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Common obstacles when running a small business

Running a small business can be highly rewarding and yet still challenging. Many small business owners are unprepared for the vast amount of challenges and obstacles that they incur while not only establishing their small business but also while running it. However, the good news is that if you are a small business owner you can educate yourself about these challenges and obstacles and formulate solutions before you even have to deal with that particular problem. Once you have formulated a solution you can simply implement it and continue on with the process of growing your small business. Here is what you need to know about the common obstacles you may find when running a small business-

- Obtaining financing-Lenders typically look at small businesses as high risk when it comes to offering business loans. However, if you are willing to do the work you can present yourself to a potential lender in such a way that will minimize their reluctance to lend you money. You will need to work hard and present your lender with a well written business plan and financial documentation that shows you can repay the loan in full and on time. Finally, do not overlook the need to show your lender that you have the experience and expertise (as do all the management in your small business), to make your small business a success.
- Hiring the right people-Many small business owners find that they have a hard time finding the right people to work for them. The main obstacle often seems to be that small businesses cannot afford to pay the same type of salary and benefits that are comparable with their larger competitors. However, savvy small business owners know that they can often make up this difference by offering potential employees other types of non monetary benefits. Keep in mind that many people want the opportunity for advancement that a small business can offer. However, it is imperative that you are honest about what you can and cannot offer potential employees. The bottom line is that with some time spent on the hiring process you can find the right people who will be willing to commit to the success of your small business for a long time to come.
- Lack of sales-Many small businesses often face the challenge of having lower sales then they expected. This quickly becomes a problem since most small businesses do not have the cash reserves to weather the storm long term. However, there are steps that you can take to improve your sales figures. First of all, do not give into the urge to cut marketing. Reducing what you spend on marketing is not the answer. Rather then reducing marketing you need to take the time to determine where your marketing dollars are working for you and where they aren't. You want to make sure that every dollar that you are spending on marketing is bringing you the highest possible return on sales. If you are spending money on marketing that is not being effective then stop that marketing method immediately. Once you move your marketing to be more effective you should see a corresponding increase in sales.
- Low employee morale-Because many times employees in small businesses work in close contact with each other it can often lead to low employee morale. Perhaps there is an interpersonal conflict between employees or an employee is bringing their personal problems to work. Whatever the problem it is important that you use your management skills to help your employees get over the slump when it comes to employee morale. This can often be done by the attitude and example that you set but it can also be helpful to make sure that your employees are being well trained so that they know what is expected of them.

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