Dec 20, 2020
6 challenges every small business faces
Every business, small or large, faces multiple challanges. Small businesses particularly face many chanllenges and problems. Overcoming them is the key factor that separates the ones that fail and the ones that manage to push through.
All companies and organizations based on the industry they operate, face unique challanges that they must solve. Coming up with a new great product, investing on research and development, providing new services, experimenting with new materials etc are all decisions that keep businesses afloat.
Some of these challenges span sectors and industries and are common among different companies and organizations.
All businesses strive to maintain top-quality relationships with their customer base, keep their brands relevant, generate more leads and make their day-to-day operations easier.
Facing and overcoming any obstacles that arise is what sets a good business apart from its competitors.
In this blog post, we will discuss about some of the common challenges that affect businesses today, and also share some ideas on how to address them.
First, lets define on what we mean with "challange": In the business world, a challange is a situation that threatens to slow down or even derail the pursuit of success. To overcome these challanges, hard work, commitment and great leadership are required. Here are some of the most common challanges:
- Finding customers
- Providing great customer experience
- Retaining customers
- Building a reputable brand
- Leverage technology
When it comes to the most common challenges that all businesses face, then finding customers then definitely tops that list.
Having a solid customer acquisition strategy is an essential component for any business. Without it, you're going to seriously struggle to grow your business in any kind of meaningful way. That said, one of the most difficult parts of scaling any business is actually figuring out which channel is the most sustainable for bringing through new customers.
This part usually takes a lot of experimenting to get it right. Some strategies that work well for some industries, might not work very well for your business. Spending time getting it just right will be rewarding for your business in both short and long term.
Here are some ideas to help you get your customer acquisition game to the next level:
- Ask for referrals
- Try paid ads that target your ideal customer persona
- Engage with the community
- Offer discounts and incentives for new customers
- Improve your website and consider blogging
Providing great customer experience
For any successful business, developing and selling a good product or service is only half the battle. Providing your customers with good customer support is just as important.
Lots of small businesses make the common mistake of not giving their customers the service they need. Initially they feel that it consumes to much time that they may use that for other purposes like managing stock and selling more products. After some time they come to realize that customer support should have been their first priority. Providing great customer experience has many benefits for you business.
- Be friendly
- Show empathy
- Try to understand your customers perspective
- Considering taking a small loss as a long term investment
- Never stop improving
- Leverage technology
It’s cheaper to get current customers to make a repeat purchase than it is to find new customers. It’s true for most of the businesses.
Customer retention is the collection of activities a business uses to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer.
Customer retention strategies enable you to both provide and extract more value from your existing customer base. You want to ensure the customers you worked so hard to acquire stay with you, have a great customer experience, and continue to get value from your products.
Here are some strategies you can start using immediately to increase your customer retention:
- Encourage your customers to open an account on your platform
- Provide great customer experience (discussed above)
- Start a customer's loyalty program
- Send engaging emails to customers
- Send offers and campaigns specifically to your existing customers
Building a reputable brand
A recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets to a company.
According to a Nielsen survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.
Small businesses often find themselves competing against big brands with devoted customers and huge marketing budgets. They need to find creative ways to get in front of their customers.
To avoid being perceived as unknown, you need to stay present to your audience and gain their trust. Here are some steps for good branding:
- Be consistent
- Establish trust
- Invest in good design
- Provide quality products or services
- Considering having your own mobile app, website and webshop
Whether your business has just got started or you are on the industry for a long time, having a strong online presence for your brand is a must.
In fact, 97% of people learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else.
Marketing is a concentrated effort to do push your brand across a variety of platforms and hope that enough makes it through to your customer. Customers need to hear your message several times, so they get used to your brand.
Here are some simple steps to help you market your business:
- Have a modern looking website
- Leverage social media
- Create local awareness and establish a network
- Send offers and create campaigns
The business landscape continues to be shaped by new technologies. From customer relationship management platforms to online booking, technology has the power to drive efficient operations, enable effective communication and connect businesses of all sizes with their customers. For small businesses in particular, technology, and the connectivity it enables, is critical to growth, giving small business owners the ability to better understand, communicate with and deliver value to those they serve.
Here are some of the day-to-day operations your business can leverage technology:
- Showcase your business information and your services
- Sell your products online
- Schedule and manage appointments online
- Write content once and publish to multiple platforms
- Scheduled notifications to your customers
- Live chat with your customers
Challenges are inevitable for every kind of business. Small to large, regardless of the industry they operate in. Small businesses in the particular struggle the most.
There are always going to be challenges, but how you approach them, work to overcome them and learn from them that will ultimately define your company and its overall success.
Today, all businesses should leverage technology to keep up with the growing customer demands. Be available to answer questions, reply to online reviews, offer great customer experience. Branding and marketing will help your business land new clients and generate more leads. Great products and services will help your business retain your existing customers.
Using the tips in this article, hopefully will give you a better perspective of these challenges and some ideas on how to address them.
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