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Small business hurdles: Invictus Games Edition
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Small business hurdles: Invictus Games Edition 

Government Regulations – aka – Rugby

 According to a recent Sage Summit Toronto Survey, more than half (51 per cent) of respondents surveyed cited too many government regulations and/or taxes as the most common day-to-day challenge that their business faces. Just as rugby players must dodge their opponents to get to the goal, entrepreneurs must work around unforeseen or inflexible government regulations. By being quick on their feet and working well with their teams, SMEs will be able to score business success.

Customer Support – aka – Powerlifting

Customer acquisition and retention, as with powerlifting, comes down to patience and support. 45 per cent of recent survey respondents find it challenging to seek new customers, but many don’t fully realize that customer support is the key to customer success. SMEs must lift up their customers by hiring a service-oriented team to build them up and then integrating this notion companywide.

Financial/Accounting Illiteracy – aka – Road cycling

As with bicycling, the road to financial freedom is often full of curves, hills, and potholes. Financial confusion continues to be a major struggle for SMEs, with 18 per cent of survey respondents expressed wanting easier financing. Just like road cyclists though, SMEs are generally expected to obey the same rules and laws as other companies [riders], which requires extensive research, practice, and patience.

Technology Illiteracy – aka – Swimming

Swimming requires one to stay on track and focus on what’s ahead. In today’s quickly evolving landscape, those not staying up to date on the latest technology trends (AI, cloud, etc.) will find themselves struggling to stay afloat and on pace with their competitors.

Cash Flow – aka – Archery

In archery, the bowman must use precision and foresee where the target will strike. This often includes staying on top of modern practices. Such is the same with small business owners hoping to grow their businesses. It is difficult to forecast how much money a business will have or need to succeed without having the right tools in place and a keen eye on the future.

Legacy Systems – aka – Indoor Rowing

Small business owners can often get stuck in a rut that makes it feel like they’re rowing in circles. This may be due to legacy systems that are dated, confusing and creating more work than necessary, thus preventing SMEs from getting ahead. By leveraging the cloud and other emerging technologies, SMEs can get rid of many of the burdens and administrative headaches that come with running a small business (something that Sage found 39 per cent of small business owners would like to address), so that they can row their businesses forward into the future.

Time Management – aka – Wheelchair Basketball

For SMEs, managing one’s time can be a bit like a game of wheelchair basketball. In order to avoid “travelling” and other unnecessary mistakes during a fast-paced and often unpredictable business day, small businesses require cooperation, focus, agility, and coordination. When it comes to scoring in business or in basketball, teamwork makes the dream work!

Paul Struthers is executive vice-president and managing director of Sage Canada

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