Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Thomas Jepsen, Founder and CEO at Contractor Quotes:

What does your company do?

Our company helps homeowners in the process of remodeling their home. Many homeowners end up having a bad experience when the time for home improvement comes around, and it is our mission to help them in whatever way possible. That includes providing guides on the different projects they might consider undertaking, but it also means we're there to help them find the right contractor. Since contractors generally have more expertise than homeowners do, our job is to help level the playing field.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I'm the CEO and founder of the company, and my role is to make sure all the different projects stay on track. This involves a myriad of different things including data analysis, people management, cash flow management and more. What I enjoy the most about my role is that I get to paint the picture, and decide the direction in which the company is going. At the end of the day, if the company fails, I simply did not do a sufficiently good job. I also truly enjoy how all the different numbers merge and convey a story that can be analyzed and acted upon.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

The biggest challenges with this company is to make sure homeowners know about our platform. We drive traffic in a number of different ways, although most our efforts go into search engine optimization. This means that we want to be the ones showing up at the top, when someone searches for home improvement related queries. Not only does it mean that we need to actively find those specific search terms people are using, we also need to combine it with the intent of the searcher at the given point in time. For example, if someone finds the platform by searching for bathroom remodeling ideas, then they're likely very early in the process, and the content should be structured in a way so it addresses this.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

We are heading into an era where the ability to program will be as important as the ability to read. I would encourage a younger version of myself to start learning how to program at an earlier stage in life. Not only would it have allowed me to create a lot of functions myself that would have played a big role for the business, it would also have given me a better understanding of what to be aware of for those projects that would've been outsourced irregardless. Coding truly is a skill everyone should pick up.