Running a business is tough. You face competition from larger often better funded operators and struggle to find time to work ON your business rather than in it. Over the years of working directly with entrepreneurs there are three key trends in the challenges that everyone faces:
Most Entrepreneurs Fail to Plan
Everyone gets wrapped up in the day to day grind of running a business - There are always more things to do than time to get them done. For this reason, the least urgent yet most important tasks tend to continuously get pushed to the bottom of our to do lists.
It is absolutely critical that entrepreneurs spend time working ON their business. The first step of this process is getting a business plan in place which reviews the past performance and clarifies the future direction of the business. You should come out of this process with a one page business plan that sets solid and realistic business goals and defines the strategies for achievement of those goals.
The next step is to develop a financial forecast that demonstrates how you can achieve your business goals from a financial perspective.
Once you have these two planning activities completed you will have an actionable plan on how to move forward with your business.
Many Entrepreneurs Struggle to Grasp the Numbers
It always amazes me how many entrepreneurs don't understand their numbers and frequently comment that in the past they have come away from meetings with their accountant more confused than when they went in to the meeting.
It is absolutely critical that you understand the key numbers in your financial statements and the key metrics that demonstrate the success of your business activities. The better you understand both the financial and non-financial drivers of your business the easier it will be to increase your profits and free up cashflow.
One of the first things that we do at Thrive CA is to deliver this information in a format that is easier for most people to understand. This means getting rid of numbers and instead using graphs and pictures to demonstrate the key drivers of a business. It's amazing how this simple change immediately makes the concepts easier understand.
If this is an area that you struggle with you need to make sure that you get on top of it. Don't let that confusing accountant stop you from achieving your goals simply because you can't understand what they are talking about and how it applies to your business. Find someone that can articulate the information in a way that you can process and understand.
Business is Lonely
Every one has different reasons for going into business and the rewards of being your own boss generally outweigh the challenges but one of the issues that is most often overlooked is the loneliness that you can experience as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship's "dark side" is the psychological toll that can put business owners at higher risk for mental health issues and loneliness is a slippery slope towards these issues.
It is absolutely critical that every entrepreneur has someone that is their independent sounding board and who can help them analyse a situation from an independent viewpoint and assist in the decision making process. It may be as simple as lending an ear when you need to work through a situation or lending their expertise to your process. Either way you need someone you trust to help you see the forest for the trees.
If you are struggling with any of these challenges, give us a call and let's have a chat about how Thrive CA can help you move forward and overcome the business challenges that you are facing.