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5 Biggest Business Challenges Entrepreneurs Face


Have you ever wondered, “Why do so many entrepreneurs work so hard and are usually stressed?” Maybe you’re experiencing some of this yourself? Do you ever ask yourself, “Why is it so hard to run a business?” No success story seems to have come easy. In fact, for many entrepreneurs, life can be so challenging, sometimes it’s tempting to just get a job! Why is that the case? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 5 Biggest Business Challenges Entrepreneurs Face

5 Biggest Challenges Entrepreneurs Face
Why These Can be Difficult to Solve and How it
has Been Done! (Part 1/2)
Have you ever wondered, Why do so many
entrepreneurs work so hard and are usually
stressed? Maybe youre experiencing some of
this yourself? Do you ever ask yourself, Why is
it so hard to run a business? No success story
seems to have come easy. In fact, for many
entrepreneurs, life can be so challenging,
sometimes its tempting to just get a job! Why is
that the case?
  • Weve been asking our clients the same thing and
    to help them and below are what we aim to cover
    in this article
  • The 5 Most Common and Biggest Business Problems
    faced by entrepreneurs?
  • Tips on Growth Strategies for large and small
    businesses alike
  • Why theres no easy and quick fix to one of the
    most common questions How to Grow My Business?
    BUT how getting it right means that 100 growth
    spurts are achievable for even part-progress on
    the right track!
  • Its very rare to hear about an entrepreneur who
    didnt find challenges in growing and running
    their business. In working very closely with over
    130 different businesses from agriculture,
    financial services, technology, property,
    logistics, cyber security, physical security,
    health, nutrition, professional services and many
    more, you may be surprised to hear that
    businesses of all different shapes and sizes face
    very similar challenges. In this blog post, well
    cover the Top 5 Problems faced by Entrepreneurs
    and Business Owners.
  • The surprising thing is that fundamental problems
    remain similar whether a business turns over
    100,000 per year or 10BN per year. These arent
    the only challenges businesses face, but in
    working with a wide variety of businesses
    primarily as close Right-Hand Advisers and
    Business Strategy Consultants wed almost need
    to be completely blind not to notice the
  • Weve been really fortunate to work with some
    amazing businesses and entrepreneurs, from micro
    start-ups to corporate-funded start-ups. Where
    the business owners literally put the business on
    their credit card, live with their parents and
    work from home or start-ups who have gained
    investment of 40m in capital and need to
    satisfy their shareholders.

