Starting and running a business can sound like an attractive venture until you go through some rough times that can make you regret starting the business. Often, some of these frustrations can threaten the mere existence of the business and lead to serious liabilities. Some of the down-sides of a business can include pro-longed working hours and uncertain income in times of losses. The list can be long. We asked entrepreneurs and business owner about their biggest business frustration and here are the responses;
#1- Resisting the urge to doing everything myself
My number one frustration in business is resisting the urge to doing everything myself. Since I run a very data intensive comparison engine for cell phone plans, I like things done a certain way with a lot of attention to detail, so I probably spend more time than I should performing many different functions, rather than trusting my team at all times. When I do trust my team to get things done, and they do, it’s a good feeling. So the lesson here is to find good people, and trust them to perform.
Thanks to Logan Abbott, Wirefly.com!
Bookkeeping is my number one frustration as a solo entrepreneur. While building my business it is always challenging to find time to get to everything accomplished that I’d like to on any given day. Bookkeeping is a required piece of the business that can often be tedious and time-consuming. I always find it challenging and frustrating to spend time on something that is not directly growing or moving the business forward.
Thanks to Ally Compeau, Woof Signs!
#3- Companies forgetting to recognise customers as assets
Like most of us, as customers, we yearn for a company to know and appreciate how much our loyalty means to their organizations. We want people to know this information and honor us accordingly. And we expect to be known. Think of your own life. What’s the first thing you think of when a company you’ve been loyal to treats you like a number? It’s don’t they know how much I spend here, right? If you walked into your favorite restaurant every week and no one recognized you after the fifth trip, how would you feel? Would you eventually stop going? This is our opportunity to honor customers for how they honor us. But it takes doing the hard work to know their value. It takes a commitment to give your people the information and the permission to make informed decisions about actions to take. According to e-consultancy, only 42% of companies are able to measure customer lifetime value. Those that do measure it behave differently with their frontline, with how they serve, and in how they reach out and embrace their customers. Companies need to give their people the tools to know customer lifetime value, and prepare them with options to ensure customers know they’re valued. Customers have been around the block enough times to know when a company is getting a little jiggy with them. They’ve experienced the better rates given to new customers, the not honoring a simple request, and the making them revalidate their credentials that make customers wonder, Do they value me? Would they even notice if we were gone? To earn customer loyalty, you must be loyal to them in return.
Thanks to Jeanne Bliss, CustomerBLISS!
To find a person that is a right fit for our company, we probably have to receive 300+ resumes. Between reviewing resumes, cover letters, projects, phone interviews, and in-person interviews, we probably spend upwards of 40 hours finding each hire. We now have recruiters, which has cut the time that we spend to about 10 hours per position, however, we now pay a great deal in fees. The good news is that we make very good hiring decisions finding people with the right attitude and skills for our company.
Thanks to Marc Prosser, Fit Small Business!
#5- Accounts receivable
The biggest frustration I have is accounts receivable. Personally, I like doing the work. I like getting my hands dirty and completing projects. I don’t want to be forced to stop what I’m doing to contact clients and try to collect past due invoices over and over again. Knowing that there are people out there who take advantage of small businesses is frustrating. I’m very selective with the people I work with these days. If I get a bad vibe or for whatever reason don’t feel comfortable with a client, I simply don’t work with them. There are plenty of clients out there waiting for your service, don’t get stuck working with the same clients who are bad payers.
Thanks to Matt Weik, Weik Fitness, LLC!
#6- Huge customer expectations
We’re Not Amazon! Customers now expect services from small business that are provided by huge outlets like Amazon. For example, customers now almost demand free shipping. We can’t stay in business by offering free shipping unless the customer purchases a specific amount of product. Similarly, stores like Nordstrom or Macy’s, with HUGE lifetime customer values, accept returns unconditionally. But, small merchants with single products can’t do the same.
Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!
