business owners

3 classic business struggles & how to overcome them

Almost everyone at one point or another fantasizes about founding and running their own business. Being one’s own boss, making one’s own hours and schedules, and deciding what is right and wrong at the end of the day is very enticing. We all want some control over our daily schedules and travel abilities, and owning a business seems like the perfect avenue for achieving it.

But, like everything good, there comes the bad as well. With owning a business comes a massive amount of responsibility, stress, time management, and discipline that is required to keep it prosperous and lucrative.

Here are 3 classic struggles you will face in business and how best to overcome them.

1. TIME MANAGEMENT

Probably the number one reason people dream about running their own business is to make their own schedule and manage their own time. But, what people don’t know is that this often becomes the most difficult facet of running a business once the operation is starting to move forward.

Developing the discipline to wake up at a certain hour, work overtime, and work through weekends (often frequently) can be a huge challenge for many business owners. It’s hard to separate personal and professional matters when running a business becomes a 24-7 job.

The best way to overcome this struggle is to incorporate a great deal of organization into the foundation. Buy a daily planner, setup a digital calendar that sends alerts to your phone and laptop, hang up in-person calendars in your workspace, and hire individuals who do the exact same thing. Build an organizational system together, and you will quickly adjust to the proper required hours.

2. IT'S OK TO FAIL

No one wants to fail. No one wants to be told they did it wrong or didn't finish in the end.

Failing is almost a requirement for making it big in business. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, some of the greatest business minds of our time all failed, MULTIPLE TIMES, and even failed to complete college along the way. Business building is a trial and error process, and business owners need to be comfortable with the possible prospect of failing.

To overcome this fear, it helps to read books and magazines about other businesses and startups failures and success stories. Familiarize yourself with what failures are likely, and start developing a Plan B for if they do. Be practical about the prospect. Failure is only possible if you’re trying.

3. FINDING TIME TO UNWIND

After reading through the first two struggles, you probably guessed this one was coming last. We’ve just run through all the different demands, expectations, and stressful management that come with running and participating in a business. Everything in life comes with balance, and in order to energetically perform at all levels every day, business participants need to find time to unwind.

Mental rest and clarity are critical for optimal performance, and owners need to identify the best ways for them to ease their worried minds.

A great way to overcome this is to build in a gym period every day for stress relief. Set up a “me-time” hour for quality exercise or site seeing. Do something for yourself every day. Explore a new museum, try out a new restaurant, or buy a new book. It’s OK to take a step back. You’ll find your downtime to be some of the best brainstorming periods throughout your week.

 

These are just 3 of the many classic struggles associated with business. By accepting and studying them ahead of time, you can be prepared to successfully wrestle and conquer them. 

Why do so many business owners fear social media?

After being in business for close to 6 months now, this is probably the most puzzling question we ask ourselves at SocialMe. Clearly, without this conundrum, we wouldn’t have a successful business. However, there are certain elements to social media that will forever make it a feared marketing item with a variety of businesses.

It’s natural to fear the unknown. It’s even more natural to resist change. But, social media has undeniably solidified itself as the most important communication channel, eCommerce marketplace, and news dissemination platform available today. There’s no ignoring Facebook anymore. With 80% of consumers answering they’re more inclined to shop at a store if they locate a credible, authentic Facebook page, it’s time to stop asking why people ignore it, and time to start asking why they fear it.

We have three theories on why so many people want, yet fear social media.

1. Lack of writing and grammar skills

If you think back to Middle School and High School, probably close to 40% of your class struggled with writing. It’s a common skill set many are unable to learn and develop throughout their lifetime. Spelling and grammar are scary to a lot of people. English is a complex language, and our spelling system doesn’t always make sense. 

About 1 in 10 Americans are dyslexic and shy away from social media.  An even greater amount fear they will be mocked, made fun of, or ruin their business’ legitimacy with misspellings and poor grammar. This is all incredibly true. Businesses need to look smart, professional, and on top of their game. The best way to come across as professional is by showcasing well-versed, succinct social media posts that demonstrate a mastery understanding of the English language.

2. Inability to identify a business brand

Social media forces businesses to identify their central brand and build around it. Businesses that fail to do so end up with 30 Facebook page likes and zero online community engagement. With all of the competition on social media today, businesses have to identify a brand, market the brand, and analyze the consumer reception to the brand. They then need to alter it as needed for drawing in more interested consumers.

This is very hard for many businesses. It forces them to really peel away the layers and pick a core platform for their services and products. Most businesses that have been around for a while 1) don’t want to do this and 2) don’t think they need to. They therefore shy away from social media, and continue with the “same ole” approach.

3. Too technologically challenged to understand social media

This may sound harsh, but it’s true, and we all know a handful of people, typically 50 years of age and older, who just can’t seem to grasp the Digital Era. Now, we are not blaming these business owners whatsoever. Imagine owning a restaurant for six decades and trying to understand Facebook? We probably couldn’t either!

But the truth of the matter is these people just don’t get the Internet, and they’re probably never going to. After six successful decades in business, why fix it if it’s not broken?

Sadly, these establishments will fade into the past if they don’t set aside their unwillingness to adapt. In the meantime, their technological challenges prevent them from even learning what “Tweeter” could do for them.

These are just our theories, and they could be completely wrong. They could, however, be correct, and posit a great start for including the small businesses of our country in the Inbound Marketing age. Here at SocialMe, we want to help them.