Small Business Owner's Biggest Challenges?

9 replies
I'm thinking big picture here. Not things like "can't get enough leads" because those issues are directly caused by more fundamental problems.

Actually the 1st two go hand in hand, but based on my meetings, I would vote for the following...

1. Poor time management/lack of prioritization - not enough time spent in high impact areas
2. Overwhelm - too much to do and/or not delegating enough
3. Lack of resources - knowledge, cash, human resources

Anyone want to add anything?
#biggest #business #challenges #owner #small
  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    Lack of DOING anything. It can be anywhere, but the best example is here on WF. There are people here that post and post, and ask tons of questions and waste hours/days doing nothing, but "researching" or discussing with others. If they are here, posting all the time, how much are they really accomplishing or getting done? How much "experience" do they have? What are they learning that works or doesn't work? Not much.

    Not everyone, but there's lots of them here. So, the biggest challenge to small business owners is not doing something that will make a difference.

    Those that do, succeed. Go big or go home.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
    I totally disagree. I've yet to meet a business owner that isn't working tons of hours. And I wouldn't call the people you are referring to business owners. And the fact is that you have no idea how many hours those people are working any way. Personally I work close to 80 hours a week on average but still spend maybe an hour a day on WF.
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    • Profile picture of the author maverick8
      Sales are the biggest problem for a small business owners. Getting enough sales. the right type of sales, keeping their funnel full and closing.

      Sales are the life blood of any business.
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  • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
    From my experience, business people are generally only interested in 3 things.

    1 Getting more sales
    2 Improving operational efficiency
    3 Lowering operational costs

    Nearly ALL B2B products cover at least one of these needs above
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

    I'm thinking big picture here. Not things like "can't get enough leads" because those issues are directly caused by more fundamental problems.

    Actually the 1st two go hand in hand, but based on my meetings, I would vote for the following...

    1. Poor time management/lack of prioritization - not enough time spent in high impact areas
    2. Overwhelm - too much to do and/or not delegating enough
    3. Lack of resources - knowledge, cash, human resources


    Anyone want to add anything?
    It's usually a step in the sale. Like;
    "I need more traffic coming through my door"
    "The people coming through my door aren't buying"
    "The Big Box Stores are stealing my customers (Or Amazon is stealing my customers)" Probably I hear that the most.

    That's what I hear.

    What gives them the most bang for their buck is a way to get the customers they already have, back in the door. It's hard to sell sometimes, because you have to explain about Customer value, and Lifetime value.....concepts most small business owners don't think of until we make them think about it.

    The three things you listed that I highlighted? I never get those responses.
    I strongly suspect it's because those options aren't given to them.

    And the services you offer may be different from mine.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      It's usually a step in the sale. Like;
      "I need more traffic coming through my door"
      "The people coming through my door aren't buying"
      "The Big Box Stores are stealing my customers (Or Amazon is stealing my customers)" Probably I hear that the most.
      Those seem more like the symptoms to me when the real problems are that they don't work "on" their business. But good luck convincing them of that right?

      The three things you listed that I highlighted? I never get those responses.
      I strongly suspect it's because those options aren't given to them.
      My list is really what I perceive to be their root problems but probably isn't of much value to this thread even if its true because most business owners think short term and want (and need) results quick.

      I bring up the time management issue in my meetings because I really think that's getting to the root of the problem. They're spending their time on the wrong things which seems obvious when you find out they don't really have much if any real business strategy. If its something that they show an interest in then we can go there.

      Having a good strategy is what kept my health food store profitable after two competitors opened up in the same year and totally over-saturated the market.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

        I bring up the time management issue in my meetings because I really think that's getting to the root of the problem. They're spending their time on the wrong things which seems obvious when you find out they don't really have much if any real business strategy. If its something that they show an interest in then we can go there.
        I understand, and you may be right. But selling a service that solves that problem? I haven't seen it. That doesn't mean it's a bad idea. It just means I've never seen it. And it's outside of my expertise.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I think I agree... somewhat. Time management/organization/strategy seem to be the most fundamental issues imo.

    Moreso organization, because that tends to override everything else.

    Which leaves us to the question, is organization a "business problem", or is it actually a >>personality defect<<?

    I tend to believe that its far more of the latter.

    And because of this, I don't see how a marketing consultant can truely help solve this type of issue. Business owners like this need to go to a bootcamp, a shrink, or go see Tony Robbins... because the way they think is usually the real problem.

    I have worked with various disorganized business owners before. You can show them what to do, how to "manage" their time, but its like teaching someone to manage their children. Its an ego thing. They always know whats best. The minute you're not there, the minute you walk away, that ego comes back out and sabatoges everything.

    Thats why I say focus more on leads.

    If you can show them that being more organized will lead to more business and more sales, and you can anchor that in their mind, you keep it simple. As if you're teaching a child - "when you do good little boy you get this tasty piece of chocolate".

    I realize what you're trying to say, but you're digging too deep. If business owners really want to learn how to manage time, they'll go to a Tony Robbins seminar, not call a marketing consultant. Unless you want to position yourself like Tony Robbins, than by all means, have a blast.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Every business type has their own set of challenges,
      then within those are your ideal targets, the one who know it,
      have already made a decision to fix it and have a budget to do it.

      So in your messages, you empathize with this sub group and only them.

      It's rare to see empathy in advertising.

      Maybe because the seller is too self centred or he/she hasn't taken the time to fully understand this groups problems on a daily level.

      Being abstract to offline business owners won't work.

      They have to see first that you understand their constraints
      and then show your solution can tie into their life without interruption and actually solves their problem in a realistic manner.

      Yes easier said than done.

      And this is the reason most only just get by.

      Oh this applies to our offline clients as well as us who markets to them.

      Best,
      Ewen
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