Welcome back to all our entrepreneurial minded friends, and to those who just want to learn a bit about how small businesses operate. We’ve got a whole bunch more of those pesky challenges to take care of, so if you haven’t read part one yet, you should do so first. While these lists aren’t necessarily in any particular order, part one deals with some issues that lay the groundwork for a couple of the entries below. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get right into the rest of the list.
The Ups and Downs
Ah yes, the ebb and flow, the wax and wane, the peaks and valleys; whichever you like-running a small business is full of…ehem…those. When you work for someone else, you deal with very little of the business at large, and as such, your day-to-day is quite stable: you go to work, you perform your tasks, you return home, you receive a paycheck, and then you rinse and repeat.
When you’re running a small business, each day has the potential to bring about a whole new set of problems and challenges. From problems we’ve talked about such as financial and supplier issues, to staffing and quality control, it can be difficult to navigate the day-to-day challenges of owning your own business. Resilience is key, whether it’s resilience in your supply chain, or your own bullet-proof emotional resilience. The bottom line is you’ve got to learn to take the good with the bad.
Being prepared for the next day is a step in the right direction; however, when you’re faced with an issue you didn’t anticipate, remain calm and remind yourself that every problem has a solution. Every single person that ever started their own business has faced difficult challenges, and if they’ve made it out in one piece, so can you. Approach problems methodically and deliberately, and don’t let worry become another obstacle on the way to the solution. Effectively solving problems is about being thoughtful and creative, and rushing your way through them will only lead to more frustration.
Employees and Employee Retention
Whether it’s the Great Resignation, rising costs, or skill shortages, there are many reasons why it’s becoming more difficult for small business owners to hire and retain employees. The best way to make your business more attractive to prospective employees is to increase pay and offer more in the way of employee benefits. The same goes for existing employees; however, it can be tough to find the funds required to increase pay or benefits if you’re already struggling. Happily, there are other ways to attract new employees and increase employee retention.
Offering hybrid or remote positions is a big one nowadays. More and more companies are adopting some form of the work from home paradigm, and it’s one of the most sought-after perks of prospective employees. Another great way to make employees happy and keep them engaged is by investing in their careers. This could mean offering workshops and training, or by holding events that help build camaraderie in the workplace. You can get creative if you like, and devise a reward system for top performers in order to drive engagement and provide employees with a little extra motivation.
Loneliness and Burnout
The entrepreneurial mindset is a bit on the rare side. It can be difficult to find friends who are like-minded in your goals and ambitions, and running your own business will afford you far less time to go out and socialize. It’s important to seek out a support network of other individuals who know how you think and can relate to the challenges you face. Try to seek out online groups or attend networking events specifically geared towards entrepreneurs. Keeping in contact with other entrepreneurs is a great way to mitigate feelings of loneliness and isolation, and you might even get some great advice!
We talk about burnout a lot, so by now we should all be at least somewhat familiar with the idea of it. Your business can’t go anywhere if you’re constantly exhausted, so you must make sure you’re taking care of your health and getting plenty of rest. There are a variety of free time management tools available that you can use to help strike a better work/life balance, and keep the stress off your back. Lastly, don’t forget about friends and family-make plans once in a while and give yourself some time away from work.
Being a young entrepreneur today takes drive, creativity, resilience, and patience. Facing challenges and overcoming obstacles is how we grow as people, and as professionals. If you’re ever feeling like the odds are stacked against you, always remember: that is your chance to push through and succeed. Approach each new challenge as a learning experience, and you’ll never lose.
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