Every small business is unique, but they also share many things in common. One of those things that they share is common problems and solutions. Not every small business will experience every one of the problems listed below, and some will need to tweak the solution in order to better suit them, but most companies will experience at least one of the following issues.
Fleet Management Issues
Your fleet may be a large and important element of your business, or you may have just a few vehicles that you need to manage. The latter situation may seem like an easier one, but that could actually obscure the fact that you still need the right tools to make sure that your drivers are safe, efficient, and in compliance. If you’re concerned about the performance of your fleet, telematics can offer a solution. Telematics arises at the crossroads of telecommunications and information technology. In the context of fleet management, it can track the number of different elements, from driver behavior to maintenance and more, and transfer that data in real-time back to the office. Telematics is an excellent tool for identifying unsafe behaviors, inefficiency and waste.
Cash Flow Problems
The money is there, sort of. It’s there in the form of invoices that you’ve sent out, and that are past due, for which you’re still awaiting payment. Meanwhile, you’ve got bills of your own, and the consequences for failing to stay on top of them are increasingly dire. If this sounds all too familiar or it’s a scenario you’re worried about in the future, you need to work on your cash flow. When you’re just starting out, the solution is to raise the necessary capital to avoid operating on a razor-thin margin. As you progress, the solution is to aim for long-term solvency, pricing your goods or services so that you can make a profit and banking some of that profit in cash reserves. You should also consider software to help you keep the books. One of the benefits of new technology in the workplace is that it usually saves time and brain power for tasks such as this.
Lack of Planning
Some businesses stumble at the first hurdle and don’t even realize it. Have you done any planning for your business? Did you look at the competition, make a marketing plan, and set goals? Do you know who your customers are? Do you know why they’ll come to you instead of your competitors? If you didn’t write a business plan, you could still luck out and sail through, but your chances of success will be better if you’ve done some of this advanced planning. It’s not too late, either. You should also do some contingency planning, identifying some of the most likely threats to the survival of your business and deciding how you will meet them if they arise.
Resource and Time Management
As an entrepreneur, you might not be very good at delegating. It can be difficult to let go of the idea that you need to do everything yourself, but you need to make time to handle the elements of the business that only you can manage and pass the rest to others. Hire those who have a similar vision and values to you that you can trust to work independently.