What are the biggest challenges your business face?
My company offers customized business solutions to small to mid-sized business owners. I want to add additional services to my company but I'm not sure what the demand is for start ups and small businesses; or how great the need is for the services we offer. Can you share what the biggest challenges your business has faced or share your advice on how we focus our service?
Here are 5 biggest startup business challenges that I would like to refer here :
The Product Research – This is the number one challenge that many startups have. You might think that your startup idea is fantastic and that no one could have ever possibly have tried it before, but you could be wrong. You need to go through the trouble to make sure that you one has had your idea before. You might think that you would have heard about it, but how often do we sit around talking about failed startups in our classrooms and around our water coolers?
Startup Placement – Here’s one that can be tricky to avoid. Knowing where to put your startup is hard. Should you put it in the US? Should you put it in Thailand? What about Australia? You need to select a location that your product or service will thrive in. Look into potential competition in each area that you’re considering. Don’t just pick a place because you like the culture or because you know the language. Speaking of that…
Examining the Target Culture – Learning about what is and is not offensive in your target culture can go a long way. Countless companies have placed ads that were culturally insensitive without realizing what they were doing. So find out what the local culture is all about and be sure not to upset anyone. You don’t need to know a language to learn about a culture, but it helps to have someone on hand that speaks the local language just in case. If you can find an actual local then it’s even better. Run your ads and logos by them before public release.
Finding Good Consultants – While we’re thinking of people that you should have on hand to help you out, it’s never a bad idea to look into a good startup consultant. You might have to do a bit of research to find one, but they’re often a worthwhile addition to your startup. You don’t have to hire them full time, either. You could just keep them on retainer and call them up when you need something. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions—that’s what they’re there for, after all.
Balancing the Budget – So many startups get over extended in a financial sense. The people in charge get too excited with their purchases, or they spread themselves too thin, and an unexpected expense pops up, ruining everything. Have a tight budget written up and leave extra money for surprises. You’ll be glad that you did.
My challenge is to make money and not have people continuously copy all my designs and sell them. I have designed the most important and unique enrichment for parrots in the world of aviculture. I am a tiny one woman business.
Knowing how, where and when to market my products is a challenge and only by doing so can I ever earn a revenue stream.
My designs have been stolen and copied and copied and copied endlessly and now I have discovered that one of the largest bird food companies in the world has stolen my flagship design and is selling it all over Europe and elsewhere. They have no ethics whatsoever but they do have corporate attorneys and millions of dollars. The first person to copy is an ex employee who copied every single product and opened his own business. His copy is cheap and deadly. Since he was doing the marketing he has all the necessary contacts and has flooded the market in the US
A few years back the bird food company copied 8-10 of my other natural material toys and when I called them about that... they said "Oh well
I understand there is nothing I can do.
I did not patent anything because of the cost of acquiring a patent and the fact that it costs $60,000 just to walk into patent court. I did not know at the time that I could have copyrighted it.
My business has plummeted and I don't know what to do. I have endless problems with woodworkers. They have been arrogant, untalented, unreliable and complain a lot.
The major suggestion from others is to get out of manufacturing. I would like to do that but feel horrible that birds will not benefit from all the other ideas in my head. My life has been dedicated to helping improve the lives of captive parrots. However I can get past that.
I'm in my 70s, single and I need a revenue stream. I am also considered the best parrot photographer ever published and have a library of 23 years of my work. I am not sure how to get money out of that library.
Neither of those comments about my design or my skill in photography are from me... they are from others who speak of such things publicly.
No. 1 => sales
No:2 => quality employees
No: 3 => overheads
This really based on my nature of business and the location I am in. Thus the considerations business nature, environment, and customers are important.
Ask your existing clients if they would use the new services you want to offer. The next step is to market the new services to a sample and see what happens. Sometimes trial and error are the best ways to gauge the demand for a product or service.
Another option is to see who else offers these services. Learn from them.
Most clients are skeptical to change and it is one of the biggest hindrances to growth. The other challenge I face is helping clients with issues of integrity, statutory compliance and corporate governance especially in a subdued economy as in Zimbabwe. The positive side is it has made me more innovative as i am constantly looking for solutions for SMEs operating in an incapacitated economy
Generally speaking, new business focus its business on the products or services they want to offer. This is one of the biggest challenges to overcome. Good business are found when you focus on your target market needs. They will tell you what to offer them!
Large competitors. You dont have the marketing and advertising budget they have, nor do you have the HR budget. I doesn't mean you cant compete. You have to differentiate yourself from them. A great example is watch what Walmart has done in recent years. They are migrating to carrying phone carriers like Verizon just a bit cheaper to squeeze the phone market, they have concentrated on winning diner over from families going to restaurant.
Stay different, give great service and stand by your product. Never undervalue your customer. Best of success. Gil
Hi Lori! In my humble opinion, the biggest challenge most part of the companies are facing is to get profitability, knowing they are doing something good for the world and adding real value. Sometimes a see people, teams y organizations suffering because of this matter. Many people believe that the process of getting growth is far away from working with joy and peace. It is important to change this point of view, in order to enjoy business and live a nice life.
The biggest challenge for any Startup is Funding.. There are lot of people who want to work with a Startup and make money but note that the Startup wants to work with lots of experts who can offer services for Free
If you want to work with the startup then you should be looking at growing with them and the only way i can see is by offering services against Equity..
I wonder how would you be offering customized business solutions to SMEs without having an idea of their business challenges and while you have not been sure "how great" your services for them?
I guess you may better have a Business Review and Business Consultancy; we would be happy to assist you.
I find that driving new business is the most challenging, as well as carving out time to promote our services while juggling a full workload of client work.
Are your current services successful? I think it's best to do a few things really well rather than offer a bunch of things that you maybe can't do to full capacity. If you have happy clients, create case studies and get testimonials. Feature them on your site. Promote your services on craigslist, and look for what your target audience is posting. Blog about what you do and things relevant, and promote those on social networks where your target audience is active. Start conversations with business owners on LinkedIn and Twitter. Start conversations.
Also, check out http://www.blurgroup.com/, I actually just learned about it today and it may be useful. I plan on looking into it more for my own business.
If there are universal challenges for businesses they are generally money and people. Beyond that there can be a million things.
Personally dealing with the obstacles the government puts in our way is one. For instance ObamaCare. Last year our health insurance costs for our employees went up 17% which wasn't that bad but this year it went up another 101%. Now if we hire a new employee with a family we pay almost as much for health insurance as we do for wages. Our dollar increase for health insurance is more than our profit in 3 of the past 5 years.
Like most businesses people are another problem. It is tough to find good quality people willing to work for peanuts and tough in this economic environment to pay good people as much as we would like. Getting someone to show up 5 days a week is tough.
Another problem we face is staying relevant in an ever changing world. We need to constantly work on our marketing and product design. If you sit back and enjoy the roses someone else will pass you by and there won't be any roses to smell.
In this type of fast moving business, the toughest challenge you face is competition from your competitors.