Obstacles are a part of life and business. Rather than allowing them to hold you back, it’s important to look for the lesson or opportunity that will lead the way around, over, or through it. Entrepreneurs do not lack determination when it comes to overcoming obstacles, so this week I posed the question –
What was your biggest business obstacle in 2010, and how did you successfully overcome it?
Our experts weighed in, sharing their biggest challenges and solutions from 2010. If you are facing what feels like an insurmountable challenge or uphill climb in your business, I hope the transparency of our panel will inspire you to find your way to success.
With revenue down 12% we chose to focus on improving our guest experiences by giving $8.88 guest rooms during the holidays to a local hospital. Resulted in staff showing a real pride of ownership which led to lower costs, happier guests staying more and finishing 2010 with our lights still on. Giving always pays off in long run.
Tony Patel (@super8villarica), President of Newport Ventures / Super 8
My biggest obstacle in 2010 was being able to market on a very small budget. We were able to overcome this by building working relationships with “like kind” businesses who helped talk about our company and product line. We also were able to build up our Facebook page to over 14,000 members for very little and that helped sell product as well.
Michael C. Podlesny (@mikethegardener), Owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC
When the release date for my published book was scheduled for November 1, 2010 and I asked my publishers were we ready to release my book and they told me yes. I changed my 8 websites to reflect that the book was available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com and it was not. I left this misleading information up for a week. People lost interest in my book because they could not buy the book and my social media credibility was infringed upon. I over came this obstacle when I requested that my interview on the TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK be aired. The station aired it worldwide on November 12, 2010. This provided the social proof that the book was definitely coming.
Kevin Benton (@fieldtriptohell), Founder of Kevin Benton Ministries
My greatest obstacle for 2011 was being in business with two partners who did not give at least 50%. We were in business for nearly two years and they did not bring in one client. So the partnership was dissolve a few days ago. The end of the partnership was the best thing that could have happened to the business. It now can flourish into what it was designed to be, a great event planning company. The most important thing that I’ve done to move forward successfully was to regain my friendship with my former partners. We were friends first and then decided to become business partners (bad mistake). There’s a reason why it’s been said not to go into business with family or friends. Another successful thing I began to do was restructure my business plan, marketing plan, and media plan.
Mattie Stevenson (@ABEventPlanners), Owner of Above & Beyond Event Planners, LLC
My company’s biggest obstacle in 2010 is being discovered. I learned there is a large market for my green products – people really like them and find them very unique. Getting it out there is a huge obstacle! Here are some of the things we have done to try to increase our visibility:
1. We have attended numerous trade shows.
2. We have handed out thousands of business cards.
3. We use Facebook.
4. We use Twitter (I personally struggle with Twitter).
5. Every product that we sell comes in packaging with our logo, web address and phone number clearly displayed.
6. We are planning to present our Marketing Plan to Winchester. We would like to enter into a licensing agreement to exclusively use Winchester bullets in our products. (We currently have a licensing agreement with Reagent Chemical to use White Flyer® Clay Targets in our clay target clocks.) I believe that having the Winchester name attached to our products would greatly increase our visibility in search engines – not to mention that the quality of their bullets is exceptional.I can’t believe I forgot a couple of key points – other things we have done to try to get our business noticed.
7. Television Commercial – We had a television commercial produced and run on our local channels in November & December.
8. Newspaper Listing in the Dallas area.
Karen Kirkham (@BulletDesigns), Co-Owner of Bullet Designs, LLC
As a small agency in a highly saturated market, competing with larger agencies was our biggest obstacle in 2010. We had to re-brand who we are and what we are about in order to stop fighting for the pennies in our backyard and go after the larger national clients. Changing our mentality took bringing on a highly skilled and motivated staff with a firm grasp on growth, quality, and retention.
Steven Picanza (@Picanza), Founder of Constant Motion Media
The big obstacle I started to overcome in 2010 (I’m still working on it!) was doing everything myself. I hired several assistants and started outsourcing to free up my time for focusing on high leverage activities. How did I do it? I realized that I simply cannot reach my goals all by myself. If I want to get there, I’m going to need help!
Stephanie Padovani (@bookmorebrides), Co-founder of Book More Brides
I began 2010 a few months into widowhood with a business focused on marriage, and the husband who co-founded it with me gone. I decided to focus on creating new materials for singles and unmarried couples, creating one new book and four new eBooks about character and relationships.
Susanne M. Alexander (@Marriage4Ever), President of Marriage Transformation LLC
My biggest obstacle is fear of not getting enough things done. The way I overcome this fear is by writing out a to do list and making sure I do the things that are important first.
Derrick Hayes (@encouragement4u), Founder of WOE Enterprises
Starting over. Starting over was definitely my biggest challenge. In 2009 I got my MBA, my career changed twice, and I moved across country. 2010 was all about redefining my life in terms that I decided. Everything was new. New career path, new business, new house, new marriage. I was the ultimate start-up. I embraced the opportunity to create my life the way I wanted it. I embraced the fear, the stress, the excitement, the disappointments. Change is not easy. So I embraced the challenge.
Lauren MacEwen (@laurencubed), Primary Strategist and Creator of SM Cubed Consulting
In overcoming a huge writer’s block to complete 90 percent of a book in my three-week schedule, I used a fictional story about my most detested twentieth-century person, Mao Zedong, to drive inspiration. I finished the book on time and showed the S.O.B.up.
Vaughn Stelzenmuller, Owner of G.V. Stelzenmuller of Omega Man Press
My sincere thanks to all our respondents this week! Openly sharing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.
This week’s question is –
What steps have you taken to become an expert in your niche?
Why should I join the discussion?
Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.
How do I get involved?
Every Monday I will post a new Question of the Week. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to the table. Using the NEW link below, please submit a one paragraph response by Saturday, and the following week I will share our community responses on my blog.
To submit your response CLICK HERE
I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!