Category: Answering Service

3 Common Challenges Will Crush Your Small Business

Running a small business is hard. Pressures come from all sides. These include staffing, maintaining a positive cashflow, working with vendors, servicing customers, and dealing with a plethora of government regulations from all levels.

But three common business challenges rise above this formidable list. These three issues can crush your small business if you’re not careful. And even when you are, they still pose an ever-present threat to your company’s long-term viability.

What are these three common challenges? Hiring, management, and healthcare.

1. Hiring

Businesses need employees to get the work done. That stands as a given. Employees work to produce a good or service to generate a profit.

Finding qualified employees confronts business owners with a significant challenge. Just because candidates have a killer resume, doesn’t mean they will interview well. And just because they talk a good game in the interview doesn’t mean they’ll succeed as an employee.

But there’s no way to know for sure until you hire them.

And when you make a hiring mistake, which has happened to every manager, correcting that mistake includes its own perils: unemployment claims and the threats of wrongful discharge.

However, having employees produces a raft of issues, of which hiring is just the first step. After hiring comes training, supervision, payroll, human resources, and management, which stands as the second common small business challenge.

2. Management

So now you’ve hired some people to work for your business. Some are great, most are okay, and a few aren’t working out as hoped.

For the high achievers, the goal of the manager is to retain them as employees. This usually means extra attention, recognition, and compensation. Falter on any of these three and your great employees could easily become ex-employees.

For those who aren’t working out, you need to make a decision. Either invest in them to help them become contributing members of your team or take steps to remove them from your team. Regardless, you end up spending time on them, often more than is warranted, to help them get better or to help them out the door.

That leaves the bulk of your employees, the middle-of-the-road staff. They do their job as expected but little more. They neither shine or disappoint. And with all your focus on the superstars and the strugglers, it’s easy to forget about this group. Yet if you ignore them, their performance is likely to slip or your perceived apathy will lead them to find a new job.

3. Healthcare

Of course once you have employees, you need to pay them. In addition to their hourly rate or salary are time off (vacations, sick days, personal days, and holidays) and benefits (paid leave and insurance).

Healthcare insurance easily looms as the biggest and most scary of all benefits you provide to your staff. With double-digit annual increases common, and 50 to 100% increases sometimes reported, healthcare insurance remains a huge variable for businesses to deal with.

How Outsourcing Solves These Problems

Given these common challenges, one astute response is to outsource whatever work you can. This means that the hiring, managing, and healthcare issues shift to your outsourcer, thereby freeing you to attend to more important tasks to grow your business.

One common form of outsourcing is for your telephone receptionists. By tapping a virtual receptionist service you can shift the hiring, management, and compensation of your receptionist to your answering service. LiveVoice understands this and helps small businesses better manage their limited resources to produce greater results.

LiveVoice is an omnichannel 24/7 customer support company that provides communication services to help small and medium-sized businesses achieve greater success. Contact them about customizing their flexible, premium phone support service so you can turn opportunity into profit.

Peter DeHaan, PhD, is a freelance writer, call center authority, and publisher of Connections Magazine, which covers the call center industry.