As small business owners from Essex face similar challenges, I’ve spent the last weeks meeting and talking with them.
They were, as expected, all-time poor. Directors and owners of companies felt the need to be hands-on and involved in every aspect and aspect of their businesses. I was surprised to learn that although they are experts on their business, they still need help and guidance in order to see their company grow and improve profitability.
Among the many challenges they faced was:
Customers are the heartbeat of any business. Without customers and revenue, the business cannot be successful. The biggest challenge they faced was to find, retain and maximize their customers.
To me, providing great products and great customer service is the key to winning business and keeping customers happy. For this to happen, a strategy must be created for increasing revenues and customer growth.
Many business owners aren’t marketing experts. They need strategic guidance when developing a business strategy, a plan of attack, and deciding on the channels to promote their company.
It’s important to help the business tell its story in such a way as to encourage growth and build customer relationships. The best way to allow the owner of a business to concentrate on what is most important to him is to bring in an experienced marketer.
For many business owners, there is simply not enough time in a day. Every owner has limited time. Being able to make more time is sometimes a matter of saying no, and focusing on the essentials for the business’ success.
These are the times when business owners seek out external advice from business mentors or consultants to help them concentrate on what is important for the growth of the company.
Although it is essential for small and medium-sized businesses to manage their cashflow, some business owners felt that managing the P&L was the last priority.
It is important to get good financial advice from a consultant that takes the time and analyzes the performance of the business, assesses age debtors, analyzes client profitability, and implements effective financial planning measures.
For some business owners, Business Planning seemed a little afterthought. I talked to them because they were more mobile and able to react quickly. The annual planning process should begin at least four months before end of financial year. It should include a formal annual budget and analysis of growth opportunities and overheads.
Entrepreneurs who succeed in building wealth and growing their businesses are able to understand how to create a culture where sustainability is a given.
Many business owners don’t have the time or knowledge to manage all of the business processes. External support and/or consulting can be extremely beneficial.
Business failure can result from inability to manage processes such sales, marketing business development, customer loyalty building, operational management, HR, employee development and other areas. Owners of businesses shouldn’t be required to manage multiple business functions. This can lead to business failure.