Every small business, established or starting up, experiences certain small business struggles which include building the brand, creating a customer base, or time management. It can be overwhelming to start a business from scratch and maintain it from day one. You need to do your research, fund your business and of course, have a well-made business plan.
Once you make the cut, the goal now is to stay afloat. You need to have good planning, organizational, and marketing skills. Handling and understanding competition is also essential. At this point, it’s either the business sinks or swims.
As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, small businesses tend to fail incrementally. Approximately 20% of small businesses experience failure during the first year, 50% by their fifth, and by the tenth year, the number goes up to 80%. Although it is common to face small business struggles, these problems are also quite fixable.
Increasing Brand Awareness
Working your way to being a household name seems like a very daunting task. The biggest brands we know today surely got rejected and failed somewhere during their early years. But there are ways in getting your name out there that you can do this instant.
- Blogging: Having a consistent, informative blog is one of the ways to make more people recognize your brand. It helps drive traffic to your site and creates instant advertisements, especially on social media. If your blog is comprehensive, authoritative, and relevant to your target audience, you’re on your way to establishing your brand authority.
- Running Social Media Contests: Social media contests wherein people get to vote or submit photos are a great way to make your brand stand out. If they spread your link with family and friends, your brand will eventually get a strong social media presence.
- Participating in Events: This could be local and online events like a trade show, webinar, or networking event. These events will allow you to communicate with customers, thus, promoting your brand.
One of the most challenging things in growing a small business is getting customers. In order to gain more customers, you have to retain your current ones, attract new clients and reconnect with the old ones.
There are several ways to seek out and retain customers.
- Giving Out Discounts and Incentives: Introductory offers like 50% discounts and a “buy one, take one” offer sound good to an eager customer. It’s not only for the purpose of attracting them but also to show gratitude. If they are satisfied with your product or service, they may come back and become a part of your loyal customers.
- Asking for Referrals: Getting referrals can be done in several ways. Word-of-mouth strategy is one of the most common ways, wherein your customers refer their friends and family. Email is another way to ask a current customer for a referral to your site. Create a workable system to get more new referrals from your happy customers.
- Contacting Old Customers: Previous customers who aren’t currently transacting with you can be your new customers again. Reach out to them via phone or email if they haven’t been active in six months to a year. They’ll surely feel valued once they receive your invitation to your product or service.
Either you have a growing business or starting up a new one, at one point you can experience trouble balancing out things on your schedule like emails, meetings, deadlines, deliveries, and other important duties.
There are things you can do to properly fix your chaotic calendar.
- Properly Planning Your Schedule: Segregate your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule you have set and arrange things in accordance with priority. Don’t be too overwhelmed if your tasks are piled high. Carefully assess each task by feasibility and importance. By achieving small goals, it can lead to reaching bigger ones.
- Time Tracking: Increase your daily productivity by tracking time spent on every activity throughout the day. It can help you focus on your current task and you can evaluate the priority of each task. Documenting the results can help you assess which activities use up the least and most of your time.
- Taking a Break: Some people aim for higher productivity by spending the whole day working non-stop. This practice is actually counterproductive. You may be able to finish a lot of tasks but there are instances wherein you can have poor results. Spend at least 30 minutes away from the desk to relax your mind so you can plan out the rest of your day properly.
Whether you’ve been operating your business for years or if you’re just about to embark on a new endeavour, these are challenges you are bound to face at certain points. Follow the tips highlighted above and these struggles will turn into learning and rewarding experiences.