Anyone can start a business. A simple e-commerce website can be set up in a few minutes. However, everyone doesn’t have the expertise to avoid the common pitfalls new business owners fall into. Navigating the ins and outs of commerce is tricky.
No business is perfect. Even if you do everything right, there will be issues that you have to deal with. The way you handle them determines how well your business will do. If you’re easily discouraged, being successful will be a struggle.
Below are five common problems your business may face. Possible solutions are listed as well.
1. Cash Flow
In one sense, finances are simple. Make $5 and spend $6 if you want to be miserable. Make $5 and spend $4 if you want to be content.
The reality is that unless you keep a close eye on your budget, it’s easy to run into debt. Even if you manage to stay in the black, you might find yourself spending too much money. If you’re spending becomes too out of control, you might even be tempted to go into debt.
Track everything. Every single expense should be written down. Then you can routinely scan your budget for areas to trim. An example would be your shipping. Many optimistic would-be entrepreneurs have been crushed when they’ve realized how expensive it is to ship their goods.
Your way around this is to brainstorm solutions in advance. Let’s say you move abroad or travel often but still need to order a lot of product in the states. You could try shipping to the Bahamas and using a package-forwarding service like Blue Postal.
The company notes that: “Many U.S. online retailers and auction site sellers do not ship purchases overseas, charge too much for international shipping, or do not accept international credit cards. Eliminate these issues with BluePostal… The service is a safe way to enjoy the large selection of goods available in the U.S. marketplace right from your computer.”
Once you have a solid shipping strategy in place, you can predict how it will affect your budget.
Maintaining the right amount of inventory is tricky. Being over-stocked is expensive. Being under-stocked is bad for business. First-time business owners are apt to fall into one of the two traps.
Another inventory problem is not keeping a close eye on what you purchase. Employees steal and are sometimes wasteful. Bad organization skills can hide these problems for years.
Fortunately, there are many potential solutions. Because it’s 2019, technology can help. You can find a very sophisticated inventory tracking software. The better ones will track your product from the moment you receive to it to when it’s sold.
There are also employee solutions that you can try out. A camera in the stock room, for instance, can discourage thieves. You should try to implement strong employee training practices. Some mistakes arise from carelessness rather than any malicious intent.
Your staff is everything. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your idea is if you people your business with the wrong people. You’re looking for hardworking employees that you can trust.
Problems often arise when business owners rely too heavily on their friends and family. You can work with people you love, just remember that if your business becomes a family affair, new problems will arise.
Be smart with your hiring decisions. If you sense a bad vibe from someone, don’t hire them. You might have to get a little tough. There will be some workers who you like personally, maybe even care about, but who are terrible at their job. Firing these people as soon as possible is what your business needs.
You need to be a good boss if you want to work with good employees. Their duties should be clear and easily defined.
Becoming a business owner is a sign that you’ve made it in the West. You’re no longer working for yourself; all of your labor is to benefit your own goals and dreams. It’s a fantastic lifestyle if you can make it work.
However, nothing is perfect. Even the best-laid plans sometimes turn sour. The key to surviving the fluctuations of commerce is to prepare for what you can and be adaptable. One employee stealing from you is a problem that could happen to anyone. Five workers stealing means there’s a problem with your business strategy or hiring methods.
You can work through most problems if you’re business is solid.