Start-ups or small businesses face a wide range of difficulties in their early years. Some are more difficult to get through than others, and the BLS reports that 20% of startups fail within the first year. Fifty percent fail within the fifth year, and eighty percent fail within the tenth.
It’s understandable why new business owners would be nervous about the first several years, given those statistics. However, solutions exist for many of the most frequent issues that arise in a business. It’s common to need to regroup, take stock of where you are, and reconsider your approach.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common problems that small businesses face and offer some ideas for how to fix them. Here are some of the common problems that a small business might face and some ways to tackle those problems as well:
1. Acquiring New Customers
The ultimate marketing goal is to acquire new customers. It’s easier said than done. Every day, both small and big businesses face the same marketing problem: how to bring in new customers. In fact, according to research conducted by HubSpot, almost half of all marketers name lead generation as their greatest marketing difficulty. Many approaches can be taken to deal with this problem, like:
Promoting Your Products Through Search Engines
Any business that wants to succeed needs to use search engine marketing to reach its ideal customers. If you want to attract new clients in your area, a search advertising campaign is a great way to get your name out there.
Creating a Professional and Effective Website
Your website will be the end goal of nearly all of your advertising efforts. There, they can take the next step toward establishing contact with you and ultimately becoming a customer. You’ll turn away a lot of possible new clients if your website is poorly designed or difficult to navigate. You should spend money on a website that works well on mobile devices and has different ways to help customers, like a click-to-call button, a live chat feature, and a contact form. Also, ensure sure your website is optimized for search engines.
Forming a Referral Program
The people who have already purchased from you are one of your top sources of new customers. Customers who are already satisfied with your services and your company as a whole are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family if you offer an incentive for doing so through a referral program. Find out more about implementing a referral program for your clients.
2. Raising Brand Awareness
To attract new customers, spreading the word about your company’s existence is essential. That’s why it’s crucial to gett people familiar with your brand. But this can be hard for a small company to do because it has to compete with bigger companies and other local companies that offer similar goods and services. Especially considering the diversity of people’s research habits. Knowing the appropriate tactics is all it takes to boost brand recognition. Try some of these-
Running Display Ads
People need to be exposed to information about a company seven to ten times before taking any action based on it. Place display ads for your company on popular websites to increase brand recognition.
Creating an Email Newsletter
As well as attracting new customers, email marketing helps you keep your current customers in the loop. If you send out a newsletter on a regular basis and include helpful content, company news, or special offers, you can increase brand recognition and attract new customers.
Being Active on Social Media
54% of social media users are looking for local businesses or services. If you have a social media presence and regularly provide interesting content to your target audience, you can boost your company’s profile and possibly even turn some of your virtual fans into paying clients.
3. Disbursement of Marketing Budget
After deciding on a marketing budget, it’s time to put in the work to spread that budget across all the channels where your business belongs. Because budgets are set up and spent differently for each channel, it might be hard to figure out which strategy will work best for your business. Some solutions to this problem are provided below.
Establishing Clear Marketing Objectives
Your marketing objectives might be broken down by channel, strategy, campaign, or the whole thing. But if you know where you want to go, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out the kind of advertising campaign (and the associated expenditures) that will bring you there.
Measuring Campaign Performance Across Channels
If you keep tabs on your marketing outcomes, you can see where your money is being put to good use and where you might want to make some adjustments (or increase for better results).
Using Outsourcing Services as Required
Small businesses can mitigate this problem by employing outside help with marketing. A marketing service provider can help you decide where and how to spend your marketing dollars and then distribute those funds most effectively.
4. Identifying your Target Audience (and how to reach them)
Small businesses also often have trouble identifying their target market and how to reach them. It’s important to know this, though. With it, you would be able to see a real return on investment from your marketing efforts. Here are some ways to get around this problem and learn more about your target audience.
Specifying Your Target Audience
Your intended audience consists of those who are likely to purchase from you. You can get a head start in determining who you want to contact if you provide them with basic information about your target market, such as their demographics, hobbies, and behaviors. (Here are 11 examples of target markets that can help you out.)