On the other end of the scale, weve worked with
businesses that are mature and have been in the
family for 30-40 years and publicly listed
companies that are over 180 years old. From
teenagers running web-based businesses to BRW
billionaires in Australia and super
high-net-wealth entrepreneurs overseas we have
gained priceless insights into business
challenges around the world. The mind-blowing
thing is, although the type of business,
industry, location, ownership structure or
personality of the CEO may all be different
there are common patterns which are VERY similar
when it comes to fundamentals! This is good
news, because finding patterns allows for
accelerated learning, which helps avoid costly
trial and error. The bad news is, 90 of the
success depends on implementation. Knowing what
to do doesnt make doing it any easier, but it
can make it a lot simpler. So here are the 5
main challenges weve found to be common across
businesses. Note These are not the only problems
faced they are just the most common ones that
every single business weve worked with has
encountered. Yes, thats right every single one
has struggled in one or more of the problem areas
listed and zero have escaped!
The 5 Problem Areas Are 1. How to get more
customers or how to increase sales with existing
customers 2. How to hire, manage, train and
retain staff 3. Financial challenges How to
gain control of business finances 4. Business
strategy What is it? How is it done? How to
build a good strategy? 5. Leadership How to
become a better CEO become a better
leader? Unless youre planning on staying small,
its highly unlikely that youd have all of these
areas under control for very long. What you can
do is improve these areas in a way that wont
have you dying from stress on a daily basis and
actually make running your business more
5 Business Problems Faced By Entrepreneurs
Financial Challenges
Business Strategy
Lets understand these issues so we can minimize
them. 1. Sales How to Get More Customers or
How To Increase Sales Surprise Surprise This
had to be one of them, right? Absolutely. Even
though a business may be killing it, the moment
they start to grow and put more staff on, invest
in their infrastructure or systems, enter new
markets, or basically just spend money the
requirement to sell more becomes a top priority
to cover the added overheads. Why can it be
difficult to get more customers or increase sales
to current customers? Well, there are two parts,
which are separate, but highly connected, that
entrepreneurs often miss. Attracting customers
(Marketing) requires addressing the fundamental
strategic aspects as well as some heavy technical
aspects. Lets take content marketing through
social media for example. 1. The Strategic
aspects youll need to focus on can include 1.
Content creation 2. Deciding on your target
market 3. How youre going to promote and how
youre going to convert a customer.
  • Then there is the technical aspect
  • How do I upload and share content to social
  • How do I create and manage social media ads?
  • Where do I store leads and how do they flow on to
    the sales team?
  • How do I track analytics and customer behaviours?
  • 2. The bulk of the detail is in Implementation,
    and its hard to know how everything works, so a
    lot of fiddly time is spent figuring things
    out. Without getting the strategic part right, it
    can be really easy to burn a lot of energy on
    something that leads you down the wrong track,
    wasting a lot of time, and getting little
    results. Without good implementation, the best
    strategies in the world are absolutely worthless!
  • Next, we come to making the transaction (Sales).
    This is where your customer pays you and as a
    result, funds land in your bank account.
  • We can address sales in three parts
  • First, you need to address the Science of Sales
  • Then, there is The Art of Sales, which directly
    impacts customer experience and
  • Lastly, be able to Lead, Teach and Inspire a team
    to sell and hit targets (If you have a team or
    want to build one).
  • We once had a client who wanted to build a sales
    team, but no sales staff member would stick for
    more than 3 months. Some people would leave
    within one week! Our client thought they might
    have just sucked at hiring, so they got us to
    hire a team for them. We used a thorough process
    to build a team, but guess what? Within 3 months,
    the entire team were all gone again.

  • What did we find? Absolutely no sales plan or
    strategy at all!
  • The science behind selling was incomplete. What
    initially looked like a people problem, or a
    hiring problem turned out to be something
    completely different. There were over a dozen
    causes that were creating symptoms clouding the
    real issue. To give a few examples
  • It became quickly evident that an unclear sales
    process was confusing sales staff.
  • Missing documents and marketing material caused
    sales staff to stumble, especially when customers
    were interested. By the time documents were
    developed, the opportunities were missed.
  • Vague expectations on roles, responsibilities and
    KPIs. This created role crossovers, gaps, and
    confusion about who is responsible for delivering
  • The business message and value proposition were
    so hard to understand, that it didnt just
    confuse customers, but their own team as well!
  • Poor leadership
  • No training
  • Poor culture
  • And the list goes on

  • Here is a short tip on sales From my book, 100
    Business Insights
  • __________________________________________________
  • Insight 33
  • Selling is not just an art you need to develop
    a structured sales plan.
  • People often associate sales with smooth talkers,
    people who have the
  • gift of the gab, and people who are charismatic.
    Truthfully, some of the
  • best salespeople Ive met are quite the opposite.
    The best salesperson I
  • know is not a smooth talker, but just a genuine
    guy, and people like
  • him, trust him, and buy from him. The key is,
    that the best people dont
  • just rely on their talking ability, whatever your
    style is, you need a strong
  • sales plan
  • __________________________________________________
  • The Art of Selling is another story, and this is
    what our particular client in my example had been
    good at.
  • He was able to sell despite all the missing
    components that his sales team needed. He
    compensated through being really good at the Art
    of Selling by

