With markets of all kinds becoming increasingly more competitive, business owners face new challenges and struggles every day. This is even more apparent for new business owners, who, in addition to facing the usual problems, face situations that are unique to new businesses.
But these challenges shouldn’t dissuade you from starting your own business in the San Francisco Bay area. For every challenge, there’s a great resource for you to use, including partnering with a business consultant. Another great way to meet these challenges head-on is to recognize them in the first place. Join the skilled business consultants at FRF Consulting as we identify some of the biggest challenges that new business owners face.
#1: Cash Flow
Perhaps the bane of any business owner, money problems are always an issue but will be at the forefront of your mind when you’re first starting a business. If you’re lucky enough to have some generous investors or backers, this may not be as big an issue. But if you’re doing it on your own, you’ll need to be careful about your budgeting. You’ll likely be waiting for an invoice to be paid and will have to pay your bills and employees before then. That’s why good budgeting skills are vital.
To help improve your cash flow for a while, consider how you’re structuring your invoices. You can ask for a down payment on your goods and services, then collect the outstanding amount upon delivery. This initial payment should cover your expenses for the project at a minimum. Another way to free yourself of cash flow worries is to accelerate your invoice payment schedule. Rather than waiting 30 days to bill, try 15. This gives the client two full weeks to address any payment issues, should they arise. In an age of instant payments and money transfers, rectifying these problems is easy and simple, ensuring you get paid promptly.
#2: Forgetting Marketing and Sales
With the easy access to so many goods and services, it’s easy to forget who you introduced to these items. Marketing is crucial for getting your name out there and in front of your customers in the San Francisco area. Word of mouth is simply not as useful as it used to be, and having a strong marketing presence can ensure a strong success early on,
As you get started, it is of great benefit to work with a marketing partner to help you develop coherent and effective marketing campaigns. It’s also important to get a jump on digital marketing endeavors, as most of your customers will start their buying experience online first.
#3: Not Enough Time in the Day
For small business owners, one of the biggest challenges is simply finding enough time to get everything done. Initially, you might find yourself taking care of nearly everything that your business requires to be successful, including packing, shipping, answering phones, billing, processing payments, and so much more.
If you’re not in a position to hire new employees, then time management will be an important skill for you to master. Being cognizant of how you’re using your time will help you and your business grow. To ensure you’re completing the tasks that will best help your business, create goal lists.
Start by creating sheets of lifetime, annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. Not only is this the start of a long-term strategy for your business, but it can also help to orient you towards the projects and tasks that are the most pressing. If a task pops up and doesn’t align with these goals, you can eliminate it, or delegate it to another employee. As you work on your goals list, or even on individual projects, don’t forget to ask yourself if that’s the best use of your time. It’s an easy way to make sure you’re using your energy effectively and prioritizing our most important tasks.
#4: Building a Great Team
At a certain point, your workload will be beyond the capabilities of a single person. At that point, you’ll need to hire more employees. Growing your team is exciting, but also stressful. Bringing the right people on can be tricky, but also very rewarding. To make hiring easier, develop a clear expectation of what that employee will be doing from day-to-day and then figure out what skill sets they’ll need to complete those tasks.
Beyond technical skills, think about interpersonal skills. Write down the values that drive and influence your work. Develop a clear mission and vision statement. Use these as tools to help you make hiring decisions when presented with two equally qualified candidates. Sometimes personality plays a larger role than just what’s on their resume.
Here at FRF Consulting, we can help you navigate these challenges and more. With years of experience, and as business owners ourselves, we know the challenges you face. Contact us today to arrange for a business consultation in San Francisco today!