One of the biggest risks you can take in life is to start your own business. When you finally take the leap from your passion and pipe dreams to reality, you’ve only just begun with the hard work. Depressing, isn’t it? But as with anything, some tasks with owning a small business are harder than others. We mean, you are living out your dream, after all, and not everything will be hard work! We’ll take a look at some of the most common hurdles small businesses face, and how they might be changing in 2019 and beyond.
Finding your marketing niche
From your small business website to your traditional marketing strategies, choosing the right marketing path for you can be tricky. As you start your own small business, increasing your revenue means increasing your customers, but it’s hard to do that when you can’t market to them because you haven’t made any revenue yet! For this reason, it’s imperative that you sit down and map out a strategy that fits your current business and what you have right now.
When you have a small marketing budget, it might be wise to focus on digital marketing, as it usually costs less than traditional marketing like TV and print ads. Digital marketing will allow you to carve out your niche on the internet and use data to determine what people are searching for in order to target them better.
In 2019, we are starting to see some unique challenges to digital marketing, specifically. For one, using a social media influencer to promote your product may be an opportunity for a scam or fraud. Social media influencer fraud is a growing problem that often uses fake accounts to promote products, or influencers who have purchased engagement and followers. Essentially, this means the people they’re marketing to with their posts aren’t real, or won’t have any impact. This is a perfect example of why using accurate and reliable data with any marketing strategy will be vital to your growing business.
Keeping up with demand
Knowing what kind of demand your business will experience is difficult to predict. For example, you might have predicted slow growth for your new small dairy farm business plan, but suddenly the organic milk you’re selling has caught on, and the demand for your product or service is more than you can keep up with. This is a classic hurdle that small businesses face, and can often ruin them if not handled well. The good news about being a small business in today’s times are all of the options for automating your business. Things like your finances or reviewing data can all be automated, with the right skills and knowhow.
For more help, try some of these great tips for dealing with high demand to avoid missing out on profit, and alienating impatient customers.
You’ve probably put in a lot, and we mean a lot, of hours to get to this point. Don’t waste those hours by burning yourself out and being a bit useless to your business. It’s important that you reap the rewards of a successful small business and make sure you carve out some time for yourself and your family, if applicable. A good work and life balance will not only help your productivity at work, but will help keep you at work instead of sick at home.
Keeping your customers
Finding new ways to attract your current customers is a quick way to increase your revenue. You’ve spent the money getting the customers, so it’s important that you not only keep them, but find ways to upsell to them and keep them excited about what you have to offer. Long Term marketing needs to be a part of your small business marketing plan right from the beginning.
Getting to know your customers well to anticipate their needs is an excellent way to focus on long term marketing. It will likely be something other customers need in the future as well, which will set you up for more business from more customers.
Finding the right team
A good team makes a business, but a bad team can wreck one. Now if you’re a massive, corporate company with thousands of employees, one bad apple won’t break the tree. As a small business, however, a toxic team can mean the end for your business.
For example, when you’re just starting out, referrals are gold to a company. Good referrals mean more business, and more trusting customers. They’re also free marketing opportunities without you having to lift a finger. Bad referrals, or bad reviews, on the other hand, can spell bad news for future customers. More and more customers are looking at reviews before purchasing a product or service, with some numbers jumping to 90%. If you have a team member who consistently angers customers, you’re looking at a whole heap of bad reviews. At the very least, you’ll likely have poor word of mouth reviews, which can also be very damaging.
Poor attitude, low productivity and bad chemistry can create a firestorm of a team that doesn’t work together at all. Your business is small, which means there’s few places to hide from a toxic employee, so you’ll want to make sure that not only everyone gets along, but that they work well together too.
Being part of the body corporate
If you own your space in New Zealand, it’s likely that you’ll be part of body corporate services. This means you’ll need to pay attention to upcoming meetings and decisions being made within the group. These decisions could affect things like tax returns, agreed upon repairs to your property, etc. To find out more about body corporate governance in New Zealand, check out this helpful page.
Once you’ve covered these bases, you can finally let your passion and creativity shine. After all, that’s what got you into this whole mess in the first place, right?!