But when it came to his sales team, who were all
new they didnt get a chance to learn, let alone
perfect the art. New hires dont have the
advantage of dozens of years of history to wing
it and be successful. They are flat out trying to
understand the processes, policies, and politics
within their new environment. Theyre in a new
company, with new people and new rules. They need
systematic knowledge transfer just to catch
up! A certain level of science in the
transferring of knowledge is needed so that the
art can be made effective. Thats why one
business can hire a proven seller in one company,
but when they come and work for a new company,
the results can be completely and shockingly
different! Sales teams need leaders who can lead,
teach and inspire a team to sell and hit
targets. But doesnt a CEO, manager or
entrepreneur know this? Well, dont feel bad if
you dont, because it can elude even the smartest
and most switched on person, as
inter-relationships are often invisible and the
number of variables is high. Think of a 2-digit
pin. After enough guesses, even if you dont know
the pin, youll end up guessing it. But what
about a 4-digit pin? You can be there for a week
trying as many combinations as you can think of,
but youre not going to get far. What about
business then where the combinations could be
almost limitless with no right answer? This is
why 96 to 99 of businesses fail, there are
many, constantly changing variables which force
companies to adapt or die! This is why even huge
companies that seem invincible, fall. Dont let
this scare you, there is a light at the end of
the tunnel and the prize for getting it right is
often life changing. There are many ways to grow
and protect your wealth along the way. We are
just being real and open about what weve come
across. Ill dig into more detail about gaining
customers in one of my next blogs. Lets continue
to the second biggest problem.
2. People How to Hire, Manage, Train and Retain
Staff At every workshop or seminar that weve
held, weve asked the question How many of you
experience people problems within your team?
100 of hands go up each and every time. No
exceptions. Ever. So why is the people side of
business so difficult? Apart from all the
inter-relationships across the different
functions mentioned earlier, there are 5 Key
Areas that generally dont get enough attention
or investment. They include 2.1. HIRING Most
entrepreneurs dont put enough thought and rigour
into the hiring process. Even large companies can
fall into the trap of hiring someone they know,
or wants the job rather than going through a
solid process to hire the best person AND best
fit for the company. 2.2. TRAINING Now that a
business has just committed anywhere from
50,000, 100,000 or more into recruiting a staff
member, do they provide first class training to
help the person (your massive investment) get
really good at their job, every single
time? Actually, forget first-class for the
moment. How about just enough training? If you
do, youre a rare exception! Most businesses
throw their new hire into the deep end and expect
them to figure things out. Thats great if you
pick up a superstar, but for the most part,
people need a little training every now and then.
Heres what I wrote about training in my
book ____________________________________________
___________________ Insight 75 Invest in
training! But make sure people use what theyve
learnt. Whats the use of hiring talented people
if you dont maximise their value in your
organisation? Invest in your team. Train them or
send them for training externally. And, get your
team taking action and applying what theyve
learnt, right after theyve learnt it
otherwise, people forget _________________________
______________________________________ Get
Instant Access to My Ebook
  • 2.3. MANAGING
  • The scary thing about managing is that most
    managers are not trained to be managers!
  • Think about it
  • If you operate your own private business, have
    you received extensive training on how to be a
    good manager? Have your staff who manage other
    team members been trained to excel at management?
    Probably not.
  • Now, even if youve been trained, are you great
    at it? Are you a brilliant manager or are you
    figuring it out along the way? Were not even
    talking about leadership yet, that is a whole
    different ball game altogether.
  • Do you have a systematic way of improving your
    staff to their potential beyond their current
  • The difference between training and developing is
    that training makes your staff better at their
    job while developing your staff prepares them for
    whats beyond their job. This is a critical part
    of succession planning.
  • Do you have someone who can take over your role
    in the event you cant run the business for a
    period of time?
  • Will that person have someone who can take over
    their role if they do move up to take your role?

