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What is the most difficult part of running a small business?

Discussion in 'General Business Chat' started by Simon Hampel, 30th Aug, 2016.

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  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    What is the most difficult part of running a small business?

    Finding good staff?
    Accounting and paperwork?
    Compliance issues?
    Technology?
     
  2. 2 Dollar

    2 Dollar Active Member

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    How about - All the above, and more !
    I'd say the most difficult part is wearing so many hats, that you don't get to excel in any specific area, because you're spread so thin over too many departments.
    So basically, time is the biggest issue.
    You just don't have enough time to do it all yourself.
    Which is ok if you're happy with limited earnings, but of you want the big bucks, you just can't get that by staying small and will be forced to grow.
     
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  3. AllThat

    AllThat New Member

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    I think for us is that even though we say we have a business it's more of a job for us. Not thinking of growing it but needing to keep it because our basic needs are covered.

    The difficult challenge for us is profit vs risk.We take lower risk jobs with low margin over high profit with high risk. Don't like it but want to be safe and sleep peacefully at night.
     
  4. Jerry_O

    Jerry_O New Member

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    Another vote for all plus more..
    Cashflow is one as you will be limited to a very small amount or none at all at the start. One would even work two on a PAYG part time and run the business in the morning. Which then translate to lack of time expanding the business.
     
  5. d.t.

    d.t. Member

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    None of those things individually is very difficult - I think the difficulty comes from trying to do all of them.
     
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  6. 2 Dollar

    2 Dollar Active Member

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    Here's another one - Dealing with difficult customers :mad:

    If you transact with many customers, there will come a time when you experience difficult, unreasonable, even mentally impaired customers.
    This is one of the most frustrating parts of being in business and often cause a loss to the business even when the business is not at fault.
     
  7. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    Cashflow
     
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  8. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Member

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    I'm going to say sales.

    I know I'm good at what I do, I know I'm good at running the business, however I struggle with confidence to sell myself. There's so many different hats you need to wear when you run the business and also work in the business, I think it takes a special person that can do all of this off the bat rather than taking the time to learn it as they go.

    Everything else is reasonably easy for me, with the exception of staff as I have not as yet had a staff member that was paid a salary.
     
  9. larrylarry

    larrylarry Member

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    Agree. Cashflow for me is important in deciding when to put bums on seat and when to expand.
     
  10. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    Like many businesses we have a lag between new work coming in and when we get paid for it. During periods of rapid growth it is interesting. I was talking to a guy in a similiar business to me last week and he turns over $20m plus a year, he said they still have months where the partners draw is not there.
     
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Member

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    For me its compliance.

    My firm operates in the following:
    1. Accounting and Tax (Chartered Accountant and Tax Agent)
    2. SMSF Auditor (ASIC)
    3. Financial Planning (ASIC)
    4. Mortgage Broker (ASIC)
    5. Property (Not much regulation)
    6. SMSF (Everything!)

    With all of this you need the right people and at all times maintain the highest levels of compliance. With the current landscape we are constantly scrutinised, and this increases cost but it is worth it. Like someone said, you can be a jack of all trades and master of none - for us, luckily we have a strong reputation and in a minute that can crash to the ground.

    Second challenge is people. It is always a challenge particularly with 5-10 employees, it gets tough. I am a mad AFL man, and admin leaders such as Luke Hodge who can just bring people with them. ITs bloody hard, particularly with the current generation!

    Cash flow is generally a problem - for us - I am lucky, we have a low cost model and strong reoccurring revenue stream. I struggle when suppliers cannot pay my firm, it irritates me,

    Hope that helps

    Cheers Ivan