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People often go into business for themselves because they think it will enhance their lifestyle and work/life harmony. It certainly will – if you get it right.

“No matter what your business is, everyone has the same frustrations,” says business strategist, coach and Business Benchmark Group founder Stefan Kazakis.

Whether it’s feeling exhausted, dysfunctional or always lacking time and money, clarifying your business’s issues and long-term goals will help you make the necessary changes needed to get back on track, says Kazakis.

Identifying your frustrations will start to bring clarity. “You can shape your desired outcomes for your business and life. You don’t want to sit idly by while your business implodes – that’s what will drive you to change.”

The problems all SMEs face

“In my many years working with small business I’ve found that there are generally five key frustrations that contribute to dissatisfaction with the business. It’s likely they keep reappearing time and again,” says Kazakis.

1. Cashflow 

Typically people run out of money before they run out of ideas. Cashflow is not just about how much you are earning, it is also about managing when that cash comes in and goes out, so that you always have dollars in the bank when bills are due.

2. Feeling lonely and scared 

Running a small business can be daunting and lonely. Even if you manage a business with staff, it’s easy to feel isolated, alone and responsible for the success or failure of the company. Owners often feel they are also burdening their families if they bring their stress home, further adding to the sense of isolation.

3. Having a dysfunctional team 

A dysfunctional team usually starts with the owner. Try and focus on hiring the right staff because the right people will power you to success; the wrong people will put the brakes on your business. Once you have found the people you need, focus on cultivating a great workplace culture.

4. Being exhausted, stressed and having no time 

People often go into business for themselves because they think it will enhance their lifestyle and improve their work/life harmony. It certainly will – if you get it right. But if your business is struggling this will have the opposite effect. People’s first response is usually to work harder, rather than stopping and having a good look at what is causing the problems. Not only is being tired and stressed not fun, it also leads to poor decision-making.

5. Procrastination

No matter what else you have figured out about your business, if you don’t get off your backside and start to make changes things are only going to get worse. The inability to make a decision can be caused by ‘paralysis by analysis’.

Whatever is holding you back, it’s important to identify and overcome it to succeed. 

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