From the outside running a business looks so easy. You hang up your sign, offer a sale here or there and, like magic, you have a ton of people wanting to buy what you are selling. If you actually run a small business, you know there are a lot of challenges and things that go on behind the scenes that customers can’t see. This article will explore five of those challenges.
Challenge: Hiring & Retaining A Great Staff
Why this is a Challenge: One of the pains that event rental business owners face as their company grows is hiring and retaining staff. Having to find someone who is the best pick for the job and fits well with your company and keep them motivated so they stick around for a long time can be a hassle. This is one of those times when, unless you or someone in your inner circle is a Human Resources or Staffing pro, hiring a reputable HR company to alleviate some of the stress that can go into those decisions is a smart move.
Challenge: Keeping Up with Technology
Why this is a Challenge: This is a big one! Technology moves so fast that it's almost impossible to keep up! Doing everything manually can be time consuming and can lead to mistakes. Those mistakes cost you more than purchasing software will cost. Re-evaluate your software every two to three years to avoid being behind! Also, remember that a subscription-based program will regularly update, whereas hardware will surely become dated.
Challenge: Balancing Profits vs Losses
Why this is a Challenge: The age-old business owner struggle of keeping your expenses low and your profits high. This one is something my business owner friends complain about a lot. If you’re among them then you know that rising costs for everything from gasoline for your party rental company delivery trucks to the rent for your event rental show room and warehouse can make it feel like you are on the losing end of this battle. This is when it’s essential to have a good easy-to-use financial software that can show you reports at a glance. Those reports can give you a clear picture of your finances and show you how well your event planning business is doing at a glance.
Challenge: Dealing with Government Regulations
Why this is a Challenge: Permits and regulations can be the downfall of any business. They cost time and money to stay compliant, which can make things harder for small businesses. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for any of this. As business owners we have to do what government says the way they say. Be sure to regularly research local regulations and consider consulting with a lawyer who specializes in small business.
Why this is a Challenge: The events industry is a pretty competitive industry. Keeping up with your competition can be stressful. Unless you find a very unique niche in the wedding décor rentals sector, you are going to be working on ways to keep your name in front of potential clients and close out competitors. This means you have to modernize and adapt to changes. That includes keeping your logo, website and social media all up to date. Many businesses have begun to move to software that allows customers to receive quotes easily and manage their appointments and order details. A lot of these programs also allow for online-invoicing and online-payments to streamline the customer experience. Unfortunately, not staying up to date with competitors can cost some businesses closed sales because the industry is shifting around them. My mentor likes to use the line “if everyone goes left, then you go left or get left behind” and it’s really the truth.
Now you know the most successful businesses are created of resilience, big dreams and hard work. Despite facing these and other challenges business owners don’t quit. In the end, it's this optimism in the face of challenges that makes owning a business look so easy.
This is a guest post by Patrice. Patrice is a freelance/independent graphic designer who has been designing since the early '00s. She currently is the creative force behind Purple Rose Graphics