In the small business arena, where the vast majority of US companies compete, there always seem to be new challenges and obstacles confronting many owners and employers each year. This couldn’t be any more evident than what we’ve all experienced over the last 2+ years as COVID-19, supply chain crises, inflation, shifting energy market policies, the Russia/Ukraine War, investment market downturns, and unreliable messaging have all impacted small businesses in one way or another.
Through all these developments, it seems small businesses are the ones left to fend for themselves while large corporations leverage these issues for their own gains. It might be easy to listen to all the noise and share in the complaining, however, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to focus on your company’s specific challenges, while carving out new paths to stay profitable and find growth opportunities while others are being overly reactive?
While all these compounded issues have created very significant challenges for many small business owners, many have faced these types of hurdles in the past, whether from revenue and cash flow reduction, vendor price increases, delivery delays, or employee and client retention. The most successful small business owners are continuously looking for ways to refine and improve their business practices, even in the best of times. Being proactive on a day-to-day basis while continually posing relevant questions to yourself, your peers and employees will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared when these challenging issues arise.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and invest in areas where you see new opportunities for growth or greater operational efficiencies can be developed. Challenge the rest of your team to do the same and humbly realize the more support you have from loyal employees who can assist in these efforts, the better.
Consider being a unicorn, and dare to make decisions that appear unconventional today, but could turn out to be revolutionary tomorrow. The less alike you are to the rest of your competition in certain value-added areas could easily have a positive effect on how clients view your products and services compared with those in your market. Improved communications, deliverable timelines, and customer service are just a few examples to consider.
These changes will likely create more demands on you as a business owner, as well as your employees, however, the eventual payoff can be critical in overcoming the sum total of the challenges faced as a result of the external forces affecting your business.