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28 June 2015

Overcoming the Major Challenges to your Small Business

Owning and running a small business is a rewarding experience.  It’s a great and difficult task to build something from nothing. Small businesses have the benefit of being adaptable and quick, but every decision requires enormous amounts of work from you as a business owner. Every bit of effort you put in moves your business forward and grows it into something larger and more impressive. What matters most is ensuring that your effort is put into the business in the most effective and efficient way possible so that you’re time is spent on only the most important things. This means understanding the challenges you’re going to face when establishing or maintaining a successful small business.

Managing your data and paper work.

One of the unexpected challenges of running a small business is keeping on top of your data and paperwork. Every client and job brings with it a load of paper work to be filled out and information to be stored. It’s worth getting software that handles and organises accounting information. MYOB, for example, is a leading accounting software company. Having a professional software system in place allows you to sort out your financial data and cut down the time you spend processing monetary details. Software like this can be expensive for small businesses, but joining a franchise group like Taskforce allows you to purchase the software at special pricing that’s below the market price available to ordinary business owners.

Time management.

Anybody with a business knows that you’re expected to be doing a hundred things at once, including work on jobs and work for clients. Managing your time well comes down to putting systems in place that you know are efficient and trustworthy. You can build these systems up yourself over time, or you can leverage existing systems used by established companies. Taskforce gives its franchisees full access to tested, efficient systems that reduce the time cost of managing the heavy work load of owning your own business. Time cost is something that can easily overcome a small business if it isn’t kept under control with effective systems.

Lack of direction.

Understanding strategy and big-picture stuff can be difficult to do when you spend each day working on the day-to-day effort of operating a business. It’s important to take a step back and think critically about what you’re doing and where you’re going. A great way to do this is to spend time with other business owners you know, sharing ideas and considering business strategy. Looking at successful businesses in your field is a great way of understanding what works and what fails. It’s also a great way of keeping track of competition, which is crucial to keeping a competitive edge and offering your customers a service that’s unique to your company.  

Technology systems.

Being up-to-date with technology can be expensive and difficult. Technological updates can seem trivial and can be easy to throw aside, but technology is changing the way that clients connect to businesses. It changes the way clients pay, the way they give feedback and the way they keep in touch. Small business owners need to set up systems that make transactions easier like payment by card and online job booking. Taskforce has invested half a million dollars in implementing and refining technology systems so that franchisees can make use of systems that are up to date and make business easier. 

Marketing.

Most small business owners assume that they don’t have the time or the money to engage in marketing. It can be hard to see a return of investment without spending large amounts of cash and time developing complex marketing campaigns. Local advertising can bring in some work, but it’s also possible to become part of a larger brand that is able to spend more on larger marketing campaigns. Being part of a franchise brand allows small businesses to leverage large, sophisticated marketing campaigns than they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.  

Getting clients.

Reaching new customers can be a difficult thing to do for a small business, particularly if the business is new. Word of mouth can be the most effective and accessible way to reach new clients; tell your friends to tell their friends about your business. It’s equally important to ensure that your existing clients have thoroughly positive experiences with you and your business so that they refer you new business. Offering a discount to clients who refer new customers is a low-risk, cost effective way of expanding your client base and tracking return of investment. Another way is to make use of established networks. Becoming a Taskforce franchisee means your business operates as part of a wider network and other businesses in the network work to refer new clients to each other. You might recommend a friend to a local Taskforce handyman and find that you get three referrals back.

Doing it alone.

Taking care of every part of a business can wear you down. It’s useful to have some kind of network that you can go to for assistance. Being part of a larger network allows you to resolve issues, but also allows you to move forward and expand your business with greater aggression and effectiveness than would otherwise be possible. Business owners should consider which resources are available that will allow them to strengthen their business and move forward. Becoming part of a franchise network like Taskforce allows you to reinforce the business you’ve created and act as though you are a much larger business with much more leverage.  

Moving your small business forward is about knowing which challenges you are likely to face so that you can prepare your business for the most difficult. Taking pre-emptive measures allows you to solve problem before they occur, which means you can spend more time focus on the positives of your business; finding more clients, growing, and bringing in more money.  

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