Every small business owner is guaranteed to hit the occasional roadblock, especially during their startup phase. However, while some of these problems are well outside of their control, others can be attributed to assorted mistakes and oversights. That being the case, it’s in every fledgling entrepreneur’s best interest to familiarize themselves with some of the most common problems faced by small business owners. As you’ll find, a fair number of these problems are easier to avoid than you may think.
Failing to Obtain the Proper Licenses
Opening your first business without first obtaining the relevant licenses from your respective city or township can result in a host of undesirable outcomes. At best, you’ll be required to close your doors until such time as the proper licenses have been obtained. At worst, you’ll be hit with hefty fines and find yourself in considerable legal trouble. So, if you regard licensing as an afterthought, you’re likely to face severe consequences.
To help ensure that your business starts off on the right foot, make sure that you’re aware of any licenses you’ll need to operate a business of this type and make a point of obtaining them. Fortunately, getting the licenses you need can be a breeze in cities and townships that utilize convenient municipal software.
Renting a Workspace You Can’t Reasonably Afford
It’s easy to see why so many entrepreneurs seek out the largest possible workspaces for their businesses. For starters, everyone enjoys having an abundance of space in which to stretch their legs. Furthermore, roomy workspaces are commonly regarded as an indicator of success. However, adopting a “go big or go home” mentality right out of the gate stands to massively deplete your business’s financial resources in an expedient fashion.
So, when checking out prospective workspaces, make sure to consider how much space your business truly requires instead of how much space you’d find ideal. Renting a space you can’t comfortably afford can bleed your finances dry on a number of fronts. First off, the larger the space, the higher the rent. Secondly, the utility costs for a large workspace are nothing to sneeze at.
Similarly, if you’re looking at spaces in extensive parts of your city or township, it’s worth considering whether your business truly needs to operate out of a certain area to be successful. While being based out of certain areas can certainly serve as a powerful status symbol, it may ultimately serve no purpose outside of causing financial strain.
It’s also important to remember that your business isn’t necessarily married to its first workspace. Should you have a very successful first year – or first few years – you can consider relocating to a base of operations that’s more reflective of your personal preferences.
Not Having a Clear Marketing Strategy
Any small business is going to have trouble getting off the ground in the absence of a solid marketing strategy. While virtually every marketing strategy is going to require some degree of refinement, it’s important to have a clear picture of how you want to promote your business before proceeding to open. Among other things, this entails identifying the most effective ways to spread the word about a business that provides the types of products and/or services yours does.
For example, if your target customer base is fairly young and tech-savvy, focusing on social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital endeavors may prove most beneficial. Conversely, if you’re going after an older demographic, purchasing ad spots on local television and radio outlets and taking out ad space in local print publications may be the way to go.
Small business owners who have little to no experience with marketing can benefit from reaching out to experienced marketing agencies. Not only will seasoned marketers help you identify which promotional vehicles you should focus on, they’ll assist you in crafting, implementing and refining a wide assortment of marketing strategies.
As any seasoned business owner can attest, the occasional stumbling block is inevitable. In the quest to establish a small business and ensure its long-term viability, virtually every entrepreneur is bound to make a mistake here and there. However, this isn’t to say that fledgling small business owners should regard every conceivable problem as unavoidable – especially given the fact that many of the issues they’re likely to encounter are very much avoidable.