Based on personal experience and observations of businesses I’ve worked with.
Marketing – I know I struggled when I first started, never having done it before. I’ve done a huge amount, learnt a lot along the way, although still a way to go and new things to learn all the time. I still see many small businesses who don’t know how to market, where to start or even why they need to do it (yes, really)!
Finances – not just the basics of knowing and keeping track of what comes in and what goes out but also what makes business sense and knowing what to charge. New businesses I work with often seem to think that if they’re cheaper than everyone else – they’ll get the business, not always the case. Finance also includes getting paid on time or knowing how and when to chase.
Jack of all trades – having to or trying to do everything. Especially in the early stages or when you feel you can’t afford staff or to outsource. You’re juggling the marketing, PR, accounts, admin, selling, working with clients and customers or producing your product/service, coming up with new ideas, running the business day to day, social media …
Which leads on to –
Staff/Employees – when to hire and fire. Getting the right staff on board – either permanent, full-time, part-time, outsourced or freelance and what to do when it goes wrong or things aren’t working quite as you want.
Time – not having enough time to get everything done or not using it in the most efficient and productive way. Wasting time on things that aren’t going to benefit their business. Getting distracted by everything and everyone. Not understanding the value of their time and where it can be most productively (and profitably) spent.
The impact running your own business has on your work/life balance – do you really want to spend all your evenings and weekends on your business. How much time it takes to get a business going – getting out there, building your reputation, finding clients, creating a good structure, the right processes for a successful business.
What are your frustrations when running your business?