4 Challenges That Keep Small Business Owners Up in 2017 (and Practical Solutions)

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Being a business owner is hard on its own because of the many activities directly involved in running a business effectively. However, small businesses owners also have to wrestle with a number of challenges that keep them up at night.

Wasp Barcode Technologies recently released its 2017 State of Small Business Report. The report surveys more than 1,100 U.S. small businesses to gain insight into “expected revenue growth, staffing and hiring, confidence in the economy, and IT spending trends in 2017.” This article looks at some of the biggest challenges keeping small business owners awake at night with a view to providing practical solutions for solving such challenges.

Growing the Business to Remain Profitable

One of the biggest issues that keeps business owners awake at night is directly tied to revenue concerns. Businesses need to grow their top and bottom lines to avoid stagnation and an eventual decline in their fortunes. The aforementioned state of small business report indicates that 39% of small business owners surveyed in 2017 are worried about how they’ll be able to grow their revenues.

Business can increase margins by increasing their sales volume, increasing the price of current sales, and there could be opportunities for bigger margins in cutting costs where possible. Businesses also need to look for opportunities for introducing their products/services to a wider audience through the Internet.

Finding and Retaining Key Employees

The U.S. unemployment rate is falling gradually and employers are finding it somewhat hard to find and retain top quality talent to keep their businesses running. 50% of the 1,100 U.S. small businesses surveyed this year said they are worried by the increasing decline in the pool of skilled employees. Many would be employees are setting out on their own to create startups and many firms are competing to attract the people left in the labor market.

If you want to attract and retain top talent for your business, you may want to be proactive in your interviewing and selection process. The job description advertising the vacancy in your company should be clearly defined. It is also in your best interests to make sure that you don’t leave the pathway to promotions and career growth ambiguous.

Protecting Business and Personal Assets Against Liability

Many business owners also hinted that they are often worried about how to best protect their personal and business assets against liability. As your business succeeds, you’ll unavoidably court attention and some of that attention will come from opportunistic folks looking for ways to get the free lunch on you. You’ll be surprised at the unbelievably number of minor accidents that could land you in a lawsuit for property damage or bodily injury.

However, you can protect your personal and business assets from such disturbing lawsuits by buying appropriate insurance policies. For instance, commercial auto insurance provides coverage on your company vehicles and other vehicles that carry your equipment, products, or employee. You should also shore up your defenses with general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.

Ensuring Consistent Cashflow to Keep the Business Afloat

About 34% of U.S. small businesses report that maintaining consistent cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing them this year. A small business must find ways to manage cash to stay as lean as much as possible without compromising on profitability and growth. Banks, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other lenders offer loans to businesses.

However, businesses can stay on top of their cash flow game by paying attention to costs, income, and billing cycles. For instance, you can offer discounts on bulk orders or for customers that pay in advance for your service. You can renegotiate the terms of your expenses to ensure that you are don’t have bills to pay during your off-peak billing cycle.

Challenges that keep small business owners awake.
Small business challenges.

Boris Dzhingarov is a business writer who investigates issues to craft great stories that readers love.