Here is a collection of the top 10 most mentioned problems I’ve heard from my clients and other small business owners.

What’s missing? What would you add? Any great solutions you’ve developed to overcome any of these challenges?

Let’s all pitch in so everybody benefits!

1. Marketing. How do I market? How much should it cost? How do I know if its working? Do I need to market?
2. Business Model. How do I create it so that I define my business and I’m not defined by whatever customers buy? How is it related to other aspects of the business? How do I maintain it?
3. Taking time to validate assumptions. Test the market. Get out of the building and interact with your customers to validate your model. “Prove” your financial assumptions.
4. HR. When the firm begins to grow this become huge. What is the minimally viable team? How do I find quality people? When do I hire? When do I fire? This becomes even more complex when friends and family have been hired…
5. Exit plan. How do I plan for my departure from the business? How do I sell? How do I sell to retire? Can I be an effective absentee owner?
6. Costs. How do I control costs so I don’t over spend my revenue (unless its for growth and on purpose)? How much should I spend on facilities?
7. Branding. This may as well be magic…What does a brand do for me? How do I brand? How do I use my brand?
8. Operations. Huge area, but meant here as planning the running of the business and ramping up with growth. Scale and efficiency.
9. How do I use the web? Is it easy to bring traffic to my site? What will the traffic do and how can I influence their choices. How do I use social media?
10. Value proposition. What value is provided? What outcomes are produced? How long does it take? How much does it cost? What jobs do my offerings accomplish?
11. (Bonus) Customers. Who are my customers? What do they need? Who do they buy from? How do I communicate with them? How much does it cost to acquire them? What are they worth over the lifetime of our relationship? How do I know when they’re happy.

This isn’t comprehensive by any means. Its just an informal sampling of questions I’ve heard, responses to surveys, etc.

They seem to be ubiquitous, lets all pitch in and see if we can suggest possible solutions for each.

Have a great day!

Small Business Blog

Author's Bio: 

I'm a small business coach and consultant bringing large organization theory on marketing, strategy, building a business, etc. into the small business world by creating efficient, effective, and practical methodologies.