Top 5 Business Challenges That Might Surprise You

28 April 2014

If you’ve taken the plunge and started up your own business, what are the top business challenges you face? When asked, most people would probably guess the hardest thing is staying on top of your company’s financials and turning a profit. However, a recent survey of 500 small business owners and freelancers by insurers Hiscox came up with some surprising results. Let’s take a look at the top business challenges identified.

1. Staying motivated. When you start your own business, you’re full of enthusiasm for your new big idea and the vast riches it’s bound to bestow upon you. However, once reality sets in and you get down to the day-to-day struggle of making your business a success, you may struggle to maintain your motivation – especially with no one cracking the whip but you!

2. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance. With so much competition out there, it takes a lot of hard work to make a success of any small business. Because of this, entrepreneurs tend to throw themselves in to the task at the expense of everything around them. This often results in damaged relationships, as well as poor physical and mental health.

3. Managing cashflow. Of all the financial considerations around running your own business, it’s not generating profit but managing cashflow that is the biggest challenge. While a business can operate in the short term without profit, it can’t operate without cash to pay suppliers, wages or rent. As a result, failing to manage cashflow could put you out of business before you even realise.

4. Making tough decisions alone. Every business owner will be forced to make tough or unpleasant decisions that may impact negatively on others and sometimes you really are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Having no one to talk things through with makes those decisions even harder and that’s why it’s a good idea to seek advice from a mentor or professional.

5. Managing people. Be honest, it’s easier to be told what to do than to tell others what’s expected of them. Some business owners have a great head for figures or are full of strong ideas but lousy when it comes to people skills. Managing people effectively means choosing a team whose skills complement one another.

While every small business offers unique challenges, it may be reassuring to know that many business owners also share the same challenges too!



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