There are many facets to running a successful small business. So many, in fact, that some may slip under the radar. However, some problems could jeopardize everything you’ve worked so hard for if you don’t correct your course quickly. You might feel like you’re in over your head but we can help you turn things around with proven solutions for these four common small business problems.
It might seem obvious, but running a business incurs a lot of expenses. While you may have planned for the obvious ones like inventory and rent, some can sneak up on you like small business tax preparation costs and employment taxes. If you find yourself nearing a financial crisis, you need to get ahead of the problem before it bankrupts you.
Create a Budget & Stick to It
A budget is essential for every business. If you don’t have one you need to make one ASAP. Fortunately, this can be fairly easy with budgeting software. Make sure you account for all your current expenses and any that may pop up seasonally. If you have the bandwidth for it, designate a CFO for your business as well.
Building Brand Awareness
With increasingly saturated markets and powerful competitors, getting and holding the attention of consumers is difficult. While it can be daunting to try to increase brand awareness for your small business, it should be a top priority. The biggest problem is that may new business owners don’t even know where to start.
Establish Your Brand Identity & Communicate Clearly
Before you can create clear messaging, you need to know exactly what defines your business. You also need to figure out who you’re talking to. Ask yourself the right questions:
- What are your differentiators?
- Are you focused on a local or global market?
- Who’s your target demographic?
Once you establish these identities, you need to build your brand with consistent messaging and strategic marketing initiatives.
Hiring the Right Help
Finding employees seems like it should be easy with job sites and plentiful individuals searching for employment but hiring isn’t that simple. Hiring even one person is a big financial undertaking so it should be approached with the utmost care.
Strategize, Take Your Time, & Remain Competitive
Making your business stand out from the other listings takes a little effort. Explaining makes your business a desirable workplace and accurately describing the job as well as the required skills are important aspects of creating a good job posting.
Don’t settle for the first applicant if they aren’t right. While you might really need the help right away, hiring the wrong person could cost you time and money you don’t have to waste. Make sure you find someone with the right experience, skills, and attitude to fit your team. In addition to carefully filtering applicants, you should also have the foundation set on your end. If you don’t have one yet, establish an employment contract before you offer them the position to ensure both parties are protected.
Maintaining Quality with Growth
Seeing your business grow is exciting but it can bring on new challenges. If you’re seeing a rapid decline in customer satisfaction due to the quality of your products or services, it may be time to slow down and steady the course. This might sound counterintuitive but ensuring quality over quantity is essential to your business’s reputation and longevity.
Without happy customers, you have no business so focus on accommodating any issues as soon as they arise. Be straightforward with customers if something happened to their order and take the necessary actions to repair the relationship, within reason of course. This could be providing a complimentary gift, discount on their next purchase, or comping the item.
You should also revisit your business model and adjust your operations so that you can sustain future growth. Scalability is critical to striking the balance between quality and growth. Create a safety plan for how you will overcome future roadblocks such as inefficiencies and overspending to protect your business long-term.
No matter how hard things might get, remember there are always resources and proven solutions to help you get your business back on track.