The most frequently reported biggest obstacles were:
- Competition in the market (15 per cent of SME employers),
- Regulations (14 per cent),
- Tax, VAT, PAYE, NI and business rates (12 per cent),
- The economy (ten per cent) and
- Cash flow (ten per cent)
- Recruitment problems (six per cent)
- Skills shortages (four per cent)
I realise that the report, published in February 2008 is looking at the period before the recession, but I was surprised at the items included. While regulations and tax are irritations, I was expecting much more commercial issues to come through involved with managing the business.
I am running a survey on a Squidoo lens - Business Profitability about the biggest business problems and have the following results (at September 14th 2009)
- Everything depends on me. I don't have the systems and processes so the business runs like a well oiled machine. 29.4%
- I don't have control of the key numbers. I am uncertain how the business is performing or where the highest priority problems are. 20.6%
- I find that generating leads from new prospective customers is very difficult. 11.8%
- My staff drive me crazy. I find it difficult to recruit and manage my employees. 8.8%
- I don't have a compelling vision of the future of my business over the next 2 to 5 years. 5.9%
- I am unsure of my market position and how I can develop a strategy to delight my customers and beat my competitors. 5.9%
- I struggle to convert leads from prospective customers into paid for orders.5.9%
- I have too many customers who only buy once and I need to develop more sales to people who have bought before. 5.9%
- Red tape and legal compliance issues. 5.9%
I would welcome your thoughts so please leave a comment below and take part in the survey on the Business Profitability Squidoo page.My Thoughts On The Obstacles To Business Success
I realise that the questions are different, the obstacles to success and the problems that hold back business profitability and the frame for the questions is also different but I am surprised at the variation.
The official obstacles to business success seem to blame things outside the business.
I don't think entrepreneurs think like that.
To own a small business means you have to believe that you can make a difference and win because the answers lie within you.
In contrast poor performers and people with an employee mentality generally blames others for the lack of success. They see problems as outside of their control and believe themselves to be victims of the circumstances.