When was the last time you had a really good feeling about how your small business was doing?

In the event it has been a period of time now since things have truly gone well, have you been looking at possible solutions? When the term solutions comes up, this means those that are for the long run, not just temporarily patch things up.

For many small business owners, that feeling of gloom and doom can set in sooner rather than later, leaving them wondering if even getting into business in the first place was smart.

Before you end up in that rather gloomy setting, look to see why your business is currently struggling. Nine times out of 10, there are steps you can take to turn things around before it is too late.

Learn and Act

So that you can do everything within your power to get your small business pointed in the right direction, keep in mind these things to watch for and ultimately deal with:

  • Patterns forming

For starters, what patterns have been forming in recent times as they relate to your business challenges?

Although some small business owners can literally be caught off guard by problems that arise (sudden changes in the overall economy, rogue employee or employees sabotaging the business etc.), there are a number of patterns one can follow to see things are headed in the wrong direction.

Be cognizant of not only what is going on inside your small business world, but the outside world too.

  • Customer actions

In terms of what your customers do, some things once again are oftentimes out of your control.

That said you can control a number of customer activities and/or closely monitor them to see if any or all will end up hurting your small business.

If you’ve been dealing with the problem of customer chargebacks, you know all too well how damaging they can be to your company.

For those small business owners not fully immersed in this costly issue, learn how chargebacks can really add up, ultimately costing your business where it hurts the most, in the wallet or purse.

Even though some chargebacks are not of the malicious kind, others are meant exactly to try and get away with fraud. When it comes to those in the latter group, you need to fight back.

Not only educate yourself on what to look for, but also how to all but stop this problem in the first place. When you do, you and your business finances will be less taxed.

  • Employee issues

If you are the only employee of your small business, you may in fact be better off over time.

Sure you will likely work twice as hard in running your business, but you also know that it is you who you must rely on to get things done. This means not having to worry about some employees ultimately turning out to be incompetent, lazy, perhaps even working against you over time.

When hiring employees (and managing them for the matter), do your best to get the most productive ones out there.

By doing so, your small business stands a much better chance of many healthy years of production, not ones where you’re steering a big red financial mess square in the face.

  • Unfair competition

Finally, you knew when you opened your small business that there would more than likely be competitors you’d have to go up against.

That being the case, you likely have no problem with fair competition. The problem you are going to have is when some competitors try and purposely cheat you out of your fair share of the consumer market.

False ads, unsubstantiated rumors etc. about your small business can ultimately lead to you losing money.

Although you can’t obsess about the competition, keep your eyes and ears open, looking and listening for anything that sounds untrue, even libelous regarding your brand. If you do come across such activities, do your best to repudiate and nip them in the bud before they take on a life of their own.

Running a small business these days can be quite a task, but you likely have the tools and ingenuity at your disposal to avoid being left in the read and for dead.