Starting a business is a complex matter which requires a lot of research, effort and resources. Still, it’s only the first step on your journey of a thousand miles. This means that each following step poses yet another challenge, often more arduous than the previous one. With that in mind, here are several obstacles that you’ll have to overcome in order to keep moving your business forward and reaching some of your long-term goals.
Defining your product and your target audience
The first thing you have to do in order to place your business on the right track is to define your product/service, as well as your target audience. Start from the point of view of your average customer or even go for the storytelling characterization technique. Who are they in terms of age, gender, income and education? What do they need your product for? What is it that will make them purchase your product, instead of going for one offered by your numerous competitors? What makes you, as a company, competent to compete in this niche? Lacking an answer to a single one of these questions can put you in a quite unfavorable position.
One of the most difficult thresholds that the majority of small businesses encounter is the moment at which the leader no longer feels able to micro-manage every single process around the office. At that point, they have to start delegating tasks that they would rather do themselves. For this to work, they need to know their team in order to delegate these tasks according to the strengths of their team members. Apart from this, they also need to be quite good at organizing a business in order not to overburden a single team member, while others have virtually nothing to do.
Finding a reliable business system
The next thing you need to understand is that as the volume of your work increases, minor problems might start growing in size, as well. Something that you, at the moment, see as a minor hiccup, might eventually become a massive problem and cause a lengthy and costly turnaround. Moreover, you need a self-sustainable and automatic system, so that you don’t have to commit too much workforce. What you need to do is start using a robust ERP system, like the one offered by The Leverage Technologies. This is also an investment in scalability, seeing as how these systems have an option to grow alongside your company.
In 2018, the issue of communication is more complex than ever before. Why? Because now, it has to be observed from both hierarchical and technical aspects. When it comes to the issue of hierarchy, you need to ensure that everyone knows their direct superior, as well as their replacement in a scenario where they’re currently out of the office. In a scenario where the direct superior is the part of the problem, your employees should have a way to communicate to you directly.
As for the technical aspect, you see, more and more companies are employing remote workers. This means that the issue of communication also becomes the issue of collaboration, in general. That being said, you need to establish which channels this should go through. Deciding on a standard collaboration tool is the most standard option, yet, you should also have a standardized office IM tool, in order to facilitate the flow of information.
Cash flow management
One of the hazards of running a growing business lies in the fact that you’ll soon face a much greater influx of profit. How is this a bad thing, you’re probably wondering by now? Well, with all of that money incoming, you might feel inclined to start overinvesting in your business or even get yourself that nicer car you always wanted. The problem with this lies in the fact that it will immobilize a lot of your capital and create an issue when it comes to the cash flow management. Sure, your business needs to be invested in and, sure, you do deserve some reward for all the hard work you’ve invested so far, however, this needs to be done as carefully, moderately and gradually as possible.
Needless to say, these are definitely not all of the obstacles you’ll have to overcome in order to keep moving your business forward. There are also some goals, values and branding issues that need to be resolved as soon as possible. Aside from this, time and energy are also resources, albeit, somewhat harder to quantify. No matter how intimidating all of this may sound, it’s more than worth any effort invested since the future of your business may depend on it.
Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.