Strategies to Tackle Common Small Business Challenges
As an entrepreneur, you develop a business idea based on your experience, skillset and industry-knowledge; you have identified something the market is missing, or placed a new spin on an old idea that will make you stand out from the competition. You secure the copyright for the perfect name, set up your website, and begin investing into marketing campaigns, ready for the customers to start rolling in.
Reality check time – this is the moment you realize running a small business is full of unforeseen challenges. Sage, a leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, shared with Townsquared their research and strategies to tackle common small business challenges. Read on for their tips and advice, so you can focus on the more exciting aspects of your business. Here’s a sample of what they found:
Learning About New Technology
Living in an era of fast-evolving, ever-changing technology is a double-edged sword. Being able to take advantage of technology means staying updated on what’s available and knowing how to use it. How do you keep up with it all?
Townsquared has been a great resource for the small business community to learn about new technology. Members share information about tools and software that’s been effective (and not) in running their businesses. They share reviews and experiences with different point-of-sales systems, accounting systems, and social media platforms, for example. One tool that has helped small businesses is Townsquared’s newest product, MyBiz, a communication platform that allows owners and managers to organize and manage the discussions, tasks, and issues that are a critical part of running a business.
If you’re larger and have more resources, you can delegate to each member of your team the task of keeping up-to-date on an area of interest. With a small team monitoring specific areas, you are more likely to be made aware of the next big thing that will help you manage your business, or the best practices needed to optimize your brand’s popularity. Make it a part of your operations to review new technology that your team members have learned about in their research, to see if and how you can capitalize on these new tools.
Marketing and Data Collection
Another concern small business owners don’t consider until after they have already launched their business is how to promote it. Fortunately, there is a quick solution to get you started – copy the competition! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say.
Once you have established who your direct competitors are, look for how they market their business. Your competition is investing in these marketing strategies because they work. They have already learned to grow their brand awareness and customer bases, so do the same to jump start your own operations. With time, you’ll soon learn what works well for your business, so you can adjust your strategies accordingly.
Of course, once you have your customer base, you will want them to keep coming back. One of the most effective ways of doing this is with e-mail campaigns, but encouraging customers to share their contact information can be a challenge. Your website can see the biggest return if it includes page prompts throughout your website, inviting users to stay up-to-date on the latest deals by sharing their email addresses. You can encourage sales, too, if you offer instant buying enticements for customers who share their information.
These are just some highlights from Sage on challenges that small businesses faced in 2017. Take advantage of these technology tips to help your business be more effective.