In today’s competitive market, starting a small business is hard enough, let alone growing it. Small business owners have to juggle historical information, current priorities, future planning, and all of the unexpected interruptions each day brings. Finding time to market your business, or merely to figure out how to market it, is not easy. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most common marketing challenges business owners face today and present some helpful tips and resources for overcoming them.
Whether your small business has just been born, or you’re still getting over the first few years’ hurdles, making enough money to sustain your business—let alone market it—can be a challenge. Between the endless overhead that seems to continue piling up, clients stalling and running behind on payments, and the ever pressuring need to stay relevant in your field, making consistent money as a small business isn’t easy.
While you might have trouble with the amount of money coming into your business, you can always work on managing the amount of money you do have. You can:
• Get more organized: How to Create a Marketing Budget
• Reduce the amount of money you spend on marketing: How to Save Money With Marketing
• Perform low-cost marketing activities: 18 Ways to Promote Your Business—With or Without Money
• Stretch every penny you do spend on marketing: How to Get the Most of Your Marketing Spend
Related eBook: Marketing Without a Budget
There are so many options available to consumers today, as well as resources for researching and comparing businesses side by side. With so much noise and competition, business owners are constantly challenged with creating a name for themselves. To get your business to become the choice of your target audience, try these approaches:
• Develop your reputation to stand out to customers: How to Build a Strong Reputation
• Distinguish your business from competitors: How to Distinguish Your Business from Competitors
• Focus on a niche: Niche Marketing Strategy
You may think that targeting a broad group of people would make it easier to find customers, but this is not the case. The more people you try to appeal to, the more diluted your content and your value proposition become. Customers are out there, it’s just a matter of taking the righta pproach to find them. To help overcome the challenge of finding customers, start here:
• Identify your target audience: How to Identify Your Target Audience
• Use multiple channels to build your audience: How to Build an Audience
• Look into any industry-specific tactics for finding customers: How to Get Clients
While it’s up to you to identify your target audience and find customers, it’s not entirely up to you to proactively reach out to every customer. Getting found by customers is a challenge many business owners face. With so many people using online channels to find what they are looking for today, it’s crucial to make sure your business is discoverable to people searching for it.
• Get on the first page of Google: How to Get on the First Page of Google
• Get listed in directories: Where (and How) to List Your Business Online
• Make your business attractive: 5 Ways to Attract Customers
Part of the benefit of finding the right customers is that they will stick with you long after the first purchase. However, this doesn’t mean that once you’ve found the right customer you can just kick back and watch them return. Keep in mind also that there are new businesses and apps popping up every day, which have the potential to take away even your most loyal customers in a heartbeat. So how do you keep your best customers?
• Come up with a customer retention plan: Customer Retention and Loyalty Programs: What You Need to Know
• Stay in touch with customers: 10 Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Customers
Business growth is the goal, but scaling with that growth means keeping up with the increase of tasks to complete, relationships to manage, and expenses to track. Expansion is both an indicator and result of business growth, but knowing when and how to do it is a challenge. When faced with expansion challenges, be sure to:
• Carefully consider all of the factors involved: 6 Things to Consider When Expanding a Business
• Identify the best way for your business to expand: 5 Ways to Expand Your Small Business
We all have more to do than time to do it, but for business owners especially, it can be really hard to release yourself from the tangle of personal and business-related responsibilities, current and future priorities. The very things that have made you successful can turn into the those which paralyze you with stress and overwhelm. To tackle this challenge, take these steps:
• Work on your time management: 15 Time-Saving Tips for Business Owners
• Use free tools for time-consuming creative tasks: 25 Free Tools to Rock Your Visual Marketing
• Automate as much as you can: Ways to Automate Your Marketing
You’re only human, and running a small business is a surefire way to burn yourself out. The biggest challenge that comes with burnout is not so much the exhaustion, but the inability to detect burnout due to that exhaustion. Continuing on when your performance is declining is counterproductive for both you and your business. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to put habits into place to prevent burnout, and to have a set of remedies in place to help you when you do reach that point. Arm yourself for burnout by:
• Learning to detect and manage stressors: 4 Common Small Business Stressors and How to Deal with Them
• Draw from social sources of motivation: 8 Motivational Instagram Accounts to Follow
• Create a healthy work environment: How to Feng Shui Your Small Business Space
While you may feel alone in your struggle, the truth is that many small business owners face very similar challenges. The good news is, there are countless tools, strategies, and professionals available to you to make your life easier. Use the resources mentioned in this post to start feeling confident in your business and get it on the road to success.