Starting a business provides one set of issues for entrepreneurs, but running a business brings up an entirely different set of concerns. Which of these keep you up at night?
1. You’re growing faster than you can handle
This is a good problem to have, but one that needs addressing, nonetheless. If your business is moving faster than you are, you’ll struggle to keep up, and you and your staff will be overwhelmed with work.
Solution: Get help immediately. Hire employees — even if it’s just temporary or part time — so that your existing staff doesn’t get inundated, frustrated, and quit. Reinvest your profits back into the company wherever you need it: extra inventory, more space, better equipment.
2. Small business taxes give you nightmares
You’re afraid you’ll miss a deadline, or that you’ll be audited. Paying small business taxes has never been marketed as easy, but it’s not as bad as its reputation.
Solution: Invest in smart money management software that will help you manage your taxes as well. Quickbooks does a great job of telling you when your payroll taxes are due, and you can pay them directly from the platform.
3. You’re doing everything yourself
When you start a business, understandably, you take on any and all roles in your company to save money. But as you grow (see #1), you must delegate and bring on additional help. Otherwise you get burned out.
Solution: Start with one employee to take over the responsibilities you’re the least adept at, and that will bring the most value to your business. As you adjust to having an extra pair of hands (and learn to let go of having to do it all), hire more.
4. You’re hesitant to invest in marketing
You guard your money closely, and if you do have to spend it, you’re just not sure where the best place is. When it comes to marketing, not doing any is the worst thing you can do, so get over this hump so you can start bringing in more business.
Solution: There are so many marketing tools that can help your business, but they have to be right for your company. Talk to a marketing consultant to see what she recommends as the best way to market your business. Then hire either an employee or a marketing consultant to help you.
5. You don’t have a clue how many visitors your site gets
The word “analytics” scares you. You know it’s important, but you don’t feel technical enough to handle it. It is, in fact, necessary to understand how many visitors you’re getting and where they’re coming from. And it’s not hard to figure out.
Solution: Hire an SEO or analytics company (even your web designer can help) and ask them to show you how to read the important analytics you need, as well as how to interpret them.
6. Your cash isn’t flowing as well as it should
You’re making money, but sometimes it’s a struggle to pay your employees on payday. You’re reluctant to take out a loan, but you want cash to be there when you need it.
Solution: Make sure you’re tracking your expenses (again, Quickbooks works well). And if you operate on an invoice basis, tighten up your accounts receivable time. Offer customers incentive for paying invoices early, or charge a fee for paying late. Keep money in savings for emergencies, and trust me: there will be emergencies.
Running a business isn’t an easy endeavor, but there are always solutions to problems, and other business owners who have experienced the same concerns. Stick to your plan and make sure your business never suffers, and you’ll be fine.