While there is no denying that the last few years have been a hurdle for everyone, small businesses were especially impacted. On top of navigating the currently uncertain business landscape, there is an increased prevalence of failure in the first year of small businesses. Here are some challenges that every small business faces, and how you can conquer them:
Challenge: When it comes to finding customers, it’s crucial to have a target. In the pursuit of trying to target everyone, you will target no one. With high customer acquisition costs and limited resources, there is no wonder why this avenue can be very challenging for small businesses.
Solution: Digital marketing is a growing strategy for small businesses. This is due to the strong potential reach and the cost efficiency of leveraging it. To best use digital marketing, it is key that your organization determines your target customer and builds their buyer persona. This will not only help you find your customers but help you understand how your customers can best be reached.
Challenge: Brand awareness is especially challenging for small businesses. Unlike large corporations, you have yet to establish a household name with brand associations. Building up brand awareness is what gives your business a reputation and instills trust, which can help increase sales and generate interest in your organization.
Solution: Social media is a powerful tool for organizations. Social media influencers have built a following by knowing how to effectively reach their audience and build a sense of community. Partnering with influencers can help you target a group of like-minded consumers. "Influencer marketing" is often leveraged as a way to generate interest in goods and services. Finding the right influencer for your organization is key. This relates back to our first point of identifying your customers and where they are.
Hiring Talented People
Challenge: Hiring the right people can be a challenge for small businesses. The cost to recruit and acquire talent can be prohibitive for small businesses. It is important to find individuals who are the right fit for your organization's culture. Sharing similar goals in terms of quality, mindset, attitude, and efforts can affect your organization's social cohesion. By choosing the right employees, you can reduce employee turnover and optimize employee retention.
Solution: Over the last few years, employee needs have changed drastically. There has been a demand for more hybrid work options, and a desire for workplaces to prioritize employees' well-being. Small businesses can overcome the challenges of employee retention through mentoring, being mindful of mental health, and overall promoting growth in the workplace. It is important to remember that your own organization’s brand and brand associations play a role in attracting talent. Being more intentional and careful in selecting, also attracting candidates to your organization is key. However, the process extends beyond hiring and into the actual retention of your employees too.
Of course, there are no one-size fits all solutions for businesses. Every organization will encounter problems that will require unique solutions for the context of their business. Being agile and responsive to the constantly evolving surrounding business landscape is key to helping you conquer your business challenges and be prepared for future ones.