New businesses face several challenges, from financial difficulties to issues affecting brand reputation. As a business owner, it is vital that you have procedures in place to help you overcome these obstacles, to ensure that your business continues to grow and be a success. With this in mind, here are three common business obstacles and how you can overcome them.
1. Brand reputation
Brand reputation plays a vital role in the growth and success of any business. In this digital age, customer feedback travels fast, and many people rely heavily on the reviews of other consumers when making purchasing decisions. Often, new businesses lack the experience of more established companies, and this can lead to issues such as slow order fulfillment or delays in response times. If you find that your business has received some negative feedback or reviews, then it’s crucial that you take action straight away to resolve any issues. Here are some top tips to help you restore your brand reputation:
- Respond to any written complaints on your social media sites straight away and publically. Doing so will allow potential customers to see that you are dealing with any customer issues quickly and providing a good level of service.
- Focus on providing the best customer experience possible. Be honest with your customers and never promise more than you can deliver.
- Consider installing customer support technology like life chat software. It can be used to provide your customers with instant 24/7 support with any queries.
- Offer customer loyalty schemes to demonstrate that you value their business. This should also encourage valuable repeat business and referrals.
Most businesses require some form of funding in order to get up and running. Unfortunately, some businesses find themselves in debt and unable to make repayments. This can be due to a number of issues, such as unexpected financial emergencies or poor cash flow management. Try to avoid this by only ever borrowing as much money as you can afford to pay back and having a clear plan in place to make the repayments. If you find yourself having issues with debt collectors, then make sure that you seek legal advice to help you fight lawsuits over debt. It is important that you understand what options you have available to you in this situation and take the best course of action to help protect your business in the long-run.
3. Cash flow
The Telegraph mentions the importance of cash flow, with a large percentage of small businesses failing because of cash flow issues. It is vital that you manage your cash flow effectively and monitor your finances regularly, to ensure that you are sticking to your cash flow budget. Always keep in mind that if your business expenses are more than your income, then you have a cash flow problem. You, therefore, need to manage your spending carefully and look for ways to cut expenses to give your cash flow budget more flexibility. Make sure that you take advantage of accounting and management software that can help you manage your cash flow and finances more efficiently. Finally, you should always store important documents like cash flow spreadsheets in the cloud, so that you can access them remotely from anywhere.