The 5 Common Problems Small Business Owners face in this Recession and their Solutions.

Published: 14th December 2009
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Hello my name is Sol, I am a freelance consultant, specializing in helping business owners with Internet Marketing.

For the last 10 years I have been researching the internet with the aim of discovering the leading edge platform for promoting business online. I am deeply passionate about Research and Innovation within the field of Online Social Media.

My wish is to help clients save time by giving them guidance on what is the most effective method of internet marketing and help clients make more money from their business.

This week has been a busy time for me with working with clients and looking at how I can best help them achieve their goals. Nearly 80% of my clients are from the United States. I give consultations via the telephone and web conferencing. In the consultations, I look at my clients business and come up with an effective internet marketing plan.

I noticed that there were 5 common problems that business owners experienced that I worked with. So what I would like to do is share with you what this 5 common problems are, and also provide you with their solutions.

Starting a successful small business is not as simple as it all sounds and in fact it can be damn right difficult. When I started I knew very little about having a business plan, or what I needed to run my business effectively. This is the reason why I do what I do, to help other business owners realize that it does not have to be this way and there are many solutions that are available.

In fact if you know where to look, and ask for help from experts, you can save

yourself a lot of time and prevent yourself from making unnecessary mistakes.

What kept me going was knowing that failure was not an option, so I sought help from many specialists in the world of business, I was also lucky because I had a solid foundation of 10 years research in internet marketing and it has been the internet that has helped me to find clients to work with.

I live in the United Kingdom, but my clients are mainly from Seattle, New York and Washington D.C and Canada, I am very grateful for the internet being available as without it I would have had to explore other marketing strategies. The fantastic thing about the internet is that it does not sleep and as long as you a have website that is doing what it is meant to do then you can be on a sure winner.

But for some people they are new to the internet and can feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is out there, my role is to help you see that it is much simpler then you had imagined, the one thing that you can begin to do differently is shouldering all the work on your two shoulders, like I did when I started working for myself 5 years ago and allow other experts to help you share the load. To keep earning we need to keep learning, and there are many people who are more then happy to share their knowledge.

With so many small businesses being born every month and a high percentage of them closing before their second year in business, it is sometimes best to seek the advice of a business consultant before the start of your business.

With that said, it can still be a great time to open a business. The amount of research you do before you start your business will determine how many small business pitfalls you avoid.

The following 5 common small business owners pitfalls are presented along with their solutions:

1. Marketing
Problem: Marketing is often mistaking with advertising. Your market is who you are trying to target with your advertising; direct mail, commercials, signs, etc. Many business owners do not realize that if you don t find your niche and your target market is too broad, you will waste your advertising budget. With nearly most clients my initial consultations are about helping my client discover what is there niche and defining clearly the clients target audience.

Solution: Focus and narrow your target market to a niche you will be comfortable with and then advertise directly to them by speaking in the language that your target audience understands..

2. Time Management.
Problem: Many business owners do not realize that until they hire staff, they will have to wear many hats Assistant, Messenger, Executive, etc. Along with family responsibilities, these additional roles can be very demanding. When I started to run a business I thought that to do everything by myself, because I thought that I needed to make sure that I was not wasting my money unnecessarily.

Solution: Outsource time-consuming tasks to other individuals-that way you can focus on growing your business while someone else works on the time- consuming tasks. This will also provide an opportunity for you to still have enough time to balance family life and work. Plus more gets done and you will notice that you actually begin to achieve the things that you have been wishing to achieve on your priority list.

3. Pricing.
Problem: Quoting fees too low for fear of losing a potential client or not calling for payment when a client s invoice is overdue. Its until you see that you are falling behind with paying for rent or that you bank manager schedules a meeting with you to ask why you are reaching the monthly targets that you had set out to achieve, that you realize that you are offering a service and your time has value.

Solution: Talk to other business owners in your field and also find out what competitors in your area are charging. If you feel uncomfortable contacting a competitor, ask someone else do it. The same goes for collections. No small business owner can go without collecting their fees, so if you fear making the calls have someone make them for you or send letters gently requesting payment.

4. Networking.
Problem: Not Networking, Not Networking Efficiently.

Solution: Every small business owner needs to network and broadly. Each person you meet is a possible referral or potential client. Join the business organization for your field. Stay focused while you are at the networking event and be determined to achieve pre-determined goals, which were your reason for attending the event. For example: As a Massage Therapists, not only do you have to network at Mind, Body and Spirit Festivals shows but make it a point to attend a Business Workshops as well as your local chamber of commerce. When I started to network, I would make an effort to attend meetings, groups and seminars that were different to the one that I would normally attend and I found that people who were of need of my services can be found anywhere when I am open to look outside the box

5. Clients.
Problem: The inability to turn down potential clients who require services that you do not offer because you are afraid to say no since you need the money.

Solution: As a self-employed individual, you have the ability to choose your clients, but taking any assignment that comes around does not give you the opportunity to focus on what you like to do. Stick to projects that incorporate the services you offer. Let the other assignments go. This will allow you the time to work on fulfilling projects.

Every Tuesday I publish a podcast for Self Employed Business Owners helping them find ways to run and manage their business in a fun and creative way.

In next week's podcast I will be talking about the number one key action that you can make that provides a solution to all of the problems that business owners face in this current difficult economical times. This key action demonstrates how you can get more achieved, buy using less effort and less time. Thank your taking the time to read this report.

You are welcome to listen to my weekly audio podcasts by visiting the following website:

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