Small businesses face many challenges in there first few years in business, some challenges are harder to overcome than others. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that about 20% of small businesses fail by the end of their first year. By the end of their fifth year, 50% go under; and by the tenth year, that number rises to 80%.
With stats like it’s no wonder my people hesistate to start a business, but these challenges are fixable. From difficulty finding customers, generating leads, and building an email list, all the way to hiring the right people and balancing quality and growth. Sometimes you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your business and best practices.
Below are some of the challenges and ways to fix some of the pain points that your business might be currently having issues with.
Hiring Talent Employees
Hiring is always one of the biggest challenges a company faces and along with the cost of onboarding new employees.
There are several ways you to overcome this challenge.
Don’t think short term, think of hiring for the long term. Spend more time properly screening potential employees. Outsource the position, this may solve many of your issues at once.
Find new customers is one of the biggest challenges for any size company, even if your a small mom & pop shop to a Fortune 500 company. Large companies have an army of marketing and salespeople going to battle every day to bring in new business, whereas small business has a small team or are doing themselves.
How to fix this challenge
Know who your perfect customer will improve your chance of finding and closing more deals. Spray and Pray will not work! You need to identify what your ideal customer looks like and where they spend their time online. Being very targeted will dramatically increase your results. Once you identified your target market and where they spend their time online, you need to create content and place in those place they spend there time and with information they care about.
You always see the big brand popping up out of nowhere. How did they grow so fast? Can your business grow like that too? Behind the scenes there is a lot of hard work, failures and rejections that most don’t see.
So what can you do?
PR: Public Relations isn’t about spending a ton of money, but more about find your place in the market. PR is about building relationships with your target market even if you haven’t even spoken to them yet. There are a lot of resources out there for tips and trick.
Co-Marketing: This is a great way to build your brand and reputation by partnering with other brand who share your same ideas and principals.
Blogging: Blogs are a great way to build organic traffic to your site, by place high-quality blogs with relevant information to your target market. Not only does it drive traffic to your site, but it can also help build authority in your industry
Building Email List
Building an email list can be a tough thing to do and did you know that every year your list degrades by over 22%, which means you need to always be bring in fresh emails to keep your list fresh.
How to get more emails?
This is a simple process and but there are a few ways this can be done. First, you can build an opt-in email list (this is the best way). To do this you can create subscribe popups on your site or put a place where people and be added to your email list.
Secondly, you can buy email list from a company (there are different opinions on buying a list), this can be effective depending on the type of business you have and your target market. I think it works best for Business to Business marketing.
Lead generation is one the biggest challenges companies face, if you can’t put together an effective lead generating machine there are troubles ahead. Only about 10% of marketers feel there lead generation campaigns are effective.
What to do
There are several things that you can do to improve your companies lead generation. First, you want to ensure your website is optimized for generating lead. Your website is one of the most important lead generation tools for convert visitors to customers. You will want to make sure you have submission forms, a clear message and ensure they know what step to take next. You will also want to make sure you have a blog and that it is updated with fresh content regularly (2 blogs a week is ideal).
Depending on your business type there are other ideas for lead generation. Some marketers love to do Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads (LinkedIn is best for B2B) along with other social media marketing. Some marketers will tell you that cold calling is dead, but the hard truth is that it is still one of the most effective ways to generate leads and to be honest it’s one of my favorites!
When it comes to lead generation you want to make sure that your are using different tactics in you marketing efforts, keep what’s working, toss whats not.
All business face challenges, whether you are a small company or if you are a Fortune 100 company we all face many of the same challenges. You will have set backs, failure and successes. No matter what happens, keep positive, test an measure and stay focused on your goals.