Ever wondered what a true challenge is?
For me, it is this. Thinking that I am still twenty. I think I have the body of a twenty-year-old. I think that I look like a twenty-year-old, too. And I think I can drink bottles of whisky just like a twenty-year-old. I know none of this is true when I try to act like a twenty-year-old. You see, twenty-year-olds can party for a month. Me? I might make it to 10 pm before I need some cocoa milk. All twenty-year-olds are chiselled as if Michaelangelo worked on them personally. As for Moi? I am left wondering if Michaelangelo ever sculptured a pear.
Business has always had challenges. But it seems every year there are more. Ask around and you get the impression that it’s worse.
But that may be perception.
Even I feel that I solve one problem only for another to pop up. Sometimes, I find I solve a massive problem, and another one pops up leaving me saying ‘WTF!’’
Anyway, there is no denying there are challenges. After talking to many businesses, this is what we are finding is on the minds of many business owners:
Getting finance is not as easy as it once was.
Banks are more cautious when it comes to lending, driven mostly by existing lending and risk profile.
Many businesses also owe money to the ATO. And the banks don’t like it, even if you are on a payment plan.
2. Cash flow!
We all know cash is king. We tend to hear that during poor economic times, but it should be all the time.
Profits give you an indication that you can grow. Cash indicates survival. No cash means you go out of business.
I am not a great fan of complex budgets, but I do like a forecast. It allows you to plan the next 6 months and start making decisions on what you expect will happen in a few months’ time.
3. Team Capacity
To be honest, this has been around for several years and does not appear to be going away anytime soon.
For small businesses, there are additional challenges which larger businesses can manage. A small business can find it hard to offer competitive salaries and benefits.
And that means you need to offer something else. And that is why your business culture, spirit and purpose are so important.
4. Technology & Cybersecurity
Yep…. We have all heard of ChatGPT. And we also know it will revolutionise some of what we do. That’s scary.
Technology is always moving, so the best we can do is try to keep up. Keep tabs of what is happening in your industry and be one of the first to implement some ideas.
Which leads me onto Cybersecurity. Small businesses find this really challenging because we are not skilled enough to know what it means, nor do we have the financial resources it needs to keep it at bay.
Gone are the days you look after your own IT. Get a professional, keep data duplicated and take out insurance.