We made it through the pandemic wilderness with all the headaches of the Paycheck Protection Program, inflation hikes, and interest rates rising, only to get to the other side with a looming recession. All of that is enough to make a business owner’s head spin.
Here are five (5) challenges that are keeping business owners awake at night and our recommendations to help you get some sleep:
1. Finding and retaining top talent.
It seems the great resignation isn’t over; however, we see employees repurposing their priorities. As a compassionate and caring employer, you need to find out what employees want and what will make them stay. If they want to work from home, see if you can accommodate them. If they want more flexible hours, that should be easily adapted. Bottom line, get in touch with your employees and ask them about their job satisfaction. If you can accommodate them, do it; it will be much less expensive in the long run.
2. Managing cash flow.
First and foremost, always have a safety net that you can call upon should cash get tight. A bank line of credit is typically easy to get because the banks will require personal guarantees. You do not have to use it, but it will give you peace of mind. Also, monitor your cash closely. It is important that your back-office staff is providing you with regular (daily, weekly, and monthly) cash projections and comparisons to prior years. Manage your accounts receivable.
3. Competition from other businesses.
Increase your branding and visibility on social media. It does work. Pay attention to your competitors. Are they doing something that you are not? Make sure that your responses to requests for proposals are on point and address what the client has asked for, not what you think they need; however, you should make appropriate recommendations based on your expertise that will benefit clients in the long run.
4. Attracting new clients and keeping existing clients.
Talk to your clients and find out what keeps them up at night. If your business can help, then step up and help. Timely respond to a client’s emails, telephone calls, and issues. The care that you provide will go a long way in keeping the clients you have and increasing referral opportunities.
5. Succession and retirement of key persons.
Succession and retirement planning are different for all businesses. In law firms, the clients need to be transitioned smoothly, so they do not change firms. In other businesses, it may be a prospective buyer who can take over your business when it is time to retire. All in all, the planning for the retirement of key persons should start 5-10 years before the retirement date. The timeline, of course, depends on how essential the person is to your organization.
B2 Management & Consulting would be happy to discuss any of the uncertainties that are keeping you up at night. If you would like to learn more, please contact Brenda Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.