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  • 26 May 2015
  • Eric Michaels

10 challenges a small business owner will face

As an entrepreneur, when can you consider the work of building your company complete? Maybe when the sale of your business closes, leaving you wealthy and content. In the meantime, you will encounter obstacles every day—truthfully, most entrepreneurs would have it no other way. Here are the 10 biggest challenges a small business owner will face:

1. Undervaluing your product
To grow market share and build a business for the long haul, you have to attract consumers who have no reason to trust you. New companies have to undervalue their products and services in order pull off this feat. In other words, you have to sacrifice revenue and play the long game to allow your business to succeed. This tactic requires patience and a large dose of humility, but the reward is more market share than you would otherwise take.

Having a sound perspective will help your business decisions and make your company stronger.

2.Drafting an all-star team
As soon as you become too busy to be the one-person band, you need to build a winning team. Treat every hire you make with extreme care, thinking about the future of your firm, rather than your immediate administrative needs. Paying more than you can afford for an all-star employee could be the best investment you ever make. As with sacrificing revenue for growth, a brilliant employee may be worth the money.

3. Maintaining a life/work balance
A small business owner is usually ready to commit 24-7 to a new venture, but your company is better off when you take breaks. Keep the human (i.e., personal) aspects of your life in a healthy place so you can stay grounded. Having a sound perspective will help your business decisions and make your company stronger. Resist the urge to surrender your entire self to the business.

4.Handing over responsibility
At some point in a company's development, you will have to relinquish control to employees. Learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your staff so this challenge gets easier. If you cannot trust anyone in your company to take over leadership roles, rethink your hiring practices.

5. Learning new technology
Entrepreneurs should never stop learning new things, and in today's business world, the main challenges involve technology. Embrace tools that will make your company stronger. You never have to master each new app and program, but get a working knowledge of the tech to use to your advantage. If technology is a weakness, hire team members to compensate or outsource the work to qualified partners.

6. Avoiding employee turnover
Making the effort to find the best employees is the first part. The second part is keeping them happy and loyal to your company. You will succeed by making employees feel valued, compensated, and engaged every day at the office. Businesses often hinge on your ability to meet this challenge.

7. Keeping your passion as a small business owner
Keeping yourself engaged and passionate about a business gets harder as the years pass. If you feel like it is Groundhog Day when you enter the office in the morning, then you know the time has come to recharge your batteries. Tap into the original spirit you had when you founded the company or risk the defection of key staff members. Much like passion, lethargy is contagious.

8. Handling the legal angles
You may be the visionary of your company, but the realities of doing business make you the accountant and legal adviser as well. Take time to manage the legal angles, from protecting products with patents to knowing tax write-offs and insurance liabilities. You cannot afford for your company to get blindsided by a technicality.

9. Adapting to industry shifts
Businesses that launch in 2001 and 2021 have an equal number of industry shifts to face. Entrepreneurs should never consider the issue settled when it comes to steering your company through marketplace changes. Even when it becomes draining to constantly adapt, lean on your team to keep your company relevant.

10. Accepting business as a never-ending investment
Small business owners may be tempted to believe they can sit back and count their profits at various points in a company's life, but that day never arrives. Successful businesses forever require investments in new employees, infrastructure, expansion, and marketing.

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