4 Areas that Small Businesses Commonly Struggle with and Solutions to These Problems

Starting a business is an accomplishment regardless of the avenue you took. Small businesses need to be managed carefully as they do not have the luxury of throwing money at a problem like a more established company. Growing pains do occur at small businesses as certain systems tend to get overwhelmed if there is sudden growth. There are specific areas that small businesses tend to struggle with during the infancy of the company. The issues arise due to lack of experience by a founder or due to the company being a new face in a business niche. Below are 5 areas that small businesses struggle with and how to overcome them. 

Website Design/Management 

Web design can be tough for a small business owner that does not have a background in tech. Looking into a web design company that will help design and manage the website can work wonders. There are changes in best practices in terms of SEO that the company that you use can help with. The last thing that a small business that relies on its website to make sales wants is the website to go down for extended periods. Downtime for a website is lost revenue especially if the company is an eCommerce-based business. 

Digital Marketing 

Digital marketing can be a full-time job in itself for a small business owner. The process of hiring a team in-house can be expensive. This is done without a guarantee that certain employees will produce positive results. The unfortunate truth is that people in digital marketing refer to themselves as experts when they are amateur marketers at best. Finding a few digital marketing freelancers or a reasonably priced marketing agency is recommended. The last thing you want to do is spend the marketing budget on tactics that deliver little in terms of ROI. 

The content that is created should not be generic as this offers little value to readers that are saturated with generic content on every social media platform. Content shouldn’t only come in written form as consumers love variety. A podcast can be a great way to showcase the knowledge of the staff on a particular topic. For companies without a huge marketing budget podcasting can allow for in-depth content to be created at an affordable price. Bringing in the right guests to a podcast can automatically validate a business in a specific industry depending on the guest. Start to research digital marketing tactics today. This will allow you to put a plan in place or at least have familiarity with certain terms before talking to freelancers/agencies. 

Sales Numbers are Low 

Sales is an area that businesses of all sizes struggle with from time to time. Taking a look at the leads being generated by both marketing and advertising is essential. You might find out the marketing team is creating campaigns for individuals right outside of the target demographic. Leads are not all created equal so there should be an analysis of quality of leads before you drop the hammer on the sales team. Sales should be in communication with both marketing and advertising. There are plenty of tools that can be used to track sales success. These can track the open and response rates of emails or the ability to see if a recipient clicked on a specific link. 

Hiring Processes Aren’t Nailed Down 

A small business can be tough to hire for as it always seems like relatives come out of the woodwork asking for jobs. Hiring processes need to be created to ensure that a higher quality of hire is made on average. Simply having a gut feeling is not going to result in the creation of the best staff possible. There is hiring software that not only can save a company time but also money as it helps indicate whether an applicant will be a good hire. These different hiring tools use artificial intelligence to identify patterns that can indicate the quality of hire that an applicant will be. These patterns might not be seen by someone in HR but these tools make it very apparent. The need to do background checks doesn’t need to be stated as it is for the safety of the staff. Having certain offenses that disqualify an applicant is wise. This is important so it doesn’t turn into a debate when the applicant has a massive amount of experience. 

The most important aspect of addressing struggles at a small business is the willingness to adapt. Businesses that do not adapt will surely die over time especially with all of the innovations in technology occurring. Create a list of areas where you believe that your business can improve and ask staff for suggestions.  

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.