We know first-hand how difficult it can be to not only start, but sustain, a small business. With what seems like an endless list of reasons to give up and obstacles standing in your way, business owners have seen it all. Here’s the thing though: every problem is only temporary- and some can be overcome faster than you may realize. We want to help you hurdle the roadblocks and springboard to success faster than expected by not only discussing common challenges for small business owners- but also how to fix them.
Starting a new business- or continuously keeping an existing one afloat- can seem like a daunting and lonely venture. Not only do you want to find support amongst likeminded entrepreneurs, but also networking helps to grow your brand awareness and public’s understanding of your service offerings. This can be extremely hard to manage however, when most small businesses require consistent work inside the actual business- and not out mingling.
FIX IT: Find monthly events that make sense with your schedule and commit to getting out into the community to interact with fellow business owners. Not only will you begin to build a support system, but others will learn more about your business and be able to more easily recommend you.
Other ways to consider doing this are to join a business networking organization, such as Business Network International, which works for the purpose of highlighting various industries and creating business within the group.
2. Building A List
While this may have been done by paper and mail years ago, now marketers are turning to e-mail lists to engage customers and grow their businesses. The problem here is that if you don’t use it, you lose it in many ways, losing the people that were once active on your list- and not far from buying your services or products.
FIX IT: Forget “buying lists”- that tactic is outdated, distasteful and most times ineffective. Instead, try out the opt-in method, creating valuable content that engages your audience, making it an easy choice for them to sign up to learn more.
With a warm or engaged list you can begin to send out sales funnels or nurture sequences that get in front of your customers instead of going straight to the trash folder.
3. Getting New Customers
This may sound like a no-brainer: build the business and they will come- but rarely is that the case. Small and large companies alike have to work to continue to bring in fresh customers, all while keeping their current base. Without new customers, sales slow, and eventually the business runs the possibility of shuttering.
FIX IT: It all comes down to zoning in on your target avatar for business- or your ideal client. This is the made-up persona you determine through market research and assessments that helps you to figure out their triggers, pain points and buying patterns. Without this information you’re essentially fishing in the dark for customers you don’t understand in the first place.
4. Hiring and Training
Managing any team is difficult, but especially so when turnover is a major factor. Retaining a strong employee base is one of the pillars a successful business stands on to set itself apart from the others. But hiring and training new team members takes a lot of patience, dedication and time for long-term results.
FIX IT: Hiring for the short-term is like putting a Band-Aid on a gun shot wound- it simply won’t work. Instead, it takes a lot of upfront effort to not only figure out what the position is that you want to hire for, but also how this position needs to be trained to successfully assist the team.
Training is a major pitfall for most companies and when lacking- as it usually is- opens up opportunities for greater issues down the road. To combat this, we highly recommend creating a solid training process that incorporates company values, expectations and tools to understand the role or tasks.
5. Scaling Successfully
Finally, everyone can admit that growth is good for business; small business owners need to see consistent progress to continue scaling in the right directions. However, often business owners find themselves at a crossroads, unable to provide quality products and services with the rapid growth they are experiencing.
FIX IT: Outsourcing parts of your business to other companies or team members can go a long way towards ensuring that the jobs that need to get done are being done so professionally and accurately. Focusing on the right details instead of everything at once will also help to maintain a healthy balance inside of your business. By allowing others to work inside their strengths- i.e.: hiring a marketing team, copywriter, business manager- it will give you back the time needed to focus and attack the parts of business that you truly love and excel at yourself.
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Did you ever stop to think about how much of your TV show airtime is actual show… and how much is really scattered commercials? Sure, it says it has a runtime of 60 minutes, but if you think you’re sitting there, soaking up all the sexy drama for a full hour, you my friend, have another thing coming. Ads are everywhere, from TV, to radio, to magazines- and definitely, more than ever, on our computer screens. The marketing industry is moving and shaking like never before and your business needs it NOW to stay toe-to-toe with your competitors. If it’s not YOUR ad that someone is reading- and sharing- it will be another business that is soaking up the glorified spotlight. But with the circus that is running a business, one more To-Do may simply be your breaking point. So pass the torch to 2Ten Marketing and let us help you get your business in front of current- and potential- customers today!