We are a small business! And we love other small businesses that offer exceptional products and services and strive towards growth while mitigating the challenges that come along. In our experience, most small businesses face enormous challenges in the first few years of their business. While some are easy to navigate, some become really challenging to overcome easily.
The challenge lies in not just starting a small business, but ensuring that it will remain a successful one. All businesses face challenges, big or small, but some are really unique to small businesses. Via this blog, we aim to look at some of those business challenges and tips on how to tackle them. We will also have a look at how technology can come to the rescue and how a simple solution such as a CRM for small business can help.
These business challenges can be fixed, it just needs trial and error and in some cases more effort than previously thought. You may need to take a step back, take the time to understand the business pain points and give another look to your strategy. Want to know what are the business challenges facing small businesses? Read below.
Five small business challenges and tips to fix them
1. Finding those precious customers
While this business challenge is faced by businesses big and small, small businesses find it challenging to find the customers that they are looking for, especially when they are not yet a house-hold name. It’s a lot of hard work to find the kind of customers with whom you can build lasting relations and eventually grow your company. Customers of today are demanding and engage in different ways while evaluating a product or service. So how do you mitigate this challenge?
The best way forward is to actually sit back and think who your customer really is. Knowing who your ideal customer is, will help you work backwards in creating the right strategy for customer acquisition. All that’s needed is mapping out the customer needs better and also helping draft a content plan to attract them to your business. Also look at all the channels that customers could walk in from. Having a clear-cut buyer’s persona will help you create the right marketing messages and help you to work with awesome content that will attract the right customers to your business.
2. Hiring talented people
Hiring for a small business is a daunting task for many entrepreneurs of small businesses. Employee turnover is not an option and looking for talent that can wear many hats in the business is a priority for many. It’s not easy to attract the kind of talent you want when you are just starting off. So, what do you do?
Make sure that you invest some effort in the beginning in chalking out a job description that best fits the role. Remember the goal is not just to hire, but to hire the best from the available pool so that they can help build you a better business. It also makes sense to ensure that they will adapt well to your company culture. Create space for learning and development, offer flexi policies at work and create a working environment where no one would want to ever leave.
3. Managing cash flow
Small businesses are always plagued with this challenge and it’s the one challenge that needs careful consideration and attention at all times. It’s one of those things which if overlooked, can ruin the chances of success for your small business. Maintaining a positive flow of cash within the organisation is ideal, but how is one supposed to manage it always. What are your options?
We have a lot of tips on this one, which you can read in-depth in our blog below. However, to quickly summarise, we suggest you create a fool-proof financial plan, assess your spends from time to time, define terms and conditions of payment, have a set invoicing pattern and ensure that you have technology solutions such as an online invoicing software to do some of the work for you.
Read More: 10 Tips to Manage Small Business Cash Flow
4. Balancing quality and growth
Every small business situation is different. And how to scale one depends on many factors. It’s up to you to navigate your business and its various functions and work towards a compromise that allows scale without hurting the business value. Scaling a new business early on without maintaining quality can lead to problems. So how do you go about it?
To maintain the balance between quality and growth, ensure that you take calculated steps all the way. For example: don’t be in a hurry to grow your company too quickly without considering the hiring that may be involved. Having inexperienced people on board may upset your apple cart. Training new people should be given enough time as well so that it doesn’t backfire on you. On another front, instead of obsessing over a perfect product, work towards customer service and work on growing and maintaining the quality of your product side by side.
5. Lack of visibility across the organisation
Most small businesses still struggle with the decision to adopt technology at the right time. This leaves them with siloed data and no visibility across their processes which in turn does not equip them with the right decision making for the business. Decision making at the right time and right place is key for growth and this is one business challenge that can be overcome easily. What will it take?
All you need is a workflow or CRM solution that will bring your business processes together and help you with the data management across the organisation. Such CRM systems come built in with reports that will provide you with deep insights enabling you to make the right decisions at the right time. Operation excellence is guaranteed with actionable insights, which enhances continuous improvement over time.
We have worked with many small businesses in and around Sydney and in our journey with them, we have seen that a lot of these challenges can be alleviated with the use of a simple workflow and CRM solution such as our flagship product, Quiddity. Quiddity allows you to record your customer data (helping you mitigate the 1st challenge), simplifies workflow (mitigating challenge No. 5), automates invoicing (helping you alleviate Challenge no. 3) and give you a bird eye view of the business, all in one place. Now isn’t that wonderful?
One last tip for a budding entrepreneur: Do consider these challenges as it may affect you too someday. But always think with a cool and calm head to find the solutions. All of us are in the same boat.
While we have tried to help with our tips on some of the challenges, it’s not a given that you may not face another type. While we cannot avoid the challenges that come our way, we can always learn ways in which we can circumvent them from time to time. Give us a call to learn about ways in which Quiddity can help deal with such small business challenges. Sign up for a free trial today.
Brendan works as a Product Manager at Quiddity, an amazing workflow and customer relationship management tool for small businesses. He has a passion for design and problem solving and loves to share knowledge and collaborate with others.