4-Challenges Small Businesses Face

The fact is not unknown, that every small business goes through dozens of issues– however, as I analyzed it further, here are four of those you can take definite action on and set out ways to conquer them. Let’s get moving and try to decode them!

Inviting fatigue

As a small business owner, if you are the kind who is trying to do everything on your own that will surely add up to fatigue; and long hours add to pressure. Fatigue, one of the most commonly overlooked small business challenges, does not only work on your physical or mental health but can leave you disorganized, forgetful and cranky. You need to realize that in this whole deal you are not paying as much attention to clients as you should, and making mistakes. Business owners have to pace themselves, which includes embracing strategic delegation. Some of the things in your entire sequence of business and operations isn’t always easy for “Do it yourself” kind of an individual (does it sound like you?). Start by identifying business elements that don’t require your expertise You could also consider delegating tasks that are outside your skillset to specialists, such as accountants or legal experts – the results will likely be more professional and can save you endless headaches. It’s important to get on top of these things, because taking time out not only important but critical for your health and wellbeing, not to mention family relationships

Golden mean of product and customer

What would be the best possible way you could give your product with equivalent quality, time and again and how does the customer feel taken care of? You can start by researching your customer base, and identifying the characteristics of your existing best customers (those with the highest volume of sales, and the most repeat customers). Make sure you integrate into this analysis. This will give you a direction to work out a module of good customer service. That will help you modify your product/ service accordingly.

Always remember;

Good product = satisfied customer = repeat customer = referral = more customers

Your in-house Engine

Your Employees are the in-house engine that operates, to give you that final product. What should be the size, what should be the line of responsibilities and how to make sure they give their best every day is your responsibility. You need to have an outline to handle all of this. Good companies foster a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere where their staff feels the comfort to talk to management. The reachability should be the same irrespective of the size of your organization/enterprise. You should also ask for employee feedback on their needs – this is not an option, it’s a must. Too many businesses don’t look at what their employees want (*remember sometimes the employees tell and sometimes they don’t. It still is your responsibility to try and understand their wants) It’s a blunder to assume everything is fine, then wonder why there is a high staff turnover.

Uneven Flow of Finances

Money problems in their various forms are top of most lists of company woes, and for small businesses the major worries are unexpected financial blockages due to deposits in some cases, outstanding bills that won’t wait to be paid, recovery of payment and uneven pattern of payments in spite of timely follow up and staff dedicated for the same. Remember it is always a wise idea to take time out, planning for your expenses considering the contingencies, taking advice of Executive/ Business Mentor while planning such strategies for optimizing the monthly expenses and other growth related planning. Setting reminders and inculcating the habit in the staff of setting reminders as well. Using smart tools; for calculation of VAT/GST as and when applicable. Always loop-in your tax consultant; in your financial transaction analysis; these can be some of the ways to bring back such issues on track.

With tenacity and forethought, I don’t see there would be any issue that cannot be overcome. As a small business entrepreneur you already have certain skills and you are doing a great job managing many areas; but in some areas where you feel you cannot manage alone; please do not hesitate to SEEK HELP.

As a response would like to know; What other challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?


The Three Things People Miss Out On

Most of you must have felt this at some point, that “This is not what I really wanted.” Why does this happen with many people? Why do people land up sulking and carping about most of the things in life? Be it finances, be it family be it time on hand. Though destiny plays an important factor there are certain things those are equally important that is missed out by most people.

The Obvious

Most people take their situations, surroundings and people around them for granted. They think that these are the “obvious default surrounding parameters” those are there and will remain and they do not need to do anything about it. That pot with a green coleus in your balcony, that picture frame on your bedside table, your old parents, your spouse, family, kids, your cabin at work that office attendant who serves you tea all this is going to remain without any contribution or efforts from your end. Start respecting these obvious things you have around you. Do all that is needed to nurture them to keep the bond stronger.

Time

Did you ever realize that most of you either will keep complaining that you have no time and for you to realize the paradigm of this paradox, you will be the one who will plan vacations 4 months from now. If you look back you will realize that there have been times when you have done similar tasks consuming strikingly different time frames. At times you worked on the project report for over 4 weeks and in other case you could complete it in 10 days. Most of you must have heard about the Parkinson’s Law; “Work expands to fill up time allotted for its completion” what striking contrast you saw in your own capability is all because of this. Had you been specific with a structured system to address your goals, your tasks the scenario would have been different. Try to value this depleting resource in your hand and plan things wisely.

Values and Virtues

If you happen to pause a little in life and ever talk to any old man and ask him if he looks back in life what would be the things he would like to change and the most common answers lie in the three points in discussion today. If you talk or if you read the commonality tells us about people saying things like, “Had I been more compassionate towards my parents, had I spent more time with people those were important to me, had I stood by my virtue of prudence and honesty and refused to do the work that I disliked, had I identified what I loved and did the same instead of sulking and dragging for so many years”

These are the things a person holds close to heart at the end. One needs to nurture them safe guard them and plan well to stand by them to lead a sensible life.

Do not drag yourself beyond the point, that life drags you to somewhere you do not want to be. Think plan, if needed take help and do epic things.


3 Effective Ways to get more out of your Time

Time is one of the resources that is equally available to all of us. If I say making lists shall not get you anywhere; may be you have already read something on those lines earlier. Instead of listing out what doesn’t work and why it doesn’t; let us address the depleting resource and its use carefully and in effective ways to get most out of it.

Assimilation

Collecting the facts, lists about all tasks, works, assignments those need to be completed. Farther tasks those are to come up in near future. Family related responsibilities those take your time periodically. Extended duties, travels all should be considered, data should be collected and information should be assimilated. The information then should be grouped up in zones of relative responsibility. There would be time project estimation will be on priority and sometimes your kids doctor’s appointment would be on priority. Let’s figure out the priority part later. We are now discussing the obvious tasks, works those need to be grouped. Assimilation makes sure you have not missed out on anything that you otherwise would have forgotten.

Scheduling

The next part is to prepare a schedule using time boxing as per the desired outcome and dead line. If on every 15th of the month you have a team meeting. You should keep an allocated time box for that meeting. If every week you send a report to your boss; keep Friday early evening for preparation of your report. If you are not a morning person and prefer going for a work out thrice a week on evenings schedule a time slot for that. If you love meeting friends midweek plan your Wednesdays accordingly. Scheduling will be as per your tasks, their desired end dates and reverse working on it to achieve correct output.

Prioritizing

A sub-fragment of scheduling shall depend on priority at that time. There would be known peak working hours, days and there would be lenient ones. The schedule generally goes for a toss when something urgent comes up and that is inevitable; it is going to happen with most of us. This urgent task not only disturbs us but in some cases it brings some people in a zone with no control on themselves. This can be disastrous; if not addressed in right way it can have cascading negative effect. Remember your stress level, anxiety involved in urgent and important task can just not be marked or elaborated in a scheduling list and for such cases you need to further break down your tasks. Though known, don’t forget to try out quantifying tasks in quadrants. Nothing works better than a pen and paper. Research shows that using the method of physically noting down tasks in a diagrammatic form a person comes up with better options and ideas to resolve it. Try putting your urgent and not so urgent things in quadrants of time management (earlier proposed by Steven Covey).

Remember that crisis management; prioritizing shall be for a short time during urgent cases. All depends on how you recalibrate your schedule in time boxes to get back to your gear of better.


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