Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Toughest Challenges When Starting a Small Business
What are the Biggest and Toughest Challenges One Faces when Starting a Small Business I might suggest that the biggest and toughest challenges when creating a startup depends on your current personality type and resources, which seems to sum up to me as being the ability to organize and stay organized. I am, of course, speaking from my own experiences when opening my own companies, and helping clients with opening theirs. Organization falls into all areas of opening a business. It is like creating a recipe or building a car. The business can be looked at as a system, not unlike the human body. There are your critical areas and your not-so-critical. If all of the components are carefully planned out, and put together into the system, the chances of success of the business are increased exponentially. Here are some examples:
- Your cash flow must be organized – you don’t want to overspend in any area, and if you are seeking financing in whatever form, you will need to be able to explain your cash flow needs in a format that is transferable.
- Drive – when business gets slow or too busy or things happen that you don’t anticipate, or you need to do something grossly different, being organized can truly help to keep things moving forward. Speaking from the area of drive, even when it is low, I know that I will do certain things each day to help grow the business.
- The Learning Curve…again…if it is organized, you will have goals and experiences. If you are able to write them down, you will become more committed both to what you have learned and what you want to learn. Being organized with it lets you keep things in perspective and prioritize the things you need to learn.
- People – you have your mission, vision and values for your company…you will want to align your people with them, be it internally (employees, partners, etc. ) or externally (vendors, partners and clients).
- With respect to your personality, you will need to look at your strengths in relation to your business, and identify the areas wherein you are the weakest. These will require the greatest amount of organization, as you may need to look outside of your own abilities or organization to manage them.
- The last thing I will say with respect to organizing is putting yourself in a position to know how to address catastrophes that can occur in the organization. Realizing that many things happen in cycles, you can almost predict the types of things that could happen that might interrupt the business, and have a plan on how to address them – be it looking at additional financing to continue the business or closing the business without losing your shirt.