Most small businesses are living the American Dream; the idea that if you can dream it, you can do it. It’s also not a secret that being a business owner is no walk in the park, and you will struggle at some point. What we don’t always acknowledge is the journey to reach or keep our dream going. As the landscape of business changes, new obstacles will always arise.
Here are the top five things business owners struggle with at one point or another:
1. Digital Transitions: Whether starting in the online world, switching from brick and mortar to include e-commerce, or abandoning brick and mortar altogether to become fully digital, navigating the changing algorithms and understanding how to be “seen” through the filter of a screen can be overwhelming. It requires new ways of thinking about how we market, network, and deliver products and services.
2. Planning Ahead: Knowing where to allocate your time, budget, and energy becomes much harder to determine when the markets are shifting and changing so rapidly. Identifying if you can scale your business by opening a new location or expanding your team while maintaining a profit is no longer strictly a trends analysis.
3. Work-Life Balance: With so much remote work happening lately, the lines between work and home have blurred. There no longer is a hard stop of the time clock or a commute to help you shift gears. Leaving work at work was always a struggle, but over the last 20 months, it has become nearly impossible as your days have you mixing taking care of personal and household tasks and job duties more often. Flexible, yes, balanced, no.
4. Performance Issues: Stress, pressure, and burnout have become more prevalent as the work never seems to end and the challenges continue to mount. . It’s hard to feel successful when you’ve got a meeting after meeting, constant interruptions, and no separation between work and home. Add to that the recent challenges in production timelines, shipping challenges, and new regulations, and you only exacerbate the previous struggles. Pressure from all directions equates to a drop in work performance, but trying to address the issue often leads to more work, and a dreaded cycle ensues.
5. Established Structure and Processes: Most small business owners we work with have the day-to-day workings of their business housed in their heads. They lack consistency and find themselves overwhelmed by all the decisions they have to make each day. They struggle to let people help them or to delegate work to others because without established processes they are unsure what to off-load or feel it is too much work to bring someone else up to speed.
One thing is certain, you are not, and will never be, alone in the struggle. These are all issues business owners are grappling with in waves throughout time. Some of the top struggles may shift, but they never disappear. It is the grit and the sheer determination of the business owner that will determine how they handle the challenges and if they will continue to struggle or thrive on the other side of them.
There are so many challenges to being a business owner, and sometimes it can be lonely. Empowered Leadership is a coaching firm helping business leaders find freedom through business coaching, executive coaching, assessments, and training.