5 Unforeseen Challenges Faced by Small Businesses
Here are One Stop we get to work with small business owners all the time, and it’s always a rewarding interaction. We’re inspired on a daily basis by the passion, ingenuity and sheer resilience of these entrepreneurs.
Because let’s face it, running your own business isn’t always a day at the beach.
…Unless your office is on a beach. But even in that situation, a paddleboat rental shop or a miniature golf course owner is going to encounter challenges that are impossible to prepare for.
1. Failing Equipment
Have you ever heard the term “hard on equipment”? Maybe I’m just having a hard time forgetting my time working on an irrigation crew during university, but there was always one guy who was hard on the equipment. Things constantly broke when he was using them. Maybe he wasn’t to blame, but after multiple incidents it had to have been more than just coincidence. And no, that ‘one guy’ wasn’t me. *looks around nervously*
Equipment breaks. New machines will be required, and it’s tough to plan for when. The key is to keep a budget in the event something breaks down. The job must go on, after all.
2. The Weather
The job must go on unless it physically can’t. Outdoor companies that depend on certain weather patterns are often left out in the cold if mother nature doesn’t cooperate. The snow resorts in metro Vancouver are a prime example of a business losing income when the snow doesn’t fall.
How do you plan for the weather? You keep things on an even-keel by saving up for a rainy day.
3. The Economy
Construction crews might slow down when it rains, but plumbers and drainage companies shout with glee when the winter rainy season begins. The economy fluctuates differently for different types of small companies unless a world-wide downturn in natural resources impacts your business because no one in your market has money to spend. The current state of oil prices in North America has made this a reality, and mechanics, engineers, rig-hands and construction workers all over the country are feeling the pinch.
And it doesn’t look like oil is going to rebound any time in 2015.
4. Supply and Demand
Now here’s an element of operating a small business for which you might not be able to plan entirely, but ultimately you’re in charge of your company’s products, right? You call the shots, and supply and demand of your company is influenced by the day-to-day operation of your company.
You can increase demand for your services by making good services. Services that deliver value by making the life of your audience better will always be in demand provided you get the word out there somehow.
And if supply struggles to keep up with demand? Well then perhaps you need to invest in your own company to increase production.
Good problem to have!
Every small business is only as good as the people it employs. From the idea-creators and decision-makers at the top to the fabricators or front-line staff, your company’s identity is built by people first, products second.
Why? Because people create/deliver/sell the products or services. Your business will never be perfect, but with the right people in the right places you’re going to experience growth simply by sticking with it when times are tough.
You can’t plan for everything, but it’s up to you to plan for the things over which you do have control.
So get to it!
Oh, and call us if you need some help when something doesn’t go according to plan!