Every endeavor has its challenges, but starting and owning your own business is perhaps one of the most stressful and most challenging things that you can do. Every business and owner is different, even those in the same industry, but many will face the same difficulties and hardships. Here are five of the most common and biggest challenges a business owner has to face.
- Integrity. It’s so easy to just lie a little, steal a little, cheat a little, especially if you are the only one regulating your business. If there is no one above you to make sure that your accounts are perfectly in order, that your inventory is what your say it is, that you are following the correct financial procedures, it can be easy even for an honest person to be tempted by dishonesty. Just know that it’s always better to do the right thing even if no one finds out about it than to do the wrong thing, as that’s more likely to be discovered. Additionally, remember that even though someone might not be watching you every day, it’s possible for dishonesty to backfire. For example, it may be easy to not claim certain income on your taxes, but the IRS can easily find out and you could get in a lot of trouble if you get audited. Honesty really is the best policy in business.
- Managing your resources. If this is the first time you’ve ever been in charge of a business, you may not have a handle on how to manage your resources properly, instead just buying things when you need them, whether or not you can actually afford them. Saving for a rainy day should be part of your resource management.
- Steep competition. When you began developing your ideal, you may have felt like it was completely unique, only to discover that many other people were developing the same idea, at the same time. Handling competition can be extremely difficult, but there will always be something that makes your business unique and worth investing in.
- Uncertainty in the marketplace. No industry is truly recession proof. Small businesses are always the first to go when hard financial times hit. According to this Huffington Post article, during the last recession, more than 170,000 small businesses closed. This is another reason saving for a rainy day is so important.
- Finding good help. “Good help is hard to find” is a cliché, but it is also 100% true. Finding people that you can rely on, that are hard workers and who care about your business as much as you do can be more difficult even than getting your business off the ground. The faster you can find excellent workers, the less challenging work will be. Put some extra time and energy into hiring the right people to help you from the very beginning.