If you own or manage a small business, you may feel like you’re going it alone, but actually there are thousands of other people who are facing the same challenges as you. There are enough difficulties running a small business without letting these three common issues derail your dreams. Here are some tips for tackling them head on.
Finding financial support is often cited as a number one complaint by small business owners. Along with funding challenges come time management concerns because few people can afford to quit their jobs to start up a new biz, especially if they’re the sole bread winner of the household.
Given this double hurdle, it’s vital that you start out your venture with a solid business plan. Even if you’re already underway in launching your business, it’s not too late to sit down and hammer out a timeline with measurable goals and objectives, or steps, to achieve them along the way.
Having a carefully thought out business plan will help you manage your time and money, whether you’re starting with $50 or $50,000. Furthermore, if you’re appealing to outside funding, having a business plan is a must. These days, there are so many more sources for small business funding than ever before, besides using your personal savings or credit cards, including:
formal loans from family and friends
loans from traditional lenders, like banks
To keep your business expenses reasonable while you’re still growing, focus on a core product, don’t let your packaging (including websites) become more important than the product itself, and keep your overhead manageable. Do you really need that huge office suite and boxing that costs more than what’s inside it?
Finally, don’t forget to enlist professional help with accounting and legal matters related to funding. You can devote your time and energy elsewhere, and you may be saved from major mistakes that could cost you your business.
Feeling like you’re the only person whose ever manned the helm of a business alone is common, especially if you are a sole proprietor or manage your business from home. The key to this challenge is to use networking to join up with others while growing your business simultaneously.
There are literally thousands of ways to develop free or low-cost marketing, and we’ll present some of these in future blog posts, but you should make sure you’re exchanging ideas with other business owners as well. In addition to participating in social media, joining membership organizations, attending conventions, volunteering, and speaking for community service groups will help jump start your web of connections. Don’t just do all your networking online; make sure at least half of your time is spent talking to folks live and in person.
Do you sometimes forget why you’re doing all this hard work to begin with? Don’t worry—this happens to virtually all small business owners at some point in time. If all your networking still leaves you lacking in inspiration, you may need to dig a little deeper to keep going when times get tough.
This is where having a clear mission statement for your business will remind you what sparked your business venture in the first place. Before you even embark on writing a business plan, spend some time composing a mission statement that tells the world why you do what you do and why your business model is so important to you.
The mission of Taitu’s Botanicals is to provide high quality, enjoyable bath and body products. Our goal is to cleanse the body’s largest organ, the skin, with ingredients suitable for royalty. We use the finest ingredients from around the world, like hemp seeds, jojoba, African shea butter, herbs, spices, and healing tea tree oil. We want you to reap the skin softening and healing benefits of these natural elements.
We offer body washes, body lotions and butters, oils, candles, and teas, so you can create the feeling of being at a spa while relaxing in your own home. —the best in herbal body care—and let us be an inspiration to you as your small business grows and thrives.