Top Challenges You’ll Face as CEO of an SME
Running any business is hard, but the task is even harder for managers of SMEs who have limited resources to rely on. As an SME CEO struggling to grow your businesses, here are a few challenges you’ll face.
Sticking to your vision
Before anyone goes into business, they have to identify a need and build a plan to solve that problem. This involves gathering as much information as possible, which isn’t easy with limited means. The constant change in the market might also lead to panic, causing many to question their vision. Seeing what a competitor is doing might sway you from your original ideas or talking to friends who have no idea what the reality is on the ground. CEOs who believe in their ideas should give them time to be tested, and if they fail, adapt to well-thought-out strategies that will yield long-term results. Sell your ideas to your employees because they would work better if they believe in your approach.
Hiring the right people
Choosing the right team is one of the most important decisions a CEO will ever make. Having brilliant employees is great, but they also have to have the right work ethic and be willing to learn. They must also respect their colleagues and buy into the culture the CEO is trying to build. The CEO of an SME might not always have access to the top talent. Still, they have the opportunity to build lasting relations with driven people who put the collective good above their interests. There’s also the small matter of remote employees from different backgrounds and cultures.
Growth and scaling
A misguided step forward can take an SME many steps back. Timing is critical when CEOs decide to produce more, take on new clients, or hire new employees. Scaling up a thriving business comes with its challenges. CEOs have to choose between prudent organic growth and raising capital to seize an opportunity. Even with good-looking accounts securing loans for SMEs can sometimes be tricky. Before CEOs decide to expand, they must weigh the costs to minimize risk. CEOs must also remember that the opportunities they turn down are just as significant as those they take.
Managing customer relations
Today’s educated customers provide different challenges to CEOs. Our uber-networked society can make a product go viral or kill it. CEOs have the task of educating their staff on how to engage customers who wield such power while maintaining other crucial relationships at every level of the business.
Staying on top of everything requires time and attention, and inevitably long hours away from friends and family. Replying to emails, taking calls, and going out on business meetings leaves limited time for learning and personal growth. CEOs should learn to prioritize so that they give each task or personal activity full attention, and then move on to the next most crucial thing.
At Export Portal, we understand what it takes to successfully run an SME – both because of our users and our personal experience. Let us make your job a little easier. Join Export Portal today and have all your international trade needs taken care of.