Small business owners obviously like their choice of career, with 84% indicating that if they had it to do over again, they would still opt to start their own business, according to a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup poll. These attitudes have changed little over the past 11 years, which suggests that the difficulties many small businesses experienced during the Great Recession did not cause owners to regret their decision to start a business, according to the report.
When asked to name the most rewarding thing about starting and running their own business, over four in 10 respondents talked about being their own boss and being the decision-maker. Other responses mentioned by more than 10% of respondents include having a sense of job satisfaction, having family time and schedule flexibility, and interacting with customers.
At the same time, small business owners recognize that it’s a tough job. When asked about their biggest challenges, the majority of responses focus on the nuts and bolts of keeping a business running, such as generating revenue and a customer base, securing cash flow, obtaining credit and funds, and marketing and getting the word out about their business. Other responses that smaller percentages of owners mention include frustration with government regulations, employee issues, and dealing with uncertainty.
Small business owners’ sense of freedom appears to outweigh the challenges of finding and keeping customers and maintaining enough cash flow to keep the business afloat.
Five Biggest Challenges Small Businesses Face Starting Out
- Securing accounts/Generating revenue/Customer Base
- Cash Flow
- Credit Financing/Availability of Funds
- Bureaucracy/Licensing Requirements/Government Regulations
- Advertising/Marketing/Getting The Word Out
- Unknown Factors/Learning Curve
So, how can small business owners increase revenue? First off, what are the companyâ€™s various streams of revenue and how can you improve each variable and increase the throughput of deals? If you donâ€™t have more than one then that could be the first problem you should address.
Of course, you can increase the price of your product or service. But that is going to be tricky if you havenâ€™t improved the quality of your product or service. What are things that you can do to optimize your website or enhance your sales pitch to get more business, for instance?
Increasing the number of leads is a way to boost revenue. Make sure that you are using a variety of marketing tacticsâ€”trade shows, advertising, SEO, social media and digital marketing, and old fashioned word-of-mouthâ€”to generate leads.
You might even consider working with consultants to assist you. In any case, you need a plan that breaks down revenue generation into specific, quantifiable action items.
For more tips see the BlackEnteprise.com related story: How To Boost Your Cash Flow