3 Challenges All New Businesses Face and How to Overcome Them

No business ever runs without a hitch. Without a wealth of experience to fall back on, it can be extremely daunting for new owners to make informed decisions. Fear not. Surround yourself with the right people, have a clear and concise long term plan and you’ll be navigating the stormy waters with ease. Let’s take a look at some of the more common problems that arise and how to deal with them effectively.

Being Competitive

Make no mistake about it, competition is at an all time high and only increasing. For everything that your company can offer, there’s someone else that can do it better. Or cheaper. It’s usually the companies that can strike a balance between the two that find the most success. You don’t want to sell yourself short, but you don’t want to be the unattainable option.

First, account for your outgoings. Salaries, resources, bills and the like. Only once you’ve covered your expenses can you begin to think about profit. Don’t get greedy. 20% is a fair figure that reflects your hard work and leaves you with room to grow. Starting a business is much easier than staying in business. But with the right product, prices and strategy, there’s nothing stopping you from topping the market.

Unhappy Campers

You can please some of the people all of the time. You can please all of the people some of the time. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Truer words were never spoken. Let’s assume that the working environment you’ve forged is a positive one. Your innovative office space doesn’t matter. Neither does your pyjama day. Offering free lunches on Fridays? Nope. At some point in your lifetime, you will encounter the disgruntled employee.

Determine whether their concerns are genuine or unfounded. Remember, your staff are your greatest asset. Keeping them happy keeps your customers happy which, in turn, keeps your accountant happy. But one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch. Reasonable adjustments can be made if necessary. But if there is no improvement in attitude or performance, it’s time to brush up on employment law. You don’t want to be faced with the dreaded tribunal.

Promoting Your Product

It appears as though the after effects of the recession are slowly subsiding. This is good news for businesses. People are, at last, spending money again. So, you have the product and you have the resources. But where are the sales coming from? When you’re just starting out, it’s likely you’re working with a severely limited budget. Luckily in the digital age, it’s never been easier to reach the consumer. Gone are the days of requiring TV spots, billboards, and full page prints in the local newspaper.

Digital marketing is a cheaper and (arguably) more effective method with the right strategy. Invest wisely in social media campaigns, pay-per-click ads and direct mail. So many businesses get this far but ultimately fail to recognise potential outreach. Don’t be the next one.

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