#7- Having to wait on production to fulfill an order or service
I have been running GrabResults, LLC for the past three years now, and have seen people come and go. This is something I’m not too fortunate and proud of. The employees we hired weren’t qualified and didn’t really show any care for their job. This is very hard to see and believe when a company is offering a monthly commission as well as a salary. The work ethic is what really plays the biggest part. If someone isn’t sure of what they are doing or supposed to do they should ask questions, comment or discuss the task on hand, give it their all until they don’t know what to do. Ignoring the task on hand completely will cause the entire team to fail. Someone needs to be an account manager and someone needs to be the project manager. There are many factors that can come up that will cause the project to halt or completely pause production. One must avoid this at all causes. First of all, the client has already payed you or the company for your services, neglecting the client will cause issues with corporate executives or worse problems with the client leading to bad reviews. This is one thing I can’t stand for. Theft and negligence are the worst traits to have when running a business. Legal issues can also come out of this and then one will lose his profits and etc.
Thanks to Reuben Kats, GrabResults, LLC!
#8- Convincing senior management to invest in customer training programs
My biggest frustration and top business challenge is convincing senior management to invest in customer training programs. I often hear from customer service reps that they want and seek better training, but it’s too often put aside for other company ‘priorities.’ Seriously, what’s more important than servicing your customers! The main reason for poor customers service is almost always lack of proper training. Yet for many companies, customer service is not a priority! Managers are so busy putting out daily fires that they fail to notice they are losing business by not servicing their customers. Smart businesses that truly care about dealing with the public and providing quality customer service invest in training programs. There’s a direct correlation between poor service and no training… and great service with great training. There’s great frustration knowing you can help a business perform better, but you have to convince top management it’s worth the time, money and effort to train their employees in successful customer service techniques.
Thanks to Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training!
#9- Not being able to tell if marketing effort actually works or not
As an e-commerce business owner for over 13 years, I had the luxury of enjoying the first steps of the web where people had only one device. marketing campaigns were easy to measure and they were normally correct. Today, the internet evolved to multi-devices and you no longer able to accurately measure it. In our business, it is even more extreme as people normally take the time before they buy. They visit us from different devices and we have no way of knowing who came from where. The multi-device issue also creates another problem – how do you test changes in an accurate way? Conversion optimizer doesn’t have a solution to multi-device problem and this means the results are significantly inaccurate.
Thanks to Yaron Shaool, Ka Gold Jewelry!
#10- Hitting roadblocks unless you are proactive
As founder of one of the leading Presentation and visual communication tools online, on a daily basis we face a lot of moving parts; Things change and move very quickly and speed and productivity are crucial to our success. One of the biggest frustrations is unless you are proactive and create processes that are efficient but also flexible and scalable you hit roadblocks that quickly dwindle down to other areas of the operation.
Thanks to Payman Taei, Visme!
#11- Credit card processing
Finding a credit card processor for a startup has been a huge frustration for me. A large processor recently shut my account down for medcardmember. Their reason I was told is that telemedicine is a risky business. I thought I wouldn’t have an issue finding a new processor, I was wrong. Over 30 applications and 30 denials later I finally have a new processor. What one bank didn’t want on my website another bank insisted I have. I have never dealt with such a screwed up industry. After calling all of our current customers and asking them to signup again, we are back up and running but I loathe the thought of ever having to deal with applying for another credit card processor account again.
Thanks to Larry C Medcalf, Medcard!
#12-Social media consistency
For many businesses, social media is an important and profitable channel. However, I’ve frequently struggled to get my head around the idea of keeping our social profiles updated with content, especially when it feels like I have nothing of interest to say. And even when I do manage to come up with an idea, it’s only used for one post, then I’m right back to square one struggling to think of more content ideas! I think the best thing a business can be on social media is genuine, but I’d still love to be a bit more proficient and consistent with my social media efforts.
Thanks to Max Robinson, FishTankBank!