Leading a company is a constant challenge that involves managing multiple aspects to achieve success. Of the most significant challenges faced by entrepreneurs, I’ll highlight these three, in addition to those mentioned in my previous article: lack of financial control, poor time management and unclear business policy. These challenges are not only common but also interconnected, as a lack of financial control can lead to a lack of resources to develop effective business strategies, and inefficient time management can undermine any entrepreneurial effort.
1. Lack Of Financial Control: The Struggle For Data That Informs Decision-Making
One of the most pressing challenges for entrepreneurs is financial control. Often, entrepreneurs and executives do not have the necessary financial information to make informed decisions. Even when they have access to this information, they often struggle to fully comprehend it or to make decisions based on it. My experience working with entrepreneurs has shown that in most cases, decisions are made based on intuition due to a lack of information or distorted and defective information. There is no widespread culture of rigor in the use of information, and this entails taking significant risks and missing out on many opportunities.
To address this challenge, here are some key recommendations:
Implement a good enterprise resource planning system.
The foundation for effective financial control is a robust accounting system. Using reliable accounting software to record all financial transactions is essential. This provides a clear view of income, expenses and cash flows, which, in turn, enables more informed decision-making.
Establish key metrics and performance indicators.
Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your business and consistently track them. This not only provides a clear view of financial performance but also enables decision-making based on concrete data. All of this should be included in a dashboard that allows all team members to use the information. We are in the era of artificial intelligence where data has been called the new oil. Those who optimize information and data management will be in a privileged position to compete.
2. Poor Time Management: Not Protecting A Scarce Resource For Entrepreneurs And Teams
Time management issues are another critical challenge that entrepreneurs face. A lack of time can lead to rushed decisions, stress and decreased productivity. I have written several articles on this fascinating subject, where I highlighted my experience working with entrepreneurs regarding time management and the poor use of it in companies. Here are key recommendations to address this challenge:
Identifying the most important and urgent activities is the first step toward effective time management. Tools like the Eisenhower Matrix can help you categorize tasks based on their importance and urgency, which will help establish clear priorities.
Entrepreneurs often try to do everything themselves, which can be overwhelming. Learning to delegate tasks to team members whom you trust is essential. This not only frees up time but also empowers employees and fosters their professional growth.
Set time limits.
Allocate specific time blocks for tasks and meetings. Set limits on meetings to keep them efficient and ensure deadlines are met. Avoid unnecessary interruptions during designated working hours.
Set up automation and time management tools.
Use software tools and applications that facilitate time organization and tracking. With the help of automation, repetitive tasks can be greatly streamlined and errors can be reduced.
3. Unclear Business Policy: Not Focusing On What Really Matters
Business policy, including defining goals, strategies and customer management, is a critical third challenge for entrepreneurs. A lack of clarity in these areas can lead to a loss of direction and inefficient resource allocation. A primary cause of business closure is offering products or services that the market does not demand. It is therefore necessary to rigorously plan business policy to efficiently, profitably and differentially meet market demands. Here are key recommendations to improve business policy:
Define a clear vision and mission.
Be clear regarding the company’s goals and its plans for achieving them. This provides a solid framework for strategic decision-making. The company’s mission should be the constant guide that directs all actions and decisions.
Use customer segmentation.
Not all customers are the same, so don’t treat them as though they are. Identifying and categorizing customers into groups based on their needs and value to the company allows for more personalized and strategic attention.
Establish SMART goals.
Use specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals to guide progress and performance. This provides a solid foundation for evaluating success and adjusting the strategy as needed.
Periodically reevaluate strategies.
The business environment is constantly evolving. Therefore, do not be afraid to adjust business strategies if results do not align with objectives. Adaptability is key to long-term success.
Incorporate an inverse-organization chart.
As a working philosophy, it is convenient to incorporate this functioning scheme where the market is the boss of the company. The market gives instructions, and the sales force is the link between the market and the company. It is important to use them to have information about the evolution of tastes and needs to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing market.
In summary, entrepreneurs face three additional challenges to those discussed in my previous article in the management of their companies: lack of financial control, poor time management and unclear business policy. These challenges are closely related and require constant attention. By implementing robust financial control, improving time management and establishing a clear and effective business policy, entrepreneurs can significantly increase their chances of success. Successful business management requires multifaceted skills and a mindset focused on continuous improvement, and addressing these challenges effectively is essential for building solid and sustainable businesses in today’s competitive market.
Si quieres ver esta publicación en la web original de Forbes, accede aquí:José Luis González, Forbes Coaches Council Member