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Debbe Daley Headshot

4 Small Business Owner Stumbling Blocks

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I remember in my younger work force days when I would collect a weekly paycheck. How nice I thought it would be to have my own business. Watching my boss and owner of the company be able to socialize day in and day out with other business men and woman on a professional level was inspiring. The lunch meetings, the joking around and leaving early from work. How do I get that job? Be careful what you wish for, your wish might just come try.

Today I find myself not only owning my own business and filling small business owner shoes but never had the insight to challenges, dilemmas and decision-making that come with the title. Entrepreneur, owner, founder or CEO sounds glorious, what about growth issues, employees, benefits and taxes? What about maintaining your image and time management?

Recently I attended a Small Business Social Media Summit sponsored by my local Chamber of Commerce. A fantastic forum for the small business owner wanting to learn about using social media to maximize promoting business through, blogging, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. All of these avenues are great no-cost marketing forums for promoting business. Which brings me to another issue of competent social media employees.

Marketing your business is key when promoting and searching for new clientele. If you are a new or start-up company, hiring a marketing firm is usually not in the budget. Owning a small business, I would like my employees to promote my design business as best they can. Maintaining and promoting our image of a professional design team has lead to project success and building lasting design client relationships. However, I find that no one will promote better than myself. When the main interest of obtaining that paycheck at the end of the week, promoting the company to the best of their ability, becomes a frustrating issue for business owners to deal with.

In a service company, most owners are the face of the company beginning with an idea or skill that sparked the birth of your baby. An image is born of which you want to continue to grow. Hiring the right personnel is necessary. Here are a few stumbling blocks that a small business owner will come up against.

Proper Personnel - Hiring the right employees to execute tasks explained in a job description is so important. Looking for motivated personnel that will go above and beyond the call of duty will project your business to new levels. Starting on a three month trial basis has worked for me. Being able to observe strengths and weaknesses with a review at the end of three months, allows for correction and follow-up of performance. Of course payroll budget will also come into play. How much can a small business afford pay out to create a staff of worthiness? Another stumbling block to the hiring process.

Growing Your Brand - Continued brand growth will come in time and needs to be achieved on a daily basis. This can begin with promoting your business through social media at no cost. Once a certain level of success has been achieve and your budget allows, hiring a marketing specialist or professional will enhance the image of your company even more.

Maintaining Your Image - I've made the mistake of having a soft heart and hiring the wrong personnel because they needed a job. Being influential to your employees and trying to provide them tools to succeed may not always work. Remembering employees still need to cover their costs.

Trying to hire professional yet trainable employees is the most difficult part of the job. Finding the right people to promote your image without changing what has been successful for your company will be one of the most challenging issues of owning a small business.

Time Management - Scheduling meetings, appointments and personal down time is the most challenging aspect of a small business owner. It may be easier to schedule a business lunch with a marketing firm, a round of golf with your vendor or product sales rep. These work outings will allow some personal enjoyment while working on building professional and long lasting work relationships.

How do you manage your small business?