Developing yourself and your team will help you
get to new heights. Apart from not having the
right people on board, developing your team for
succession planning is one of the missing
elements facing many businesses. Some businesses
do this from time to time, but the benefits of
developing staff are often long-term in nature,
so team development usually takes the back
burner. 2.5. RETENTION How are you going to
keep an asset youve invested all that time,
energy and knowledge in (not to mention financial
investment youve made)? Do you have a
systematic retention strategy and plan which
encourages your team to stay? How do you keep
great team members who may be receiving offers
from your competitors, suppliers, customers or
just the general job market?
  • 3. Finance.
  • One problem with 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs weve
    met (yes, a scary number) is that they dont even
    get financial information provided to them at
    all, apart from their tax return once a year!
  • You might be asking yourself How do I Gain
    Control of My Business Finances? The first step
    is having the right information.
  • Do you have access to the right information that
    you need to make business decisions in a timely
  • Do you even get a profit and loss statement,
    balance sheet and cash flow statement every month
    at the very minimum?
  • Most business owners dont, which is not
    surprising to see why they dont even like the
  • Do you get forecasts for sales over the coming
    few months?
  • What about cash flow and working capital
    forecasts or KPI reports with lead indicators?
  • If you do get all these, you are one of the rare
    ones! High 5 to you!
  • Secondly, lets say you do get the information
    above, ask yourself
  • Do you feel like you have clear financial
    visibility? Or do you feel like youre still

If you dont, then you may be getting a whole lot
of wrong information, and basing big financial
and business decisions on the wrong scoreboard.
Does that sound a little risky? Here is a quote
from my book 100 Business Insights which talks
about this. _____________________________________
_________________________ Insight
67 Understanding financial performance is key
to being able to adequately run your
business. Business is like a game, and like most
games, it has a scoreboard. Understanding how the
scoreboard works helps you make decisions about
what to do in the game. If you dont know how to
read, interpret and analyse the scoreboard, then
you dont really know how to play the
game. ___________________________________________
___________________ The next challenge is, when
you do end up getting the right information, and
you have complete visibility of the scoreboard,
do you actually understand it? Or does it look
completely foreign?
Do your financials look like this to you?
(Two business owners trying to make sense of
their financials Might as well be looking at a
cockpit of a plane without knowing how to fly!)
The thing is unless you own an accounting firm or
are in financial services, as entrepreneurs most
of you never did an accounting degree, so it can
be difficult to understand what all the numbers
mean. In our experience, even seasoned finance
professionals find it a challenge to understand
the meaning behind numbers they prepare. Because
they are so technical and specialized, they can
overlook the bigger picture.
The third and probably hardest part to deal with
is actually playing the game. Going out and
improving sales, managing the bottom line, and
making sure there is enough cash! Running out of
cash is like running out of jet fuel, you only
have to run out once! And if you dont know how
much is REALLY left in the tank, because your
scoreboard isnt correct Whoops! By the way,
have planes run out of fuel and crashed before?
Absolutely. Do businesses run out of money and
crash? Absolutely. VIDEO How To Hire Staff
Overseas And Save 50 to 75 in Staff Costs
If youve made it as far as getting across all of
the above, then thats fantastic and again
extremely rare. Give yourself a pat on the
back! Now its time to fly the business safely
do you know how to do it? Are you able to control
the buttons levers in the cockpit? Do you know
what actions to take that will actually make an
impact on the numbers and create the type of
results you want? Or are they just a bunch of
numbers to you? And what about the times when
things go wrong? (which wouldnt be that often in
business right? Not!). How do you handle it? How
do you cope with the stress and lead your team to
victory? Tune in for part 4 and 5 of this blog
to find out about Business Strategy, Leadership
as well as finishing off with some of our big AHA
insights moments! If you liked this and are
interested in finding out more, subscribe to our
blogs at the top right corner of this page and
watch out for our next blog post! Like Our Blog?
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