You might think getting your business set up is the biggest test you’ll face, but that can be just the start of the challenges for small businesses. Many tasks, such as hiring the right staff and effective marketing are faced by companies of all sizes, but there are some issues that are specific to small and medium sized enterprises. Anticipation and a willingness to adapt are the most essential qualities to help you overcome these potential hurdles you’ll face, and make your venture a success.
Balancing quality with growth
For a business to succeed it needs to grow, but as it grows ironically this can be the biggest cause of failure if quality starts to suffer. Inevitably you as the owner will have to delegate to keep up with new demands. If you make a product you may no longer have time to check every one, or if you offer a service you might not always be there. Often it’s the personal touch that has helped to make your business a success, so how do you manage growth without losing that special individual attention to detail? Setting up comprehensive processes and procedures can help maintain standards and cut the time you need to spend sorting out mistakes. Outsourcing tasks such as accounting can also help you to feel confident in growing your small business without compromising on the quality you deliver. Learning how to manage your cash flow is also very important.
If you’re a small business with one client accounting for a large percentage of your income you put yourself at financial risk if they suddenly fail to pay or take their business elsewhere. Spreading the risk by diversifying your client base puts you in a safer position and is important if you want to grow your business. This challenge can be hard as you may need to either take on more staff to cover this growth or turn down work from an existing client. If you have fewer clients, but ones who are happy to pay on time and have a consistent need for your service or product, you might decide that it’s a risk worth taking.
Finding time to take precautions
There are so many things to think about when you’re driving your small business forward that it can be hard to consider things that may go wrong and end up being costly. Small businesses don’t have the luxury of relying on specialised teams to handle each different area of the business; often it’s down to the business owner to do it all. With so many urgent things that need your personal involvement, it can be easy to put off considering how you protect your business from claims. But things can and do go wrong and as the financial costs of failing to be prepared can be huge, it’s important not to overlook it. Liability and indemnity insurance might not seem like the most pressing issues hitting your desk, but could save your business from forced closure if anything does go wrong in the future.
Challenges can be a good thing
Remember that every challenge you face as a small business is also faced by your competitors. By tackling these challenges head-on you have an opportunity to actively compete in the market and build your business for long-term success.