There seems to be a never ending set of challenges that plague small business owners. When starting a small business, most owners do their due diligence to research everything related to their business industry to ensure that they are prepared for whatever challenges may arise throughout the process.
However, in some cases, there are business challenges that are completely unexpected and can wreak havoc on a small business, as they do not have the same resources larger business have to counter those problems. While it is important to be well-versed in the known, obvious areas, what about the areas people rarely mention? The unexpected challenges that can catch you off guard and throw off your game plan?
Being aware of these 4 unexpected challenges can help you plan ahead should they try and surprise you.
1. Business Fraud and Data Security
The idea of a business being taken advantage of rarely comes into the mind of small business owners. Websites that are hacked and companies that are swindled tend to be big businesses that have access to lots of data and personal information—or at least those are the ones that get news coverage.
Small businesses are just as susceptible to fraud as large businesses, if not more so, as most small businesses lack the same security measures large corporations take to protect their company and customers. In order to keep your business safe and secure, it can be a smart idea to get a Masters degree in Cyber Security, or a hire a cyber security expert to manage and protect your business from fraudulent attacks.
2. Unexpected Expenses
Most people who start their own businesses account for business expenses. In fact, most people try to give themselves a bit of cushion should anything cost more than planned. Business expenses are often the area most people dedicate their time to, as they do not want money to be the reason their business is struggling.
However, there are unexpected expenses that many people do not take into consideration when planning out their business financials. From an increase in production costs to a discrepancy in your computing, there are many ways in which the financials you planned for your business are not enough to keep your business doors open.
While unexpected expenses are difficult to plan for, as they are unexpected, it is important you give yourself a buffer to account for these problems, otherwise you could end up eating into your profit margins, which can be difficult to recover from later on.
3. Staying Motivated
Those who start their own business are often incredibly motivated people who are chomping at the bit to make a name for their business in the industry. That motivation can propel you to start your own business strong, putting in the extra hours and effort it takes to get the business off of the ground.
However, small businesses require hard work and dedication long after the business has been launched. As the business growth begins to dwindle and goals go unmet, it can be extremely difficult to stay motivated.
Most small business owners struggle to keep their passion and motivation for the job, especially after they have put in everything they have to give to the business and it is still underperforming. It can be difficult to fight feelings of frustration, and there can be moments when you have no desire to continue forward with your business.
While these feelings are completely normal and happen to everyone at some time or another, one of the best things you can do to fight them is to prepare yourself ahead of time for these moments and have a plan set in place to combat these feelings, such as taking the afternoon or weekend off to relax, reading through your success or positive customer review, or something of the like.
4. Working Alone
Starting your own small business often means working alone. For many, at first, working alone can be extremely tempting, as it means there is no one to answer to, no more boring bored meetings, or mindless chit chat with annoying co-workers. As time goes on though, many can start to feel lonely and isolated. The interaction that an office environment provides can be stimulating and actually keep you motivated. When starting your own business, there might be moments when you feel completely alone. In those moments, it is important to reach out to friends and family to remind you that you do have people in your life who support you.
Being prepared for these challenges can help you get started on the right foot when opening your startup.
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