As a business owner, you are constantly on the lookout for ways to help your company grow and succeed. One way to do this is to be aware of common challenges that many businesses contend with, and then be proactive about making sure they do not happen to you or taking the necessary steps to improve the situation.

For example, the following four issues, when not properly managed, can cause problems for business owners.

Supply Chain Management

There are a number of reasons to want to be sure your supply chain management and strategies are up to par. Having the high-quality supplies you need at all times will allow your employees to work more efficiently, and you won’t run the risk of disappointing your valued customers by running out of your products. Unfortunately, working with only one supplier who is not reliable and/or sells you subpar items can throw some serious sand in the gears.

Honestly assess each and every one of your vendors and suppliers, and don’t fall into the trap of outsourcing certain supplies from overseas vendors who might be charging less for products that ultimately turn out to be inferior. Stick with local and reputable suppliers for your supply chain only, and if anyone is not pulling their weight, replace them with another company.

Keeping Tabs on Your Cash Flow

Many business owners have only a rough idea of their daily, weekly and monthly inputs and outputs of cash. In addition, if you are the owner of a small business that is relatively new, you might be so focused on paying off any debts that you end up with less cash on hand than you may need. As The Balance Small Business notes, creating a monthly cash budget is a great place to start to keep track of your company’s finances. By regularly analyzing your cash flow, you can then be better about accurately budgeting the money you can use for different parts of your business. As you take control of your company’s cash flow, remember that it is different from profit, which is what you will have left over once you pay your various obligations.

Waste in Your Business

In this case, “waste” does not mean trash, but rather anything in your company that is not adding value to your customers or employees. Common examples of eliminating waste include finding ways to speed up any market or service, making sure your website is functioning as quickly and efficiently as possible and if you have a brick-and-mortar store, making sure that the layout is user friendly for customers, and that your warehouse is organized in a logical fashion that makes it easy for your staff to move around quickly.

Staying on Top of Current Trends and Events

If 2020 taught business owners anything, it is how global events can change your company in a heartbeat. You probably had to do some pivoting once the pandemic took hold, and while you might be pining away for things to return to a pre-COVID normal, it is wise to realize the importance of continuing to stay on top of current trends and events. For instance, if a certain product or service is suddenly not selling as well anymore, you may have to realize that customers no longer have an interest in it and to change up your inventory. Or, if some of your employees who have been working from home wish to continue to do so, or your customers would still like curbside pickup and delivery options, it may be a good idea to continue to allow these options.

Knowing the Challenges Is Half the Battle

Being aware of common issues that plague business owners, and then looking for them occurring in your own company is a great way to stay ahead of these challenges, as well as help your business to grown and succeed. From being on top of your entire supply chain and getting a solid handle on your cash flow to looking for any and all areas where things are not as efficient as they should be and being willing to adapt when necessary, you may find that 2021 is one of your best years yet.