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Four Ways to Overcome Hurdles That Kill Business

Business is all about encountering obstacles and how we deal with them. While these hurdles derail some people, others learn to tackle them with ease. Most obstacles can be completely avoided, but because of unmanaged feelings, habits and habitual mistakes we allow these stumbling blocks to become emotional thieves that steal away our time and energy. So, how do we not let these obstacles get the best of us and focus on our opportunities, thereby letting our business succeed? Here are a few strategies to help:

1. When it comes to people, listen to your gut!

Choosing the right people in business is vital. No matter if its your partner, an employee or a potential client. Usually your internal radar will tell you if a business relationship will work, but many choose to ignore this “gut” feeling because of personal feelings.  Surround yourself with people who will counteract your weaknesses not compound them.

2. Know the hazard of emotional pricing!

Know your worth, do not let emotion dictate your prices. When you start to lower your prices as a way to “compete” you will lose in the long run. By lowering your prices you lower your profit margin, and potentially put yourself out of business. Yes, as a new company it can seem like lowering your prices is the only way to win against your competitors, but in actuality you are hurting your industry as a whole and giving clients a skewed view of your worth. Stay educated about your industry and your competitors, find innovative ways to compete and do not be afraid to increase your prices over time.

3. Let go of what doesn’t work!

As business owners, we take pride in our products and services. Unfortunately, we can also find it hard to let go of a product or service that is not working. Often to sustain or achieve success you must abandon things that are not successful.  While it can be difficult to find the courage to walk away, if you don’t it can become a major obstacle. The energy you spend trying to make something work, that just isn’t working can be redirected to the right target. By redirecting this energy you can focus in the right direction with a new intensity, thereby allowing yourself to succeed.

4. Make frugality a company value!

It can be easy to spend like a Fortune 500 company when making big sale, but look past the exhilaration of your success and hold on to common sense. Even large companies like Microsoft asks its employees to spend company money cautiously. If Microsoft can do it, so can we.

In a Pinch

In the article, In a Pinch, the author C. J. Prince discusses the different paths a business
can take to increase cash flow. Prince suggests that every business should operate with a pay-in-advance set of terms (Prince, 2008). Understandably, this is not always possible for every business. The main goal for any company is to have as many clients on the pay-in-advance model as possible. When changing the payment terms to reduce
the credit advance, it is always wise to be upfront about the change with the customer (Prince, 2008). If a customer is refusing to accept your terms and continually pays invoices after the due date, consider dropping them as a customer (Prince, 2008). Also, Prince recommends investigating a new company prior to extending a line of credit (Prince, 2008).

Pay Me!

In the article, Pay Me!, the author Randy B. Hecht discusses ways to increase the
efficiency of collections. The ultimate goal is to get the customer to prioritize your company’s bill (Hecht, 2009). In today’s post-recession era, maintaining cash flow is imperative. It is completely normal to have desperation in your voice during collection calls (Hecht, 2009). However, the author suggests not letting emotions trump the
need to be paid (Hecht, 2009). Having had experience with collection calls, I have found kind assertiveness yields the best results in getting invoices paid. If the customer refuses
to pay the debt, then they are not a good customer it would be financially advantageous to cut ties (Hecht, 2009). Nevertheless, the delay in payment may be due to an inefficient billing system or not sending out invoices in a timely manner (Hecht, 2009).