My business is far from perfect. I have ups and downs, successes and failures. Three things go right and then four things go wrong! I’m constantly putting out fires. Can you relate?
What I want to share with you today is the four most common issues I deal with in my business on a day-to-day basis. These are issues that I often struggle with AND they also take up lots of my time. Hopefully, you can gain some valuable insights from me sharing my story.
My business is internet based. It has several components to include a large eBay store, two large websites, a network marketing business, and a coaching business. Needless to say, there is always something to do! This often includes writing content, buying inventory, posting things on eBay, doing coaching sessions on the phone, creating marketing campaigns, training my downline, etc. Of all the hundreds of things I do in my small business each week, there are four issues I deal with every day. They are listed below.
1. Cash Flow – My business almost always has some type of money coming in. That’s a good thing. But just like any other business, I always have expenses going out. One of my biggest struggles is managing my cash flow, so I can pay my business expenses and still have enough money left to support my standard of living.
I’m getting better at managing my cash flow by keeping more money in my PayPal account and business checking account and only drawing out money twice a month for my personal expenses. I also have to watch how much inventory I purchase (and when I purchase it) so I don’t spend all my working capital.
My advice to you is to manage your cash flow wisely. Always keep an eagle’s eye on the books and monitor how much money is coming in an going out. If necessary, get a line of credit or business credit card to help when your cash flow isn’t what it should be. In addition, make sure you have a separate checking account for your business, so you can keep your personal finances and business finances separate.
Finally, keep an updated monthly profit and loss statement, so you can track your monthly progress, and so you know where you business stands financially.
2. Delegating – I must admit, I am a “do it yourself” kind of guy. That has advantages that come with it, but it also means I am one man circus trying to get everything done myself. I guess my biggest issue with delegating to others is trust.
When it comes to my business, the only person I really trust is my wife. I’m worried someone will cheat me or ruin my reputation. During the past year, I’ve done a better job of delegating by having virtual assistants and hiring independent contractors to help with marketing campaigns, content creation, and small projects.
I’ve realized there are certain tasks that produce a high dollar return and other menial tasks that take up a lot of my time, but don’t make me money. I try to focus on the big tasks and delegate everything else. I try to spend a huge majority of my business hours exclusively on money producing activities. That might just be the most important piece of advice in this blog post.
I’m not where I want to be yet, but I consider myself a work in progress. My advice to you is to make a list of tasks that you and only you can do and make a list of everything else that needs to be done. When the two lists are done, hire someone to do the tasks that can and should be delegated. Don’t spend your $100 per hour time doing $10 per hour work.
You can find plenty of affordable help on website such as elance.com and fiverr.com. That’s who I use.
3. Doing Too Many Projects – I am a focused guy, but I’m also a doer. One of my many shortcomings is that I try to do too many things at once. I take on lots of projects because I get excited about them. I like the challenge. While this isn’t always a bad thing, I’ve also learned that when you try to do too many things at once you often spread yourself too thin.
Limit how many projects you take on. Limit how many businesses you start, manage, or own. Focus on one thing. Keep the main thing the main thing. It’s much better to do one thing very well than do ten things half ass!
I’ve finally given my wife 100% reigns on my eBay business. That one decision alone has freed up much of my time, so I can focus on what I do best: network marketing, blogging and coaching.
I encourage you to take a couple of hours and evaluate everything that you do. What projects excite you and offer the most potential? What projects take up the most amount of your time, but give you the least amount of return? Try to “weed out” the projects that are time wasters or don’t offer much of a return on investment.
4. Time Management – You could probably argue that the previous two tips go hand in hand with this one. Early on, my business was an obsession. I would work 15 hour days seven days a week. After about 18 months I got tired and burn out and wanted to have a life!
What did I do? I learned to manage my time better by delegating, taking on less projects and outsourcing whenever possible. Most people who own an online business or network marketing business also have a day job! In addition, they typically have a family, hobbies, and interests outside the home.
Let’s face it, when you come home from a long day at work, eat dinner with your family, help your kids with homework, and then watch your favorite television show, there isn’t much time left over to grow a home based business! And that’s the number one excuse people give for not doing a home business.
The truth is, you will always be busy! Until you learn how to work smart and manage your time, you will always be time challenged. What I’ve found that helps me the most when it comes to managing my time is to plan out my day. I use a day planner and I schedule what I am going to do each day and at what time. I schedule in personal time, family time, and work time. This keeps me focused and on point.
You don’t have to do the same thing I do, but if you don’t learn how to manage your time, it will manage you!
I have lots of other business issues, too, but these are the four most common issues I deal with in my business on a day-to-day basis. If I was to write about every issue that comes with running a business, this post would be a book!
At the end of day, every entrepreneur has issues to overcome. The key to success is to identify the issue, come up with a game plan to fix it, and have the discipline to follow through. It won’t be easy. But, nothing worth accomplishing is easy.
What are the most common issues you deal with in your small business? What do you do to remedy those problems? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Chuck HolmesWebmaster, OnlineMLMCommunity.com
Phone: (352) 503-4816
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