We managed to pinpoint 5 challenges every small business faces every day and solved them for you.
During your first few years in business, you will come up against several challenges, some will be harder than others.
With 20% of small businesses failing in their first year and 30% failing in their second year. It means that your business has a 50% chance of survival during its first 5 years.
However, many of the reasons why businesses fail, are common business challenges that can be fixed.
When faced with a similar dilemma you must take a step back and look at the entire picture. Only then you will be able to understand your pain points and re-think your strategy.
We want to help, so here are 5 challenges every small business faces, and advice on how to fix them.
5 Challenges Every Small Business Faces (And How to Fix Them)
1) Finding Customers
This isn’t just a small business challenge since customers should be the foundation for your business. You need a strong foundation in order to build a solid and stable business. Marketers at all companies don’t wait for leads to come in, even for big companies like Apple, Toyota etc.
Successful companies have people working hard every day to find new customers. If your business isn’t capable of finding new customers it will eventually die. Keeping existing customers happy is essential, but it is not enough to run a successful business.
Finding customers can be particularly difficult, for small businesses that aren’t household names. There are several channels you can use to target new customers, but success comes from knowing which ones to target. You need to know which methods to focus on, and how to prioritise and allocate resources.
How To Find Customers
Your first step should always be to start by figuring out who your ideal customer actually is.
“Throwing a net hoping that you will catch fish doesn’t matter if what you need is beef.” Make sure that you are spreading the word to the right people.
You to know what your customers look like, what they do, where they spend time online. That’s where a customer persona comes in handy. (Here are some free persona templates to get you started) Well targetted personas will dramatically improve your results.
Once you’ve built your personas you can now use them to get your products in front of the correct customer. By placing them in the places they spend time at and with messages that they care about.
2) Hiring Talented People
Recruitment can often be one of the biggest challenges for a small business. Just onboarding costs on average £400, but factor in recruitment and training costs and you are looking at around £4000.
But as a CEO it is impossible to do everything yourself, that’s why you need to find the right people. You need someone that is excited about what you are doing because your company future depends on it.
How To Find The Right Employees
Start by not hiring with a short-term mindset. Sending out a job description, screening applicants and making a decision contributes to the high costs of hiring.
That’s why it is important to invest a significant amount of time in the hiring process.
Don’t just settle for good employees when you can find great ones, even if that means it will take longer. It’s the great employees that will help you take your company to the next level.
Do you remember the customer personas we talked about previously? Well, there are also candidate personas. You should create one per role but you should keep the underlying traits that relate to the company culture.
Something that sometimes gets neglected is to make your company attractive to the candidates. This way you can get them excited to learn more about the company and the prospect of working there.
When done correctly this will allow you to build a recruiting pipeline that gives hiring the same predictability as sales. The final result is the perfect candidate every time.
3) Building An Email List
Did you know that your email database degrades by about 22.5% every year? That means that you have to increase it by almost a quarter YOY just to maintain it. This will add strain on your marketing team to find new ways to constantly add new email contacts to the list.
What some companies do to fight this is buying an email list, and this is a terrible idea. I can’t stress enough how bad this is so here is some extra reading on why NOT TO DO IT.
If that was your current strategy, then it’s time to regroup and find a better way to use your resources.
How To Build An Email List
Instead of buying or renting lists, start using opt-in email lists. This list will be made up of subscribers who voluntarily give you their email and agree to receive your communications.
One great way to build an opt-in list is by creating great blog content and making it easy to subscribe. Which, at the same time, will help you increase your online presence and build up search authority.
You can even revive older lists by creating an engaging opt-in campaign.
4) Lead Generation
Another challenge businesses have is lead generation, or generating enough leads to grow their sales.
If that sounds like you, you are are not alone, 9 in 10 marketers struggle with the same issue.
Generating high quantity and quality leads is a marketing teams main objective. A successful lead generation strategy turns visitors into prospective customers, and keeps the funnel full at all times.
How To Generate Leads
You can apply AIDA to pretty much all of your marketing efforts.
Attention – Either the product, the leaflet, the advert, banner, whatever it is, must grab their attention.
Interest – Once you have grabbed their attention, you must maintain it, their interest in the product or service must be aroused.
Desire – This is when you persuade them that they want to own the product. The advertisement or the product must create that desire to purchase.
Action – As soon as the desire to buy is aroused you must now transform it into action.
If you use the above approach in conjunction with the customer personas, your conversion rate will rise. You will now be able to transform strangers into buyers, by taking them on this journey. You now know how to attract, and convert leads, all that rests is closing the deal.
5) Quality VS Growth
This is a tricky one especially since every situation is different. This is the type of challenge that can arise in all areas of business.
Some times business executives will push towards growth at all costs, but this isn’t always a good idea.
If you grow quickly, you will need to hire quickly, this will overwhelm the team with training new people.
And if you don’t train people well, it can end up backfiring.
How To Balance Quality and Growth
Depending on where you are in your business ‘lifecycle’, the scale will tip one way or the other. Obsessing over product perfection is never a good idea, it is much better to obsess over customer service. Put your fears aside and launch a product that isn’t perfect, you can always update and improve it.
Once your products are in the hands of your customer you will learn much faster what they want. You can be focused on product, competitors or technology, but focusing on customers is by far the most profitable.
These are just 5 challenges every small business faces every day, there are many others out there.
Are there other challenges your business is facing that you want to bring up?
Share with us in the comments below — and don’t forget to share your ideas for solutions, too!
Read more killer articles that we put up weekly here.
We have solved these challenges for several of our clients. If you would like us to help you reach out.