There’s no question that running a small business comes with challenges. While some problems might be unique to your industry, others are extremely common, no matter what type of business you run.
Overcoming these problems can position your business for faster growth and stability. To put your business on the path to success, learn how to work through these five small business challenges.
1. Finding customers
Your business won’t be very successful without customers to frequent it. Without widespread brand recognition, your small business might struggle to find the right customers who will enjoy your products or services.
The first step to solving this problem is to narrow down your target customer segments. Conduct market research, craft customer personas and hone in on the specific groups you’re trying to reach. Then, you can begin to craft messages for them.
If you’re a brand-new business with wide market appeal, you might benefit from an Every Door Direct Mail campaign, reaching all homes within a certain geographic area. Most businesses will need to make their marketing more specific and use a variety of channels, including social media, mailed postcards and storefront signs or banners to bring customers in.
2. Building brand awareness
After getting customers’ attention, you want to make sure they remember your business and return to it again. This step, building brand awareness, is where many businesses struggle, especially in a crowded marketplace.
General marketing efforts can get your business name in front of potential customers and generate awareness. To help customers remember you, you’ll want to make sure you have strong, consistent branding across every touchpoint. Develop your brand identity and story — starting with a recognizable logo and ending with a unique brand voice — and use your marketing materials to communicate that. Building brand awareness is a long-term effort, but the more marketing you do, the more it will pay off!
3. Time management
Small business owners wear many hats. As the head of the business, you need to fit a lot into a few short hours each day. Managing your time appropriately can be difficult, and getting distracted with small tasks can take away from time better spent working on growing your business.
One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is to identify the areas where you spend the most time each day, then explore ways to make these tasks more efficient. If you can’t reduce the time a task takes, perhaps you can delegate it to a team member or outsource it. Pay the most attention to menial tasks that aren’t necessary for a business owner to do, such as filing paperwork, managing mail or copying and scanning documents. Accomplishing many small tasks with just one stop at your local PostNet center will help you manage time even more efficiently!
4. Hiring and retaining quality staff
As your small business grows, you’ll inevitably need to hire a few employees to lend a hand in your operations. However, finding the right people for the job — and then getting them to stick around — isn’t as easy as it seems.
Small business employees tend to be as attracted to a strong company mission and set of values as they are to good pay and benefits. Communicate to potential employees why your company would be great to work for, then look for people who share your values. Because the hiring and onboarding process can be expensive and time-consuming, don’t settle for the first applicants you find. Search for great ones who are passionate and qualified (and remember that a good attitude is more important and hard to come by than any skills that can be taught).
Once you have built your team, make sure your employees want to stay with you by making them feel valued. You might show your appreciation with branded gifts or other perks to help build loyalty. Most importantly, invite their feedback and listen to their concerns to ensure they have a positive work environment.
5. Building a marketing plan
Most business owners know that marketing is important, but it can be challenging to know exactly where to start. Building a marketing plan takes time, effort and energy, and you want to be certain it’ll pay off in the end.
Working with marketing experts is a great way to build your business’s initial marketing plan and create a starting point for future efforts. A partner like PostNet can help you determine the right marketing tactics for your industry and location and develop a multi-channel approach that reaches customers and delivers the results you’re after.
If you’re looking to overcome challenges in your business with signage, creating promotional products, or kickstarting your marketing, consult your local PostNet center and learn more about the print, design and shipping solutions that can help you succeed.