same amount of time available to him or her but it is how efficiently and effectively we use it that can make the difference.
Success is a long mountain to climb for most small businesses. A significant amount of time is needed to establish a business from the ground-up – time to lay a good foundation to help ensure your business is successful and sustainable. Although you don’t want to miss great opportunities by deliberating and waiting for the perfect time, unrealistic goals and expectations can cause unnecessary stress and disappointment. Impatience can lead to being too pushy to make a sale, not researching your target market/product/competition sufficiently, not persisting to find a solution to a problem. You need to have plenty of grit and determination to fuel your enthusiasm to take on challenges and but this doesn’t come from such qualities as annoyance, rashness and intolerance.
Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off. ~Author Unknown
Keeping an Eye on Cash flow
One of the most daunting parts of running a small business can be managing of cash flow. You have to understand the components such are your balance sheet and cash flow systems. Being able to maintain cash flow while making purchases to equip and run the business can be extremely difficult.
An accounting app such as Freshbooks can be invaluable because you have all your financial information in one place, including tools that enable you to accept payments online, generate invoices, send late payment reminders and help with time tracking, among other key functions.
You need to know how much money is coming in and going out so that you don’t overspend and are able to cover your expenses.
Lack of clarity about your offering
If you can’t explain what you do clearly and for whom you do it, how will you ever connect with your ideal customers? A poor pitch sounds unprofessional and shows lack of thought and planning. It can often be the result of a lack of understanding about your target audience and the problem you solve. You need to know what makes your business unique and why people would want to buy from you.
So where do you start? If you are struggling to get something down on paper, use our seven step SEED Plan (a Simple Explanation of Entity Direction) as a guide to clarify the core elements of your business.
Clarity is a game changer and drives success. Clarity is about getting to the heart of the big idea – What are you selling? Is it a product? A service? What is your purpose? Why are you starting the business?
Operating a small business is like running a marathon that never ends. Every day presents new challenges. But aren’t challenges what you signed up for when you started your own business? Just know that you are not the only one struggling and there are lots of resources and services to guide and support you. Stay motivated by connecting with other successful small businesses.