We all know that starting a business is tough. However, many business owners aren’t as prepared as they thought. When starting their company, the discovered some issues they’d never thought about. Here are the hidden concerns business owners wish they’d been prepared for:
Before you start a business, you have to be prepared for contract management. But, what does this entail? As a business owner, you’ll probably end up with loads of contracts. And, I’m not talking about client or employee contracts here. Instead, I’m referring to various contracts your business will have with outside sources. The easiest example of this is your phone and internet deal. Obviously, you’ll have signed up to a contract with a broadband provider. It’s easy to forget about this contract while you go about your daily business tasks. Before you know it, you’re approaching a renewal date. You forget about it, and the date passes. In the context of broadband contracts, they tend to roll over. You may think this is fine, but, it could mean you’re paying too much. In the time since you took out the deal, a rival may have a cheaper offer that you can use instead.
Plus, think about some contracts that need to be renewed at certain dates. You could miss an important renewal with a supplier as you weren’t tracking things. So, you need to get the hang of contract lifecycle management. It’s a hidden concern that most owners don’t know about until it hits them in the face. Figure out ways to manage things so you never end up missing important contract dates. You never know, one mishap can be devastating for your business.
(Image Source: http://goo.gl/CZBw86)
It shocks me how many business owners don’t have a good customer retention strategy. The emphasis has always been on gaining customers. It’s something you see all the time; companies look to bring in new customers. That’s why there are so many offers available for ‘new customers only.’ It’s to entice people into a business that aren’t already customers. So, business owners will spend ages pondering over customer acquisition strategies. They stay up late at night planning the perfect approach. Then, things go great for them. They launch their business and acquire loads of new customers. But, after a while, things start to dry up. They look at their plan and can’t figure out what’s going wrong. Soon, they realize the issue is that they aren’t retaining any customers. New ones come and then go as quickly as they arrived.
As an entrepreneur, you have to have a retention strategy in place. Before you open your business, ensure you have a good plan laid out. Understand what you want to do when you get these new customers. Put measures in place to ensure they stay and come back for more. Then, you keep loyal customers and get new ones. It’s the ideal combination, and it elicits great success.
Every company needs to have a set of values that they live by. These values are key, as they decide a lot about your business. They represent the way you want the company to think. Usually, they’re a few things that you think are highly important. For example, you could have values that suggest customer service is the top priority. The values themselves aren’t the concern here. Any business can have whatever values they want. What you need to be concerned about is how your employees agree with these values. The problem lots of business owners have is that their employees don’t agree with them. It’s highly common for someone to work for a company even if they don’t agree with their line of thinking. Why? Because some jobs can be hard to come by, so, you take what you get. Similarly, some people just want a job to make money; they don’t care about anything else.
Why does it matter if your employees don’t share your business values? It means that you have many people all at different wavelengths. Certain people may decide to prioritize different things based on their values. It creates confusion in the workplace, and you lose efficiency. There’s no denying that a business with everyone sharing the brand values will be more successful. You all understand the key aims and are focused on the same things. So, be careful when hiring people, make sure you get staff that adheres to your values.
(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/8LCNW2)
Many business owners are unaware of the task presented to them regarding their money. To be successful, you need to have efficient money management. More to the point, you have to ensure your business doesn’t run out of money. This is the main concern here, with no money, you have a big problem. The main issue is, a lot of small businesses rush into opening their doors. They only look at the near future, and immediate concerns. You calculate how much money you’ll need to open a business, and that’s it. Naturally, all the major expenses are taken into account. But, there are loads of small things that are forgotten about. Small things may seem insignificant, but they can grow into big problems. Before you know it, poor money management has left your business without a penny to its name.
So, what needs to be done? Well, you have to avoid this issue with strict financial planning. Create a full and detailed budget of all your finances. This will help you manage everything, and figure out how much you can afford to spend, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to claim business expenses. There are certain things you bought that can go down as a business expense, meaning you don’t have to pay tax on them. If you do this, you can end up saving loads of money. Obviously, you have to be sensible with what you claim. The computers for your office are a clear business expense. But, a new car for your daughter isn’t.
Now, you know all of the hidden concerns some business owners wish they were prepared for. This means you are now one step ahead of everyone else! You’re prepared for these things, so, you can ensure they don’t become issues.