Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, you've heard that; and it's true.
Some 98.6% of all businesses are considered small, so they're significant, and every large business was at one point, small.
Here are five challenges every small business faces:
(1) Staffing. How can small businesses attract and afford the best talent? This is tough, because larger firms and even the nonprofit sector and government may dispense better health benefits and even compensation. So, the small enterprise has to sell potential employees on the fact that they'll gain experience, get hands-on training, and see more growth possibilities with them.
(2) Leadership & Management Skills. Most small business owners are great at some task, whether it's cost containment, niche marketing, or creative skill. But they tend to not have formal training in how to manage their enterprises, or what to do, strategically, to make them better and to get their people to perform better.
(3) Sales. Every business can use more sales, and as one of my clients said, there are few problems in business that can not be cured with a few more sales! Even if the boss is great at selling, he or she probably has too little time, and too many hats to wear to do it enough to take the enterprise where he wants it to go.
(4) Training. Without a capacity to train new employees quickly and efficiently, businesses can not grow. Too little effort is put into the training function, and far too little investment, as well.
(5) Change Management. Because of its size, the small enterprise should, theoretically, be able to change on a dime, but it is more resistant than many firms hundreds of times its size. It is especially slow to abandon products that no longer contribute to profits, but that are held in esteem because "they put us on the map!"
These problems are not by any means, insurmountable. They can and should be addressed with the help of coaches, consultants, and others who can be brought in on a project basis.
The sixth challenge small businesses face, is the willingness to ask for that help!