Top 10 Issues Facing Small Businesses in 2019
- March 6, 2019
- Posted by: Quarles Business & Financial Strategists
- Category: Business Advice
Top 10 Issues Facing Small Businesses in 2019
If you’re a small business owner, there’s no reason why 2019 can’t be your best year yet!
Set your goals, put in the work to achieve them and take your business to the next level.
Of course, to do this you will have to overcome many hurdles along the way. It’s no secret that a lot of new business fail, and the road to success can be difficult.
Let’s take a long at some of the difficulties you can expect to face this year, with the Top 10 Issues Facing Small Business in 2019.
1. Need for Business Innovation
With the ever-changing business landscape that we live in, doing “business as usual” isn’t always enough anymore.
The call for business innovation this year will be greater than ever, with new technology and improved methods coming in left, right and centre. Traditional businesses are failing to keep up with those who are always looking to improve and innovate their business.
Make sure you are always looking for new ways of doing business, whether it’s changes to your product/service, your business systems or your business assets.
If you lack the funds to innovate your business, you can get a business loan and make the changes you need!
2. Customer Experience
If your customers aren’t having a good experience with your business, chances are you won’t be seeing them again!
Providing a great product or service is only half the battle. If you want to make sure you are attracting new business and hanging on to your loyal customers, you’ll need to offer great customer service as well.
Consider what struggles or negative interactions arise when a customer is dealing with your business. Or better yet, ask them! Receiving customer feedback is a great way to identify areas to improve.
You can easily gather customer feedback with Survey Monkey. This online surveying tool makes data collection and analysis a breeze!
In this highly competitive market where customers have all the information and all the power, you can’t afford to ignore the customer experience.
The challenge of finding the right staff and managing them the right way will continue in 2019.
Small business owners often have 101 things on themselves and simply can’t do everything themselves, which is why the need to build a business team that can pick up the slack.
A great business team needs great staff, which is why your hiring process is so important.
Here are a few simple tips to help your staffing efforts:
- Create a great job offering and show prospective employees why they should work for you.
- Post your job ads in more places. You have job sites like Seek and Indeed, social media with LinkedIn and even staffing agencies.
- Don’t settle for less than you need. You could be in business with this person for a long time and firing an employee is never what you want.
The workplace has also seen a trend towards casual employees rather than permanent staff, and increased focus on workplace culture.
These new changes can bring new challenges, such as bullying, sexual harassment and gender equality. Not to mention the changes that the millennial workforce are bringing, with an increased need for work flexibility and socialisation.
If you need to improve how you manage your employees, check out this comprehensive list of HR tips.
4. Lack of Time
Ever wish there were more hours in the day (or less stuff on your to-do list)?
With the heavy workload that small business owners face, getting everything done can be difficult. Especially if you are one-man-band or don’t have someone around who can help.
Being more productive with your time will help you complete your tasks and keep your business running smoothly. A few simple tips include planning your time, creating strict timeframes, focusing on more important tasks and taking regular breaks.
To get more tips on improving your productivity, check out The Ultimate Productivity Checklist.
Find yourself writing to-do lists every day but never getting to the important stuff? Maybe this video will help!
5. Slow and Outdated Business Processes
Do you find yourself wasting a lot of hours on your bookkeeping?
Are you often overwhelmed with paperwork?
The software is there to help you with the mundane and time-consuming tasks that are keeping you from more important things.
Simplify your accounting, bookkeeping and record management with Xero accounting software. It is easy to use for small business owners and is definitely worth the cost. It will save you lots of time, neatly keep all your records in one place and provide you with timely data for better business decisions.
If you’re interested in getting started with Xero, book a free consultation and we can help!
6. Getting through to your potential customers
As a small business owner, you should have a pretty good idea of who your target market is. You can also use tools like Google’s Market Finder to identify potential markets.
Once you know who your potential customers are, the next challenge is getting through to them.
With the increased amount of time that people are spending online and the move towards digital communication, small businesses need to find new ways of getting through to their target market.
Customers will go online to research and review their options, including social media and Google.
Putting your business online and becoming part of the conversation will help potential customers find your business.
People are also more likely to talk about your business online, so make sure you are providing that great customer experience for great word-of-mouth!
7. Cash Flow
When it comes to looking at the top issues for small businesses, you can’t ignore Cash flow.
Small businesses often have a lot of expenses, whether it is start-up costs, buying new equipment or new facilities, or just spending the money it takes to grow your business.
It takes quite a lot of money coming in to even this out, which is why so many businesses are struggling with cash flow. Especially in the early stages, when you probably don’t have a great list of clients or consistent sales.
Here are some tips to help you improve your cash flow:
- Improving your invoicing and debt collection, so you get paid faster and don’t lose any money from sales
- Reduce stock on hand, so you have more money available to grow your business
- Cut back on expenses, such as renegotiating your lease or investing in new money-saving technology
- Starting measuring your business margins and look at how much you are making per sale
For more info on improving your cash flow, check out these Cash Flow Tips to Improve Your Business Bank Balance.
8. Personal finances
In an ideal world, there is a clear distinction between your business bank account and your personal bank account. However, we know that this line can become blurred when the business expenses are rolling in.
Not to mention that many business owners can’t even pay their own salary.
Sometimes you’ll need to pump a bit more cash into your business to keep things going, which is why managing your personal finances is so important.
Any money you can save will help relieve some of your financial stress and allow you to draw a little extra if needed. A few simple changes to your lifestyle could make a big difference.
Taking the time to review your bills and find better deals, tracking your spending, giving up your daily coffee, taking lunch to work and cancelling your unused gym memberships are all examples of easy ways to save money.
9. Lack of business plan
Getting too caught up in the day-to-day operations can be costly, if it means you aren’t considering the bigger picture.
Having a business plan in place is the best way to increase your likelihood of success. It will help you make better decisions that work towards your business goals and set benchmarks and timelines, so you know how you are performing.
Your business plan should cover your finances, business operations and the marketing of your business. If you do have a business plan, the job isn’t over yet! You should be checking in regularly and updating your plan as your business grows and new opportunities arise.
Don’t have a great business plan yet? Download our business plan template to help you get started!
At the end of the day, it’s your profitability that will keep your small business going.
What it takes to be profitable is specific to your business and the problems that you are currently facing. You may not have the business or financial skills to identify what’s wrong, or you may have simply hit a wall with your business growth and don’t know how to take it to the next level.
The best advice we have to keep your small business profitable is to get some advice.
Speaking to an expert business advisor can help you increase your revenue and profitability, solve cash flow problems, improve your business system and more.
We have over 40 years’ experience helping Perth businesses become more profitable and achieve their business goals. To find out what we can do for your business, book a free consultation!