Startup entrepreneurs determined to succeed need to be aware of the most common challenges faced by small business owners. They need to be ready to create plans for meeting those challenges without undue personal stress or financial strain.
Small business owners today are lucky to have at their fingertips an array of useful and affordable tech options that offer workable solutions to routine problems. Courtesy of Harmoni, here are some of the challenges or setbacks you as a small business owner can expect to face — and the most user-friendly, affordable apps for managing them.
Small business owners need to be aware of the danger of burnout from trying to do much and never getting a break. But it’s not always possible to step away from your business when there are crucial tasks to be completed.
One way to deal with this is to figure out better time management techniques. Project management apps such as Trello can help you stay organised, which automatically saves you time and energy. You can also use time management and scheduling apps like Google Calendar to keep track of all your obligations and communicate with your team.
Hiring and managing employees
Especially when competing with larger businesses that may offer more tempting packages, small business owners may feel at a disadvantage when searching for reliable employees. Trying to find team members who will work for less is unwise and can lead to loss of time and revenue.
Instead, determine what you have to offer that other businesses do not. This might include a positive work environment or extra training bonuses. Use recruitment apps such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Textrecruit to find skilled and motivated employees who are a great fit for your company, without excessive time expenditure.
Managing cash flow
Lack of cash flow, erratic cash flow, or poor management of cash flow can spell peril for a small business. Whether it’s late payments by customers or unexpected expenses, anticipating a cash flow dry-up before it happens — and having a solution at hand — is essential. Using an expense planning and tracking tool such as Rydoo or Expensify will save you time and headaches and help alert you to issues before they get out of control.
As your business grows and you are ready to make financial forecasts, apps such as PlanGuru or PocketSmith can help you make and analyze projections.
Managing marketing campaigns
Figuring out which marketing plan is right for your company can be stressful and frustrating. You don’t want to pour your capital and your energy into marketing campaigns that go nowhere.
But how can you guess which marketing approach is right for you? Marketing apps such as Salesforce and Buzzsumo can help you determine who your target demographic is and how best to reach them. They will also make it easier to manage multiple campaigns and track which are more successful. Use Google Analytics to track your site’s metrics, too.
Managing your accounts
Keeping up with your books can be one of the most time-consuming and anxiety-inducing tasks for the startup entrepreneur. It is highly advisable for you to secure the services of a professional accountant to keep your books in order. However, there are also many apps that can assist you in staying ahead of the accounting game. Some of the most helpful free apps for small business accounting include Wave and Kashoo.
For managing payroll, find a good app that includes an online time card to make it easier to track your team and maintain accurate timesheets, which, in turn, will ensure timely payroll — plus points if it has a mobile app for real-time reporting.
Understanding and naming the potential problems that could weaken your business is one step toward greater empowerment as an entrepreneur — knowing the tools that are available for problem-solving is the next.
Article written by Tina Martin