Determining the Online Preferences of Your Target Audience
Reaching your target audience is the next step after identifying them. One good place to start is by learning where they hang out online. Do they prefer reading the news or specialized blogs, or do they spend most of their time on social media platforms like TikTok or Snapchat? You’ll better understand which promotional avenues to pursue if you can answer them.
Using Multiple Channels at Once
Cross-channel marketing remains superior since consumers’ online activities span numerous platforms. So, you can increase brand recognition by giving your target audience the same experience across all channels, no matter where they are.
5. Evaluation of Marketing Efforts
The success of a marketing strategy can be hard to gauge when there are so many moving parts. Some solutions to this problem are provided below.
Being Aware of Important and Necessary Indicators
Some measures are more crucial than others. You’re probably more interested in how many leads your search advertising campaigns to bring in than in how many times your ad was shown. Focusing on the essential marketing indicators can help you assess your campaigns’ performance.
Staying on Top of Reporting
Letting things slip when you’re a busy business owner is easy. But one of them shouldn’t be your marketing reports. When marketing efforts are left unchecked, money is wasted, and poor outcomes are produced. (Unified reporting comes in handy here so that you don’t have to manually compile and evaluate data from a gazillion separate places.)
Implementing a Customer Relationship Management System
The best marketing in the world will only help your bottom line if you can turn your marketing leads into paying clients. Using a customer relationship management system (CRM) will let you track and follow up with leads so that you can get the most out of your marketing efforts.
6. Selecting Appropriate Tools
Managing a company is a complex endeavor with many moving parts. There is a lot to remember. Luckily, many resources are available that help simplify procedures and reduce the burden of some of the tasks on your seemingly endless to-do list. Some solutions to this problem are provided below.
Figuring out Where Your Tools will be Most Useful
Are you having issues making social media images? Canva is a program designed specifically for this purpose. In need of a tool to assist in the invoicing and accounting processes. As it happens, you can do that with the right equipment. In your firm, you should be on the lookout for places where the use of a tool, whether free or paid, could simplify and speed up processes.
Developing a Proper Budget for Software and Tools
Once you’ve figured out which areas could benefit from additional software or tools, you can start planning your financial allocations accordingly. Is there anything you’d be willing to pay more if it meant fixing a problem at work?
Conducting Research to Find Free Tools and Resources
The internet is rife with no-cost resources. Ultimately, it boils down to selecting the proper ones. Start with a Google search for “best free tools for X,” then read up and have a look at some reviews before giving anything a try.
7. Successful Time Management
According to the results of one poll, 43% of business owners find that “always being on the job” is the most difficult aspect of their profession. 33% of business owners in a recent survey put in more than 50 hours each week, and 25% put in more than 60. Responsibility and time commitment are high costs of running or owning a business. But there are methods to make space for yourself and take a break now and then:
Stop Taking Up Too Many Tasks
Consider finding ways to outsource the parts of running your business that you aren’t passionate about or good at.
Having a Proper Work-life balance
It’s easier to say than to do this. However, you should take care not to exhaust yourself while running your company. In fact, “avoiding burnout” was named by 40% of business owners as their biggest issue. Make time for yourself to relax and enjoy yourself or to get out with friends and family. (Learn practical methods for establishing a healthy equilibrium between work and personal life.)
Put Together a Competent Workforce by Hiring Wisely
Having a trustworthy team who can manage your business (nearly) as you would when you’re not there can be a huge weight off your shoulders.
It’s never easy to start a new business and run it smoothly. No matter the size and type of a business, there are certain problems that any start up has to face during the early days and later. There are marketing problems, logistical issues, and so on. But every problem can be taken care of in certain manners and one can keep making their business on a successful path and achieve their business goals by solving those problems in the proper way. The abovementioned problems are some of the most common problems that every small and even big business owners face, and you can go for the said measures to deal with them conveniently and successfully.