I have had the pleasure to interact with many small business owners and CEOs over the past year. I’ve also spoken to many advisors in various disciplines who also interact with the owners of these small companies. What I have found is that most business owners of small companies are faced with four common challenges, whether they are successful and experiencing growth, or not. What is interesting is that these challenges are not unique from company to company – even across diverse industries! Is your company facing challenges? If so, chances are they are in my “Top 4.” Read on to learn what these challenges are and how to address them head on!
Many small companies need a deeper understanding of their financial situation and what affects the numbers. Too often I see a small business owner managing their business by what the number is in their checking account, but they don’t really understand what their Profit and Loss Statement is and how it works.
Do you know what your net profit is? Do you understand your expenses by department or by areas in your business? Do you know what levers to pull to impact your P&L the way you want to? Most small business owners and CEOs need a deeper understanding in this area.
Here are possible ways to obtain financial knowledge:
- Set a time with your CPA and ask them to explain the monthly P&L in detail. If they can’t, then you need to find one who can!
- Hire an Outsourced CFO. Look for one that focuses on strategy rather than how to process the numbers. They can help you plan out your future and coach you on how to impact your P&L.
- Find a class or seminar in your area from the Small Business Administration or SCORE.
Sales and Marketing:
Most small business owners are excellent in sales themselves because they built the product or service that their company is founded on, but they don’t have the time or want to manage their sales team the way it needs to be managed. A sales team can’t be managed with a hands-off approach. They need to be pushed and held accountable, while at the same time provided with marketing tools to drive the results the company needs.
Are your salespeople asking for more “tools” to help them grow? Is your team not developing enough new business? Do you dread every time the phone rings from one of your sales team members?
Try some of these proven practices:
- Update your website – hire someone to help you! It’s worth the investment, and make sure it is mobile ready! Everyone does business on their phones today.
- Seek outsourced sales help. Take advantage of the years of sales leadership experience from a Sales Xceleration Advisor on an interim basis to help your company.
- Look for an outsourced marketing person or agency. Marketing takes a consistent, strategic approach to be effective over the long haul.
- Educate yourself so you understand the sales process or digital marketing better. There are many organization that offer free training in these areas, just google them!
Human capital is a critical piece of your company. Do you feel like you have all the right people on your “bus” and in the right seats? Are you compliant with all the laws that your state has for employees? Does your company have the culture you want? Managing people effectively and implementing your company’s benefits, retirement plans and hiring practices takes time and expertise!
Consider these options to help you with your people:
- Find a reliable company to help you administer your payroll, benefits, retirement plans, etc. There are many great companies out there today that specialize in this and can help protect you!
- Establish a performance management system or find an EOS Implementer in your area to help you.
- Find an outsourced human resource professional to help you establish best business practices and systems to help your company.
I’ve saved the best and biggest opportunity for last! Time – there is never enough of it! Where does it all go? Unless you can figure out a way to create more hours in a day, you will need to challenge yourself to be more productive with the time you have. Most owners and CEOs at small companies feel stressed and overworked. They fret about having to spend too much time IN their business versus ON their business! Does this sound familiar?
Try these ideas:
- Learn to delegate! This is where outsourced experts in their fields can really help a small business owner. Let them remove some of the “day-to-day” from your desk so you can focus on your strengths to help your company grow!
- Try some of the ideas in the common challenge areas mentioned above that will give you more time!
- Say “No” to some things. You can’t be everything to everyone. You must stay true to what your company excels at and be cautious about chasing things that aren’t your company’s strength.
- Learn to manage your calendar. Take an Outlook class or tutorial on-line. The better you can manage your calendar, the more productive your days and weeks will become!
If you are challenged by any one or all four of these things – Time, People, Financial Knowledge or Sales and Marketing – please know that you are not alone! Other business leaders face the same challenges that you do every day! All of us at Sales Xceleration are here to help you! We are the experts in the sales arena, but we also have many trusted advisors in our network that can help you in the other areas as well. Reach out to your local Sales Xceleration Advisor for a free consultation and begin your journey to improve your business!